Food


This week’s theme for I heart Cooking Clubs was to find a dish from Jacques Pepin that was NOT FRENCH! THAT as NOT easy. I mean, people, Pepin is French. Why? would he cook non-French food? Because he can. And does. But there aren’t that many dishes out there that don’t have some French ‘flavor’ in them. Including this one with a North African origin – Couscous…

    …is a traditional dish of semolina (granules of durum wheat) cooked by steaming. Traditionally it is served with a meat or vegetable stew spooned over it.

But why would Pepin cook Couscous? I think I found the answer.

    Couscous was voted as the third-favourite dish of French people in 2011.

So maybe it IS a French dish after all. Whatever it is it is easy to cook with and can be a delicious dish. this version is Green Couscous.

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and is cooked with a mixture of different fresh herbs.

    1 cup loosely packed fresh herb leaves (a mixture of chives, parsley, tarragon, and basil)
    2 garlic cloves
    3/4 cup boiling water
    1 tablespoon unsalted butter
    1 cup instant couscous
    1/2 teaspoon salt

Add the herbs, and garlic to 1/4 cup of boiling water in a mini-chopper and process for about 30 seconds, or until the mix is smooth.

Add the couscous and salt to the melted butter in a saucepan and coat the couscous with the butter. Mix in the herb puree and 1/2 cup boiling water. Remove from the heat, cover, and let it sit for about 10 minutes.

Fluff the couscous with a fork.

I found the couscous to be a little bland in flavor so I added a little more salt and that helped somewhat. On it’s own it really doesn’t stand out so I decided to do something with it. I stuffed a chicken breast. Not bad.

    Pound the breast til about 1/4″ thick {Mine was not quite thin enough.}Salt and pepper (and maybe some other spices) the interior of the breast and then layer the couscous mixture on the chicken. Roll up jelly roll style and fasten with toothpicks. Season the outside of the roll well. Brown the roll on all sides in an oven proof skillet and then bake at 400 for about 12 – 15 minutes or until done. Remove picks and serve on a bed of couscous.

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The seasoning from the chicken ‘leaked’ into the couscous and added more flavor. I will make this one again.

Check out the other non-French dishes over at IHCC.

If you need a quick and simple meal this may be the one you want. Especially if you are in the mood for eggs and lots of herbs.

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ITs a simple mix of eggs and some whites, parsley, spinach, chives, and goat cheese. Full of flavor and just enough for a light lunch. Or dinner! It comes together in less than 30 minutes so if you are in a hurry….no worries.

I made 1/2 of the total recipe {well, not quite 1/2: 2 eggs instead of 5 and two whites instead of 5} and it was just right for a 7″ black skillet.

I liked it, but…. I would use less parsley next time. I just really don’t care for lots of parsley.

The recipe is on page 228 of Ellie Krieger’s Weeknight Wonders. It was a good pick from Peggy this week.

Check with the others about their frittatas on our website – Eating with Ellie

What do you get when you mix together bell peppers, onions, spices and tomatoes? A rich savory sauce. What do you get when you crack an egg in the middle and let it cook to a nice runny yolk> SHAKSHUKA! Ellie says it’s the Middle Eastern version of ‘eggs in purgatory’. David Lebovitz says it has North African origins. It is spicy and can be quite hot if you use enough crushed red pepper. It will definitely wake you up if you eat if for breakfast. Which is what I did.

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The spices include cumin, coriander, crushed red pepper and paprika whichcombine to provide a rich, flavorful dish. And as if that wasn’t enough – goat cheese {I used an herb-y one} is sprinkled on top.

This week’s pick was from Chaya and it was definitely a breakfast I could get used to.

What did the other’s think? Check out the Eating with Ellie Webpage and see.

The recipe is on page 277 of Ellie’s Weeknight Wonders. And if you would like to join us just cook, blog, and leave your link. We’d love to have you.

It’s summer. Officially. Although, here in the deep south our summer started about 2 weeks ago when the rains FINALLY stopped and the sun came out. Talk about HUMIDITY!!

Summer means lots of cold drinks, cool salads, BBQ-ing, and Strawberries. And if you have strawberries then you absolutely HAVE to make Strawberry Shortcakes. I mean, its like a law or something…..

In the US this means using those little round sponge cakes that soak up all the juices. Or using a sweet biscuit. But the star of the show is always the berries. Sweet. Red. Juicy – if you are lucky enough to find them. It doesn’t matter what you serve them on. This weekthe Doristas are using Lady Finger cookie disks. It’s different.

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But different can be good. As these French style sweet treats were. Dorie says we should call the Ladyfinger Disks Indies: Celebrate Independence Day in the US and Bastille Day in France. I’m just gonna call them DELISH!!

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Layers of Indies with sweet berries and sweet cream. Cannot beat that on a hot day in the Deep South.

Check out the other Shortcakes on the Tuesdays with Dorie website where we leave our links for this week’s “assignment”.

The recipe is on page 338 of Dorie’s Baking Chez Moi.

When I think of strudel I think fruit, sweet, crunchy, dessert.
When Ellie thinks of strudel she thinks basil, spinach, cheese, tomatoes.
Guess we don’t think alike.
But I like her thoughts.

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I think it was darn delicious.

Simple whole wheat pizza dough {she listed frozen but I made my own using Bittman’s no-knead WW dough} wrapped around lots of good stuff including ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese, tomatoes, basil, spinach, and sundried tomatoes. SO GOOD! Definitely a repeat.

I have to say, though, I would use less ricotta but then it’s not my fave. And now that i’ve made it I can see it with black olives or green olives or mushrooms.

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Yes, indeed!

The recipe is on page 222 of Ellie’s Weeknight Wonders and it was my pick for this week. I hope the other Eaters liked it as well. Check on our website and see.

And if you would like to join in with our healthy eating the upcoming recipes are listed there. Just cook, blog, and leave comment. Love to have you.

Today was a fun day in the kitchen. My son is in town and he likes to cook so we made this week’s ‘assignment’ together.

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Chicken breasts are poached in a brown sugar, soy sauce, cinnamon, star anise, and rice wine mixture. Then fried to crispyness. Thus the name, “twice-cooked”. This was good. I served it as Donna suggested with some steamed greens and jasmine rice. Donna listed chicken breasts with skin but I never buy them so went with the skinless. It was still nice and crispy because of the sugar in the poaching sauce. The sauce thickened quite a bit so I thinned it with a little extra soy sauce and drizzled some over the chicken and steamed bok choy.

The recipe is on page 120 of Donna’s off the shelf.

If you would like to join us just check the recipes on Wednesdays with Donna Hay and leave a comment there. We would love to have you. No commitment. Just fun.

And to see how the other members liked the chicken – WWDH.

In case you hadn’t noticed, this week’s theme for I Heart Cooking Clubs is CHEESE!! Any kind of cheese in any kind of dish just as long as it is from Jacques Pepin’scollection of recipes. And believe me, there are plenty to choose from.

Fulfilling this week’s theme…

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    Gruyère Cheese Soufflé

I made just 1/2 of the recipe because I wasn’t sure if The Man would like it. What I ended up with was three ramekins of deliciousness.

    1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for greasing
    1 tablespoons freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
    1 3/4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    1/2 cup cold whole milk
    3 large eggs, separated
    1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
    1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
    1 1/2 ounces Gruyère cheese, shredded (1/2 cup) {I used a smoked Gruyère.}
    1 tablespoons chopped chives
    1 slices of yellow American cheese, each cut into 6 strips

Preheat the oven to 400°. Grease 3 4″ ramekins with butter and dust with the Parmigiano. Put in the fridge until ready to fill.
Melt the butter over moderate heat then whisk in the flour and cook, whisking, for 1 minute. Add in the milk, bring to a boil and cook, whisking, until thickened, 1 minute.
Remove the béchamel from the heat, then whisk in 2 egg yolks along with the salt and pepper.
Beat the whites until firm peaks form. Whisk one-third of the whites into the béchamel. Gently fold in the rest of the whites. <font color="green"}I have found that if you just need a small amount of whipped whites my small electric chopper works very well and so much easier than pulling out a mixer.}</font}
Fold in the Gruyère and chives; scrape into the prepared dishes.
Top each ramekin with a small piece of American Cheese.
Bake for 23 – 25 minutes, until puffed and golden. Serve. Original Recipe from Food and Wine

Had to photograph this one quickly because Soufflés collapse very quickly. But the collapse doesn’t affect the taste. Creamy. Cheesy. So much flavor. Now I wish I had the whole recipe. Even The Man liked it, kinda…..

For the rest of the cheesy dishes visit IHCC.

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