Food


There is just something about Mark BIttman’s recipes/dishes that keeps calling me back. I know you know the feeling. You find a chef/cook/baker you really like and then you just want to keep making their goodies. I am that way with Madjur Jaffrey, Donna Hay, and Mark Bittman, among others..

So when it came time to do another potluck for I heart Cooking Clubs I went with Bittman – again.

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    8 ripe pears peeled, cored, and roughly chopped into smallish pieces
    1/4 – 1/3 cup sugar
    1 tablespoon cornstarch
    1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    8 – 10 sheets whole-wheat phyllo dough, thawed
    4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
    Powdered sugar for dusting

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine the pears, sugar, cornstarch, and cinnamon in a large bowl.
Set the phyllo on your work surface and cover with a piece of plastic and a damp towel to keep it from drying out. Remove one sheet and put it in front of you, brush it with some butter and fold in 1/2 length wise.

Put about 1/8 of the pear mixture at one end of the phyllo strip and begin folding the filled section of the phyllo to form triangles back and forth along the length of the strip, like folding a flag. Keep folding the triangle back and forth until you reach the end of the sheet.
Transfer the turnover to the prepared baking sheet, seam side down, and brush it with a little more butter. Repeat with the remaining phyllo sheets and apple mixture. You should have 8 turnovers.

Bake the turnovers until deeply golden and crisp (it’s okay if they ooze a little juice), 25 to 35 minutes.

Sprinkle with powdered sugar or


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    cinnamon sugar.

These were quick, crispy, flaky, tasty and the perfect light dessert. They are on page 565 of Bittman’s The Food Matters Cook book

For the other Pot Luck picks visit us over at IHCC

Spring is here which means garden season is not far away. Fresh veggies every day! But until then we can eat them ‘fresh’ from the grocers in this simple and tasty veggie sauté.

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So simple – zucchini, spinach, and corn mixed with some onion and garlic and quickly cooked in a little olive oil. It just doesn’t get any better. Really!

Thanks to Chaya for this one. Loved it!

Check out the other’s veggies on the Eating with Ellie website.

The recipe is on page 254 of Ellie’s weeknight wonders the only book we are cooking from right now.

If he recipe has the word CURRY in it you can bet I am going to make it. The word just conjures up far away places and exotic flavors. Kayte’s pick for this weeks Wednesdays with Donna Hay did just that. I opned up new food fast to read the recipe and found I had already made it for IHCC last December and it wasn’t one of my fave dishes.

But I decided to make it again with a couple of tweaks!

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While Donna says to simply halve the chicken thighs I cut them into smaller pieces. I also cut the sweet potato into smaller bites. I made only 1/2 the recipe but kept the Red Curry Paste at 3 Tbl. MUCH better. And then I added a touch of salt which brought out the flavors more. I thickened the broth some and served it with some browned rice. Also much better. But…. there is still something lacking to my taste buds. I want to like this but it just isn’t there for some reason.

Did the other Ladies of WWDH like Kayte’s pick? Check out their posts by hopping over to the WWDH Website where we all leave our links.

The recipe is on page 67 of Donna’s new food fast.

And anytime you want to join us for some really good food just leave a comment for one of us or on the website. We would love to have you.

When I was growing up I was not a vegetable eater. I guess most kids aren’t. My Dad wasn’t much of one either. But there were a few I really liked. Broccoli, strange for a kid. Corn, duh! Cauliflower. My salad usually consisted of lettuce and mayo, Ugh!! That was it. No peas. No greens. Since then my tastes have changed. But I still like my old standbys. And this dish with tons of cauliflower was right up my alley.

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What we have here is a layer of sliced cauliflower with dollops of caramelized onion covered with Fontina cheese sprinkled with fried sage and Parmesan. I mean really, can you think of a better way to eat cauliflower?

The original recipe, which came from Donna Hay’s Magazine (Dec/Jan15), called for “store-bought caramelized onion relish”. Not something easily found so I caramelized my own with a recipe from Simply Recipes. {If you have an hour free, this is the recipe to use.}

This was Gaye’s pick for this week’s Wednesday with Donna Hay. I hope the others liked it as much as I did. You can check out everyone’s cauliflower dish on our Blog.

And if you would like to join us – we are using Donna’s website, magazine, and several of her books for the recipes. Just leave us a comment. Love to have you!

Okay. I did what she said. I got off the couch. And I cooked!!!

And cooked. And cooked some more.

Why, you ask? Because it was my JOB!! At least this month…It was my job to read through Sashi’s wonderful blog – Get Off the Couch and Cook and find something, anything, to cook. NOT an easy job. Her blog is “…not a health food site but the recipes are not bad for you.” Don’t you love that? I like foods that aren’t bad for me. But still delicious. And there is plenty of that here.

Sashi was my ‘assignment’ for March’s Secret Recipe Club and I had to pick at least one recipe.

But if you follow along each month you know I am not in the habit of just choosing ONE recipe. I started out with her lovely soft…

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These are very similar to the bread I make from KAF, where she originally got the recipe, but softer than my bread. They were perfect with burgers, pulled pork, and meatballs. What makes these really nice is that the dough is ‘worked’ in a bread machine then hand rolled and baked. You can make round buns or long hot-dog style. These were supposed to be long hot-dog but my shaping skills are a little rusty.

With the sandwiches I had to have a side…

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YES!, I did say bacon and cheese. Think of these as deconstructed baked potatoes with sour cream, butter AND the bacon and cheese. Without the skin.

    6 slices of bacon
    6 medium Russet potatoes, washed but not peeled
    4 Tbsp (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
    ¾ c sour cream
    4 Tbsp buttermilk (or regular milk)
    1 tsp kosher salt
    ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
    1 c (4 oz) shredded Cheddar cheese

Cook your bacon in a large skillet over med heat until crispy, 5-10 minutes, flipping halfway through. Drain on paper towels then crumble. Set aside.
Cut the potatoes into 3/4″ to 1″ pieces and boil until just soft – about 10 minutes. You want them to easily fall apart.
Mix the butter, sour cream, buttermilk, salt and pepper in a large bowl.
Drain the potatoes then add them to the bowl with the butter/sour cream mix.
Smash the potatoes into the butter and sour cream, stirring slightly while mashing the potatoes until just combined, leaving chunky bits.
Using a large spoon, fold in the bacon pieces and half the cheese.
Sprinkle with remaining, or more, cheese and let melt before serving.

Good stuff.

I thought about making one of her desserts, like her Lemon Blueberry Cake, or the Dutch Apple Pie, or some Chocolate Bacon BarkYUM!! but in the end, since I still had cake and ice cream in the house, I went with another savory – Baked Pork Egg Rolls

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I just happened to have some roast pork so these seemed a perfect way to use up some left overs. Stuffed with pork, carrots, cabbage, mixed with honey, peanut butter, mirin, chili sauce and sesame oil these tasty eggrolls were not fried as we are used to but rather, baked. So pretty healthy and not at all bad for me. Just like Sashi advertised for her recipes.

I am definitely going back for more recipes from Sashi. They are easy, fresh, delicious, and not at all bad for me!!!

NOw that my job is done….why don’t you head on over to Secret Recipe Club and sign up to join in the fun.

But between now and then check out the other goodies from the other members. See how much fun they had with their ‘assignments’ this month.

I do enjoy a good mystery. With well created characters.

Greg Iles

    Robert Crais.
      James Patterson.
        Jamie Oliver.

Wait! No! Jaimie doesn’t write mysteries. But he does create excellent recipes. Like this Chicken, Mushroom, Bacon and Leek Pie And it contains 4 of the 10 Mystery Box ingredients for this week’s MYSTERY BOX at I Heart Cooking Clubs.

AND…AND… Today. Is. Pie/PI. DAY!!!! March 14, 2015. Pie/Pi -get it? 3.1415…..

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2 boned chicken legs thighs, cut into chunks or strips
1 medium LEEK, sliced
2 slices smoked streakyBACON, cut into small strips
6 chestnut MUSHROOMS, quartered {I used button because I could not find chestnut}
Sprig of THYME, leaves picked
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 tbsp corn starch
2 tbsp low fat Greek yogurt/crème fraîche
Salt and pepper to season
Drizzle of olive oil

Filling:

Drizzle a little olive oil in a medium skillet. Add the bacon and chicken and cook until they start to brown.
Add in the leek, mushrooms and thyme.
Add the chicken stock.
Stir the cornstarch into a little water until you get a smooth slurry. Add the slurry to the chicken mixture in the pan
When the sauce has thickened remove from the heat and stir in the Greek yoghurt or crème fraîche
Pour filling into a pie dish.
Place the rolled pastry over the pie filling. crimp the edges with your fingers and thumb or a fork and cut off any excess pastry.
Cut small slits in the crust to let the steam escape.
Brush the pastry with a beaten egg mixed with a splash of milk and bake in a pre-heated oven at 200c for approximately 25 mins, or until pastry is golden.

Pastry:
250g plain flour
100g lard butter, cubed
A tiny splash milk
1 large beaten egg
Flour for dusting

Place the flour in a processor. Add in the cubed lard and process until mix resembles corn meal. Add in the egg and milk and process until a ball forms in the processor. Remove and place on lightly floured work surface. Lightly flour the ball and pat it into a flat round, then wrap it in cling film and put it in the fridge to rest for at least half an hour
Lightly flour the work surface and roll out the pastry to about 1/4 inch. Place the pastry over the filling and crimp it around the edges until the filling is covered. You can fold the excess under or over on itself or cut off the excess. Cut slits in the top to allow steam to escape and brush a mix of the egg and milk. Bake about 25 minutes at 390 or until crust is golden brown.
Remove from the oven and let the pie rest for a few minutes before serving

    {Original Recipe}

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Absolutely Delicious! The flavor of the thyme is definitely there but not overwhelming. The chicken is nicely browned and cooked. The crust is so brown and flaky. This AIN’T your mama’s chicken pot pie! It’s better because there are fewer ingredients fighting for the limelight. Definitely a keeper.

What did the other cooks/bakers do with their MYSTERY BOX ingredients? Check them out on I Heart Cooking Clubs.

This week’s choice for Eating with Ellie was mine. As I read through her book, Weeknight Wonders the word Parmesan caught my eye. That was all it took for me to latch on to this recipe for this week.

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The idea of crusting something with Parmesan just sounded like the right thing to do. So I did.

The flavor of the Parmesan with a little salt and pepper was just about perfect. Except for the fact that I simply could not get the Parm to stay on the chicken while cooking. Maybe I had too little of the Dijon mustard on the chicken. But I did scrape up all the tasty bits and placed them back on the chicken and it was very tasty.

Check out the rest of the Chicken dishes from Peggy, Chaya, Kayte, and Sarah.

And if you want to cook along all you need is Ellie’s book – Weekend Wonders and the need/desire to cook healthy tasty meals.

This recipe is on page 134.

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