I Heart Cooking Clubs


The spices of India are some of the most fragrant in the world.

p1100230

Added to one of Madjur Jaffrey’s dishes and you have perfection.  As in…

p1100231

shrimp in a dark sauce aka Rasedar jhinga

I served it with some saffron rice and it was…eh…good…but not as good as so many of her wonderful dishes.  I think it may be my fault.  I don’t think I let the garlic/onion/ginger paste brown long enough.  Or I may not have let it cook long enough period.  But I’ve got leftovers and I bet they will be tasty after the flavors have had a chance to blend more.

The recipe is from Madjur’s Indian Cooking page 119.  I also found it HERE!!

This is potluck week in I Heart Cooking Clubs so there will be lots of varied and wonderful dishes to visit.

Advertisements

This is not at all what I had planned to make for this week’s IHCC ingredient – LEMONS!.  The weather was rather chilly when I picked out a nice lemon risotto and then the weather turned warm – mid 70s this week (and keep in mind it is mid-January) – so I switched to a nice citrus-y cake.

p1100207

Lemon Yogurt Cake

    4 oz butter
    1 cup superfine sugar {I subbed in 1 cup Splenda and 1/2 tsp bulk stevia}
    2 eggs, beaten lightly
    1 cup plain yogurt
    3 Tbl lemon juice
    1 Tbl lemon zest
    2 1/2 cups self raising flour
    1/2 tsp baking soda

Mix the butter and sugar together ’til fluffy.  Add the eggs and incorporate well.  Add in the yogurt, lemon juice, lemon zest, flour, and baking soda.  Mix well.

Spoon (it’s way to thick to pour) mixture into a 9″ cake pan and bake 45 minutes in a 350F degree oven.  {Mine only took 35 minutes}.  Cake is done if toothpick comes out clean.

While cake is still hot pour the syrup over the cake and let the cake sit for 5 minutes before slicing.

Syrup:

    1/3 cup sugar
    3 Tbl lemon juice
    zest of 1 lemon

My syrup didn’t turn out like I wanted but it did add some more lemon into the cake.  I ended up making a lemon drizzle and putting, way too much, over the cake.  The cake wasn’t real sweet and had just the right lemony flavor.  Good cake!

The recipe adapted from Donna Hay’s the new cook page 181

Want More?  -> LEMONS!

I have never been a big veggie eater.  As a child I ate, and still do, cauliflower and broccoli which was strange for a small child.  Corn of course.  FROZEN peas. But other veggies – no thanks.

Over the years I have learned to eat and love raw spinach, okra, cabbage, squash, and lentils.  In fact lentils are now one of my favorite veggies.

My goal this year – try more and eat more veggies?  This lentil soup from Heidi fit right into that.  And since it’s pretty chilly outside it was the perfect lunch.

p1100184

Red Lentil Soup

 

    2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    1 onion, chopped
    3 shallots, chopped
    1/2 teaspoon red-pepper flakes

    6 cups good-tasting vegetable stock (or water)
    1 1/3 cup red lentils, picked over and rinsed
    1/2 cup brown rice, picked over and rinsed
    as much fine grain sea salt as you need

    slivered almonds, toasted black oil cured olives, chopped feta, crumbled for toppings

In a large saucepan, over medium heat, brown onion, shallots, and red pepper flakes in the olive oil .

Add broth,  lentils, and rice and bring to a boil. Simmer  until the rice is very tender.The lentils will “dissolve”. You may need to add more water/broth to get the soup to the consistency that you want.  Salt to taste.

Serve each bowl topped with almonds, olives, feta, and a slight drizzle of olive oil if you like.

I made 1/2 of the recipe (three nice servings).  Even with salt I found it to be a little bland so I added 1 1/2 tsp of curry powder.  That added a really nice flavor and a little heat.  I topped it with yogurt because that is used quite a bit in Indian cuisine.  The yogurt added a little thickening and enhanced the flavor even more. LOVED IT!!  I will definitely make this again.  Definitely!

You can find her recipe at 101 Cookbooks

Want more Heidi.  Visit IHCC for this week’s Food Goals.

I haven’t been here in a while.  Between Thanksgiving, Christmas, Bronchitis and Sinusitus it has not been an easy month.  But I couldn’t let the 2016 end without at least doing the December Potluck for I Heart Cooking Clubs

How about Torte?  Chocolate Torte?  With no Flour?  And Pecans?

Yep!  That’s the one.

p1100177

Flourless Chocolate and Pecan Torte

Torte:

    3/4 cup/175 g butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
    plain (all-purpose) flour, for dusting
    1 cup/175 g caster (superfine) sugar
    6 eggs, separated
    6 oz/175 g plain dark (semisweet) chocolate, melted
    generous 1 cup/l75 g pecans, finely chopped or coarsely processed
    ½ tsp ground cinnamon {I always use a little more}

For the cream:

    2 tbsp rum
    2-3 tbsp muscovado (brown) sugar
    generous ½ cup/100 ml Crème Fraîche
    1¼ cups/275 ml double (heavy) cream

Preheat oven to 350°F/1S0°C. Grease and flour a 6 inch/16 cm cake tin (pan).

Cream the butter and sugar together in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Add the egg yolks one at a time, then mix in the melted chocolate, pecans, and cinnamon.
Whisk the egg whites in a separate bowl until they form stiff peaks. Stir one-third of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture to loosen the texture, then, using a large metal spoon, fold in the remaining egg whites. Transfer the mixture to the prepared cake tin.
Level the top with the back of a spoon and bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes. Leave to cool for at least 20 minutes, or until just slightly warm.

Meanwhile, warm the rum and sugar in a small saucepan and stir until dissolved.
Remove from the heat and leave to cool before mixing in the creme fraiche. Semi-whip the double (heavy) cream so it is still quite slack in a large bowl and fold through the Crème Fraîche mixture until fully blended.Cut the torte into 8 equal-sized pieces and serve warm with the cream.

Yes, it WAS quite good.  Especially with the Rum Cream Mixture on top.  Even tho’ I couldn’t coax it out of the pan as well as I might have liked …as long as it tastes good…

I made 1/2 of the recipe in three mini cake pans. They only needed about 20 minutes or so to bake.   Just right for the two of us. If you need an easy and quick chocolate fix for dessert.  This is the one!

The recipe is from Curtis’ Cooking with Curtis. {pg 155)

There is more POTLUCK  -> I Heart Cooking Clubs.

I Heart Cooking Clubs has a new monthly feature.  In the past we have done Mystery Boxes – a combo of different ingredients to be used in a dish.  A Chef of the Month.  And now – The Ingredient of the month.  How fun!

This month the ingredient is SQUASH!  It could be any type of squash.  Summer squash.  Winter Squash.  The world was open to us.  The only restriction – the recipe had to come from one of our past chefs.  That meant we had HUNDREDS of recipes to choose from.  HUNDREDS!!  Not an easy task to pick one.

I found this one from Giada De Laurentis.  I have seldom cooked from her recipes.  I joined IHCC AFTER they had cooked with her for 6 months.  My Loss!!

p1100138

Rigatoni with Squash and Prawns

The sweetness of the butternut squash mixed with the mellowness of the cooked garlic and the bite of the Parmesan and the Basil is a tasty combination.  

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons olive oil, plus 3 tablespoons
1 pound butternut squash, trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon salt, plus 1 teaspoon
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus 1/2 teaspoon
1 cup vegetable stock
1 pound rigatoni
1 pound prawns {shrimp}, peeled and deveined
3/4 to 1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup grated Parmesan

Warm 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the butternut squash, garlic, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper. Saute until the squash is golden and tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the vegetable stock, bring to a simmer, cover and cook until the squash is very soft, another 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer the squash mixture to a blender or food processor and puree.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain pasta.
Meanwhile, warm the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle the prawns with the remaining 1 teaspoon of salt and remaining 1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper. Add the prawns to the pan and cook until just pink, about 3 minutes.
In a large pot over low heat combine the cooked pasta, pureed squash mixture, and 3/4 cup milk. Stir to combine. Add the remaining 1/4 cup milk if the sauce needs to be moistened. Add the cooked prawns, basil, and cheese. Stir until warm and serve.

{Giada de Laurentis 2016.}\

Delicious.

For more  SQUASH!!  recipes!

I had one more recipe of Curtis’s I really wanted to try but never got the chance while he was out ‘assigned’ chef for I Heart Cooking Clubs.

P1090943.JPG

asparagus and parmesan risotto

Y’all know how much I love risotto so I couldn’t pass this one up.  Seems like every time I went to make it I didn’t have one of the ingredients.  THIS time every thing came together.  YUM!

About 8 cups store-bought vegetable stock
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 shallots, finely diced

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 Tble dried thyme leaves {I didn’t have any fresh}
2 cups Arborio rice
3/4 cup dry white wine
1 1/2 pounds thin asparagus, woody ends removed, stalks cut into 1 1/2-inch lengths
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, cut in small pieces
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1/4 cup mascarpone cheese
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh mint leaves

Juice of 1/2 lemon

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, shaved with a vegetable peeler, for garnish
Bring the vegetable stock to a simmer in the mircowave and keep warm.
Heat the oil in a large heavy saucepan over medium heat and  sauté shallots, garlic, and thyme leaves until the shallots are tender but not browned. Add the rice and sauté just long enough to  coat with the oil.Add the wine and cook for 3 minutes,or until it is absorbed.

Add the hot veggie stock 3/4 cup at a time stirring after each addition until all the liquid has been absorbed and the rise is al dente
 

Add the asparagus cook for 2 more minutes.  Remove the pan  from the heat.  Add the butter, grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, and mascarpone cheese and stir until the butter has melted and the cheeses are just incorporated. Add the parsley, mint, and lemon.juice.  season the risotto generously with salt and pepper.

Garnish with the shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano, and serve.
Curtis’s risotto was a beautiful white with the green asparagus shining through.  My veggie stock was really dark so the risotto is very dark.  But it was full of flavor.  The  mascarpone, which I would NEVER have thought of using, added a certain sweetness to the risotto.  And the big shavings of Parmigiano-Reggiano….  nuff said!   I think I could live off of this risotto.
The recipe is from Relaxed Cooking with Curtis Stone.  Page 133}  You can find the original recipe his website as well.
Want more POTLUCK?  Visit IHCC.

 

 

This month’s featured chef for I Heart Cooking Clubs was Ellie Krieger.  Over the last five years or so I have made a lot of Ellie Krieger’s recipes.  I started with Craving Ellie in my Belly.  By the time it was over I was with Eating with Ellie with three of my foodie friends.  IHCC  featured Ellie for 6 months from October 5th 2015 to April 3rd 2016.  That’s a lot of Ellie.  I don’t think I will ever get tired of cooking with Ellie.

I needed something quick and tasty the other night since I was completely out of sweet treats. Last fall Eating with Ellie made mini pumpkin ‘jar cakes’ and I missed out on it.  Every one said it was good so I wanted to try them.

p1090892

The first one I made wasn’t sweet enough.  I didn’t want to up the calorie count {Ellie would be upset if I did!} so I added a tad of stevia to the next one.  Better!  The extra sweetness brought out the spices and pumpkin flavors.

Topped with a little whipped cream it was the perfect sweet treat.

The recipe is on page 291 of Ellie’s Weeknight Wonders.  {Or find it HERE}

For more Ellie – I Heart Cooking Clubs.

 

Next Page »

  • Categories

  • Meta