I Heart Cooking Clubs


I was really REALLY wanting something spicy. And Indian.  Something from Madjur Jaffrey. (Fortuitous since it was Potluck week at IHCC!} Especially after having lunch with a friend the other day who just happens to be from India.  It was a wonderful meal: chapati, Aloo  Palak {Curried Potato and Spinach}, Aloo Mattar {Curried Potato and Peas}, Masaledar Cholay {Chickpas in spicy tomato gravy}Cashew Rice, and Gulab Jamun for dessert.  They sent me home with some Cashew Rice which was perfect with the  chicken with tomatoes and garam masala for this month’s Potluck.

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      5 tablespoons vegetable oil

 

      3/4 teaspoon cumin seeds

 

      1 cinnamon stick

 

      6 cardamom pods

 

      2 bay leaves

 

      1/4 teaspoon peppercorns

 

      2 medium onions, finely chopped

 

      6-7 cloves garlic, finely chopped

 

      1 inch cube of fresh ginger, finely chopped

 

      28 oz canned diced tomatoes, or about 6 medium tomatoes, chopped

 

      About 3 pounds (1.3 kg) chicken pieces, skinned

 

      1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, or to taste

 

      1/8 – 1/2 cayenne pepper, or to taste

 

    1/2 teaspoon garam masala

Warm a wide, heavy pot over medium-high heat for about a minute; add the oil and warm for another minute.  Add the cumin seeds, cinnamon, cardamom pods, bay leaves and pepper corns.  Stir once.

Add the onions, garlic and ginger to the pot.  Stir occasionally until a deep golden brown (about 5 minutes).

Add the tomatoes and chicken pieces, salt and cayenne pepper.  Give the pot a good stir and bring the liquid to the boil.

Cover with a tight fitting lid and reduce the heat to low.  Simmer for about 30 minutes, or until the chicken is done through and tender.  (Stir the pot a few times during the cooking period, if you can.)

5.  Remove the cover and turn the heat up to medium.  Stir in the garam masala and cook for about 5 minutes until the sauce is somewhat thickened.  Taste the sauce and add salt if needed.

Lucky me! I had some fresh tomatoes from the garden to use.  This was tasty.  I would have liked it to be a little thicker but it was good.  I think next time I will add a little extra Garam Masala.

This is from Jaffrey’s Indian Cooking (page 99).

Check out what else is on July’s Potluck Table at  I Heart Cooking Club.

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IT’s potluck week at I Heart Cooking Clubs.  That means we can cook from any chef that the group has used in the past.  This month I chose Yotam Ottolenghi because I haven’t cooked with him very much.  He was the chef back in 2013.  At that time I didn’t have any of his cookbooks.  Now, however, is a different story.  I have PLENTY, on my Kindle, and I am really taking a good look at his recipes.

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I chose the Lemon and Eggplant Risotto because this eggplant was begging to be used and I was lusting after some good risotto.

This is not a quick dish to make so don’t start it when you start the rest of your meal.  Start it before.  There are several steps you have to take before you actually start the risotto.

  1. ‘Burn’ an eggplant and then scoop out the pulp.
  2. Dice an eggplant and brown it until it is crispy.
  3. Sautee some onion and garlic.

After the onion and garlic are done then you can add in the wine, rice, and start making the risotto.  But let me tell you, it is worth every step and every dirty pan in the sink.  The sweetness of the eggplant mixed with the tart of the lemon zest and the semi sweetness of the basil is very mouth satisfying.  VERY!!!

Since I don’t have the book I cannot give you a page number in PLENTY, but I found it on The Hungry Goddess.

Visit with IHCC to see what else is on the Potluck table this week.

This weeks’ theme for I Heart Cooking Clubs was Fresh and Fruity.  Which is a great theme for this time of the year.  So many fresh fruits and veggies everywhere.  But here in the south while we have plenty of veggies coming in we don’t really have any fruits.  Watermelon is about all.  Fortunately for me I have some ‘fresh’ fruit that I canned last year so I used that.

For these….

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apple and pear upside-down caramel tarts

They are mini versions of a tarte Tatin and they are easy to put together.  And delicious.

Caramel sauce:
    1 ½ cups sugar
    4 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature
    ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1/2 cup whipping cream

Tarts:

    2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, quartered, cored and cut into ½-inch–thick wedges
    2 Anjou pears, peeled, quartered, cored and cut into ½-inch-thick wedges
    1 frozen puff pastry sheet (half of 17.3-ounce package), thawed
  • To make the caramel sauce: Stir the sugar and 1/3 cup water in a medium heavy saucepan over a medium heat until the sugar dissolves and the syrup comes to a simmer, occasionally brushing down the sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush to remove any sugar that clings to the side.
  • The sugar that clings to the side of the pan has a tendency to crystallize and ruin the silky consistency of the caramel, so wiping the sugar off the sides of the pan will help prevent this from happening.
  • Allow the sugar syrup to boil without stirring, brushing down the sides of the pan and swirling the pan occasionally to ensure it cooks evenly, for about 8 minutes or until it begins to turn golden brown.
  • You will need to watch the syrup closely as it can burn quite easily.
  • Remove the pan from the heat.
  • Add the butter and whisk until the butter melts and the mixture forms a caramel sauce. Stir in the cinnamon.
  • Pour three-fourths of the caramel sauce into four 4-inch-diameter cake pans with at least 1 3/4-inch-high sides, dividing equally.
  • Allow the caramel in pans to cool.
  • Whisk the cream into the remaining caramel sauce to blend and set the caramel sauce aside.
  • To make the tarts: Arrange a layer of the apples and pears decoratively over the caramel in the pans, then stack the remaining apples and pears to fill the pans completely. Unfold the pastry on a work surface and press the seams together if necessary.
  • Cut out four 4-inch rounds.
  • Place the pastry rounds over the apples and pears and tuck the pastry down between the sides of the pans.
  • Prick the pastry 5 to 6 times with a fork or small sharp knife.
  • Cover the tarts with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 1 day to chill the pastry.
  • Preheat the oven to 450° F.
  • Transfer the tarts to a baking sheet and bake for about 30 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown and cooked through and the apples are very tender.
  • Let rest at room temperature for 20 minutes to allow the flavors to meld and the juices to cool and thicken slightly.
  • Place a plate over each tart.
  • In a swift movement, invert each tart onto each plate.
  • Remove the pans.
  • Drizzle some of the reserved caramel sauce around the tarts and serve.
  • Reserve any remaining caramel sauce in the refrigerator for another use.
  • These are definitely going into the dessert rotation. I always have puff pastry in the freezer and always have apples and pears on the counter (or in the pantary) so it would be no trouble to put these together – often.

    These are from relaxed cooking with curtis stone (page 358)

    Check wit the other members of I Heart Cooking Club to see what they made with fruit this week.

    The only thing I left out in the title – PESTO!  This is sooo good. Fresh pasta mixed with home made pesto and shrimp.  What a great combination.! How can you go wrong with that?

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    fresh linguine with garlic shrimp and homemade pesto

    The theme this week for I Heart Cooking Clubs was Surf and Turf.  We could use seafood or beef/poultry/etc.  When given a choice I am definitely going with the Surf!!

    I used some whole grain spaghetti instead of linguine and left out the roasted tomatoes – not a fan!   I will definitely make this again.

    Try as I might I just couldn’t replicate Curtis’ nice little mound of pasta.  And I tried – several times.  But it’s not how it looks, right!

    Did Surf win out over Turf this week at I Heart Cooking Clubs?  Check it out and see!

     

    This week’s theme for IHCC is Local and Seasonal. Which is perfect because our garden is now producing. That’s definitely local and absolutely seasonal. We have been harvesting cucumbers, tomatoes, and zucchini for about a week now. The corn is growing beautifully and the eggplant is ALMOST there. In addition our neighbor’s garden is also thriving with all the rain we have been having. Between the two gardens I managed to find all the right ingredients for Curtis’

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    crispy vegetable fritters

    These little fritters are full of zucchini, carrots, potatoes, and onions and that’s really about all.  There is no flour, no milk, just two eggs, seasoning and the veggies.  They are light and crispy and delicious.  They went together in no time and were the perfect side.

    The veggies are cut into very thin strips ( I used my mandolin and the smallest julienne setting) then simply mixed and fried.  Shallow frying with very little EVOO makes them healthier than deep frying.

    The recipe is on page 34 of Curtis’ Relaxed Cooking with Curtis Stone.

    What more Local and Seasonal?  Click on over to I Heart Cooking Club for this week’s table full of goodness.

    I’ve always liked Donna Hay’s books.  Kayte introduced me to her recipes way back in 2012 when I joined Wednesday’s with Donna Hay.  Since then I have added four of her wonderful books to my collection.  Even tho’ I have made a lot of her dishes I still have plenty more marked.  Thank goodness for PotLuck with I Heart Cooking Clubs..

    We needed a dessert in the house.  But we are trying to go sugar free.  But we needed a dessert.  Fortunately there are several with Donna that are easily adaptable using a sugar substitute rather than the real thing.

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    Custard Tart

    I feared that the custard would not thicken if using Splenda with Fiber but my fears were unfounded.  It thickened nicely and made a great dessert for us.

    The recipe calls for using warmed milk with a vanilla bean.  Instead, after warming the two I split the bean and added the seeds to the milk.  I did bring out the vanilla flavor a lot better.  And I hated to waste a whole bean.

    This was just perfect.  Not a big sweet dessert.  Just sweet enough to enjoy after dinner.

    I made 1/2 the recipe and ended up with 4 mini tarts (rather than pies).  I added just a little whipped cream on top.

    The recipe is from Donna’s The New Cook.  (page 181)

    Potluck brings all kinds of good dishes to the table.  Check out the POTLUCK for May at IHCC.

    This week we woke up with Curtis.  Not literally, of course.  But facing Curtis across the breakfast table would be a treat!

    I had marked this recipe a long time ago hoping we would eventually need a breakfast item.

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    spicy sausage breakfast burritos

    A whole wheat tortilla filled with scrambled eggs, spicy sausage {I used a local Cajun Sausage}, and onions.  And I really should call this a semi-spicy burrito because I left out the jalapeño.  Trust me, the cajun sausage had plenty of bite without it.

    The sausage is broiled and then sliced before being mixed in with the eggs and green onions.  This makes it quick and easy to make.

    This was the perfect breakfast.  Lots of protein, lots of flavor.

    The recipe is from  relaxed cooking with curtis stone. (page 53) I also found it HERE if you want to try it.

    What else is for breakfast?  Check the buffet at I Heart Cooking Clubs.

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