IHCC


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

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

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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.

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.

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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 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!!

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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.

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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.

 

 

Between April and October of 2015 we cooked with Chef Jacques Pepin.  Now we are visiting with Pepin again as our chef of the month.

I was in need of a dessert this week and this apple tart from Pepin hit the spot.

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Pepin says his classic dough is suitable for any baking need.

Dough:  

  • 3 Tbl unsalted butter, cold
  • 3/4 cup AP flour
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 2 Tbl ice-cold water

Place the flour, butter – cut into  1/4″ pieces – and sugar in a food processor.  Process for 5 seconds and add the water.  Process another 5 seconds.  Remove he dough from the processor and work it until all the dry pieces are incorporated.  Roll into a 10″ circle and refrigerate.

Filling:

  • 2 large Golden Delicious apples {I used three medium}
  • 2 Tbl apricot jam {Not a fan so I used some homemade Pear Honey}
  • 1 Tbl sugar
  • 1/2 Tbl unsalted butter

Peel the apples, cut in half and scoop out the core.  Remove a little more apple from the center and chop fine.  {I used the third apple for this}.  Fill each core with 1/2 Tbl {I used a little more} jam and arrange the apples in the center of the dough cut side down. Sprinkle the chopped apple around the apple halves.  

This is a galette so bring the edges of the dough up over the apples with a 1″ – 2″ border.  Sprinkle the top with sugar and butter pieces.

Bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes – 1 hour {Mine took about 50 minutes.}  until well browned.  

Mine did not get as brown as I would like.  I brushed the top of the whole tart additional Pear Honey.  It added a lot of flavor.  {Plus it made it look pretty!}

The recipe is from Jacques Pepin’s Table page 357.

For more of Pepin’s dishes visit I Heart Cooking Clubs.

This weeks theme for I Heart Cooking Clubs was “Finishing Touches” which really left what we could chose wide open. Anything that was drizzled, powdered, sprinkled, or topped with something to add just that right touch to a dish. I wanted something simple and this recipe caught my eye because the last instruction in the recipe was,

 GARNISH WITH THE TOASTED COCONUT!” 

Just the words I wanted to see.

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  • 1 cup Basmati rice
    1 1/4 cups chicken stock
    1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
    ½ tsp salt
    lightly toasted coconut for garnish

Combine the stock, coconut milk, and salt in a large heavy saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low. Add the rice and stir constantly for 1 minute. Cover the pan and simmer over low heat, without stirring, for 15 minutes or until the rice is almost tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed.
Remove from the heat and stand covered for 10 minutes, or until the rice is tender and all of the liquid has been absorbed. Lightly fluff up the rice with a fork. Transfer the rice to bowls and garnish with the toasted coconut and serve.

This, as Curtis says, is a perfect side for any Asian dish.  Since it is mild in flavor it would only enhance whatever it is served with.  The rice is creamy with a touch of sweetness from the coconut and coconut milk.

The recipe is from  Relaxed Cooking with Curtis Stone  on page 220.

For more garnishing;, sprinkling, powdering check with I Heart Cooking Clubs – Finishing Touches.

Last week we were supposed to make a Curtis recipe that took 30 minutes or less.  I didn’t quite make it in time.  Although why I couldn’t find 30 minutes to make one simple dish is beyond me.

So here it is this week for the August I Heart Cooking Clubs Potluck.

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barbeque chicken quesadillas

If you have some roasted chicken, and I did, this dish is ready in about 10 minutes.  Flour tortillas layered with Monterey Jack. roasted chicken, BBQ sauce and cilantro.  There was also Jalapeño pepper but I left that out.  NOT a fan! 

Simply put the fillings on 1/2 of the tortilla, place the quesadilla on a griddle and cook on each side for about 3 minutes to melt the cheese and crisp the tortilla.  10 minutes, 12 minutes tops.  It was perfect for a quick lunch or supper when you are too busy to do something complicated.  Definitely a repeat.

I used an apple cider vinegar which added some kick with out the pepper.  Perfect!

The recipe is from Relaxed Cooking with Curtis Stone.  Page 120

Want more potluck check out IHCC this week.

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