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.

This month we have an extra Potluck with an interesting twist – No Cook Challenge!!  It is so hot in so many places that not having to turn the oven on is a definite plus.

The easy way would be a salad of some kind.  Or maybe some Cerviche.  But we are not fans of that and we eat lots of salad so I really wanted something different.  What about a dessert?  It’s not often I make something that doesn’t need baking or cooking of some kind so when I found these NO COOKING lemon bars  from Past Chef Ellie Krieger it was obvious what I was going to make.  And it was easy.

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Mom used to make lemon ice box PIES all the time.  So did my grandmother but I just haven’t done one in years.

Lots of lemon flavor in these.  More than I expected.  And super easy to make so I guess they will be making a regular appearance in this house.

Fat free condensed milk.  Low fat Cream cheese. Not much guilt here.  Too bad they don’t make a low fat low sugar condensed milk.  Ah, well, someday….

I did have one problem.  I never could get them to ‘harden’ where they could be sliced easily.  They just didn’t gel all the way.  I may have used too little gelatin but I’m not sure.  They were still tasty. Lots of flavor.

The recipe is from Ellie’s So Easy on page 238.  But I also found it on FoodTV.

For more No – Cook dishes visit I Heart Cooking Clubs.

 

This month’s chef of the month is Diana Henry.  When we were cooking with her starting  October 2014 (for the next 6 months) I didn’t get to do many of her recipes.  I saw lots of yummy dishes through the other members of IHCC.  One of them was this dish which looks so tasty.

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Spaghetti with Bacon, Egg, and Smoked Cheese.

This would be a great brunch dish.  A warm gooey egg drizzling down over spaghetti tossed with bacon and cheese.  It was comforting.  It was full of flavor.  It was delicious.  I understand how it got rave reviews from the members who made it.  I will definitely make it again.  The egg mixed with the melty cheese and crunchy bacon. 

The only change I would make would be to use less pasta.  2 ounces was really way too much for a single serving.  I didn’t realize it until I saw all that goodness piled on the plate and I knew I could not eat all of it.

    6 oz spaghetti
    3 tbsp olive oil
    4 oz bacon
    2 large eggs
    salt and pepper
    2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
    1 tbsp coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (use about 1/2 cup chopped cilantro)
    2 oz smoked cheese, grated {I used Smoked Gruyere.}

Cook the spaghetti until al dente. Drain and set aside.
Heat 1 tbsp of the olive oil {I actually didn’t use this for the bacon}in a large frying pan and cook the bacon until crispu and brown. Set aside.
Fry the eggs sunny side up. {If you used the rest of the olive oil, which I didn’t spoon the warm oil up over the top of the eggs to cook the yolks.} Season with salt and pepper.
Drain the pasta and put into the saucepan. Add the extra virgin olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Add in the bacon and parsley and toss.
Divide between two plates, sprinkle on the cheese, and top each serving with a fried egg. Serve immediately.

The recipe is from Henry’s Cook Simple:  Effortless Cooking Every Day.  You can find it HERE.  You should try this one.

For more from Diana Henry visit I Heart Cooking Clubs .

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.

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