IHCC


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.

I love the fragrance of tumeric, cumin, coriander, and ginger wafting through the kitchen.  It means there is something exotic on the menu.  And this week it is a wonderfully spicy dish from Madjur Jaffrey our March Chef for I Heart Cooking Clubs.

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shrimp with zucchinis

3/4 lb shrimp, thawed and peeled

2 medium zucchini, Julienned

5 tablespoons vegetable oil

6 cloves garlic, peeled and very finely chopped

3 small canned tomatoes, finely chopped plus 1/2 cup of the tomato liquid

1 cup finely chopped fresh coriander

1 fresh hot green chile, finely chopped

1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin seeds

1/4 teaspoon cayenne

1 teaspoon very finely grated fresh ginger

1 tablespoon lemon juice

 Put the zucchini strips in a bowl and sprinkle them with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Mix and set aside for 30 to 40 minutes. Then drain and pat dry.

Put the shrimp on paper towels and dry.

Heat the oil in frying pan over medium-high heat. When hot, put in the garlic and fry until medium brown.  Add the rest of the ingredients, except the shrimp and cook until just mixed.  Add the shrimp, cover,  and cook until the shrimp are opaque. About 3 – 4 minutes.

Uncover and let the liquid cook, if there is any, until you have a nice thick sauce.

You can serve over rice.

This was delicious.  Full of flavor even though I left out the hot chili.  As usual, I cut the recipe in half except for the spices.  You can never have enough spice!

The recipe is from Madjur’s Indian Cooking page 118.

There’s more of Madjur on the IHCC page.

This week is the beginning a six months of a brand new chef for I Heart Cooking Clubs – Curtis Stone!  I have watched him on cooking shows for several years but never used his recipes.  When his name came up for new chef I knew I wanted to vote for him.  Picked up a couple of his books and I am ready to go.

I started with something easy.

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lazy asparagus omelet

You don’t really need a recipe for this.  Whisked eggs with salt and pepper.  Throw in some blanched asparagus and cook.  Layer on some Taleggio cheese….okay, whoa!  What kind?  I looked everywhere for this one.  It is a creamy semisoft cheese which melts beautifully.  It is similar to Brie.  Where I shop even Brie is difficult to find so I subbed in some lovely herbed goat cheese.  PERFECT!  But I will find some Brie….

Perfect for lunch you can find the recipe in Curtis’ Relaxed Cooking on page 44 or on his website with some small changes. The only change, really is his use of Gouda or Fontina cheese rather than the Taleggio.

You can find more Curtis Stone at G’day Curtis .

This was our last week to cook ‘with’ Ellie Krieger for I Heart Cooking Clubs.  She has been our Chef since October.  It has been fun using her recipes.  This is not the first time I have cooked with Ellie.  There have been several groups who follow her and use her recipes year round.  (Like Eating with Ellie)

This week needed to be something special.  I still have several of her recipes marked in the cookbooks I have on the shelf.  This one has been marked for ages.

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Chicken Parmesan

Imagine chicken breasts ‘fried’ in the oven with a spicy crusty coating then covered with a marinara sauce and then topped with melty mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. HEAVEN!!

I used some of the marinara sauce I made last year from our tomatoes (YUM!) and it was so good.  Lots of chunks of fresh tomatoes and just the right amount of seasoning (with less salt).  I did increase the amount of cheese because – why not?

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I served it with a simple of side of buttered garlic noodles which mixed nicely with the ‘extra’ sauce on the plate.

Oh! Yeah!  Ellie was right, it did scream “you want me”.  And all that loveliness with only 390 calories (compared to the usual 630).

The recipe is on page 163 of Ellie’s Comfort Food Fix.

We will miss cooking with Ellie but you can see how the other members of I Heart Cooking Clubs said goodby.

Next month begins 6 months with Curtis Stone. Got my books and I’m ready to go.

Cool weather means soup.  Unfortunately we haven’t had much cool weather this winter. We have had a non-winter winter.  UGH!!  But I do love soup and when I saw this lovely one from Madjur Jaffrey I knew I had to make it.  It was delicious, NOT photogenic, but delicious.

Chicken Mulligatawny Soup

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This is one of those dishes inspired by Anglo-Indian communities 300 years ago.  A soup with all the Indian spices and ingredients but served at the beginning of the meal rather than as a meal.  The name, mulligatawny, means pepper water. 

The base is pureed red lentils and contains potatoes and chicken along with several wonderful spices.

      I cup red split lentils 5 cups chicken stock
      1/2 tsp ground tumeric
      1 medium  potato
      5 cloves garlic, peeled
      1 1/2″ cibe ginger, peeled and coarsely grated
      1 1/4 cups water
      1 large boneless chicken breast or thigh (2)
      1 1/4 tsp salt, divided
      Freshly ground black pepper
      3 TBS vegetable oil
      1 tsp ground cumin
      1 tsp ground coriander
      1/8 – 1/4 tsp cayenne
      About 1 TBS lemon juice

Combine lentils, chicken stock and tumeric in stock pot or large saucepan and bring to a boil. Cover, leaving lid slightly ajar, turn heat to low and simmer 30 minutes.
While soup is simmering, peel potatoes (I leave skins on) and cut into 1/2 in dice. After 30 minutes of cooking, add potatoes and continue simmering another 30 minutes with lid slightly ajar.
Put garlic and ginger in electric blender or food processor with 9 TBS water and blend into a smooth paste.
Remove all fat from chicken and cut into 1/2 in dice. Put chicken in a bowl. Sprinkle 1/2 tsp of the salt and some pepper over it and toss t omix.
After the soup has cooked for 60 minutes total, puree. Add remaining 2 tsp salt and mix.
Pour oil into empty skillet or saucepan over medium heat. When oil is hot, add the garlic/ginger spice paste, the cumin, coriander and cayenne. Fry, stirring continuously until psice mixture is slightly browned and separates from the oil. Put in the chicken pieces. Stir and fry another 2-3 minutes, until the chicken pieces become opaque. Add 16 oz of water and bring to a boil. Cover, turn heat to low and simmer for 3 minutes or until chicken is cooked. Add to the puree’d soup and add lemon juice. Taste for seasoning. Simmer soup very gently for another 2 minutes.  IF too thick thin with stock.

I served mine with some Basmati rice on the side and it added enough to make it a very filling meal all by itself.

Delicious.  It was plenty for me for 3 meals for lunch.  Definitely a repeat – often!

The recipe is from Jaffrey’s  Indian Cooking page 39.

What else is on the PotLuck table this week?  Check it out at I Heart Cooking Club.

As I look at this little basket of goodness I wonder why I haven’t made these before.  Crispy.  Not fried.  Lots of seasoning.  Pantry Items.  I have no excuse.

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These are simply thinly sliced potatoes (2 russets) tossed with olive oil (1 Tbl), Smoked Paprika (2 tsp), and salt (1/2 tsp).

Just put them on a sprayed cookie sheet and bake at 400 for anywhere from 10 – 20 minutes.  Mine took about 10 minutes but yours may take longer.  Oh, and check them about every 5 minutes.  They bake FAST!

I added a little onion powder (2 tsp) to my second batch.  GOOD!!

The theme for this weeks  I Heart Cooking Clubs is Nibbles and Noshes

The recipe is from Ellie’s comfort food fix (page 58) but I also found it on Ellie’s webpage. 

While we are cooking with Ellie Krieger for the next 6 months with I Heart Cooking Clubs we take a break and have a monthly Featured Chef. This month – Mark Bittman. I love cooking with Bittman. His recipes are healthy and delicious. And this recipe fits right in with his ideas of Conscious Eating – lots of veggies and whole grains.

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Curried Lentil Soup with Potatoes

    2 tblsp oil
    1 medium onion, roughtly chopped
    1 tblsp minced garlic
    1 tblsp minced peeled fresh garlic
    salt & freshly round pepper
    3 tblsp curry powder
    2 medium tomatoes, peeled, chopped
    1 cup dried lentils (wash and picked over)
    1 quart vegetable stock or water
    1 can light coconut milk (or another 1 1/2 cup of water)
    2 medium or one large potato, peeled & cut into chunks {Bittman says you can just about any root vegetable here.}
    1 small zucchini, roughly chopped
    1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro or mint leaves

Heat oil in deep skillet or medium saucepan over medium high heat. When hot, add onion and cook until soft/translucent, about 3 minutes.
Add garlic & ginger and cook for another minute.
Sprinkle with salt and pepper and stir in curry powder – stir frequently until darkened and fragrant, about 1 or 2 minutes
Stir in tomatoes and lentils. {I used red lentils and they will fall apart unless you put them in with the potatoes.}
Add stock and coconut milk.
Bring to a boil, partially cover and turn down heat to simmer.
Stir occasionally until lentils are just becoming tender; stir in potatoes and more stock if needed. Cook another 10 minutes, then add the remaining vegetables. Cover and cook until all the veggies are done.

Stir in cilantro or mint, adjust seasoning & serve

I really enjoyed this soup. It is filling, hearty, spicy, and delicious. I’m glad I made the full recipe.

Visit IHCC for the rest of Bittman’s dishes.

This recipe is on page 204 of Bittman’s Food Matters and you can find it several places on the WWW.

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