Recipe Included


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.

    There is just something about risotto. It’s not easy to make. Well, it’s easy, it just takes a while. All the stirring and adding broth and stirring. But with the right combination of flavors it is well worth the effort. And this risotto was well worth the effort.

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    This is Julie Shafer’s Risotto with Lemon and Asparagus

    Julie says she learned to make risotto as a small girl cooking with her mother, grandmother, and aunts.  While we think of risotto as something fancy, she says it is just a staple of Italian cooking.  She also suggests that this is just a basic recipe and any local, seasonal veggie can be used.

      2 lemons
      2 small bundles asparagus
      1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
      2 tsp unsalted butter
      2 Tbl olive oil
      2 cups Arboio or Carnaroli rice
      2 – 3 quarts homemade or low-sodium store bought chicken broth, heated.

    Zest the lemons then juice them and strain the juice.

    Prepare the asparagus by peeling {which I did not do} and cutting off the tough ends.  Cut into 1″ pieces and steam to crisp.  {I am not a fan of steamed asparagus so I sauteed mine lightly in a little butter until just done.}

    Sautee the onion in butter and olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet.  The onions should be fragrant and transparent.  Add in the rice and stir until the rice is well coated.  Season with salt and pepper.  {Salt and pepper are NOT in the recipe so I seasoned lightly and then later seasoned to taste.} Cook until the grains are almost clear.

    Add the hot broth in to the rice/onion mix one ladle at at time and stir until it is absorbed. Continue this process until the rice is ALMOST creamy.

    Add in the lemon juice, zest, steamed asparagus and one last addition of broth.  Cook for one additional minute.

    Remove from the heat and add in the Parmesan to taste.  Add additional Salt and Pepper if needed. Let sit, covered, for about 5 minutes then serve.

    Garnish with shaved Parmesan (optional)

    This was really good.  I think I would use a little less lemon juice next time because I think it tended to overpower the asparagus.  You many not need a full 3 quarts of the broth.  I made 1/2 of the recipe and did not used a full 4 cups.

    This is definitely a repeat.  I can imagine how it good it will be with different mushrooms, or maybe some spinach, or even just different cheeses.  It is very adaptable.

    The recipe is on page 639 of O’Niel’s One Big Table,  an eclectic  collection of recipes from home cooks around the United States.

    I’m linking this post with Cookbook Countdown hosted by Kitchen Flavours and Emily’s Cooking (Makan2).

    Ooey, gooey, melty cheese!  What’s not to love?  And in this simple dish from Donna Hay it all comes together.

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    Zucchini, Cheese, and Pasta Slice

    This was so good.  Very soft and melty just out of the oven.  Just as good at room temp.  The only seasoning is just salt and pepper but the ricotta really adds a lot of flavor.  The result is a creamy grown-up mac and cheese.  

      1½ CUPS (135G) SMALL PASTA
      3 MEDIUM ZUCCHINI, GRATED
      1 CUP (200G) RICOTTA
      1 CUP (120G) GRATED CHEDDAR
      ¼ CUP (60ML) VEGETABLE OIL
      4 EGGS
      1 CUP (150G) SELF-RAISING FLOUR
      SEA SALT AND CRACKED BLACK PEPPER
      ¼ CUP (30G) GRATED CHEDDAR, EXTRA, FOR SPRINKLING

    Cook the pasta {I used elbow macaroni.} until al dente.  Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl.  Turn out into a lightly greased 8″ x 12″ dish. Bake for 30 – 40 minutes at 350°F until the cheese is melted and slightly browned. Let cool {or not….} and slice into squares.

    The recipe is from Donna Hay’s website.

    Visit Wednesdays with Donna Hay for more Cheesy Delights! which was the theme this week.

    Well.  It seems like every time I open The Big Table I find another Chicken recipe that sounds too tasty to pass up.  While the method for cooking this one was, shall we say, different, the ‘sauce’ was outstanding!!

    The reason I say the method was different is because the chicken is cooked twice.  Fried, then baked.  The ‘sauce’ is poured into the bottom of a roasting pan the fried chicken is then baked OVER the  ‘sauce’ on a wire rack.  I had to read the instructions a couple of times before I realized what Frank Reese was explaining.

    Frank is a poultry farmer and comes from a long line of poultry farmers. His mother and grandmother used this dish to feed the groups who came to harvest in the spring and fall.  Fortunately he has pared the recipe down to feed 4 – 6 people rather than 30 or 40.

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      2 cups AP flour {I really think 1 cup would be more than sufficient. That’s all I used.}
      1 tsp poultry seasoning {commercial or Frank’s recipe below}
      1 tsp Kosher salt
      1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
      1/2 tsp sweet paprika
      8 pieces chicken
      1 cup veggie oil or shortning
      2 Tbl butter
      1/2 cup water
      1 cup heavy cream
      1/2 cup milk

    Preheat oven to 325F.

    Mix together the flour, poultry seasoning, salt, pepper, and paprika.  Dredge the chicken in the flour mix shaking off the excess before placing on a wire rack.

    Fry the chicken in the oil and butter mix in a cast iron skillet over medium until the chicken is golden brown.  This will probably take about 8 – 10 minutes.  It doesn’t need to be completely cooked as you will bake it as well.

    Drain off the oil through a fine mesh strainer saving the brown bits.  Return the bits to the skillet, add the water, mix well, and simmer, whisking the whole time, for one minute.  It will become nice and thick.

    Pour the milk and cream into the bottom of a roasting pan.  Add in the water/flour mix and stir to combine.  Place a roasting rack over the ‘sauce’ and place all the chicken on the rack.  {This is what I had to read over again to make sure I understood.}  Cover the pan with foil and bake for 2 – 2 1/2 hours until the chicken is tender.

    I served the ‘sauce’ over rice but it would be equally good over some mashed potatoes.

    The sauce/gravy was outstanding.  The flavor from the baking chicken dripped into the ‘sauce’ below and added another depth of flavor.  I did add just a smidgen of salt and pepper.

    Frank’s Poultry Seasoning

      3 tablespoons dried thyme
      2 tablespoons dried rosemary
      2 tablespoons dried marjoram
      1 tablespoon dried savory
      1 tablespoon dried sage
      2 teaspoons celery seeds
      1⁄2 teaspoon dried oregano
      1⁄2 teaspoon ground fennel
      1⁄2 teaspoon ground allspice
      1⁄8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

    In a small bowl, stir together all of the ingredients.
    The spice blend can be stored in an airtight
    container for up to three months.

    The recipe is on page 313 of One Big Table, the book I am using this month for Cookbook Countdown.

    I’m linking this post with Cookbook Countdown hosted by Kitchen Flavours and Emily’s Cooking (Makan2).

    Sunday is Father’s Day.  In our house that means BBQ, which means Dad cooks his own meal.  But while he may have to work a little on Father’s Day he does get a special treat.

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    Jesse Rosennberg’s Flourless Chocolate Cake

    Simple.  Sweet.  Delicious.  Easy.

      2 sticks butter
      1 cup sugar plus extra to coat the pans {I used 1 cup Splenda with a dash of Stevia}
      14 oz dark chocolate, chopped {Or use chips}
      8 large eggs

    Preheat oven to 300 F.  Grease a 9″ cake pan.  Sprinkle with sugar.

    Melt butter and chocolate in a heavy saucepan over medium heat until completely melted and combined.

    Beat the eggs until lightly colored.  Add the sugar and beat (whipping works better) until light and fluffy.

    Fold the egg mixture into the cooled chocolate mixture until completely mixed.

    Poor into the pan and bake for about 1 hour, testing after about 40 minutes, until cake has a nice crust on top and feels solid but soft.  Cook in the pan for 5 minutes and then turn onto a cake plate.  Cool.

    After it cooled I sprinkled with a little powdered sugar.  But it would, of course, be wonderful with ice cream!!  Oh, wait.  I made ice cream and it was wonderful!!

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    GOOD Cake!!  Even though this was sugar free {I used Splenda and a little stevia} it was still quite sweet. The cake was moist, intensely chocolate, and I will definitely make this one again..

    {Okay, we didn’t wait until Father’s Day to eat this.  It is also my Birthday so we are having MY cake on Sunday!}
    This recipe is from Jesse Rosenberg of San Carlos, CA.  She grew up in France and learned this recipe from  the lady who hired her for babysitting babysitting.

    The recipe is from One Big Table (page 808).

    I’m linking this post with Cookbook Countdown hosted by Kitchen Flavours and Emily’s Cooking (Makan2).

    One Big Table is full of what you could call every day recipes.  Favorite or ethnic dishes from everyday people around the United States. Many of the recipes I have marked are “out of the box’ for me but many are different variations of dishes I already make.  Like this one from Lonnie Holley in Harpersville, AL.  Lonnie is an artist whose work has been exhibited in several famous galleries or museums.  He says Jambalaya is a good thing to think about if you need to feed lots of people.  You can always add more rice.

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    2 tablespoons sweet paprika
    2 tablespoons garlic powder
    1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
    2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    1 tablespoon dried oregano
    1 tablespoon dried thyme
    1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined, shells reserved
    4 whole chicken legs, cut apart to make drumsticks and thighs
    4 tablespoons vegetable oil or bacon fat
    1 quart water
    1 yellow onion, chopped
    2 garlic cloves, minced
    1 red bell pepper, chopped
    2 celery ribs, sliced 1/4 inch thick
    1 large tomato, seeded and chopped
    2 bay leaves
    1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
    2 teaspoons hot sauce (preferably Tabasco) {I used Crystal Hot Sauce}
    2 cups white rice
    6 cups homemade chicken broth or low-sodium. store-bought chicken broth .
    4 Andouille sausages (about 1 pound), sliced in 1/4 inch chunks
    Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

    Combine the spices in a jar and mix well. Use 1 tablespoon of this spice blend in a big bowl to season the shrimp and chicken. (The remainder can be stored, tightly covered, in the refrigerator for up to 6 months.) {I made 1/2 the amount and used all of it.}
    Cover and chill for an hour or two.
    Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large pot over high heat. Add the shrimp shells and cook, stirring constantly, until the shells are bright pink. Add the water, bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, and cook until the water is reduced to half, about 15 minutes. Strain the broth and set aside. {I didn’t do this and just used all chicken broth instead. If you can find Seafood Broth, use that.}
    Warm 2 tablespoons of the oil in a dutch oven over medium heat.  Remove the chicken and shrimp from the refrigerator. Brown the chicken on all sides.
    Add the onion, stir, and cook for 1 minute. Add the garlic, bell pepper, and celery, one by one and stir after each addition. Sautee for about 5 minutes or until the veggies are soft. Add the tomato, bay leaves, Worcestershire, and hot sauce. Add the rice and stir. Add 2·cups of the strained shrimp broth, if using, and the chicken broth to the rice. {If you are using just chicken broth use 6 cups.} Reduce the heat to medium-low, partially cover the pot, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes.
    Add the shrimp and sausage, salt, pepper, and the left over spice blend to taste. Cook, uncovered, about 5 minutes more, until the rice is tender.
    Remove from the heat and serve immediately. (Recipe adapted)
    While this was a little spicier than I expected even tho’ I decreased the amount of Cayenne to 1/4 of what was called for, it was quite tasty. I love the mix of chicken, shrimp, and sausage in the Jambalaya. Definitely a keeper.
    This recipe is on page 626 of One Big Table.

    I’m linking this post with Cookbook Countdown hosted by Kitchen Flavours and Emily’s Cooking (Makan2).

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