Recipe Included


There is just something about Mark BIttman’s recipes/dishes that keeps calling me back. I know you know the feeling. You find a chef/cook/baker you really like and then you just want to keep making their goodies. I am that way with Madjur Jaffrey, Donna Hay, and Mark Bittman, among others..

So when it came time to do another potluck for I heart Cooking Clubs I went with Bittman – again.

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    8 ripe pears peeled, cored, and roughly chopped into smallish pieces
    1/4 – 1/3 cup sugar
    1 tablespoon cornstarch
    1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    8 – 10 sheets whole-wheat phyllo dough, thawed
    4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
    Powdered sugar for dusting

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine the pears, sugar, cornstarch, and cinnamon in a large bowl.
Set the phyllo on your work surface and cover with a piece of plastic and a damp towel to keep it from drying out. Remove one sheet and put it in front of you, brush it with some butter and fold in 1/2 length wise.

Put about 1/8 of the pear mixture at one end of the phyllo strip and begin folding the filled section of the phyllo to form triangles back and forth along the length of the strip, like folding a flag. Keep folding the triangle back and forth until you reach the end of the sheet.
Transfer the turnover to the prepared baking sheet, seam side down, and brush it with a little more butter. Repeat with the remaining phyllo sheets and apple mixture. You should have 8 turnovers.

Bake the turnovers until deeply golden and crisp (it’s okay if they ooze a little juice), 25 to 35 minutes.

Sprinkle with powdered sugar or


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    cinnamon sugar.

These were quick, crispy, flaky, tasty and the perfect light dessert. They are on page 565 of Bittman’s The Food Matters Cook book

For the other Pot Luck picks visit us over at IHCC

A NEW HOUSE!

    HOW EXCITING IS THAT?
      TO BUY A NEW HOUSE!.

Your friends come and celebrate all the work you have to do to get it just right. They bring food. They bring gifts. Appropriate gifts for a new home. But IS there an appropriate gift? Maybe we should ask about TRADITIONAL Housewarming gifts.

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And since Grace over at Happa Mama just remodeled her house and it’s almost like a new one, we are celebrating.
In the US, traditionally we give:

    Salt: Given with the message “That life may always have flavor”, can also represent added luxury or flavor to life
    Wine: Symbolizes the hope “That joy and prosperity may reign forever”…or…”That your family will never be thirsty”…or…”So you will always be of good cheer”
    Bread: So that this house may never know hunger…or…So your cupboards will always be full

I cannot make salt. I don’t know how to make wine – although my Dad made some Elderberry Wine once.
But I can make bread. And since tradition doesn’t say what kind of bread to include who says it has to be a LOAF of bread.

So, how about a nice Flatbread? With Olive Oil. And Rosemary. Like this Pizza Bianca from Jim Lahey.

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This is some kind of good bread. Puffy, crunchy, chewy the way good bread should be. Just out of the oven it was perfect.

Ingredients:

    400 grams (3 cups) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
    1 gram (1/4 teaspoon) active dry yeast
    4 grams (1/2 teaspoon) fine sea salt
    4 grams (3/4 teaspoon) sugar
    175 grams (3/4 cup) cool water, plus more if needed
    3 sprigs rosemary leaves
    4 grams (1/2 teaspoon) coarse sea salt

In a medium bowl, mix flour, yeast, fine sea salt, and sugar. {In the book the salt and sugar were left out of the “Mix flour, etc..” so after the fact I googled it and add the salt and sugar late to the mix after I had already mixed in the water. Worked just fine.} Add the water and, using a wooden spoon or your hands, mix for at least 30 seconds, until you have a soft, somewhat sticky, loose dough. If it seems too dry, you can add up to 2 Tbl safely.

Scoop the dough into a 2nd bowl coated with Olive Oil and cover. It should sit for a minimum of 9 hours and up to 12 hours at room temperature (about 72°F), until doubled in size. This is a short rise compared to some of Lahey’s bread – up to 18 hours. {Mine only rose for about 7 hours because I was running out of time. Worked just fine.}

Scrape the dough onto a generously flour dusted work surface. Fold the dough over itself 2 or 3 times until it forms a rather loose ball. Sprinkle it with the coarse sea salt and some Olive Oil. Put the dough in a cozy, draft-free spot and let rise until doubled in volume, 1 to 2 hours.

30 minutes before the end of the second rise, place a pizza stone in the oven and preheat the oven to 500°F.

Scoop the dough onto a well dusted peel sprinkle with olive oil and spread the dough out making dimples as you spread into a surface about 12″ in diameter. Sprinkle with rosemary leaves.

With quick, jerking motions, slide the dough from the peel onto the baking stone {I recently broke my stone so I used an upside down baking sheet. Worked just fine.} If it’s sticking to the peel, gently lift it around the edges, adding more flour to the peel. Bake about 12 – 15 minutes until nice and bubbly and golden.

Slide the peel under the pizza and transfer the pizza to a rack. Allow to cool for a minute or two, if you CAN, before slicing and serving.

The dough was smooth and silky and very elastic. So easy to work with. AND you don’t knead it!!

This was housewarming twice because the baking bread warmed up the kitchen and the fragrance warmed up the house while it was baking. Recipe is from Lahey’s my bread {page 137} but I found it online HERE and HERE but they are from my pizza and slightly different.

Grace Hwang Lynch (HapaMama) selected our theme this month: HOUSEWARMING? Check out the other goodies at:

BTW #LetsLunch is a twitter based cooking club. Every month a theme is chosen then we get to interpret that theme with FOOD. IT’s an international group of bloggers and awesome cooks with wonderful stories to tell. Search #LetsLunch for more on Twitter.

Okay. I did what she said. I got off the couch. And I cooked!!!

And cooked. And cooked some more.

Why, you ask? Because it was my JOB!! At least this month…It was my job to read through Sashi’s wonderful blog – Get Off the Couch and Cook and find something, anything, to cook. NOT an easy job. Her blog is “…not a health food site but the recipes are not bad for you.” Don’t you love that? I like foods that aren’t bad for me. But still delicious. And there is plenty of that here.

Sashi was my ‘assignment’ for March’s Secret Recipe Club and I had to pick at least one recipe.

But if you follow along each month you know I am not in the habit of just choosing ONE recipe. I started out with her lovely soft…

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These are very similar to the bread I make from KAF, where she originally got the recipe, but softer than my bread. They were perfect with burgers, pulled pork, and meatballs. What makes these really nice is that the dough is ‘worked’ in a bread machine then hand rolled and baked. You can make round buns or long hot-dog style. These were supposed to be long hot-dog but my shaping skills are a little rusty.

With the sandwiches I had to have a side…

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YES!, I did say bacon and cheese. Think of these as deconstructed baked potatoes with sour cream, butter AND the bacon and cheese. Without the skin.

    6 slices of bacon
    6 medium Russet potatoes, washed but not peeled
    4 Tbsp (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
    ¾ c sour cream
    4 Tbsp buttermilk (or regular milk)
    1 tsp kosher salt
    ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
    1 c (4 oz) shredded Cheddar cheese

Cook your bacon in a large skillet over med heat until crispy, 5-10 minutes, flipping halfway through. Drain on paper towels then crumble. Set aside.
Cut the potatoes into 3/4″ to 1″ pieces and boil until just soft – about 10 minutes. You want them to easily fall apart.
Mix the butter, sour cream, buttermilk, salt and pepper in a large bowl.
Drain the potatoes then add them to the bowl with the butter/sour cream mix.
Smash the potatoes into the butter and sour cream, stirring slightly while mashing the potatoes until just combined, leaving chunky bits.
Using a large spoon, fold in the bacon pieces and half the cheese.
Sprinkle with remaining, or more, cheese and let melt before serving.

Good stuff.

I thought about making one of her desserts, like her Lemon Blueberry Cake, or the Dutch Apple Pie, or some Chocolate Bacon BarkYUM!! but in the end, since I still had cake and ice cream in the house, I went with another savory – Baked Pork Egg Rolls

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I just happened to have some roast pork so these seemed a perfect way to use up some left overs. Stuffed with pork, carrots, cabbage, mixed with honey, peanut butter, mirin, chili sauce and sesame oil these tasty eggrolls were not fried as we are used to but rather, baked. So pretty healthy and not at all bad for me. Just like Sashi advertised for her recipes.

I am definitely going back for more recipes from Sashi. They are easy, fresh, delicious, and not at all bad for me!!!

NOw that my job is done….why don’t you head on over to Secret Recipe Club and sign up to join in the fun.

But between now and then check out the other goodies from the other members. See how much fun they had with their ‘assignments’ this month.

I do enjoy a good mystery. With well created characters.

Greg Iles

    Robert Crais.
      James Patterson.
        Jamie Oliver.

Wait! No! Jaimie doesn’t write mysteries. But he does create excellent recipes. Like this Chicken, Mushroom, Bacon and Leek Pie And it contains 4 of the 10 Mystery Box ingredients for this week’s MYSTERY BOX at I Heart Cooking Clubs.

AND…AND… Today. Is. Pie/PI. DAY!!!! March 14, 2015. Pie/Pi -get it? 3.1415…..

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2 boned chicken legs thighs, cut into chunks or strips
1 medium LEEK, sliced
2 slices smoked streakyBACON, cut into small strips
6 chestnut MUSHROOMS, quartered {I used button because I could not find chestnut}
Sprig of THYME, leaves picked
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 tbsp corn starch
2 tbsp low fat Greek yogurt/crème fraîche
Salt and pepper to season
Drizzle of olive oil

Filling:

Drizzle a little olive oil in a medium skillet. Add the bacon and chicken and cook until they start to brown.
Add in the leek, mushrooms and thyme.
Add the chicken stock.
Stir the cornstarch into a little water until you get a smooth slurry. Add the slurry to the chicken mixture in the pan
When the sauce has thickened remove from the heat and stir in the Greek yoghurt or crème fraîche
Pour filling into a pie dish.
Place the rolled pastry over the pie filling. crimp the edges with your fingers and thumb or a fork and cut off any excess pastry.
Cut small slits in the crust to let the steam escape.
Brush the pastry with a beaten egg mixed with a splash of milk and bake in a pre-heated oven at 200c for approximately 25 mins, or until pastry is golden.

Pastry:
250g plain flour
100g lard butter, cubed
A tiny splash milk
1 large beaten egg
Flour for dusting

Place the flour in a processor. Add in the cubed lard and process until mix resembles corn meal. Add in the egg and milk and process until a ball forms in the processor. Remove and place on lightly floured work surface. Lightly flour the ball and pat it into a flat round, then wrap it in cling film and put it in the fridge to rest for at least half an hour
Lightly flour the work surface and roll out the pastry to about 1/4 inch. Place the pastry over the filling and crimp it around the edges until the filling is covered. You can fold the excess under or over on itself or cut off the excess. Cut slits in the top to allow steam to escape and brush a mix of the egg and milk. Bake about 25 minutes at 390 or until crust is golden brown.
Remove from the oven and let the pie rest for a few minutes before serving

    {Original Recipe}

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Absolutely Delicious! The flavor of the thyme is definitely there but not overwhelming. The chicken is nicely browned and cooked. The crust is so brown and flaky. This AIN’T your mama’s chicken pot pie! It’s better because there are fewer ingredients fighting for the limelight. Definitely a keeper.

What did the other cooks/bakers do with their MYSTERY BOX ingredients? Check them out on I Heart Cooking Clubs.

Waking up to a warm Blueberry muffin makes a Monday worthwhile. Even though I had to make them myself it was still a great way to start the day.

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You can actually use just one bowl to mix these up and, according to Donna, the variations are endless. Which is probably why I added lemon to my batch.

We usually don’t include the recipe but I made some low-sugar changes.

2½ cups (375g) self-raising (self-rising) flour, sifted
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup (220g) caster (superfine) sugar and 1/2 cup Stevia in the Raw (or other blended no calorie sweetener)
½ cup (125ml) vegetable oil
1 egg
½ cup (125ml) milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp lemon oil
300g fresh or frozen blueberries
granulated sugar, for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F).
Place the flour, baking powder and sugar in a good sized bowl. Make a well in the middle. Place the oil, egg, milk and vanilla in the well and whisk to combine. Slowly work the liquid into the flour mix until just combined. Add the blueberries and mix to combine. Spoon mixture into a a regular muffin tin using paper baking cups. Sprinkle the tops with sugar and bake for 30–35 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer. Remove from tin and cool on a wire rack.

I made a few to test for sweetness and ended up adding about a 1/4 tsp of raw Stevia. That made them just right. If you don’t have raw stevia use a little more of your favorite non-sugar sweetener.

The original recipe is HERE.

This week was Chaya’s turn to choose. And she chose well.

We visit and leave your links at Wednesdays with Donna Hay so hop on over and see what the others thought of the muffins.

It seems that every time I get ready to do a dish for I Heart Cooking Clubs something gets in my way. Well not this time!! THIS time I had a recipe aleady and the dish completed. So take that, Time Consumers!!!!
Lucky for me this is Potluck week for IHCC so it was a pretty laid back event. No rushing to find a Henry recipe with the right theme. No searching thru 1000s of recipes for just the right one. I have had this Bittman recipe marked for awhile.

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Bittman calls this a Tamale Casserole. I would rather think of if as deconstructed tamales. So. Much. Easier. than rolling up the tamales and then wrapping them in shucks and steaming them. All the flavor without all the work. Well, almost all the flavor.

I liked it but I didn’t love it.

    1 cup cornmeal (fine or medium grind)
    1 1/2 cups hot water, or more as needed. {Boiling water would help cook the cornmeal and thicken it better.}
    Salt
    2 tablespoons olive oil, or more as needed
    8 ounces ground beef, pork, or lamb
    Black pepper
    1 onion, chopped
    1 tablespoon minced garlic
    1 tablespoon chili powder
    8 Roma (plum) tomatoes, chopped (canned are fine; drain their juice) {I used regular canned tomatoes}
    2 cups corn kernels (frozen are fine)
    1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro or shredded cheese, for garnish

Heat the oven to 400°F. Combine the cornmeal, hot water, and a tsp salt and stir until smooth. Set it aside
Heat the oil in an oven proof skillet. Add the meat and season with salt and pepper. and cook until nicely browned, 5 to 10 minutes.
Lower the heat and add the onion and garlic. Cook until the vegetables soften, about 8 minutes more, stirring periodically. If the mix is dry you can add some more oil. Remove from the heat and add the chili powder, tomatoes, and corn.
Incorporate the baking powder into the cornmeal mix which should be the consistency of thick pancake batter; if not, add a little more water. Spoon the batter into the skillet on top of the filling and spread it around a bit. Bake until the cornbread has cracked and turned golden and is cooked all the way through – 20 to 25 minutes. Garnish with the cilantroshredded cheese and serve hot or at room temperature.

I found this to be a little dry. I would suggest saving some of the canned tomato juice or adding some tomato juice. And more salt in the cornmeal mix would help a lot as well. The seasoning for the filling, however, was spot on. Maybe adding a litte cumin to the cornmeal?
Again, I didn’t love it, but I would make it again with those small changes.

The original recipe is on page 339 of Mark Bittman’s The Food Matters Cookbook

I made this for IHCC Potluck. Check out the other choices this week.

I haven’t been able to participate much these last few months. I didn’t need another cookbook, and I have only a few Diana Henry recipes available but this week is POTLUCK with The I Heart Cooking Club so I knew I had a recipe I could use. Lucky for me Amazon offered a copy of Ottolenghi’s PLENTY for the Kindle and I have been looking through his yummy dishes. He has a whole section of eggplant recipes. Like this one.

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    Eggplant Croquettes.

I had just picked up a couple of eggplants at the store so I was ready for this new side dish.

    4 medium eggplants
    2 medium russet potatoes – cooked, peeled and mashed {I used my ricer for a smoother texture}
    1 large egg
    5 oz Feta cheese
    3 Tbl grated Parmesan
    1/2 tsp salt
    black pepper
    1 3/4 cup breadcrumbs {I used 1/2 regular crumbs and 1/2 Panko}
    Sunflower oil for frying {I used Canola}

Set the whole eggplant over a flame and burn until crispy all around. Cool and then remove the flesh with a spoon. Make sure you leave behind all the charred skin. Place the flesh in a colander and allow to drain until most of the liquid is gone. This takes about 30 minutes or so.
Mix about 1/2 of the the breadcrumbs, Feta, Parmesan, egg, potatoes, eggplant, and seasonings in a bowl and mix with a fork until well combined. Shape into small patties and cover with the breadcrumbs.
Allow to chill in the fridge for about 2o minutes which will firm them up.
Place about 1 inch of oil in a pan and heat til hot. Gently place patties in the oil and fry for about 3 minutes on each side until golden brown. All the ingredients are already cooked so it’s just a matter of browning them.
Drain on paper towels. Adapted from Plenty

Crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside, these were very good and are definitely keepers. I would like to try them with another cheese – Fontina, maybe, or Gruyère for a different flavor.

Check out the other POTLUCK choices at IHCC

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