Recipe Included


There is no rule out there that says French cooking must be elegant or complex. It can be simple and rustic as well. Which is a good thing for this week’s I Heart Cooking ClubFrench Dish. This recipe from Jacques is one of his mother’s. And it is quite simple.

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Pepin says his mother added cheese but he doesn’t always. I made mine without cheese but Gruyère would have been really good here.

1 1/2 pounds potatoes {I used basic russet potatoes}
2 cups milk
2–3 garlic cloves, crushed, and finely chopped (1 1/2 teaspoons)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup heavy cream

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Peel the potatoes and slice them 1/8 inch thick Do NOT rinse the slices.

Place the potato slices, milk, garlic, salt, and pepper in a large saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring gently to separate the slices and prevent the mixture from scorching. It will thicken as it reaches a boil.

Pour the potato mixture into a 6-cup gratin dish, and pour the cream on top. Place the dish on a baking sheet and bake for 1 hour, or until most of the liquid is absorbed and the potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork. Let the potatoes rest for 20 to 30 minutes before serving.
(Original Recipe)

While simple to make they were creamy and comforting. Definitely added to our rotation of potato dishes. Sometimes with cheese, sometimes not.

{BTW – reheat them in the oven and they are just as good as freshly made. DON”T nuke them!!}

Maintenant! Cliquez sur Plus d’IHCC et de vérifier plus d’une cuisine française de M. Pepin. Now! {Now! Click on over to IHCC and check out more of Pepin’s French Cuisine.}

It’s that time again! Time to share some new dishes from a blogger I have been reading for a while but haven’t had a chance to cook from. Why now? Because it is is reveal time for the

    Secret Recipe Club!

And this month I knew it was going to be fun because I had CHELSY over at MANGIA!! ITALIAN FOOD!!! But – FORTUNATELY – healthy Italian! Which was perfect considering I am trying to eat healthier these days. I was a little worried at first because so many of the blogs have great food but lots of ingredients I am not eating these days – sugar, beef, cheese, pasta – so finding lots of good, healthy recipes on Chelsy’s blog was a definite plus for me.

Let me tell you about Chelsy: Personal Trainer, gluten free recipe developer, foodie, Italian.
One statement caught me eye when she was listing facts about herself

    “I will choose grocery shopping over mall shopping any day!”

‘Nuff said!!

I started through her awesome recipes and finally had to quit Pinning. I though Pinterest might kick me off for putting TOO many pictures/recipes up in one day. And then, of course I had to go through and find just a few and then narrow that down to my usual three. NOT. AN. EASY. JOB! But then, with all the great bloggers in the SRC, it never is!

Here is what I ended up with:

Healthy Snacking –

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with Granola. And granola with a twist – made with QUINOA! I have only recently discovered quinoa so whenever I find a new recipe I HAVE to try it.
Granola with sliced almonds, coconut, maple syrup, cinnamon. All the good things. You can find her recipe for QUINOA GRANOLA on her blog. The only change I made in her recipe was to use dried cranberries instead of the goji berries she had listed. Only because I couldn’t find any.

Healthy Supper

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    Bada-Bing! Shrimp and Sauce

What a great name!! It is more than just shrimp in tomato sauce. It’s BADA-BING! And it WAS!

    1/4 lb. fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined
    Dressing:
    1/4 c. white wine vinegar
    3 TBS. water
    1 0.7 oz packet Italian Salad Dressing Mix
    1/4 c. olive oil
    1/4 c. water
    Sauce:
    1 med.- lrg. yellow onion, chopped and diced
    10 cloves of garlic, diced
    1/4 c. fresh basil leaves, chopped
    Palmful of Italian Seasoning
    Palmful of Oregano, dried
    3 8 oz. cans of No Salt Added Tomato Sauce (Like to add my own salt)
    1 14.5 oz. can of No Salt Added dice tomatoes
    1/4 c. Sweet white wine
    black pepper
    salt

Place the shrimp in a small bowl.
Prepare the dressing: put 1/4 c. white wine vinegar and 3 TBS. water into a salad shaker. Add dressing packet and shake the bottle until mixed. Add 1/4 c. olive oil and 1/4 c. water to the bottle and shake vigorously.
Pour the dressing over the shrimp and let marinate while preparing the sauce.
For the sauce.
Chop the onion, garlic, and basil.
Heat a large saucepan with olive oil over low-medium heat. Add onions and garlic and stir continuously with a spatula until lightly browned. Add the shrimp to the saucepan and cook until they are slightly pink.
Remove the shrimp from the saucepan after 3-4 minutes and place in a clean bowl. Add tomato sauces, diced tomatoes, spices, basil, and wine to the saucepan. Let the sauce simmer for 15-20 minutes.
Remove the saucepan from the heat and add the shrimp.
To serve, garnish with freshly shaved Parmesan.
I served mine over high fiber pasta. It would be amazing with some garlic linguini.

Healthy (Kinda Sorta) Side –

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I think Sweet Potatoes are my favorite veggie. You can fry them, sautee them, bake them, roast them. They are sweet. AND they are so good for you. Chelsy’s are roasted after mixing them with curry, vanilla, shallots, and browned butter (This is the kinda sorta part). They were sweet and full of flavor. I did add a little extra curry powder to mine because I really like the flavor. And the vanilla adds just a hint of sweet. I could eat these every day!!

I enjoyed my visit with Chelsy. I have been reading her blog for a while now and cooking some of her food but I have never blogged them. And probably never told her how much I enjoy my visits. So there you are, Chelsy.

Check with the other members of Secret Recipe Club below and see what they found to cook this month.

One of the fun things I remember about Spring Break, or summer vacation is the beach. Sand! Surf! Building a fire pit in the sand and toasting marshmallows. And using those marshmallows to make S’MORES!! Ooey! Gooey! Chocolate! Graham! Sticky Fingers! Laughing! Great memories!

Where am I going with this? This month’s Bundt Cake for Bundt Bakers.

The theme is HIDDEN SURPRISE. And after running into a recipe for a Graham Cracker cake I knew I had found my surprise.

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This cake made from graham crackers was just asking to be filled with CHOCOLATE AND MARSHMALLOWS,

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I tried two different methods to fill the cake. I made a trench in the batter and filled it with either chocolate chips or marshmallow fluff. The side I used the fluff on I put the chocolate chips in on top. The side with chocolate chips I put mini marshmallows on top. The fluff worked best. The minis just melted into the cake.

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Then I covered all of it with the rest of the batter and baked.

When it cooled I drizzled it with chocolate ganache and a warm marshmallow sauce.

    2 2/3 cups finely crushed graham crackers
    2/3 cup flaked coconut
    2/3 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
    1 1/3 teaspoons baking soda
    2/3 cup sugar Stevia in the Raw
    2/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
    3 tablespoons butter, softened
    1/2 teaspoons vanilla
    5 eggs, separated
    1 1/3 cups sour cream
    Chocolate chips
    Marshmallow Fluff.

Heat oven to 325″. Grease and flour a 10 or 12 cup Bundt Pan.
In a small bowl, stir together graham cracker crumbs, coconut, pecans and baking soda. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, mix sugar, brown sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and egg yolks; mix well.
Add sour cream and graham cracker crumb mixture alternately to sugar mixture, mixing well after each addition.
In separate bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold egg whites into cake mixture. {I have to tell you – at this point we almost didn’t have a cake because the batter was SO GOOD!!!}
Spoon about 1/3 to 1/2 of the batter into the pan. Let sit a couple of minutes then make a small trench in the middle of the batter all the way around. Fill the trench with chocolate chips. Then cover the chips with mini marshmallows. {I didn’t put any measurements for these because it is really up to you to decide how much you want. I used about 2 ounces of chips and 1/2 – 2/3 CUPS OF FLUFF. I wish I had used more of both.}
Cover the chips and marshmallow with the remaining batter.
Bake at 325 for 60 to 65 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes.
Remove from pan; cool completely on wire rack.
Drizzle with your favorite chocolate ganache and a marshmallow sauce. {I used ONE adapted from the Wicked Noodle.}

    2 Tbl butter
    1 cup marshmallow fluff

Melt marshmallow fluff and butter in a saucepan whiisking until smooth. Using a fork drizzle mixture over cake.

I put the ganache on first and THEN the marshmallow sauce, but you could do it the opposite way.

The cake was nice and dense. The filling was ALMOST ooey! gooey! {and would have been in a warm cake!}

Cake was adapted from Bundt Classics mostly but other recipes on the web as well.

BundtBakers


#BundtBakers is a group of Bundt loving bakers who get together once a month to bake Bundts with a common ingredient or theme.
Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on the BundtBakers home page.

We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient. The theme for April is “Hidden Surprise” – Bundt cakes with fillings or stuffing. There was no constraint on filling and flavor choices.The only
requirement was that the cake be filled/stuffed inside. Anshie from SpiceRoots was our host for this month.

If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send Stacy an email with your blog URL to foodlustpeoplelove@gmail.com.

Links:-

Last week we said good-bye to Diana Henry who we had been cooking and baking with since October.

This week we say Bonjour to Jacques Pépin. We will be cooking with him through the end of September. This year Msr. Pépin will be 80 years young and celebrating more than 60 years of cooking wonderful dishes. It seemed only logical to celebrate with him for the nest six months. (His birthday is in December!)

This week we could cook or bake any dish of his we wanted to say “Hello”. I chose something simple.

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Skillet Sweet Potatoes

    1 large long sweet potato (about 1 pound), peeled and cut into 1/4 inch thick slices
    1 tablespoon unsalted butter
    1 tablespoon canola oil
    1/2 cup water
    1/4 teaspoon salt

Arrange the sweet potato slices in a single layer in one very large or two slightly smaller nonstick skillets. Add the butter, oil, water, and salt. Bring to a boil, cover, and boil gently over high heat for about 5 minutes. Most of the water will have evaporated and the potatoes will be soft. Continue to cook, uncovered, over medium heat, turning, until the slices are nicely browned on both sides, about 2 additional minutes per side. Serve.

These are similar to how my mother-in-law used to make them. She called them smothered and used LOTS more butter. As you can see these only use a small amount but they caramelized nicely. Good and sweet alone, they were even BETTER sprinkled with a Stevia/Cinnamon blend.

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One Pépin recipe down. At least 12 more to go – depending on the Mystery Box, The Pot Luck, Extra weeks in the month……

Click on over to this weeks IHCC for the rest of the recipes to welcome Jacques to I Heart Cooking Clubs.

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.

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