Recipe Included


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

There are a lot of us who were raised in one place and ended up in another. We never forget the foods of our early years. We add to it from the new places we live. We change. We adapt. Our tastes change but never our love of our ‘native’ foods. This is the case for Julie who is The Texan New Yorker. She was my ‘assignment’ for January with the Secret Recipe Club.

Julie proclaims herself as a Formerly Picky Eater. But after deciding she wanted to eat healthier she learned to cook. She was ‘reared’, as we say in the South, in Dallas then moved to the East coast . He recipes are a great combination of Texas and New York and all the adaptations in between.

I have found over the years that just picking ONE recipe from hundreds is IMPOSSIBLE. I count myself lucky if I can whittle it down to 20 or so that I HAVE to make.

So, Julie, here is what I HAD to make from your wonderful Texas to New York recipes.

It was a little chilly in December and January so a nice thick soup was very comforting. In this case Julie’s Broccoli Cheese Soup

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Can I tell you how delicious this was? Full of cheddar cheese and broccoli. I made it directly from her recipe except I sprinkled some additional cheese and some raw broccoli on top.

And what is soup if you cannot have it with some kind of bread. A grilled cheese sandwich is my usual go to with soup but with all the cheese in the soup I needed something to accent the flavor not dilute it. BISCUITS!!

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Perfect to dip into the nice thick soup. I am thinking that the Bacon Cheddar Chipotle Biscuits would also be good with this. Those biscuits are definitely influenced by her years in TEXAS!!

After Christmas I ended up with a couple of pieces of Pumpkin Pie. I knew I couldn’t just toss them, I didn’t need to eat them (so full!!!) and I didn’t want to freeze them. A conundrum! Solved by JUlie with her…

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which I will call a smoothing because somehow that sounds healthier. This is so easy and definitely competes with the pie shakes at Sonic. Think of the all the possibilities if you have ice cream and left over pie – any kind of pie.

    1 piece of pumpkin pie, homemade or store-bought
    1/2 cup whole milk
    1/2 a pint of vanilla ice cream
    Whipped cream, for serving

Combine all ingredients, except whipped cream, in your blender. Puree until smooth. Pour into glasses and garnish with a generous dollop of whipped cream and some of the pie crust crumbs left in the pie plate.

Makes 2 small smoothies or 1 large smoothie.
How dangerous is THAT!! And how simple.

Now, about those other recipes I have pinned. So much goodness, so little time.

It’s not called the Secret Recipe Club because we have to blog in secret – How 1984 would that be? – but because until the big reveal date our assignment is a secret. Then we can share what we have cooked form our ‘assignment’ and let the world know about all the deliciousness we found. If you want to join in you can find all the information you need by visiting the site. Way too much fun and kitchen adventures to be had.

You can check out all the fun we had this time by visiting below:

There is a little deli in Natchitoches, of Steel Magnolias fame, that makes a fantastic Yam Cake. I have been trying to replicate it for ages. I haven’t gotten it quite perfect yet, but this is the closest I have come. Thanks to this month’s Bundt theme – COCONUT hosted by Terri Truscello of Love and Confections I can parade my new concoction around.

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    1 1/4 cups AP flour
    1 tsp baking soda
    1/4 tsp cinnamon {needed a little more}
    1/2 tsp kosher salt
    1 cup + 2 Tbl sugar
    2 eggs
    1/2 cup canola oil
    4 – 5 baked sweet potatoes peeled and mashed {about 2 cups}
    4 Tbl sour cream
    3/4 cups toasted pecans
    1 cup toasted sweet coconut

Preheat oven to 350.
Prepare the bundt pan. Spray with PAM or oil and shake with sugar until inside is coated.
Sift together flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.
After mashing the baked sweet potatoes whip them as much as possible to lighten their texture. {I think this is the key to a light fluffy cake.}
Using a stand mixer beat together the sugar and eggs until light and fluffy. At low speed add in the oil slowly so as not to deflate the egg/sugar mix. Add the whipped sweet potatoes and vanilla and continue to mix on low speed until just combined.
With a spatula fold in the flour mix and nuts until just combined.
Bake for about 1 hour or until done.
Cool for 30 minutes before removing from the pan.

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I drizzled first with Coconut caramel and then with a simple coconut milk glaze, mostly for looks rather than taste. Top with toasted coconut.

Coconut Caramel:

    4 cups sugar
    1 can of Coconut Milk

Put 4 cups of sugar in a medium sized heavy pot and cook on medium high heat until it begins to caramelize, stirring constantly. When it is brown, carefully begin adding the coconut milk until you get the consistency you want.
Coconut Glaze:

    2 Tbl coconut milk
    2 cups powdered sugar

Mix until drizzle consistency. It may take more or less coconut milk.

I learned a few things making this bundt. Possibly using Creme de Coconut would be better but it might make it too sweet. Maybe cutting back on the sugar to compensate. I think whipping the potatoes more in a processor might help lighten the texture. And maybe mixing some toasted cocnut with the caramel? I will try these changes the next time I experiment with the bundt.


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Interested in learning more about us?? #BundtBakers is a group of Bundt loving bakers who get together once a month to bake Bundts with a common ingredient or theme. We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient. You can see all our of lovely Bundts by following our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated after each event on the BundtBaker home page HERE.

If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send an email with your blog URL to foodlustpeoplelove@gmail.com. If you are just a lover of Bundt baking, you can find all of our recipe links by clicking our badge above or on our group Pinterest board.
Almond Joy Bundtlettes from Sew You Think You Can Cook
Candy Bar Chocolate Coconut Bundt Cake from Love and Confections
Chocolate Italian Cake from Magnolia Days
Coconut & Banana Bundt Cake from Just One Bite Baking
Coconut Banana Bundt Cake from Basic N Delicious
Coconut Carrot Bundt Cake from Media Racion Doble, Por Favor
Coconut Cream Bundt Cake from Adventures in All Things Food
Coconut Hummingbird Bundt Cake from Patty’s Cake
Coconut Milk Bundt Cake from I Love Bundt Cakes
Coconut Milk Bundt Cake from Un Mordisco Un Pecado
Coconut Oil Pound Cake from The Spiced Life
Coconut Sugar Banana Cake from A Kingdom for a Cake
Cranberry and Coconut Bundt Cake from La Cocina de Aisha
Cranberry, Orange and Coconut Bundt Cake from Kids & Chic
German Chocolate Bundt Cake from The Freshman Cook
Glazed Chocolate Macaroon Bundt Cake from Food Lust People Love
Gluten-free Coconut Orange Bundt Cake with Coconut Whipped Cream from Cassie’s Kitchen
Gizzada Mini Bundts from Passion Kneaded
Key Lime Coconut Cream Bundt from A Day in the Life on the Farm
Mini Samoa Bundt Cakes from Making Miracles
Orange & Coconut Bundt Cake from Living the Gourmet
Oreo Coconut Bundt Cake from Indian Curries/Stew
Pina Colada Bundt Cake from Jane’s Adventures in Dinner
Rhubarb n Rose Coconut Frosted Bundt Cake from Baking in Pyjamas
Rum Bundt Cake with Coconut and Lime from Bourbon and Brown Sugar
Toasted Coconut Lime Bundt Cake with Chili Lime Glaze from Brooklyn Homemaker

The weather here in the Deep South has finally turned COLD! Well, cold for Louisiana anyway. Yesterday the highs were in the 30s and Thursday morning it was only 18. That’s pretty chilly for here and pretty early for our cold temps. Cold weather requires comfort food and one of our favorites is a good filling STEW. Lucky for me it is also this month’s Theme for Let’s Lunch.My go-to stew is made with Beef and Venison. My husband hunts so we always have plenty of game in the freezer.

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I’m not going to give you specific amounts of the ingredients. They are always changing when I make it. But basically, they include:

    Beef – any cut will do – in bite sized chunks
    Venison – ditto but you could sub out some pork or just use all beef
    Peeled and chopped potatoes – I usually use russet but sometimes I add in some red
    Peeled and chopped carrots
    Chopped onions
    Chopped celery
    Chopped garlic
    Beef and/or vegetable stock
    Canola oil
    Red wine
    Bay leaves
    Flour
    Salt and Pepper

Heat a large pot and add the oil when hot. Season the meat and shake with seasoned flour. Add to the oil and brown well. Add in the onions, garlic, celery and brown until soft.
Add stock – amount depends on how much stew you are making – throw in the bay leaves/leaf, red wine, and cook meat until almost tender. You may need to add more stock as the meat is cooking because it will thicken as it cooks.
Right before the meat is done add in the carrots and potatoes. Cook until veggies are tender.
Remove the bay and, if necessary, thicken with either a roux or a flour slurry.
Serve over rice.

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Warm and filling. Comfort food.

A new year. A new collection of sweets and treats for Avid Baker”s Challenge. For the last two years we have been baking from the King Arthur Flour site. This year we are changing gears and baking from Christina Marsigliese‘s blog, Scientifically Sweet. Cookies. Bars. Brownies. Cakes. Pies. Tarts. If it’s a sweet treat then it is on Christina’s blog. Like these choco chip muffins.

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I did make a few changes in an attempt to “healthy-fy” them. My changes are in green. The original recipes is HERE!

3/4 cups all-purpose flour and 1/2 cup Whole Wheat Flour
1/3 cup unsweetened Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1 ¼ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
½ tsp ground cinnamon {I used a heaping tsp.}
¾ cup mashed ripe banana (about 2 medium bananas, previously frozen)
1/3 cup LITE sour cream
1 large egg
1/4 cup granulated sugar and 1/4 cup Stevia in the Raw
¼ cup canola oil
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line mini-muffin pans with paper liners and set aside.

In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon; whisk together to blend evenly and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together mashed bananas and sour cream until smooth. Whisk in egg, sugar, canola oil and vanilla extract until well blended. Add the flour mixture and the chocolate chips and fold gently until just combined. Do not over-mix.

Divide batter evenly among muffin cups. Bake until the muffin tops spring back when touched gently and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean despite any melted chocolate chips, 10 – 15 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes in the pan before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

YIELD: 36 mini muffins.

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These were nice and chocolatey and just sweet enough with the combination of sugar and Stevia. Perfect little bites just the right size to satisfy a sweet tooth when your teeth want sweets WAY too much!!!

Check on The ABC page for more chocolate treats.

Here it is the middle of the month already. And Christmas month at that. This year has just flown by. Lots of baking done this year and lots more to do before the year is out. Holiday Baking!!

Like this cake for Bundt Bakers.

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Peppermint is a major flavor this time of the year. Candy Canes are everywhere. On the tree. On the mantle. On the cake.

    3 c all-purpose flour
    2 tsp baking powder
    1 tsp baking soda
    1/2 tsp salt
    1 3/4 c granulated sugar
    1 c vegetable or canola oil
    1/2 cup applesauce
    3 large eggs, room temperature
    1 tsp vanilla extract
    1 tsp peppermint extract {I think it could have used more.}
    1 c buttermilk
    1/4 tsp red food coloring
    GLAZE:
    3/4 c white chocolate chips
    3 Tbsp cream or half and half
    3/4 c powdered sugar
    1/2 tsp peppermint extract
    3 Tbsp crushed candy canes or star mints or soft peppermints

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients.
Grease and sugar the bundt pan.
Using a stand mixer, beat together oil, applesauce, and sugar until well mixed. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add both extracts and beat well.
With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients alternating with buttermilk. Increase the speed to medium and beat for 2 minutes. Scoop 1 1/2 to 2 cups of the batter into another bowl and add 1/4 tsp {or so} of red food coloring.
Pour half of the white batter into the bottom of the pan. Top with half of the red batter. Top with white batter.
Finish with the remaining red batter. Gently swirl the batter with a knife.
Bake for 50 to 55 minutes, or until the toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Cool the cake for 2 minutes in the pan then carefully flip it upside down onto a cake plate. Cool cake completely before glazing.
GLAZE:
Melt chocolate and cream in a double boiler. Let cool slightly. Whisk in powdered sugar.
Drizzle over the cake. Let set for 1 minute.
Sprinkle with crushed peppermint.

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Original Recipe

I know you need more mint cakes for Christmas – wander thru’ these:
cvv

Our host this month was the lovely Laura Tabacca of The Spiced Life

Interested in learning more about us?? #BundtBakers is a group of Bundt loving bakers who get together once a month to bake Bundts with a common ingredient or theme. We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient. You can see all our of lovely Bundts by following our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated after each event on the BundtBaker home page HERE.

If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send an email with your blog URL to foodlustpeoplelove@gmail.com. If you are just a lover of Bundt baking, you can find all of our recipe links by clicking our badge above or on our group Pinterest board.

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