Friday, December 2, 2016

Grated Carrot Salad

Cook The Book Fridays, a group of lovely foodie bloggers are cooking their way through David Lebovitz's cookbook, My Paris Kitchen. The selected recipe for this week is Grated Carrot Salad. According to David Lebovitz, Grated Carrot Salad is so commonplace in France, that you'll hardly find it mentioned in any of the books on traditional French cuisine. Everyone has their own version of making this salad.

I have never grated carrots for salads before. What I would usually do is to slice them either thinly in rounds or half-moons, or sometimes julienned them to matchsticks, but never grated, for a salad. One of the things that I dislike doing while preparing veggies for a dish, is grating root veggies! I do grate carrots when making carrot cakes, which I enjoy eating, but dislike grating the carrots. I prefer chopping my veggies over grating, as chopping can be a rather enjoyable task, rather therapeutic at times. 

Because this is a Grated Carrot Salad, I dutifully grate my carrots. 

The grated carrots and some fresh chopped cilantro greens from my garden pot. 

The dressing is a mixture of Dijon mustard, honey, olive oil, lemon juice and salt, whisk to combine. Toss the carrots and fresh herbs with the dressing and serve. 

Quite a nice salad. The sweetness of the carrots balances well with the lemony-mustard sweet dressing. My son likes this. 

Makes a nice side dish. I served it alongside some baked chicken breast with fresh crisp celery sticks.

Stop by Cook the Book Fridays to see what everyone thought about this salad.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Rich and Creamy Ginger Scones

This month's selected recipe at Rose's Bread Bible Bakers, is Rich and Creamy Ginger Scones. Rose's Bread Bible Bakers is a group of bloggers who are currently baking from Rose Levy Beranbaum's book, The Bread Bible.

I've made half a recipe as I do not want to freeze any leftovers, there's no space in my freezer! And since I've made only half a recipe, I've mixed the dough by hand method. Rose has provided both methods of using the Food Processor Method and Hand Method. These scones are easy to make and did not take up much time at all. There's ground ginger and diced crystallized ginger in the dough.

One of the ingredients used is whipping cream, which is whipped just until soft peaks. But according to Rose's Pointer For Success at the end of the recipe, these scones will just be as delicious without whipping the cream. So I took the easy way out and did not whip the cream, that makes me smile as there will be no extra bowl and beater to wash! Ha! 

The dough is very sticky and with some sprinkling of flour on the work surface and a light dusting over the dough helps in handling the dough better. Shape into a 6" round, about 3/4" thick, and freeze for 15 minutes. Cut the firm dough into 6 or 8 wedges, brush the top with some whipping cream and sprinkle with some turbinado sugar. I did not have any turbinado sugar, so I have used what I have, demerara sugar. The oven is preheated with a baking stone placed on the middle rack. I do not have any baking stone, so I have used an upturned baking tray. Place the scones on greased baking tray, and place the baking tray on the preheated upturned baking tray in the oven. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until the edges are browned and the tops are golden brown. Mine was done at 17 minutes. 

Cool to room temperature though these are so, so good when eaten while still warm. 

These scones are light and delicate, just as Rose described. They are tender, buttery and delicious! I love the crystallized ginger. These are so perfect with a cup of hot tea! Love these scones!

Up next in December, we will be baking "Levy's" Real Jewish Rye Bread, pg 324.

I'm also linking this post with Cookbook Countdown Specials : Bake

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Shortcut Sausage Meatballs

It's Potluck time at I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC). This week we get to select any recipes from either our present or past featured chefs, and once again, I've cooked with Nigella. I've made her Shortcut Sausage Meatballs, though it is not shortcut for me. Nigella's recipe using store bought Italian Sausages, but I have made my own, without the casing.

For the Italian sausages, I used minced pork mixed with some salt, coarse black pepper powder, fennel seeds, paprika and hot red pepper flakes. Combine well and leave covered overnight in the refrigerator. Taste the seasoning by frying about a teaspoon of the mixture in a little oil. Add more salt or any of the spice ingredients if needed. 

The sausages are then rolled into small balls, about the size of cherry tomatoes, and fry in some oil until golden, then the rest of the ingredients are added in. Simmer for about 20 minutes until the sauce has thickened slightly.

A very easy and simple meatballs in tomato sauce, and do not take long to cook. We had this meatballs served over spaghetti for a weeknight dinner.

Shortcut Sausage Meatballs
(Nigellissima by Nigella Lawson)
serves 4, approximately 40 meatballs
450-500gm Italian sausages
2 tablespoons garlic oil
4 fat or 6 spindly spring onions, finely sliced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
60ml white wine or vermouth
2 x 400gm cans chopped tomatoes, plus water to rinse 1/2 can
2 bay leaves
salt and pepper, to taste
chopped fresh parsley, to serve (optional)

Squeeze the sausage meat from the sausages, and roll small cherry-tomato-sized meatballs out of it, putting them onto a clingfilm-lined baking tray as you go. Your final tally should be around 40.
Heat the oil in a large, heavy-based pan or flameproof casserole and add the meatballs, frying them until golden; as they become firmer, nudge them up in the pan to make room for the rest, if you can't fit them all in at first.
When all the meatballs are in the pan and browned, add the spring onion and oregano and stir about gently.
Add the wine or vermouth and chopped tomatoes, then fill half of one of empty cans with cold water and tip it into the other empty can, then into the pan. The can-to-can technique is just my way of making sure you swill out as much of the tomato residue as possible.
Pop in the bay leaves and let the pan come to a fast simmer. Leave to cook like this, uncovered, for 20 minutes until the sauce has thickened slightly and the meatballs are cooked through. Check the sauce for seasoning, adding some salt and pepper, if you like.
During this time you can cook whatever you fancy to go with the meatballs, whether it be pasta, rice, whatever.
Once the meatballs are ready, you can eat them immediately or let them stand, off the heat but still on the stove, for 15 minutes. The sauce will thicken up a bit on standing. Sprinkle with parsely on serving.

I'm linking this post with I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC), theme for this week
"November Potluck"


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