Monday, November 30, 2015

Spiced Mixed Nuts

"Nibbles & Noshes", the theme for this week at I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC). I'm going "hot and nutty" this week with Spiced Mixed Nuts.

There's pumpkin seeds, peanuts, almonds, pistachios, cashew and I've thrown in some hazelnuts as well. Flavoured with the sweetness of honey (did not have maple syrup), spiced with curry powder, cayenne powder with dried rosemary and salt. Just mixed and bake until the nuts are fully toasted and crispy. They will be sticky from the honey. Some of the nuts will clump together when left to cool, no problem, just separate them later. But I find that I have to bake them about 10 minutes longer than the recipe states. 

I've used more cayenne powder, about 1/2 teaspoon and they have just the right kick in the spiciness, which I really, really like. Sweet and spicy, and very, very addictive. This is great for munching alongside a cold glass of beer!

Spiced Mixed Nuts
(adapted from "The Food You Crave" Ellie Krieger)
1/2 cup raw peanuts
1/2 cup raw almonds
1/3 cup shelled raw pistachios
1/3 cup raw cashews
1/3 cup shelled raw pumpkin seeds
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1/8 teaspoon cayenne powder, or more to taste
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/4 teaspoon salt
cooking spray

Preheat the oven to 325F. 
Combine the nuts and seeds in a medium bowl. Add the maple syrup, spices, rosemary, and salt and toss to combine,
Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray, then transfer the coated nuts to the sheet and spread evenly in a single layer. Bake, stirring once, until the nuts are fragrant and lightly toasted, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool. The nuts will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

I'm linking this post with I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC), theme for this week
"Nibbles and Noshes"

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Saturday, November 28, 2015

Chicken, Spinach and Noodles Broth

It's November Potluck week over at I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC), and I'm bringing another dish. A soupy chicken broth noodle from Nigel Slater's book "Eat".

Originally, the recipe uses asparagus spears which is cut into ribbons. I do not have any asparagus but I do however have a pot of Amaranth (Chinese Spinach) growing in my garden pot, which are just about right for harvest. And these Chinese Spinach are great in soups and stir-fries. So I've used that instead. Instead of chicken thighs, I've used chicken breast fillet. I've followed the cooking instructions for the thighs, but shred the meat to pieces before serving. For the noodles, I've used dried egg noodles which is boiled till softened. 

Round Leaf Amaranth (Chinese Spinach) from my potted garden

This is an easy noodle dish to come together rather quickly. I made this for lunch, with a condiment of light soy sauce mixed with chopped birds eye chillies.

Chicken, Asparagus and Noodle Broth
(adapted from "Eat", Nigel Slater)
For 2-3 servings
Ingredients :
chicken thighs (I use chicken breast)
asparagus (I use homegrown Chinese spinach)
mushrooms (I use fresh Shiitake)
chicken stock

Brown 4 chicken thighs in a little oil in a deep pan. Slice 150gm mushrooms, such as large field, portobello or porcini, and peel and slice 2 garlic cloves. Add the mushrooms and garlic to the pan and continue browning, adding more oil if necessary. Pour in a litre of chicken stock, bring to the boil and simmer for about 30 minutes. Lift out the thighs and take the meat off the bones, returning it to the simmering stock. (I've used chicken breast fillet, cook as above, and shredded the meat before serving). Shave 4 asparagus spears into ribbons with a vegetable peeler, then add them to the soup with 200gm noodles (I've used Chinese spinach, cooking it in the soup for just a few minutes). Cook for a minute or two, then divide between deep bowls.

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

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Thursday, November 26, 2015

Cucumber, Onion and Mint Salad

"November Potluck", the theme for this week at I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC). We get to cook from any of IHCC's past or present featured chefs, and for this week, I've made Jacques Pepin's simple and yummy salad, Cucumber, Onion and Mint Salad.

I've sliced the onions into rings (instead of diced), as I like them this way in salads. The cucumbers are from my potted garden, gorgeous fresh cucumbers! I did not peel them since these are homegrown and they have thin skins, so they really do not need any peeling. These are mini cucumbers,and there's barely any seeds in them, so I did not bother to scrape out the seeds. Also I have skipped the step where the cucumbers and onions are sprinkled with salt and left for 30 minutes to extract out the water so that they will be crunchy. My cucumbers are really crisps so I've omitted this step. The salad is made more refreshing and fresh by using mint leaves, also from my garden pot. I did not use Tabasco sauce, but have replaced with Dijon mustard instead. This salad can be prepared in advance and keep in the refrigerator until serving time. It is delicious served cold. 

Mini cucumbers. Fresh, juicy and crisp. Perfect for salads. Looking forward to more cucumber harvests this week! Big grin!!!

Mint from the garden pot.

Cucumber, Onion and Mint Salad
(adapted from : Heart&Soul, Jacques Pepin)
1 large English (seedless) cucumber (about 1 pound)
1 cup diced (1⁄2-inch) mild onion
1 1⁄2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons shredded fresh mint leaves
1⁄2 cup sour cream

1⁄2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce (I use Dijon mustard)

Peel the cucumber and cut it lengthwise in half. Using the tip of a teaspoon, scrape out the seeds. Cut the flesh into 1⁄2-inch dice. (You should have about 2 1⁄2 cups.)
Combine the cucumber and diced onion in a bowl, sprinkle with the salt, and mix well. Let cure for 30 minutes. (I skipped this step).
Drain the cucumber mixture in a colander and pat dry with paper towels. Combine with the rest of the ingredients and serve.

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


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