Sunday, July 14, 2019

Shrimp Tacos

This week, at Cook The Book Fridays, the selected recipe from Everyday Dorie cookbook, is Shrimp Tacos.



It may look like there's a whole lot of prep work, but they are fairly simple and easy to do.

The cast of characters, that makes the Shrimp Tacos 😉; Salsa, Shredded Lettuce, Shrimps, Yoghurt Cream, Avocado Mash, slices of lime, Toasted Tortilla.

Let's get to know the casts a little better 😃:
Salsa - Grape tomatoes, red onion, red bell pepper, jalapeno, cilantro, and mango. (I have replaced the pineapple and peach with mango). Season with salt and lime juice. Omitted the hot sauce as I did not have any. (I thought I did!).
Lettuce - Well, simply sliced or shred them.
Shrimps - Shelled and deveined. Marinate with some olive oil and old bay seasoning or chile powder. I've used smoked paprika instead. Fry the shrimps in a little oil until cooked through, season with salt and a squeeze of lime juice.
Yoghurt Cream - Mixture of Greek yoghurt and mayonnaise, whisk together with minced chipotles in adobo sauce. I did not have any chipotles, so I've used some sriracha sauce instead.. Season with salt and lime juice.
Avocado Mash - Stir together ; lime zest and juice, minced jalapeno, and mashed avocado, season with some salt.
Tortilla - Toast lightly over the stove in a dry skillet.
Lime - Slice some wedges for serving.

Now that we are familiar with the casts, it is time to bring them together for a grand finale !

 Here's the...... Shrimp Tacos !


Well, everyone's tummy is full and happy. Review time !

Son : Yummy good!
Daughter : Very nice!
Me, me, me! : Burp..... Already thinking of making it again with perhaps, panfried chicken, or garlic, butter and chile stir-fry prawns or fish ....... . One thing for sure, I need to get a bottle of hot sauce!


Please visit the links at Cook The Book Fridays to read the others' review on this recipe.

This post is shared with Cookbook Countdown #43


Sunday, June 30, 2019

Chicken And Bean Stew

It is June Potluck week at I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC). We get to cook from any of the featured chefs at IHCC, using any of their recipes. I've made Jacques Pepin's, Chicken and Bean Stew.

According to Jacques Pepin, this stew is satisfying, hearty, and inexpensive, ideal for a family meal. He's right, of course! 

The recipe uses meaty chicken bones and parts, but I've used two whole large pieces of chicken legs. As for the beans, I've used black-eyed beans since I have some frozen ones stashed in my freezer, and added them during the last 30 minutes of cooking. According to the recipe, whole carrots and celery stalk are simmered until the end of cooking time, after which, they are removed and chopped coarsely to be added back to the stew. I merely chopped the carrots and celery before cooking, so i don't have to chop them up later. 



The stew was delicious. Very tasty and flavourful. We've enjoyed bowls of it with my homemade Ciabatta bread.


Chicken and Bean Stew
(Essential Pepin by Jacques Pepin)
4 pounds meaty chicken bones and parts (including backs and necks, if available gizzards and hearts)
1 pound (about 2-1/3 cups) navy beans, picked over and rinsed
2 medium onions (about 12 ounces0, each studded with 3 whole cloves
3 medium to large carrots, peeled
1 celery stalk
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
4 bay leaves
8 cups cold water
1 cup canned diced tomatoes
3 garlic cloves, crushed and chopped (2 teaspoons)
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley

Put the bones in a large pot, add the beans, onions, carrots, celery, salt, thyme, bay leaves and water, bring to a boil; skim off foam that rises to the surface. Cover, reduce the heat, and boil very gently for 1-1/2 hours; stir every 15 to 20 minutes to prevent the beans from sticking to the bottom. Pour the mixture into a large roasting pan.
When the bean mixture is cold enough, remove the bones and vegetables from the beans and put the beans back into the pot.
When the bones are cool enough to handle, pick off the meat and discard any skin. (You should have at least  2 to 2-1/2 cups of meat). Remove the cloves from the onions and discard them. Coarsely chop the onions, carrots, celery, and gizzards and hearts, if you have them. Add to the pot, along with the meat, and mix with the beans.
Add the tomato, garlic, and parsley and bring back to a boil. Reduce the heat, simmer for 5 minutes, and serve.


Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Pain à ľAncienne Rustic Bread (Ciabatta)

Ciabatta is an Italian white bread made with just few ingredients ; flour, salt, olive oil, water and yeast. It's shape is elongated, flat, rustic and broad, looks like a worn-out slipper, hence it is called Ciabatta which means slipper.  

This recipe that I've tried is from Artisan Breads Every Day by Peter Reinhart. Ciabatta has a very wet dough, so it is preferable to mix the dough in a stand mixer. This high hydration dough (with more water than other regular bread dough), is required in order to achieve a light, airy and holey crumbs as the characteristics of a ciabatta bread. 

Oiling your hands and the work counter with some oil will really help to handle the sticky dough. There's a series of stretch and fold, with 10 minutes rest, which is repeated a few times. The dough is then keep covered in a bowl and place in the refrigerator overnight, or up to 4 days. The next day, the dough is taken out and let rest for an hour, then shape as per the instructions given, and let rise for another hour before baking.



The dough has puffed a little before it went into the oven. And during the first 15 minutes or so, the bread has puffed even more in the oven. Happy to see that! 
I did not have a baking stone, so I've used an overturned baking sheet instead. 



It bakes up lovely, with a rich brown crust and soft, spongy crumb, with those lovely holes that I was looking for!


The crumb is still soft on the next day, though the crust has become softer and chewy in a delicious way. I enjoyed slices of it with just a spread of salted butter, so good! Great with stew too!

The recipe for this ciabatta can be found here.

Note ; I've made half a recipe for one large ciabatta. I've reduced the salt to 3/4 teaspoon which works out great for us.

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