Sunday, December 1, 2019

Ginger Shortbread

It is potluck week at I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC). We have 19 chefs featured at IHCC, and Ina Garten, one of the chefs featured, whose recipe Ginger Shortbread, I've made for this week's potluck.

I love shortbread, and shortbread usually contain lots of butter, so I did not make them as often as I want. It has been too long since I've eaten or made any shortbread, it's time to indulge in some buttery shortbread!

There's 3 whole sticks (about 375gm) of butter used! Butter in Malaysia are mostly packed in 250gm bars. I've used one bar and the balance from an opened bar, which comes to 350gm weight in total, and I consider that as 375gm. I did reduce the sugar, using only 2/3 cup instead of the full cup. There's 3/4 cup of minced crystallized ginger used, next time I'll use a full cup.

Ina's Ginger Shortbread is just wonderful, so happy I've made them! They are buttery, crisp tender and yummy. Ina says these shortbread are great as dessert with vanilla ice cream. But I like them with a cup of warm Earl Grey tea, without cream. Yums!

This Ginger Shortbread recipe is from Ina Garten's cookbook, Make It Ahead, page 230. The same recipe can also be found at foodnetwork website, here.

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Sunday, November 24, 2019

Pan-fried Potatoes with Browned Onions and Garam Masala

This week, the theme at I Heart Cooking Clubs is, I Am Thankful For...! Which ingredients that I am most thankful for? Potatoes comes to mind instantly! We love potatoes, cooked in any way! 

I've made Nigel Slater's, Pan-fried Potatoes with Browned Onions and Garam Masala. So easy and simple yet so good. Just 3 ingredients ; potatoes, onion and garam masala. Whole potatoes are cleaned and boil till tender, then drain and peel off the skins. Either break up the potatoes in chunks or slice them, I've cut them up in cubes. Recipe uses 1 small onion, but I've used one big onion. Next time I will use 2, as we love caramelized onions, and the quantity is reduced after cooking.  The onion are thinly sliced and cook in oil until they turn rich brown. Then a teaspoon of garam masala is added, (I've used 3 teaspoons), along with some salt to taste. Stir for a few seconds until fragrant, then add the potatoes. Stir briefly for a minute or two, then serve.

The dish may look dull, but trust me, it is so delicious! As the author says, "Brown onions and garam masala is a most magical combination". We ate this dish with rice as a side dish with egg sambal and stir-fry cabbage. Yum!

Pan-fried Potatoes with Browned Onions and Garam Masala
(Real Cooking, Nigel Slater)
4 medium-sized potatoes
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 small onion, thinly sliced
a teaspoon of garam masala (I use 3 teaspoons)

Bring the potatoes to the boil in enough cold water to cover them. Turn them down to an enthusiastic bubble and leave to cook until tender to the point of a knife - about fifteen minutes, depending on their size. Drain and peel off their skin.
Heat the oil in a pan, then add the sliced onion. Cook over a moderate heat until a rich brown. Perhaps darker than you might normally take. Its flavour will be deeper and more aromatic. Add the garam masala and about a teaspoonful of salt. Warm gently in the pan for a few seconds until it is fragrant. Brown onions and garam masala is a most magical combination. Break the potatoes up into chunks(you can slice them but you will lose the lovely rough, crumbly texture of the dish), then stir them briefly with the spiced onion. Cook for a minute or two. Serve hot.

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Friday, November 22, 2019

Apple Custard Crisp

A delightful dessert which we enjoyed very much, Apple Custard Crisp. Recipe from Dorie Greenspan's book, Everyday Dorie, the current book we are cooking through, at Cook The Book Fridays

To make the streusel, mix flour, sugar, cinnamon, salt and butter together, and toss some vanilla to blend. Keep covered, refrigerated for at least an hour before using.

Cubed apples, tossed with some lemon zest and juice,  are placed on a baking or pie dish. Custard is made by mixing together cream, sugar, spice, egg, rum and vanilla, and pour over the cubed apples in the dish. Scatter the streusel over, bake in a preheated oven for 50 to 60 minutes, until the apples are tender and the streusel is brown. Mine took an extra 15 minutes until the streusel is brown. It was bubbling with the custard, looking very moist and smell so delicious, when I removed it from the oven, but there's almost no custard at all when it was at room temperature. It wasn't dry, it was rather moist, and the apples are tender, but I wish there was more custard. 

Served it with our favourite vanilla ice cream, a David Lebovitz recipe, Philadelphia-Style Vanilla Ice Cream, my go-to vanilla ice cream which I have been making for years. This apple crisp is so delightful served with  the ice cream, and I find that I am not missing the custard, as I thought I would!

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