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.

I'm linking this post with :

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Saturday Morning Fruit And Nut Toast (Sourdough)

A fruity sourdough loaf, with dried cranberries, apricots and raisins. I have omitted the sunflower seeds as I prefer my fruit loaf with well, just dried fruits only. The dried fruits are soaked in some warm water just enough to cover, with some added vanilla, sugar and cinnamon. Drain well and dry with paper towels before using them in the recipe. 



It smells so fragrant with the cinnamon, while the bread is baking in the oven.



Soft, moist crumb, especially good when toasted, and spread with a generous amount of salted cold butter.  Love this bread! Another keeper recipe from Emilie Raffa.

Saturday Morning Fruit & Nut Toast recipe from Artisan Sourdough Made Simple by Emilie Raffa, on page 66. The recipe can be also be found here .


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Friday, June 14, 2019

Mushroom-Bacon Galette

Over at Cook The Book Fridays, the selected recipe from Dorie Greenspan's cookbook. Everyday Dorie, is Mushroom-Bacon Galette. A savoury free-from tart, with mushrooms, leek, bacon, walnuts for the filling.



Dorie's galette dough is a pleasure to work with. I did reduce the sugar to only 1 tablespoon.  The filling is very tasty, cooked using the following ingredients ; bacon, mushroom, leeks, garlic, white wine, heavy cream, walnuts, parmesan, fresh thyme (I've used rosemary), and black pepper. 



I did not sprinkle any parmesan over the baked galette, simply because i have forgotten ! But it was good too without the parmesan. The next time if I were to make this again, I will omit the walnuts, since we prefer the bites where there wasn't any walnuts.



Please visit CtbF to see the other bakers view on this galette.

This post is shared at Cookbook Countdown #42

Monday, June 3, 2019

Rosemary Loaf Cake

At I Heart Cooking clubs (IHCC) this week, "It's time to make a dish and Take It Outside to a picnic, outdoor gathering, park, porch or lanai!". I've made Nigella Lawson's Rosemary Loaf Cake, which is perfect for any gathering, either outdoor or indoors. 

I have a pot of bushy rosemary plant in my garden, and am always looking for ways to use them. I can't believe that I have overlooked this recipe from one of my favourite baking books, How To Be A Domestic Goddess. 

This is a plain butter cake, with bits of chopped rosemary leaves in it. The rosemary does not give it's herb flavour to the cake but rather a light aroma which is really very nice. As Nigella says " ...there is something muskily aromatic about it against the sweet vanilla egginess of the cake"



I've used salted butter instead of unsalted as in the recipe. The salted butter gives a really nice salty buttery flavour to the cake.



The cake is moist, with soft buttery crumb. My kinda cake, simple and yummy! 


Rosemary Loaf Cake
(How To Be A Domestic Goddess, Nigella Lawson)
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons soft unsalted butter (I use salted butter)
3/4 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1-1/3 self-raising cake flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
needles from 4-inch stalk of rosemary, chopped small, but not too fine (about 2 teaspoon)
4 tablespoons milk (I use 2 tbsps)
1-2 tablespoons rosemary sugar or granulated brown or white sugar (omitted)

9x5-inch loaf pan, buttered and lined with parchment or wax paper

Preheat the oven to 350F.  Now cream the butter, adding the sugar when it's really soft, and creaming both together till pale and smooth and light. Beat in the eggs one at a time, folding in a spoonful of the flour after each addition, then add the vanilla. Fold in the rest of the flour (Nigella recommends using a rubber spatula), and finally the rosemary. Thin the batter with the milk, you're after a soft, dropping consistency - and pour, into the waiting pan. Sprinkle the top with a little sugar (I omitted the sugar), before putting it in the oven, and cook for 1 hour, or until a cake tester comes out clean. Leave to cool on a wire rack, in its pan, and when completely cold, unmould and wrap well in foil till you need to eat it. Like all sorts of cakes, it keeps well.
(serves 8-10)


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Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Boiled Potato Salad

It's Potluck week at I Heart Cooking Clubs. We can cook any recipes from any of the 19 chefs previously featured at IHCC. I've made Tessa Kiros's simple, easy and delicious potato side dish.

always have potatoes in my pantry basket. We love potatoes, any way they are cooked. Baked, roast, boiled, braised, mashed, fried, these humble potatoes would be the first ones to disappear most of the time. 






























My changes/substitutes :
~ replace the parsley with fresh coriander leaves
~ use only the juice from 1/4 lemon, instead of 1-1/2 lemons

This easy and simple potato salad makes a great dish to any meal. We had the salad with some fried chicken drumettes and broccoli. Yum!


Boiled Potato Salad
(Falling Cloudberries, Tessa Kiros)
serves 8 as a side dish
1 red onion, very thinly sliced
1 teaspoon salt
1.5kg waxy potatoes
3 tablespoons drained baby capers
30gm (1/2 cup) chopped parsley
juice of 1-1/2 lemons
100gm (bout 1/2 cup) good-quality black olives
125ml (1/2 cup) extra virgin olive oil

Put the onion in a small bowl and cover with cold water and the salt. Leave for 30 minutes or so (while you prepare the potatoes). The soaking is important and will give your onions a softer taste in the finished dish and make them ore digestible.
Scrub the potatoes and boil in salted water for about 20-25 minutes until they are cooked but not falling apart. Drain well, then peel them when they have cooled a little - it is easier to do this if they are still warm. Cut them into chunks the size that you would like to see in your salad bowl.
Rinse the onion and drain well, patting it dry with kitchen paper if necessary. Add to the potato with the remaining ingredients, seasoning with pepper and probably with a little extra salt. Mix through gently and serve warm or at room temperature. If you make this in advance, the potatoes will soak up some of the oil as they cool, so you will have less dressing. You could save a little of the oil and add it closer to the serving time, if more is needed.


This post is linked to :
I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC)
Cookbook Countdown #40

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Chicken with Lentils and Rosemary

It's April Showers week at I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC), dishes to enjoy on rainy days. 
I made Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's, Chicken with Lentils and Rosemary. Accordingly to him, this is an easy one-pot supper for a cold night. Well, our cold nights here are usually our rainy nights, though not necessarily cold on rainy nights. Warm shower nights? 😄


I was reading through his recipe, and thought how easy it is! Cook in one pot! With only a few ingredients. How tasty can it be? 



To cook this dish, using an oven safe pot, saute sliced onion in some oil till softens, about 6 to 8 minutes, then add chopped garlic, rosemary, salt and pepper. Stir for a further 5 minutes or so, then stir in the red lentils and stock. Season the chicken pieces with some salt and pepper, then place them skin side up, on top of the  lentils mixture, and place the pot in the preheated oven, uncovered, for about 1 hour until the chicken is cooked through and the skin has browned.



I baked the dish for 1 hour 15 minutes, the last five minutes with the broiler on, just to brown the skin a little more. The chicken is moist, tender and so delicious ! The red lentils turned yellow upon cooking, became soft, mushy and so tasty. We had this dish with rice and some stir-fry french beans. We really enjoyed this dish! There were no leftovers!  So delicious! Yum! 
Coincidentally, it started to rain when we had this at dinner time. I did not see that coming, as it was blasting hot and humid the whole day! 

Chicken with Lentils and Rosemary
(River Cottage Light & Easy, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall)
serves 4
2 tablespoons rapeseed or olive oil
1 large onion, sliced
4 garlic cloves, chopped
leaves from 2 sprigs of rosemary
200gm red lentils, well rinsed
500ml chicken or veg stock
8 skin-on, bone-in, free-range chicken thighs, or 1 medium chicken, (about 1.75kg), 
    jointed into 6-8 pieces
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
flat-leaf parsely, chopped, to finish


Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas 4. Choose a flameproof casserole dish or a wide, ovenproof pan that will hold all the chicken pieces snugly but comfortably.
Put the casserole on a medium-low heat. Add the oil, then the onion and cook, stirring regularly, for 6-8 minutes until it begins to soften. Add the garlic, rosemary and some salt and pepper. Cook gently for a further 5 minutes, then stir in the lentils and stock.
Season the chicken thighs and place skin side up in the casserole. You want most of the chicken skin to remain exposed above the liquid in the dish so it can brown in the oven. Bring to a simmer on the hob, then transfer to the oven and bake, uncovered, for 1 hour. Check that the chicken is cooked through and the lentils are soft. If not, return to the oven for 10-15 minutes and test again. Skim off any excess fat from the surface.
Taste the lentilly liquor and add more salt or pepper if needed. Serve, scattered with chopped parsley, just as it is or with steamed broccoli or spring greens on the side.


This post is linked to :
I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC)
Cookbook Countdown #40

Friday, April 12, 2019

Salmon Burgers (Patties!)

This month's selection at Cook the Book Fridays where we are currently cooking from Everyday Dorie, is Salmon Burgers

Thanks to the feed-back from the lovely ladies at CtBF, that the salmon mixture was very soft, and the burger patty was not holding on to it's shape during frying, I've made some adjustments to the ingredients. The burger mix ingredients are ; chopped salmon fillets, Greek yoghurt, chopped herbs (of which I've used scallions, dill,  and cilantro), Dijon mustard, grainy mustard, capers, lemon zest, salt and pepper.  I've reduced the amount of sour cream (instead of Greek yoghurt as in the recipe), probably using only half the amount, I did not measure. Even then the mixture is still very soft. I added 2 tablespoons of cornflour to bind the mix together. The mix is then refrigerated for at least 2 hours. 




The salmon mix is then formed into burger patties. Even after chilling, it was still on the soft side, I find that it needed more cornflour to firm it up a little. So I've added 2 more tablespoons of cornflour to the mix. I formed them into smaller patties and fry them on both sides until brown. These patties hold their shape and did not fall apart.  I made the onion pickles and cucumber pickles as suggested by Dorie.  But instead of using the patties to make Salmon Burger Buns, we ate the patties as part of our meal with rice. 


This post is linked to :
Cook The Book Fridays (CtBF)
Cookbook Countdown #40


Friday, April 5, 2019

Sauteed Potatoes with Parsley and Garlic

After a twelve months break from cooking with the lovely ladies at I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC), I'm back, and hopefully I will be posting more often, as I have not been blogging as frequently as I used to. IHCC cooks with a selected chef every six months, but for this time round, there will not be any new chef selected. It is IHCC's ten years anniversary, and they are welcoming back all of the 19 chefs that were featured for the last ten years ; Nigella Lawson, Mark Bittman, Giada de Laurentiis, Jamie Oliver, Tessa Kiros, Rick Bayless, Madhur Jaffrey, Yotam Ottolenghi, Donna Hay, Nigel Slater, Diana Henry, Jacques Pepin, Ellie Krieger, Curtis Stone, Heidi Swanson, Hugh-Fearnley Whittingstall, Ina Garten, Eric Rupert, and Ruth Reichl. Pretty impressive list of chefs!

I've just received two new addition to my cookbooks (yay!) Essential Pepin by Jacques Pepin, and Provence To Pondicherry by Tessa Kiros. So many recipes I want to try! For a start, I made two easy recipes from Jacques Pepin, Sauteed Potatoes with Parsley and Garlicand Romaine with Creamy Yoghurt Dressing.


 Sauteed Potatoes with Parsley and Garlic

Easy and quick, makes a nice side dish. Chopped potatoes are stir-fried in oil until cooked and brown all over. Parsley leaves (I've used fresh cilantro), and a few cloves of garlic are chopped together until finely minced. These are added to the cooked potatoes in the pan, tossing to combine and season with salt and black pepper. I could eat this on it's own!


Romaine with Creamy Yoghurt Dressing

I like this yoghurt dressing, it is light, creamy, cool and refreshing, just as Jacques Pepin says. I've used my own homemade yoghurt. Whisk the yoghurt together with white wine vinegar, salt, black pepper until combine, then whisk in the olive oil. Drizzle over the romaine and toss just before serving.

Both the Sauteed Potatoes and the Romaine are served alongside some Spicy Pork Sausages. 


Sauteed Potatoes with Parsley and Garlic
(Essential Pepin by Jacques Pepin)
3 large Red Bliss potatoes (18 ounces), peeled
3 tablespoons canola oil
3 garlic cloves
1/4 cup loosely packed fresh parsley leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Cut the potatoes into 3/8-inch cubes. Put in a sieve and rinse well under cool water. Transfer to a bowl, add water to cover, and set aside until ready to cook.
Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet. Drain the potatoes, pat dry with paper towels, and add to the hot oil. Saute over high heat for 12 to 14 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are browned on all sides.
Meanwhile, chop the garlic and parsley together until finely minced.
Add the salt, pepper, and parsley mixture to the potatoes in the skillet, tossing to combine, Serve.


Romaine with Creamy Yoghurt Dressing
(Essential Pepin by Jacques Pepin)
Dressing
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons plain yoghurt
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

8-10 ounces romaine lettuce, leaves cut lengthwise in half, torn into 1-1/2 to 2-inch pieces, washed, and dried (about 6 cups)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh herbs (tarragon, chives, and/or parsley)

Whisk together the vinegar, salt, pepper, and yoghurt in a bowl large enough to hold the lettuce. Whisk in the oil.
Add the lettuce to the dressing and toss until coated. Sprinkle on the fresh herbs and serve immediately.

Monday, March 18, 2019

Pork Stew With Potatoes And Rosemary

This delicious pork stew recipe is from Martha Stewart's cookbook, One Pot. Potatoes and Rosemary is one of the four variations that was given in the book. 

There's 2 whole cups of red wine in the stew, with 2 cups of chicken stock. I have added about a cup of cooked black-eyed beans. Did not have any fresh button mushrooms, so I"ve used canned ones instead. The two sprigs of rosemary are from my garden pot. The pork pieces are first browned in a little oil, then remove and transfer to a plate. The onions, mushroom, pepper and rosemary are sauteed in a little oil until the onion softens, then stir in flour and cook for a minute. Add the red wine, bring to a boil, then add the chicken stock and the pork. Simmer until pork is tender, about 1 hour 15 minutes. If the gravy appears to have reduced a lot, add some water or stock. The potatoes, (canned mushrooms and beans) are added in, continue to simmer until the potatoes are tender. 

The stew smells so good while braising in the Dutch oven. 



This stew is so delicious. Soft tender pork full of flavour, with tender potatoes and beans. The gravy is so flavourful and tasty. We had this stew for dinner with my homemade Roasted Garlic and Rosemary Sourdough Bread, so good to mop up every last drop of the gravy! 


Pork Stew With Potatoes and Rosemary
1-1/2 pounds pork shoulder, cut into 1-inch pieces
coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, sliced
8 ounces quartered button mushrooms
2 sprigs rosemary
2 teaspoons ground pepper
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups dry red wine
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 pound red or white potato, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup cooked black-eyed beans (my addition)
  1. Season pork with salt and pepper. In a small Dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high. Working in batches, add the pork and cook until browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Add remaining tablespoon oil, the sliced onions, mushrooms, pepper and rosemary, cook for 7 minutes. Stir in flour and cook for 1 minute.
  2. Add the red wine and bring to a boil for 1 minute. Add the broth and pork, and bring back to a boil. Reduce to a simmer; cook, partially covered, until pork is tender, about 1 hour and 15 minutes.
  3. Add the potatoes, (together with the canned button mushrooms and the cooked beans, if using) and return to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cook, partially covered, until the potatoes are tender.
  4. Stir in parsley, and season with salt and pepper.



Cookbook Countdown



Thursday, March 14, 2019

Roasted Garlic and Rosemary Sourdough Bread

This is a lovely bread, with flavours from soft fragrant roasted garlic and the scent from fresh rosemary. 


I've increased the chopped fresh rosemary to triple the amount, to 3 teaspoons, and reduce the salt to 1 teaspoon.



With soft close crumbs, we enjoyed this bread with a bowl of pork stew. Yummy!


This recipe is from Emilie Raffa's book, Artisan Sourdough Made Simple, and can also be found at this link



Cookbook Countdown


Friday, March 8, 2019

Potato Tourte

This month's selection at Cook the Book Fridays where we are currently cooking from Everyday Dorie, is Potato Tourte. It is a double-crusted pie, with potatoes, herbs and cream for the filling. 



A couple of things which I've simplified, is to zest the lemon using the microplane zester. In the book, Dorie says to use a vegetable peeler to remove the zest, then slice into the thinnest strands. Seems like an extra work for me (I'm lazy!), so I use the microplane zester instead. For the potato, they are to be sliced very thinly, then drop into  a bowl of cold water, drain them and dry them well. I skipped the water and the drying part (told you I am lazy!). I sliced the potatoes using a sharp knife and use them directly. The herbs I've used are a combination of cilantro and scallions. 

I made 4 mini pies instead of one 9-inch pie. I constructed the pies (Dorie says this pie is a construction project) the evening before, keep refrigerated, then the next morning, brush with egg wash and bake. 



The pies are baked for 30 minutes, then pour some warm heavy cream into the vent hole at the top, then bake for a further 20 minutes until the potatoes are tender. Let the pie sit for about half an hour before serving. 



Yum! Yum!  So delicious! The potato are tender, so tasty with the herbs and cream. Another keeper recipe from Dorie!