Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Apple Tarte Flambée - Tuesdays with Dorie

A dessert pizza - Dorie says it's okay if you think a tarte flambée is a pizza - with a cream cheese-yogurt "sauce" and apple topping was the second recipe from Baking Chez Moi chosen by Tuesdays with Dorie for this month.
This was very easy to make with the wait to allow the yeast in the dough to do its thing the most taxing part, and it was surprisingly good with its sweet-tart fruit (I could have been more generous with this), tangy cream base and crisp crust. It was fun and tasty and I'll definitely be making it again.

Visit here to see what everyone else made.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Maple Bran Madeleines with Chocolate-Espresso Fondue - IHCC Hooroo Curtis!

It's been a real pleasure cooking with Curtis Stone, IHCC's latest featured chef these past six months, and family has appreciated it too with all of the tasty food that's come out of my kitchen. 
One of the things that characterized so many of his recipes was the little extra or switch up he included for interest and flavour. These non-traditional Maple Bran Madeleines are an example of that, with wheat bran added to what should be a delicate sponge cake. Remarkably, they were still moist, light and airy and the aroma while they baked took me back to visits to sugar shacks, here and in Quebec, where they cook down the tree sap to make that glorious maple syrup.
With the robust flavours of maple and nutty wheat I thought they were best suited to a good cup of coffee. To make them more dessert-worthy - because I always say farewell to an IHCC chef with dessert - I adapted this fondue recipe (recipe on page 10) replacing some of the Kahlúa with espresso to create a luscious chocolate-espresso dipping sauce for the little cakes.

Visit here to see how the others said goodbye to Curtis.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Saffron Cauliflower Pasta - Cookbook Countdown

I'm cooking from Vegetable Literacy by Deborah Madison this month, a cookbook based on some of the plant families within the plant kingdom. The author describes the Cabbage Family, one that includes vegetables ranging from peppery leafy greens and radishes to milder tasting kale and broccoli with some nutrient powerhouses among them, as "sometimes difficult".
Cauliflower is one of its milder tasting members. The author suggests boosting its somewhat "bland" flavour with stronger ingredients; its cousin mustard would be a good choice for doing this but the flavours of caramelized onion, pungent garlic, earthy saffron, fiery red pepper flakes and salty feta cheese accomplish the same in this pasta dish.
No one would describe cauliflower as "bland" after a taste of this delicious dish. The recipe for Cauliflower with Saffron, Pepper Flakes, Plenty of Parsley, and Pasta can be found here.

I'm linking this post to Cookbook Countdown hosted by Kitchen Flavours and Emily's Cooking (Makan2) Foray.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Braised Fennel Wedges with Saffron and Tomato - Cookbook Countdown

Fennel cooked in fennel stock with fennel seeds.....I had concerns that this dish from Vegetable Literacy*, the book I've been cooking from this month, might be fennel overload but it wasn't, at all. The licorice flavour mellowed considerably with cooking and the saffron, thyme and tomato combined with it to create a delicious blend of flavours.
I served this in two ways suggested by the author Deborah Madison, as a side with grilled fish and with steamed black rice for a vegetarian main. Next time, I'll go a step further and make "Fennel al Forno", a baked gratin topped with bubbly, gooey cheese!

*The book is organized according to plant families within the plant kingdom; fennel, along with familiar ingredients like carrots, celery, parsnips, parsley root (which I once bought by mistake thinking they were parsnips!), coriander, parsley, dill, chervil, cumin, anise and asafetida are just a few that belong to the carrot family.

I'm linking this post to Cookbook Countdown hosted by Kitchen Flavours and Emily's Cooking (Makan2) Foray.