Thursday, August 25, 2016

Simple Summer Sides - Cookbook Countdown

Vegetable Literacy, the book I've been cooking from this month for Cookbook Countdown, is a really valuable resource if, like me, you have lots of vegetables on hand but are lacking cooking inspiration. It's filled with quick and easy recipes as well as great ideas for creating your own. I tried three that were a little different from anything I've made before and all three will be made again.
Snow Peas with Sesame Oil, Tarragon and Toasted Sesame Seeds was a recipe for blanched snow peas tossed with sesame oil, a common pairing. The surprise here was the tarragon. I don't think of adding this herb to dishes with an Asian feel but its licorice flavour went amazingly well with the peas and sesame.
The author says that cooking zucchini until it's soft brings out its lovely squash flavour. Having tried this method I know this to be true but I can't quite get past the texture of it so for Sautéed Zucchini with Mint, Basil and Pine Nuts, I grilled the slices just long enough to get grill marks on them. The vibrant fresh herb, garlic and caper relish more than made up for any lack of zucchini flavour and was particularly good with the grilled salmon I served along side.
Sweet Potatoes with White Miso Ginger Sauce is my new favourite way to serve this vegetable. The recipe called for steamed sweet potatoes but since I've been avoiding using the stove and oven during our three month long heatwave, I microwaved them before slicing and grilling. I think this is the tastiest sweet potato I've had; the savoury sauce was salty and tangy and just a little bit hot, perfect with the sweet vegetable.

All three dishes were quite effortless to make, called for just a few ingredients and could be served hot or at room temperature so could be made kind of cooking.

I've mentioned in previous posts that this book is organized according to edible families within the plant kingdom. These recipes represent three of them: the Legume Family, peas and beans in their fresh and dried states; the Cucurbrit Family, melons and squashes and gourds; the Morning Glory Family, all varieties of sweet potatoes.

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

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Philadelphia Blueberry-Corn Tart - Tuesdays with Dorie

A tart comprising a bittersweet chocolate crust, a cool and creamy honey cheesecake filling, and a fresh corn, rosemary-infused blueberry topping was my latest Baking Chez Moi endeavor. It was different enough that it elicited descriptions of "unusual" and "interesting" from my tasters but all agreed it was delicious
The chocolate tart dough (page 418), my riff on Dorie's bonne idée of a ready-made chocolate crumb crust, baked up tender and shortbread-like, paired well with the fruit and was a good foil for the sweet filling. But my favourite part of this dessert was the topping of fresh blueberries and corn combined with blueberry "jam", sweet and tart with a whisper of lemon and rosemary. I enjoyed the extra - there was too much for the tart - stirred into plain yogurt and on my morning oatmeal but I think it would be wonderful with ice cream, pancakes & waffles, lemon cake.......

Visit here to see what others made this week for Tuesdays with Dorie.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Lemon-Ricotta Spaghetti - IHCC Express Meals - 30 Minutes or Less!

An express post for an express meal from I Heart Cooking Clubs' featured chef Curtis Stone.
Lemon-Ricotta Spaghetti comprised freshly cooked pasta and a light and lemony no-cook sauce of ricotta cheese, lemon zest and olive oil. I added basil for extra flavour but it really wasn't needed. Delicious! 

Monday, August 8, 2016

Fudgsicles for Grown-Ups - Tuesdays with Dorie

A frozen chocolate treat on a stick spiked with liqueur was one of August's Tuesdays with Dorie projects from Dorie Greenspan's book Baking Chez Moi.
The mixture of melted chocolate, chocolate bits, Kahlúa, and whipped egg whites and cream was delicious but was light and airy and mousse-like and I wondered how easily it would release from the popsicle moulds. The answer was not very. Only two of eight came out intact. Maybe I just need more practice. Oh well...

If I were to make it again I would follow Dorie's suggestion in the headnotes to freeze it in any container and scoop it out at serving time.