Artwork by Jacob

Artwork by Jacob

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Pureed Beets with Yogurt and Za'atar: July Potluck!

We were invited to a Dip Party.  The invitation stated "We are going to party like it is 1976 and bring back our groundbreaking world famous Dip Contest Party. Make, buy or steal your your favorite party dip and the winners in the sweet and savory categories will receive mad prizes". We were game for the challenge and decided to bring Pureed Beets with Yogurt and Za'atar from Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi.

We wanted to be different with our dip and I think we scored on that note.  We roasted 2 pounds of beets, let them cool and peeled them.  In a food processor we pureed beets, garlic, chile and yogurt until smooth.  Then stir in date syrup (we substituted maple syrup), olive oil, Za'atar and salt.  The toppings are green onions, hazelnuts, and goat cheese.  My husband and I really enjoyed this one but it was not a  hit at the party, we did not win a prize.  We enjoyed it for lunch the next day.  The recipe is widely available on the web.  If you are looking for something different I would recommend this dip.

To see what others did in the group go here.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Vanilla Mango Panna Cotta

I love mango and think everything goes with mango but sadly my family does not share my love affair with this fruit. This week on Tuesdays with Dorie we are making Vanilla Mango Panna Cotta on page 370 of Baking Chez Moi. I have never had or made a panna cotta before so this was all new to me.

I pureed one fresh mango, peeled and pitted with some lime juice.  Mangoes are so sweet I did not feel it needed any honey so I did not add.  I then put the puree in 4 dessert cups and put them in the freezer.

Next I brought to a boil two cups of half and half and 1/4 cup of sugar.  I substituted whole milk and heavy cream with half and half.  I also did not have a vanilla bean on hand so I substituted with vanilla extract.  Then I bloomed the gelatin in cold water for 3 minutes, then microwaved it for 20 seconds to melt it. The cream mixture was brought back to a boil and then added to the gelatin mixture.  I let the the liquid cool and even put it in the refrigerator for a while because I really did not want to melt my mango.

Despite my husband's dislike of mango he enjoyed this one.  I really liked it too but gelatinous texture is not my favorite.  My son who likes gelatin did not want one, can't win them all sometimes.  But I do have my son to thank for this wonderful picture.  My blog is sometimes a family affair.

Tuesdays With Dorie is an international baking group working our way through Baking Chez Moi by Dorie Greenspan. We don't publish the recipes, instead we encourage you to buy the book. To see what others did go here

Monday, July 13, 2015

Apricot Raspberry Tart

When voting time came up on Tuesdays with Dorie, I wanted to make all the recipes with summer fruit.  I just love summer and its bounty of fresh fruit.  The group voted for Apricot Raspberry Tart page 145 from Baking Chez Moi.

Dorie's Sweet Tart Dough is flawless and I can get it to come out perfect every time.  For this recipe Dorie has you put stale Brioche crumbs on the bottom of the tart shell to soak up the juices from the fruit, a new technique for me.
My finished tart came out perfect. Not all the sugar melted in the baking process which I was surprised but made my son happy.  This drew thumbs up from the family, second pieces were had by most.  I am not a huge fan of apricots but I did enjoy this tart.  I would make it again.

On to other Dorie baking.  I made two recipes from Around My French Table that were a hit.
Cauliflower-bacon gratin (page 362). I made this for our July 4th dinner.  It was a big hit and deemed make again.
Chicken breasts diable (page 217) and garlicky crumb coated broccoli (page 334).  This was a delicious meal.  The sauce makes the chicken dish and we were lucky to have extra for another meal. My husband and I loved the broccoli and it was so nice to have another recipe to make. My son oddly enough did not like the bread crumbs.

To see how the rest of the group made Apricot Raspberry Tart.
Tuesdays With Dorie is an international baking group working our way through Baking Chez Moi by Dorie Greenspan. We don't publish the recipes, instead we encourage you to buy the book.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Beef and Cheese Manicotti

July Mystery Box Madness Challenge! Make a dish containing at least 3 of the monthly mystery ingredients.  Three of this month's ingredients jumped out at me when I read them:  mozzarella cheese, pasta and parsley.  I was in the mood for some Italian food so I suggested a few recipes to my husband and he picked Beef and Cheese Manicotti (page 96) from Everyday Italian by Giada De Laurentiis.  

First you cook the ground beef and onion then let it cool.  Then you par-cook the pasta for 6 minutes.  Mix the ricotta, mozzarella, Parmesan cheese, parsley and garlic.  Add the cooked ground beef to the cheese mixture.  Fill the par cooked pasta. Place one cup of marinara sauce on the bottom of the pan, add the pasta, top  with more marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese.  Bake in the oven about 35 minutes.  I have never made manicotti before but this was basically lasagna in tube pasta.  It was fun to make something different but definitely a weekend meal.  We made a full recipe to have enough for another meal.  Cook once, eat twice is always our motto.

To see what others made in the group go here.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Strawberry Shortcakes Franco-American Style

One of the great things about being part of a baking group is that I do not need to think about what to make for the next holiday.  I informed my husband  we were having strawberry shortcakes for Father's Day.  The only decision he had to make was plain or roasted strawberries. He went with roasted as he is well versed in Dorie's recipes.
I was concerned about getting this dessert right as there were 3 recipes to follow and I was just back from vacation.  I had not seen the inside of a kitchen for a week. But I had nothing to fear, all came together perfectly.
First I cut and roasted the strawberries.  I added the optional cloves, balsamic vinegar and lemon zest. All the flavors worked well together especially after they all rested a bit.  Then I made the ladyfinger batter.  I was most worried about this but Dorie's directions worked perfectly and they turned out great. There is nothing better than homemade just whipped cream.  Everyone was happy when they saw what was in the mixer.  This dessert came together just like the photo.  All my guests had empty plates with not a crumb left, I could not have asked for a better compliment. 

To round out our Father's Day meal we made Cafe Salle Pleyel Hamburgers from Around My French Table by Dorie Greenspan (page 240).  If you have not made these yet I suggest them for a change from your usual summer burgers.

Tuesdays With Dorie is an international baking group working our way through Baking Chez Moi by Dorie Greenspan. We don't publish the recipes, instead we encourage you to buy the book.

Strawberry Shortcakes Fanco-American Style page 338.
Ladyfinger Batter page 424.
Roasted Strawberries page 458.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Celebration Week #3: The Play-It-Again-Dorie Recipe

Down to the final 2 weeks on French Fridays with Doire.  This week we were to choose the recipe from the book that you have made the most often.  Given that I joined the group so late my rule was not to repeat but continue cooking the book.  But as in life there are a few exceptions to the rule and this Gateau Basque is one of them.  This was such a hit with my husband that he raved about it with every bite.  You see this cookie reminded him of his grandmother's.  Food creates memories for all of us so I picked this one not only because it is great but because of the memories it invoked.  We also made it again for a brunch and once sliced it was gone.  

Gateau Basque page 470. 
If you have not bought Around My French Table by Dorie Greenspan, I urge you to do so.  Once book is in hand, you must make  this Gateau Basque and share it. 

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Sweet and Sour Fish

It is Mystery Box Madness Challenge time again for I Heart Cooking Clubs. From the list of this month's eligible ingredients I chose:  white fish, bell peppers and cornstarch.  
We made marinated sweet and sour fish from Jerusalem A Cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi.

With olive oil in an ovenproof pan I sauteed onions, coriander seeds, bell peppers, garlic, bay leaves, curry powder and tomatoes.  After cooking add sugar, cider vinegar, salt and pepper. Separately the fish (we used tilapia) is breaded in flour and cornstarch, then dipped in eggs and fried in another pan for about 3 minutes.  The fish is then added to the pan with the vegetables. Water is added and the pan is put in the oven for about 10-12 minutes to finish the cooking process.  The instructions for this dish is to let cool to room temperature to eat but we ignored that and ate it hot.  We served with bread which worked well as there is sauce in the pan for dipping.

This was just delicious and we were really pleased with the dish.  It is so nice to be able to learn another cooking technique for fish.  We thought this was company worthy.  I recommend sweet and sour fish from Jerusalem A Cookbook (page 238).

To see what others made from the mystery box ingredients go here.