Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Crunchy Granola - Tuesdays with Dorie

Our latest project from Baking Chez Moi for Tuesdays with Dorie certainly lived up to its name with wonderful crunch from the oats as well as nuts and seeds. I made some substitutions based on my pantry ingredients and personal preferences: maple syrup for honey, maple sugar for brown sugar, coconut oil for butter, pecans for almonds. I also added the pecans after 30 minutes of baking so they wouldn't burn and dried blueberries at the end. 

Delicious! I'll definitely be making this again.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Black-Eyed Pea Cakes with Tomato Salsa

I'm cooking from the book Sara Moulton Cooks At Home this month and in the introduction to this recipe, the author describes the dish as "a meatless weeknight entrée that even the die-hard carnivore will find satisfying". The carnivores in my family agree. These crispy, cornmeal-crusted little cakes with a creamy centre, flavoured with sautéed onion, garlic, red pepper and jalapeño were a huge hit.
The recipe called for canned black-eyed peas but I had dried peas on hand so cooked some for this recipe. They don't require a long pre-soak and cook more quickly than most beans so this took much less time than one might think. The cakes were very easy to shape and held together quite well during cooking after a brief chill in the fridge.
The flavour of the cake was a little sweet and savoury and what it really needed was something bright and acidic…..the fresh tomato salsa (I omitted the mayonnaise) and a squeeze of lime were the perfect complements. 

This was another great recipe from this cookbook. If you would like to try it, the recipe for Black-Eyed Pea Cakes with Salsa Mayonnaise is on page 184 and can also be found here.

I'm participating again this month in Cookbook Countdown hosted by Kitchen Flavours and Emily's Cooking (Makan2) Foray.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Ants in A Tree

No, I haven't joined the entomophagy movement - though insects are a good source of protein - but I did make the Sichuan noodle dish Ma Yi Shang Shu which translates to "ants climbing a tree". This adaptation of spicy stir-fried ground pork (the "ants") and cellophane noodles (the "tree") came from Sara Moulton Cooks at Home, the book I'm cooking from this month.
I have to say that this was fantastic! Spicy and garlicky, but not overwhelmingly so, and quite effortless to make. As with all stir-fries, most of the time was spent measuring and prepping ingredients and once the cooking started, it came together in no time at all. This version called for napa cabbage - I doubled the amount - and listed "Asian chile paste" as an ingredient. I used sambal oelek since that's what I had but the heat level was quite tame so I'd like to try it with the Sichaun chile bean paste that's traditionally used next time.
Stir-fried spinach with garlic chips rounded out this meal.

Both recipes are from Sara Moulten's book: Ants in a Tree, page 171 and Sautéed Spinach with Garlic Chips, page 232. I recommend the book but if you'd like to try these dishes, clicking on the recipe name will take you to the recipe online.
I'm participating again this month in Cookbook Countdown hosted by Kitchen Flavours and Emily's Cooking (Makan2) Foray.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Real Hot Chocolate - Tuesdays with Dorie

We're starting the year at Tuesdays with Dorie with some easy choices from Dorie Greenspan's book Baking Chez Moi, one of them a warming cup of hot chocolate that was just what was needed during the recent spate of record-breaking low temperatures here. 
The recipe wasn't much more difficult than making hot chocolate from a mix and was easily adapted to personal preferences - I used 1% milk, 54% cacao chocolate and the smallest amount of sugar I've tried a few recipes from scratch and this one really is the best: smooth and creamy and chocolate-y, particularly delicious with a slice of Beatrice Ojakangas's lovely Swedish Saffron Batter Bread from The Great Scandinavian Baking Book.

Visit here to see what the other group members made.