Throwback Thursday: Butternut Latkes and Fennel Apple Slaw from Moosewood Restaurant Table

Throwback to last month’s Food52 Cookbook Club selection The Moosewood Restaurant Table where we had some fun experimenting with vegetarian cooking. I found this recipe for Butternut Latkes that were said to pair well with the Fresh Fennel and Apple Slaw and immediately added the ingredients to the grocery list as we were planning Aaron’s birthday and I thought the slaw would be perfect for pulled pork sandwiches. Little did I know that this vegetarian dinner was going to be such a hit!

The latkes are basically a savory pumpkin pancake, baked in the oven rather than in a frypan or on a skillet. It’s a mixture of grated butternut pumpkin and red onion, eggs, fresh sage, rice flour and seasoning. These were super easy with portioning it on a baking sheet and baking it in the oven and quite delicious!

The slaw is comprised of thinly sliced fresh fennel, peeled and grated apple, lemon juice, olive oil and salt. This indeed paired perfectly with the latkes and also the pulled pork and is definitely a recipe we’ll go back to in future. The only thing I’d do differently next time is grate the fennel too, as a few of the chunks were a bit too crunchy.

There is still so much I want to try from this book. I’m so glad Food52 Cookbook Club continues to surprise me with books I would never buy or borrow of my own accord!

Throwback Thursday: Hot Fudge Sauce from Baking Chez Moi

What to do with leftover cream that you need to use up?! Throwback again to July 2017 when Food52 Baking Club was baking through Dorie Greenspan’s Baking Chez Moi and flick to the back of the book in the basics section and make up a batch of hot fudge sauce, of course!!!

This recipe is oh-so-simple and it makes ice cream a totally appropriate winter dessert, and let’s be honest, who doesn’t want to eat ice cream year round?! All you have to do is melt some butter and chocolate in a bain marie and in a separate saucepan bring cream, corn syrup, sugar and salt to a boil.  Then it’s a matter of slowly stirring the cream into the chocolate mixture until combined, shiny and smooth. And voila! A beautiful dessert at your fingertips with plenty of leftovers to fill a good sized jam jar to keep in the fridge for your next hot fudge sundae fix.

I have a thing for hot fudge sundaes from when we used to go visit my mom for dinner when she worked as a manager of various Coco’s Bakery Restaurants when I was growing up. A simple thing of beauty was vanilla ice cream, topped with hot fudge sauce, whipped cream, chopped nuts and a maraschino cherry. I know these cherries are super artificial in color and flavor, but I cannot have a sundae or a hot chocolate without one. So you will always find them in my fridge. Because a hot fudge sundae or a hot chocolate would simply not be the same without one!

 

Throwback Thursday: Croque Madame from My Paris Kitchen

Throwback Thursday to one of my favorite cookbooks, My Paris Kitchen, which Food52 Cookbook Club covered in July last year and one of my favorite sandwiches, the famous Croque Madame! This thing is like a grilled cheese sandwich on steroids, and it is worth every extra cent and second that is put into it compared to your average grilled cheese.

You start off with some really good quality country style bread, which you spread with a bechamel sauce that you’ve made and then you layer on prosciutto and grated Comte or Gruyere cheese. You sandwich it together and butter the outsides before toasting it in a nonstick frypan. After the underside has toasted, you flip it over and put some more grated cheese on top so it becomes nice and melty. In another frypan, cook a sunny side up egg to place on top of the sandwich, season with salt and pepper and serve.

One of my favorite quick meals!

Throwback Thursday: Black Forest Torte from Classic German Baking

Aaron is predictable when it comes to birthday cakes. Black Forest Cake. Same cake, every year. For the longest time I refused to make them because I thought the ingredients would cost more than just buying the cake at the shops. Until I found Luisa Weiss’s recipe in Classic German Baking when Food52 Baking Club was going through it back in June 2017 and saw just how easy it was. So now, when his birthday rolls around, I know exactly what I’m making.

The recipe is actually quite straight forward. It’s a chocolate sponge cake, reminiscent of a proper English sponge, with lots of eggs in the batter. You start off by whisking egg whites with salt and sugar and then when it becomes nice and frothy you beat in the egg yolks and then fold in the dry ingredients – flour, cocoa and cornflour. You put this into a 9 inch cake pan and bake it for 25 minutes.

And now for the razzle dazzle – the cherries are a jar of pitted sour cherries that you heat in saucepan with some cornflour to thicken the juice into more of a cherry pie filling. You need to whip some cream with a bit of sugar to ice the cake, and I bought a lot of chocolate flakes that I crumbled apart to cover the cake.

To assemble you cut the cake into thirds horizontally and brush eat layer with some kirsch. Then you begin the layering process with cake layer, whipped cream, cherries, cake layer, whipped cream, cherries, cake layer and whipped cream over the entire outside of the cake. Then you simply cover it in the chocolate flake crumbs and add a few reserved cherries to decorate the top.

Don’t tell Aaron but this is one of the easiest cakes I make! And the results are always spectacular. Happy birthday, Ay-ay-ron!

Throwback Thursday: Another Feast from Made in India

We must cook from Made in India at least once a week lately. Aaron’s sister and her sons came over and we thought it would be a great time to try a more complicated meal from the book. Here’s what we came up with…

Lamb Biryani – slow cooked lamb that has simmered for 1 1/2 hours with onions, garlic and ginger, tomato and yogurt, and a mixture of spices. In this way it’s very similar to the Howrah Express Cinnamon Lamb Curry that we made last time. But then you layer it in a crock with cooked basmati rice that’s been flavored with rosewater and fried onions and finish it off in the oven. The crock that we used had a lid so we didn’t bother to made the dough “lid”. This was a very special dish. My only complaint was that the rosewater flavor wasn’t pronounced enough, and next time I would use more.

We also made the Gujarati Potato Curry – it is basically chopped potatoes that have been cooked in a tomato based curry sauce – with aromatics such as onions, ginger and chilli and spices like mustard, cumin and coriander. A great little vegetarian curry and an easy way to use up potatoes when you buy too big a bag (this happens so often in our house).

I had my eldest make Pomegranate and Mint Raita – it was so funny to watch him try to work out how to seed the pomegranate. The raita is a mixture of pomegranate seeds, cumin, yogurt, mint and amchur (dried mango powder). The crunch of the pomegranate seeds made this so much fancier than our usual mint yogurt chutney.

We also made a couple of extra chutneys that have become our go to chutneys to serve with an Indian meal – date and tamarind and mango. The date one is made of dates, water, tamarind, salt, cumin and chili powder. This is simply wizzed up with a stick blender. The mango is some toasted mustard seeds, fenugreek, cinnamon sticks, cloves and peppercorns that you then add chopped mango, sugar, salt and chopped red chilli to and cook until it goes jammy. Discard the peppercorns and cloves, we usually keep the cinnamon stick in for continued flavor development.

All these photos were taken on the fly, thanks to having guests and it was already quite late. Sometimes eating just can’t wait any longer, especially when you’ve been torturing yourselves with the amazing dinner smells of food waiting to be devoured.

We of course served this with naan like we have before, more basmati rice, and the chicken & fig curry reappeared. It was our best Indian feast to date!

Throwback Thursday: PB&J Whoopie Pies from The Fearless Baker

I’m still totally addicted to the peanut butter and blackberry jam combo. One of the reasons I was really looking forward to getting The Fearless Baker back out from the library was because I knew that inside that magical book there was a recipe that would indulge that PB&J craving – PB&J Whoopie Pies.

The cookie is actually part wholemeal which makes it more reminiscent of a sandwich and it is light and chewy like cake or muffins. They were super easy to make and so satisfying to eat.

The filling is peanut butter marshmallow cream and it makes a huge amount! You make it by first making a sugar syrup and then adding it to whipped egg whites and once that’s combined you fold through peanut butter that’s been mixed with butter, salt and vanilla. I bought the good stuff – Bonne Maman blackberry jam to finish these off and they are easily one of the most amazing creations to ever come out of my kitchen.

They were messy to eat, I’ll be honest. The marshmallow cream being so generous wanted to ooze out the sides with each bite. I wouldn’t change that though, I wouldn’t change anything at all!

We used the leftovers to create cheats PB&J wagon wheels – I bought some chocolate wheatens that we spread with blackberry jam and peanut butter marshmallow cream and sandwiched together. There was no way I was wasting a single bite of that marshmallow cream!

There are still so many things I want to try from The Fearless Baker. One month going through that book was clearly not enough.

Throwback Thursday: Almond Pound Cake with Raspberry Swirl and Glaze from The Fearless Baker

It’s been awhile since I’ve had The Fearless Baker in my hands as it is quite the popular book at the library at the moment. I was so excited it was finally mine again because I could finally post about this most awesome cake that I’d tried but no longer had the recipe for.

When Bible study is on at our place, I often experiment with gluten free baking because one of our guests has an allergy. I usually look for a recipe that would be fairly easy to adapt and this fit the bill. The pound cake is a mixture of almond meal, gluten free flour, baking powder and salt combined with butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla and almond extracts and milk. Then once you’ve poured that into your bundt pan you swirl in 1/3 cup of raspberry jam and bake it for 45-60 minutes depending on your oven.

I just love a good bundt cake – they look like they take so much more effort than they actually do. But I really wanted this one to have wow factor, so I decided I wanted a berry glaze to go on top. Erin has a berry glaze recipe in her book so that’s what I was going to use until I saw that her recipe takes 2 cups of fruit juice and reduces it to 1/3 cup, similar to the bourbon/peach juice reduction in this pie. I’d been unimpressed with the reduced sauce that time so thought I’d take a shortcut and pushed raspberry jam through a fine mesh sieve to make 1/3 cup before mixing in some icing sugar mixture and some thickened cream. It needed the tiniest amount of rose pink food coloring to make the color pop, and then I poured it over the cooled cake.

It is by far the best glaze I’ve ever made, even Erin commented when I posted it on Instagram. Gotta be happy with that!

Throwback Thursday: French Onion Soup from My Paris Kitchen

My love for My Paris Kitchen endures. I have been wanting to make French Onion soup for ages but Aaron was never super keen. Turns out all he knew of French Onion soup were dry soup packets that his mum would use to flavor chicken or store bought tubs of French Onion dip. I finally convinced him we needed to make it. And he is a changed man!

The soup is fairly basic in its essence, but the flavor packs a punch. It’s all about slow cooking and caramelizing sliced onions and then turning that almost onion jam into a rick broth. We opted for veggie stock in spite of the recipe choosing chicken stock instead of the traditional beef, because if we’re making a vegetable soup it seems wrong to make it a non vegetarian meal when it’s only that one ingredient that makes it not so. The broth also has sherry vinegar and white wine, garlic, salt and pepper. As I said, basic, but all the flavors pack a punch.

The show stopper of French Onion Soup is the soaking cheesy bread that is on top. We used the French bread that I made from Bread Bakers Apprentice, and since we didn’t have any soup crocks that were oven safe, we put slices of bread on a baking sheet, sprinkled the shredded Comte on top and baked it in the oven until the cheese melted.

This soup was so comforting for a cold Canberra night and luckily I had my soux chef available to do all the onion slicing so I wouldn’t be a teary mess. I think this soup will appear on our winter table again, especially seeing as though I now *have* to go find some oven safe soup crocks.

Throwback Thursday: Chocolate Cream Puffs with Mascarpone Filling from Baking Chez Moi

Throwback to July 2017 when Food52 Baking Club was going through Dorie Greenspan’s book Baking Chez Moi – it was a month of pure indulgence and there are several recipes that I will come back to again and again – like her custardy apple squares, her double mint milk chocolate mousse and gelee and these: her chocolate cream puffs with rose flavored mascarpone filling.

I’ve come to find out that cream puffs are one of my daughter’s very favorite things and Turkish delight is up there as well, so during the school holidays as a special treat one day for being the only 2 girls in a house full of boys we held a little high tea in her new, very girly bedroom. It featured many little treats that we had been making during that time period (like the Tartine shortbread and ANZAC bikkies from Dorie’s Cookies), but this was the icing on the cake for us.

The thing that’s unique to these little choux pastries is the cocoa powder. I’m only just starting to dabble in making choux pastry, so I felt like I was really taking a risk trying these out. I like Dorie’s method for making choux, taking note to bring the water and butter to a boil before adding the flour (I went through a rut a while back where I tried 4 times to make choux and I rage quit only to find out I was adding the flour too early), and slowly incorporating the eggs into the flour mixture after it has sat for a bit and it’s been mixed to cool it down. I love that with the smaller size I can just use a cookie scoop to portion them. And I love the ease of filling them because you just cut off the top and use a spoon.

It’s the simple things that make this recipe so approachable and the flavor that makes them so beautiful!

She’s already talking about the next time we can have a high tea (or go to Max Brenner again – am I the only one who thinks it’s too expensive for what it is?!) and I think maybe during the next school holidays I’ll have to oblige her. Maybe we’ll find a fondue set or a chocolate fountain to be part of it.

Even her Phoebe doll dressed up for the party. 😉 The other items on our high tea platter were ham and cheese toasties, chicken nuggets and sausage rolls. And we had to have scones with jam and cream of course. We let the boys sample the leftovers. =)

Throwback Thursday: Made in India Feast #2

A while back now, I posted about a Meatless Monday Indian feast we made using Meera Sodha’s book, Made in India, which Food52 Cookbook Club went through back in October 2017. This book is so good and we cook from it quite often, and we still haven’t come across a recipe we haven’t LOVED.

So today I thought I’d share about another meal that we made recently that was from her book.

Firstly, we made a mint yogurt chutney which is basically yogurt mixed with fresh mint, a green chilli and some lime juice. The recipe says you can use mint jelly if you don’t have fresh mint on hand, and we have resorted to that with success in the past too. I find this goes particularly well with the junjaro curry (kidney beans) and with the lamb curry that we made below. It also pairs nicely with the following…

Ondwa (semolina bread with spiced vegetables) – this intrigued me straight away because Meera says it’s practically expected that when you have guests over there is ondwa available for them in your fridge. It features zucchini, carrot and peas and a plethora of spices and has semolina and yogurt as its base. We can polish off a whole one of these for a savoury afternoon tea any day of the week.

And here we have two curries – Chicken & Fig curry and Howrah Express Cinnamon Lamb curry. For the chicken & fig curry you marinate the chicken in some yogurt with some spices and some rehydrated figs then you fry off some onion, ginger, garlic and a cinnamon stick before you add the chicken mixture and cook for 20 minutes. It’s pretty quick to throw together and I now prefer to pair this with the kidney bean curry as it is quick as well.

The lamb curry takes a much longer time to cook – about 2 hours from start to finish – so is not a good weeknight option. It starts of similarly by frying off an onion and some garlic, then adding some tinned tomatoes and some spices, cooking the lamb and adding some yogurt and water and then letting that simmer for a good 1 1/2 hours until the meat is falling apart. It is a beautiful curry – we were very impressed.

We also made the same naan from this book that we did in my previous post but we’re getting better and the last time we made it we actually brushed on garlic butter to take it up another notch still! Be prepared for more posts about this most awesome book in the future.