Weekend Cookbook Challenge is being hosted by La Mia Cucina this month and the theme is…pressure cookers (which I am scared of), crockpots (which I love) and Dutch ovens (which I also love, but I use pretty frequently already).
So, crockpot it is! And the cookbook I used was Fresh from the Vegetarian Slow Cooker by Robin Robertson. This is also the only crockpot cookbook that I have. Typically, I just get crockpot recipes off that Internet thing.
Oh and Happy Saint Patrick’s Day — now, here’s a Mexican recipe!
1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium-size yellow onion, chopped
1 small red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp cumin
3 cups slow-cooked* or two 15.5-ounce cans pinto beans, drained and rinsed
One 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
One 4-ounce can diced green chiles, drained
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored, and chopped
1 cup vegetable stock
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups cooked long-grain white or brown rice
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup sliced black olives, drained
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves (originally it called for parsley)
handful of chopped green onions
2 tbsp slivered almonds, toasted
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, bell pepper and cumin. Saute . . . → Read More: WCC26: The Hero of Canton the Man They called…Pinto Picadillio
Until last April, I had never really tried clams or mussels. That changed when we stayed at the Winchester Inn in Ashland and our free chef’s choice appetizer coupon got us a big, steaming bowl of mussels and clams. And lots of hot bread. jwa and I both made slight faces and then each kind of shrugged and dug in.
Things I learned that night:
1. wine and butter make anything tasty
2. crusty bread is your friend
3. I like clams!
4. I am okay with mussels, but probably wouldn’t order a big plate of them
After being exposed to these four new tenets, I have been threatening to make some sort of clam dish at home ever since. jwa only encouraged this by getting me seafood forks as a stocking stuffer last Christmas. So, here’s some clams. But, it’s mostly salmon. But, hey, we’ve had it twice so far and both times it’s been pretty good.
The original recipe called for much more mint and saffron. I omitted the saffron the second time as I thought it overpowered the dish a little bit. I also decreased the mint a bit as it’s winter and I can’t get tons o’ fresh . . . → Read More: Fun with Mollusks: Salmon with Littleneck Clams and Garlicky-Buttery-Herby Wine Broth
If you are like us, you have tons of bananas on your kitchen counter top. Maybe you have one of those nifty banana hangers, but you still have lots of bananas. What can you do with tons of bananas (well, 3)? Make banana bread! Especially if you go to the store and buy more bananas because you think you are out, only to come home and see that there are five, hanging right there and looking at you all accusatory-like.
What then? Well, you wait for three of them to get all dark and past their prime, and then you laugh wickedly as you mash them up in a little bowl. Ma-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha! Victory is mine!
Er, okay then. The topping for this bread is inspired by my favorite scone at Bakery Bar — the fennel seed and raisin scone. If you don’t like fennel seeds, you should probably not use them here…
This is a pretty standard banana bread recipe. I typically replace the oil with apple sauce when I make any quick breads. If you are not into that sort of thing, just use the same amount of vegetable or canola oil for the apple sauce listed below.
Banana . . . → Read More: Really Good (and Pretty Healthy) Banana Bread
The other night I had a hankerin’ to make something a little different. Since jwa and I do enjoy the curry, I decided to give this recipe a try. It’s from the book, Pleasures of the Vietnamese Table by Mai Pham and it was really good!
The lemongrass gives it an awesome flavor. Whack your stalks with a rolling pin or a wine bottle, or to live dangerously, the flat side of a knife. You want to kind of crack it open and release all the lemongrassy goodness.
I really didn’t change all that much. I probably used a little less chicken (maybe 1.5 pounds) called for originally and I added halved cherry tomatoes as a garnish.
Chicken Curry with Sweet Potatoes
3 tbsp curry powder
1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
2 pounds skinless chicken thighs
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp chopped shallot
2 tsp minced garlic
2 tsp ground chili paste or dried chili flakes, or to taste
3 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp sugar
2 lemongrass stalks, cut into 3-inch pieces and bruised with something flat
1 (1-inch) piece ginger, peeled, cut into 3 slices and bruised with something flat
1 1/2 cups fresh chicken stock or store-bought low-sodium chicken broth
3 carrots, peeled, cut on the diagonal into 2/3-inch . . . → Read More: Spicy, Sweet and Salty: Chicken Curry with Sweet Potatoes
This is a great winter meal! It’s still Winter, right? The brussels sprouts are plentiful and the pasta is, well, always a good idea when it’s cold out. I found this recipe on Epicurious a couple of months ago and we just got around to trying it recently. I changed a few things — added garlic, lemon and red pepper flakes.
Fettuccine with Brussels Sprouts and Pine Nuts
Recipe adapted from Gourmet Magazine
3/4 lb Brussels sprouts, trimmed
1/2 lb dried egg fettuccine
2 tbsp unsalted butter
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
3 tbsp pine nuts
1-3 cloves garlic, minced (if they’re huge, use 1 or 2, normal sized, use 2 or 3 — of course, adjust this to your taste, we love garlic, we used 3)
Zest from 1 lemon
Grated Parmesan cheese
Optional: red pepper flakes
Slice Brussels sprouts in a food processor fitted with slicing disk. Or, just slice them manually, with a knife and a cutting board. I opted for that technique. Mostly because I was too lazy to find my slicer disc.
Cook fettuccine in a pasta pot of boiling salted water (3 tablespoons salt for 6 quarts water) until al dente.
Meanwhile, heat butter and oil in a large heavy . . . → Read More: Tasty Winter Pasta Dish: Fettuccine with Brussels Sprouts and Pine Nuts