When I got the March issue of Food and Wine in the mail last week, I realized it had been forever since I did a Magazine Monday post. For those of you have not heard of it, Magazine Mondays are an informal blog event hosted (usually) by Ivonne at Cream Puffs in Venice. The goal is for us to actually make those magazine recipes we have book marked. I’m sure many of us have the same habits. When we get a new cookbook or food magazine we are filled with excitement, but they often end up in a pile or on a shelf, their potential unfulfilled. Personally, I love to spend weekend afternoons curled up on the couch with a hot cup of coffee flipping through a magazine. I drool over the gorgeous images, enjoy the articles, and fold down all the pages with recipes I want to make. More often than not a magazine will end up with most of its pages folded. Yet somehow when it comes time to find a new recipe my first stop is always the internet. I think its because I usually have an ingredient in mind before I look for the recipe, and googling “chicken legs” is a lot easier than searching through all my magazines for a good recipe. That’s why I appreciate Magazine Monday so much; it reminds me that food magazines are for more than just drooling over.
This months Food and Wine is full of healthy recipes, which made it even more motivating. As usual there were plenty of them that I wanted to try, but this one really caught my eye. The pictures was gorgeous ( I admit it, I tried to recreate it and failed), and I had all the ingredients on hand. No need to run to the grocery store to make this! It’s a really quick meal to put together, which I’m sure many people will appreciate. The leftovers were also great, so I feel pretty comfortable calling this a good make ahead dish. It’s got a great flavour combination, with ginger and cumin being the dominant flavours. I ate it the stew alone and on a bed of basmitti rice; it’s good both ways, but I preferred it with rice. The original recipe called for a paste to be made with garlic, ginger and jalepenos; as I didn’t have the jalepenos on hand I just omitted them and sauteed the ginger and garlic with the onion rather than making the paste.
Chickpea and Tomato Stew
- 3 garlic cloves, chopped
- One 2-inch piece of fresh ginger, grated
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 tablespoons ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon ground coriander
- 3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 can diced tomatoes
- 2 15-ounce cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed or 3 cups cooked chickpeas
- 2 cups water
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons cilantro leaves
- In a large skillet over high heat, add the oil and onions sauteeing until the onions are sizzling. Reduce the heat to medium and cook until the onions start to brown.
- Add the garlic and ginger and cook until the garlic is fragrant. Add the cumin, coriander, and cayenne; cook for one minute to bring the flavours out of the spices.
- Add the tomatoes and water then simmer until thickened.
- Add the chickpeas and simmer for another 10 minutes so that the chickpeas take on the flavours on the tomato sauce. Season with salt and pepper.
- Serve topped with yogurt and cilantro over a bed of basmitti rice or with naan.
Sometimes I think the only reason I have cable is to watch the Food Network. All weekend long I have the TV on as I do my cooking and cleaning. Ina Garten, Laura Calder and Bobby Flay are like the soundtrack to my weekend.
I’m not a huge fan of competition shows in general but one of my favourite cooking shows is Top Chef, which in Canada airs on Food Network Canada a few weeks after it begins in the United States. I love watching chefs come up with incredible (and sometimes terrible) meals, and seeing their creativity grow each week. I would also love to know the truth about the pea puree. Unfortunately, I got my December issue of Food and Wine before the finale aired in Canada, so despite all my efforts to live in a bubble, I knew who was going to win.
All this to say these cookies are from Food and Wine’s feature of Kevin Sbraga. The cookies all looked delicious, but I decided the first one I had to try was the chocolate biscotti. My dad makes biscotti every Christmas, but I had never made them myself. The batter is just as easy to put together as a sugar cookie. The only real difference is the baking process. First the cookies are baked as a log, the log is then sliced and the pieces are baked again until they dry out.
These biscotti were very tasty. The chocolate and pistachio go together very well, but to be honest with you, I prefer my dads. Just because.
I’ll be submitting these cookies to Cream Puffs In Venice for Magazine Mondays. Magazine Mondays are a weekly event designed to help us get through those stacks of magazine recipes we’ve put aside to make “one day.”
Chocolate Pistachio Biscotti
From the December 2010 issue of Food and Wine
- 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
- 1 tablespoon dark rum
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 1/2 cups raw pistachios
- 1 large egg white, lightly beaten
- Melted bittersweet chocolate, for dipping or drizzling
- Preheat the oven to 350. Line a baking sheet with parchment or a silpat.
- Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, vanilla, and rum beating until well combined.
- In separate bowl stir together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and cinnamon.
- Mix the dry ingredients into the wet. Beat in the pistachios.
- Divide the dough in two, shape each half into a log. Brush the logs with the egg whites. Bake for 25 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and let cool slightly. Cut the logs into slices, return to the oven and bake for an additional 20 minutes until the cookies have dried out. Let cool completely. Drizzle with melted chocolate.
I heard some news last week that made me very, very sad. Prince William and Kate Middleton are now engaged. With this news the reality that I will never be a princess came crashing down on me. Sure, it’s unlikely that I’d ever meet Prince William, but as long as Kate was just “the girlfriend” there was still hope. That hope is now gone.
So I turned to the food that brings me the most comfort; pie. In this case Pear and Cranberry Hand Pies from Food & Wine Magazine. The recipe calls for store bought all butter puff pastry. I didn’t have any on hand so I decided to make my own. Now before you get all impressed with my mad skills, I used Nick Malgieri’s Quick Puff Pastry recipe from Bake! Although it doesn’t rise as much as a traditional puff pastry, for a recipe like this where height is not required it’s perfect. And it’s as easy to make as a traditional pie crust.
The hand pies are delicious. One bite brought me right back to my usual happy self. And it reminded me that while Prince Harry is a little young for me, he does meet the half my age plus seven criteria.
This is my Magazine Monday submission for this week. Head over to Cream Puffs in Venice every Monday to see what other bloggers have cooked up from their magazine collections
Pear and Cranberry Hand Pies
- 2 pears, cored, peeled and dice into 1/4 inch cubes
- 3/4 cup cranberries
- 1/3 cup sugar, plus 1 tbsp for sprinkling
- 1 tbsp all purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 1 pinch ground cinnamon
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 batch of Quick Puff Pastry or a 14 oz package of all butter puff pastry
- 1 egg, beaten
- In a medium bowl, toss the pears, cranberries, sugar, flour, cinnamon and salt together.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out the puff pastry until 1/8 inch thick. Cut out 12 four inch circles.
- Spoon some of the pear filling into the center of half the circles. Brush some of the egg on the edges of the dough, then cover with the remaining circles. Press the edges together making sure they are tightly sealed. Cut slits into the top of each hand pie to let some of the steam escape.
- Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Brush the tops of the hand pies with the egg wash, then bake for about 30 minutes until the crust is a nice golden brown.
I bought an enormous bag of lemons at Costco the other day for a dessert I have planned, but the rest have just been sitting in a bowl waiting for a use. Sometimes when I walk by them I hear them say “eat me”.
So I flipped through a bunch of magazines and found a recipe for candied lemon slices in the March 2005 issue of Martha Stewart Living. Candying a couple of them seemed like a great way to use them. While making this recipe I realized for about the millionth time that I could really use a mandoline. I haven’t bought one yet because they scare me (I’m known for making stupid kitchen moves) but it would really make life a lot easier to have one. Maybe one day I’ll develop the focus required for using one.
Other than my issues with slicing thinly, this recipe is pretty easy. It takes about an hour and 15 minutes, but most of that time is unattended.
I’ll be submitting this post to Cream Puffs in Venice for Magazine Monday. Magazine Monday’s are a chance to get through all those magazine recipes we have bookmarked to make but never do. Make something, post it, and share it with the rest of us!
Candied Lemon Slices
- 1 large lemon
- 1 cup sugar
- Prepare an ice water bath.
- Using a mandoline or a very sharp knife, slice the lemon very thinly.
- Bring 2 cups of water to boil in a saucepan. Add the lemon slices and boil until slightly softened (about 1 minute). Remove lemon slices and put them in the ice water bath.
- In a medium sauce pan bring 1 cup of water and the sugar to boil. Place the lemon slices in the sugar-water in one layer and lower the heat to simmer.
- Simmer the lemon slices for 1 hour, then place the slices on a baking sheet lined with parchment.
(Photo by my brother)
Michael Symon is my favourite Iron Chef. It’s not that I think his food is any better than the others, I supposed I’d have to taste them all to make that call, I just like his personality the best. I think it might be the giggle.
When I saw this recipe in Food and Wine in March I immediately added it to make “to make” list, not only did it sound delicious, it was also a Michael Symon recipe. It sat on the to make list for a while, but I finally got around to making it this week. I replaced the vinaigrette with some lemon juice and olive oil to make it sugar-free challenge friendly, and I was missing a couple of ingredients so I just used the ones I had on hand for the stuffing. Oh, and I used acorn squash instead of delicata. Okay, maybe that’s a lot of changes but I think it’s still true to the spirit of the original recipe.
This is my Magazine Monday post from this week. Ivonne at Cream Puffs in Venice has been a little swamped lately (she was working on Sunday!) so I’m hosting this week. Here is what the other Magazine Monday-ers were up to:
Roasted Stuffed Acorn Squash
- 2 acorn squash, halved with the seeds scooped out
- 1 cup quinoa
- 1 large Cortland Apple, cored and diced
- 1/4 cup raisins
- 1/4 cup pistachios
- crumbled feta to taste
- olive oil
- lemon juice
- salt and pepper
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Season the insides of the squash with salt and pepper, and brush with olive oil. Place on a baking sheet skin side down and roast for 45 minutes.
- While the squash is roasting, cook the quinoa. In a medium pot, boil 2 cups salted water. Add quinoa and cook for 10 minutes. Add raisins and cook until all the water has been absorbed.
- Mix cooked quinoa with the diced apple and pistachio. Dress with olive oil and lemon juice.
- Scoop the quinoa mixture into the center of the cooked squash.
- Top with crumbled feta.
There is something very comforting about an upside down cake. It’s old school baking, which I think is the best kind of baking. Think chocolate chip cookies and bundt cakes.
I saw this recipe while flipping through the October 2006 issue of Martha Stewart Living. The picture made me want to eat it immediately. When I read the recipe it confirmed what my eyes already told me. The addition of saffron and ginger give the cake a modern twist, but the caramelized pears give it a classic upside down flavour.
Saffron Scented Pear Upside-Down Cake
- Vegetable oil cooking spray
- Pinch of saffron threads
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
- 2 Pears, (6 to 7 ounces each), peeled and sliced
- 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup nonfat buttermilk
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat an 8-inch square or round cake pan with cooking spray. Line bottom with parchment paper, and set aside.
In a food processor, pulse the saffron and 1/4 cup sugar. In a bowl beat the sugar mixture with the butter until light and fluffy. Spread the mixture in the pan.
Place the pear slices over the butter in a decorative pattern.
Whisk the dry ingredients together. In another bowl, whisk the wet ingredients together. Add the wet ingredients to the dry in a slow stream while stirring. Spread the batter over the pears.
Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until a tester comes out clean. Let cool for 5 minutes then flip onto a serving platter and allow to cool completely.
I hated shrimp as a child. Up until about 5 years ago I refused to even try one. Their weird curved little bodies and the memory of a taste and texture I despised were too much for me to overcome.
My mother will tell you that I didn’t actually hate them, I just thought I did. She loves the story about the time in 6th grade when my friend Kathleen and I ate a whole box of breaded shrimp and loved it because we thought they were chicken nuggets. It’s possible that this event occurred, but I would argue that fried breading makes everything delicious and that my child self really did hate those squiggly things.
I don’t remember what pushed me to try them again, but I did.
And I still found them weird.
Shrimp has a strange texture that takes time to get used to. But I did get used to it, and I can now say that I enjoy shrimps meaty but sweet flavour.
That sweet flavour is the perfect counterpoint to heat in this recipe from the October issue of Food and Wine. The recipe is incredibly simple, and yet delicious. It’s great for those nights when you don’t feel like cooking but want to eat real food and not some crappy frozen pizza. I’ll be submitting this post to Cream Puffs in Venice for Magazine Monday (and I’d just like to say that Magazine Monday is making my magazine habit seem totally justified, thanks Ivonne!)
Shrimp Fra Diavolo
From Food and Wine
- 1 1/4 pounds shelled and deveined medium shrimp
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 ounce thickly sliced pancetta, finely diced (1/4 cup)
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 cups jarred marinara (I used this easy tomato sauce)
- 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
- Crusty bread, for serving
- Toss the shrimp with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, red pepper, and salt and pepper. Set aside to marinate for 20 minutes.
- Heat a large pan until very hot. Add the shrimp and cook over high heat until lightly browned and nearly cooked through, about 2 minutes. Take the shrimp out of the pan and set aside.
- Add the remaining olive oil to the pan, and sauté the onions, garlic and pancetta until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Return the shrimp to the pan, and add the marinara. Simmer until the shrimp are cooked through.
- Serve with crusty bread.
September is a weird month for me. It makes me hope the summer will go on a little longer, but at the same time it has me craving fall foods likes soups and stews. The cooler weather over the last couple of days made it a great time to make a soup. I still had a few pears so I decided to adapt Martha Stewarts Pear and Autumn Vegetable Soup, from the Oct 2006 issue.
I loved the idea of adding pear to the vegetable soup, but I was a little surprised that Martha called for water instead of broth. I also thought the soup could use a little more flavour so I added some sautéed onion as well. The soup is wonderfully satisfying and warming on a cold rainy day. There are a lot of steps in the recipe so it’s a little time-consuming, although most of it is unattended. You can skip the pear garnish and replace with pumpkin seeds, but it does make the soup very pretty. You can also skip roasting the squash and just peel and dice the squash instead.
Pear and Butternut Squash Soup
- 5 medium pears
- 1 butternut squash
- olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 L low sodium chicken broth (or homemade)
- 1/2 tsp sage
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tbsp heavy cream
- Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Slice one pear very thinly, using a mandoline. Place slices on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and bake for 1 hour till slices are dry. Set aside.
- Heat oven to 400. Slice the butternut squash in half, scoop out the seeds. Drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 1 hour. Once done, scoop the squash out of the skin.
- Peel and core the remaining pears. Cut them into large chucks.
- In a soup pot, saute the onions until translucent. Add the pears, squash, and broth. Bring to a boil, season with sage, salt and pepper, then lower the temperature and simmer for 45 minutes.
- Let the soup cool a bit, then use and immersion blender to puree. Stir in the cream.
- Serve soup with sliced pears as garnish.
I’ll be submitting this to Cream Puffs in Venice for Magazine Mondays. Check out what everyone else has been up to!
When it comes to baking, I can usually tell when flavours will work together. Can I use almond extract instead of vanilla? Maybe a little liqueur somewhere. When it comes to savory dishes however, I’m clueless. I love it when magazines or cookbooks tell me what to do, otherwise I’m lost. The June issue of Bon Appetit had a section of starters, mains, and sides that all went together. When I first saw it in June I wanted to make everything, but time passed and I never got around to it. On Saturday while I was thinking of what to make for dinner for my guests I remembered the magazine and started flipping through. Although I still kind of wanted to make everything, I decided on Salmon with Coriander Rub and Lime Cream as a main, with Roasted Potato Salad and Green Beans and Zucchini with Sauce Verte as sides.
The dishes were all great. If anyone still needs a zucchini recipe, this one is delicious. The star of the meal was the salmon though. I’m going to pat myself on the back a little and say that it was perfectly cooked, not too raw, not too flaky. The recipe was also very easy to put together, which is great for entertaining.
The picture above is actually of the leftovers. We just couldn’t wait to dig in so no pictures were taken that night.
Salmon with Coriander Rub and Lime Cream
- 1 tbsp coriander
- 1 tsp cumin
- 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil plus additional for brushing
- 1 large garlic cloves, pressed
- 2 3/4 teaspoons finely grated lime peel, divided
- 6 6-ounce skinless salmon fillets (each about 1 inch thick)
- 5 tablespoons plain yogurt
- juice of 1 lime
- Chopped fresh cilantro
- In a baking dish mix together spices, olive oil, garlic and lime zest. Coat salmon fillets with oil and spice mixture. Cover and refrigerate for 1 to 3 hours.
- Make lime cream sauce. Mix yogurt, lime juice and cilantro in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Preheat oven to 425. Remove excess oil from each fillet and place fillets on a baking sheet. Bake for 7 to 10 minutes. Serve with lime cream.
When I moved in to my condo four years ago I knew absolutely nothing about taking care of a home. Things like installing light fixtures, or fixing a leaky faucet were completely foreign to me. Today I know slightly more than nothing, but I’m still pretty much clueless. Thankfully I have friends who are kind enough to help me out with these things. Yesterday, my friends Frank and Bianca came over with their almost two-year old son Sasha. Frank changed the light fixture in the dinning room, I made dinner, and Bianca watched Sasha like a hawk as he ran through my non-babyproofed home.
Frank and Bianca have helped many times over the years, and to thank them I wanted to make sure they had a great meal. Main courses aren’t really my thing, although I think I have been getting better, so I made them an amazing dessert: Double Peach Tart from the September issue of Food and Wine.
The tart tasted amazing. The crust was nice and crisp, it reminded me of a sugar cookie but a little less crumbly. The cinnamon and nutmeg went perfectly with the peaches. I think cardamom would have been nice as well. I made the tart exactly as written by Food and Wine, except for the cooking time. The magazine says to bake for an hour and 40 minutes, however my tart was done after an hour. I’m not sure if the recipe is just wrong or if my oven temperature is off. Either way, I’m really happy I decided to check in on the tart after an hour, it would have been a disaster if I had waited.
Since this is another magazine recipe, I’ll be submitting it to Cream Puffs in Venice for another Magazine Monday entry. Magazine Monday’s are a chance to go through all those magazine recipes we’ve all got bookmarked to make one day. Just post a magazine recipe you’ve made and contact Ivonne and she’ll post it with her next edition.
Double Peach Tart
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 1 stick unsalted butter, cut into cubes
- 3 ounces cream cheese, cut into cubes
- 10 small, ripe peaches (about 4 pounds)
- 1/3 cup unsalted butter (5 1/3 tablespoons), softened
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar, plus more for sprinkling
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cornmeal
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- In a large bowl, whisk the flour sugar and salt together.
- Add the cubes of butter and cream cheese. Using a pastry cutter or your fingers, work the butter and cheese into the flour until it has a crumbly texture.
- Press the dough into a 10 inch fluted tart pan (with removable bottom). Refrigerate for 20 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 325.
- Line dough with foil and cover with pie weights or dried beans. Bake for 25 minutes, then remove the weights and foil and bake for 15 more minutes.
- While the crust is baking, make the filling. Blanch the peaches in boiling water for 10 seconds each. Peel the peaches, then cut 6 of them into quarters and 4 of them into slices.
- Using a mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs to butter one at a time. Add vanilla.
- Add dry ingredients to the butter mixture and continue to mix until well combined.
- Pour the filling mixture into the baked tart shell. Place the quartered peaches in concentric circles over the filling. Sprinkle with sugar.
- Bake for 1 hour. Check that the filling is golden and firm to the touch.
- Cover with sliced peaches before serving.