Showing posts with label Food 'N Flix event. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Food 'N Flix event. Show all posts

Friday, December 29, 2017

Dark Chocolate Raspberry Hearts for Food 'N Flix December Pick: Clueless {#FoodnFlix} {#JaneAustenBites}

It's deadline day for this month's Food 'n Flix event and as usual, I am dashing in under the wire for no reason other than I procrastinated until the very last moment. Our movie, selected and hosted by Food 'N Fix's founder, Heather of All Roads Lead to the Kitchen (see her announcement post here), is the 1995 film, Clueless

Although I am a decade and a half or so from being the target audience of this movie, it is a favorite, partly due to my love of all things Jane Austen and it being a fabulously done remake of Emma and also because even if you don't know and appreciate the original work, it's a sweet, fun, and funny film on its own merits. I liked it so much I bought the book about the making of the movie (although it sadly sits in my TBR pile--one of these days I'll get to it.)

Alicia Silverstone stars as Cher Horowitz, a Beverly Hills teen, a bit spoiled and superficial and frankly, pretty clueless when it comes to most things. After successfully bringing together two of her teachers for the purpose of making them happy enough to give better grades, Cher enjoys the feeling of a match well done and starts in on the new girl, Tai, (Brittany Murphy) with her best friend Dionne's (Stacey Dash) help. Cher also falls for the new guy at school and undertakes other "do-gooding" projects as her cute stepbrother Josh (Paul Rudd) looks on in amusement. 

If you haven't seen it, it is well worth a watch for the funny and quotable lines, good performances, great music and fashion, and as it turns out... for the food. There is a decent amount of food in Clueless from the product placement (Diet Coke, Starbucks, Minute Maid, Special K, McDonald's, Godiva Chocolates, Snapple, Snickers...) to the lunch and dinner scenes where glimpses of different foods can be seen--iced coffee drinks, fresh squeezed orange juice, carrots, salads, fruit and yogurt, the makings of a turkey sandwich, bread sticks, school lunch with broccoli and potato, chicken, pie, milk, a slab of cookie dough burning in the oven, chips, cereal, a bunch of canned goods and red caviar. 

For my film-inspired dish, I decided to go with chocolates. In a plan to gain the attention of the new boy in school, Cher send herself flowers and a box of Godiva chocolate offering the advice; "Anything you can do to draw attention to your mouth is good." I made some dark chocolate hearts with assorted fillings last year for a book review and my favorite were the ones where I placed a fresh raspberry inside. Simple but so fresh and delicious.

The raspberries with their bright color, capture the pink that I associate with this film and I decided to add some bling by melting a white chocolate with strawberries candy bar and drizzle it on top of my hearts. It did end up a bit globby (although more Jackson Pollock splatters than Monet "She's a full-on Monet. ... It's like a painting, see? From far away, it's OK, but up close it's a big old mess.") ;-)

Dark Chocolate Hearts with Fresh Raspberries
By, Deb, Kahakai Kitchen
(Makes about 1 Dozen filled chocolates--depending on the size of your molds)

8 oz dark chocolate (I used a local Waialua Estate 70% cacao from Whole Foods), chopped
1 Tbsp coconut oil
fresh raspberries, washed and drained--patted as dry as you can get them
chocolate molds or silicon molds--clean and completely dry
1.25 oz white chocolate (I used half of this bar with strawberries

Place chopped chocolate and coconut oil into a microwave safe bowl or microwave safe large glass measuring cup and heat for about 45 seconds. Stir carefully and repeat heating in 20 second increments, stirring in between until chocolate is completely melted and smooth. (Alternatively you can melt the chocolate in a double boiler on the stove top.)

Once chocolate is melted, carefully pour a small amount into the bottom of your molds (fill about about 1/3 to 1/2 of the mold--depending on the size). Carefully tap your mold on the counter a several times to make sure the chocolate covers the bottom part completely and there are no air bubbles.

Place your raspberries into the half-filled molds--using a toothpick to push them down towards the bottom if needed. (I used one raspberry per heart mold.)

Using a small spoon, carefully add the remaining chocolate to each mold, covering the raspberry filling. Once all chocolates are filled and covered, carefully tap the mold against the counter a few times again, allowing the chocolate to settle and completely cover the filling with no air bubbles. If chocolate settles, add additional chocolate as needed to ensure each mold is filled to the top evenly. Carefully tap the mold a few more times. The melted chocolate should spread itself out fairly smoothly with the tapping, put you can smooth it out with the back of your spoon if needed.    

Place filled molds in your refrigerator for about 30 minutes for chocolate to harden. When chocolates are almost firm, melt white chocolate bar (if using) in a small microwave-safe bowl--using the same process as for the dark chocolate.
Once chocolates are completely firm, carefully remove them from the molds. The chocolates pop out pretty easily from the silicon molds; you may have to sharply tap plastic chocolate molds on the counter to loosen the chocolates.  

Using a spoon, drizzle the white chocolate over the dark chocolate hearts in a random pattern. Place the chocolates back into the refrigerator for about 15 to 20 minutes until white chocolate has firmed up. 

Store chocolates, tightly covered in the fridge. I lay paper towels in an airtight container to absorb any moisture. Chocolates containing fresh berries will keep best for just a couple of days--if they last that long.

Notes/Results: With the exception of my drizzling could have been better--I should have thinned the white chocolate a bit--these turned out really well. And I'm going to pretend there is a certain charm in the drizzle. ;-) The pairing of fresh, sweet but just a bit tart, raspberries with good-quality dark chocolate--it is just so good. The white chocolate drizzle with the touch of strawberry flavor and slight crunch from the strawberry crisp in the bar adds additional flavor and sweetness. I deliberately made a small batch of these (one dozen) because with the fresh fruit, they are best eaten within a couple of days--something I shall strive to do. I will happily make these again. 

As mentioned, the deadline for this month's Food 'N Flix is the end of the day, today--but if you like food, movies, and foodie movies, join us for January where our film pick is Wreck-It Ralph, hosted by Amy of Amy's Cooking Adventures

Heather is also hosting this month's Fandom Foodies event where the theme is #JaneAustenBites -- food inspired by Jane Austen's books and movies or books and movies inspired by Austen--so I am linking these chocolates up there. (See Heather's post for the linkup and details!)

And I will am linking up this review and recipe to the Weekend Cooking event at Beth Fish Reads, a weekly event that is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share. For more information, see the welcome post.

Happy Aloha Friday!

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Ambrosia Overnight Oats for Food 'N Flix November Pick: Planes, Trains and Automobiles {#FoodnFlix}

It's the end of November and I am sliding in at the last possible moment (surprise!) with my entry for Food 'N Flix, the monthly blogging event where we watch a movie and then head to the kitchen to make something inspired by what we saw. This month our film is Planes, Trains and Automobiles, hosted by Amy of Amy's Cooking Adventures (See her announcement post here.)

Planes. Trains and Automobiles is a John Hughes film, from 1987 and stars Steve Martin and John Candy playing their typical roles--uptight yuppie (Martin) and annoying but ultimately lovable goof (Candy). Chances are you have seen it but in case you haven't, it's holiday travel gone bad with Martin's Neal Page trying to get home to Chicago for the Thanksgiving holiday with his family. He meets Candy's Del Griffith on the plane and due to a series of mishaps--starting with a blizzard that halts flights, the two spend several days trying various ways to work their way home. That's the quick version--you have to watch the movie to appreciate all of the misadventures and situations the pair encounters.

It had been years since I watched the movie--at least the whole thing. I happened across a copy of the DVD at my library bookstore for $1 so I grabbed it up and settled in to re-watch it with my food goggles on.It actually holds up fairly well--except for the lack of technology like the laptops and cell phones we take for granted today. It has some very funny moments, some silly ones and even a few that are touching. 

There is not a ton of food in the movie but some things I noticed included spaghetti, mention of a "hot dog and a beer," soda, tea, Life Savers, a Slurpee, Cracker Jacks, Chiclets, a diner breakfast spread that looked like it included eggs, orange juice, pie, oatmeal, coffee and maybe French Toast, nuts and soda on the train, salad and some kind of meat in a restaurant, mention of ambrosia salad, crescent rolls, turkey and cranberries, pizza, alcohol like Amaretto, gin, tequila and rum, various kinds of candy and candy bars, a pie (cherry?) with a lattice crust and a Thanksgiving turkey. 

For my movie inspired dish, I decided to do a mash-up of two inspirations--first the ambrosia mentioned on the phone call that the car rental agent (Edie McClurg) is talking about on the phone and then the diner breakfast where it looked like Neal was stirring a bowl of cream of wheat or oatmeal. I thought I would be fun to take the ingredients and flavors of a classic ambrosia salad (tangerine, pineapple and coconut) and add them to oatmeal. I chose to make overnight oats and keep it cold as that just sounded better and more like the salad. I actually like cold overnight oats better than hot oatmeal anyway and I go through phases where I make and eat them regularly for breakfast.

There appear to be a lot of variations to ambrosia--Wikipedia says, "Ambrosia is a variation on the traditional fruit salad. Most ambrosia recipes contain fresh or sweetened pineapple, mandarin oranges or fresh orange sections, miniature marshmallows, and coconut. Other ingredients can include maraschino cherries, bananas, strawberries, peeled grapes, or crushed pecans. Ambrosia can also include whipped cream (or whipped topping), sour cream, cream cheese, pudding, yogurt, mayonnaise, or cottage cheese. The mixture is refrigerated for a few hours or overnight before serving. Although the name references the food of Greek gods, it is widely believed to be an American dish originated in the late 19th century." I remember my mom occasionally making a variation of it with canned fruit cocktail and marshmallows in a creamy whipped cream (I think) sauce--but no coconut.

I wanted to keep my ambrosia overnight oats on the fresher, healthier side and use fresh fruit--pineapple and tangerine, unsweetened coconut, plain coconut yogurt, and a bit of maple syrup (John Candy was Canadian) to sweeten it. I was going to leave out the marshmallows but then I ran across some toasted pineapple coconut marshmallows at my local grocery store and though it would be fun to cut them up and add them to the oats. In addition to the unsweetened desiccated coconut in the oats, I toasted up some coconut flakes with a dash of cinnamon to put on top.  

Ambrosia Overnight Oats
By Deb, Kahakai Kitchen
(Makes 2 Servings)  

1 cup old-fashioned oats
1/3 cup shredded desiccated (dried) coconut, unsweetened
3/4 cup yogurt of choice (I used plain coconut-based yogurt but you can use vanilla,orange, coconut or pineapple flavored yogurt for a sweeter version)
1/2 cup milk of choice (I used unsweetened vanilla coconut milk)
1 large tangerine, peeled and segmented with the skin removed and chopped
1/2 cup fresh pineapple, diced
tiny pinch of salt
maple syrup or honey to taste
1/3 cup miniature marshmallows (optional), halved (I used the pictured flavored marshmallows and chopped them into bite-sized squares)
extra tangerine,pineapple and marshmallows to top if desired
1/4 cup coconut flakes, toasted

Combine the oats, desiccated coconut, yogurt, milk, fruit, and pinch of salt into a jar or tightly-lidded container. Stir well to combine. Place in refrigerator overnight--or at least six hours.

When ready to eat, check consistency (you want it thick and creamy but loose to mimic the ambrosia consistency) adding additional milk or yogurt to loosen it up as needed and stir in marshmallows if using. Taste and add maple syrup or honey if you want it sweeter (if you use a flavored yogurt you likely won't need to add much if any sweetener). 

Serve in bowls, topping it with extra fruit and marshmallows and toasted coconut flakes if desired. Enjoy!

Notes/Results: I liked this mix of flavors as it gave my overnight oats a bit of a tropical twist with the pineapple and coconut. They were creamier than I usually make my overnight oats to replicate the salad and I liked how it softened and plumped up the dry desiccated coconut. Although I wouldn't make the marshmallows a regular thing, it was fun to have them in the mix for their chewy texture (stir them in right before serving) and sweet flavor. It reminded me of eating a bowl of Lucky Charms as a kid and saving the little bites of marshmallow for last. The toasted coconut flakes added a needed crispiness to all that creaminess. I might add nuts next time too--chopped pecans or mac nuts for even more texture. If you like ambrosia salad and/or these ingredients and like overnight oats, you will probably enjoy this combination. I will happily make it again.   

The deadline for this round of Food 'N Flix is today, Tuesday November 28th 2017 and Amy will be rounding up the entries on her blog soon after. If you missed this round and love food, films and foodie films, join us for December when we'll be watching Clueless, hosted by Food 'N Flix's founder, Heather of All Roads Lead to the Kitchen.  


Sunday, October 22, 2017

Vegan 'Wonton' Soup with "a Reasonable Broth to Wonton Ratio" for Food 'N Flix October Pick: Ghostbusters: Answer the Call & Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays

It's time for October's Food 'N' Flix monthly film event, where a group of bloggers watch a movie and head to our kitchens to create a dish inspired by it. This month our movie is Ghostbusters: Answer the Call (the 2016 woman-power version), hosted by Kimberly of Coffee and Casseroles (You can see her announcement post here.)

If you saw the original Ghostbusters, there's a similar plot with the main characters being female but still fighting ghosts in New York City without any respect or support. Melissa McCarthy is Abby Yates and Kristen Wigg is Erin Gilbert. The two physicists worked together and even wrote a book on the paranormal although Erin has disowned it to focus on her career as a professor at Columbia University and only seeks Abby out when she starts selling the book again. Abby is working at a technical college, still researching ghosts and working with Jillian Holtzman (Kate McKinnon) a wacky inventor/engineer. When Erin is fired after a video showing the three confronting a ghost  is aired, she joins forces with Abby and Jillian, as does subway worker Patty Tolan (Leslie Jones). Rounding out the team is hunky but dumb receptionist Kevin (Chris Hemsworth).

I saw the movie when it first came out on Netflix and although I think its at times a bit overdone in the acting and too slapstick for me, it does have its moments. Leslie Jones is the standout--funny in every scene she is in. Although I liked it, I was never a huge fan of the first Ghostbusters so I have no issue with a reboot and I'm always for a cast of strong females. It was interesting to watch it again, this time with my food googles on.

There is actually more food to be found in Ghostbusters 2016 that I thought there was including a mention of breakfast, wonton soup (more on that later), chips, Starbucks (bathroom), Chinese food--a restaurant and mention of hot and sour shrimp soup (with "one shrimp and I hope a water chestnut!"), coffee with sugar, mention of a cousin who will work for Vienna sausages, pizza, a room smelling like chicken frying, some diner shots, soup and salad being listed as "wonderful things to live for," sandwiches, tomatoes/tomatos, and beer. I am sure I missed a few things in there--sometimes I get distracted--and right after I saw the wonton soup and heard Abby's comments about it--I knew it was what I wanted to make.

It seems the Chinese food delivery guy (Ben, I think) brings Abby soup that's lacking:

Abby: "I got one wonton! I got a tub of soup and one split wonton!"
Erin: "I'm sorry you're having a soup crisis."
Abby: There isn't even any meat in there. That's just a carrot."

Then at the end of the film the delivery guy brings a tub stuffed full of wontons...

Abby: "I'm just looking for a reasonable ratio of wontons to soup, this is madness!"

How can a confirmed soup lover resist lines like those? I needed to make a Vegan Wonton Soup with "a Reasonable Broth to Wonton Ratio" as my movie-inspired dish.

I have to confess, I was feeling lazy and did not want to make my own wontons. Been there, done it, nothing to prove. It's not hard to make them but it just wasn't the weekend for it. I had intended to buy the Annie Chun brand mini vegetable wontons and of course, Whole Foods (who usually carries them) was completely out--as were the two natural food stores I drove into town for. If I ate meat I could have gotten the chicken ones, but I don't. Instead I bought the same company's vegan potstickers. Now I know that potstickers are different from wontons, but I decided to go with it. To round out the soup and make it more than just broth and wontons, I added carrots (of course), shiitake mushrooms, baby bok choy, and green onions in a garlic and ginger-spiked veggie broth. 

Unfortunately for me, I didn't think about how the difference between wontons and potstickers and the wrappers would impact the soup when I chose to not fry up the potstickers first and after just a few minutes, they swelled to epic proportions and many of them split--casting their filling into the soup. Heavy sigh. Luckily, I had another brand of vegetarian potstickers in my freezer (sometimes I need a potsticker dinner) and so I removed the offending potsticker skins from the soup with my slotted spoon, fried up my second batch of frozen potstickers and added them to the soup. Not my finest moment but it worked--although all things considered, it probably would have been less work just making the darn wontons. ;-) The soup's flavor was good and my young friend Zof (her lovely parents, my friends have been having me make double batches of my soups and buying them) apparently said, "These dumplings are my favorite. Yum, yum, yummy in my tum, tum tummy." I feel there can be no higher praise.

The "bad soup" before I decided I needed to go back and re-do my potstickers. Note the giant size of the potstickers--they look ready to take over New York City!

Vegan Wonton Soup with "a Reasonable Broth to Wonton Ratio"
By Deb, Kahakai Kitchen
(Makes about 6 Servings)
2 tsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 Tbsp fresh ginger, minced 

6 cups low-sodium good vegetable stock (I used not-chicken soup paste + homemade garlic broth)
1 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce or tamari
2 tsp sesame oil

1 Tbsp rice vinegar
1 carrot, thinly sliced, halved first if large
3 bunches baby bok choy or one large bunch bok choy, larger stem pieces sliced into 1/2-inch pieces & leaves & tender stem pieces sliced into 2-inch pieces & separated 
about 8 oz shiitake mushrooms, cleaned well, stems removed and sliced
12-16 oz frozen mini wontons or pot stickers 
3 green onions, green part only, thinly sliced
white peeper
chili oil and toasted sesame seeds to garnish

Heat olive oil in a large pot and saute garlic and ginger until softened and fragrant, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add broth, soy sauce, sesame oil and rice vinegar and bring to a gentle boil, then simmer for about 15 minutes. 

Meanwhile if using potstickers, fry them according to package instructions so they are nice and crispy on the bottom before adding to the soup. If using wontons, I recommend cooking them to package instructions before adding to the soup. 

Strain broth to remove ginger and garlic pieces (optional) and bring back to a simmer. Add carrot and bok choy stem pieces and simmer for another 10 minutes, until vegetables are mostly tender. Turn up heat to a gentle boil and add bok choy leaves and shitake mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in green onions, taste and season with additional soy sauce, rice vinegar, and sesame oil as needed, white pepper and chili oil if desired. (I serve it with chili oil on the side.

Add the potstickers or wontons to the cooked soup or place a few of them (using a reasonable broth to wonton ratio depending on your bowl size!) in the soup bowls before ladling in the soup.

Top bowls with toasted sesame seeds and chili oil if desired. Enjoy!

Notes/Results: Not my most perfect soup but not bad. I'll probably like it even better tomorrow when I am less angry with it and myself for the rookie move on the potstickers. The flavor was good--nice ginger and garlic flavor in the broth, I just wanted a clearer broth and the insides of the first set of potstickers that came apart gave the broth a thicker feel--it reminded me a bit of mapo tofu. Oh well! Jacqueline, Zof's mom, said she absolutely loved it like Zof did and enjoyed every bite and that the chili oil and sesame seeds were a perfect touch. I would make it again either using the wontons--which are better made for broths and soups or frying the potstickers/dumplings first.

The deadline for this round of Food 'N Flix is Monday October 30th 2017 and Kimberly will be rounding up the entries on her blog soon after. If you missed this round and love food, films and foodie films, join us for November when we'll be watching Planes, Trains and Automobiles, hosted by Amy of Amy's Cooking Adventures

We have some tasty dishes waiting this week in the Souper Sundays kitchen--let's have a look!

Shaheen of Allotment2Kitchen said, "...this Cheesy Broccoli Beer Soup with Smoky Sunflower Chorizo Croutons was ridiculously flavourful, but in a very good way.  I especially loved the different levels of flavour from the topping the beer, the cheesiness from the nutritional yeas.  It was also very velvety.  Its definitely a soup that clings to the spoon."

Judee of Gluten Free A-Z Blog made Roasted Acorn Squash and Pear Soup and said, "Fall has officially begun, so I say bring on all the wonderful fall produce!! You will love this flavorful soup made with roasted acorn squash and sweet yellow Bartlett pears. Winter squashes like acorn squash make wonderful fall soup that can be delicious warm or just as good chilled.

Linda of brought Leek and Potato Soup and said, "Leek and potato soup has to be one of my all time favourites.  I’ve shared this recipe before but have recently updated it a bit to include more accurate measurements.   I’m all into weighting the food we eat and recording it.  This is something my dietician recommended as a way to control portions."

Mahalo to everyone who joined me at Souper Sundays this week! 

Souper Sundays is back with a new format of a picture link each week where anyone interested can post their soups, salads, or sandwiches any time during the week and I post a recap of the entries the following week.)

(If you aren't familiar with Souper Sundays, you can read about of the origins of it here.

If you would like to join in Souper (Soup, Salad, and Sammie) Sundays, I would love to have you! Here's how...

To join in this week's linkup with your soup, salad or sandwich:

  • Link up your soup (stew, chili, soupy curries, etc. are fine), salad, or sandwich dish, (preferably one from the current week or month--but we'll take older posts too) on the picture link below and leave a comment on this post so I am sure not to miss you.

On your entry post (on your blog):
  • Please mention Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammies) Sundays at Kahakai Kitchen and link back to this post.
  • You are welcome to add the Souper Sundays logo to your post and/or blog (optional).

Have a happy, healthy week!

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Potato & Collard Greens Soup with Maple-Cornmeal Dumplings for Food 'n Flix September: To Kill a Mockingbird and for Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays

It's Food 'n Flix time again and for September the pick is the classic film To Kill A Mockingbird, hosted by Debra of Eliot's Eats. (See her announcement post here.)

Although I read Harper Lee's amazing book in junior high and have watched the movie a couple of times before, it has been many years since I had seen it. I wanted to go back and reread the book this month too, but that just didn't happen so I had to content myself with watching the movie, grabbing the DVD from the library. I actually watched the film and decided what to make at the beginning of the month but it has taken me until the end of the month to make and post my movie inspired dish.

If you are not familiar with the story, it takes place in Maycomb, Alabama in the 1930s where Jean Louise Finch (she goes by Scout) lives with her brother Jem and widowed father Atticus--an attorney. Atticus is asked to defend Tom Robinson, a black man accused of raping a white woman and as ensuing racism and bigotry in their small southern town are intensified by the trial, Scout and Jem are exposed to it. That's just the short version, but I assume most people at least know the story--even if they haven't read the book or seen the film. It's a wonderful classic film and it won an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay and a Best Actor Oscar for Gregory Peck.

Food-wise, there is not a ton of food shown, but there was certainly enough for inspiration, including a mention of a soft teacake with frosting, collard greens, hickory nuts, biscuits, cornbread, breakfasts with coffee & milk, a roast dinner with potatoes and gravy, peas, and molasses 'syrup' poured over everything by a schoolmate of Jem and Scout's, and a glorious ham Halloween costume.

For my movie-inspired dish, I wanted to turn the collard greens that popped up in mentions and on the table into a homey soup--along with some good partners for greens, potatoes and black-eyed peas. I though about making biscuits to go with it, but I am not much of a baker. I happened to see a few collard greens recipes that were topped with cornmeal dumplings--which I though would be fun to add to a soup and easier to make than the biscuits--or even the cornbread shown in the film. One recipe had maple syrup in the cornmeal dumplings and I thought that would be a fun nod to the sweetness of the 'syrup' (although it was actually molasses) that Scout's schoolmate poured over his entire dinner. The dumplings turned out not to be a win in terms of texture (see my notes below) but the soup was really delicious. ;-)

Potato & Collard Greens Soup with Maple-Cornmeal Dumplings
By Deb, Kahakai Kitchen
(Makes 8 Servings)

2 Tbsp canola or coconut oil
1 large sweet onion, chopped
3 stalks of celery, chipped
1 large carrot, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp dried parsley
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp celery salt
1/2 tsp smoked chili pepper (I used Aleppo pepper)
2 cups black-eyed peas--frozen (defrosted) or canned (I used frozen)
8 cups good veggie stock (homemade or low-sodium)
4 to 5 small Yukon gold potatoes, scrubbed well and cubed
1 large bunch of collard greens, washed, large center stems removed & chopped into bite-sized pieces
Maple-Cornmeal Dumplings (recipe below)
sea salt and pepper to taste

For the Dumplings:
3/4 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup all-purpose flour* see note below
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 Tbsp maple syrup
1/4 cup of broth from the soup  (I ended up using about 1/2 cup to moisten batter enough)
Heat oil in a large soup pot. Add the onion, celery, and carrots and cook until the veggies begin to soften and onions start to turn translucent--about 7 to 8 minutes. Add garlic, dried parsley, smoked paprika, celery salt, and smoked chili pepper and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes, until fragrant. 

Add the black eyed peas and stir well, then add the stock and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes. Add the potatoes and collard greens and simmer for another 10 minutes. Taste and season with sea salt and pepper. 

Meanwhile, make the dumplings by combining the cornmeal, flour, spices and maple syrup in a bowl. Stir in the 1/4 cup of the soup liquid into the dry ingredients until just combined--forming a thick batter. (I needed double the amount of the soup broth.)

Carefully drop the dumplings into the simmering soup. Cover the pot and simmer for 20-25 minutes until dumplings are cooked through. Do not stir soup as it will break up the dumplings. Instead, gently shake the pot occasionally as dumplings cook.

Once dumplings are cooked, gently ladle the soup into serving bowls and serve. Enjoy!

Dumpling Note: My dumplings look pretty good and although the flavor was good, they were not great texture-wise, ending up way too dense and hard. I used this recipe from Paula Deen as a base but I omitted the onion and added in spices and maple syrup. I think the biggest challenge was the flour I used as I didn't realize I was out of all-purpose flour (I don't use much flour) and rather than go to the store, I used the rice flour I had on hand. I probably should have altered the amount or done more reading on substitutions. Anyway, I looked at the reviews online after and it seems people were pretty mixed on the dumpling texture and whether they worked or not--so try at your own risk. I am fully willing to say it was operator error in my case. ;-)

Notes/Results: I already mentioned my dumpling issues above but the soup was really fantastic--full of delicious flavor and texture and it's a healthy vegan soup to boot. I used smoky paprika and Aleppo pepper to get a smoky profile--although you could certainly toss in some ham or smoked ham hocks, sausage, or smoked turkey if you eat meat. I bought the frozen black-eyed peas and liked the texture better than canned and I loved the fact that I didn't have to pre-soak them and cook them for age. I'd use them again because it seems like when I buy the bags of dried black-eyed peas from the grocery store, they are usually stale and take forever to cook. Hearty, satisfying, and good, I would happily make the soup again--just maybe not the dumplings. ;-)

The deadline for this round of Food 'n Flix is Saturday, September 30th and Debra will be rounding up the dishes on her blog soon after. If you can't make it this month and you like food, movies, and foodie movies, join us for Food 'n Flix in October when we will be watching (the 2016) Ghostbusters: Answer the Call, hosted by Coffee and Casseroles.  

We have some fantastic dishes waiting this week in the Souper Sundays kitchen--let's have a look!

Johanna of Green Gourmet Giraffe is here with Tostados with Cashew Crema and Avocado Coleslaw. She says, "I found a neglected avocado hidden in the corner of the fridge.  It had been there so long I was grateful to rescue any flesh but it wasn't enough enough for a guacamole.  I had seen a recipe for coleslaw with avocado mayo recently (while browsing magazines in the newsagents) so I turned it into a simple small coleslaw.

Tina of Squirrel Head Manor celebrated her husband's birthday with a delicious meal of crab cakes, cheese grits, and a salad and says, "As always, the birthday person plans the dinner the menu.  We are both a fan of crab cakes so this was the indulgence. They are rich and you shouldn't have them too often. The cheese grits are a specialty of Doug's and he has them on the table in 5 minutes. Lots of cheddar, ooey gooey melty cheese grits. For an accompaniment I made a Tomato, Cucumber and Avocado Salad."

Judee of Gluten Free A-Z Blog shared Waldorf Kale Salad with an Apple and Honey Citrus Dressing. She said, "This beautiful kale Waldorf super salad brings together apples and honey just in time for Rosh Hashanah- the Jewish New Year! On Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year which begins Wednesday evening through Friday evening, it is traditional to dip apples in honey to welcome in a sweet new year. In addition, we keep our menus on the sweet side serving sweet kugels, sweet potato tzimmis, apple cakes, etc. This year I decided to serve a salad recipe for our celebration dinner that incorporates our holiday theme. I've added chopped apples, walnuts, sunflower seeds, raisins, dried cranberries,  grated carrots, and celery to curly fall kale and dressed it with my slightly sweet apple and honey citrus dressing."

Here at Kahakai Kitchen I also made sandwiches of Bagels with Two Shmears for a recent book review. I knew I would love the Smoked Trout Shmear as it has all my favorite ingredients but the Harissa-Mint Shmear was a happy surprise. Full of great flavor--with a hit of heat paired with the cooling labne and mint, I am also using it on veggie sandwiches.

I also tried Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's Fried Halloumi Salad for a virtual Potluck in honor of my friend Kim. It's a Greek-style salad that is made even better with the chewy "squeaky cheese" fried halloumi on top.  So good!

Mahalo to everyone who joined me at Souper Sundays this week! 

Souper Sundays is back with a new format of a picture link each week where anyone interested can post their soups, salads, or sandwiches any time during the week and I post a recap of the entries the following week.)

(If you aren't familiar with Souper Sundays, you can read about of the origins of it here.

If you would like to join in Souper (Soup, Salad, and Sammie) Sundays, I would love to have you! Here's how...

To join in this week's linkup with your soup, salad or sandwich:

  • Link up your soup (stew, chili, soupy curries, etc. are fine), salad, or sandwich dish, (preferably one from the current week or month--but we'll take older posts too) on the picture link below and leave a comment on this post so I am sure not to miss you.

On your entry post (on your blog):
  • Please mention Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammies) Sundays at Kahakai Kitchen and link back to this post.
  • You are welcome to add the Souper Sundays logo to your post and/or blog (optional).

 Have a happy, healthy week!