Showing posts with label herbs. Show all posts
Showing posts with label herbs. Show all posts

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Garlicky White Bean (Chickpea) Soup: 5 Ingredients or Less for Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays

I had been craving a simple bean-based soup and our theme this week at I Heart Cooking Clubs: All Chef's Edition is 5 Ingredients or Less. Of course I turned to Mark Bittman and found his Garlicky White Bean Soup.


Beans of choice, a bulb of garlic, rosemary, plus salt and pepper (not counted in our 5 or less) and olive oil for garnishing and that's it. Because I wanted chickpeas (even though I made a chickpea soup a few weeks ago, they are my favorite), the cooking time is longer than other white beans, even after soaking, but it's worth it and the wait while the rosemary-garlic aroma permeates the house.

Bittman's advice: "Use dried beans, don't skimp on the garlic (when I say '1 bulb' I mean it) and you won't be disappointed."


Garlicky White Bean Soup
Slightly Adapted from How To Cook Everything: The Basics via MarkBittman.com
(Serves 4)

1 1/2 cups any dried white beans, rinsed and picked over
1 medium garlic bulb, cloves peeled
1 Tbsp chopped fresh rosemary leaves or 1 tsp dried
salt and freshly ground black pepper
olive oil for garnish

Deb's Note: I usually soak my beans--especially chickpeas--overnight before cooking.

In a large soup pot, place beans, garlic, and rosemary and add 6 cups of water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then lower heat so the soup bubbles steadily. 

Cook, stirring every 20 minutes or so, until the beans are tender and falling apart, 45 minutes to up to 2 hours (or more) depending on the bean and whether they were soaked first. Add more water or broth if mixture gets too thick or dry. 

When beans are tender, sprinkle with salt and black pepper to taste and stir vigorously to break up the beans even more, or you can mash or puree some of the soup to thicken the broth even more. Taste and adjust salt and pepper if needed. Serve with a drizzle of olive oil on each bowl. Enjoy! 

Bittman has two variations--adding chopped greens or peeled shrimp during the last 5 minutes of cooking.  


Notes/Results: Perfectly garlicky, perfectly good. It's amazing what just a few good ingredients and lots of time will do. I ended up cooking the soup about 3 hours total to get the chickpeas as tender as I wanted them, which allowed them to build plenty of flavor from the garlic and rosemary and concentrating the broth. I pureed a couple of cups of the mixture to thicken it, and it was just the right texture. Simple and delicious, I would happily make it again.


Linking Up with I Heart Cooking Clubs: 5 Ingredients or Less.

 
 Let's take a look in the in the Souper Sundays kitchen.


Tina of Squirrel Head Manor brought Indian Cucumber and Tomato Salad and said, "The theme for May's spotlight dish at I Heart Cooking Clubs is Indian cuisine. My first thought was Tandoori chicken or a curry dish but I went with a simple salad. Diana Henry's recipe and column is posted at The Telegraph so I grabbed it there. She says this looks like an ordinary salad but it's fresh and punchy. Must be the chilli and cumin. Certainly smells good when you are heating the cumin."


Debra of Eliot's Eats shared Japanese Steakhouse Ginger Dressing with Salad and said, "My sister and mom had to make a quick trip back recently. They spent one day with us and Sis was telling me about a new salad dressing she had recently made. Her favorite cookbook is Joy of Cooking and she gave me a copy for Christmas many years ago. As she described the ingredients, I decided I had to look up this recipe in my own Joy of Cooking. It’s now bookmarked! The accompanying salad was made of spinach, shredded carrots, chopped celery, cucumbers, radishes and bean sprouts. I had also intended to toss in some snow peas but I forgot. This is a great salad and an even better dressing.   It is definitely a way to get your family to eat their vegetables!"

 
Thanks to Debra and Tina for joining in this week!

About Souper Sundays:

Souper Sundays (going since 2008) now has a format of a picture link each week where anyone interested can post their soups, salads, or sandwiches at 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 Souper Sunday'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. Also please see below for what to do on your blog post that you link up to Souper Sundays in order to be included in the weekly round-up.
and 

On your entry post (on your blog):
  • Mention Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammies) Sundays at Kahakai Kitchen and link back to this post. (Not to be a pain but it's polite and only fair to link back to events you link up at--so if you link a post up here without linking back to it on your post, it will be removed.)
  • You are welcome to add the Souper Sundays logo to your post and/or blog (completely optional).
You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter

Have a happy, healthy week!
 

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Kerala Fish Stew with Lime and Curry Leaves (and Potatoes & Peas) for Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays

I stopped by Whole Foods the other night to drop something off to my friend and we ended up shopping together. Since I knew I would be making an Indian dish this week for I Heart Cooking Clubs, I checked the local produce aisle to see if they had any fresh curry leaves and ended up with a large bag. Luckily, Natalie took some from me because, although they can be dried or frozen, they are always better fresh.


I looked to Madhur Jaffrey for a soup recipe that used curry leaves but ended up going with a Kerala Fish Stew with Lime and Curry Leaves from Nigel Slater. I liked the combination of the cardamom, lime and curry leaves. I did make a couple of changes, adding some small potatoes and frozen peas (I have been craving samosas I guess!) and adding more broth and coconut milk to make it soupier. I used two kinds of local fish, kajiki and shutome--both mild, firm white fish that held up well. 


Nigel Slater says, “Curry leaves, coriander, coconut, tamarind and limes. These are the tart, cooling flavours you expect further east, yet a Keralan fish stew may be scented with them all. The fish in the market is good enough, the usual Indian blue-grey pomfret, giant eel and the area's famous prawns - after all we are not far from the sea - but we can do better. Down by the sea, past the fishing boats at Cochin, you can also buy it from the boats down by the harbour in Cochin.

Kerala Fish Stew
Slightly adapted from Nigel Slater via TheGuardian.com
(Feeds 4 to 6)

750g (about 1.5 lbs) mixed fish, such as haddock, mullet (I used local kajiki {blue marlin} and shutome (broadbill swordfish)
a little turmeric
juice of a lime
3 Tbsp of coconut, vegetable or groundnut oil
an onion, peeled and finely chopped
4 large, or 6 small green chillies, seeded and finely chopped
4 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
a piece of ginger as big as your thumb, peeled and finely grated
6 green cardamoms
20 fresh curry leaves

(I added about 1 lb small yellow potatoes, sliced)
(I added 2 cups light veggie stock)
(I added 1 cup frozen peas, thawed)
400ml tin (15 oz can)  coconut milk (I used 2 cans)
rice to serve

Rinse the fish, taking care to remove any loose scales or bones. Pat it dry with kitchen paper, put it in a shallow dish and dust with a couple of pinches of turmeric and the same of salt. Squeeze over the lime juice and set aside for half an hour or so.

Heat the oil in a large, shallow pan, adding the onion as it warms. Cook over a low to moderate heat until the onion is soft, stirring from time to time, then add the chillies, garlic and ginger, continuing till all has softened.

Break open the cardamom pods, crush the seeds slightly, and add them to the onion mixture with the curry leaves. Stir in the coconut milk and an equal amount of water. Simmer for 8-10 minutes, making sure it does not boil. (It will curdle if it does.)

Cut the fish into large, meaty chunks then slide them into the sauce. Let it cook gently, barely bubbling, until tender and easily parted from its skin or bone. This will take about 4 or 5 minutes depending on the thickness and variety of your fish. Taste for seasoning, adding more lime juice or salt as you wish.


Notes/Results: I really love this soup, the curry and cardamon give it an exotic flavor--not curry, but fragrant and aromatic, while the lime, chilies and coconut give it an almost Thai vibe. I used three large jalapenos and seeded, it was just spicy enough for me without overpowering the dish. I forgot to make rice, so served it with a microwave lime-coconut rice.I will happily make this again.


Linking up with I Heart Cooking Clubs for Cuisine Spotlight: Indian!

 
Let's take a look in the in the Souper Sundays kitchen.


Debra of Eliot's Eats shared this Quick Salad, inspired by By Invitation Only by Dorthea Benton Frank. She says, "Being the only cook in the family, Shelby brings “two bags of prewashed romaine lettuce to make a salad, with cherry tomatoes and a container of mini-mozzarella balls in water” (176). On the following page, she describes her recipe. ... This salad, however, was a great light Sunday lunch for us. I paired it with some balsamic-butter toasted pretzel buns. (More about that butter later—I’m still perfecting it.)"
 


Tina of Squirrel Head Manor shared her Kitchen Clean Out Salad, saying "This salad is from scavenging in the fridge.  Best soups and salads come out from those forages. Here I used butter lettuce, some baby spinach, cucumber, chopped yellow bell pepper, grape tomatoes and a bit of rotisserie chicken. This was hauled off to lunch as I am still dragging myself in for a bit longer. While I enjoy lunch I prop up my Kindle and read. The life of a Government Drone."


Thanks to Debra and Tina for joining in this week!

About Souper Sundays:

Souper Sundays (going since 2008) now has a format of a picture link each week where anyone interested can post their soups, salads, or sandwiches at 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 Souper Sunday'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. Also please see below for what to do on your blog post that you link up to Souper Sundays in order to be included in the weekly round-up.
and 

On your entry post (on your blog):
  • Mention Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammies) Sundays at Kahakai Kitchen and link back to this post. (Not to be a pain but it's polite and only fair to link back to events you link up at--so if you link a post up here without linking back to it on your post, it will be removed.)
  • You are welcome to add the Souper Sundays logo to your post and/or blog (completely optional).
You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter

Have a happy, healthy week!
 

Thursday, May 9, 2019

The Book Tour Stops Here: A Review of "Before She Was Found" by Heather Gudenkauf, Served with a Recipe for Cheese Pizza (with Pesto, Artichoke Hearts & Black Olives)

One more day until Friday! I am excited for the weekend and excited to be today's stop on the TLC Book Tour for Before She Was Found, a new mystery/thriller by Heather Gudenkauf. Accompanying my review is a recipe for an easy Cheese Pizza. While the dish is inspired by my reading, I changed up to experiment with a keto-friendly egg and cheese crust and topped it with pesto, artichoke hearts, black olives and plenty of cheese.


Publisher's Blurb:

A gripping thriller about three young girlfriends, a dark obsession and a chilling crime that shakes up a quiet Iowa town.

For twelve-year-old Cora Landry and her friends Violet and Jordyn, it was supposed to be an ordinary sleepover—movies and Ouija and talking about boys. But when they decide to sneak out to go to the abandoned rail yard on the outskirts of town, little do they know that their innocent games will have dangerous consequences.
 
Later that night, Cora Landry is discovered on the tracks, bloody and clinging to life, her friends nowhere to be found. Soon their small rural town is thrust into a maelstrom. Who would want to hurt a young girl like Cora—and why? In an investigation that leaves no stone unturned, everyone is a suspect and no one can be trusted—not even those closest to Cora.
 
Before She Was Found is a timely and gripping thriller about friendship and betrayal, about the power of social pressure and the price of needing to fit in. It is about the great lengths a parent will go to protect their child and keep them safe—even if that means burying the truth, no matter the cost.

Hardcover: 368 Pages
Publisher: Park Row; Original edition (April 16, 2019)



My Review:

Before She Was Found is my first Heather Gudenkauf book and one reason I jumped on this tour as I have been meaning to give her a try. The other thing that drew me in was the similarity of the plot description to the Slender Man case from a few years ago in which two 12-year-old girls in Wisconsin, lured another friend to the woods and stabbed her in order to impress a creepy Internet urban legend. Gudenkauf notes in the afterword that this is where the inspiration from the book came from, although there are differences in characters, settings and plot lines. I won't go into much detail in this review as I don't want to spoil it.

The story is told from different points of view and methods--a therapist's notes, Cora's journal, texts between friends, etc., and goes back in forth from the night Cora is found on the train tracks of the abandoned rail yard having been attacked to the time before she was found. Gudenkauf does a skillful job in weaving the different perspectives together and building the suspense, with several twists and turns. There are a lot of characters--the three friends, Cora, Violet and Jordyn, their families, the doctors and police involved, other friends and a somewhat creepy teacher, which kept me interested and guessing as to what happened and who was involved. The down side is that it also made it hard to get to know or bond with any one character and I wanted to understand some of the different motives more than I did. Still, overall I enjoyed Before She Was Found; the story engaged me, the pages flew by, and I would definitely read more from this author. 

-----

Author Notes: Heather Gudenkauf is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of The Weight of Silence and Not a Sound.  Heather lives in Iowa with her family.

Connect with her on her website, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.






-----

Food Inspiration:

The food in Before She Was Found was a bit limited, but there were mentions like gingerbread and pitchie moloko ("birds milk cake" from Russia), ice cream, green rivers (a classic soda shop/diner drink of 7-Up and lime syrup), pizza, a turtle sundae, hot chocolate and fries, oatmeal, chocolate or strawberry milkshakes, peanut butter sandwich, butterscotch candy, bagels, donuts and orange juice, cupcakes, toast with butter and peach jam, pasta and wine, and a bunch of drinks and cocktails as one of the characters grandfather ran a bar and remembered people's drinks rather than their names.
 
For my bookish dish, I chose cheese pizza as when Cora and Violet first become friends, one of the things Cora notes they have in common is a love of cheese pizza.


Why not a regular cheese pizza like the ones the girls enjoyed in the book? well, I have been wanting to experiment with a gluten-free crust and wanted something very easy for a weeknight dinner. my friend has been experimenting with a keto lifestyle lately and suggested I try this one from DietDoctor.com. I like the simplicity of it--just eggs and cheese in the crust (plus a little pepper I added). I prefer non-tomato sauces and have been craving pesto and I thought that the brine of the artichoke hearts and olives to cut some of the rich cheesy-ness.
 

Keto Cheese Pizza (with Pesto, Artichoke Hearts & Black Olives)
Slightly Adapted from DietDoctor.com
(Makes 2 to 4 Servings)

Crust:
4 large eggs
6 oz shredded cheese--preferably mozzarella and/or Provolone
black pepper and oregano if desired

Toppings:
pesto or pizza sauce of choice
shredded cheese of choice (I used a mix of Parmesan, Romano, and cheddar)
canned or jarred artichoke hearts, drained and quartered
black olives 
dried basil or oregano if desired

Pre-heat over to 400 degrees F. Prepare a baking sheet or pizza pan with parchment paper or olive oil cooking spray.

Crack the eggs into a medium bowl and stir them with a fork until blended. Stir in the shredded cheese and mix together well.

Spread out thinly on your prepared pan, using a rubber spatula. (Note: I used two personal pizza pans and divided the mix between them.

Bake for about 15 minutes--until crust turns golden. Remove and let sit for a few minutes. (After it cools a little, I like to loosen the crust from a pan with my spatula before putting on the toppings.)

Turn oven to 450 degrees F. Spread pesto or sauce over pizza crust. Top with artichoke hearts, cheese and black olives--or toppings of choice. Sprinkle with a little dried oregano or basil if desired.

Bake for 7 -10 minutes or until cheese is melted and top is golden brown.

Serve and enjoy!


Notes/Results: Like a cross between pizza and frittata, but chewy and good and enough to solve my  pizza craving, I liked this pizza. It is rich though and I topped one of my two crusts and found myself only eating half of it. (The other half became today's breakfast and I saved the other crust to make another time.) If you don't want to bother with making crust, or frozen crust or pulverizing cauliflower rice if you want to go gluten-free, it is a good way to go and very easy. I will make  it again.


I'm sharing this post with 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.


Note: A review copy of "Before She Was Gone" was provided to me by the author and the publisher via TLC Book Tours. I was not compensated for this review and as always, my thoughts and opinions are my own.  
 
You can see the stops for the rest of this TLC Book Tour and what other reviewers thought about the book here.

 

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Easy Taco Soup: Vegetarian for Cinco de Mayo and Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays

I was undecided about what soup to make this week and decided that since today is Cinco de Mayo, I would throw together an easy and vegetarian Taco Soup


To make this soup, basically a deconstructed taco, I happened to have a package of Lightlife Smart Ground Mexican Crumbles in my fridge, but if you don't do soy you could certainly use any ground meat or keep it veggie by chopping up and browning mushrooms.This soup can also be made vegan by switching to vegan cheese and sour cream in the toppings. Speaking of the toppings, they of course make the soup, so pick as many of your favorite taco fixins' as you want or can fit in the bowl, and be sure to fry up some corn tortillas cut into strips for the crunch.


Easy Taco Soup
By Deb, Kahakai Kitchen
(Serves 6) 

1 tbsp olive oil
1 (12 oz) package soy crumbles of choice or ground meat or chopped mushrooms
4 green onions, white and green parts divided and chopped
1 medium sweet onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 package taco seasoning mix of choice (I use this one by Simply Organic)
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried chipotle pepper or pepper of choice, to taste
1 tsp dried oregano
1 can minced green chiles (I used mild)
4 cups low-sodium veggie broth + 2 cups water
1 can diced fire-roasted tomatoes with juices
1 can creamed corn
1/2 cup nutritional yeast (optional)
1 cup corn kernels, fresh or frozen
2 cans low-sodium pinto beans or beans of choice 
juice of 1 lime
sea salt & freshly ground black pepper

Toppings: corn tortillas cut into strips and fried, shredded lettuce, grated cheese, black olives, avocado, chopped green onions, cilantro leaves, lime wedges, Tabasco or hot sauce of choice, etc. 

Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add soy crumbles, white part of green onions and diced sweet onion and saute, breaking apart the soy crumbles with a wooden spoon. Cook until onions are softened, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, taco seasoning, cumin, chipotle pepper, oregano and green chiles and saute for about 2 minutes. Add veggie broth and stir in tomatoes, creamed corn, nutritional yeast (if using), corn kernels and beans and bring soup to a boil.

Reduce heat and simmer soup for about 15 minutes. Add lime juice, taste for seasoning and add sea salt and black pepper to taste. 

Ladle into bowls and top with your toppings of choice. Enjoy!

 
Notes/Results: Nothing fancy, nothing difficult, but a really good soup especially if you are a toppings fanatic like me. You can't see all of the toppings that well in the picture and I forgot the sour cream in the fridge but the lettuce, cheese (grated jack and cheddar mix), avocado, green onions, cilantro, black olives, extra lime juice and crispy tortilla chips was perfect. Next time I might add pickled jalapenos. I kept my soup fairly mild and added Tabasco upon serving but you can spice it up as much as you want. I added creamed corn to thicken it and the nutritional yeast to give it more depth and extra B-vitamins, but you could leave them out. The taco seasoning pack, spices in the ground crumbles and extra spices gave it plenty of flavor. Soup that satisfies my taco craving, I will happily make it again.


My pal Tina is hanging out with me in the Souper Sundays kitchen this week, let's take a look.

Tina of Squirrel Head Manor shared a tasty Tomato Rice Soup from her Soups & Stews Cookbook by Emily Brown saying, "This little cookbook has come in handy. Only 50 recipes but there was something in each category to interest me. The sections are divided by Creamy  Soups, Seafood Soups, Red Soups, Vegetable Soups, Meat Broth based Soups and Stews. ... The idea of mixing the rice and potatoes seemed weird but it turned out fine.  The fresh tomatoes were blitzed with my immersion blender. It's a good vegetarian soup."


At Kahakai Kitchen I shared a Tropical Fruit Salad with Lime-Honey Dressing & Toasted Coconut Chips that was inspired by a description of breakfast on the SS Lurline in my recent book tour review, The Lieutenant's Nurse by Sara Ackerman. (Don't forget to enter my Instagram giveaway for a copy of this great WWII historical novel.) The lime dressing added a tangy tropical punch to the salad, along with the crispy coconut chips.

 
Thanks to Tina for joining in this week!

About Souper Sundays:

Souper Sundays (going since 2008) now has a format of a picture link each week where anyone interested can post their soups, salads, or sandwiches at 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 Souper Sunday'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. Also please see below for what to do on your blog post that you link up to Souper Sundays in order to be included in the weekly round-up.
and 

On your entry post (on your blog):
  • Mention Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammies) Sundays at Kahakai Kitchen and link back to this post. (Not to be a pain but it's polite and only fair to link back to events you link up at--so if you link a post up here without linking back to it on your post, it will be removed.)
  • You are welcome to add the Souper Sundays logo to your post and/or blog (completely optional).

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter  
Have a happy, healthy week!