Cooking Notes – March 2012

Not a full month’s notes, but a few recipes I want to record before I lose the links.

Baking/Desserts

Cream SconesA very nice recipe for scones. I added 1/3 cup of dried cranberries, and served with butter and homemade strawberry jam for a Sunday morning breakfast. I also usually pat the dough into a round and cut into slices like a pie to avoid wasting dough.

GougeresA delicious snacky french pastry that whips up in minutes. I substituted swiss cheese since our grocery store didn’t have gruyere. Also, I followed the original recipe from the Williams Sonoma Bride & Groom cookbook vs. the slightly altered website version linked here. The cookbook version calls for 1/4 tsp. red/cayenne pepper instead of just a pinch, which I agree with – it added a nice bite. Also, the cookbook mentioned that you could just scoop the dough onto the baking sheet into 1 inch balls with two spoons (like cookie dough) rather than using a pastry bag. I used the spoons, and the gougeres turned out beautifully.

Irish Bread – From Heirloom Baking with the Brass Sisters. This bread was a bit disappointing. It came together easily, but was bland and dry.

Main Meals/Sides

Irish Beef and Guinness Stew  – Intended for St. Paddy’s, but made a few days late thanks to a crazy work schedule. The guinness broth was very good, and the meat was tender. Carl really loved this dish, but something tasted off to me…

Tomatoes Stuffed with Ricotta and Spinach – I used this recipe fromThe Silver Palate Cookbook (one of my favorite cookbooks) and we both loved it. I halved the recipe (since there’s only two of us and stuffed tomatoes don’t reheat that well), used fresh spinach, substituted walnutes for pine nuts, and threw in some mushrooms to saute with the other vegetables since we had some in the fridge. Served with brown rice the first night, and gougeres the next. I’ll definitely make these again. There’s a lot of room for experimenting with the fillings from this base.

Curry Chicken Stew – An old favorite from The Silver Palate Cookbook. Served with leftover gougeres.

New Orleans Sausage and Beans – Fine but not the best recipe. Sausage (had to substitute kielbasa), a bit of bacon thrown in, plus butter beans, tomatoes, carrots, garlic, thyme and onions stewed together

Lasagna – “The Best Lasagna Ever” recipe from the Pioneer Woman, served at dinner with neighbors with bread, a salad, and cut up raw veggies for the little kids.

Ham and Potato Gratin – From Mastering the Art of French Cooking with a significant amount of fudging.

 

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