Everyday Dorie: Lettuce Soup

April 10, 2020 at 11:30 am | Posted in cook the book fridays, everyday dorie, groups, savory things, soups, veggies | 10 Comments
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lettuce soup

This month for Cook the Book Fridays we’re using what we have and making anything we’d like/are able to from Everyday Dorie. I do my absolute best even in “normal” times to not throw out food and, at one point many months ago, had made mental note of a recipe for Lettuce Soup in the book. I thought it would be a good way to repurpose some limp leaves if need be. Fast forward to now and, with limited trips to the grocery store, I bought a three-pack of romaine hearts. By the time I got down to the last of the three, it looked more ready for lettuce soup than for salad!

I did have to make a few “use what ya have” mods to my batch of soup. The recipe uses three types of onion: regular, shallot and scallion. I just went with a bit more yellow onion in the base and cut up some chives to garnish it before serving. I could tell, given the ingredient list, that this would be a thin soup, one that my husband would not have found substantial enough for dinner. I had one lonely medium-size potato on the counter so I diced it and added it to the pot when the broth went in to simmer. The cooked potato acted as a thickener when I blended the final soup later. Dorie also calls for two types of lettuce…I had the romaine, but not the butter lettuce. I did have a little spinach, though, and I threw in just a handful, which had the added benefit of boosting the green color.

A little goat cheese, some garlic oil and those chives dressed up my lettuce soup, along with tapenade toasts on the side. It was a good dinner and a satisfying way to use things that needed using. For the recipe, see Everyday Dorie by Dorie Greenspan, and head over to Cook the Book Fridays to see what everyone else made this week.


Tuesdays with Dorie DC: Little Rascals

April 7, 2020 at 12:01 am | Posted in cookies & bars, DC, groups, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 3 Comments
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“Little Rascals” brings to mind the goofy gang of kids I used to watch on the tube on weekend mornings. These Little Rascals are jam sandwich cookies, though. Very much like Austrian Linzer cookies, this version’s made with walnuts. The dough comes together with a few zips in the food processor before it’s rolled and chilled. Actually, it’s so soft that it’s easiest to with it frozen. I decided to skip over my set of round cutters and reach for my knife to cut these rascals into rectangles. That way, it was one and done, and I didn’t have to deal with any scrap or re-rolling. I have some plum jam in the fridge and I used that here to make my sandwiches. These are sweet and nutty…crisp on the day they are made, softer the day after that, but both ways delicious.

For the recipe, see Dorie’s Cookies (it’s also here) by Dorie Greenspan. Don’t forget to check out the rest of the TWD Blogroll.

TWD DC Rewind: Puffed Grain and Peanut Butter Cookies

March 31, 2020 at 12:01 am | Posted in cookies & bars, DC, groups, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 5 Comments
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puffed grain and peanut butter cookies

I have a few “harder” recipes to make up for TWD, like Rum Babas and Cannelés, that perhaps I should be tackling with my new found free time, but I still have half a box of puffed mixed grain cereal from when we made Puffed Grain and Miso Cookies back in January (don’t judge) and I want it outta here! Back when we made those miso cookies, I couldn’t help but think that the recipe could be fiddled with and that a sweeter version might be good, too. Now’s the time to revisit that recipe and try my idea out.

I basically just one-for-one swapped out the savory ingredients for sweeter ones. I kept the puffed grains, chopped nuts and dried fruit (I used cherries here), but used a combo of cocoa nibs and shredded coconut for the sesame seeds. For the binding syrup mixture, I kept the brown rice syrup, but used peanut butter for the miso paste, coconut oil for the olive oil, and vanilla for the sesame oil. I turned the oven temperature down to 300° and baked them for 15 minutes, because I thought the original time and temp were a bit too much for the miso cookies. There isn’t anything that really needs to cook here, the baking step is just to glue the ingredients together. I like this lightly sweet version…they remind me of little trail mix pucks.

For the base recipe, see Dorie’s Cookies by Dorie Greenspan. Don’t forget to check out the rest of this week’s rewind on the TWD Blogroll!

Everyday Dorie: Last-of-the-Bunch Banana Bundt

March 27, 2020 at 12:01 am | Posted in bundt cakes, cakes & tortes, cook the book fridays, everyday dorie, groups, simple cakes, sweet things | 9 Comments
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last-of-the-bunch banana bundt

A cake with bananas, chocolate chips, coconut and rum– sign me up! This Last-of-the-Bunch-Banana Bundt has all my favorite stuff, and thankfully that made it a pantry-friendly recipe for me. I did make a couple of little tweaks as I went along. I played up the coconut flavors by using coconut sugar in place of the brown sugar and coconut milk as the liquid in the glaze. Since this batter is so full of moisture-adding mashed banana and Greek yogurt, I decided I could probably cut out just a bit of fat, and only used half the butter called for (I kept the full amount of coconut oil).

There’s a good amount of batter here, and I was a little nervous that it was too much for the pan. Turned out it wasn’t, though…it baked up into a tall, glorious Bundt, which would have been delicious and pretty enough on it’s own, to be sure, but a little glaze and sprinkle didn’t hurt either.

For the recipe, see Everyday Dorie by Dorie Greenspan (it’s also here), and head over to Cook the Book Fridays to see how the group liked this one.

Tuesdays with Dorie DC: Garam Grahams

March 17, 2020 at 10:29 am | Posted in cookies & bars, DC, groups, savory things, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 7 Comments
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garam grahams

Boy– a lot has happened in a week! The restaurant I cook for in the now-ghost town of NYC is closed, and while my job is 86’d for the time being, I am thankful to be healthy and will try to put my self-isolated energy into some long-neglected household organization projects, as well as some more fun cooking and baking stuff. I’ll start here….with cinnamon and honey and earthy notes of cumin and coriander, these Garam Grahams ride the line between sweet and savory and are in the “cocktail cookies” section of the book. Like the last time we made graham crackers, these are speedily whizzed together in the food processor. Unlike the last time we made them, though these have garam masala and black pepper for a funky Indian-ish twist. Sounds weird, but tastes good.

They’re finished off with a dusting of sugar, salt and pepper before going into the oven. I don’t know if you can really tell from the photo, but I used a coarse gold sanding sugar to give them a bit of Bollywood sparkle. I think they go as well with wine or beer as they do with a cup of chai or coffee…whichever best helps calm anxious nerves.

For the recipe, see Dorie’s Cookies by Dorie Greenspan. Don’t forget to check out the rest of the TWD Blogroll and please join us anytime!

Everyday Dorie: Ginger Fried Rice

March 13, 2020 at 4:03 pm | Posted in cook the book fridays, everyday dorie, groups, other savory, savory things, veggies | 7 Comments
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ginger fried rice

This Ginger Fried Rice is a quick and tasty homemade version of a favorite take-out treat. In fact it’s better, because it’s fresher, less greasy and has more veggies. If you have some leftover cooked rice, this is a great way to use it up, along with those stray bits of this and that you might like to clear out of the icebox. Dorie says it’s a good recipe for fridge-raiders, a group I normally belong to, although in this particular case I did need to go out and get some stuff.

I went with Dorie’s suggestions for onions, garlic, baby bok choy and shrimp. I took a total cheat on the cabbage and carrots and bought a bag of coleslaw mix, which contained both and saved me the step of having to thinly slice them. Egg is a must in my fried rice (in fact if I order it out, I usually ask for extra egg), so I pre-scrambled a couple of them before getting along with the rest or the stir fry.

There’s a kick of fresh grated ginger, of course, to flavor the dish, but also a sweet and spicy sauce of ponzu, gochujang and honey. I don’t have any poznu in the fridge, but I do have soy and bottled yuzu juice, so I used a mix of that. I actually have to admit that I never measure anything for a sauce like this. I just get the general idea and then add the ingredients to taste. My taste buds told me this needed some sesame oil, so I added that to my sauce, too.

This is one I’ll make over and over again. For the recipe, see Everyday Dorie by Dorie Greenspan, and head over to Cook the Book Fridays to see how the group liked this one.

Tuesdays with Dorie BCM: Coco Rochers

March 10, 2020 at 3:35 pm | Posted in BCM, cookies & bars, groups, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 5 Comments
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coco rochers

Coco Rochers…what are those? Turns out, they are coconut macaroons. Just four ingredients (unsweetened coconut, sugar, egg whites and vanilla) get heated up for a gently cooked batter that’s then chilled, scooped and baked. I have to confess to you that I added a pinch of salt, too, so I guess that’s really five ingredients. If you want to make it six, add a chocolate drizzle or dip…something I’ll do next time, for sure. My unsweetened coconut is the very fine and fluffy desiccated stuff. I was able to pack the mix pretty tightly into my cookie scoop, and it made for macaroons that were a lot like the Manischewitz-type ones in a can. I’m a big fan of those, by the way. I made just 1/4 batch with the one egg white I had already separated in the fridge. I’m wishing I had more, but they are easy enough to make again anytime.

For the recipe, see Baking Chez Moi by Dorie Greenspan. Don’t forget to check out the rest of the TWD Blogroll!

Tuesdays with Dorie DC: Almond Crescents

March 3, 2020 at 2:32 pm | Posted in cookies & bars, DC, groups, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 4 Comments
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almond crescents

I feel as though I say this with like every other cookie we make, but these Almond Crescents are the perfect coffee or tea treat. Tasty, slightly nutty, crispy and a bit delicate, buttery, sugar coated, cute…shall I go on? I used the guidelines that Dorie gives in the recipe intro to make my cookies on the smaller side. They looked kinda runty when I formed them, but really pleasantly plumped up in the oven. (BTW, when I first looked at this recipe I wondered if maybe I should try toasting the almond flour before using it for even more nutty flavor. But then I forgot all about it. Does anyone regularly do this with almond flour?)

Now comes the snafu! When I took my bag of powdered sugar out of the cupboard I saw that I had, well, almost nothing left. The first cookie I coated was the bottom right one. You can see that I was basically throwing what sugar I did have around–so wasteful! You can track my work up the sheet tray, getting more and more tight-fisted with it…there was just a sprinkle at the end remaining for the one on the top left. I ate that one first.

I shared these, like I often do, with the trainers at the gym. The owner made it a point to tell me a couple of days later how much he liked them. And as I was leaving today, he called out, “More almond crescents!” So I guess I’ll need to get another bag of 10x and make a second batch (or be forced to do extra pull-ups!).

For the recipe, see Dorie’s Cookies by Dorie Greenspan. Don’t forget to check out the rest of the TWD Blogroll.

Everyday Dorie: Balsamic Chicken with Baby Potatoes and Mushrooms (Sheet-Pan Supper)

February 28, 2020 at 8:45 am | Posted in cook the book fridays, everyday dorie, groups, other savory, savory things | 6 Comments
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sheet pan supper: balsamic chicken with baby potatoes and mushrooms

Balsamic Chicken with Baby Potatoes and Mushrooms is a recipe that’s right up my alley. I make some sort of sheet pan supper or tray bake with chicken thighs or sausages and veg quite often. It’s easy (basically hands off after you toss everything together), there’s little to wash up and, my gosh, is roasted stuff good.

Here, you toss together little potatoes, mushrooms, garlic cloves and a shallot with thyme, rosemary, olive oil, balsamic vinegar and s&p. Scatter that stuff over a sheet tray and then do the same with some chicken legs, nestling them among the veggies. Then it’s everyone in the oven for 45 minutes while you have a glass of red wine and a snack. I actually just used chicken thighs and not legs (with drumsticks attached) for this. And I didn’t oil the thighs before I put them on the tray. I simply seasoned them and coated them in the vinegar, because I feel like chicken thighs render out quite a lot of fat on their own. I did go into the oven at the halfway point to turn the mushrooms and potatoes, but I put the chicken on the tray skin side up and left it that way for the whole bake to get a sweet and crispy skin.

This was really good. I’m glad my husband isn’t into noticeable garlic pieces because, to me, the whole roasted cloves were a prize. I squeezed them out onto my plate and mixed the sweet garlic goo into everything else. Yum.

For the recipe, see Everyday Dorie by Dorie Greenspan (it’s also here), and head over to Cook the Book Fridays to see how the group liked this one.

Tuesdays with Dorie BCM: Carrément Chocolat, The Simple Loaf

February 25, 2020 at 8:38 pm | Posted in BCM, cakes & tortes, groups, simple cakes, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 9 Comments
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carrément chocolat, the simple loaf

This Carrément Chocolat cake has a fancy French name but it’s just a “simple loaf.” Actually, it’s an outstanding chocolate-chocolate chip loaf. Why did we wait so long to bake this? Why did I only make a little half-recipe cake? Life’s regrets…

The cake batter is basically whizzed up in stages in the food processor, so that is simple. There’s a bit of prep to take care of first though, and that’s to make a batch of salted chocolate to chop up for chips that get mixed into the batter. This is just as it sounds: melted dark chocolate with sea salt mixed in (you can take a shortcut and buy a couple of nice sea salted dark chocolate bars at the store instead). Dorie says to spread the chocolate out and freeze it hard before chopping. Frozen chocolate is a shardy mess to chop up, so I’d recommend setting it up in the fridge instead. I actually tempered my chocolate, which I’m used to doing at work, and let it harden at room temperature so it cut fairly easily into neat chips.

As I said, I regrettably made only a half-recipe of this cake, but it sounds as though the full batch may be a bit too much for the 8.5×4.5-inch loaf pan called for. Either using a 9×5-inch pan instead or scaling back to 3/4-recipe for an 8.5×4.5-inch tin is something to consider.

I tried to layer the cake batter and salted chocolate chips in my loaf pan to keep the chips from sinking, but they headed right to the bottom anyway. (I would recommend lining your loaf pan with parchment for this reason.) Oh well, that made for a nice little black bottom-style surprise treat. The baked loaf gets brushed with a sugar syrup to help keep it moist. I added espresso powder to my syrup to give it some flavor, but I almost went with rum. I will save that idea for next time.

For the recipe, see Baking Chez Moi by Dorie Greenspan. Don’t forget to check out the rest of the TWD Blogroll!

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