Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Stirring the Pot - Lemon Fudge

Wild tang and white chocolate melt-aways.


The Sun King.
Lemon Fudge – From the About.com recipe

Ingredients

2 ¼ cups granulated sugar
¾ cup evaporated milk (not condensed, sweetened milk)
9 ounces white chocolate, cut into small pieces
1 stick of cold butter (4 ounces), cut into small pieces
1 ½ tablespoons lemon extract
Zest of one lemon, finely minced
A few drops yellow food coloring (I used an all-natural, turmeric-based tincture)

Method


Have ready an 8-inch square non-stick cake pan. Coat pan with vegetable spray if not using a non-stick pan.

In a large saucepan over medium heat, cook the sugar with the evaporated milk, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until it reaches a boil. Turn down heat slightly, but continue to stir for 6 minutes during a gentler boil. If the mixture begins to brown and stick to bottom of saucepan, turn heat down again, but continue to maintain a boil. Turn off the heat after 6 minutes, then quickly add remaining ingredients, beating constantly until the butter and white chocolate are fully melted, and the mixture becomes well blended, thick and smooth. Immediately pour into cake pan, smoothing the mixture to evenly fill the pan. Take caution when touching the pan; it will quickly become hot. Set aside for 2 hours or until pan and contents are comfortable to the touch. Place pan in freezer for 10 minutes to shrink the fudge from sides of pan for easy removal to a cutting board. Carefully cut fudge into squares with a very sharp knife. Serves 6–8. --

Perfect with a cup of very strong, unsweetened tea.

This post is being submitted to Fudge Swap, hosted by Joelen of Joelen's Culinary Adventures.
In addition, by gracious allowance for tardiness, I am submitting to Helen of Tartelette, hosting
Sugar High Friday #43 - Citrus! for Jennifer of The Domestic Goddess, creator of the monthly SHF events.


Been There, Done That ~

Lemon Curd Cheesecake
White Chocolate Mousse
Coconut Burfi
Anise Turkish Delight

Other People's Eats ~

Dairy Candy
Lemon Cake
Mochi

~~~~~~~~~~

Sharing Other Bytes - Two of my photos have received some professional recognition. Hope you enjoy them, too:




Kroppkakor (Swedish Stuffed Potato Dumplings)
on display in a culinary culture exhibit at
Blekinge Museum, Karlskrona, Sweden.


Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Beautiful Things

Daffodils


Pink Crabapple


At the rate I've been going lately, stretched in all directions over many, many weeks, it looked like I was forgetting about The Well-Seasoned Cook's first birthday back in early March (celebratory sweet in next post), as well as the generous and thoughtful awards I have been honored with during this time. Yet despite my distractions, this blog and your frequent visits and comments have never been all that far from my mind. If you are a blogger of any committed length of time, you know what I am talking about.

This post acknowledges with deep gratitude four awards that either have long circulations or recent ones. As I pass them along, I am aware that some recipients may already have enjoyed displaying their badges, while others are not particularly fond of them at all. Please do with them as you wish; I do not expect obligation of any sort. And rather than talk up the particular bloggers, best their particular shining qualities speak for themselves, so you can see what all my fuss is about:

From Vaishali, Hilda and Priya; going out to Ricki, Toni and Vicki.

~~~

From Susan; going out to Wiffy, Meg, Cedar and Marija.

~~~

From Hilda; going out to Nanditha.

~~~

From Swati; this one goes out to every single one of you (blogger or not),
for taking the time to stop by for a read and maybe a comment.
You truly do make my day! Thanks, again!


Forsythia


Bleeding Hearts

Sunday, May 11, 2008

WHB - Greek Mushroom Filo Cups

Musky, woodsy, just enough crunch - they didn't last
beyond a late-afternoon apéritif. Meze supreme.


Simple, button mushrooms, waiting to be transformed.


There isn't enough thyme in the world.

Greek Coriander Mushrooms - From The Book of Greek Cooking by Lesley Mackley, Page 27


Ingredients

1/2 pound mushrooms,white button or portobello, quickly washed, then chopped moderately fine
1 generous teaspoon coriander seed, lightly crushed in a mortar and pestle
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, smashed
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 fresh thyme sprigs
4 tablespoons dry white wine
Salt and pepper to taste
Curly parsley to garnish

1 12-count package frozen filo cups

Method

In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add garlic and thyme. Cook until gently frizzled, then add lemon juice and white wine, quickly following with chopped mushrooms. Cover pan for ten minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove cover, then salt and pepper to taste.

Heat filo cups per package instructions (up to ten minutes in 350 F degree pre-heated oven) on a baking sheet.

If mushrooms are still watery, continue to cook until excess liquid has evaporated. Remove thyme sprigs and garlic cloves. Adjust seasoning if necessary.

Spoon generous teapoons into filo cups. Bake filled cups for 10-15 minutes or until filo cups are lightly browned. Garnish with tiny sprigs of curly parsley. Serve while still warm. Serves 2-3. --

This post is being submitted to Laurie of Mediterranean Cooking in Alaska, hostess of this week's Weekend Herb Blogging, for Kalyn Denny of Kalyn's Kitchen, creator of this very popular food blogging event.

Been There, Done That ~

Chanterelle Mushrooms in Creamy Root Vegetable Pie
Grilled Portobello Mushrooms
Mushroom Ambat Curry


Other People's Eats ~

Cream of Wild Mushroom Soup
Halva Cake with Warm Mushrooms

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Pandora's Box - Mango and Tomato Curry


There may be hope for me yet. I thought, perhaps, I would have to enter a 12-step program. But now that I see my addiction laid out before me, all the jars, bottles, vials, packets and envelopes, at least I know I am not in denial: I own too many spices and herbs. Granted, I am probably not unlike many other well-seasoned cooks, with a larder of flavors at the ready and a savage culinary curiosity. But I am too fond of my stockpile; as Gollum might put it, they are all “my precious.”

A few of my favorite things
(from back to front): cumin, turmeric and cayenne

And how, exactly, do I know this? Well, there are some containers holding barely a heel of powder or crumb of dried leaf, yet I cannot part with them. There are also the duplicates and triplicates, purchased when I could not find a particular ingredient somewhere in the abyss of my cabinets. This is a confession that leaves me as red as a chile pepper (cayenne, if you must know), and more than a little troubled by the chaotic greed of it all. I have been collecting nonstop for the last two years, and doubt that this would ever have given me pause except that a food blogging event is snooping around, wanting to have a look. I have to clean for company now, put the racks, carousels, baskets and canisters into a semblance of organization that will not deepen my shame. I purchased a beautifully beaten-up apothecary piece, just for the occasion.



It is not a task for the timid. There are literally dozens and dozens of denizens, the aromatics and hush-hued flakes like rosemary and chervil; the ground powders of sage and clove; the delirious floral elixirs; and the war-headed peppers. There are representatives from India, Australia, Thailand and Morocco; Mexico, Spain, Italy and Jamaica. It is a roller coaster, a shrieking mess that begs some calm and order.

There is calm and order…for a time. I am happy with my accomplishment. It is practical, it is neat, and it was very hard won. But I am feeling a little angst, too. There may be no hope for me, after all. Now that the photos have been taken, I notice there is actually some empty space left in a cubby hole or two. Nature abhors a vacuum. Something must be done. Perhaps I’ll fill in with some grains of paradise. I’ve never had them before. Precious.

Green mango and fresh green curry leaves

Green Mango and Tomato Curry - Adapted from the Vij's recipe/Vij's Indian Cuisine Cookbook, brought to my attention by Suganya

Ingredients

1 green, unripe mango, peeled and cubed (or a ripe fruit if you prefer a sweeter flavor rather than sour)
2 large tomatoes, cored, then blanched to remove the skins before chopping
20 curry leaves
3 tablespoons ghee or other clarified butter
2 teaspoons black mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon asafoetida
2 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 cup chopped green onion
1/2 - 3/4 teaspoon salt

Method

In a large skillet, over medium-high heat, liquify the ghee then add the mustard seeds and asafoetida. Continue to heat until you hear the seeds popping. (Avert your face to prevent being spattered with projectile seeds.) Quickly add the curry leaves, stirring briefly until wilted. Add the tomatoes, cumin, cayenne and turmeric. Stir, then cook on low heat for about 10 minutes. Stir in mango, cover skillet, and cook for another 10 minutes. Add salt and green onion, cooking uncovered for about 3 minutes. Serves 2. --


This post is being submitted to Gabi of The Feast Within, hosting Show Us Your Spice Collection, the latest volume in the Show Us Your...events, created by Ilva of Lucullian Delights.


Been There, Done That ~


Panch Phoron
Speculaas Dutch Spice Cookies

Other People's Eats ~

Ezhukari Kuzhambu
Habanero
Ethiopian Fish

Saturday, May 3, 2008

WHB - Asian Salad with Wasabi Vinaigrette

Drizzled with the sizzle of wasabi, a bowl of delicate
shapes and soft colors is hardly a pallid salad.




Asian Salad - My Own Recipe

Ingredients

3 ½ cups napa cabbage, shredded
1 stump fresh enoki mushrooms, rinsed and blotted dry, stump cut off to release mushrooms into individual strands
1 large daikon radish, peeled, then shredded with a citrus zester
1 large Asian pear, peeled and diced

Method

In a large bowl, gently combine all ingredients, then divide salad into four individual bowls. Serves 4. –


Wasabi Vinaigrette – Adapted from the recipe on the Nime Wasabi tin (Sesame oil, scallion and star anise are my additions.)

Ingredients

1 tablespoon powdered wasabi
1 tablespoon sugar
6 tablespoons water
6 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
2 tablespoons chopped scallion bulbs
1-2 star anise
½ teaspoon salt

Method

In a small bowl, whisk the water with the wasabi and sugar until frothy and without lumps. Add the remaining ingredients. Set aside at least 2 hours for the flavors to mature. Adjust seasonings according to taste. More sesame oil by the drop will mellow the wasabi, while more vinegar by the teaspoon will reduce the sweetness. Stir right before serving to homogenize any settling at bottom of the bowl. Dresses 4 salads. --

This post is being sent to Anh of Food Lover's Journey, hosting Weekend Herb Blogging for Kalyn Denny of Kalyn's Kitchen, the creator of this very popular weekly food blogging event.


Been There, Done That ~

Mâche Pit Salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette
Confetti Cole Slaw

Other People's Eats ~

Enoki Mushrooms
Napa Cabbage
Asian Pear
Daikon Radish