Saturday, August 30, 2008

My Legume Love Affair - Second Helping - The Round-Up

A nice turnout, a good mix of familiar faces and new friends, and, as always, an amazing array of delightful recipes generously offered to guests across the miles. Thanks for making My Legume Love Affair - Second Helping an event that you can love, too. Please makes yourselves at home, scroll down the entries, and check out the winner of the cookbook drawing, highlighted along the way. (Winner, please contact me to make your selection and provide me with shipping details.)

Should there be any errors or omissions, I will correct them as soon as I am notified.

Best Wishes and Happy Eating!

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To soak or not to soak? A cooking instructor has the answers
with hundreds of quick variations on a theme
that ensure the basic elements are never boring.

100 Idiot Proof Lentil Curries
Ramki - Ramki Cooks
India

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How do you translate the versatility of the freshest local farm produce in town?
Why, it's like catching "two pigeons with one fava bean!"

Insalata di Fave
Simona - Briciole
Oakland, California, U.S.A.

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Three rugged individualists share their colors, textures and flavors in
a south-of-the-border favorite that spotlights the best of alfresco dining.

Chipotle Barbecue Bean and Corn Salad
Susan - Food Blogga
San Diego, California, U.S.A.

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Like pebbles warmed and browned, savory, rustic lentils
are nearly upstaged by a late-summer shipment of
juicy, plump figs from distant shores.

Sausage and Lentils with Spiced Figs
Laurie - Mediterranean Cooking in Alaska
Anchorage, Alaska, U.S.A.

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Feeling hot and sticky? Go for a quick dip with a light and
tart riff on a traditional tahini-rich meze.

Turkish Yogurt Hummus
Lisa - Lisa's Kitchen
London, Ontario, Canada

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An invasion of garden pests wipes out the crop, but doesn't dampen
the determination for the simple elegance of a dish kissed with citrus.

Broad Bean and Lemon Risotto
Michelle - Greedy Gourmet
Canewdon, UK

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Pongal is the tie that binds the grace of God with the dearly departed
and those who celebrate their wise and compassionate lives.

Pongal
Sia - Monsoon Spice
UK

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Pod beans of the East and West meet in the Mediterranean for a quick
side dish slathered with olive oil, lemon and mustard.

Ricki (my sister-in-law)
Delaware, U.S.A.

Mean Green Bean Salad

Ingredients

1/2 pound green beans
1/2 pound wax beans
1/4 pound Chinese long beans
1/2 small onion, sliced thin
10 stalks asparagus, cut on the bias

Method

Blanch or steam beans until just cooked (must be crunchy). Drain and arrange on serving dish. Combine dressing ingredients (below) until well blended. Pour over beans and toss to coat.
Serves 4. --

Dressing

Juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 cup olive oil
Salt and Pepper to taste


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A creamy and enchanted rice pudding stirs the sweet spot of memories
for a South Indian cook who revives the ritual in her own kitchen.

Ven Pongal and Gosthu
Suganya - Tasty Palettes
U.S.A.

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Does a complicated recipe get your dander up? Don't get mad.
Send the blasted thing to rehab. Twelve steps are so much friendlier than twenty.

Moong Beans, Greens and Mango
Bee and Jai - Jugalbandi
U.S.A.

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With a long and luscious list of flavorful ingredients, a "bolognaise" sauce
defies any diner to honestly say they miss the meat.

Vegetarian Lasagna
Johanna - Green Gourmet Giraffe
Melbourne, Australia

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Perfect pearls of sweet green peas scatter their charm over a mound
of grilled Greek cheese and asparagus spears.

Abby - Eat the Right Stuff
London, UK

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Spiced chickpeas and pumpkin chunks headline a South American dish that
cheers a gluten-free cook from the perils of a potentially monotonous diet.

Carapulcra de Garbanzos
Manda - Asparagus Thin
Concord, Virginia, U.S.A.

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Recipes are like clothing: one size really does not fit all. Sometimes all it takes,
though, to turn a pet peeve into perfection is a few good tweaks.

Rajmah
Sra - When My Soup Came Alive
India

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In a nation famous for its unpredictable weather, the broad bean is
a legume for all seasons, even in the same month.

A trio of revered soybean ingredients provide chic
minimalism to a clear and restorative Japanese broth.

White Miso Soup
Lori Lynn - Taste with the Eyes
Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.

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Ancient and intriguing, dried limes from out of town disturb the peace in a
neighborhood thriving with herbs and spices that sparkle in their own right.

Kidney Beans with Herbs and Lime
Lucy - Nourish Me
Melbourne, Australia

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Brilliant flavors and surprising variety ease the daunting task
of committing to a highly restrictive diet designed for optimum health.

Kitchari
Ricki - Diet, Dessert and Dogs
Toronto, Canada

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The delicacy of thin and crispy crepes are enjoyed all the more when a
cherished relative shares time-shaving tips with an already enthusiastic cook.

Dosa
Vaishali - Holy Cow! Recipes from a Vegan Kitchen
Silver Spring, Maryland, U.S.A.

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Five-minutes fast, golden-fried and spiced chickpea nuggets
will tempt you to whip up a batch any time of day.

A healthy holding back on butter and cream makes little difference
to the rich, slow-cooked flavor of a classic Punjabi specialty.

Deeba - Passionate About Baking
Gurgaon, India

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A mysterious health benefit in black beans gives credence
to the belief that beauty is, indeed, sometimes skin deep.

Malai Dhal
Priya - Live to Cook
Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A.

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Colorful aromatics and slow cooking restore an Englishwoman's faith that
baked beans need not be as dismal as the contents of a convenience tin.

Baked Beans
Alex - Eating Leeds
Leeds, West Yorkshire, UK

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The already impressive nutritional profile of many a bean can
practically grow right before you eyes. Just add water.

A alluringly named pod bean catches the eye of a
health-savvy shopper for a dazzling dish of color and crunch.

Summer Stir Fry
Meg - Becoming Whole
Cape Elizabeth, Maine, U.S.A.

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Clever, luxurious, eye-catching cupcakes make the case
for enjoying sweet and savory in the same mouthful.

Stef - Cupcake Project
U.S.A.

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Tiny green chili stems start soy milk's engine for a delicate
vegan yogurt in the absence of traditional cultures.

Soy Yogurt
Priya - Live to Cook
Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A.

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You would never guess to look at this crusty, well-shaped loaf that its fine
and moist crumb owes all to a secret ingredient hidden in the dough.

Bean Bread
Manuela - Baking History
Massachusetts, U.S.A.

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The bold tang of lemon helps a husband forget his meat cravings long
enough to finish almost the last drop of a gorgeously easy Greek soup.

Chickpea and Lemon Soup
Jessica - Fearless Kitchen
U.S.A.

CONGRATULATIONS, JESSICA!
YOU HAVE WON THE COOKBOOK DRAWING!

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Tender scallops of tofu, dressed in a quick, light and classic
Asian sauce is as easy to prepare as 1-2-3.

Savoury, Smooth Tofu
Christine - Kits Chow
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

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Bitter greens, snappy black pepper and the tingle of vinegar enhance
a slow-baking lentil casserole on a warm summer day.

Vicki - A Work in Progress
San Marcos, California, U.S.A.

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A generous tangle of sprouted mung beans bursting with Indian spices
is just the kind of dish that forks were invented for.

U.S.A.

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A charmingly neglected garden is nonetheless a bounty of broad beans
collected for a simple salad drenched with lemony peppered olive oil.

Broad Bean Salad
Wendy - A Wee Bit of Cooking
Inverness, Scotland

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Family gatherings entice a hostess to lay a table of traditional tiffin
as a change of pace from pleasing but predictable brunch fare.

Pesaratt
Mandira - Ahaar
Ann Arbor, Michigan, U.S.A.

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Savory, spiced bars of ground chickpeas remind a spiritual
cook of her grandmother's most special recipe.

Paata Vadyaa (English translation link in post)
Mints! - Vandani Kaval Gheta
U.S.A.

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A staple in many African cultures, a leguminous groundnut
known as the peanut provides a warm and creamy soup to
pair with a filling carotene-rich starch.

African Peanut and Yam Soup
Susan - The Well-Seasoned Cook
New York, U.S.A.

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Lucy of Nourish Me will be hosting My Legume Love Affair - Third Helping, the September edition. Do stop by her newly crafted TypePad site and say "hello" to healthy eating through an artist's eyes.

Thanks, again, for joining in!

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Friday, August 29, 2008

African Peanut and Yam Soup - My Legume Love Affair-Second Helping

African Peanut and Yam Soup

Easy and exotic, a cluster of mashed yam
dollops a groundnut and vegetable soup
that's as thick and rich as gravy.


Peanuts

Peanuts pack a healthy punch of protein and elusive friendly fats.


African Peanut and Yam Soup - Adapted from the Peanut Soup and Fufu* recipes from The Congo Cookbook

Ingredients

4 cups water
2 vegetable bouillon cubes
(or 4 cups vegetable stock)
1 large carrot, chopped
1 large green pepper, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1 cup chunky or smooth peanut butter
Salt and Pepper to taste
Red Pepper flakes (optional to taste and garnish)

*1 ½ pounds yams, boiled or microwaved, skinned and mashed (a very streamlined version of the labor-intensive, two-person task of pounding traditional fufu into a smooth, dense dough for scooping stews and gravies to eat by hand)

Method

In a large pot, bring all ingredients except the peanut butter and seasonings to a boil, then reduce heat to low, simmering approximately 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender but not mushy. Add peanut butter, allowing it to soften briefly in the hot stock before stirring it in. Simmer several more minutes until heated through and gently bubbling. Simmer longer if you prefer a thicker soup. Add salt and pepper to taste. Ladle into bowls, then drop generous spoonfuls of mashed yams into the soup. Garnish with red pepper flakes if desired. Serve immediately. Serves 4. –

African Peanut and Yam Soup


This is my contribution to My Legume Love Affair - Second Helping, which I am hosting for August to kick off what is now a monthly event. (I will publish a separate post next week listing the guest hosts throughout the coming months.) This current round-up will be online very late tonight or tomorrow. Thanks to everyone who has participated. And thanks for the dozens of generous and friendly comments left to my most recent posts. I will be replying to every one of them as soon as the round-up is posted, as well as continuing to visit and comment to your blogs, which I have been having the pleasure of doing these past several days as I work to catch up on everything since my return from break. See you soon!

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Been There, Done That ~

Chickpeas, Broccoli Rabe and Brown Rice
Pomegranate Lentil Soup
Leblebi


Other People's Eats ~

Peanut Sauce
Garlic, Chickpea and Peanut Soup
Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Lazy Day Dessert - Pineapple with Crystallized Ginger, Orange Flower Water and Lime Zest


Pineapple with Crystallized Ginger and Lime Zest


Back from a one-month blogging holiday, you would think I'd be raring to go, bright eyed and brimming with all the vigor of those early days when The Well-Seasoned Cook was just a baby. Well, not so fast. There really would be no point at all to decompressing these last languid weeks if only to come back with a case of decompression sickness. I want bubbles in my champagne, not in my blood. So I am easing back onto the Autobahn, savoring these waning days of my slow, sweet summer with a recipe so delicate and dazzling that it could only have been designed on the wings of a dragonfly or in a Parisienne's kitchen. Anne's kitchen, to be precise.


Pineapple


Pineapple Carpaccio with Candied Ginger and Lime - Adapted from A Foodie Froggy in Paris


Ingredients

1 large pineapple
3 tablespoons orange flower water
1/4 cup finely chopped candied ginger
Zest of 1 large lime

Method

Cut off and discard the leaf and stem ends of the pineapple, as well as the peel. You can remove the eyes from the outer surface by following the photos in Anne's post, or nick them out with the tip of a very sharp knife. Slice pineapple into circles about 3/4 inch thick, then core each piece to create a ring. This is an easier way to core by hand if you do not have the luxury of edible-cored baby pineapple or a special pineapple coring tool. Cut each ring into chunks.

Arrange chunks in six individual bowls, scattering the divided ginger, lime zest and orange flower water over each serving. Chill briefly in the refrigerator or serve immediately. Serves 6.

Pineapple with Crystallized Ginger and Lime Zest


This post is going off to Aparna of My Diverse Kitchen, hosting the August edition of Monthly Blog Patrol, Fruit Fare, for Coffee of The Spice Cafe, the creator of Monthly Blog Patrol.

Been There, Done That ~

Halvah Ice Cream with Apricots and Orange Flower Water
Orange Madeleines in Coriander and Orange Flower Water Syrup
White Chocolate and Orange Flower Water Pots de Crème


Other People's Eats ~

Pineapple Ginger and Cinnamon Crème
Pineapple Salad - Two Ways
Pineapple and Sour Cream Sponge Cake