Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Rustic Cabbage Soup

This week at I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC), we are saying goodbye to Heidi Swanson. We have cooked from her recipes for the  past six months, and it is time we move on to another chosen chef. I have not been cooking with Heidi's recipes as much as I wanted to, but I can always cook with her on our Potluck weeks. To say "Bon Voyage Heidi!", I've made her Rustic Cabbage Soup.



This soup is very easy to cook and do not take much time at all. Shredded cabbage, potatoes, white beans, onions and garlic are the ingredients used for this soup. For the stock, I've used Rapunzel vegetable stock bouillon. I've used canned butter beans. Heidi serves the soup with freshly shredded Parmesan cheese as the topping, of which I've omitted, preferring to eat it just as it is.



I made this soup for lunch, and it was a satisfying and lovely lunch. It is not often I had soup for lunch, and I would not mind making this again. 

Rustic Cabbage Soup
(source from 101cookbooks.com)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
a big pinch of salt
1/2 pound potatoes, skin on, cut 1/4-inch pieces
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
5 cups stock
1-1/2 cup white beans, precooked or canned (drained)
1/2 medium cabbage, cored and sliced into 1/4-inch ribbons

more good-quality extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated

Warm the olive oil in a large thick-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Stir in the salt and potatoes. Cover and cook until they are a bit tender and starting to brown a bit, about 5 minutes - it's o.k to uncover to stir a couple times. Stir in the garlic and onions and cook for another minute or two. Add the stock and the beans and bring the pot to a simmer. Stir in the cabbage and cook for a couple more minutes, until the cabbage softens up a bit. Now adjust the seasoning - getting the seasoning right is important or your soup will taste flat and uninteresting. Taste and add more salt if needed, the amount of salt you will need to add will depend on how salty your stock is.
Serve drizzled with a bit of olive oil and a generous dusting of cheese.


********

Out of the nine Heidi recipes which I've made, the most favourite has got to be this Kale Rice Bowl.

I love everything in this bowl!


To see what the other lovely ladies have made  to say Bon Voyage Heidi! please stop by IHCC. Starting from April, our new featured chef will be Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. You are welcome to join us! 


Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Pithiviers

It is Tuesdays With Dorie week for Baking Chez Moi. Two recipes selected for this month, Black-and-White Marbled Madeleines which I have baked and posted here, and for this week it is Pithiviers. I have never made Pithiviers before, and Dorie's version is yummy!

Pithiviers, with puff pastry as the base and the top, sandwiched with the filling of frangipane and a layer of homemade prune jam spread on top of the frangipane. Very easy to make, especially when there's ready-made store-bought puff pastry stashed in the freezer!



My pithiviers is slightly smaller than the recipe states, as the frozen puff pastry I bought comes in 8" squares. Did not roll the pastry as they are already about 1/8 inch thick. You would need two sheets of puff pastry. I made the almond filling and prune jam the day before, keep refrigerated while the frozen puff pastry is left to thaw overnight in the fridge. I opted to use the dark rum over the vanilla extract for the prune jam. Both the almond filling and the prune jam are easy to make and takes only minutes.

Simply assemble the Pithiviers the next day. Place the smaller round of the pastry on a parchment lined baking sheet. Place the almond filling in the centre, and spread the prune jam over it. Brush the pastry with egg wash all around the filling, then top with the bigger piece of pastry. Press the edges together and seal. Brush the top with egg wash, then place in the fridge for at least 30 minute. Meanwhile preheat the oven at 450F. Remove the pithivier from the fridge, brush with egg wash once again, make some slits on top, and sprinkle with some sugar, of which I've used demerara sugar. Place in the oven, and immediately reduce the temperature to 375F. Bake until golden and puffy.

I did not seal the pastry well enough, and the almond filling leaked out, which is not a waste, as it bakes up around the pithiver, crispy and delicious! 







This Pithiviers are quite yummy. The prune jam and the almond filling are really good together. And I like it that it is not too sweet, with the crispy buttery pastry, makes it a delight to eat with a cup of warm tea.


Sunday, March 26, 2017

Quick-Pickled Carrots

It's Potluck week at I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC). I've made Nigella Lawson's Quick-Pickled Carrots, recipe from her latest cookbook Simply Nigella. 

This is a really quick pickle to make, as it's name implies. The only "extra" work is to cut the carrots into matchsticks. Nigella's very own words "if I can summon the patience to cut carrots into julienne strips, then anyone can". 



The recipe states to use two large carrots equivalent to about 8 ounces total. I grabbed a pack of two large carrots from the organic store and each carrot already weigh 8 ounces each! So I use only one carrot, since the only pickle lover in my house is me! 

Slice the carrot into julienned strips, then place in a bowl. The pickling brine is made by boiling together apple cider vinegar, water, honey, salt, bay leaves, mustard seeds, fennel seeds and lightly crushed cardamom pods. Once the brine has come to a boil, pour it over the carrots, then leave for one hour or so to reach room temperature. Refrigerate for at least an hour before eating.

There is no sugar used at all, but honey is used instead. I added an extra tablespoon of honey as the pickle is quite sour. The carrots are crunchy, a little sour and salty. This would be a lovely accompaniment for roasted meat, I was thinking of Chinese roasted pork! This is a sour pickle, you can add more honey to taste, if you prefer a sweeter pickle.


Quick-Pickled Carrots
(adapted from "Simply Nigella", by Nigella Lawson)
makes approx 2 cups
2 large carrots (approx 8 ounces total), peeled
3/4 cup apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar
3/4 cup cold water
2 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons sea salt flakes or kosher salt
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
4 cardamom pods
1 x 2-cup preserving jar or any resealable jar with vinegar-proof lid

Peel the carrots and cut them into matchsticks, and put them into a non-metallic bowl or large measuring cup while you get on with the pickling liquid.
Put the vinegar, water, honey, salt, bay leaves, mustard, and fennel seeds into a saucepan. Crush or crack the cardamom pods and put them in, too. Bring to a boil, then take the pan off the heat, and stir to make sure that the salt is dissolved. Pour this liquid over the carrots and leave for about 1 hour to reach room temperature, then stash in the refrigerator for about 1 hour before eating.



I'm linking this post with I Heart Cooking Clubs, theme for this week
March IHCC Potluck



and 

I'm linking this post with Cookbook Countdown #15 hosted by 




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