Submitted by Notions and Notations of a Novice Chef
For the final MasterChef mystery box challenge at home we have: Chorizo, Rosemary, Asparagus, Orechiette, AP Flour, Ground beef, Grits, Canned baby corn, Garlic powder, White rice and Butter.
It’s my personal favorite basket, since the ingredients are all pretty versatile and don’t have the tendency to point to one specific cuisine. My submission is pretty simple and uses three of the above as its main components. Let’s get started:
PARISIENNE GNOCCHI AND ASPARAGUS:
- 1 cup water
- 8 tablespoons salted butter
- 1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 3 large eggs
- 2 tablespoon chopped parsley
- 1 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 lb asparagus
- 1 1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
Bring water and water to a boil in medium saucepan over high heat. Add in all the flour and stir with a wooden spoon until a smooth dough forms. Reduce heat to medium low and cook while stirring until the dough pulls away from the sides of the saucepan.
Remove pot from heat and add in the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition to prevent the eggs from curdling. Add in the chese and chopper parsley. Transfer the mixture to a piping bag fitted with a 1/2 inch tip.
Let mixture rest for 30 minutes at room temperature. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a simmer. Have a rimmed baking sheet ready on the side. Holding the bag over the boiling water, squeeze the mixture out and cut it off with a knife or scissor into 1-inch lengths and let them fall into to water. Continue cutting as many as you can in 1 minute, then stop.
When all the gnocchis have floated to the top, continue cooking for about 3 more minutes. Fish them out with a metal spider and transfer to rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat. Repeat with remaining dough. Set aside to cool for another 30 minutes.
Trim and blanch the asparagus in salted water. Cut into bite sized pieces and set aside.
Heat the unsalted butter in a skillet over medium high heat. Add in the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the gnocchi and cook until brown and toasty. Add in the blanched asparagus and season to taste.
Grate some parmesan cheese or any cheese you like on top before serving.
2 down, one to go.
Submitted by Notions & Notations of a Novice Cook
This week’s mystery box challenge comes with these ingredients: 4 apples (assorted variety), sausage, ground turkey, green beans, ears of corn, onion and yellow squash. I’m not going to lie, I had trouble with these. I made a fresh corn polenta topped with sticky sausages, apples and onions and decided that that was more of a cold day preference, so I submitted these instead - turkey meatball skewers with a green bean succotash. Please don’t mind the rather blurry phone picture (my camera called in sick), this is a simple dish that’s quick to put together to be enjoyed in the last days of summer.
1lb ground turkey
3/4 cup breadcrumbs
1 apple, cored and grated
1 1/2 tablespoon cajun seasoning
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoon olive oil
OPTIONAL: Bamboo skewers
Combine all the ingredients except the oil in a bowl and mix until combined. The mixture will be a little soft and sticks to your hands. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat and using your hands or a small ice cream scoop, drop the meatballs into the oil. Cook for a minute or two on each sides. Thread 3 into a skewer and keep warm.
GREEN BEANS SUCCOTASH:
2 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 medium tomatoes, chopped
2 cups of corn from 2-3 ears of corn
2 cups chopped green beans
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoon water
Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add in the chopped onions, galic and salt. Cook until soft amd fragrant, about 5 minutes. Add in the rest of the ingredients and cook for 15 minutes, or until the corn and beans have softened but still has a bite to them.
Serve the succotash with the meatball skewers.
Submitted to MasterChef by peegaw
So I got the list of the ingredients in the MasterChef at Home Mystery Box this week and they were: Ground beef, dill pickles, soy sauce, button mushrooms, russet potato, white rice, iceberg lettuce, blue cheese crumbles, peanuts, yellow mustard, sour cream and balsamic vinegar. This could have gone in a lot of different directions - sour cream gratin, cottage pie, a fusion larb? But in the end I settled with making some sliders, and while a burger version of these will undoubtedly earn itself a spot in thisiswhyyourefat.com, sliders are small enough to be just that indulgent without you wanting to crawl and hibernate after the meal.
BLUE CHEESE JUICY LUCY ROSTI SLIDERS (serves 4):
BLEU CHEESE JUICY LUCY PATTY:
- 1 1/2 lb ground beef
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 lb blue cheese.
In a bowl, mix together the ground beef, soy sauce, sugar and black pepper. Mix until just incorporated. Divide into 3 portions. Take 2/3 and divide into 4 large balls. Divide the rest (1/3) of the mixture into 4 small balls.
Make an indentation into the large balls while spreading into a patty size of your choice. Fill the indentation with the blue cheese. Flatten the smaller balls, making them into lids, and place the lids on top of the cheese-filled patties. Pinch the seams, making sure there are no gaps. Refrigerate until needed. To cook, cook on a grill or skillet over medium high heat (about 2-3 minutes per side).
- 1 lb button mushroom, sliced
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Heat butter and oil in a skillet and add in the mushroom. Stir every other minute until it starts to brown. Sprinkle the brown sugar and stir. Cook for 4 minutes until caramelized. Add in the vinegar and cook until the vinegar evaporates.
- 3 medium russet potatoes
- 5 tablespoons olive oil
- kosher salt
Grate the potatoes into matchsticks and gather in a clean tea towel. Squeeze as much water as you can.
Divide into 8 equal portions. Heat a large frying pan over medium heat and add two tablespoons of olive oil.
If you have it, place a metal chef’s ring inside the frying pan and fill with one portion of grated potatoes.Gently push down with a spoon. Remove the ring and repeat with remaining potatoes. If you don’t have a ring, add 1 tablespoon of flour and shape the potatoes into 8 patties.
Fry the rosti for 3-4 minutes on both sides until golden brown, adding more oil if needed.
Take a rosti and top with a few leaves of iceberg lettuce. Put the blue-cheese patty on top. Top with caramelized mushroom and sour cream. Take another rosti and lightly press on top of the whole thing. Use a toothpick to keep things in place if necessary.
One down, two to go.
Guest Post from Tango Mango - Blueberry Ice Cream
This guest post was written by one of my favorite Tumbloggers - Sue of Tango Mango.I don’t think you’ll need much convincing in trying out this recipe for smooth (sans custard, guises!) blueberry ice cream.
Years ago we acquired a Donvier ice cream maker. I doubt we bought it – I seem to recall it was a gift from a well-meaning friend. Our intentions to use it were good, but time marched on and it sat neglected, on a shelf in the garage. Occasionally I would put its internal cylinder in the freezer, hoping that having it ready at a moment’s notice would motivate me to make ice cream. Alas, it didn’t, and inevitably, it would make its way back on its shelf with the rest of the machine.
Last year one of our daughters finally decided to try the ice cream maker. We made the custard, froze the core piece and cranked out a beautiful, scrumptious batch of vanilla ice cream with bourbon caramel swirls. Neither of us understood what had taken us so long!
After this season’s blueberry picking, I ended up with a few pounds that made their way to the freezer. I knew just what to do with them – blueberry ice cream.
This tastes just as delightful as it looks, which is saying a lot, as the color is stunning. It’s not a cooked custard, so it’s a little on the icy side and not super creamy, but overall I was extremely pleased.
Lemon sugar cookies came out of our oven yesterday, and I’ve made a stack of ice cream sandwiches, using this fruity, lavender ice cream as the filling. (Upcoming post!)
Note: The measurements below were increased from the original recipe by fifty percent. I ended up not freezing a cup of the liquid, thinking not all of it might fit in the ice cream maker. (It would have.) Also, I chose to use half and half rather than heavy cream. The heavier cream probably would have made a creamier version.
BLUEBERRY ICE CREAM — a recipe modified from the August, 1997 issue of Gourmet magazine.
- 3 cups picked-over blueberries (I used frozen)
- 1 1/8 cups sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/4 cups milk
- 2 1/2 cups half and half
In a saucepan, bring blueberries, sugar, and salt to a boil over moderate heat, mashing berries and stirring with a fork. Simmer mixture, stirring frequently, 5 minutes and cool slightly.
In a blender purée mixture. Add the milk. Pour mixture through a sieve into a bowl, pressing on solids with back of a spoon. Stir in half and half. Chill mixture, covered, at least 2 hours, or until very cold, and up to 1 day.
Freeze mixture in an ice-cream maker. Transfer ice cream to an airtight container and put in freezer to ripen. Ice cream may be made 1 week ahead.
A Tale of Two Quick Breads, One Savory, One Sweet
I’ve been trying to eat whole wheat bread that isn’t loaded with sugar, which is impossible to find on the bread aisle of an American grocery store. So I’ve sampled a few loaves from local bakeries and one from the bakery department of a local supermarket, and they tasted all right with suitably low sugar content.
A few weeks ago, I stumbled across a PBS cooking show called “Home Chef” hosted by Neven Maguire of Ireland’s MacNean Restaurant. He baked the bread they serve at his restaurant, calling it a wheaten bread, which fits because it is mostly whole wheat. And boy, is it fast! I’ve been baking this bread every week since late June, and it makes the most scrumptious grilled cheese sammies, fried egg sandwiches, and peanut butter toast.
Summer squash are everywhere, and I make a chocolate zucchini bread at least once every summer with the bounty. You can leave out the nuts, and you can double the recipe to make two loaves. The original recipe made two loaves, and I halved all the ingredients to make one loaf. The zucchini bread is a similarly speedy bread. For a week or so now, I’ve been warming a slice in the microwave, then slathering it with peanut butter alongside a cup of decaf for a late-night snack.
MacNean Restaurant Wheaten Quick Bread
Makes 1 loaf that can be cut into approximately 12 slices
1 lb. 2 oz. or 2 c. + 2 oz. whole wheat flour
4 1/2 oz. or a little over 1/2 c. AP flour
1 t. baking soda
1 t. salt
1 pint of buttermilk, plus a little extra if necessary
1 T. light brown sugar
1 T. melted butter, plus extra for greasing the pan
1 T. golden syrup or light corn syrup (I used corn syrup.)
1 T. porridge oats (I used old-fashioned oats.)
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease either two 1 1/2-pint loaf pans or one large loaf pan. (I used one 8 1/2 ” x 4 1/2 ” dark metal loaf pan, and I sprayed it with cooking spray.)
2. Sift the flours, baking soda, and salt into a bowl. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the buttermilk, brown sugar, melted butter, and corn syrup. Mix gently and quickly until you have achieved a nice dropping consistency. If necessary, add a bit more buttermilk until the mixture binds together without being sloppy.
3. Divide the mixture evenly between the two small pans or put the batter into the one large one. Sprinkle over the oats. Bake for 1 hour until cooked through and each one has a slightly cracked, crusty top. Check halfway through that the loaves aren’t browning too much. If they are, reduce the temperature or move them down in the oven.
4. To check that the loaves are properly cooked, tip each one out of the pan and tap the base. It should sound hollow. If it doesn’t, return it to the oven for 5 more minutes. (I had to bake mine for 5 additional minutes.) Tip out onto a wire rack and leave to cool completely before slicing.
No nutritional info provided by author.
Chocolate Zucchini Bread
Makes 1 loaf that can be cut into 12 slices
from SparkPeople user WINDY01 at www.recipes.sparkpeople.com
3/4 c. Splenda
1/4 c. + 1/8 c. unsweetened or low-sugar applesauce
1/8 c. to 1/4 c. vegetable oil (I use canola. I would start with 1/8 c. but if the batter is not coming together, add another 1/8 c. Sometimes this has happened to me, sometimes it hasn’t.)
1 t. vanilla
1 med. zucchini squash, grated
1/2 c. AP flour
3/4 c. whole wheat flour
1/3 c. cocoa powder
3/4 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/2 c. chopped walnuts
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray and flour a loaf pan. (I only spray my dark metal 9x5-inch loaf pan, and the loaves always slide out.)
2. In a large bowl, beat together the sugar, eggs, applesauce, oil, and vanilla. Stir in the zucchini.
3. Add the flours, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and walnuts. Stir just until combined.
4. Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour or until toothpick comes out clean. (My cranky oven always takes 1 hour.) Cool in pan for 5 minutes. Remove from pan to cool on a wire rack.
Nutritional info per slice provided by author without using walnuts:
Fat: 3.1 g
Carbs: 13 g
Calories: 80.8 g
Protein: 2.4 g
Guest Post from the Other Parsimonious Chef
Pho (pronounced FAH) is a Vietnamese noodle soup made from beef stock, star anise and cinnamon & is about as classic in Vietnam as chicken soup is in the U.S. I could go on and on about it but I’m sure that some of you have had it so no need to preach to the choir. To those of you that have not here is a quick and easy pitch. This soup is a cure all. If you have a cold, drink it up. If you had a bad break up, slurp it up. If you have a huge assignment due at work, eat it up. If you are hungry, scarf it up and if you are bored, spice it up! This soup is soooooo (Pho)cking Good that once you try it you will crave it on most occasions, especially if those occasions have anything to do with a need for comfort…It’s like a warm blanket on a cold day or like an ice cold rag on a hot summer day…Pho(ck) it Up!!!!!
In my version I give the steak a quick sear after seasoning it with salt & pepper, this adds another layer of flavor to the dish in my humble opinion. Normally the steak is raw and cooked by placing it in the hot soup at the table right before you eat it.
PHO SOUP BASE & NOODLES:
Prep Time: 5 Minutes
Cooking Time: 1 Hour
Stove Temp: Boil Then Simmer
- 1 Sweet Onion
- 64 Oz Beef Stock
- 2 Inches Ginger
- 1 Stalk Lemon Grass
- 1 Stick Cinnamon
- 2 tablespoon Coarse Salt and Cracked Pepper
Slice 1/4 of the onion into small rings, slice the ginger into
thin slices and the lemongrass into 3 inch portions and then add 1 Tbs
grape seed oil to a soup pot preheated to mid heat. Add the onions,
ginger, cinnamon stick, star anise and the lemongrass to the pot
allowing to cook while stirring for 5 minutes. Add the beef stock and
bring to a boil before reducing the heat to a simmer, cover and allow
soup base to cook for 1 hour.
To cook the cellophane noodles, bring water to a boil, take water off heat. Add noodles and cover to steep for 20 minutes.
- Mung Bean Sprouts
- Sweet Onions - cut extremely thin as these are added to the
raw to the hot soup as a condiment.
- Red & Green Jalapenos, sliced thinly
Take off heat and cut into thin slices as soon above. * Don’t worry
the piping hot soup will cook the beef.
Get a bowl of the soup, be sure that it is boiling hot. Add the noodles,
then the meat and the condiments and enjoy. Simply nothing better.. The Bentley of soups.
Brioche cinnamon buns and guest posting?
This post is not about the cinnamon buns. I repeat: this post is not about the cinnamon buns - but what better way to catch your attention than parading photographs of sweet, buttery, cinnamon-y brioche smothered with cream cheese frosting and toffee walnuts…I digress.
What I really wanted to write about is more of a proposition. Seeing as the month of Ramadan is upon us (a belated Ramadan Kareem to my fellow Muslims - may the timezone be ever in your favor!) and I probably won’t be posting as much, I wonder if anyone is interested in doing a guest post? It’ll also be a chance to get to know other food bloggers here on Tumblr. It could be about your favorite food, go-to recipe, summer thirst quenchers - anything food related. Just drop me a message if you’re up for it and I’ll post it up on the blog.
PS: recipe for these buns can be found here.
Not quite your traditional kimbap.
YAK-GOCHUJANG (Red pepper paste with beef):
[ 1/3 cup ground beef + 1/2 cup gochujang or Korean red pepper paste + 1 teaspoon soy sauce + 2 teaspoon sesame oil + 3 tablespoons honey + 3 garlic cloves, minced ]
Heat the sesame oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Add in the garlic and saute until fragrant. Add in the ground beef and cook for 2 minutes. Lower the heat and add gochujang and honey. Cook for another 3 minutes and take off from heat. Set aside.
[ 5 sheets of “gim”/”kim”/roasted dried seaweed + 2 1/2 cups cooked short-grain white rice + 1 small carrot, cut into thin matchsticks + 2 cups spinach, blanched + 1 cucumber, cut into long strips + Spam or sausages, cut into long strips + 3 eggs + sesame oil + sesame seeds ]
You’d want to have all the ingredients prepped before you start rock n’ rollin’, so to speak, so cook the rice according to the package instruction and keep warm. Warm, not hot, not cold.
Saute the blanched spinach in a little bit of sesame oil and salt. Set aside. Do the same for the carrot matchsticks and sausages.
Lightly whisk the eggs with a little salt and cook into a flat omelet. Cut into long strips.Combine the rice with 2-3 tablespoons of yak-gochujang (recipe above) and mix well. Taste and adjust seasoning. Prepare a bowl with water on the side. Spread a sheet of seaweed over the bamboo sushi roll, put about 1/2 cup of seasoned rice and spread evenly over about 2/3 of seaweed. You want to dip your fingers in the water so the rice won’t stick. Lay the first ingredient down around 1/3 of the way up from the bottom of the rice (with about an inch of empty rice space at the bottom) Stack the other fillings down on top.
Roll from the bottom (as if you’re rolling a sleeping bag), pressing down to make the fillings stay in. As you continue to roll, pull the whole thing down towards the end of the bamboo mat. Spread a tiny dab of water along the top seam to hold the roll together.
Set aside and continue with other seaweed sheets. Brush the kimbap rolls with some sesame oil and sprinkle with sesame seeds on top. Cut each roll into 7-8 pieces. Serve with extra yak-gochujang, if you want.
Making Tuna Poke
I…have never eaten raw fish before. I’ve always had this idea that they’ll taste bloody or smell fishy or will have a weird texture. If there are other raw-fish-first-timers out there, this is a pleasant introductory dish. It provides a stable footing should you wish to explore the world of sashimi and sushi. Perfect for summer and damn delicious.
TUNA POKE (serves 2-3):
[ 1 Sashimi-grade Ahi tuna steak + 1/2 of a small onion, sliced + 2 green onion, chopped + 1 1/2 tablespoon soy sauce + 1 teaspoon sesame oil + 1 teaspoon chili pepper flakes + 1 tablespoon sesame seeds, white or black or both ]
Pat the tuna steak dry with a paper towel and cut into 1/2 inch cubes. Set aside in a bowl.
In another bowl, combine the sliced onion and green onion, soy sauce, sesame oil, chili flakes and sesame seeds. Mix until combined. Add in the tuna cubes and gently toss. Serve immediately as it is, or on top of rice. Garnish with green onions and a lemon wedge.