Sunday, March 25, 2018

Tapas for March 2018

It's hard to think of new words, so I'll just let the pictures speak for themselves.
We hosted Tapas again last night, and life was good.  Great conversations, good friends, and lots and lots of food.
I mean it, lots and lots of food.
Guacamole in a beautiful stone molcajete.  

 Mac and cheese, always a good deal
 Mini Fritatta's and they were tasty.
Chipotle avocado
 and the requisite chips to dip into it.
 a wonderful quiche
 Cabbage and Tomatoes, Indian style with toasted mustard seed.
 Beets, greek style
 Eggplant Parmesan with venison
 Teriyaki wings
 Pulled pork and Ham buns
 Tortilla rollups
 Fried rice
 Siu Mai open pork and shrimp dumplings, dim sum style
 Squash casserole
 And I made a couple of things as well.
Deviled eggs, they were going to be decorated a little more, but I ran out of ambition.
 These Parmesan Rosemary Pecan Cheese Crisps
 I had some goat milk brie, and thought it might play well with some black currant preserves as a little bite.  But the black currant jam got a little pushy and tried to escape.  And made a mess in the pan. sigh
I also made some Crab Rangoon Dip, and I'll be sharing that recipe next month. 
 I had fun with these Gyro bites
We were actually a little shy on desserts this month, but that's OK, there was still lots of food. 
I had some Brunkager and put them out
 There was also Pineapple and some sandwich cookies, of which you can just see a corner.

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Saturday, March 17, 2018

Asparagus and More Soup #SoupSaturdaySwappers


One of the first tell tale signs of spring, the time you can finally say goodbye to winter is seeing the first asparagus spears showing up.  They poke through the detritus winter left behind in the garden and you sit and watch as they almost literally grow in front of your eyes.  One day, they're just peeking out and the next day they're up a couple of inches and then you can wait another day, or cut those fat little shoots and go inside and eat them, if they even make it to the house. 
I used to have a garden I could do that with, but we moved and left the asparagus behind and now I have to buy it.
And I do, buy it, that is.  At least when I can find nice fat asparagus.  We don't like those thin ones, they resemble grass and taste like it as well.  At least in my humble opinion. 
Sally of Bewitching Kitchen is our hostess this month for Soup Saturday Swappers and she suggested the theme of "Say Goodbye to Winter" for our soups.  BTW, Soup Saturday Swappers are a group of bloggers who get together the third Saturday of the month to share soups with a common theme.  We've had some fun themes, from Copy Cat soups to Quick Weeknight Soups, I made a Hurricane Irma Chicken and Rice soup that was so good that month.  
I think this soup qualifies as a good soup for Say Goodbye to Winter, although with the temps here the past few days, I think winter has overstayed its welcome. 
Asparagus and More Soup for #SoupSaturdaySwappers
Although my favorite way to eat asparagus is lightly steamed with butter, I also wanted to try my hand at making a soup from it as well.  I googled all kinds of recipes and they all seemed to have the same basic ingredients.   Asparagus, onions, stock and cream. I wanted to make a Cream of Asparagus Soup but I wanted something a little different.
I'm not one for following the herd, and since I had some lovely, well, sorta lovely zucchini that were almost past their use-by date, I decided to go ahead and add them to the soup. 
Am I glad I did.
We've been eating a lot of Asparagus lately and I had a bunch of stems that were left over, and kept stockpiling them.    I peeled them, added them to some lovely homemade chicken stock and let them simmer for about 40 minutes,
Asparagus and More Soup for #SoupSaturdaySwappers
then I added two small zucchini, let them all simmer an additional 10 minutes.  I grabbed my immersion blender and blended the hot soup.  I may have said this a few times, but I love being able to sip on a mug of soup as I work.  So, it was all blended and lovely and green. I tasted it at this point and decided it needed 'something' and it was also pretty thin.  ( I might have added too much soup stock, oops).
So I added some of my instant Garlic Roasted instant Potato flakes (don't judge, they come in handy for a lot of things) and tasted it again, and it was about perfect.  A dollop of Creme Fraiche on top
Asparagus and More Soup for #SoupSaturdaySwappers
and some decorations (same camera, but look at the different colors of the soup, but I'm using the pictures anyway)
Asparagus and More Soup for #SoupSaturdaySwappers
and it was good to go.  I even raided my poor parsley plant as well as the chives, and made them work. 
Here's the recipe and check out the links at the end for more great soups from our fellow Soup Saturday Swappers. 



Yield: 4 servings

Asparagus and More Soup
Asparagus and More Soup for #SoupSaturdaySwappers

prep time: 10 MINScook time: 40 MINStotal time: 50 mins
This is a lovely, quick soup that can be enjoyed by the mug or bowlful.

ingredients:


6 cups Chicken Stock
1 lb. Asparagus stems, peeled
2 small zucchini, chopped
1/2 cup Instant Roasted Garlic Potato flakes
dollop of Creme Fraiche on each bowl
Chopped Chives and Asparagus tips for decorations

instructions:


Peel and chop the tough part of the stems from the Asparagus, (this is the part you usually throw away). 
Heat 6 cups of Chicken Stock, add the asparagus to it and let it simmer for at least 40 minutes or until the asparagus is tender.  Add 2 small zucchini, chopped and simmer an additional 10-15 minutes.  Using an immersion blender, blend the soup well.  Taste and add 1/2 cup of instant Roasted Potato Flakes to the pot and stir in.  Simmer another 5 minutes. 
Serve by the mug or bowlful with a dollop of Creme Fraiche on each bowl and top with a little chopped chives and Asparagus tips.  
All recipes and their respective images are either original or adapted and credited, and are all the sole property of Sid's Sea Palm Cooking © 2011-2018, with all rights reserved thereof.  
Created using The Recipes Generator
 

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Friday, March 16, 2018

Crab Cake Spring Rolls for #FishFridayFoodies

Fish Friday Foodies is a group of bloggers who make, blog and share a seafood recipe once a month, on the third Friday of the month.   Wendy is the founder of the group and keeps us sort of on track. Each month we have a different hostess and theme. We're So Crabby is the theme this month for Fish Friday Foodies and is being hosted by P~ of the The Saucy Southerner
Her challenge, make a dish using Crab for this month's reveal.

Well, gee, I've been struggling in the kitchen lately, get these great ideas, can picture it in my mind but something gets lost in translation.  sigh. The concept is great but it fails in the execution. 
So my first effort became an offering to the kitchen goddess (she's doing well this month, food wise), and I ended up looking for more crab in my freezer.
Well, there was no crab to be found, apart from some leftover crab cakes from a month or so ago.
The thinking cap went on, it lit up and I came up with a really tasty substitution.
At least I think so.
So much so, I'm thinking it may be making an appearance at one of our Tapas Nights, maybe even in my next cookbook.

I had to taste test...

BTW, there's no more Sambal Kagang sauce.  It disappeared, rapidly.
For more great Fish Friday Foodies recipes check out the links at the end.


Yield: 4 servings

Crab Cake Spring Rolls

prep time: 10 MINScook time: 40 MINStotal time: 50 mins
Spring Rolls are so much fun to make and eat and this is a great way to celebrate Crabs and Spring

ingredients:


2 Crab Cakes, used my own Lighthouse Crab Cakes  ( or your favorite Crab Cake Recipe)
1/2 lb. Asparagus, shaved
2 tablespoons Chopped Chives
1 teaspoon EVOO
4 Spring Roll Wrappers
1 recipe Sambal Kagang Sauce or Limey Sauce


Sambal Kagang Sauce
2 tablespoons chunky peanut butter
2 tablespoons Sweet Soy Sauce
1 heaping teaspoonful Sambal Oelek paste
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon lime juice
1/3 cup water. 
Mix all together and use as a dipping sauce for the spring rolls.
Or
Limey Sauce
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons Lime Juice
1 teaspoon Sambal Oelek

instructions:


Remove the breading from the outside of the Crab, discard.  Chop up the crab cake.  Shave or slice the asparagus very thin.   Chop the chives up.
Heat the olive oil in a pan over medium heat and add the sliced Asparagus, stir it around for a couple of minutes, then add the chives.  Take the pan off of the heat and add the crab cake.  Stir it together and let sit while you prepare the dipping sauce. Recipes follow.
Soften a spring roll wrapper in hot water, then take a 1/4 of the crab cake mixture and place just off center on the wrapper, fold the sides in and then roll it as tightly as you can.  Continue until all are done and the filling is gone.  Serve with one or the other of the dipping sauces.     
All recipes and their respective images are either original or adapted and credited, and are all the sole property of Sid's Sea Palm Cooking © 2011-2018, with all rights reserved thereof.  
Created using The Recipes Generator

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Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Truffle Cake Bites

You might have heard that I do a little baking from time to time.
I do, every couple of weeks or when someone asks me to, or just because.
Although I'm not really a big cake eater, I just like baking and decorating and playing with my food.
Which brings me to this.
I had some cake hanging around in the freezer, it was some I'd cut off of the top of the Lemon Chiffon Cake and I just couldn't throw it away, so I put it in the freezer, thinking of trifles and such. 
But then I got this idea and ran with it, and fell.
Flat.
Cause my brilliant idea of adding some white chocolate ganache to the cake, just didn't work out the way I'd planned.
I'd added too much cream to the white chocolate and it would not set up.  I'd planned on enrobing the cake balls with it.
So I mixed some into the cake crumbs but it still wasn't right. sigh

I didn't want to throw it away so I added some melted milk chocolate to some of  the white chocolate cake balls and life was good again. ( I put the rest in the freezer and am planning to use it in some frosting, later on).
I rolled some of the cake truffle bites in some coconut and some I draped with a dark chocolate Ganache.

I also did something similar with some chocolate cake a couple of weeks ago, and brought them to a dinner party as a gift to the hostess and those were eaten and enjoyed as well.
What can I say, I like having my cake and eating it too.


Yield: 12-18 small truffle bites

Cake Truffle Bites

prep time: 10 MINScook time: 2 hourtotal time: 2 hours and 10 mins
You can use any kind of leftover cake for this yummy Cake Truffle Bites.

ingredients:


3-4 cups crumbled baked cake -
1 cup chocolate Ganache
Coconut
Chopped nuts

Ganache
1/2 cup heavy cream heated
8 oz good dark chocolate, either chips or baking chocolate

instructions:


Crumble up the cake, and add about 1/2 cup of the warm ganache to it, mix together.  Using a mini scoop or a melon baller, make one inch balls, and place half of them on a piece of parchment paper and into the fridge to set up.  With the other half, roll them in some toasted coconut or chopped hazelnuts and then place them in the fridge to set.  I like to cut them in half after they've cooled and set.  That way they're just a nice little mouthful.       
The ganache can be left at room temp until cool, and starting to set up.  You can also place it in the fridge to set up faster, but you want it fluid enough to dip the cake balls into. 
I use a very small spoon and dip the cake ball into the cooled ganache, roll it around very gently until fully covered,  and then place them on a piece of parchment.  When finished, place in the fridge for an hour or two to finish setting up. 
Serve in mini cupcake liners.   

notes

You can use pretty much any kind of cake for this, but of course using chocolate cake will make these even more chocolatey.
 All recipes and their respective images are either original or adapted and credited, and are all the sole property of Sid's Sea Palm Cooking © 2011-2018, with all rights reserved thereof. 
Created using The Recipes Generator

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Monday, March 12, 2018

All Mixed Up Calzone for #BakingBloggers

I had a great idea for some Calzones for #BakingBloggers this month, but when the idea hit reality, it did not translate well.  I was going to mix up some Asian Style veggies and use them as the filling.

BTW, this is my second foray with the #BakingBloggers, and while I hit it out of the park last month with my Savory Salmon Cheesecake, this month was more of a damp squib.   I'm hoping that next month I'll do better.
My great idea did not translate well, but,  I did make a few that were basic Pepperoni and Mozzarella and they were OK.  The dough that I originally started did not rise. Not one little bit, and then I found the reason why.  I'd allowed myself to be interrupted while mixing the dough and the yeast didn't make it into the dough.  It hid from me, right in plain sight.
It does absolutely no good sitting, its little packet, if you don't actually open it and add it to the dough.
Luckily I had some frozen bread dough rolls in the freezer and I strong-armed them into volunteering.
I ended up with something that was alright, but not real exciting.
Will I make them again?  Possibly, but if I do, I'll make my own dough and will make sure that the yeast makes it into the dough this time.
I'll also change up the fillings and make them a little more flavorful.
No recipe here, but just the how-to's.
First off, I thawed the bread rolls, and rolled them out.
Then I chopped up the pepperoni and some mozzarella.
I had the idea of adding some frozen Asian veggies into the mix but when I thawed them out, discovered that the package was over half carrots.  Not my idea of a good filling.  I did chop up some of the snow-peas, broccoli and some water chestnuts, but as you can see from the picture, the carrots overwhelmed the rest of the ingredients. And I just could not see carrots in there.  I really hate frozen carrots anyway.
I then grabbed my emergency can of mushrooms in an attempt to add flavor.
I dolloped a little pizza sauce on top of the bread dough, heaped it with my fillings, then folded them over, twisting the edges together and placed them on some of my re-usable parchment paper.
I sprinkled some Italian Seasoning on top and baked them at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.
Some of the edges weren't sealed well enough and the cheese escaped.
It also, did not translate well when I finally cut them open. Look at that measly filling. sigh.
The dough was too thin, and there just was not enough filling.
I served them with some hot pizza sauce for dipping.
All recipes and their respective images are either original or adapted and credited, and are all the sole property of Sid's Sea Palm Cooking © 2011-2018, with all rights reserved thereof. 

#BakingBloggers

Calzone

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Friday, March 9, 2018

Lemon Chiffon with Candied Lemon

I've been wanting to try my hand at a Chiffon Cake for a long time now and finally got around to it a couple of  few weeks ago.
And umm, found out that I really need to invest in a larger bundt pan. (actually, I just bought a second bundt pan).  The cake rose and rose and rose and basically, ummm, flowed together over the top and I had to cut it out of the pan. And that top that I cut off, is going to be made into some cake truffles for NPA tonight.
Darn, I let the cake out of the bag.

I made my basic yellow cake recipe for this cake, but I did  it chiffon style.
You didn't know you could do that, did you?
Me neither, but I like playing with my food and I was wondering what would happen if?  and guess what, it works.
I'm sure there are some trained bakers out there who will say, well, duh, when you do it that way, it's called something else.
I'm calling it chiffon style.

I creamed the butter and sugar until it was almost white in color, then added the egg yolks, and creamed it some more, finally added the milk and flour and mixed it up just like a regular cake, but...
I had separated out the egg whites and those I beat until they were really stiff and then I folded them into the batter, very carefully.

I frosted it with a basic Buttercream Frosting, to which I'd added a little lemon zest and then I decorated it with some candied lemon peel.  


Yield: 1 large chiffon cake and one single layer cake -baked in 9 inch cake pan

Lemon Chiffon-type Cake with Candied Lemons

prep time: 20 MINScook time: 55 MINStotal time: 75 mins
This was a bright and tasty cake, with the addition of the lemon juice and zest.

ingredients:

  • 2 1/4 cups cake flour (made by adding 1/4 cup Potato or Corn starch to 2 cups AP flour)
  • 3 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup milk + 2 tablespoons
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 3 tablespoons Lemon Juice
  • 1 tablespoon Lemon Zest

instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Get out two bundt pans. I did spray them very lightly with non stick spray.  Set aside.
  2. Separate the eggs, and beat the egg whites until very stiff. 
  3. Cream the butter and sugar together until almost white then add the egg yolks and mix.
  4. Mix the flour, potato or corn starch with the baking powder and sift together.
  5. Add half the milk, mix then add half the flour, mix, add the remaining milk, mix together and finish off with the remaining flour.   Then fold in the beaten egg whites at the end, being very careful not to overmix.
  6. Pour equal amounts of the batter into two greased bundt pans. 
  7. Bake for 40-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Cool and frost as you like. All recipes and their respective images are either original or adapted and credited, and are all the sole property of Sid's Sea Palm Cooking © 2011-2018, with all rights reserved thereof. 
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Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Coconut Chiffon Cake with Princess Frosting

I might have mentioned this a few times already but every other Friday I let my inner child out to, not only bake a cake, but play in the frosting, when I bake a cake for the local Legion cake raffle.  I've had a lot of fun making, baking and decorating cakes.
Coconut Chiffon Cake with Princess Frosting

I made this Coconut Chiffon Cake with Princess Frosting from the recipe in my old Good Housekeeping cookbook. First published in 1963 it contains a plethora of recipes using good old fashioned techniques. And I did switch it up a little.
Cause I could.
Not that old fashioned, it does mention using modern equipment like an electric mixer and a calibrated oven and stuff like that.
However, there are very few 'convenience' foods in here and the cake recipes are ones that have stood the test of time.
Coconut Chiffon Cake with Princess Frosting

Yield: 2 cakes

Coconut Chiffon Cake with Princess Frosting aka 7 Minute Frosting
Coconut Chiffon Cake with Princess Frosting

prep time: 15 MINScook time: 1 hour and 10 MINStotal time: 1 hours and 25 mins
This recipe will actually make two bundt cakes or 4 layer cakes.

ingredients:


7 large egg yolks,
7 egg whites, beaten til very stiff
2 1/4 cups cake flour
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3 teaspoons double acting baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup salad oil
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
3/4 cup Pineapple juice
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 cup flaked coconut
1/2 cup toasted coconut

instructions:


Preheat oven to 325 degrees and set out two tube or bundt pans.  
Using room temperature eggs, separate the yolks from the whites. 
Place the room temperature egg whites in a large bowl.  Beat the egg whites til very, very stiff.  They must hold very stiff peaks.
Into a large bowl sift the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.  Make a well in the flour mixture and add the oil, egg yolks, juice and zest.  Mix until smooth.
Pour the egg yolk mixture over the egg whites, folding the mixture together very gently with a spatula.  Do not stir.  Continue the folding until the mixture is just blended. 
Turn half the batter into one of the ungreased tube pans and the other half into the second.  Bake at 325 degrees for 55 minutes, then turn the oven up to 350 degrees and bake an additional 10-15 minutes or until a toothpick or cake tester inserted into the pan comes out clean.  Cool for at least an hour or longer, on a raised cake rack. You must let the cooler air be able to circulate around the pans.  To remove the cooled cakes, use a spatula or my trick, a plastic knife and run it around the edges of the pan, gently cutting away the clinging cake, around the outside of the pan as well as the center.  Turn the cake over and lift off the pan.  You may need to push the spatula down around the outside to loosen the cake. 
Brush off any clinging crumbs and set aside.

Frost with 7 Minute Frosting which has been flavored with 1 teaspoon Vanilla, 1 teaspoon Almond Extract and 1/2 teaspoon Grand Marnier liqueur or 1/2 teaspoon Orange Extract. 
Sprinkle with some Toasted Coconut to finish it off. 
All recipes and their respective images are either original or adapted and credited, and are all the sole property of Sid's Sea Palm Cooking © 2011-2018, with all rights reserved thereof.  
Created using The Recipes Generator

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