Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Garlic Baked Mushrooms

As a proud member of the Secret Recipe Club, not only do I get to explore another blog and find and make recipes from it once a month, but when we do our 'reveal', I get to see lots of other really cool recipes.  
This month was no exception.   One of the other bloggers made some Garlic Roasted Mushrooms and it sounded so good.   
It had three of my favourite flavours, well, four if you count butter.    

So I made it the other night as a side dish, and promptly consumed half of it. 

Mushrooms are low in calories, right? 

Well anyway, here's how I made it, and yes I did change it up a little, but that's what cooks do.  
And I think this would be a great side dish for any time of the year, but I'm thinking I'm maybe going to make this as part of my Christmas Eve meal. 

1 pound fresh Crimini Mushrooms, cleaned and cut into bite size pieces. (I used good old Button Mushrooms, but next time...)
2-4 cloves garlic, sliced very thin or minced or crushed. 
2 tablespoons capers, drained
2 tablespoons butter, melted
mixed with
1 tablespoon Wild Mushroom and Sage infused Olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
lemon juice

Preheat oven to 450 deg. 
Prepare the mushrooms, either wash them, or brush any dirt off, then cut into bite-size pieces.   Place in a greased shallow roasting pan.
Melt butter and add the olive oil and then the garlic, just warming it up a little, enough to start releasing the garlic goodness, add the capers.  

Pour over the mushrooms, tossing them to make sure they're all coated. 

 Place in the oven for about 20 minutes, then stir and let cook another 10 minutes or so.   They'll release all kinds of mushroomy liquid, but that's good.

Take out of oven, forget to sprinkle the parsley over top, give it a squeeze of lemon juice.   Serve as is, or as a side dish for meat entree.    I think they'll also make a great appetizer, and in fact, don't tell anyone, but I'm doing this for Tapas one night. 
And that mushroom juice, well, umm, I dipped a crusty roll in it and OMG was it good.  
Just wanted to share...

Monday, November 17, 2014

Karrysild (Curried Herring)

One of the best parts of visiting my family is getting to try new dishes.    I think I've said before, all my siblings are great cooks, and also pretty darn inventive too.  

And one of the highlights of my recent visit was a Smorgasbord.   Which was hosted by one of my sisters, who introduced me to Fransk Salat, which I wrote about before.  However, another of my sisters brought some Karrysild and it was so good.    And when I was raving about it to my brother he showed me the recipe in a cookbook, and I took a picture of the page where the recipe was, then when I got home, I found the cookbook online and ordered it. I really don't collect that many cookbooks, really...
 There are so many recipes in there I want to try. 
But before I get sidetracked too much,  I want to share the recipe for the Karrysild.    And this hits two major loves of mine, Pickled Herring and Curry.  
I know, what a combination, but oh, so very good.

I had friends in for dinner the other day, and wanted to introduce them to a Danish Smorgasbord.   So I made some Sildesalat, Italiensksalat, Frikadeller, Fransk Salat and tried my hand at Karrysild.   Most of this stuff was actually made the day before.  I love to cook and entertain, but I'm not crazy.   That being said, I'm probably going to do this again and again.  
Have a Smorgasbord and introduce people to my heritage, that is.

In my cookbook, which is called Cooking with a Danish Flavour by the way, there is a section called Herring Collation.  And in that section is the following recipe.  

Karrysild  (Curried Herring)

Basic Sauce:
1/4 pint (150 ml) Sour Cream
1/2 tsp. (2.5 ml) White Wine Vinegar
1/2 tsp. (2.5 ml) Sugar
1/2 tsp. (2.5 ml) French Mustard
1/2 tsp. (2.5 ml) grated onion

Mix together and pour over pickled herring.

Now for the Karrysild.
One recipe basic sauce
1 tsp. (5 ml) Curry Powder
1/2  (2.5 ml) tsp. sugar

Pour over 1/2 jar of pickled Herring, place in fridge for about 2 hours, let the flavours meld and get acquainted. 

So that's the recipe in the cookbook. 
However...  When I went to get the sour cream out of the fridge, I discovered I'd used up all but a couple of tablespoons of it.  So, I went to the back up plan.   I had some Creme Fraiche in the fridge, and I decided to use that.

1/4 pint Creme Fraiche
2 tablespoons Heavy Cream
1 tsp. Rice Wine Vinegar
1/2 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. Grey Poupon Coarse Grind Mustard
1/2 tsp. grated onion
1 tsp. mild curry powder
And after mixing it together and tasting it, I added the following:
1/4 tsp. Turmeric ( for the color)
1/2 tsp. hot curry powder
Mix all together and pour over a drained jar of Pickled Herring.  Place in fridge to let the flavours get acquainted. 
Serve with some good rye bread and a glass of SnapsMy own home made Snaps went very well with it. 

As my father used to say, "you need to let the herring swim."  Or let me paraphrase him, "Give the herring one last chance to swim". 
And I did.  
BTW, it was even better the second day.   Now, I need to go finish off my lunch.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Baked Smashed Potatoes

It's Boat Club time again, and I wanted to make something with the fingerling/new potatoes I picked up a week or so ago when I went to the 'big city'.    

They were on sale, BOGO, to be exact, and I couldn't resist the great deal. 

It wasn't until afterwards that I realized, "Hey, you just bought 6 pounds of potatoes and you're the only one who eats new potatoes/fingerlings in this house'.

But I solved that conundrum.   I decided to make them up for Boat Club. 

I figured that way I could have my potatoes and eat them too. 

Start by washing the potatoes.  You're not peeling them, so it's a good idea to wash them.

I love the mixture of red, yellow and purple potatoes.  

Boil them til they're just fork tender, take them out of the water, let them drain a minute.

Get out your rimmed baking pans, add a splash or three of olive oil to the pans.   

Place the potatoes on the pan, and then either smash them with your potato masher or the bottom of a heavy glass. 

Brush them with some melted butter/olive oil.   I used some of the Wild Mushroom and Sage infused olive oil I bought last week.   

And then I forgot to put some garlic in with it.

I was in a hurry.

Bake them for about 20 minutes or until they start to brown up in a 450 degree oven. 

Take out,  take some pictures, forget to sprinkle some fresh cut chives on top.

Remember to finally sprinkle the Chives on top just before you take them with you to Boat Club.

And eat the leftovers for breakfast the next day, but this time remember to add the garlic. 

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Nutty Persimmon Cake

It's that time of the year, and Persimmons are ripe and ready.   You can see them on the trees, these bright orange globes, just hanging, waiting to be picked, eaten and savoured

I stopped by a friends house the other day, and went home with a big bag of Persimmons.   They weren't quite ripe yet, but were getting close.
The one on the left is ripe, the one on the right is not.

The kind I got was the Hachiya which are best eaten ripe, cause otherwise you pucker right up from the tannins and that's not fun.  They're very astringent in other words, when they're unripe.

It's really fun to have them sit on the counter and ripen, cause you can tell, just by looking at them when they're ripe.    The orange globes deepen in color and get totally translucent.   At which point, "THEY'RE RIPE" and need to be eaten or frozen to eat later on.   And they really do feel like filled water balloons when you pick them up.   And so easy to get the pulp out.  Just cut off the top, or twist the calyx off, then use a spoon to scoop it out into a bowl.  

 Just use your immersion blender to whip it up.

I bet you can use these in smoothies as well.

At any rate, I wanted to find a recipe to make with them.   So I googled and read and disseminated a bunch of recipes.   I found this recipe but didn't want to go out and buy more stuff, and I really only wanted one cake.  I also wanted to use up some of the supplies I had in the cupboard.    So I modified and played with it, and this is what I came up with.   And I found out that most of the recipes had booze in them as well, and gee, guess what, I had booze in my cupboard as well.

The whole process of putting the cake together was kinda fun as well, cause you put the wet ingredients into the dry, which is basically how you can make muffins.

I vacillated between making one cake or a bunch of cupcakes as well.  And ended up baking it in an 8 inch square glass pan.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease pan, set aside.
2 cups self rising flour
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. molasses
1/2 cup melted butter
2 eggs
1/4 cup American Honey bourbon
11/2 cups persimmon puree  (from 3 ripe persimmons)
6 oz. chopped walnuts
1 cup fruit cake mix or dried fruit of your choice, chopped

Sift flour, sugar and cinnamon together in a large bowl, add the fruit cake mix or dried fruit, set aside.

Mix the melted butter, persimmon puree, bourbon, eggs together. 
Make a well in the dry ingredients, then pour the liquids into the well.
Mix until just combined.
  Pour into greased pan.  Bake for about an hour, I checked for doneness after 45 minutes, using a toothpick, and gave it another 15 minutes.

Tip out onto a cooling rack after about 10 minutes and let it cool.    

**I sprinkled some Turbinado sugar in the bottom of the greased pan before I poured in the batter.   And it did make a lovely caramelized bottom for the cake. 

I made a cream cheese frosting for the top, and piped it onto each slice.

1 package cream cheese (8 oz)
1 jar Marshmallow Fluff  (7 oz)
3 tablespoons butter
1 cup confectioners sugar, sifted
2 tablespoons American Honey Bourbon

Mix together, and taste.  Pipe or spread onto the cooled cake and serve.

When a recipe calls for sifted confectioners sugar, they do mean to sift it before adding it to the frosting.  I had to 'push' my frosting through a sieve to get the lumps out.


 I was just going to take the whole cake, let people cut a slice and then top it themselves with the frosting, but decided at the last minute that I could cut it at home, and then I took the frosting with me in a piping bag and piped it onto the cakes at Boat Club.

And that worked quite well.

I think this cake would be totally awesome served warm with some spiced whipped cream as well.

And guess what, I still have some persimmons left, and as soon as they ripen, they'll be residing in the freezer until the next time I make this cake.   And I will make it again.   

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Boat Club for November

I slept in this morning, I was tired.    I kinda got busy yesterday cleaning and cooking and cleaning some more.   And my kitchen still looked like a disaster area, sigh. 

We had Boat Club last night and I decided to make two things for it.  I'd been given some Persimmons by a friend and wanted to try making a cake from them, and I also had some potatoes I'd bought the last time I was in the 'big city,' and had planned on using them in some kind of dish. 

I decided to make some Smash Taters and they went over well.

However, I know you're dying to see what great dishes were brought and shared.   

You are, aren't you? 

Too bad, cause here they are:

First off, the appetizers...
 I love cream cheese with any kind of jelly topping, hot or sweet, and these had chopped pecans as well.   
 In the middle were Chinese Eggplant slices, and around that were a Zucchini Fritter.   I managed to taste one of each before they were totally consumed.     
 Nacho boats.   Cheese, peppers in little chip boats, really tasty.
 I had to kinda maneuver and take a picture from overhead for this fun cheese plate.  Boursin cheese in the little foil container, plus lovely heirloom tomatoes cuddling up with some mozzarella. 
 And for more of a healthy take, how about some Papaya chunks, with Kiwi hats, and fresh Rosemary on the plate as well.   As you can tell, I didn't get to the plate before people started eating them.    I do love a nice fresh papaya.  

And there's the Pineapple and you can see the Santa toothpick holder in the background.  
I know you wait to see him in every post where we have a round up of great dishes.

Next up, the side dishes and the main dishes.
 There was this gorgeous salad, and I didn't get a shot of the beautiful wooden bowl it was served in.
 From scratch, Mac and Cheese bake, using several different cheeses.   And you know I had a generous helping of it.   I do love my pasta
 There was  huge platter of ham, and it didn't take long to disappear either.   

One of these days, I have to learn how to cook a ham so it doesn't dry out.  sigh.
 I've had this before.   Cheesy Potatoes.   Decadent, rich and so very good.  
 I made some Smash Taters, and ummm, I forgot to sprinkle some salt on top after I cooked them, but people ate them anyway.   I'll share the how-to's later on this week.  
 Caprese Tomatoes with Mozzarella and a lovely sprinkle of fresh parsley.   I could just eat these by themselves, with maybe a slice of good home made bread. 
 I guess it was a potato kind of night?   At any rate there were also some great broad beans and red potatoes brought.   I'd never had potatoes and beans cooked together before coming south, but I like them.  
 Cauliflower in Cheese sauce.  The picture doesn't do the dish justice.  But it was very good.  
Then there was this Fish dish.  I don't know what to call it, but it was very tasty and went well with the potatoes. 

And now for the desserts.      And as usual, we had some very good ones.  

I made a Persimmon Pudding Cake with a Cream Cheese Marshmallow Fluff frosting.  

I'll be sharing the how to's and what not to do, later on this week.   
 We had a yummy Banana Cake brought, with a lovely creamy frosting.  
And there was a Cherry Cheesecake as well.  

And for a change, I actually sampled all the desserts and I can tell you, they were all good.

Well, that's the round up for this month.   I need to go take a long hike to try to burn off some of the calories from last night.   

Gotta start planning what I'm going to make for the next Tapas Night. 

I've got ideas...