Thursday, December 31, 2009
In celebration of the new year, here are some fabulous photos by Linda Carswell of Une Petite Folie. The wine bottles are by Hanneke, French pastries by English Kitchen, flan and pizza by Sarah Maloney, macarons by Linda Cummings, citron tarts by Sandrine Chauvin, cupcakes by Christel Jensen, heart shaped cookies, cakes and scones by Kim Saulter. What better way to celebrate the new year?
Today I ate six containers of Greek yogurt. Ok, not really. I tasted six different brands of Greek yogurt. You can probably find Greek yogurt in your local supermarket, its become increasingly available in the United States over the past few years (I've been told it's still a bit hard to find in parts of Canada).
First of all, let me clear something up, the Greek yogurt you find in the US is not yogurt from Greece. All the brands I found were produced domestically. Greek yogurt is strained and some of the whey is removed, so it's thicker than typical yogurt. It's dense and creamy, buttery in flavor and higher in fat. But there are also non-fat and low-fat Greek yogurts. You can use the yogurt in place of sour cream, with granola and/or fruit, drizzled with honey or a dollop of jam or preserves. It's also used in lots of Greek recipes.
The good news is, that all the full fat Greek yogurt I tried was absolutely delicious. You really can't go wrong with the full fat versions when it comes to flavor and texture. Choose something that is organic, or comes from milk from cows not treated with rGBH if you prefer.
The bad news? All Greek yogurt is substantially more expensive than regular yogurt and higher in fat as well. You can make Greek style yogurt by draining conventional yogurt (with live active cultures) with cheesecloth or a yogurt strainer. But perhaps you are wondering, as I was, are the non-fat varieties worth buying? Here are my ratings of the non-fat varieties:
★ Brown Cow
Almost sour in flavor, the texture is soft, but not very thick or creamy. Flavor is good. Recommended
Very thick, unpleasant chalky texture, mild flavor. Not recommended
Tangy, very thick, creamy, very slight chalky aftertaste. Recommended
This yogurt had the funkiest flavor of them all, soft, not terribly thick and a bit sour. Not recommended
Creamy texture, mildly tangy and light. Recommended
Very tangy, chalky, more like sour cream. Not recommended, my least favorite
A tiny bit of honey improved all the non-fat varieties of yogurt balancing some of the acidity.
The yogurt develops a more tangy flavor the longer you keep it.
The percentage of fat and number of calories vary on the full or low fat varieties of Greek yogurt, check the labels.
Greek Gods was my favorite of the full fat varieties. Fage was also outstanding.
Chobani flavored yogurts were very good, I especially liked the pomegranate flavor. Because the flavorings are on bottom, you can mix in as much or as little as you like.
Ready to try?
Coupon available for free sample of Chobani
Coupons available for Oikos, after registering at Stonyfield
Oikos and Chobani were provided to me as product samples, the rest I purchased.
Wiki defines legumes as : A legume in botanical writing is a plant in the family Fabaceae (or Leguminosae), or a fruit of these specific plants. A 'legume' fruit is a simple dry fruit that develops from a simple carpel and usually dehisces (opens along a seam) on two sides. A common name for this type of fruit is a pod, although "pod" is also applied to a few other fruit types, such as vanilla. Well-known legumes include alfalfa, clover, peas, beans, lentils, lupins, mesquite, carob, soy, cashews, and peanuts.
For this event - a legume is fresh or dried beans, lentils, pulses, and/or the sometimes edible pods that contain these seeds, and derivative products like tofu or besan and not French legumes, which they mean as any vegetable at all. Fenugreek, carob, peanuts, etc. are among some of the other edible plants in the legume family which ARE included in the event.
Susan is offering two interesting prizes for the winner of the event ..
1) Selected and purchased by Susan: The Joy of Cooking 2010 Calendar.
2) Hurst Bean Box - A case of six bags of the winner's choice of Hurst Bean products, suitable for every diet, donated by Hurst Bean. (Due to shipping restrictions, this prize can only be awarded if the winner is a U.S. resident.) Susan does not receive any product nor financial compensation for her arrangement with Hurst Bean to provide this prize supplement for My Legume Love Affair.
Now for the rules regarding the event
* Only vegetarian recipes are accepted since this is a vegetarian blog (No eggs please- Cheese acceptable).
* Multiple recipes are permitted (although only one submission will be counted towards the random drawing).
* Recipes submitted to other events are also permitted.
* Pls link your post to the event announcement and to Susan's event host lineup page..Unless done, the post would not be a part of the roundup and not eligible for the prize too..
* Recipes from archives can be accepted ONLY if updated and reposted as current. So make sure you do this without fail.
* Recipes from those who do not blog are accepted and make eligible the participants to win the random drawing.
* Use of logo is optional.
* The roundup would be up by the first week of February.
Once done, pls mail me the details to firstname.lastname@example.org
Blog Name:(not url)
Link to the recipe:
Have fun with legumes all this month..
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 cup raw peanuts
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
Combine first 4 ingredients in 2-quart microwave mixing bowl. Microwave on HIGH for 8 minutes, stirring after 4 minutes.
Then Add butter and Microwave on HIGH for 2 minutes. Brittle should not get too brown.
Stir in vanilla and soda until light and foamy. Spread on buttered baking sheet as thinly as possible. Allow to Cool completely. Break into small pieces and store in an airtight container.
For a great holiday gift, wrap up some pieces in cellophane paper or tissue wrapper, or even a fancy cloth, then tie with a decorative ribbon and share with friends this holiday season.
Tip: The trick to making thin, tender peanut brittle is to keep the baking sheet(s) you use warm. You can heat them in a conventional oven at around 200 deg F before you spread the peanut brittle mix. This should allow you to spread the mix 1cm to 2cm thick without it setting up.
There, hope you all had a Merry Christmas, and wish you all a wonderful New Year ahead!
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
On the TV show Top Chef, contestants create dishes to impress the judges often with limited resources of time or money or ingredients. From a viewer's perspective, the biggest problem with the show is that you can't taste the food. Still I love it. Perhaps it's because I enjoy the challenging aspects of cooking--like every other home cook, I am challenged to use what ingredients I have and the techniques I know, to cook something delicious, day after day, night after night.
Sometimes I wonder if I would agree with the judges. And I wonder how good those cooked-in-a-flash dishes with barely any ingredients really taste. I may never bother cooking something sous vide, break down an entire side of beef or serve 200 guests in one evening, but I'm happy to say I can now duplicate various dishes presented in the quickfire challenges on Top Chef thanks to Top Chef: The Quickfire Cookbook.
Top Chef: The Quickfire Challenge Cookbook features mostly recipes that home cooks can easily duplicate. They don't take much time or many exotic ingredients. Some of them are straight forward like Mia's Bean Salad that's basically three bean salad with a few twists--fresh mint, capers, canned beets and artichoke hearts all served over salad greens. Other dishes are more sophisticated like Jennifer's Shrimp and Scallop Beignets. There are desserts, breakfast dishes, salads, entrees, soups and even a few cocktails. Recently I got a chance to try Jamie's Chickpea Soup and it was divine. It's flavored with vadouvan (or use curry) and topped with a cilantro, mint and lemon zest spiked yogurt.
There are lots of fun features that will appeal to Top Chef fans in the book, little inside peeks at the filming, contestants and chances to test your foodie IQ. Something I especially like are the detailed instructions on some "molecular gastronomy" style dishes and flourishes you can make at home. Andrew's Faux Caviar made from tapioca pearls seasoned with balsamic vinegar and soy sauce is top on my list to try! So too are Stephanie's White Ale-Orange Juice Mussels, Radhika's Kebab Sausage with Tomato Jam and Hung's Chocolate Pie with Bananas.
Top Chef: The Quickfire Challenge Cookbook is just a tremendously accessible and fun book to dig into. It's perfect for fans of the show or anyone wanting to try to add a bit more flair to their cooking. Best of all, you can get a chance to win a copy of this book signed by chef contestants Jennifer Biesty, Ryan Scott and Jamie Lauren along with a salt cellar, a selection of Diamond Crystal® kosher, coarse and fine sea salt, a $25 CHEFS gift certificate, a signed copy of Michael Symon's Live to Cook, as well as Good Eats: The Early Years, Top Chef: The Cookbook and Top Chef Quickfire Challenge Game. How can you win this fabulous prize package ? By bidding on it over at the Menu for Hope campaign.
To bid on this prize package, go to the donation site at Firstgiving, specify prize code UW21 in the 'Personal Message' section in the donation form when confirming your donation and how many tickets you'd like to purchase, keeping in mind that tickets are $10 each and all proceeds go towards the UN World Food Programme. The Menu for Hope bidding ends December 31st, 2009, so don't be left out!
Note: This prize package, worth more than $200, is available to anyone with a United States shipping address.
1 cup gram flour/besan
Salt to taste
1 chopped onion
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
Bit of asafoetida
Finely chopped coriander leaves
For kadhi -
2 cups beaten curd (low fat)
1 cup water
2 tbsp gram flour
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
Oil to fry
Mix the ingredients for pakora with some water and pour a spoonful of it in hot oil to get one pakora. Repeat for rest of the batter. If you are health conscious, try it in the paniyaram pan like I did
Mix the ingredients of kadhi and beat well. Heat the kadhi till it starts boiling.
Before serving, add the pakore to the kadhi and serve hot with rice
how to make kadi pakora, kadhi pakore recipe, punjabi kadhi, side dish for rice, north indian special recipes
Monday, December 28, 2009
Sunday, December 27, 2009
Saturday, December 26, 2009
Friday, December 25, 2009
Remember to cook on low heat so that the dal paste is well cooked.
Thursday, December 24, 2009
For more minis by Betsy Niederer, visit:
CDHM site: http://www.cdhm.org/user/kachookie