Tag Archives: Martha Rose Shulman

What’s Been Cooking? Late Summer Edition

Gosh, the summer has flown by. Was it the same for you?

This blog has fallen a little by the wayside… I’m still here, just less frequently and with fewer of my “own” recipes, especially now that I can save all my favorites to NYT Cooking. Even though I’m posting fewer recipes doesn’t mean I’ve stopped cooking…on the contrary, our kitchen remains an exciting and comforting place amidst the stresses of daily life.

Here’s a peek into what F and I have been cooking over the past few months, in no particular order.

IMG_1421Ottolenghi’s “Chickpea Saute with Greek Yogurt” — light and bright summer flavors went beautifully over rice with a rich and creamy Greek yogurt sauce on the side. Highly recommended and very easy to throw together on a weeknight.
IMG_1163Pasta with Zucchini, Ricotta and Basil, courtesy of David Tanis at NYT Cooking. Creamy and rich yet summery, thanks to lemon zest and basil.

IMG_1407Smitten kitchen’s takeout-style sesame noodles with cucumber. Simple and delicious — I made them when F was away at a conference and managed not to get too tired of them despite having them over the course of 4 meals in two days…
IMG_1455The Woks of Life’s Shanghai-Style Braised Pork Belly — it took 3 hours but was totally worth it for the melt-in-your-mouth texture of the pork belly in rich, sticky sauce. So so good. We will definitely make it again on our next leisurely weekend.

Non-photographed but just as tasty dishes:

  • Melissa Clark’s Lunchbox Harvest Muffins (NYT Cooking) are moist and not dense at all, despite using only whole wheat flour. They’re packed with grated apple, carrot, and zucchini and made great afternoon snacks for F and me during the workweek.
  • We made Martha Rose Shulman’s Spicy South Indian Cauliflower for the second time. F browned some cubes of paneer cheese to add in and I made naan bread to go on the side.
  • I had always wanted to try making bircher muesli and finally did this summer. I used Nigella’s “basic bircher muesli” recipe and it turned out exactly like I’d hoped. Last week I made a double batch, which got us both through two weekday breakfasts.
  • These blueberry pancakes are SO FLUFFY, thanks to whipping the egg whites before folding them into the batter.
  • Rather have blueberry muffins? I made some of those, too: Call Me Cupcake’s blueberry lemon muffins were just right and didn’t even need the cardamom topping, in my opinion.

What have you been cooking?

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A Moroccan Feast

Thank you, Easter, for providing us with a long weekend (Friday and Monday are Bank Holidays here in the UK). F and I wanted to enjoy some lamb as an ode to spring, so we invited friends to join us for a pre-Easter dinner on Friday. We could’ve done a traditional roast with the usual carrots and new potatoes, but in a fit of experimentation (and knowing we’d have the whole day to prepare — thank you again, Bank Holiday), F suggested we make Moroccan-style lamb. I suggested that we might as well go all-out and make Moroccan sides, too.

Needless to say, Googling commenced. I went straight to NYT Cooking, the New York Times‘ great hub for all the recipes they publish in their Food and other sections. I searched “Moroccan” and loads of vibrant, delicious looking dishes appeared. I was drawn to the Moroccan Cooked Carrot Salad; Spicy Orange Salad, Moroccan Style; and this couscous. Meanwhile, F found a recipe for Moroccan Lamp with Apricots, Almonds & Mint from BBC Good Food; it is a stew rather than a roast, which made it more attractive as it required less cooking time.

Here is how the meal turned out:

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Perhaps it is a bit monochrome, but boy was it delicious. The stew had such depth of flavor, thanks to cinnamon, apricots, and orange, and the ground almonds gave it a deceptively “creamy” texture. The carrot salad — dressed with lemon juice, spiced with cumin and garlic, and balanced with olives — turned out beautifully. We really liked the pearl couscous laced with cumin, golden raisins, and sautéed onions. The orange salad packed a bit of heat from cayenne, although I left out the garlic, parsley, and olives, as those were already present in the carrot salad.

All in all, a great and delicious success. Will we make these recipes again? Definitely. I’m already looking forward to enjoying the leftovers for lunch.

Do you like Moroccan food? Ever cooked any of it? Post your thoughts and experiences in the comments!

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Recipe: Whole Wheat Focaccia

I’m new to bread-making from scratch. Although I make pizza dough pretty regularly, that has generally been the extent of my yeast-dough endeavors. But last fall I decided to take the leap and try my hand at some “real” homemade bread. Focaccia turned out to be a good choice, as it’s straightforward and not too tricky to get the right texture or crust. I followed Martha Rose Shulman’s directions over on her NY Times Recipes for Health space — do what she does, and you’ll get a lovely olive-oil scented, rosemary-studded focaccia, great for dipping into soups or munching on its own.

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I don’t have a stand mixer so I’m only including directions for how to do this by hand. Head to Shulman’s original recipe for instructions on how to make the focaccia using a stand mixer.

Whole Wheat Focaccia (adapted from Martha Rose Shulman; makes 1 large focaccia)

Ingredients

  • 8g (2 tsp) active dry yeast
  • 5g (1 tsp) sugar
  • 340g (1.5 cups) lukewarm water
  • 25g (2 tbsp) olive oil + 25g for drizzling
  • 250g (2 cups) whole wheat flour
  • 200-220g (~1.75 cups) all-purpose (plain) flour + more for kneading
  • 13g (1.75 tsp) salt
  • optional: handful fresh rosemary, roughly chopped; sea salt

Procedure

  • In a large bowl, combine the yeast, sugar, and water and stir until the yeast and sugar dissolve.
  • Add 25g olive oil along with the whole wheat flour, 200g of the plain flour, and salt. Mix briefly with a wooden spoon. Tip the dough out onto a floured surface, set a timer for 8-10 minutes and knead continuously with your hands. Add plain flour as needed during the kneading; by the end of 10 minutes, the dough should form a sticky ball. Shape it into a ball.
  • Lightly oil a large bowl with olive oil. Put the dough ball into it and cover both sides of the ball with oil. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and let it rise in a warm place for 1.5-2 hours (or in the fridge for 4-8 hours), until it has doubled.
  • After the first rising, punch down the dough, cover it with oiled plastic wrap, and let it rest for 15 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 215C (425F) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Oil the paper generously. Press out (or roll) the dough into the rectangular sheet pan until it reaches all sides and corners. It’s easier to do this by rolling or pressing a bit, then waiting 5 minutes, then rolling or pressing again — repeat until the dough reaches the pan’s edges.
  • Cover the dough with a damp towel and let it rest for 30 minutes.
  • Before baking, dimple the dough with your fingertips, drizzle some olive oil over it, and sprinkle on some rosemary and sea salt.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a deep golden brown. Let rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Enjoy!

Recipe: Rosemary, Garlic & Lemon-Crusted Chicken with White Wine Mushrooms

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As you probably know by now, F and I love buying and roasting a whole chicken ourselves. It’s cheaper than buying chicken pieces and creates lots of leftovers — we also often make stock from the carcass. Our favorite time to do this is for Sunday dinner, since we’re usually home on Sunday afternoons and thus have time to keep an eye on the chicken in the oven.

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This bird is rubbed with fresh rosemary, garlic, and lemon zest before being roasted to a perfect golden-brown. (You don’t have to use a whole chicken; feel free to rub the rosemary mix on a couple of chicken breasts or thighs — you’ll have dinner on the table a lot faster.) Mushrooms are sautéed with fresh thyme and reduced in white wine — a perfect accompaniment to the chicken. Just add rice or your preferred carbohydrate. The chicken and mushroom recipes are both below; I’ll let you figure out the rice for yourself!

Rosemary, Garlic & Lemon-Crusted Chicken (inspired by Martha Rose Shulman)

Ingredients

  • 1 whole chicken (ours was 2.6kg)
  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh rosemary
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tbsp black peppercorns
  • 4-6 garlic cloves
  • 2 lemons

Procedure

  • Preheat the oven to 180C. Rinse the chicken and pat it dry, then place it in a large baking dish.
  • Put the rosemary, lemon zest, peppercorns, and garlic cloves in a food processor and blend until everything is chopped small and almost paste-like.
  • Rub olive oil and then the spice mix all over the chicken. Juice both the lemons over the chicken and stick the lemon halves inside the bird.
  • Roast the chicken for about 2.5 hours in the oven, basting periodically and covering if necessary.

White Wine Mushrooms (adapted from Martha Rose Shulman; serves 2-4)

Ingredients

  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2kg (1lb) button/field mushrooms, sliced
  • 1-2 tsp fresh thyme, minced
  • 1/2 – 1 cup dry white wine
  • to taste: salt & pepper

Procedure

  • Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Add the mushrooms to the skillet and let them sear for 30-60 seconds, then stir.
  • As the mushrooms start to soften, add the thyme, wine, salt, and pepper. Lower the heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until the wine evaporates and the mushrooms are tender.

Enjoy!

Recipe: Lemon, Ginger & Turmeric Infusion with Cloves & Honey

Winter is here, and that means it’s a great time for soothing teas to warm your insides and ward off those nasty viruses. Recently, Martha Rose Shulman’s Recipes for Health focused on herbal teas and infusions (a friend recently told me that the difference between “tea” and “infusion” is that the latter does not contain any actual tea leaves. Thus, most herbal “teas” should actually be called “infusions”).

The following infusion is similar to my super citrus-ginger nectar but has no orange and includes turmeric, cloves, and cayenne pepper. It is delicious — don’t be thrown off by the bright yellow color. The first time I made it, I used too many cloves and they overpowered the whole drink. The next time I halved the amount of  cloves and it was just right, allowing the mellow turmeric and soothing ginger flavors to come to the fore. I use more lemon and less honey than Shulman, as per my personal taste — feel free to adjust the proportions to your liking. Make a big pot of this infusion, then refrigerate and reheat whatever you don’t drink in the first sitting. If this doesn’t make you feel healthy and re-energized, I don’t know what will.

Lemon, Ginger & Turmeric Infusion with Cloves & Honey (adapted from Martha Rose Shulman; makes 1.5L = 4-5 servings)

Ingredients

  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • 1-2 tbsp fresh ginger, sliced
  • 3 cloves
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1.5L boiling water
  • 1-2 tsp honey, or to taste
  • pinch of cayenne pepper

Procedure

  • Put the water on to boil. While it is heating, combine the sliced lemon, minced ginger, cloves, and turmeric in a large teapot (or saucepan, if you have no teapot).
  • Pour the boiling water into the teapot, then stir in the honey. Cover the pot and let the infusion steep for 30 minutes.
  • After 30 minutes, reheat if necessary and pour into mugs. Add a small pinch of cayenne pepper to your mug before drinking.

Enjoy!

Recipe: Celeriac, Potato & Apple Soup

This soup may look monochrome and uninteresting, but it has a lot of flavor, thanks to earthy celeriac and fresh thyme. Inspired by one of Martha Rose Shulman’s “Recipes for Health,” the soup was a handy way to use up a huge celeriac bulb that we got in a freebie Abel & Cole delivery (thanks, Sarah!). Throw in some potatoes, onions, garlic, and apples, and you have a well-rounded, silky smooth soup to enjoy on cool autumn evenings. It’s great with German sausages, too — mix them in or eat them on the side.

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Celeriac, Potato & Apple Soup (inspired by Martha Rose Shulman; makes 4-6 generous servings)

Ingredients

  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 small onions (or 1 large), roughly chopped
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 3/4 large celeriac bulb, peeled & diced
  • 4-5 potatoes, peeled & diced
  • 2 apples, peeled, cored & diced
  • 5-6 cups water or stock of choice
  • 1-2 bay leaves
  • to taste: fresh thyme sprigs (I used 7-10)
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp celery seeds
  • to taste: salt & pepper

Procedure

  • Heat olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring, until they begin to soften (5 minutes or so).
  • Add the celeriac and potatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until they begin to soften, another 5 minutes or so.
  • Pour in the water/stock, and add the apples, bay leaves, thyme, celery seeds, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down and let the soup simmer until the vegetables are tender enough to blend, 40-60 minutes.
  • Take the pot off the heat and blend the soup with an immersion blender (or in batches in a blender). Return the soup to low heat for another 5-10 minutes before serving.

Enjoy!

Recipe: Cherry-Blueberry Cobbler with Almond Topping

We (i.e. my parents) have been getting loads of delicious cherries from the summer CSA in the past couple of weeks. I keep running across great-looking cherry recipes and finally found myself with most visa stress behind me and a free Thursday afternoon on my hands.

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I decided to take a stab at another one of Martha Rose Shulman’s great “Recipes for Health” on the NY Times. This time, I modified her recipe for Cherry Cobbler with Almond-Buttermilk Topping. We didn’t have enough cherries, however; nor did we have buttermilk. So I bulked up the fruit with some leftover blueberries and used almond milk instead of buttermilk.

Tangy, ever-so-sweet fruit pairs nicely with the crunchy topping that has a mild nutty taste and just a bit of sweetness. My parents gave it rave reviews: My mom said, “I like the tartness of the cherries plus the blueberries, and the topping is nice ’cause it’s not too sweet. It was just overall very excellent.” And from my dad: “I loved it. It was delicious. I liked the crust — the cobble-part — especially.” If that’s not a recommendation to go make this, I don’t know what is!

sometimes nibbles happen

sometimes nibbles happen

This cobbler smacks of health (while remaining tasty), with no white flour in sight, just a little sugar, and some token butter for richness. You could totally eat it with Greek-style yogurt for breakfast or brunch.

Cherry-Blueberry Cobbler with Almond Topping (adapted from Martha Rose Shulman)

Ingredients

  • For the fruit:
    • 2 cups cherries, stemmed and pitted
    • 1 cup blueberries
    • 1 tbsp sugar
    • juice of 1/2 a lemon
    • 1/2 tbsp whole wheat flour
    • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • For the topping:
    • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
    • 1/2 cup cornmeal
    • 1/3 cup slivered almonds
    • 1 tsp baking powder
    • 1/2 tsp baking soda
    • 3 tbsp sugar
    • 1/4 tsp salt
    • 3 tbsp cold unsalted butter, cubed
    • 1/3 cup almond milk

Procedure

  • Preheat the oven to 400F (200C) and butter a brownie pan-sized baking dish.
  • Prepare the fruit: Combine all ingredients in a bowl, mix, then pour into the baking dish, making sure to scrape all the juices out.
  • Make the topping: Whisk together the dry ingredients. Work in the butter with your fingers until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in the almond milk until a dough forms.
  • Plop small blobs of dough on top of the fruit; most of the fruit will be covered but it’s okay if some peeks out.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the top is browned and the fruit bubbles. Serve warm or cold, with yogurt or ice cream.

Enjoy!

Recipe: Lemony Cornmeal Cranberry Drop Scones

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My mom loves scones but is acutely aware of how many calories your average coffee shop scone has. I had never made scones and decided to try them but wanted to make them a bit healthier than usual. Luckily, I ran across this recipe from Martha Rose Shulman over at the NY Times. The scones turned out light, crumbly, and delicious — they’re like a cross between a corn muffin and a scone — and my mom approved! (I had to stop myself from eating more than two in one sitting.)

Lemony Cornmeal Cranberry Drop Scones (adapted from this recipe)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1 cup medium stone-ground cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • dash of ground allspice
  • 2 tsp (or so) lemon zest
  • 7 tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2″ pieces or small squares
  • 1 egg
  • 2/3 cup buttermilk
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries, soaked for 10′ in warm water & drained

Procedure

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and lightly grease a baking sheet or two.
  • Sift together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, soda, salt, and allspice. Dump the mixture into a food processor, add the butter and lemon zest and pulse until the mixture is slightly coarse but even.
  • In another bowl, whisk together the egg and buttermilk. Turn on the food processor and slowly pour in the egg mixture. Turn off the processor as soon as the dough comes together (it will be a pretty wet dough). Add the cranberries and pulse a few times to distribute them throughout the dough.
  • Drop heaping tablespoons of batter onto the baking sheets. Bake in the middle of the oven for 14-16 minutes, turning the baking sheet front to back halfway through. The scones will be lightly browned.