Monday, February 27, 2017

Strawberry Yogurt Muffins #MuffinMonday

Just the right sweetness and oh, so tender, these strawberry yogurt muffins are a great breakfast or snack. Decorate them with sliced strawberries for an extra pretty touch, especially if you bake them on National Strawberry Day.



Happy National Strawberry Day and Muffin Monday to you all! In honor of convergence of these two special days, I've baked you some delicious golden muffins. And while these are perfect with strawberry yogurt, I should point out that you can easily substitute your favorite yogurt flavor.

Make sure you scroll down to see what my fellow Muffin Monday bakers are sharing! After you make these strawberry yogurt muffins, of course.

Ingredients - 12 muffins
2 cups or 250g all purpose flour
1/2 cup or 100g sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup or 60ml milk
3/4 cup or 185g strawberry yogurt
1/2 cup or 113g butter, melted and cooled
1 large egg

Optional, for decoration: 3 red strawberries, cut into four slices each

Food Lust People Love - Just the right sweetness and oh, so tender, these strawberry yogurt muffins are a great breakfast or snack. Decorate them with sliced strawberries for an extra pretty touch.


Method
Preheat your oven to 350°F or 180°C and prepare your 12-cup muffin pan by greasing it or lining it paper muffin cups.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, the sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.



In another bowl, whisk together the milk, yogurt, butter and egg.



Pour your wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and fold them together until just mixed.



Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups and top each with strawberry slice, cut side up, if using.



Bake in the preheated oven about 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.



Cool on a rack for a few minutes and then remove the muffins to cool completely.



Enjoy!

Check out all the other delicious muffins my Muffin Monday bakers are sharing today:


#MuffinMonday is a group of muffin loving bakers who get together once a month to bake muffins. You can see all our of lovely muffins by following our Pinterest board.

Updated links for all of our past events and more information about Muffin Monday, can be found on our home page.

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Sunday, February 26, 2017

Piquant Shrimp Balls #SundaySupper

Made with spicy seasoned shrimp and no fillers, piquant shrimp balls are the perfect Mardi Gras or party appetizer. A little dipping sauce with pickled okra completes the dish.


I feel sorry for folks who don’t grow up near an ocean. It’s not just that they seldom, or sometimes never, felt the sand between their toes or built dribble castles as children, but they also often missed out on seafood as a normal, typical dinner option. It’s saved for special occasions and restaurant meals. Which is a shame.

At our house, we eat a lot of seafood! Everything from fancy-ish main course recipes like Trout en Croute, Fennel Orange Cod en Papillote and Meyer Lemon Butter Sauce Prawns to appetizers like Mini Party Crab Cakes and Squid with Garlic Chili Oil, to down home favorites like Pan-Fried Fresh Sardines, Ceviche and Spicy Salmon Shrimp Burgers. Oh, and since it's Mardi Gras time, I should mention my Louisiana Barbecued Shrimp and Shrimp Creole! Those are just a drop in the bucket. I could go on but I think you get the point. These piquant shrimp balls are one of my favorites.

Making piquant shrimp balls is super easy! The secret to making balls with no fillers or egg is to use a food processor on half of the shrimp, then stir in the remaining shrimp, roughly chopped. Pan-fry the balls with a little olive oil for a golden exterior and your family and friends will be asking you to double the recipe next time. I promise.

Ingredients - for 2 dozen piquant shrimp balls
Good handful flat leaf parsley leaves and tender stems (pinch off hard stems and discard)
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1-2 red hot chili peppers
2 medium cloves garlic
1 lb 2oz or 510g peeled, cleaned fresh shrimp
Olive oil for pan frying

For the dipping sauce:
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 tablespoon ketchup
1 teaspoon whole grained mustard
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne
1 small clove garlic, finely minced
1 hot pickled okra, stem end removed, finely minced (sub small cornichons or capers, if desired)

Method
Make the dipping sauce by combining all ingredients. Store covered in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Cut the peppers and garlic into pieces then process with the parsley and salt until finely minced.


Add in half of the shrimp and process until chopped fairly finely. You are looking for a chunky paste.


Use a sharp knife to cut the rest of the shrimp into four or five pieces, depending on size.


Tip the seasoned mixture out into a mixing bowl. Mix the cut shrimp well with the seasoned chunky shrimp paste.


Cover a plate snugly with cling film (this makes it easier to get the shrimp balls off the plate) and use a tablespoon to divide the mixture into about 24 pieces.

Dampen your hands with water and roll the pieces into balls and place them in a non-stick pan with a drizzle of olive oil.


Cook over a medium high heat with a splatter guard on top. Once the shrimp balls are cooked enough to be firm, turn them over and keep cooking, shaking the pan occasionally, until all sides are golden and the shrimp balls are cooked through. This takes just a few minutes.


Serve hot with toothpicks and the dipping sauce. Sprinkle on a little extra chopped parsley for color, if desired.



Enjoy!

This week my Sunday Supper tastemakers are sharing their favorite easy Mardi Gras recipes. Whether you are hosting or attending a potluck, we’ve got you covered!

Sunday Supper Easy Mardi Gras Recipes

Appetizers

Main Dishes

Sides

Desserts

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on Twitter every Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7 p.m. ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat.

To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

And sign up for our newsletter to get great recipes delivered right to your inbox every Thursday!

newsletter sign up #SundaySupper


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Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Keralan Yeast Appam #BreadBakers

Keralan appam are easy to make, blending soaked rice with coconut milk to make a rich, thick batter. These delicious lacy pancakes taste fragrantly, inexplicably, of butter.



Appam is popular in certain regions of India, particularly the south and the state of Kerala. It’s made with raw and cooked rice, often fermented with toddy or kallu, an alcoholic drink made from palm or coconut sap. If you don’t have toddy, you can let the batter ferment naturally or add some yeast. Fresh grated coconut and/or coconut milk are frequently present in the ingredient list, as is flattened rice – a sort of rice flake.

This month our Bread Bakers are making pancakes. Our host Mayuri of Mayuri’s Jikon assured us that there were pancakes of all sorts and from every part of the world. I had never really thought about it but she is absolutely right. If you search “pancakes” the list is so loooooong and varied! Who knew?

Even if you just search for “appam,” the name I chose out of the main list, you will find countless recipes for naturally fermented, toddy fermented and yeast fermented versions. Everybody seems to think their family recipe is The One. Isn’t that always the way? I must confess to the same conceit about some of my Cajun dishes, even when my mom informs me later than my grandmother never made something the way I do. Clearly one of us remembering wrong. Yeah, I know it’s probably me, but here we are.

Some links to check out - these are just a drop in the immense Keralan appam bucket!
http://www.kothiyavunu.com/2016/02/kerala-appam-recipe-palappam-recipe.html 
http://www.kurryleaves.net/2014/07/kerala-appam-recipe-palappam-kerala.html
http://www.vegrecipesofindia.com/appam-recipe-kerala-appam/
http://mariasmenu.com/vegetarian/palappam
http://www.recipesaresimple.com/appam-palappam-traditional-riceflour-no-yeast-3methods/
http://www.cookingandme.com/blog/2014/05/29/how-to-make-spongy-appam-with-yeast/
http://www.archanaskitchen.com/no-yeast-kerala-style-appam-recipe

Anyway, I’ve taken several of those recipes and come up with this one. First of all, I didn’t have toddy. Secondly, I couldn’t find flattened rice. But some recipes called for neither one or the other so I figured I could mix and match. I do have freshly grated coconut but I know many of my readers will not, so I went with a coconut milk version. I used the stuff from the can.

Before we get started cooking appam, let me tell you how good these were. I served them with a Keralan pork chop recipe seasoned with cinnamon, cloves, coriander powder and cardamom. It had lots of onions and tomatoes that made a rich gravy for the pork chops and potatoes. Perfect for eating with appam! Even after my husband and I were full, we were picking up pieces of the appam and nibbling on them.

How is it that something that contains no butter at all, indeed were cooked on a non-stick skillet with just a little canola oil, can taste so buttery? It made no sense. But buttery they are. We both declared them delicious and worthy of the make-again-soon list.

Note: Start one day ahead of when you want to serve the appam.

Ingredients
1 cup or 190g raw rice – I used extra long grained basmati.
1/2 cup or 60g cooked rice
1 cup or 240ml thick coconut milk
½ teaspoon dry active yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
oil as required

Method
Rinse the raw rice in cool water until the water runs almost clear. Cover the rice with ample cool water and set aside to soak for 5 hours.

Drain the water off of the rice in a sieve or colander. Put it in the jug of your blender with the cooked rice, the coconut milk, the salt and all but 1 teaspoon of the sugar.

Mix that teaspoon of sugar with a couple of tablespoons of warm water in a small bowl. Add the yeast and set aside to proof. You are looking for foam to start forming. If it doesn’t, start again with new yeast.

Blend the rice and coconut milk on high until you have a smooth batter. Add in the yeast mixture and mix again briefly. The batter will have the consistency of crepe batter or thick cream.

Pour the batter into a large bowl and cover loosely with cling film.

Leave overnight to ferment. In the morning, if you are not cooking your appam immediately, you can put it in the refrigerator.

You can see that the fermented batter really thickens up.

At this point, I thinned mine with a little water because it wouldn’t spread out at all. You want to be able to pour it in the pan with a measuring cup or ladle, not just spoon it into the pan.

Heat your non-stick skillet over a medium flame and add just a drizzle of canola or other light oil.

Pour in about 1/4 cup or 60ml of the batter and shake the pan so it spreads around. Cover the pan with a lid and cook until the bottom is brown and the top is completely cooked. Do not flip the appam.



Continue until all the appam are cooked. These are traditionally served as a breakfast or snack with vegetable stew.



Enjoy!

Many thanks to this month’s host, Mayuri of Mayuri’s Jikoni. Check out the pancakes from different parts of the world that our fellow Bread Bakers have baked this month:
BreadBakers
#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. You can see all our of lovely bread by following our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated after each event on the #BreadBakers home page. We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.

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Sunday, February 12, 2017

Ham and Mustard Spirals #SundaySupper

Flavorful ham and sharp whole grained mustard bake up crispy in puff pastry to create these lovely ham and mustard spirals. They are a quick and easy appetizer for your red carpet party.

Food Lust People Love: Ham and Mustard Spirals. Flavorful ham and sharp whole grained mustard bake up crispy in puff pastry to create these lovely ham and mustard spirals. They are a quick and easy appetizer for your red carpet party.


As I mentioned last Sunday, I love puff pastry. It’s such a versatile ingredient! If you have puff pastry in your freezer, you can make a quick appetizer out of just about anything in your cupboard or refrigerator.

A number of weeks ago, I bought some very finely sliced French ham from the deli counter of my nearby supermarket to make ham and cheese baguettes. The following Monday morning, I was going to a Christmas get-together with friends and wanted to bring a treat to share. I had four or five slices of ham leftover and a package of puff pastry in the refrigerator.

Ham and mustard are a classic combination so you can see how I got here, but you could use chutney or pesto or whatever other sauce you’ve got on hand. The important things to keep in mind is that 1. you don't use ham that is too thickly sliced and 2. that you don’t add too much of your chosen sauce, both of which might make your spirals soggy.

Ingredients
4-5 slices of French ham, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons whole grain mustard
1 package ready rolled puff pastry - 8 oz or 230g
1 oz or 28g Parmesan, freshly grated

Method
Preheat the oven to 400°F or 200°C and line a baking pan with parchment or a silicone liner.

Unroll your puff pastry and spread it evenly with the mustard. Lay the ham out in single layer, covering the whole pastry. Start rolling on one side, all the way to the middle.

Food Lust People Love: Ham and Mustard Spirals. Flavorful ham and sharp whole grained mustard bake up crispy in puff pastry to create these lovely ham and mustard spirals. They are a quick and easy appetizer for your red carpet party.


Repeat with the other side. If you are working in a warm kitchen, roll the whole thing in cling film and pop it in the freezer for five minutes before slicing it.

Food Lust People Love: Ham and Mustard Spirals. Flavorful ham and sharp whole grained mustard bake up crispy in puff pastry to create these lovely ham and mustard spirals. They are a quick and easy appetizer for your red carpet party.


Use a sharp knife to cut the roll into 1/2 inch or 1 cm slices. Place the slices on your prepared pan.

Food Lust People Love: Ham and Mustard Spirals. Flavorful ham and sharp whole grained mustard bake up crispy in puff pastry to create these lovely ham and mustard spirals. They are a quick and easy appetizer for your red carpet party.


Bake for about 12-15 minutes or until lightly golden. Remove from the oven and sprinkle on the Parmesan.

Food Lust People Love: Ham and Mustard Spirals. Flavorful ham and sharp whole grained mustard bake up crispy in puff pastry to create these lovely ham and mustard spirals. They are a quick and easy appetizer for your red carpet party.

Bake for an additional 5-7 minutes or until they are golden all over and the cheese has melted.

Food Lust People Love: Ham and Mustard Spirals. Flavorful ham and sharp whole grained mustard bake up crispy in puff pastry to create these lovely ham and mustard spirals. They are a quick and easy appetizer for your red carpet party.


Enjoy!

This week my Sunday Supper group is sharing fancy appetizers for your red carpet award-watching party. Dress up, make a cocktail and get some of these ham and mustard spirals in the oven!

Or make one of these other fancy appetizers. Many thanks to our host Wendy of Wholistic Woman and our event manager, Cricket of Cricket’s Confections.

Finger Foods

Hors d'oeuvres

Seafood

Veggies

Sweets

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on Twitter every Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7 p.m. ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat.

To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.
  Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Pin it! 

Food Lust People Love: Ham and Mustard Spirals. Flavorful ham and sharp whole grained mustard bake up crispy in puff pastry to create these lovely ham and mustard spirals. They are a quick and easy appetizer for your red carpet party.
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Sunday, February 5, 2017

Peppadew Trout en Croûte #SundaySupper

Peppadew Trout en Croûte looks fancy but it’s actually very easy, especially if you start with store-bought already rolled puff pastry. Peppadew peppers and garlic add a lovely fresh flavor that complements the richness of the trout and the flaky pastry.

Peppadew Trout en Croûte: Peppadew peppers and garlic add a lovely fresh flavor that complements the richness of the trout and the pastry. #SundaySupper


I went through a phase a few years ago where I fell in love with ready rolled puff pastry and used it to make so many things. It’s such a versatile ingredient that my freezer is rarely without a package. Whatever simple dish you want to fancy up can be kicked up several notches by the addition of some puff pastry, baked till flakey and golden. When the French wrap something in puff pastry, they call it en croûte – literally, in crust - which immediately makes it sound fancy too.

This week my Sunday Supper group is sharing easy dinners for two ahead of Valentine’s Day, with more than 30 meals you can make at home to celebrate. Individual peppadew trout en croûte is my contribution.

If you can't find trout, salmon is a great substitute.

Ingredients
2 trimmed trout steaks about 5 1/3 oz or 150g each (See note below.)
Salt
Pepper
8-9 peppers or 25g Peppadew peppers, drained
1 small clove garlic
13 1/4 oz or 375g sheet pre-rolled puff pastry (See note below.)

Method
Preheat oven to 400°F or 200°C. Line a baking pan with parchment. Pound the peppers and garlic together with a mortar and pestle or blend in a small food processor, till they form a thick paste.

To prepare the trout steaks, skin them and trim the thin side so that you are left with two thick steaks. Remove the pin bones with needle-nose pliers, if this has not already been done. (See note below for a quick, fresh appetizer recipe, using the trimmed bits.)



Season the trout steaks with salt and pepper. Fry the trout skin until crispy in a non-stick skillet. Remove to a piece of paper towel to drain and sprinkle with a little salt. These are the cook's treat and we fight over them at our house, but they also leave behind just enough oil for the next step.

Over a very high heat, brown both sides of the trout for about 1 minute on each side in that same pan. Remove from heat to a cool plate and leave to cool.



Unroll the puff pastry and trim all around the edges with a sharp knife, then cut it half. Place one trout steak on each half and top them with the Peppadew garlic paste.



Fold the first side of the puff pastry over the trout. Fold the second side up to the middle of the trout and make a little fold in the end of the puff pastry.

Gently press down on the puff pastry and remove all the air from inside, sealing the puff pastry on each side. Use the tines of a fork to seal the sides and a sharp knife to trim the excess off of the puff pastry. Decorate with some of the puff pastry scraps, if desired.

Left - ready to bake. Right - still needs trimming and decorating. 




Bake for about 15-17 minutes or until the puff pastry is golden brown, in the preheated oven.




Note: For a quick starter, toss some sliced purple onion with a couple of tablespoons fresh lime juice. Cut the trimmed pieces of trout into thin strips and add them to the sliced onion with a little cilantro, salt, black pepper. Stir well and refrigerate till ready to serve. For a quick and easy dessert, the puff pastry scraps can be baked in the oven once the trout comes out, sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon. Serve alongside some sweet strawberries. 

Remove the Peppadew trout en croûte from the oven and allow to rest for 5-7 minutes before serving with a salad or fresh steamed broccolini to complete your dinner for two.

Peppadew Trout en Croûte: Peppadew peppers and garlic add a lovely fresh flavor that complements the richness of the trout and the pastry. #SundaySupper


Enjoy!

Do you like to go out to eat for Valentine’s Day or stay in for a special meal? If you choose the latter, Sunday Supper’s got you covered this week! Many thanks to Candace from Authentically Candace, our host, and Cricket of Cricket's Confections for managing this event!

Chicken Recipes

Pasta Recipes

Pork Recipes

Red Meat Recipes

Seafood Recipes

Veggie Recipes

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat.
To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.
Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

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Food Lust People Love - Peppadew Trout en Croûte: Peppadew peppers and garlic add a lovely fresh flavor that complements the richness of the trout and the pastry. #SundaySupper

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Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Black-eyed Pea Salad - Saladu Ñebbe #FoodieExtravaganza

This hearty black-eyed pea salad is full of good stuff but what makes it so tasty is the fresh lime juice and the hit of heat from the habanero pepper. I cautiously only put one pepper in this time. Next time I’m adding more!



Last weekend my husband and I did a massive clear out of all three of our freezers. The normal-size kitchen one, the even smaller one on top the beer fridge and the more capacious deep freezer. We hauled everything out and put it back in some sort of order. Frozen homemade sauces together. Poultry and beef on another shelf. Seafood on one side and the bottom drawer? It’s filled with pork products. The Great Freezer Cleaning also revealed a bag of dried black-eyes peas. It seemed like an omen.

This month my Foodie Extravaganza group is sharing heart healthy recipes. Beans and vegetables are probably two of the most heart healthy things you can eat, unless you are cooking those beans with smoked sausage. (My favorite way!) Even so, I like to think that the fiber and nutrition in beans outweighs the fat in the sausage. After all, sausage is also seasoning and you wouldn’t necessarily get a piece in each bite.

But beans are also great in salad, like this one of Senegalese origin, called Saladu Ñebbe or Salatu Ñebbe in the original language. There are several recipes in English online but they all seem to come from the same source, an article in Saveur magazine. Switching to French for my search, salade niébé, did turn up a few more. Whatever you call it, I’ll be making it again. I served it with seared tuna steaks, a delicious accompaniment.

Depending on which website or cookbook you consult black-eyed peas either don’t need to be soaked or they do. I treat them as I do all other beans. If I am not cooking them in a pressure cooker, I soak them overnight, if I have the time, or I quick soak them in boiling water for one hour, before cooking. Whichever method you choose, you are going to need about 2 1/2 cups or 400g cooked black-eyed peas for this recipe. One cup of dried peas should yield about that right amount.

Ingredients
2 1/2 cups or 400g cooked black-eyed peas (1 cup or 200g dried black-eyed peas, boiled and drained – you can substitute canned peas. Rinse and drain them well.)
1 habanero or Scotch bonnet chile
3 large green onions
2 small cloves garlic
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 yellow bell pepper
250g cherry or grape tomatoes
1 medium cucumber
1 small bunch parsley
6 tablespoons olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Optional for serving: salad greens

Method
Mince your habanero pepper and the garlic. Trim off the roots and slice the white part of your onion tops. In a large bowl, mix the three with the lime juice and set aside to marinate, with about a half teaspoon of salt.

This has a two-fold effect. First of all, it takes mellows the flavors of the raw garlic, onion and the habanero. Secondly, it makes sure that those flavors will be infused in the dressing.

Cut your cherry tomatoes into quarters. Seed, stem and chop the bell pepper.

Chop the green part of the onion tops and the parsley.

Cut the cucumber in half lengthwise then in half again. Use a sharp knife to remove the seeds, then cut the cucumber into small pieces.



Add the olive oil into the salad bowl and mix well with a fork.



Pile in the black-eyed peas. Stir well to coat.



Add in the chopped vegetables and herbs. Mix well.



Season with salt and pepper to taste. This salad can, of course, be eaten immediately but, unlike most salads, it gets better and better as it hangs out in the refrigerator.



If not serving right away cover with cling film and refrigerate. Remove from the fridge about 20 minutes before you are ready to serve to it’s not super chilled. Stir well.

Enjoy!


Many thanks to our Foodie Extravaganza host this month, Wendy of A Day in the Life on the Farm. Do check out the link list of all of our other heart-healthy recipes!



Foodie Extravaganza celebrates obscure food holidays or shares recipes with the same ingredient or theme every month.

Posting day is always the first Wednesday of each month. If you are a blogger and would like to join our group and blog along with us, come join our Facebook group Foodie Extravaganza. We would love to have you!

If you're a reader looking for delicious recipes, check out our Foodie Extravaganza Pinterest Board! Looking for our previous parties? Check them out here.

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