Showing posts with label Garlic. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Garlic. Show all posts

Friday, August 29, 2014

Spicy Roasted Bacon Tomato Cauliflower #BaconMonth

The rich garlicky sun-dried tomato pesto adds a lovely flavor to the cauliflower as it roasts in a little bacon fat. A generous sprinkling of crispy bacon and Parmesan finish this dish to perfection. This one's a side dish that wouldn't mind taking center stage. 

Bacon Month Week Four
It is with great sadness that I tell you this is my final post for Bacon Month. Not that I will stop cooking or baking with bacon! As my daughters can attest, most of my best recipes start with bacon and its best friend, garlic. But it’s been great fun being part of the Bacon Month group, lead by our organizer and chief cheerleader of all things bacon, Julie from White Lights on Wednesday. We have had some belly laughs sharing bacon cartoons and quips in the Facebook group, and I’ve especially enjoyed having more inspirational bacon deliciousness at my fingertips. I know I’ll be coming back to the link list of photos often until I get through all the recipes I want to try. Make sure you scroll down to see the recipes from this week and enter the draw for our final cookbook giveaway!

This recipe is adapted from these two recipes from Eggton and Steamy Kitchen.

1/2 cup sundried tomatoes (dry, not packed in oil – about 1 1/4 oz or 35g by weight)
4 slices streaky thin cut smoky bacon (about 3 1/8 oz or 90g)
1 head cauliflower (Mine weighed 1 2/3 lbs or 765g)
5 medium garlic cloves
1 hot chili pepper
3/4 ox or 20g grated Parmesan cheese, plus an equal amount for serving
Olive oil

Place your sun-dried tomatoes in a small bowl and pour hot water over them. Set aside to soak and plump up.

Chop your bacon into small pieces and spread them around on a large baking pan. Put the pan in the oven and turn it on to preheat to 400°F or 200°C. The bacon will bake and get crispy as the oven preheats so keep an eye on it.

Meanwhile, cut the green leaves off of your cauliflower and break or cut it into florets.

Check on your bacon!

Drain the tomatoes but keep the water. Put the tomatoes, garlic, chili pepper and  Parmesan in the blender or food processor. Add some of the tomato soaking water and process until smooth. If it is too thick, just keep adding the water, a little at a time.

Check on your bacon in the oven. If it’s already crispy, take the pan from the oven and use a slotted spoon to remove the bacon pieces, leaving the bacon fat behind in the pan.

Put your cauliflower in a large bowl and pour the sauce over it.

Stir well to coat the florets.

Put your sauced cauliflower florets in the baking pan, stem side up, and separated so that they can get roasted.  If you make a big pile, they’ll just steam.

Roast for 15-20 minutes in your preheated oven, then turn the cauliflower florets over to roast the other side. Drizzle with a little olive oil or more bacon fat if you have some handy.

Put the pan back in the oven for another 15-20 minutes or until the cauliflower is done to your liking.

To serve, scrape the roasted cauliflower, and all the good, roasted sticky bits from the pan, into a serving bowl. Sprinkle on the crispy bacon pieces and another generous handful of freshly grated Parmesan.


Are you ready for more bacon deliciousness?!

Now for the The Bacon Cookbook* giveaway! Please be aware that the book will only be shipped to US addresses. Canadian winners will receive an Amazon egift card for the price of the book. Full disclosure details can be found by clicking on Terms and Conditions on the Rafflecopter. This cookbook prize is sponsored by Julie of White Lights on Wednesday.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*This is an Amazon affiliate link. If you buy after clicking on the link, I earn some small change for referring you to Amazon, at no extra cost to you.

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Thursday, May 8, 2014

Spicy Pepperoni and Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto

Pepperoni blended with sun-dried tomatoes, pine nuts, garlic and arugula makes the perfect spicy pesto to serve over pasta or to spread on crusty bread as an appetizer. Or you can use it as pizza sauce. 

It’s funny how something catches my eye. It could be a sign on the highway or a colorful label on a grocery store shelf or a photo on Pinterest that somehow jumps out as I scroll by, but I am always on the lookout for the unusual and the humorous. My Facebook friends and followers on Instagram know what I’m talking about.

Bowels for your salad?

Dirt is good? Thanks for that, OMO. I no longer need detergent.

Is that meant to be a cantaloupe “bunny” amongst the carrots?
I'm being "ware" but what on earth is a road surprise?

The most ENORMOUS leeks

And my most recent find:

Canned humans? 

One thing I didn’t take a photo of because the container was nondescript, with just a store bar code, was some pepperoni pesto made in-house at Whole Foods. The label caught my eye about the same time as the giant leeks in that same store in Providence, Rhode Island.  So no photo, but I did a make a mental note because pepperoni pesto is genius! I have no idea what was in the plastic vessel at Whole Foods but I made my own, using the tomatoes I sun-dried personally last summer. It is divine. And you need some. Just, please, don’t serve it in a salad bowel.

Ingredients (Makes about 1 3/4 cups or 415ml of pesto)
1/2 cup or 30g sun-dried tomatoes
1/4 cup or 45g pine nuts
2 large cloves garlic (about 10g)
3 1/2 oz or 100g spicy pepperoni
1/2 cup or 120ml olive oil, divided
Couple of good handfuls or 50g arugula or rocket
Sea salt to taste
1-2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

Cover the sun-dried tomatoes with almost boiling water and leave to soften until cool. Drain the water from your tomatoes.

Aren't they a gorgeous color? I sun-dried them myself last summer.

Toast your pine nuts in a small skillet until they are lightly golden.

Blend the softened tomatoes, toasted pine nuts, garlic, pepperoni and a 1/4 cup or 60ml of olive oil in a food processor until you have a smooth paste.

Add in the arugula or rocket and the second 1/4 cup or 60ml olive oil and process again until you have a smooth paste.

Taste the pesto and add salt and lemon juice as needed.  I put about 1/4 teaspoon flakey sea salt and two teaspoon fresh lemon juice. Whir one last time to combine.

This makes a fabulous pasta sauce, pizza sauce or serve with crusty bread to dip.


What’s the funniest/strangest thing you have seen out in public? Leave me a photo in the comments! Let's keep it clean, people!

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Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Spicy Onion Paratha #TwelveLoaves

The name paratha comes from two words in Hindi and Urdu, parat meaning layer or flake and atta, which is flour, but not all paratha are multi-layered; some are simple flatbreads. All are cooked on a tawa or griddle. (P.S. It's pronounced prata. Just two syllables with the stress on the first.)

When we lived in Malaysia all those years, I volunteered in a monthly Booster Club fundraiser called PAC Shack. PAC stood for Panther Activity Center and once upon a time, it was actually a shack out in the field where moms and dads and even students served burgers with all the fixings and other goodies to raise funds for team uniforms and sports equipment. By the time I joined the Booster Club roster of volunteers, we had a kitchen up in the main high school building with little ventilation, sad extractor fans and cardboard spread on the floor to stop us sliding around on the inevitable grease that accumulated from cooking fatty meat patties on the big diner-type flat grills.  By the time I had left KL, we had moved into bigger better facilities, with room to work and a kitchen sink with actual hot running water. But the one thing we never could get around were the tears when it was time to peel and slice onions in an enclosed space, no matter how well ventilated. The onions were always my job because I was the only one who didn’t bawl. I’d take my 10-15 pounds out to a picnic table overlooking the school pool and get after it all by my lonesome, creating mountains of sliced onions to adorn the more than 600 burgers the other ladies were inside grilling and wrapping and popping in huge warmers before the lunch bell rang.

The moral of this story is, always get someone who wears contact lenses to slice your onions.  Those were my shields of eye protection! I found out the hard way that without them, I do cry.

This month my Twelve Loaves group decided on onions as our theme and I was delighted! I've been making paratha and chapati and naan for years so they seemed like the perfect oniony departure from the normal yeast bread I usually undertake for these challenges. I found a recipe online for an onion paratha that sounded fabulous. And indeed it is. I've added garlic and a bit more coriander, quantified for clarity and changed the method up in a quite a few ways that I hope will encourage someone to give it a try.

1 cup or 150g wholemeal wheat flour, plus extra for dusting as you roll the flatbread out
1 medium onion (about 6 1/3 oz or 180g)
1 clove garlic
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 small hot chilies
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon ground coriander
Small bunch (about 3/4 oz or 20g) cilantro or coriander leaves
1 tablepoon olive oil, plus extra for sautéing the vegetables and greasing the griddle
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

Mince your onion, garlic and chilies as finely as you can. Do the same with your cilantro. I cut off the long, hard stems but minced the tender parts with the leaves.

In a medium-sized saucepan, drizzle in a little oil and add your cumin seeds.

Watch closely so they don’t burn but let them toast till they are a little darker and then add in your minced onion, garlic and chilies and stir well. If the pan is too dry, drizzle in a little more oil.

Cook the mixture over a low to medium heat, stirring often. You want everything to brown but not to scorch. When the mixture is nicely browned, add in the chopped cilantro, along with the ground coriander and the garam masala. Stir well and remove from the heat and allow to cool.

In a large mixing bowl, or the bowl of your stand mixer, combine the flour, onion mixture, 1 tablespoon olive oil and the salt.

Add in 1/4 cup or 60ml warm water and mix thoroughly.

Now add more warm water, a tablespoon at a time, mixing well in between additions. Different flours require more or less water but you are looking for a nice cohesive soft dough. I ended up adding three tablespoons to get the right consistency.

Knead the dough by hand or machine for a few minutes.  Form it into a nice round ball.

Drizzle a little oil in a bowl and roll the ball around to grease it. Cover the bowl with cling film and set aside to rest for 20-30 minutes. I find that the longer I let the dough rest, the easier it is to roll into circles once it’s divided, so I make it earlier in the afternoon and let it rest until just before I am ready to serve dinner.

When you are ready to cook the paratha, divide the ball into six equal pieces.

First cut it in half, then each half into three pieces.

Sprinkle your clean work surface with some flour and use a rolling pin to roll each ball into a circle. Sprinkle on extra flour as necessary to keep the dough from sticking.

The hand is for scale. Each circle is about 8 inches or 20cm across.

Heat your griddle pan and drizzle on a little oil. Place the circle on the hot pan and watch it carefully. Brush the top with some more oil.

When little bubbles start to form on the top flip the paratha over to cook the other side.

Press down with your spatula to make sure that the paratha is making contact with the griddle. Cook for a few minutes, flipping a couple more times if necessary, until both sides have lovely brown spots all over.

I like to stack the paratha in a little sleeve made of folded aluminum foil to keep warm until I am ready to serve.

These are great with any kind of curry, like potato, chicken, fish or just dal but I must confess to warming one the next morning and nibbling on it while I sipped my cup of coffee. Divine.


Are you a fan of all things bread and all things allium, by which I mean the onion family?  Then you are going to love this month’s Twelve Loaves recipes.

If you would like to join us this month, it’s easy:

1. Bake a bread using anything from the onion family and post it on your blog before the end of May 2014. This must be a new post. Your bread of choice recipe can include onions, scallions, garlic, shallots, in fact, anything allium-related but it must be IN the dough. In addition to being in the dough, it could also be added to a glaze. Whatever you bake, (yeasted, quick bread, crackers, muffins, braids, flatbreads, etc.) have fun!
2. Mention the Twelve Loaves challenge in your post. This helps us to get more members as well as share everyone's posts.
3. Add your link to the linky tool at the bottom of this post.

#TwelveLoaves is a monthly bread baking party created by Lora from Cake Duchess.  #TwelveLoaves runs so smoothly thanks to the help of Renee from Magnolia Days and Heather from girlichef.

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Saturday, April 19, 2014

Slow-Roasted Lamb with 40 Cloves of Garlic #NationalGarlicDay

Lamb shoulder is the perfect cut for a good long roasting in the oven and it goes especially well with garlic in abundance. The tender meat falls off the bones and the resulting gravy is rich and aromatic. If you’ve never tried lamb shoulder, it’s time, friends, it’s time. This recipe is best started early in the morning, or even the day before you want to serve it.

Growing up, my grandmother had what we call a fouillon about lamb that she passed on to my mother. I have no idea how that’s really spelled but it means a quirk against or an aversion in Cajun French. My mom extended this aversion to anything goat, as well, even my beloved goat milk cheese. She said she could taste the animal and it didn’t taste good. Needless to say, we never had lamb at home when I was a child so I didn’t really have an opportunity to try it until I married into a family of Brits who eat lamb all the time. It was too late to change my grandmother's mind, but I am pleased to say that I have converted my mother now and she enjoys rack of lamb and goat cheese. (Still working on the other cuts!) The moral of this story is that your mother is almost always right, unless she’s wrong.

Today we are celebrating National Garlic Day with a great garlicky giveaway and lots of center stage garlic recipes! Aside from its medicinal properties, garlic just tastes good. It adds warmth and spiciness and there are very few recipes that cannot be improved upon by adding garlic. Even ice cream! No kidding. Check out girlichef’s creamy treat made with black garlic in the links below. And make sure to enter the draw for the giveaway. One winner takes all!


Time! (This roasts for 6 and a half hours, not counting preparation and marinating time.)
1 shoulder of lamb on the bone, around 6 lbs or 2.7kg
1 cup or 240ml dry red wine

For seasoning the roast:
Leaves from 2-3 sprigs fresh rosemary (Plus extra sprigs for garnish, if desired)
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
2 teaspoons fennel seeds
2 teaspoons coriander seeds
10-12 black or mixed peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons flakey sea salt (like Maldon)
12 cloves garlic (about 1 3/4 oz or 50g)
1/8 cup or 30ml pomegranate molasses
1/4 cup or 60ml olive oil
Plus six extra cloves of garlic sliced lengthwise in quarters or sixths.

AND 22 more cloves – more or less – for adding to the pan in the last hour of roasting for a overall total of 40 cloves or about 6 oz or 165g of garlic.

Use a mortar and pestle to crush the first eight ingredients in the spice mix list until you create a fine paste. Add in the pomegranate molasses and olive oil and stir until well combined.

Put the extra six sliced cloves into the mix.

Score the fatty top of your lamb shoulder with a sharp knife. Using a small paring knife, make holes all over the shoulder, turning the knife as you plunge it in to widen the holes enough for you to fit a forefinger in them.

Poke a piece of garlic into each hole, along with some of the spice mixture, until you’ve used up all the extra garlic and have spice filled holes on all the sides of the lamb.

Rub the rest of the spice mixture all over the shoulder. Wrap it securely with cling film, refrigerate and leave to marinate as long as you can. Overnight would be great but even an hour or two would be good.

When you are ready to start roasting the lamb shoulder, remove it from the refrigerator and preheat your oven to 400°F or 200°C.

Put lamb in a baking tray or pan and roast in the preheated oven for 30 minutes.

Add in your cup of wine and another cup of water around the roast. Cover with a tightly fitting lid or some aluminum foil. Turn the oven down to 250°F or 120°C.

After five hours, take the lamb out and toss in the remaining 22 whole garlic cloves. Baste it with the pan juices, cover the pan again and return it to the oven for one last hour of slow roasting.

When you are ready to serve, spoon off the oil in the pan. You can then pull the meat off the bones with a couple of forks and pour the pan juices over it. I let mine cool for quite a while and then wiggled the bones out to leave the roast looking relatively whole. Then I served it with a couple of forks and the pan juices made into gravy on the side. It was divine!

How about these wonderful recipes celebrating GARLIC!
In honor of National Garlic Day and our love of the stinking rose, we are giving away a Garlic Lovers Prize Pack (valued at over $100) that includes:
  1. The Garlic Farmers' Cookbook
  2. One-year membership to the Garlic Seed Foundation
  3. 5 Garlic Button Covers
  4. OXO Good Grips Garlic Press 
  5. The Ultimate Garlic Peeler
  6. Tumbleweed Pottery Garlic Clove Canister Keeper with Vented Lid
  7. Terra Cotta Garlic Roaster
  8. 2 Bulbs of Whole Black Garlic
To enter, simply leave a comment on this post (mandatory) answering this question: What is your favorite GARLICKY dish (or one that you'd love to try)? After you've answered the question for entry into this contest, be sure to record that you did so in the rafflecopter widget below; doing so will unlock many more optional ways to earn entries.
   a Rafflecopter giveaway This giveaway is open to residents of the Continental USA. Entries will be accepted through 11:59 pm ET on Thursday, April 24, 2014. All entries will be verified. A winner will be chosen from qualifying entries via random draw, and notified via email within 48 hours of the close of this contest. The winner will have 24 hours from the time the email is sent to respond with their complete name and mailing address (no P.O. Boxes). If no response is received within 24 hours, a new winner will be chosen.

 Prizes provided by The Garlic Seed Foundation, Food Lust People Love and girlichef. Prizes may vary slightly from images shown and are subject to replacement with comparable items if ones pictured are no longer available at the close of this contest. Items may be shipped separately.

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