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

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Cheesy Garlic Pull-Apart Buns #BreadBakers

Loads of garlic, tons of butter and a heaping helping of salty grated Parmesan cheese make these soft yeast buns the perfect addition to any family dinner table.

Garlic bread has always been a standard addition when I consider the meal “Italian,” serving, for instance, spaghetti with meatballs or fettuccine Alfredo. But when we lived in Brazil, I discovered that garlic bread was served there with pretty much every party meal, including the famous Brazilian churrasco, a grilled meat extravaganza. It made me reconsider how we limit ourselves by our narrow experience of what goes with what and I’ve since made garlic bread the Brazilian way* to serve along with many meals. To carry that attitude one step farther, I served these cheesy garlic rolls along with some Parma-wrapped pan-fried cod and crunchy, spicy green beans. They were perfect for sopping up the buttery, lemony fish juices on our plates.
*Bonus recipe: Brazilian garlic bread
Stir together equal parts softened butter and mayonnaise (Sounds weird, but trust me. It adds just the right amount of salt.) with lots of crushed garlic and spread inside a French loaf opened down the middle. Turn the loaf on its uncut side and slice it into pieces, but don't cut quite all the way through so they are still hooked together. Wrap the whole thing tightly with foil and bake for 15-20 minutes in a moderate oven till the bread is a little crunchy outside and the garlic spread has melted into the bread on the inside. Open the foil and serve, allowing folks to pull the almost-cut-through slices off themselves.
Back to our regularly scheduled buns
This month’s Bread Bakers theme is Family Feast Breads where we are sharing breads perfect for a celebration table. This particular bun recipe is adapted from Jamie Oliver’s Comfort Foods.* (<Amazon affiliate link) Along with some modifications in ingredient amounts, I added Parmesan cheese because, according to my husband who is only allowed to help himself to grated Parmesan after everyone at the table has had a fair turn, Parmesan makes everything better. I wholeheartedly concur.

For the bread:
3 1/4 cups or 410g strong bread flour, plus extra for dusting
1 teaspoon active dry yeast (5g)
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
9 1/4 oz or 275ml tepid water (That works out to be 1 1/6 cups, rather an awkward cup measure, but there you go.)
1/3 cup or 50g stale breadcrumbs

For the compound butter:
1/2 bulb garlic*
1 cup or 225gunsalted butter (at room temperature)
3 oz or 85g finely grated Parmesan (heaping 3/4 cup) plus extra for sprinkling
Zest 1/2 lemon
1 small bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley (15g)
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

*Garlic bulbs vary as do the size of garlic cloves so use your judgment on the amount, depending on your love of garlic. But to give you an idea, my cloves weighed 30g after peeling.

Put the flour in a large bowl and make a well in the middle. Measure your yeast, sugar and sea salt into the well.

Pour in the tepid water and stir from the middle to combine the flour with the water, until you have a rough dough.

Knead the dough on a clean floured surface for about 10 minutes or until the dough is smooth and stretchy. Sprinkle on a little more flour if necessary but try not to add very much.

Place the dough back in the bowl and cover it with a damp cloth. Leave to prove in a warm place for about 1 hour or until it has doubled in size.

Now you can get on with the butter. I cut back on Jamie’s recipe but this still makes twice as much as you need for these garlic buns, especially once I added the cheese. But trust me that having this compound butter in your refrigerator or freezer is a good thing. It’s beautiful spread on bread to make a more traditional garlic bread out of a French loaf as well as melted on top of a grilled steak or pan-fried fish. It makes a mean slice of garlic Texas toast as well.

The Compound Butter
Put the softened butter in a medium-sized bowl and add in the cayenne. Use a garlic press to crush the garlic into the butter bowl. Finely mince your parsley, stems and all.

Add the minced parsley, then finely grate the zest of the half lemon into the bowl and stir well to combine. My bowl was a little snug for stirring. Choose a bigger bowl than I did!

Add in the Parmesan and mix well.

Divide the garlic butter into two equal portions and roll one half up in the bottom of a baggie and refrigerate. If you are keeping it for a while, it can even be frozen and sliced as needed.

Use one third of the other half of the garlic butter to grease your baking pan.

Sprinkle it with the breadcrumbs, making sure to cover the bottom and sides of the pan. Put the rest of the garlic butter in a plastic baggie but do not refrigerate. We want it soft enough to squeeze out.

When the dough has finished its first rise, divide it first into six smaller pieces and then divide each smaller piece into three, creating 18 pieces of dough in all.

Roll each of the 18 pieces of dough into balls and then place them in the prepared baking pan.

Cut the very corner off of your baggie of soft garlic butter and squeeze about half out onto and around the buns.

Cover loosely with cling film and leave to rise for the second time in a warm place for about one and a half hours or until doubled in size.

One half hour before the rising time is up, start preheating your oven to 375°F or 190°C.

Remove the cling film and sprinkle the buns with some extra grated Parmesan.

Bake them in your preheated oven for about 30 minutes or until they are golden and springy.

Squeeze the remaining soft garlic butter over the buns and, as it melts, quickly spread it around with a pastry brush.

The outsides are crunchy from the toasted garlicky buttery cheesy breadcrumbs and your guests will be fighting over the corners. Or you could eat them in the kitchen before you put the tray out. Not that I would do such a thing.


Many thanks to our host this month, Pavani from Cook’s Hideout. Have a look at all the beautiful Family Feast breads our bakers are sharing today!

#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on this home page.

We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.

If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send me an email with your blog URL to

*Items purchased through an Amazon affiliate link cost no extra to the buyer but earn me a few pennies to buy more bacon. Thanks for the support.

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Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Tuscan Bean Salad #BloggerCLUE

Perfect picnic fare, this delicious salad of kale, cannellini beans, grape tomatoes and canned tuna can be made ahead because it gets better as all the tasty ingredients spend more time together.  Seriously, we had only the tiniest bowl of leftovers so it got lost but my daughter reclaimed it from the refrigerator four days later. Still delicious! How many salads can say that?!

It’s Blogger C.L.U.E. time again, where I am assigned another blog from our group in which to snoop and find a recipe to share that fits the current theme or “clue,” which is Picnic. My favorite part of this process is getting to know my fellow food bloggers because although we have a love of tasty food in common, it’s great to find other commonalities and learn about their interests, work, families and the cities in which they live. This month I spent time getting acquainted with Kate from Kate’s Kitchen.

Kate and her husband recently moved house and I’ve been following that story with interest because, you know, moving is kind of my thing. I know the drill only too well and it amuses me to read other people’s stories of the trials and tribulations of a move. Kate has done it with aplomb, still working in the field of finance, cooking deliciousness and recently posting a fabulous mushroom lasagna roll from under a pile of boxes with scant kitchen equipment. She’s an avid gardener so her recipes often take advantage of that fresh, homegrown bounty. I’m so jealous of the rich soil of Indiana!

So, I needed to hunt for picnic friendly recipes! I love taking salads along to picnics or potlucks so that’s where I started my search. I was spoiled for choice on Kate’s blog, bookmarking her Blueberry Watermelon Salad with mint and lemon, Lana’s Chicken Salad with roasted chicken, grapes and pecans, her Lemon Apricot Salad with lemon curd (!) stirred through it,  Green Bead Salad with Black Beluga Lentils made with tasty sun-dried tomatoes and salami, and Kate’s lovely Blue Cheese Potato Salad with bacon.  I simply couldn’t not make up my mind until I got to the Tuscan Beans with Tuna. Sold! We ate it for dinner with yesterday's Chickpea Moroccan Flatbread.

The couple of minor changes I made:
I was catering for one vegetarian (younger daughter) who isn’t so strict that meat or fish can’t touch her veggies but she didn’t want to eat the actual tuna so I just made little piles of it on top instead of mixing it in. If you want to make this strictly vegetarian, use olive oil instead of the tuna oil. And, obviously, leave off the tuna itself. Kate’s salad called for normal kale, which was on my shopping list, but I couldn’t resist the gorgeous purple kale I came across in my nearby supermarket. Kate adapted this recipe herself from Food Network where they used garlic and cooked the kale. I liked her easy no-cook method but decided to keep the original garlic since we are fans and I totally forgot to buy Italian dressing. Massaging the kale with the oil and vinegar softens it nicely without cooking if you want to serve immediately. Otherwise just mixing everything and leaving it for a while works great too, especially if you are taking it along to a picnic.

3 cloves garlic
3 tablespoons white balsamic
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
2 cans (5 oz or 151g each) tuna packed in olive oil
1/2 lb or 225g purple kale (I medium head – bigger or smaller will still work.)
1 15.5 oz or 439g can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup or 170g grape tomatoes
3 inner stalks celery with some leaves
3/4 cup or 100g pitted ripe black olives
3.5 oz or 100g roasted red peppers
Salt and pepper to taste

Chop your garlic and put it in a big salad bowl with the vinegar and a sprinkle of salt and pepper while you get on with the rest of the salad. This takes a little of the sharpness off of the garlic.

Cut your little tomatoes in half. Pull the strings off of the celery and chop it into pieces.

Remove the hard stems from your kale and cut the bigger leaves into smaller pieces. Small leaves can be left intact. If you are using thicker dark green kale, slice it finely.

How could I resist?!

Squeeze the tuna oil into the salad bowl with the garlic and vinegar and give it a stir and a sprinkle of salt and freshly ground black pepper. Set the tuna aside for later.

Add in the kale and use your hands to massage the dressing into the leaves.

Slice your olives and roasted peppers.

Put everything, including the rinsed cannellini beans, into the bowl with the garlic, vinegar and oil. Toss to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Add the tuna and toss again. (Or set it on the top of the salad.)


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Friday, May 15, 2015

Roasted Lemon Garlic Parmesan Artichokes #VegFlavorBible #Giveaway

Roasting artichokes filled with garlic and well drizzled with olive oil and lemon gives them a lovely smoky sweetness that is complemented by some salty Parmesan. 

I’ve written in this space many times before about the short year we lived in Cairo. Very little produce was imported because the Nile Valley was so richly fertile and vegetables and fruit could be grown year round. (Check out this post for a photo of the valley from space. It is amazing!) Our favorite time was artichoke season. (January/February, in case you are planning a trip.) They were so cheap that I must confess, we ate more than our share, trimmed and steamed, with garlic lemon butter to dip or pan-roasted and marinated with herbs and garlic. Occasionally here in Dubai, I see Egyptian strawberries in the stores but, for some reason, the other gorgeous produce is not imported. Goodness knows that the Egyptian farmers could use the income, but perhaps the infrastructure just isn’t there for exporting more. So, from an overabundance of fresh artichokes, we’ve gone back to having them occasionally, one each, as a treat.

A few months back I joined some fellow food bloggers in a Valentine’s Day cookbook giveaway which, through the magic of social media, ended up leading to an opportunity for another giveaway. This time it’s for a grand prize of three fabulous books, The Vegetarian Flavor Bible, The Flavor Bible and What to Drink with What You Eat! The authors, Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg happened to see a tweet from the February giveaway, which included one of their books, and they generously offered to sponsor this one. Best of all, six runners-up will each win a copy of The Vegetarian Flavor Bible too so there will be seven winners in all.

Like its predecessor, The Vegetarian Flavor Bible is all about which flavors and ingredients complement others. It’s not a cookbook in the traditional sense, but a framework to build deliciousness by combining ingredients to get the best out of them all. Along with the flavor affinities, the authors also suggest cooking methods and dishes to try. The list of what best accompanies or complements artichokes is long and varied so I chose to go with some of my own favorites: lemon and garlic. But then I added Parmesan, which I had not considered before. It contributes both saltiness and flavor and kicked the artichokes several more notches up the flavor chart.

Make sure to scroll down to the bottom of this recipe to learn more about The Vegetarian Flavor Bible, its authors and to enter the rafflecopter to win your copy!

4 whole fresh artichokes
6-7 cloves garlic
Olive oil
1 oz or 28g Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
2 lemons
Parsley for garnish, if desired

Choosing fresh artichokes: Pick artichokes with thick green leaves, no dried bits and a stem of 4-5 inches or 10-13cm. Many shops cut the stems off and so did I for many years, following instructions in cookbooks for steaming. But while living in Egypt and researching artichokes, I discovered that the inside of the stem is not just edible, but delicious.

Use a sharp serrated knife to cut the top one-third off of each artichoke and discard. Cut one lemon in half and rub the cut end of the artichokes with the lemon juice. This helps to keep them from turning brown.

Cut the very end off of the stems then use a potato peeler to take off their tough outer peels. Rub the stems all over with the cut lemon, squeezing out a little juice if necessary.

Turn on your oven to preheat to 400°F or 200°F.

Cut each artichoke in half, straight through the middle of the bulb and down through the stem. Once again, rub the cut parts with lemon juice.

Use a small spoon to scoop and scrape the hairy choke out of each artichoke half.

Squeeze in some lemon juice into the hole and rub it around to cover.

Place the artichokes halves, hole side up, in a large baking pan.

Peel and chop your garlic finely and divide it between the holes in the artichokes.

Drizzle the artichokes liberally with more lemon juice and olive oil, making sure to get some up amongst the leaves and cover the garlic.

Roast for 25 minutes uncovered in your preheated oven.

Remove the pan from the oven and turn the temperature down to 350°F or 180°F.

Cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil and bake for a further 30 minutes.

Remove the pan from the oven and poke the artichokes with a fork to check for tenderness. They should be done but, if necessary, cover them again and continue baking until they are tender.

Once they are tender, remove the pan from the oven and squeeze a little more lemon juice on them.

Then sprinkle the hot artichokes with the freshly grated Parmesan and another drizzle of olive oil.

Add a little chopped parsley, if desired, for color.

Allow them to rest until they are cool enough to handle, then eat as you would a normal steamed artichoke by pulling off the leaves one or two at a time and scraping the “meat” off with your teeth. Once you get to the heart, with the choke already removed, the whole thing, stem and all, can be eaten! Serve with additional lemon wedges, if desired.


More about the authors and The Vegetarian Flavor Bible  
Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg are not only the two-time James Beard Award winning authors of The Flavor Bible and Becoming a Chef, but also coauthored What to Drink with What You Eat, which was named the IACP Cookbook of the Year and the Georges Duboeuf Wine Book of the Year, while also winning a Gourmand World Cookbook Award. The Vegetarian Flavor Bible has been cited as one of the five best cookbooks of 2014 based on 300+ reviews in media including Bloomberg, The Chicago Tribune, Food & Wine, The Los Angeles Times and The Washington Post.

Connect with Karen & Andrew: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest

Using the flavor affinities and pairings recommended by The Vegetarian Flavor Bible, my fellow bloggers have some amazingly flavorful recipes for you today, so make sure to check them out! Here's our whole list:

And don't forget to enter the giveaway!

**Giveaway runs May 15 until May 29, 2015. Giveaway is open to anyone 18 years of age or older with a US or APO shipping address only. See the rafflecopter for more complete rules of participation.**

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Disclaimer: I was sent one copy of The Vegetarian Flavor Bible for review purposes. This post contains Amazon affiliate links to the books mentioned.

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Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Sesame Noodles with Spicy Peanut Sauce #FoodieExtravaganza

Chinese egg noodles with shrimp and crispy vegetables make a tasty, nutritious meal when tossed with savory peanut sauce. 

I grew up eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. And peanut butter cookies. You know, the homemade ones that have a crisscross made with a floured fork. I remember vividly the first commercials on television where choosy mothers chose Jif and friendly collisions got peanut butter in someone’s chocolate. And chocolate in someone’s peanut butter. But it took a trip to Indonesia when I was 18 years old to introduce me to a new use, a new savory love of peanut butter: Satay dipping sauce. Succulent bits of chicken or beef, marinated in special spices and grilled over an open charcoal flame by the dusty roadside, were meant to be dipped in a savory, spicy peanut sauce but I would just spoon that stuff over, full coverage being the fundamental goal. However delicious the satay, it was still primarily a conduit for the peanut sauce.

Ever since, I have been on the lookout for other peanut sauce conveyances, in addition to the handy spoon. I first found this wonderful noodle dish a couple of years ago on one of my favorite blogs, Magnolia Days – you might remember me mentioning it recently when I was making sticky cinnamon figs for a guest post in that genteel space. Renee had adapted a recipe from the Mom 100 Cookbook and created a main course from a side dish. Or maybe salad. Doesn’t matter. What’s important is that the whole fabulous mess was coated in a savory, spicy peanut sauce. I don’t think I ever told Renee that I had made it then, or any time since, which is very remiss and ungrateful of me. Because it is good. And I am grateful.

This month’s Foodie Extravaganza theme is peanut butter so I figured it was time to share these delicious noodles. Over the last couple of years, I’ve made adaptations of my own, adding other vegetables that I have on hand, like bean sprouts, or substituting chicken for the shrimp. I like to put fresh red chilies and crunchy peanut butter in the sauce. This is a great dish for mixing things up and using what you have, as long as you keep the peanut butter in the mix. Because that’s my favorite part. I hope it will be yours too.

Many thanks to Kaylin from Keep It Simple, Sweetie, our Foodie Extravaganza host this month. To see more delicious Foodie Extravaganza treats or learn how to join the party each month visit us here. And make sure to scroll down to the bottom to see all 19 of the sweet and savory peanut butter dishes we have for you this month!

For the sauce:
1 piece (2 1/2 inches or 6.3cm) fresh ginger
4 large garlic cloves
1-2 small red hot chili peppers (You know I used two!)
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 cup or 140g crunchy peanut butter
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons fish sauce
4 1/2 tablespoons peanut oil
1 1/2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil

For the noodles:
Salt for the boiling water
Almost 9 oz or 250g dried Chinese egg noodles
1 1/2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
4 ounces or 115g haricot verts or fine green beans
2 tablespoons peanut oil
1 medium carrot
1/2 small head Napa or Savoy cabbage (about 11 oz or 310g)
2 small or one medium onion
1 pound or 450g shrimp (Mine weighed 12 1/3 oz or 350g when peeled and deveined)

To garnish:
1/4 cup or 25g sesame seeds
Green onion tops

Peel the carrot and cut it into sticks. Top and tail the green beans. Slice the cabbage finely as you would for coleslaw. Do the same with the onions.

Put a large pot of lightly salted water on to boil.

Peel the ginger and garlic. Chop the ginger into small pieces and cut the stems off of  the chilies. Put the ginger, garlic and chilies in the food processor and process for a quick minute.

Add in the rest of the sauce ingredients and process until they are well mixed. Leave them in the food processor and get on with the rest of the dish.

Add cold water and ice cubes to a medium-sized mixing bowl and set it in readiness next to your stove.

When the pot of water is boiling, put the carrots and green beans in for just a couple of minutes. Scoop them out with a slotted spoon and put them into the bowl of ice water.

Add the noodles into the pot of boiling water and cook as per packet instructions. Some take longer than others so following the manufacturer’s recommended time, perhaps minus a minute or two, is your best bet.

When the noodles are almost cooked, scoop out 1/4 cup or 60ml of the noodle water and add it to the sauce in the food processor. Process to combine.

Pour the cooked noodles into a colander and rinse them with very hot water. Put the noodles in a large mixing bowl and toss them with 1 1/2 tablespoons of sesame oil.

Now pour the peanut sauce in the food processor over them and toss again to make sure the noodles are well coated.

In the now empty noodle pot, sauté the sliced onions in one tablespoon of peanut oil. Add in the sliced cabbage and cook briefly. You want it wilted a little but still crunchy.

Add the onions and cabbage to the noodles and stir well. Cover the bowl and allow it to hang out for 30 to 45 minutes so the noodles can absorb the flavors of the sauce.

While you are waiting for the noodles, you can lightly toast your sesame seeds in a small non-stick skillet on the stove and chop some green onions for garnish, if desired.

When the noodle sitting time is almost up, once again, use your same pot to cook the shrimp with a little peanut oil and a light sprinkle of salt, just until they turn pink.

Drain the carrots and green beans and cut them into bite-sized pieces with your kitchen scissors. Add them to the noodles along with the shrimp. Toss well to mix.

Serve with a generous sprinkle of the toasted sesame seeds and some chopped green onions, if desired.

This dish is supposed be served at room temperature but it is also quite tasty cold which makes it great lunchbox fare.



If this is your first time joining us, the Foodie Extravaganza is a monthly party hosted by bloggers who love food! Each month we incorporate one main ingredient or theme into recipes to share with you and this month that ingredient is a classic American family favorite...PEANUT BUTTER!


Savory Dishes
Sweet Treats

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