Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Blackberry Blue Cheese Walnut Loaf #BreadBakers

Slightly sweet with a good dollop of honey, each bite of this blackberry walnut blue cheese loaf is delightful mix of salty and fruity and nutty. It’s especially lovely toasted.

Food Lust People Love: Slightly sweet with a just touch of honey, each bite of this blackberry walnut blue cheese loaf is delightful mix of salty and fruity and nutty. It’s especially lovely toasted.


This month our Bread Bakers host is Renu, the author and recipe creator behind Cook with Renu. She challenged us to create a bread with fresh fruit, sweetened without white sugar. I cannot tell you how long I agonized over this one, until it suddenly occurred to me that Renu never said it had to be a very sweet bread!

Blackberry Walnut Blue Cheese Loaf

I am a fan of sweet and salty together and, when I can, I also love to add a bit of crunch, so nuts were essential. This lovely loaf was inspired by a muffin I baked a few years ago with thyme, goat cheese and blackberries.

Ingredients
1/4 cup or 60ml honey
1/4 cup butter or 56g
3/4 cup or 180ml milk
2 eggs
2 1/2 cups or 315g flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon flakey sea salt or 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
3 1/2 oz or 100g blue cheese
6 oz or 170g fresh blackberries
1/2 cup or g roughly chopped walnut, plus extra for decoration, if desired

Method
Preheat your oven to 350°F or 180°C and prepare your loaf by lightly rubbing it with oil or lining it with baking parchment.

Crumble the blue cheese and set aside. Reserve some cheese for topping the loaf before baking.

Measure your milk and honey into a microwaveable vessel then warm in the microwave. Add in the butter, cut into cubes and set aside so the butter melts and the mixture cools.

Cut the large blackberries in half or thirds, leaving the little ones whole. When the butter mixture is just slightly warm, whisk in the eggs.



In a large mixing bowl, whisk together your flour, salt and baking powder. Add the blackberries to the dry ingredients and stir to coat and separate the pieces.



Pour your wet ingredients into your dry ones and stir a couple of times.



Add in the blue cheese and walnuts and fold gently to combine.



Spoon the batter into your prepared loaf pan and top with the reserved cheese and walnuts.



Bake in your preheated oven for about 35-40 minutes or until the loaf is golden and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Food Lust People Love: Slightly sweet with a just touch of honey, each bite of this blackberry walnut blue cheese loaf is delightful mix of salty and fruity and nutty. It’s especially lovely toasted.


Allow the loaf to cool for about 10 minutes in the pan then remove it to a wire rack to cool completely before slicing.

Enjoy!

Food Lust People Love: Slightly sweet with a just touch of honey, each bite of this blackberry walnut blue cheese loaf is delightful mix of salty and fruity and nutty. It’s especially lovely toasted.


Many thanks to this month’s Bread Bakers host Renu from Cooking with Renu for the fun challenge! Check out all the other lovely no-white-sugar breads with fresh fruit we've baked for you this month:

#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.

Pin this Blackberry Blue Cheese Walnut Loaf!

Food Lust People Love: Slightly sweet with a just touch of honey, each bite of this blackberry walnut blue cheese loaf is delightful mix of salty and fruity and nutty. It’s especially lovely toasted.
 .

Monday, December 10, 2018

Orange Cranberry Gingerbread #BakingBloggers

Satisfy your gingerbread cravings this year with my pumped up orange cranberry gingerbread. Cover it with orange cream cheese icing or just a sprinkle of powdered sugar. Gorgeous, either way.

Food Lust People Love: Satisfy your gingerbread cravings this year with my pumped up orange cranberry gingerbread. Cover it with orange cream cheese icing or just a sprinkle of powdered sugar. Gorgeous, either way.


When my girls were little, we loved baking gingerbread as an afterschool snack, especially in the weeks leading up to the Christmas holidays. It wasn’t just that we liked eating gingerbread, well, maybe that’s why the girls liked baking it, but my favorite part, not being much of a sweet eater, was the delightful aroma that filled the house.

Ginger, cinnamon and deep rich molasses baking smell absolutely fabulous in the oven. If you’ve never baked gingerbread, you don’t know what you are missing.

Orange Cranberry Gingerbread

I’ve adapted this recipe from one on the lovely blog Indigo Scones, but if you read Ellen’s post, she got the original recipe from Joy the Baker so I must give both credit for the inspiration.

Ingredients
For the cake:
2 1/4 cups or 280g all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup or 180ml canola or other light oil
3/4 cup or 150g granulated sugar
3 medium (or 2 large) eggs
3/4 cup or 180ml fresh orange juice
1/2 cup or 65g dried cranberries
3/4 cup or 180ml unsulphured molasses
1/4 cup or 60ml honey
zest from 1 large orange (mine weighed about 10.5 oz or 300g - big guy, lots of zest!)

To serve: powdered sugar or orange cream cheese icing

Optional but highly recommended – For cream cheese icing
8 oz or 227g cream cheese
1 lb or 450g powdered sugar
Zest 1/2 large orange
Pinch sea salt
3-4 teaspoons fresh orange juice

Method
Preheat your oven to 350°F or 180°C and prepare your 9×9-inch or 23cm baking pan by lining it with baking parchment paper. As you’ll see from the photos, mine turned out quite thick so if you couldn’t probably use an even wider pan.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, spices, baking soda, and salt.  Set aside.



In a large bowl whisk together the oil, sugar, and eggs until they turn thick and pale. I used my stand mixer because I already did my upper body exercises for the day swimming laps but you can certainly use a handheld whisk.

Heat your orange juice up in a small pot on the stove or in a microwaveable vessel until it is quite hot but not quite boiling. Add in the dried cranberries and set aside to soften.



Stir the molasses, honey, and orange zest in the bowl with the sugar, oil and eggs.



Now add the dry ingredients, all at once, to the wet ingredients. Stir together until entirely incorporated.



Remove a tablespoon or so of the cranberries from the orange juice (to use for decoration) and put them between two paper towels to dry.

Add the warm orange juice and the balance of the cranberries to the mixing bowl and gently stir until the batter is smooth, not counting the cranberries. Those will all sink to the bottom so keep that in mind as you pour the batter into your pan.



Pour the batter into your prepared pan. Try to distribute those cranberries at the bottom as evenly as you can.

Bake in the preheated oven for 35-45 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. I made the mistake of trying to turn my pan halfway though and the middle sunk a little bit. Just leave it alone and yours should be fine.



Cool completely on a wire rack. Sprinkle with the reserved cranberries and powdered sugar to serve or if you want to push the boat out, make the orange cream cheese icing.

In the bowl of your stand mixer or with electric beaters in another mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar and salt, along with the orange zest, until it is all well combined and lump-free.

Add just enough fresh orange juice, beating well in between additions, until you reach spreading consistency. Mine took about 3 teaspoons.

Spoon the icing on top of the gingerbread and spread it to the edges, letting just a little bit hang down the sides. Sprinkle on the reserved cranberries.

Food Lust People Love: Satisfy your gingerbread cravings this year with my pumped up orange cranberry gingerbread. Cover it with orange cream cheese icing or just a sprinkle of powdered sugar. Gorgeous, either way.
Cut into squares to serve.

Food Lust People Love: Satisfy your gingerbread cravings this year with my pumped up orange cranberry gingerbread. Cover it with orange cream cheese icing or just a sprinkle of powdered sugar. Gorgeous, either way.


Enjoy!

This month's Baking Bloggers theme is, I'm sure can guess by the list below: Gingerbread! Many thanks to our host Sue from Palatable Pastime and her able co-manager, Wendy of A Day in the Life on the Farm.



Baking Bloggers is a friendly group of food bloggers who vote on a shared theme and then post recipes to fit that theme one the second Monday of each month. If you are a food blogger interesting in joining in, inquire at our Baking Bloggers Facebook group. We'd be honored if you would join us in our baking adventures.


Pin Orange Cranberry Gingerbread!

Food Lust People Love: Satisfy your gingerbread cravings this year with my pumped up orange cranberry gingerbread. Cover it with orange cream cheese icing or just a sprinkle of powdered sugar. Gorgeous, either way.
 .

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Cheesy Asparagus Potato Tart #FoodieExtravaganza

This cheesy asparagus potato tart takes three of my favorite things – crisp puff pastry, cheesy mashed potatoes made with creamy yogurt, and fresh asparagus – and turns them into so much more than the sum of three parts.

Food Lust People Love: This cheesy asparagus potato tart takes three of my favorite things – crisp puff pastry, cheesy mashed potatoes made with creamy yogurt, and fresh asparagus – and turns them into so much more than the sum of three tasty parts.

I’ve been making variations on this recipe since Jamie Oliver’s Jamie at Home* was first published in the UK, circa 2008. If I remember correctly, his tart calls for cream and is baked up in a shortcrust. Or  maybe phyllo pastry. Possibly it had different cheeses. It’s been a long time!

But like any good quiche recipe, this cheesy asparagus potato tart can also be adapted to use what you have on hand. As long as there are potatoes and cheese, it’s all good. And I prefer yogurt or sour cream in place of the rich cream anyway. Those add a little welcome tang.

Cheesy Asparagus Potato Tart

Adapted from Jamie at Home* this cheesy asparagus potato tart has been a family favorite for years with its puff pastry crust, savory potato filling and fresh asparagus topping.

If you can’t find nice asparagus in your local market, substitute green beans, preferable those fine green beans they call haricots verts très fine in France. I’ve used them instead of asparagus a couple of times and the tart is just as pretty and still fabulously tasty. Failing that, use normal green beans and cut them on an angle before blanching.

Ingredients
1 1/2 lbs or 675g potatoes
Sea salt 1/2 lb or 225g asparagus spears
1 round pre-rolled puff pastry sheet (about 11 1⁄4 oz or 320g)
5 1/2 oz or 155g freshly grated extra sharp cheddar
3 large eggs
1 cup or 240g whole fat plain yogurt, cold
Freshly ground black pepper

Method
Bring a pot of water to the boil and add a teaspoon of fine sea salt. Fill a bowl with cold water and some ice and set aside. Cut the woody ends off of the asparagus with a sharp knife and pop them into the boiling water and set a timer for 3 or 4 minutes. Three if the asparagus are thin ones, four if they are thicker.

Peel your potatoes and cut them into chunks.

When the time goes off, remove the asparagus from the pot with a slotted spoon and put them in a colander. Rinse them with cool tap water then tip them into the ice water bowl. Once they are well chilled, drain and dry the asparagus on a clean towel or paper towels.

Gently lower your potatoes into the pot of salted water and bring it back to a low boil. Cook the potatoes for about 15 minutes or until tender.

Preheat your oven to 400°F or 200°C and line the bottom of your 9 in or 23cm tart pan with a circle of baking parchment. Unroll your puff pastry and line the tart pan with it. Put the tart pan in the refrigerator to chill until you are ready to fill it.

When the potatoes are done, mash them until they are relatively lump-free. Fold in the cold yogurt and stir till combined.

Now add in the cheese and stir well again. Taste the potatoes and sprinkle on a little more salt if needed, along with a few generous grinds of fresh black pepper. I usually add about a 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt but if your cheese is pretty salty, that might not be necessary.

By this time your potatoes should have cooled off considerably from all the additions and the stirring. We don’t want them to be so hot because then they would cook the eggs on contact. If they are just warm, proceed. Otherwise stir a few more times to help them cool.

Add the eggs one at time, stirring till well combined with each addition.

Spoon the filling into the chilled puff pastry crust and smooth out the top.

Cover the top of the cheesy potato filling with the blanched asparagus. Fold the edge of the crust under itself, if there is any hanging out.

If your tart pan has a removable bottom, put the tart pan on larger pan and put them both into the oven. If not, put the tart pan straight into the preheated oven. I like to use one with a removable bottom because it's prettier on the serving platter without the pan.

Turn the oven down to 375°F or 190°C. Bake the tart for about 30-35 minutes or until the crust is puffy and golden and the center is just set. A tiny wiggle is okay as that will set when it cools.

Food Lust People Love: This cheesy asparagus potato tart takes three of my favorite things – crisp puff pastry, cheesy mashed potatoes made with creamy yogurt, and fresh asparagus – and turns them into so much more than the sum of three tasty parts.
Leave to rest on a wire rack for about 10-15 minutes before cutting and serving. Use a serrated knife or even some kitchen scissors to cut through the asparagus on top before cutting down through the tart below. A dull knife will just push the asparagus into the cheesy potato filling.

Food Lust People Love: This cheesy asparagus potato tart takes three of my favorite things – crisp puff pastry, cheesy mashed potatoes made with creamy yogurt, and fresh asparagus – and turns them into so much more than the sum of three tasty parts.
This cheesy asparagus potato tart can also be served at room temperature.

Food Lust People Love: This cheesy asparagus potato tart takes three of my favorite things – crisp puff pastry, cheesy mashed potatoes made with creamy yogurt, and fresh asparagus – and turns them into so much more than the sum of three tasty parts.
Enjoy!

This month my Foodie Extravaganza group is sharing recipes with pastry. Many thanks to our host, Caroline from Caroline's Cooking for the theme and her behind the scenes work. Check out all the great recipes below:

Foodie Extravaganza celebrates obscure food holidays by posting delicious recipes your family will love. 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 page Foodie Extravaganza. We would love to have you! If you're a home cook looking for tasty recipes, check out our Foodie Extravaganza Pinterest Board!


Pin this Cheesy Asparagus Potato Tart! 

Food Lust People Love: This cheesy asparagus potato tart takes three of my favorite things – crisp puff pastry, cheesy mashed potatoes made with creamy yogurt, and fresh asparagus – and turns them into so much more than the sum of three tasty parts.


*Amazon affiliate link - If you buy Jamie at Home by following this link, I earn a very small percentage, at no extra cost to you.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Artichoke Dip Mini Muffins #MuffinMonday

Cheesy artichoke dip mini muffins are made with all of the wonderful ingredients of our favorite hot baked dip: artichokes, of course, along with Parmesan cheese, mayonnaise and green chiles.

Food Lust People Love: Cheesy artichoke dip mini muffins are made with all of the wonderful ingredients of our favorite hot baked dip: artichokes, of course, along with Parmesan cheese, mayonnaise and green chiles.


Every Christmas Eve, our dinner menu is appetizers only:  Smoked salmon or home-cured salmon, angels on horseback, caviar, deviled eggs, potato latkes, a variety of stinky cheese and sometimes bruschetta. But artichoke dip always makes an appearance. As good as it is the day it is baked, it’s also wonderful as leftovers, stirred through some hot pasta or stuffed into a baked potato. (I’ve even used it as stuffing for puff pastry tarts!)

Here I recreate our favorite dip in muffin form. Bake some up and pour yourself a drink! And make sure to scroll down to the bottom to see the other Muffin Monday recipes I'm sharing.

Artichoke Dip Mini Muffins

To get most of the packing liquid out of the artichokes, give each one a gentle squeeze then place them bottom up in a sieve so they can continue draining. To completely drain the green chiles, put them in a sieve and press down with the back of a spoon.

Ingredients - Makes 34 mini muffins
2 cups or 250g flour
1 cup or 100g finely grated Parmesan
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne (optional)
1⁄2 cup or 115g mayonnaise
3/4 cup or 180ml milk
1 can or jar artichoke hearts, drained weight 7.9oz or 225g*
1 small can (4.5 oz or 127g) chopped peeled green chiles, drained well
Canola or other light oil for greasing muffin pan

Optional for decoration: coarsely grated Parmesan

*Do not use marinated artichokes as those, even well drained, will add unnecessary oil to the muffins.

Method
Preheat your oven to 375°F or 190°C and brush your mini muffin pans with oil.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, finely grated Parmesan and baking powder.


In another mixing bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise and milk.

Chop the well-drained artichoke hearts roughly and add them to the mayo/milk bowl, along with the drained green chiles. Stir well.



Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ones and fold just until the flour is moistened.



Use a tablespoon or scoop to fill the prepared muffin pan. My scoop is 2 tablespoons. Using it, the batter made 34 mini muffins.


Top with some extra grated Parmesan, if desired.



Bake in the preheated oven for 12-15 minutes, or until the muffins are golden and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Food Lust People Love: Cheesy artichoke dip mini muffins are made with all of the wonderful ingredients of our favorite hot baked dip: artichokes, of course, along with Parmesan cheese, mayonnaise and green chiles.


These delightful savory morsels are excellent served with cold beer, a crisp dry white wine or a full-bodied red.

Enjoy!

Food Lust People Love: Cheesy artichoke dip mini muffins are made with all of the wonderful ingredients of our favorite hot baked dip: artichokes, of course, along with Parmesan cheese, mayonnaise and green chiles.


This month my Muffin Monday group is sharing five wonderful recipes. Get baking!

Muffin Monday
#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.

Pin it!

Food Lust People Love: Cheesy artichoke dip mini muffins are made with all of the wonderful ingredients of our favorite hot baked dip: artichokes, of course, along with Parmesan cheese, mayonnaise and green chiles.
 .

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Fudgy Flourless Chocolate Cashew Cookies #CreativeCookieExchange

All of my taste testers agree, these fudgy flourless chocolate cashew cookies are GOOD. Better than good. We thought they were fabulous. Crunchy on the outside and wonderfully chewy in the middle. And as long as there are no nut allergies to worry about, your gluten-free friends will love them too.

Food Lust People Love: All of my taste testers agree, these fudgy flourless chocolate cashew cookies are GOOD. Better than good. We thought they were fabulous. Crunchy on the outside and wonderfully chewy in the middle. And as long as there are no nut allergies to worry about, your gluten-free friends will love them too.


With Thanksgiving nearly upon us, I chose the theme "quick last minute cookies" for this month’s Creative Cookie Exchange. I don’t know about you, but aside from the traditional pecan pie, desserts always take a back seat to the main course and sides at my house. As my elder daughter says, "Thanksgiving is All About the Sides!" When extra guests show up and that pie won’t stretch far enough, whip up some quick cookies.

While these cookies are easy to put together and bake, I am also delighted to tell you that, once baked, they freeze and thaw beautifully, making your life even easier. You are welcome!

Fudgy Flourless Chocolate Cashew Cookies

I named these for the nuts I had on hand, but please feel free to substitute whatever you have in the cupboard. If your nuts aren’t roasted and lightly salted, toast them in a dry skillet and add one half teaspoon of fine sea salt when you sift the sugar and cocoa powder together. The salt is absolutely essential to balance the sweetness of these fudgy cookies.

Ingredients - for 2 dozen big cookies or 4 dozen small ones
3 cups or 375g powdered sugar
2/3 cup or 53g extra dark cocoa powder (I used Hershey's Special Dark.)
1/2 cup or 95g mini dark chocolate chips
5 1/3 oz or 150g lightly salted roasted cashews, chopped roughly
3 large egg whites

Method
Preheat your oven to 350°F or 180°C and prepare your cookie sheets by lining them with baking parchment or a silicone mat.

Sift the powdered sugar and cocoa into a large bowl together.



Add in the chocolate chips and chopped cashews, saving a couple of tablespoons of the cashews for topping, if desired. I always like to add nuts to the tops of baked goods if there are nuts inside because 1. They look nice and more importantly, 2. They are a warning to those with nut allergies. No bad surprises.



Whisk your egg whites for a minute or so, just to break down the proteins. Pull your whisk out occasionally and let the egg whites drip off. You’ve beaten them enough when they no longer drop off in glops but drip smoothly. I use a small whisk and a measuring jug for this step, which makes the egg whites easier to pour into the other mixing bowl.

Pour the egg whites into the sugar/cocoa bowl and stir with wooden spoon or hard silicone spatula till they are well combined.

You will think that there are not enough egg whites, but just keep stirring. This batter is super stiff.



Using a 2-tablespoon or 1-tablespoon scoop (depending on whether you want big or small cookies), spoon the thick batter onto your prepared cookie sheets. Mine was a 2-tablespoon scoop.

Sprinkle each mound with a pinch of the chopped cashews, if you saved some.



Bake one pan at a time in the middle shelf of the oven for 12-14 minutes for the big cookies or 11-13 minutes for the smaller ones, or until the cookies are cooked on the outside edges and just set in the middle. Do not over bake!

Remove from the oven and allow to cool before removing them from the pan with a thin spatula.

Food Lust People Love: All of my taste testers agree, these fudgy flourless chocolate cashew cookies are GOOD. Better than good. We thought they were fabulous. Crunchy on the outside and wonderfully chewy in the middle. And as long as there are no nut allergies to worry about, your gluten-free friends will love them too.


I highly recommend serving glasses of ice cold milk with these fudgy flourless chocolate cashew cookies. A match made in heaven.

Food Lust People Love: All of my taste testers agree, these fudgy flourless chocolate cashew cookies are GOOD. Better than good. We thought they were fabulous. Crunchy on the outside and wonderfully chewy in the middle. And as long as there are no nut allergies to worry about, your gluten-free friends will love them too.


Enjoy!

Food Lust People Love: All of my taste testers agree, these fudgy flourless chocolate cashew cookies are GOOD. Better than good. We thought they were fabulous. Crunchy on the outside and wonderfully chewy in the middle. And as long as there are no nut allergies to worry about, your gluten-free friends will love them too.


Check out the other quick last minute cookies, my Creative Cookie Exchange friends are sharing. Such a small but delicious group this month!



You can also use us as a great resource for cookie recipes. Be sure to check out our Pinterest Board and our monthly posts (you can find all of them here at The Spiced Life). You will be able to find them the first Tuesday after the 15th of each month! If you are a blogger and want to join in the fun, contact Laura at thespicedlife AT gmail DOT com and she will get you added to our Facebook group, where we discuss our cookies and share links.


Pin it! 

Food Lust People Love: All of my taste testers agree, these fudgy flourless chocolate cashew cookies are GOOD. Better than good. We thought they were fabulous. Crunchy on the outside and wonderfully chewy in the middle. And as long as there are no nut allergies to worry about, your gluten-free friends will love them too.

 .

Friday, November 16, 2018

Thai-Style Pumpkin and Shrimp Stir-fry #FishFridayFoodies

This healthy Thai-style pumpkin and shrimp stir-fry is super quick to the table, with enormous flavor. With or without the shrimp, it’s a satisfying meal. But add the shrimp. You won’t regret it.

Food Lust People Love: This healthy Thai-style pumpkin and shrimp stir-fry is super quick to the table, with enormous flavor. With or without the shrimp, it’s a satisfying meal. But add the shrimp. You won’t regret it.


I’d been hearing about this recipe for a while before I finally got to taste it for myself two years ago. It’s a favorite at my elder daughter’s home where both she and her husband know how to make it without consulting a recipe. I get the impression is in regular rotation, when their favorite kabocha squash is in season.

I’ve made it with red kuri squash and pumpkin, but the original recipe says that you can also substitute delicata, acorn or butternut as well. I could be wrong but I think yams would work too. The slightly sweet flesh with the savory fish sauce, fragrant garlic and spicy peppercorns make this dish very more-ish. This is truly a dish that is more than the sum of its parts.

One more thing, I like to leave the skin on squash and pumpkin. It’s my favorite part. If you are concerned that your pumpkin skin is too thick and might not be edible because it’s tough, slice off a small piece and boil it in a little water for about 5-6 minutes. If it turns tender, you don’t need to cut it off before cooking. Remove any blemishes, but otherwise, cut the pumpkin into pieces, peel and all. If it doesn’t turn tender, by all means, cut it off.

Thai-Style Pumpkin and Shrimp Stir-fry

This recipe is adapted from the original at Thai Table, an excellent source for information about Thai ingredients, travel, and, of course, recipes. If you love Thai cooking, you need to check it out. If your pumpkin is a bit larger or small than mine, don't worry. It will still turn out just fine.

Ingredients
5 cloves garlic
1 slightly overfilled teaspoon or 4g black peppercorns
2 lb 2 oz or 965g whole pumpkin (1 lb 13 oz or 825g after seeding, with peel intact)
3 tablespoons canola or other light vegetable oil
2 cups or 480ml water
5 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
8.5 oz or 240g peeled, cleaned shrimp

For garnish: chopped cilantro
Optional: crushed red pepper

To serve: Steamed rice

Method
Cut your pumpkin in quarters and remove the seeds, scraping the inside clean. If you need to remove the skin, set each quarter on its side and cut the skin off. If not, simply cut off any hard spots or blemishes.



Cut the pumpkin in bite-sized pieces and set aside.


Using a mortar and pestle, grind the peppercorns and garlic together into a smooth paste. In a small bowl, combine the fish sauce and the sugar, stirring till the sugar dissolves.



Heat your wok over a high flame. Add in the oil, closely followed by the garlic pepper paste. Cook the paste for just a minute, stirring continually, until the garlic starts browning.



Add the pumpkin to the wok, stirring to coat it with the garlic and pepper.

Pour in the water and stir again.

Cook for five minutes or until the pumpkin is tender and the water has almost all evaporated. Add in the sweetened fish sauce and stir again.

When the fish sauce has been absorbed by the squash, toss in the shrimp.

Cook minute or two more, until the shrimp are pink and cooked through. Add crushed red pepper to taste, if desired, and sprinkle on some chopped cilantro.

Food Lust People Love: This healthy Thai-style pumpkin and shrimp stir-fry is super quick to the table, with enormous flavor. With or without the shrimp, it’s a satisfying meal. But add the shrimp. You won’t regret it.


Serve over steamed rice.

Food Lust People Love: This healthy Thai-style pumpkin and shrimp stir-fry is super quick to the table, with enormous flavor. With or without the shrimp, it’s a satisfying meal. But add the shrimp. You won’t regret it.


Enjoy!



Would you like to join Fish Friday Foodies? We post and share new seafood/fish recipes on the third Friday of the month. To join our group please email Wendy at wendyklik1517 (at) gmail.com. Visit our Facebook page and Pinterest page for more wonderful fish and seafood recipe ideas.


Pin it!

Food Lust People Love: This healthy Thai-style pumpkin and shrimp stir-fry is super quick to the table, with enormous flavor. With or without the shrimp, it’s a satisfying meal. But add the shrimp. You won’t regret it.
  .


Thursday, November 15, 2018

Île Flottante Floating Island Bundt #BundtBakers

A fun and easy twist on the original French dessert called îles flottantes, this floating island Bundt features meringue baked in a Bundt pan, served with fresh fruit and crème anglais, a pourable vanilla custard.

Food Lust People Love: A fun and easy twist on the original French dessert called îles flottantes, this floating island Bundt features meringue baked in a Bundt pan, served with fresh fruit and crème anglais, a pourable vanilla custard.


This month our host for Bundt Bakers is Lara from Tartacadabra and she posed an interesting challenge: Recreate a French dessert or pastry using a Bundt pan. Make sure you scroll down past my recipe to see what everyone else made.

Île Flottante Floating Island Bundt

The original Îles Flottantes are made by poaching meringue in water or milk, then serving them in custard. In this adaptation, we bake the meringue in a Bundt pan. So much easier and, if you ask me, more impressive as a holiday or dinner party dessert.  Possibly my favorite part though, is that you don’t have leftover yolks, which so often happens when making meringue. The crème anglais, aka pouring custard, takes care of that!

Ingredients - to serve 6
For the île flottante:
4 large egg whites, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
pinch salt
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon or 125g superfine (caster) sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the crème anglaise:
1/3 cup or 75g extra fine (caster) sugar
2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon vanilla paste
pinch salt
2 cups or 480ml whole milk
4 egg yolks
1 1/2 teaspoons butter

To grease a 6-cup Bundt pan:
2 teaspoons canola oil

Optional for serving: your choice of berries or fresh fruit. I used a mix of blueberries, raspberries and golden berries. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Physalis_peruviana

Method
Preheat oven to 375°F or 190°C. Brush your Bundt pan with oil, and invert onto a paper towel so any excess oil can drain off.

To make the meringue, first put your kettle on to boil.

Sift the cream of tartar into the egg whites with the pinch of salt. Beat them at a medium speed until soft peaks form.

Add in the sugar one tablespoon at a time, gradually turning the beaters up to high as you add the sugar. Beat on high until stiff glossy peaks form then mix in the vanilla extract.



Put your Bundt pan into a larger baking pan. Spoon the meringue into the oiled Bundt pan, making sure to fill all the corners and crevices.


Put the pans into your preheated oven and pour boiling water into the outer pan till it reaches about 2 inches or 5cm up the side of the Bundt pan.



Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the meringue is puffed and golden brown. Set on a wire rack to cool for about 30 minutes. It will be very tall when you first take it out and then it will shrink. This is normal.

Food Lust People Love: A fun and easy twist on the original French dessert called îles flottantes, this floating island Bundt features meringue baked in a Bundt pan, served with fresh fruit and crème anglais, a pourable vanilla custard.


Turn the meringue out onto a serving plate and chill until ready to serve. I turned mine out onto a cling film lined wire rack then transferred it. Save yourself an unnecessary step and go straight to the serving dish.

Food Lust People Love: A fun and easy twist on the original French dessert called îles flottantes, this floating island Bundt features meringue baked in a Bundt pan, served with fresh fruit and crème anglais, a pourable vanilla custard.


The Crème Anglais aka Pouring Custard
I make this the same way I make homemade vanilla custard for banana cream pie, except I stop cooking it when it’s still pourable. You can see those instructions and step-by-step photos in this post, so I won't add them all in again here.

In a 2-quart saucepan (don’t turn the heat on yet!) mix sugar, flour and salt. Stir in milk and vanilla paste and whisk until smooth. Make sure you get ALL the lumps out before turning on the heat.

Over medium heat, cook the mixture, stirring constantly, until it starts to thicken and begins to boil gently (about 10 minutes). Boil one minute. Remove immediately from heat and set aside.

In a small mixing bowl, beat the egg yolks with a whisk, while drizzling in about half of the hot milk mixture. Quick beating and slow drizzling are essential so that you don’t end up with cooked eggs.

Slowly pour the egg mixture into the saucepan, stirring rapidly to prevent lumping. Occasionally, scrape the saucepan with a rubber spatula.

Over low heat, cook, stirring constantly, until the custard just coats the back of a spoon. It should still be pourable. Add in the butter and stir till it melts completely. If there are any little lumps, you might want to put the custard through a sieve before putting it in a heatproof vessel and covering the surface with cling film. Put it in the refrigerator to cool.



Pour some custard around the outside of the floating island before bringing it to the table.

Food Lust People Love: A fun and easy twist on the original French dessert called îles flottantes, this floating island Bundt features meringue baked in a Bundt pan, served with fresh fruit and crème anglais, a pourable vanilla custard.


Serve a wedge of île flottante – floating island Bundt with crème anglais and fruit.

Food Lust People Love: A fun and easy twist on the original French dessert called îles flottantes, this floating island Bundt features meringue baked in a Bundt pan, served with fresh fruit and crème anglais, a pourable vanilla custard.


Enjoy!

Many thanks to Lara for hosting Bundt Bakers this month. I loved this creative theme! Check out the other très magnifique French desserts we’ve made into Bundts:

BundtBakers


#BundtBakers is a group of Bundt loving bakers who get together once a month to bake Bundts with a common ingredient or theme. We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme or ingredient.

You can see all our of lovely Bundts by following our Pinterest board. Updated links for all of our past events and more information about #BundtBakers, can be found on our home page.


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Food Lust People Love: A fun and easy twist on the original French dessert called îles flottantes, this floating island Bundt features meringue baked in a Bundt pan, served with fresh fruit and crème anglais, a pourable vanilla custard.
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