Sunday, September 19, 2021

Baked Cod with Asparagus Pesto

Baked Cod with Asparagus Pesto is delicious and pretty enough for company but simple enough for a weeknight family meal. The pesto adds loads of flavor while also protecting the cod from drying out as it bakes. Win-win!

Food Lust People Love: Baked Cod with Asparagus Pesto is delicious and pretty enough for company but simple enough for a weeknight family meal. The pesto adds loads of flavor while also protecting the cod from drying out as it bakes. Win-win!

We love asparagus, usually roasted or pan-fried with a little butter and lemon juice tossed in right at the end but when I heard that the theme of this week’s Sunday FunDay was pesto, I knew just what I wanted to make. 

I had seen the asparagus pesto recipe in an email from the New York Times Cooking section and had bookmarked it for “someday.” My only regret now is that it took me this long to get around to it. The pesto is so flavorful and you will have no regrets that it makes more than what you need to cover your cod in a nice thick layer. 

Ideas for leftover pesto: Stir the balance of the asparagus pesto through some cooked pasta, boiled potatoes or spread it on toasted slices of baguette and bake for a twist on bruschetta. Hum a couple of spoons in a jar and add a little more lemon juice and a splash of olive oil and water to make a rich vinaigrette. Pan fry shrimp and toss them in the asparagus pesto. I'm not kidding when I say that this stuff is good with almost everything. You might want to double the recipe. 

Baked Cod with Asparagus Pesto

This recipe was adapted from one by Mark Bittman in New York Times Cooking. It makes about 1 1/2 cups of pesto and you'll use perhaps a little more than half. See note above for what to do with the divine leftovers. 

Ingredients
For cooking the asparagus:
1 lb or 450g asparagus, hard ends trimmed
2 tablespoons olive oil
Fine sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

For completing the pesto:
1/3 cup or 50g pine nuts
1 clove garlic, or more to taste
3/4 cup or 67g freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 small red chili pepper
1/4 cup or 60ml olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
1-2 tablespoons lemon juice, to taste
Water  

For the cod:
4 cod fillets (about 1.1 lbs or 500g)
Fine sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Olive oil for pan

Method
Put the asparagus in a large baking pan in a single layer. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle lightly with fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.


Broil (or grill) for 5-7 minutes on high. Set a timer, by all means, but do not leave the asparagus unattended or it can go quickly from roasting to burning. Remove the asparagus from the oven and set it aside while you prepare the rest of the dish. 


Toast the pine nuts in a dry non-stick skillet until golden brown, shaking the pan occasionally so they toast evenly. Remove from the pan and set aside a tablespoon or so for garnish. 


Chop the asparagus roughly. Put the pieces in your food processor and use a rubber spatula to scrape any olive oil or asparagus juice left behind in the pan to add in as well. 


Add in the bigger pile of pine nuts along with the garlic, chili pepper and the olive oil. Whiz until well combined. 


Add in the Parmesan and lemon juice and pulse again. If the pesto is too thick you can thin it with a little water or more lemon juice, according to your taste. 


Season with a little sea salt, if needed, and freshly ground black pepper and whiz again.


If you aren’t ready to bake your cod yet, spoon the pesto into an airtight container and then drizzle the top with a little more olive oil and store it in the refrigerator. 


When you are ready to cook the cod, preheat the oven to 400° F or 200°C.

Dry the cod with paper towels and place it in a lightly oiled baking dish. 


Coat the tops of the fillets evenly with a nice thick layer of the asparagus pesto. 

Food Lust People Love: Baked Cod with Asparagus Pesto is delicious and pretty enough for company but simple enough for a weeknight family meal. The pesto adds loads of flavor while also protecting the cod from drying out as it bakes. Win-win!

You will have pesto leftover. Store it in the refrigerator with a little olive oil on top, covered with cling film.

Bake the cod for 11-12 minutes in your preheated oven or until it is firm to the touch and pesto is starting to lightly brown. Put it under the broiler (grill) for 2-3 minutes to finish it off and add a little more color. 

Food Lust People Love: Baked Cod with Asparagus Pesto is delicious and pretty enough for company but simple enough for a weeknight family meal. The pesto adds loads of flavor while also protecting the cod from drying out as it bakes. Win-win!

Sprinkle the tops with the reserved pine nuts to serve. If I had been thinking, I’d have reserved four asparagus tips for garnish as well. Next time! I can assure you that I’ll be making this again. It was that good!

Food Lust People Love: Baked Cod with Asparagus Pesto is delicious and pretty enough for company but simple enough for a weeknight family meal. The pesto adds loads of flavor while also protecting the cod from drying out as it bakes. Win-win!

Enjoy! 

As I mentioned above, it’s Sunday FunDay and we are celebrating with pesto recipes! Check out all the links below. Many thanks to our host Sue of Palatable Pastime and Wendy from A Day in the Life on the Farm  for her behind the scenes help. 

We are a group of food bloggers who believe that Sunday should be a family fun day, so every Sunday we share recipes that will help you to enjoy your day. If you're a blogger interested in joining us, just visit our Facebook group and request to join.

Pin this Baked Cod with Asparagus Pesto!

Food Lust People Love: Baked Cod with Asparagus Pesto is delicious and pretty enough for company but simple enough for a weeknight family meal. The pesto adds loads of flavor while also protecting the cod from drying out as it bakes. Win-win!
 .

Friday, September 17, 2021

Baked Shrimp-Stuffed Sole Fillets

Baked Shrimp-Stuffed Sole Fillets take a rather bland fish to fabulous by stuffing it with shrimp, cream cheese, garlic and jalapeño, then baking it with a crunchy garlicky panko topping. 

Food Lust People Love: Baked Shrimp Stuffed Sole Fillets take a rather bland fish to fabulous by stuffing it with shrimp, cream cheese, garlic and jalapeño, then baking it with a crunchy garlicky panko topping.

Flounder aka lemon sole is one of our favorite fish to pan-fry or bake whole but here in the States whole fish on the bone doesn’t seem as common. We have to make do with fillets.

My local grocery store sells fillets of sole in groups of two or three, rolled together and displayed like little coils side by side in the seafood section. Like you might roll socks but then not fold the top over. That gave me an idea. Why not make some sort of stuffing to put inside and roll them up again? A simple Google search revealed that, once again, the world had beat me to it. No matter. It was a good idea and we enjoyed the dish thoroughly.

Baked Shrimp Stuffed Sole Fillets

This recipe is adapted from one on Epicurious. The original calls for 4-6 fillets yet says it serves only four. We found with side dishes, one sole roll each was plenty. This is a rich dish!

Ingredients
8 sole fillets  (approx. total weight = 1.28lb or 580g)

For the stuffing:
5.28 oz or 150g fresh shrimp - weight after peeled, deveined
1/2 cup or 120g cream cheese, softened
1 clove garlic
1 fresh jalapeño
1 generous cup or 35g cubed baguette
1/4 cup or 60ml milk
Fine sea salt 
Freshly ground black pepper

Bread crumb topping:
1 cup or 75g plain panko bread crumbs
1 garlic clove, smashed then minced 
2 sprigs fresh parsley leaves, minced
2 sprigs fresh thyme leaves, minced
1-2 tablespoon olive oil, plus extra for drizzling the topping

Method
Preheat your oven to 350°F or 180°C and prepare your baking pan by brushing the inside with a little olive oil.
 
Pour the milk over the bread cubes and push them down a bit so they are covered and they can soak it all up. Cut the shrimp into three or four pieces each. Crushed then mince the clove of garlic. Slice off the stem and mince the jalapeño.


In a large mixing bowl, mash the cream cheese with a fork. Add in the soaked bread and stir well. 


Add in the shrimp, garlic and jalapeño. Stir well to combine. 


Put 1/8 of the filling on the narrower end of each sole fillet. 


Roll up and place in the oiled baking pan. 


Continue the process until all stuffed sole rolls are in the pan. Sprinkle with a little fine sea salt and black pepper. 


To make the topping, combine all the ingredients except the olive oil with fork. This helps the herbs and garlic mix in more evenly dry.


Add olive oil. Mix again with a fork to distribute the oil evenly. Top the sole rolls with panko mix. Drizzle with a little more olive oil.

Food Lust People Love: Baked Shrimp Stuffed Sole Fillets take a rather bland fish to fabulous by stuffing it with shrimp, cream cheese, garlic and jalapeño, then baking it with a crunchy garlicky panko topping.

Bake in your preheated oven for 20 minutes. Brown a little more on the top with the broiler, if desired.

Remove from the oven and serve immediately. I highly recommend serving this with your favorite steamed vegetables or maybe some boiled baby new potatoes with mint and a lightly dressed green salad. 

Food Lust People Love: Baked Shrimp Stuffed Sole Fillets take a rather bland fish to fabulous by stuffing it with shrimp, cream cheese, garlic and jalapeño, then baking it with a crunchy garlicky panko topping.

Enjoy!

T.G.I.F. and yay for Fish Friday Foodies! Today we are sharing fish and seafood baked or roasted in the oven. Check out the great recipes below. Many thanks to our organizer and host, Wendy of A Day in the Life on the Farm
                                      
                                               

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 these Baked Shrimp-Stuffed Sole Fillets

Food Lust People Love: Baked Shrimp Stuffed Sole Fillets take a rather bland fish to fabulous by stuffing it with shrimp, cream cheese, garlic and jalapeño, then baking it with a crunchy garlicky panko topping.
 .

Thursday, September 16, 2021

Gateau de Sirop – Cajun Cane Syrup Cake #BundtBakers

Gateau de sirop - syrup cake - is a Cajun sweet treat made with Steen’s cane syrup, cinnamon, ginger and cloves. Its tender crumb is so full of flavor! And the aroma as it bakes? Divine.

Food Lust People Love: Gateau de sirop - syrup cake - is a Cajun sweet treat made with Steen’s cane syrup, cinnamon, ginger and cloves. Its tender crumb is so full of flavor! And the aroma as it bakes? Divine.

The whole area around the town I was born was, and still is, sugar cane country. In fact, New Iberia, Louisiana even hosts the Sugar Cane Festival each year on the fourth weekend in September. (Not this year though, of course, due to COVID.) The festival celebrates the crop that was first planted by Jesuit priests for their own use back in 1751, near what is now New Orleans. Farmer Etienne deBoré planted his first crop in 1794 and the economy of south Louisiana changed forever.

Here's a fact you may not know about sugar cane: It's a grass. That means that when the crop is cut down, it continues to grow! New seed cane is planted regularly to replenish the stocks and to introduce variety but some cane plants can be several years old and still produce good cane.  

For all of my growing up years, during sugar cane season, my grandfather would come home with several long stalks of cane. We’d all sit outside on the back steps and he would use a sharp pen knife to peel the cane and cut it into small pieces we could chew on. 

As we bit down, the fibrous cane would release the sweetest juice, some of which would always ending running down my chin, especially if my piece of cane was big. I often ended up a sticky mess but it was so worth it!

My mother’s mother grew up not far away in Abbeville, Louisiana, home of Steen’s cane syrup which is still made the old fashioned way, by cooking cane juice down until it’s thick and rich. Nothing else is added.

Gateau de Sirop – Cajun Cane Syrup Cake

If you’ve been reading along here for a while, you might have seen my other grandmother’s copy of the Steen’s recipe booklet when I shared her fig preserves recipe. This recipe was adapted from one in that booklet. But you can also find it online. From their website comes this baking tip as well: Measure the oil first, then use the same cup to measure the syrup. The thin layer of oil remaining in the cup will help the syrup pour right out of the cup without clinging. 

Ingredients
2-3 tablespoons butter for greasing the pan
1/2 cup or 120ml canola or other light oil
1 1/2 cups or 355ml Steen’s Pure Cane Syrup, plus extra for drizzling on the baked cake, if desired
1 large egg
2 1/2 cups or 313g all-purpose flour, plus extra for flouring the pan
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2  teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 cup or 180ml boiling water

Method 
Preheat oven to 350°F or 180°C. Prepare a 10-cup Bundt pan by coating it with butter and then dusting it with flour. This is a sticky cake so you want to be generous with this step. Mine stuck at the bottom and I regretted choosing my Nordic Ware fleur de lis pan to bake it in. A less intricate pan would probably release more easily. I did finally manage to get it out, as you can see, but it wasn’t easy!

In a large bowl, combine the oil, syrup and egg. 


Carefully whisk to blend thoroughly. If you are too vigorous as you start whisking, the oil tends to fly around and outside of the mixing bowl. Ask me how I know. 

Measure flour, spices and salt into another bowl and sift them into the cake bowl. Again, whisk to blend.
 

Dissolve the baking soda in the boiling water then stir this mixture into the batter. 


Pour the batter into your prepared pan. 


Bake 50-55 minutes or until springy to the touch and a wooden skewer comes out clean. 

Remove the gateau de sirop from the oven and place it on a rack to cool for a few minutes. 

Food Lust People Love: Gateau de sirop - syrup cake - is a Cajun sweet treat made with Steen’s cane syrup, cinnamon, ginger and cloves. Its tender crumb is so full of flavor! And the aroma as it bakes? Divine.

Loosen the edges with the wooden skewer and then invert it on a cake plate. Drizzle with a little extra syrup, if desired.

When cool, slice to serve.

Food Lust People Love: Gateau de sirop - syrup cake - is a Cajun sweet treat made with Steen’s cane syrup, cinnamon, ginger and cloves. Its tender crumb is so full of flavor! And the aroma as it bakes? Divine.

Enjoy!

It’s the third Thursday of the month so that means it’s Bundt Bakers time. As you might guess from the recipe titles, we are sharing cakes made with syrup. Check them out below. Many thanks to our host, Sue of Palatable Pastime for this fun theme!

BundtBakers

#BundtBakers is a group of Bundt loving bakers who get together once a month to bake Bundts with a common ingredient or theme. You can see all of our lovely Bundts by following our Pinterest board. We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient. Updated links for all of our past events and more information about BundtBakers, can be found on our home page.

Pin this Gateau de Sirop!

Food Lust People Love: Gateau de sirop - syrup cake - is a Cajun sweet treat made with Steen’s cane syrup, cinnamon, ginger and cloves. Its tender crumb is so full of flavor! And the aroma as it bakes? Divine.

 .

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Tiger Biting Pig Buns - 老虎咬猪包子 - Lǎohǔ Yǎo Zhū Bāozi #BreadBakers

Tiger Biting Pig Buns are soft, steamed bread filled with slices of rich char siu pork, fresh cilantro and roasted peanuts with a little sugar. Each bite is more delectable than the next! 

Food Lust People Love: Tiger Biting Pig Buns are soft, steamed bread filled with slices of rich char siu pork, fresh cilantro and roasted peanuts with a little sugar. Each bite is more delectable than the next!

According to many websites these filled buns are a famous and popular snack in Taiwan. I'm not sure why they think the bun looks like a tiger but it's definitely got a mouthful of pig. While pork is the most traditional filling, nowadays you can find versions with fried chicken, fried fish or even beef. 

I chose to make traditional pork buns in celebration of the fact that one of my favorite Asian grocery stores - Hong Kong Food Market – has reopened the section that sells char siu pork and roasted duck. It’s been shut since COVID took hold in Houston early last year and we really missed it. Whenever I’m there I buy char siu pork, wrap it really good and freeze it for use in stir-fried noodles. So good!

Tiger Biting Pig Buns

This recipe was adapted from one on HiLove. If you are not fortunate enough to be able to buy char siu pork already made, there are many recipes online that are quite simple. I can also recommend a real shortcut that works beautifully: Use the Noh brand marinade mix. We love it and it’s sold at many supermarkets. Hopefully one near you. It's been one of my usual suitcase items wherever we've lived in the world for many years.

Ingredients
For the 4 steamed buns:
1 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 cup or 120ml warm water
2/3 cup or 80g plain flour
2/3 cup or 80g bread flour

For the filling:
1/2 lb or 225g char siu pork (Chinese barbecue pork)
1/4 cup or 35g roasted peanuts
1 teaspoon sugar
Small bunch cilantro

Method
In a large bowl, combine the yeast and sugar with water until dissolved. Set aside for a few minutes to activate the yeast. 

When it starts to bubble and froth, add the flours and knead into a smooth dough. 


It’s quite a sticky dough but try not to add much more flour as you knead because you do want the buns to be soft and fluffy. Cover the dough with a clean damp cloth or plastic wrap. 


Set aside for 30-40 minutes to allow the dough to rise. Cover a pan with baking parchment and set aside, ready for the dough when it’s rolled out.

When the dough rises, cut it into four equal portions (about 70g each) and roll them each into a ball. 


On a lightly floured work surface, use a rolling pin to flatten each ball into an oval shape, about 4x7 in or 10x18cm.

Use the rolling pin to press the middle a little thinner then brush some oil on the flat dough. 


Transfer the dough ovals to the prepared tray. Continue until all the buns are shaped and ready to steam.


Cover with cling film and leave to rest for another 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare your steamer by adding water and bringing it to the boil. This is also an excellent time to crush your roasted peanuts and add the sugar. Stir to combine.


Use a sharp knife to cut the pork into thin slices.


Cut around the baking parchment with scissors to remove one bun at a time. 


 Place it in the steamer. 


Cook for 10 minutes or until the bun bounces back when you press on it lightly. 


Two caveats: 
1. Do not open the lid to check on the bun before 10 minutes or it will deflate and never puff back up. I made that mistake on the first bun and I am forever sad about it. 
2. Be careful not to drip water on the bun while removing the steamer lid. It’s not a huge deal but it will cause your bun to fall a bit where the water lands. Witness this photo. That little crater was from a drip of water. The bun was still fluffy so it's all good, but do try. 


Add more water to your steamer pot if necessary and continue until all four buns are steamed. When you remove them from the steamer, lay them on a towel to absorb any moisture.


 Fold them over gently so they are ready to fill. 


To assemble the tiger biting pig buns, put several slices of pork in each. Top with a small handful of chopped cilantro along with a couple of teaspoons of the peanuts and sugar.

Food Lust People Love: Tiger Biting Pig Buns are soft, steamed bread filled with slices of rich char siu pork, fresh cilantro and roasted peanuts with a little sugar. Each bite is more delectable than the next!

Enjoy!

It’s the second Tuesday of the month which means that it’s time for my Bread Bakers group to share recipes. Our theme today is Chinese bread! Many thanks to our host Wendy of A Day in the Life on the Farm

BreadBakers
#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 these Tiger Biting Pig Buns!

Food Lust People Love: Tiger Biting Pig Buns are soft, steamed bread filled with slices of rich char siu pork, fresh cilantro and roasted peanuts with a little sugar. Each bite is more delectable than the next!

 .

Monday, September 13, 2021

Turkey Zucchini Feta Meatballs

These Turkey Zucchini Feta Meatballs are delicious just as they are, baked till golden, as an appetizer or add them to a sauce to serve with pasta. It's kind of magical how the zucchini seems to disappear as they bake so objectors likely won't even notice it. 

Food Lust People Love: These Turkey Zucchini Feta Meatballs are delicious just as they are, baked till golden, as an appetizer or add them to a sauce to serve with pasta. It's kind of magical how the zucchini seems to disappear as they bake so objectors likely won't even notice it.

I know that summer is the time when zucchini is meant to grow in abundance and people complain when neighbors leave baskets of it on their porches. Or supposedly that happens. It has never actually happened to me! 

But I got a bit of a giggle out of the sign at my nearby Sprouts Farmers Market that declared the produce I know as zucchini was Italian squash. Is this like rebranding prunes to dried plums? I have to admit, Italian squash sounds just a bit nicer and certainly more sophisticated than zucchini. (Or we could go all British and call them courgettes.) 

The results of multiple web searches seem to agree they are the same vegetable. Let’s take a poll in the comments. Do you call them zucchini or Italian squash? Or courgettes?

Turkey Zucchini Feta Meatballs 

This recipe is adapted from one in the New York Times Cooking section.  If you don’t have ground turkey, substitute chicken or pork. 

Ingredients
2 medium Italian squash or zucchini (approx. weight 11 oz or 312g)
1/2 large shallot
1/2 cup or 40g panko bread crumbs
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 oz or 57g feta, crumbled
1 lb or 450g ground turkey
1 large egg
Olive oil

Method
Preheat your oven to 425°F or 218°C and line a baking pan with baking parchment or a silicone liner. 

Cut the stem ends off of the zucchini and discard. Line a plate or cutting board with two paper towels and grate the zucchini onto the paper towels with the large holes of your grater. 


Push the zucchini around till it covers the paper towels completely to allow as much moisture as possible to be absorbed. Roll the zucchini up in the paper towels and set aside. 


Add the panko, cumin, red-pepper flakes, salt and feta to a large mixing bowl. Peel then grate the shallot and add it in as well.


Gently use the tines of a fork to toss until combined. Tip in the grated zucchini and mix again. 


Add the turkey and stir gently until combined. 


Pop the egg in the middle and break it up with the tines of your fork. Now mix it in with the fork until thoroughly combined. 


Use a spoon or small cookie dough scoop to divide the mixture into about 32 pieces, around 2 tablespoons each. Use wet hands to form them into round meatballs and place them on the prepared baking sheet. I use a two-tablespoon scoop which makes short work of this part of the job.

Rolled smooth at the top and right, merely scooped for the rest of them

Drizzle the meatballs with olive oil and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the meatballs are cooked through. 


For more browned meatballs, broil (grill) for a few minutes at the end, if desired. It's not necessary for cookedness (I wasn't sure that was a word but spellcheck is on board!) but they do look nicer, especially as we are using turkey, a lighter colored meat. 

Food Lust People Love: These Turkey Zucchini Feta Meatballs are delicious just as they are, baked till golden, as an appetizer or add them to a sauce to serve with pasta. It's kind of magical how the zucchini seems to disappear as they bake so objectors likely won't even notice it.

Enjoy! 

Food Lust People Love: These Turkey Zucchini Feta Meatballs are delicious just as they are, baked till golden, as an appetizer or add them to a sauce to serve with pasta. It's kind of magical how the zucchini seems to disappear as they bake so objectors likely won't even notice it.

It’s time for my Baking Bloggers to share recipes again! This month’s theme is ground meats aka mince to the Brits among us. Many thanks to our host and organizer, Sue of Palatable Pastime. Check out all the recipe links below. 


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 interested in joining in, inquire at our Baking Bloggers Facebook group. We'd be honored if you would join us in our baking adventures.

Pin these Turkey Zucchini Feta Meatballs!

Food Lust People Love: These Turkey Zucchini Feta Meatballs are delicious just as they are, baked till golden, as an appetizer or add them to a sauce to serve with pasta. It's kind of magical how the zucchini seems to disappear as they bake so objectors likely won't even notice it.

.

Sunday, September 12, 2021

Homemade Ginger Ale

Homemade ginger ale is a refreshing treat in hot weather, cooling you down even as it sort of warms you up inside. Make some and pour yourself a glass! 

Food Lust People Love: Homemade ginger ale is a refreshing treat in hot weather, cooling you down even as it sort of warms you up inside. Make some and pour yourself a glass!

I am a pure chili pepper eater from way back. When I was eight years old, my party trick was to eat whole pickled jalapeños, much to the amazement of friends and classmates. Raw ginger, on the other hand, I just can’t do. It burns! My mother-in-law is the opposite. Ginger - yes, chili pepper - no!

When she was living in Singapore and I would visit, we frequented an outdoor eatery that specialized in Chinese cooking. There was one dish - stir-fried vegetables with bits of chicken - that I had to eat with caution. 

Sometimes that slice of vegetable was an innocent bamboo shoot, sometimes it was a take-my-head-off piece of fresh, crunchy ginger. When I’d get one between my teeth by accident, my nose felt like it did when I was a kid and got chlorinated pool water all up it. Not nice. Horseradish and hot English mustard in more than small quantities have the same effect on me. 

I’d watch agog, as my mother-in-law ate not just the slices of ginger on her plate but the ones I pushed aside on mine! 

Ah, but cooked ginger. That is a whole ‘nother animal. Along with garlic and onions, it is the base of my favorite Burmese curry paste. Spicy sweet tomato chutney would not be the same without it. Not to mention ginger ale and gingerbread and ginger lemon snaps. Cooked ginger is one of my favorite things!

Homemade Ginger Ale

If you are a scale user (and I hope you are!) you will find it helpful to know that the weight of the ginger before peeling is 7 3⁄4 oz or 300g. This recipe makes about 1 1/4 cups or 300ml syrup. 


Ingredients
For the ginger syrup:
1 1/2 cups or 220g ginger, chopped and peeled 
2 cups or 480ml water
3/4 cup or 150g sugar
Pinch salt

To make one serving of ginger ale:
2-3 tablespoons ginger syrup
3/4 cup or 165ml chilled seltzer or club soda (half a can)
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
Ice

To garnish:
Lime slices (optional)

Method
To make the syrup: Bring water with ginger to a gentle boil then lower the temperature to simmer and continue cooking, covered for 45 minutes. 

When your timer rings (you did set a timer, right?) remove the pot from the stove and leave the ginger in to steep for another 20 minutes. 

Strain the ginger out through a sieve and squeeze the ginger to get as much juice as possible out. Discard the ginger. 

Pour the strained ginger water back into the pot along with the sugar and pinch of salt. Cook over a medium heat until the sugar dissolves and the liquid has reduced to about 1 1/4 cups or 300ml. 

Pour the hot syrup into a heatproof vessel and chill before using. Keeps for up to one week in the refrigerator or freeze in an ice cube tray for longer storage. 

To assemble the ginger ale, put two or three ice cubes in a glass. Add in the lime juice and a slice of lime, if desired. Pour in the ginger syrup then top up with seltzer or club soda. 

Food Lust People Love: Homemade ginger ale is a refreshing treat in hot weather, cooling you down even as it sort of warms you up inside. Make some and pour yourself a glass!

Stir gently to mix the juice and syrup in. 

Food Lust People Love: Homemade ginger ale is a refreshing treat in hot weather, cooling you down even as it sort of warms you up inside. Make some and pour yourself a glass!

Enjoy!

If you are a fan of ginger, this is the perfect Sunday FunDay for you! Check out all the great recipes we are sharing today with ginger. Many thanks to our host, Kalyani of Sizzling Tastebuds.

We are a group of food bloggers who believe that Sunday should be a family fun day, so every Sunday we share recipes that will help you to enjoy your day. If you're a blogger interested in joining us, just visit our Facebook group and request to join.

Pin this Homemade Ginger Ale!

Food Lust People Love: Homemade ginger ale is a refreshing treat in hot weather, cooling you down even as it sort of warms you up inside. Make some and pour yourself a glass!
.

Sunday, September 5, 2021

Spiced Chickpea Flour Gnocchi with Coconut Spinach Sauce

These spiced chickpea flour gnocchi are deliciously savory bites, tender on the inside and golden on the outside, served on a divine coconut spinach sauce so good you will want to lick the plate not to miss a single drop. 


When I first saw the delicious. magazine recipe from which mine is adapted, I questioned calling these little squares gnocchi because they were unlike any gnocchi I’d ever seen before. Gnocchi dough is rolled into a long sausage then cut in bits and boiled, right? If you are French, you might cook it à la poêle, in a pan browned in butter, but it's still little ovals of potato pasta.

But just a couple of weeks later, I was researching Roman recipes for another blogger event and I came across many for gnocchi that reminded me of my crispy polenta. Case in point, Serious Eats' Gnocchi alla Romana. It is indeed very similar in method to this chickpea flour version, aside from the shape. 

So I guess the potato gnocchi I’ve been making all these years is Italian, not Roman, but my crispy polenta is! Who knew?

Anyhoo, name aside, you are going to want to make these guys. We absolutely loved them and the spiced coconut spinach sauce as well. I'm not kidding when I say you'll want to lick the plate. It looks like a lot of ingredients and many steps but they are all super easy. Give this a try! You will not regret it. 

Spiced Chickpea Flour Gnocchi with Spinach Coconut Sauce

Here in the States, bags of spinach generally come measured in ounces and/or pounds. If you live elsewhere and can get a one kilo bag, go ahead and use the whole thing. This recipe is adapted from one in delicious. magazine, the UK edition, from the talented Chef Vivek Singh of The Cinnamon Club in London.

Ingredients
For the gnocchi:
3 cups or 735g Greek yogurt (sub a non-dairy yogurt to make this vegan friendly)
1 3/4 cups or 210g chickpea (gram) flour plus extra for dusting
1 1/2 cups + 4 teaspoons or 375ml water
1 piece (about 1 in or 2.5cm) fresh ginger
4 small hot red chili peppers
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon asafetida (if you can't find this, skip it. I'm addicted to the aroma of asafetida but I can't say I notice much of a flavor difference when it's added to a recipe)
1/2 teaspoon nigella seeds aka kalongi 
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/2 teaspoon sugar

Plus canola or other light oil for pan frying

For the coconut spinach sauce:
28 oz or 794g young leaf spinach
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon gram flour
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
4 hot red chili peppers, minced
3/4 cup or 180ml coconut cream (not milk - we want the thick stuff for extra flavor!)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon garam masala

For the tempering:
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
2 whole dried red chili peppers, broken into small pieces
2-3 sprigs fresh curry leaves

Method
Line a 9x9 in or x 23x23cm pan with baking parchment. 

Peel the ginger and cut the stems off of the chili peppers. Chop the ginger roughly. Use a small food processor to mince both finely. Alternatively, you can use a pestle and mortar to grind them into a paste. 


Use a little of the water measure to rinse the processor or mortar to make sure you don’t leave any ginger/pepper behind. 

Mix all the gnocchi ingredients together in a pan and whisk to combine.


Cook gently for 12-15 minutes until thickened and shiny, whisking, then stirring as it thickens, all the while.


Transfer to the prepared pan and spread it out evenly to cool. Cover well with cling film and chill for up to 24 hours. 


When you are ready to complete the dish, put a 1/4 cup or 60ml water in your largest pot that has a lid. Bring it to the boil then add the spinach. Pop the lid on. If you don't have a pot this large, put as much as you can in, then add handfuls as the spinach shrinks and makes room until it's all been added.


Cook for 1-2 minutes or until wilted. Tip it into a bowl with ice water. 


Drain in a colander. Put a bowl under the colander when most of the water has drained and push down on the spinach so even more water drains and collects in the bowl. 

Purée the spinach in a food processor, adding a little of the spinach water, if necessary to get it moving. Set aside. (yield: 2 3/4 cups spinach purée)


Heat the oil for the coconut spinach sauce in a medium sized pot over a medium heat. Add the cumin seeds, then the garlic and stir until the garlic is golden. Add the chickpea flour and stir until it gives off a roasted aroma about 1-2 minutes. 


Add the spinach puree to the pan and bring to a slow boil, stirring often. Turn down the heat, add the ginger and chili peppers.


Simmer for 15 minutes. Stir in the coconut milk, add the salt and sugar then sprinkle in the garam masala. Keep warm. 


For the tempering, strip the curry leaves off of the stems then heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. When hot, add the red chili peppers, mustard seeds and curry leaves. 


Once the spices crackle, stir till dry and remove from the heat. 

Cut the cooled gnocchi into 36 squares. Lightly dust the gnocchi with a little more gram flour. I find using a small sieve for this most helpful. 


Drizzle a little oil into a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat then fry the gnocchi in batches, turning them until they are browned on all sides. 


Remove them to a pan in a warm oven, with a wire rack and paper towels to absorb any oil as you finish each batch. Keep warm. 


Divide the coconut spinach sauce between plates then top with the golden gnocchi and sprinkle with the tempered spice mix to serve.


Enjoy!

It’s Sunday FunDay and today we are sharing recipes made with chickpea flour, also known as gram flour or besan. It’s commonly used in many Asian cuisines, predominantly in the subcontinent, for savory dishes and baking. According to Wikipedia, it contains a high proportion of carbohydrates as well as higher fiber and protein relative to other flours. It is naturally gluten free, making it a healthy choice for many. Check out all the recipe links below! Many thanks to our host, Renu of Cook with Renu for hosting today and for this wonderful theme.

We are a group of food bloggers who believe that Sunday should be a family fun day, so every Sunday we share recipes that will help you to enjoy your day. If you're a blogger interested in joining us, just visit our Facebook group and request to join.

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