Showing posts with label Food Lust People Love. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Food Lust People Love. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Keralan Yeast Appam #BreadBakers

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

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

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

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

Some links to check out - these are just a drop in the immense Keralan appam bucket!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You can see that the fermented batter really thickens up.

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

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

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

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


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

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Tuesday, January 17, 2017

ANZAC Biscuits #CreativeCookieExchange

ANZAC biscuits are a traditional cookie Down Under made with oats, coconut and golden syrup. These biscuits – always biscuits and never cookies – can be baked chewy or crispy and that’s a point that divides families.

This month our Creative Cookie Exchange group theme is Healthy Cookies. My younger daughter and I were brainstorming ideas – I was pushing for a homemade Hobnob (a crispy oat cookie) when she suggested ANZAC biscuits. When we lived in Kuala Lumpur the first time, we enjoyed home baked ANZAC biscuits at least once a year, when one of our Australian friends made them for ANZAC Day. Happily, she also shared her recipe.

ANZAC stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps, a joint outfit that fought together during World War I. ANZAC Day, which falls on April 25th every year, is a national holiday in Australia that has grown from its original intent in 1916 to honor the more than 8,000 Australians who died in the campaign to take Gallipoli, to a day to honor all who have fallen in military and peacekeeping missions.

There are several stories about the origin of ANZAC biscuits. One says that they were baked to send overseas in care packages to soldiers. More likely, say historians, they were created and baked to sell at fundraisers to collect money for the war effort. Original ANZAC biscuits were made only of flour, oats, and butter with syrup as the binding agent. They had a long shelf life and were full of energy and nutrition. Coconut has become a popular, later addition.

First, a word about the units of measure. Australian cups and tablespoons are not the same volume as American cups and tablespoons.

1 Australian cup = 8.45 fl oz
1 US cup = 8 fl oz
1 Australian tablespoon = 4 teaspoons
1 US tablespoon = 3 teaspoons

Mercifully, the teaspoons are equal. To make this the least complicated as possible, I’m going to leave the cups the same, since they are 1:1 anyway, but add the gram measurements of an Australian cup of rolled oats, flour, sugar and butter, if you want to use a scale.

1 cup or 120g rolled oats (Don’t use the quick cook oats.)
1 cup or 132g plain flour
1 cup or 237g caster sugar
3/4 cup or 75g coconut
1/2 cup or 125g butter
8 teaspoons golden syrup
1/2 teaspoon bi-carbonate of soda (baking soda, not baking powder)
8 teaspoons boiling water

Preheat your oven to 300°F or 150°C and line two cookie sheets with baking parchment or silicone liners.

Combine oats, flour, sugar and coconut in a large bowl.

Combine butter and golden syrup in a saucepan (or microwaveable bowl) and use your heat source to warm them gently until the butter is melted.

Mix the soda with the boiling water and add it to the butter mixture (it should froth up) and then add the whole lot to the oat mixture. Stir well.

Use a cookie dough scoop or a couple of spoons to divide the dough into about 24 pieces, placing them on your prepared pans.

Bake in your preheated oven for about 18-20 minutes or until golden brown. Rotate the pans mid way through baking time so they will brown evenly. If they are undercooked, they will be soft in the middle. If they’ve run together a little bit, just use a knife to gently separate them.

Remove the biscuits from the pan while warm and transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Store in an airtight container for up to a week. If they last that long.


Many thanks to my dear friend Glenys, for being the kind of friend who not only shares her recipes, but one whose friendship over the years has helped me stop questioning my sanity. Knowing she chose this same nomadic life means I must not be nuts, but if I’m crazy at least we are both crazy together. Everyone should be blessed with a friend like Glenys.

A big thank you also to Karen from Karen’s Kitchen Stories and Holly of A Baker’s House for stepping up to create and update the link list. Want to see the rest of our healthy cookies? Check out the list below.

Creative Cookie Exchange is hosted by Laura of The Spiced Life. We get together once a month to bake cookies with a common theme or ingredient so Creative Cookie Exchange is a great resource for cookie recipes. Be sure to check out our Pinterest Board and our monthly posts at The Spiced Life. We post the first Tuesday after the 15th of each month!

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Sunday, January 8, 2017

Baked Kibbeh with Yogurt Sauce

Lean beef seasoned with mint, onion, cumin and allspice is mixed with bulgur wheat then baked in small balls till golden. Perfect for dipping in garlicky yogurt sauce. 

Searching for kibbeh recipes, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the many varieties and options. Lamb is typical, but beef is a close second. Sometimes the bulgur wheat is mixed throughout the meat, as in my recipe below, and sometimes it’s mixed just with part of the meat. In that case, the bulgur mixture is used as a filling with seasoned meat on the outside of the kibbeh. Most are deep-fried. The baked kibbeh is often made in one big piece, then cut apart into slices like pie. The deep-fried ones are made into elongated balls (like mine) or into patties.

As with many recipes that are claimed by various cultures and countries, everyone thinks theirs is the most authentic, the most traditional, the most like mom used to make, in a word, the best. Since I come from none of those cultures or countries, I can do what I want without fear of elderly relatives scolding me. So I make individual kibbeh and bake them.

The soaked bulgur wheat adds moisture to the kibbeh so you can use lean ground beef, making them an even healthier option.

Baked Kibbeh with Yogurt Sauce

If you have a large iron skillet or another heavy baking pan, baked kibbeh gives you all the flavor and crunch of traditional kibbeh, without the oiliness of deep-frying. These can be served with sandwich fixings or simply with the yogurt sauce for dipping.

For the kibbeh:
1/2 cup or 105g medium coarse bulgur
Leaves from a small bunch fresh mint, picked off and washed
1 medium onion, chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground allspice
 1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 1/4 lbs or 575g lean ground beef
3 tablespoons olive oil

For the yogurt sauce:
1 cup or 245g Greek plain yogurt
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon minced fresh mint leaves
1/4 teaspoon salt

Optional to serve:
Yogurt sauce
Sliced tomatoes
Sliced cucumbers
Flat bread

Pour the bulgur wheat in a big coffee mug. Pour enough boiling water to cover the bulgur by about one inch or 2cm. Cover the mug with a saucer and set aside until the water is absorbed. Fluff it with a fork into a large mixing bowl.

To make the yogurt sauce, add the lemon juice, garlic, mint and salt to the yogurt. Mix well and refrigerate. This is best done early in the process to allow time for the flavors to meld and develop.

Use a food processor to mince the mint leaves with the chopped onion.

Preheat your oven to 410°F or 210°C with a large iron skillet or heavy baking pan inside.

Add the mint and onion to the bulgur, along with the cumin, allspice, salt and black pepper. Mix well.

Tip in the lean ground beef. Use your clean hands to mix and knead the seasoned bulgur into the beef.

Wet your hands and form the mixture into 20 balls, slightly fatter in the center and kind of pointy on the ends, like an American football. Keep wetting your hands to keep the meat from sticking to them.

Once the oven is preheated, remove the iron skillet and pour in half of the olive oil. Put the kibbeh in the skillet and put it back in the oven.

Set your timer for 18 minutes. When it rings, take the skillet out and drizzle the rest of the olive oil over the kibbeh. Put it back in the oven and turn the dial from bake to broil (or grill, for my British readers). To clarify, turn your oven's upper element on so the top of the kibbeh will brown.

Keep an eye on it and remove the kibbeh from the oven when it’s golden, about 5-7 minutes.

Serve with the yogurt sauce to dip. You can also set out flatbread, sliced tomatoes and sliced cucumber for those who would like to build a small sandwich. This makes a great appetizer or starter at a cocktail party.


Today is National Sunday Supper Day – the second Sunday of January! We should be eating cake to celebrate but since we love you all so much, we decided that we wouldn’t sabotage your (and our own!) efforts to eat more nutritious meals in the New Year. Instead, we are bringing you lots of lean beef recipes! Many thanks to our host today, Sarah of The Chef Next Door and our event manager Cricket of Cricket’s Confections for their behind the scenes work.

Check out all the lovely lean beef recipes we are sharing!

Appetizers, Soups, and Salads

Ground Beef Recipes


Sandwiches and Wraps


Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday!
We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include

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Baked Kibbeh: Lean beef seasoned with mint, onion, cumin and allspice is mixed with bulgur wheat then baked in small balls till golden. Perfect for dipping in garlicky yogurt sauce. #SundaySupper

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Pepperoni Pizza Popcorn #FoodieExtravaganza

Pepperoni Pizza Popcorn is made with fresh popcorn kernels popped in the oil of fried pepperoni, plus ground sundried tomatoes, Parmesan and oregano. Perfect for your combo pizza/movie night.

You know what’s hard to eat and type at the same time? Pepperoni Pizza Popcorn. And yet, as I sit here eating and typing, shining up my MacBook keyboard with every muted clack, clack, clack, I can’t stop dipping my hands into that big bowl. I find myself typing with only my right hand, so the left hand can still reach into that bowl. It’s not easy – the A and E are so far to the left! - but here we are. And it’s worth the trouble, I assure you.

This month’s Foodie Extravaganza theme is popcorn in honor of National Popcorn Day on January 19th. Now you will be prepared to celebrate with plenty of fun recipes!

I gotta tell you about this pepperoni pizza popcorn. A lot of the pepperoni falls off and ends up at the bottom of the bowl. Which is not always a bad thing. You can eat it by licking a finger and coating it with pepperoni. Over and over. And over. Every once in a while, I’d use a spoon and scoop to the bottom of the bowl and sprinkle the pepperoni back over the remaining popcorn. That helps too. But the bottom line is that this stuff tastes so good, you won’t care.

Ingredients – for a huge, I mean huge, bowl of popcorn.
5 sun-dried tomatoes or about 10g, ground in a mortar and pestle or a coffee grinder reserved for spices
1/3 cup or 40g grated Parmesan
1/2 teaspoon (or more) dried oregano
6 oz or 170g sliced pepperoni
5-6 tablespoon canola
3/4 cup or 160g popcorn kernels

Put your sun-dried tomato powder, Parmesan and oregano together in a bowl. Stir well to combine and set aside.

Chop your pepperoni in a food processor until it is in tiny bits.

Fry it in your very large popcorn pot along with 3 tablespoons canola oil. (Your popcorn pot should be wide enough to hold the popcorn kernels in one layer at the bottom and commensurately tall, with a good fitting lid.)

When the pepperoni is crispy, tip the pot to one side and leave it that way for a few minutes, so you can remove the pepperoni to a plate lined with paper towels and leave the oil behind.

Pour the popcorn kernels into the pot. Give the pot a shake so they lay in a single layer. Add the extra 2-3 tablespoons canola oil so that all the kernels are coated in oil.

Use an old dishcloth to cover the inside of your pot lid, tying the ends around the handle on top. This towel will absorb the steam and keep your popcorn from getting soggy.

Pop the corn, lid on, over a medium high heat until the kernels stop popping. Shake the pot occasionally to send the unpopped kernels back down to the bottom.

Remove from the heat and tip the popcorn into a large bowl. Sprinkle the popcorn with the sun-dried tomato powder, Parmesan, oregano and crispy pepperoni.


Many thanks to our host this month, Camilla of Culinary Adventures with Camilla. Check out all the great popcorn recipes we have for you!

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

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

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

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Sunday, October 2, 2016

Spicy Beer Mustard

Spicy beer mustard is a traditional German condiment with a delightful kick, essential for serving with sausages and pretzels. It’s super easy to make and keeps for months in your refrigerator.

I’ve been wanting to make this recipe for a very long time. In fact, I have several recipes calling for yellow mustard seeds in my “to make someday” files because I haven’t been able to find them. I don’t know why the yellow seeds are such a challenge. The brown ones are everywhere and I always have them on hand because they are a common ingredient in curries. But, once again, the heavens aligned for me when the Sunday Supper Oktoberfest theme was announced and I spied yellow mustard seeds in my local supermarket for the very first time.

After all, what could be better than a spicy beer mustard that goes together nicely with all types of German würste or sausages? It’s also great to dip your pretzels in as you sip a cold beer.

Adapted from the recipe on Food and Wine.

Yield: Makes about 485g or 2 cups of spicy beer mustard

1/3 cup or 60g yellow mustard seeds
1/4 cup or 80g brown mustard seeds
1/2 cup or 120ml apple cider vinegar
1 cup or 240ml dark beer, divided
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
2 tablespoons dry mustard powder

Put your mustard seeds in a small bowl or a clean jar, then pour in a 1/2 cup or 120ml of the dark beer and all of the vinegar. Cover the bowl with cling film or put the lid on the jar loosely and put the mixture in the refrigerator. Leave to soak overnight. I used a clean jar because I thought it would give us a better picture of what happens to the mustard seeds after soaking. Boy, was I right!

In a small saucepan, whisk together the other 1/2 cup or 120ml dark beer, sugar, honey, salt, turmeric, and allspice.

Warm over a medium flame and keep stirring until it comes to a slow boil and the sugar has dissolved.

Remove from the heat and allow to cool for a few minutes.

Scrape the soaked mustard seeds into your blender with any liquid that wasn't absorbed. Add in the dry mustard powder and then pour in the warm liquid mixture.

Blend on high until the mustard seeds start to break down and the mustard thickens into, well, mustard. Stop and start the blender again if it begins to cavitate or form a air pocket around the blender blades, and you can see that the mustard is not moving.

Store in a clean jar with a tight fitting lid in the refrigerator. It’ll be even better if you can wait a day to use it.

Serve with sausage, soft pretzels, hot dogs, hamburgers or wherever you might enjoy some spicy beer mustard.

Now pour yourself a cold beer and check out all the other great Oktoberfest recipes we have for you today! Many thanks to our event manager, Marion of Life Tastes Good and today’s host, Cricket of Cricket’s Confections for all of their hard work!

Appetizers (die Vorspeisen)

Breakfast (das Frühstück)

Condiments (die Gewürze)

Main Dishes (die Hauptgerichte)

Side Dishes (die Beilagen)

Dessert (der Nachtisch)

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Monday, September 26, 2016

Spicy Chicken Salad Muffins #MuffinMonday

Sure you could make plain ol’ chicken salad sandwiches but why not make spicy chicken salad muffins instead? Cooked chicken breast, mayonnaise, mustard, green onions - with red chili pepper for a spicy kick - all baked in a tender savory muffin. 

Happy Muffin Monday, lovely people! It’s that time of the month again when my Muffin Monday bakers put on their thinking caps and bring you all manner of simple-to-bake deliciousness.

My inspiration often comes from ingredients languishing in my refrigerator or in season/on sale at my local supermarket. This month it’s the former. You see, I am incapable of buying just one rotisserie chicken. Because the wings are my favorite part and, unfortunately my husband feels the same. One wing is just not satisfying so when I buy roasted chickens, I have to buy two at a time. For the extra wings, you know. (If only they would just roast a tray of wings! Pipe dreams.)

Anyhoo, I’ve used the two chickens in a variety meals but ended up with just one breast left. And muffins to bake for Muffin Monday. So I took a leap of faith and put Spicy Chicken Salad Muffins in our group thread, without a single idea of how I would accomplish said muffin.

Then the next day, suddenly, a thought came to me. Have you ever heard of cakes baked with mayonnaise? Apparently they were quite the thing during the 1930s, popularized by Hellmann's. If there are cakes made with mayo, surely there are muffins too, right? A quick peruse through The Google affirmed my guess. There were SO MANY. And my way to spicy chicken salad muffins became clear. Self high-fives all round.

2 cups or 250g all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard powder
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup or 150g chopped cooked chicken breast
Small handful spring onions, chopped, plus extra for garnish, if desired
1 small red chili, minced
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup or 125g mayonnaise
1 egg
Optional: 1 teaspoon olive oil for greasing muffin pan

Preheat your oven to 400°F or 200°C. Grease a 12-cup muffin pan or line it with paper liners.

Combine flour, baking powder, salt, mustard powder and a few good grinds of fresh black pepper in a large mixing bowl.

In another smaller mixing bowl, whisk together the milk, mayonnaise and egg. Add the chopped chicken, spring onions and chili pepper to the mayo bowl and stir well.

Fold the wet ingredients into the dry until just mixed.

Spoon into your greased or lined muffin pan. Top with a few bits of green onion, if desired.

Bake in your preheated oven for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. I took mine out at about 18 minutes.

Remove from the oven and cool slightly on a wire rack. Serve them warm.


Check out all the other lovely muffins the Muffin Monday bakers have mixed up for you today! 

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

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

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