Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Baked Macaroni

Baked macaroni ranks right up there with my all-time favourite comfort foods. There's never a time when I don't feel like eating it. I've made it so many times now that I don't remember how or where I learned this recipe, I just seem to know it in my bones.

Make the topping
  • 1.5 to 2 c bread crumbs
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/2 c grated parmesan
  • 3 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 1/2 c melted butter
  • salt and pepper to taste
Mix all the ingredients, adding butter last. Set aside in a bowl.

Make a mornay sauce
  • 1/2 c butter
  • 1/4 diced onion
  • 2tbsp flour
  • 1.5 c warm milk
  • 2 c grated cheddar
  • salt to taste
Melt butter and saute onion until translucent. Gradually stir in flour. Let sizzle for a bit. Add milk gradually, whisking all the while. On medium-low heat, whisk once in a while until the sauce thickens. Once thick, turn burner off and add cheddar. Mix until the cheese is melted.

Cook the macaroni
  • 2 c macaroni
Boil the macaroni for 6-7 minutes. Should be al dente.

Layer cooked macaroni and sauce in a buttered casserole dish. Pour in remaining sauce and stir until all pasta is coated. Pour on topping and pat down a bit.

Bake for 35ish minutes at 400ish. I usually keep it covered until the last 5ish minutes.

Hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Roasted-Vegetable Panzanella!

What a fabulous use for day-old bread. This salad was the perfect solution to all the manna that we produced during our bread-making class. A simple recipe that I would definitely make again!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Beautiful Bread

Yesterday I took a bread-making class at the Cook Shop. We ended the class by taking home some unbaked whole wheat bread dough. And I just baked mine this morning. I'm pretty proud of this petite little loaf. It's so beautiful. And that's really all I have to say about it.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Brunching With Da Ladies

Brunch was revived this morning after its brief hiatus. As usual, this morning's brunch was as much about the comfort we draw from one another's company as it is about the food. Nevertheless, the food always delights and this morning was no exception.

Cappuccinos, fruit juice, Anicka's famous scones, grapefruit, and smoked salmon hash were on the menu this morning, and I'm delighted that Anicka reminded me to copy down the scone recipe for posterity. So without further ado, here it is: the best scone recipe you'll ever taste.

Anicka's Famous Scones
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 c buttermilk
  • 1 2/3 c flour
  • 1 1/3 c oats
  • 1/3 c sugar
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 stick butter + 2 tbsp

Mix the egg and buttermilk first.

Then mix all the dry ingredients. Cut in the butter and mix with your hands until pea sized. Don't overmix, warns Anicka.

Add the egg/buttermilk mixture to the dry stuff and gently knead. Form the dough into a 6" circle and cut into wedges.

Bake for 20-22 minutes at 400 (for us, they were done in 16 minutes so watch them carefully).


Saturday, April 5, 2008

A Long Overdue Post on Delicious Indian Curry

Okay, here it is. My my all-time favourite curry recipe. Always a crowd pleaser!

(Catherine, do you have any photos of this?)

Whole Potatoes in Spicy Yogurt Gravy

  • 12 even-sized small boiling potatoes (2 lbs all together)
  • 7 tablespoons Indian vegetable shortening or light vegetable oil (try a bit less)
  • 1.5 cups finely chopped onions
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh ginger root
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 4 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 0.5-1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon Mughal garam masala
  • 2 cups chopped or pureed fresh tomatoes (or 1 cup canned tomato sauce)
  • 2/3 cup plain yogurt
  • 4 teaspoons kosher salt (use 1 teaspoon or less)
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream

1. Peel potatoes, and prick them with a thin skewer or knife in 4 or 5 places. Put them in a bowl of cold water until you are ready to cook them.

2. Heat 5 tablespoons of the shortening in a large non-stick pan that can hold all the potatoes in one layer over medium high heat. When the shortening is very hot, drain the potatoes, pat them dry on paper towels, and add. Fry them until acquire several tiny browned spots and a crust (8-10 minutes), turning and tossing them to ensure even browning. (This is an essential step, as the browning prevents the potatoes falling part during prolonged cooking.) With a slotted spoon, transfer them to a bowl.

3. Add the rest of the shortening to the pan along with the onions. Fry until the onions turn caramel brown (about 15 minutes), stirring constantly so they do not burn. Add ginger, and fry for an addition .5 minute. Add cumin, coriander, turmeric red pepper, mughal garam masala all at once, and stir rapidly for 15 seconds. Add tomatoes, yogurt , salt, and the fried potatoes (in one layer), and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer very gently, cover, for 35 minutes or until the potatoes are fully cooked. Check during cooking to make sure the gravy is not sticking and burning. The gravy should be thick enough to coat the potatoes. If it looks thin and runny, increase heat and boil rapidly, uncovered, until reduces to the desired consistency. If, on the other hand, the gravy is too thick, add a few tablespoons of water.

4. Add cream, stir, and simmer until heated through. If you want the dish to taste milder and subtler, stir in a little more shortening. Check for salt and serve.