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Popcorn Chickpeas

Friday, 9. March 2007 14:08

You’re right Cara, I’m probably not supposed to, but I’ll post the recipe for the chickpeas anyways (although I would still recommend buying the whole book).

Popcorn Chickpeas
one 15 oz. can chickpeas
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp coarsely chopped rosemary
1 Tbsp finely chopped garlic
3/4 tsp kosher salt
freshly ground pepper

Drain and rinse chickpeas in a strainer. Turn them out onto paper towels or a clean dish towel and pat dry. Pour the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and toss in the chickpeas. Cook them for 5 to 7 minutes, shaking the pan often. They won’t really brown, but they’ll turn several shades darker, shrink a bit, and form a light crust. Pour the chickpeas back into the strainer to drain the excess oil and return them to the pan. Lower the heat to medium and add the rosemary and garlic. Stir for another minute or two until the garlic begins to brown. Sprinkle with the salt and a few grindings of pepper. Toss again and pour them into a serving bowl. Serve warm.

From The Herbal Kitchen: Cooking with Fragrance and Flavor by Jerry Traunfeld

Category:Cookbooks | Comments (2) | Autor: Erica

Cookbooks: The Herbal Kitchen

Thursday, 8. March 2007 15:14

So for my second cookbook review in a random series I’ve got The Herbal Kitchen: Cooking with Fragrance and Flavor by Jerry Traunfeld.

My aunt gave me this one for Christmas and it comes with tips on herb gardening including what to grow and how to harvest it. The book is also interspersed with lots of information and pictures on specific herbs and their varieties. Most of the herbs called for in this book are supposed to be fresh. That being said, I often substituted dry herbs if I couldn’t find the fresh ones and I still had pretty good success (although I used about half the amount of what was called for in the recipe). Here’s what I tried:

Popcorn Chickpeas – This is an appetizer recipes that calls for canned chickpeas, rosemary and garlic. It’s super-easy. In fact, I have now taken to always having a can of chickpeas in the pantry because it’s something that is so simple to just whip together and yet seems pretty fancy.

Smoky Tomato-Bacon Soup – A hearty soup that can either be made with fresh tomatoes and beans or canned. I’ve made this twice now with the canned varieties because it’s really easy to put together for a weekday meal, and it still tastes great.

Lavender-Rubbed Duck Breast – Somehow I live in the Provence region of France and could not for the life of me find dried lavender buds to rub on this duck! I think I’ll have to keep a look out next summer after the harvest. Maybe it’s one of those things that just aren’t available year-round. No matter, I used every ingredient except for the lavender and it still turned out very well (that’s also because Joe cooked the duck for me — I haven’t quite mastered that one yet). This one is cooked with apricots and sweet onions which I will admit I was a little wary about, but I’ve been converted. It was terrific.

Tarragon Chick Breasts – Tarragon, Buttered Leeks, Chicken, yum. I made this for dinner one night when we had friends over and they asked for the recipe. ‘Nuf said.

Root Ribbons with Sage – You can use any root vegetable with this recipe. I chose carrots. The presentation is really interesting because you basically peel the vegetable to nothingness and serve all of the ribbons that you made with the peeler. I wasn’t overly thrilled with this one, although Joe liked it. Sage was one of the herbs that I had a hard time finding fresh so I think I may try it again later with fresh sage instead of dried.

I would definitely recommend this cookbook, it’s beautifully presented and has a lot of great ideas. I’m planning on planting an herb garden this spring so I think I’ll be referencing it for my garden as well as my cooking.

Category:Cookbooks | Comments (1) | Autor: Erica

Cookbooks: The Bon Appétit Cookbook

Tuesday, 23. January 2007 15:49

I received several cookbooks for Christmas this year and I thought I might try and do a review of them as I cook. I decided to start with The Bon Appétit Cookbook by Barbara Fairchild, and I’ve tried several recipes that I’ve described below.

This cookbook compiles decades of recipes from Bon Appetit magazine and the cost of the book comes with a one year subscription to the magazine (which I’ve had sent to my Mom). So many dishes seemed to call to me as I flipped through the book that I had a hard time deciding where to start. I always take that as a good sign. If I flip through a cookbook and want to eat almost everything that I see listed then it’s got to be good.

Here’s what I’ve made so far:

- Pan-Fried Lamb Chops with Rosemary and Garlic — Super easy to make and there’s a little bit of crushed red pepper that gives it a nice bite.

- Scalloped Potatoes with Goat Cheese and Herbes de Provence — A nice spin on the traditional scalloped potatoes.

- Oven-Roasted Winter Vegetables with Rigatoni — Joe’s first comment was that it was too healthy. While I have to agree with him there (especially since I used a whole-wheat pasta), I still liked it, and it was easy to make.

- Greek-Style Linguini with Shrimp and Feta — I made this recipe too late and didn’t want to use the shrimp that I had bought, so we had it without the shrimp. It was still pretty good, although maybe a little heavy on the lemon juice. The feta and artichokes made a nice contrast to my normal pasta sauce.

- Turkey Chili with White Beans — Almost inedible! The recipe calls for 1/4 cup of chili powder which is either a typo, or I’ve found some seriously hot chili powder here in France. I suppose either is possible. It was so hot that Joe and I sat there with noses running and mouths hurting just trying to get through it. I had more the next day and it wasn’t as bad, but I just ate the meat and beans and avoided the liquid at all cost! It was unfortunate because if it weren’t so hot, it would have been a really nice chili. So, I’ll probably make it again, but I’ll definitely cut down the amount of chili powder.

- Beef Bourgiugnon — This one was a bit of a miss. Joe had been asking for stew so I thought I’d try it out. I followed all of the instructions, but it just wasn’t cooked enough when I was done. The sauce tasted great, but the meat and vegetables never got that really tender texture to them.

With over 1,200 recipes, I’ve got a lot of cooking to do! This cookbook has turned out to be a bit more of a mixed bag than I had expected, but since I’ve only touched the surface of what they’ve got to offer, I’ll definitely be referring to it in the future.

Category:Cookbooks | Comments Off | Autor: Erica