Monday, November 30, 2009

What's Cooking?

Here are a few things I've cooked up this Fall.

Oh boy I can taste these peppers! Roasted in the oven with tiny tomatoes, basil and olive oil these were divine. This recipe came from Nigel Slater's latest book, Tender.

My big green pot has been in heavy rotation.

Here is Emily Franklin's Gross-Looking but Very Delicious-Tasting Red Lentil Soup from Too Many Cooks: Kitchen Adventures with 1 Mom, 4 Kids, and 102 Recipes(loved this book). The recipe name is hers.

My family wouldn't touch this once they heard the word LENTIL. Sheesh. I liked this soup and might have liked it more if I had blended it. The best part about it was how easy it was to make.

I am sadly lacking a photo of the gorgeously colored cauliflower cheese soup from Jamie Oliver's latest cookbook, Jamie's Food Revolution: Rediscover How to Cook Simple, Delicious, Affordable Meals.

I've been a fan of Jamie's for years and I think he genuinely wants us to cook and eat better. I also think this is his best cookbook to date that will get the average person to achieve this. It's accessible, fun to read, and contains lots of 'take it to the next step or keep it simple' sort of recipes.

Next up, are my divine baked beans.

My grandmother was an amazing cook and she made the best baked beans ever. My favorite meal of hers was made up of these beans, roasted loin of pork and homemade cole slaw. I can still taste it and I haven't eaten it since I was a kid. These beans took me back. I combined two recipes to make these beans, using navy beans, lots of bacon, molasses, brown sugar, tomato paste, ketchup, mustard and maple syrup. They spent about 7 hours in the oven and they were truly amazing. Served alongside ham steak and great cole slaw, I had a happy family.

Here is the Cuban style black bean stew from The Splendid Table's How to Eat Supper: Recipes, Stories, and Opinions from Public Radio's Award-Winning Food Show.

That's a ham hock in there. I'm still not too sure how I feel about those. This was a tasty supper. Here is how I served it; over brown rice and topped with cheese and homemade guacamole. My family will eat about anything topped with cheese and guacamole. Except lentils.

Now I'm hungry. Luckily I have some of the bolognese sauce I made for dinner last night left over. Cheers!


Jodie Robson said...

Those all look so-o-o good! We had ham hock soup at the weekend, made with brown lentils - it was delicious.

Vintage Reading said...

Hi, lovely to see you back blogging. I never roast peppers and I really must. They look delicious.

Thomas Hogglestock said...

I really shouldn't look at your blog while I am at work. It makes me very hungry. I am always looking for lentil recipes. thanks.

Staci said...

The cuban style stew looks heavenly!! Did you not like the hock for the taste or just the idea of it being in there????

bermudaonion said...

Oh man, those peppers look divine!

Les said...

Yep, those peppers look divine! I love red, yellow and orange peppers. No so much the green ones.

Love your big pot, but I have to agree with your family. The lentil soup, while healthy and easy, does not appeal to me at all. Never been a big fan of lentils.

I have one of Jamie Oliver's earliest cookbooks and haven't used it much. I'll have to peruse this one later this week at work. Not that I really need another cookbook!

Any chance of getting the recipe for your baked beans? They look and sound fantastic!

Again, I'm with your family. Cheese and guacamole are two perfect food items. I always say that tacos are merely a vehicle to get guac to my mouth.

Now I'm hungry, too. Just about time to pop two loaves of bread in the oven. Better go make sure I have enough real butter to serve with the thick warm slices to go with our supper.

Great post, Tara!

Megan said...

Mmmmm...those peppers look to die for!

Anonymous said...

Both those soups look like heaven - to say nothing of the peppers. They almost (but not quite) make me want to give cooking another try.

JoAnn said...

The peppers look so good! I'm going to try something like that myself.

Nan said...

The first picture is just beautiful! Could you give more details please? In a pan or on a cookie sheet? Greased pan?

And the Cuban Black Bean Stew sounds great, sans ham of course! I've emailed you about it.

And both Tom and I are on your husband and daughter's side when it comes to lentils. :<)

Tara said...

Geranium Cat, thank you! Yummy!

Vintage Reading, thank you. I don't usually think of roasting them, but the recipe appeared at the perfect time as I had a drawer full of peppers from the farmers' market.

Thomas, hehe!

Staci, thanks! Um, I liked the taste, the idea was a little strange, also I chopped up the meat from it as directed and there were some very fatty parts.

Kathy, thanks!

Les, I don't like the green ones either, I only use them in recipes when they are cooked. I've also not used my other Jamie Oliver cookbooks, but this one looks more 'friendly'. Bread? Yum!

Okay, for the beans, the recipe called for 1 pound and I used more like 2 (I don't really measure). Anyway, soak overnight, drain, cover with water and cook until tender navy beans (throw in a bay leaf, and an onion). Drain beans, reserving broth. The recipe says to Combine 2 cups broth with:
2tsp dry mustard
1 tbsp tomato paste (I also added ketchup)
1 tsp salt
1/3 c molasses
1/4 c brown sugar
2 tbls maple syrup (I used a lot more)
Obviously I used more than these amts since I had a lot more beans. I just tinkered with it until I liked the taste.

I partially cooked bacon (instead of the salt pork called for) and onions then layered 1/2 beans/1/2 bacon/onion/half beans/1/2 bacon/onion then pour broth over to cover and cook 5-7 hrs at 250.

The original recipe is from the Rancho Gordo book and I looked at Ina's recipe as well.

Megan, thanks!

Jennysbooks, haha! Cooking is fun!

JoAnn, they were!

Nan, I cooked the peppers in an old aluminum pan with sides my mother probably paid 10 cents for in the 60s or 70s. I love this pan! You don't grease it but drizzle olive oil over the peppers and tomatoes, s&p. Then you combine basil and olive oil in the blender and drizzle over. Cook at 400 45-60min.

Andi said...

Oh my gad! I'm tooootally drooling now. We just finished off our leftovers, so I'm looking forward to some big-pot meals in the near future.

Ti said...

You sure made me hungry!! Right now I am making a comfort food classic, rice pudding!

Unruly Reader said...

What beautiful food photos! Thank you for pointing us toward the cookbooks --

Tara said...

Andi, the older I get the more I love the one pot meal!

Ti, that sounds good, I love rice pudding!

Stacey, thanks! I love cookbooks. I might do another post about all my new cookbooks this year. Or not!

Bybee said...

Everything's gorgeous, but the roasted peppers were the showstopper. I swear that I can smell and taste those baked beans.

Tara said...

Bybee, photographically, I think so too! And maybe tastewise. Or else it was the baked beans.