23 November 2013

Weekend Cooking: The Kitchen Journal 13

Weekend Cooking hosted by www.BethFishReads.comWeekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog's home page. For more information, see the welcome post.

Because of travel and work and other events, this was my first real week of cooking since our summer CSA ended. As much as I love getting my box of veggies, its always feels so freeing to be able to plan meals without the restriction of the weekly harvest.

New Recipes: I tried several new recipes this week, and the two winners were both from Bon Appetit.

Eggplant Parmesan with Fresh Mozzarella is perfect for family meals, but I wouldn't hesitate to serve it to company. The recipe calls for roasting the eggplant in the oven, but if I served this in the summer, I'd likely roast it on the grill. The seal of approval came from Mr. BFR, who claims not to like eggplant; for this meal, however, he went back for seconds. The leftovers heated up beautifully and tasted just as good the second night.

Black Bean Soup with Roasted Poblano Chiles made a wonderful warming casual dinner with enough left over for our lunches the next day. I made two changes to the recipe: I added some chopped cilantro and threw in a second dried hot chili (we like the spice!). Oh, and I used my immersion blender instead pouring the hot soup into the blender. The recipe calls for chicken broth, but vegetarians could easily substitute a flavorful vegetable broth.

NOTE: The photos come from the Bon Appetit website and all rights and ownership remain with them.

New Toy: Last week, Sue over at Couscous & Consciousness made pot stickers using a nifty gadget called the Chef'n Pocket Maker. Fortunately, the plastic machine is available around the world, because I just had to have one! Right from the start I was thinking empanadas, which I plan to make one of these days. My first experiment, however, was pizza bites.

I made a regular white bread dough with a bit a of extra butter and used milk instead of water. I let it rise only once before I divided the dough into one-ounce pieces. I rolled each one out and cut it as instructed by the Pocket Maker.

The little machine was so easy to use and my appetizers turned out perfectly! My filling was mozzarella cheese, black olives, onion, and pizza sauce. They were so good and really not very difficult to make at all. Thanks so much to Sue for introducing me to a fun kitchen gadget.


rhapsodyinbooks 11/23/13, 6:46 AM  

Both sound like recipes I would love. So sad I'm too far away to invite myself over! :-)

jama 11/23/13, 7:24 AM  

Oh yum! Everything you made sounds so delicious. I love eggplant so will have to try that recipe first. Also need to check out that Chef'n Pocket Maker!

Kerry Ann @Vinobaby's Voice 11/23/13, 7:40 AM  

Eggplant parm is one of my favorite meals. I don't make it often enough--thanks for the reminder. And those stuffed poblano peppers look divine!

Linda 11/23/13, 8:30 AM  

Your black bean soup has given me the kick necessary to try another black bean soup recipe that I've been keeping in reserve for......what? I don't know. It's a pumpkin black bean soup that now I must try. Canned beans and pumpkin should make it quick to pull together. Perfect timing all around. Linda M.

Unknown 11/23/13, 9:05 AM  

I love eggplant, but my hubby doesn't. I may try the eggplant parm recipe to see if I can change his mind. By the way, a chef I know makes hot pepper jelly. She uses that with her grilled eggplant.

JoAnn 11/23/13, 9:56 AM  

I've pinned the eggplant dish. My husband doesn't like it much either, so maybe I should invite Janel over for dinner ;-)

Joy 11/23/13, 12:51 PM  

Those recipes both sound delicious. I love that you got and used the gadget -- I was also intrigued by Sue's post.

Joy's Book Blog

(Diane) bookchickdi 11/23/13, 1:49 PM  

Both of these recipes sound delicious and I'm so glad your new gadget worked out. I saw it last week and thought it was cool.

Couscous & Consciousness 11/23/13, 2:42 PM  

Oh, Beth, I'm so excited you got the pocket maker and that it worked for you. It's always a nervous moment when you recommend something, and then when it attracted a lot of interest, you have this moment of thinking "gosh, what if I'm the only person that thinks this is great and everyone else thinks it sucks!" Silly really, but anyway, I'm glad you loved it. I've been thinking empanadas too, but your pizza bites look amazing and I can't wait to try those. Thanks for the mention.

This week I'm sharing my favourite new salad, one that I think would be great summer or winter. Thanks for hosting :-)

Daryl 11/23/13, 3:26 PM  

those recipes sound quite delish ....

i am having lunch the day after thanksgiving with a friend at Storico!!!

bermudaonion 11/23/13, 4:14 PM  

I have a thing like that that I use for making empanadas. I've never thought to make pizza bites but those look and sound delicious!

Esme 11/23/13, 6:06 PM  

I am definitely getting one of those gadgets.

Laurie C 11/24/13, 9:19 AM  

I've had success making black bean empanadas in the past, but they're so time-consuming! I like the idea of the Chef'n Pocket Maker for them and for making samosas, too!

Sue Jackson 11/24/13, 9:33 AM  

I feel exactly the same way about the end of CSA season - sorry to see the fresh veggies go, but I love being able to plan any meals I am in the mood for!

My husband hates eggplant - no exceptions! It's pretty much the only thing he won;t eat (though he's not overly fond of kale either), so I typically just leave the eggplants behind when they are part of our weekly CSA pick-up...unless my mom is coming to visit because she and I love it.

The pocket maker sounds so cool! Like you, I have always wanted to try making empanadas. Hmmm...Christmas is coming up...

Enjoy your food this week - your meals from last week sound delicious!


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Cecelia 11/24/13, 1:10 PM  

New gadgets and recipes - sounds like a great week! I am intrigued by that eggplant recipe, especially. There's one favorite family dish with lentils and eggplant that I have memorized, but I've never really known what else to do with them.

Sheila (Bookjourney) 11/24/13, 11:00 PM  

The Black Bean soup looks delicious!

Melynda@Scratch Made Food! 11/24/13, 11:41 PM  

I was just telling my husband tonight we need a larger kitchen, for I am sure I have not purchased all the kitchen gadgets I "need"! Sharing a curried pea soup, delicious and just the thing for the upcoming winter months.

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