Apr. 23rd, 2017

l33tminion: (Yay!)
I broke out a few cookbooks in the past few weeks.

Braised Carrots and Capers

Braised Carrots and Capers

This recipe is from Marcella Hazan's Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking. The braising takes a bit of attention over the ~30 minute cook time (it requires not adding too much liquid, but also not letting the liquid run dry), but the prep is overall very straightforward. My only addition was adding a bit more fresh parsley in the last stage of cooking, as a garnish, and I think that worked well.

Parsnip Dumplings in Broth

Parsnip Dumplings

This recipe appears in Ottolenghi's Plenty. I only made the dumplings (I did ultimately serve them with broth, not pictured, but it was just store-bought prepared chicken broth). The dumplings came out mushy with more of a mashed-potato texture, when I wanted something more gnocchi-like. I gave them a quick saute after in an attempt to salvage the texture, which improved that to something okay. Overall, this wasn't bad, but I was disappointed in how it turned out and I'm not sure what I'd do differently to fix it (more semolina flour? less? more egg?).

Roasted Root Vegetables with Bagna Cauda

The recipe I used for this Italian anchovy sauce (traditionally a dip served warm) came from Valerie Aikman-Smith's Salt.

I served it over a mix of turnip, rutabaga, and daikon radish, roasted with olive oil and a bit of salt (with a side of leftover garlic bok choy and rice).

Rice and Veggies

This combination worked really well. Learning new recipes for sauces is particularly great when buying vegetables in bulk.

I also remade the recipe for Indian-Spiced Lamb in a Salt Crust from that book. That went well, even though I failed to roll out the dough properly and didn't get quite as good a seal as a result. This recipe looks amazing during prep:

Lamb in a Salt Crust Prep

And great on the plate as well:

Roast Lamb Dinner

In addition to homemade raita (included in the recipe), I served that with pre-prepared savory mint chutney from a nearby Indian grocer. The remaining items on the plate are more me winging it, but those turned out as well.

The beets were cooked in the microwave, which is definitely the easiest method for cooking beets. (The timing recommended in those instructions (seven minutes for one large beet, two extra for each additional) seems good, but it's not too sensitive to cooking too long. Whether or not you put water at the bottom of the dish doesn't seem to matter that much, but piercing the skin with a fork and peeling it after cooking seems to be a good idea, and covering the dish with wet paper towels is critical if you don't want your microwave covered in beet juice.) Then I peeled, cut into cubes, and tossed with Greek yogurt and za'atar (a variety of salty/savory spice mixtures could work very well).

To make the potatoes, I halved them, then made a paste of garlic puree, salt, and a bit of olive oil, enough to coat. (The exact proportions don't matter that much, but I was going for very (but not repellently) salty and quite harshly garlicky (after all, it mellows out quite a bit when cooked). Put the potatoes on a baking sheet face down at 400°F, cooked for an hour, turned, and cooked for about half-an-hour more (could do longer if you want crispier, shorter if you're in a hurry).

(The braised carrots with capers and the garlic potatoes are likely to become regular recipes for me. I made them both as part of tonight's dinner.)
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