Curried Vegetable Salad

We had a flag day potluck at work to celebrate the summer, which I love for a number of reasons, but also because flag day is my Grandma Freda’s birthday, and so any opportunity to celebrate on her birthday is fun.  I had planned to make a salad that’s been sitting in my list for awhile, but because I was leaving town a day or two afterwards and was trying to use up some of the items in my refrigerator, I went with this curried vegetable salad instead.  This is a recipe from the Minnesota Catholic Daughters Cookbook, which always has some fascinating recipes within it.  It had memories of the cashew coleslaw I made earlier this spring, which was highly enjoyed by some members of the family.

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Curried Vegetable Salad

2 1/2 c broccoli florets
2 1/2 c cauliflower florets
1 pkg dried cranberries
1/4 tsp minced garlic
1 1/2 tsp soy sauce
1/3 c mayonnaise
1/4 c oil
2 Tbsp + 2 tsp white vinegar
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp curry powder

Cut up fresh veggies, add cranberries.  Mix together garlic, soy sauce, mayonnaise, oil, vinegar, brown sugar, and curry powder.  Add to the veggie-cranberry mix and mix together.  Add 1/3 c toasted slivered almonds just before serving.

Strawberry Basil Ice Cream

As I have been attempting different ice creams in this summer of ice creams, I came across this different base and thought it might be worthy of trying out.  I’d give it, and the ice cream a “meh” in terms of my interest in it.  I didn’t find it to be overly creamy in nature.  I definitely plan to stick with the base from Jeni’s, because it has yet to fail me, but nonetheless, this ice cream seemed worth the try.  I found the recipe on the Southern Living website.  My lack of enthusiasm for the ice cream should not be taken overly seriously if you are a strawberry ice cream enthusiast.  I cannot recall a time when I have ever sought out strawberry ice cream from the grocery store or elsewhere, but since they are in season, I thought it was worth trying.

Strawberry Basil Ice Cream

Strawberry Basil Ice Cream

1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
1 5 oz can evaporated milk
1 ½ c whole milk
2 Tbsp sugar
1/8 tsp table salt
16 oz fresh strawberries, coarsely chopped
2 Tbsp fresh basil
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

Whisk together first 6 ingredients; cover and chill 2 hours.  Meanwhile, pulse strawberries, basil, and lemon juice in a food processor 5 or 6 times until finely chopped.  Stir strawberry mixture into chilled milk mixture.

Pour milk mixture into freezer container of a 1-quart electric ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions.  Remove container with ice cream from ice cream maker and freeze for 30 minutes.  Transfer to an airtight container or loaf pan covered tightly with aluminum foil; freeze 3-4 hours or until firm.

Bacon Candied and Curried Cashews

I was looking for a way to put together some cashews and use some up that I had in my cabinet, when I came across this recipe in the Smoke and Pickles cookbook.  I’ve been doing a fair bit of cooking from that cookbook recently, so you can anticipate more recipes will come from there.

Besides my oven rack being a little warmer than I would like, these were easy to do (I made them on Sunday morning before church) and had a good bit of kick to them.  The cayenne pepper was a nice addition to the other flavors.  The bacon, pre-oven cooking was nice and candied, and the cashews have been great to snack on this week.  I’d recommend trying them if you are looking for something different to have when sitting on the patio, sipping your cold beverage after having taken care of some yardwork.

Bacon Candied and Curried Cashews.jpg

Bacon Candied and Curried Cashews

6 slices applewood-smoked bacon, diced
2 Tbsp sugar
1 c cashews
2 tsp curry powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
Pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the diced bacon and cook for 5 to 6 minutes, until most of the fat has rendered and the bacon has started to get crispy.  Drain off all but about a tablespoon of the bacon fat into a small bowl; reserve.

Add the sugar to the skillet and cook, stirring for 2 to 3 minutes, until it has coated the bacon and the bacon starts to look shiny.  Add the cashews, curry powder, cayenne, salt, and black pepper, and toss together to coat the nuts.  If they seem a little dry, add another teaspoon of bacon fat and toss to coat.

Spread the nuts out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Bake for 12 minutes, or until lightly toasted.  Let cool to room temperature. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week.

Roasted Chicken with Rhubarb and Tarragon

This rarely happens, but this is one of the recipes that I felt like turned out as nicely as the photo in the cookbook, so that makes my day, if nothing else!

I received the cookbook, Scandinavian Comfort Food from my sister and her family for my birthday last month and when I opened the cookbook, I opened it up to this recipe for roasted chicken with rhubarb and tarragon and immediately knew I was going to cook it.  And, with haste, because rhubarb was in season.  Literally, within four days of receiving the gift, I had made this chicken and it did not disappoint.

I had not previously done much cooking and not baking with rhubarb, to eat it in a way that was more savory and less sweets.  I enjoyed it so much and was glad to eat it throughout the week.  I couldn’t find fresh tarragon, so I used dried tarragon and chicken thighs, rather than a whole chicken.

Roasted Chicken with Rhubarb and Tarragon

Roasted Chicken with Rhubarb and Tarragon

1 organic or free-range chicken
2 shallots
3 garlic cloves, halved
10 tarragon sprigs
1 lb 2 oz rhubarb
1/2 c sugar
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Cut the chicken into 8 pieces, and the shallots into wedges.  Put the chicken pieces in an ovenproof dish with the shallot wedges, garlic, and tarragon.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper and roast in the oven for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, cut the rhubarb into 3/4 in chunks and mix with the sugar in a bowl.  Take the chicken out after its 30 minutes of roasting and place the rhubarb around and under the chicken.  Put back in the oven and roast for another 20 minutes.  Check to see if the chicken is done and if not, roast 5-10 minutes more.

Braised Bacon Rice

Recently, I have been flipping through a few random cookbooks where I had recipes flagged.  One such cookbook was done by a Top Chef contestant and is called Smoke and Pickles.  It features an updated take on southern cooking, an area of cooking where I have not done much experimenting, but was eager to try.  I found this recipe for braised bacon rice, and while I didn’t see a photo in the cookbook of the recipe, it looked yummy.  I was also pleased because I had the opportunity to incorporate some more cayenne pepper into my cooking, something that this midwestern gal is sometimes apprehensive to do, to say the least.

I was delighted by this recipe.  It had great flavor and with the hint of spiciness at the end of the dish.  It was nice and creamy, almost comfort food-like, and in the heat of the summer, it was a great option for on the stovetop.

Braised Bacon Rice

Braised Bacon Rice

8 oz slab bacon, cut into 1/4 inch dice
1 1/2 c chopped onions
1 c chopped celery, plus 2 Tbsp chopped celery leaves
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
4 c chicken stock
1/2 c tomato juice
1 c long-grain rice
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Cook the bacon in a large pot over low heat until it has rendered most of its fat, about 5 minutes.  Add the onions, chopped celery, and the garlic and cook about 6 minutes, stirring constantly to avoid burning the bottom of the pan.

Add the mustard, cayenne, and paprika and stir, then add the chicken stock and tomato juice and bring to a boil.  Add the rice, stir, and lower the heat to a slow simmer.  Let the rice cook, uncovered, for about 16 minutes, or until most of the liquid has been absorbed.

Add the chopped celery leaves, butter, and salt and pepper to taste to the rice.  Turn off the heat and let the rice stand for a few minutes, stirring occasionally.  Serve hot.

Rosemary and Olive Oil Ice Cream

I was looking for a slightly savory ice cream to try to integrate more herbs and to complement the cornmeal cookies I made and so I started looking for different olive oil ice creams — I thought that might make for an interesting combination.  As I sought them out, every recipe I came across had eggs as the base, which I was not excited to include, and so I decided to go out on my own and integrate aspects of the different ice cream flavors into a Rosemary and Olive Oil Ice Cream, continuing to use Jeni’s vanilla ice cream as a base.  When I shared some with my parents, they were a little hesitant, but I think they enjoyed it overall.  The rosemary flavor was definitely strong, yet not overpowering.  I wouldn’t have wanted to assume I was going to be eating a sweet ice cream and then had this flavor hit my palate, but knowing this was the flavor, I am pretty pleased with how it turned out.

Rosemary Olive Oil Ice Cream

Rosemary and Olive Oil Ice Cream

Vanilla Bean Ice Cream:
2 cups whole milk
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 ½ ounces cream cheese, softened
1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 ¼ cups heavy cream
2/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
4 sprigs of rosemary
1/3 c olive oil

 

To make the ice cream, mix about 2 tablespoons of the milk with the cornstarch in a small bowl to make a smooth slurry. Whisk the cream cheese and salt in a medium bowl until smooth. Fill a large bowl with ice and water.

Combine the remaining milk, the cream, sugar, corn syrup, and rosemary in a 4-quart saucepan, bring to a rolling boil over medium-high heat, and boil for 4 minutes precisely. Remove from the heat and gradually whisk in the cornstarch slurry. Bring the mixture back to a boil over medium-high heat and cook, stirring with a heatproof spatula, until slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Remove from heat.

Gradually whisk the hot milk mixture into the cream cheese until smooth. Fish out the rosemary sprigs and stir in the olive oil.  Pour the mixture into a 1-gallon Ziploc freezer bag and submerge the sealed bag in the ice bath. Let stand, adding more ice as necessary, until cold, about 30 minutes.

After churning, pack into a storage container. Press a sheet of parchment paper directly against the surface, and seal with an airtight lid. Freeze in the coldest part of your freezer until firm, at least four hours.

 

Cornmeal Cookies

I don’t know why, but the dining hall on my campus makes sugar cookies that, to me, have a slight hint of cornmeal in them that truly enhances their flavor in a way that I could sit and eat a dozen of them in one sitting.  Ridiculously, then, I thought I should try to recreate that flavor at my house because you should always keep stock of the things you will overeat.  Nevertheless, when I saw this recipe for cornmeal cookies in the Iowa State Fair cookbook, I thought I should try them.  Luckily for me, while they taste great, they don’t quite have that component of I-can’t-put-them-down that the on-campus cookies contain.  A few notes — I didn’t find them to spread nicely, so I ended up flattening some of the cookies in later batches.  I also didn’t include the raisins because I was planning to serve them with an ice cream which I did not believe would be enhanced by raisins.  I did, however, add a sprig’s worth of rosemary to the dough for later batches.

Cornmeal Cookies

Cornmeal Cookies

3/4 c butter or margarine
3/4 c sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 c flour
1/3 c cornmeal
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 c raisins

Mix butter, sugar, egg, flour, and cornmeal.  Stir in vanilla and raisins.  Drop by teaspoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheets.  Bake in a 350-degree oven for 8 to 10 minutes.