Roasted Squash Hummus

This month’s selection from EVERYDAY DORIE is for toasted squash hummus that can be prepared with either Acorn or Butternut squash.

Even though it has the usual tahini, it also has the addition of za’atar, and pomegranate molasses.

It can be served with fresh vegetables or pita, but Dorie likes to spread some yogurt on the plate or bowl and pile the hummus on top with a drizzle of oil and additional pomegranate seeds.

I roasted the butternut squash in the oven and under the broiler for some additional browning, and then after cooling I scraped the flesh and mashed it very fine before adding all the rest of the ingredients.

I have never used pomegranate molasses before so I had no idea what it would do to this recipe.  I thought perhaps it would turn red or something, but it just made it sweet.

Since I was expecting something like the chickpea style hummus I was a bit disappointed with the flavor. however, everyone has different tastes.fullsizeoutput_d7c

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Comté and ham wafers

fullsizeoutput_d77The first time I saw this recipe I knew I would like it and I wasn’t  disappointed.

I used a sharp cheddar  instead of the comté as that was on hand, and as delicious as it turned out,  it was a strong flavor.   I think the comté is a more mild cheese and would be the best choice for this recipe.

I am sorry I didn’t  use my box grater to cut up the cheese, but David suggests a chef’s knife.  I found that to be a bit difficult to make the pieces tiny enough, and when everything was mixed together I had trouble rolling it into a log.  That said, after an hour or so in the fridge it did slice easily and I was able to patch the parts that crumbled.

The baking times were a bit off, but perhaps that could be my oven.  I actually baked them for a total of 14 minutes after  rotating them in the oven.

This is a delicious recipe, and would go very well with a glass of wine or drink of your choice.

David mentions that these are really good fresh from the oven and he is definitely correct on that score because when I tasted them the next day they weren’t as crisp.   I am going to try to freeze them and then reheat and see how they turn out.

 

 

Tabbouleh

Tabbouleh is a recipe that I am not familiar with and that’s  the fun  thing about cooking with a group such as ours.  When we come across recipes that we know nothing about, or if it had not been chosen for us in the schedule, we would have definitely passed it by.

That is the case with tabbouleh, this week’s recipe for the extra edition.

Not saying I particularly enjoyed the recipe, but I did learn all about bulgar wheat, and also, that  I definitely do not like parsley as a salad and I was glad that I had cut the recipe using only  1/4 of all the ingredients.   Maybe if I had used pita or flat bread to go along with this it might have tasted differently.  However, that said, I just topped a few chips to show the results.

I made the recipe for the experience and I must admit, it looked pretty.

At least Tricia enjoyed it, so it was not a complete waste of time and ingredients

 

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Maple Syrup & Mustard Brussels Sprouts

 

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An absolutely delightful new flavor for an old standby.  In this recipe Dorie adds the lovely mix of maple syrup and mustard to finish off these delicious  Brussels sprouts.

I’ve  been cooking sprouts with sautéed onions and bacon for many years and it has always been a favorite in our house but I think this new recipe may be taking its place on the Thanksgiving table this year.

I decided to cut the recipe in half since I was cooking for only one this time,  just the perfect amount so that I will not be eating it for days.

I steamed a half pound of sprouts with the slivered garlic and shallot, and then cooked them in the bacon and oil to get that  nice browned coloring.  Actually, I think the color on mine might be a little too well done.   Adding the mustard and maple  syrup mixture really brought everything together.  Topped off with the chopped bacon pieces, it was perfect.

Butternut squash bread soup

This was an amazing recipe with such  wonderful  ingredients.

I prepared half the recipe and that was more than enough for two meals for two people. I  served it with a  mixed green salad that was a perfect accompaniment.fullsizeoutput_d04IMG_2480

The onions cooked with the garlic and herbs in the stock gave it such a delightful flavor.  I layered  the squash and the bread, adding the onion mix with the stock and topping it with Fontina cheese.

Since I had prepared Mardi’s bread recipe from her new book ” in the French kitchen with kids” the day before, I decided to use the second loaf in this recipe.   I know David suggests sourdough bread, but since it is a hearty type bread it worked beautifully, and was so delicious.

The final addition of  the Fontina  and Parmesan cheeses spread on top made this all come together.

An absolutely delightful meal for a cold winter dinner.

Bay leaf pound cake with orange glaze

I steeped the three bay leaves that were called for in the melted butter for an hour before adding it to the flour but I don’t think they gave out much of a flavor.   David mentions using unsprayed bay leaves but I have know idea what that means.  I used dried leaves and hoped they were okay.

The rest of the leaves were layered on the bottom of the pan before adding the batter, and surprisingly stayed in one place and looked very nice when baked,  although I had to remind people they were there before eating.

As for the orange glaze, it was delicious.  Instead of using Grand Marnier or Cointreau, I used  orange extract  instead.  It worked well and brought out the flavor of the orange zest even more.   A very enjoyable dessert, and I will be making it again,  it is certainly a quick and easy cake to whip up anytime.fullsizeoutput_ce8fullsizeoutput_cf3fullsizeoutput_cef

 

My Newest Gougères

Dorie Greenspan’s new cookbook  “Everyday Dorie” is here and I can’t wait to start cooking from it.

The group has chosen to make her “Newest Gougères” as our first recipe just as we did when we started “Around My French Table” back in 2010.

After 8 years I can say I have finally conquered the recipe for Pâte à choux without getting upset thinking it’s not going to work.

I love that Dorie adds  mustard and nuts to this new version, the flavors were so good.  I used sharp cheddar cheese and the walnuts in mine and loved every bite.

I ended up with fewer than the recipe called for, and after watching Dorie’s  video I realized how small she makes them.   However, they are good at any size, and perfect with a glass of wine.fullsizeoutput_d20

After baking the batch, I put them in the freezer and when I reheated them the next day, they were just as delicious as the freshly baked ones.

If this recipe is any indication of the recipes in the book, we are in for some delicious meals, and I am looking forward to all of them.

Hachis Parmentier Au Poulet

This recipe reminds me of  Shepherd’s pie,  or if using the biscuits, a chicken pot pie and is the perfect dish  on a cold winter night.

I had some chicken breast in the freezer so I decided to poach them and I used store bought chicken stock to cook the vegetables.

Making the filling was a breeze, the butter and flour thickened up nicely after adding  all the stock and  by the time I stirred in the cut up chicken  and the rest of the ingredients, it looked so inviting.

I also took a short cut with the onions and purchased a package of frozen peas that included pearl onions and used that.  It worked beautifully.

I loved the flavor of the tarragon in this recipe, something I’m not too familiar with, but it gave the  perfect touch of additional flavor that was really a nice surprise.

All in all, a great recipe that was enjoyed by everyone.

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Madeleines

Even though the end result of this recipe did not have the so called “hump” in them, they turned out well and were delicious.

Everything went smoothly in the preparation,  and as I was using my silicone pan with only 15 indentations I had a bit of batter left.  I filled two little custard dishes with the leftovers  and they tasted  as good as the Madeleines.

This is the second recipe for Madeleines that we have completed from David’s book, the first being buckwheat that we made in May of this year,  both recipes were excellent.

A perfect addition to any dessert table.

 

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Financiers

These little almond cakes made with browned butter are really easy to make, and quite a tasty little snack.

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When I realized I did not have enough almond flour I remembered I had a supply of whole almonds  in the freezer and decided to make my own flour.  After a little bit of research  I found an easy recipe of just blanching the nuts and letting them dry thoroughly.   I then  ground the almonds in the cuisinart for a short time and the flour  came out perfect.  It wasn’t as fine as the flour that you purchase but it certainly worked well.

Browning the butter was not as difficult as I thought it would be,  but you do have to watch it carefully so as not to burn it.  As David suggests, it should look like maple syrup.

I mixed the ingredients together and  let it rest in the refrigerator for about two hours and then baked the little cakes for 15 minutes in a 400 degree oven.

The cakes came out a little too brown,  but I’m not sure it didn’t have something to do with my flour, or perhaps the oven temperature was too hot,  but they were delicious.

As you can see, the texture was still soft on the inside and very easy to enjoy.fullsizeoutput_166a