Monday, February 01, 2021

Scarlet Carrot Soup

I had been wanting to make this Scarlet Carrot Soup ever since I ran across the recipe in Gourmet Magazine (RIP) several years ago. I don’t know why I waited, it’s delicious! The soup turns a bright scarlet when the beets are added to the orange of the carrots. Ground coriander provides a subtle sweet, slightly smoky flavor in the background that lets the beets and the carrots shine. Such a pretty, cheerful lunch on a grey winter day.
Home Cookin v9.81 Chapter: Soups and Stews
1 Tbsp coriander seeds, toasted and ground
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup sliced shallots
1 tsp thyme
2 Turkish bay leaves
1 lb cooked carrots, thinly sliced
3/4 lb cooked beets, peeled and chopped
4 cups water or vegetable broth, plus additional if needed
1 Tbsp white balsamic vinegar

Heat the oil over medium heat in a medium-sized pot. Add the shallots, thyme, and bay leaves and cook until tender, stirring occasionally, about 3 minutes. Add the carrots, beets, coriander, salt and pepper to taste, and enough water to cover the vegetables. Bring to a boil and then simmer, covered, until the beets and carrots are fall-apart tender, about ten minutes.

Remove the bay leaves. Puree the soup in a blender or with a stick blender until smooth. Stir in the additional water or broth, then the vinegar. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add additional water if the soup is too thick.

from Gourmet Magazine November 2009 p-50065649

exported from Home Cookin v9.81

Friday, January 22, 2021

REPOST: Savory Cauliflower Cake

I'm reposting this recipe because it is such an unusual dish and people have asked me for the recipe. The caraway seeds and coriander give this savory cake an unusual flavor profile that is delicious. The cauliflower can be steamed ahead and once that is done it comes together quite quickly. It is perfect for vegetarians but hearty enough for non-vegetarians to enjoy as well.
Home Cookin v9.76 Chapter: Beans and Vegetables
Servings: 6

1 medium head cauliflower (about 2 pounds), trimmed and broken into small florets
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 tsp caraway seed, ground or crushed
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper, or to taste
3/4 tsp salt, divided
3/4 cup gram/chickpea/garbanzo bean flour
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
6 large eggs
1 jarred roasted red pepper, rinsed and chopped (about 1/2 cup)
3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
3 Tbsps chopped fresh dill, divided

Break the cauliflower into large florets and place in a microwave-safe casserole dish. Add a couple of tablespoons of water, cover, and cook on high for about four minutes, until the cauliflower is tender. (This can be done the day before the casserole is assembled and baked).

Once the cauliflower has cooled or just before putting together the rest of the dish, cut the florets into small pieces about the size of chickpeas.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9-inch cake pan.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until it is tender and golden, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in the caraway seed, coriander, crushed red pepper and 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about one minute. Add the cauliflower and stir gently until it is well coated with the onion and spice mix. Cook for another 2 to 3 minutes to combine all of the flavors.

Combine the garbanzo bean flour, all purpose flour, baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a small bowl and whisk together. Crack the eggs into a large bowl and whisk together until they are well mixed. Add the dry ingredients and continue to whisk to combine and to elimiate any lumps. Stir in the roasted red pepper, feta and 2 tablespoons of the dill. Add the cauliflower mixture and comine. Spread the mixture evenly into the cake pan.

Bake until the top is golden and the cake is set, 35 to 45 minutes. Let cool to warm and remove from the pan. Serve warm or at room temperature, garnished with the remaining 1 tablespoon dill.

adapted from this recipe from Eating Well Magazine
exported from Home Cookin v9.76 (

Monday, January 18, 2021

Chickpeas with Cumin

These delicious Indian-style cumin and cinnamon-coated chickpeas are quick and easy to make and can be used in veggie bowls, salads, or served over rice.
Home Cookin v9.81 Chapter: Baked Goods (Sweet/Savory)
2 Tbsp grape seed oil
1/2 small red onion, diced
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1-inch knob of ginger, minced
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp ground cumin
salt and pepper to taste
1 lb cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed
dill for garnich (optional)

Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a 3-quart saucepan. Add the onion and cook for a minute or two, then add the garlic and ginger. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onion is translucent, about 7 to 10 minutes.

Add the tomato paste and stir constantly for about two minutes, then add the turmeric, cumin, salt and pepper and cook for another minute, still stirring constantly.

Add the chickpeas and stir to coat well with the spice mixture. Cook for another ten minutes, lowering the heat if necessary, until the chickpeas are heated through.


exported from Home Cookin v9.81

Monday, December 14, 2020

Baking Class: Mexican Wine Cookies

I first posted this recipe back in December of 2008. My father found it in the Dallas Morning News when I was in high school and suggested we make them together. If you want to read a funny story about that experience you can find it here.

These cookies don't look like much, but they are delicious. They have a delicate texture and the sherry adds a nutty warmth that permeates throughout every bite. Whenever I take them somewhere new they languish on the table while people are busy devouring the brownies, toll house cookies, gingerbread, and other more traditional Christmas goodies. But once the chocolate and cheesecake is gone and people start to nibble on them they discover just how good they are. And by the next year, they are asking for them.

This is my oldest tradition. I may not always do much for the holidays from one year to the next, but I always make a batch of these cookies.

Home Cookin v9.81 Chapter: Baked Goods (Sweet/Savory)
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg, room temperature
1 tsp salt
4 cup sifted flour
1/4 cup sweet sherry

Cream butter with sugar. Add egg and beat until light and fluffy. Blend in salt and 2 cups flour. Stir in the sherry and mix well.

Add the remaining two cups of flour and mix well. Cover and chill the dough for at least one hour.

Roll the dough into balls and use flatten them with the bottom of a glass or cookie stamps.

Bake at 350° F for eight to ten minutes, until the bottoms have just started to brown. Check after eight minutes.

Makes 8-10 dozen cookies.

from the food section of the Dallas Morning News ca 1972

exported from Home Cookin v9.81

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Baking Class: Sourdough Discard Cheese Crackers

I have been working on this recipe for sourdough discard cheese crackers for a while now and have finally gotten it to where I want it to be. They are flaky and crispy and cheesy, and reminiscent of the cheese crackers you get at the store.

This is the best way I have found to use up my sourdough discard. They don't take too much time, they are easy to make, and I almost always have all of the ingredients on hand.

One note - you may be tempted to substitute oil for the butter. Don't. They taste just as good but they do not stay crispy. I learned that the hard way.

Home Cookin v9.81 Chapter: Baked Goods (Sweet/Savory)
200 g sourdough discard (about 1 cup)
1/4 cup salted or unsalted butter
60-120g (1/2-1 cup) all purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp ground mustard
1/4 tsp salt (1/2 tsp if using unsalted butter)
dash of paprika
56 g (1/2 cup) shredded cheddar cheese

Add the colled melted butter to the starter and mix well. Add the baking soda and 60g (half a cup) of the flour, adding enough to make a stiff dough. Knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes.

Place in a bowl, cover loosely with plastic warp, and let sit for anywhere from an hour to eight hours.

When ready to make the craciers, preheat the oven to 350° F and grease two baking sheets.

Knead the rest of the seasonings into the dough until well incorporated, then add the shredded cheese and continue kneating until everything is evenly distributed.

Divide the dough in half, then roll each half out into a rectangle about 10" x 12" and 1/8" thick. Transfer the dough to the greased baking sheets and cut into rectangles with a pastry cutter.

Bake for 15 minutes, then turn off the oven with the crackers still inside. Leave them in the oven for another 10 to 15 minutes, until they are crispy.

Remove from the oven and let cool completely before serving. Store in an airtight container.

adapted from this recipe found at Curious Cuisiniere

exported from Home Cookin v9.81

Monday, November 09, 2020

Country Style Pork Chop Braised in Beer

This is another meal created from Project Freezer-burn, where I am woking to clean out my freezer. The pork came from one of my favorite local butchers, grocers and purveyors of beer and wine Gene's Sausage Shop & Delicatessen and the recipe was adapted from The Fannie Farmer Cookbook 1996 edition by Marion Cunningham.

I coated the pork in seasoned flour and seared it in my cast iron skillet on all sides, then poured in about half a can (eyeballed) of beer, lowered the heat, covered it and let it cook until it reached an internal temp of 145 deg F.

When the chop was done I took it out of the pan and let the sauce cook down and thicken. The Brussels sprouts also came from the freezer and I basically just let them thaw, seasoned them and poured a little lemon-infused olive oil over the top which is all they needed. Some Yukon Gold potatoes baked with lots of garlic rounded out the meal.

The country style chop was big enough for me to make three meals out of it.

Home Cookin v9.81 Chapter: My Recipes
1 Country Pork Chop, about 1-1/2" thick
2 Tbsp grapeseed oil
2 Tbsp flour
1 tsp salt or to taste
1/2 tsp pepper or to taste
1/4 tsp granulated garlic powder
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp dried oregano
1 cup of beer

Add the salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika, and oregano to the flour and mix well. Spread it out onto butcher or parchment paper to the size of the pork chop. I usually use the butcher paper the chop was wrapped in by the butcher.

Heat the oil in a ten-inch skillet, preferably cast iron, over medium high heat.

Lay the chop over the flour mixture and pat it down, then lift it and shake off any extra mixture. Turn and lay the other side down and pat it as well so that both sides are covered in the seasoned flour.

Place the chop in the hot skillet. Sear on both sides until well browned, about three minutes per side.

Pour the beer into the skillet, lower the heat to medium, cover, and cook until the internal temperature has reached 145° F at the thickest part, 20 to 30 minutes. Remove from pan and let sit for a few minutes. Meanwhile, raise the heat over the liquid in the pan and let it cook for another five minutes or so until it thickens. Serve the chop with the gravy.

adapted from The Fannie Farmer Cookbook edited by Marion Cunningham (Alfred A. Knopf, 1996)

exported from Home Cookin v9.81

Monday, November 02, 2020

Salmon en Papillote with Brussels Sprouts and Carrots

I am reviving something from my earlier blogging days that I called “Project Freezer Burn.” Now that I have a better idea of what’s in my freezer I am determined to start using it. First up was a packet of ethically caught salmon that had been in there for months, along with a packet of frozen organic Brussels sprouts and another packet of frozen organic carrots. I’ve never made anything en papillote before and this seemed like the perfect time to try it.

I cut four big pieces of parchment paper into giant hearts and layered the carrots, then the sprouts (both still mostly frozen), and finally the salmon over one half, seasoning after each layer.

I poured a bit of olive oil over the top and then finished it up with granulated garlic, paprika and dill.

I folded the other half of the heart over and crimped the edges to seal the packets.  I was just able to get all four of them on the one half baking sheet.

I baked them in a 375° F. oven for ten minutes. The sprouts and carrots had partly thawed and that was just long enough to cook them without turning them to mush and the salmon was not too well done for me. If you like your salmon well done you should probably cook them closer to twelve minutes. This comes together quickly for a weeknight dinner and also offers a wow moment for entertaining.

You can use other fish and other vegetables - whatever you have at hand. Just bear in mind how long each item needs to cook and adjust accordingly.

Home Cooking v9.81 Chapter: Meat Fish and Eggs
4 Salmon fillets
2 Tbsp olive oil (approximately)
1 10-oz package frozen brussels sprouts, thawed enough to slice in half lengthwise
1 10-oz package frozen sliced carrots
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 tsp of granulated garlic powder
2 tsp of dill
2 tsp of paprika

Additional items:
4 large sheets parchment paper

Fold the parchment paper in half widthwise and cut out half a heart shape. Combine the spices into a small bowl and mix well.

Preheat the oven to 375° F.

Lay one-fourth of the carrot slices over the bottom of one half of the heart, followed by one-fourth of the Brussels sprouts halves. Season with salt and pepper. Lay one salmon fillet over the center and season with the salt and pepper. Sprinkle a generous teaspoon of the spices over the fish and what vegetables are exposed.

Close the heart and crimp the edges together, making sure the packet is tightly sealed. Carefully place the packet on a half-sheet size baking pan.

Repeat with the remaining three fillets, laying them evenly on the baking sheet without overlapping.

Bake for about 10 to 12 minutes. Remove form the oven and place each pouch on a plate. Serve immediately, slitting the pouch open carefully.

adapted from this recipe:

exported from Home Cookin v9.81

Sunday, October 25, 2020

Tunisian Soup with Chard and Egg Noodles

This Tunisian Soup with Chard and Egg Noodles is why I made harissa the other day. The first time I made the soup I did not have any harissa so I just used cayenne powder instead. It was delicious, but it made me wonder how it would taste with the harissa. And when I made the harissa for that potluck I remembered this soup and made it again and it made all the difference in the world. There aren’t a lot of other spices, so it really needs the complexity of the harissa to bring out a lovely depth of flavor.

As a side note, the recipe calls for you to use the chard stems as well as the leaves. This is where I learned to save the stems for most greens and cook them with the aromatics or save them for another dish rather than discarding them. I love it when I learn something that helps me waste less.

[This is part of an ongoing Repost Series where I create new posts with recipes from the past that I have highlighted on Instagram and want to highlight again.]

Home Cookin v9.81 Chapter: Soups and Stews
1 tsp cumin seeds (or ground cumin)
1 lb Swiss chard, stems and center ribs chopped and leaves coarsely chopped (reserve separately)
1 medium red onion, chopped
2 large garlic cloves, minced
3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp tomato paste
2 quarts chicken or vegetable stock
1-2 Tbsp harissa or other hot sauce, or to taste
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
3 cups cooked chickpeas (or 2 15-oz cans, drained and rinsed)
4 oz fine egg noodles (about 1-1/2 cups)
Salt and pepper to taste

Toast cumin in a very small heavy skillet (preferably cast iron) over medium heat, stirring, until deeply fragrant and dark brown (be careful not to burn). Cool, then grind to a powder in grinder.

Cook chard stems, onion, garlic cumin, salt and pepper in oil in a large heavy pot over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until beginning to brown, about 12 minutes. Add tomato paste and cook, stirring, 2 more minutes.

Add stock, harissa, and lemon juice and simmer, covered, 30 minutes.

Add chard leaves, chickpeas, and noodles with more salt to taste and simmer, covered, until tender, about 7 minutes.

adapted from Gourmet Magazine (RIP), February 2009

exported from Home Cookin 9.81

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

DIY Condiments: Harissa

I first posted this recipe back in 2016.  Nothing has changed about it since then but it is so delicious I decided to post it again, since I featured it on Instagram.

Homemade is so much more fresh than what you can buy and tastes so much better.  And it’s so easy to make. I was hankering after a Tunisian soup recipe that calls for it so I decided it was time to make another batch. This will now go into pretty much everything I eat until it’s gone, at which time I will have to make it again.

As I suspect you will, too, if you decide to make it.

Home Cookin v9.81 Chapter: Spices Spreads Dips Sauces
8 dried guajillo chilies, stemmed and seeded (about 2 oz)
16 to 20 chilies japones, or other small hot chilies (about 1 oz)
1 tsp caraway seeds
1/2 tsp coriander seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp dried mint leaves (optional)
3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
1-1/2 tsp kosher salt
5 cloves garlic
Juice of 1 lemon

Put chilies in a large bowl and cover with boiling water. Cover and let sit until softened, at least 20 minutes. Heat the caraway, coriander and cumin in a small skillet over medium heat until fragrant, about four minutes. Keep the seeds moving in the skillet the whole time. Remove from the heat and let cool. Place the spices in a grinder with the mint and grind to a fine powder.

Drain the chlies and place them in a food processor. Add the spices, salt, garlic, lemon juice and olive oil and puree until the mixture is smooth, stopping occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl. This will take 4 to 5 minutes, as you want to make sure there are no large flakes of the dried chilies in the mixture. Store the harissa in a glass jar covered with a layer of olive oil. Refrigerate, and replace the oil after every use. Makes approximately 1 cup.

adapted from recipe found at

exported from Home Cookin v9.81
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