Monthly Archives: October 2014

Cottage Cooking Club: October

squash-mushroom salad

I felt ambitious this month and chose 3 different recipes to make for Cottage Cooking Club, a cook-along group for Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall´s “River Cottage Veg”. Started in May 2014 by the talented German blogger, Andrea, of Kitchen Lioness, this group is collectively making all the recipes in this book in one year.

The first recipe I tried was for Roasted Cauliflower with Lemon and Paprika. Cauliflower and broccoli are two vegetables that I’ve only recently started to enjoy. I like them best roasted. I’d never tried this seasoning combination before: roasted lemon wedges and smoked paprika. The flavors were delicious, but I mistakenly chose to roast the cauliflower in a high-sided roasting pan because it came out more steamed than what I expect for roasted. I might try this again, but if I do, I’d use a baking sheet with the hopes the cauliflower would caramelize.

roasted cauliflower

The other two recipes were salads with warm interesting toppings.

One was topped with white beans with artichokes. This comes from the Pantry Suppers chapter. If your pantry is stock with a can of white beans and a jar of marinated artichokes you can whip this up whenever you wish. The beans and artichokes are sautéed together with garlic. This simple combination tops mixed greens for a light lunch.

sarm artichoke-bean salad

Finally, what’s not to love about roasted squash and sautéed mushrooms on top of salad greens? I think this was my favorite of the three, so it’s pictured at the top of the post. The sweet roasted squash and the earthy mushroom were the perfect pairing. The tangy balsamic vinaigrette tied this hearty salad together. (This recipe called for blue cheese, I skipped it completely.)

After three months cooking along, I have to say that I’m really enjoying this book. The recipes are straightforward and delicious, offering flavor combinations that are sometimes familiar and sometimes new. I also value Andrea’s seasonal selections, allowing me to make the most of the best vegetables around each month. I wonder what November will bring?

If you are interested in reviews of other recipes selected this month, follow participant links here.

Dorista Celebrations {ffwd}

Palets de Lille

Today is a day of many celebrations for French Fridays with Dorie. First of all, we’re celebrating Dorie Greenspan’s birthday! Next, we’re celebrating Dorie’s new book, out this month, Baking Chez Moi. And, finally, we’re celebrating four years of French Fridays as we move into the fifth and final year of cooking our way through Dorie’s book Around My French Table.

All of these reasons make it a special Friday for me: I love birthdays, especially mine, but I do love anybody’s birthday. I love cookbooks, having hundreds on the shelves (and the floor, and the counters, etc.). And I love my wonderful Dorista friends and being part of French Fridays.

How are we celebrating all these things? Well, we’re actually stepping outside the box for the day. Rather than making something selected from Around My French Table, we’re baking something from the new book, Baking Chez Moi, which comes out next week. There are several recipes from the book that are available on the internet, so we’re making a choice from those.

Stiff Batter

I decided to try Palets de Dames, Lille Style, an iced cakey sugar cookie. The stiff batter is mixed up in a stand mixer before chilling. Then you shape the cookies into small balls. The cookies spread quite a bit, ending up rather flat, so be sure to space them far apart. I baked one dozen at a time on a half sheet pan. For the first tray, I used my smallest cookie scoop, but they baked up into irregular shapes. For the remaining trays, I used the cookie scoop to approximate portioning, but rolled the dough into uniform balls between my hands. Even then, the cookies in the middle spread into nice circles while the ones on the edges were more oval. I think the baked cookies gave me a map of the unevenness inside my oven.

Ready to Bake Balls

Once the cookies cooled, I mixed up the simple sugar-milk icing. I didn’t have any milk, so used heavy cream instead. I had to use at least twice the amount of liquid called for to get the icing to the right consistency, perhaps because the cream was thicker than the milk.
Surprisingly, it is the flat side of the cookie, the bottom, that gets dipped into the icing, changing to the rounded top to the bottom, so they roll around a little bit on the plate. (From official photo of these cookies, it looks to me like they were done the opposite way.) For a festive touch, I sprinkled some of the cookies with some colored sugar.

While I prefer a crisper or chewier cookie, these are perfect with a celebratory cup of tea: light, not too sweet, and delicately pretty. If you’d like to try them yourself, you can find the recipe here.

So, happy birthday to you, Dorie, and congratulations on your newest book! I look forward to baking more recipes from it. And to my Dorista friends, here’s to another year together. It’s been quite the unexpected ride over the past four years.

To see what other delicious birthday treats were baked up this week, check out my Dorista friends below, or follow their links here.

Mini Cannelés

Chocolate Cream Puffs with Mascarpone Filling

Paletes de Dames, Lille Style

Brown Butter-Peach Tourte