As we continue to relive Groundhog Day, day after day (223 days and counting), I make an effort to take joy in the little things. Sometimes it’s the color of the sky at sunset or the color of the leaves as they change and fall. It could be the continual blooming this late in the season of morning glories climbing my garage or the smile on my face when I finish another knitted pumpkin. More often, it’s the deliciousness of something I eat.
Fortunately, it was another winning month with the recipes selected by Cook the Book Fridays from Everyday Dorie. On paper, neither was remarkable. In my belly, JOY! And the joy was compounded by being able to use my CSA vegetables in both recipes, so perfectly seasonal.
First were the Miso-Maple-Jammed Sweet Potatoes (though I’m two weeks late on sharing my impressions). Roast sweet potatoes are a frequent guest at my dinner table. Butter has always been their simple topping. It never occurred to me to dress them up further. This recipe tops the roasted potatoes with a complex compound melted butter concoction: butter, miso, maple syrup, and ponzu sauce (which I substituted with soy sauce & lemon juice – didn’t plan ahead).
The topping was more saucy than jammy. It also wasn’t very photogenic, too brown. In any case, the miso-maple jam was tasty and I’ll whip up more next time I roast sweet potatoes. I served the sweet potatoes with this Inside-Out Egg Roll Salad from Food 52. The Asian flavors of the two dishes complemented each other well.
Next was Bean and Tortilla Soup. This sounded kind of boring. I don’t always like Dorie’s soups, so my expectations weren’t high. However, with a chill finally in the air, it’s time to start having soup for lunch. The soup is a simple vegetable soup with Mexican seasoning. Tomato-based vegetable soups are not usually my favorite. Was I ever surprised! Even plain, this soup was better than expected. Dorie provides a long list of add-ins. I had most of them on-hand, so we went wild. Beans (black, which I just stirred into the base), sour cream, diced avocado, cilantro leaves, some of the onion and peppers used in the soup, shredded cheese and tortilla chips. We ate this for lunch for three days. And next time, I think I’ll double it. It was that good.
Two more winners. What a delicious Dorie fall it’s been. You can find both recipes in Dorie Greenspan’s Everyday Dorie. The corn is on page 226 and the soup on page 60. You can find reviews from my Cook the Book Friday friends here for the sweet potatoes and here for the soup.
To my US friends, get out and vote! Vote by mail if you can. It’s safer for everyone (voters and election workers). Follow all the instructions to be sure your ballot isn’t disqualified. If a non-USPS dropbox is a reliable option, use it. If your state has a tracking system, follow your ballot to make sure it arrives and gets accepted. Voting is a privilege, and it’s your civic duty to participate. I’ll get off my soapbox now…
P.S. WordPress changed the editor since I last used it in September. WHAT A NIGHTMARE! Any advice for navigating sanely? Ugh.
This week’s recipe for French Fridays with Dorie is a sweet, satisfying stew: Chicken Tagine with Sweet Potatoes and Prunes. It’s inspiration hails from Morocco with a mix of spices and honey.
Sliced onions are softened, though not caramelized as the base of this dish. Spices, saffron, honey (I was thrilled to finally use my own), prunes, and broth are stirred in, then, topped with browned chicken thighs, and chunks of sweet potatoes. I used extra sweet potatoes. With everything nestled in the pot, the tagine is left to braise for 45 minutes, ample time to prepare side dishes AND clean up.
For the non-fruit-in-savory food eater in my house (yes, Howard, I’m talking about you), it was easy enough to just not serve prunes onto his plate. No other special handling required.
I served this over jasmine rice with a side of roasted cauliflower (a mix of white and orange to match the tagine).
I loved the warm, sweet flavors of the vegetable mixture. I also liked the vegetables with chicken. However, we never seem to like the stewed quality of chicken with soft, no longer golden brown, skin. For the leftovers, I’m going to shred the chicken meat and stir it back into the vegetables.
I will make this again, but next time, I will roast the chicken thighs separately and serve atop the vegetables, rather than adding them to the pot. That way the chicken will still be moist, but the skin will also stay crispy. That will work better at my house.
We don’t post the recipes, but consider getting your own copy of the book, Dorie Greenspan’s book Around My French Table. To see how the other bloggers enjoyed their tagines, follow the links for their posts here.
P.S. Amazingly, WordPress tells me this is my 300th post. I looked back, and the 3rd anniversary of my blog was on Tuesday, October 23rd. I totally missed it. In honor of these milestones as well as my first honey harvest, A Plateful of Happiness will have its first giveaway. I’ll be giving away an 8 ounce jar of just-harvested raw honey from my backyard.
To win, here are the rules:
- Post a comment on today’s post before Wednesday, October 31, 2012. Be sure to include your email address where WordPress prompts you. It won’t show up with your comment, so your privacy is maintained, but I will know how to contact you if you win.
- Thursday, November 1, I will randomly select a winner and notify you, so I can find out where to send the jar of honey so you can enjoy it. I will also announce the winner next week.
- Unfortunately, it looks like it’s illegal to ship honey outside of the country, so you can only win if your mailing address is in the U.S. (Leave me a comment even if you are an international reader, but I’m sorry that I cannot send you my honey.)
- Only one entry per person.