Thursday, March 31, 2011

Recipe Round Up

I really love belonging to cooking groups, but I don't like posting about foods that have no recipes to go with them, since this is a cooking blog. To that end I started doing a monthly roundup of recipes I made for Tuesday's with Dorie and French Fridays with Dorie. Well, this month I decide to combine both of the monthly round ups into one big round up. The recipes for Tuesday's with Dorie can be found on the weekly host's blog, to which I will include a link, but for French Friday's there is no host, so if it is a recipe that intrigues you send me an e-mail and I will give you more information.

Our Tuesday's with Dorie recipes were the Citrus Currant Sunshine Muffins and the Chocolate Pots de Creme.

Lauryn of Bella Baker chose Citrus Currant Sunshine Muffins. These muffins had a big citrus taste, with a coarse almost chewy texture. We made these three different ways; some plain, some with raisin, and a few with craisins. Everyone liked the craisin version the best. The dried cranberries added a nice sweet/tart taste to an otherwise pretty plain muffin. The raisins were good, adding sweetness, but lacking the balance of the semi-tart craisins.

 Christine of Black Cat Cooking  chose Chocolate Pots de Creme.
  This was an intensely chocolate pudding. Dorie had you cook and cool it in a water bath covered with plastic wrap, but I really don't think this improve the texture of this pudding, and next time I would skip this step. We would make this again for the deep, rich chocolate flavor. As a family we don't usually love chocolate flavored desserts because they tend to be too sweet or completely lacking chocolate taste, but this silky smooth pudding and Dorie's chocolate ice cream have both been winners, so she is definitely on to something with her chocolate treats!

The French Friday recipes we made this month were the salted butter break-ups. The pictures in the book were so fabulous and we were most excited about this recipe, but unfortunately, this was the most disappointing. It was really nothing more than a giant sugar cookie, brushed with egg wash for color. It was fun but nothing special. We were hoping the salt would come through, and even used the higher suggested amount, but it was pretty boring. We even tried dipping pieces in melted chocolate, and when that doesn't save a recipe, you know that it is something you probably won't make again.

Scallops with caramel orange sauce was a quick and tasty way to prepare scallops. Although caramel sounds like s dessert item, this sauce had a nice almost burnt taste that paired nicely with the sweet oranges, and was perfect over mildly sweet scallops. This is definitely a recipe that we will make again. It will be a nice change from a quick pasta or chicken dish on our busy school nights.

Brown butter, dried figs, raisins, pistachios, chives, almonds, Parmesan cheese and orange zest

And finally, the real star of this month's recipes was the Beggar's Linguine. Mimi Jr. and I made this for lunch one day because we were pretty sure that the other Mimi's weren't going to go for this fruity pasta. We even had our doubts as we were putting it together and taking our first few bites. We were really close to just skipping it, but figured that the whole point of the group was to try new things so we went for it. The most surprising thing was that with each bite we liked this strange pasta dish more and more. Somehow, the flavors all come together to create a wonderfully savory pasta that is not the sweet dish we had expected it to be based on the ingredients.What we didn't like were the small bits of fruit and nuts with the long strands of pasta. Mimi Jr. suggested that the fruit and nuts would be good with orzo or couscous as everything would be more similar in size and one forkful could get a little of everything. Since I had all the ingredients we made it the following day with couscous. I used about half the amount of butter, and it was perfect. We loved it at room temperature and think it would also be good served chilled as a salad or a side dish with some well seasoned grilled meats.

This month was full of surprises, with some new favorites, and some disappointments. We are excited to see what April's recipes will bring to the table.