Tuesday, October 21, 2014

TWD: Puff Pastry Pizzettes

Tuesdays with Dorie baking through Baking with Julia
by Dorie Greenspan
Contributing Baker: Michel Richard

Have you ever had bits of puff pastry dough left over from a recipe and did not know what to do with the scraps? So you either tossed it (gasp!), or thrown it in the freezer, where it ends up banished to the back not to be found for months, or maybe even years later? Well, we have a solution for you.

October was "puff month" for us TWD bakers - and this week's recipe uses those scraps that we had left over from the sunny-side-up pastries we made two weeks ago.

These are so uber easy to make, you may not want to wait till you have scraps. You may just want to go out and get yourself a fresh box right away!

There's really no "recipe" to make these. You just take your leftover scraps, roll out the dough to about 1/4 inch and cut out circles to the size of your liking. Add your favorite topping and bake in a 350° oven for about fifteen minutes, until puffed and golden. You do want to make sure to press the toppings into the dough a bit, so they do not slide off when the dough puffs up. 

I topped a few with tomato and blue cheese, some with sautéed mushrooms, and the others with tomato, and just a sprinkling of salt and pepper.

Out of the three, the tomato with just a dash of salt and pepper was my favorite. I took some to my sister, and she enjoyed the other two flavors (I ate all of the tomato with s&p).

You can also go with a sweet version if you like - like a sprinkling of cinnamon sugar, jam, or berries, the options are limited only to your imagination.

As usual, do check out what my fellow bakers have come up with. You will find their links on the TWD website, under the LYL: Puff Pastry Pizzettes link.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Wok Wednesdays | Chinese Jamaican Stir-Fried Beef and Carrots

WW wokking through Stir-Frying to The Sky's Edge
by Grace Young


I'm late posting this recipe for I did not even make it until the Wednesday it was due. Argh. Hate that. Not that it happens often - I'm just a stickler for being on time.

 Mise en place.
(Very few ingredients this round.)

Bowl 1: Carrots
Bowl 2: Onion
Bowl 3: Flank steak, soy sauce, cornstarch, salt, oil
Bowl 4: Hunan chili garlic sauce (recipe calls for Matouk's Calypso Sauce)
Bowl 5: Salt

The other reason I am late posting this, it's hard to write a story on something you're not gung-ho about (sorry Grace!). This stir-fry did not have the knock-your-socks-off flavor so many of the other recipes have.

There was no ginger or garlic used in this recipe (both of which I love).

The only aromatic is the onion, which is stir-fried along with the carrots, and then transferred to a bowl while the meat is added to the wok and seared, but not cooked all the way through. The carrot mixture is then added back to the wok with the meat, along with the hot sauce and a dash of salt, and stir-fried for a short time, just until the beef is done - and that's it.

No mixture of soy sauce, rice wine, fish sauce, or hoisin, to throw in at the end of the stir-fry. I think that is what I enjoy in most of the recipes, that and starting the recipes out with some garlic and ginger.

Maybe it would have tasted better if I had the right hot sauce (Matouk's Calypso Sauce) - sometimes that one ingredient is what pulls it altogether and makes the dish. However, I have told myself I need to use up what I have before purchasing new; and I have a few bottles of different hot sauces that need to be used up first. 

Please don't let this post sway you from not wanting to try it yourself. You may like it, as other members of Wok Wednesdays did. It just wasn't my style - and for once, I'm not sounding like a broken record - saying how simple and fabulous these recipes from the book are - and they have been!! So go get the book already!! :)

We are asked not to post the recipes here on our blog. If you would like the recipe, you will find it on page 78 of  Stir-Frying to the Sky's Edge, which you can purchase at your local bookstore or find it at your local library. I highly recommend purchasing the book - you won't be disappointed. 

Wok Wednesdays is an online cooking group. If you would like information about joining us, click here, or visit us on Facebook. Would love for you to wok along with us!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Book 117: Everyday Tapas | Fresh Salmon in Mojo Sauce

by Parragon Books

This was not only easy and delicious, but it's healthy to boot! What more can one ask for?

Salmon is my favorite fish, and this was a nice change from the ordinary. Normally we bake or grill it with a little olive oil, smoked salt, and some pepper.

As I mentioned above, this is healthy. The sauce has no cream, butter or mayonnaise. It is made up of olive oil, garlic, paprika, cumin, and white wine vinegar, processed in a food processor (easy part - no mincing of the garlic). If you have a choice between a small or large food processor, use the small! I was not paying attention to the volume of ingredients, and there really was not enough for the large bowl to get it all thoroughly mixed. I had to finish the sauce by hand.

When you purchase your salmon, ask your fish monger to skin and debone it for you. This will save time and less mess to clean-up later.

The fish is cut in half widthwise, and then again lengthwise in three-quarters of an inch pieces, and sprinkled with some salt and pepper. The fish is cooked for about ten minutes (depending on the thickness of the fish) in a frying pan with three tablespoons of oil, until the fish is cooked through and browned on both sides.

Serve the fish drizzled with some of the mojo sauce, and place the remaining sauce in a small bowl to accompany the fish - it's really good - you will want more than just a drizzle.

Click here for the recipe.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Book 116: The Sweet Potato Lover's Cookbook | Iberian Sweet Potatoes

by Lyniece North Talmadge

Sweet potatoes or yams? Oh the controversy. It is my understanding that the sweet potato is the firmer, stringy, lighter skinned potato, and the yam which cooks up softer, has the purplish hued skin. The book's cover shows what I thought was a yam.

After the potatoes have been par-boiled and cooled, they are cubed and simmered with sautéed onions (shallots would be good too), bay leaf, chives, salt, lemon pepper and sherry for about forty minutes - just until the potatoes have finished cooking. I did not have any lemon pepper, so I added a small amount of lemon zest.

Ready to be served! Easy peasy.

Sweet potato or yam, no matter really - they were delicious, and I so welcomed the leftovers the next evening when I got home late and did not want to make dinner.

This would be a welcome change (or lovely addition) to your Thanksgiving menu.

You can find the recipe by clicking here.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

TWD: Sunny-Side-Up Apricot Pastries & Classic French Bread

Tuesdays with Dorie baking through Baking with Julia
by Dorie Greenspan
Contributing Baker: Michel Richard (pastries) / Danielle Forestier (bread)

Sunny-Side-Up Apricot Pastries

These cute pastries are a breeze to make when you take the short-cuts I did.

I had every intention of making my own puff pastry, but it has just been too warm to attempt - and I wanted to get these made pronto. I'm feeling so behind in my TWD participation. Hence the double post this week.

Not only did I use store-bought puff pastry (Dufour brand - the closest to homemade as one can get. It is made from only butter, flour, water, salt and lemon juice), I also used canned apricots, where the recipe calls for fresh, and to poach them. However apricots are no longer in season in California - just as well, for it saved me an extra step.

All that was left to make was the pastry cream. This pastry cream was OK. It had an odd after-taste after-feel, kind of powdery. I did add too much vanilla extract, but I don't think that would have given it it's odd texture; the good thing is, it wasn't noticeable after baking. Though next time, I'll use the recipe from Stars Desserts, by Emily Luchetti.

The dough is rolled out on a sugared work surface, then placed sugar side up on a baking sheet, the pastry cream and apricots are placed on top. They are baked for about thirty-five minutes in a three hundred and fifty degree oven until puffed and golden.

An apricot glaze, made from apricot jam and water that has simmered until syrupy, is brushed over the warm pastries. I think it is best to brush them after they have cooled, for the glaze seemed to just soak into the pastry, as well as the apricots. Brushing them again after they cooled gave them a shinier appearance.  

You may have noticed in the first picture, one pastry is smaller than the other. The first pastry I rolled out the dough according to the recipe, and thought it was awfully thin, and was afraid it would not have much of a rise, so I rolled the second one a little thicker and shorter; as you can see they both turned out fine. Though neither puffed as much as in the photo shown in the book. 

These were fun to make, and pretty tasty for how easy they were to prepare. I would like to make them again when apricots are in season - I think poached apricots might be a bit firmer, whereas the canned were quite soft.

I don't know what I like best - warm from the oven, or cold, straight from the fridge. I only made two of these and place one in the refrigerator overnight. The pastry still had some crunch to it, and there was a stronger apricot flavor when eaten cold. The pastry reheats nicely too. I placed half of the cold pastry in a three hundred degree oven for about five minutes.

Click here for the link to the recipe if you would like to make these yourself.

Classic French Bread

Well. The day I chose to make the French bread, the baking gods were busy, and not with me this day.

This recipe was scheduled for September. I did not get around to making it then, and we were having soup for dinner, and I thought it would be great to have some bread to go along with.

Reading the recipe, it sounded easy and doable in time for dinner. No matter that it was ninety-four degrees outside, and I would be preheating my oven to five hundred degrees.

I had my doubts from the very beginning. The dough just did not have the soft and supple feel to it as it looked in this video of Danielle making this very recipe. My dough was quite dry and firm. I added extra water, but that did not seem to help any.

After the dough has been formed into batard shapes (mishap number one: dropped one on the floor), it is placed on a floured linen or cotton towel, and the towel is pleated to help hold their shape. The picture above shows the dough after it has risen. Mishap number two: apparently I did not seal the seams tight enough - they started splitting. At least I knew my yeast was working.

These are then turned out onto a baker's peel, seam side down and slipped onto a baking stone or baking tiles (I used the back of a cookie sheet that was placed in the oven while it pre-heated). Then the oven walls are spritzed with water (alternatively you can pour water in a broiler pan that has been placed on the lowest rack) to create a moist environment. This is what gives the crust its characteristic crunch.

From the look of the slash marks, which I thought turned out so pretty - you can see the bread has an airy look to it. I couldn't wait to slice into it to reveal that airy, holey crumb that French bread has.

Did you know, that in France, it is a law that you have to wait twenty minutes after baking, before the bread can go on sale to the public? Also, no cornmeal is allowed on the baking peel or sheet either (some people use cornmeal for easy transfer and for extra crunch), for French bread is only made from flour, water, yeast and salt - nothing more.

No tunneling holes whatsoever. My crumb is tight as can be. Hmph. Looks like a flat standard white loaf, that also did not have any flavor to it. It did have a great crust though! Oh well. Maybe I'll try again when the weather is cooler.

If you would like to give this a try, click here for the recipe. Do visit my fellow baker's sites to see how they fared with this recipe and the pastry recipe. You will find their links on the LYL: Sunny-Side-Up Apricot Pasties link and the LYL: Classic French Bread link on the Tuesdays with Dorie website.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Wok Wednesdays | Malaysian-Style Stir-Fried Squid and Pineapple

WW wokking through Stir-Frying to the Sky's Edge
by Grace Young

My only experience with squid, has been fried calamari that we have ordered as an appetizer; so this was new to me, not only in preparation, but eating it without the breaded, deep-fried coating, dipped in a spicy marinara sauce that is so good.

Mise en place.

Bowl 1: Shallot, garlic
Bowl 2: Squid
Bowl 3: Pineapple
Bowl 4: Tomato
Bowl 5: Hunan Red Chili Sauce
Bowl 6: Salt, sugar
Bowl 7:  Scallion

As you can see from the mise en place photo, there are just a few ingredients to this recipe, and really, very little prep work. The preparation of the squid, if purchased already cleaned, goes quickly. 

I was lucky to be able to purchase the squid already cleaned. I'm not sure I would have had the heart to clean them myself, which is apparently quite easy to do, as shown in this great photo tutorial.

For this recipe, the bodies of the squid are sliced lengthwise, and then scored with a crisscross pattern, and then cut into two-inch pieces.

The aromatics (garlic/shallot) are stir-fried first, then the squid is added and cooked just until opaque and starts to curl. The pineapple is added next and stir-fried for a short time, before adding the tomato, hot sauce*, sugar and salt, and stir-fried just until the flavors have blended. The final dish is topped with chopped scallions.

*The recipe calls for one tablespoon of Asian-style hot sauce. The book refers to Lingham's Hot Sauce, which is described as sweet and spicy, with just the right amount of heat. I used Hunan Red Chili Hot Sauce, which is very hot (in my opinion), and used a heaping teaspoon, and found this to be perfect.

I was surprised there was no use of rice wine, soy sauce, or other condiment to flavor this dish, other than the hot sauce, along with the garlic and shallot. I was amazed how much flavor it actually had - I loved the combination of the hot sauce and pineapple.


Such a visually artistic looking stir-fry - from the harlequin pattern on the mantle (body), to the curled tendrils; and the colors of red and gold, from the tomatoes and pineapple. Just beautiful.

And now, for a little nutritional information:

Did you know that three ounces of fried squid supplies fifteen grams of protein? That is thirty percent of your daily value (based on a 2000 calorie diet). Unfortunately, if you are watching your cholesterol, as my husband is, squid is very high - a whopping 221mg, that is seventy-four percent of your daily value! - (source) Yet, he ate it, and enjoyed it. :)

We are asked not to post the recipes here on our blog. If you would like the recipe, you will find it on page 174 of  Stir-Frying to the Sky's Edge, which you can purchase at your local bookstore or find it at your local library. I highly recommend purchasing the book - you won't be disappointed. 

Wok Wednesdays is an online cooking group. If you would like information about joining us, click here, or visit us on Facebook. Would love for you to wok along with us!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

The Cottage Cooking Club | September Recipes

The CCC cooking their way through River Cottage Veg
by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall

My September Choices

Pinto Bean Chili
Oven-Roasted Roots Frittata
Runner Beans with Tarragon and Lemon
Fennel and Goat Cheese
Mushroom "Risoniotto"
Fish-Free Salad Niçoise
Two Veggie Sandwiches (Sarnies)
Green (Puy) Lentil Soup with Spinach
Roasted Squash
Cauliflower Pakoras with Tamarind Raita

I pulled a Jora (of Jora Cooks) and made all ten recipe selections this month. I don't know how she does it with everything else she does; you are Superwoman, Jora!

Pinto Bean Chili:

This is the first chili I have made that does not call for chili powder. The recipe uses some of the same spices you find in chili powders - chili powders are like curry powders - the ingredients vary greatly between brands - there is no single recipe.

My favorite chili powder brand is Morton & Bassett; it contains paprika, cumin, cayenne, garlic, parsley, oregano, and black pepper. It's on the spicy side - adds a nice heat to whatever it is you are making.

The spices and herbs in this recipe consist of green chiles (I used a Thai red pepper), garlic, cumin, cayenne (omitted - the Thai pepper is really hot), allspice, parsley, cilantro, oregano, salt and pepper.

In addition to the above, three onions are called for - and we all know how much they vary in size. This sounded to be too much, and I used only two onions (weighing in at one and a quarter pounds before peeling/chopping). The onions are sautéed until they are soft and just starting to turn color. Then the spices are added and cooked for another minute longer.

To the onion mixture, zucchini and red bell pepper are added and stirred to combine - coating the vegetables with the spices. Tomato paste, canned tomatoes, pinto beans, red wine and the herbs are added next, along with some water, salt, and pepper. This is allowed to simmer for about thirty minutes until the vegetables are tender and the juices start to become thick and saucy looking.

We eat our chili plain - but you may want to top your chili with some shredded lettuce, sour cream, grated cheese, or even some lemony guacamole, as Hugh suggests in the book.

This chili was good - but I have two favorite go-to recipes (a vegetable chili and a meat based chili) that I will continue to use, that I like even more.

Oven-Roasted Roots (and some squash) Frittata:

This really is a good recipe to use up those unused portions of vegetables that you may have hanging out in the fridge as suggested in the book. The recipe calls for one and a third pounds of mixed winter vegetables. You can't buy just that amount in assorted vegetables - the squash alone weighed over a pound. And at my store, I could not buy just one or two beets, they are bunched three to four together (which is not a problem in this household, for we  l  o  v  e  beets).

Whatever vegetables you choose, you give them a rough chop, toss them (in the same dish you plan to cook them in - this is a one-dish meal!) with some oil, garlic (I added extra), salt, and pepper. They are roasted until the vegetables become tender and start to caramelize, about forty minutes.

Being I used red beets, I cooked them separately in foil - if you have ever worked with red beets, you know how they can "bleed" into anything they come in contact with.

 Doesn't this look beautiful?!!  I wished it looked this beautiful after baking.

Once the vegetables are roasted, you add the eggs that have been beaten, and mixed with a handful of herbs, salt and pepper; I used parsley, chives, thyme, and rosemary. You want to make sure your egg mixture is at room temperature before adding it to the hot vegetables (I'm assuming to avoid cracking of a glass or ceramic dish).

After pouring the egg mixture onto the vegetables, I added the cooked beets - hoping to minimize the "bleeding" of the beets into the rest of the dish. The vegetable/egg mixture is then topped with some grated Parmesan cheese. This is then baked for about fifteen minutes, just until the eggs are set and the top has some color to it. If your eggs are set, and wish to have more color on top, you can always turn on the broiler unit to help brown it faster. But do keep an eye on it!

 Not the prettiest after baking, but it sure was tasty!

The recipe advises to serve this warm or cold. I did not care for it cold, nor at room temperature. I think it best to be served warm. Warm, it was absolutely delicious!

Runner Beans with Tarragon and Lemon:

I was going to make the recipe Runner Beans with Tomatoes and Garlic, for Andy does not care for tarragon, or even lemon, when added at the end to a savory dish such as this. However, after re-reading the September recipe post on the CCC website, it was not an option for this month.

I opted for Roman beans (sometimes labeled as Romano). These are my favorite type of green bean. 

This is a tasty (if you like tarragon) and easy side-dish to prepare. The ingredients for this recipe are few: the beans, olive oil, shallot (or onion), garlic, lemon, tarragon, and some salt and pepper.

You start by heating some oil in a saucepan and sauté the shallots (or onion) until softened. Add the garlic and beans, cover and cook for about ten minutes. Add some water, about half cup, and cook, uncovered, for about ten minutes more, just until the beans are tender, still with some snap left to them, and a little water left in the pan. 

After removing the pan from the heat source, the lemon and tarragon are added, along with a dash of salt and pepper. Toss and serve!

Andy said these tasted interesting. I took that as - he does not like them. As I was eating the remnants of the beans from the serving dish (I did like them), he was waving his hand across his plate, shaking his head - I'm not into those, he says - the frittata though - I'll eat that for breakfast, lunch or dinner. 

If you too are not a fan of tarragon, these beans would be just as tasty omitting it, or substituting it with your favorite herb.

Fennel and Goat Cheese:

How can anyone not like fresh fennel? And a lot of people don't, fresh or otherwise! Me, I love the crisp, refreshing, slight licorice flavor, fresh fennel has.

This was super fast to throw together. I had this made (includes a thirty minute rest), photographed, and eaten, all within an hour. 

It may not look like much, and really, there isn't much to it.

This recipe is comprised of thinly sliced fennel, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper, and goat cheese. After slicing the fennel, a mandoline works great for this if you have one, otherwise, slice it as thin as you can with a knife. Toss with the rest of the ingredients (except the cheese), and let rest for thirty minutes. I let mine rest in the refrigerator, so it would be nice and cold. Then serve topped with some goat cheese. 

This was so refreshing after a long (68.5 miles), hot, bike ride. It hit the spot. I wish I had more fennel, I would have made a second batch.

Mushroom "Risoniotto":

This is a faux risotto, if you will. It is made with the tiny rice shaped pasta called risoni (orzo). It's a lot quicker to make than risotto, that uses rice. This dish doesn't have the creamy consistency that true risottos have, but the orzo has a soft silky texture in itself, and made for a fine substitute. 

I used a mixture of cremini, button, shiitake, and oyster mushrooms. These are sautéed in oil and butter; after they have cooked down and caramelized, garlic is added along with some thyme, balsamic vinegar, white wine, heavy cream, salt and pepper. I think some sautéed onions would be nice as well, for an added depth of flavor.

The mushroom mixture is then combined with cooked orzo, and then topped with some minced parsley before serving.

There was a time, I would not have even looked at a recipe that called for mushrooms. I'm not sure what, or even when that changed for me; I'm just glad it did.

We had this as our main meal, served along with some steamed broccoli. There was a small amount left over, and was just as delicious the next day. This would also make for a nice side-dish to a tasty steak, or even grilled or baked chicken. 

Fish-Free Salad Niçoise:

A true nićoise salad contains tuna and anchovies, along with hard-boiled eggs, hericots verts, potatoes, niçoise olives, and tomatoes. Here we made a fish-free version.

I was excited for this salad as I was prepping it. I love all the ingredients that go into this dish. Hard-boiled eggs, green beans, new potatoes, basil and olives, set atop a bed of greens.

The recipe calls for small black olives, I assume would be niçoise olives. However, I used Kalamata, for niçoise olives are all pit, with very little flesh.

The salad is dressed with a vinaigrette made up of garlic (I have found Hugh to be quite shy on the use of garlic), olive oil, cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, and a bit of sugar, salt and pepper. I think the dressing would benefit with the addition of some fresh herbs and more garlic.

I have never had a niçoise salad, so I can't tell you how this compares to the classic version. I can tell you, that this version does not have much going for it.

From the looks of the empty plate, you would think it was a hit. Unfortunately it had very little flavor (except the occasional bite of fresh basil). This is probably why the classic version includes tuna and anchovies. This definitely has potential - just needs a bit more herbs and spices thrown in.

Two Veggie Sandwiches (Sarnies):

These sandwiches, or sarnies as the Brits say, surpassed my expectations. I had my doubts that I would enjoy the mushroom sandwich as much as I did, being I have a favorite portobello "burger" that I make quite often, that is the bomb in our house.

The Mushroom, Watercress, and Blue Cheese sandwich was the favorite of the two. This delicious sandwich is made with portobello mushrooms that have been sautéed with butter, oil, salt, pepper, and garlic, until nicely browned (slightly charred is even better).

On whole-grain bread (my favorite is Oroweat's - Master's Best Winter Wheat) that has been buttered, the mushrooms are placed on one slice and topped with some watercress, I used spinach for I had a bunch in the fridge. The second slice of buttered bread is spread with a mixture of yogurt and blue cheese. Personally, I would omit the butter; and spread both slices of bread with just the cheese mixture.

The Curried Egg, Lentils, and Flat Leaf Parsley sandwich was surprisingly tasty as well. I only wished I had fresh white bread, Wonderbread preferably, on hand. We don't eat white sandwich bread much anymore, if it all - and I did not want to go out and buy a loaf for half a sandwich. I did have some hamburger buns in the freezer (not sure just how long they have been in there..) and used that. 


This was a tasty spin on your typical egg salad sandwich. The hard-boiled egg is mixed with mayonnaise and curry powder (love curry!), then some cooked lentils (I used French-style green lentils) are stirred in along with some raisins, which were optional, and I was going to use, but forgot - next time. 

Again, the bread is buttered, but I'm sure mayo would be fine to use as well, if you prefer. The sandwich is topped with flat-leaf parsley - once again, I used spinach which I had on hand - and would not have used the parsley anyway, for I am not a fan of parsley.

Tasty concoctions these were - I'll definitely be making them again. 

Green (Puy) Lentil and Spinach Soup:

This is an uncomplicated and delicious soup to throw together. I was surprised that I would like it as much as my old favorite standby, which takes a bit more effort to make.

I have always used standard brown lentils in my recipes; here I used French-style green lentils, and I must say I like them better. In addition to the lentils, there is shallots, carrots, thyme, garlic, tomatoes, vegetable stock, parsley, and spinach in this soup.

I halved the recipe, and pretty much just eye-balled the amount of vegetables; but I did use the full amount of garlic (3 cloves) that was called for - as I said previously, Hugh is shy on his use of this wonderful... what is garlic exactly? It's not an herb, nor is it considered a spice. Hmm - something to ponder.

I did end up having to add more broth (one and a quarter cups); by the time the lentils were tender, the liquid had cooked down quite bit.

This is what you think of when you want something comforting on a cold winter day. It truly was a good-tasting, satisfying soup.

Roasted Squash: 

This recipe had me at "roasted". I love all things roasted - squashes, root vegetables, asparagus, brussels sprouts, mushrooms, tomatoes, chicken, just about anything you can think of.

The recipe calls for crown prince squash - one I have never seen, nor heard of. Substitutions in the book were for acorn, butternut, or any other winter squash or pumpkin.

I was going to use butternut when I came across this beauty, an Asian squash called a kabocha. Interesting enough, most of the crops grown in California, Colorado, Tonga, and New Zealand, are exported to Japan - an Asian squash - go figure. 

When I cut into this squash, it had the faint scent of cucumber and pumpkin. When baked, it tastes similar to a butternut, not as sweet though, and with a lighter texture - not quite as dense as the butternut.

The squash is sliced into wedges, with the skin left on. I think this makes for a pretty presentation if serving it on its own. If you will be using it in a soup or salad as I did, I would peel the squash before cooking.

The squash wedges are tossed (I drizzled) with olive oil, and sprinkled with salt, pepper, rosemary, thyme, and sage. Whole, unpeeled, slightly crushed garlic cloves are strewn atop, and baked until the squash is tender and slightly caramelized on the edges.

You can serve the squash as is, use it to make a heavenly soup, or use in a tasty salad as I did.

It was an after-thought to include a picture of the salad - otherwise I would have chosen a less busy looking bowl.

This was a delicious Israeli couscous and [butternut] squash salad that I found on The Café Sucré Farine website. Chris and her husband Scott, have a beautiful blog with the most delectable recipes and photos. It certainly is worth a visit.

Cauliflower Pakoras with Tamarind Raita:

This recipe is similar to tempura, but is made with chickpea flour, which makes for a heavier coating, and is cooked in only a half-inch of oil - whereas the vegetable tempura some of us made back in June, had a depth of two inches of oil, and the vegetables had room to float and were able to be submerged if necessary.

The cauliflower is cut into small pieces, and then covered in a batter that is made from chickpea flour, baking powder, cumin, coriander, turmeric, cayenne and salt. The battered cauliflower is added to a saucepan (I used a wok) of hot oil and cooked until crisp and golden on one side and turned over and cooked for another minute or so. The pakoras are then drained on paper towels before serving.

The pakoras are served with a tamarind raita sauce. I did not find (did not look very diligently either) the tamarind paste the recipe called for, so I substituted mango chutney as suggested in the book - this I had on hand; also included in the sauce is yogurt, cilantro (optional) - (which I swear I had in the bin - but alas was not there when I went to reach for it) salt and pepper.

I had made only half a recipe, just so I could make them earlier in the day before the loss of light, and intended on making another batch to accompany our dinner that same evening. As I was writing up this post when my husband came home from work, he asked if I was making these. I had said I already did, and had planned on having them with our dinner tonight, however, in my words.. they were a dud.

I did not care for these at all. The sauce was good, but the pakoras were.. not so exciting. In my book, definitely not worth the fat and calories. Suffice to say, the second batch wasn't made. Now, the vegetable tempura we made back in June, was delish - I'll stick to that recipe. 

All in all I enjoyed this month's recipes. I'm happy to have tried each of them, though I know it made for a very long post. I can't wait to see what Andrea has chosen for us for October. 

To see what recipes the other members chose for this month, head over to the September LYL post on the CCC website, by clicking here.

We have been asked not to publish the recipes here on our blogs. We encourage you to go out and purchase the book and join us on this fun and healthy adventure! (Some of the recipes from the book are posted on-line on Hugh's website [and others], just do a Google search.)