Friday 29 June 2018

Cookbook of the Month June 2018: Smitten Kitchen Every Day.

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu!

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Finally it's another cookbook of the month!
Can you believe my last one was in January? Literally 6 months ago! 😲 Since then, the sun has returned, Ramadan has been and gone, and I have a new laptop. 😍 Anyway, not to worry. I'm back this month with another book that I have cooked my way through. This month, it's the turn of Smitten Kitchen Every DayDeb describes the book as being filled with triumphant and unfussy new favourites. And, I have to say that I agree with her. The recipes all use easy to find ingredients but make you use them in a way you hadn't thought of before.

Here's what I cooked from the book:

Breakfast: Ricotta Blini with Honey, Orange, and Sea Salt: This was actually the last recipe that I cooked from the book. I made this fluffy pancake scones for breakfast yesterday and am very excited that I still have a few leftover in the fridge to snack on over the weekend.
The batter is more of a soft dough than a pancake batter because it has an entire tub of ricotta cheese running through it. The cheese makes these blinis really light and fluffy on the inside and the sweetness comes from orange zest and a handful of raisins.
The blinis are fried until golden brown on both sides. Once out of the pan, they are best served immediately with a dusting of icing sugar, a drizzle of honey and a sprinkle of flaky sea salt.

Salads: Charred Corn Succotash with Lime and Crispy Shallots: I'm always on the lookout for new salad recipes and when I came across this one that screamed Summer, I had to make it.
The main salad ingredients: corn, green beans, tomatoes, and lime.
The salad is actually served warm which made a nice change and made it more of a meal along with some grilled chicken.
The whole thing was brought together by a lime and brown sugar dressing before being topped with plenty of golden and crispy shallots.

Soups and Stews: Spiced Carrot and Pepper Soup with a Couscous Swirl: How beautiful is the colour on this soup? The natural red colour comes from plenty of bell peppers which make up the bulk of this soup along with carrots.
Here is the base of the soup cooking away. It smelled so good at this point because of all the spices in it - cumin, paprika, cinnamon, ginger, and saffron.
To swirl in the middle of the soup, I cooked up some couscous and served the two in bowls with a fresh coriander and lemon to finish.

Sandwiches, Tarts, and Flatbreads: Grilled Yoghurt Flatbreads: I knew this recipe was going to be good because of the yoghurt in the dough. You see, I add yoghurt to my own naan recipe and it always makes the naan come out so soft.
What made these yoghurt flatbreads even more special was that once rolled, they were brushed with olive oil and cooked on a screaming hot grill pan. Cue all the lovely grill marks!
I served my flatbreads with spiced chicken skewers, tzatziki, and salad. They made great wraps!

Sandwiches, Tarts, and Flatbreads: Roasted Tomato Picnic Sandwich: I thought this was such a good idea especially for Summer. You start by making a pizza dough and let it rise.
Then, you slowly roast cherry tomatoes and garlic for an hour and a half until slightly shrivelled but still juicy in the middle.
Then, you use the pizza dough as a two layer sandwich for the tomatoes, plenty of cheese, olives, and oregano. Bake and you have one epic picnic sandwich on your hands.

Vegetable Mains: Dry-Rub Sweet Potato Steaks with Green Bean Slaw: I cooked this recipe for a barbecue and it made a nice change from the usual side dishes. Even though this is from the vegetable mains chapter, we ate it as a side with barbecue chicken.
The sweet potatoes are half-baked then topped with a dry spice rub that is both sweet and spicy. They're baked again until caramelised and slightly charred.
For a bit of creamy crunch on the side, we have the green bean slaw. It goes so well with the sweet and spicy soft potato.

Meat Mains: Chicken and Rice, Street Cart Style: I didn't take too many pictures of the process of this recipe because I made it for Iftar, and we all know how busy Iftar time gets. It is definitely a winner of a chicken dinner with spiced chicken, turmeric rice, a creamy white sauce, a chilli sauce, crunchy salad, and toasted pitta.

Cookies: Bakery-Style Butter Cookies: How cute are these cookies? They were so much fun to make and came together dangerously fast.
The dough was made with all the basic ingredients - butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla, salt, and flour.
The dough was piped before being baked into biscuits.
Then, sandwiched together with strawberry jam.
Before being dunked in chocolate and sprinkles.
It came as no surprise that they finished almost immediately.

Tarts and Pies: Julie's Punked Strawberry Tart: Another recipe that is perfect for Summer especially now that all the strawberries are here.
The base was almost like a shortbread biscuit when baked but I should have pressed it into a larger tin.
As you can see, the custard was a bit too much for this dish. Still really tasty though especially cold from the fridge!

Cake: Banana Bread Roll: Ok, so I knew I had to bake this recipe the minute I first saw it in the book. I've never really had much success with Swiss rolls because they always crack so was interested to see how this one would turn out. Plus we love banana bread with cream cheese frosting which is essentially what this cake is but in roll form.
Unroll, frosting on, roll again.
It didn't crack!
And, look at that swirl!

Puddings, Frozen Things, Etc: Cannoli Zeppole: I've always wanted to bake cannoli but haven't quite gotten round to it so these zeppole (little Italian doughnuts) seemed to be the next best thing.
The dough is mixed up in one bowl and is flavoured with lemon, orange, cinnamon, pistachios, and chocolate. Plus plenty of ricotta to keep the end result really soft and fluffy.
I chopped up chocolate instead of using chocolate chips which meant that my frying oil turned super chocolatey. Must remember to use chips next time!
These doughnuts were delicious fresh and dusted with plenty of icing sugar.

More cookbooks of the month ---> here!

Keep me in your duas please!

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu!

Spice Enthusiast
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