's Sites We Love Saveur Magazine has listed The Skinny Gourmet among its "Sites We Love"

I've been having a great time checking out Nashville's high end dining on the cheap thanks to Groupon. Have you tried it yet? Its awesome. I don't know why I ever hesitated.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Weekend Herb Blogging Roundup

Weekend Herb Blogging is a blog event where people have a chance to showcase a favorite vegetable or herb in any dish. What a bounty of delicious recipes from around the world! This week we have something for every palate. We have spicy and sweet, hot and cold. We have items for breakfast, lunch and dinner. We have great things to whip up with what you probably already have in your house, and a few things that are definitely worth making that trip to the store.

Thanks to everyone who sent in recipes for sharing your delicious discoveries. Enjoy!

The lovely ladies from from Peanut Butter Etouffee sent in Garbanzo, Tomato, and Cilantro Salad with Lime and Chile Dressing. The combination of chipotle and cumin, along with a bounty of cilantro, make this salad look both light and flavorful. I was thrilled to see this salad could be made here in Ghana, as it would be a great go-to salad for hot-weather summer picnics as well.

Gay from A scientist in the kitchen sends in Pork with red curry paste and kaffir. Gay talks about international students who helped cultivate her love of Thai food (and the kaffir leaves she would usually use). The dish looks flavorful and easy to put together.

I fell madly in love with Tom Yum soup this past summer, and Kevin ‘s Closet cooking sent in a recipe for Shrimp Tom Yum Goong Soup had me drooling from the first photo. If you have an Asian grocer or an internationally minded Whole Foods near you, you probably have all you need to make this hot and sour, healthy soup!

Laurie Constantino of Mediterranean Cooking in Alaska cooks up Preserved Lemons & Candied Lemon Peel, as her way of working back to the Moroccan cooking she loves. She is creative enough to give us two recipes, to allow you to use all the aspects of the lemon. Plus you get to sip on delicious fresh lemonade while you wait to sink into those preserved lemons.

Divya, from Dil Se… serves up French Cut Beans Poriyal. She combines the healthy base of French cut beans with a mouthwatering set of spices. She says this dish can be put together in ten minutes and could be prepared with any type of beans.

Helen from News from my kitchen (Landau, Germany), brings us Red pepper and gourgette featuring lavender. She combines some classic Italian flavor agents with the unusual addition of lavender to create some healthy and tasty looking little bites.

Kalofagas - Pursuit of Delicious Foods describes how to make your own Catalan Potatoes. Since traveling to Spain I have had a desperate love affair with Spanish and Catalan cooking. These potatoes are a perfect example of how elegantly essential ingredients can be used to put together delicious food.

Priya writes about couscous on her blog Food and Laughter. She draws her inspiration from a longtime love of Middle Easter food (and a recent acquisition of a good Middle Eastern cookbook) but modifies the recipe to make an easy-to-assemble vegetarian couscous that is more savory than sweet. She serves her couscous with a warm bean salad, so you get two recipes instead of just one!

Kaykat (Seattle, WA) of Cooking from A to Z writes about Roasted Bell Pepper 'n' Squash soup. The combination of vegetables and liberal spices makes for a warm, tasty, and very healthy soup. She sets off the gorgeous red color with a little yogurt garnish--a feast for the eyes and easy on the waist.

Kalyn, our WHB originator, sends in Baked Swiss Chard Stems. In this post Kalyn gives you a great way to turn the stems of chard, which a cook might otherwise just discard, into a delicious dish on their own right. And, as always, Kalyn puts this together in a way that is friendly to those on the South Beach Diet.

Mike (Florida, USA) of Mike's Table sends us Thanksgiving Risotto. I was charmed by his description of the urges for Thanksgiving tastes that can strike the hapless cook in the off-season. I found myself eyeing that can of cranberries that I brought with me to Ghana but never used. I also have to admit that I am a bit of a risotto nay-sayer, but Mike's recipe has me convinced to give it a try. He presents a great combination of flavorful ingredients that are also healthy.

Ulrike (Northern Germany) from K├╝chenlatein describes using home sprouted bean sprouts to make healthy and hearty soy rolls. For anyone interested in attempting the fine art of home baking bread, this looks like a recipe to try, and one that would make a really tempting base for delicious lunch sandwiches.

Kate (Vendee, France) of Thyme for Cooking gives us a mouthwatering recipe for Pumpkin Timbales with Shallot/Prosciutto Garnish, accompanied by a look at the humorous inconveniences of air travel. The timbale uses a few basic ingredients to great affect, and I love the pairing of a light and airy pumpkin timable with the earthiness of shallots and prosciutto.

Virginie from Absolutely Green gives us a Carrots and Blood
oranges Compote
. She includes both English and French versions of the recipe. The blood oranges add a great color to the carrots, and the spices seem very well balanced. This easy recipe would be a great way to infuse a little elegant vegan touch into your table fare.

Patricia (Brazil) of Technicolor Kitchen brings us her own take on Jamie Oliver's home cooking, Roast chicken tray bake with tomatoes and potatoes. The photos of this warm and hearty dish are enough to make me feel a little homesick.

Anna from Morsels and Musings brings us another Jamie Oliver dish, baked jerusalem artichokes with lemon & thyme. The dish looks delicious and worth a try if you can lay hands on these difficult to find Jerusalem Artichokes (aka Sunchokes). She gives us a good amount of information on these unusual but delicious roots which are, paradoxically, neither from Jerusalem nor artichokes.

Pam from Sidewalk Shoes writes in to give us Spicy Coleslaw, which she suggests makes a great side dish to go with Asian or Thai meals. Thai inspired flavors like cilantro, lime, and spicy pepper are balanced with cool crunch cabbage and some sweet brown sugar. Better yet, the vinegar based slaw is healthier than mayo alternatives!

Elizabeth (Toronto, Canada) from blog from OUR kitchen showcases both garlic and brussels sprouts in her dish, brussels sprouts a la Laura Calder. She follows the footsteps of Laura Calder and presents the sprouts as leaves (rather than the characteristic small heads) along with bacon, garlic, salt and pepper. The different presentation is a great way to use these versitile and healthy vegetables.

Y from Lemonpi puts together a tempting Strawberry Shortcake which she bases on a recipe from Lindsey Shere (former pastry chef of Chez Panisse). Georgetta offers great pointers for making shortcakes, and a recipe that looks easy to follow and results in a really classy yet traditional strawberry shortcake.

Georgetta (Southwestern United States) from Weak Weary Mom gives us Minted Green Smoothie as a great way to get in your servings of greens. She cleverly sneaks in some healthy celery amid fruits and mint. She says getting in her greens via smoothies has helped her feel better daily.

Toni (San Diego, CA), from Daily Bread Journal makes a Asian Slaw in honor of the Chinese New Year. She very nearly used celery root (which I adore) but instead made the slaw based on Asian pears, accompanied with an interesting combination of Asian flavors. This makes for a refreshing and healthy recipe that is also beautiful looking, and would make a nice side for a lunch.

Arpj (New Zealand) from HomeMadeS made Kaffir Lime Chicken Kebabs with Kaffir Lime, Rosemary and Garlic Butter in which accidentally forgotten bamboo skewers create the opportunity for innovation: why not use those rosemary clippings from the garden instead? And if adding rosemary, why not modify the traditional satay sauce as well. The result is nothing short of delicious and inspired.

If you are looking for something different to do with Salmon, check out Rosemary, Lemon Salmon by Sharona May of Bird Food. She cooks the fish in foil for a succulent texture that melts in your mouth. If you haven't tried cooking fish packet-style yet, be sure to give this one a try.

Pepy from The Art and Science of Food also uses rosemary in mouthwatering Rosemary Braised Lamb Shanks. Her modified recipe (she uses cran-grape juice in place of red wine) gives a hint of sweetness and spiciness, and the slow cooking braise method would also work well with a slowcooker (which T and I use religiously). The photos of this dish show the sort of meal that would be sure to impress guests.

Pam (Winnipeg, Canada) from The Backyard Pizzeria creates Avocado and tomato in Verjuice Vercotto Jelly. She makes an impressive mold using a mix of Verjuice, the tart and sour juice of unripened grapes, and a sweeter but similar product, Vercotto. An impressive addition to a nice luncheon.

I always love finding things to do with arugula, and Sheri from What did you eat? features arugula in her super-healthy Brown Rice, Turkey, Vegetable, And Arugula Jumble. She uses this easy-to-assemble dish to use up the vegetables left in the fridge and get in those servings of vitamins.

Jeanne, a fellow African blogger, from Cooksister uses that "I just got back from holiday and my fridge is a bit bare" experience as an inspiration for her Three pepper and mushroom fritata. The result looks delicious enough to serve to friends and easy enough to make at home if you are short on time.

Zorra (Andalucia, Spain) from 1x umr├╝hren bitte aka kochtopf
Quick Red Thai Fish Curry. This beautiful dish uses prepared red curry paste, coconut milk, and fish. In honor of Weekend Herb Blogging, of course, this dish gets combined with the always stunning vegetable romanesco, with its geometric florets. This looks like a delicious curry that I am eager to try as soon as I can lay hands on some romanesco.

Jerry of Jerry's Thoughts, Musings, and Rants! cooks up a beautiful and elegant heart-shapedAsparagus and Gruyere Tart. This one is inspired by Gourmet magazine, but adopted to be baked in a spring-form pan for a thicker, heartier final product. The golden Gruyere looks beautiful atop this tasty tart.

Gretchen (Lima, Peru) of Canela & Cominosends in great instructions for DIY: Aji Amarillo. This post starts with a wonderful overview of the history of peppers in Peru, with special attention to the Aji Amarillo. This post gives very detailed step by step instructions (with photos) for how to make your own aji Amarillo paste. It looks like a great addition to anyone who loves the unique taste of some of the world’s under-appreciated peppers.

The chocolate lady sends in Hemp Seed Filling for Tarts, pastries, and Homentashn (Hamentashen). In the interest of full disclosure I should mention that I loveHamentashen. I love everything about them. I love the empowered woman story behind them. I love how they taste. In this recipe, she uses hemp seed in place of more common poppy seeds for a delightful change of pace. Combined with milk, honey and cardamom, what’s not to like?

If you happen to have a few pounds of chilis laying around that you don't know what to do with, or if you just have a love of all things spicy, definitely check out the entry from Wandering Chopsticks out of Southern California. Wandering Chopsticks goes on what can only be described as an epic bender, making jars of delicious spicy Tuong Ot Xa, (Vietnamese Lemongrass Chili Sauce). I'm glad I didnt have to suffer the pepper fumes, but I am jealous I don't have a jar for myself!

halo from Cook Almost Anything blends up a delicious mango lassi, using Buffalo yogurt. For those who haven't had a mango lassi before, it is a treat not to be missed. I find them a great and healthy way to satisfy a sweet craving. And of course they are fabulous either for breakfast or to cool off after a nice spicy meal.

Chris We Heart Food features butternut Squash in his Quinoa with Butternut Squash and Carrot Stew. This was his first chance experimenting with quinoa, and from the sound of it, it was a total success. This recipe has a wonderful variety of spices, and I have no doubt that it makes a heavenly scent as it cooks. Just the sort of thing to warm up a winter home.

Ruth from Once Upon a Feast bakes up a steamy Wintry Frittata, featuring thyme and a variety of mushrooms. Like Ruth, I have been a big fan of thyme lately, and I agree that it pairs very well with mushrooms. This looks like a lovely and easy-to-make morning treat.

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Patricia Scarpin said...

Wow! So many delicious dishes to try and so little time.

Great roundup, Erin!

Peter M said...

Erin, thanks for hosting and taking the time to capsulize all the fine entries.

Elizabeth said...

Great roundup, Erin. Thank you for hosting! Now I'm off to investigate the several good looking entries.


Gretchen Noelle said...

Thanks so much for such a lovely round up! These look like some great ideas and I look forward to reading some of them in more detail. Much appreciated!

Helene said...

Thanks for this wonderful round up. I have to stroll around the world later to see all these delicious things behind your mouthwatering presentation. : )

Laurie Constantino said...

This is a great roundup, thank you so much! There is an amazing variety of food this week - interesting and creative combinations of wonderful ingredients. Thanks for all your hard work putting this together!

Ruth Daniels said...

Fantastic roundup and now for the hard part...where to begin ;-)

Thanks for putting it all together.

ostwestwind said...

Thanks for hosting and the great recap.

Well done

Erin said...

Thanks everybody. Glad you enjoyed it. I never realized what an undertaking it is to host an event of this size! I can't wait to try out some more of those fine recipes myself.

Virginie said...

Thanks again for hosting and for this very long and details round up.

Kalyn Denny said...

Sorry I'm so slow getting here! I've been seriously distracted by the holiday weekend. I'll come back tomorrow and read all the entries I missed, and thanks for all your work!

Mike of Mike's Table said...

Great roundup and a lot of great looking dishes out there this week

Katie Zeller said...

I finally had a free minute - and a free computer to come, have a read and whet my appetite.
Great job! Lots to do when I get home!

Anna (Morsels and Musings) said...

finally got around the reading the round up after a long week. great job!!! i love it when people have time to put a little description in about everyone's recipes.

Unknown said...

I would like to know how you use fresh basil. I grew some this year and wondering how to preserve it to put in recipes.

Unknown said...

I have a lot of basil that came up. I need to know how to process it to use in recipes.

Erin said...

@Yvonne: If you are using it immediately after picking, I usually chop with a knife or process in the food processor for larger quantities (like pesto making).

If you intend to use it later, in my book you have two primary routes: oil preservation or cold preservation. Pesto is a form of oil preservation, in which a thin layer of oil, combined with refrigeration, preserves the fresh basil flavor for later use. You can also make basil-infused vinegar or oil (without the other pesto ingredients).

Alternately, you can blend or chop the basil and then freeze it in ice cube trays. once frozen transfer to a ziplock bag. These work great for dropping into sauces or soups later on, preserving lots of that fresh basil flavor, though they never have quite the same texture.

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