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Posts Tagged ‘Coriander’

Spice-Marinated Feta with Simple Fougasse via Relishing It

It’s that time of the year when we start to have people over for light spur-of-the-moment gatherings again.  Here in Minnesota, we slough-off the heavy jackets, start working in our yards, and finally get an opportuntity to visit with our neighbors after the long winter.  Yes, I’ve been banging the drum about how much I enjoy the colder months, but I also get excited to invite guests over to our backyard for drinks and appetizers once the weather warms.  Today’s recipe is a tasty combination of marinated cheeses and fougasse.  It’s perfect to serve with a cocktail or two while you’re visiting with friends.

Spice-Marinated Feta and Simple Fougasse via Relishing It

Spice-Marinated Feta with Simple Fougasse via Relishing It

Spice-Marinated Feta with Simple Fougasse via Relishing It

Spice-Marinated Feta with Simple Fougasse via Relishing It

It may look a little fussy to make, but I assure you, it’s simple.  All it takes is combining cheeses and marinating them in olive oil with some spices.  The result is a beautifully flavored cheese that is wonderful when paired with some bread and olives.  The longer it marinates, the more flavorful it becomes.  I pressed mine into a glass square food storage container, since I wanted square bites.  But when chilling the cheese initially, you can also roll it into a log form and then cut it into pieces right before marinating.  It can last in your refrigerator for about two weeks.  I chose feta, but if feta isn’t your deal, try goat cheese, ricotta salata, or even a sharp blue cheese.  If you choose to use something a bit softer, such as goat, you can omit the cream cheese and just increase the total amount to 12 ounces.  You get the idea.  You have a fair amount of leeway with the spices.  If you prefer the flavor of other combinations, give them a try.

Simple Fougasse via Relishing it

Spice-Marinated Feta with Simple Fougasse via Relishing It

Simple Fougasse via Relishing It

The bread is called fougasse.  This one is simple and may be a bit more crispy than traditional fougasse– which is fine with me.  I used the recipe from my favorite pizza crust (genius, right?), because I often have a bit leftover.  I’ve found that the longer the dough stays in the fridge, the more developed the flavor becomes.  I usually try to use it within two weeks, which timing-wise works out perfectly with the cheese.  Sit in the sunshine with your friends and neighbors and enjoy these fantastic nibbles.  Cheers!

Spice-Marinated Feta with Simple Fougasse via Relishing It

The Recipe:  Spice-Marinated Feta and Simple Fougasse

Spice -Marinated Feta:

7-8 ounces feta cheese (see note)

4 ounces cream cheese

zest of a medium organic lemon

3 garlic cloves, smashed

1 teaspoon sesame seeds, toasted

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon coriander

1 cup extra-virgin olive oil (California Olive Ranch is my go-to olive oil)

4-5 sprigs of fresh thyme

Simple Fougasse:

This pizza crust recipe, or use your favorite

Extra-virgin olive oil, for brushing

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon sesame seeds, toasted

1 teaspoon coriander

(Note:  As I mentioned previously, you can choose to substitute a different cheese for the feta.  Ricotta salata, blue, or goat are good choices.  If using something soft already, such as goat, omit the cream cheese and increase the total amount of cheese to 12 ounces.)

To make the cheese:  Using a food processor, (or a bowl and wooden spoon) combine the feta and cream cheese until somewhat smooth.  It’s ok to have some chunks of feta.  Line a container that will hold the amount of cheese you have with plastic wrap.  I used a square food storage container (or place it on parchment paper and roll it into a tight log).  Fold the plastic wrap over the cheese so that it is entirely covered and gently push down– you want the cheese to become firm.  Find something to weight it down a bit (I actually ended up using some of my kids’ building blocks– they fit perfectly).  Then place a plate on top of that.  The goal is to compress the cheese as much as possible.  Place everything into the refrigerator for at least an hour to firm it up.

Remove the cheese from the container by gently lifting out the plastic wrap.  Cut it into bit-sized squares.  Place the cheese into a glass jar and top with the lemon zest, garlic, spices, herbs, and finally the olive oil.  Gently swirl the mixture around to make sure everything get coated.  If all of your cheese isn’t fully covered, add a bit more olive oil.  Cover and place into the refrigerator and let marinate for about three days and up to two weeks.

To make the Simple Fougasse:  Pre-heat your oven to 500°F.  Place a baking stone in it and let it heat for about 1/2 hour.  Sprinkle a work surface with semolina or all-purpose flour (semolina will not stick to the bread as much when baked).  Roll out a piece of the dough so that the size can fit on your stone.  Cut about 4 slits on each side into it with a sharp knife (see photo).  You may need to tug at the slits a bit, so they become a bit larger and more oval.   Sprinkle more flour on the back of a baking sheet or a pizza wheel.  Gently pick up the dough and place it on the sheet.  Make sure you are able to move it around freely, if not, add more flour underneath it– you want the dough to easily glide off the pan and onto the stone.  Brush olive oil onto the dough, then sprinkle with the spices.  Starting in the back of the stone, quickly and confidently glide the dough onto the stone from the pan.  Bake for just a few minutes (maybe 10, but it really depends on your oven– so keep a watchful eye) or until the bread looks to be a deep golden brown.  Remove from oven.  Enjoy with the spice-marinated feta cheese and some delicious olives!

Source:  Spice-Marinated Feta adapted from Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything Vegetarian

Thanks so much for stopping by today– have a wonderful weekend!  xo

Laurie

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Homemade Harissa via Relishing It

If you’ve spent much time reading food blogs or magazines, you probably know what harissa is, but for those of you that don’t (Hi Dad!), let me fill you in.  Harissa is a North African condiment made mostly from peppers and spices.  And it is amazing.  Like a punch-of-flavor-to-your-tongue amazing.  It’s often found on Moroccan tagines, but I’ve found so many more day-to-day uses for it.  I love to slather it on sandwiches.  Try it on this meatloaf with a bit of mayonnaise and some hot peppers.  Heavenly.  It’s also fantastic on an egg sandwich where the yolk is still a bit oozy.  Crunchy salads, or paired with carrots– harissa transforms an ordinary meal into something divine.

Homemade Harissa via Relishing It

Lemon for Homemade Harissa via Relishing It

Homemade Harissa via Relishing It

Homemade Harissa via Relishing It

If you’ve been visiting Relishing It for awhile, or taken a stroll through the ‘menu’ section, you know that I love to make my own condiments.  It’s not difficult, and to be honest, they just taste better than those bottled versions that are mass manufactured and sit on the shelf for months.  This mustard, ketchup, and red curry paste are a few of my favorites.  Harissa isn’t quite so common, but there really are a ton of recipes out there, and they are all a bit different.  Some use tomatoes, some don’t.  Some use fresh herbs, others stick with dried spices.  For this harissa, I was looking for something a bit smokey, but not too spicey.  I also wanted it to have a fresh, herb flavor.  If you want more of a kick, you can simply add more cayenne pepper or choose a hotter variety of dried peppers for the base.  One nice thing about this recipe is that you can easily manipulate it to suit your own tastes.  For my  part, I think this one turned out perfectly, so I won’t be changing a thing.  Top your Harissa with a bit of olive oil to store in the refrigerator for an extended period of time, it should last a few months this way.  But…it won’t.  You’ll eat it up in no time.  It’s that good.  Hope you enjoy!

Homemade Harissa via Relishing It

Cheddar and Stout Meatloaf via Relishing It

The Ultimate Meatloaf Sandwich with Homemade Harissa via Relishing It

The Recipe:  Homemade Harissa

(Makes about 1 cup)

5 dried Ancho chile peppers

5 dried Guajillo chile peppers

3 cloves garlic, chopped

1 teaspoon cumin seed, toasted and ground with a mortar and pestle (or use the flat side of a large knife to smash them)

1 teaspoon coriander seed, toasted and ground with a mortar and pestle

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped

pinch of ground cayenne pepper, more to taste

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons champagne vinegar (white or red wine vinegar will also work)

1 tablespoon tomato paste

sea salt, cracked black pepper, to taste

3 tablespoons soaking liquid, or more, if needed

Place the dried peppers into a medium sized bowl.  Pour enough boiling water over them so they are covered.  Place a small plate on top of them to keep them submerged.  Cover the entire bowl with another larger plate, to keep the heat in.  Let sit for 1 hour.

When the peppers are soft, begin by reserving some of the soaking liquid.  Remove the peppers from the water.  Remove the stem and carefully dump out the seeds.  Place the peppers and the remaining ingredients into a food processor.  Process for a few minutes until completely smooth.  Taste.  Adjust seasonings and thickness, if necessary.  Store in a jar with a lid in the refrigerator.  Cover with a layer of olive oil, if intending to keep for an extended period of time (several months).  I don’t cover mine with olive oil, but I generally use it within a few weeks.  Enjoy the heck out of this!

Thanks for stopping by today, friends! xo

Laurie

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Here’s a recipe to make now and set aside for a month or so.  It’ll be ready for you (and you for it, trust me) once the holidays have passed.  Chances are you won’t want to think of another heavy meal or of holiday sweets by then, so these preserved lemons are a perfect addition to lighter fare.  Preserved lemons have a wonderfully pickled flavor and silky texture.  While they’re often found in Moroccan and Middle Eastern cooking, they’re so versitile that you can use them in most anything.  Officially, these little gems should be ready to use in about four weeks (though, I usually never wait quite that long).  Even better, since preserved lemons cost a fair amount at the market, when you make these at home you’ll not only get better flavors, but you’ll save money.

The entire lemon is used– rind and all.  Here are a few ideas for using their wonderful zing to brighten up your typtical meals.  They are wonderful finely chopped and mixed into sautéed vegetables, like green beans.  Mix them into couscous or rice and create a wonderful side dish.  Or, add thin strips to meats that are braising during the last few minutes of cooking.  They also pair wonderfully with roasted chicken or chicken salad, and are amazing with steamed fish.  You can even put them on a pizza with chicken and arugula for a change of pace.

However you choose to use them, make sure to not over-salt the original dish as the lemons will add a fair amount.  You may see a white substance develop on the lemons, but don’t be concerned.  This film is normal, and should simply be rinsed off with cool water.  Another thing to keep in mind is to use kosher or sea salt– table salt can add a harsh chemical flavor.   While I have yet to try it, I’ve read that the liquid the lemons are preserved in makes wonderful cocktails.  Bloody Mary, anyone?  Plan ahead and make these lemons now– by mid-January with its Winter darkness, they’ll be ready to brighten your meals.

The Recipe: Preserved Lemons

(Makes 1 quart)

About 1 – 1  1/2 pounds of organic lemons (make sure your lemons are wax-free)

2-3  quarts water, plus 2 cups

3 tablespoons kosher or sea salt

1 cinnamon stick

1 dried bay leaf

sprinkle of black peppercorns

sprinkle of coriander seeds

A few tablespoons of mild-flavored olive oil

Bring 2-3 quarts of water to a boil in a large saucepan.  Add the lemons and simmer for about 4 minutes to soften the skin.  Drain and rinse in cold water.  Pack tightly into a sterilized quart jar.  You may need to cut them into halves or quarter to fit them all in.

In a small saucepan, combine the 2 cups of water, salt, cinnamon stick, peppercorns, coriander, and bay leaf together and bring to a boil.  Cool slightly.

Pour brine over the lemons and cover completely.  You will probably have brine leftover.  Coat the surface with olive oil and screw on the lid.  Age the lemons for about 4 weeks in a cool, dark spot.  Always use clean tongs or a fork (not your fingers) to remove the citrus from the jar.  Taste a piece and rinse under cool water if it seems too salty.  Refrigerate after opening.  Preserved lemons can be kept for up to a year, or more.

Source:  Adapted from The Zuni Cafe Cookbook by Judy Rodgers

As always, I love your company.  Thanks so much for stopping by.

Laurie

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