Fab Food Friday Fotos: Sweet & Sour Chicken, Chickpeas & Baby Spinach, Frosted Donuts, Orzo Salad, Fishball Soup, A Perfect Red Apple, Sausage Skillet, Frugal Recipes, & More
Posted By Vicki McClure Davidson on January 7, 2011
The first Friday of the new year and much of the United States is still reeling from the savage Christmas and New Year’s snow storms and the record-breaking cold. Scientists and climatologists predict for much of Europe and Russia that this winter will likely be the most brutal, coldest winter witnessed in the past 1,000 years. Even colder than last year’s.
IT’S FAB FOOD FOTO-TIME.
Take your mind off the cold and miserable weather by gazing upon these fabulous food photographs. When available, recipes will always be included with the “Fab Food Friday Fotos,” with a guarantee that at least one recipe (usually more) — most preferably a frugal recipe — will always-always be included in the post.
The recipe and accompanying post from photographer/cook essgee51 for this super-cheap, super-simple Chickpeas and Baby Spinach dish is also uploaded to the OmNomNominal site.
Easy and healthful. Based largely on this NYT recipe, with a couple of tweaks. Made us a delicious dinner over couscous with a generous squeezing of lemon and even more freshly-ground black pepper.
Chickpeas and Baby Spinach
* 1 tbsp. olive oil
* 1 medium onion, chopped
* 4 cloves garlic, diced
* 1 tbsp. tomato paste
* 1/2 tsp. salt
* 1 tsp. cumin seeds, toasted and ground (I lazily used cumin powder)
* 1 15-oz. can chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
* 1 cup water or broth (I used beef bouillon)
* 1 7 oz. package baby spinach
* Cayenne pepper to taste
* Salt and pepper to taste
Over medium heat, sauté the onions in the oil till they’re soft, about 5 minutes.
Add the garlic, tomato paste, cumin and salt. Stir and cook till the paste darkens.
Add the chickpeas, some cayenne, and broth. Bring to a simmer, then cover and cook for 10 minutes.
Add the spinach one handful at a time, stirring till the leaves wilt before adding the next batch and lightly salting. Once all the leaves are in, simmer uncovered for 5 minutes, adjusting seasoning and adding lots of black pepper.
Remove from heat, adjust seasoning and serve over rice or couscous, with lemon slices.
This gorgeous Morroccan Chicken Tagine is based on this SBS Food site recipe.
Sweet and sour is the best of two taste sensations. This recipe for the chicken dish was provided by photographer/cook animakitty:
Sweet and Sour Chicken Recipe
* 8 oz. boneless and skinless chicken breast (cut into bite-size cubes)
* 1 tablespoon shaoxing wine (optional)
* 1 green bell pepper (seeds removed and cut into squares)
* 1 stalk scallion (cut into 2-inch lengths)
* 2 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
* Oil for frying
* 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
* 4 tablespoons corn starch
* 1/2 cup water
* 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Sweet and Sour Sauce:
* 3 tablespoons ketchup
* 3 tablespoons chili sauce (Lingam hot sauce)
* 1 teaspoon plum sauce
* 1/2 teaspoon Lea and Perrin’s Worcestershire sauce
* 1/4 teaspoon Chinese rice vinegar
* 1/2 teaspoon oyster sauce
* 3 tablespoons water
* 1/2 teaspoon corn starch
* 3 dashes white pepper powder
* 2 tablespoons oil
Cut the chicken breast meat into bite-size cubes and marinate with 1 tablespoon of wine for 10 minutes. Mix the batter in a bowl and add the chicken cubes into the batter. Mix the sweet and sour sauce in a small bowl and set aside.
Heat up cooking oil in a wok and deep fry the chicken cubes. (Shake off the extra batter before frying). Transfer the chicken out on a plate lined with paper towels to soak up the excess oil. Transfer the cooking oil out and leave only 2 tablespoons oil in the wok.
Add garlic and sauté the garlic until light brown and then follow by the green bell peppers. Stir-fry until you smell the aroma. Add the sweet and sour sauce into the wok and bring it to boil.
Toss in the chicken, add the chopped scallions, do a few quick stirs, dish out and serve immediately with steamed white rice.
Oh, my — this dish is gorgeous. This elegant Mediterranean veggie salad is so inexpensive and easy to make. It is packed with flavor and vitamins, and is a great way to use up left-overs, as noted below. Photographer/cook Sandra is also a food blogger, so this and many other amazing recipes with photos are featured on her site Sandra’s Recipes – Alaska. I saw a number of simple recipes and gorgeous photos there that had my mouth watering… trust in that Sandra will be featured often here in the future.
Mediterranean Orzo Salad Recipe
* 1/2 pound orzo, or other small pasta
* 1/4 cup olive oil
* 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
* 1/2 fresh lemon, zested, and juiced
* 1/2 teaspoon sweet basil
* 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
* 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
* 1/2 cup chopped zucchini
* 1/2 cup chopped bell pepper (red, orange, or yellow)
* 2 green onions, sliced
* 1/2 cup chopped, pitted black or calamata olives
* 1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, cut in half (or quarters if large)
* 1/2 cup cucumber, peeled, deseeded, and chopped
* 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
* 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
* Kosher salt and ground pepper
Servings: 6 to 8
Cook the pasta until al dente in a large pot of boiling, salted water for about 8 to 10 minutes, or until just tender. Drain the pasta, and transfer to a large non-reactive mixing bowl, and add the olive oil, vinegar, and lemon juice, basil, and oregano, and then stir to combine.
Add the zucchini, bell pepper, green onions, olives, tomatoes, and parsley, and Parmesan cheese, and then season with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve warm, at room temperature, or cold – enjoy, especially if you have leftovers because this salad only gets better the next day!
Tip: I tend to change out the veggies as to what I have on hand when making this recipe, i.e., adding marinated artichokes, freshly chopped spinach, using red onions versus green onions, using couscous versus orzo, etc.
For the recipe for this tantalizing Biscuit Meringué au Chocolat, click here to go to the Flickr website. The recipe is written in French, so non-French speakers will have to translate it.
Photographer/cook Hamburger Helper wrote this about making Jacques Pepín’s Potato Soufflé:
This picture doesn’t capture how beautiful this dish was when it came out of the oven. It immediately started to deflate. This is the mashed potato souffle Jacques Pepín made as a side dish to accompany Julia Child’s Boeuf Bourguignon. It’s very easy:
* 4 cups of prepared mashed potatoes
* 3 large whole eggs (more beaten egg whites folded in if you really want more lift to the souffle)
* Grated cheese (use as much as you like – I didn’t have Gruyere on hand so I used some good cheddar)
Mix the potatoes and eggs together, preferably in a food processor, but as I don’t have one, I used my KitcheAid mixer – a hand blender will work fine too if you don’t have either. Fold in most of the grated cheese, reserving a little to sprinkle over the top. Pour into a well buttered casserole or gratin dish and bake for about an hour at 350 deg F. You can play with the temp and cooking time, but that’s how long it took to get mine to get this beautifully golden.
Mashed potatoes is really a personal thing – I have a friend who likes to put nutmeg in hers. I almost always cook some garlic in butter when I make it, but this time I didn’t. I boiled 3 Idaho baking potatoes in some salted water until soft. I peeled them and whipped them up with some half and half and butter. Seasoned with salt and pepper.
This dish is actually more a potato casserole, but the eggs give it a sort of puffy lift like a soufflé.
Frugal, easy meal with this Fishball Soup with Glass Noodles. Photographer / cook Alpha offered this basic information on how to make the fishballs, but there was no recipe provided with the photo for making the soup itself.
However, I believe eyeballing this photo should permit for some creative, thrifty soup-making experimentation:
Fishball Soup with Glass Noodles
After a long hiatus of fishball making, mainly because some of the last lot ended up on the ceiling, Julia decided she wanted to resume fishball-making after seeing a delicious photo of tilapia fishballs on a friend’s Facebook page.
My grandma and mum always used to make fishballs with Spanish Mackeral and that is what we bought. After scraping the flesh off with a spoon, Julia proceeded to chop it up with a knife, before dumping it into a mixing bowl to be pounded with a wooder pestle. Alternatively, pulse the fish flesh in a food processor using the plastic blade and perhaps a handful of ice to keep it cool. Any warmth will denature the protein and result in a soggy fishball.
After a bit of pounding, the fish starts to form a paste and starts clumping together. Julia then mixed in an egg white, salt, pepper, sugar, and some corn starch. Julia gave the job of slapping it and throwing it in the bowl to develop the protein into the firm, almost-crunchy texture.
The result was a resounding success, due in no small part to the freshness of the fish. In fact, fresh fish, frozen or not, is imperative to the success of this dish.
The recipe for this economical and filling Sausage Skillet dish was provided by photographer/cook flit:
Sausage from grass-fed beef can be very lean, so the key to cooking it is to add some fat to the pan so it will cook properly. It also cooks faster than corn-fed meat.
* 1 Tbsp. ghee (or favorite cooking oil)
* ~1lb. sweet Italian beef sausage, sliced (here, from Oak Creek Ranch)
* 1 large red onion
* 2 cloves garlic
* 1/4 c vermouth or favorite cooking wine or stock, or a little water
* 1 pre-baked Hannah sweet potato, large dice (or yam or potato)
* 1 head Castelfranco radicchio, chopped (almost any green would work, though I’d pre-blanch kale if using it)
* handful chopped parsley
* 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh oregano (or whatever fresh herb you like, or 1 tsp. oregano or Italian seasoning mix)
* Black pepper and salt to taste
Heat pan to medium-hot, add oil, brown sausage, and onions together. I also tossed in some kale stems I had left over, chopped small. Add garlic when onions turn translucent and cook for about another minute (depending on how you like your onions, they can be translucent all the way to golden-brown.)
Deglaze with wine or stock, then add sweet potato and radicchio. Stir until radicchio wilts, add parsley, herbs, and seasoning. Stir to incorporate and serve.
This made six small servings, or it would make four hearty servings.
Food photos selected and posted are credited and have Creative Commons-licensed content with some rights reserved for noncommercial purposes, unless otherwise noted.
Previous Fab Food Friday Fotos posts: