Fab Food Friday Fotos: White Chicken Lasagna, Nutella Pots de Crème, Cottage Cheese Apricot Buns, Cornish Pasty Pie, Palak Paneer, Lavender Rice Pudding, Blueberry-Sour Cream Muffins, Mango Chicken Curry, Recipes, & More
Posted By Vicki McClure Davidson on April 29, 2011
Long week, small food budget — time to get creative with frugal ideas for feeding the family tasty, thrifty meals recipes and to enjoy a potpourri of beautiful food photographs.
FOOD. GLORIOUS FOOD.
When they are available, recipes or recipe hyperlinks accompany the “Fab Food Friday Fotos,” with a guarantee that several frugal recipes will always be included.
Photographer/cook Eliza Adams provided the recipe for these muffins:
Blueberry Sour Cream Muffins (original recipe was All-Star Muffins)
Recipe modified from The King Arthur Flour’s All-Purpose Baking Cookbook.
Makes 16 large muffins
* 3 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose or cake flour
* 2 teaspoons baking powder
* 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter
* 3/4 cup sugar
* 3 large eggs
* 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
* 2-1/4 cups fresh blueberries
* Old-fashioned oats, quantity varies & an optional addition
Preheat the oven to 400 degree F and lightly grease 16 muffin cups or use paper liners.
In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, then set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar together with a handheld or stand mixer until light and fluffy and almost white in color. Scrape down the bowl to make sure all the butter is incorporated, then add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla and sour cream and mix until incorporated. Add the dry ingredients and mix on low speed just until the batter is smooth.
Gently fold the blueberries into the batter. Fill muffin cups, sprinkle tops with oats if you like, and bake for 18 to 24 minutes, until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove them from the oven, cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then remove the muffins from the pan to finish cooling on a rack.
This recipe for white chicken lasagna was provided by the Pillsbury website and keeps well in the refrigerator, so it can be made the day before. To save money, you can substitute any chicken meat for the chicken breasts:
Make-Ahead White Chicken Lasagna Recipe
* 1 tablespoon butter or margarine
* 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
* 1-1/2 cups coarsely chopped red bell pepper (2 medium)
* 1 cup finely chopped celery
* 1/2 cup chopped onion
* 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
* 1 pint (2 cups) half-and-half
* 1/2 cup Progresso® chicken broth
* 4 oz cream cheese
* 7 oz Gouda cheese, shredded (about 2 cups)
* 1 container (12 oz) small-curd cottage cheese
* 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, cut into thin strips
* 1 egg, beaten
* 9 uncooked lasagna noodles
* 1 package (16 oz) sliced mozzarella cheese
* 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
* Fresh basil sprigs or chopped basil leaves, if desired
Spray 13×9-inch (3-quart) glass baking dish with cooking spray. In 4-quart Dutch oven, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add chicken; cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in bell pepper, celery, onion and garlic; cook about 2 minutes, stirring occasionally, until chicken is no longer pink in center.
Reduce heat to low. Add half-and-half, broth and cream cheese; cook and stir until cream cheese is melted. Gradually add Gouda cheese, stirring until cheese is melted. Remove from heat; set aside. In bowl, mix cottage cheese, 1/4 cup fresh basil, and the egg until blended.
Spread 1 cup chicken mixture in baking dish. Top with 3 noodles, 1 1/2 cups chicken mixture, 1/2 of the cottage cheese mixture, and 1/2 of the mozzarella cheese. Repeat layers once, starting with noodles. Top with remaining 3 noodles and remaining chicken mixture. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Cover with foil; refrigerate at least 8 hours or overnight.
Heat oven to 350°F. Bake lasagna covered 45 minutes. Uncover; bake 30 to 35 minutes longer or until noodles are tender and casserole is bubbly. Cover; let stand 15 minutes before serving. Garnish with basil sprigs.
Soups are always easy on the strained food budget, and this simple, spicy chicken tortilla soup is no exception. Photographer/cook Inspired RD has the soup recipe posted on the food blog Inspired RD.
Copyright Mohini Patel Glanz, used with permission
I’ve had this spicy spinach dish in East Indian restaurants, and while it looks unappealing to those who’ve not ever tried it, believe me — it’s fabulous. This is photographer/cook Mohini Patel Glanz’s recipe for this healthy spinach dish:
Palak Paneer (East Indian Spinach Dish)
* 1 big bunch of fresh and tender organic spinach, finely chopped (by hand or food processor)
* 1 tablespoon olive oil
* 1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
* 1 teaspoon finely chopped ginger
* 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
* 1 4-inch block of cottage cheese (you can make it at home, you can use store-bought, or use tofu)
* 1 teaspoon garam masala
* 1/2 teaspoon sugar
* 1/2 cup water
* Two small green chilies, halved
* Salt to taste
* Cilantro for garnish
Preheat the oven to 175 C (350 F).
Wash and chop the spinach, and set it aside.
Dice the cottage cheese or tofu into 1″ (2.5 cm) cubes, and bake them in a lined baking tray until they look slightly brown.
Heat the oil in a pot on medium heat.
Once the is hot enough that you see a bit of steam, add the cumin seeds and let them sizzle for a minute or so. Don’t let them burn!
Add the onions and ginger, and let them cook until the onions are translucent, but not burnt.
Add the green chilies, and let them cook for a minute.
Add the spinach, sugar, garam masala, salt, and about half a cup of water. Turn the heat on medium high, and let it cook for 3 to 4 minutes, so the liquid simmers.
Add the baked cottage cheese or tofu into the spinach, and let it cook on high heat for about 7 to 10 minutes, just until the mixture thickens. Keep stirring and tasting to make sure you don’t overcook the spinach, maintaining its freshness, color, and taste. Cooking on medium-high heat for a short time does just that.
Garnish with fresh cilantro, and serve with bread or rice. Enjoy!
For more awesome photos (Mohini’s writeup and photo compilation on farmers’ markets and bubble and squeak are terrific), pop over and visit the Mango Power Girl site.
The recipe, instructional photos, and some background information for photographer/cook’s agentrouge’s unusual cottage cheese apricot buns are also provided here at RussianSeason.net:
To sum up things, our Christmas was wonderful. It was a very white Christmas, yet not too cold; we had a delightful dinner with my and Stano’s parents; our Christmas tree was beautiful; we all got great presents (Ivanka got the most – she’s now supplied with clothes for years ahead). Of course about one half of my gifts were food-related. I got another two Slovak cookbooks (one of which is solely about desserts and baking, wahoo), a pastry tube, funky muffin liners, and Stano gave me… maple syrup! I was in seventh heaven, because I had never seen maple syrup in Riga. And I’ve been craving crepes with maple syrup!! Well, Stano also gave me a much valuable gift, but I guess I was most emotional about the syrup… haha.
And here’s our perfect holiday morning treat: cottage cheese and apricot rolls, served warm for Christmas breakfast. We made tons of these, so we had to freeze the excess rolls – you can thaw them and easily re-heat them any time later. I loved the combination of cottage cheese and vanilla pudding in the filling – it made the filling very smooth and creamy. There’s a belief in our countries that you have to be in a good mood while baking; you could even try singing as you knead your dough… Apparently we felt very happy while kneading, because our dough kept rising and rising and rising…
Freshly Baked Cottage Cheese Apricot Buns (Slovak recipe)
* 500g all-purpose flour
* 40g fresh yeast
* 50g + 2 tbsp sugar
* 250ml milk
* 75g butter, melted
* 1 large egg
* 1 small egg, slightly beaten
* 250g creamy cottage cheese
* 700ml canned apricots /home-made apricot preserves
* 1 tsp vanilla sugar
* 1 pack dry vanilla pudding (40-50g)
* Pinch of salt
Makes 16 rolls
In your mixing bowl, combine yeast and a few tablespoons lukewarm milk. Stir well.
Reserve 3 tbsp melted butter for later.
Add 50g sugar to the yeast mix. Blend with a fork. Add butter, the large egg, and salt, and whisk with a fork. Add remaining milk, mix until well incorporated. Fold in flour and knead the dough until smooth. Leave the dough, covered, in a warm place to rise.
In a separate bowl, mix cottage cheese, pudding powder, 2 tbsp sugar, and vanilla sugar, and slightly whisk with a fork until smooth.
Cut apricots into halves or quarters, depending on size.
When the dough has risen, roll it and brush it with melted butter. Make a large roll and cut it into 16 slices. Place the rolls onto prepared baking sheet and make a depression in centre of each.
Spoon the cottage cheese filling onto the rolls and top with apricots. Brush each roll with beaten egg. Bake at 160C/320F for 20 minutes or until ready.
Serve warm, dusted with powdered sugar.
Quick description from photographer/cook Posixeleni on making lavender rice pudding:
Heat up some milk, rice, lavender blossoms, cinnamon stick, orange peel, and an opened vanilla bean in a pot. Then throw in some custard(powder) when the rice is fully cooked.
Photographer/cook Marie Isabelle Reed writes the following about the wedding cake:
This is a Croquembouche! Cream filled puff pastry is threaded together with caramel to form this very French wedding cake. They are usually decorated with candied almonds and chocolate flowers. Yum!
Photographer/cook Salad Pride’s recipe for making this vibrant, healthful quinoa, broccoli, and brie salad is posted here.
An easy recipe for making photographer/cook Adventuress Heart’s peach green tea with plum star anise spiced syrup can be found here on her blog. She suggests using this syrup on ice cream, pancakes, or waffles.
The recipes for the Moscow tarts and fish broth were originally posted in a “Russian Recipes” article in “Sputnik,” published in 1968, which I have yet to locate. If I do, I’ll post it. Photographer/cook John Coulthard points out that in this photo there are “not one, but two broken-down cars in the background.” Funny!
Photographer/cook Cinnamon Girl’s wonderful food blog Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice has all sorts of yummy recipes, including this easy dessert one:
Nutella Pots de Crème Recipe
* 4 egg yolks
* 1/4 cup sugar
* 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon or vanilla extract
* 2 cups half & half (or 1 cup each milk and heavy cream)
* 2/3 cup Nutella
* 1 ounce unsweetened milk or dark chocolate
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Place six 4-ounce ramekins into a large baking dish without the sides touching.
In a large heat proof mixing bowl, whisk yolks, sugar, and cinnamon together.
In a small saucepan, heat half & half, Nutella, and chocolate together on low heat until melted, whisk well. Add a few tablespoons into egg mixture and whisk well to temper. Slowly pour the rest in whisking the entire time.
Divide evenly among ramekins, place in oven and fill the pan halfway with hot water (not boiling). Bake for 40 minutes until custard is set in the middle. Cool on wire racks and chill well before serving.
Wow — two different desserts rolled into one big, beautiful dessert! Photographer/cook Ellie W. wrote this about her White Chocolate Mousse & Strawberry Jelly Cups:
A match made in heaven.
These white choc mousse and strawberry jelly cups are a wonderful pairing — not too sweet or rich, a harmonious balance of two very different elements!
Recipe is on my food blog – Kitchen Wench.
This mango chicken curry dish is easy and inexpensive to make. Photographer/cook Kim Christensen provided the recipe:
Mango Chicken Curry Recipe
Mango adds a bright flavor and color to this tasty curry. We’re using frozen mango for convenience, but you could also use fresh – 1 Kent mango or 2 champagne mangoes, peeled and cubed. Serve this dish over basmati rice or another cooked grain like quinoa, with a side of steamed Napa cabbage and fennel (recipe follows).
Unsure of how to cook quinoa? Check out these stovetop or rice cooker versions.
I made some adjustments from Jennette’s recipe – see my note below.
* 1 Tbsp virgin coconut oil
* 1 large onion, diced
* 1 pound cooked chicken, diced or shredded
* 1 cup coconut milk
* 1-2 garlic cloves, minced
* 10 oz fresh or frozen mango
* 1-1/2 tsp curry powder
* 1/2 tsp cardamom powder
* Sea salt
* Optional: 1/2 red bell pepper, diced; 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
* My addition – optional ingredients for garnish: toasted shredded coconut, cashews, lime wedges, fresh cilantro
Warm the coconut oil in a large skillet. Add the onion and saute 4-5 minutes over medium heat.
Add the chicken and bell pepper and/or jalapeno, if using. Cook 4-5 minutes, until the chicken is lightly browned on all sides.
Add the coconut milk, mango, garlic, curry powder, cardamom, and salt. Mix well. Bring to a simmer and cook, uncovered for 10-12 minutes. Serve.
NOTE: Make sure not to get “lite” coconut milk – it’s just regular coconut milk that’s been watered down. Leftover coconut milk can be frozen or stored in the fridge for 3-4 days. Try it instead of milk or cream on hot cereal or in tea or cocoa.
NUTRITION TIP: Mangoes are a good source of vitamin E – on of the only fruits that are. They’re also a good source of cartenoids and soluble fiber.
I made some adjustments to her recipe, as I found it to be too thick. I ended up making the following changes…
* I added 1-1/2 cups broth
* I used 2 cups coconut milk instead of 1
* I added 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
* I used 1 red bell pepper instead of 1/2
* I served with a variety of garnishes, because I’m fancy like that.
The recipe for Prajakta Gudadhe’s tandoori chicken dish is provided at the food blog Ginger and Garlic.
Making this cinnamon apple jelly is so easy, I can’t wait to try the recipe. These jars of jelly would also make for thoughtful homemade gifts during the holidays. Photographer/cook Angela P offers her AllRecipes recipe:
* 7 cups unsweetened bottled apple juice
* 1 (1.75 ounce) package powdered fruit pectin
* 2 teaspoons butter (no substitutes)
* 1 cup red-hot candies
* 9 cups sugar
Place the apple juice in a large kettle. Stir in pectin and butter. Bring to a full rolling boil over high heat, stirring constantly. Stir in candies until dissolved. Stir in sugar; return to a full rolling boil. Boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat; skim off foam. Pour hot mixture into hot sterilized jars, leaving 1/4-in. headspace. Adjust caps. Process for 5 minutes in a boiling-water bath.
Photographer/cook Matt De Turck modified this easy casserole dish from the original recipe — kids should love this:
Au Gratin Casserole
Adapted from: “Cheesy Potato Beef Bake”, Fast Fixes with Mixes, pg 105
Modified from a cookbook recipe, I added vegetables to this casserole made with packaged potatoes. I served it warm with biscuits, but it might have even been better the next day after it solidified overnight in the fridge.
* 1 lb ground beef
* 2 packages (5 1/4 oz each) au gratin potatoes
* Milk, butter, boiling water (according to au gratin ingredient list)
* 1 green pepper
* 1 tomato
* 1 small onion
* Shredded cheese (optional)
Cook beef in skillet over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Place in a greased 13×9 baking pan.
Prepare the au gratin potatoes in a large mixing bowl, according to directions on box.
Chop vegetables and add to potato mixture. Pour over beef in baking dish.
Bake at 400° for 30 minutes or until heated through.
Sprinkle with shredded cheese (if desired) and bake an additional 5 minutes or until cheese begins to brown. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.
I was raised on Cornish pasties — my grandfather was born in Cornwall, England and legally immigrated to the United States when he was 18. My mom made Cornish pasties often when we were kids — they’re inexpensive, filling, and delicious whether eaten hot or cold. Cornish miners take them as their lunch because they transport well and can be filled with anything. I’ve not ever had them as a full-fledged baked pie, though, just as individual meat and potato or vegetable pies, so photographer/cook Elsbeth Morselt’s Cornish pasty pie recipe intrigues me. I also have a nearly identical ceramic black bird used for letting out the steam in baked pies, which my mother-in-law gave to me years ago, as shown in the photo — pretty cool!
I find Cornish pasties often have too much pastry and not enough filling. However, the traditional filling of steak, potato and turnip is so delicious I now make one big pie using this filling – which is also a lot quicker than making individual pasties.
Look closely at the vegetable garden photo, just right of center. Photographer Bad Alley explains “jiqueux” and why there is an upside-down pot with sticks poking out from its bottom hole — clever idea:
jiqueux: It’s pigeon defense. It’s an inverted pot with bamboo skewers sticking up out of the hole. I place these in the gaps between containers so pigeons won’t land (and build nests) there.
Food photos selected and posted are credited and have Creative Commons-licensed content with some rights reserved for noncommercial purposes, unless otherwise noted.
Past three months of Fab Food Friday Fotos posts: