Tag Archives: Weekend Cooking

Foodie Trends / Trendy Foods #weekendcooking

We’re in the final third of the year; did you follow any 2017 food trends? I had saved a December 2016 newspaper article predicting food trends for the new year, which hung around as clutter that I intended to do a 2017 Weekend Cooking post about…right up until this weekend when I actually looked for it! (I either need a filing system or should stop clipping from the printed paper and save everything online.)

Let this online article suffice: Jackfruit and Harissa? A Peek at Food Trends in 2017.

(I did not buy a single jackfruit so far this year, but I DID buy harissa. Haven’t used it, but I have it!)

As for past trendsetters such as deviled eggs and veggie chips, you’ll find them over there behind the box of Cronuts and plate of fairy bread. No, to the left of the avocado toast and stack of maple syrup-glazed bacon, next to the egg-white omelet. You need to move the ramen burgers, the ube and the chlorophyll extract to find them.

We gazed into a few crystal balls unveiled by some expert observers, as an indicative sampler. Continuing their runs from this year will be coconut everything, Asian noodles, gourmet mac ‘n’ cheese, flavored spirits, “authentic” Mexican cuisine, charcuterie, mocktails, oatmeal with unusual toppings, more farmers markets, grilled veggies, preserved anything, craft beers and cocktails, more flavors of granola, more uses of ancient grains, and creative ways to use fresh turmeric root in cooking, given the excitement over its purported health-inducing powers.

Farmers markets definitely seemed still trendy in 2017, with every town in my area offering at least one a week during the summer and into early fall. Craft beers and cocktails are another definite yes. We visited a couple of breweries in 2017, and like to try local draft beers.

At a brewery in Sturbridge, Mass. with photo-shy family.

Mocktails, not so much. Although I have seen a lot of recipes for them, actually, and they always sound good, if I’m going to splurge on something high-caloric and sweet it should either have alcohol in it or be a really good homemade cookie.

But would flavored waters and seltzers with lime count for mocktails? I did drink those occasionally in 2017.

Good call on the “‘authentic’ Mexican cuisine”! In 2017, we did go at least once to Jalapenos Grill, a restaurant where the menu points out which dishes are more authentically Mexican, as opposed to Tex-Mex.

Turmeric still seems trendy. My mom (a devoted frequenter of Farmers Markets, as well) has turmeric root in her kitchen. (I think she shreds it to add to salad.) Turmeric has been on my mind, especially because I caught several spring and summer colds, but I still haven’t made anything that’s predominantly turmeric-flavored, such as this hot drink:

https://www.meghantelpner.com/blog/tea-time-with-turmeric/

Keep in mind, 2017 isn’t over yet! There’s still time to use up your turmeric root if you have some.

Who doesn’t love the term “ancient grains”? Can you get more authentic than something that was eaten, as is, millennia ago? Although ancient grains have to be gluten-free for us to have them in the house, I did eat a delicious, if a little under-seasoned, farro salad at a buffet luncheon this fall. (Quinoa, millet, and black rice, I’ll still love you in 2018 even if you’re not trendy anymore.)

Coconut seems trendy still; I feel sorry for people who don’t like it, because it’s everywhere. I had coconut ice cream at least twice in 2017. Maybe 2018 will usher out coconut and jackfruit will come into its own. I believe cauliflower took over from kale as the trendiest vegetable of 2017. Here is a cauliflower, coconut, and harissa recipe to try before the year is over:

Vadouvan-Roasted Cauliflower With Harissa Chickpea Curry

As this Forbes article – How to Use the Food Trends of 2017 in Your Kitchen – points out, sometimes trend predictions can be self-fulfilling prophecies (When people see something mentioned multiple times as a trend, they may try it for that reason.) but from a business perspective, you want to tell the difference between a fleeting fad and a longer-lasting trend if you’re going to base a business on it.

Although the Forbes article predicted that street food would still be trendy in 2017, my advice would be: don’t start up a coconut-, granola-, or turmeric-based food truck at this point.

What food trends have you been following or ignoring this year?

Happy Weekend Cooking!

Weekend Cooking badgeLinked to Weekend Cooking, a weekly feature on Beth Fish Reads. Click/tap image for Weekend Cooking posts from other bloggers.

Dishing Up Maine by Brooke Dojny: Curried Roasted Squash Soup #weekendcooking

For far too many years, I hated winter squash and wouldn’t eat it. Pureed squash was watery, bland, and mushy, with a weird grainy texture. Squash soup was the same, except it came in a bowl and you had to eat more of it.

Once I discovered that roasting cubed winter squash in a hot oven with olive oil and herbs and adding savory apple and curry flavors to squash soup transforms this once-hated veggie into a must-have fall favorite, there was no going back to that slooshy scoop of tepid squash puree slowly seeping into everything else on the plate.

So, what could be better than combining the two preparation methods – roasting and currying – and making Curried Roasted Squash Soup? Finally, butternut squash lives up to its tasty-sounding name!butternut squash with Halloweenn potholders

There are recipes for similar autumnal soups all over the place, but this particular Curried Roasted Squash Soup recipe comes from the cookbook Dishing Up Maine by Brooke Dojny (Storey, 2006).

We’re still having tropical weather in New England in mid-October, but the author has written it up on the publisher’s Web site as Polar Vortex Soup, and you’ll find the full recipe there. I tasted it at our library cookbook club meeting last month, where Dishing Up Maine was an alternate selection with other Maine cookbooks. Delicious!

cover image
The recipe does call for 1/4 cup of brown sugar, which I’m planning to cut in half when I make it. The apple and cinnamon make the soup seem sweet already, so I don’t think we’ll miss the extra brown sugar too much.

Happy Weekend Cooking!

Weekend Cooking badgeLinked to Weekend Cooking, a weekly feature on Beth Fish Reads. Click or tap image to read foodie posts from other bloggers.

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Favorite Summer Cookbooks #weekendcooking @BethFishReads

Summer zoomed past with nary a Weekend Cooking post from me, so even though it’s fall now, I wanted to tell you about some of the cookbooks I cooked from (or wanted to cook from) this summer. We’re in the midst of a tropical heat wave as I write this, so it still feels like summer here in New England!

Two of the cookbooks are by mother-daughter team Linda Greenlaw and Martha Greenlaw. Linda Greenlaw is famous for being the country’s only female swordfish boat captain (She wrote The Hungry Ocean: A Swordfish Captain’s Journey) and has written several memoirs and started more recently to write mysteries. Martha Greenlaw also sounds like a captain, although she runs a different kind of tight ship – her kitchen.

The Maine Summers Cookbook
by Linda Greenlaw and Martha Greenlaw
Avery, 2011

book cover image

Recipes from a Very Small Island
by Linda Greenlaw and Martha Greenlaw
Hyperion, 2005

book cover image

These two were our main/Maine cookbook club selections this month, and they were universally liked. The funny and moving stories they contained of life in Maine  – especially on Isle au Haut, tiny island off the coast, where they are now permanent residents – made several cookbook club members go looking for Linda Greenlaw’s memoirs. I borrowed these from the library, but there were a lot of recipes I still want to make, especially after tasting a dozen different recipes at cookbook club.

As an example of Linda Greenlaw’s humorous writing, here’s a brief excerpt from the section on clambakes (she’s not a fan) titled The Beginner’s Guide to Clambakes or How to Ruin a Perfectly Good Lobster:

In preparation for a clambake, the following will be needed: lobsters, clams, corn on the cob, butter, hot dogs, marshmallows, two huge galvanized washtubs – one for the corn and one for the shellfish – firewood, several cases of beer, and as many ill-behaved children as you can find.

The first, and perhaps most critical, step toward a successful clambake is choosing the right location. Theories vary on this, but in my experience it is proper to choose a spot along the beach that is most uncomfortable. Make sure that your selected site meets at least two of the following criteria:

  1. There is absolutely nowhere to sit down.

  2. The beach is comprised of round rocks that shift when stepped on to ensure poor footing.

  3. There are sheer, jagged cliffs in the area for children to play on.

The recipe I made was simple and delicious – Smoked Salmon Spread with (Wasabi) Rice Crackers. It came from The Maine Summers Cookbook: Recipes for Delicious, Sun-Filled Days. It called for smoked salmon, cream cheese, capers, minced red onion, and lemon juice. It’s a great gluten-free appetizer – for people who like smoked salmon, anyway – and can be made ahead and refrigerated for up to two weeks, which makes it a good party recipe.

The real hit of the night, though, was the Tomato, Caramelized Onion, and Brie Galette, followed closely by the Wicked Good Lobster and Black Bean Chili (not pictured.) I used a blue plate for my salmon spread and crackers contribution, thinking it looked so Maine, but didn’t notice until dessert that everything had slid to one side! #presentationfail

My personal favorite of the night was the Key Lime Rum Cake. One of the best-tasting cakes I’ve ever had! More lime flavor than rum.

All of the above recipes came from The Maine Summers Cookbook, but the cookbook club prize for most impressive recipe (if we gave out prizes) would have to go to Crab Madeleines with Citrus Tartar Sauce from Recipes from a Very Small Island.

The next one on my list is by Liz Barbour, a New England chef who has done two cooking demos at our library.

cover image

Beautifully Delicious
by Liz Barbour
Photographs and design by Celeste Guidice
Creative Feast, 2017

Beautifully Delicious: Cooking with Herbs and Edible Flowers seems expensive if you look at price vs. number of pages (only 56) but the gorgeous color photography (what you’re paying for) is truly an integral part of the book. There are step-by-step photos of many of the recipes, as well as of the end results. The book is also packed with hints and recipe variations, so even though it seems short, there’s a lot there!

Because of the edible flowers and recipes like Honeydew Cilantro Salad (Liz made this for us at the library – delicious!) and Sparkling Basil Lemonade, I think of Beautifully Delicious as a summer cookbook, but most of the recipes don’t actually require edible flowers and fresh herbs and produce are available year-round. I made the Butternut Squash with Arugula and Sage and could easily see it (or its variation, Butternut Spinach Salad) as a fall recipe. The recipes are simple and don’t require the talents of a chef to prepare.

Beautifully Delicious is formatted as a high-quality ring binder with pages that turn easily and stay open at any point in the book. You can sample Liz’s recipes on her blog, but I believe the recipes in the cookbook aren’t available online – for obvious reasons!

I didn’t get to make many recipes from this last one on my favorite summer cookbooks list, but there’s always next summer!

Summer Cocktails
by María Del Mar Sacasa
Quirk Books, 2015

cover image

I have other cocktail books which I also don’t get to use often enough, but being someone who likes to know the proper season for things, I liked having so many light, summertime drinks collected for me in one place.

I borrowed Summer Cocktails from the library, also, but it’s going on my birthday/Christmas present wish list. The pictures are pretty; the text is entertaining; and the book opens up and lies flat. If I owned this book, it would be a keeper!

P.S. My birthday’s coming up next month and I just found out that there’s a Winter Cocktails book, too!

cover image

Happy Weekend Cooking!

Weekend Cooking badgeLinked to Weekend Cooking, a weekly feature on Beth Fish Reads. Click/tap image for Weekend Cooking posts from other bloggers.

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save