Sunday, December 8, 2019

Jamie Oliver's Pappa Al Pomodoro Soup for Souper (Soup, Salad, & Samie) Sundays

Pappa Al Pomodoro Soup is not always the prettiest of soups but it is perfect for this time of year. The colors say holidays and the flavor says delicious.


I recently checked out Jamie Oliver's 5 Ingredients: Quick and Easy Food from the library. I tagged several recipes to try and his version of this simple tomato bread soup was the first recipe I wanted to make.


Pappa Al Pomodoro Soup
By Jamie Oliver 5 Ingredients
(Serves 4)

4 cloves garlic
1 bunch of fresh basil (1 oz)
2 x 14 oz cans of plum tomatoes
8 1/2 oz stale ciabatta
1 1/2 oz Parmesan cheese

Peel and finely slice the garlic, and place in a large pan on medium heat with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, stirring regularly. Pick the baby basil leaves into a bowl of cold water for later, then pick the rest of the leaves into the pan. Before the garlic starts to color, add the tomatoes and 2 cans worth of water, season with sea salt and black pepper, and bring to a boil, gently mashing the tomatoes.

Tear in the stale bread, stir, then leave to simmer on a low heat for 5 minutes, or until thick and delicious. Finely grate and stir in the Parmesan, then taste and season to perfection. Dish up, sprinkle on the reserved baby basil leaves, and drizzle each bowlful with 1 tablespoon of good extra virgin olive oil. Heaven.


Notes/Results: One of those hug-in-a-bowl simple soups, humble but full of delicious flavor. I mean garlic, tomatoes, basil, bread, cheese--what's not to like?!? I used fire-roasted tomatoes as they are my favorite but didn't feel the need to change the recipe beyond that, it works. I will happily make it again.


Linking up with I Heart Cooking Clubs where this week's theme is Tree Trimming Treats. I think a cup or small bowl of this soup would be perfect for a tree trimming party. 


Now let's look into the Souper Sundays kitchen and see who is here.


Shaheen of Allotment2Kitchen is here with a Broccoli and White Bean Soup and says, "I had picked up some broccoli to accompany a potato dish but it did not get used in favour of tinned peas, so not to waste it I had decided to make a soup with it.  My intention was to make Broccoli and Stilton Soup, but swayed for something different with this Broccoli and White Bean Soup.  I had made some chilli oil from a previous dish and swirled a little over the soup that looked plain."  



Here at Kahakai Kitchen I snuck in another soup this week using the Dried and Prejudice Seasoned Salt I received from The Book Club Cookbook as part of their #BlendsBash for a pairing with a recent Austen-inspired novel. I modernized the classic Regency White Soup and made it vegetarian using potato, cauliflower, parsnip, onion, celery, blanched almonds and cream and used the savory and sweet seasoning salt for extra flavor. It was excellent--rich and creamy. 


Thanks to Shaheen for joining in this week!

(If you aren't familiar with Souper Sundays, you can read about of the origins of it here.

If you would like to join in Souper (Soup, Salad, and Sammie) Sundays, I would love to have you! Here's how...

To join in this week's Souper Sunday's linkup with your soup, salad or sandwich:

  • Link up your soup (stew, chili, soupy curries, etc. are fine), salad, or sandwich dish, (preferably one from the current week or month--but we'll take older posts too) on the picture link below and leave a comment on this post so I am sure not to miss you. Also please see below for what to do on your blog post that you link up to Souper Sundays in order to be included in the weekly round-up.
and 

On your entry post (on your blog):
  • Mention Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammies) Sundays at Kahakai Kitchen and add a link back to this post. (Not to be a pain but it's polite and only fair to link back to events you link up at--so if you link a post up here without linking back to this post or my blog on your post, it will be removed.)
  • You are welcome to add the Souper Sundays logo to your post and/or blog (completely optional).


You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter
Have a happy, healthy week!

Friday, December 6, 2019

The Book Tour Stops Here: A Review of "The Clergyman's Wife" by Molly Greeley, Served with (Not So Traditional) White Soup with Dried & Prejudice Spice Mix for #BlendsBash

Happy Aloha Friday! December is flying by and with all kinds of things going on at work and home, I find myself trying to multitask and combine my efforts on different tasks and projects. Whether that means listening to an audio book while audio-shopping for gifts and then audio-wrapping them or combining two reviews that fit naturally together like my TLC Book Tour Review of The Clergyman's Wife by Molly Greeley with my product review of The Book Club Cookbook's Dried and Prejudice Seasoned Salt.


Why do these two things pair so nicely? Well, Dried and Prejudice is of course inspired by and named for my favorite novel, Pride and Prejudice and so is The Clergyman's Wife, which is the story of Charlotte Lucas after she marries William Collins and goes to live at Hunsford. Accompanying my reviews is a very nontraditional and modernized take on the White Soup, mentioned in Pride and Prejudice...but let's start with the book

Publisher's Blurb:

For everyone who loved Pride and Prejudice—and legions of historical fiction lovers—an inspired debut novel set in Austen’s world.

Charlotte Collins, nee Lucas, is the respectable wife of Hunsford’s vicar, and sees to her duties by rote: keeping house, caring for their adorable daughter, visiting parishioners, and patiently tolerating the lectures of her awkward husband and his condescending patroness, Lady Catherine de Bourgh. Intelligent, pragmatic, and anxious to escape the shame of spinsterhood, Charlotte chose this life, an inevitable one so socially acceptable that its quietness threatens to overwhelm her. Then she makes the acquaintance of Mr. Travis, a local farmer and tenant of Lady Catherine..

In Mr. Travis’ company, Charlotte feels appreciated, heard, and seen. For the first time in her life, Charlotte begins to understand emotional intimacy and its effect on the heart—and how breakable that heart can be. With her sensible nature confronted, and her own future about to take a turn, Charlotte must now question the role of love and passion in a woman’s life, and whether they truly matter for a clergyman’s wife.

Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (December 3, 2019)


My Review: 

I find it very hard to resist a Pride and Prejudice retelling or variation so I immediately jumped on the tour for The Clergyman's Wife as Charlotte's story is an intriguing one and I always wonder at her long-term happiness with the choice she made to marry a fairly ridiculous man without any feeling behind it in order to quit her spinsterhood status and have her own home. The book picks up  a few years into Charlotte's marriage and she has a young daughter and a quiet, placid life that she is going through the motions for until she becomes acquainted with a local farmer. Mr. Travis is probably the first man in Charlotte's life who is interested in getting to know her as her fathers, brothers, and husband have not been interested in seeing more than her surface. Told from Charlotte's point of view, I very much liked how the book gets into her head and illuminates what in her background and society lead to her making the choices she did. There is romance but it is the feelings rather than any inappropriate actions that occur. The Clergyman's Wife is Molly Greeley's first novel and she has a deft hand with capturing the feeling and tone of Austen's work without slavishly copying it and it is clear she has done her research on Regency times. I was happy to get a peek at my favorites Lizzy and Darcy who come to Rosings for a visit, as well as hear about the lives of other characters. If you are fond of Charlotte as I am, you will only like her more after the The Clergyman's Wife, and if you dislike her pragmatism and choices in Pride and Prejudice, this book will make you reconsider your opinions. At times it made me a bit melancholy but overall, a delight to read for Austen fans and for anyone interested in historical fiction or country life in Regency England. I look forward to more books from Molly Greeley, whether more on Charlotte or maybe another supporting character like Mary or Kitty, less well-drawn in Pride and Prejudice or another of Austen's works.  

-----
Author Notes: Molly Greeley earned her bachelor’s degree in English, with a creative writing emphasis, from Michigan State University, where she was the recipient of the Louis B. Sudler Prize in the Arts for Creative Writing. Her short stories and essays have been published in CicadaCarve, and Literary Mama.  She works on social media for a local business, is married and the mother of three children but her Sunday afternoons are devoted to weaving stories into books.

Find out more about Molly at her website, and connect with her on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram.
-----

Food Inspiration:

On to the food... There was more than I thought there would be mentioned in the story and the Hunsford gardens provided much of it as they grew lettuces, spring cabbages, asparagus, winter parsnips, cauliflower, pumpkins, beans, potatoes and herbs as well as plum, pear and apple trees, gooseberries and currants, strawberries and raspberries. There is a pig, fattened up to be used for its pork and bacon as winter approaches and Charlotte and the parsonage housekeeper do a lot of preserving and pickling of their produce. There are preserves and honey for bread and for mead and elderberry  wine and homemade jam. Other mentions include soup and wine for dinner, toast, cake, tea and lemon cakes, cottage pie, seed cake, plum cake, chicken, pigeon, and hares, almonds in a wedding cake of dried nuts and fruit with icing flavored with almonds and rosewater, and rum cake.


For my bookish dish, I wanted to make a white soup because it is mentioned in Pride and Prejudice (Bingley is going to have the ball at Netherfield when his cook has made enough white soup) and the Collins family eat soup for dinner. It is unlikely it would be white soup as it was more of classic Regency party dish for balls than an everyday food, but there are dinners at Rosings and the Autumn festival, and Marla where perhaps it could have been enjoyed. Since the classic recipes I googled included chicken and things like "a knuckle of veal" and I don't eat meat, I took inspiration from some white ingredients from the garden--potatoes, cauliflower, and a parsnip and the almonds in Maria Lucas's wedding cake icing to make my soup.



For flavor I used my Dried and Prejudice Seasoned Salt which is made up of sea salt, demerara sugar, paprika, garlic, onion, mustard, Mexican oregano, celery seed, black pepper and cinnamon, and is tagged as "salty and slightly sweet with some subtle garlic notes." I thought the touch of sweetness would play well with the parsnip and the the blend would work well with the other ingredients. I used the blanched almonds to thicken and cream for its richness and of course used my high-speed blender to modernize the preparation. Weeknight cooking does not bode well for straining through muslin or other traditional preparation methods. ;-) Finally I had some leftover pomegranate seeds and had read the soup might be topped with them, so I sprinkled them on the soup along with a little of the seasoning blend for color. 


(Not So Traditional Vegetarian) White Soup
By Deb, Kahakai Kitchen
(Makes about 8 Appetizer Servings)

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 small sweet onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tsp Dried & Prejudice Seasoning Blend
1/2 cup blanched almonds
2 large white potatoes, cubed
1 large parsnip, chopped
1 package frozen cauliflower florets
4 cups light chicken or non-chicken veggie broth + more if needed
1/2 cup cream or half-and-half
salt and black pepper
To serve: pomegranate seeds
 
Heat olive oil in a large, heavy-bottom soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion and celery and saute for about 57 minutes, until onion is softened and translucent. Add the garlic and saute another minute or two. Stir the seasoning into the mix, then add almonds, potatoes, parsnip, cauliflower, and broth and bring to a boil.

Cover pot, reduce heat to low and simmer for about 30 minutes until vegetables are soft and cooked through. Add additional stock to ensure vegetables are covered if needed. Use a immersion blender to blend soup until smooth or blend in batches in a high speed blender until very smooth. Return to stove and stir in the cream. Season to taste with salt, pepper and additional Dried and Prejudice as desired.


Notes/Results: Like a vichyssoise in style and texture, only richer, this soup was a pleasant surprise. It had good flavor from the seasoning salt and was quite sippable and delicious. There is no one element that stands out in it but everything marries well--the sweetness is there but is tempered by the savory herbs and the tart bites of the pomegranate. I can see why the traditional soup would have been popular, but I quite liked my vegetarian version and would proudly serve it to Jane Austen at me imaginary dinner party. ;-) We have had some cooler, rainy weather this week and this soup has been an enjoyable snack and starter. I will happily make it again.


Dried and Prejudice Seasoning Notes: I quite like this blend and how it elevates a mild vegetable like potatoes or cauliflower. I think it will work well in eggs, topping other vegetables and would be excellent stirred into a pot of beans. I think there are endless uses and I like that the sweetness is subtle. I have some fingerling potatoes that I want to roast with this blend on top and I may have to try some oven potato chips with it too. (Yes I do love my potatoes). Between foodies and Austen addicts or foodies who are Austen addicts, it would be a perfect stocking stuffer--or pairing with one of the beautiful editions of Pride and Prejudice that are available.


Many thanks to The Book Club Cookbook for providing me with this tasty seasoning blend. I received no compensation for taking part in the #BlendsBash and my thoughts and experience using the blends are my own.


You can see my first Bookish Blend review (Where the Crawdads Zing) here!

You can check out all the bloggers participating in the #BlendsBash here

Of course this soup is going to be shared with Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays here at Kahakai Kitchen, where I featured my own weekly soups, salads and sandwiches as well as those of my friends. (See the details to join in on this week's link up.)


I'm also sharing this post with the Weekend Cooking event at Beth Fish Reads, a weekly event that is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share. For more information, see the welcome post.

Note: A review copy of "The Clergyman's Wife" was provided to me by the author and the publisher, Harper Collins, via TLC Book Tours. I was not compensated for my review and as always, my thoughts and opinions are my own. 
 
You can see the other stops for this TLC Book Tour and what other bloggers thought of the book here.


 

Sunday, December 1, 2019

North Carolina Fish Stew & Biscuits with "Where the Crawdads Zing" Compound Butter for Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays & #BlendsBash

I can't tell you how excited I was to be approached by the wonderful Judy of The Book Club Cookbook to take part in their #BlendsBash featuring their creative and delicious spice blends. I had the opportunity to choose two spice blends from their selection of cleverly-named Bookish Blends, TV Blends and Song Blends to try and to write a fair review on. I was tempted by many of them but ended up going with two Bookish Blends.


I'll post my second blend later this week and I chose Where the Crawdads Zing based on my love of seafood and the book, Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens. (Coincidentally, I won a copy of the book months ago from The Book Club Cookbook's Instagram account.) The story of Kya, known as the "Marsh Girl" of Barkely Cove on the North Carolina Coast is gorgeous and won my heart this year. It turns out that the spice blend inspired by it is equally as good. It is a blend of celery seed. sea salt, cayenne pepper, yellow mustard powder, thyme, paprika, black pepper, ginger and bay leaves--so many of my favorite spices! I have been quietly using the blend on my eggs, potatoes, some baked salmon and I'm loving it.



For my recipe(s) inspired by it, I first wanted to incorporate it into a soup. I found an Eastern North Carolina Fish Stew online--several recipes in fact and thought the blend of fish, red potatoes, spices, tomato, beer and eggs to be interesting and North Carolina is the setting of the book. I decided to take out the bacon and sausage (I don't eat meat) and replace the Cajun spices with Where the Crawdads Zing. To get double the zing, I baked (canned) biscuits and stirred the spice mix into butter for a Where the Crawdads Zing Compound Butter to accompany the soup.


Eastern North Carolina Fish Stew
Adapted from Timber2Table via RealTree.com
(Serves 6)

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, halved and sliced thin
1 tsp Aleppo pepper or red pepper flakes
2 tsp Where the Crawdads Zing Seasoning Blend
1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
1 1/2 lbs baby red potatoes, quartered (unpeeled)4 cups vegetable broth
2 cups beer
2 bay leaves
2 tsp of liquid smoke
1-2 tsp of your favorite hot sauce
1 1/2 lbs thick fish white fillets, sliced
6 large eggs
salt and pepper

Add the olive oil to a large soup pot and warm over medium-high heat. Add the sliced onions with a little salt  and sauté about 7 to 10 minutes until softened. Add the pepper, seasoning blend and tomato paste and stir together, cooking for a few minutes until fragrant. Add the potatoes and stir until well blended. Cover the pot and cook over medium about 10 minutes until potatoes start to soften.

Add the vegetable broth, beer, bay leaves and hot sauce and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook about 15-20 minutes. Add the fish and more broth or water if needed and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes.

Crack the eggs one at a time into a small cup, gently pouring each egg into the simmering broth so that it poaches. Continue until all the eggs are spread over the surface of the soup. Cover the pot and simmer another 10-12 minutes until eggs are poached and yolks just firm. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.

Ladle into bowls, ensuring each bowl gets a poached egg and plenty of fish and potatoes. Serve with biscuits and compound butter and extra hot sauce. Enjoy. 

-----

Where the Crawdads Zing Compound Butter
By Deb, Kahakai Kitchen

1 stick good salted butter
2 tsp Where the Crawdads Zing Seasoning Blend

Soften butter to room temperature and stir in seasoning blend until thoroughly mixed together. Place butter in serving dish and refrigerate about 30 minutes until slightly firm. Use on toast, biscuits, bread, vegetable and fish. 

Butter will keep about 2 weeks in fridge. Allow to come to room temperature for easier spreading.


Notes/Results: In no way is my soup authentic as I left out the sausage and bacon among other things, but it is zesty and full of flavor and very good. I like the smokiness--in part from the liquid smoke and also from the Where the Crawdads Zing spice blend. Even better than the soup is the compound butter--the way the spices sing when mixed into the rich butter make even canned biscuits (no time, lazy, not a baker...) delicious. Dipped into the soup made for an extra zingy meal. I am looking forward to using my butter and the rest of my spice blend in a variety of dishes. Although is certainly works well on fish and seafood, don't shy away fro this blend if you don't eat it--this blend would be just as good on chicken, corn-on-the-cob, French fries or tater tots and I can tell you it is fantastic on eggs.


Thanks to The book Club Cookbook for providing me with this fun seasoning blend. I received no compensation for taking part in the #BlendsBash and my thoughts and experience using the blends are my own.



I'll be sharing my second Bookish Blend soon!

You can check out all the bloggers participating in the #BlendsBash here

Now let's look into the Souper Sundays kitchen and see who is here.


Judee of Gluten Free A - Z Blog brought a bright and tasty Thanksgiving Salad to share and said, "The inspiration for this salad comes from a local Italian restaurant that we frequent in South Miami. This type of salad is one their best sellers. It is a colorful salad with chopped romaine lettuce, walnuts, roasted red peppers, diced red onion, blue cheese, diced tomatoes, black and green olives, diced yellow peppers."


Simona of briciole shared book-inspired Eggplant and Yellow Split Pea Stew saying, "The stew is excellent! The original dish is served with basmati rice (the preparation of which features prominently in Persian cuisine). I don't like white rice (long story), so I ate it accompanied by other dishes, like sautéed radicchio di Castelfranco (the variety on the bottom of the photo below). Containing both vegetables and proteins, this stew is a complete and versatile dish."


Thanks to Judee and Simona for joining in this week!

(If you aren't familiar with Souper Sundays, you can read about of the origins of it here.

If you would like to join in Souper (Soup, Salad, and Sammie) Sundays, I would love to have you! Here's how...

To join in this week's Souper Sunday's linkup with your soup, salad or sandwich:

  • Link up your soup (stew, chili, soupy curries, etc. are fine), salad, or sandwich dish, (preferably one from the current week or month--but we'll take older posts too) on the picture link below and leave a comment on this post so I am sure not to miss you. Also please see below for what to do on your blog post that you link up to Souper Sundays in order to be included in the weekly round-up.
and 

On your entry post (on your blog):
  • Mention Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammies) Sundays at Kahakai Kitchen and add a link back to this post. (Not to be a pain but it's polite and only fair to link back to events you link up at--so if you link a post up here without linking back to this post or my blog on your post, it will be removed.)
  • You are welcome to add the Souper Sundays logo to your post and/or blog (completely optional).

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter

Saturday, November 30, 2019

Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Warm Harissa Hummus for Cook the Books October/November Pick: "The Temporary Bride" by Jennifer Klinec

Happy Saturday and happy last day of November. It's time for my usual procrastinator's special post of our Cook the Books selection, The Temporary Bride: A Memoir of Love and Food in Iran  by Jennifer Klinec. Selected by co-host and my fellow Hawaii-based blogger Claudia of Honey From Rock (see her announcement post here), it's a foodie memoir about a food lover who seeks out food traditions recipes from around the world and heads to Iran to explore Persian cuisine and in addition to exotic dishes, finds a forbidden love. Since I love Persian food and a good foodie memoir, this book was a hit with me and so was the tasty vegan Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Warm Harissa Hummus I made as my bookish dish.


Jennifer Klinec is a interesting and brave woman who leaves her safe and expected corporate job to open up a kitchen school in London and then spends much more time in Iran in a very precarious relationship with the son of the woman she is learning to cook Persian food from. I prefer to travel the world of Middle Eastern Cooking through cookbooks and books because of the political climate in countries like Iran that make it dangerous for travelers, particularly women to journey there. I look at Klinec with admiration for her courage but shake my head a bit at the chances she took with Vahid--even after receiving a "temporary marriage" status. I guess you can't help loving who you love, but as for me I'll stick to armchair travel to Iran. 


The food descriptions were my favorite parts of the books as Klinec's appreciation for food and flair for describing it come across beautifully not just with the Persian dishes and ingredients but the Eastern European recipes she grew up cooking with her mother and the many cuisines she tried along the way. I had tagged a few recipes to make in Sirocco by Sabrina Ghayour, one of several Persian cookbooks I own but sadly, my local grocery store's gourmet section seemed to be missing the usual grape leaves and preserved lemon I rely on them for. I had a plan A,B, and C but because of my procrastination, found myself madly googling harissa recipes at the store, as it was something I had on hand.


It ended up being kismet as I found a recipe for a Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Warm Harissa Hummus from Olive magazine that sounded fabulous and as I already had all of the spices and basics at home, led to me just needing to grab a head of cauliflower, a pomegranate and some coriander. 


Vegan Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Warm Harissa Hummus
From OliveMagazine.com
(Serves 2 to 23

2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp chili powder (I used Aleppo pepper)
1 large cauliflower, larger leaves trimmed
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp chili oil
1/2 pomegranate, seeds scooped out
small bunch coriander, leaves torn

Hummus
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 (400 g / 15 oz) tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 Tbsp tahini
1 lemon, juiced
1 Tbsp harissa

Heat the oven to 200 degrees C or 400 degrees F. Put the vegetable oil and spices into a bowl with salt and pepper and mix. Add the cauliflower and toss around well--making sure it is well covered with the seasoned oil. Put on a baking pan and roast for 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hour or until the stem is tender when pierced with a knife.

Meanwhile, whisk together the red wine vinegar and chili oil with some salt and pepper, then stir in the pomegranate seeds. 

Near the end of the cauliflower's cooking time, heat the olive oil in a pan with the onion and a pinch of salt. Cook gently for 5 minutes until soft, then add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the chickpeas and heat for 2 minutes, until warm. Tip pan into a food processor with the tahini, lemon juice, harissa and 150 ml of water , and whiz to a puree. Put the hummus in a small pan and keep warm until the cauliflower is ready.

Serve the roasted cauliflower on the warm hummus with the pomegranate seeds and the dressing drizzled over, plus a sprinkling of coriander leaves.


Notes/Results: This cauliflower takes only time and a few exotic spices and ingredients, but little effort to prepare and it is delicious. A good mix of flavors and definitely spicy spicy, but without a strong burn. The cauliflower is tender and takes on the flavors of the cumin, coriander, turmeric, and chili and gets a burst of tart acidity from the vinegar and pomegranate seeds. I may start stirring harissa paste into all the hummus I make--it adds another layer of flavor and a bit of heat and the warm hummus is a nice addition to the dish. I think it would be a spectacular recipe to serve during the holidays with its jewel-like colors and exotic flavors and would appeal to meat eaters as well as veg-friendly and gluten free friends. I will happily make it again.


The deadline for this round of Cook the Books is today, November 30th and Claudia will be rounding up the entries on the CTB site soon after. If you missed this round and like food, books, and foodie books, join us for our December/January pick, The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh and hosted by Debra of Eliot's Eats. 


I'm also sharing this post with the Weekend Cooking event at Beth Fish Reads, a weekly event that is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share. For more information, see the welcome post.


And finally I'm linking up to this month's Foodies Read. You can check out November's Foodies Read linkup, hosted by Heather at Based on a True Story, to see what everyone is reading this month.   


Sunday, November 24, 2019

Maya Rudolph's Chocolate Chili from "Mixtape Potluck" for Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie Sundays & #AbramsDinnerParty

I am a huge Questlove fan from the tonight show and I was so excited to see his new cookbook, Mixtape Potluck as one of Abrams Books fall lineup and to receive a copy to review as part of #AbramsDinnerParty. I love the party vibe of this cookbook where Questlove features recipes from from his friends and along with the songs he selects for them. I picked the Chocolate Chili recipe by Maya Rudolph to accompany my review. 


I have no illusions that I am in any way cool enough to hang out with Questlove but I would love too and Mixtape Potluck is likely the next best thing and makes me feel cooler just by having a copy. ;-) It mixes music and food so well with a forward by Martha Stewart and an introduction to Questlove's dinner parties or what started as "food salons" where he brought in chefs to cook dishes that could be eaten partly standing up for his guests from a of different worlds. An epiphany at one food salon had him deciding to create an event where the guests would bring recipes and he would give them a song inspired by what he knew about them. His goal is a book for parties as well as one for quiet family meals but in his hope is that the food is communal and shared. 

Mixtape Potluck Cookbook A Dinner Party for Friends, Their Recipes, and the Songs They Inspire
  • Imprint: Abrams Image
  • Publication Date: October 15, 2019

Recipes are grouped by Arrival Snacks, Start It Up Small, Bring It Right On Over! Soups and Stews, Right There Next to it: Sides and Salads, Veg Friends You Wanna Impress, Carb Jonez, Meat Eaters, Bittersweet Ending, Raise a Glass, and After the Party: Late Night Snacks. There is an afterword about hosting a potluck, Questlove's Mixtape Potluck Playlist ,and tips for creating a good playlist. Finally there is an index of the dishes, contributors, and key ingredients. The food photos are artsy with a retro vibe and there are great party illustrations on the end papers. Although there are chapters of meat and seafood recipes, there is a great presence of veg-friendly recipes too--something that I look for in the cookbook I choose. Mixtape Potluck would be a great gift for yourself and your foodie friends, music lovers, and art and design fans. I had a lot of fun reading it and finding recipes to make--the hardest part was choosing one for my review.


I tagged lots of recipes to make including the Pimento Cheese Dip with Biscuit Crackers by Carla Hall, Plantains Two Ways by Fred Armisen, Chickpea and Spinach Tapas by Padma Lakshmi, Sweet Potato Kimchi Pancake by Nyesha Arrington, New Orleans-Style BBQ Shrimp and Burrata Toast by Kelly Fields, Shep's Maui Onion and Ginger Soup by Shep Gordon, South Philly Seafood Stew by Tariq Trotter, Bok Choy and Cucumber Salad by Zooey Deschanel, Peppers a'la Famiglia Tomei by Marisa Tomei, Herbed Shrimp Salad with Fried Green Tomatoes by Edouardo Jordan, Easy Veggie Party Quiche (That Will Blow Everyone's Minds) by Amy Poehler, Spinach Pie by Natalie Portman, Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Two Sauces by Jessica Seifeld, Old Dirty Basmati Rice by Tanya Holland, Coconut Jollof Rice by Yvonne Orji, Blueberry Crunch Cake by Jessica Biel, Ginger Beer by Thelma Gordon, Bourbon Raspberry Tea by Gabrielle Union, and Mac and Cheese by Q-Tip.


Maya Rudolph's Chocolate Chili was the recipe that called to me the most. (OK Carla Hall's Pimento Cheese Dip with Biscuit Crackers was close!) I was immediately intrigued by the idea of a simple vegetarian chili served with chocolate chips and Fritos (plus some other yummy toppings). I have made chili with cocoa powder, with beer, and with coffee but just sprinkling chocolate chips on top seemed like a fun and bold move. I stuck to the recipe with the exception of using two cans of pinto beans instead of white beans (I didn't look closely at my pantry bean collection) and adding pickled onions to my topping list. I love the extra hit of acidity. I also cooked it on the stove as I have a small kitchen and sometimes getting the slow cooker down from the shelf and wiping it out to use is more trouble than it's worth. She has notes for stovetop and oven preparation below.


Questlove says, "If I didn't love Maya enough already, I fell head over heels in love with her all over again because of her chili. Anyone who combines chocolate chips and Fritos is a hero. Be a hero yourself. Bring her dish to your next Potluck."

Questlove's song pick for Maya is Herbet Harper's Free Press News by Muddy Waters:



Chocolate Chili
Recipe by Maya Rudolph via Mixtape Potluck by Questlove
(Serves 8-10)
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 2 1/2 hours

1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 large yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 Tbsp chili powder\
1 Tbsp ground cumin
2 bay leaves
1 (15 oz) can kidney beans, drained & rinsed
1 (15 oz) can pinto beans, drained & rinsed
1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained & rinsed
1 (15 oz) can white beans, drained & rinsed
1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes with juices
2 (15 oz) cans tomato juice
2 tsp kosher salt + more to taste

For Serving:
-chocolate chips
-plain Greek yogurt
-grated cheddar cheese
-sliced scallions
-Fritos
-lime wedges
-Cholula or another hot sauce

Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large Dutch oven or other heavy-bottomed large pot over medium heat until simmering. Add the onion and cook for about 3 minutes, until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute, or until fragrant. Transfer to a slow cooker. If you don't have a slow cooker you can easily make this dish on your stovetop or in your oven (see Note).

Add the remaining ingredients to the slow cooker, stir well, cover, and cook on low for two hours. 

Set out the chocolate chips and all other garnishments and let guests help themselves.

Note: For stovetop: Once all the ingredients are added to the Dutch oven, cook on low heat for about an hour, stirring occasionally to ensure nothing is sticking.

For oven: Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. In an oven safe-pot, cook the chili uncovered for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally to ensure nothing is sticking.


Notes/Results: An easy and very tasty chili with plenty of flavor from the chili powder and cumin. Of course the magic happens in the toppings. I used Guittard Extra Dark Chips and the combination with the yogurt, lime, shredded and salty Fritos is delicious. I think darker or bittersweet chocolate is the way to go here. A fun and satisfying chili that I will happily make again. (And I am also stealing the chocolate chip topping idea for future chilis--trust me, give it a try.)


Many thank to Abrams Books and #AbramsDinner Party for this very cool new cookbook for my collection. This post is sponsored by Abrams Books, as part of the Abrams Dinner Party however my thoughts, feelings and experiences cooking from it are my own.  #sponsored 

I''m also sharing this post with the Weekend Cooking event at Beth Fish Reads, a weekly event that is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share. For more information, see the welcome post.


I'm also linking up to this month's Foodies Read. You can check out November's Foodies Read linkup, hosted by Heather at Based on a True Story, to see what everyone is reading this month.   



Now let's look into the Souper Sundays kitchen and see who is here.


Tina of Squirrel Head Manor brings Sink Soup (Not the Lizard!) this week and says, "This lovely book called The Complete Irish Pub cookbook has many good recipes as well as photos of the Irish countryside. It's fun just to look through and will make you wish for a trip to the Emerald Isles. It's a quick soup to make if you have some chicken already cooked. We happened to have leftover rotisserie so I shredded two thighs for the soup.

Debra of Eliot's Eats shares Persian Noodle Soup inspired by The Temporary Bride and says, "Almost all of the ingredients could be prepped the day ahead to make meal time easier. Soaking the beans overnight and chopping and sautéing the onions are the hardest part to this soup. I halved the original recipe and this still made four hearty servings. I heated up some of the leftovers for us and added a bit of chicken stock to stretch it a bit. It was better the second day."

Thanks to Tina and Debra for joining in this week!

(If you aren't familiar with Souper Sundays, you can read about of the origins of it here.

If you would like to join in Souper (Soup, Salad, and Sammie) Sundays, I would love to have you! Here's how...

To join in this week's Souper Sunday's linkup with your soup, salad or sandwich:

  • Link up your soup (stew, chili, soupy curries, etc. are fine), salad, or sandwich dish, (preferably one from the current week or month--but we'll take older posts too) on the picture link below and leave a comment on this post so I am sure not to miss you. Also please see below for what to do on your blog post that you link up to Souper Sundays in order to be included in the weekly round-up.
and 

On your entry post (on your blog):
  • Mention Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammies) Sundays at Kahakai Kitchen and add a link back to this post. (Not to be a pain but it's polite and only fair to link back to events you link up at--so if you link a post up here without linking back to this post or my blog on your post, it will be removed.)
  • You are welcome to add the Souper Sundays logo to your post and/or blog (completely optional).

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Have a happy, healthy week!