Thursday, 28 February 2013

Cookbook Challenge #3 and #4

I've been diligently perusing my cookbooks for new and untested recipes.   Heres what I cooked up last week:

CBC #3: Pork and Beans from Art of the Slow Cooker (by Andrew Schloss)

I got a slow cooker for Christmas a few years ago and Briana gifted me this book.  I probably don't use my slow-cooker as much as I should, but in the winter I try to get it going at least twice a month.  I used it more when I was still skiing - nothing beats coming home from the hill & having a nice big pot of chilli or bone-warming soup waiting for you!

I find a lot of books try to really fancy up the slow-cooker.  I'm sure it can deliver some really delectable gourmet meals, but for me its forte is the homey, comfy foods.  And what could be homier that pork and beans?

This recipe was easy & tasty.  I had Wheezer's "Pork and Beans" in my head for several days after eating it.  As per usual with the slow cooker, it made enough to sink a ship, so the freezer is now stocked up!

CBC #4: Sauteed Brussels Sprouts with Red Bell Peppers, Paneer and Cashews from "Vij's Elegant & Inspired Indian Cuisine"

In addition to learning a new recipe, I also learned that this is how you spell Brussels sprouts and that they are, in fact, named after Brussels, Belgium.  I always thought they were brussle sprouts - no capital B and no s.  This lead me to look more into the name, and what do you know - they are thought to have originally be cultivated in Belgium as early as the 13th century.  A little cabbage education for me and maybe for you too.

Let me say that I don't particularly love Brussels sprouts.  But I do LOVE Vij.  Vij's in Vancouver is probably my very favourite restaurant in the world.  If anyone can make Brussels spouts taste amazing, Vikram Vij is the man.  Briana and Ted cooked this meal while I was in Toronto, and I was thinking "Wow - Brussels spouts Vij-style are really good.  Maybe I can convince Derek to try them."  His enthusiasm for Brussels sprouts rivals his enthusiasm for eggplant, turnip and "that white broccoli."

I was too lazy to make my own paneer, so with the store bought version, this dish came together in about 10 mins.  I paired it with chicken with garlic & cashews (from my fav Bonnie Stern book, but inspired by Vij), rice and naan.

I pumped up the Brussels sprouts in a big way, singing their praises & Vij's too, but to no avail!  Derek managed to avoid even a single leaf of the sprouts, though he did enjoy the rest of this dish.  I thought it was super yummy, though I would say the paneer is more the star of this one, rather than the sprouts.  Maybe I am also still slightly biased against the poor old Brussels spout.

Coming up this weekend: we are having friends over for brunch I am tackling not one, not two, but three new recipes!  I know they say you should not prepare a new meal when you entertain, but when else would I try them?  Besides, my friends are adventurous!


  1. I also did not know about Brussels sprouts! Sorry, but I've got to go with Derek on this one. Nobody, but nobody can turn Brussels sprouts into something delicious!

  2. Sounds like mom needs to expand her horizons on the Brussel sprout front!