Marmalade Macaroons or Rochers à la Noix de Coco

Marmalade Macaroons or Rochers à la Noix de Coco

Marmalade Macaroons or Rochers à la Noix de Coco

Add macaroons to your dessert menu to master a classic French treat with Italian origins that’s surprisingly quick and easy. Macaroons (mac-uh-ruinz) based on coconut, look and sound nothing like the butter-cream filled almond cookies macarons (mac-kaw-rhone except only pronounce half the “n” for that special form of French nasal linguistic torture). To avoid confusion, the French versions are called Rochers à la Noix de Coco (coconut rocks) or simply Rochers Coco to be short and slang.

Marmalade macaroons are not traditional. Typically, macaroons have three-ingredients (sugar, coconut and egg whites) that can be formed into playful shapes, often into a cone or pyramid shape in France. They’re most delicious when the tops and sides or edges have extra crispy browned, nearly burned bits. This marmalade macaroon was inspired by delicious marmalade I experienced while living in France and pleases any crowd with chewy-crunchy textures.

Fast & Easy Marmalade Macaroons

Makes 20

Marmalade Macaroon TheTasteWorkshop.com

 

 

 

Ingredients

5 ½ cups (14 ounce bag) sweetened coconut flakes
½ cup sugar
⅛ teaspoon salt (optional, but helps balance the sweetness)
4 egg whites
4 tablespoons marmalade, minced (If marmalade is very syrupy and thin, use 3 tablespoons)

Steps

1. Preheat oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Stir together coconut, sugar and salt in a bowl.
3. Add egg whites and marmalade and mix with a large serving fork or spoon.
4. Scoop two tablespoons onto parchment paper in a mound and continue to make more mounds spaced about 2 inches apart. Fill a small bowl or cup with water, dip your fingers into water and with fingers of both hands, form each mound into a pyramid, wetting fingers as needed.
5. Place on middle rack in over, cook for 16-20 minutes or until firm on the sides and the edges and tops have begun to turn dark brown, nearly a burnt look.
6. After removing from oven, carefully slide onto two baking racks set side by side to fit the baking sheet size.
7. Let cool to eat if you can wait and store in the refrigerator in a covered dish.

Here’s an unscripted Facebook Live Video where I chat about bitter oranges, coconut flake differences & forming the pyramid shapes.

Happy Macaroon Day! The best 15 minute, 3-4 ingredient dessert ever if you like coconut. I'm showing a marmalade version with French influences (the shape) and in France–often called Rochers à la Noix de Coco (coconut rocks) or Roches Coco to be slang and short.

Posted by Michele Redmond on Thursday, May 31, 2018

 

 

 

About Me

The pleasure of food, good health and well-being through simple habits for eating well and flexitarian low-key cooking.
Michele Redmond

Michele Redmond

French-trained Chef, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist & Food Enjoyment Activist

It's about Making Food First

Get Taste Workshop periodic updates on easy ways to choose and cook foods that satisfy your appetite, nurture your body and make eating well a pleasure.

Meaty Walnut Mushroom Ragout: Flex Your Meatless Options

Meaty Walnut Mushroom Ragout: Flex Your Meatless Options

Meaty Walnut Mushroom Ragout: Flex Your Meatless Options

Walnut Mushroom Ragout (Ragoût, for zee French appetite)

This walnut mushroom ragout (pronounced like the Italian Ragù) is a veggie and meat-eater favorite that delivers a ground-meat texture and umami-meaty flavor from toasted walnuts. Walnuts are high in umami flavors from free glutamate, the amino acid primarily responsible for savory, brothy, meaty flavors. They’re also high in omega-3 fatty acids that most of us struggle to get into our diet in meaningful amounts and, as a nut, walnuts uniquely are an excellent source of the plant-based form alpha-linolenic acid.

walnut mushroom ragoutDon’t let the nutrient-rich profile and French name fool you into thinking this is a fancy health food; ragout is your basic comfort food. A French ragoût can have any range of vegetable or meat ingredients, but an Italian ragù, with the same sounding name and diverse applications, is traditionally meat-centric.

From the French verb ragoûter, meaning to “refresh or stimulate the appetite” (the noun goût means taste) .

Combined with common ragoût ingredients such as tomatoes and mushrooms, it’s a crave-worthy dish that complements polenta, pasta or rice and can mimic ground meat in some dishes. By making a few additions, like adding vegetables common to bolognese or spices common to sloppy joes, this dish can flex in multiple directions.

I first demonstrated this dish at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris as part of a plant-based class on using plant-based umami to make veggies more crave-worthy.  It also showcased at the national Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo in Chicago to highlight how to create vegan meals that omnivores, and everyone, will love.

Walnut Mushroom Ragout Ingredients

1 ½ cup (about 3.5 ounces) unsalted walnut pieces
1 pound cremini mushrooms (white button can substitute okay)
¼ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 medium yellow onion, diced fine (about 2 cups)
2 medium-sized cloves garlic, minced or grated (about 2 teaspoons)
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
1 cup dry white wine or dry vermouth
1 tablespoon reduced-sodium tamari
6-8 sprigs fresh thyme, minced (about 1 teaspoon)

Steps

1. Heat walnuts in a skillet over medium heat, tossing frequently for 3-5 minutes until toasted. Pour into a food processor and pulse or chop by hand until resembling ground meat.

walnut mushroom ragout prep

2. Rinse the mushrooms to remove any dirt. Keep stems, but slice of any ends that may have trapped dirt or debris. Slice mushrooms ½” thick. Put in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high for 3 minutes. Stir and microwave another two minutes.

3. Heat a large skillet over a medium-high heat and use a slotted spoon remove the mushrooms into the skillet, keep the mushroom liquid. Sprinkle on the salt and cook mushrooms without stirring. Once start to dry out (about five minutes), add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and toss mushrooms. When mushrooms closest to the pan surface are brown (about 8-10 minutes) stir or toss, cook 2-4 minutes longer then pour into a bowl.

4.Add to the still warm skillet the remaining tablespoon of oil and tomato paste. Reduce the heat to medium, stir to cook the paste for 2-3 minutes.

5. Add the onion, garlic, smoked paprika, walnuts and mushrooms. Stir and cook 2-3 minutes. Add wine, tamari and mushroom liquid, cook until walnuts are tender and liquids are absorbed but the mixture is still moist (20-25 minutes). Stir in minced thyme. Season with salt if needed. If desired, add 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil for additional rich, supple textures.

walnut mushroom ragout prep | Thetasteworkshop.com

Walnut Mushroom Ragout Serving Options

 

walnut mushroom ragout

Serve with polenta, rice, pasta and baked potatoes or add as a meat substitute for stews or turn into sloppy joes by adding classic sloppy joe spices and ingredients like bell peppers.

Walnut Storage Tips:  Because of the luscious nature of walnuts (lovely fat qualities), store in the refrigerator if using soon or the freezer if they won’t be used for a month or more.

More info here at https://walnuts.org/how-to/how-to-buy-care/

 

About Me

The pleasure of food, good health and well-being through simple habits for eating well and flexitarian low-key cooking.
Michele Redmond

Michele Redmond

French-trained Chef, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist & Food Enjoyment Activist

It's about Making Food First

Get Taste Workshop periodic updates on easy ways to choose and cook foods that satisfy your appetite, nurture your body and make eating well a pleasure.

Chickpea Corn Cakes: Crave-worthy Carbs

Chickpea Corn Cakes: Crave-worthy Carbs

Chickpea Corn Cakes: Crave-worthy Carbs

chickpea corn cakes top

If you enjoy crunchy, sweet summer corn and savory, nutty chickpea flavors and a fast, easy recipe, continue. However, I feel compelled to defend corn just in case with this comment:

Carby chickpea corn cakes cause carb-avoiders cringe-worthy concerns, or conversely, conscious cravings. Now breathe.

 

Corn often gets dissed as low-nutrient, high-starch food, but this oversimplifies corn’s dietary profile.

chickpea corn cakes

Instead corn’s a good source of fiber, micronutrients and minerals that connect to health benefits.

As for corn cravings, sweet corn is a comfort food that connects us to summer and chowing down on a cob is just plain fun. Corn’s also a good source of umami offering savory, meaty flavors.

 

The Chickpea Ingredient

The chickpea in this recipe is from chickpea flour (besan or gram flour), a nutrient-rich, gluten-free flour. In these egg-free corn cakes, the sticky bean flour is a primary binding agent.

Enjoy corn cakes as an appetizer with a dollop of lemon yogurt sauce, garlic and walnut herb sauce or a salsa or as a dinner with a side salad.

 

Chickpea Corn Cakes

Yield: Makes 18-20

Ingredients

4 ears of corn (about 2 pounds trimmed or about 3 cups of kernels)
1½ cup chickpea flour
⅓ cup sweet rice flour
1 teaspoon baking powder 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 tablespoons ground sumac (a citrus-like flavor, but is optional)
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (or ½ teaspoon for more hint of heat)
¾ to 1 cup water
1 large shallot, minced (about ⅓ cup)  (or ¼ of a small yellow onion)
4 tablespoons organic canola oil

Prep Steps  

  1. Shuck corn if needed, cut off kernels (hold stalk upright in the center of a tea towel and use a chef knife to strip off kernels). If using canned corn, drain and pat dry the kernels.
  2. In a bowl, stir together chickpea flour, rice flour, baking powder, salt, sumac and cayenne.
  3. Add water, shallot and corn. Mix with a spoon until blended. If not using immediately, refrigerate for 20 minutes or overnight to make forming patties easier.
  4. Form palm-sized patties about 1/2” thick with an even surface for nice browning. In a large skillet, heat the oil over a medium-heat burner until it shimmers. Add patties leaving space between them, cook until each side is a dark brown color. Place on paper towels and repeat.
  5. Serve hot or at room temperature—see serving ideas below.

Serving Ideas & Nutrition Bonus:

Serve with dips sauces or topped with tangy Greek yogurt, Garlicky cheese-free pesto or a chunky-tomato ragout.

Nutrition bonus: for 4 corn cakes: Fiber 9 grams (woohoo) and 10 grams protein for only 236 calories

Like Chickpea flour? Also try my Chickpea shrimp fritters

Like the pan? I don’t represent Lodge cast iron, but do recommend them: more info here

About Me

The pleasure of food, good health and well-being through simple habits for eating well and flexitarian low-key cooking.
Michele Redmond

Michele Redmond

French-trained Chef, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist & Food Enjoyment Activist

It's about Making Food First

Get Taste Workshop periodic updates on easy ways to choose and cook foods that satisfy your appetite, nurture your body and make eating well a pleasure.

Golden Horseradish Hummus

Golden Horseradish Hummus

Golden Horseradish Hummus

Golden Horseradish Hummus

Hummus needs chickpeas. I’ve met modern interpretations at restaurants and was disappointed when I could find no trace or taste of it.

Chickpeas have a distinct flavor and, culturally, if chickpeas are subbed out for other beans, you have bean dip, not hummus. Hummus “means chickpea in Arabic” so if you want authenticity, stick with the chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans).

Tahini, sesame paste, is also a sign of authenticity in hummus. For “proof”, click to see a short video spoof on commercially made versus homemade hummus–Warning the tune is addictive (earworm alert):

Authentic hummus “It’s all about the paste”

However, getting off my high horse on hummus etiquette, there are fun non-traditional flavors that make traditional hummus playful. In this version, I’ve swapped out garlic for a horseradish hummus. Horseradish is a root vegetable in the mustard family. Its root heritage makes it a piquant spice plus it offers multiple health benefits.

This recipe also includes turmeric which blings out the color with a golden hue as well as adding interesting nutritional qualities. Lastly, this version has about half the oil as most hummus recipes without sacrificing flavor or texture.

Golden Horseradish Hummus

 Golden Horseradish Hummus 

Makes about 2 cups

Ingredients:

  • 1 (15-ounce) can garbanzo beans (about 2 cups drained)
  • 2-3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (about 1 large lemon)
  • 2 tablespoons “prepared horseradish” (see notes below)
  • ¼ cup tahini
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • ⅛ teaspoon cayenne
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • ⅛ teaspoon fine sea salt

Steps:

  1. Drain the chickpeas and rinse. Reserve a few whole garbanzo beans for garnish.
  2. Combine the chickpeas with the rest of the ingredients in a food processor and blend to a creamy purée. You want a very smooth texture. If the texture is too thick, add a bit more water or olive oil. Tahini comes in varying degrees of textures.
  3. Taste and season further if needed.

To serve, spread in a platter or put in a shallow bowl. Drizzle with olive oil, some chickpeas and serve with warmed flat breads or pita bread cut into quarters or with vegetable crudité.

  Golden Horseradish Hummus

Substitutions: Taste and Nutrition considerations:

  • Horseradish “heat”: as with some other root vegetables, horseradish spicy or piquant notes increase with the amount of processing such as chopping, grinding, grating. A very finely grated horseradish will be spicier than the chopped root. The “heat” is from a volatile oil compound called isothiocyanate.
  • Types of Horseradish: “Prepared” or jarred horseradish” varies significantly in ingredients used, quality and flavor profiles. Refrigerated (fresh horseradish) has a shorter shelf life than the non-refrigerated options.
  • Ingredients: Shelf-stable options can include a variety of additional ingredients with some brands include eggs, artificial flavoring, preservatives such as sodium benzoate and extra oils. Also check the ingredient list for sugar or corn syrups (preservative roles) which can add an odd flavor to hummus.
  • Options: These extra ingredients aren’t offering any health benefits and alter the natural flavor and texture of horseradish. For a better quality product, consider the refrigerated versions which are most likely simply grated horseradish, salt and vinegar. The vinegar helps stabilize the volatile oils (released from grating the root) so that the “heat” doesn’t continue to evolve.

More horseradish info at Food & Nutrition Magazine Savor Horseradish

  • Instead of a dip, use as a sandwich condiment spread
  • Use as in a layered veggie salad dish alternating the hummus with cucumbers, shredded carrots, peppers etc.
  • Use as a “mash” type of substitute to serve with other foods e.g. roasted vegetables or chicken.
  • Storage: Whether using prepared or homemade horseradish store in the refrigerator for 4-6 months or in the freezer for longer. I’ve kept fresh roots in the vegetable tray for up to 6 weeks.

Thank you, horseradish, for being neither a radish nor a horse.

What you are is a liar food.

Jimmy Fallon

About Me

The pleasure of food, good health and well-being through simple habits for eating well and flexitarian low-key cooking.
Michele Redmond

Michele Redmond

French-trained Chef, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist & Food Enjoyment Activist

It's about Making Food First

Get Taste Workshop periodic updates on easy ways to choose and cook foods that satisfy your appetite, nurture your body and make eating well a pleasure.

Roasted Cauliflower Steaks with Sumac

Roasted Cauliflower Steaks with Sumac

Roasted Cauliflower Steaks with Sumac

Roasted cauliflower with sumac

Roasted Cauliflower Steaks with Sumac

Pan-seared cauliflower steaks work great, yet often require finishing in the oven. This cauliflower steak with sumac option shortcuts the pan-searing for a longer, but less fussy, roast in the oven.

While these “C-steaks” may not satisfy a meat eater as a substitute, they will satisfy their appetite and offer meaty texture characteristics. The main stem of these veggie steaks offers a satisfying dense texture that contrasts with the crunchy outer florets and buttery softness of the smaller stems. So whether your diet is veg only or omni, cauliflower steaks can satisfy as a side or as a main dish when paired with complementary foods (see serving notes below).

Sumac is from dried and ground sumac berries. It’s a unique flavor, but you can use a combination of lemon juice and zest to mimic sumac’s lemon notes (see taste notes below) or use any seasoning or spice mix you prefer. Think about balancing cauliflowers sweet notes with something that offers a hint of sour and/or spicy heat.

Roasted cauliflower without sumac

Roasted Cauliflower Steaks with Sumac

Ingredients

  • 1 large cauliflower (2½-3 pounds)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Few pinches of fine sea salt (about ⅛ teaspoon)
  • 1 teaspoon ground sumac (optional but adds a soft tart or lemon flavor note)
  • A pinch of cayenne (about ¼ of an ⅛ teaspoon)

Steps:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F and arrange a rack to be on the lowest level.
  2. Pull off the outer leaves of the cauliflower but do not cut out the core of the cauliflower. Trim the stem a bit if this helps stabilize the base of the cauliflower flat against a cutting board.
  3. With a chef’s knife, slice the cauliflower from top to base in one nice cut (avoid see-sawing the blade back and forth to keep florets from breaking off the stems). Depending on the size of the head, you may be able to cut 3-4 steaks sized at ¾ inch-thick “steaks” from the main stem and larger branches. As you cut, some florets will fall off which you can also roast or keep for another use.
  4. Place the cauliflower on the baking sheet, drizzle both sides or each steak with the olive oil and then season with salt. If you prefer to use less oil, brush oil onto steaks with a pastry brush.
  5. Place the baking sheet on the bottom rack and cook until cauliflower is browned (about 12 minutes).
  6. Remove from the oven and, with a spatula, gently turn the steaks over. Sprinkle the sumac onto the steaks—the side facing up.
  7. Place back on the bottom rack to finish cooking (about 10-12 minutes) or until browned on both sides and stems feel tender—the thicker branches should yield to a knife when pierced.
  8. Serve warm or room temperature.

Roasted Cauliflower Steaks with Sumac

  • Cauliflower is a high satiety food with good fiber content, high protein content and low calorie values (107 calories for 4 cups chopped).
  • Glucosinolates and isothiocyanates phytochemicals and antioxidants found in cauliflower may be beneficial for inflammation-related health problems and play a role in its particular aroma and flavor.
  • Sumac adds bright red-purple colors and subtle hints of lemon or tang. It’s a great spice option for many dishes when lemons aren’t available or lemon juice isn’t the best form for delivering this taste and flavor element. Plus, lemons can add bitter notes.
  • Serve as a base for cooked grains or seeds such as quinoa
  • Top the steaks with a warm cannellini bean salad
  • Serve with salmon, chicken or fish
  • Serve without the sumac and instead a sauce like garlic walnut and herb sauce
Roasted cauliflower

Cauliflower is nothing but Cabbage with a College Education”

Mark Twain

About Me

The pleasure of food, good health and well-being through simple habits for eating well and flexitarian low-key cooking.
Michele Redmond

Michele Redmond

French-trained Chef, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist & Food Enjoyment Activist

It's about Making Food First

Get Taste Workshop periodic updates on easy ways to choose and cook foods that satisfy your appetite, nurture your body and make eating well a pleasure.

X