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cookalong --6-- dried fruits

Posted by wizardnm (My Page) on
Mon, Mar 30, 09 at 19:55

Ruthanna has picked a really fun topic.

DRIED FRUITS! This includes dried apricots, raisins, dried cranberries and cherries, dried plums (formerly known as prunes), dried apples or figs and any other varieties of dried fruit.

The dried fruits can be used in either sweet or savory recipes. So bring on the recipes and ideas.

Our virtual dinner will be on Saturday, April 11, 2009.
Don't hesitate to post earlier than that if needed. I know how life gets in the way at times.

For those that may have missed the previous Cookalongs ..... the idea here is to post hints, recipes and discuss the focus ingredient over the next two weeks. Recipes can use any form of the ingredient. Please mention the recipe source and whether it is one that you have already made (T+T) or one that you might be trying for the first time.

I'm going to make an attempt to link all the cookalongs together.

Here is a link that might be useful: Cookalong #5 LEMONS

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: cookalong --6-- dried fruits

Ok......I'll be the first to start the cookalong.
Hazlenut/apricot bread.

3 1/4 cups of AP flour
1/2 cup WW flour
1 1/2 Tablespoons of instant yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons of salt
1/4 tsp of cinnamon...just a whiff!

Mix in the food processor,
Add 1/3 cup chopped dried apricots and
1/4 cup coarsley chopped toasted hazel nuts
zap the processor to mix.
Add 2 to 3 tablespoons of honey and pulse to mix.
Slowly add 1 1/4 cups of cold water or enough so that the dough cleans the work bowl.
Blend 30 seconds, turn out into a bowl, cover, place in a warm place until double, punch down and allow to double again....punch down form into 2 free form loaves, allow to almost double and bake at 350 in a steamy oven for 40 minutes until the internal temperature measures 190.
Brush the top with egg glaze before baking for a shiny finish.
Linda C

RE: cookalong --6-- dried fruits

Okay here's one from me:

Cranberry-Almond Biscotti

Makes about 20.


Juice and zest of 1 orange - (my orange yielded 1/2 cup of juice)
1 TBSP Amaretto liqueur - ( I used 1 teasp almond extract)
1/2 cup (1 x 75 gram pack) dried cranberries
1 3/4 cups (250 grams) (9oz) wholewheat flour
1/2 cup (8 TBSP) sugar (I use granulated fructose)
1 teasp cinnamon
1/2 teasp baking powder
1/2 teasp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
1/4 teasp ground nutmeg
1 large egg
1 egg white
1/3 cup (50 grams) (2 oz) toasted almonds, chopped

1. Heat the orange juice, Amaretto and cranberries in a small saucepan just until hot.
Remove from heat and let stand for 10 minutes.
Drain and reserve the juice.

2. Preheat the oven to 350F (177C) (Gas 4) and line a baking sheet with baking parchment.

3. Mix together in a large bowl the flour, sugar substitute, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and nutmeg.

4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, egg white, orange zest and 2 TBSP of the reserved juice.
Stir this into the dry mixture until combined, adding more juice if necessary to make the dough moist.
Stir in the almonds and cranberries.

5. With lightly floured hands, shape into a 16 inch (40 cm) log, then flatten slightly. Bake for 20 minutes or until firm.
Slide log onto a cooling rack and cool for 10 minutes while you reduce the oven to 320F (160C) (Gas 2).

6. Cut the log diagonally into 1/2 inch (1 cm) thick slices.
Place on the baking sheet, leaving a 1 inch (2 - 3 cm) space between each slice. (I didn't have room to do that...mine were touching.)
Bake until golden brown and crunchy, about 25 minutes.
Allow to cool on the rack.

The Biscotti can be stored in an airtight container for up to 1 week or wrapped and frozen for up to 3 months.

Source: Rick Gallop's GI Diet Greenlight Cookbook

I didn't find Amaretto and wouldn't have bought a whole bottle just for the 1 TBSP called for in the recipe so I substituted 1 teasp of almond extract.
It seemed to do the job just as well.


RE: cookalong --6-- dried fruits

This may not qualify as a dried fruit recipe, but you all may like to try it.


Sift together:
3 1/2 cups sifted flour
1/2 tsp salt

1 lb orange slice candy (cut up)
1 8 oz pkg pitted dates (chopped)
2 cups chopped walnuts
1 can (3 -1/4 oz) flaked coconut
Add 1/2 cup of flour mixture to candy mixture

Beat 1 cup butter or margarine until light; gradually add 2 cups sugar; add 4 eggs separately, beating well after each.
Combine 1 tsp soda and 1/2 cup buttermilk. Add alternately with flour mixture, blending well after each addition.

Add candy mixture -- mix well.

Turn into large greased and floured tub pan. Bake in a slow oven -- 300 degrees, 1- 3/4 hours. Remove from oven. Combine 1 cup orange juice and 2 cups sifted powdered sugar. Mix well, pour over hot cake; cool.

Let stand in refrigerator overnight before removing from pan.

RE: cookalong --6-- dried fruits

Annie, I can't believe I forgot about dates.

I would enjoy a cup of tea and the results of any of the previous recipes tonight.

I've posted this one before because it's my favorite way to prepare beets:


2 Tbs. butter
1 tsp. lemon juice
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup apricot juice-*
1/8 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1/8 tsp. grated ginger root (optional)
12 to 16 baby beets, about 1 inch in diameter, cooked and peeled

In saucepan, combine all ingredients except beets. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce to low and simmer for 4 to 8 minutes. Add beets and toss gently to coat. Heat through for one minute. You can use larger beets, cut into quarters or eighths.

* - To make your own apricot juice: Combine 1/4 cup dried apricots and 1 cup water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer over very low heat for about 40 minutes, or until apricots are soft. Remove apricots (these can be diced and sprinkled over the beets or used in scones, nut bread, etc.)

RE: cookalong --6-- dried fruits

Creative choice!

My favorite company salad:

Arugula Salad with Figs, Prosciutto, Walnuts, and Parmesan

  • 4 tbls olive oil
  • 2 oz thinly sliced prosciutto cut into strips
  • 1 tbls raspberry jam
  • 3 tbls fig balsamic vinegar
  • 1/3 cup dried figs, chopped into inch pieces
  • 1 tbls finely chopped shallot
  • 5 cups baby arugula
  • cup chopped walnuts, toasted
  • 2 oz Parmesan, shaved into thin strips

    1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in 10 inch nonstick skillet over medium heat; add prosciutto and fry until crisp, stirring frequently for about 7 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer to paper towel to drain and cool.

    2. Whisk jam and vinegar in medium microwave-safe bowl; stir in figs. Cover with plastic wrap, cut several steam vents in plastic and microwave on high until figs are plump, about 45 seconds. Whisk in 3 tablespoons oil, shallots, tsp salt; toss to combine. Let cool to room temperature.

    3. Toss arugula and vinaigrette in large bowl; adjust seasonings with salt. Divide salad among individual plats; top with portion of prosciutto, walnuts, and Parmesan.

  •  o
    RE: cookalong --6-- dried fruits

    On a search for a beef stew with dried cherries I found this From Bubbe....

    Recipe from Rene Adler Ascher's kitchen ***
    Apricot Honey Cake
    Source: "Cooking Live" recipe courtesy of The Jewish Holiday Baker
    Prep and cooking time: About 1 1/2 hours
    Yield: 1 cake, servings: 8 (to 10)
    Notes: My adjustments are in parenthesis
    Equipment: 10 x 5 x 2 1/2 loaf pan
    Batter equals about 6 cups
    1/2 cup dried apricots, roughly chopped (about 3 1/2 ozs.)
    1/4 cup dark rum
    2 large eggs
    1 cup clover honey (8 oz. liquid measure)
    1/3 cup vegetable oil (I used canola)
    Grated peel and juice of 1 lemon
    Grated peel and juice of 1 orange
    1/3 cup sugar
    1 tsp. salt (I used sea salt)
    1/3 cup apricot jam (I used preserves which I pured first)
    1 3/4 cups white rye or unbleached all-purpose flour (I used the regular flour, I couldnt
    even find the white rye flour]
    1/4 cup cake flour (or more unbleached flour)
    1/2 tsp. baking soda
    1/2 cup slivered almonds, or roughly chopped walnuts or cashews
    Soak apricots in rum for at least 30 minutes in a small bowl. Strain and reserve the excess rum. (There isnt much)
    Preheat oven to 350
    Grease a 10 by 5 inch loaf pan (I lined the bottom with parchment paper, which I also greased).
    Whisk the eggs in a large bowl. Incorporate honey, vegetable oil, grated lemon and orange peel, juice, sugar salt, and apricot jam.
    Sift flour and baking soda into another bowl
    Add the flour alternately with the rum to the honey cake mixture. Fold in the apricots.
    Scoop (authors word, I found the batter thin enough to pour) batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle with the nuts.
    Bake on the lower middle oven rack for 50 to 55 minutes, or until the center of the cake is firm when you press it. Remove from the oven and cool on a rack.

    RE: cookalong --6-- dried fruits

    OK...this is my first time to participate in one of these so please bear with me if I goof up.
    This is not a T&T, but one I am going to try it. I hope it's good. I may cut the recipe in half for the first time.

    Date Nut Bread
    Sprinkle 1 tsp baking soda over 2 cups chopped dates. Pour 1 cup boiling water over mixture and let cool.

    While cooling, cream together
    lb butter
    cup brown sugar

    Beat in 1 egg

    Stir in date mixture

    Add 1 cups flour
    tsp salt
    cup chopped nuts (optional)
    Pour into lightly greased and floured pans. (I spray the aluminum ones-no flour-3 1lb loaves)

    Bake 50-60 minutes at 325.

    RE: cookalong --6-- dried fruits

    I'll add the first recipe using dried plums. I've made this cake with other dried fruits and the prunes are definitely the best. My mom used to make this often to pack for our lunches and I did the same with our girls. I like it best unfrosted but sometimes make it as a mini layer cake.


    1/4 cup soft butter
    1/2 cup sugar
    1 egg
    1 cup flour
    3/8 tsp. each of salt, ground cloves, nutmeg and ginger
    3/4 tsp. cinnamon
    1/2 tsp. each of baking powder and baking soda
    3/4 cup buttermilk
    1/2 cup diced moist-pak prunes
    1/2 cup chopped walnuts
    1/4 cup golden raisins

    Cream butter and sugar together. Add egg and beat until light and fluffy. Sift together flour, spices, baking soda and powder in another bowl. Add to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with dry ingredients, beating well after each addition. Stir in prunes, raisins and nuts.

    Turn into greased 8 inch square pan and bake at 350 degrees for 25-35 minutes or until cake tests done. Cool in pan on for 5 minutes; then turn onto rack to cool completely. Cut in half and spread with vanilla, orange or lemon cream cheese frosting between layers and on top and sides of cake. You can also cool in the pan on a rack and serve unfrosted right from the pan.

    RE: cookalong --6-- dried fruits

    Can it be for breakfast? I'll do, if so. I was thinking hot cross buns.

    RE: cookalong --6-- dried fruits

    Oooh! I can attest for Cathy's Arugula and Fig salad. It is fabulous. I do not have fig balsamic, so I might substitute, but I will be making that salad for sure...and I don't even like figs. But that salad, Mama Mia, I could not stop eating it!
    I will try to post my stuffed pork loin (apricots and prunes) this weekend.

    dried fruits with brie

    This recipe was given to me at a wine and cheese pairing class. I regret I did not record the name of the author.

    Serves 8
    For dessert

    Dried Fruit Compote with Brie

    1 3/4 cups water
    1 cup sugar
    3/4 cup sweet wine such as Moscato d'Oro
    1/3 cup fresh lemon juice ( juice from one large lemon) or orange juice
    6 strips lemon peel ( 1" x 1/4")
    8 oz pkg dried Black Mission figs
    6 oz pkg dried apricots
    1 cup dried tart cherries (appx 4.5 oz))

    8 oz brie or Camembert cut into 8 wedges

    Compote: In a medium saucepan combine all ingredients except cherries and cheese. Bring to simmer over medium-high heat until the sugar is dissolved. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the cherries and continuing simmering, stirring occasionally, until fruit is tender and juices are reduced to a medium-thick syrup, about 15 -20 minutes. Let cool to room temp. (Compote can be made 2 days in advance and refrigerated. Bring to room tem before serving. Makes about 4 cups.)

    To serve, place a wedge of cheese on its side on each of 8 plates. Spoon compote over cheese.

    Cut cheese when cold; bring to room temp before serving.

    Good wine... Mocato d'Oro

    Any/all of the dried fruits can be replaced with an equal quantity of some other dried fruit.

    RE: cookalong --6-- dried fruits

    Given it's Easter next weekend this one may be appropriate. I always make these for Easter breakfast my family love them.

    Clive loves them!

    Hot Cross Buns.

    4 1/2-5 cups all-purpose flour, divided
    2/3 Cup sugar
    1 (1/4-oz.) envelope rapid-rise yeast
    1 Tsp salt
    3/4 Tsp ground nutmeg
    1/2 Tspground cinnamon
    1 Cupmilk
    1/4 Cup water
    1/3 Cup
    unsalted butter,cut up
    2 large eggs
    Vegetable cooking spray
    2/3 Cup currants
    1/3 Cup golden raisins
    1 Tbl all-purpose flour
    1 egg white , lightly beaten

    1. Combine 2 1/2 cups flour, sugar, and next 4 ingredients in mixing bowl of a heavy-duty stand mixer, stirring well. Set aside.
    2. Combine milk, 1/4 cup water, and butter pieces in a saucepan; cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, just until butter melts. Cool 5 minutes (to 130').
    3. Pour milk mixture into flour mixture, and beat at low speed with dough hook attachment 2 minutes or until dry ingredients are moistened. Increase speed to medium; add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until yellow disappears after each addition. Beat 3 more minutes. Reduce speed to low, and gradually beat in enough remaining flour (up to 2 1/2 cups) to make a soft dough (dough will be sticky). Beat at medium speed with dough hook attachment 5 minutes.
    4. Scrape dough into a large bowl coated with cooking spray, and lightly spray the top of the dough.
    5. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85'), free from drafts, 1 hour. (dough will almost double in bulk.)
    6. Punch dough down, and turn out onto a floured surface. Combine 2/3 cup currants, 1/3 cup raisins, and 1 Tbsp. flour, stirring to coat. Knead about one-fourth of fruit mixture at a time into dough until all fruit mixture is evenly dispersed.
    7. Divide dough into 20 equal portions; shape each portion into a 2-inch ball. Evenly space dough balls on a parchment paper-lined 15- x 10-inch jelly-roll pan; cover and let rise in a warm place (85'), free from drafts, 1 hour or until doubled in bulk.
    8.Meanwhile make a smooth paste from 1/4 cup flour , 1 tsp of sugar and enough water to make the paste.Using a baggie with the tip cut off, pipe a cross on each bun. Gently brush tops with beaten egg white.
    9. Bake at 375' for 15 minutes or until buns are a deep golden brown and sound hollow when tapped. Cool buns 15 minutes in pan on a wire rack.

    Makes 20 buns.

    Note if you rather you can make a plain white icing and use that to pipe the cross after the buns have baked.

    RE: cookalong --6-- dried fruits

    I eat dried fruits a lot. I make fruit compote and serve it over cake, vanilla pudding or yogurt. Always very popular. And dead easy to make. Just mix whatever dried fruits you have in the pantry together with water to barely cover, or add orange juice or apple juice/cider. Throw in some spices and maybe some lemon or orange rind, and stew gently for 45 min. or so. My favorite fruits are raisins (golden and regular) currants, cherries, prunes, apricots and either dried apples or regular apples added towards the end. Dried peaches are nice too, but not necessary. I add a cinnamon stick at the very least, a couple of cloves stuck in a lemon slice, a hunk of vanilla bean if I have it, and some allspice and/or cardamom pods. But just plain old cinnamon is fine. Can add liqueur or sweet wine too. But just plain old water is fine too for stewing. If it's too runny, boil away some of the water at the end. Good with oatmeal for breakfast too.

    I use dried fruits in quick breads and muffins too, all kinds. And ocassionally scones.

    Here's the other way I like dried fruit, in savory dishes

    Picadillo (from the 'Three Guys from Miami' Cuban Food Web site.)

    Olive oil for frying
    1 large onion diced
    1 large green bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
    4 garlic cloves, minced
    2 lbs ground beef or ground round (I sub two cups fake meat crumbles, dark red kidney beans, or smoked tofu)
    3 tomatoes, peeled seeded and chopped (yeah, right. I either use a small can of chopped tomatoes, or whole tomatoes and then cut them up, or use garden fresh tomatoes, in which case I do not peel them)
    1/2 tsp. ground cumin
    1/8 tsp. cinnamon
    1/8 tsp. cloves
    1/2 tsp. oregano
    1/2 cup green olives, chopped (optional, but I love them in this dish) or can use capers too.
    1/3 cup raisins (optional, but to me, essential)
    Salt and pepper to taste

    Saute onion, green pepper and garlic in olive oil (I dunno, about 1.5 TBLSP I would say, more or less depending on how calorie conscious you are.) Fry about 5 min. til onion is soft and translucent, then add ground beef. Mash seasonings into the ground meat in the frying pan. Brown the meat. Then add the tomato and spices. Reduce heat to low simmer and cook 15 min. Add olives and raisins and simmer 5 min. longer. Season with salt and pepper.

    To make vegetarian, after sauteeing onion and pepper, add canned tomatoes and spices and fake meat crumbles. Simmer 15 min, then add olives and raisins, and simmer 5 more min.

    Serve with potatoes or rice.

    Here's a recipe from Cooking Light magazine that was the HIT of Thanksgiving in 2007 and 2008. I bought cranberries to freeze this year just so I can make this!

    Cranberry Cherry Crumble

    3/4 cup of sugar
    1/4 cup of dried cherries
    1/4 cup of dried cranberries
    1 bag of cranberries (12 oz.)
    1 bag of frozen DARK RED SWEET CHERRIES (not pie cherries)(I think maybe 10-12 oz. bag, doesn't really matter too much, whatever size they come in. I've found varied sizes. What's a few more or less cherries!)
    1 TBLSP flour
    1 1/2 tsp. cornstarch

    1/4 cup slivered almonds
    1/4 cup oats
    1/8 tsp. almond extract (I never have this so you can leave it out if you don't have any)
    2 TBLSP chilled butter
    1/4 cup flour
    1/4 cup brown sugar
    1/4 tsp. salt
    1/8 tsp. nutmeg
    1/8 tsp. cinnamon

    Spray 8 inch pan with cooking spray. (I have used bigger pans)
    Preheat oven to 375 degrees

    Combine fruit, sugar and thickeners. Pour into prepared pan. Mix topping ingredints together with pastry cutter or do in food processor or use forks to mash together. Sprinkle crumble topping over the top. Bake for 45 min. until bubbly. Do not underbake.

    P.S. Cooking Light is always kinda skimpy on the toppings, that's how they cut calories, so you can double it if you're using a larger pan. Is fine as is though. Great with ice cream or whipped topping or yogurt.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Three Guys from Miami Cook Cuban

    RE: cookalong --6-- dried fruits

    My favorite use for dried fruit is in Habanero Gold, it takes dried apricots:

    Habanero Gold Jelly

    1/3 cup finely sliced dried apricots
    3/4 cup white vinegar
    1/4 up finely diced red onion
    1/4 cup finely diced sweet red pepper
    1/4 cup finely diced habanero peppers, including seeds
    OR 1/4 cup diced, combined jalapeno and Scotch Bonnet peppers
    3 cups granulated sugar
    1 pouch Certo liquid pectin
    Cut apricots into 1/8 inch slices. Measure into a large deep stainless steel saucepan with vinegar; let stand 4 hours. Individually, cut onion and seeded peppers into 1/8 inch slices; cut slices into 1/4 inch dice. Measure each ingredient; add to apricots. Stir in sugar.

    Over high heat, bring to a full roiling boil. Stirring constantly, boil hard 1 minute. Remove from heat. Immediately stir in pectin, mixing well.

    Pour jelly into hot jar, dividing solids equally among jars and filling each jar to within 1/4 inch of top rim. Wipe rims. Apply lids.

    Process 10 minutes in BWB. Cool upright, until lids pop down, about 30 minutes. When lids are concave but the jelly is still hot, carefully grasp jar without disturbing lid and invert, twist, or rotate each jar to distribute solids throughout jelly. The jar can be inverted temporarily but do not allow it to stand upside-down for prolonged periods.

    Repeat as necessary during the cooling/setting time, until solids remain suspended in the jelly.


    RE: cookalong --6-- dried fruits

    I don't know if I'll have time to make anything this time. We'll be traveling again. I want to make some oatmeal cookies that have dried apricots and flax seed. I'll have to experiment with the recipe, as I don't have an absolute recipe. They're made by DH's cousin, and she said she just uses the recipe on the oatmeal box and adds dried apricots and flax seed - I think I remember it was a half cup, but I'll have to double check. Anyway, her oatmeal cookies are the only oatmeal cookies I've ever liked.


    RE: cookalong --6-- dried fruits

    Haven't yet decided on what I'll make this weekend for the cookalong... but it's no problem for me to use dried them!

    Chase, I plan on making Hot Cross Buns too...I do it every Easter. Problem is, I eat one too many and then could care less about Easter dinner.

    I did make some Lemon Blueberry Bread this week and used dried blueberries instead of fresh. Turned out very good and now I'm thinking about trying lemon icebox cookies and adding dried blueberries to that..

    Here's the bread


    RE: cookalong --6-- dried fruits

    My Mother used to make a dried fruit soup. I remember it had prunes (dried plums), apricots and not sure what else. It was in a creamy sweetened sauce and was eaten warm. Might have had a sprinkling of nutmeg.
    Wish I would have paid attention.


    RE: cookalong --6-- dried fruits

    Here is a side dish I made up yesterday, and it turned out quite well. I think it would be equally as good made with other sorts of dried fruits.

    Lemon scented Couscous with Cranberries

    1 c couscous (Moroccan style, not Israeli)
    Juice of one large lemon (appx. 1/3 c) + enough water to make up
    1 c total liquid.

    1 t sugar
    t salt
    t tumeric powder
    Zest of one lemon (be careful to get only the yellow, with as little pith as you can manage), appx. 1 packed t.

    1 t brown mustard seeds (yellow are fine, though not as pretty)
    t asafoetida powder*
    1 large serrano pepper, quartered.
    10 Kari leaves**
    3 T chopped, dried cranberries
    c coarsely chopped, raw cashews
    2 T chana dal***
    1 green onion, chopped (appx 1/3 c)

    veggie oil for frying

    Bring water, lemon juice & tumeric to boil. Add couscous and stir for about a minute. Then cover saucepan, and remove from heat, setting aside to soften for 5 or 10 minutes. Fluff with a couple of forks until the grains are nicely separate.

    Deep fry the cashew pieces over a moderate heat until golden brown, remove from oil and set aside to drain. Repeat with chana dal. Reserve the oil.

    Heat enough of the reserved oil (med-high heat) in a large saute pan to ensure couscous doesnt stick. Add the mustard seeds, cover and gently shake the pan now and then until the popping of the seeds slows down. Remove cover and add the serrano pepper quarters, asafoetida, and Kari leaves, and saute until the leaves wilt and are fragrant. Add cranberries and couscous and toss to mix the ingredients and heat the couscous through. Remove from heat, and toss in the cashews, chana dal, lemon zest and green onions. Adjust for salt and serve.

    *Asafoetida is a strongly scented powdered spice made from the sap of a herbaceous perennial plant. It is available from Indian grocery stores, and is used much as we use garlic powder. A blend of onion and garlic powders can be substituted, but add it to the oil right before tossing the mustard seeds and kari leaves into the couscous rather than cooking it with them.

    **Kari leaves are also available in some Indian markets, fresh is best. There really is no comparable substitute, but the recipe will be very tasty made with a different fresh herb. A few fresh sage leaves would probably be my choice, but some fresh basil, minced rosemary, thyme or savory would be good choices as well.

    ***Chana dal is a small relative of the garbanzo bean, which is dried and split. It adds a nice crunchy texture and nutty taste to the couscous. Again, it is available at Indian markets. If you cant find it, substitute extra cashews.

    RE: cookalong --6-- dried fruits

    Cream I'm definately going to have to try your recipe, since I bought a bunch of asafoetida, mustard seeds and chana dal. No kari but I think I might try celery seeds, which I put in with my Indian spices. I love garbanzos. But I will probably sub rice for the couscous. I just cannot develop a taste for couscous, as much as I want to!

    It may be a couple of weeks before I get back into the kitchen though, to do any real cooking.

    RE: cookalong --6-- dried fruits

    I have actually made a similar dish using rice, and it worked quite well.

    Using celery seeds sounds intriguing. I would not have thought of it, but they are similarly pungent (though of a different flavor) as kari leaves. I've only recently begun experimenting with celery seed...dunno why, it was just one of those spices that slipped past my radar for many years.

    That's why this forum is so great, ideas from others who think outside the box!! :D

    RE: cookalong --6-- dried fruits

    Well, it's just not happening. I thought I'd be able to make the cookies Thursday night, but I didn't get home from cleaning cat cages and shopping for ingredients until close to 10:00 p.m., so I decided to blow it off until last night. But, we went truck shopping instead. I thought we'd be home by 9:00 from the truck shopping, but we ended up buying a truck, and again, we didn't get home from that until after 10. We're heading out of town tonight after work, yada yada yada....I just haven't been able to squeeze this cookathon into my schedule.

    I want to clarify the vague recipe I posted for those oatmeal cookies. DH's cousin said she uses the recipe on the Quaker Oatmeal box and adds 1/3 cup ground flax seed, plus she'll add nuts, dried apricots or dried cranberries, and either orange or almond extract. I wish I had time to test drive this recipe to make it more of an exact recipe. I'll try this sometime and report back.


    RE: cookalong --6-- dried fruits

    Actually celery seeds is a better sub for fenugreek leaves, although it isn't really like that either. I just have to use up these celery seeds, darn it!
    My mom puts celery seeds in potato, tuna, egg and macaroni salad because my dad is "allergic" to celery. (and just about anything else green!)
    I can get kari leaves at Wegmans in the international section, but since I don't often cook Indian, I really can't afford to splurge on buying them since I won't use them that often. I bought the aesofetida, dried mango powder and some black cumin seeds last year when I was more flush and thought I would soon find a job! I also thought I would get more into Indian cooking. I've made a few things and I'm trying, but I just don't seem to have the palette for it. I like curries, but I don't relish them like I do the cooking of the Mediterannean. I didn't grow up with either one, lol!
    I posted a link to an Indian spice guide, which I use sometimes.

    OK, back to dried fruits. Tsimmes is a classic recipe mixing carrots, dried fruit and meat. Being vegetarian, it's not something I make, but I have a recipe I like that I adapted. I don't make it very often even though it is vegetarian, since it has a lot of ingredients and single-me ends up with a lot of leftovers. This is a "company" dish. A "tsimmes" in yiddish is slang for a confusing fuss!

    Here's the recipe that I posted on the "Carrots" thread.

    Carbonada Criolla (Argentinian Tsimmes) I think I got this recipe from the Detroit Free Press and I think it came from Joan Nathan.

    I make this as a stuffing for baked squash. The best time I ever made it I stuffed a small baked hubbard squash with it. The squash was about the size of a smallish football.

    Start by baking the cleaned squash halves at 375 degrees for 45 minutes. I always have trouble baking squash perfectly, so use whatever method works best for you. Meanwhile, make the tsimmes. Traditionally tsimmes is put in an oven or on the back of the stove on the evening of the Sabbath so it will be ready to eat the next day after a long slow cooking, and no more work will have to be put into it. This would work in a crockpot too, I think.

    2 TBLSP vegetable oil
    2 cups dark red kidney beans, or fake meat or baked or smoked tofu. (The original recipe called for some kind of meat, probably ground chuck?)
    1 large coarsely chopped onion
    2 cloves garlic
    1 12 oz. can chopped italian style tomatoes
    1 tsp. dried oregano
    1 large or 2 small sweet potatoes (parboil for faster prep. time)
    1 large or 2 small white potatoes (I always cook with Yukon gold, parboil as above if you want)
    1 cup vegetable broth
    2 med. carrots, large dice
    1 small can corn or 2/3 cup from a frozen bag
    4-8 pitted prunes (to taste, I like the lesser amount)
    4-8 dried peach halves or dried apples

    Saute onions, garlic and protein source until onions are translucent. Add tomatoes, and veg. broth, bring to a boil then simmer. Add potatoes and carrots. Simmer 30 min. Add some water or more broth if needed. Add corn and fruit, simmer 15 min. more.

    Stuff tsimmes into squash, bake in the oven for 15 min. more. You can top this with bread crumbs, parmesean cheese, or grated white cheddar, or any type of mixuture, but it is not necessary. Could also add a dollop of lowfat sour cream and sprinkle with chopped parsley or cilantro. That's how I like it.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Indian Herbs and Spices

    RE: cookalong --6-- dried fruits

    lpink, just a note for future reference...should you buy Kari leaves some time, they do keep a long time in the veggie drawer, but actually they freeze fairly well. I have to travel a fair distance to get them, so I buy a couple of bags and freeze what I don't think I will get around to using. Naturally, they aren't as good as fresh, but pretty good.

    RE: cookalong --6-- dried fruits

    FYI, the 3 Cuban Guys website has some of MarlenFL recipes.

    And here's one of mine. It's from My Grandmother. I've added more than the raisins. Use whatever you have in your pantry. It's like a Gingerbread flavored cake.

    Grandma's One-Bowl Applesauce Cake


    This is a recipe my mom used to make when I was a kid. I just came across it.


    2 1/4 c flour

    1 t salt

    1 t baking soda

    1 t cinnamon

    1/2 c butter

    1 c molasses

    1 egg

    1 c applesauce

    1 c raisins


    Combine dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. Cut in butter. Add molasses, egg and applesauce. Beat well. Stir in raisins. Bake in greased, floured 8" cake pan at 350F for 40-45 minutes. Cool for 10 mintues and turn out on baking rack. Sprinkle with confectioners sugar or glaze while still warm.


    Glaze:Mix 1 1/2 T lemon juice and 1 c confectioners sugar. Drizzle over warm cake.


    2001-2002 My Island Kitchen

    and another goodie

    Cranberry White Chip Oatmeal Cookies

    These are a great chewy oatmeal cookie. You can substitute raisins and chocolate chips.

    3/4 c butter, softened

    3/4 c packed brown sugar

    3/4 c sugar

    2 eggs

    1 t vanilla

    1 c rolled oats

    1 1/2 c all-purpose flour

    1 t baking powder

    1/2 t salt

    1 c vanilla/white chips

    1 c dried cranberries (Craisins)


    Preheat oven to 350F. Beat butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla, beat well. Add in flour, oatmeal, baking powder and salt. Mix well. Fold in chips and cranberries. Drop by heaping spoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 12-15 minutes. These will spread.


    2001 My Island Kitchen

    RE: cookalong --6-- dried fruits

    Okay I used dried fruits....with a little stretch of the imagination. Tomatoes are a fruit...right? And therefore sundried tomatoes are dried fruits.....right?
    My friend Brenda left a week ago for 3 months holiday in England and so she cleared out her kitchen and gave me some sun-dried tomatoes which I believe she had brought from England some time ago. I've never seen them here. So I soaked them this morning and put them on some oiled pieces of puff pastry, topped them with another piece of pastry and put them in the toaster oven for 20 minutes. Easy peasy and Wolf loved them! I'll be doing the same in a day or two with some dried mushrooms she left me.

    I'll try and do a better job next time. (The pastry was even the frozen boxed stuff from the supermarket.)


    RE: cookalong --6-- dried fruits

    Sharon, the puff pastry with sun dried tomatoes looks great! I'd certainly think that tomatoes qualify!

    I made two things yesterday with dried fruit.
    First is my Easter favorite...Hot Cross Buns. This year I made them with dried cherries for a change. Very good.

    Then I made Carrot Bread with Dates. It didn't want to rise in the middle...maybe I used too many dates, sure is good though.


    RE: cookalong --6-- dried fruits

    I made Hot Cross Buns too ! I found a bag of mixed dry fruits, raisins, golden raisins, currants, cranberries, blueberries and cherries, perfect for our cookalong! The results were great.

    Although I didn't make it yesterday I did serve Habanero gold with a before dinner cheese plate. So we enjoyed dried fruits twice yesterday.

    pics the cottage and uploading pics is way too painful! LOL

    RE: cookalong --6-- dried fruits

    Ready for Cookalong #7????

    LindaC...I pulled your name out this morning!

    Do you have an ingredient in mind??

    I'll keep a watch on this and set up the next thread.


    RE: cookalong --6-- dried fruits


    RE: cookalong --6-- dried fruits

    Helloooooooo Linda???

    RE: cookalong --6-- dried fruits


    RE: cookalong --6-- dried fruits


    RE: cookalong --6-- dried fruits

    A weekend of company got in my way for this cookalong so I didn't get to play with y'all. I've got my eye on Sharoncb's biscotti though...y'all know I love to bake.

    Come on Lindac....we are waiting for our next challenge!


    RE: cookalong --6-- dried fruits

    LindaC has picked the next focus ingredient.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Cookalong --#7-- Exoskeletal Critters

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