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Too Many Cooks

Archive for June 2012

I know you’re skeptical

Maybe not, but I wasn't convinced when I first saw this recipe.

Even when I decided to make this dish for my food families, I was thinking I might serve it as a warm lentil salad with the cucumber and tomato raita on the side. (I cook each week on Wednesdays for three other families and deliver dinner to their houses. The rest of the week they take turns cooking and delivering to mine.)

In the end, I made it just as we learned it in a pilot class at the Inland Northwest Culinary Academy at Spokane Community College. The school is hosting a new series of cooking classes that will be called INCA After Dark. The story is in Wednesday's food section or online.

Chef Peter Tobin guided us through crepe making and the Indian curry spiced lentil filling. We had so much fun flipping crepes and chatting about the new program. We made raita from yogurt the students make at the college.

The classes will be offered every month in the INCA kitchens at the Spokane Community College. Updated class offerings will be online at incaafterdark.scc.spokane.edu soon.

Savory Crepes

From Chef Peter Tobin, Inland Northwest Culinary Academy and INCA After Dark

2 cups Shasta yellow or Sunrise red lentils (see note)

4 cups water

1 slice lemon

Pinch salt

1 cup potato, diced 1/2 inch

1 cup carrots, diced 1/2 inch

12 whole cloves

8 cardamom pods

2 inch cinnamon stick

2 tablespoons fresh ginger

2 tablespoons fresh garlic

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 onion sliced thin

1/2 Serrano chili, minced

1 1/2 cups cooked Basmati rice

1 tomato seeded and cided

1/2 cup plain yogurt

1 tablespoon mint, chopped

2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped

1 cup water

Salt and black pepper to taste

Bring water to a boil wiht lemon and a pinch of salt. Add potatoes and carrots and lentils. Cook 5 minutes, until lentils are soft, but still have some bite. Drain and hold warm

Combine cloves, cardamom and cinnamon in a spice grinder and grind.

Heat a skillet over medium-high heat; add oil. Add onions and lightly brown. Add ginger, garlic, chili, yogurt and water. Add drained lentils, potato and carrot mixture, along with cooked rice.

Cook until headed through 5-10 minutes.

Note: Tobin recommends using Shasta or Sunrise lentils from PNW. Our story about PNW is here.

Yield: 10 servings

Crepe Batter

1 cup flour

1 teaspoon salt

10 eggs

2 cups milk

4 tablespoons melted butter

Sift flour and salt into a small bowl. Combine egg and milk in a separate medium bowl.

Whip wet ingredients into dry slowly. Whip until heavy cream consistency. Add butter.

Rest 15 minutes. Heat a non-stick egg pan over medium heat. Season pan with a bit of oil on a paper towel or a brush dipped in oil.

Add 2 tablespoons crepe batter and swirl around in pan. Lightly brown on one side and flip to the other side to brown (don't worry, the first one never works). Remove from pan and continue to make crepes until all hte batter is used. Cool crepes completely/ individually on counter before stacking or they will stick together.

Yield: About 40

Raita

2 cups plain yogurt

1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced

1/2 cup tomato, seeded and diced

1/2 Serrano chili, chopped fine

1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped

Combine ingredients and hold at room temperature.

To serve crepes, fill crepe with lentil filling and roll up. Place seam-side down on a plate and top with raita.

Links from Wednesday’s Fresh Sheet

Here's the link storm from the Fresh Sheet in Wednesday's food section.

All of the details for the national contests at this year's Spokane Interstate Fair can be found in the exhibitors guide on the fair website. The Spokane Interstate Fair will be held Sept. 7 through 16.

Ghirardelli Rocky Road Cupcakes

From Ghirardelli, www.ghirardelli.com

2 cups Ghirardelli 60 percent bittersweet chocolate chips, divided 

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons all purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

3 large eggs

3/4 cup sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts 

1 cup mini marshmallows

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees with a rack in the lower third. Prepare muffin pan by placing paper liners in cups and greasing or spraying top surface. Grease or spray the top surface of the pan with nonstick spray and line the cups with paper liners. In the top of a double boiler or in a heatproof bowl over barely simmering water, melt 1 1/4 cups of the chocolate chips with the butter, stirring frequently until melted and smooth. Remove the chocolate from the heat and let it cool to lukewarm.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk the flour and baking powder together thoroughly. In a large bowl, beat the eggs, sugar, and salt with an electric mixer on high speed for 2 to 3 minutes until the mixture is very pale and thick. 

Scrape the warm chocolate over the egg mixture and fold it in with a large rubber spatula. Sprinkle the flour into the bowl with half of the remaining chocolate chips and half of the walnuts. Fold just until the ingredients are blended. 

Divide the batter evenly among the lined cups. Sprinkle the tops with marshmallows followed by the remaining walnuts and the remaining chocolate chips. Bake 18 to 20 minutes until the marshmallows are golden brown.

Set the pan on a rack to cool for 5 minutes. Run the tip of a table knife around the top of each cupcake to detach any melted marshmallow or chocolate from the pan. Let the cupcakes cool until firm enough to remove from the pan. Serve warm or at room temperature. 

Yield: 12 cupcakes

The Pacific Northwest Barbecue Association will host the Jackass Kickin’ BBQ Cook-off on June 29 and 30 at the Sunnyside Elementary School, 790 Bunker Ave., Kellogg, Idaho. The competition is a Kansas City BBQ Society sanctioned event and Idaho state championship with a $5,000 purse. Entry details are online here.

Barbecue eaters can get a taste of the action on Saturday, June 30 at the public barbecue dinner from 3 to 6 p.m. More details about those activities are online.

And yes, I lost my mind and typed in the wrong recipe from “Pops! Icy Treats for Everyone.”

Here's the recipe for the Caramel Latte Pops … really.

Caramel Latte Pops

6 to 8 shots freshly brewed espresso or more if desired

4 1/2 cups milk

1/4 cup caramel sauce

1/4 cup finely diced soft caramel candies

Put the espresso in a bowl.

Stir in the milk, caramel sauce and caramel candies.

Pour the mixture into the pop molds. Insert the sticks. Freeze for at least 6 hours.

Remove from the freezer; let stand at room temperature for 5 minutes before removing the pops from the molds. Serve.

Yield: 6 (8-ounce) pops

Where’d you get those peepers?

We had fun making these mama owl cupcakes for my son's class this week.

Thanks to the creativity of Karen Tack and Alan Richardson, authors of “Hello Cupcake,” What's New Cupcake?” and “Cupcakes Cookies & Pie, Oh My!” we made a batch of these big eyed owls and a few of the apples to help celebrate the end of a wonderful year.

The just came out with a new app, too. Here's a link to more details from the authors.

Aren't they cute?

Moxie is closed

Moxie is closed.

The sign in the window of the restaurant announced the closure on June 6. It says chef/owner Ian Wingate is closing the eight-year-old downtown Spokane restaurant due to personal health issues. (A previous incarnation of the Asian fuision restaurant opened in Liberty Lake starting in 1998.)

I was unable to reach Wingate in a quick round of phone calls this morning.

No word on his partnership with Agave Latin Bistro owner Sergio De Leon.

I hope that Wingate's health issues are not serious and he's back in the Spokane restaurant scene soon.

Chef David Blaine bringing Central Food to Kendall Yards

Here's the reason outspoken local chef David Blaine has been mum on speculation about the first restaurant planned for Kendall Yards: He's behind it.

Blaine told my colleague Tom Sowa he's opening the new restaurant in the Cedar Street Park Building south of the State Court of Appeals. He'll call it Central Food.

Blaine told The Spokesman-Review he wanted to avoid labels such as “bistro” or “cafe.” He said the guiding principle will be seasonal ingredients.

It will be the first time Blaine has owned a restaurant. He has been the head chef at Latah Bistro for the last seven years and has worked more than 20 years at restaurants in the Spokane area.

His passion has been increasing the use of produce from local farmers and food from local ranchers, a sensibility that is sure to follow him to the new restaurant.

Here's the story for more details.

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We never really believed that old cliché anyway. We're collaborating to share our cooking inspirations, favorite recipes, restaurant finds and other musings from the local food world and beyond.

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Adriana Janovich writes for and edits the Wednesday food section.

Carolyn Lamberson Features Editor for The Spokesman-Review. She's a foodie who has no time to cook. Still, a girl can dream ...

Ruth Reynolds is a copy editor at the SR. "I would bake and cook more than I do if I didn't have to keep cleaning off my kitchen counters. My favorite kitchen appliance is my rice cooker. No. My immersion blender."

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