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Cheesy Mushroom Garlic Pull Apart Bread
Thai Red Curry Tofu Noodle Soup + 5 Quick Dinners + Food Memories
Welcome to Cooking Session No 37. Here in Sydney, we know it is snowing somewhere not too far away as the temperature has dipped enough to fire up the heaters and make pots of soup and other hearty things that warm you from your head to your toes.
Today, I have some easy, delicious weeknight dinner recipes for you to try out along with some great soups and a bonus recipe for a cheesy pull-apart garlic bread that we love! So remember to pick up a Sourdough loaf on your next shopping trip and let’s get started.
A warm bowl of flavours and textures for a cold night is just what your soul needs sometimes. I love Thai Red Curry and this soup version is absolutely gorgeous and so very easy to make. My original recipe has spiralized sweet potato noodles that not only add sweetness but taste amazing. But, I am quite often too lazy to spiralize sweet potatoes, so I just add udon noodles cooked from a packed in precisely 7 minutes. All you need for this soup is a jar of good Thai red curry paste, Asian greens, coconut milk and lots of aromatics (garlic, chilli, herbs) for that incredible flavour boost. Although vegan and gluten-free, make this your own (my boys love it with a chicken, udon, greens and broccoli combo).
What To Cook This Week?
This Chicken Sweetcorn Egg Drop Soup has been cooked thrice this last week. It is ready in 10 minutes! 10 minutes! Can you believe that? Made entirely with pantry ingredients and chicken, of course, it is my go-to for lunchboxes on cold mornings. The boys absolutely love this soup in their thermos. Recipe »
Mushroom & Lentil Bolognese for a quick weeknight dinner. A nice glass of red if it happens to be Friday, perhaps? This vego-packed bolognese is so good, even the meat eaters prefer it (read the comments on the post!). Recipe »
Cauliflower Pasta All Vodka for all the cauliflower and slurpy pasta fans! Pan-sear cauli with chilli and garlic and add the vodka and create a dreamy, creamy vodka pasta sauce. Add tart, punchy things and pasta of course for a thoroughly satisfying, creamy but vegan weeknight pasta! Have also made this with chicken and everyone loves it! Recipe »
A one-pan wonder if there was ever one - this Oven Baked Miso Salmon with roast veggies is a great dinner for the whole family. We love it with steamed rice sprinkled with Furikake and a delicious homemade mushroom broth on the side. Recipe »
A staple Roast Pumpkin, Quinoa & Feta Salad for that freshness. Can’t go wrong with it. Whack a tray of pumpkin to roast at the start of every meal prep session along with a pot of quinoa and this (and so many other dishes!) come together very quickly. Creamy, salty feta and pomegranate add bursts of yummy flavour. Recipe »
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All you need is a big, plump loaf of sourdough - a Vienna probably? And a small fruit paring (sharp knife) to make this crowdpleaser!
Cheesy Mushroom Garlic Pull-Apart Bread
Prep Time – 10 minutes/ Cooking Time – 30 minutes/ Serves – 6
100g salted butter
1/3cup (60g) white button mushroom, thinly sliced
6 small garlic cloves, minced
1 White Sourdough Loaf
20 cheddar cheese cubes
4 spring onions, chopped
¼ cup (25g) grated mozzarella cheese
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
Preheat oven to 180°C.
Heat butter in a small heavy-bottomed saucepan on medium. When melted, add mushroom and garlic. Cook for a couple of minutes until garlic and mushroom start turning a shade darker. Remove from heat.
Place the Sourdough Loaf on a piece of aluminium foil larger than the loaf. Roll up the edges of the foil to create a bowl for the bread.
Using a sharp knife, score a criss-cross pattern (about 3cm wide) without cutting all the way through (but cutting three-quarters of the way down into the bread). Spoon the mushroom garlic butter in the cracks.
Push cheese cubes between each diamond-shaped portion of the bread. Top with spring onions, pushing it in the cracks.
Cover the bread with more foil and bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes.
Remove from oven and take off the top foil. Scatter mozzarella cheese over the bread. Increase oven temperature to 190°C and bake uncovered in the oven for 10 minutes until golden and crispy.
Remove from oven, garnish with parsley and serve right away.
Food & Memories
I was recently asked by a blog reader I met at a book event whether I actually read all my gazillion cookbooks. I actually do!
I used to be a voracious consumer of fiction novels and have read as many as 50-60 novels in a year but over the last couple of decades, that penchant and fanaticism for reading has slowly settled on cookbooks. Only cookbooks. And I read them cover to cover and glean a lot from what is said on the pages and what isn’t but conveyed via pictures.
A bit late to the party but I recently started watching The Good Doctor. Incredible show and brilliant acting by Freddie Highmore who was in one of my favourite movies ever - The Spiderwick Chronicles. In one of the scenes, the girl he goes on a road trip with asks him about his favourite music.
“I don’t like music” he says.
“How can you not?” she counters “All my favourite and not so favourite memories are all associated with music. Songs remind me of a certain period in my life.”
“For me, it is smell” he offers “The day my bunny went to heaven, the rain smelled like ice cream. When my brother died, the copper pipes smelled like burnt food. ”
It made me think about my own affiliation with the senses. And it was a no-brainer. For me, all my memories are associated with food. To this day, when I have a jam and cream doughnut, I remember as a 7-year-old waiting at school to be picked up long after everyone had left (my mum had just had a baby and there was a fire at my dad’s factory and they both thought the other was picking me up).
Father Fernandez, my amazing principal brought me into his office, and gave me a couple of new books to read (heaven!). He also gave me a jam and cream doughnut before starting to make phone calls to try and reach my parents. As I sat there vacuously staring at the fish darting around in his fish tank and nibbling on the doughnut, I no longer felt scared or abandoned. I felt safe and warm and suddenly very hungry. That doughnut was the best thing I had ever tasted.
Almost 40 years on, I occasionally buy myself a jam and cream doughnut and sit by myself, often with a book that goes unread. As I look away in the distance and savour the doughnut, I am reminded of the kindness of people and the simple joys of a good pastry. And I feel warm, safe and content.
PS - I got picked up half an hour later and was smothered with hugs and kisses through apologies and tears. I remember I got new books that week. :)
And Finally ..
So many of you made the Burnt Basque Cheesecake recipe I shared last week. Some of you made it TWICE in one week! I am so thrilled by all your messages and so happy you loved it. If you haven’t tried making it yet, make it ASAP. It is the best dessert ever!
I am so bummed to be missing out on The Dinner That Changed My Life event next weekend as part of the Sydney Writer’s Festival due to another thing I am attending. Maybe you can go?
Make these Crispy Stuffed Cabbage Rolls With Peanut Sauce.
A Comprehensive List Of May Cookbooks.
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