Category Archives: Photo Assignment
I had a really fun day yesterday preparing Junglefrog’s latest “Orange Photography” challenge.
Since Simone posted the assignment with a gorgeous pumpkin-bowl soup image, I’ve been trawling the web for recipes for orange coloured food which also evokes the feeling of Fall. I thought I’d have a go at making some Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Brown Butter and Sage. This being my first attempt at home-made gnocchi I am pleased with the outcome: they’re perhaps not the cutest gnocchi you’ve ever seen, but the consistency and flavour are spot on. The rest of the batch is in the fridge for a dinner party I’m throwing, which funnily enough is made up by chance of “orange” coloured dishes: Sweet Potato Gnocchi, Chicken Curry with Wild Rice, and a Hazelnut Cake with Saffron Cream and Fresh figs! It should be fun and I’ll let you know how the cake comes out.
In the meanwhile, here’s the recipe:
Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Sage Butter
(source Bon Appétit)
2 lbs (450g) sweet potatoes, rinsed, patted dry, pierced all over with fork
12oz (340g) fresh ricotta cheese, drained in sieve 2 hours
1 cup (85g) grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons golden brown sugar
2 teaspoons plus 2 tablespoons salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
2 3/4 cups (about) all purpose flour
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
6 tablespoons chopped fresh sage plus whole leaves for garnish
Cook the sweet potatoes (either microwave or peel and boil). Mash once cooked. In a large bowl, add to the mashed potatoes the ricotta, Parmesan, brown sugar, 2 teaspoons salt, and nutmeg; mash to blend. Mix in flour, about 1/2 cup at a time, until soft dough forms.
On a floured surface divide the dough into pieces and roll into long rope. Cut each rope into 1 inch pieces and roll each piece over with a fork to indent.
Bring large pot of salted water to a boil and working in batches, boil the gnocchi about 5 minutes (they float when ready). Cool completely. (Can be made 4 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.)
Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat until butter becomes brown (but not burned!), swirling pan occasionally, about 5 minutes. Add the chopped sage and remove from heat. Season the sage butter with salt and pepper.
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, sauté half of the gnocchi until heated through, about 6 minutes. Empty into an oven-proof baking sheet and place in warmed oven to keep while sautéing the remainder gnocchi.
Divide gnocchi and sauce among shallow bowls. Garnish with sage leaves.
What I love about following good food blogs is when the imagery and the recipes meld together in my head and the imagination of my taste buds take over. I can vicariously prepare and enjoy a dish from a well written and photographed post. It makes me want to cook: to smell the fragrant odors while simmering, to feel the different textures and to sense the various flavors balancing each other, it is almost like smelling a wonderful perfume.
Food and photography are two of my favorite things, so when I read a few weeks ago about the Junglefrog Cooking Photography and Styling Challenge, I thought to myself: “What a fun project!”, thus today’s post.
The challenge here was to shoot a white colored dish and one of my all-time favorite dishes which is white and originates in Spain: “Ajo Blanco” soup. A white “gazpacho” made with garlic, almonds, and bread. Since I am clinging to the last days of summer, I thought I’d make a batch of “Ajo Blanco”; if you’re a fan of garlic, this will become one of your favsorites too, hands down.
AJO BLANCO – WHITE GARLIC SOUP
Prep Time: 15 minutes, Yield: 4 servings
4 oz (1/2 cup) blanched, peeled almonds (or use slivered almonds)
3-4 slices stale baguette or white bread
3 cloves garlic
4 cups (32 oz) water
5 Tbsp extra virgin Spanish olive oil
3-4 Tbsp Spanish sherry vinegar
16-20 seedless green grapes (optional)
salt to taste
Peel garlic. Trim crust from bread and soak in 1-2 cups cold water.
Blend garlic and almonds into a food processor or blender on pulse until smooth. Remove bread from water with slotted spoon and squeeze out excess water. Tear bread into pieces and add bread and 1 tsp salt to blender. Blend on pulse.
While blending, slowly drizzle the olive oil, then the vinegar, and finally the water into blender. Taste. Adjust salt, vinegar and oil to taste.
Strain through a sieve into a container or bowl. Press as much as possible through the sieve. Seal and chill at least 2-3 hours or overnight. Mix soup before serving.
Serve by ladling soup into soup bowls, garnish with the sliced grapes and toasted, sliced almonds.
That’s all there is to it!
If you try this savory soup, please drop me a line and let me know what you think.
Week Five of Souvenir Foto Schools’ FOOD + FOTO Challenge, and I’m into turnips. No, they are not so exotic as I was hoping for, but my quest to find the really strange is not panning out too well. I am still however sticking to my guns when it comes to buying vegetables which I never use and thus knew not what to do with.
After researching recipes for turnips, they seem to be a sort of well kept secret. OK – well I’m going to give it a go with the “gratin“. I don’t particularly like the bread idea, but hey, if you sometimes just don’t jump in with a leap of faith, then what is life really all about?
Well Miss B. launched a six-week photo challenge to shoot food. I am into week four of my quest to shoot strange looking vegetables, so today is Black Radish. Most people seem to eat them raw, but I found a recipe to make chips – I’ll be trying it later.
In my on-going Souvenir Foto School “FOOD + FOTO” challenge, today’s shoot was of “Topinambur” or Jerusalem Artichoke. I bought them just for the name! They are pretty versatile in cooking, sort of like potatoes. Except apparently you can heat your house after eating them, thanks to the extra gas!
This is the second week of Miss B’s Souvenir Foto School, for which our assignment over the next six weeks is to shoot food. I decided to take photos of vegetables that scare me – in other words, the ones I never want to buy at the market because I am totally clueless about what to do with them. Last week was Romanesco Brocolli, today it is Potimarron (mini pumpkins). I found a recipe to bake these jolly-looking little spheric creations, so I should be able to manage that. If you have any other suggestions, please drop me a line!
Monday has arrived again (it never seems to fail thank goodness!) as cloudy Fall skies hang overhead.
At the same time I’m participating in additional challenges, thus todays image for Vicki of Simply Hue and her Creative Challenge Group. Vicki asked us to post “images which would inspire”. Vicki dishes out some pretty good creative brilliance herself, but now she’s turned the tables! So what do you think: is my image “inspiring”?
F is for “festival” or “fete” in French, of which I am not particularly feeling – perhaps it’s my annual Fall (“F” again) cold trying to find (“F” again) me. I have very little energy. Where is my pink bunny rabbit with drum?
If anyone is “following” (forget the “F”) me – then you’ll know that I’m participating in Souvenir Foto Schools’ month-long alphabet challenge, to which we have to post a photo-a-day, with a different letter, and we have only four “free” days. So far so good. And I’ve decided to do the alphabet in “order”. And I’ve decided to make it even more difficult by finding words in English and in French which are the same (since we’ve just arrived in La Belle France).
So there you go.
Demain c’est “G” – grace, generous, grammar…..?
I’ve been getting the new house organized, unpacking, doing laundry (I L.O.V.E washing machines), and sleeping a bit more than usual (the result of days on the road, waking up in different places and making sure we are all doing OK – dogs included!).
Since Saturday I have managed to post my daily “Alphabet” challenge to the Souvenir Foto School, which takes place every day during the rest of the month. If you want to follow along what I am posting you can keep tabs on my Alphabet Set at Flickr.