Saturday, November 19, 2011

Cooking Club #9 {Updated}

[Updated 9/29/14: original, but separate, content, with updated photos and/or more details, if available.]

---> Cooking Club is coming up soon, and now that I'm blogging, I want to share these moments but I thought I should play catch-up first. So without further ado, here (and in other posts) is what we've been up to. Enjoy!

#9 March: Place or City

The Menu:
        Main Course
Hungarian Chicken Goulash
Mandarin Chicken
Hawaiian Spare Ribs
Georgia Peach Carrots
Jerusalem Kadafe
Mississippi Mud Pie

It's that time again: Cooking Club!

This month I decided on a "place" theme. I thought it would be fun to explore a menu featuring various regions and cities. Sort of a twist on ethnic food. I wasn't sure how the other members would respond, but they seemed interested and excited. All-righty then. Let's get to it.

I decided to bring a taste of The South to our plates with Mississippi Mud Pie. I love Southern food. It is my absolute favorite. Seriously. Some people prefer Italian, Asian, or French cuisine. Not me. Give me some grits, fried pork chops, mashed potatoes, biscuits and gravy, soup beans and cornbread, chicken and dumplings, a pot full of green beans and bacon, and peach cobbler any day. (But, cough, in moderation of course, cough.)

As I've said before, I'm not really a chocolate kind of gal. I prefer my desserts to be fruity and cheesecake-y. (word?) But when I do choose chocolate, it's usually in the form of dark chocolate or ice cream. Yet, for some reason, when I came across this CHOCOLATE pie, it looked so delicious with the chocolate bottom and creamy whipped topping, I just knew I was making this southern classic. Yum.

As I melted my chocolate it looked much like a ganache. I [originally] baked my made-from-scratch pie crust (this is an area I'm a little challenged in...pie crusts...grrr) in a cake pan because I forgot my pie pan at home. [However, these updated pictures show a prettier pie crust in a pie pan.] It shrunk a little but I was impressed with how it turned out. Then I poured my yummy chocolate into the pie shell and baked it off.

Then I whipped up some cream and plopped it right on top and served it to a hungry crowd.

I remembered, as I scooped up the last bite, that I completely forgot the chocolate curls. Oh no! So much for presentation....

Original picture from Cooking Club...without the chocolate curls.
Isn't that the most boring pie you've ever seen? It looked so pretty and appetizing in the picture. I was so mad! My dish was ruined.

Don't get me wrong, it still tasted good. But it could have been so much better! [Like this one I made the other day. Look at how appetizing it is!]

Everyone laughed about how distraught I was, acting like it was the end of the world or something. But I take so much pride in making my dishes look good. I mean, we all know we eat with our eyes. can bet that won't happen again. We laughed it off, and now it's a running joke.....making sure no one forgot anything before we dig in. But everything turned out great, and some of my other menu favorites included:

Kelly's Georgia Peach Carrots (another Southern item!)

and Angelica's Mandarin Chicken.

The one interesting dish was Jenny's Jerusalem Kadafe. I guess this is what they have as a dessert over there. It was a couscous dish with lots of cheese. Definitely interesting and I'm still not sure how I liked it. One bite I'd think, this is quite tasty, and the next I'd think, yeah I'm not a fan. Hmmm...

Mississippi Mud Pie
*adapted from The Chocolate and Coffee Bible

Serves 8

1 1/2 c flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 c butter
3 Tbsp iced water ( or more if needed)
3 oz  dark chocolate, broken + 4 oz chocolate, shaved
1/4 c coconut oil
3 Tbsp light corn syrup
3 eggs, beaten
scant 2/3 c light brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 c whipping cream

Preheat oven 425 degrees. Sift flour and salt into a mixing bowl. Rub in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle in water, 1 Tbsp at a time, and toss mixture lightly with your fingers until the dough forms into a ball. On lightly floured surface, roll out dough and line a 9" tart pan. Ease dough into pan and do not stretch. With thumbs, make fluted edges. Using a fork, prick bottom and sides of dough. Bake 10-15 minutes, until lightly browned. Cool on wire rack.

In a heatproof bowl set over a pot of barely simmering water, melt 3 oz of chocolate with coconut oil and corn syrup. Remove bowl from heat and stir in eggs, sugar and extract. Mix well. Lower oven temperature to 350 degrees. Pour chocolate mixture into pie shell. Bake 35-40 minutes, until filling is set. Cool in pan on wire rack. Whip cream into soft peaks. Spread over top of pie. Decorate with chocolate shavings, or curls. Don't forget the curls.

*I hope you enjoyed these Cooking Club snippets. There are more to come as I try to play catch-up before this month's meeting. I hope these themes, and even Cooking Club itself, inspire you to gather with your friends and family in the kitchen, and make sweet moments (and delicious food) of your own.

**I've only included the recipes to the dishes I made. Only because I'm unsure of where everyone got theirs...and hey, we gotta give credit where credit is due. If you have questions about the other dishes, I'll ask the other members where they got their recipes and pass it along!

Check out our previous meetings!
Cooking Club #1-4
Cooking Club #5-8

[Update: Finally, better photos of the Mississippi Mud Pie! It's definitely decadent and delicious, even with my healthy coconut oil substitution.]

What's your favorite cuisine?

With Love and God Bless,

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