Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Pairings: Butter and Rum, Garlic and Oranges, Cats and Dogs!

Hello again! As promised, another bulk post is in store, this time for British Food Fortnight at Fuss Free Flavours, September Pets from Peanut Butter Étouffee, and Of Course You Can Pair Garlic With That! from Habeas Brulee. I'm exhausted today from my NIA class last night (which, by the way is awesome... I invite you all to check it out!) and from running back and forth to Markham, Ajax, etc. so I will be pretty brief in each element's description. Besides, the grandparents were over today bleaching the life out of our house now that my mom and the stepfather are off in Italy, so just keeping up with them has been a challenge.

The first of my three entries comes courtesy of the Great British Cookbook, and is something I vaguely remember seing out at Christmastime. Apparently, in Cumberland, rum butter and oatcakes were given to friends who called at the house to see a new baby. In turn they would leave 'a silver coin, and on the day of the christening, when the butter bowl was empty, the coins were placed in it. A sticky bowl, with plenty of coins sticking to it, meant that the child would never be wanting.

Cumberland Rum Butter
Serves: 4
225 g unsalted European butter, softened (8 oz)
175 g brown sugar (6 oz)
3 Tablespoons rum
Grated nutmeg

  1. Put the butter in a warmed bowl and cream it, either with a wooden spoon or electric beaters.
  2. Tip in the sugar and rum and mix everything together.
  3. Grate in nutmeg to taste and mix again.
  4. Place in a bowl and chill until required.
Entry number two is for Habeas Brulee's unique event Of Course You Can Pair Garlic With That!. The idea was to create a dish that utilized an unusual pairing for the ever-pungent, ever present, garlic. I have to say that I've had this recipe floating around in my head for a while after I was inspired on Epicurious and this was the perfect excuse to make it! This is a satisfying vegan main course that takes full advantage of the flavour possibilities of garlic, here cooked until soft for sweetness and body along with sweet oranges, sautéed until golden for depth, and added raw with crushed red pepper flakes for brightness.

Clementine’s Garlic – Bean Pasta
Makes 6 servings
2 medium heads garlic, cloves separated and peeled
2 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
2 Clementine oranges, peeled and separated
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
½ lb baby spinach
4 cups hot, cooked whole wheat pasta
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp nutritional yeast
2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  1. Reserve 8 large garlic cloves.
  2. Put remaining cloves in 2 cups cold water, then simmer in a small saucepan, covered, until garlic is very soft, about 30 minutes.
  3. Reserve ½ cup garlic cooking liquid, drain garlic in a sieve.
  4. Purée cooked garlic with reserved cooking liquid and 1 teaspoon salt in a blender until smooth.
  5. Half each orange section crosswise.
  6. Mince 3 reserved garlic cloves with thyme. Transfer along with spinach to a large serving bowl.
  7. Finely chop remaining garlic cloves and cook in oil in a 12-inch non-stick skillet over moderate heat, stirring, until pale golden, 3 to 5 minutes.
  8. Add oranges and cook, stirring, 3 minutes.
  9. Add beans and garlic purée to skillet and bring to a simmer over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper.
  10. Reserve 1 cup cooking water, then drain pasta.
  11. Add pasta, sauce, vinegar, nutritional yeast and red pepper flakes to spinach and garlic in serving bowl and toss to combine, adding reserved cooking water if mixture is dry.
  12. Serve immediately.
  13. Each serving contains about 311 calories and 5 grams fat.
I can't wait to see the other entries, I love garlic!
This brings me to my non-foodie additions, a puppy dog and two kitty cats! These furballs are making an appearance as my entry to September Pets, a cute blogging event created by Peanut Butter Étouffee. The dog's name is Shaggy, and he's a mutt who used to belong to my stepfather (I take care of him now, so he's mine). The two cats are actually my sister's, the pretty orange one is named Bitt, and the other one is Preston. Both of them were rescues that we picked up from PetsMart, and their charm and antics never cease to make us laugh. Often the three of them will wind up in the kitchen with me, waiting for something to fall. Too bad for them!


  1. Wow, all of these look great!

  2. You're a busy, busy woman Sarah. All of your dishes look droolworthy. Your pets are little cutie pies as well!!!!

  3. Hi there you have a great blog,lovely recipes. Feel free to visit my blog too :)

    Jeena xx

    click here for food recipes

  4. Rum butter! In Britian families seem to favour either brandy butter or rum butter, I come from a brandy family and can see that I shall have to try rum butter soon.

    Thanks for taking part in British Food Fortnight - check back next week for the round up!


Thanks for the feedback!