Fig Jam

September 1st, 2017

Figs

It is fig season.  When figs are ripe they must be used quickly as they do not have a long shelf life after picking.  One of my neighbors here in Lake Lure has a fig tree and she generously shares with several people.  I am glad to be one of them.  Last year I made a Fig and Almond Cake and a Fig and Goat’s Cheese Tart.  This year I had little time so I decided to turn my bounty into fig jam.  It couldn’t be easier.

Figs in pot

It is just a matter of chopping up the washed figs and adding them to a pot with sugar and lemon juice and cooking until thickened.  Stir occasionally while you are occupied elsewhere.  Jam making is such a virtuous pursuit.

Figs in Jars

Looking at the jewel-like contents of the jars makes me feel like I have accomplished something worthwhile.

Orange, Date, and Pecan Muffins

To thank Donna for all of the figs, I made her these Orange, Date, and Pecan Muffins from Jamie Schler’s new cookbook Orange Appeal. The orange flavor is intense in these muffins due to the addition of puréed orange pulp. I am enjoying all of Jamie’s recipes so much.  Orange Appeal is a worthy addition to your culinary collection.

FIG JAM

2 pounds of figs, stemmed and cut into small pieces
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup water

Place the figs and sugar in a large pot.  Stir and let sit for about 15 minutes until sugar is dissolved.  Add lemon juice and water and bring to a boil while stirring to combine.

Turn burner to medium heat and simmer, stirring occasionally for about 20 to 25 minutes until fruit is soft and the sauce has thickened.

Place jam in sterilized canning jars with lids.  Jam will keep in the refrigerator for at least 3 months.

Printable Recipe

Eclipse Weekend

August 23rd, 2017

Orange Cake

Our family rented a house in Highlands, NC to watch the total eclipse of the sun.  It was one of the locations along a narrow track that would experience totality. We were excited to be there.  It was also our DIL’s birthday.  As part of the four day event, I made this Orange and Brown Sugar Glazed Cake from Jamie Schler for the celebration.  Her new cookbook, Orange Appeal: Savory and Sweet, has just been released.  It is a gorgeous book that showcases oranges in many ways.  I have been following her blog, Life’s a Feast for years.

Orange Cake

The orange flecked cake is drizzled with an orange glaze.  Because it was a birthday cake for Kristen, I added a brickle topping and extra orange zest.  I served it with Jamie’s orange flavored whipped cream. I will be making this cake often.  I will also be ordering Orange Appeal from Amazon.  I am anxious to try the Beef in Bourbon Sauce and her Chocolate Orange Marmalade Brownies.

Sweet Potato Salsa

Kristen was in charge of breakfast one morning.  One of the components to her Eggs Benedict dish was this Roasted Sweet Potato Salsa from Foster’s Market.  The smell of roasting sweet potatoes with Balsamic vinegar and cumin drew everyone into the kitchen.  This is such a versatile recipe.  Serve it with a steak, add it to tacos or serve it with eggs as we did.

Eggs Benedict

Kristen layered the English muffins with guacamole, cheddar cheese, sweet potato salsa, poached eggs and a crema sauce made from milk thinned sour cream.

Eggs Benedict

This was a unique take on traditional Eggs Benedict and we loved it.

Eclipse Group with glasses

After breakfast we were ready for the eclipse.  Unfortunately the weather did not cooperate.  Clouds rolled in to block our beautiful view.  In spite of that, it was awesome.  Darkness descended quickly, the crickets began chirping, birds flew to their nests, the temperature dropped, and for a brief moment the total eclipse came into view, with a flash of the aurora.  The kids will remember it always.

ORANGE AND BROWN SUGAR GLAZED CAKE WITH ORANGE-FLECKED WHIPPED CREAM
(As printed in Fine Cooking Magazine by Jamie Schler)

For the Cake:
8 oz. (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened; more for the pan
12 oz. (scant 3 cups) unbleached cake flour
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. table salt
2 oranges
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 tsp. finely grated lemon zest (from 1 lemon)
3 large eggs
1/4 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk
1/3 cup fresh orange juice

For the Glaze:
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 Tbs. orange marmalade

For the Whipped Cream:
1 cup heavy whipping cream, well chilled
1 Tbs. confectioners’ sugar
1/4 tsp. finely grated orange zest

Make the cake:
Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat to 350 degrees F.  Butter the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan.  In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
Use a rasp-style grater to remove 1 tbs zest from the oranges.  Juice one of the oranges to yield 1/4 cup juice.
In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, sugar, and orange and lemon zests on medium speed, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed, until light and creamy, about 2 minutes.  Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition just to combine.  Add the vanilla, and beat briefly to combine.
In three additions and alternating with the milk and orange juice, add the dry ingredients, beating on medium speed after each addition and scrapping down the sides of the bowl as needed.  Pour the batter into the prepared pan, tap the pan on the counter a couple of times to remove air bubbles, and smooth the surface with a spatula.
Bake until the cake is just set in the center and golden brown, 40 to 45 minutes. (A toothpick inserted in the center of the cake may have a few crumbs clinging to it.) Check the cake during the last 10 minutes of baking; if it’s browning too much, tent it loosely with aluminum foil.  Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then slice a knife around the edge to release the cake, if necessary.  Remove the side of the pan, and using a large cake spatula, transfer the cake from thee pan to a cooling rack.  Let cool.

Glaze the cake:
Poke holes all over the cake with a toothpick in 3/4-inch intervals.
Combine the juice, sugar, and marmalade in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Bring to a simmer, lower the heat to low, and whisk often until syrupy, about 10 minutes.  Brush the glaze onto the cake, letting some drip down the sides.  (The cake can be wrapped in plastic and kept at room temperature for up to 2 days before serving.)

Make the whipped cream and serve:
In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or in a bowl using a hand mixer, whip the cream on medium speed until it starts to thicken, about 2 minutes.  Add the sugar and zest, raise the speed to medium high, and continue to whip until medium soft peaks form, about 2 minutes more.  Serve the cake with the whipped cream.

FOSTER’S MARKET ROASTED SWEET POTATO SALSA

2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled/chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic or red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tomato, cored and chopped
1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped into 1/4-inch dice (about 1 cup)
1 to 2 jalapeños, seeded and diced
2 scallions, minced (green and white part)
2 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro
juice and zest of 1 large lime
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
In a medium bowl, toss the sweet potatoes with the olive oil, vinegar, chili powder and cumin and spread in one layer on a large, rimmed baking pan.
Place in the oven and roast for 30 to 35 minutes, stirring a couple of times, until the potatoes are golden brown and soft.  Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
In a medium bowl, place the tomato, red pepper, jalapeños, scallions, cilantro and lime juice and zest with the sweet potatoes; toss until combined.
Season with salt and pepper and serve warm with eggs, tostadas, grilled steak or chicken.

Printable Recipe Orange Cake

Printable Recipe Sweet Potato Salsa

Garlic Confit Toast

July 14th, 2017

Garlic Confit Bread

We all love garlic bread.  I have made many versions over the years. But I have to say that this recipe is the most amazing I have ever made.  Brought to the internet by Bon Appetit, I couldn’t resist making it.  It helps that my weight-conscious husband is on a motorcycle trip and I can eat anything that I want for dinner.  Last night it was bread and wine with a very small helping of cole slaw and pork.Garlic Confit Bread

Usually a confit refers to the method of cooking duck or goose in their own fats.  But in this case, whole cloves of garlic are cooked in butter until they are golden brown.  the mixture is then mashed together with Parmesan cheese, oregano, lemon zest and red pepper flakes.

Garlic Confit Bread

The mixture is spread on a sliced baguette and broiled. Be very watchful of the bread because it can burn easily.  Not sure what I will do with the leftovers, but I will worry about that later.  I thoroughly enjoyed my indulgence.  My, oh my.  This was good.

GARLIC CONFIT TOAST

  •  head garlic, cloves peeled
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan
  • 2 teaspoons chopped oregano
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 baguette

Cook garlic in butter in a small covered saucepan over medium-low heat until golden brown and very soft, 15−20 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl; let cool.

Add Parmesan, oregano, lemon zest, and red pepper flakes to garlic and mash to a paste; season with kosher salt.

Heat broiler. Slice baguette in half lengthwise, then crosswise. Broil, cut side down, on a foil-lined baking sheet until golden brown, about 2 minutes (watch carefully). Let cool slightly, then spread cut side with garlic paste. Broil until cheese is golden and bubbling, about 2 minutes. (Mine took only 1 1/2 minutes) Slice.

Printable Recipe

Cauliflower Cake

June 15th, 2017

Caulifower Cake

Spreading my wings in cultural awareness of Middle Eastern Cuisine has taken me to cookbooks by Yotam Ottolenghi.  In partnership with Sami Tamimi he wrote the cookbook Jerusalem, his home city, which reflects the diverse cuisines of the Muslims, Christians and Jewish communities within its borders.  Now a well known vegetarian chef and restaurant owner in London, Ottolenghi has received many awards for his innovative cuisine.  More cookbooks followed among them Plenty and Plenty More.

Cauliflower Cake

From the cookbook Plenty More, I made this savory Cauliflower Cake.  Many of Ottolenghi’s recipes require unusual ingredients, but this is a pretty straightforward recipe.  The only ingredient that I did not have access to was nigella seeds.  As they are only sprinkled on the sides of the cake along with sesame seeds, I did not consider them necessary.

We love this cake.  Cauliflower florets are suspended in an eggy cake batter with flecks of rosemary, basil and red onions.  To make it even better in my mind, I added cubes of ham.  But you could leave it vegetarian and it would still be delicious.  There is added richness with lots of Parmesan cheese.  I think an aged cheddar would also be good.  I will be looking for nigella seeds because some reviewers said the seeds on the edges added a nice crunch.

Califlower Cake

You can serve this cake along with a salad for a light supper or make it for a brunch with friends.  It makes me happy.  Enjoy the coming Father’s Day weekend.

CAULIFLOWER CAKE

Serves 4 to 6

1 small cauliflower, outer leaves removed, broken into 1 1/4-inch florets (about 4 cups)
1 medium red onion, peeled (6 ounces)
5 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon finely chopped rosemary
7 large eggs
1/2 cup basil leaves, chopped
1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 1/2 cups coarsely grated Parmesan or another aged cheese
Melted unsalted butter, for brushing
1 tablespoon white sesame seeds
1 teaspoon nigella seeds (also known as black caraway)
Salt and black pepper

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Place the cauliflower florets in a saucepan and add 1 teaspoon salt. Cover with water and simmer for 15 minutes, until the florets are quite soft. They should break when pressed with a spoon. Drain and set aside in a colander to dry.

Cut 4 round slices, each 1/4-inch/5-mm thick, off one end of the onion and set aside. Coarsely chop the rest of the onion and place in a small pan with the oil and rosemary. Cook for 10 minutes over medium heat, stirring from time to time, until soft. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool. Transfer the onion to a large bowl, add the eggs and basil, whisk well, and then add the flour, baking powder, turmeric, Parmesan, 1 teaspoon salt, and plenty of pepper. Whisk until smooth before adding the cauliflower and stirring gently, trying not to break up the florets.

Line the base and sides of a 9 1/2-inch/24-cm springform cake pan with parchment paper. Brush the sides with melted butter, then mix together the sesame and nigella seeds and toss them around the inside of the pan so that they stick to the sides. Pour the cauliflower mixture into the pan, spreading it evenly, and arrange the reserved onion rings on top. Place in the center of the oven and bake for 45 minutes, until golden brown and set; a knife inserted into the center of the cake should come out clean. Remove from the oven and leave for at least 20 minutes before serving. It needs to be served just warm, rather than hot, or at room temperature.

PRINTABLE RECIPE

Crispy Kale and Garlic Cream Tartlets

May 18th, 2017

Crispy Kale Garlic Cream Tartletts

Tartlets and quiches are some of my favorite foods.  Add crispy kale and bacon and I am in heaven. While scrolling the internet, I found a blogger who had attended one of Mimi Thorisson’s pop-up dinners in France.  Mimi, of the blog Manger, has served dinner to many people in her home in Saint-Yzans-de-Médoc in the Bordeaux region of France.  The blogger showed a picture of the appetizer that was offered that night.  It was this tartlet.  I knew that I had to make it, so I searched Mimi’s blog and found it here.

Crispy Kale Garlic Cream Tartletts

I kept the concept of the dish but changed it up to suit my taste.  I wanted more custard and used heavy cream instead of crème fraîche.  The kale is indeed crispy.  It is added near the end of the cooking time.  It provides a surprise element to a simple tartlet.

Southern Chicks MarketPenny of Enjoying the Simple Things and I found a new shop in Hendersonville for all of you who love the “Fixer Upper” look of Joanna Gaines.  The shop is called Southern Chicks Market.  It is full of tempting merchandise.

Crispy Kale Garlic Cream Tartletts

I think you will also find these delicious tartlets tempting.

CRISPY KALE AND GARLIC CREAM TARTLETS (Adapted from Mimi Thorisson)

1 1/2 cups Kale, torn into small pieces, washed and dried
6 slices of bacon, fried and crispy
1 cup of heavy cream
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 egg yolks
Pinch of nutmeg

Pastry – Enough for a single 9 inch pie pan cut into 6 rounds large enough to fill 6 tartlet pans.  You will have to roll, cut, gather scrapes and roll again (probably twice).

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Prick bottoms of pastry in tartlet pans.  Place on cookie sheet and top each with parchment paper and pie weights. (I use dried lima beans). Bake until lightly browned.  Remove weights and parchment paper.

In a bowl, mix the cream and the egg yolks along with a pinch of nutmeg and the minced garlic.  Season with Salt and pepper.  Whisk all together.

Divide the mixture among the tartlets and bake until set, Approximately 15 minutes.  Add the kale, drizzle with a little olive oil and cook for a further 10 minutes or until crispy and the pastry is golden.

Place a slice of bacon on each tartlet and serve.

Printable Recipe

 

 

© Penny Klett, Lake Lure Cottage Kitchen. All rights reserved.