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

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

 

 

Deviled Eggs with Bacon Jam

April 4th, 2017

Deviled Eggs with Bacon Jam

We attended our friend’s Celebration of Life event last weekend.  It was a perfect remembrance of Karen, replete with her favorite food and music.  Shrimp and grits were passed in small mason jars with spoons. Kentucky fried chicken legs in the signature buckets centered one table.  Oysters, crab cakes and biscuits adorned another table.  But my favorite food offering was the deviled eggs with bacon jam.

Deviled Eggs with Bacon Jam

With Easter approaching, I can’t think of a better choice for your holiday table.  I have been wanting to make bacon jam for quite a while.  It is actually very easy and can even be done in the crock pot. Bacon, in combination with strong coffee, brown sugar, vinegar and maple syrup cooked to a jam consistency is a unique experience. There are so many uses for it too.  Slather it on hamburgers, use as a topping for crostini, add to grilled cheese sandwiches or top deviled eggs as I did.  Store the leftover jam in mason jars in the refrigerator.

Deviled eggs with bacon Jam

This is so good that we are having a hard time stopping before we eat the entire tray.  Spring is in the air and these deviled eggs are perfect for Easter.

BACON JAM ( Leite’s Culinaria )

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 1/2 pounds sliced bacon, cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 medium yellow onions, cut into smallish dice
  • 3 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
  • 3/4 cup strongly brewed coffee
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar, or less to taste
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup (the real deal, please)

DIRECTIONS

  • 1. In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the bacon, stirring occasionally, until the fat is rendered and the bacon is browned and crisp, about 20 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to paper towel-lined plates to drain.
  • 2. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon drippings from the skillet. Add the onions and garlic to the skillet and cook until the onions are translucent, about 6 minutes. Add the coffee, vinegar, brown sugar, and maple syrup and bring to a boil. Cook, stirring and scraping up any browned bits from the skillet, for 2 minutes. Add the bacon and stir to combine.
  • 3. If making this on a stovetop, reduce the heat to a bare simmer and cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the liquid almost completely evaporates and turns syrupy, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. If making this in a slow-cooker, transfer the mixture to a 6-quart slow-cooker and cook on high, uncovered, until the liquid almost completely evaporates and turns syrupy, 3 1/2 to 4 hours.
  • 4. Let the bacon concoction cool slightly before transferring it to a food processor and pulsing until coarsely chopped. Spoon the bacon lusciousness into individual jars or other resealable containers and refrigerate for up to 4 weeks. Transfer to a pan and rewarm gently over low heat prior to indulging.  Makes 3 cups.

Serve with your favorite deviled egg recipe

Printable Recipe

Buttery Breakfast Casserole

June 7th, 2016

Breakfast Casserole 1

I have cobbled together a picture of a breakfast casserole that I served to company.  My life has been rather cobbled together lately.  From selling our Florida house, to pulling a u-haul back to North Carolina, to a major get together with friends, the one thing I did not need was to get sick.  But sick I was.  I developed a hacking cough, headache, fever and laryngitis. David dragged me to the Doctor last Wednesday.  All I could croak out were the words “I can’t afford to be sick.  I have 16 people coming tomorrow for 4 or 5 days.” I am so impressed with our Nurse Practitioner.  She prescribed an antibiotic and words of wisdom.  She said be sure your friends have clean sheets and towels, but forget about the rest of the house.  No one will notice or care about a bit of dust or a less that neat house.  So true.  Everyone pitched in and we had a wonderful time.

Malt Shoppe Memories Beach

The occasion that brought us all together was the annual Lake Lure Lakefront Home Owners Association annual dinner and meeting.  David and I were in charge of the entertainment.  We booked our good friends from Florida who have a doo wop group called Malt Shoppe Memories.  They perform all over Florida and are also known in our area from previous visits.

Malt Shoppe Memories Dancing

The concert was held on the beach and a fun time was had by all.

Malt Shoppe Memories S'moresThe hotel even arranged to serve S’mores on the beach.

Malt Shoppe Memories Boathouse

 

The party was held on Saturday night.  On Sunday evening the group performed on the top of our boathouse and people were encouraged to come by boat to sit back and enjoy the concert.  The acoustics on the water and between the mountains are something special.

Malt Shoppe Memories Kitchen

It was great to have so much help in the kitchen.  We did a pot luck on Sunday and everyone contributed wonderful dishes.

Breakfast Casserole 2V

I made this casserole on Saturday afternoon when I was feeling better. I tucked it into the refrigerator and baked it on Sunday morning.  It couldn’t be easier.  What you see here are the leftovers. It is a special breakfast casserole because it uses croissants instead of bread (thus the buttery description) and because it comes from The New York Times.  All of their recipes are first rate.  I will be adding this to my permanent recipe file.  The sausage, Gruyere cheese, sage and green onions just add to the goodness.

BUTTERY BREAKFAST CASSEROLE

  • 1 pound croissants (about 5 to 7), split in half lengthwise
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, more for baking dish
  • 1 bunch scallions (6 to 7), white and light green parts thinly sliced, greens reserved
  • ¾ pound sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh sage
  • 8 large eggs
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 8 ounces Gruyère, grated (2 cups)
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

 

PREPARATION

  1. Heat oven to 500 degrees. Spread croissants on a large baking sheet and toast, cut side up, until golden brown, 5 to 10 minutes (watch carefully to see that they do not burn). Let cool, then tear into large bite-size pieces.
  2. In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Add sliced scallions and sausage meat; cook, breaking up meat with a fork, until mixture is well browned, about 5 minutes. Stir in sage, and remove from heat.
  3. In a large bowl, toss together croissants and sausage mixture. In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, cream, 1 1/2 cups cheese, salt and pepper.
  4. Lightly oil a 9- x 13-inch baking dish. Turn croissant mixture into pan, spreading it out evenly over the bottom. Pour custard into pan, pressing croissants down gently to help absorb the liquid. Cover pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.
  5. When you’re ready to bake the casserole, heat oven to 350 degrees. Scatter the remaining grated cheese over the top of the casserole. Transfer to oven and bake until casserole is golden brown and firm to the touch, 45 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes. Garnish with sliced scallion tops before serving.

Printable Recipe

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