Carrot Cake

From King Arthur Flour, a wonderful company and resource of great recipes. I did not have the pineapple although I love the sound of either the dried pineapple or the can of crushed pineapple. I substituted 1/3 c. golden raisins that I soaked in 2 T. Meyers rum. This cake easily serves 24 small squares, you don’t need more than that! I think you could also make this into a layer cake-2 or 3 8 or 9″ layers but you may need a little more frosting. Please excuse the bad photo as I had already cut up the cake and shared it with friends to get a whole picture!

CAKE
4 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 cup (12 tablespoons) melted butter
3/4 cup vegetable oil
2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon allspice
3 1/2 cups finely grated carrots
1 cup diced pecans or walnuts, toasted if desired
1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut (preferred) or sweetened coconut
1/2 cup diced dried pineapple*
*Substitute one 8-ounce can crushed pineapple, drained and squeezed dry, if preferred
FROSTING
3/8 cup (6 tablespoons) butter, room temperature
1 cup cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
2 tablespoons milk, or enough to make frosting spreadable, if necessary.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9″ x 13″ pan.
Combine the eggs, sugars, and vanilla in a large mixing bowl until smooth.
Mix the melted butter with the oil. With the beater running, add the oil mixture in a stream, beating until smooth.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, leaveners, salt, and spices. Add these dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, stirring to make a smooth batter.
Stir in the carrots, nuts, coconut, and pineapple.
Spoon the batter into the pan, spreading it to the edges.
Bake the cake for 40 to 50 minutes, until the cake is golden brown, and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean.
Remove the cake from the oven, and cool in the pan.
To make the frosting: combine the butter, cream cheese, vanilla, and salt in a medium-sized bowl, and beat together until light and fluffy.
Add the sugar gradually, beating well.
Add the milk a little at a time, until the frosting is a spreadable consistency.
Spread frosting over the cake. Garnish with minced crystallized ginger, if desired.

Coconut Corn Soup

 

From Epicurious. I did not add the toasted coconut as I thought it had enough flavor. I also added my corn at the last five minutes because our Colorado Olathe corn is very fragile. I only had 4 ears of corn to use and it worked out fine. I also added to the onions, a half carrot and celery and jalapeño as I had them on my cutting board from a previous dish. I think you could omit the potato if you wanted a thinner soup, or add stock. The corn cobs make such a nice tasting broth.

2 tablespoons virgin coconut oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 (1/2″) piece ginger, peeled, finely chopped (about 1 1/2 teaspoons)
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided, plus more to taste
6 ears of corn, kernels cut off (about 5 1/2 cups), cobs reserved
1 Yukon Gold potato (about 5 ounces) peeled, cut into 1/2″ cubes
1 (14-ounce) can coconut milk
2 (2″) strips lime zest
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
Diced avocado, cilantro leaves with tender stems, and lime wedges (for serving)
PREPARATION

Melt coconut oil over medium heat in a large pot. Add onion, ginger, tumeric, and 1/2 tsp. salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is translucent, 8–10 minutes.
Break corn cobs in half and add to pot along with corn kernels, potato, coconut milk, lime zest, and 1 1/2 cups water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce to a simmer and cook until potato is tender, 20–25 minutes.
Discard corn cobs and lime zest, then transfer soup to a blender. Add 1/2 tsp. salt and purée until smooth. Let cool to room temperature. Transfer to a large bowl and chill, covered, at least 2 hours.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350°F. Spread coconut flakes on a small rimmed baking sheet and toast, tossing occasionally, until golden, about 5 minutes; transfer to a plate.
Stir lime juice into soup and adjust seasonings, thinning with water, if needed. Divide soup among bowls, then top with toasted coconut, avocado, and cilantro. Serve with lime wedges alongside.
Do Ahead
Soup can be made 4 days ahead. Cover and chill.

Bill’s Blueberry Cobbler

A tried and true recipe that is perfect for summer! I have recently started adding peaches to this and it is delicious!

3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup milk
2 cups blueberries (about 11 ounces)
Accompaniment: whipped cream or vanilla ice cream
PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 375°F.
In an 8-inch square or other 2-quart baking dish melt butter. Into a bowl sift together flour, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg and stir in sugar until combined well. Add milk and whisk batter until it is just combined. Pour batter into melted butter; do not stir. Pour berries into center of batter; do not stir. Bake cobbler in middle of oven 40 minutes, or until cake portion is golden and berries exude juices.
Serve cobbler warm or at room temperature with whipped cream or ice cream.

Chocolate Pecan Bars

A wonderful bar recipe from my sister Meg. We prefer the graham cracker crust but you can chose for yourself. The recipe makes 24 rich and delicious bars!

Crust
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg beaten lightly
In a food processor, blend together the flour, sugar, butter and salt, pulsing the motor, until the mixture resembles coarse meal, add the egg and blend the mixture until it forms a dough. Press the dough evenly using floured hands into the bottom of a buttered 13 x 9 inch baking dish and bake it in the middle of a predheated 350 oven for 20-25 minutes or until it is golden.
ALTERNATIVE graham cracker crust:
1 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup sugar
1 stick butter,melted
Blend above ingredients and pat into pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.
Filling
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cup chopped pecans
2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Make one of the two crusts and bake. Cream butter and sugar together. Add eggs, one at a time. At the flour, vanilla, and salt. Stir in the chocolate and nuts.
Spread the filling over the crust and bake in the middle of the 350 degree oven for 30-35 minutes, or until the top is golden brown. Let cool completely in the dish on a rack and cut it into 24 bars. The bars may be made 2 days in advance and kept in a airtight container.

Pommes Anna

I have been enticed by this recipe for years but have never attempted it! Another winner from Melissa Clark and the NY Times. I made a mini version of this with 3 Russet potatoes and my 6″ cast iron pan and scaled the recipe down accordingly. It did not disappoint -it was so delicious and I can’t wait to make it again. I am even considering it for Thanksgiving potato-as it is crispy on the outside and creamy in the middle. Do not be intimidated to try this recipe-you will be so happy that you did!

5 ½ to 7 pounds russet or all-purpose white potatoes, as needed
¾ cup clarified butter, melted
Fine sea salt, as needed
Freshly ground black pepper, as needed
2 to 4 garlic cloves, sliced paper-thin on a mandoline (optional)

Heat oven to 450 degrees. Place a rack in the middle and set a rimmed baking sheet on top of it.
Trim potatoes into cylinders, peeling any skin left after trimming. Using a mandoline or sharp knife, slice into 1/8-inch slices and blot dry with paper towels. You should have about 8 1/2 cups.
In a heavy 10-inch cast-iron skillet, heat 3 tablespoons clarified butter over medium heat. When hot, carefully place 1 potato slice in the middle, then quickly place more slices around it, overlapping them clockwise to make a ring. Place a second ring to surround the first, going counterclockwise. Continue to the edge of the pan, alternating the direction in which the potato rings overlap. Sprinkle with a generous 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper to taste, then drizzle with another 2 tablespoons butter.
Create second layer of potatoes, just as you did the first. Dot a third of the garlic slices, if using, on top of this layer of potatoes. Season with salt and pepper; drizzle with butter.
Continue layering potatoes, garlic, butter and salt until everything is used, making a dome of potatoes in the middle (they will sink as they cook). Occasionally shake skillet gently to ensure potatoes aren’t sticking. When finished, there should be enough butter that it can be seen bubbling up the sides of the skillet.
Butter the bottom of a 9-inch pan and one side of a piece of foil. Push the pan down firmly on top of the potatoes to press them. Remove pan, then cover potatoes with the foil, buttered side down. Cover the foil with a lid. Set skillet on the baking sheet in oven and bake for 20 minutes.
Remove skillet from oven, uncover and remove foil, and again press potatoes down firmly with the 9-inch pan. (Rebutter bottom of pan, if necessary, before you press down.) Return to oven and bake uncovered, until potatoes are tender and the sides are dark brown when lifted away from skillet, 20 to 25 minutes.
Once more, remove skillet from oven and press potatoes down firmly with pan. Tip the skillet away from you to drain off the excess butter into a bowl (this can be reused for cooking), using the lid to keep the potatoes in place. Run a thin spatula around edge and bottom of skillet to loosen any slices stuck to the pan. Carefully turn out the potatoes onto a serving platter.

Spice rubbed Spatchcocked Chicken

A wonderful recipe from Melissa Clark of the NY Times. I have made it four times this month. You can roast it or grill it and it is delicious. The meat is so tender. The key is to make the rub and cover the chicken on both sides and let it sit uncovered in the refrigerator 2-24+ hours.

1 chicken, 3 1/2 to 4 pounds, patted dry
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
2 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon ancho or New Mexico chile powder
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 teaspoon dry mustard powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon ground allspice
2 bay leaves, torn or cut into pieces
Lime or lemon wedges, for serving
Nutritional Information
PREPARATION
Spatchcock the chicken by using poultry shears or kitchen scissors (or a sharp knife) to cut along one side of the backbone until the chicken opens. If you like you can cut along the other side of the backbone and remove it, or leave it attached to roast with the rest of the bird. Open up the bird and place it so it lies flat, breast side up. Press hard onto the center of the breast until you feel a pop, and the breast lies more or less flat.
In a small bowl, mix together sugar, salt, chile powder, paprika, mustard powder, oregano, pepper, allspice and bay leaves. Smear the mixture all over the chicken. Lay chicken, skin side up, on a rimmed baking sheet (or plate) and refrigerate uncovered for at least 2 hours and up to 24 hours.
Heat oven to 425 degrees. If the chicken isn’t on a rimmed baking sheet, transfer it to one. Roast chicken until the juices run clear when the thickest part of the thigh is pricked with a fork (an instant-read thermometer plunged into the thickest part of the breast will read 150), 40 to 50 minutes.
Remove from oven, cover bird with foil and let rest for 10 minutes before carving. Serve with lime or lemon wedges on the side.

Chicken Marsala

I had forgotten how much I like chicken marsala. This recipe comes from Saveur and is delicious and easy! We had it with arugula but you could serve it with rice or pasta.

1 1⁄4 lb. chicken cutlets, pounded until 1⁄4″ thick, I used 2 boneless skinless breasts, pounded and sliced into cutlets
 Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
 1⁄3 cup plus 1 tbsp. flour
 5 tbsp. olive oil
 5 tbsp. unsalted butter
 8 oz. white button mushrooms, I used cremini, baby portabella mushrooms
 2 tbsp. minced shallots
 1 clove garlic, minced
 1⁄3 cup dry Marsala wine
 1⁄3 cup chicken stock or more to taste
1 t. dijon mustard
1 T. chopped fresh chives
 1 tbsp. finely chopped parsley, for garnish (optional)

Season chicken with salt and pepper and dredge in 1⁄3 cup flour. Heat 2 tbsp. oil and 1 tbsp. butter in a 12″ skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add chicken, and cook, turning once, until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate, and set aside. Add 2 tbsp. oil and 1 tbsp. butter, and then add mushrooms; cook until golden brown, about 8 minutes. Transfer to plate with chicken, and set aside.

Heat remaining oil in skillet, and then add shallots and garlic; cook, stirring, until soft, about 1 minute. Stir in remaining 1 tbsp. flour; cook for 2 minutes. Add Marsala and stock; cook, stirring and scraping bottom of pan until slightly thick, about 2 minutes. Return chicken and mushrooms to skillet, and cook until heated through, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in remaining butter. Season with salt and pepper; garnish with parsley, if you like.

Pork Tenderloin stuffed with Herbs and Capers

A simple wonderful way to cook pork tenderloin from Melissa Clark of the NY Times. I served it with a Vegetable Slaw from Tartine All Day and rice. Delicious!

1 ¾ pounds pork tenderloin
1 teaspoon kosher salt, more to taste
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 shallots, minced
2 ½ tablespoons minced capers, plus a splash of their liquid
2 ½ teaspoons chopped sage
1 ½ teaspoons chopped rosemary
1 ½ teaspoons chopped thyme, more for serving
1 garlic clove, finely grated or minced
1 tablespoon dry white wine or vermouth (or use more stock)
¼ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
¼ cup pork, chicken or other meat stock
1 to 2 tablespoons butter
Squeeze of fresh lemon juice (optional)
Nutritional Information
PREPARATION
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Slice pork tenderloin lengthwise to butterfly it, but don’t quite slice all the way through: The 2 pieces should remain attached. Season with salt and pepper, then let sit while you prepare filling.
In a large, oven-safe skillet, heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat. Stir in shallots, 1/2 tablespoon capers, 2 teaspoons sage, 1 teaspoon rosemary, 1 teaspoon thyme and salt and pepper to taste. Stirring frequently, cook until shallots start to brown, about 5 minutes, then stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. (Adjust heat if necessary to prevent burning.) Transfer to a plate to cool slightly. Wipe out skillet and reserve.
Spread cooled filling evenly on pork, then close pork, along the hinge, like a book. Then fold the thinner end up against the thicker portion so that pork is the same width all over. Tie with kitchen twine at 1 1/2-inch intervals.
In the same skillet, heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat until oil is hot but not smoking. Place tenderloin seam-side up in the skillet, then transfer to oven and roast for 15 minutes. Flip pork over and continue roasting until meat reaches 140 to 145 degrees in the center, about 10 minutes longer. Transfer meat to a cutting board to rest; reserve skillet and juices.
While the meat rests, make the sauce: Heat skillet over medium-high heat, then stir in vermouth and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon each sage, rosemary and thyme, scraping up the browned bits on bottom of pan. Cook until vermouth is almost evaporated, then add orange juice and stock, and cook over medium-high heat until thickened and syrupy. Whisk in remaining 2 tablespoons capers, their liquid and the butter; season with salt and pepper to taste. If the sauce tastes too sweet, add a squeeze of lemon juice.
To serve, slice pork into 1/2-inch-thick slices and top with sauce and fresh thyme.

Lamb Kofta

I am working my way through the new Tartine All Day cookbook and am so excited about all of the recipes that I have tried so far! I highly recommend this cookbook and think it is one of the best new cookbooks for sure! It is a book to be used and has so many great recipes! Upon receiving it, I went through the book and wrote down all of the recipes that I wanted to try. I made the lamb kofta and served it with what the author suggested-tzatziki and a fattoush salad. The plate could not have been prettier or more delicious! It is a manageable meal to serve for a party as you can do so much of the prep ahead of time. Lamb Kofta can be made and cooked on skewers or as patties, cooked in a skillet with olive oil.

1/4 c. quinoa
1/2 c. water
large pinch of sea salt
Rinse the quinoa very well, 3 or 4 times. Combine the quinoa, water and salt in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil. Watch carefully! I burned my first batch! Cover and cook on low for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit, covered for 15 minutes. Uncover and let cool.
1# ground lamb
1 onion, finely chopped
1 t. ground cumin
1 t. sea salt
1/4 t. ground black pepper
1/4 c. flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
1/8-1/4 t. ground cinnamon
1 T. chopped mint leaves
1 t. ras-el-hanout * I found this in the Spicely Organic little boxes of spices at WFds* see note below for substit.
1 t. red pepper flakes

8 bamboo or metal skewers
2 T. olive oil, for pan frying (optional)
In a large bowl, combine the quinoa, lamb, onion,cumin, salt, pepper, parsley, cinnamon and ras-el-hanout and red pepper flakes. Gently mix just until the spices are evenly distributed but take care not to overmix. Mixture can be made ahead and stored covered up to 3 days in the refrigerator.
Shape the kofta around skewers to grill or shape into patties for pan frying. Divide the mixture into 8 portions.
Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Fry until browned and cooked through 6-10 minutes.
Grill skewers until browned and cooked (optional).

Greenest Goddess Dressing and Dip

From the wonderful new cookbook, Tartine All Day! The addition of avocado to the original makes this recipe amazing. I also added a little lemon zest because I love it.

3/4 c. Mayonnaise
3/4 c. sour cream or Greek yogurt
3 T. finely chopped fresh Tarragon
1/4 c. finely chopped Italian Parsley
2 T. finely chopped fresh Chives or Scallions
Juice of 1 Lemon
2 olive oil or salt packed Anchovies, rinsed and finely chopped
1 ripe Avocado, halved, peeled, cut into quarters
3 T. finely chopped Carrot tops (optional-I did not use as I did not have them!)
1/4 t. Sea Salt
Ground Black Pepper to taste
Combine everything in a blender or food processor until smooth. Serve with crudités or as a salad dressing.