Sunday, March 27, 2011

Poppy Lemon Cake

Another Smitten Kitchen heart attack on a plate.

Poppy Seed Lemon Cake
Adapted, barely, from Kurt Gutenbrunner via Food & Wine
As excited as I was about finally finding this recipe as I set about baking it I was consumed with doubt. “Only two-thirds of a cup of sugar? A half cup of flour to eight yolks and one whole egg? How can this work? This will never work. I shouldn’t make this. I hate throwing nearly a dozen eggs out, and the skins of two gorgeous organic lemons…” Fortunately I eventually shut up and can assure you, this is the cake I’d been looking for all along: a zillion tiny cracking poppy seeds, fragrant with lemon and loud with butter.
Yes, I reversed the “lemon” and “poppy seed” in the title as I was convinced that the emphasis was on the wrong sylable, as they say.
2/3 cup sugar
8 large egg yolks
1 large whole egg
1 1/2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest (from 2 lemons)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
Pinch of salt (edited to add this)
2 sticks (1/2 pound) unsalted butter, melted and cooled a bit
1/2 cup poppy seeds (I got this from one 3-ounce spice bottle)
Preheat the oven to 325°F Butter and flour an 8-inch* fluted Bundt or tube pan generously. (This cake very much wants to stick. Don’t let it!) Butter the dull side of a 10-inch piece of foil.
* I only had a 10-inch and it worked fine; the cake was done about 10 minutes sooner.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk, beat the sugar with the egg yolks and whole egg at medium-high speed until the mixture is pale yellow and very fluffy, about 8 minutes. Beat in the lemon zest. Sift the flour and cornstarch over the egg mixture and fold in along with the pinch of salt with a rubber spatula. At medium speed, beat in the butter, then beat in the poppy seeds.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and cover tightly with the buttered foil. Bake for 45 minutes, or until the cake pulls away from the side of the pan and a cake tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove the foil and let the cake cool in the pan on a rack for 15 minutes. Invert the cake onto the rack and let cool completely before serving, at least 30 minutes.
Do ahead: The cake can be wrapped in plastic and foil and left at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Lemon cream spaghetti

Smitten kitchen's lemon cream spaghetti
3 lemons' juice
1 tbsp lemon zest
1/4 c cream
1/4 c olive oil
1c pasta water
1/2c parmesan
Shredded basil

1 pound spaghetti or linguine
3 lemons
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil , plus additional for serving
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 ounce finely grated Parmesan cheese (about 1/2 cup), plus additional for serving
Ground black pepper
Small handful fresh basil, shredded

- Cook linguine or spaghetti in well-salted water to your al dente tastes in a large, wide-bottomed pot. (You’ll have fewer dishes to wash if you use this pot to assemble the dish as well.)
While pasta is cooking . . .
- Zest lemons until you have a little shy of a tablespoon of zest. Juice lemons — you’ll have anywhere from 1/3 to 1/2 cup lemon juice.
- Drain pasta, reserving 1 1/2 cups of pasta cooking water.
- Boil the olive oil, cream, zest and 1 cup of the reserved pasta water together for two minutes over high heat. - Return pasta to pot and stir until coated.
- Add the cheese and 1/4 cup lemon juice and toss, toss, toss everything together.
- Add more pasta water, 1/4 cup at a time, if you’d like your dish a little looser. Quickly taste a strand of pasta and see if you want to add the remaining lemon juice (we did). Stir in basil or arugula and season generously with salt and pepper.
Serve immediately, drizzling individual portions with a bit of extra olive oil and sprinkling with extra Parmesan. cheese


Caramelized onion sausage pizza

Thursday, March 24, 2011

7 day rain cream scones

Thanks again smittenkitchen.  This rain better end before I gain 20 pounds!

*cube butter and refrigerate in advance

2 cups all-purpose flour, preferably a low-protein brand such as Gold Medal or Pillsbury
1 tablespoon baking powder
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons chilled, unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1/2 cup currants or chopped dried cranberries
1 cup heavy cream

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 425°F.
2. Place flour, baking powder, sugar and salt in large bowl or work bowl of food processor fitted with steel blade. Whisk together or pulse six times.
3. If using food processor, remove cover and distribute butter evenly over dry ingredients. Cover and pulse 12 times, each pulse lasting 1 second. Add currants and pulse one more time. Transfer dough to large bowl.
4. Stir in heavy cream with a fork until dough begins to form, about 30 seconds.
5. Transfer dough and all dry, floury bits to countertop and knead dough by hand just until it comes together into a rough, sticky ball, 5 to 10 seconds. Form scones by pressing the dough into an 8-inch cake pan, then turning the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface, cutting the dough into 8 wedges with a knife
6. Place rounds or wedges on ungreased baking sheet and bake until scone tops are light brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Cool on wire rack for at least 10 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


I blame SmittenKitchen for destroying any lingering hope of a reduced carb diet.  In the past few days I've made the leek-chard quiche, sally lunn (brioche-like) bread, and, tonight, challah.

SmittenKitchen's Best Challah (Egg Bread)
Adapted from Joan Nathan
The secrets to good challah are simple: Use two coats of egg wash to get that laquer-like crust and don’t overbake it. Joan Nathan, who this recipe is adapted from, adds that three risings always makes for the tastiest loaves, even better if one of them is slowed down in the fridge.
Time: about 1 hour, plus 2 1/2 hours’ rising
Yield: 2 loaves
1 1/2 packages active dry yeast (1 1/2 tablespoons)
1 tablespoon plus 1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup olive or vegetable oil, plus more for greasing the bowl
5 large eggs
1 tablespoon salt
8 to 8 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup raisins per challah, if using, plumped in hot water and drained
Poppy or sesame seeds for sprinkling.
1. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast and 1 tablespoon sugar in 1 3/4 cups lukewarm water.
2. Whisk oil into yeast, then beat in 4 eggs, one at a time, with remaining sugar and salt. Gradually add flour. When dough holds together, it is ready for kneading. (You can also use a mixer with a dough hook for both mixing and kneading, but be careful if using a standard size KitchenAid–it’s a bit much for it, though it can be done.)
3. Turn dough onto a floured surface and knead until smooth. Clean out bowl and grease it, then return dough to bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour, until almost doubled in size. Dough may also rise in an oven that has been warmed to 150 degrees then turned off. Punch down dough, cover and let rise again in a warm place for another half-hour.
4. At this point, you can knead the raisins into the challah, if you’re using them, before forming the loaves. To make a 6-braid challah, either straight or circular, take half the dough and form it into 6 balls. With your hands, roll each ball into a strand about 12 inches long and 1 1/2 inches wide. Place the 6 in a row, parallel to one another. Pinch the tops of the strands together. Move the outside right strand over 2 strands. Then take the second strand from the left and move it to the far right. Take the outside left strand and move it over 2. Move second strand from the right over to the far left. Start over with the outside right strand. Continue this until all strands are braided. For a straight loaf, tuck ends underneath. For a circular loaf, twist into a circle, pinching ends together. Make a second loaf the same way. Place braided loaves on a greased cookie sheet with at least 2 inches in between.
5. Beat remaining egg and brush it on loaves. Either freeze breads or let rise another hour.
6. If baking immediately, preheat oven to 375 degrees and brush loaves again. Sprinkle bread with seeds, if using. If freezing, remove from freezer 5 hours before baking.
7. Bake in middle of oven for 30 to 40 minutes, or until golden. (If you have an instant read thermometer, you can take it out when it hits an internal temperature of 190 degrees.) Cool loaves on a rack.
Note: Any of the three risings can be done in the fridge for a few hours, for more deeply-developed flavor. When you’re ready to work with it again, bring it back to room temperature before moving onto the next step.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Killer chocolate chip cookies

These cookies taste 10 times as good as they look.  Thank god I didn't discover how to do this years ago . . . these are a danger!

.75 c butter, melted
1 c brown sugar
1 c white sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
2 c flour
chopped pecans (optional)
1 bag chocolate chips
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder

Mix together butter and sugars. Add eggs and vanilla. Mix in rest of ingredients. Optional but helpful: refrigerate dough for a bit.  Bake on ungreased cookie sheet. Make golf-ball size balls and place 2 inches apart. Bake at 375 degrees for 12-15 minutes; 12 minutes for chewy and 15 minutes for crunchy. Let cool. 

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Birthday Bread

Sally Lunn bread with honey brown butter in honor of Gabi's birthday! Recipe here:

2 cups (250 grams or 8 3/4 ounces) all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons (25 grams or 7/8 ounce) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon (5 grams) table salt
1 1/8 teaspoon (1/2 packet or 1/8 ounce) active dry yeast
3/4 cup (177 ml) milk
4 tablespoons (57 grams or 2 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
1 large egg plus 1 large egg yolk

In a large bowl, mix 3/4 cup flour, sugar, salt and dry yeast by hand or with an electric mixer.
In a saucepan, heat the milk and butter together until the mixture is warm (105 to 110 degrees); don’t worry if this butter isn’t completely melted.
Gradually pour the warm ingredients into the dry mixture and mix with an electric mixer for 2 minutes
Add the egg, yolk and another 1/2 cup flour and beat again for 2 minutes by machine
Add the last 3/4c flour and beat or stir until smooth.
Scrape down bowl and cover the top with plastic wrap. Let rise for one hour or until doubled.
Meanwhile, butter and flour a 9×5x3-inch loaf pan.
Once the dough has doubled, scrape it into the prepared pan. Cover with buttered plastic wrap and let rise for a total of 30 minutes. After 15 minutes, however, remove the plastic and preheat your oven to 375°F.
Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Heatter says the bread should make a hollow sound if tapped with your fingertips but I haven’t weathered mine enough yet that I didn’t find it unpleasant.
Cool in pan for 5 minutes then turn out to a rack to cool.
Just to note, Heatter suggests that the bread be cooled out of the loaf pan but upside down on the rack, I presume to square off the loaf, so this is an option for more perfectly square bread.

Salted and Honeyed Brown Butter Spread
1 stick (4 ounces or 113 grams) unsalted butter, divided
1 to 2 tablespoons honey (use less for lightly sweet, more for a more traditional honey butter)
Few pinches flaky sea salt
In a small saucepan, melt half your butter over medium heat. Once melted, reduce heat to medium-low. The butter will melt, then foam, then turn clear golden and finally start to turn brown and smell nutty. Stir frequently, scraping up any bits from the bottom as you do. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature. While it is cooling, leave the other half of the butter out to soften slightly (semi-firm is fine).
Whip softened butter with an electric mixer until fluffy. Slowly drizzle in the room temperature browned butter, honey and salt continue whipping until combined. Chill butter in fridge until a nice spreadable consistency, or until needed.

Praline salmon

Baked salmon with pralines, served with pilaf and green beans.

Cinnamon rolls

BrokeAssGourmet cinnamon rolls!

Pizza dough recipe:
2.5c flour
1c warm water
1 packet dry active yeast
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp olive oil + more for bowl
1 tsp salt

Combine water, yeast and sugar and set aside in a warm place until it begins to foam (4-5 minutes). Meanwhile in a bowl, mixer w/paddle or a food processor, combine salt and flour. Slowly stream in the yeast mixture and add the olive oil. If using a mixer or food processor, turn on and allow ingredients to combine until they form a ball of dough. If you’re using a mixer, now is the time to switch to the dough hook. Knead (either by turning on your machine or by hand) for 2-3 minutes. Set aside in an oiled bowl, covered with a damp dish towel in a warm place (like an oven that has been turned on and then turned off and allowed to cool a bit but is still warm) for 30 minutes. After dough has doubled in size, punch down and allow to rise for another 30 minutes (20 if you’re impatient) then you can do almostANYTHING! See below my favorite uses for pizza dough.
2 tbsp unsalted butter at room temp
2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
2 tsp cinnamon
.5c sugar

.5c powder sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly grease a baking sheet with oil or cooking spray and set aside.
Mix cinnamon and regular sugar in a bowl. Combine well.
On a floured surface, roll pizza dough into a 14” x 10” rectangle. Use a spatula to spread 4 tbsp of the soft butter over the dough, making sure the entire thing is covered.
Sprinkle cinnamon-sugar mixture over the butter, making sure all is covered. Start at the bottom of the dough and roll the longest way from the bottom to the top, pinching to seal until you have an 10” cylinder.
Cut the cylinder into 10 1” pieces and transfer to prepared baking sheet.
Bake cinnamon rolls for 12-15 minutes or until outsides are golden brown and butter-cinnamon mixture begins to lightly bubble. Allow to cool slightly.
Whisk together melted butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, and 2 tbsp water until creamy. Add a bit more powdered sugar if needed to achieve a smooth glaze.
Drizzle the glaze over the warm cinnamon rolls and serve.
Makes 10 cinnamon rolls.

Saturday, March 12, 2011


Gabi's BrokeAssGourmet pizza dough is no joke!  This stuff is easy to make - I did it by hand!  I doubled the recipe so that I could make bialys and cinnamon rolls.  Deeeeelicious.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

JOY: quiche

Divine leek-chard tart courtesy of Smitten Kitchen.

I also made the dough from scratch, using this recipe:

A Great Savory Tart Shell (from Smitten Kitchen)
Adapted from Le Pain Quotidien
This doesn’t need par-baking to keep from getting soggy and barely shrinks in the oven. Sold!
1 and 2/3 c. flour
2 tbsp + 1/2+ tsp corn starch
1/3 tsp salt
8 tbsp butter (1 stick)
1.5 eggs (ummm yeah)
In a food processor, combine all ingredients
On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to a 12-inch circle. Place the dough in a 9-inch pie plate or tart pan and press to remove any air bubbles. Crimp the edges, and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Proceed with a filling of your choice, no parbaking required.


2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
4 large leeks (white and pale green parts only), coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 bunch Swiss chard, ribs removed, leaves chopped (about 2 1/2 cups)
1 1/2 cups whipping cream (I used whole milk)
4 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
Pinch of ground nutmeg

Melt butter over medium-low heat, add leeks, thyme, salt and pepper. Cover; cook until tender (10 min)
Add chard; saute until wilted, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat; cool.
Position rack in bottom third of oven; preheat to 425°F.
Whisk cream, eggs, nutmeg in bowl.
Mix in cooled leek mixture. Pour filling into crust.
Bake tart 15 minutes at 425.
Reduce heat to 350°F and bake until filling is puffed and just set in center, about 30 minutes longer or as much as 45 min.
Transfer to rack; cool 10 minutes.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Apple salad

Rebecca's apple salad, inspired by BiRite. Apples, spinach, blue cheese, candied pecans, walnuts, fennel, lemon vinaigrette.

Asian dinner

Rebecca's fried rice

Chicken fried rice

Rebecca's Asian dumplings

1 egg
1 tsp minced garlic
½ c. green scallions
¼ c. soy sauce
a little less than 1 tbsp. sesame oil
1 tsp. sugar (optional)
1 lb. medium shrimp chopped (or tofu or 1lb of ground pork)
3 c. Napa ("chinese") cabbage
2 tsp. salt
1 package dumpling wrappers (sometimes called gyoza skins) 
Chop Napa cabbage into shreds, put aside
Mix first six ingredients together in large bowl
Add meat to mixture
Add cabbage to mixture
Place about 1 tbsp. of mixture in each wrapper, leaving space around edges
Fold dumplings, pinch together edges using water
Fry on medium heat until insides are brown 
Dipping Sauce
½ c. soy sauce
½ tbsp. sesame oil
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. garlic

Rebecca's (ok, Gabi's) meatballs

Recipe at BrokeAssGourmet by the lovely Gabi.  These were really easy to make and a great leftover to have all week!