Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Lemon Cornmeal Cake with Lemon Glaze and Crushed-Blueberry Sauce

I made this DELICIOUS cake for our Dad's on Fathers Day and wanted to put it on the blog because it was so very good.  I also made a corn ice cream to go with it, which complemented the cake beautifully.  Cake from Bon Appetit April 2009 and the ice cream is a Casa Clark original.

1 1/2 c (packed) powdered sugar, sifted
3 Tbsp (or more) fresh lemon juice

1 1/2 c AP flour
1/3 c yellow cornmeal (I used my homemade cornmeal)
3/4 c sugar
3 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 c buttermilk
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 large lemons zested
3/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 stick unsalted butter, melted, cooled
Crushed - Blueberry Sauce

Line the bottom of a 9" cake pan with parchment paper and butter.  Preheat oven to 350.

Combine the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a bowl and set aside.

Combine the buttermilk, eggs, zest, vanilla, and butter in a bowl and add to the flour mixture.  Don't mix together, but just gently fold the liquid into the dry ingredients and stop once everything is moist.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly.  Bake for 30 min or until sides pull away a bit.
Make the glaze by combining the sugar and lemon juice together until smooth.  If it is too thick add more lemon juice to achieve the consistency you want.

Immediately run knife around edges, place cooling rack on top, and with oven mitts on invert the cake onto the rack.  Add the glaze and spread to within 1/2" of the edge.  Cool Completely.  Top with Blueberry Sauce when served.

Crushed Blueberry Sauce
3 c fresh or frozen blueberries, thawed, and divided in half
2/3 c golden brown sugar
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 large lemon zested

Combine 1 1/2 c of blueberries, sugar, lemon juice, and zest in a sauce pan on cook over med heat until it comes to a simmer.  Reduce heat to med - low and continue cooking until the berries are very soft and liquid is syrupy, stirring often, about 7 min.  Remove from heat; add remaining blueberries.  Using the back of a spoon gently press the blueberries onto the side of the pan and crush.  Can be made up to 2 days ahead and stored in the refrigerator.

Corn Ice Cream (Casa Clark original recipe)

1 1/2 c heavy cream
1 1/2 c raw milk
1 c sugar
4 ears of sweet corn, kernels removed, and pulped (scrape with the back of knife once the kernels have been removed)
12 egg yolks
1/2 tsp of freshly grated nutmeg
1 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract

Bring the cream, milk, sugar, and corn to a simmer in a pot over medium heat.  Meanwhile, beat the egg yolks in stand mixer on medium speed for 4 min.  Temper the eggs with 1/3 of the milk mixture and add to the pot.  Continue cooking until thickened.  Strain the mixture into a clean bowl, cover with plastic wrap (directly on the custard), and place in ice bath.  Cool completely.  Once cooled add the nutmeg and vanilla and follow manufacturers instructions on your ice cream maker.  Freeze at least 4 hours and enjoy.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Wheat and Oat Pancakes

The kids didn't have school today, so Chloe and Gabe had these for breakfast. They loved them. Why use a mix when it's so easy to make at home.  A Vege Times Magazine delight. Enjoy!

3/4 c quick cooking oats (old fashioned ok too)
1 1/2 c + 2 Tbsp well shaken buttermilk, divided (3/4 c batches)
3/4 c whole wheat flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp fresh grated nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1 Tbsp packed brown sugar

bananas or other fresh fruit for garnish.

Soak oats in 3/4 c buttermilk for 10 mins (if using old fashioned soak for 15).

Meanwhile, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in a large bowl.

Stir egg, butter, brown sugar, remaining 3/4 c + 2 Tbsp buttermilk, and oat mixture into dry ingredients until just combined.

Heat griddle to 275 and lightly brush with melted butter. Working in batches pour batter onto griddle and cook until browned and cooked through.

Bon appetit.

Garden News

I had to get out of the house this morning after my disastrous and traumatic first bout on Foodie Fights.  Although the Garden is not big and is not located in one specific spot, it felt good to feed the plants and see what new and exciting food is growing in our back yard.  So far it's been going well and for next year we plan on removing those large decorative rocks and making some raised beds.  Some of the lovely things that I saw and that made me feel better are:

Our first broccoli is coming out.  Now, I went into this without actually knowing if broccoli is a good summer crop.  If you have any input please share.  I  am sure that I'll have to keep an eye on it to ensure that it doesn't bolt.

The Black Russian Heirlooms are flowering.  I never actually buy the seeds for these guys, just buy the tomatoes at the Farmer's Market, cut it in half, squeeze out the pulp onto a sieve, clean everything out except the seeds, dry them in the sun, and plant.  It's awesome.  I hope that I am able to do that from my own crop.

This year we have 15 different Heirloom tomatoes, squash, peas, broccoli, cantaloupe, peppers, sun flowers,  radishes, chard, kale, and carrots.  Although it sounds like a lot, it's in such small quantities that I doubt it'll make a dent on our KMK budget.   Regardless, it's been a fun experience for the family and I; especially today, also a nice escape from my thoughts.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Braised Dandelion and Parmesan Ice Cream - Oh my!

I want to start off by saying that I apologize that mine is not a true "foodie" blog, yet.  My blog was started so that my 10 year old daughter would have a place to go to find the recipes of dishes that mom makes and that she loves.  I've posted recipes from others that have been tried and successful.  Although I am a  good cook, I've never taken the time or made the effort to write down how I make a meal on the fly.  This lack of motivation has made it impossible for me to replicate exactly the truly yummy food I make.  This challenge made me do just that.  I am hoping to better chronicle my culinary adventures moving forward and making this blog truly my own.

Having said that....let's move onto my first Foodie Fights entry.

After seeing the ingredients I instantly thought Italian and then came to realization that the other fighters might have too.  All I knew was that I wanted to grill, that I would be making this meal for my book club, and that I wanted to make it as seasonal as possible.  Then it hit me, arepas (Central American corn cakes)!  Once that decision was made everything else fell into place.  The meal that I present for your consideration is grilled arepas  with braised dandelion greens and Parmesan sauce, green salad (which did include dandelion greens), and Parmesan ice cream with sweet dandelion and mint pesto.

A special Thank you to our CSA, The Farmer's Daughter, of KMK Farms for providing me with the last of the dandelion greens this season.  I truly love you guys and the extraordinary organic nourishment you provide my family and I.  Ethan, thank you for thinking that this might be a fun outlet for me and making me aware of this site. Finally, to the lovely ladies that I call friends, you were all such good sports about this. Thanks for stimulating conversation and debate, for good wine, and delicious food.  Long live the Superlatives!

Grilled Arepas (Casa Clark original recipe)

These sweet little cakes were a nice counter point to the bitter greens.  They get a nice crust and are still delicately soft on the inside.

2 c fresh sweet corn kernels
3/4 c heated water
1 3/4 c instant corn masa
1/2 c homemade sweet corn meal
2 tsp sour cream
2 oz grated Parmesan
2 Tbsp melted unsalted butter

Process the kernels.  Then add the water, sour cream, and butter and process to combine.  Place masa and corn meal into bowl and add the kernel mixture and Parmesan.  Combine with your hands and form into a ball.  Separate into 16 pieces and place on rimmed baking sheets lined with parchment paper.  Cover with a damp kitchen towel and refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight.

Get your grill ready.  Flatten the balls with the palm of your hand and spray with grilling spray.  Grill each arepa 3 min per side.  Cool to room temp.  Enjoy.

Braised Dandelion with cranberries (Casa Clark original recipe)

I really wanted to play with sweet to help counter balance the bitter.  This was REALLY good and when tasted alone reminded R and I of a slow simmered tomato sauce.

2 large yellow onions
4 garlic cloves, pressed
8.1 oz of dandelion greens (I only used the tender top and discarded the bottom stems)
2.9 oz of sorrel, stemmed
1/2 c cranberries
1 large lemon juiced
2 c white wine (we used Chardonnay)
1 tsp crushed red pepper
1/8 c of sugar

I stated by cooking the onions in a Dutch oven until they were caramelized over med heat.  I then added the garlic and cooked for about 1 min or so.  Added the greens and salted a bit; I stirred until they began to wilt.  I added the rest of the ingredients and let it cook for 10 to 15 min until the wine had reduced and made a sauce.

Parmesan cheese sauce (Casa Clark original recipe)

This sauce has a whooping Parmesan punch.  It went well with the sweet pillowy arepas and the sweet and savory braised greens.

3 Tbsp unsalted butter
3 Tbsp AP flour
pinch of salt
some grinds of fresh pepper
1 1/2 c raw milk
8 oz of grated Parmesan cheese

 In a saucepan over med heat melt the butter and add the flour.  Whisk and cook for a couple of minutes.  Add the salt and pepper and whisk to combine.  Slowly add the milk while whisking and continue to cook until thickened.  Remove from the heat and add Parmesan.  Continue whisking until combined and melted.  If not using immediately cover the sauce with some plastic wrap directly onto the sauce so it doesn't get a"skin" on it.

Green Salad with dandelion greens
I just made a very simple salad with a salad mix from my favorite CSA and augmented it with some arugula and dandelion.  I topped my salad with a homemade lemon dressing, tomatoes, pine nuts, and some Ricotta salata.  I know, I know.  I should have probably used Parmesan but at the time this sounded better.

Parmesan Ice Cream (Casa Clark original recipe)

This is the recipe that some of the ladies wanted, so here it is.  Easy custard based ice cream that is easy to make and even easier to eat.  I've gotten into the habit of saving the rinds of our Parmesan in the freezer so that I can make minestrone but they work for ice cream too.

12 egg yolks
3 c raw cream 
3 c raw milk
1 c sugar
large pinch of salt
7 oz of Parmesan rinds
2 Tbsp Lemon cello
1/4 tsp of fresh grated nutmeg

Place the yolks in stand mixer

In a pot bring the milk, cream, sugar, salt, and Parmesan rinds to a simmer over medium heat. While the milk in warming beat the yolks on med speed in your stand mixer for 4 min. Once the milk mixture has simmered remove the rinds with tongs and discard the rinds.  Add 1/4 of the warmed milk into the bowl of mixer and temper the yolks.  Stir the yolks a bit and then slowly return to the pot.  Continue heating and stirring until is is thickened.

Once thickened, strain the custard into a clean bowl with a fine mesh sieve, place plastic wrap directly onto the custard, and place into an ice bath.  Allow to cool completely ( I usually do this the day before and place the custard into the fridge overnight).

Set up your ice cream maker and before adding the custard to it, add the lemon cello and nutmeg.  Follow the manufacturer's instructions and place into freezer for at least 4 hours.  Enjoy!

Sweet Dandelion and Mint pesto (Casa Clark original recipe)

This "pesto" was soooooo good.  It was just enough to make the dessert come together.  It is sweet but not too much.

1/4 c simple syrup ( I like to use the ratio of 1 c sugar to 1 c water)
2/3 c of loosely packed dandelion, rimmed
1/3 c of loosely packed mint
the zest of 1 large lemon
1/2 of a large lemon juiced
1/4 c pine nuts, toasted and cooled
1/4 c pecan halves, toasted and cooled

Combine all of the ingredients into the bowl of your food processor or blender and process until it is smooth.