28th August 2011

    Maple Blueberry Coffee Cake

    I love when Lisa gets on a “I’m gonna bake treats” kick. This week she spotted this recipe @101 Cookbooks for a tasty coffee cake with an interesting twist — it includes fresh rosemary and thyme, which happen to be the two plants we’ve actually managed to keep alive in our garden. Perfect!


    Chris says:

    Whoa, what’s up stoner?

    Lisa says:

    Excuse me?

    Chris says:

    It smells like you’re baking space cakes or something in here.

    Lisa says:

    Nice try — but not quite. Different herbs — rosemary and thyme.

    Chris says:

    In coffee cake? What the?

    Lisa says:

    I know, interesting, right? But you have to taste this.

    Chris says:

    Omigod this is awesome. It doesn’t really come across super-herby, but I definitely smell it. Why is the inside so yellow?

    Lisa says:

    Hmmm, not sure… the lemon zest? Don’t you love the crumble on top? So addictive!

    Chris says:

    Are you sure this is just rosemary and thyme? This coffee cake totally gives me the munchies.

    Lisa says:

    Believe what you want — just save some for me!

    Maple Blueberry Coffee Cake
    1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
    3 tbsp rolled oats
    1/2 tsp baking powder
    1/2 tsp baking soda
    1/2 tsp fine grain sea salt
    1/4 tsp fresh lemon thyme, chopped
    1/4 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped
    4 tbsp (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
    1/3 cup maple syrup, room temperature
    1 large egg, room temperature
    zest of one lemon
    2 tsp vanilla extract
    1/4 cup buttermilk
    1 1/3 cups fresh blueberries

    Topping:
    1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
    4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut 1/4-inch cubes
    1/3 cup brown sugar
    1/4 tsp fresh lemon thyme
    1/4 tsp fresh rosemary
    1/2 cup chopped pecans

    Preheat the oven to 350F degrees, rack in the middle. Butter a 1-pound loaf pan, and line with parchment paper.

    In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, salt, thyme, and rosemary. Set aside. In a separate large bowl beat the butter with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Drizzle in the maple syrup and beat until well incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl as you go. Beat in the egg, lemon zest, and vanilla extract, scraping the sides again. Add half of the flour, stir, and just a splash of the buttermilk. Stir again, then add the rest of the flour and stir in the remainder of the buttermilk, until everything just comes together and then very gently fold in one cup of the blueberries. Scrape the batter evenly into the prepared pan and set aside.

    To make the streusel topping, place the flour, butter, brown sugar, rosemary, thyme and pecans in a food processor and pulse until the topping is just past sandy/crumbly, yet still moist looking. Crumble 2/3 of it over the cake batter, sprinkle the remaining 1/3 cup blueberries on top of that, and then add the last of the crumble. Delicately pat in place with your fingers.

    Place the coffee cake in the oven and bake for 45-50 minutes or until the top is golden and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let the cake cool for five minutes and then remove it from the pan to cool on a rack.

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    posted in Breads and Muffins, Desserts | 2 Comments

    9th August 2011

    Cochinita Pibil: Slow-roasted Yucatan Pork

    We had banana leaves left over from the Steamed Salmon recipe, and I happened to stumble across this tasty-looking pork dish a couple of days before a PEPS potluck, so it was a no-brainer to make it our contribution.  I’m still partial to the Carnitas that we’ve made a few times previously, but this recipe is easier, and actually tasted better the next day as leftovers.


    Chris says:

    I love finds like this, that come out of trying to use up something we bought for a different recipe — banana leaves!

    Lisa says:

    I love recipes that list 20 cloves of garlic in the ingredients list.

    Chris says:

    That too — between the garlic, citrus, and achiote paste, the pork has a pretty distinctive flavor. I really like it, it’s different.

    Lisa says:

    You’re right, it’s different and it’s delicious — so what’s the deal with the ‘real’ recipe?

    Chris says:

    Oh, so traditionally you’re supposed to roast a whole suckling pig in a hole in the ground.

    Lisa says:

    (…)

    Chris says:

    Yeah, I thought you’d be fine with pork shoulder.

    Cochinita Pibil
    1 3.5-oz package of El Yucateco Achiote Red Paste
    20 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
    1 cup of freshly-squeezed lime juice
    1/2 cup of freshly-squeezed orange juice
    5-6 lbs boneless pork butt
    1 package of banana leaves, defrosted

    Combine the achiote paste, garlic, lime juice, and lemon juice in a blender, and puree until smooth. Cut pork into large square portions, leaving much of the fat (you can always remove any fatty pieces after it’s cooked) cover with the paste mixture, and marinate in refrigerator overnight, 12-24 hours.
    Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
    Line a roasting pan with overlapping banana leaves, letting them hang over the sides. Put the pork and marinade inside, wrap the leaves over the top, then top more overlapping leaves on top to create a sealed package. You should also then line the roasting pan with foil to prevent steam from escaping.
    Cook 3.5-4 hours, until pork shreds easily with a fork.
    Serve in tacos with pickled onions (recipe here), guacamole, and a *very* spicy hot sauce.

    8 Servings

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    posted in Main Dishes, Mexican | 0 Comments

    7th August 2011

    Steamed Banana Leaf Salmon

    This is seriously one of the easiest and tastiest salmon recipes we’ve ever made.  Adapted for two from the excellent Good Fish: Sustainable Seafood Recipes from the Pacific Coast by Becky Selengut (from whom I received a private cooking lesson, jealous much?), salmon fillets marinate in sake and mirin before being steamed along with mushrooms and onions.  The marinade is reduced to make an addictive, aromatic sauce.  We served the salmon with some roasted fingerling potatoes. Highly recommended!


    Lisa says:

    I wonder if people think we just don’t cook anymore?

    Chris says:

    I barely do…

    Lisa says:

    Yeah, well I do all the time… I guess we just need to keep adding new recipes to the mix, like this one…

    Chris says:

    Totally! I’m so glad I picked up this book — all the recipes look fantastic.

    Lisa says:

    This salmon is awesome. I love the sauce on top. And hooray for mushrooms!

    Chris says:

    I love recipes that look fancy but are super-simple like this. I guess the hardest thing was finding the banana leaves — which smelled really good while this was steaming, by the way.

    Lisa says:

    Yeah and that wasn’t even that hard — hooray for HT Market!  By the way, it was total torture that the house smelled so good while I was stuck upstairs putting Cason to bed.

    Chris says:

    I do what I can…

    Steamed Banana Leaf Salmon
    1/4 cup sake
    1/4 cup mirin
    2 tbsp soy sauce
    1/2 tsp grated fresh ginger
    1/2 tsp lime juice
    salt
    2 6-oz. sockeye salmon fillets, from the belly
    banana leaves, cut into two 8.5 x 11″ pieces
    1 oz shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, tops sliced thin (heaping 1/4 cup)
    1/4 cup thinly sliced onion
    2 tsps unsalted butter

    In shallow glass dish, combine the sake, mirin, soy sauce, ginger, lime juice, and salt. Add the salmon and marinate for about 30 minutes.

    Lay the banana leaves out and place half the mushrooms and onions on each. Top with a piece of salmon, reserving the marinade. Top each salmon piece with a tsp of butter. Fold the sides of the leaves over the fish and then tuck under the top and bottom to make a packet. Place the two packets into a steamer basket. In a medium saucepan over high heat, add 2 cups water; when it boils, reduce the heat to a simmer, place the steamer basket into the pan and cover. Cook for about 8 minutes per inch of thickness.

    Meanwhile, add the marinade to a small saucepan over high heat and reduce until it gets syrupy, about 10-15 minutes. Remove the salmon packets from the steamer basket and let them rest for a few minutes. Check for the level of doneness you like. Open each packet and top with some of the sauce.

    2 Servings

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    posted in Good Fish, Main Dishes | 1 Comment


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