This month’s challenge is brought to us by Karen of Bake My Day and Zorra of 1x umruehren bitte aka Kochtopf. They have chosen Tuiles from The Chocolate Book by Angélique Schmeink and Nougatine and Chocolate Tuiles from Michel Roux.
I decided to go with the third savory option for this challenge: savory tuiles/cornets by Thomas Keller from The French Laundry Cookbook. I have always wanted to make a Keller recipe and this seemed like an easy place to start. Although this recipe was designed to be savory, I made a simple sweet filling as well. The tuiles are thin enough that I figured it wouldn’t make a huge difference. I filled my sweet tuiles with diced mango and coconut and topped them with a cinnamon whipped cream. They were light and sweet, and the shapes really looked more pleasant once they were filled.
I shaped the rest of the batches into tiny spoons (or at least my crude interpretation). I topped these with smoked salmon, crème fraiche and a bit of dill. These were so lovely and delicious. The dough had a surprisingly good flavor that really added to this combination. Although these might look a bit tedious, they are really easy and not terribly time consuming to make. The dough only required two bowls and no equipment, and I already had all the ingredients on hand. I would serve these for an elegant brunch…or just eat them while watching Top Chef like I did last night.
Thanks to Karen and Zorra for hosting this month! I haven’t made tuiles in a long time and this challenge made me think of many other options to try in the future. Be sure to check out the Daring Bakers Blogroll to see other interpretations. I saw many lovely butterflies!
I really wanted to bake a cake over the weekend. J tried his best to talk me out making something citrusy in favor of chocolate. The truth is this: I have kind of lost my taste for chocolate cake. I guess I should be happy about that . I really wanted to use two oranges that I had on hand. I have made this recipe for Ina Garten’s Lemon Yogurt Cake several times before usually in a loaf pan with the lemon glaze. It is reliably good even with switching out the flour to mostly white whole wheat and using fat free yogurt. I reduced the sugar from the original recipe as well to about 2/3 of a cup. For this cake, I also added a teaspoon of poppy seeds for a bit of texture. This recipe is really about as healthy as a cake can get. So, I decide to serve it with a dollop of whipped cream flecked with orange zest and vanilla bean seeds to make it more of a treat. I think I actually liked this better than the lemon version, and I will definitely make it again. Even my skeptical brother really liked it. Next time, I will probably use a tube pan and fill the center with the whipped cream. I think this cake looks really cheerful on this hummingbird platter my mother-in-law bought me…perfect for the middle of winter.
Orange Yogurt Cake with Orange Cream (Adapted from Barefoot Contessa’s Lemon Yogurt Cake)
1 cup white whole wheat flour
½ all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup plain non fat yogurt
2/3 cups sugar
3 extra-large eggs
Zest of about 1 ½ oranges
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup light olive oil
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.
Sift together the flours, baking powder, and salt into 1 bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the yogurt, 1 cup sugar, the eggs, orange zest, and vanilla. Slowly whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. With a rubber spatula, fold the vegetable oil and poppy seeds into the batter, making sure it’s all incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 50 minutes, or until a cake tester placed in the center of the loaf comes out clean.
For the Orange Cream whip together: 1 cup of heavy cream, 2 tbsp of confectioner’s sugar, 1 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla bean seeds, and the zest of half an orange
I went to the grocery store yesterday for a major shopping. We were out of just about everything and it made everything seem appealing to me. They happened to have some great looking ground lamb. I immediately thought of this lamb kebab recipe that I had seen on Jamie at Home. J gave me the cookbook of the same name for Christmas. I just love his show, and I never thought Jamie was hot until I saw his amazing garden…yeah, I have issues. I love when he randomly cooks over a small fire in his yard. Anyway, when I got home, I realized that I actually didn’t have many of the ingredients for this particular recipe (including skewers). So, I turned the meat into burgers with a spice blend. I am not sure how the flavor of these compares to the original (I have never had sumac), but these were delicious. I cooked them in a cast iron pan on high until they were about medium, and they developed a perfect crispness to the outside. Although I added a good amount of seasoning to these, the flavor of the lamb really came through.
I served these with a light lemon sauce and roasted red peppers on a whole wheat flatbread with a wedge of lemon. The lamb is very rich, and I found the squeeze of fresh lemon juice was really essential. I think that next time a make these I will add a bit a bit of fresh greens dressed in lemon juice.
Spiced Lamb Burgers (inspired by Jamie Oliver’s Lamb Kebabs)
1 pound ground Lamb
½ tsp chili powder
1 tsp Kosher salt
½ tsp fresh ground pepper
1 finely minced garlic clove
Zest of one lemon
½ tsp paprika
1 tbsp fresh thyme
¼ finely chopped rosemary
Combine the ingredients using your hands and shape into four burgers. Heat a dry cast iron skillet on high. (I covered the pan when I flipped the burgers to help speed the cooking time). After removing from the pan, cover with foil and allow to rest for 5 minutes.
Lemon Yogurt Sauce
¼ tsp finely minced garlic
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
Pinch of finely chopped rosemary
¼ cup plain yogurt
Salt and fresh pepper
I have been mushroom obsessed lately. I love pretty much every kind of mushroom, but lately shitakes have been particularly appealing to me. They can be a bit expensive but I find that I don’t really need that many of them to add a lot of flavor, especially in soup. I had never cooked maitake mushrooms before, and I added one to this soup as well. The flavor may have been too delicate to taste it distinctly with the woodsy shitakes. Next time, I may try it on its own in a delicate broth. This soup cooks very quickly and is great for a weekend lunch.
1 maitake mushroom
½ cup sliced shitake mushroom caps
2 cups sliced cremini mushrooms
2 chopped cloves of garlic
1 tsp fresh ginger
1 cup sliced carrots
1 cup sliced celery
1 tsp dark sesame oil
1 tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp honey
½ tsp ground pepper
1 pinch of red pepper flakes
2 quarts chicken stock
2 bundles of long Chinese egg noodles (they usually come in a package of 4)
1 tbsp chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
Saute the mushroom in about a tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. The mushrooms will shrink up considerably. Stir in the garlic and ginger and cook for about a minute. Pour the chicken broth over the mushrooms and bring to a boil. Add the celery, carrots, sesame oil, soy sauce, pepper and honey. Return to a boil and add the noodles. Cook until the noodles are soft and taste for salt.
Oh waffles, how I have missed you. My waffle iron went missing at some point over the last few years. A couple of weeks ago, I bought a new one on sale at the Williams-Sonoma outlet. I also got a pizza stone for $8 and a cute apron for $7. It was one of those rare occasions where the sales really were as good as I had hoped. So, I did my patriotic duty and shopped. I made waffles last weekend, and they were good but not great. This weekend I added buttermilk and some spices and they were perfect. Waffles seem to be easier to adapt to whole grain than pancakes, and I made these with almost all whole wheat flour. My mother-in-law adds a bit of almond extract to whole grain baked goods. It often isn’t noticeable but it takes the edge off the bitterness of whole wheat flour. I used a recipe from Alton Brown and noted the additions below in parentheses.
4 3/4 ounces all-purpose flour, approximately 1 cup (I used 1 ¾ cups white whole wheat and ¼ all purpose flour)
4 3/4 ounces whole-wheat flour, approximately 1 cup
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons sugar
(1 teaspoons cinnamon)
(½ teaspoons nutmeg)
(1 teaspoon vanilla)
(1/2 teaspoon of almond extract)
3 whole eggs, beaten
2 ounces unsalted butter, melted (I only used one ounce)
16 ounces buttermilk, room temperature
Preheat waffle iron according to manufacturer’s directions.
In a medium bowl whisk together the flours, soda, baking powder, salt, and sugar. In another bowl beat together eggs and melted butter, and then add the buttermilk. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir until combined. Allow to rest for 5 minutes.
Ladle the recommended amount of waffle batter onto the iron according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Close iron top and cook until the waffle is golden on both sides and is easily removed from iron. Serve immediately or keep warm in a 200 degree F oven until ready to serve.
Sometimes, I just really enjoy my own cooking. There are things that I can get nostalgic for, like my grandmother’s eggplant parmigiana or my mom’s onion soup. But, I really love my lasagna. I make several different versions but lately, I have been obsessed with mushrooms and wanted to incorporate them. Fresh mushrooms roasted in the oven shrink up a bit and just get more mushroomy. It is key to save a handful for the top of the lasagna to get this effect. If I didn’t use a really garlicky homemade sauce, I would add some roasted garlic to the spinach. For a lasagna, this is actually pretty light and it is full of good-for-you veggies and whole wheat pasta.
1 pound whole wheat lasagna noodles
3 cups tomato sauce (I used a very garlicky homemade sauce)
2 cups sliced mushrooms (I used cremini)
1 package defrosted and drained frozen spinach
1 cup part-skim ricotta
3 tbsp goat cheese
½ tsp garlic powder
fresh mozzarella cheese (about 1/4 pound)
2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper
Place lasagna noodles in a large bowl and pour boiling water over the top. Allow to stand for about five minutes. Mix the ricotta, goat cheese, egg, pinch of salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Layer sauce, pasta, ricotta cheese, spinach and mushrooms (reserve some mushrooms for the top). You should be able to get three layers depending on the size of the dish. Top with fresh mozzarella, mushrooms and grated parmesan. Bake at 350 covered with tin foil for at least an hour. I like to slightly brown the top and set the oven to broil for the last 2 minutes with it uncovered.