We All Scream!

A non-dairy ice cream that is rich and creamy.

A non-dairy ice cream that is rich and creamy.

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream, but not everyone can eat the traditional dairy version of ice cream.

Even though we love the full-fat dairy ice-creams, I have been experimenting with using other non-dairy ingredients to still get a creamy satisfying frozen dessert, with less fat and sugar.    I had not been aware until recently how many products are available and how rich and satisfying a dessert can be when using them.  This recipe today is for a wonderful chocolate hazelnut ice cream using coconut milk.  It also includes cocoa powder and maple syrup as a sweetener.  The hazelnut flavor can be intensified through the addition of about 1/4 cup Hazelnut liqueur, but that is optional.

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CHOCOLATE HAZELNUT ICE CREAM

Yield:   Makes about 4 cups or 1 quart

Ingredients:

The main ingredients.

The main ingredients.

  • 2 cans full fat coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • pinch salt
  • pinch cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup hazelnuts, toasted and chopped
  • 1/4 cup Hazelnut liqueur, such as Frangelico, optional

To make:   Pour all the above ingredients, except the nuts and Hazelnut liqueur,  into a blender container and process till smooth.  Pour into a covered bowl and chill overnight.

The next day, pour into the canister of an ice-cream maker and process as per directions.  In the last couple of minutes add the nuts and the liqueur, if using.   Alcohol products are added at the end of processing time so they do not interfere with the freezing process.  Freeze in an ice-cream container until firm.

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SOURCE:   All-recipes.com

Grilled Hasselbach Potatoes

Hasselbach Potatoes

Hasselbach Potatoes

Hasselbach potatoes are a Swedish version of  baked potatoes.  They get their name from Hasselbacken, the Stockholm restaurant where they were first served. The seasoned potatoes turn out crispy on the outside and tender and moist on the inside.  They go with just about any entree.

Since we were preparing a full meal on the grill I wanted to include these potatoes if possible.  I got the idea that perhaps it would work after reading Bobby Flay’s book Barbecue Addiction in which he prepared whole potatoes on the grill.   So this is what I came up with–potatoes that have a garlic-scented mayonnaise, some crispy bacon bits and a scattering of fines herbes, wrapped up in foil and baked on the grill.  In order to have the potatoes cook in the same time frame as the pork chops that I was also grilling, I precooked the potatoes in the microwave until they were beginning to get tender, but were not thoroughly cooked.  Then I sliced them in the Hasselbach style, seasoned them, wrapped them in foil and finished cooking them on the grill.

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GRILLED HASSELBACH POTATOES

Yield:  serves 2 to 3

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 garlic clove, smashed to a paste or grated
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp. grainy mustard, or yellow mustard
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 2 or 3 large baking potatoes, scrubbed
  • 1 -2 Tbsp. crumbled bacon or bacon bits
  • 1 Tbsp. mixed, dried fines herbes, ( parsley, rosemary, tarragon)

Directions:

1.  Wash and dry the potatoes, leaving the skin on.  Pierce in several places and cook in microwave for about 5 minutes, until they begin to steam, but are not yet soft to the touch. (Adjust time according to the number of potatoes you are cooking.)  Remove and cool so you can handle them.

2.  Meanwhile, whisk together the mayonnaise, garlic, and mustards in a small bowl;  season with salt and pepper.  Set aside.

3.  Heat your grill to medium heat for direct grilling.

4.  Put the potatoes on a cutting board, and one at a time, lay the handle of a wooden spoon next to the potato.  Slice the potato at 1/4-inch intervals, down to where the knife meets the wooden spoon handle.  This stops the knife and prevents you from cutting all the way through the potato.

Potato cut into slices ready for seasoning.

Potato cut into slices ready for seasoning.

5.  Spread the slices apart slightly and with a knife spread the mayonnaise aioli mixture on the cut sides of the potato. Spread some mayonnaise mixture on the top.   Sprinkle on bacon bits and herbs all over the tops of the potatoes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

6.  Use a generous sized piece of heavy-duty foil and wrap each potato securely so it doesn’t leak.  Place on the grill and cook for 8 – 10 minutes, turning over several times.

Potato packets on the grill. Everything cooks in about the same time..

Potato packets on the grill. Everything cooks in about the same time..

7.  To serve, unwrap each potato and place on dinner plate.

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SOURCE:   a Carolyn Original

Barbecue-Rubbed Pork Chops with Grilled Pineapple

A colorful presentation of grilled pork chops and pineapple.

A colorful presentation of grilled pork chops and pineapple.

To me, this meal represents summertime cooking at its best.  The aroma of the meat sizzling on the grill, made it very hard to wait for it all to be cooked and ready for eating.   Our neighbor wandered over to share a glass of wine with us and commented on what was cooking and how delicious it smelled!  😀

Everything cooks in about the same time on the grill.

Everything cooks in about the same time on the grill.

One of the meats we particularly like is pork chops cooked on the grill.  We spent a leisurely weekend at home when I planned this  meal cooked completely on the grill that included this recipe for pork chops and grilled pineapple.  The spice rub on the chops is made up of seven spices, giving the meat a bold and zesty flavor. This is counterbalanced by the sweetness of fresh pineapple.  Along with this I made Hasselbach potatoes and cooked them on the grill also.  Stay tuned for this recipe coming up tomorrow. To round out the meal we had fresh asparagus and homemade ice cream for dessert.  (Also coming up this week.)

Hasselbach potatoes and asparagus completed the meal.

Hasselbach potatoes and asparagus completed the meal.

BARBECUE-RUBBED PORK CHOPS

Yield:   Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp. light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 3/4 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. dry mustard
  • 1/8 tsp. ground allspice
  • 1/8 tsp. ground red pepper
  • 4  (6-ounce) bone-in center cut loin pork chops trimmed (about 1/2 inch thick)
  • cooking spray
  • 1 fresh pineapple, peeled and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch thick slices

1.  Combine the first 9 ingredients;  rub over both sides of pork.  Heat a grill to medium-high heat.  Coat the grid with cooking spray by rubbing with a paper towel sprayed with cooking spray.

2.  When the grill is sufficiently hot, lay the chops and pineapple slices on the grill rack.  The  pork will cook in about 8 minutes, total. At about 4 minutes, turn the chops and pineapple over, and continue cooking until tender but still moist and juicy.

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SOURCE:  Weeknight Grilling with the BBQ Queens

Cobb Salad

Classic Cobb Salad

Classic Cobb Salad

I distinctly remember the first time I had a Cobb salad.  We were on a motor trip, driving through Virginia, when we stopped for lunch at a local restaurant serving “home-cooked” meals.  The day was very warm and since we would be continuing with our driving I wanted something cool and light for lunch.  Cobb salad was what I ordered, not knowing what to expect, but the description of it was enticing.

The salad lived up to its promise, having lots of my favorite foods in it and I thought it was delicious.  Since then I have made this salad many times and we enjoy it as our main meal in the summer  months when there is so much fresh produce available.

Recently Food Network Magazine ran an article on Classic Salads and the Cobb salad was one that was featured.  This is where I learned the background on the salad.  Quoting from the magazine, ” Cobb Salad , 1934.   This popular dinner salad originated as a midnight snack for  Robert Cobb, owner of the Hollywood Brown Derby restaurant in Los Angeles.”   The classic Cobb salad usually contains these essential ingredients:  chicken, bacon, hard cooked eggs, tomatoes, avocado and cheese on a bed of lettuce.

OOPS,  I forgot the cheese!

OOPS, I forgot the cheese!

The recipe that follows is the one from the Food Network article.  However I made some modifications when I prepared the salad.  I used some Rotisserie Chicken instead of cooking chicken breasts, and I substituted cheddar cheese for the blue cheese. ( It had not found its way onto the salad at the time of  photography.)

CLASSIC COBB SALAD

Yield:   serves 4 – 6

Ingredients:IMG_4487

  • 8 slices thick cut bacon, chopped
  • 4 large eggs
  • kosher salt
  • 2  6-ounce skinless, boneless, chicken breasts
  • zest – in wide strips – and juice of  1 lemon
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 1 Tbsp. black peppercorns
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 shallot, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 avocados
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 large head Bibb lettuce, torn into pieces
  • 1 head romaine lettuce, cut into pieces
  • 4 ounces blue cheese, crumbled

1.  Cook the bacon in a medium skillet over medium heat, until crisp.  Transfer to paper towels to drain.

2.  Meanwhile, place the eggs in a saucepan and cover with cold water by about 1 inch.  Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, then cover, remove from the heat and let stand 10 – 12 minutes.  Drain, then run under cold water to cool.  Peel under cold running water.  Chop the hard-cooked eggs and season with salt.

3.  Combine the chicken, lemon zest and juice, bay leaves, thyme, peppercorns and large pinch of salt in a medium saucepan;  Add enough cold water to cover the chicken b 1/2 inch.  Bring to a bare simmer over medium heat ( do not boil) and cook until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the chicken registers 160*, about 7 minutes.  Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and let rest 5 minutes.

4.  Meanwhile, make the dressing:  whisk the vinegar, shallot, mustard and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a serving bowl.  Whisk in the olive oil in a slow, steady stream until emulsified; season with pepper.  Dice the chicken and toss with 1 tablespoon of the dressing in a separate bowl.

5.  Halve, pit and dice the avocados.  Season the tomatoes with salt.  Add the Bibb and romaine lettuce to the serving bowl on top of the dressing.  Arrange the bacon, hard-cooked eggs, chicken, avocados, tomatoes and cheese in rows on top of the lettuce.  When ready to serve toss the salad and season with salt and pepper.

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SOURCE:  Food Network Magazine

Soba Noodles with Miso-Glazed Chicken (or Tofu) and Vegetables

Soba noodles with miso-glazed chicken and vegetables.

Soba noodles with miso-glazed chicken and vegetables.

My first question is–what are soba noodles?  Uninformed as I am I decided to find out, and for anyone else who also doesn’t know,  I’ll share what I learned.

Soba noodles are a traditional flat Japanese noodle made from buckwheat flour and wheat flour and used widely in Japanese cookery. (Dictionery.com)  Called a “whole grain”, buckwheat is actually the fruit of the buckwheat plant.  The plants are harvested and dried, the fruits hulled and then ground into flour.  Soba noodles look like flat spaghetti and are usually light beige in color, have a somewhat nutty flavor, and are shelf stable like other pastas.  They should be stored in a cool, dry place.  You generally cook these noodles the same way you cook any other kind of pasta; in a large pot of boiling salted water.

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A few years ago it was difficult to find Asian noodles except in an Asian market, but happily, most large supermarkets now carry them.  I was fortunate in finding them at the market where I shop as fresh soba that only needed to be heated in the microwave.

Once I learned what soba noodles are and then actually found them, I was ready to try making this recipe.  I must say that both Mr. D. and I loved it and we ate most of the whole amount that is meant to serve 4.  There was only a small amount left over and we both wanted it for lunch the next day.  (He won!)

SOBA NOODLES WITH MISO-GLAZED CHICKEN AND VEGETABLES

Servings:   about 4

Ingredients:

Chicken and all the seasonings are ready.

Chicken and all the seasonings are ready.

  • 2  1/2 Tablespoons canola oil, divided
  • 2 Tbsp. rice vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. white miso
  • 1 Tbsp. minced peeled ginger
  • 1 Tbsp. minced garlic
  • 1 Tbsp. lower-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. dark sesame oil
  • 4 ounces uncooked soba noodles
  • 1 pound chicken breast tenders  (14-ounce pkg. extra-firm tofu, may be substituted)
  • 6 ounces mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 pound asparagus spears, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions

1.  Combine 1 Tbsp. canola oil and next 7 ingredients (through sesame oil) in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk.

2.  Cook noodles according to package directions; drain and rinse.  Combine noodles and 1/4 cup miso mixture in a bowl; toss to coat.

3.  Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add 1 Tbsp. canola oil to pan; swirl to coat.  Cut any large pieces of chicken crosswise into smaller pieces. (Cut tofu crosswise into 4 (1-inch thick) slices.  Add to pan; cook 3 minutes on each side or until browned.  Add 1 Tbsp. miso mixture to pan; toss to coat.

This is the tofu version, courtesy of Cooking Light.

This is the tofu version, courtesy of Cooking Light.

4.  Remove chicken/tofu from pan; keep warm.  Add remaining 1 1/2 tsp. canola oil to pan; swirl to coat.  Add mushrooms and asparagus to pan; sauté 4 minutes or until tender.

Sauteing the veggies and the miso mixture.

Sauteing the veggies and the miso mixture.

Add remaining 2 Tablespoons miso mixture to pan;  toss to coat.  Sprinkle with green onions.  Arrange 1/2 cup noodle mixture in each bowl.  Top with 1/2 cup vegetable mixture and chicken or tofu.

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Soba noodles with miso-glazed chicken and vegetables.

Soba noodles with miso-glazed chicken and vegetables.

SOURCE:  COOKING LIGHT

Old-Fashioned Blueberry Coffee Cake

Old Fashioned Blueberry Coffeecake

Old Fashioned Blueberry Coffeecake

I love it when a recipe has the words “old-fashioned” in its title.  There is a certain comfort factor in those words.  I makes me think of when I was a child and my mother baked something warm and yummy.  I particularly loved her coffee cakes that had a crumbly topping with lots of cinnamon and nuts in it.  In my mother’s recipe box I have a recipe for sour cream coffee cake, and this recipe today is very similar to that one.  The major difference that I can see is that this one uses buttermilk in place of the sour cream.  But the soft crumb texture of the cake is just like what I remember.

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Fresh blueberries are now appearing in the market and I bought some, not really knowing what I would do with them, but then I found this recipe for the coffee cake, so that decided the question.   The day I baked it we had to have a piece while it was still warm.  Oh my!  It was everything you could imagine.  The cake has three textural layers;  the tender cake, heavily scented by cinnamon, the blueberries oozing their juices, and a crunchy, crumb topping.  You had better not skip dessert, if this cake is being served!  If blueberries are not available, use any of your favorite fresh or frozen berries.

All the layers can be seen in each piece.

All the layers can be seen in each piece.

OLD FASHIONED BLUEBERRY COFFEECAKE

Yield :    8 – 12 servings

Crumb Topping:

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp. packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup nuts, chopped ( suggest walnuts or pecans)
  • 3 Tbsp. chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

Cake:

  • non-stick pan spray
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp. cornmeal
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup plus 3 Tbsp. sugar, divided
  • 6 Tbsp. ( 3/4 stick ) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 Tbsp.  ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen, thawed blueberries
  • 1 Tbsp. panko breadcrumbs

Prepare the crumb topping:  Whisk the flour, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl.  Add butter; using your fingertips, work butter into dry ingredients until large, moist crumbs begin to form.  Stir in chopped nuts.  Set topping aside.

 Prepare the cake:  Preheat oven to 350*F.  Coat an 8-inch square pan with nonstick spray.    Set aside.

1.  Whisk flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl; set aside.

2.  With an electric mixer on medium speed, beat 3/4 cup sugar and butter in a medium bowl until light and fluffy, 3 – 4 minutes.  Beat in vanilla.  Add eggs one at a time, beating to blend between additions and occasionally scraping down sides of bowl, until mixture is pale and fluffy, 3 – 4 minutes longer.

3.  With mixer on low speed, add dry ingredients to bowl in 3 additions, alternating with buttermilk in 2 additions, beginning and ending with dry ingredients.  Pour half of batter into prepared pan and smooth top.  Whisk remaining 3 Tbsp. sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl, sprinkle evenly over batter in pan,

Half the batter covered by a layer of cinnamon sugar.

Half the batter covered by a layer of cinnamon sugar.

Spoon remaining batter over, smooth top.

Remaining batter goes on top.

Remaining batter goes on top.

4.  Toss blueberries with panko in a small bowl;  scatter evenly over batter.

Spread blueberries evenly on top.

Spread blueberries evenly on top.

Sprinkle crumb topping over blueberries.

Crumb topping makes the top layer.

Crumb topping makes the top layer.

5.  Bake cake  until top is golden brown and a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 55 -65 minutes.  Let cool completely in pan.  Store air-tight at room temperature.

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SOURCE:   slightly adapted from Bon Appetit

Caprese Salad Kebabs

Caprese Salad Kebabs

Caprese Salad Kebabs

An appetizer on a stick,  a salad on a stick;  whatever you choose to call these, they are a pretty neat way to eat a favorite summertime salad.

On July 4th we had a large party for my in-laws who celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary.  Of the several foods I prepared, these were particularly popular.  We set them out with the appetizers, and before long they were all gone.  All the things you like about a caprese salad are here in miniature form, on a stick, and so easy to eat.  Just slide each component to the end of the stick and pop it into your mouth!

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In addition to being easy to eat they were extremely easy to make.  Knowing that I would be making a large number of them I purchased my ingredients at BJ’s Club.  Grape tomatoes, a package of fresh basil, and best of all a container of mozzarella balls in seasoned olive oil.  So all I had to do was thread everything on the skewers and drizzle a little of the olive oil over the top.

Try these at your next get together for a quick and easy appetizer.

CAPRESE SALAD KEBABS

Have all ingredients laid out and ready.

Have all ingredients laid out and ready.

Makes 12   For a larger quantity, adjust amounts accordingly.

Here’s what you need:

  • 12 wooden skewers
  • 24 grape tomatoes
  • 12 balls fresh mozzarella
  • 24 fresh basil leaves
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 tsp. balsamic vinegar

What you do:

To make each skewer,  alternately place 2 tomatoes, 1 cheese ball and 2 basil leaves on each skewer.  If mozzarella balls are large, cut in half, and basil leaves may be torn into smaller pieces if they are too large.

Putting it all together like an assembly-line.

Putting it all together like an assembly-line.

Arrange skewers on a serving tray.  Whisk together the oil and vinegar, and drizzle over kebabs before serving.

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Fennel and Potato Hash Browns

Fennel and Potato Hash Browns

Fennel and Potato Hash Browns

A bag  of frozen hash brown potatoes from the supermarket is a great timesaver, so occasionally I will buy one to keep in the freezer.  There are times when a skillet of brown and crispy hash browns is the perfect side dish, and I really love them, but who wants to shred raw potatoes to make them from scratch.  Definitely not me,  thus the frozen variety in the freezer.

Last weekend I was making a fast meal on a hot evening and a wanted a side dish to go with the salmon kebabs and white bean salad, so I thought about the hash browns as a good go-with.  However I wanted to “doctor” them up a little, so I quickly added some thinly sliced fennel and some onion.  These were then sautéed together in a little olive oil till tender and nicely browned.  Wow! were they good.  Sometimes the most unexpected combinations turn out to be the best.  This is what I did:

FENNEL-POTATO HASH BROWNS

Slicing up the fennel and onion.

Slicing up the fennel and onion.

Servings:  about 4

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 cups frozen shredded hash brown potatoes, thawed
  • 2 cups cored, thinly sliced fennel bulb
  • 1/2 cup  (1 medium) vertically sliced yellow onion
  • 1  1/2 Tbsp. fennel fronds, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper

1.  Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium heat.  Add 2 tablespoons olive oil to pan; swirl to coat.

2.  Add the hash browns, fennel, and onion to the pan;  cook about 12 minutes or until golden brown, stirring frequently.

Cook it all together till nice and brown with crispy bits.

Cook it all together till nice and brown with crispy bits.

3.  Remove from heat; stir in the fennel fronds, salt and pepper.

Serve on a platter, garnished with fennel fronds.

Serve on a platter, garnished with fennel fronds.

SOURCE:  a Carolyn Original

Baked Coconut French Toast with Tropical Fruit Compote

Baked Coconut French Toast with Fruit Compote

Baked Coconut French Toast with Fruit Compote

We are now officially into summer.   The weather is sunny, hot and beautiful; and I’m cooking up something special for our breakfast.  Something with a tropical vibe to it.

What started me down this path was a recent purchase  of a large bag of unsweetened, flaked coconut, (read, large flakes),  by Bob’s Red Mill.  Don’t ask why I bought this when I already have two bags of the standard, sweetened flaked coconut on hand.  In addition, I’m not one to use a lot of coconut, even though we like it, because of my concern for the oil content.  Well, not everything I do always makes perfect sense, so now I must devise ways to use coconut.  Expect to see more recipes featuring coconut popping up in the near future. 😀

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Baked French Toast, a somewhat “showy” breakfast, is really easy for me to serve on a weekend morning.  I assemble it all the evening before, put it in the fridge overnight, and just take it out and bake it in the morning.  While the toast is baking, I put together a fruit mixture, that I’ll loosely call a Tropical Fruit Compote, so you’ll think I really spent a lot of time planning for how this was all going to go together.   😀

The French Toast and fruit mixture complemented each other nicely  and provided a “summery” feeling to a breakfast that we enjoyed eating out on the deck.IMG_4379

BAKED COCONUT FRENCH TOAST

Yield:   Serves 4

For the Toast:

  • 8 slices ( 1/2- inch thick ) diagonally cut Italian bread
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 1/4 cups coconut milk ( or almond milk)
  • 4 large eggs, or 1 1/4 cups egg substitute
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract ( to increase coconut flavor, use coconut extract)
  • 1/2 cup flaked coconut

1.  Spray a 13 x 9 inch baking pan with cooking spray.   Arrange the bread slices snugly in the dish.

2.  Combine the milk, eggs or egg substitute, sugar and vanilla, stirring with a whisk.  Pour evenly over the bread.  Turn the bread slices over to coat evenly.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.

3.  Preheat oven to 375*F.  Remove bread mixture from refrigerator, uncover, and turn bread slices over.  Sprinkle evenly with coconut.  Let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes.

Sprinkle on coconut before baking.

Sprinkle on coconut before baking.

4.  Bake, uncovered, at 375*F for 30 minutes or until coconut is golden.  Serve warm with fruit compote.

Just out of the oven--smells wonderful!

Just out of the oven–smells wonderful!

For the compote:

Colorful fruits go into the compote.

Colorful fruits go into the compote.

  • 1 mango, peeled and cut into cubes
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped fresh pineapple
  • 1 dark purple plum, pitted and sliced
  • 1 large kiwi, peeled, and sliced
  • 3 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh lime juice

Combine all ingredients.  Cover and chill over night,  or prepare while toast is baking.  Serve alongside the French Toast.

A Tropical Breakfast

A Tropical Breakfast

SOURCE:   Taste of Home

Let’s Get Berried on the 4th!

Lemon buttermilk cake with strawberries, whipped cream and strawberry coulis.

Lemon buttermilk cake with strawberries, whipped cream and strawberry coulis.

Ahhhhh—-Strawberry Shortcake!  Nothing that I know of says summer so well as strawberry shortcake, a great favorite for the 4th of July.  And this recipe does the impossible–makes it even more delicious.   It starts with a warm, lemon flavored golden buttermilk cake that’s followed by sweet juicy fresh strawberries, and topped with whipped cream drizzled with strawberry coulis.   Like Whoa!

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This version is so beyond the shortcake I grew up with it’s almost in another world.  Back in the day when I was still living at home, strawberry shortcake consisted of sweetened, sliced berries spooned over biscuits that were a lot like the texture of scones.  They soaked up the juice and got all soft like, and the perfect bite included biscuit, berries and cream.  Yeah, that’s the shortcake I know.

But this,  this takes it all to a new level.   Here you taste and smell the essence of lemon in a finely textured cake, along with the goodness of fresh sweet berries, then the cream is further enhanced by the strawberry coulis, a puree of strawberries containing just a touch of balsamic vinegar.  Can I entice you to give this a try?  I don’t think you will be the least bit sorry.

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GOLDEN LEMON CAKE WITH STRAWBERRIES AND COULIS

Servings:   8

Ingredients:

  • 1 quart of fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar

Combine sliced berries and sugar in a bowl.  Toss to coat.  Let stand at room temperature for at least 15 minutes before serving.

For the cake:IMG_4463

  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 2/3 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 1/2  tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2  tsp lemon extract
  • 1 tsp. lemon zest
  • 1 tsp. powdered sugar

1.  Preheat oven to 350*F.  Spray an 8 – inch round cake pan with non-stick cooking spray.

2.  Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife.  Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, stirring with a whisk.

3.  Place 1/3 cup sugar and butter in a medium bowl;  beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended.  Add egg, beat just until combined.  Add flour mixture alternately with buttermilk to the sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour.  Beat well.  Stir in vanilla.

4.  Spoon batter into the prepared 8 – inch cake pan.  Bake at 350*F for 22 – 25 minutes, until a tooth pick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes.  Remove from pan to cool completely on wire rack.  To serve, place on serving dish and  sift powdered sugar over top of cake.

Lemon Buttermilk Cake

Lemon Buttermilk Cake

For coulis:

  • 2 cups strawberries, hulled and sliced
  • 1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp. sugar

Place berries, vinegar and sugar in the blender and blend to smooth consistency.  If too thick add a little water or a touch more vinegar.

This strawberry sauce is great spooned over the cake only, or over ice cream.

Whipped Cream Topping:

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 Tbsp. confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract

Place all the ingredients in a small beater bowl, and beat on high speed until the cream holds stiff peaks.

To assemble and serve:

Portion the cake into 8 wedges.  Place a wedge of cake on each serving plate.  Spoon strawberries with their juice over the cake.  Place a dollop of cream on top.  Drizzle a little of the coulis over the cream or on the plate around the cake.

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SOURCE:  Cake recipe adapted from Cooking Light,  the remainder is my own idea.