15 November 2018

Roast Potatoes - Roasties

Roast Potatoes - Roasties - A British (and Irish) Classic / www.delightfulrepast.com

Roast Potatoes, also called Roasties, are one of the key players in the British Sunday Lunch (or Sunday Roast). Served alongside Roast Beef, Roast Pork, lamb or chicken (or my Braised Brisket), Yorkshire Pudding and two vegetables, it’s a tradition that’s unstoppable.


Roast Potatoes - Roasties (this picture - served with Braised Brisket) / www.delightfulrepast.com


You can season this any way you like, but I usually keep it classic. Since achieving the perfect texture is job one, it’s important to start with the right potato. In the UK, try King Edward, Maris Piper or another floury, rather than waxy, potato. In the US, russets work beautifully.

Use a pan large enough to allow some space between the potatoes. A half sheet pan is perfect for 3 pounds (1.36 kg) of potatoes. If your potatoes are different shapes and sizes, cut them into similar sizes and shapes for even cooking. I’m a little obsessive, though, and always pick out four nearly identical 12-ounce (340 grams) potatoes

Make only the quantity you’ll consume at that meal. Don’t make “extra” as they don’t really reheat all that well. 

Are you a roast potato fan, or is this something new for you? Once you’ve had perfect roasties, audibly crunchy on the outside and fluffy on the inside, you’ll want to have them all the time! 


Roast Potatoes -  Roasties - A British (and Irish) Classic / www.delightfulrepast.com


Roast Potatoes – Roasties


(Serves 4 to 6)

4 roughly equal size and shape russet potatoes (about 12 ounces each)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

1 Peel the potatoes and quarter them (I often quarter them lengthwise as pictured). Place in a large pan with 1 teaspoon of salt and enough cold water to cover the potatoes. Bring to a beginning boil over high heat; reduce heat to medium, cover loosely and simmer for 5 minutes. Start the timer at the “beginning boil” stage.

2 When you first start cooking the potatoes, preheat the oven to 425F/220C/Gas7. Spread 2 tablespoons of oil in an 18x13x1-inch half sheet pan.

Note: A 13x9x1-inch quarter sheet pan is perfect for a half recipe.

3 About 3 minutes into the 5-minute simmering of the potatoes, put oiled half sheet pan into the oven.

4 Drain the potatoes thoroughly, put the lid on and shake the pan gently several times to give the potatoes a bit of a bashing to rough up their surfaces without breaking up the potato quarters. Remove the lid and leave the potatoes to dry for a few minutes.

5 Carefully place the potatoes in a single layer in the hot oil. Drizzle with (or brush on) melted butter and remaining 1 tablespoon of oil. Sprinkle with pepper and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes. Turn the potatoes and roast for another 15 to 20 minutes; repeat once, cooking until the potatoes are well browned, crisp and tender, about 60 minutes total. Serve immediately.

Disclosure: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon .com and affiliated sites.

Jean 

08 November 2018

Key Lime Pie - Without Condensed Milk

Key Lime Pie - Without Condensed Milk / www.delightfulrepast.com

Key Lime Pie is a dessert we really like but, invariably, find far too sweet. Since it is made with condensed milk, it isn’t simply a matter of just cutting back on the sugar. So I put on my lab coat (figuratively speaking) and went to work. Since it turned out so well, I just had to share it with you. 

Since it's made without condensed milk, you can control the sweetness. Even if you prefer to use more sugar than I do, it will still be considerably less than a pie made with condensed milk.

Besides its excessive sweetness, the other problem I have with condensed milk is that the sugar in it is often beet sugar, and a high percentage of the sugar beets grown in the US have been genetically modified to resist herbicides. Since the US does not require labels to designate whether the sugar is from sugar cane or beets, you never know unless a manufacturer volunteers the information. 

Key Lime Pie - Without Condensed Milk / www.delightfulrepast.com


Then there’s the matter of the limes. From what I’ve read, there is very little commercial key lime production in the Florida Keys these days and Key lime juice that is bottled there is often juice from imported Key limes. So let’s just throw the whole “authenticity” thing out the window! But to be perfectly accurate, we could just call my pie “Lime Pie.” 

But whatever variety available to you, look for limes with the thinnest, smoothest, least “pebbly” skins that have a lot of yellow rather than bright green and that yield to gentle pressure. They will have more juice and better flavor than the big, pretty, rock-hard, evenly green limes. 

Do you prefer your lime pie with whipped cream or meringue? I wouldn’t say No to one with meringue, but I really prefer it with whipped cream. 


Key Lime Pie - Without Condensed Milk / www.delightfulrepast.com


Key Lime Pie – Without Condensed Milk 


(Makes one 9-inch/23cm pie) 


The Crust – A Graham Cracker Crust 


1 1/2 cups (4.5 ounces/128 grams—9 whole crackers) graham cracker crumbs
1/8 cup (0.875 ounce/25 grams) sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 
1/2 teaspoon ginger 
1/8 teaspoon salt 
5 tablespoons (2.5 ounces/71 grams) unsalted butter, melted 


The Filling 


3 large eggs
3/4 cup (5.25 ounces/149 grams) sugar
1/2 cup (4 ounces/118 ml) heavy cream
1/2 cup (4 ounces/118 ml) freshly squeezed lime juice
1 tablespoon finely grated lime zest from organic or unsprayed unwaxed limes

1/8 teaspoon salt 


Note: Key limes are not as widely available as Persian limes, so I use Persian. There are about 5 medium Persian limes in a pound (16 ounces/454 grams), each lime with an average yield of 2 tablespoons of juice and 2 teaspoons of finely grated zest. Four of them should yield enough juice for the recipe, but have a fifth on hand, just in case; today I needed 4 1/2 limes. 

1 Preheat oven to 325F/165C/Gas3. Lightly butter a 9-inch glass pie plate. Combine crumbs, sugar, cinnamon, ginger, salt and melted butter until the mixture comes together. If you used a food processor to make the crumbs, you can mix the crust in it as well. If you used your fingers or the rolling pin/plastic bag method to make the crumbs, you can mix the crust with a fork in a small mixing bowl. The mixture should be a bit crumbly but hold together when squeezed. 

2 Press the crumb mixture evenly and firmly over the bottom and up the sides of the pie plate just to the top; don’t make a raised rim. I used a flat-bottomed stainless steel measuring cup to get it even and well compacted. Bake the crust for 15 minutes. Place it on a wire rack to cool completely while making the filling. Leave the oven on. 

3 In 2-quart bowl (I use a 2-quart glass measure), whisk together eggs, sugar, cream, lime juice, lime zest and salt until well combined. Pour filling into prebaked and completely cooled pie crust. Bake for about 25 minutes, until just set and still with a bit of a wobble in the center. An instant-read thermometer inserted in the center should read 145F/63C. Cool on wire rack to room temperature, about 1 hour. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours, or up to 3 days loosely covered, before serving. 

Disclosure: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon .com and affiliated sites. 


Disclosure: We are a ThermoWorks affiliate, earning a small commission at no cost to you on purchases made through our links. This helps cover some of the costs of running the blog. Thank you for your support. 

Jean

01 November 2018

Recipes for November and Beyond

Comfort Food Recipes for November and Beyond / www.delightfulrepast.com

It was bound to happen eventually. For the first time in 8 years and 9 months of blogging, I got sick at a time I didn’t have a new post ready to go. 

So I’m popping in, between coughs, to refer you to recipes from the first week of November for the past 8 years, starting with last year.

These are comfort food recipes for the cold months ahead. So Pin and share your favorites. And stay well!

Hope your November is off to a better start than mine! But I'm sure I'll be back in the kitchen soon. Happy November! 


2017


Recipes for November and Beyond (this one - Chili Verde) / www.delightfulrepast.com

2016


Recipes for November and Beyond (this one - my Make-Ahead Turkey Gravy and Broth) / www.delightfulrepast.com

2015


Recipes for November and Beyond (this one - The Ultimate Dairy-Free, or Not, Hot Chocolate) / www.delightfulrepast.com

2014


Recipes for November and Beyond (this one - Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake) / www.delightfulrepast.com

2013


Recipes for November and Beyond (this one - Brussels Sprouts Salad) / www.delightfulrepast.com

2012


Recipes for November and Beyond (this one - Swiss Steak) / www.delightfulrepast.com

2011


Recipes for November and Beyond (this one - Homemade Granola and Granola Parfaits) / www.delightfulrepast.com

2010


Recipes for November and Beyond (this one - Hazelnut Shortbread) / www.delightfulrepast.com

Jean

25 October 2018

Pork Chops and Apples

Pork Chops and Apples - Comfort Food / www.delightfulrepast.com

Pork Chops and Apples is a well-remembered dish from my childhood, but I make it differently. My mother browned the pork chops and made the sauce/gravy on the stove, then transferred everything to a big yellow oven-proof bowl that easily held 12 pork chops and lots of apples. 

Now I have the bowl, a vintage 1960s Pyrex 4-quart nesting mixing bowl. Though I rarely use it—somehow it seems more precious than other more delicate and valuable items that were my mother’s—I enjoy getting a glimpse of it now and then in the deep, high cupboard over the refrigerator.

Separated in age from my three (all older) siblings by a 6-, 9- and 10-year gap and having parents with their own stresses and strains, my early and middle childhood days were often quite chaotic. But whatever else went down on any given day, it all stopped for dinner. Food was what brought the family together.


Food was what brought 
the family together.

The cooking of older food writers she liked, such as Patience Gray, Elizabeth David and Julia Child, was inspired by their travels. But my mother never felt the need to travel. Her food took her anywhere she wanted to go. From the best of British and American cooking to the most complicated Chinese dishes, she was an inspired cook.

Had she been just an average cook, or a "good plain cook,” I wonder if her food would have had the same power to bring everyone together around that big table in the very middle of the kitchen. I doubt it. (Two essays that fit well with this post: Life Lesson in a Flame-Colored Pot and The Pork Chop Incident.)

So here it is: my stovetop Pork Chops and Apples. I had to make it up as I went along because my mother stopped making it once there were no longer six (and often more) at the dinner table, which was before I started writing things down as she cooked. They don’t taste like her pork chops, but they taste good!

This takes about 45 minutes from start to finish and can be made ahead (details in the directions below) for busy nights. Great with Perfect Mashed Potatoes and a vegetable or two.


Pork Chops and Apples - Comfort Food / www.delightfulrepast.com


Pork Chops and Apples

(Makes 3 servings)

The Apples

2 medium (about 6 ounces/170 grams each) Golden Delicious, Granny Smith or other good baking apples
2 tablespoons (1 ounce/28 grams) unsalted butter
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar

The Pork Chops

1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
3 5-ounce 3/4-inch-thick boneless loin pork chops (pastured pork)
3/8 teaspoon salt, divided
3/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper, divided
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 1/2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons (1 fluid ounce/30 ml) brandy
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 1/2 cups (12 fluid ounces/355 ml) lower sodium chicken broth
1/4 teaspoon marjoram
1/4 teaspoon thyme

1 Don’t peel the apples. Quarter them and with a paring knife, cut out the core from each quarter. Slice each quarter into 3 slices.

2 In 12-inch skillet over medium heat, melt the butter and sugar; stir in the apples. They should be sizzling. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes until caramelizing a little. With slotted spoon, transfer apples to a plate.

3 Add the teaspoon of oil to the pan and swirl it around. Place the chops in the hot pan, sprinkle with 1/8 teaspoon of the salt and 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper. Over medium to medium-high heat, cook for about 5 or 6 minutes until well browned. Turn, season with 1/8 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook for about 5 or 6 minutes until well browned. Transfer to a plate.

4 Add the butter to the skillet. Whisk in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Whisk in brandy, then balsamic vinegar and Dijon mustard, scraping up all the brown bits in the pan. Then whisk in broth, marjoram and thyme. Simmer and stir until thickened, about 5 minutes or so. Or longer—as long as it takes for the sauce to be nicely thickened and the flavors concentrated.

Note: This dish may be made ahead to this point and the pork chops, apples and sauce all refrigerated separately. Twenty minutes or so before serving, thoroughly heat up the sauce in the skillet. Add the pork chops and apples to the skillet, cover and simmer until heated through. 

5 Return chops and apples to pan, along with any liquid that collected on the plates. Sprinkle with 1/8 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Simmer over very low heat, covered loosely, for about 10 minutes to warm them through. Taste and adjust seasoning.

Disclosure: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon .com and affiliated sites. 

Jean


18 October 2018

Pumpkin Custards - Individual Crustless Pumpkin Pies

Pumpkin Custards - Individual Crustless Pumpkin Pies (this photo - custard baked in a half-pint jar for picnics or lunchboxes) / www.delightfulrepast.com

Pumpkin Custards are the solution when you’ve got gluten-free, wheat-free, grain-free or refined-starch-free people coming for dinner. As long as they’re not also sugar-free, egg-free or dairy-free, that is. 

I don’t do sugar-free desserts using stevia or artificial sweeteners, but those who do will know how to adapt the recipe for whatever they use. (Is anyone else having a hard time giving a dinner party these days?!) 

Of course, at this time of year we are bombarded with pumpkin recipes, so many readers will have already moved on. But I’m a year-round pumpkin fan and couldn’t resist putting another one out there.

This time I used a couple of little round half-pint jars, too, because that turns an individual pumpkin custard into a totable/toteable (?) lunchbox dessert. And there’s enough room in the jar for whipped cream!

Mr Delightful was missing the pie crust, so I crushed a couple of Walkers Pure Butter Shortbread Rounds to sprinkle on top. Loved it!

Baking these in a water bath is really easy and gives the custards such a wonderfully smooth texture. No need to get complicated, putting a tea towel in the bottom of the baking dish or anything; the ramekins won’t rattle around.

Are you ready for some pumpkin?


Pumpkin Custards - Individual Crustless Pumpkin Pies (this photo - custard baked in a ramekin for dining and in a half-pint jar for picnics or lunchboxes) / www.delightfulrepast.com


Pumpkin Custards – Individual Crustless Pumpkin Pies


(Makes 6)

1/2 cup (3.5 ounces/99 grams) sugar
1 tablespoon non-GMO cornstarch
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
3 large eggs
1 15-ounce (425 grams) can pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling) or 1 3/4 cups pumpkin puree
1 1/4 cup (10 fluid ounces/296 ml) milk


1 Preheat oven to 300F/150C/Gas2. Put the kettle on, heating water for the water bath. Place six 7-ounce ramekins or custard cups (or half-pint jars) in a 13x9x2-inch baking dish.

Note: These are similar but slightly larger white ceramic 8-ounce ramekins

2 In medium bowl (using a 2-quart glass measure makes it easy to pour the filling into the custard cups), whisk together sugar, cornstarch, salt and spices. Whisk in the eggs, then the pumpkin and then the milk. 

3 Pour the filling into the ramekins. Close to the oven, pour the hot water into the baking dish at least halfway up the side of the ramekins and nearly to the level of the custard. Place in oven, being careful not to slosh water into the custards.

Pumpkin Custards - Individual Crustless Pumpkin Pies (this photo - temperature taken, removed from water bath, cooling at room temperature for 1 hour before chilling) / www.delightfulrepast.com
My very favorite thermometer: ThermoWorks Super-Fast Thermapen MK4


4 Bake for about 60 minutes (maybe check at 55 minutes, all depends on your oven) or until it registers 175F/79C on an instant-read thermometer. The custards should still be slightly jiggly and will firm up as they cool. Forget about the old knife coming out clean thing; they would be waaay overbaked.

5 Cool completely, about 1 hour, on wire rack, then cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or up to 3 or 4 days. Serve with softly whipped cream. I sweetened and flavored 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream with 1 teaspoon of real maple syrup and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract.

Note: If you’re making these in the half-pint jars for a picnic or lunchboxes, whip the cream to a stiffer consistency so that it will hold up for a few hours. Top the custards with the cream (and shortbread crumbs, if you like) and put the lids on. Don’t forget to pack spoons!

Disclosure: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon .com and affiliated sites.

Jean

11 October 2018

Pimento Cheese - Pimiento Cheese - A Southern Classic

Pimento Cheese - Pimiento Cheese - A Southern Classic - for dips, spreads, sandwiches and, in this case, tea sandwiches / www.delightfulrepast.com

Pimento Cheese (pimento is pronounced puh-MIN-uh, by the way wink wink) is an iconic Southern food that's been around for over a hundred years, but my Southern grandmother never mentioned it; I had to learn it on my own! There are many variations, but it's basically shredded sharp or medium Cheddar, mayonnaise and pimientos. 

Delicious on a hamburger, hot dog or bacon sandwich, it's more often just slapped on some soft white bread for a quick sandwich, cold or toasted. Apparently, you can also stuff celery with it, spread it on crackers or dip tortilla chips in it. But I only ever seem to serve it with crudités or in tea sandwiches.


Pimento Cheese - Pimiento Cheese - A Southern Classic - for dips, spreads, sandwiches, tea sandwiches / www.delightfulrepast.com

It "must" be made with real mayonnaise. Many Southern cooks swear by Duke’s mayonnaise, but I have to make do with Hellmann’s/ Best Foods or my Homemade Mayonnaise. Duke's is still made in Greenville, South Carolina, and sold throughout the South. Sticklers for authenticity can always do mail order!

Purists may not add anything to the basic ingredients, but I can't resist a little dill pickle and dill pickle juice along with black pepper and a pinch of cayenne. You can add a few chopped green olives, red wine vinegar, Tabasco or Worcestershire sauce, so I might have to give that a try in the next batch. 

Some like it blended smooth, but I'm among those who prefer it a little chunky. Does your family have a pimento cheese tradition? Would you like to start one? I’d love to hear your thoughts on pimento cheese.


Pimento Cheese - Pimiento Cheese - A Southern Classic - for dips, spreads, sandwiches, tea sandwiches / www.delightfulrepast.com

Pimento Cheese (Pimiento Cheese) 


(Makes 3 cups)

1 pound medium or sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
1 4-ounce jar pimientos, drained and diced
1 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons chopped dill pickle

2 tablespoons dill pickle juice
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce, optional 
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 In a 2- to 2.5-quart mixing bowl, stir together all ingredients until well blended. Leave it a little chunky, as I do, or use an immersion blender to make it as smooth as you like. Transfer to serving bowl and cover. Chill for a few hours or up to one week.


Pimento Cheese - Pimiento Cheese - A Southern Classic - for dips, spreads, sandwiches, tea sandwiches

2 Serve with a crudités platter, crackers, tortillas chips or bread. Spread on hamburgers, hot dogs or bacon sandwiches. Use it to make a cold or toasted cheese sandwich or, as I have here, tea sandwiches.

Jean

04 October 2018

Sheet Pan Beer Brats Dinner

Sheet Pan Beer Brats Dinner - www.delightfulrepast.com

Sheet Pan Beer Brats Dinner came to mind as I was perusing the offerings at my favorite meat shop. I love shopping there because it is pristine and all the meat is local, grass-fed (or pastured), sustainable and produced by farmers who practice good animal stewardship. I had the sheet pan dinner concept in the back of my mind and was looking at the chicken when I spied the brats.

I did not grow up eating bratwurst. I grew up avoiding processed meats, so rarely even had a hot dog. But a couple years ago I walked into this shop when one of the owners was making brats—Wisconsin-style with coarsely ground pork. They make all their own sausages with the best ingredients. So I took home four “homemade,” unprocessed brats and haven’t looked back since.

A sheet pan dinner is what I call streamlined cooking. And there are at least a few days a week when dinner really needs to be streamlined. It’s such an easy way to get lots of different vegetables into your diet because they all cook together. Cabbage wedges would’ve been good with this, and I’ll do that next time.

I do a lot of wine reductions but have never even heard of a beer reduction. It was just going to go against my grain to pour that beer down the drain, though, so I thought I'd make a little sauce out of it. Love it!

For more streamlined cooking, Sheet Pan Chicken Dinner


Sheet Pan Bratwurst Dinner - www.delightfulrepast.com


Sheet Pan Beer Brats Dinner


(Makes 4 servings)

The Brats and Vegetables

4 bratwurst sausages (about 5 ounces each)
1 12-ounce bottle Newcastle Brown Ale
2 medium orange-flesh sweet potatoes (about 22 ounces/624 grams total), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch slices
About 3/4 pound broccoli and cauliflower florets
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, divided
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon mixed with 1/8 teaspoon salt 
Salt and coarsely ground black pepper

The Sauce

The beer reduction
2 teaspoons dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
Pinch (1/16 teaspoon) crushed red pepper flakes


Sheet Pan Beer Brats Dinner (this photo - beer-boiling the brats) / www.delightfulrepast.com


1 Pierce the sausages six times each with a toothpick or a few times with a knife. Put them in a wide saucepan with the beer. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Leave the brats in the beer until you place them on the baking sheet.

2 Preheat oven to 400F/205C/Gas6. Line an 18x13x1-inch half sheet pan with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray. In a 1.5- to 2-quart bowl, toss sweet potato slices with 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil. Lay out the slices at one end of the baking sheet. Sprinkle them evenly with the cinnamon-salt mixture.

3 In that same bowl, toss the broccoli and cauliflower florets with 1/2 tablespoon olive oil. Spread them out at the other end of the baking sheet. Put the beer-boiled brats in the center of the baking sheet. Sprinkle the broccoli, cauliflower and brats with salt and pepper.


Sheet Pan Bratwurst Dinner (this photo - ready to go into the oven) / www.delightfulrepast.com

4 Bake for 30 minutes. In the meantime, strain the beer into a glass measuring cup and wipe out the saucepan. Pour the beer back into the saucepan. Bring it to a boil, and adjust the heat to keep it at a slow-ish boil until it is reduced to 1/2 cup. Just pour it back into the glass measuring cup from time to time to check it. When it’s down to 1/2 cup, whisk in remaining ingredients.

5 Drizzle sauce over all, or let each person sauce his own plate. 

Disclosure: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon .com and affiliated sites.

Jean

27 September 2018

Chocolate Buttermilk Sheet Cake - Texas Sheet Cake My Way

Chocolate Buttermilk Sheet Cake - Texas Sheet Cake My Way - a quick and easy feeds-a-crowd chocolate cake / www.delightfulrepast.com

Chocolate cake is always a hit at any gathering. I'm not that keen on chocolate myself, but nearly everyone else in the world is. My quick and easy feeds-a-crowd chocolate buttermilk sheet cake is served right from the pan—perfect for any large casual party. I took it to a big party on Saturday and it disappeared in no time. Everyone was talking about it! 

Inspired by a cake popular in the '70s, Texas sheet cake, I developed this recipe for a larger, more flavorful, slightly less sweet cake. It yields 32 servings and can be made start-to-finish, including frosting, in under an hour. The only special equipment required is a half sheet pan, the same one I use for my Meyer Lemon Sheet Cake and many other things. Hope you'll try it and let me know what you think.

It has just enough espresso powder to punch up the chocolate flavor without giving it a coffee flavor. But if you don’t use coffee, it will still be delicious without it. And if you have buttermilk on hand, you can use it instead of the cider vinegar-milk. For those who pay attention to such things, one serving of this cake, with the frosting, comes in about 3/4 teaspoon under my maximum daily sugar allowance.

I go a little nuts with the pecans (no pun intended); you can use half the amount or none at all, whatever suits you. For less rustic looking, perfectly smooth and shiny little squares for afternoon tea, I'd be willing to sacrifice the pecans.

Are you a fan of sheet cakes? 


Chocolate Buttermilk Sheet Cake - Texas Sheet Cake My Way - a quick and easy feeds-a-crowd chocolate cake / www.delightfulrepast.com
Please Pin it and share it!


Chocolate Buttermilk Sheet Cake


(Makes 18x13x1-inch half-sheet, 32 servings)

The Cake

1 1/4 cups (10 fluid ounces/296 ml) water or cold coffee*
1 1/4 cups (10 ounces/283 grams) unsalted butter
1/2 packed cup (1.5 ounces/42 grams) natural unsweetened cocoa*
1 1/2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
2 1/2 dip-and-sweep cups (12.5 ounces/354 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 3/4 cups (12.25 ounces/347 grams) sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cider vinegar plus milk to make 3/4 cup (6 fluid ounces/177 ml)
3 large eggs, lightly beaten

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

The Frosting

1 teaspoon cider vinegar plus milk to make 1/3 cup (2.67 fluid ounces/79 ml)
1/2 cup (4 ounces/113 grams) unsalted butter
1/4 packed cup (0.75 ounce/21 grams) natural unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon espresso powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 firmly packed cups (12 ounces/340 grams) unsifted powdered sugar

1 1/2 cups (6 ounces/170 grams) finely chopped pecans, toasted

* I always buy organic, fair trade certified coffee and chocolate products.



1 Preheat oven to 350F/180C/Gas4. Spray half sheet pan (I have both this heavy-duty half sheet pan and this Nordic Ware lidded half sheet pan) with cooking spray; don’t try to make-do with a smaller pan, or the batter will overflow.

2 In 2-quart saucepan, combine water, butter, cocoa and espresso powder. Heat, whisking occasionally, over medium heat until the butter melts.

3 In large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. Whisking for about 30 seconds sort of sifts the dry ingredients. In 2-cup glass measure, stir together vinegar and milk; let stand for 5 minutes, then whisk in eggs and vanilla extract. 

4 Add warm cocoa mixture to dry ingredients and stir to combine (set the pan aside, as is, for the frosting); beat for about 30 seconds. Add the soured milk mixture and beat for another 30 seconds. (A wooden spoon works perfectly well, but I use an English cake whisk, a kind of stainless steel wire spoon that has been made in Britain for over a hundred years.)

Chocolate Buttermilk Sheet Cake - Texas Sheet Cake My Way (this photo - my favorite whisks, including the English cake whisk) / www.delightfulrepast.com
The English cake whisk is the one at the bottom

5 Pour into prepared pan. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool slightly (5 to 10 minutes) on wire rack while making the frosting. The slight cooling before pouring on the frosting gives the cake a better texture. In 1-cup glass measure, stir together vinegar and milk; let stand for 5 minutes.

6 In same 2-quart saucepan used for the cake (no need to wash it), combine butter, soured milk, cocoa, vanilla, espresso powder and salt over low heat. When butter is melted, bring to a boil; remove from heat. Whisk in confectioner’s sugar, whisking vigorously until smooth. Stir in toasted pecans. 

7 After cake has cooled slightly for just 5 to 10 minutes, pour warm frosting over warm cake and spread quickly. Cool in pan on wire rack. 

Disclosure: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon .com and affiliated sites.

Jean

20 September 2018

Turkey-Mushroom Meatloaf - Classic Comfort Food

Turkey-Mushroom Meatloaf - Classic Comfort Food / www.delightfulrepast.com

Turkey-Mushroom Meatloaf can also be made with ground beef, if you prefer. Either way, I use old-fashioned rolled oats instead of breadcrumbs, so this will work for those on wheat-free or gluten-free diets. 

I remember watching an episode of America’s Test Kitchen or Cook’s Country a long time ago about meatloaf. Their aim was a meatloaf without many vegetables “because it’s a meatloaf not a vegetable loaf.”

Well, I’m the opposite. I like lots of vegetables in my meatloaf. And I cook them well before they go into the mixture. It gives the meatloaf better flavor and better texture.

I’ve gone years without making a meatloaf, then I make one and wonder why I waited so long. Along with Perfect Mashed Potatoes, it’s such a true comfort food. Nothing complicated, just good and comforting.

Love having Pull-Apart Dinner Rolls with it, but not this time. And it makes the best meatloaf sandwiches! What do you like on your meatloaf sandwiches? I like lots of mayonnaise, a little mustard and just a tiny bit of ketchup. 


Turkey-Mushroom Meatloaf - Classic Comfort Food / www.delightfulrepast.com


Turkey-Mushroom Meatloaf


(Serves 8 to 10)

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup finely chopped celery
1 cup finely chopped red bell pepper or carrots
1 6-ounce package crimini or white mushrooms, chopped
1 1/4 teaspoon salt, divided
1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper, divided
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup ketchup (plus 1/4 cup for top, optional)
1 cup (3.5 ounces/99 grams) old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup (4 fluid ounces/118 ml) milk
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 pounds (0.91 kg) lean ground turkey
1 pound (0.45 kg) thin-sliced bacon (streaky bacon in UK), optional

1 In 12-inch skillet, heat oil and cook onion, celery and bell pepper or carrots until softened, about 10 minutes. Add mushrooms, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until any liquid from the mushrooms is evaporated, about 10 minutes. Stir in Worcestershire sauce, parsley and ketchup. Set aside to cool.


Turkey-Mushroom Meatloaf - Classic Comfort Food (this photo of prep) / www.delightfulrepast.com


2 In large mixing bowl, stir together oats and milk; let stand 5 to 10 minutes. Stir in egg, then add vegetables. Add turkey and 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Mix well. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or up to 12 hours. This will firm up the mixture so that it will form a tidier loaf. If you’ve worked with ground turkey, you know what I’m talking about.


Turkey-Mushroom Meatloaf - Classic Comfort Food (this photo meatloaf ready to go into oven) / www.delightfulrepast.com


3 Preheat oven to 400F/205C/Gas6. Line a 15x10x1-inch baking sheet pan with foil (you will regret it if you don’t!); spray lightly with cooking spray. Form chilled meatloaf mixture into a 15x4-inch loaf on the foil-lined pan. If using ketchup, spread ketchup over loaf. If using bacon, arrange bacon slices crosswise over loaf, overlapping slightly and tucking ends under loaf.

4 Bake for 55 to 60 minutes, or until it reaches a temperature of 165F/74C on an instant-read thermometer. Let stand 5 to 10 minutes before slicing.

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Jean
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