26 July 2018

Peach-Berry Crumble Cake

Peach-Berry Crumble Cake - a cake and a fruit crumble all in one / www.delightfulrepast.com

Peach-Berry Crumble Cake is for those occasions when you’re in the mood for a crumble but you don’t have enough fruit. Or when half the family wants crumble, and the other half wants cake.

People always ask me for this recipe, so that’s a good sign you’ll like it, too. And it’s so easy. No need to bust out the big stand mixer, just use a hand mixer or even a spoon.

The most important part of any recipe that includes peaches is, of course, the peaches. A friend told me yesterday that she doesn’t buy peaches anymore because she never gets good ones.

If you have that problem, just do what I do: go by color and smell. Look for yellow peaches with good color and no green shoulders (area around the stem). Then give each peach the sniff test. If it doesn’t smell peachy, it won’t have much flavor.

Are you a peach fan? What is your favorite summer fruit?

Peach-Berry Crumble - a cake and a fruit crumble all in one / www.delightfulrepast.com

Peach-Berry Crumble Cake

(Makes one 8-inch/20-cm square cake, 8 or 9 servings) 

The Crumble

3/4 cup (3 ounces/85 grams) rolled oats
1/2 cup (2.5 ounces/71 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 packed cup (1.75 ounces/50 grams) dark brown sugar
1/4 cup (1 ounce/28 grams) finely chopped pecans
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
6 tablespoons (3 ounces/85 grams) unsalted butter, cold, coarsely shredded

The Fruit

1 to 1 1/4 cups (about 6 ounces/170 grams) fresh blueberries
1 cup chopped yellow peaches

The Cake

2 teaspoons cider vinegar
Enough milk to make 3/4 cup (6 fluid ounces/177 ml)
1 1/2 dip-and-sweep cups (7.5 ounces/213 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 cup (5.25 ounces/149 grams) sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (4 ounces/113 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 large eggs, room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 Preheat oven to 350F/180C/Gas4. Butter (or spray with cooking spray) an 8-inch square baking dish. In small 1.5-quart mixing bowl, whisk together oats, flour, sugar, pecans, salt and cinnamon. With your fingers, rub the butter into the dry mixture, leaving some larger chunks of butter. Remove 1 cup of crumble from the bowl.

2 Prepare fruit. I rarely peel peaches for anything, just scrub them well. Measure vinegar into 1-cup glass measure; add enough milk to make 3/4 cup. Stir and let stand about 5 minutes to thicken a bit while you proceed.

3 In medium 2.5-quart mixing bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the softened butter; with electric hand mixer, mix on low speed until cut in. Add soured milk, eggs and vanilla. Mix on low speed for 30 seconds to combine, then on medium speed for 1 minute.

4 Pour into prepared pan. Scatter 1 cup of the crumble over the batter, add a layer of fruit, and top with remaining crumble. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes, or until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

5 Cool in pan on wire rack for 20 minutes to serve warm, or let cool completely and serve at room temperature.

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19 July 2018

Sunflower Seed Romesco Sauce

Sunflower Seed Romesco Sauce - good on absolutely anything! / www.delightfulrepast.com

Romesco is a nut and red bell pepper-based sauce that originated in Catalonia, Spain, and was served with the local catch. Served with seafood, escargot, poultry, lamb, vegetables, it’s good on just about anything!

Sunflower Seed Romesco Sauce is one of less than a handful of recipes on my blog that is not my own recipe. It was sent to me by my friend Jo who just made it for a dinner party where it was a huge hit. She can’t remember where she got it, but I think it may have been Sunset magazine.

Of course, I made a couple of changes. Was out of sherry vinegar, so I used red wine vinegar. Was out of flat-leaf parsley and had some cilantro I wanted to use up, so I used cilantro. I recommend it! And I changed some amounts. Oh and I left out the garlic; trust me, you won't even miss it.

I used just 3 tablespoons of tomato paste, not wanting the sauce to be too tomato-y, and it wasn’t. Four tablespoons would probably be fine, too. This stuff is seriously good! 

Today I put it on an organic grass-fed burger. Tomorrow? Chicken, roasted potatoes, vegetables, salad, sandwiches, pasta, a dip for crudites—I might just eat it by the spoonful right out of the jar! 

Takes no time at all to make. I made it in my blender (Blendtec 725), but it can also be made in a food processor. Poured it into a pint jar. Now I'm wondering how well it would freeze. I'll freeze a small jar and let you know.

Update 07/22/18: I thawed the frozen jar overnight in the refrigerator and tried it this morning. It was wonderful! So I'm going to make another batch today to freeze in two half-pint jars. 

Update 08/30/18: Just posted quick and easy Sheet Pan Chicken Dinner with Romesco Sauce.

Sunflower Seed Romesco Sauce - good on absolutely anything you can think of! / www.delightfulrepast.com

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Sunflower Seed Romesco Sauce

(Makes about 2 cups)

1/2 cup unsalted sunflower seeds, toasted in small dry skillet 
1/2 packed cup jarred roasted red bell peppers
1/2 packed cup cilantro or flat-leaf parsley
3 or 4 tablespoons tomato paste
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil 
1/3 cup water 
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar or sherry vinegar 
1 teaspoon smoked paprika 
1/4 teaspoon salt 
1/8 teaspoon cayenne

1 Put all the ingredients in food processor or blender; process or blend until as smooth as you like it. 

2 Taste and adjust seasoning.

3 Cover and chill for up to 5 days. Haven't tried it yet but am told it can be frozen for up to 3 months.

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12 July 2018

Ginger Snaps - Ginger Nuts or Ginger Biscuits

Ginger Snaps - Ginger Nuts or Ginger Biscuits - Stamped or Not / www.delightfulrepast.com

It was too hot to bake, but I was in the mood for some crunchy ginger cookies to have with my tea. AND I was eager to play with my cookie stamps again! There was no recipe, so I did what I always do—made it up as I went.

Of course, if you don't have cookie stamps, you can just use something (bottom of a glass, bottom of a stainless steel measuring cup, your hand) to flatten the dough balls into 2-inch rounds. Maybe not as cute, but just as tasty!

For those of you who are dunkers—I am not, but if you are, please go right ahead—these are good dunking biscuits. Just the right size, crunchy and sturdy enough to hold up to a good dunking.

As I mentioned, it was hot. So I was having a little trouble stamping my cookie dough, even chilled. But I came up with a trick I'm going to use even on cold days: a very, very light dusting of flour on the dough balls. 

Just flatten the dough ball a bit, flour lightly, brush away the excess, proceed with stamping (step 5 below), and there you go, no sticking! Worked well with my stainless steel 1/4-cup measuring cup I used to make unstamped cookies.

Here are my Stamped Shortbread Cookies. Sooo good with tea. Tell me, are you a dunker or a non-dunker?

PS Don't strain your eyes! The cookie in the middle in both photos is not stamped, just flattened with a flat-bottomed stainless steel measuring cup about 2 inches in diameter.

PPS If you're a chewy cookie fan, you might like my Molasses Ginger Cookies.

Ginger Snaps - Ginger Nuts or Ginger Biscuits - Stamped or Not / www.delightfulrepast.com

Ginger Snaps - Ginger Nuts or Ginger Biscuits

(Makes about 20 2-inch cookies)

1 1/4 dip-and-sweep cup (6.25 ounces/177 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1 stick (4 ounces/113 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup (1.75 ounces/50 grams) sugar
2 tablespoons unsulphured molasses

1 In small bowl, whisk together flour, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice.

2 In 1.5-quart mixing bowl, by hand or with electric hand mixer on lowest speed, cream the butter and sugar just until smooth, mixing in the molasses toward the end.

3 Add flour mixture and mix well without beating a lot of air into it. If mixture is too dry to form a dough, mix in a teaspoon of water. Wrap dough in plastic wrap, forming a 4-inch disk; refrigerate for 20 to 30 minutes. If you overchill the dough, it will be difficult to work with.

4 Using a measuring tablespoon, measure out level tablespoons of dough onto parchment-lined baking sheet. Roll the scoops into smooth balls. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for 15 minutes or so. This will make them easy to stamp, and the design will be very sharp. But if you overchill the dough balls, they will be difficult to stamp.

5 To stamp, with dough ball in the center of the stamp, press the stamp evenly till the dough reaches the edge of the stamp. Gently lift the stamp away. Repeat. My technique is to lift the stamp with the dough attached and gently peel away at the edge. This works very well with the chilled dough. If you find the dough balls getting too warm before you’re finished stamping, put the baking sheet back in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.

6 Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour. About 15 minutes before you’d like to bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 325F/165C/Gas3.

7 Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until quite firm and edges are starting to brown. Cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes. Then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.


05 July 2018

Tomatillo Salsa Verde - For Streamlined Cooking

Tomatillo Salsa Verde - For Streamlined Cooking / www.delightfulrepast.com

My Tomatillo Salsa Verde might be a little different from those meant to be used as a salsa. I developed this formulation to be used in my recipes. It’s such a timesaver having jars of this in the freezer for days when I’m craving Chili Verde, for example, but don’t have the time or energy to make it the regular way.

As you might recall, I was crestfallen when Muir Glen discontinued their jarred crushed organic tomatillos that were such a timesaver. So my initial idea was to make my own and freeze it in jars. Then I thought how convenient it would be to have all the ingredients except the pork and the cilantro garnish made ahead.

So, working off my Chili Verde recipe, I came up with this recipe that makes just the right amount for two batches of Chili Verde. I divide it between two wide-mouth quart jars and pop them in the freezer, or use one now and freeze one.

Some of my favorite recipes can be quite time consuming, and I'm actually in the process of streamlining some of them so that we can enjoy them more often. So if that sounds good to you, be sure to follow me and stay tuned!

Tomatillo Salsa Verde - For Streamlined Cooking (this photo - the raw ingredients in a saucepan) / www.delightfulrepast.com

Tomatillo Salsa Verde

(Makes a little more than 6 cups)

2 pounds tomatillos, husked and quartered
1 medium (about 12 ounces/340 grams) yellow onion, cut into 1-inch chunks
1 27-ounce can whole mild green chiles
1 4-inch jalapeno pepper, halved lengthwise, seeds and ribs removed, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon oregano
1 cup (8 fluid ounces/237 ml) water
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1 In 3- to 3.5-quart saucepan, bring all ingredients to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes or until tomatillos are tender and starting to fall apart. Let cool for 15 minutes.

2 Using an immersion blender, blend mixture until it reaches desired texture. If you don’t have an immersion blender, let it cool more and then transfer to a blender or food processor.

3 Refrigerate, if using within a few days. To freeze, put in wide-mouth quart jars or other glass freezer containers. When ready to use frozen salsa, transfer from freezer to refrigerator about 24 hours before.

Canning Jar Info: Sometimes I use four pint jars rather than two quart jars. A wide-mouth pint jar is freezer safe, but a pint jar does not hold a pint of food. The pint (2 cups or 16 fluid ounces) is the to-the-brim measure. The fill line for freezing is just a bit above the 12-ounce line, so you can put just a bit over 1.5 cups of food to be frozen.

Tomatillo Salsa Verde - For Streamlined Cooking / www.delightfulrepast.com
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