Spiced Carrot Salad with Garlicky croutons


 Seattle has been blessed with some gorgeous weather lately, but the rain and clouds are back and to be honest, I'm pretty happy about it. I really love the sun, but I also appreciate/need those cloudy days. These past few weeks John and I have been trying to make some positive changes to our eating habits, which means we have made it a point to eat as many veggies as we can, and as of late our go to meal have been salads. I love filling my salads with various textures, and flavors, like this spiced carrot salad with a charred orange vinaigrette that is up on La Crema's blog right now.

This salad has a lot of going on in it, but with each bite you get the most pleasing of flavor combinations. There is a bit of heat from the carrots, sweetness from the strawberries, a brightness from the dressing, and the most welcome crunch from some homemade garlicky croutons. This is definitely one of those salads that will leave you satisfied, which is kind of my goal whenever I make a salad.

If you haven't made croutons before, now is the time. They are super simple to make, and their presences in this salad makes all the difference. When I make croutons I prefer using some type of artisan bread, but you can really use any type of bread you like. For this recipe I used a Peasant Levain loaf from Grand Central Bakery, which is my absolutely favorite local loaf of bread to buy. It's beautiful to look at, and it has notes of sourdough in it which adds even more flavor to this salad. 

If you do end up making this salad I do suggest pairing it with the ever-so crisp Monterey 2014 Pinot Gris, from La Crema. It's notes of citrus and spice make it the perfect wine to sip on while enjoying this salad.

Thank you for supporting the brands that support The Broken Bread. This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.


Garlicky Croutons

2 cups cubed artisan bread, 1/2 inch cubes or so

1 clove garlic

2 tablespoons olive oil

kosher salt, to tase

Equipment: Small bowl, baking sheet, microplane zester


Carefully grate the clove of garlic with a microplane zester and add to a small bowl along with the olive oil, whisking together to combine.

Drizzle a bit of olive oil over the baking sheet. Place cubed bread on top in an even layer and drizzle with the garlic olive oil, tossing with your hands to combine. 

Place in the oven for 8-10 minutes, or until crisp, making sure to stir the bread halfway through cooking time to get an even crisp. 

Remove the croutons from the oven and let cool before using.  

 

 

Coconut-Rhubarb bread pudding


I have a weird relationship with bread pudding. This is one of those desserts that I love, but I never order it if it's on the menu. I've had mostly experiences with bread pudding when I was younger, and I have opted to stay away ever since. I really do love bread pudding, but from what I can remember each time I've ordered it all I was served was a soggy pile of mush that used to look like bread. The idea of making bread pudding hadn't crossed my mind for a while, but the other week I had some bread that was getting stale, and it hit me; I needed to make bread pudding.  

This bread pudding is a little different than most. It's filled with fresh rhubarb and baked in a coconut milk custard; sounds delicious right? I actually found some rhubarb growing in my backyard, so that's what inspired me to put it in this recipe. Don't worry if you don't have rhubarb, or don't like it, because you can still make this recipe. I made a version of this pudding with chopped strawberries, and it tastes just as delicious! So at least you have another fruit option.

This bread pudding is lightly crisp on top and has a fantastic custardy bottom. I know a lot of people enjoy topping their bread pudding off with a warm sauce, like a creme anglaise, but I opted for good old fashioned whipped cream. John and I ate this bread pudding while it was still pretty warm, so the whipped cream melted into the pudding and basically became a sauce itself, which totally worked for us! I did have every intention of making a coconut whipped cream, but I ran out of coconut milk, so whipped cream it was.

*As a parting tip, don't skip poaching the rhubarb in the recipe. If you do, you'll end up with really firm, sour bits of rhubarb, which is no good, I promise you.

Thank you to Falcon Enamelware for these lovely prep set bowls. Not only are they beautiful, but they are also really durable and stackable which is a huge plus in my kitchen since I'm running out of room.


Coconut Rhubarb bread pudding

2 heaping cups sliced rhubarb, about 1/4 inch thick

1/3 cup plus 6 tablespoons brown sugar, divided

2 1/4 cups coconut milk

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, more for greasing

pinch salt

2 large eggs, plus 1 yolk beaten

1 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup flaked coconut, plus more for garnishing

6 cups cubed egg bread like challah or brioche, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces

powdered sugar, for dusting

whipped cream, for serving 

Equipment: 1 small skillet (I used an 8.5 inch), 1 saucepan, whisk, 5-6 cup baking dish  


Method

In a small skillet add the chopped rhubarb, along with 6 tablespoons brown sugar and 1/2 cup water, or enough water to cover the rhubarb. Bring the rhubarb to a simmer over medium heat, adjusting heat as necessary. Let rhubarb simmer for 4-5 minutes until tender, but not falling apart. Gently strain the rhubarb and set aside.

In another small saucepan set over low heat, warm the milk, butter, salt, and remaining sugar. Continue warming the milk just until butter melts. Remove saucepan from heat and set aside.

Butter a 4-to-6-cup baking dish and fill half of it with the cubed bread, then gently scatter half of the rhubarb over the top. Repeat this process one more time.

Whisk the eggs, vanilla, and shredded coconut into the milk mixture until combined. Pour the milk mixture over the bread, making sure to everything get soaked. 

Let the bread pudding rest at room temperature for about 30 minutes. After 15 minutes of resting, pre-heat the oven to 350° F. Before baking, sprinkle a some extra flakes over the top, then place the baking dish in the oven and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until custard is set, and the edges of the bread have browned. Serve warm or at room temperature with a dusting of powdered sugar and dollop of whipped cream.

 

Roasted strawberry-rhubarb spring cake


Who doesn't love a homemade cake? When I was a little, my version of a homemade cake was the ever-so classic funfetti. For a few years those funfetti cakes made their appearance at almost every family celebration or holiday; I basically made a that cake whenever I could. I still (secretly) love making that cake, but I haven't made it in a while. As I have gotten older I have found such joy in making a cake from scratch. I admit this can sometime be quite a lengthy endeavor, but I find that making a cake can from scratch is a such a relaxing process for me. I open all the windows in my kitchen, turn on my music (sometimes guilty pleasure music), organize all my ingredients, and dive right in. I like to zone out, get lost in the process, you know? In my day-to-day life I deal with stress, anxiety, bills, and all that other fun grown up stuff. But, oh, when I'm making a cake, that's all I am doing, I'm just making a cake, and nothing else. I shut out the world and everything that is bothering me and I focus on the here and now.

I saw this cake a while back, and I have been wanting to make it ever since. It only took a quick glance at the ingredients to know that this cake was going to be amazing. I had to make a few changes to this cake since my husband is allergic to almonds. I love almonds, but I would have felt so guilty if I had made a cake my husband couldn't eat. Maybe I'll make a mini almond version for myself sometime soon.

In an attempt to make this cake truly spring worthy, I filled the first two layers with roasted rhubarb and strawberries, which was a very, very good decision. Each bite of this cake is incredibly flavorful, with little bursts of tartness from all that roasted goodness. Like I said, funfetti cakes will always hold a sweet spot in my heart, but nothing will ever compare to the joy I have when I get to spend a day baking a cake that tastes as good as this one. 

 

 


Roasted Rhubarb & Strawberries

2 cups sliced rhubarb, 1/2 inch pieces

1 1/2 cup hulled and quartered strawberries

3 tablespoons melted coconut oil

1/4 teaspoon course salt

3 tablespoons brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon rose water (optional)

Equipment: Small bowl, whisk, parchment paper, spatula, baking sheet or other baking dish

Pre-heat oven to 375 F°(190 C°).  Add strawberries and rhubarb to a medium bowl; set aside. Whisk together the coconut oil, sugar, salt,  and rose water( if using), and pour over the prepared fruist. Use your hands or a spatula to evenly coat all of the strawberries.

Pour the strawberries and rhubarb onto a baking sheet that has been lined with parchment paper, and place in the oven. Roast for 35-45 minutes, or until the strawberries ann rhubarb are soft and their juices begin to thicken. Once removed from oven, and set aside to cool.


For the cake

adapted slightly from Adventures in cooking

2 1/2 cups white flour

1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoon spelt flour

3 teaspoons baking powder

1 1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened

2 1/2 cups plus 1 tablespoon sugar

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

3 tablespoons orange zest

2 egg whites

3 whole eggs

1/2 cup orange juice (fresh squeezed if possible)

1 1/2 cups full fat plain yogurt

powdered sugar, optional garnish

Equipment: Standing, or handheld mixer, three 8 inch cake pans, microplane zester, cooling rack


Method

Turn the oven down to 350°F. Lightly grease and flour thee 8-inch cake pans; set aside.

In a large bowl whisk together both flours, baking powder and salt, and set aside.

In the bowl of a standing mixer (handheld mixer works too) and the butter, sugar, and coconut oil, and beat on medium low speed until the mixture becomes smooth. The original recipe suggested about 2-3 minutes, which worked for me. Add in the vanilla extract, orange zest, eggs and egg whites, and mix until incorporated. Now, add the orange juice, mixing until the batter becomes smooth.

In three separate additions, add the flour mixture to the mixing bowl, alternating with the plain yogurt, beginning and ending with the flour. Once the last addition of flour has been added, allow the batter to mix until it just comes together. Do not over mix the batter at this point.

Divide the batter evenly between the three prepared cake pans and place in the over for 35-40 minutes, or until the a tester inserted into the center of the cakes come out clean. Once fully baked, remove the pans from the oven and allow to cool for 10-15 minutes, then remove from pan and allow to cool completely on a cooling rack.


Cream cheese frosting

12 oz cream cheese, room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 tablespoons softened butter, room temperature

2 cups powdered sugar, or more if a sweeter frosting is desired.

equipment: Standing or handheld electric mixer


Method

In the bowl of a standing mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter until smooth, about 1 minute.

Add vanilla extract, beating to combine. Turn of mixer and add the powdered sugar and mix on low until combined. Once all of the powdered sugar has been added set mixer to high and beat until the frosting is light and fluffy 1-2 minutes.


Assembly

Once cake has cooled, place 1 cake, domed side down, and spread about half of the frosting over the top. Scatter about half of the roasted rhubarb and strawberries over the frosting. Repeat this process on more time, using the remaining frosting and fruit. Place last cake, dome side face up, top with a bit of powdered sugar and garnish with flowers if desired. 

Spring Grain bowl


The weather in Seattle lately has been absolutely gorgeous! We actually even had one day get as warm as 80°, which for Seattle is pretty crazy, especially since it's only April. Since weather like doesn't happen too often, John and I made sure to take full advantage of the shining sun and spent as much of our day outside as we possible could. We sipped on homemade strawberry soda, worked on our tans, and for lunch we got to enjoy this delicious grain bowl. 

I had my first grain bowl a while back at this cute bistro in New York, and I have been making them at home ever since. This grain bowl is filled with many refreshing and satisfying vegetables, but it's the farro that really makes it a memorable meal. Making one of these at home is really easy, so make sure to head over to La Cream's blog to get the recipe for my favorite version.

For this particular grain bowl I made a tangy mustard & garlic vinaigrette, which delicately unites all the interesting flavors. This dish also pairs quite well with a glass of La Crema's Wilamette pinot noir, which John and I thoroughly enjoyed. I am actually hoping we get another week of sun sooner than later so we can relish in this all over again.

Thank you for supporting the brands that support The Broken Bread. This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.


Tangy garlic vinaigrette

Makes enough for 2 grain bowls

1 teaspoon dijion mustard

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

1 teaspoon honey, or more to taste

1 garlic clove, minced

1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons good quality olive oil

salt & pepper, to taste


Method

In a medium bowl whisk together the mustard, vinegar, honey, and minced garlic. 

While whisking continually, pour in the olive oil until fully combined. Season dressing with salt and pepper to taste.

Dip a piece of kale into the dressing to taste, adjusting flavors as needed.

Pour the dressing into an airtight container.

 

A late-lunch with La Crema


Photo by Ozzie Uygur

Photo by Ozzie Uygur

Photo by Ozzie Uygur

Photo by Ozzie Uygur

There is something quite special about hosting a dinner party, almost magical I would say. The notion of getting a group of people together simply for the purpose of enjoying each other’s company is something I value at its core. Great food, fantastic wine, and a table filled with friends both old and new, is all that was needed for a recent late lunch that I co-hosted with my friends Megan Flynn Peterson and Annie Reeves. I was lucky enough to meet these lovely ladies at a conference that we all attended a few months ago, and since then I have felt very fortunate to be able to call them friends. Having the opportunity to host an event with these ladies was such a wonderful experience. And even though we live in different states, we were able to team up with La Crema, and come together to create an event that we will never forget.

Photo by Ozzie Uygur

Photo by Ozzie Uygur

Photo by Ozzie Uygur

Photo by Ozzie Uygur

From the moment we started planning this event to the second I hugged our last guest goodbye, my heart had been overflowing with feelings of excitement, joy, and thankfulness. This lunch that we held was more than just a group of people getting together, it was a gathering of seemingly kindred spirits. Sharing a meal with these ladies felt like a true celebration of community, food, creativity, and delicious wine.

Photo by Ozzie Uygur

Photo by Ozzie Uygur

Photo by Ozzie Uygur

Photo by Ozzie Uygur

Annie, Megan, and I were lucky enough to host our event in Cannelle Vanille's incredibly beautiful studio. Her space was bright and spacious, which set the perfect mood for our gathering. Just hours before our guests arrived, the clouds parted and that gorgeous Seattle sun came out, bringing even more life into the room. Our table setting was simple, but oh so beautiful! We have so many people to thank for making this event what it was. Minted not only provided us with invitations to send out, but they also printed the cutest menus and name cards for our guests. Hayneedle provided us with the loveliest plates to serve our meal on. They also were also kind enough to provide us with a gorgeous cheese board and some knives to help us with our food preparation. Our wine glasses and silverware came from Vintage Ambiance, a local business that rents out the dreamiest vintage pieces. They were the perfect addition to our tablescape, plus the glasses really made the color of the wine stand out. 

Photo by Ozzie Uygur

Photo by Ozzie Uygur

Since our event took place in Seattle, we prepared a menu that celebrated what this city has to offer. For each course we served, we presented a specially curated type of La Crema wine. To begin, we paired La Crema’s Russian River Valley Pinot Noir Rosé with our charcuterie and cheese board. We offered a selection of delicious cheeses, all of which were hand picked by Annie and Megan. We wanted to make sure our guests had a little time to chat before our meal began, and I couldn't think of a better way to do that than with some delicious snacks and a glass of Rosé in hand.

Photo by Ozzie Uygur

Photo by Ozzie Uygur

Once everyone was seated, we transitioned into our first course, which was a roasted cauliflower and leek soup that we paired with La Crema's crisp Sonoma Coast Chardonnay. This soup was not only fragrant and flavorful, but also incredibly smooth; which was only made possible because of this powerful blender that Wolf Gourmet sent us. As our guests continued to enjoy the delicious chardonnay, we brought out our second course: a plate of mixed greens that we tossed with shaved fennel, radishes, and a light dressing of olive oil, lemon juice, and salt.

Photo by Ozzie Uygur

Photo by Ozzie Uygur

Photo by Ozzie Uygur

Photo by Ozzie Uygur

Photo by Ozzie Uygur

Photo by Ozzie Uygur

For our main course, we served wild-caught salmon with a honey-mustard glaze and a veggies slaw. For this course we served La Crema's Willamette Pinot Noir, which paired perfectly with the flavors in this dish. We were very fortunate to have our salmon supplied by Drifters Fish. This husband and wife team caught the wild salmon we served themselves, which made this meal all the more special.

Photo by Ozzie Uygur

Photo by Ozzie Uygur

Photo by Ozzie Uygur

Photo by Ozzie Uygur

Last, but not least, we served La Crema's Late Harvest Gewürtztraminer along with our dessert which was a strawberry and rhubarb galette with orange blossom and vanilla bean ice cream. Needless to say, this galette was a hit!

Photo by Ozzie Uygur

Photo by Ozzie Uygur

Photo by Ozzie Uygur

Photo by Ozzie Uygur

Co-hosting this event reminded me about the power of food and community. I know that cooking is a means for me to express my love for others, and having the opportunity to show our guests how much we cared about them through the food we prepared was a such a joy for me. So whether you are going to be hosting a party of your own, or just a gathering for two, remember to soak up every minute because it’s moments like these which create memories that will last a lifetime. Cheers!

Thank you to La Crema for sponsoring this incredible event and blog post! All opinions in this post are my own. Be sure to head over to La Crema's blog to read more about how we prepared for this event.

Thank you to our other sponsors: Le Creuset, Kristas Baking Co., and Mustard & Co.


Strawberry-Rhubarb Galette

Inspired by Cannelle et Vanille & The Faux Martha

 

For the dough recipe click here.

For the filling

1 1/2 cups quartered strawberries

2 cups sliced rhubarb

1/4 cup evaporated cane sugar

1 tablespoons flour

1 lemon

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 egg + 1 tbs water whisked, for egg wash

turbinado sugar

1/4 cup chopped toasted pistachios, for garnish

Equipment: Parchment paper, baking sheet, large bowl, microplane zester, pastry brush


Method

Pre-heat oven to 375°F. 

In a large bowl, add the strawberries, rhubarb, sugar, flour, salt, and zest of 1/2 a lemon, and toss to combined. Set aside.

Place the rolled out dough round onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Place the fruit filling the center of the dough round. Spread filling out a bit, but make sure to leave a 2-inch border.

Fold the outer edges of the dough over the fruit, in an overlapping manner around the entire round.

Brush the outer crust with the remaining the egg wash and sprinkle with turbinado sugar.

Place the galette in the oven for 35-40 min, or until the crust is brown, and the fruit is bubbling.

Garnish with the chopped pistachios and serve immediately.

 

 

 

Strawberry-Vanilla Dutch Baby with Honeyed Ricotta& a giveaway


Breakfast is one of those meals that I often get really lazy about. I have a running list of go-to meals that I often prepare, but odds are I'm short on time and I usually end up running out the door with a piece of fruit, or some type of baked treat. But, oh, once that weekend comes around, you'll find me in the kitchen, still in my jams, brewing a pot of coffee and making the fanciest breakfast I can think of. The weekend is when I like to take my time making my breakfast, and this dutch baby is proof of that. 

For this recipe I used my new 11.5'' skillet from Wolf Gourmet, which turned out to be the perfect vessel for this dreamy dutch baby that I made. This recipe was actually inspired by Vanilla and BeanReclaiming Provincial, and Half baked harvest. Each of these ladies have created some killer looking dutch babies, which compelled me to make one myself. This dutch baby is stuffed with sweet strawberries, and has hints of vanilla, and freshly grated orange zest. I ended up topping this breakfast dish off with some honey sweetened ricotta too, which was a really good decision, thanks for the idea Tieghan! This recipe has my latest breakfast obsession, and hopefully it will be yours too.

I was recently gifted a beautiful 10 piece cookware set from Wolf Gourmet. This set is absolutely beautiful, and each pan cooks like a dream. Each pan has a 7-ply construction to it, which means you get a really even cook, plus these pans are oven safe! Honestly, I have had purchased a few pan sets over the years, and this one by Wolf Gourmet is hands down the best one I have owned. Be sure to head over to Bloomingdale's to get a closer look at the whole set. Since I love these pans so much, I'm excited to announce that I will be giving away a pan  of your choice from this cookware set to a lucky reader.

To enter the giveaway simply check out the set here and let me know which piece of the cookware set you would like, and what you would make with it. I will be choosing a winner at random on Monday, April 10th, 12:00 PST. Winner will be notified via email. Giveaway is for US residents only, and you must be over 18 to enter.  

Good luck!


 

Strawberry-Vanilla dutch baby with honeyed ricotta

I referenced & adapted this recipe from Vanilla and Bean, Reclaiming Provincial, & Half Baked Harvest.

3 large eggs, at room temperature

3/4 cup whole milk, at room temperature

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons dark brown sugar

1 1/4 teaspoon vanilla pure vanilla extract

1/2 a vanilla bean, seeds removed

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

zest of 1 orange, divided

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/3 cup quartered strawberries

3-4 strawberries, optional garnish

powdered sugar, for dusting

1-2 lemons, sliced into wedges for serving

 

Honeyed Ricotta

1/4 cup fresh ricotta cheese

honey, to taste

remaining orange zest

Equipment: 10''-12'' skillet, blender or food processor, microplane zester


method

Preheat the oven to 425°F (218°C). Place a 10"-12’’ skillet on the center rack to warm up while the oven is heating up.

Add the eggs, milk, flour, sugar, vanilla extract, vanilla bean seeds, and salt to a food processor or blender, and blend for 1-2 minutes. The mixture should be smooth (no lumps) and will be pale in color. Add in the zest of half an orange, and pulse your blender or processor just a few times to combine. 

Carefully remove the pan from the oven and place the butter in the pan. As the butter melts, swirl the pan a bit, and tilt the pan to coast the sides of the pan. Once the butter has melted, pour the batter into the pan and scatter the 1/3 cup of strawberries over the top of the batter.

Carefully place the pan back in the oven, and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the edges have risen and the dutch baby has puffed, and is golden in color.

While the dutch baby is cooking, add the ricotta cheese to a small bowl along with the remaining orange zest. Mix in honey to taste; set aside.

Remove the pan from the oven, and garnish with a few dollops of ricotta cheese, halved strawberries, and powdered sugar. Serve each slice with a lemon wedge.

This post was created in partnership with Wolf gourmet. All opinion are my own.

Vanilla bean & Rose Water Mini Bundts


Oh Spring, I've been waiting for you! I wanted to bake something special for the arrival of this new season, so I decided to make a batch of these super cute mini bundt cakes. These cakes are moist, fragrant, and, in my opinion, quite beautiful to behold! 

I love how the flavors in these cakes come together in a way that seems familiar, but also exciting and new.  I don't use rose water very often, but I love bringing it out whenever a recipe's flavor profile calls for its compliment. That's one thing I love about baking: sometimes the smallest flavor change can make a recipe feel totally new. In this case, I just took a simple vanilla cake, added a few extra flavors, and quickly ended up with- something fresh and enticing!

I was recently given a copy of Sweet & Vicious by Libbie Summers, whose book is not only hilarious, but it also encourages the reader to explore and expand their comfort levels with baking (something of which I am a huge fan). Libbie's book is filled with wonderful tips and advice on how to be fearless in the kitchen; but most importantly she wants baking to be creative and fun for everyone. I have really enjoyed this book, and I am happy to announce that I'm giving away of copy of it! In addition, I'm giving away a copy of my new book On Toast, which features 100 seasonal recipes to inspire you next time you want a slice of toast. Head to my instagram now to enter for a chance to win these two books! Contest ends on Thursday, March 24th.


Vanilla Bean & Rose Water Mini Budnts

Adapted from Libbie's Sweet & Vicious 

1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons milk

1 vanilla bean pod, seed removed

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temp, plus more for greasing

zest of one lemon

1/4 teaspoon rose water

3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar

1 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons cake flour

1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

3 large egg whites, at room temperature

chopped pistachios & dried rose petals, for garnish

Equipment: standing mixer, 6 cup mini bundt pan, micro plane zester


METHOD

In a small saucepan over medium heat, pour in the milk and add the vanilla bean seeds and pod. Allow the mixture to come up to a simmer, then remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter mini bundt pan; set aside.

In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Set mixer to a low speed  for a few seconds (to mix the flour) then and the butter, milk mixture, and lemon zest, and beat on low speed until combined. Increase the speed to medium and mix for 1 minute.

Add 2 egg whites and beat on medium speed for 30 seconds. Scrap down the sides of the bowl (if needed), then add the rose water, and remaining egg white and beat for another 30 seconds.

Pour about 1/2 cup batter in each mold. There might be a little batter left over, which you can bake off later if you like. Place bundt pan in the oven and bake for 16-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.

Allow bunds to cool before removing from pan, then drizzle with glaze and garnish to liking.


Simple Glaze

3 tablespoons milk

1 1/4 cup powdered sugar

Sift powdered sugar into a small bowl, then add in the milk and combine with a fork, or whisk. Add a bit more powdered sugar if you prefer a thicker glaze.

 

 

 

Herbed-Crusted Cod & Pea Purée


There are so many things in life that I love to eat and fresh fish is at the top of my list. Living in Seattle pretty much means that I can get my hands on some of the freshest fish available. If I have some time spare, I'll sometimes drive down to pike place market, grab some fresh fillets, flowers, and make a little afternoon out of it, but if I'm short on time, the fish from my local market will do just fine.

IMG_7477.png

I have been on a cod kick lately, and I wanted to make a recipe that was easy to put together, but tastes like it takes hours to make. Since cod is such a mellow tasting fish, I wanted to jazz it up with a lovely white wine and butter sauce, and a burst of color from the pea puree. Plus, using wine in this dish means you get to sip on a glass while you cook, which is never a bad thing. 

You can find the recipe for my pea purée below, but if you want to get the recipe for this delicious herbed crusted cod, then head over to La Crema's blog now.


Ingredients

2 cup frozen peas
1 tablespoon salted butter
1 small shallot, roughly chopped
1 glove garlic
4 tablespoon heavy cream
6 basil leaves
4 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste

Equipment: Small pot, microplane zester


Method

Place peas in a pot of lightly salted boiling water and cook for 3-4 minutes, or until tender. Drain the peas, reserving a bit of of water, and add them to a food processor or blender.

In a small skillet, melt one tablespoon butter over medium heat. Add the shallot and cook until tender. Add the garlic to the skillet and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds or so. Remove pan from heat and add the shallots and the garlic to the peas, followed by the cream, basil leaves, parmesan cheese, lemon juice, and adding salt and pepper to taste

Purée the peas until smooth, adding a little of the water from the cooked peas the texture seems too thick. Spoon purée back into the small skillet and cover to keep warm.

Click here to get the rest of the recipe!

Thank you for supporting the brands that support The Broken Bread. This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.

Chicken & Chipotle Tortilla Soup + a Le Creuset giveaway


I believe that a bowl of soup can fix a multitude of problems, and although it might seem a bit excessive, I must say that I am constantly amazed by the healing power of food. I could be sick, in a bad mood, or wanting something comforting, and a bowl of soup can quite often be just what I need. When I was younger my mom would often make my sister and I fideo, which is a very popular Mexican noodle soup. Surprisingly enough, this soup was also something my grandmother would make for my mom when she was little, so a bowl of this really connects us all to each other in some beautiful way. My mom would serve it to me with a dollop of mayonnaise on top (no judgement) just like her mom would, and years later I couldn't imagine eating it any other way. As much as I wanted to make this for dinner, I was craving something a bit heartier, so I was drawn to another childhood favorite of mine: chicken tortilla soup. As I was making this soup I thought about how I wanted it to be a form of comfort for John and I, just like my mom's soup was for me. 

This soup can be made in a variety of ways, but the method I have for you is one of the most flavorful for this soup. In an effort to make it a little heartier than usual, I went ahead and added garbanzo beans and a little bit of corn flour to thicken up the broth (thanks Pioneer Woman for the tip!). I also wanted this soup to have a little smokey-yet-spicy kick to it, so adding a chipotle chile into the mix was a no-brainer. If you're not a big fan of spicy things, I would suggest using a smaller sized chili from the can, only adding the extra chipotle sauce to taste at the end. This way, you are guaranteed not to end up with a soup too spicy for your taste. Lastly, I wanted to mentioned that I had a lovely rotisserie chicken on hand which I used for this recipe; if that's not an option for you, no problem.  Just grab about 1-11/2 pounds of chicken breasts at the store, cook and shred them, then add to the soup.

I have to admit, I was especially excited to make this soup because the lovely people at Le Creuset sent me one of their incredible dutch ovens, which in my mind was the perfect vessel in which to craft my soup. Since I love my dutch oven so much, the lovely people at Le Creuset are giving me a 3-quart oval dutch oven to give to YOU! That's right! I'm hosting a giveaway. 

I hope this soup is the perfect answer to those rumbly tummies that are caving a bowl of pure comfort. Enjoy!

It's super easy to enter: simply leave a comment below and tell me what you would make in your new Le Creuset dutch oven. Extra entries are given to those who follow each of these social media accounts, IG:@LeCreuset & @Thebrokenbread. No purchase necessary, giveaway open to US residents only. Giveaway ends on February, 15th at 11:59 pm PST where the winner will be selected by raffelcopter at random. Must comment to win.

 

 


Chicken & Chipotle Tortilla Soup 

Serves 6

1 chipotle chile, plus 1 tablespoon sauce from can

1 (15-oz.) can diced tomatoes

2 tablespoons canola oil

3 gloves garlic, peeled

1 medium white onion, roughly chopped

1/4 teaspoon ground coriander

6 cups chicken stock

2 cups hot water, divided

2 tablespoons cornmeal

2 cilantro sprigs 

3 cups (12 oz) shredded chicken

3/4 cup cooked corn

1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed

kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

To Garnish

queso fresco

1-2 avocados, diced

cilantro

3-4 radishes, thinly sliced

crema or sour cream

6 lime wedges

tortilla chips 

Equipment: Large pot, blender


Method

Place chipotle pepper in a blender or food processor along with the tomatoes. And blend until smooth.

Heat oil in saucepan and cook garlic and onion until golden, 8-10 minutes. During the last minute add the coriander, then using a slotted spoon, transfer garlic and onion to the blender/food processor, and purée until smooth.

Pour tomato mixture into saucepan and cook over medium-high until thick, 8-10 minutes, then add the chicken stock and 1 1/2 cups water. With the remaining half cup of water, whisk in 2 tablespoons of cornmeal into the water and add to the pot. Stir the soup a few times, then add the shredded chicken, corn, garbanzo beans, and 2 sprigs of cilantro. Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes.

Divide the soup between 6 bowls and garnish each with desired garnishes listed above.

Enjoy!

 

 

Lemon & Crème fraîche Tart


Last week I had the incredible privilege to attend and speak on a panel at this years Alt Summit Conference in Salt Lake City. This event was amazing. I was not only encouraged and informed, but was also lucky enough to meet a group of girls that I feel quite fortunate to call friends. I must say, being surrounded by so many other talented bloggers was a truly unique and delightful experience.

It might not be that obvious, but I am totally obsessed with citrus fruits right now. When I was at the store last week I snagged a bag of Meyer lemons and I instantly knew what I wanted to make. The lemon tart, or tarte au citron, is a dessert that I don't often eat, but if one gets within 20 feet of me, I'm having a slice. There are a 2 different ways to approach a tart like this: some recipes have you whisk everything together and bake the tart in the oven, while others have you make the lemon curd on the stove top and pour it into your prepared crust of choice. I decided to take the second approach because I really wanted to add those magical crème fraîche swirls on top and, to do that, the curd needs to be cooked. 

This particular tart, in my opinion, has a really lovely balance between sweet and tart, with a little kick of spiciness from the gingersnap crust. If you prefer a slightly sweeter tart, simply add an extra 2-3 tablespoons of sugar. I'm especially in love with this recipe because of the addition of Vermont creameries' vanilla bean crème fraîche. It adds such a lovely creaminess to the tart, with a welcoming hint of vanilla. As you may have noticed, the swirls I added on top of this tart are a bit pink. I had roasted a batch of beets earlier in the day and I used a bit of their juice to naturally color my swirls. Fresh beet juice would work too, but if you don't have any beets, just omit that ingredient all together because the swirls will still look beautiful, I promise.  


Meyer lemon & Crème fraîche tart

Serves 8-12

Gingersnap Crust

2 1/2 Cups roughly grounded Gingersnap cookies, about 43, 2-inch cookies

4-6 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, Melted

3/4 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

Equipment: Food processor, 9.5 x 1 inch Tart pan with removable bottom, baking sheet


Method

Preheat oven to 350°F. In your food processor, coarsely grind the gingersnap cookies. Add the salt and 4 tablespoons of melted butter; process until moistened and clumps begin to form.

If the mixture seems a bit dry, gradually add an additional 1-2 tablespoons butter, processing in between, until the mixture is moist, but not overly greasy/moist.

Press crumb mixture firmly onto the bottom and up sides of the tart pan and place onto a baking sheet. Allow tart to bake for about 8 minutes, or until fragrant. If the crust puffs, or slides a sit, just use a spoon to push down, or back into place.

Remove tart from the oven and set aside to cool.


Lemon Curd Filling

1/2 Cup Crème fraîche, plus 3 tablespoons divided

3/4 cup Sugar (add 2-3 tbs if you prefer it sweeter)

1/2 Cup Fresh Meyer Lemon Juice

4 Large Eggs, plus 1 yolk

1 Tablespoon Meyer Lemon Zest

Pinch Salt

2 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, cut into small cubes

1-2 Tablespoons Beet Juice (optional)

Equipment: Saucepan, whisk, wooden spoon, fine mesh sieve, ice bath


Method

In a medium, non-reactive saucepan, whisk together the lemon juice, zest, crème fraîche, sugar, eggs, and yolk until smooth, then set over medium heat. Add the cubed butter, and a pinch of salt, and with a wooden spoon, continuously stir the mixture until it becomes thick, and has a pudding like texture. The curd should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.

Pour the warm curd through a fine mesh sieve and into a large bowl. Place this bowl into the prepared ice bath.

Allow curd to cool for 2-3 minutes. While curd is cooling mix the remaining 3 tablespoons of the vanilla bean creme fraîche with a few drops of beet juice. 

Pour the slightly cooled lemon curd into the tart, and using a small spoon, drop small dollops (about 3/4-1 tsp) all over the top of the tart. With a toothpick or a small pairing knife, create swirls by pulling the tip of the pick or knife through the dollops you just made. 

Lightly cover tart (don't let anything touch the curd) and allow to set in the refrigerator for about 2-3 hours. Remove from tart pan once ready to serve.

Enjoy!

Swirls inspired by the lovely Martha Stewart

Citrus revival Smoothie


Happy New Year everyone! I cannot believe it’s already 2016! This year absolutely flew by. I can’t tell you how many times I have made a list of new habits I would like to adopt each New Year, but lo and behold I usually abandon them quite quickly. I would typically start out strong for the first few days, then by the end of the second week I was back to my old habits. So this year I am taking a different approach and clinging tightly to the saying “everything in moderation.” After many failed attempts of trying to change habits cold turkey, I am instead making small changes consistently. One habit I am currently trying to break is that of skipping breakfast. Sometimes I only have a few minutes before I’m out the door, so I figured having a few smoothie recipes on hand like this one would help me change my ways. 

What I love about this smoothie is that it’s packed with so many vitamins, and that extra kick of ginger is just what I need in the morning. Plus, the vanilla cashew milk gives this drink a lovely creaminess that brings all the flavors together. The great thing about smoothies is that they are so flexible, and seriously only take a few minutes make. I usually toss in a bunch of stuff into my blender and adjust as I go. Make sure to blend your smoothie long enough, because the key to a great smoothie is to thoroughly blend the heck out of it. This will ensure a smooth and creamy glass of bliss.


Citrus Revival Smoothie

Inspired by Dolly & Oatmeal

Serves 1

1/2 Cup Unsweetened Vanilla Cashew milk

1 Blood Orange, peeled and seeds removed

1 Cara Cara Orange, peeled and seeds removed

1 Carrot, peeled and roughly chopped

1/2 Banana, frozen

1/4 Teaspoon Grated Ginger, or more to taste

1 Teaspoon Maple Syrup, or Honey, adding more to taste

1/4 Teaspoons Chia Seeds, plus extra for garnish

Equipment: Blender, microplane zester


Method

 

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth and creamy. Taste smoothie and add more grated ginger or sweetener to taste. Serve immediately and garnish with extra chia seeds. *Note: I like to grate my ginger first to make sure it gets properly blended. If you can't grate your ginger, add in a very small slice, blend, and add more to taste.

BRIOCHE DOUGHNUTS


Doughnuts are one of those desserts that I’ve loved ever since I was a little girl. There was this little hole-in-the-wall doughnut shop in the town where I grew up, and my dad would sometimes take me there before he dropped me off at school. I was a fan of the classic glazed twist, but sometimes I would venture out and try a maple bar, or my dad’s favorite, a huge jelly-filled doughnut. I still love doughnuts as much as I did when I was little, and that’s why I love making them at home. I made a batch of buttermilk doughnuts last year, but this year I wanted to make a batch of cream-filled brioche doughnuts.

I will admit, these buttery pillows of cream-filled goodness do take a bit of effort to put together, but oh, the pay off is totally worth it. Since they do take a few hours to make I made a recipe that includes an overnight rise, because if you are like me and want to eat a doughnut first thing in the morning, this is the way to go.

In this recipe you will find three options for fillings. The first is the most classic: a vanilla bean pastry cream. I wanted to experiment with other flavors, so I also included variations for a peanut butter filling and a white chocolate and orange filling that you will find below. I recommend making these filling the same night you make the dough, that way the filling has enough time to cool. There are so many options when it comes to filling these doughnuts, so get creative and fill them with a flavor you love. As you read the directions below, you may notice that I added a few extra tips that will help make your doughnut-baking endeavors a success.

If making doughnuts has been on you list, I hope you get to try this recipe, because they are SO good. And hey, since this recipe yields a large batch, go ahead and share them, I promise it will make anyone’s day.


BRIOCHE DOUGHNUTS

Yields about 16

3 Tablespoons Sugar, divided

1 Packet Active Dry Yeast

1 Cup Whole Milk, warmed to 110Fº-115Fº

2 Large Eggs, + 1 Egg Yolk

1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract

1/2 Teaspoon Lemon Zest

3 1/4 Cups Bread flour, plus a bit extra

6 Tablespoon Unsalted Butter, room temperature

Vegetable Oil- for frying

Bowl of sugar- About 1 Cup

Equipment: Standing mixer, whisk, 1 medium bowls, cooling rack, or plate, 3-inch biscuit cutter, slotted spoon, pastry bag fitted with small tip,


METHOD

In the bowl of a standing mixer add 1 tablespoon of the sugar along with the yeast. Pour in the warm milk and let mixture stand for about 5 minutes, or until the yeast starts to foam. Meanwhile, lightly grease a large bowl and set aside.

Once the yeast has foamed, whisk in the eggs, egg yolks, salt, vanilla, lemon zest, and remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar into the milk mixture. Then, with the dough hook attached add in 3 1/4 cups flour and begin to mix on medium speed until the dough comes together, and beat for 5 minutes. The dough should begin to pull away from the sides, and become smooth, elastic, and slightly sticky. If the dough seems too sticky to handle, add a few pinches of flour.

With the mixer on, add the 6 tablespoons of butter, 1 piece at a time. Be sure to let each piece of butter get fully incorporated, before adding the next. The butter takes a little time to get mixed in, so don’t worry if that doesn’t happen right away. Once all the butter has been added, keep mixing the dough for another 2 minutes or so, then remove the dough and place into the lightly greased bowl. Cover bowl with a clean kitchen towel and place in a warm, draft free place for about 1 hour, or until it doubles in volume.

Once the dough has doubled in size, punch it down to release the air, and fold it onto itself. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator overnight, or for up to 12 hours.

In the morning, remove the dough and allow it to rest for 10-15 minutes before using. On a lightly floured surface roll out the dough until it is about 1/2’’ thick. Use a 3-inch biscuit cutter to cut out your dough rounds. Re-roll scraps once, and cut out as many rounds as you can.

Place the doughnut rounds onto a tray lined with parchment paper and loosely cover with a kitchen towel. Let rise in s warm, draft free space until almost doubled in size, about 30 minutes or so. This time can very, so just keep a close eye.

Once the rounds have risen, fill a large dutch dutch oven with 3- 4 inches of vegetable oil, and slowly heat until the oil reaches 350F°. Its very important that you keep an eye on this temperature as it can fluctuate quite quickly which can burn your doughnuts. Keep the temperature between350F°-360F°. If the temperature gets too high, pour some more oil into the pot, this will help reduce the heat quickly.

Working in small batches, fry the dough rounds until golden, about 2 minutes on each side. Remove the doughnuts with a slotted spoon and place on cooling rack, or on a plate that has been lined with a paper towel. Let the doughnuts cool just for a minute or so, then gently roll in the bowl of sugar to coat; set aside.

To fill the doughnuts, using the handle of a fork, or some other kitchen tool, poke a small hole on the side of each doughnut. Don’t poke a hole all the way through, just far enough to create a space for all that delicious filling.

Transfer the vanilla custard to either a pastry bag fitted with a small tip, or you can also use a small zip lock bag. Simply cut off the tip of the bag, and use to fill each doughnut. Using the zip lock bag can be a little tricky, but if you don’t have a pastry bag, it will do the trick.

Serve these doughnuts the same day they are made, which I assure you won’t be a problem.


Vanilla Pastry Cream

Yields about 1 1/2 Cups

2 Cups Milk

1 Vanilla Bean

4 Large Egg Yolks

1/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons sugar

3 Tablespoons Cornstarch

3 Tablespoons Flour

Pinch of Kosher Salt

Equipment: saucepan, 2 medium bowls, whisk, spatula, and a fine mesh sieve

Add milk and vanilla bean to a saucepan and place on medium heat until it begins to simmer.

While the milk is warming up, lightly whisk the egg yolks and sugar in a medium bowl until smooth.

Sift the the flour, cornstarch, and a pinch of salt into the yolk mixture. Mix these ingredients together very well, use a spatula if you need to.

Once the milk begins to steam, pour in a small amount (like 1/3 of a cup) into the yolks and whisk well. Then, in a steady stream, pour the rest of your milk into the medium bowl, whisking while you pour.

Now you can split your vanilla bean and add the seed to the bowl with the milk mixture. Whisk this for a few seconds, then pour the entire mixture through a fine mesh sieve and back into the saucepan. While whisking constantly, continue cooking the pastry cream until it just begins to boil, continue whisking for another 30 seconds, then remove from heat.

Once thickened, transfer the pastry cream to another bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Press the plastic wrap against the cream, this will help prevent a skin from forming. Place in fridge and let cool completely before using, preferably overnight.


Variations

Peanut Butter filling

Follow the recipe for vanilla custard, but omit the vanilla bean. Once the cooked custard custard has been transferred to a bowl, whisk in 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter until smooth. Top each doughnut with a few chocolate chips as a garnish.

White Chocolate & Orange filling

Follow the recipe for vanilla custard. Once the cooked custard custard has been transferred to a bowl whisk in 3 oz chopped white chocolate and 2 teaspoon orange zest until smooth. *note: this filling is a little softer than the other two, so it will appear a littler runnier than the other two.

(Pastry cream adapted from Joy of Baking)

 

No-Churn Sweet Potato Ice Cream


It’s getting pretty cold outside, but no matter how cold it gets I’m always down for a few scoops of ice cream, especially if it’s homemade. There have been quite a few nights, well, way too many nights where John and I were craving ice cream. As much as I wanted to make a batch from scratch, I couldn’t muster up the energy to go through the lengthy process of making a custard base, and then churning it, and then getting it to the perfect temperature, and then…well, you get the idea. I promise, I absolutely love the process of making ice cream, but sometimes a shortcut can be quite handy, and so allow me to introduce you to this incredibly easy, no-fuss recipe for no-churn ice cream.

Why in the world haven’t I made this sooner? I’ve seen so many recipes over the years singing the praises of a simple ice cream that requires no machine and no eggs! Just the possibility of making something so delicious with little to no effort was music to my ears. The process is super simple, like it seriously only takes about 5-10 minutes to put together. Now this next part might be the hardest, but once everything is folded together you have to wait. I know, I hate waiting too, but hey it’s ice cream.

I was planning on making a batch of classic vanilla ice cream, but I wanted to use some ingredients I had on hand which oddly enough ended up being a ton of pureed sweet potato (thank you Thanksgiving). In addition to the puree I added a helping of walnuts and some marshmallows for good measure. After folding everything together, and letting it freeze over night, I ended up with one of the dreamiest, most season-appropriate ice creams I’ve had in a while. It reminded me of rocky road ice cream, but tastes just like a sweet potato casserole; that’s pretty much a win-win in my book.

If you aren’t a fan of sweet potato go ahead and sub some fresh pumpkin puree, or omit the puree and add some white chocolate chips and crushed candy canes. This recipe is super flexible, so go forth and experiment with some tasty winter spices and ingredients. I’m pretty sure I will be making an eggnog version of this in the near future, but for now I have a small tub of sweet potato ice cream I need to get through.


NO-CHURN SWEET POTATO ICE CREAM

*This recipe came together from looking at a ton of other online recipes, many of which had the same ratio of heavy cream to condensed milk.

2 Cups Heavy Whipping Cream

1, 14 oz Can Condensed Milk

3/4 Cup Sweet Potato Puree

1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract

1/2 Teaspoon Cinnamon

1/4 Teaspoon Cloves

1/2 Teaspoon Freshly Grated Nutmeg

2/3 Cup Chopped Walnuts

1 Cup Mini Marshmallows

Crushed Graham Crackers, optional garnish

equipment: medium bowl, whisk, standing mixer or another medium bowl, spatula, 1, 9x5'' loaf pan, plastic wrap


METHOD

In a medium bowl whisk the condensed milk, sweet potato puree, vanilla, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg together until smooth.

In the bowl of a standing mixer (or by hand with a whisk) whip heavy cream until medium peaks form. Fold potato mixture into the whipped cream, gently folding with a spatula. Once combined, add chopped walnuts, and marshmallows and fold a few times to incorporate.

Pour mixture either in a 9×5” loaf pan, or some other large container and cover tightly with plastic wrap making sure that 1 layer actually touches the ice cream this will help prevent crystallization. Wrap a second layer around the first and place ice cream in freezer until solid, about 6 hours, preferably overnight.

Remove ice cream from freezer about 15 minutes before serving, this will help it soften just a bit. Serve as is, or with a light garnish of crushed graham crackers.

 

Creamed Mushroom Crostini


Oh, the holidays! Such a lovely time of year, isn’t it? I say that not simply because of Christmas, but because of all the gatherings and festive parties that are about to take place. John and I are hoping (fingers crossed) to have a small gathering at out place, and just the thought of prepping the house, and making it all cozy comfy for our guests makes me SO excited. One of my favorite parts about hosting are those few hours right before people arrive. This is the time where I usually crank up the tunes, pour myself a little red wine, and put all the finishing touches on the snacks and appetizers.

Since the holidays are here, odds are you might be hosting a little party of your own. Now, some of the big questions I always ask are “what am I going to serve?” and “what will we sip on?” Well, the lovely people at Dark Horse Wine recently challenged to me to reinvent a classic holiday meal in an exciting and unexpected way and to pair it with a bottle of their lovely pinot noir. Now that I know what were are going to drink, I just needed to decided on some snacks. I’m already a lover of red wine, so I wanted to create an appetizer that would pair nicely with this specific, fruit-forward pinot noir. 

Truth be told, I’m a sucker for a classic green bean casserole, so I thought it would be fun to turn this classic side dish into an appetizer. I know that traditional casseroles use mushroom cream sauce, which oddly enough doesn’t have a lot of mushroom pieces in it. I wanted to flip that, so I packed this crostini with a lot of mushroom with a few peas, and a lovey layer of cream. The earthy flavor of the mushrooms pair very well with this particular pinot noir. And as far as appetizers go, this is a really simple yet satisfying snack to put out for your guests.

 

Thank you to Dark Horse Wine for providing me with your lovely wine which inspired this recipe. Be sure to follow Dark Horse Wine on Instagram or Twitter. All opinions, words, and images are my own.


CREAMED MUSHROOM CROSTINIS

Serves 12

2 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter

1 Small Shallot, diced

10 Ounces Sliced Crimini Mushrooms

1/3 Cup Peas

1 Clove Garlic, minced

2 Sprigs of Thyme, leaves removed

1/4 Cup Heavy Cream

Salt and Pepper, to taste

12 Baguette Slices, 1/2 inch thick

Softened Butter, or Olive Oil

Fried onions, for garnish

Equipment: Large skillet, pastry brush, wood spoon or spatula


METHOD

Melt butter in a large skillet set to medium-hight heat. Add diced shallots and cook until slightly softened, about 1-2 minutes. Add in the sliced mushroom and cook, without stirring, for 2-3 minutes, or until lightly browned. Add peas, and keep cooking the mushrooms, stirring occasionally, for another 5 minutes or until browned and tender. Add in garlic and thyme and cook for 1 minute. Pour in cream and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes, until the cream has thickened a bit. Season mushrooms with salt and pepper to taste.

Brush baguette slices with softened butter or oil and place on a skillet set to medium heat. Cook each side until golden brown. Remove from heat and top each slice with a spoonful of the sautéed mushrooms. Top each crostini with fried onions and serve immediately

Roasted Persimmons with rose scented cream


The weather in Seattle has been slowly changing in preparation for Winter. The days have been getting much colder and shorter, and most mornings I awake to a front yard that is covered with the loveliest layer of frost that glistens in the morning light. Now that Thanksgiving is behind us, I am SO ready to start decorating our home with candles, wreaths, and soon, a very large Christmas tree. On my drive home last night I saw a Christmas tree lot filled with people and I immediately giggled with joy, turned on a holiday radio station, and had a little moment to myself.

While our house may not look that festive just yet, I guarantee you that it smells like cinnamon, cloves, and butter almost all the time. This fact has been especially true as of late since I have been experimenting with roasting these persimmons. I was big fan of persimmons already, but little did I know how fragrant these fruits would be once roasted. So if you are like me, and you want your house to smell all buttery and sweet, then you might have to make a batch of these roasted persimmons pretty soon.

Persimmons are quite an interesting fruit, aren’t they? As a kid I would typically eat them as is, but over the years I have learned how truly versatile these fruits truly are. In the markets you will typically find two types of persimmons, either Hachiya or ‘Fuyu’, which is also known as Fuyugaki. Both varieties are extremely delicious, but are consumed in two very different ways. For this recipe I used Fuyu persimmons which are the squat, tomato looking variety. They can be eaten raw, and are perfect roasted, tossed into a salad, or folded into some type of baked treat like these persimmon scones. The other common variety, Hachiya, look quite similar besides being longer and larger. This variety is just as delicious, although the Hachiya persimmons have to be very ripe when you eat them, otherwise you will get a mouthful of a very unpleasant flavor. So next time you are in the market, be sure to double check what variety you are getting, especially if you want to eat them raw. 

I am so glad I finally tried roasting persimmons because it is such a wonderful way to concentrate their flavors. I love how this dessert combines their sweet flavors with hints of vanilla, rose extract, with a little crunch from toasted pistachios. For the pictures I only use a half of a persimmon, but since they aren’t that big, I recommend you use an entire half per person, which will give you 6 servings. No matter how you serve these roasted beauties, I hope that you get to enjoy this new way to prepare such a lovely and unique fruit!


ROASTED PERSIMMONS

Inspired by TheKitchn

Serves 6

3 Fuyu Persimmons

3/4 Cup Hot Water

3 Tablespoons Brown Sugar

1/2 a Vanilla Bean, seeds removed

1/4 Teaspoon Cinnamon

2 Cloves

Juice of 1/2 a Lime

Pinch Kosher Salt

 

ROSE SCENTED CREAM

1 1/2 Cups Heavy Cream

1/4 Cup +1/2 Tablespoon Powder Sugar, or more to taste

3/4 Teaspoon Rose Water Extract

Pinch Kosher salt

Roughly Chopped Toasted Pistachios, for garnish

Equipment: Shallow baking dish, small bowl, tin foil, pastry brush, large bowl


METHOD

Pre-heat oven to 350F°

Wash persimmons, and carefully remove the green tops. Cut each persimmon in half horizontally and place in a shallow baking dish with the cut side up.

In a small bowl whisk together water, sugar, vanilla bean seeds, cinnamon, cloves, lime juice, and salt. Pour mixture over the persimmon, along with the vanilla bean pod. Cover the baking dish with tin foil and place into the oven. Roast persimmons, basting them with the syrup from the baking dish once or twice halfway, for 45-55 minutes or until tender.

While the persimmons are roasting, add the heavy cream, powdered sugar, rose water extract, and pinch of salt to a bowl. With a whisk, whip the heavy cream until soft peaks form. Cover the bowl and place in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Once persimmons are removed from the oven, turn on the broiler, remove the tin foil, and place the baking dish under the broiler until the tops of the persimmons are lightly browned.

To Serve, place a few spoonfuls of cream into each dish, placing a persimmon half right on top. Garnish dish with pistachios and drizzle of the syrup from the baking dish; serve right away.

 

Calabaza En Tacha


Whether it be a sweet bread, beer, ice cream, or even a latte, I’m 100% sure that if there’s pumpkin in it, I’ll eat it. There has to be about a million ways to incorporate the wonderful flavor of this gourd into any kind of meal, drink, or dessert. So, I thought why not give you just one more idea on how to enjoy that pumpkin you just picked up from the store? Today I am sharing with you my recipe for Calabza de tacha, or as others may call it, candied pumpkin. This is a very popular dessert that is commonly prepared for Día de los Muertos, and one that I grew up enjoying each fall with my family.

This dessert is filled with flavors of cinnamon, anise, orange, and brown sugar. The main idea behind this dish is poaching pumpkin slices to perfection in a sugar and water mixture. Once the pumpkin is cooked, you reduce the remaining liquid until you are left with a flavorful syrup to drizzle over your tender pumpkin. Traditionally, this dessert is made with piloncillo, which is an unrefined Mexican sugar that has been pressed into a cone-like shape. Piloncillo isn’t always the easiest to source, which (thankfully) wasn’t a problem for me because I had a big ol’ bag of Zulka’s brown sugar on hand. What’s great is that Zulka’s sugar doesn’t undergo a conventional refining process, so that means you are left with a product that tastes as close to fresh sugar cane as possible. And for this recipe, that’s exactly what you want.

Once your syrup is ready, you have a few different choices on how to enjoy your candied pumpkin. You can simply drizzle the syrup over the top, and enjoy your pumpkin slices as is, but my personal opinion is that this dish tastes best when a little warmed milk is added into the mix. In the recipe you’ll see that I also suggest using coconut milk as an alternative, and honestly that just isn’t for those who can’t have dairy. I really like the added flavor that the coconut milk brings to this dish. It might not be tåhe most traditional suggestion, but it tastes darn delicious, so I say do it!

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With Día de los Muretos celebrations beginning this Saturday, now is the time to start thinking of what delicious treats you’ll want to make to celebrate the lives of your loved ones. If you need a bit more inspiration be sure to check out my recipe for a classic Atole de Vainilla, or if your craving something flaky and buttery, be sure to check out these Pumpkin & Cream Cheese Empanadas.


CALABAZA EN TACHA

Serves 4-5

1, 2.5 -3 lbPumpkin, peeled or unpeeled

3 1/2 Cups (690 ml) Water

Peel and Juice of Half an Orange

3 Cinnamon Sticks

1 Star of Anise

1 Vanilla Bean Pod

1 Cup (225 g) Dark Brown Sugar, packed

1/4 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1-1 1/2 Cups (235-355 ml) Coconut Milk, or Evaporated Milk

Equipment: Large pot, spoon, knife


METHOD 

Cut pumpkin in half from top to bottom, using a spoon to scrape out all of the seeds. Cut each half into wedges that are about 2” (5 cm) thick, then cut each of wedge into 3 pieces.

In a large pot, add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Once boiling, add the pumpkin and let mixture come back up to a boil for a few seconds, then immediately reduce heat until just simmering.

Simmer the pumpkin pieces, stirring occasionally for 30-40 minutes, or until fork tender. Once soft, remove the pumpkin pieces with a slotted spoon and transfer to a separate bowl. Be sure to discard any pieces of pumpkin skin that may have fallen off during cooking process.

Bring remaining liquid to a boil, stirring occasionally, until reduced to a syrup that is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 20-30 minutes.

Gather 4-5 shallow bowls, and fill with desired amount of milk, or coconut milk. Divide the pumpkin pieces amongst each bowl and drizzle each with a bit of warm syrup.

 

Pumpkin and Cream Cheese Empanadas


With Día de Los Muertos just around the corner, I wanted to share with you another recipe that is dear to my heart. There are seriously SO many wonderful and delicious recipes that are traditionally made for this holiday, so I actually had a hard time picking only three to share with you. If you missed my first recipe, be sure to check it out here. Now, for my second recipe I made empanadas filled with a spiced pumpkin and cream cheese filling. Sounds good, right? But I mean, seriously, who doesn’t just love empanadas? The only way I could image someone not liking these is if they never tried one before, in which case I say you should head into the kitchen now and whip up a batch because they really are that delicious. To give you an idea, empanadas are basically theses buttery and ever-so flaky pastry pockets, which are traditionally stuffed with either a sweet or savory filling. My memories of my first empanada takes me back to when I was a little girl. My mom and I were in Mexico, and I was begging her for some candy, and instead of giving me what I wanted, she handed me my first empanada, and I have been hooked on these things ever since.

These empanadas are filled with the flavors of Fall; pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, and a healthy serving of tangy cream cheese. Eating one of these pretty much tastes like you are biting into fall; so if that sounds good to you, then you have to make these. I ended up using 2 types of Zulka sugar for this recipe. I used the pure cane sugar for the crust and the brown sugar for the filling. I love that Zulka has a few different choices when it comes to sugar, because each types plays a different role when used in this recipe. In addition to that, since Zulka’s sugar in unrefined, it means their sugar is more flavorful than refined sugar, which means better tasting baked goods. So next time you’re in the market, I highly suggest you grab a bag and taste the difference for yourself.

Keep in mind that you can essentially fill these empanadas with whatever you like, so if this is a holiday you celebrate, I hope you can use this recipe in a way that honors your loved ones in your own special way.


PUMPKIN & CREAM CHEESE FILLING 

1/2 cup pumpkin puree

4 oz cream cheese, room temperature

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 egg room temperature, room temperature

4 tablespoons brown sugar


METHOD

Whisk all ingredients in a medium bowl until smooth, set aside.


DOUGH

Yields 16

2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

2 stick very cold unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch pieces

1/2 cup water, very cold

1 1/2 tablespoon pure cane sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water

1 tablespoon cane sugar

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Equipment: Rolling Pin, Baking Sheet, Parchment Paper, Pastry Brush, large Bowl, whisk, 4” biscuit cutter


METHOD

Place the flour, 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar, and salt in a large bowl and whisk together to combine. Add the cubed butter to the bowl and using your hands, quickly rub the butter into the flour until it resembles the size of small peas.Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of the cold water over the mixture and fluff using two forks. Continue this process, one tablespoon at a time, until 5 tablespoons have been added.

If dough seems a bit dry, sprinkle a 1/2 teaspoon of water at a time until the dough resembles shaggy crumbs.Turn the dough onto a work surface and gently knead a few times until it comes together. Dived the dough into two pieces, flatten into disks, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Remove 1 piece of dough from refrigerator and let sit for 10 minutes before rolling it out. Dust your work surface generously with flour and roll out the dough until it’s about 1/8 inch thick.

Using a 4’’ biscuit cutter, or the rim of a glass, cut out 8 dough rounds. Place rounds in the refrigerator and repeat this process with the second half of the dough. Fill each cut out with 2 1/2 teaspoons of pumpkin filling. One at a time, run a moistened finger along the edges of the dough and careful fold shut, pushing gently on the edges to seal. Use a fork to crease the edges of the empanada.

Pre-heat oven to 375°F. Place empanadas on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and place in the freezer for 15 minutes. Once chilled, remove from freezer and brush each one with the egg wash. Mix 1 tablespoon sugar and cinnamon together, and sprinkle a generous amount over each empanada. Place in the oven, and bake for about 20 minutes, or until puffed and golden brown.

Enjoy empanadas once slightly cooled.

Atole De Vanilla


The arrival of October brings about the first of a long string of holidays, all beginning with the ever-so popular Halloween. But did you know that there’s another holiday that also begins on the same day? It’s called Dia De Los Muertos, a popular three-day Mexican holiday that celebrates the lives of those who have passed away. Those who celebrate this holiday traditionally build small altars for their loved ones, either at their home or at a local cemetery. These altars are constructed and adorned with vibrant flowers and family pictures, and even the favorite meals, drinks, or desserts of those commemorated. The tone of this holiday can take many forms for different people, but most importantly it is a time to celebrate the lives of their dearly departed.

Being of Mexican descent, I am quite familiar with this holiday, even though my immediate family doesn’t always celebrate it. When I was little, we took many trips to Mexico to visit my mother’s side of the family and I actually remember being there during this holiday. I was able to see many of the shrines in the local cemetery, all of which were wonderfully dressed with candles, flowers, and food. Many of the meals prepared for this holiday are very traditional, much like those my grandmother Ramona would make, so I found it especially fun to try to re-create some of my family recipes for this upcoming holiday. Preparing this recipe was actually a bittersweet experience for me, as my grandmother recently passed away. But I found a lovely sense of comfort in making it in her honor.

In the next two weeks I will be sharing two more recipes with you that are perfect for Día De Los Muertos, the first of which being this very popular hot drink called atole. During the colder months my grandmother would make this from time to time, so it naturally awakens many pleasant memories. It is traditionally made from masa (corn flour), water or milk, piloncillo, and other flavors, like vanilla, chocolate, etc. You may or may not be familiar with piloncillo, but it’s basically pure, unrefined sugar cane. It’s honestly quite difficult to source, so I used Zulka’s brown sugar which worked perfectly.

I’m not sure if you have heard about Zulka before, but I absolutely love their sugar. Using the highest quality sugar is very important to me as a baker, and Zulka has some of the best you can find. Their practices and cultivation methods are also impressive; they offer 100% pure, freshly harvested, never refined, non-GMO sugar. That’s about everything I want my sugar to be.

Now, this drink just resonates with comfort to me, but I realize that a lot of people probably haven’t tried it before. So just to give you an idea, this drink is served hot and the texture is slightly thick, almost like an eggnog. Its flavor is a lovely mash up of corn, vanilla, and brown sugar. I add a little bit of cinnamon for garnish to provide some extra flavor, but it tastes just as good without it. Stay tuned for the next two recipes in celebration of Día De Los Muertos!


ATOLE DE VAINILLA

Serves 4

4 Cups Milk

1/4 Cup Maseca

1/4 cup, plus 2 tablespoons brown sugar, or more to taste

5 stick of cinnamon, divided

Seeds from 1 vanilla bean pod

1-2  Pinches Kosher Salt

Equipment: 3 quart pan, whisk, fine mesh sieve 


METHOD

A dash of Cinnamon and/or 4 cinnamon sticks, for garnish

In a 3 quart pot add the milk, maseca, and sugar, whisking until no lumps remain. Add in 1 cinnamon stick, seeds from vanilla bean pod, and salt.

Set pot to medium heat and bring to a boil while whisking constantly. Once boiling, continue whisking until mixture has slightly thickened, about 2- 3 minutes.

Remove pot from the heat and pour the atole through a fine mesh sieve before serving.

Garnish each cup with a cinnamon stick and a light dusting of cinnamon.

Italian Plum Compote


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These past few days have felt extremely fall-ish to me. The sun is starting to set much earlier, and the forest which flows throughout our neighborhood is beginning to shift in color. Trees that were once graced with bright green leaves are now adorned with splashes of vibrant yellow and fiery red. And now the evenings are finally getting cold enough for me to rescue my winter jackets from the tiny suitcases they have been living in for the past year. Boots, sweaters, beanies; Fall, I’m ready for you. What excites me most about the change of the seasons are all of the upcoming holidays. My birthday, Thanksgiving, Christmas; this is the time of year where many cozy indoor dinners and celebrations shall be had with friends and family. Oh, and not to mention that pie-baking will soon become a weekly routine in our home. Ah! I’m already getting way too excited just thinking about it all of it. But let’s talk about these tasty Italian plums, shall we? I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this before, but when John and I first moved into our current house, we did so only on the basis of a few Craigslist photos and a trusted word from our friends who checked it out. So imagine my surprise when we arrived and found, among many other great things, a beautiful Italian plum tree right smack in the middle of our backyard. Luckily for me, I already love these plums, so having a huge tree to feast on this summer was such a blessing. 

I noticed my plum tree was getting a bit thin last week, so I ended up climbing it and picked as many plums as I could. Well, at least whatever plums the neighborhood squirrels hadn’t gotten to yet. I typically eat these plums as a snack, but I one morning I really had the urge to jazz up my bowl of yogurt, so I ended up making this plum compote. You can use brown or white sugar for this recipe, but I found that using good quality maple syrup tastes the best. I was lucky enough to get my hands on what I believe is the best maple syrup I have ever tasted. I have the people atHatchery to thank for that. They have such an amazing selection of culinary items, so if you are looking for some new products to add to your kitchen arsenal, then just click here. This particular maple syrup is made by a husband and wife who live in Weston, Vermont, and they make this syrup from the trees that reside on their very own property. After tasting this maple syrup, I feel as if I can envision how beautiful their trees must look and smell like because their maple syrup has such a distinct and unique flavor. I am always eager to use products that are made by people who are truly passionate about their craft, and this maple syrup is proof of this couples’ dedication to just that.

This compote is incredibly easy to make, and tastes amazing when spooned over just about anything. Yogurt, waffles, pancakes, ice cream, the options are endless. I ended up adding a hearty amount to my yogurt the other day, and topped it off with some granola I had on hand. Toasted nuts would work just as well, but keep it simple and use whatever you have on hand and enjoy.


ITALIAN PLUM COMPOTE

Yields about 1 cup

7-8 Italian plums, seeds removed and quartered

1 Orange

3 Tablespoon good quality Maple Syrup

1/2 Teaspoon Cinnamon

1/4 Teaspoon Cardamom

Pinch Kosher Salt

Equipment: 8” Inch skillet, slotted spoon


METHOD

Squeeze the juice of one orange into the skillet, along with the maple syrup, spices and salt. Set heat to medium and gently stir mixture until sugar dissolves. Allow the mixture to gently simmer (adjusting heat as needed) for about 5 minutes, then add quartered plums.

Continue to let the mixture simmer for another 5-7 minutes, or until the plums are tender, but still maintain their shape. If the liquid appear more watery than syrupy, remove plums with a slotted spoon and continue to simmer the liquid until a slightly syrupy texture is achieved, then pour over plums. Allow compote to cool to room temperature before placing in an airtight container.

Jalapeño, Cheddar & Onion Biscuts


When I was little I loved helping my mom prepare dinner. I would often beg her to let my do anything that would be considered dangerous for a girl my age, like using her food processor, or chopping vegetables. Luckily my mom was fully aware of my desperation to help, so she would usually find something for me to do that obviously had a very low threshold of danger, like making biscuits. The funny thing was that these “homemade” biscuits I would make came from a long tube – you know the kind where you pull the tab and the container pops open? I seriously loved opening those things. I’ve stayed pretty committed to those tubes of dough until I finally tried my hand at making some from scratch a few years ago, and boy do I wish I would’ve done that sooner.

I love the fact that biscuits are pretty easy to make, and the lovely people at King Authur Flour are making it even easier with their super convenient self-rising flour. This flour will make your biscuits light and fluffy, and since it’s self rising, you are pretty much guaranteed a perfect biscuit every time. There are a few extra tips that King Authur shared with me to make my biscuits even better and I included them below because I wanted to share them with you too!

Be Gentle: Once the liquid is added to the dough, be sure to avoid overworking it.

Chill Out: Make sure that whatever fat you use in your recipe is very, very cold. This will help make your biscuits even flakier.

Use a biscuit cutter: Keep you cuts clean! Dip your biscuit cutter in flour between cuts, this will help the biscuits rise higher.

Freeze before baking: Freeze your biscuits ups to 20 minutes before baking, the will improve texture and rise.

I hope these tips help you as much as they helped me! Now you are only 6 ingredients away from making a batch of savory biscuits that will knock your socks off!


JALAPEÑO ,CHEDDAR, & ONION BISCUITS

Recipe adapted from King Author Flour

Yields about 12

2 Cups (8oz) King Authur Self-Rising Flour

1/4 Cup (2 0z) cold butter, cut into pats

2/3 cup cold buttermilk

4 oz shredded cheddar cheese

1/3 cup (2 0z) SlicePickeled Jalapenos

3 Tablespoons sliced green onions

Equipment: Large Bowl, Baking Sheet, Parchment Paper, 2” biscuit cutter, Cooling Rack


METHOD

Preheat oven to 425F° with rack positioned to the upper third of your oven. **note if freezing biscuits before, begin preheating your oven once they are in the freezer.

Line your baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper and set aside.

Place flour and butter in a medium bowl and rub the butter between your fingers until the butter breaks up into small pieces. *Alternatively, you can use a food processor with a metal blade attachment. Simply add in the butter and pulse a few times at 1-second intervals until the butter is cut into smaller pea sized pieces. Then return mixture to your large bowl once butter is cut.

Add the cheese and jalapeños, tossing a few times in the flour and butter mixture. Make a well in the center and pour in the buttermilk. Mix with a spoon until the dough clumps together and pulls away from the sides of the bowls.

Turn dough onto a lightly floured with all purpose flour, and fold the dough over on itself several times, using more flour if the dough is sticky.

Roll or pat the dough into a 5” x 8”1/2 rectangle that is about 1/2” to 3/4” inch thick. Using a 2” biscuit cutter, dipping in flour in between cuts to reduce sticking. Cut out 11-12 biscuits, gathering and reshaping scrapes as necessary.

Place the biscuits on your baking sheet an place them in the freezer for up to 20 minutes. Alternatively, you can put them in right away, the choice is totally yours.

Bake the biscuits for 15-18 minutes, or until golden. remove from oven and serve immediately

Enjoy!