a little of each

A family's cookbook

Lemon and Vanilla Curd Cake June 2, 2013

Filed under: Desserts — alittlemoreofeach @ 1:52 pm
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Crust

1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour

1 Tbl sugar

1/3 cup unsalted butter, cold

Cold Water

 

Filling

3 ounces unsalted butter

½ cup sugar

4 egg yolks

2 tbsp (heaped) plain flour

½ cup lemon juice

1 tsp vanilla

¼ tsp lemon extract

1 tsp chopped candied lemon peel

16 oz cottage cheese

 

Topping

2 Tbl flour

2 Tbl sugar

2 Tbl butter, melted

1 egg, beaten

1 teaspoon lemon juice

Caster sugar to dust

 

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and place cookie sheet in the oven. Prepare crust by combining flour and sugar together, then cut in butter until butter and flour mixture is crumbly. Mix in enough water to make dough come together. Grease a 10-inch tart pan (with removable base), then press dough into pan bottom and sides. Place tart pan in fridge while making the filling. For the filling, cream the butter and sugar, then mix in egg yolks, flour, lemon juice, vanilla, lemon extract, lemon peel and cottage cheese. Pour mixture into tart pan. Make the topping by combining flour, sugar, egg and lemon juice together, then add in melted butter. Pour topping over filling. Place in oven and bake for an hour until the top is golden and the filling is firm. Dust with sugar. Served cooled but not chilled.

 

Honey Cake

Filed under: Desserts — alittlemoreofeach @ 1:38 pm
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From “Miriam’s Kitchen.”

 

Ringing in Rosh Hashanah with honey should lead to a sweet new year, but this cake is delicious anytime. It is especially nice to serve with tea. To help the honey slide right out, spray the measuring cup with nonstick spray first.

 

Ingredients

1 heaping cup honey

½ cup oil

1 ¼ cup sugar

1 egg

3 cups flour

1 tsp baking soda

6 tsp instant tea mix

½ tsp cinnamon

dash of ground cloves

 

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix honey, oil, sugar and egg. Sift flour with baking soda. Mix instant tea with enough water to make one cup. Add tea to honey mixture. Add flour mixture, cinnamon and cloves. Mix. Grease round Bundt pan with margarine. Bake at 350 degrees for about 90 minutes on the top rack until browned.

 

The Best Scones May 20, 2013

Filed under: Breads,Breakfast — alittlemoreofeach @ 8:44 pm
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From Smitten Kitchen and America’s Test Kitchen.

Scone

I am not a baker, but if there is one thing I feel like I should inherently be able to bake, it is a good scone.  I am partly Scottish – from my freckled, white skin to my love of its terriers, ponies, and cats, not to mention those kilts.  Yes, those kilts….  Anyway, I’ve made tough scones, chewy scones, crumbly and dry scones.  My MacBeth ancestors (no joke) were crying, “Ach!”  And then came the Smitten Kitchen, a Brooklyn Jew who loves to cook and does it so darn well, and she inspired me to try scones one more time.   And would you, and my MacBeth clansmen and -women, believe that I can now confidently make a light, fluffy, not-too-sweet scone that is worthy of clotted cream and lemon curd?  These quickly became a Sunday evening tradition during the airing of Downton Abbey on PBS.

Downton Abbey

Tell me there’s not a better way to enjoy period dramas than with a delicious scone and a great big cuppa.

 

Ingredients

2 cups (10 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour, preferably a low-protein brand such as Gold Medal or Pillsbury
1 tablespoon baking powder
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons chilled, unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1/2 cup currants (I used dried cranberries, and chopped them into smaller bits)
1 cup heavy cream (I have used whole milk with wonderful results.)
juice and zest from one lemon
a few tablespoons of confectioners sugar

Directions

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 425°F.

2. Place flour, baking powder, sugar and salt in large bowl or work bowl of food processor fitted with steel blade. Whisk together or pulse six times.

3. If making by hand, use two knives, a pastry blender or your fingertips and quickly cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse meal, with a few slightly larger butter lumps. Stir in currants. If using food processor, remove cover and distribute butter evenly over dry ingredients. Cover and pulse 12 times, each pulse lasting 1 second. Add currants and pulse one more time. Transfer dough to large bowl.

4. Stir in heavy cream with a rubber spatula or fork until dough begins to form, about 30 seconds.

5. Transfer dough and all dry, floury bits to countertop and knead dough by hand just until it comes together into a rough, sticky ball, 5 to 10 seconds. Form scones by either a) pressing the dough into an 8-inch circle on a lightly floured work surface, cutting the dough into 8 wedges with either a knife or bench scraper.

6. Place rounds or wedges on ungreased baking sheet and bake until scone tops are light brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Cool on wire rack for at least 10 minutes. Combine lemon juice, zest, and enough confectioners sugar to form a drizzle-able liquid.  Drizzle over the warmish scones.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

 

Cucumber and Melon Salad

Filed under: Fruits and Vegetables,Soups and Salads — alittlemoreofeach @ 9:34 am
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In 2012, we joined a local organic Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm in Tampa.  Every other week, we’d pick up bags of wonderfully fresh vegetables, some of which I’d never heard of before.  Tatsoi? Dino Kale? Hakurei turnips?

Needless to say, our palettes expanded, and sometimes I struggled to find ways to use our produce.  Like the radishes.  One or two, I know how to handle (chop up in a salad – easy enough!), but eight? Ten? Thankfully, I found two different cold salad recipes through Pinterest that allowed me to use the radishes in really delicious ways.  This one is based on a Weight Watchers recipe and is such a wonderful and refreshing summer dish.  Tangy citrus, fragrant mint, sweet melon, crisp and slightly spicy radishes all combine into a beautiful and healthy salad.  While the original recipe calls for the veggies and melon to be sliced on a mandolin, I chose to dice the cucumbers and melon and thinly slice the radishes.  Scooping the melon with a baller would also work.  The recipe also calls for honeydew, and as you can see in the photo I sometimes use cantaloupe.  They are equally delicious.

melon salad

Sometimes I deconstruct the salad for little palettes that aren’t keen on radishes or mint yet. They inhale the melon and cucumber.

 

Ingredients

1 medium English cucumber

6-8 fresh radishes

1/2 medium honeydew melon

1/2 cups mint leaves, julienned

1/4 cup fresh lemon or lime juice

1 Tbl sugar

 

Directions

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and chill for at least two hours before serving.

 

 

Honey-Glazed Salmon April 8, 2013

Filed under: Main Dishes — alittlemoreofeach @ 8:32 pm
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I made this for a Valentine’s dinner when Ken and I were living in our miniature (550 square feet) apartment in Altamonte Springs.

 

Ingredients

2 Tbl minced shallots

1 Tbl chopped fresh or 1 tsp dried thyme

3 Tbl honey

1 Tbl Dijon mustard

½ tsp salt

¼ tsp ground red pepper (or red pepper flakes)

4 (6 oz) salmon fillets

 

Directions 

Combine first six ingredients in a small bowl. Brush honey mixture over skinless side of fish. Place fish on a grill rack or broiler pan coated with cooking spray, and cook six minutes on each side or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork. Garnish with thyme sprigs if desired.

 

Lemon-Dill Mayonnaise

Filed under: Main Dishes — alittlemoreofeach @ 8:24 pm
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This is a wonderful condiment for grilled or broiled fish.

 

Ingredients

¾ cup mayonnaise

3 Tbl buttermilk

2 Tbl fresh dill or 2 tsp dried

1 Tbl fresh chives

½ tsp lemon zest

2 tsp lemon juice

 

Directions 

Mix all ingredients together in a plastic bowl. Cover and chill for one hour.

 

Grilled Tandoori Chicken April 3, 2013

Filed under: Main Dishes — alittlemoreofeach @ 10:14 pm
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From “The Dinner Doctor”

 

This recipe uses prepared tandoori paste found in the supermarket’s ethnic aisle, although I have used the powdered version with success also. For the raita, add some minced garlic, and you’ve got a delicious tzatziki!

 

Ingredients

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (1 lb)

1 ½ cups plain low-fat yogurt

½ cup tandoori paste (or 2 Tbl powder)

½ cup cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped

¼ cup onion, finely chopped (optional!)

2 Tbl fresh mint, dill or parsley

salt and pepper

mango chutney and pita bread for serving (optional)

 

Directions

Flatten the chicken to a ½-inch thickness. Score them with a knife in several places. Place the chicken in a freezer bag with ½ cup of yogurt and the tandoori paste. Seal the bag, then massage it so the sour cream and tandoori combine and the chicken is well-coated. Refrigerate the chicken for at lest one hour and as long as 24 hours. Meanwhile, make raita by placing the remaining one cup of yogurt and the cucumber, onion and herb in a small glass bowl. Stir to combine and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate until serving time. It will keep for up to 24 hours. Heat the grill to medium-high. Remove the chicken from the bag and place on the hot grill, searing the first side for two minutes. Sear the other for two minutes. Reduce the heat to low, cover the grill and cook until the juices run clear, five to eight minutes. Slice the chicken into strips, garnish it with cilantro sprigs and serve with the raita, mango chutney and pita bread.

 

Friday Night Greek Chicken

Filed under: Main Dishes — alittlemoreofeach @ 10:06 pm
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This recipe has become our Friday night tradition. It’s wonderful served with a Greek salad, some sautéed spinach, and good bread.

 

Ingredients

1 lb chicken thighs

1 lemon, zested and juiced

Olive oil

1 Tbl red wine vinegar

2 cloves garlic

1 Tbl Penzeys Greek Seasoning (oregano, marjoram, granulated garlic, salt and pepper)

Pinch of garlic salt

Feta cheese

Potatoes, quartered

Carrots, peeled and chopped

 

Directions

Mix the juice and zest of the lemon with twice as much olive oil. Add the vinegar, garlic, Greek seasoning, and garlic salt. Place the chicken thighs in a large baking dish and scatter the quartered potatoes in between the chicken. Pour the lemon and olive oil mixture over the chicken and potatoes. Top it with another dusting of Greek seasoning or garlic salt, if you want. Bake at 375 for 45 minutes. Sprinkle some feta cheese on top and broil briefly, just until the cheese starts to melt.

 

Caramelized Balsamic Garlic with Chicken

Filed under: Main Dishes — alittlemoreofeach @ 10:00 pm
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Ken and I made this up when we wanted chicken Picatta but didn’t have any lemons. The result was silence for a good ten minutes while we cleaned our plates. Caramelizing the garlic sweetens its flavor, and reducing the balsamic vinegar concentrates the tang into flavor-packed garlic and caper bits. The ratios of the ingredients are completely open to personal taste.

 

Ingredients

3 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced

2 Tbl capers

2 Tbl butter, separated

3-4 Tbl balsamic vinegar

1 boneless chicken breast

 

Directions

Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper or your choice of seasoning, as long as it’s Penzeys. Grill or broil chicken until done. While chicken is cooking, melt some butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and stir frequently. When the garlic begins to brown, add the balsamic vinegar one Tbl at a time, again, stirring frequently. Continue to add the vinegar and more butter if you’d like and stir until the garlic is soft, the vinegar is reduced and/or the chicken is finished cooking. Add the capers towards the end of the cooking time. Reduce the heat. Dice the cooked chicken and add to the garlic mixture. Stir. Serve over cooked and seasoned linguine or mashed potatoes.

 

Vietnamese Lemon Chicken

Filed under: Main Dishes — alittlemoreofeach @ 9:55 pm
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Steamed rice and the cucumber salad combine with this for the perfect light and refreshing chicken dish. Fish sauce is scary and stinky but absolutely essential to this recipe.

 

Ingredients

1 ½ lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast

1 Tbl plus 1 tsp lemon juice

2 tsp garlic, pressed

1 Tbl plus 1 tsp Splenda

2 tsp fish sauce (nuoc mam)

½ tsp pepper

oil

Nuoc Cham dipping sauce

 

Directions

Flatten chicken breasts and place on a plate. Mix together the lemon juice, garlic, Splenda, fish sauce and pepper and pour the mixture evenly over the chicken breasts, making sure all sides get coated. Heat a Tbl of oil in a skillet over medium-high heat and sauté the chicken breasts for 4 to 5 minutes per side. While the chicken is sautéing, mix together the Nuoc Cham sauce. In the last minute of cooking time, pour the lemon juice mixture remaining on the plate into the skillet, turning the breasts to ensure all sides are coated. Heat for one minute and remove to plates. Serve with dipping sauce.

 

Nuoc Cham Dipping Sauce

Combine in a small dish:

2 Tbl fish sauce

2 Tbl lime juice

1 ½ tsp rice vinegar

3 Tbl Splenda

1 clove garlic, pressed

1 tsp chili garlic paste