Monday, January 24, 2011

Meyer Lemon Pound Cake

Makes one 10 inch bundt cake.

2 1/3 c. AP flour
2 t. baking powder
2 c. sugar
1/2 t. salt
8 oz. butter
8 oz. cream cheese
zest from 2 meyer lemons, reserve the zested lemons
1 T. vanilla
6 eggs, room temperature

Combine flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt.

Cream butter and cream cheese.

Add dry ingredients.

Mix on low until the mixture appears dry and crumbly.

Add eggs one at a time until smooth. Don't overmix.

Add lemon zest and vanilla.

Prepare bundt pan with butter, then flour. Pour the batter into pan and smooth evenly.

Bake in a preheated oven at 325 until a toothpick comes out clean, about 55-60 minutes. Cool and invert cake onto plate. Brush with glaze: combine the juice of the 2 zested lemons with 1/2 c. powder sugar.

This cake transports with ease.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Salad of Dates, Orange and Feta Cheese

About 2 cups mixed greens; choose a mix that includes some bitter lettuce.
2 oranges, Cara Cara or Navel, peeled and sliced (see photos below)
3 oz. feta cheese
1/2 c. pitted and sliced dates (about 10 dates, see photo below)
1/3 c. chopped pistachios

3 T. white wine vinegar
1 T. honey
1/4 t. orange flower water (opt.)
1 shallot (about 1 T.)
1/3 c. extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper

The vinaigrette can be made hours before you toss with prepared salad ingredients.

Gently toss all salad ingredients with vinaigrette and serve immediately.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Spaghetti with Broccoli and Garlic

1 lb. spaghetti

2 lbs. broccoli, washed and cut into 1 inch florets

Garlic oil (see picture below)

4 cloves garlic, thinly cut lenghthwise

½ C. extra virgin olive oil

2 t. salt

1 t. red pepper flakes, opt.

zest of one lemon, opt.

Heat sauté pan for 30 seconds. Add oil immediately followed by garlic, salt, pepper flakes and lemon zest. Allow the garlic to sizzle for about one minute, then turn heat off.

Following the box instructions, boil pasta. During the last 4 minutes of the pasta cooking time, add cut broccoli. Drain pasta and broccoli and toss with garlic oil. Top with grated parmesan cheese.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Braised Fennel, Spicy Sausage on Creamy Polenta

3 fennel bulbs, sliced into 1/8 inch
1/3 c. extra virgin olive oil
1 t. salt
1 T. thyme (opt.)
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced lengthwise (opt.)

Gently heat oil. Add fennel

Toss with oil
Cover and cook on low for about one hour

or until very soft and golden brown. Reserve.
In the same pan, brown 1 lb. spicy sausage without casing (I bought this sausage out of the casing at Whole Foods).
If you like a sauce, this recipe can be adapted by adding to the cooked sausage
1/4 c. white wine, reduced dry and followed by 1/2 c. cream. Simmer for about 2 minutes until desired thickness.
Add 1 15 oz. can of tomatoes, juice and seeds removed, diced and 1/2 c. rough chopped basil leaves. Simmer with sausage for about 3 minutes. Try to use San Marzano tomatoes.

Make 4 servings of polenta following the directions on the package. When done, vigorously stir in:

1/2 c. grated parmesan cheese
2 T. butter
salt and pepper to taste

Spoon polenta into four bowls and make a well in the middle. Top with sausage and fennel.

Note: The fennel and sausage can be prepared ahead and reheated so that the final preparation only involves the making of the polenta.