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Roasted Chicken Salad with Dried Cherries and Peanuts

In lunch, salad On September 14, 2010 16 Comments

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Roasted Chicken Salad with Dried Cherries and Peanuts (recipe by “Oishii!” and inspired by chef Joncarl Lachman)

What could be a better lunch than a hand pulled chicken salad with dried cherries and peanuts on top of some warm ciabatta bread? Roasted chicken is so easy to make, and it is a great alternative to those expensive lunch meats sold in grocery stores. Furthermore, you can make chicken stock out of the leftover chicken parts. This would be great picnic fare!

Ingredients

  • 3 bone-in chicken beasts halves, about 3 lbs.
  • olive oil
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme or oregano
  • 1 large stalk of celery, chopped
  • 1/3 cup dried cherries
  • 1/3 cup dry roasted peanuts, lightly salted
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • ciabatta or other crusty bread
  • salad greens or lettuce leaves

Preparation

Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a heavy rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Put chicken on sheet skin side up and drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle on it thyme or oregano, and kosher salt and ground pepper to taste. Roast chicken about 45 minutes until skin is crispy and internal temperature reaches 165-180°F. Take out of oven and let cool.

Remove chicken skin and hand pull chicken off breast bones. Mix one pound of chicken breast meat with celery, cherries, peanuts, and mayonnaise. Use remainder of chicken for other use. Add kosher salt and ground pepper to taste. Serve over a bed of salad greens or lettuce leaves on crusty bread.

Prep tip: Make salad up to a day in advance, but add peanuts right before serving, or they will get slimy.

Other lunch ideas: Also try my Danish Egg Salad and Open Faced Tuna Melts with Provolone.

What’s oishii? “Oishii” (pronounced “oy she”) is the Japanese word for delicious. I love sharing great recipes I discover from popular restaurants, cookbooks, food magazines (Bon Appétit, Food & Wine, etc.), tv shows, friends, family, and other blogs. I also develop my own. Please contact me if there is a recipe you would like the test kitchen to consider: michaelwbeyer@hotmail.com

What are your favorite recipes that use dried cherries? If you enjoyed this post, we would love to hear from you in the comments section below. -Michael

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Chocolate Brownies

In desserts, vegetarian On September 11, 2010 2 Comments

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Chocolate Brownies (recipe adapted from “The Berghoff Cafe Cookbook”)

“…according to Chicago’s Palmer House Hotel, the brownie was created by the hotel’s then-chef, at the request of Bertha Honore Palmer, wife of the  hotel’s owner. She asked the chef to create a dessert to pack into the box lunches for the Women’s Pavillion at the 1893 World’s Fair. She wanted something smaller than a wedge of cake and something that wouldn’t be messy or get the ladies’ hands dirty. And voilà! The brownie.” – “The Berghoff Cafe Cookbook”

Everyone seems to have a favorite type of brownie. These are dense and chocolatey, not too sweet, and the chocolate chips inside still retain some of their texture. When I crave chocolate, I immediately think of making them. It’s hard to resist licking the bowl and beaters because the batter is irresistible too. I like to give them a good dusting of powdered sugar on top before serving. They are also great with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • confectioner’s sugar for serving

Preparation

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Cream together the oil and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer on medium speed. While the mixer is still running, add the eggs one at a time, until creamy. Mix in the vanilla.

Place a fine-meshed strainer over a separate large mixing bowl, and sift together the flour, cocoa powder, and baking powder. Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture, and mix on low speed until just incorporated. Stir in the chips by hand.

Lightly coat a 9″ x 13″ metal baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. With a silicone spatula, scrape the batter out of the metal mixing bowl into the baking pan, and spread evenly. Bake about 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Remove from the oven and cool on a metal rack. Dust with confectioner’s sugar. Cut into large squares and serve.

Prep Tip: I highly recommend using Chicago Metallic brand baking pans. Fine-meshed strainers work great to sift dry ingredients as well as dust brownies with confectioner’s sugar.

What’s oishii? “Oishii” (pronounced “oy she”) is the Japanese word for delicious. I love sharing great recipes I discover from popular restaurants, cookbooks, food magazines (Bon Appétit, Food & Wine, etc.), tv shows, friends, family, and other blogs. I also develop my own. Please contact me if there is a recipe you would like the test kitchen to review: michaelwbeyer@hotmail.com

Now it’s your turn. How do you like your brownies? Fudgy? Cakey? Chocolatey? Share a link to your favorite recipe in the comments section below. We would love to hear from you if you enjoyed this post. -Michael

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Moroccan-Style Stuffed Acorn Squashes

In Middle Eastern, seasonal On September 10, 2010 37 Comments

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Moroccan-Style Stuffed Acorn Squashes (recipe by Martha Stewart Living, October 2009)

Squash is now in season, and with the cooler weather comes both feelings of relief and melancholy for me.  I was sorely disappointed to lose more than half of my prized bumper crop of acorn and butternut squash to deer in my yard. Fortunately, there was plenty more available at the Dubuque (Iowa) farmers market. I went there for the first time last weekend with my friend Charissa and I was surprised by the thriving hippie scene. It was fun and a bit of a culture shock after living in Chicago for so many years.

It’s a small coincidence that the last two posts in a row start with the word “Moroccan.” The Moroccan-Style Stuffed Acorn Squashes couldn’t be more different than the Moroccan Couscous with butternut squash. The stuffed acorn squash is a very special dish that is not only visually appealing but a symphony of flavors. It would be perfect as a prelude to a Thanksgiving dinner or for a special occasion. I love it!

I think the dish could be improved by adding a little melted butter and brown sugar to the bottoms of the shells and a little more than a “pinch” of nutmeg and cinnamon to the filling.

What are your favorite squash recipes?

Ingredients

  • 2 medium acorn squashes (about 2 pounds), halved and seeded
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 pound ground chuck (95 percent lean)
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Ground nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3/4 cup bulgur wheat
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • 1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts

Ingredient note: Bulgur wheat can be found at Middle Eastern supermarkets and health food stores such as Whole Foods. If you have a choice, pick a variety that has a coarse texture.

Preparation

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place squashes, cut sides down, in a 9-by-13-inch casserole dish. Bake until tender, 35 to 40 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a 4-quart pot with a tight-fitting lid over medium-high heat. Add ground beef, a pinch each cinnamon and nutmeg, and 1 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until browned and cooked through, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer beef to a bowl or plate using a slotted spoon, keeping as much cooking liquid in the pot as possible.

Add onion, and cook until slightly translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add remaining teaspoon salt and the bulgur, and stir to combine. Add water, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes. Fluff with fork, and add reserved beef, the raisins, parsley, and pine nuts.

Scrape out baked squashes, forming -inch-thick bowls, and fold flesh into bulgur mixture. Divide among squash halves, and return to oven. Bake until warmed through and tops are browned, 12 to 14 minutes.

What’s oishii? “Oishii” (pronounced “oy she”) is the Japanese word for delicious. I love sharing great recipes I discover from popular restaurants, cookbooks, food magazines (Bon Appétit, Food & Wine, etc.), tv shows, friends, family, and other blogs. I also develop my own. Please contact me if there is a recipe you would like the test kitchen to review: michaelwbeyer@hotmail.com

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Moroccan Couscous

In side dish, summer On September 7, 2010 14 Comments

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Moroccan Couscous (recipe by Ina Garten, “Barefoot in Paris,” 2004)

Chocked full of seasonal veggies such as roasted butternut squash, zucchini, and carrots, this gorgeous side dish goes really well with Tuscan Lemon Chicken. Drizzle olive oil on the couscous before serving. The leftovers are great too.

What are your favorite butternut squash or couscous recipes? Please share them!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups (3/4-inch) diced butternut squash
  • 2 cups chopped yellow onions (2 onions)
  • 1 1/2 cups (3/4-inch) diced carrots (4 carrots)
  • 1 1/2 cups (3/4-inch) diced zucchini (2 medium)
  • 2 tablespoons good olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups homemade chicken stock or canned broth
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
  • 1 1/2 cups couscous (10 ounces)
  • 2 scallions, white and green parts, chopped

Preparation

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Place the butternut squash, onions, carrots, and zucchini on a baking sheet and toss with olive oil, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Roast for 25 to 30 minutes, until all the vegetables are tender, turning once with a spatula.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, bring the chicken stock to a boil and turn off the heat. Add the butter, 1 teaspoon salt (depending on the saltiness of the stock), 1/2 teaspoon pepper, the cumin, and saffron threads and allow to steep for at least 15 minutes.

Bring the chicken stock just back to a boil. Place the couscous and cooked vegetables in a large bowl and pour the hot chicken stock over them. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and allow to stand at room temperature for 15 minutes. Add the scallions, toss the couscous and vegetables with a fork, and serve warm or at room temperature.

Prep tip: Line a heavy rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. This will keep your veggies from sticking to the pan and will make it real easy to clean up.

What’s oishii? “Oishii” (pronounced “oy she”) is the Japanese word for delicious. I love sharing great recipes I discover from popular restaurants, cookbooks, food magazines (Bon Appétit, Food & Wine, etc.), tv shows, friends, family, and other blogs. I also develop my own. Please contact me if there is a recipe you would like the test kitchen to review: michaelwbeyer@hotmail.com

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Danish Egg Salad

In appetizer, lunch, salad, vegetarian On September 5, 2010 28 Comments

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Danish Egg Salad (recipe adapted from The Ovens of Brittany Cookbook)

Egg salad is a simple and favorite lunch of mine, and fresh dill and sweet pickles make this version stand out. Serve it on rye or pumpernickel bread, and accompany with extra sweet pickles. My recipe comes from a legendary restaurant; Ovens of Brittany in Madison, Wisconsin; where I went to school. Their cookbook was the first I ever owned!

Ingredients

  • 10 eggs, hard boiled
  • 3 scallions (1/2 cup), white and green parts, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, finely chopped
  • 3/4 cup minced sweet pickles
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Preparation

Peel the eggs and divide the whites from the yolks. Chop egg whites and crumble yolks. Combine gently with remaining ingredients. Adapted from the Ovens of Brittany Cookbook.

Prep note: Peeling eggs is an art, not an exact science, which I admittedly have never mastered. Some days I have great success and other days I’m glad I don’t make egg salad for a living! I’ve been following the Ovens of Brittany’s method for years, but everybody seems to have their own “foolproof” way. Here are their notes:

“Please don’t overcook hard-cooked eggs! Even a few moments extra can result in a greenish rim around the yolk and a tough, rubbery egg white. Simply cover eggs in cold water in a sauce pan. Bring to a low boil, reduce to a low simmer and set your timer for ten minutes. When the buzzer goes off, drain the eggs and immerse them in ice water to stop the cooking. Keep them in the ice water for several minutes, until completely cooled. Now they will peel easily if you knock them gently and roll them across the kitchen counter. (Note, however, that very fresh eggs do not peel easily.) Peeled hard-cooked eggs can be stored in cold water for several days.”

I find that peeling the eggs in a bowl of water makes the task easier.

Other Lunch Ideas: Also try my Roasted Chicken Salad with Dried Cherries and Peanuts and Open Faced Tuna Melts with Provolone.

What’s oishii? “Oishii” (pronounced “oy she”) is the Japanese word for delicious. I love sharing great recipes I discover from popular restaurants, cookbooks, food magazines (Bon Appétit, Food & Wine, etc.), tv shows, friends, family, and other blogs. I also develop my own. Please contact me if there is a recipe you would like the test kitchen to consider: michaelwbeyer@hotmail.com

If you enjoyed this post, we would love to hear from you! Your feedback in the comments section below is essential to the success of this blog. -Michael

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Summer Vegetable Ragout with Exotic Curry Sauce

In vegetarian On September 1, 2010 6 Comments

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Summer Vegetable Ragout with Exotic Curry Sauce (recipe by Bon Appétit, September 2010)

This recipe is a cornucopia of fresh summer produce, another perfect choice for those of us harvesting veggies from our gardens or venturing out to farmers markets. It comes from Hatfields in Los Angeles, one of “The 10 Best New Restaurants in America” according to Bon Appétit. The curried carrot sauce is unusually flavorful and delicious, although it is a bit time consuming to prepare. Actually, the whole dish is pretty labor intensive, but that wouldn’t stop me from making it again. I would say this is one of the best vegetarian dishes I’ve ever made. It also got my wheels spinning about carrot sauces.

Ingredient notes: I had to walk over to the organic aisle at my grocery store to find carrot juice. Fresh lemongrass can be found at Whole Foods and asian supermarkets.

Ingredients

Curry Sauce

  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
  • 1 small onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1 small carrot, peeled, chopped
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, coarsely chopped and pounded with meat mallet to flatten slightly
  • 1 1-inch piece unpeeled fresh ginger, thinly sliced
  • 1 small Granny Smith apple, peeled, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder (preferably Madras)
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 2 cups fresh carrot juice

Vegetables

  • 1 1/2 pounds eggplants (about 2 medium), peeled, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 5 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
  • 1 pound assorted summer squash (such as zucchini, yellow crookneck, and pattypan), cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 pound green beans, haricots verts, and/or yellow wax beans, trimmed, cut into 2-inch lengths
  • 4 ears of corn, husked
  • 1 15- to 16-ounce can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained
  • 2 cups (packed) arugula
  • 1/4 cup torn fresh basil

Preparation

Curry Sauce

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, carrot, lemongrass, and ginger; sauté until slightly softened but not brown, about 5 minutes. Add apple and curry powder; sauté until vegetables are tender, about 8 minutes. Add remaining 2 tablespoons oil, then flour and stir 1 to 2 minutes. Gradually pour in carrot juice; bring to boil, whisking constantly. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer uncovered until sauce is slightly thickened and reduced to generous 2 1/2 cups, about 20 minutes. Strain sauce through fine strainer set over bowl, pressing on solids to extract as much liquid as possible; discard solids in strainer. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper. DO AHEAD Curry sauce can be made 1 day ahead. Cool slightly. Cover; chill. Rewarm before using.

Vegetables

Preheat oven to 400°F. Place eggplant cubes in large bowl. Add 3 tablespoons oil and toss to coat; sprinkle with salt. Spread eggplant cubes in even layer on large rimmed baking sheet. Toss squash and remaining 2 tablespoons oil in same bowl. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Spread squash in even layer on another large rimmed baking sheet. Roast until squash and eggplant are light golden and tender, turning occasionally, about 25 minutes for squash and 40 minutes for eggplant. Remove baking sheets with vegetables from oven and set aside. Fill large bowl with water and ice. Cook beans in large pot of boiling salted water until just crisp-tender, 2 to 4 minutes, depending on size of beans. Using tongs, transfer beans to bowl of ice water to cool. Drain. Maintain boiling water in same pot; add corn. Cook until corn is just tender, about 5 minutes. Drain corn. Cool slightly. Cut kernels off corn cobs; discard cobs. DO AHEAD Vegetables can be made 4 hours ahead. Combine all vegetables on large rimmed baking sheet. Let stand at room temperature.

Preheat oven to 400°F. Mix garbanzo beans into vegetables; bake until heated through, about 15 minutes.

Combine hot vegetables and hot curry sauce in large bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in arugula and basil.

Prep Tip: Line baking sheets with parchment paper before roasting eggplant and squash. It will save you a lot of mess to clean up.

What’s oishii? “Oishii” (pronounced “oy she”) is the Japanese word for delicious. I love sharing great recipes I discover from popular restaurants, cookbooks, food magazines (Bon Appétit, Food & Wine, etc.), tv shows, friends, family, and other blogs. I also develop my own. Please contact me if there is a recipe you would like the test kitchen to review: michaelwbeyer@hotmail.com

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The Berghoff’s Famous Creamed Spinach

In comfort food, side dish On August 29, 2010 10 Comments

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The Berghoff’s Famous Creamed Spinach (recipe by The Berghoff Family Cookbook)
Makes 5 cups/Serves 8

The Berghoff, a Chicago institution for 107 years, closed its doors in 2006. Their famous creamed spinach, which appeared on their menu from around 1945, was a legend and a secret until they published the recipe in their cookbook. Creamed spinach is one of those side dishes we all crave with a juicy steak, and is perfect for special occasions.

This recipe definitely looks like one adapted from a restaurant. Making less than 8 servings would be impractical because it would mean adding less than an 1/8 teaspoon of celery salt or having a leftover partial box of frozen spinach.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chicken base, or 1 cube chicken bouillon
  • 1/2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic (see note)
  • 1/8 teaspoon celery salt
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 (10 ounce) packages frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry (2 1/2 cups)
  • salt and ground white pepper, if desired
  • ground nutmeg, for garnish
  • crisp, cooked, crumbled bacon, for garnish

Ingredient note: Granulated garlic is dried granular garlic, not the same as dried minced, dried chopped, or garlic powder. It has the best flavor of all the dried garlic products, in our opinion. Some supermarkets carry it in the gourmet spice section, and it’s available from spice shops.

Preparation

In a medium size saucepan, heat the half-and-half, milk, chicken base, Tabasco, and seasonings to a simmer. Remove from the heat and keep warm.

In another medium size saucepan, heat the butter over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk well to combine. Cook this mixture for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring often. Slowly whisk the heated milk mixture into the butter mixture, a little at a time, whisking constantly until smooth. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes, stirring constantly until it thickens. The sauce will be very thick.

Stir in the spinach and simmer for 5 minutes. Adjust seasonings. Serve while hot.

To serve: Place the hot creamed spinach in a bowl, sprinkled with an extra touch of ground nutmeg on top. Top each serving with 1 tablespoon of crisp, cooked, crumbled bacon, if desired.

Idea: For a decadent breakfast, make an omelet with leftover creamed spinach, bacon, and goat cheese.

What’s oishii? “Oishii” (pronounced “oy she”) is the Japanese word for delicious. I love sharing great recipes I discover from popular restaurants, cookbooks, food magazines (Bon Appétit, Food & Wine, etc.), tv shows, friends, family, and other blogs. I also develop my own. Please contact me if there is a recipe you would like the test kitchen to review: michaelwbeyer@hotmail.com

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Open Faced Tuna Melts with Provolone

In lunch, seafood On August 27, 2010 8 Comments

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Open Faced Tuna Melts with Provolone (recipe by “Oishii!” and inspired by chef Joncarl Lachman)

I once worked briefly at a gourmet grocer and deli with a chef who claimed there was no such thing as a great tuna salad. I had to agree with him, but I took a version of his tuna salad, put it on toasted English muffins and elevated it into a delicious, juicy, hot sandwich. I make them on summer days in my toaster oven for an easy dinner. The reheated leftovers are even better. On day two I add an extra slice of cheese. Shhh!

Ingredients
makes 6 heaping open faced sandwiches

  • 3 5-ounce cans solid white albacore tuna, drained
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons green olives, diced into small pieces
  • 1 tablespoon capers, minced
  • 1 large stalk celery, diced into small pieces
  • 1/3 cup plus one tablespoon mayonaisse
  • kosher salt
  • fresh ground pepper
  • 6 English muffin halves
  • 6 slices provolone (or swiss cheese)
  • 1 large tomato, sliced

Preparation

To make tuna salad combine tuna, green olives, capers, celery, mayo, and salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Can be made a day in advance.

Toast English muffin halves on low heat so they are only partially done. Arrange them on a baking sheet cut side up. Divide tuna salad equally among the six English muffin halves. Top with tomato slice and cheese. Bake at 400°F for 6 minutes or until cheese is melted. Finish with a little bit more kosher salt and fresh grated pepper.

Other Lunch Ideas: Also try my Roasted Chicken Salad with Dried Cherries and Peanuts and Danish Egg Salad.

What’s oishii? “Oishii” (pronounced “oy she”) is the Japanese word for delicious. I love sharing great recipes I discover from popular restaurants, cookbooks, food magazines (Bon Appétit, Food & Wine, etc.), tv shows, friends, family, and other blogs. I also develop my own. Please contact me if there is a recipe you would like the test kitchen to consider: michaelwbeyer@hotmail.com

If you enjoyed this post, we would love to hear from you! Your feedback in the comments section below is essential to the success of this blog. -Michael

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slab apple cake

Grandma’s Slab Apple Cake

In autumn, comfort food, desserts, vegetarian On August 20, 2010 27 Comments

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Grandma’s Slab Apple Cake (recipe by “Oishii!”)

This is a treasured family recipe full of love and nostalgia. My Grandma Engelhardt loved baking for us, and we especially loved her apple cake, which made an appearance at most family holiday gatherings. I believe it is traditionally called apple kuchen, but we called it apple cake. I took some liberties to clarify her recipe. I do remember that she liked changing up the apple varieties in her desserts. At some point I decided that the tart apples were my favorite in this apple cake, so I usually use McIntosh and Granny Smiths. Feel free to experiment.

Ingredients

  • 5 large McIntosh apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
  • 6 large Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and sliced

dough:

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 tablespoons milk

streusel topping:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons flour
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Preparation

Grease an 18″ x 12″ heavy rimmed baking sheet with butter.

To make the dough, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl and mix well. In a small bowl beat together the egg and vanilla. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter, sugar, and milk. While mixer is still running, add the egg and vanilla. Slowly add dry ingredients to wet ingredients until just combined. Dough will be sticky. Flour hands and pat the dough into baking sheet.

Alternating between McIntosh and Granny Smiths, arrange apple slices upright and tightly into neat rows on top of the dough.

To make the streusel topping, in a small bowl mix together the remaining sugar, flour, butter and cinnamon with a fork or pastry blender. Sprinkle the apples with streusel topping and bake at 400ºF about 30 minutes until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.

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Ideas: Serve as a dessert with vanilla ice cream or for breakfast like a coffee cake. If there are leftover apple slices, make a compote out of them and serve with ice cream. I toss with brown sugar, cinnamon, and a little butter, and cook in a saucepan over medium heat, until they soften up.

What’s oishii? “Oishii” (pronounced “oy she”) is the Japanese word for delicious. I love sharing great recipes I discover from popular restaurants, cookbooks, food magazines (Bon Appétit, Food & Wine, etc.), tv shows, friends, family, and other blogs. I also develop my own. Please contact me if there is a recipe you would like the test kitchen to consider: michaelwbeyer@hotmail.com

Do you have any treasured family recipes? What do you make with apples when they are in season? If you enjoyed this post, we would love to hear from you! Please leave some feedback in the comments section below. -Michael

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Your Classic Bread-and-Butter Pickles

In condiment, favorite, seasonal, side dish, snack, summer, vegetarian On August 17, 2010 8 Comments

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Your Classic Bread-and-Butter Pickles (recipe adapted from “Quick Pickles Easy Recipes with Big Flavor,” by Chris Schlesinger, John Willoughby, and Dan George)

I had my “moment” at the Galena farmers market over the weekend. I scored a 13 pound box of pickles for $3.00. I was so excited and knew exactly what I was going to make.

For me bread and butter pickles are wrapped up in fond memories of a beloved grandmother. My emotions unspooled as I started making them last night. My Grandma Beyer was most famous in our family for making dill pickes, but my favorite was always her bread and butters. These pickles taste the same as the ones she used to make. I’m in pickle heaven and Grandma would be happy to know that.

Ingredients

  • 5 pounds pickling cucumbers (less than 5 inches long)
  • 3 medium onions (about 1 1/2 pounds)
  • 4 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard seeds
  • 3 cups cider vinegar
  • 2 1/2 cups brown sugar

Preparation

Trim and discard the blossom ends of the cucumbers, then peel the onions and cut both into rounds less than 1/4″ thick. In a nonreactive bowl, toss them with the salt, then cover and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours. Drain well, rinse, drain again, and then set the cucumbers and onions aside.

In a nonreactive pot, combine all the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring once or twice to dissolve the brown sugar. Reduce the heat to low, simmer for 3 minutes, and then pour the liquid over the cucumbers and onions. The cucumbers should be amply covered or slightly afloat.

Allow to cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate. These pickles have good flavor as soon as they are cool, but the flavor will deepen if you let them sit for 24 hours. They will keep, covered and refrigerated, for a month or more. Recipe adapted from “Quick Pickles Easy Recipes with Big Flavor.”

Now it’s your turn! Do you have any family recipes full of nostalgia or simply a food that floods you with emotions of loved one? Please share your comments below.

What’s oishii? “Oishii” (pronounced “oy she”) is the Japanese word for delicious. I love sharing great recipes I discover from popular restaurants, cookbooks, food magazines (Bon Appétit, Food & Wine, etc.), tv shows, friends, family, and other blogs. I also develop my own. Please contact me if there is a recipe you would like the test kitchen to review: michaelwbeyer@hotmail.com

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