Lime Poppyseed Cake

August 29, 2014

DSC_2524I’ve wanted to make this for a long time, since my coffee-filled, editing-the-book-manuscript afternoons at Kooka Boora (now KB Cafeshop) in Montmartre, when I nearly always had a thick piece of a lemony poppyseed cake with my triple lattes. I always wondered how it would taste if the lemon were lime.

Swapping out the lime for the lemon and adding poppyseeds to a recipe I’ve tried before totally worked. I love this cake more than I thought I would.

Then again, I’m a lime girl. Limeade or lemonade? Not even a decision. Margaritas? I think y’all know how I feel about those.

But this cake…limey, moist, and sorta perfect, actually. I had my first piece after dinner, and it was still slightly warm. The next day, even better. With coffee. Naturellement.

A word about the spoon in the photo as opposed to a fork. This is something that X always did — he’d use a small spoon for any dessert in the world — and I remember thinking how odd it was.  Spoons for cakes? How silly.

Then, like so many French things I thought were completely crazy (like a monthly metro card that only begins on the first day of the month as opposed to a 4-week card; stores closing at lunchtime), at some point, I started using a smallish spoon, too. I’ve learned it’s a really good crumb scooper.

Now I can’t imagine why the metro wouldn’t start on the first of the month, or a Monday only for a weeklong pass, and why on earth would a store be open during lunch?

Lunchtime is lunchtime, I’ve learned, and cake time, well, that’s all the time.

Lime Poppyseed Cake

Makes 1 loaf

Adapted from a recipe in The Essential New York Times Cookbook

  •              1 ½ cups of all-purpose flour
  •             ¼ teaspoon of baking powder
  •             ¼ teaspoon of baking soda
  •             ½ teaspoon of sea salt
  •             1 stick/½ cup of butter, softened
  •             1 cup of sugar
  •             2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  •             ¼ cup of grated lime zest
  •             ½ cup of milk or buttermilk
  •             ¼ cup of lime juice
  •             1 teaspoon of vanilla
  •             3 tablespoons of poppyseeds
  •             1 cup of powdered sugar
  •             2 to 3 tablespoons of lime juice

1. Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line the bottom of an 8 1/2-by-4 1/4-by-2 1/2-inch loaf pan with parchment paper – or, if you’re like my mom, just line the bottom of your pan with waxed paper to fit the bottom only (which works just fine, I found out).

2. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

3. In your stand mixer, beat together the butter and the sugar until fluffy, for about 5 minutes. Turn the speed down to medium and add the eggs one at a time (after each egg, I mixed about 1 minute). Now, add the lime zest.

4. In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, milk or buttermilk, and vanilla.

5. Starting and ending with the sifted flour mixture, alternatively add the flour, then the wet ingredients to the large mixing bowl. Mix in the poppyseeds. Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 45 minutes, or until a cake tester in the center comes out clean. Remove and let cool in the pan on a rack.

6. While the cake is still warm, sift 1 cup of confectioner’s sugar into a small bowl, whisk in the 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, and drizzle the lemon glaze on top of the cake.

 

 

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DSC_2603

You say fritters, I say galettes.

I can’t bring myself to call these sweet summery pancakes “fritters.” Fritter sounds so, oh, unhealthy, right? And these are not fried, which I believe a fritter — an Americanized form of the French word, frire, (to fry) – normally would be. Instead, they cook quickly, and with very little oil in a skillet, like pancakes…or crêpes.

Call them what you will, they’re lovely, and a great way to use what’s in abundance right now (and very inexpensive if you’ve not grown your own), corn and zucchini.

As y’all may have noticed, I’ve not made many recipes with corn much at all, and the reason is simply because it’s not readily available in France — sure, there may be an ear or two wrapped in cellophane at the Casino in August, and maybe even a few fresh ears at the market, but overall, you just don’t find a lot of it around here. Corn’s for pigs. And sometimes for sprinkling on top of a salad. But that’s about it.

Not the same in Texas, U.S. of A., where it’s corncorncorn all summer long. So I decided to pair it up with zucchini, which people are practically giving away this time of year.

The sauce is an adaptation of one I found in Ottolenghi The Cookbook (Ten Speed Press). I made it one day to serve on top of wedges of sweet potatoes, and ended up spooning it on top of pieces of rotisserie chicken, too. I loved it so much, I made it again the next day, and realized it could be my new everything sauce — the tahini base makes it thick and keeps it together, but you can add more water to thin it out for a salad, too, if you want.

Or swap out cilantro for parsley, or add a mixture of fresh herbs, whatever you’ve got on hand. That’s what I plan to do next.

DSC_2543

Zucchini and Corn Galettes with Green Tahini Sauce

Makes 18 (3-inch) galettes

  •             3 ears of fresh sweet corn, shucked
  •             2 cups of shredded zucchini (from two small or 1 large zucchini)
  •             4 green onions, chopped
  •             1 small handful of fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
  •             1 cup/145 grams of cornmeal
  •             2 teaspoons of baking powder
  •             1 teaspoon of sea salt
  •             ½ teaspoon of Aleppo pepper
  •             ⅛ teaspoon of cinnamon
  •             ½ teaspoon of cumin
  •             2 eggs
  •             1 (5.29-ounce) container/150 gram of Greek yogurt
  •             1 cup of water
  •             2 tablespoons of vegetable or canola oil
  •             Green Tahini Sauce, recipe follows

1. Preheat oven to broil.

2. Put the cleaned corn cobs under the broiler and cook until browned on all sides. Remove, let cool, then slice off the kernels with a sharp knife. (Note: You can do this ahead of time and keep in the fridge until you’re ready to make the galettes.)

3. Put the corn, zucchini, cilantro and green onions in one bowl.

4. In another bowl, whisk together the corn meal, baking powder, sea salt, Aleppo pepper, cinnamon and cumin.

5. In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, yogurt and water. Add this mixture to the dry ingredients and stir together. If the batter is too thick, just add a bit more water. Fold in the vegetables.

6. Heat 2 tablespoons of the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Using your ice cream scoop, add as many galettes as you can, leaving an inch between each one (they’ll spread slightly). Cook for a couple of minutes, or until the bottoms are brown and toasty, then flip to the other side for another few minutes. You don’t want these to cook too fast, or they’ll be wet in the middle (you may need to turn the heat down once the skillet gets hot to prevent this.) Serve right away with Green Tahini Sauce or keep warm in a 200°F degree oven.

Cowgirl Tip: These reheat beautifully. Just pop them in the toaster or toaster oven.

 

Ottolenghi’s Green Tahini Sauce

Makes about 1 cup

Adapted from a recipe in Ottolenghi The Cookbook

  •             1 clove of garlic
  •             ⅔ cup of tahini
  •             about ½ cup of water (more or less, depending on how thin
  •              you’d like it to be)
  •             ¼ cup of lemon juice
  •             1 small bunch of parsley (I use the curly, but flat will work, too),
  •             with stems
  •             ½ teaspoon of sea salt

Put the garlic in your food processor and finely chop. Add the rest of the ingredients, then refrigerate until ready to serve. Great on top of vegetables, meats, or even as a salad dressing — just thin it out with more water.

DSC_2561

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Oatmeal, Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip Cookies

August 18, 2014

Newsflash: my new favorite cookie is also one that’s — gulp! — gluten-free. But that’s not why I made them, and it’s not why I like them. But I saw this recipe and liked that it used maple syrup instead of refined sugar and wondered how this alone would transform a cookie. It’s not a […]

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No Recipe: Oven-Dried Tomato Skins

August 15, 2014

The sad truth of testing recipes all the time means that there’s a lot of waste. I often make full recipes of dishes (to serve two or four) in order to get the measurements right, but one cowgirl can only eat so much. Things get tossed out. And even when I’m not in recipe-testing mode […]

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No Recipe: Peach-Basil Popsicles

August 11, 2014

  What do you do with a big ‘ol box of scratch-and-dent peaches (for just $20!) from Ham’s Orchard in Terrell? Make peach popsicles, that’s what. Those slightly overripe, still perfectly good peaches are perfect for popsicles, and there’s absolutely nothing to it. You peel and pit as many peaches as you’d like (in my […]

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Two Great Asian Dipping Sauces

August 7, 2014

Making Asian food at home is really quite easy, but like any other cuisine, you just need to stock up on all of the staples (in this case, fish and soy sauce, sesame oil, etc.). Then once the craving strikes, you’re ready to go. These two sauces are fantastic for spring rolls, cold noodles, or […]

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99 Ranch

August 3, 2014

This is a partial photo of what I managed to put in my grocery basket after wandering the long aisles of 99 Ranch the other day, the grocery store for all things Asian in Plano. It’s like what Tang Freres in Paris would be if, I guess, it were here — a bigger, more inclusive, store […]

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E Bar

July 28, 2014

Friendships and food are a funny thing, especially when they’re tightly linked to a particular place. Primo’s on McKinney Avenue was, for more than a decade or so I guess, where I met everyone at one time or another. I went there for first dates and anniversaries. To celebrate birthdays. To mourn deaths. For no […]

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Homemade Hummus

July 24, 2014

I’m as DIY as the next gal, and I used to make my own hummus, but sometime in the 90s, when you could find it anywhere, I stopped. I started buying the ready-made stuff. That was probably several hundred dollars of hummus ago. This hit me, the wasted money on hummus, particularly hard last week, […]

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Salad 1-2-3

July 21, 2014

Or Jetlag Salad, if you prefer. When I’m thrown back in time seven time zones, as I was last week, I need something that’s healthy — and super-quick to put together. You need: 1. Rotisserie chicken 2. Arugula 3. Croutons (in this case, ones made from Eric Kayser olive bread that I brought back in […]

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