Monday, June 27, 2011

Rhubarb Coffee Cake

I made this yummy coffee cake for my book last week. Its very moist and is delicious served warm.  If you want to be truly decadent serve with softly whipped heavy cream to which you can add 1 tablespoon powdered sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla.  No cool whip please!

3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup white sugar
2/3 cup canola oil
1 egg
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla 2-1/2 cups flour
3 cups diced rhubarb, fresh
Streusel Topping
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/3 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup butter

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter a 9 x 13 inch baking pan.
In a large bowl, combine brown sugar, sugar, oil, and eggs. Beat well with electric mixer.
Add buttermilk, baking soda, salt, and vanilla. Beat well.
Add flour and mix just until blended. Stir in rhubarb.
Spoon into baking pan.

In a small bowl, combine topping ingredients.  Cut butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle evenly on top of batter.

Bake for 35 - 45 minutes or until lightly brown and set in the middle.

The way I managed to serve the cake warm was by mixing all the dry ingredients and the wet ingredients the night before.  Keep them separate.  I stored the liquid in the frig along with the cut up rhubarb and the prepared streusel topping. I also prepared the pan. When I got home from work, I preheated the oven and quickly combined everything and popped the cake into the hot oven.  While it was baking, I had plenty of time to whip the cream.

Adapted from Donna's Recipes, Channel 3000

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Green Salad with Strawberry Dressing

The amounts are not important in this salad, but it's a lovely salad when you start gettng local strawberries and lettuce or salad greens. 

A large bowl of lettuce or salad greens
1-2 cups of sliced strawberries
1/2 cup or more of crumbled feta cheese
1/2 cup toasted walnuts or pecans

The dressing:
1/3 cup mashed strawberries
3 tablespoons balsamic vingegar (I used some raspberry balsamic which was perfect in this dressing)
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 cup olive oil or more if you prefer
salt and pepper

Whisk together ingredients and pour over the salad.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Roasted Shrimp & Broccoli

Fabian's Seafood from Galveston Texas comes to Madison about once a month.  They sell their shrimp from a truck parked in the Steve's Liquor parking lot on University Avenue.  I usually try to get some of their shrimp and for a real treat lump crabmeat when they are in town.  This time I just purchased a pound of extra-large shrimp which I cooked with the broccoli from our CSA farm.
Heat oven to 425 degrees.  On a large cookie sheet toss together 1-2 pounds of broccoli cut into florets of medium size with 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon of ground coriander, 1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin, salt, pepper and 1/8 teaspoon of hot chili poweder (optional).  If you use the stem, which I like to do, be sure to peel it first and then slice the stems.  I made the mistake of not peeling the stems and they were a bit on the tough side.  Spread in a thin layer and roast in the oven for 10 minutes.  Stir and roast for 5 more minutes. 
Take the shrimp (1#), which have been shelled and deveined, and combine with 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil, finely grated lemon zest from 1 lemon, salt and pepper.  Add the shrimp to the broccoli and combine.  Roast 5 minutes and test the shrimp for doneness.  Serve it with rice or Harvest Grains Blend from Trader Joe's which features Israeli couscous, along with red and green orzo, split dried garbanzo beans, and red quinoa. It's a great combination and cooks in 10 minutes.

Adapted from The Amateur Gourmet & the New York Times

Swiss Chard Fritatta with Bacon, Potatoes and Feta

I have a friend who belongs to a CSA who has a family that is not partial to (as in won't eat) Swiss Chard.  Their disdain is our gain.  I've posted quite a number of different recipes using chard, but I'm always open to new ones.  This dish would make a great breakfast/brunch dish although we had it for supper with some garlic bread. 

4 slices bacon
1/2 small onion or 1 whole shallot, sliced
1 potato, chopped in small pieces, about 1 cup (no need to peel)
1 bunch Swiss chard, stemmed and thinly sliced, stems finely diced
1 tablespoon fresh savory (optional)
Salt & pepper
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
5 large eggs, beaten with 2 tablespoons half and half, milk or water
Pinch Cayenne
1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled

Cook the bacon until brown and crisp. Remove the bacon from the pan and transfer it to a paper towel lined plate. Reserve.  Pour off all but about 1-2 tablespoons of bacon grease.  Otherwise, pour it all out and substitute olive oil. 

Cook the onion, potato and chard stems in the hot fat until the pototoes are tender. I found it worked well to cover the pan. Add the garlic and Swiss chard, in batches if necessary.  When the chard is wilted, add the pinch of salt and pepper and cook for about 4 minutes or until the greens are tender. Beat the eggs with the salt, pepper,pinch of cayenne and 1/2 & 1/2 or milk.
Set the oven rack to the second highest position and preheat the broiler.
Crumble and sprinkle the reserved bacon and feta cheese into the greens and pour the eggs evenly over all. Reduce heat to medium low and cook for 2 minutes, covered. Uncover and transfer the pan to the broiler and broil until the eggs are set and the top is browned. Watch carefully. Remove and cut into wedges.  It is good hot or at room temperature.

Note:  I used the savory because it came in our box of CSA veggies.

Adapted from Meredith & Carla's blog.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Spring Vegetable Risotto with Mint Gremolata

Now that fresh asparagus is available at the farmers' market as well as the mint, this is a good recipe to try.  Its especially good if you're a fan of risotto as we are.  I don't have much mint & parsley available in the pots on my deck yet, but friends with gardens donated some. 

The recipe calls for you to enhance the broth with simmering vegetable trimmings in it.  I'm sure you could just pour some chicken broth out of a box and have it taste just fine.  I did go ahead and simmer the vegetables while preparing the ones I was going to use in the risotto.  Be careful not to overcook the asparagus when you saute it prior to adding to the risotto.  Also be sure to add a good Parmesan cheese when making this dish.  It does matter.

Spring Vegetable Risotto, Serves 6


¼ cup minced fresh parsley, stems reserved
¼ cup minced fresh mint leaves, stems reserved
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest


1 pound asparagus, reserve tough end of stems
2 medium leeks (cut in ½ lengthwise, wash well and sliced thin—about 4 cups) reserve dark green leaves
4 cups chicken broth
3 cups water
4 tablespoons unsalted butter {divided}
1 cup frozen peas, defrosted
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
1 cup dry white wine or less
salt and pepper
3/4 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese (1 1/2 oz)
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

Additional grated cheese for sprinkling on top of the risotto , if desired

For the Gremolata: Combine ingredients in small bowl and set aside.

For the Risotto: Snap the tough ends off the asparagus & place them in a stockpot. Add the chicken broth, the dark green parts of the leeks , stems from mint & parsley & water. Bring the stock to a boil, reduce to a simmer & cook, covered, for 20 minutes.

Drain the stock, discard the vegetables & transfer the liquid back to the stockpot. Cover & keep warm over low heat.

Slice the asparagus into 1/2" pieces. Heat 1 tablespoon of the butter, in a large saucepan. Add the asparagus & cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes or until crisp tender. Transfer to a bowl & set aside.

Melt 2 tablespoons of butter, in the same pan, over medium heat & add the leeks, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt & 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Cook, until the leeks are softened, about 4-5 minutes. Stir in the rice & cook for 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the wine & cook until fully absorbed, 2-3 minutes.

Add 3 cups of the warm stock. Reduce the heat & simmer, stirring frequently, until the liquid is absorbed, about 10-12 minutes. Continue this process, adding the stock, a 1/2 cup at a time & simmering until the liquid is absorbed, until the rice is tender or to your taste.

Add the peas, 1 tablespoon butter & lemon juice. Gradually stir in the Parmesan. Gently fold in the asparagus. Check for seasoning. Sprinkle each serving with gremolata and additional cheese if desired.

Note: You may not need all of the broth.

Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated
Picture compliments of The Parsley Thief