Archive for May, 2008
I don’t like making pancakes usually, I find it labor intensive and messy. Yes, I have trouble juggling the act of pouring (batter), flipping, and keeping them warm. But German pancakes are ridiculously easy and foolproof every time. It’s not a pancake in the fluffy sense; it’s more like a crepe but thicker and has a crispy edge. You will need a well seasoned cast iron skillet and an oven, the physical labor ends when you pour the batter into the skillet and swirl (that is till you take it out and serve).
German pancake (adapted from Real Simple magazine)
1/2 cup yogurt(plain, and on the thin side) or milk
1/2 cup flour
1 tbsp sugar
pinch of salt
dash of cinnamon
2 tbsp canola oil
butter, powder sugar, and cinnamon to top (optional)
Coat cast iron skillet with the oil and place in the oven and preheat to 450º (for at least 15mins). Beat all the ingredients together till smooth. Carefully pour the batter into the hot skillet and swirl it to cover the bottom, quickly push it back into the oven. Bake for 10mins or till puffed and golden (it will deflate once out of the oven). Butter and dust with cinnamon and powder sugar.
According to wikipedia, clafoutis is made with cherries, while ones made with other fruits; are called ‘flognarde’. It’s supposed to be something in between a cake and custard. I tried using a Donna Hay recipe for Plum Clafoutis but I had only two eggs (called for three), no heavy cream and blackberries instead of plums. So with two eggs and a can of coconut milk I manage to make something clafouti-like; it’s on the creamy custard side but still holds it’s shape (not runny).
Blackberry Coconut Clafoutis (or Flognarde)
1 can (14oz) coconut milk (full fat)
1 tsp almond extract
1/3 cup flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 pint blackberries (fresh or frozen)
organic shortening or butter for greasing pan
sugar to coat pan
Preheat oven to 350º. Mix everything (except blackberries) till smooth. Grease a pan (I used an 8in square glass dish, but a large oval baking dish would be prettier), add about 2 tablespoons of sugar to the dish and swirl it around to coat. Pour batter into dish, and stud with blackberries. Bake for 40-45min till top is browned.
Fresh organic blackberries aren’t on sale yet, and frozen ones work great here.
Empire Cafe, located off of Westheimer & Dunlavy (Houston, TX) is a quaint little spot that I’ve loved going to for years. It’s a great place to go on any given day, but especially great on a beautiful day, as they have plenty of outdoor seating. I enjoy going with friends and having a glass of wine with one of their decadent desserts (mmmm Italian creme cake). I behaved and did not get one that night. I know…For shame! I like that it’s within walking distance of the many boutique, thrift, and antique shops down Westheimer.
So this past Friday, my brother, sister and I hit up Empire because my brother wanted the Friday special. Friday special? I ask. See that delicious glazed salmon pictured above with asparagus and other veggies served over rice? That is the Friday special. My brother was kind enough to let us taste a bit of it. Absolutely delicious. The salmon was cooked just right and didn’t have that fishy taste salmon sometimes has.
I started backwards with this post, but my brother also ordered a mojito and I thought it looked pretty interesting. Mojitos are mojitos, but this was darned good. It wasn’t as strong, which I appreciated. I think for most people, you’re not there to get drunk. You’re there to enjoy the atmosphere and have a good drink on a lovely day. I think next time, I’ll grab a mimosa.
And a meal with my family wouldn’t be complete without an appetizer. That night we had *dips of the world*. An appetizer with baked pita bread and three different dipping sauces; a spinach & artichoke dip, black bean dip, and a marinara sauce. Personally, that spinach & artichoke dip was my favorite. I ate most of it. heh =)
Duck confit risotto –
Pan-fried scallops –
sweet raisin vinaigrette and cauliflower
and cumin velouté
Best-end of Herdwick lamb
and tapenade jus
shiitake mushrooms and bean sprouts
with lemongrass foam
I’m not quite sure why, but I’ve craved pancakes like no other recently. Normally, I make pancakes from scratch for the whole family, but I live alone now and so I’ve got to find quicker alternatives to get my breakfast in before work. Well, I went shopping at Williams Sonoma because I had a gift card there and saw this pancake mix. There were a variety of choices, but I’m a buttermilk kind of girl, so Flappin’ Jack is what I picked.
Now, the recipe calls for 1 cup of mix and then 1 cup of water or milk, but I thought it was a little too liquidy and not quite thick enough for me. So, I’ve been using 1 cup of pancake mix and about 3/4 cup of milk. The pancakes are still super fluffy and oh so tasty. The recipe says it yields about 6 pancakes per cup of mix, but I usually end up with about 3 decent sized pancakes.
I really couldn’t have picked a better pancake mix. It was delicious and I savor every bite. Sure, you can add your favorite fruits, but if you just want a quick buttermilk pancake fix, this will definitely do it for you. I miss the baking and cooking. Till next time!
P.S. The pancake man on the container creeps me out…just a little bit. ^_~
The hubby loves cereal (mainly Nature’s Path Optimum Power) and soymilk in the morning, afternoon, late at night, and whenever he feels like eating something. He doesn’t really miss it when we go weeks without buying any but when it’s there he’ll go thru a box in two days (maybe three). I tried buying in bulk, but it still doesn’t feel like much of a deal. The cheapest organic cereals are plain puffed grains of some sort. I prefer granola, but most of the granola I see at the stores aren’t organic and they are still expensive. A one pound bag of organic rolled oats is moderate in price. To make a bowl of oatmeal you would use less than you would normally consume in a bowl of granola.
So here’s my attempt in trying to solve my cereal dilemma, involving some cheap organic puffed brown rice and organic rolled oats. However, with the added costs of nuts, fruits and other extras, I don’t think I can conclusively calculate it as a real savings. But it’s tasty and makes use of my new glass container.
Granola cereal with almonds, coconut, and raisins
2 1/2 – 3 cups rolled oats (I eyeballed it)
2 cups puffed rice or kamut
1 cup slivered almonds
2/3 cup flaked coconut
2/3 cup raisins
1/4 cup golden syrup or maple syrup/rice bran syrup (more or less according to your taste)
1 tsp molasses (optional)
1 tbsp of oil or more if needed
Makes about 2 1/2 quarts (roughly)
Preheat oven to 350º. Coat large mixing bowl with the oil. Mix everything except the raisins together in the bowl with the liquids. Pour and spread evenly onto a parchment lined sheet pan. Bake for 20mins (or till golden brown), stirring it half way thru. When cooled mix in raisins, and store in an airtight container if you intend to keep for long. The non-airtight container is ok for a day or two (which is exactly how long it’s gonna last here).
Will be making more soon, but I ran out of raisins, and walnuts might be cheaper.