Monday, July 31, 2017

Fresh Herb Yogurt Bread

Somehow I have made it to the end of July and not harvested and used a fraction of the bounty from my herb gardens. 

When I saw this recipe in an old German cooking magazine I was reminded of that fact. Also I was reminded how much Germans love and use yogurt in their baked goods. 

This bread is delightful. It has enough heft and a lovely crunch crust to pass as heartier fare. However, the taste is tangy and laced with the lovely flavors of mixed fresh herbs. The rise time on this beauty is relatively shot, only one hour total. However, If you do not want to deal with waiting for bread to rise, try adding herbs to this No Rise Oatmeal Yogurt Whole Wheat Bread

I made up my own mix of herbs based on the abundance in my garden. Use whatever you have on hand, whatever you can get your hands on or what you can beg from a neighbor. 

Friday, July 28, 2017

Chocolate Espresso Tart in a Thyme Crust

Forget pairing coffee and dessert. You can now skip the beverage and go straight to this tart. The espresso is built right in. Just in time for the weekend, a chocolatey, espresso creamy filling wrapped in a thyme spiked dough. 

I saw a version of this in a German baking magazine and decided to groove it up by adding fresh thyme to the crust. A good move it turns out in the flavor department. Also a great use of all the fresh thyme flourishing in my garden. Win. Win.

You can weave a traditional lattice crust from the dough. Alternately, in general I like to save time and aggravation by using a nice shaped cookie cutter to top tarts and pies. It significantly reduced the prep time and looks just as fancy. Win. Win. Again.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Toasted Almond Chicken Roulade in Orange Cream Sauce

What I love about this gorgeous chicken dish packed with sexy flavor is it's seasonal flexibility. For winter months, it presents a cheerful addition to any meal on a gloomy winter day. It's perfect special occasions like Christmas or Easter. Also, a total winner and stunner for any family special occasion. 

Boneless chicken breasts are lightly marinated with mild yellow mustard then rolled up around a mixture of toasted almond leaves, fresh chopped dill and orange zest. The chicken roulade is then skillet-simmered in an orange cream white wine sauce. Reduce the calories and fat by using Half & Half or a lighter version of the heavy cream. 

Monday, July 24, 2017

Blueberry Brown Sugar Buckwheat Gugelhupf

I don't know how a package of buckwheat took up residence my pantry but it had been living there for awhile. It was time to do something about this mystery.

Researching the difference between the bundt cake and the gugelhupf came up with a whole lot of nothing. Sort of. 

For those interested, bundt is the name of a pan invented in the 50's in America. Gugelhupf which is translates as "Hood" and "jump" (put together = huh?) predates the pan by hundreds of years and is usually a yeasted marble cake.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Hazelnut Battered Fried Asparagus Spears over Whipped Lemon Parmesan Potatoes

In my what seems like forever quest to make veggies sexier, this happened. And as a certain formerly incarcerated lifestyle guru who has dissed bloggers spouted, "It's a good thing."

The potatoes have 1/4 cup of heavy cream but you can substitute a light version, Half and Half or if you are watching your waistline. The nutty, crunchy crust on the crispy green asparagus is just perfect. 

Even though the asparagus is fried in oil and served on top of mashed potatoes, the lemon zest, juice and hazelnuts give this meal a lighter feeling than you would think. Besides, it is flavor heaven.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Pistachio Raspberry Horns

These are devilishly good (see what I did there?). Ground sugared pistachio nuts are swirled together with sweet and tart raspberry jam for a perfect pastry filling.

This divine mixture is enrobed in a delicious pastry dough containing cream cheese. Beware, the dough must stand in the fridge overnight before using.  Thankfully, pulling the rest of the recipe together is a cinch. 

The red and green colored filling combination also make it a perfect addition to your dessert table at Christmastime. Yeah, it's never to early to start bookmarking holiday meal recipes, even in sweltering July. 

Monday, July 17, 2017

Radish Scallion Fritters with Yogurt Dip

These pretty veggie fritters are a great addition to any summer table.  Lunch, brunch or dinner, this scallion and radish combination brings the crunch and flavor. Serve with a green side salad and you have a lovely light, yet satisfying meal.

The flexible part here is the yogurt dip. I used reduced fat Greek yogurt as a base. In flavoring it, I kept it relatively simple by adding lemons zest, juice, garlic powder and kosher salt and pepper.

You can go nuts instead. Use curry powder, paprika, ground sumac, chili pepper or any of your favorite spices. Make it your own.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Strawberry Balsamic Mustard

This the third recipe in my trifecta of my homemade strawberry condiments this season. Taking it's place on the shelf next to strawberry ketchup, Roasted Jalapeño Strawberry Relish is this delightful flavorful strawberry balsamic mustard. 

It might seem daunting at first to make homemade mustard. However, this recipe is almost too easy. Grind up some mustard seeds, cook up some strawberries and sugar and blend together with white wine, the mustard and stir in the balsamic. Easy but not quite done yet. 

You will have to be patient and wait two weeks to use your mustard. It needs to hide in a cool dark place for that long to work it's flavor magic. It will be worth it when it's time to open the jar.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Blueberry Hand Pies - King Arthur Flour's July Bakealong Recipe

What says summer better than blueberry pie? What could be cuter than these blueberry hand pies? So many questions so early in this post.

I've got the answers people. I'm raising my hand right now for these hand pies. 

King Arthur Flour has knocked it out of the park again with July's Bakalong recipe for blueberry hand pies

You can vent the pies with any shape you like. good old fashioned slits are fine. I loved the star shape the KAF peeps used so I did the same. Heart or flower shapes would also look cute. You could even alternate shapes for each.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Rhubarb Almond Marzipan Tart

Ok, so I am not done with rhubarb yet. Don't judge. It seems as long as it's in the market, I will find uses for it.

The combination of the tangy rhubarb and sweet almond marzipan in this tart is perfect. The crust contains almond flour and caramelized blanched almond slivers make up the topping.

I made crust, the filling and topping can all be made ahead of time. The day I was serving the tart, it took 10 minutes to throw together so I all  had to do was bake it.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Sweet Milk Cake with Blue flowers Glaze

I found this recipe for a milk cake in one of my German cooking magazines and was intrigued. The cake is drenched, I mean seriously soused. Drunk off its butt in a milk mixture. 

 The original recipe topped the cake with piped whipped cream. However, since there are three types of milk products in the cake itself, I bypassed the whipped cream topping and opted instead to invent a sexy glaze. 

 I was inspired by this gorgeous Provencal Wildflowers mix from Herbaria I picked up at the Fancy Food Show in New York at the end of last month. 

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Beer Batter Fried Fish Fingers with Apple Mustard Cream

These crispy, golden beer battered fried fish fingers is served with a delicious homemade chunky apple mustard cream that is the perfect blend of sweet and spicy. 

 Fresh chopped herbs are added to the beer batter which amp up the flavor. I prefer a Helles beer variety. A light herb beer can be substituted as well.

I used ocean perch for this recipe but you can substitute any moderately firm textured fish such as cod or whatever is easiest to find in your local grocer.

A perfect summer dinner option.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Roasted Jalapeño Strawberry Relish

I was going to declare I am officially on a summer strawberry condiment kick but it's actually more like a tear. 

Last week I posted and boasted about the fruity and tangly loveliness of homemade Strawberry Ketchup. Strawberry ketchup is so last week. I'm on to this pretty and delicious relish perfect for hot dogs, sausages and burgers. 

This past year roasted jalapeños have become my new favorite ingredient. From roasted jalapeño hummus to roasting the jalapenõs to add to  pineapple sake sangria , pre-roasting the peppers can add fabulous flavor to both sweet and savory recipes. 

This relish comes together in a jiffy. 40 minutes and you're done. Removing the seeds and ribs from the jalapenõ peppers does away with most of their heat. While you're handling the peppers, for God's sake whatever you do not NOT touch your eyes. Wash your hands throughly after working with them.