Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Blueberry Scones

Yes, another Blueberry recipe! I still have about 5 pounds to go... so look for a few more!
I love scones, I wish they weren't so fattening! I googled and found this recipe from Martha Stewart. I don't think I've ever used one of her recipes before, so this was a first.
I have to say, not very impressed! I think my blueberries are a bit tart, but these scones weren't sweet at all! Now I know, I am used to Starbucks scones and they tend to be sweeter than most, but only having 3 tbsp. of sugar in the whole recipe just wasn't enough. I did use organic raw sugar, but it shouldn't really matter what kind of sugar is used.
I think next time I'll look for another recipe with just a bit more sweetness!
Blueberry Scones by Martha Stewart

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Tofu Curry Skewers with Curry Dipping Sauce

Last weekend, JJ and I went to Cheeseburger in Paradise to finally use the gift card we got at Valentines Day from my parents (thanks, Mom and Dad!) I saw the grilled chicken satay with curry dipping sauce, which sounded somewhat healthy, so that's what I went with. I got the teriyaki broccoli as my side and a house salad, and it was a good meal, but I thought it was really expensive for CIP standards (about $15!) It was definitely something I could make at home, but since we had a gift card, I wasn't too upset about it. I probably won't go back there and get it, from now on I'll make it at home. However, I have to say their Paradise Beach Ale is a great beer!

I've been trying to clean out the pantry, and I had a can of coconut milk I got from my last trip to Trader Joe's. I also had just enough curry powder to make a marinade and the dipping sauce. I am really limiting my meat to maybe once a week, so I made tofu skewers for me and chicken for JJ. I served this with broccoli steamed and tossed in TJ's Island Soyaki.

Tofu Curry Skewers with Curry Dipping Sauce

1 block of organic extra firm tofu, drained and pressed overnight
1 15 oz. can light coconut milk
1 garlic clove, grated
1 tbsp. teriyaki or soy sauce
salt and pepper
juice of 1 lime
1 tbsp. brown sugar

Dice tofu into 1" cubes.
Add half of the coconut milk to a plastic storage dish.
Add the grated garlic, 1 tbsp. curry powder and soy/teriyaki sauce.
Shake well or whisk. Add tofu, shake again.
Marinade for a few hours.
Skewer tofu cubes.
Heat a grill pan or griddle over medium-high heat.
Spray with EVOO spray, place skewers on and cook for 3-5 minutes per side, or until golden brown.
While skewers cook, add remaining coconut milk to a small saucepot. Bring to a simmer.
Add 2 tbsp. curry powder, brown sugar, salt and pepper. Whisk until smooth.
Remove from heat, just before serving, squeeze in lime juice.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Sour Cream Blueberry Pancakes

With impending rain, heat, and bugs, Vickie and I decided to go blueberry picking at 7am. We picked for about an hour, so when I got home around 8:30, JJ was still in bed. I was ready to dive into the berries, and thought I might lure JJ out of bed with some pancakes. I had already packed up all my cookbooks and didn't feel like looking up a recipe, so I just made one up. I wanted to make it something special, with a twist or two, so I added lemon zest and sour cream, and rather than have maple syrup (because we were out) I made a lemon blueberry sauce. These pancakes were fluffy and delicious, but the berries got so hot, when we bit into them the juice burned our mouths - be careful!

Sour Cream Blueberry Pancakes

1/4 c. light sour cream
1 c. milk (we have 1%)
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/4 c. unbleached AP flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
zest of 1 lemon
2 tbsp. brown sugar
1 c. blueberries

1 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. brown sugar
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 c. blueberries

Preheat a griddle over medium heat.
In a mixing bowl, whisk together milk, sour cream, egg and vanilla.
In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, lemon zest and brown sugar.
Add wet ingredients to dry and fold together. Add in blueberries and fold again.
Butter or spray griddle, ladle pancake batter onto griddle about 1/4-1/3 c. at a time.
When pancakes bubble up, flip (about 5 minutes).
Cook for another 3 minutes or so, and plate.
This recipe makes about 8 pancakes.

Heat a saucepan over medium, add butter, melt. Add brown sugar, bring to a bubble.
Add lemon juice and blueberries, cover and simmer until a thick sauce develops, about 5-10 minutes.
Pour over pancakes, serve with whipped cream if desired.

Blueberry Crumb Coffee Cake

When I first got Baking, From My Home to Yours, by Dorie Greenspan, I was amazed at how many recipes had photos. I hate cookbooks that don't have photos because I am such a visual person. When I flipped to the page that had this Blueberry Crumb Coffee Cake, I dog earred the page and knew I'd be making it at some point.
I seriously considered it for my TWD week when I was part of the group, but I know blueberries can be hard to find and expensive in the off season, so I went with the WONDERFUL banana marble loaf.
Well I'd forgotten about the recipe until I was packing up my cookbooks on Friday and saw it. Since I was going blueberry picking on Saturday, it seemed like fate. I made it as soon as I could! This recipe was good, the cake was nice, but it's the crumbs that make it something special! My cake was a bit dry, and I only cooked it for 50 minutes, so I don't know that I'd go as long as Dorie says to.
I also didn't have walnuts, so I used rolled oats instead. I think the oats made the crumble even more delicious and healthier! I served this with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream.

Blueberry Crumb Coffee Cake
by Dorie Greenspan

For the Crumbs:
5 tbsp unsalted butter at room temp
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup light brown sugar (packed)
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup rolled oats

For the Cake:
1 pint blueberries
2 cups plus 2 tsp all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
2/3 cup sugar
grated zest of 1/2 lemon
3/4 stick (6 tbsp) unsalted butter at room temp
2 large eggs, at room temp
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 350.
Butter an 8-inch square pan and put it on a baking sheet.
To make the crumbs:
Put all the ingredients except the nuts in a food processor and pulse just until the mixture forms clumps and curds and holds together when pressed.
Scrape the topping into a bowl, stir in the nuts and press a piece of plastic wrap against the surface.
Refrigerate until needed.

To make the cake:
Using your fingertips, toss the blueberries and 2 tsp of the flour together in a small bowl just to coat the berries; set aside.
Whisk together the remaining 2 cups flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.
Working in the bowl of a stand mixer or in another large bowl, rub the sugar and zest together with your fingertips until the sugar is moist and aromatic.
Add the butter and, with the paddle or whisk attachment, or with a hand mixer, beat the sugar with the butter at medium speed until light, about 3 minutes.
Add the eggs one by one, beating for about 1 minute after each addition, then beat in the vanilla extract.
Don’t be concerned if the batter looks curdled — it will soon smooth out.
Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour mixture and the buttermilk alternately, the flour in 3 parts and the buttermilk in 2 (begin and end with the dry ingredients.)
You will have a thick, creamy batter.
With a rubber spatula, gently stir in the berries.
Scrape the batter into the buttered pan and smooth the top gently with the spatula.
Pull the crumb mix from the fridge and, with your fingertips, break it into pieces.
There’s no need to try to get even pieces — these are crumbs, they’re supposed to be lumpy and bumpy and every shape and size. Scatter the crumbs over the batter, pressing them down ever so slightly.
Bake for 55 to 65 minutes, or until the crumbs are golden and a thin knife inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
Transfer the cake to a rack and cool just until it is warm or until it reaches room temperature.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Blueberries '09!

It appears as though I've made blueberry picking on July 4th a tradition! Last year I did it with my mom in Cincinnati, and this year, I went with my friend Vickie. I was a good little picker, check out the berries!

After eating about a pound yesterday and having the worst stomach ache last night, I've decided to maybe do some more baking and cooking with them rather than just eat them all (though I did just add a huge handful to my oatmeal...)

Anyway, any favorite blueberry recipes I haven't tried? I'm thinking about making Dorie's blueberry coffee cake, maybe some scones and/or muffins... I made some pancakes yesterday, that recipe will be up soon!

Caprese Pasta Salad

We were invited to a July 4th party yesterday, and I was asked to make a pasta salad. I love making them, but I keep trying to make up new ones, and it's a challenge! I went to Sam's club to get a few things, and saw these pearl fresh mozzarella balls, and knew I had to get them and use them. I'd never seen them this small before! I also saw the tri-color tortellini there, so I decided to make a Caprese salad, but with tortellini. For the dressing, I used a thin pesto. This pasta salad was delicious and the pearl mozzarella balls were a hit!

Caprese Pasta Salad

1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1 c. pearl mozzarella balls (or diced fresh mozzarella from large balls)
1 lb. fresh tortellini
1 small red onion, sliced very thin

4 c. fresh basil
1 large garlic clove, smashed
1/3 c. grated parmesan
salt and pepper
1/4 c. toasted pine nuts
1/3/-1/2 c. EVOO
Water or vegetable stock, to thin it more, if desired

Prepare pesto:
In a food processor, add basil, garlic, parmesan, pine nuts, salt and pepper.
Process to a fine mince, pulsing and running the machine as necessary.
Stream in EVOO and leave processor running.
Scrape down the sides, taste, adjust seasonings, add water or stock for a thinner dressing (this can also be added later)

Cook tortellini according to package, drain and cool to room temp.
Add mozzarella, tomatoes, onion and pesto to a large bowl. Toss to coat.
Add tortellini, toss to coat.
This pasta salad needs to be refrigerated, however is best to eat closer to room temperature.