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March 22, 2009

Honey Puff Pancake

This is something my mom made occasionally on weekends for breakfast. We loved it! She got a recipe from a friend visiting California from Bulgaria. And we usually served it with cut up fresh peaches or strawberries.

Honey Puff Pancake

Honey Puff Pancake for 4

Ingredients
1 c milk
1 c flour
6 eggs
zest of one lemon
1/2 tsp. salt
4 T. honey
1/2 tsp. baking powder
4 oz cream cheese
3 T. butter

Serve with:
* Lemon cut up into quarters
* powdered sugar
* strawberries, peaches or other fruit, dusted with a tiny bit of powered sugar to bring out the juices

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Put milk, eggs, lemon zest, honey, salt, flour, cream cheese and baking powder into a blender.
3. Blend at high for about 2 minutes.
4. Scrape sides and blend again for another minute.
5. Put 8 or 9" cast iron skillet into oven until hot, then add butter to melt.
6. Pull out the pan, swish the butter around.
7. Pour the batter from the blender into the pan.
8. Bake 25 minutes, until puffed and golden brown.
9. While the pancake is baking, pull together the toppings in little bowls:
lemon wedges, powered sugar and in a larger bowl, cut up fruit.

Pancake is like a souffle and will fall some after being removed from the oven, but don't worry. Set the table. Get everything ready, including having a hot pad on the table, so you can immediately serve it. Slice the pancake into about 8 slices and serve with the toppings. I like to poke (with a fork) a few times into the middle of the the slice of pancake. Then squeeze lemon, then dust with powered sugar, then put the fruit on top.

March 02, 2009

Sweet Red Bell Pepper Relish

That friend I mentioned who taught me to make Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic (Karen Bryant) also used to make this. I remember a lot of wonderful family dinners of roast beef or leg of lamb, with this relish on the side. It's the best. So even though it's not pepper season in California, it is in Mexico. And the Berkeley Bowl had Organic Red Bells on sale Friday, so I bought 20 of them and made this.

Sweet Red Bell Pepper Relish

Step 1:
Cut the peppers in half, core and remove seeds, and mince using a mandoline, or a food processor (be careful not to pulverize.. you want little chunks) or chop them into tiny little squares of pepper.

I used about 20 in this dish to make the relish.

Using the mandoline

Step 2:
Use a large collander, and drain them for about 6 hours.

Draining the Red Bell Peppers once finely chopped

Step 3:
Take drained chopped peppers (save the liquid, which you can use for stock or a soup or just drink.. it's amazing stuff.. or poach salmon in it with a few herbs, and on and on) and place in a large sauce pan.
Add two cups organic raw sugar and 2 cups organic apple cider vinegar. Also add a pinch of salt.

Bring to a simmer and cook for about 25 minutes, until soft, with a relish taste.

Cool, and serve. Also, you can can it, but either without canning or once opened, you do need to refrigerate it.

The finished product: Sweet Red Bell Pepper Relish

Makes about 1.5 quarts.

March 01, 2009

Salmon, Garnet Yam, Multi-colored Cauliflower and Mushroom Sukiyaki

I made this last night for dinner. Sukiyaki is usually made with beef or just vegetables, but we had coho salmon, wanted some of Japanese flavor, and had four colors of cauliflower.

So.. I modified a recipe I found here for a Beef Sukiyaki. It's kind of bastardized by Japanese cooking standards but it tasted great, was low in fat and took about 20 minutes to make once i chopped up the veggies and sliced the salmon. I also substituted vermouth for the Mirin, which we ran out of and haven't replaced.

Salmon, Garnet Yam, multi-colored cauliflower and Mushroom Sukiyaki

* 1 1/2 cups low salt soy sauce
* 3 tablespoons sugar
* 3 cups soup stock
* 3/4 cup mirin (rice wine) or dry vermouth
* 1 pound salmon fillet, skin and bones removed and thinly sliced
* 1 medium onion, sliced
* 3 green garlic stalks, sliced
* 10 crimini (brown) mushrooms sliced thinly
* 1 garnet yam , peeled and thinly sliced
* 1 cup sliced bamboo shoots
* 2 stalks celery, sliced
* 1 cup soaked, rinsed and sliced shiitakes
* 1 lb fresh thin Asian-style egg noodles
* 2 tablespoons oil
* 1/4 quarter each of four colors of cauliflower (orange, green, white and purple), or 1 whole small cauliflower cut into very small pieces

Directions

Mix soy sauce, sugar, stock, and mirin or vermouth together in a bowl. Arrange meat and vegetables on a large platter, in piles.

Add oil to the skillet and heat. Brown salmon in the oil. Move the meat to a plate, put half of the broth mixture in the skillet and add sliced yam. Cook until tender but still al dente, and with slotted spoon, remove to plate, keeping each ingredient in their own separate piles but placing large lid over the plate to keep it warm. Add green garlic, onion and mushrooms, cook until soft, and remove to plate. Add cauliflower, simmer until al dente. In the meantime, cook noodles in 2-3 quarts of water, without any salt, for just a minute, until al dente. Drain and put back into pan. Add the other half of soy mixture and cover. Prepare bowls, placing a serving of noodles into bowl, then little piles of each of the other types of ingredients, followed by a ladle of the hot broth from the cooking pan.

Serves 4.