Cake · gluten-free

Almond Paste Cake

IMG_2266

“Adapted from Chez Panisse Desserts by Lindsey Remolif Shere”-David Lebovitz.

This cake is best made in the food processor. If using a stand mixture, use the paddle attachment and let the mixer run until the almond paste is finely broken up. There’s a few notes at the end of the recipe, including some almond paste tips and suggestions.

1 1/3 cups (265g) sugar
8 ounces (225g) almond paste
3/4, plus 1/4 cup (140g total) flour ( I used Gluten-free flour)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (8 ounces, 225g) unsalted butter, at room
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
6 large eggs, at room temperature
1. Preheat the oven to 325ºF (160ºC). Grease a 9- or 10-inch (23-25 cm) cake or spring form pan with butter, dust it with flour and tap out any excess. Line the bottom of the pan with a round of parchment paper. (See Note, below.)
2. In the bowl of a food processor, grind the sugar, almond paste, and 1/4 cup (35g) of flour until the almond paste is finely ground and the mixture resembles sand.
3. In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining 3/4 cup (105g) of flour, baking powder, and salt.
4. Once the almond paste is completely broken up, add the cubes of butter and the vanilla and almond extracts, then process until the batter is very smooth and fluffy.
5. Add the eggs one at a time, processing a bit before the next addition. (You may wish to open the machine and scrape the sides down to make sure the eggs are getting fully incorporated.) After you add all the eggs, the mixture may look curdled. Don’t worry; it’ll come back together after the next step.
6. Add half the flour mixture and pulse the machine a few times, then add the rest, pulsing the machine until the dry ingredients are just incorporated, but do not overmix. (You can also transfer the batter to a bowl and mix the dry ingredients in, which ensures the dry ingredients get incorporated evenly and you don’t overbeat it.)
7. Scrape the batter into the prepared cake pan and bake the cake for 45-60 minutes, or until the top is deep brown and feels set when you press in the center.
IMG_2259
8. Remove the cake from the oven and run a sharp or serrated knife around the perimeter, loosing the cake from the sides of the pan. Let the cake cool completely in the pan.
Once cool, tap the cake out of the pan, remove the parchment paper, and set on a cake plate until ready to serve. (Tip: Warm the bottom of the cake pan directly on the stovetop for just a few seconds, which will help the cake release.)

Storage: This cake will keep for four days at room temperature, well-wrapped. It can also be frozen for up to two months.

temperature, cubed

I filled the cake with Raspberry jam and covered it with a whipped chocolate frosting.
As stated by David Lebovitz, this cake is “endlessly adaptable”  I hope you find your own way to dress up this rich cake, or not !
IMG_2269
Dinner · gluten-free · Poultry · Quick Dinner

Raspberry Balsamic Chicken

IMG_20180919_175722

A few months ago I saw a bottle of locally made Raspberry Balsamic vinegar.  I bought it, but never got around to using it till now.  I read several recipes online and sort of borrowed from different versions and came up with my own.  It is pretty fast to make, provided you have the chicken thawed (something I always struggle to remember as I rush out the door in the morning).  Here is what you will need:

Ingredients:

2 large boneless skinless chicken breast

2 Tbsp olive oil

1 shallot, sliced

2 Tsps of dried thyme

1 Tsp of crushed red pepper (optional)

1/4 cup raspberry balsamic vinegar

1/4 cup red wine

1 Tbsp of honey

salt and pepper to taste

Method:

Preheat oven to 350F

Heat olive oil in a skillet.

Season chicken liberally with salt, pepper and 1 tsp of thyme and sear till light golden.

Add shallots and saute with the chicken for a few minutes till they are soft.

IMG_20180919_172557

Stir together vinegar, wine, honey, crushed red pepper, remaining thyme, salt and pepper in the bowl/cup/vessel of your choosing.

IMG_20180919_173009

Add vinegar mixture to the shallots and chicken and simmer on medium heat for 5 mins to cook off the alcohol.

IMG_20180919_173143

Place the whole pan in the oven, uncovered and bake for 15-20 minutes, till chicken is cooked through and the sauce is reduced and thick.

Serve with you favorite sides, we had sauteed green beans and leftover smashed red potatoes.

 

 

Classics · Comfort food · Dinner · gluten-free · Poultry

Chicken Cacciatore

IMG_2121

For those who know me and also read my recipes, you might have noticed that I cook with whatever is lying around.  I rarely “follow” recipes, most of it is by smell, look and taste.  Nevertheless, I love collecting cookbooks and my inner scientist can respect the importance of a well written “protocol”/”recipe”.  So I dusted off a cookbook that I got for Christmas and cooked this recipe–with a few changes

IMG_2114

Ingredients:

2 Tbsp olive oil

2 pounds of chicken breast, cut into cubes

1 large onion, chopped

3 garlic cloves, minced

8 oz mushrooms, sliced

1 tsp of rosemary

1 small can of chopped tomatoes

salt and pepper

(original recipe called for fresh rosemary, chicken thighs and tomato paste)

Method:

Heat oil in a skillet, season chicken with salt and pepper and saute till browned.  Set aside.

IMG_2117

Add onions, garlic, mushrooms and rosemary to skillet.  Season with salt and saute till softened.

Add chopped tomatoes and 1/4 cups water.  Return chicken to pan.

Cook on low heat till sauce reduces.

Serve with crusty bread.

IMG_2124

Cookies · gluten-free

Raspberry-Hazelnut Macaroons (Haselnussmakronen)

IMG_1738

I will not take credit for this awesome recipe.  I read it in Food and Wine magazine and I knew I had to make it.  Granted this is more of a Christmas Cookie, I say yumminess is allowed all year round.  Also, it is snowing outside so I can pretend that it is the holidays !

Enjoy

http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/haselnussmakronen

Appetizers · gluten-free · Mexican · Sides

A fresh snack – Tomato Avocado Salsa

image

I am obsessed with avocados! Sometimes I get sushi just for the avocados.  Just because it’s winter does not mean I am not going to eat something summery.  It is a really healthy snack and it goes great as a topping for tacos–look at my previous post for pulled pork tacos.

image

You will need:

1 avocados, chopped

2 tomatoes chopped

1 jalapeno, minced

1 bunch of cilantro, chopped

Juice of 1 (or 2) limes

1tsp of cumin

1tsp of garlic powder

salt to taste

Mix, everything !!!

image

I like to eat it by the spoonful, but for a more civilized take on it, you could include some chips to the party

image

 

Asian · Comfort food · gluten-free · Soups

Thai style Hot and Sour Soup

IMG_0987

I have an obsession with Asian style soups.  I think I get it from my dad.  I remember as a child downing a chicken egg drop soup and my dad and I would compete to see who had the longest egg-drop! Whenever I get a hankering for Asian soups, I would order take out.  Then I realized the amount of junk I was putting in my system, so I did some research and found this recipe.  It is easy, healthy and hits the spot ! I hope you like it.

IMG_0980

 

You will need:

Canned goods: Bamboo shoots, baby corn and straw mushrooms

Fresh stuff: Cilantro, scallions, juice of two limes and ginger paste

Carton stuff: Chicken stock and Liquid Eggs

Asian sauces: Sambal and fish sauce.

Spices: White pepper, salt.

This is where the recipe gets super complicated.  Dump everything in a pot and boil away.  OK, but here are a few tips.  I add 2 tbsp of fish sauce to every 32 Fl Oz chicken stock carton.  I like to add two heaping tablespoons of crushed ginger.  I added juice of four limes–that makes it nice and tart, but stick with two if you don’t like sour.  Add as much Sambal as you like.  White pepper is a must ! It tastes spicier than regular black pepper.  I use a whole bunch of scallions and a lot of cilantro.

 

IMG_0981 IMG_0982 IMG_0983 IMG_0984 IMG_0985

Once your soup is ready, stream in eggs and gently stir to create the egg drops.IMG_0986

Serve piping hot !

Fish Course · gluten-free · Italian · lent · Quick Dinner

Basil-Scallion Shrimp with Spaghetti Squash


I recently discovered spaghetti squash and I have fallen in love with it.  While it definitely does NOT taste like pasta, it certainly feels like you are indulging in it.  You can twirl long strands of golden squash in sauce and eat it out of a bowl and feel full–not a bad deal ! Then, shrimp was on sale and I had to finish up the basil and scallions in the fridge, and so this dish came to being.  May I just say, that sometimes, throwing things in together really work ! I hope you will try this dish.

Ingredients:

1, medium sized spaghetti squash

1lb of medium, peeled, de-veined  raw shrimp

7-8 scallions

1 bunch of basil

1/2 tbsp of minced garlic

1 can of diced tomatoes (mine had garlic, basil and oregano added)

1/2 cup stock (chicken or vegetable)

2 tsp of red pepper flakes

2 tbsp olive oil

salt and pepper to taste


Method:

Heat oven to 400F

Cut squash in half, length-wise.  Remove seeds and drizzle 1 Tbsp of olive oil.  Add salt and roast the squash cut side down on a baking sheet for 40-50 mins till the squash is fork tender and you can run your fork through the flesh to produce “spaghetti”.

  
 Chop the scallions and set aside the green parts.


Heat 1Tbsp of oil in a skillet, add the garlic and white part of the scallions and saute till pale.

Next add the tomato, broth and the red pepper flakes.

  
 Simmer for 5mins and then add the shrimp.

Shrimp cooks very quickly, so keep an eye on it and the minute they are pink, remove them from the pan. Keep cooking the sauce till desired consistency.  

   Add the shrimp back into the pan, once the sauce is thick and take off heat.
Chop the basil and mix with the green part of the scallions.


Add the herb mixture once the dish in off the heat and stir to combine.  The idea is to keep the greens, looking green and rather raw–tastes really fresh and wonderful !

Spoon shrimp and sauce over spaghetti squash and enjoy !