Cake · gluten-free

Almond Paste Cake

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“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.
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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 !
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Classics · Comfort food · Dinner · Poultry

ROSEMARY LEMON SPLIT ROAST CHICKEN

 

IMG_20181001_183729Roast chicken is a classic, but it takes time–more suited for a Sunday night.  It has its benefits too.  Plenty of leftovers for sandwiches and chicken noodle soup.  However, when it is fall and you want a hearty, comforting meal on a weeknight,  turn to this recipe.  The trick is to remember to marinade the night before and take the time to brown the chicken (preferably in a cast iron skillet).  Try it soon !

INGREDIENTS

½ cup olive oil

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary

1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic

1 teaspoon kosher salt

Fresh ground black pepper, to taste

2 large split chicken breasts

 

INSTRUCTIONS

Whisk together all ingredients except chicken.

Put split chicken in a re-sealable plastic bag and add marinade.

Seal bags, removing as much air as possible and massage marinade around chicken to coat evenly. Refrigerate overnight.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. convectional or 425 degrees F. conventional.

Remove chicken from marinade, discarding marinade. Heat a large heavy bottom skillet (I use my cast iron skillet) over medium heat. Once heated, put chicken skin side down in the skillet and cook until browned, about 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer skillet into the oven.

Roast until chicken is browned, meat is cooked through and juices run clear (an instant reading thermometer when inserted in the meat should read 165 degrees F.) about 45 minutes. Remove from oven and allow sitting 15 minutes to “rest” (this allows the juices to settle in the meat so they don’t run out when chicken is cut).

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Dinner · gluten-free · Poultry · Quick Dinner

Raspberry Balsamic Chicken

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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.

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

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

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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

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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

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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.

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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.

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Asian · Dinner · Fish Course · lent

Coconut Curry Shrimp

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My husband thinks he does not like Thai food.  In my opinion if you like Indian food, you will like most Thai food.  This recipe made it to our dinner bowls because I wanted to cook something in the neighborhood of “Thai” food and also something quick.  I saw Ree Drummond make this recipe on TV once.  I did not “follow” here recipe, I just recalled what she did and made this dish.  So here goes !

Ingredients:

1 lb of shrimp.  I usually get the EZ-peel shrimp and remove the tails myself.  I get whatever is on sale, however, the larger shrimps taste better in this recipe.

1 package of frozen peppers and onions.  If you don’t have this, I would take 1 yellow, red and green bell pepper and 1 onion, slice them length wise and use it.

1.5 tbsp of curry powder

1 can of coconut milk (not cream)

1/2 tbsp of olive oil

1/2 tbsp of ginger paste

1/2 tbsp of minced garlic

1 tsp of red pepper flakes

salt to taste

Method:

Heat oil in a skillet on medium-high, and saute ginger, garlic, salt,peppers and onions

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Once they are soft add the red pepper flakes and curry powder and saute for till the raw smell of the curry powder it gone, about 10 mins

Add the coconut milk and the reduce the heat to simmer.

Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes till the sauce thickens. Check and adjust seasoning, keep in mind that the shrimp will absorb some of the flavor so if the sauce is on the saltier or spicier side, its ok

 

Add the shrimp and cook till it turn pink. DO NOT over cook the shrimp !

Immediately remove from heat ans serve over warm Jasmine or Basmati rice.

If you have Thai Basil, you could fold some in the end

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Fish Course · lent · Quick Dinner

Oven-Poached Swai with Lemon Caper Sauce

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INGREDIENTS

  • 2 Swai Fillets
  •  Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 quarter onion sliced
  • ½ cup chicken stock

FOR THE SAUCE

  • 1 tsp of minced garlic
  • Frozen artichokes, thawed (however much you like)
  • 1 tablespoons capers (optional)
  •  fresh lemon juice and zest from 1 lemon
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley (optional)

PREPARATION

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Oil one baking dishes large enough to accommodate the fish fillets in one layer. Lay the fish in the dish and season with salt and pepper.

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  1. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a small or medium skillet and add the garlic and onion. Cook, stirring, until tender and translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the stock to the pan, bring to a boil, and add the thawed artichokes. Add lemon zest and juice and remove from heat. Pour over the fish.

 

  1. Cover the baking dish with foil and place in the oven. Bake 8 to 10 minutes, or 5 minutes for each 1/2 inch of thickness, until the fish is opaque and pulls apart easily with a fork.

 

  1. Remove from oven, garnish with capers and parsley, serve.

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Note: if using dried parsley add it to the pan while the fish bakes.  I also like to use some red pepper flakes.

Cookies · gluten-free

Raspberry-Hazelnut Macaroons (Haselnussmakronen)

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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