Tag Archives: sweet

Carrot-Zucchini Bread

19 Aug

Thank you Alice for the amazing tip on the easiest apple pie ever! I now have a packet of puff pastry in my freezer for those last minute dessert needs.

So we’ve explored quite a few fruit desserts recently, but how about a sweet vegetable bread?

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Being the end of summer here in Minnesota everyone has an overabundance of zucchini from their gardens, so why not make bread with it?! This recipe from Leite’s Culinaria intrigued me because of the addition of carrots and candied ginger to a basic zucchini bread recipe. Yum!

Carrots & Zucchini

I grated the zucchini and carrots in my greatly loved, ancient but usable food processor.

grate!

They can very easily be grated with a hand grater as well. Just take care with your knuckles!

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See, so pretty!

My friend and sous chef Karen measured out all the dry ingredients.

dry ingredients

We got to try the candied ginger, which was delicious and quite expensive. After a bit of poking around, I think I might try to make my own as it doesn’t look too difficult to do. David Lebovitz has a lovely recipe that I mean to try shortly.

candied ginger

I mixed the eggs in the mixer until they were frothy,

eggs

then added sugar, oil and vanilla. Once they were all well combined

eggs and sugar

I tossed in the shredded veggies and mixed those in as well.

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At that point the dry ingredients were tossed in all at once and stirred together just until combined.

add dry to wet

While I was mixing and combining, Karen had gotten a loaf pan and a muffin pan all ready for the batter by greasing them with spray oil.

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We filled the baking pans and into the oven they went.

symmetrical

Because the recipe gave baking directions for the loaf but not the muffins, I improvised and checked the muffins at 30 mins. They were perfectly done.

funfetti

They looked like party muffins with the green and orange flecks and then every once in a while there was a spicy chunk of candied ginger to liven things up.

The loaf baked for a full hour at 325°F/162°C.

Carrot Zucchini Bread with Ginger loaf

It was quite delicious plain, but slathered with butter is even better.

Carrot Zucchini Bread with Ginger

I experimented with the zucchini loaf and some sharp cheddar in trying to make a grilled cheese sandwich. It was quite tasty, but the slices of the bread should be very thin to allow the cheese to melt before the bread starts to burn.

Carrot Zucchini Bread grilled cheese

CARROT-ZUCCHINI BREAD RECIPE
via Leite’s Culinaria
Makes two loaves or 24 muffins

INGREDIENTS
Nonstick cooking spray
3 cups sifted unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup minced candied ginger
3 large eggs
1 cup canola oil
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup carrots, peeled and grated
1 cup zucchini, grated

DIRECTIONS
1. Preheat the oven to 325°F (162°C). Coat two loaf pans with nonstick cooking spray or butter. You could also make them in two muffin tins.
2. Sift together the flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda, and baking powder in a medium bowl. Stir in the salt and candied ginger.
3. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs until light and foamy. Add the canola oil, sugar, and vanilla, whisking vigorously until the sugar dissolves. Whisk in the carrots and zucchini.
4. Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture all at once and stir with a wooden spoon just until blended. Divide the batter evenly between the pans.
5. Bake until the zucchini bread is well risen and firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 1 hour for a loaf pan or 30 minutes for muffin tins. Let the zucchini bread cool in the pans on a rack for 10 minutes, then invert them and finish cooling them right side up on the rack. Of course, a thin slice for the cook while the loaves are warm isn’t out of the question.

Crêpes with Kumquat Marmalade

21 May

Alice’s last post looked so great! I love Vietnamese food, but I am quite intimidated by all the ingredients and some of the unfamiliar cooking techniques. That dish, however, was absolutely something I could do. Thanks for showing me how entirely doable it is, Alice.

The pancakes in that last dish reminded me of crêpes. And I had a bag of beautiful kumquats that I picked up at the farmers market in San Francisco that I wanted to use.

Yes, I’m the person who gets on an airplane with a bag full of food. So I came up with my twist on the classic Crêpes Suzette – Crêpes with Kumquat Marmalade.

Kumquats are an interesting fruit, they are like teeny tiny little oranges, but you eat the whole fruit, peel and all. In fact, usually the peel is sweet and the inside of the fruit is a little tart. Perfect for marmalade. And really, they are just so cute!

First I washed and sliced up 30 kumquats

Then I added them to a medium saucepan, along with some sugar and water. I left the seeds in the pan, as I read that the seeds contain some pectin and help thicken the marmalade.

Brought the mixture to a boil

and reduced the heat to medium, so the marmalade stayed at a simmer

After 30 minutes or so, when the fruit had softened and the marmalade had thickened a bit, I scooped out the seeds

I let it cool a bit before spooning it into a clean jar that I had just run through the dishwasher to sanitize.

I cooked my marmalade too long, nearly an hour, so it was a bit too solid and would not be easily spread. So don’t cook it too long and do as I say and not as I do.

Once in a jar, the marmalade should keep for about a month in the fridge.

Then on to the crêpes.

I whisked together eggs, milk, flour, sugar and salt.

When that mixture was smooth, I added the water, oil and melted butter and let it sit in the fridge for about 20 minutes.

Then I heated my small cast iron skillet and melted a little butter in the pan.

So I thought this whole crêpe making process would be easy, as I’ve made many a crêpe with my Mom. Only the ones we make are with a cornmeal batter and after we form the crêpes, we fry them and fill them with meat, lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, onions, etc for tacos. I’ll share that recipe sometime.

But back to the crêpes. I thought this would be easy. I know the technique, I have a nicely seasoned pan, which makes it nearly non-stick, so no problem. Well, unfortunately, I kept trying to flip the crêpe before it was fully cooked and ended up with the first two looking like a mound of scrambled eggs.

I took a slightly different tack. I rubbed oil into the pan with a paper towel, then added the crêpe batter, just about two to three tablespoons worth, with a small ladle. You just want to coat the bottom of the pan with the batter. Lift the pan off the heat, pour a little of the batter into one edge of the pan and rotate the pan so the batter coats the bottom completely. The pan shouldn’t be too hot either, just a medium heat is good.

Then let the crêpe sit in the pan until the edges start to crisp up and the bottom starts to solidify and easily lifts away from the pan. Flip it over, it should have light brown spots. I used a small spatula to flip mine but my Mom uses either a butter knife or fork to flip them over.

Let the other side cook for just a few seconds and pull it out of the pan. Lay the crêpe on a plate to cool for a minute or two while you get the next one going, then fold it in half, then in half again to make a triangle.

You can keep them warm in an oven at low heat, if desired.

Once the crêpes were all cooked, I melted some butter, added some of the marmalade, a splash of orange liqueur and heated it up.

I spooned it over the crêpes and voila!

It was rich, delicious and just a little tart.

Kumquat Marmalade
(inspired by a post by relishingit.com)

30 kumquats
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 cup water

Wash the kumquats and slice them as thin as you can, including the peelings and seeds.

In a medium sized heavy bottomed saucepan, add the sliced kumquats, sugar and water. Over medium-high heat, bring to a boil, stirring every few minutes. After it reaches a boil, turn the heat down to medium low and let simmer for about 30 minutes or until the fruit is tender. During that time, you can scoop out the seeds that will float to the top.

Once the kumquats are tender and the mixture has begun to thicken, turn off the heat and let it cool for a bit.

Scoop the slightly cooled marmalade into a pint sized jar that you have sanitized – I ran mine through the dishwasher. It will keep in the fridge for up to a month.

Crêpes
(for more tips on how to make perfect crepes, watch the amazing Jacques Pépin show you how)

2 large eggs
3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup milk
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/3 cup cold water
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 tablespoon melted unsalted butter

Whisk together the eggs, flour, milk, salt and sugar. When the batter is smooth, add the water, oil and melted butter. Let it sit in the fridge, covered with plastic wrap for 20 minutes.

Heat a 6-inch crêpe pan or nonstick skillet and rub with a little butter or oil. Add two to three tablespoons of the batter and tilt the skillet to distribute the batter evenly, pouring any excess batter back into the bowl. Cook over medium heat until the edges of the crêpe curl up and start to brown. Flip the crêpe and cook for a few seconds longer, until a few brown spots appear on the bottom. Tap the crêpe out onto a plate to cool. Repeat with the remaining batter, oiling the skillet a few times as necessary.

When you have finished making all the crêpes, fold them in half and in half again, making little triangles. Keep warm in low oven.

Well, Alice, I hope I’ve succeeded in making you hungry. Where are we going next??

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