While looking for beet recipes to test out I kept coming across cakes with beets in them. Tonight, I was craving some chocolate and since I was shopping for ramekins today I had individual servings on my mind so I decided to test out a mini beet cake. I didn’t follow a recipe and I didn’t measure so I can’t really supply one. I was feeling lazy so I didn’t puree which if I ever decide to make this again I will definitely do. You can’t really taste the beets but you can smell them and that is a little odd. But overall not a bad cake.
Chocolate Beet Cake
For my individual cake I finely grated one beet.
Simmered the beet with some water and sugar.
Then whisked together 1 egg, a couple tablespoons of cocoa powder, more sugar, a pinch of salt, vanilla and almond extract. Then I added the beets. I would have done this all in my mini food processor to get a nice smooth texture. Bake at 350F for 30 minutes.
Every week should have a 3 day weekend. I can only imagine how much more cooking I could get done. I had some leftover buttermilk from my Red Velvet Cupcakes so this morning I decided to make fresh sweet potato biscuits for breakfast (more like lunch). I made them successfully before so I decided to try a new recipe. This one was a regular biscuit recipe that I added pureed sweet potato to. I found the recipe on Le Petit Brioche which had been adapted from Cook’s Illustrated. Here is my altered version below.
Sweet Potato Buttermilk Biscuits
Makes 12-13 biscuits
About 1 hour 15 minutes (including cooking and pureeing potatoes)
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
10 tablespoons butter sliced, plus 2 tablespoons melted for brushing
1 cup cold buttermilk
1 cup pureed sweet potato
If you need to make the puree do that first so the potatoes have time to cool. Peel and cut on medium sweet potato. Boil potatoes until tender, drain and puree in the food processor until smooth. Refrigerate until cool.
Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. I used my food processor to make the dough so I just pulsed it to sift. Add 10 tablespoons of butter to the mixture and pulse until you have pea size pieces. You can do this by hand and just break up the butter in the flour with your fingers.
Put the whole bowl in the freezer to chill about 15 minutes. Preheat oven to 450F.
Add about 3/4 cup buttermilk to flour mixture and pulse to combine. Add the sweet potato puree and pulse to combine. Add more buttermilk if needed. The sweet potato makes a very moist dough.
Turn out dough onto a floured surface and pat into a 1/2 inch thick rectangle. Using a 2 1/2 inch cutter, cut out biscuits. I use a juice glass.
Bake in the oven about 20 minutes.
I received Around My French Table, by Dorie Greenspan (who apparently has quite a following) for Christmas this past year. After looking at all the delicious photos I finally had a chance to cook something from it. My book club had a meeting today so I decided to make something sweet to bring along. Quatre-quarts means four-fourths in French and is basically a French version of American pound cake. Dorie advises that this cake is on the drier side so it would be nice to serve with some whipped cream or sugared fruit. I used some of my CSA apples to make a sweet accompaniment. I see now why Dorie has so many fans, the cake turned out great and was really simple. I can’t wait to try some more recipes from the book, which I will be doing at a dinner party I’m hosting next month.
Apparently I can only make purple soups.
Soup was definitely on my to-make list for the weekend. Last week I made a roast chicken just so I could make homemade stock with the carcass. When I requested recipes for my CSA turnips, a reader suggested I check out this website. I love getting new recipes so thanks for sharing! I never thought of making a turnip soup so I decided to give it a try. I have to say it’s pretty tasty. I used a red turnip so my soup turned out to be a nice pinkish purply color.
The verdict is in. After a week of eating carrot soup for lunch I have decided I like it. It seemed a little too carroty in the beginning but I ended up liking it more than I expected. I don’t like sweet soups so I added pancetta and red pepper to cut the sweetness. I didn’t puree it enough so it was a little chunkier than I would have liked. Also, I didn’t have enough orange carrots so I used some purple, which turned the soup purple.
1 oz. pancetta diced
1/2 onion chopped
2 cloves of garlic minced
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 lbs. carrots peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
4 cups chicken stock
Saute the pancetta in some olive oil over medium heat. Once it is nicely browned add onions, season with salt and pepper and cook until translucent. Add garlic and red pepper and cook one minute. Add carrots and cook for a few minutes. Add chicken stock and simmer until carrots are tender about 30 minutes. Remove from heat and puree until smooth. Salt and pepper to taste.
I had so many other things cooking at the time that I forgot to take any pictures.
James is a cute little restaurant in my neighborhood of Prospect Heights, Brooklyn. I have wanted to go there since I moved to the neighborhood last December. A couple of weeks ago I had brunch at James, which was really good, but I still wanted to have dinner there. When I found someone who was willing to come to BK on a weeknight for dinner I jumped at the chance to go to James. It worked out even better because they had a special game tasting menu. I had read about it through Tasting Table but forgot it was going on so it was a nice surprise. I’m not big on game meats but I figured this was the place to order it at so we both got the Huntsman’s Feast. It was very tasty. See the menu below.
My favorite course was the quail. It was so good! The polenta underneath was a nice addition. The venison was really good too. It was so tender and the parsnip puree was eye-opening. I didn’t realize parsnips could taste so good.
Now I have to go back and try the regular menu.
Only one more pickup for the winter CSA season. I don’t know what I am going to do for almost 3 months before the summer season begins. I guess I’ll have to get back to going to the farmer’s market weekly. It’s just been so cold! This week we got some apples from another local farm to supplement the decreasing amount of veggies we’re getting, which was a nice surprise.
First, a little recap of the week. I had dinner at Cornelius in my neighborhood and 10 Downing close to my office. At Cornelius we had the mac and cheese and a burger which both hit the spot. The dinner at 10 Downing was unplanned but we went all out and got the 4 course tasting menu. All of the food was good but the highlight was the shrimp and grits. So good! I wish I could say the same about the service. For my office’s Friday burger train, we tried a new place on Houston called Burger and Barrel. I had the Bash burger which was delish. Bacon jam! Speaking of bacon, I got my friends a 7 bacon sampler pack from Bacon Freak for their wedding gift. It came this week so they had their first meal with it and loved it. She said I win for most creative gift. I kept getting funny looks when I would tell people what I got but they just don’t understand how much they love bacon. I don’t know about you but I’d be happy to receive it too.
My friend is hosting brunch tomorrow and since it is Valentines Day I decided to get into the spirit and bring Red Velvet cupcakes. My go to recipe comes from Cakeman Raven who happens to be located right up the street here in Brooklyn. I also wanted to add a twist to the frosting so see below for a raspberry cream cheese frosting. A note about the food coloring: My red is a little off this time because I forgot to get food coloring so I used whatever liquid I had and the rest was gel.
One of my favorite things to eat is risotto; it’s always so satisfying (well, at least when I make it). A lot of people are intimidated by risotto because of all the stirring but fear not, the average home cook can master it. I’ve been making risotto for 8 years and have never messed it up. You definitely need good multitasking skills but I find I am able to leave it simmering for a while, while preparing the rest of the meal. Don’t get me wrong, you definitely need to stir a lot but not constantly as most recipes call for.