Thursday, August 31, 2023

Roundup of summer's end

I didn’t try many new Canadian products over the summer. The two that stood out are Theobroma’s Zero Sugar Chocolate (in dark and coconut) as well as Bulles d’Amour, a sparkling strawberry juice. (I bought it at Les Pères Nature, a new-to-me grocery store that reminded me of Whole Foods and Exofruits, and I just loved shopping there!) While the chocolate was disappointing, unsatisfying, and not nearly as good as regular Theobroma, I really like the sparkling strawberry juice! But given that it’s hard to find and expensive, I doubt I’ll be making it a regular purchase. 

On the way back, we finally got to stop at Sister Pie in Detroit – during opening hours! We got two pie slices to go; one was salted maple pie, and the other was a creamy peach custard pie. The Engineer and I really liked both of them, and we agree that their pie dough is great! (While our kids were with us, neither one of them likes pie, but I’ve decided not to disown them.) For lunch, we went right across the street to Frenchie’s, where we had some really great sandwiches. The retro décor was lovely! 

We also stopped for the first time at a Naf Naf location. Basically, picture a fast-food restaurant, but it serves Middle Eastern fare. I had a nice salad with chicken shawarma and a warm pita, we got falafel for the table, and it was just great. We’ll definitely pull over for a Naf Naf from now on! 

Finally, we tried Naaman’s in Texarkana, and are now lamenting the fact that we’d have to drive all the way to Texarkana to eat there again. It was fantastic, with outstanding service by our waiter (nicknamed Mr. Bowtie), wonderful food, and an all-around awesome experience. I had a house salad with smoked chicken, and was so pleasantly surprised by both the appearance and taste of my dish! The barbecue sauce, which our waiter brought to the table for us to taste, was superb. We shared desserts, too, and now think we might have to make this a standard stop in our road trips. The restaurant might open another location in Oklahoma, but I hope they come further south too!

Mini Toad in the Hole


My kids just love when their dad makes toad in the hole, and I’m always looking for new things to put in their lunchboxes, so this recipe was perfect! I found it in one of Annabel Karmel’s cookbooks, but it is also on her website. These are super easy to make, and while the kids would prefer them warm from the oven rather than in a lunchbox, I recommend these. I ended up making a double batch and freezing the excess, just to use up the extra sausage in the package. (I seriously considering eating all of them warm, though, they were so good!) 

12 cocktail sausages 
100 g (¾ cup + 1 Tbsp.) all-purpose flour 
2 eggs 
¾ cup lactose-free whole milk 
sunflower oil, for greasing 

Preheat the oven to 400 °F. 

Put the sausages onto a baking sheet. Roast in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes until nearly cooked and very lightly golden. 

Mix the flour, eggs, and milk together in a large bowl until smooth using an electric whisk. 

Brush a 12-hole muffin tin with oil. Put in the oven for 10 minutes to get very hot. 

Immediately put the batter mixture halfway up the holes in the tin. Put a sausage in the middle of each batter-filled hole. Put in the oven for 15 minutes, until well risen and golden brown.

Saturday, August 05, 2023

Tarte aux trois chocolats

Une magnifique tarte aux trois chocolats, ça vous dit? J’ai trouvé cette recette dans Coup de Pouce

C’est vrai qu’il peut être difficile de trouver un chocolat blanc sans lactose, mais avec cette petite quantité, je n’ai pas de problème. J’avoue que ça peut être embêtant, une recette qui demande moins d’un sachet de gélatine, mais puisque c’était la deuxième recette du genre que je faisais en un cours laps de temps (la première étant celle-ci), ça m’a en fait aidé à finir mon sachet! Enfin, si vous utilisez une crème végétalienne, il ne faut pas la faire chauffer – j’ai donc modifié les instructions ci-dessous selon ce que j’ai fait, puisque je n’ai pas de crème laitière sans lactose aux États-Unis. 

Pour la ganache montée au chocolat blanc 
3 oz. de chocolat blanc à cuisson, haché 
¾ tasse de crème à fouetter sans lactose 

Pour la croûte sablée au cacao 
1 ¼ tasse de farine 
1/3 tasse de poudre de cacao tamisée 
2 c. à soupe de sucre en poudre 
½ tasse de beurre sans lactose froid, coupé en cubes 
1 jaune d’œuf 
1 c. à soupe d’eau froide 

Pour la garniture au chocolat noir
1 ½ c. à thé de gélatine sans saveur 
2 c. à soupe d’eau 
6 oz. de chocolat noir haché 
1/3 tasse de sucre granulé 
1 ½ tasse de crème à fouetter sans lactose, froide, divisée 
2 c. à soupe de copeaux de chocolat 

Pour la ganache montée au chocolat blanc 
Faire fondre le chocolat dans un bain-marie à feu doux, puis ajouter la crème et mélanger délicatement jusqu’à homogénéité. Couvrir directement la surface de la ganache d’une pellicule plastique. Laisser refroidir à la température ambiante, puis réfrigérer 6 heures ou jusqu’au lendemain. 

Pour la croûte sablée au cacao 
Entre-temps, au robot culinaire, mélanger la farine, le cacao et le sucre glace. En actionnant et en arrêtant l’appareil, incorporer le beurre jusqu’à ce que le mélange ait la texture d’une chapelure grossière. Dans un petit bol, mélanger le jaune d’œuf et l’eau. Verser sur la préparation de farine et mélanger en actionnant et en arrêtant l’appareil jusqu’à ce que la pâte commence à se tenir. Presser uniformément la pâte dans le fond et sur la paroi d’une assiette à tarte à fond amovible de 9 po (23 cm) de diamètre. (Je vous dirais même de graisser l’assiette au préalable pour vous faciliter la vie.) Réfrigérer 30 minutes. (La pâte se conservera jusqu’au lendemain, au réfrigérateur.) 
À l’aide d’une fourchette, piquer le fond et le pourtour de la croûte. Cuire au centre du four préchauffé à 350 °F pendant 20 minutes. Laisser refroidir sur une grille. 

Pour la garniture au chocolat noir 
Entre-temps, dans un petit bol, saupoudrer la gélatine sur l’eau. Réserver. Dans un bol en métal placé sur une casserole d’eau chaude, mais non bouillante, faire fondre le chocolat, en brassant jusqu’à ce qu’il soit lisse. Réserver. Dans une petite casserole, mélanger le sucre et ¾ tasse de la crème. Chauffer la préparation à feu moyen jusqu’à ce que le sucre soit dissous. Retirer la casserole du feu, ajouter la préparation de gélatine en fouettant jusqu’à ce qu’elle soit dissoute. Incorporer cette préparation au chocolat fondu réservé. Laisser tiédir 15 minutes. 

Dans un autre bol, à l’aide d’un batteur électrique, fouetter le reste de la crème bien froide jusqu’à ce qu’elle forme des pics fermes. À l’aide d’une spatule, incorporer le tiers de la crème fouettée à la préparation de chocolat en soulevant délicatement la masse. Incorporer le reste de la crème fouettée de la même manière, en deux fois. Verser la garniture sur la croûte au cacao refroidie. Lisser le dessus à l’aide d’une spatule, couvrir le moule de pellicule plastique et réfrigérer 4 heures ou jusqu’à ce que la garniture ait pris. (La tarte se conservera jusqu’au lendemain, au réfrigérateur.) 

À l’aide du batteur électrique (utiliser des fouets propres), fouetter la ganache au chocolat blanc à vitesse moyenne jusqu’à ce qu’elle forme des pics mous. [Il est important de ne pas fouetter la ganache trop longtemps ou trop rapidement, au risque d’obtenir un résultat granuleux. Si jamais c’est le cas, on peut faire fondre le mélange et le réfrigérer jusqu’à ce qu’il soit bien froid avant de le fouetter de nouveau (et avec délicatesse!).] À l’aide d’une cuillère, étendre la ganache montée au centre de la garniture au chocolat. Au moment de servir, parsemer des copeaux de chocolat.

Shredded Teriyaki Chicken Salad


This teriyaki chicken salad is a great summer dish – as a matter of fact, I think I’ll make it again once I get home in a few weeks. The original recipe said it made 4 servings, but I got way more mileage out of this! 

For the teriyaki sauce 
⅔ cup (85 g) brown sugar 
1 cup soy sauce 
¼ cup lemon juice 
1 Tbsp. sesame seeds 
1 tsp. fresh ginger, grated 
1 Tbsp. garlic, grated 

For the salad 
1 ½ lb. (685 g) boneless, skinless chicken breast 
½ cup olive oil (I’d use less next time) 
1 head green leaf lettuce, roughly chopped 
1 mango, pitted and cubed 
1 red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced 
1 orange bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced 
10 green beans, thinly sliced on the bias 
1 avocado, sliced 
1 scallion, greens only, finely chopped 

For the teriyaki sauce 
 In a liquid measuring cup or medium bowl, combine the brown sugar, soy sauce, lemon juice, sesame seeds, ginger, and garlic. Whisk to combine and dissolve the sugar. 

For the salad 
Butterfly the chicken breasts, then place in a high-walled baking dish. Pour the teriyaki sauce over the chicken, reserving ½ cup of the sauce. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and marinate the chicken in the refrigerator for 20 minutes. 

Preheat the oven to 375 ˚F. Line a baking sheet with foil. 

To make the dressing, slowly drizzle the olive oil in the reserved teriyaki sauce while whisking. 

Transfer the marinated chicken breasts to the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 160˚F. Let cool for 10 minutes. 

In a medium bowl, use 2 forks to shred the chicken. Pour ¼ cup dressing over the chicken and toss to coat. 

Put the lettuce in a large bowl. Top with the mango, bell peppers, green beans, avocado, and shredded chicken. Add the remaining dressing and toss well. 

Divide between serving bowls and top with the scallions.

Friday, August 04, 2023

Raspberry Rose Angel Food Cake

I had to empty out the freezer, and since I still had a lot of egg whites left, I made another angel food cake, this time, flavored with raspberries and rosewater. This one was really good, and it looked great! 

I love rosewater, and I used the amount recommended, but I felt like I could barely taste it in the cake. This was disappointing to me, so I’d definitely use more next time. I also changed the frosting recipe: the original blog post said to cook (and cool) 2 cups of raspberries, then fold that into the frosting, but I went with 4 tablespoons of freeze-dried raspberry powder instead, and that just seems so much easier to me that it’s what I’m writing below. 

For the cake 
1 cup (120 g) cake flour, sifted 
1 ¼ cups (250 g) granulated sugar, divided 
¼ tsp. table salt 
12 egg whites, at room temperature (I used 16 oz.) 
1 ¼ tsp. cream of tartar 
2 tsp. vanilla extract 
zest of one lemon (optional) 
2 tsp. rose water (see note above) 

For the topping 
2 cups lactose-free cream 
4 Tbsp. freeze-dried raspberry powder 
¼ cup (50 g) packed light brown sugar 
1 ½ tsp. pure vanilla extract 
a handful of fresh raspberries, for garnish 

For the cake 
Preheat the oven to 350 °F. 

Sift the flour, half the sugar and salt, set aside. 

Whip the egg whites until foamy. Add 1 tablespoon water, the cream of tartar and vanilla, whip until it begins to form soft peaks. Add the remaining sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time until incorporated. Add the lemon zest and rose water and continue whipping until it is medium stiff peaks. 

Sift 1/3 of the flour over the whites and gently fold it in using a rubber spatula. Continue with another 1/3 and then the final flour. Transfer the batter into a 10-cup tube pan. Run a knife around the batter to get out any large air pockets, then smooth the top. Bake for about 30-40 minutes or just until a tester comes out with moist crumbs. 

Turn the pan upside down to cool. If your pan has feet, then you're all set, if not, you'll need to set it over a bottle of wine or balance it on soda cans. Once the cake is completely cool, run a paring knife around the outer edge and the middle. Invert the cake onto the serving plate. 

For the topping 
Whip the cream, raspberry powder, and brown sugar on medium speed until it just starts to thicken, add the vanilla and continue to whip until medium/soft peaks. 

Top the cake as desired (I put the frosting on top, but you could also slice the cake in half and put some in the middle as well as on top, or put some on the sides too.) Decorate with fresh raspberries as desired.

Thursday, August 03, 2023

Berry Quinoa Breakfast Bowl


I made these berry quinoa bowls for breakfast (and actually had to eat them for breakfast, hence the low-light photo conditions!). The quinoa (healthy carbs) is cooked in milk (extra protein) and served with Greek yogurt (again, extra protein), fruit, and almond butter. This was delicious, and helped keep me pretty full until lunch. I’d probably add more fruit than in the pictures next time. 

½ cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed 
1 cup lactose-free milk 
1 pinch of salt 
4 tsp. maple syrup, divided 
¼ tsp. vanilla extract or almond extract (I used vanilla bean powder) 
¼ tsp. cinnamon 
½ cup lactose-free plain Greek yogurt 
1 cup strawberries 
2 Tbsp. slivered almonds, toasted (optional) 
almond butter for drizzling on top (optional) 

In a medium sized saucepan, heat the milk over medium heat. When the milk is simmering, add in the quinoa and a pinch of salt and stir to combine. Bring the quinoa to a gentle boil then cover with a lid and reduce the heat to low. 

Simmer for 10 minutes, then stir in a tablespoon of the maple syrup and the cinnamon. Cover with the lid and cook for another 5-10 minutes or until the quinoa has absorbed most of the milk and is tender. (Check the quinoa occasionally and stir. If it starts to get too dry, add in additional milk.) 

Stir together the Greek yogurt, a teaspoon of maple syrup, and a splash of vanilla extract. 

Divide the cooked quinoa into 2 bowls. Top each with half of the Greek yogurt, berries, and almonds; drizzle with almond butter.

Tahini Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites


Here’s a recipe that’s perfect if you want cookie dough bites, but are looking for a healthier version; this one is made with tahini, which is full of nutrients; it also has no refined sugar and is vegan (assuming you use maple syrup) and gluten-free. The recipe is from Soom

1 cup almond flour 
1/3 cup tahini 
¼ cup honey or maple syrup 
½ tsp. vanilla extract 
¼ tsp. sea salt 
1/3 cup mini chocolate chips 

Combine almond flour, tahini, honey, vanilla, and salt in a large bowl; mix well to combine. Fold in chocolate chips. 

Use a small cookie scoop to form mixture into 14 cookie dough bites (I got more). Sprinkle with flaky sea salt, if desired. Store in an airtight container, refrigerated, for up to 1 week.