What’s Cooking

Apparently it’s been a bumper year for blueberries here on the Island so I thought I’d make a Blueberry Lemon Loaf to use up part of a quart. I did have a recipe for a wonderful blueberry pie with a custard base but damned it I can find it. However this is an easy and tasty possibility for these tasty little berries.

Blueberry Lemon Loaf
– serves 6-8
From: unknown
Prep time – 12 minutes
Baking time – 50-60 minutes

2 cups (250 grams) all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup (120 ml) oil (coconut, vegetable or canola)
1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
1 cup (230 grams) sour cream or plain Greek yogourt
2 large eggs
2 tbsp (30 ml) fresh lemon juice
Zest of one lemon
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup (150 grams) blueberries
2 tsp flour

1 cup (120 grams) confectioners’ sugra
2 tbsp (30 ml) fresh lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350ºF.
Grease a 9″x5″ loaf pan
In a large bowl whisk together flour, baking powder and salt, and set aside.
In a separate bowl, mix together the oil, sugar, sour cream, eggs, lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla extract until fully combined.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined.
Toss the blueberries with 2 teaspoons of flour to coat and then gently fold into batter.
Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake for 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean. If needed cover loosely with foil for the last 10-15 minutes to stop excessive browning.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 20 minutes in the loaf pan. Remove from the loaf pan and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.

Once it has cooled, whisk together the confectioner’s sugar and lemon juice. Star with 2 tablespoons lemon juice and whisk well. If it is too thick slowly add 1 tablespoon lemon juice. You want the glaze to be thin enough to drizzle but thick enough to set up on the loaf.
Drizzle the glaze on top and spread it around.

This is good as either a breakfast loaf or as a snack with coffee or tea. One occasion I have made two (you have to use up those blueberries) and sliced one and frozen it to have on hand. And it is equally as good if frozen blueberries are used.

The word for September 20th is:
Loaf \lōf\: [noun]
1.1 A shaped mass of bread baked in one piece.
1.2 A shaped, usually rounded or oblong, mass of food.
1.3 A portion of bread baked in one lump or mass; a regularly shaped or molded mass of bread; hence, any shaped or molded mass of cake, sugar, or the like.
From Middle English lof, laf, from Old English hlāf (“loaf, cake, bread, food, sacramental bread”), from Proto-Germanic *hlaibaz (“bread, loaf”), of uncertain origin.

What’s Cooking?

Earlier in the week I posted this little gem of a meme.

I don’t know about your house but it is certainly a challenge chez Beaulieu-Hobbs. Just the other evening we realized that nothing had been taken out of the freezer for dinner and what was unfrozen would take to long to prepare. What to do? Well why not that old stand by – scrambled eggs?

Why not indeed. But maybe with a twist? I had watched a video on America’s Test Kitchen earlier for creamy French-style scrambled eggs which looked really delicious so why not give it a try.

What’s the difference between North American and French scrambled eggs? Mostly the time it takes to make them. One takes only a few minutes and the odd stir, the other about 14 minutes and constant stirring. The result with the French style is soft, creamy, tender curds that are almost sauce like. And the ATC recipe doesn’t use cream which makes it perfect for vegetarians or dieters.

French Style Scrambled Eggs
– serves 4
From America’s Test Kitchen
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes

8 eggs
1/2 tsp salt
3 tablespoons water (divided)
Chopped parsley/chives/tarragon
Buttered toast

Using fork, beat eggs and salt until well blended with no streaks of white.
Heat 2 tablespoons water in 10-inch nonstick skillet over low heat until steaming.
Add egg mixture and immediately stir with rubber spatula.
Cook, stirring slowly and constantly, scraping edges and bottom of skillet, for 4 minutes. (If egg mixture is not steaming after 4 minutes, increase heat slightly.)
Continue to stir slowly until eggs begin to thicken and small curds begin to form, about 4 minutes longer (if curds have not begun to form, increase heat slightly). If any large curds form, mash with spatula.
As curds start to form, stir vigorously, scraping edges and bottom of skillet, until eggs are thick enough to hold their shape when pushed to 1 side of skillet, 4 to 6 minutes.
Remove skillet from heat. Add remaining 1 tablespoon water and herb of choice and stir vigorously until incorporated, about 30 seconds.
Serve with buttered toast.

Cook’s Illustrated – January/February 2018

Note: the recipe can be halved but they strongly suggest using an 8 inch skillet in that case.

Served with a spears of asparagus or another steam vegetable and a glass of wine it’s the perfect light evening meal. Or for breakfast with bacon, fried tomato and a Bloody Caesar.

The word for August 16th is:
Egg /eɡ/: [noun]
1.1 An oval or round object laid by a female bird, reptile, fish, or invertebrate, usually containing a developing embryo. The eggs of birds are enclosed in a chalky shell, while those of reptiles are in a leathery membrane.
1.2 The female reproductive cell in animals and plants; an ovum.
1.3 A a person possessing a specified (normally good) quality.
Middle English (superseding earlier ey, from Old English ǣg ): from Old Norse.

What’s Cooking

Gazpacho. Apparently it started life somewhere in the Mediterranean as a soup of blended stale bread, olive oil and garlic, with some liquid like water or vinegar pounded together in a mortar. Over time other things were added as they were to hand or had been brought in from newly discovered worlds. It was quick, easy, cheap, nutritious and cool comfort on a hot day. And of course this time of year is ubiquitous on restaurant and bistro menus.

Though I enjoy a bowl brimming with chopped vegetables tasting of the sun that tomatoes bring to everything I find Salmorejo, the Northern Andalusian version, far more satisfying. Perhaps because it is essentially tomatoes and I love tomatoes. It also involves fewer ingredients (unless you go for the full meal deal which I do) and less prep time.

Tomatoes, bread, garlic, sherry vinegar and an immersion blender – that’s pretty much it.*

Juan with a bowl of Salmorejo at La Parrala in Grenada in 2014.

Salmorejo (Andalusian Tomato and Bread Soup)
– serves 4
From Milk Street TV – Christopher Kimball
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes

2 pounds ripe tomatoes, cored
2 1/2 ounces country-style white bread, crusts removed, torn into small pieces
1/2 medium red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and chopped
1 large garlic clove, smashed and peeled
1 tsp granulated sugar
3 tablespoons sherry vinegar, plus more to serve
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more to serve
4 thin slices of prosciutto (about 2 ounces), torn into pieces
3 or 4 hard-cooked eggs, peeled and sliced or quartered
finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley or cilantro
Crusty bread, for serving

In a blender, combine the tomatoes, bread, bell pepper, garlic, sugar, vinegar, 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Blend on high until completely smooth and no bits of tomato skins remain, about 1 minute.
With the blender running, gradually add 3/4 cup olive oil.
Transfer to a large bowl then taste and season with salt and pepper.
Cover and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 2 hours or up to 4 hours.

While the soup chills, make the hard-cooked eggs. Fill a saucepan about a quarter of the way with cold water. Place the eggs in a single layer at the bottom of the saucepan. Add more water so that the eggs are covered by at least an inch of water. Bring to a full boil, remove from heat and cover. Let sit for 10 minutes, drain. Place eggs in an ice bath. When cool enough to handle, peel and quarter or slice. Set aside.

While the eggs cool, place a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium and heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil until shimmering. Add the prosciutto and cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel–lined plate and let cool completely, then roughly chop; set aside.

Taste the soup and season again with salt and pepper.

Ladle the soup into (preferably chilled) bowls. Top with the prosciutto, hard-cooked egg and chopped parsley or cilantro. Drizzle with additional oil and vinegar, as desired.

*Kimball adds that half red pepper which does add a little brightness to the dish.

That addition of ham and egg though not necessary can help turn it into a full meal. Along with a green salad and crusty bread it’s perfect on a hot summer day.

The word for August 4th is:
Soup /so͞op/: [noun]
1. A liquid dish, typically made by boiling meat, fish, or vegetables, etc., in stock or water.
2. A substance or mixture perceived to resemble soup in appearance or consistency,
Middle English: from Old French soupe ‘sop, broth (poured on slices of bread)’, from late Latin suppa, of Germanic origin.

What’s Cooking?

Well the Spring lobster season is over here on PEI and traps will not be set again until mid-August. The season appears to have been a good one. That and a return to a near normal tourist season has seen a high demand for our favourite crustacean here and abroad.

I love lobster but I do hate the struggle of cracking, digging, and poking it takes to get at those succulent morsels. I always seem to come out of the fray smelling of lobster and inevitably with a stain on some piece of clothing. However there are so many ways to enjoy lobster other than the traditional wrestling match. The good folk at Lobster PEI have a great series of recipes (see link below) for all manner of Nephropidae* and I thought I’d share this one for a tasty starter.

Photo credit: Lobster PEI

Lobster Bruscchetta
– serves 6 as a starter
From Lobster PEI Recipes

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 3 minutes

1 Baguette
3 tbsp Olive or Canola Oil
Salt & Black Pepper- to taste
1 (1.25 lb) PEI Lobster, cooked & meat chopped*
1 cup Tomato, seeds removed & chopped (approx. 2 medium)
1/2 Shallot, cut into rings
1 tbsp Fresh Basil, finely sliced
1 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
Salt & Black Pepper- to taste
Parmesan Cheese- to garnish

Preheat oven to broil (500°F).
2. Cut ends off baguette. Cut baguette into thirds and then cut each piece in half lengthwise to yield 6 pieces.
3. Place baguette pieces onto a baking sheet and brush with olive oil. Season with salt & black pepper.
4. Bake baguettes for 2-3 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly.
5. Place lobster meat, tomatoes, shallot rings, basil, garlic, and balsamic vinegar into a bowl. Season with salt & black pepper and toss gently to combine.
6. Top toasted baguettes with bruschetta mixture and garnish with parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.

*One (1 ¼ lb.) lobster yields approximately 140 grams or 1 cup of cooked lobster meat.
The bruscchetta mixture can be made ahead and refrigerated to allow the flavours to develop.

The word for July 5th is:
Lobster /ˈläbstər/: [noun]
A large marine crustacean with a cylindrical body, stalked eyes, and the first of its five pairs of limbs modified as pincers.
Old English lopustre, alteration of Latin locusta ‘crustacean, locust’.
*Though the family classification is now called Nephropidae it was Homaridae which would explain the French homard.

What’s Cooking

If my faithful reader follows Laurent’s blog (Larry Muffin at Home) it will be known that he has been watching his weight lately. Slowly and with great success he is returning to his pre-Covid weight if not better. He is doing it sensibly with the aid of a dietitian and I’m very proud of the progress he’s made.

Of course it has meant a bit of a change to what’s cooking here on Water Street. Portions are smaller and we are keeping an eye on certain ingredients – not to be eliminated but to be used sensibly. A few years ago we toyed with the KETO diet and I bought Kyndra D. Holley’s Craveable Keto Cookbook. To be honest I found many of the recipes too fussy and called for all manner of “health food store” provisions that would only be used maybe once or twice. However one recipe turned out to be both a winner and a favourite. Faintly Asian in name and content it is quick, easy, and extremely tasty. And any leftovers make a great lunch the next day.

Pork Egg Roll in a Bowl
– serves 4 as a main course
From Kyndra D. Holley’s Craveable Keto

Prep time: 10 minutes Cooking time: 20 minutes

2 tablespoons toasted sesame seed oil
1 medium onion,diced – about 1/2 cup
3 garlic cloves, minced
5 green onions, sliced on the bias – white and green portions separated
1 lb ground pork
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
1 tablespoon Sriracha sauce, or more to taste
1 14 oz bag of coleslaw mix
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds for garnish

Heat the sesame oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat
Add the onion, garlic, and white portion of green onions and sauté until the green onions are translucent and the garlic is fragrant.
Add the ground pork, ginger, salt, pepper, and Sriracha to the pan and sauté until the pork is cooked through.
Add the coleslaw mix, soy sauce, and vinegar and sauté until the coleslaw is tender.

Garnish with green part of spring onions and sesame seeds. Additional Sriracha can be drizzled over the dish or served on the side for further seasoning if desired.

Note that this works great with ground chicken, turkey or beef and various types of slaw.

The word for June 14th is:
Diet /ˈdīət/: [1. noun 2. verb]
1.1 The kinds of food that a person, animal, or community habitually eats.
1.2 A special course of food to which one restricts oneself, either to lose weight or for medical reasons.
2. To restrict oneself to small amounts or special kinds of food in order to lose weight.
Middle English: from Old French diete (noun), dieter (verb), via Latin from Greek diaita ‘a way of life’

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