June 23, 2009

Recipe: (Yogurt) Eggs Benedict

I'm trying to cook more with yogurt (read: healthy) to make usually-fattening creamy sauces and dressings that I love. I found this one on the Website my favorite yogurt brand, Stonyfield Farm, and made it for brunch. Yum. I used prosciutto instead of Canadian bacon and served it with asparagus roasted in olive oil and Greek spices with pine nuts. My first ever poached egg even turned out decently well despite the scary-looking egg mess that surrounded it in the water.

(Yogurt) Eggs Benedict

6 eggs

6 slices Canadian bacon

3 English muffins

1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives, for garnish

For the Sauce:

3/4 cup Stonyfielf lowfat plain yogurt

2 teaspoons lemon juice

3 egg yolks

1/2 teaspoon prepared Dijon-style mustard

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon white sugar

1 pinch ground black pepper

1 dash hot pepper sauce

Prepare sauce first. Using a double boiler, whisk together yogurt, lemon juice, egg yolks, mustard, salt, pepper and hot sauce. Cook mixture over simmering water, stirring constantly for about 5 minutes, or until sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. In a large pan heat one and a half quarts of salted water to a boil. Carefully break the eggs one at a time into the boiling water. When all the eggs have been added, reduce the heat to medium. When the eggs float to the top, remove them with a slotted spoon, drain briefly, and reserve. To finish dish: Toast English muffins and place on plates. Top each piece of toast with a slice of Canadian bacon and a hot poached egg. Drizzle with yogurt sauce; garnish with chopped chives.

Makes 6 servings.

Nutrition Facts: Calories 300; Calories from fat 100; Carbohydrate 30g; Protein 20g; Fiber 5g

June 21, 2009

Recipe: Summertime Squash and Potato Tort

Upon searching epicurious.com for something to make with my yellow squash, I found a recipe that not only had rave reviews but also conveniently incorporated the other produce item I had on hand, red potatoes.  I roughly halved the recipe, making just one pan, and my round pan filled up with only two layers. I also used my friend PAM Olive Oil instead of drizzling. And because it took so long to bake, I made baking it a late-night project and reheated it the next day.

Summer Squash and Potato Torte with Parmesan
1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled, cut into 1/8-inch-thick rounds
12 ounces yellow crookneck squash, cut into 1/8-inch-thick rounds
6 teaspoons olive oil
Preheat oven to 375°F. Butter two 8-inch-diameter cake pans. Set aside 1/4 cup sliced green onions. Toss remaining green onions, cheese, flour, thyme, salt and pepper in medium bowl to blend.
Layer 1/6 of potatoes in concentric circles in bottom of 1 prepared pan, overlapping slightly. Layer 1/4 of squash in concentric circles atop potatoes. Drizzle with 1 teaspoon oil. Sprinkle with 1/6 of cheese mixture. Repeat with 1/6 of potatoes, then 1/4 of squash and 1 teaspoon oil. Sprinkle with 1/6 of cheese mixture. Top with 1/6 of potatoes. Drizzle with 1 teaspoon oil. Sprinkle with 1/6 of cheese mixture and press gently to flatten. Repeat procedure with second cake pan and remaining potatoes, squash, oil, and cheese mixture.
Cover pans with foil. Bake until potatoes are almost tender, about 40 minutes. Remove foil; bake uncovered until tortes begin to brown and potatoes are tender, about 25 minutes longer. (Can be made 6 hours ahead. Cool. Cover with foil and chill. Rewarm, covered with foil, in 350°F oven until heated through, about 30 minutes.)
Cut each torte into wedges. 
Makes 8 servings.

June 20, 2009

Recipe: Strawberry Cake

And here is the second of my springtime birthday baking bounty. I have used this strawberry cake recipe from cooks.com for a few years to make strawberry cupcakes, and this spring I decided to make it in its pretty layered form. And when I realized a guy in my community group's birthday was coming up, I took out my cake pans for real.

Strawberry Cake with Cream Cheese Icing

1 pkg plain white cake mix

1 pkg strawberry gelatin

1 cup mashed strawberries with juice

1 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup whole milk

4 large eggs


1 pkg (8oz) cream cheese

1 stick of butter

3 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar

3/4 cup mashed strawberries (drained)

Preheat oven to 350°F degrees.

Lightly grease three 9 inch round pans. Set pans aside.

Place cake mix, strawberry gelatin, mashed strawberries, oil, milk, and eggs in large mixing bowl and beat on low speed for 1 minute. Strawberries should be well-blended.

Divide batter among pans and place in oven.

Bake cakes until lightly brown (about 28-30 minutes). Remove from oven and allow to cool for 40 minutes.

Prepare frosting:

Combine cream cheese, and butter and mix on low speed for a minute. Add sugar and strawberries. Blend frosting on low until sugar is incorporated.

To assemble: place one cake layer on plate and spread top with frosting, add another cake layer and frost the top, add last cake layer and frost the top. Use remaining frosting for the sides of the cake.

Optional: Place fresh strawberries on top of frosting for decoration.

Recipe: Birthday Fruit Tart

I took photos of the most aesthetically pleasing of my food creations in the several months that this blog was a really good thought but not yet a reality. Both birthday desserts that took advantage of springtime fruit's appearance at decent prices at the grocery store.

When I asked this friend what birthday dessert she would have if she had her choice, she mentioned a fruit tart from a bakery where she's from. I wasn't feeling adventurous enough to make one in a tart pan and wanted to make something that would feed more people. So, I used the shortbread layer of a pecan bar recipe I had and found a pasty cream recipe on Just Another Foodie, which I slightly modified. The cream making looked a little intense from the recipe, but it wasn't tricky beyond just following instructions. With chilled custard spread on the cooled crust, I entered fruit artist mode-- what fun!

13x9 Birthday Fruit Tart


2 cups flour

½ cup powdered sugar

½ tsp. salt

2 sticks butter

Combine first 3 ingredients. Cut in butter until crumbly. Press mixture into a greased 9x13 pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.  


1 1/4 cups whole milk

1 Tbsp. vanilla extract

3 egg yolks

1/2 cup sugar

3 Tbsp. cornstarch

3 Tbsp. butter, softened

Whipping cream

Bring the milk and vanilla to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cover the pan, turn off the heat.

Working in a heavy-bottomed medium saucepan, whisk the yolks, sugar, and cornstarch together until thick and pale. Whisking all the while, very slowly drizzle a quarter of the hot milk onto the yolks. Then, still whisking, pour the rest of the liquid in a steady stream over the tempered yolks.

Put the pan over medium heat and, whisking vigorously and without stop, bring the mixture to the boil. Keep the mixture at the boil, whisking energetically, for 1 to 2 minutes, then remove the pan from the heat and scrape the party cream into a clean bowl. Allow the pastry cream to cool on the counter for about 3 minutes.

Cut the butter into chunks and stir the chunks into the hot pastry cream, continuing to stir until the butter is melted and incorporated. Add a splash of whipping cream, especially if your custard got really thick. Refrigerate with a press a piece of plastic wrap pressed against the surface to create an airtight seal until chilled.

The final touch:

Top with sliced strawberries, whole blackberries, and sliced kiwi.

June 19, 2009

Recipe: Tomato Tort, Broccoli Salad

These two dishes probably aren’t the best complement to one another in flavor; they both have a lot going on. But I wanted to make both, and what-Madoline-feels -like-making/eating won over tonight. 

I pulled this recipe out of the May Cooking Light because I was fascinated by the idea of a crust made of brown rice. I love crusts, but usually they have very little nutritional value.  Mine didn’t turn out terribly crust-like, but the layer of seasoned rice tasted quite good with the tomato-egg-cheese flavors.
The recipe tells you to prepare it in a pie plate, but I modified it to go in a bread pan to make fewer servings. I also made a few other modifications based on what ingredients I had on hand.
Italian Tomato Tort
1 cup cooked brown rice
1 ½ Tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. Greek seasonings
1 egg white
2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
½ cup fat free milk
2 eggs
1 egg yolk
salt and pepper
½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
½ oz. prosciutto, cut into thin strips
1 tomato
1 Tbsp. basil
1. Preheat oven to 350°.
2. To prepare crust, combine all ingredients; firmly press mixture into the bottom and up sides of a bread pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 15 minutes. Remove pan from oven.
3. Increase oven temperature to 400°.
4. To prepare filling, combine milk, eggs, egg yolk, salt and peppe; stir with a whisk.
5. Sprinkle half of mozzarella and half of prosciutto into bottom of prepared crust. Top with half of tomato slices. Repeat procedure with remaining mozzarella, prosciutto, and tomatoes. Pour milk mixture over tomatoes; bake at 400° for 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 325° (do not remove tart from oven); bake an additional 35 minutes or until set. Cool 10 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with basil.
I only eat broccoli if its taste is well disguised. The best tasting yet relatively healthy broccoli veil to reach my palate recently was a broccoli salad a caterer prepared for my grandfather’s 80th birthday in May. I recreated the recipe tweaking this Cooking Light broccoli salad to incorporate two of my favorite salad staples, cranberries and pecans.
Broccoli Salad
4 cups  small broccoli florets (about 1 1/2 pounds)
1 cup  chopped celery
1 cup  dried cranberries
1/3 cup chopped pecans
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup  plain lowfat yogurt
3 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. white vinegar
Combine the first 5 ingredients in a large bowl.
Combine mayonnaise and remaining ingredients, stirring with a whisk. Pour dressing over broccoli mixture, and toss well. Chill for 1 hour.

June 14, 2009

Recipe: Mango-Salsa Salad

Tonight’s dinner combined my farmers market salsa making inspiration with my memories from the mango salsa and salads at Costa Vide. I made it for one serving, but you could multiply it easily.
Above: salsa. Below: full salad.

3 cups salad greens, loosely packed 

1 mango, chopped

¼ cup cheddar (or jack) cheese, shredded

½ cup salsa*

 1 recipe Honey-Lime Dressing**


2 tomatoes

¼ onion

1 jalapeƱo pepper

1 garlic clove

3 Tbsp. fresh cilantro

2 Tbsp. lime juice

salt and pepper

Chop first five ingredients to desired size. Stir together chopped ingredients, lime juice, salt and pepper. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours to blend flavors.

**Honey-Lime Dressing

2 Tbsp. honey

2 Tbsp. lime juice

1 Tbsp. olive oil

Mix ingredients and toss with other salad ingredients.