Girl + Fire = Food



Thursday, May 17, 2012

Pomegranate Molasses Yogurt Bread

I don't know why I shy away from baking. I even bought myself what has been termed the gleaming red Ferrari of a mixer to try to overcome this. I really should be more enthused about it, it's like chemistry! I liked chemistry.

So when the ladies at Food 52 posted a recipe for Maple Yogurt Pound Cake, I decided to experiment. I switched out the maple syrup for pomegranate molasses, and use tart Greek yogurt.  Super tartness!

The first time the bread came out tasting pretty good, but it didn't rise much. I realized my baking powder was probably too old. I liked the sweet tartness of the pomegranate molasses, and it was so very moist. So I made it again for Mother's Day.

The second time around I also tripled the sugar, using brown sugar too. Since the original recipe used maple syrup, I had to make up for the lack of sweetness. And I love brown sugar. 

The reviews were definitely mixed. I loved it, super moist and tart, but it a good way. My mom loved it, but my niece, nephew, and older brother did not. I told them their palettes weren't sophisticated enough to appreciate it, but they would get there eventually. These are the same people who love my pancakes, after all.

The original recipe is here.

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Pomegranate Molasses Yogurt Bread
A tart but exceptionally moist loaf of cake bread.
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate molasses
  • 3/4 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup oil
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray or butter a metal loaf pan (8.5 x 4.5 x 2.5 inches).2. Whisk together the molasses, yogurt, eggs, sugars, vanilla, and lemon zest. In another bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt, then add to the wet ingredients. Once the dry ingredients are fully incorporated, add in the oil until fully absorbed by the batter.3. Pour batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake for about 50 minutes. If a toothpick tester doesn't come out clean, cook for another 5-10 minutes.4. Allow cake to cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then cut around the sides to loosen. Turn the cake onto a rack and cool completely.5. Top with butter, whipped cream, or simply stuff it naked in your mouth.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 1 loaf

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Turkey Goat Cheese Meatballs

You know how this story starts. I had some turkey and a hankering for goat cheese, so I looked for an easy way to combine them. Hence, meatballs. Turkey goat cheese meatballs. Balls of meat oozing goat cheese.

It's like a mini version of food nirvana for me.

Since I was only cooking for two, I used half a pound of ground turkey meat. And about two ounces of soft herbed chèvre. If I hadn't put it in the meat, I would've spread it all over crackers. This is an arguably healthier option.

This is just about when I discovered lemon pepper, too. I've had it for a while, but have been hesitant to use it. This time I threw caution to the wind. Somehow the lemon pepper, turmeric, coriander, and paprika were perfect together. Quite deliciously perfect.

I also made a very quick cilantro yogurt sauce for them (chop cilantro and add to Greek yogurt with ground ginger, ground coriander and garlic powder). It was a damn good combination overall.

And disappeared far too quickly. Next time, I'll go for the full pound of meat.

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Easy Bake Turkey Goat Cheese Meatballs
A simple baked meatball recipe, stuffed with creamy goat cheese goodness.
  • 1/2 pound ground turkey
  • 2 gloves garlic, minced
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 ounces soft herbed goat cheese
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 tablespoon lemon pepper
  • 1/2 tablespoon turmeric
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 tablespoon paprika
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Lightly spray with cooking spray.2. Combine all the ingredients until well mixed. Make sure cheese is evenly spread throughout.3. Roll the mixture into golf ball-size balls. Space evenly on the baking sheet and bake for about 25 minutes until golden brown. Cheese might ooze out.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 9 meatballs

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Quicky Appetizer: Bacon-Wrapped Goat Cheese-Stuffed Dates

It will take you longer to say the name of this appetizer than it will to either make them or eat them all.

I had these recently at a friend's party, and that reminded me of a little snack I'd made at home a few weeks prior. She had stuffed hers with blue cheese, which I usually don't care for (yes, there are some cheeses I don't like), but when paired with salty bacon and sweet dates, it somehow just worked.

And that's another benefit of these delicious little bites: you can stuff them with anything. Don't fancy cheese? I don't understand what that means, but stuff it with mango instead. Don't eat bacon? Wrap these in...ha, funny! Ok, fine I do understand that some people don't eat bacon. Don't wrap them. Dip them in chocolate instead.

Ooh, something new to try...

Don't like dates? Use figs instead. Or jalapeños.

I told you: so many possibilities.

Each pitted date uses one-half of a slice of bacon. Stuff with a small bit of cheese, wrap the bacon around,  and bake on a lined sheet for 15-20 minutes (until bacon reaches the crispiness you desire) at 350 degrees F. 

Let them cool lest you burn your tongue.

It takes longer to say the name than to write the recipe. Enjoy.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Adventures in Homemade Whiskey Marshmallows

My birthday is next week, so as an early birthday present, I bought myself this beautiful red stand mixer. And the first thing I made was gooey marshmallows.

Ooey gooey sticky vanilla marshmallows. And then at the last second, I added in a bit of bacon whiskey.

Like you're surprised.

Another non-surprise: making marshmallows is messy business. You're going to get sugar and cornstarch everywhere. Clean that up, you don't want ants! I hate making a mess. I also hate waiting overnight for dessert.

Why did I do this? I don't even really like marshmallows. I definitely do not crave them the way I do that other messy time-intensive cooking project, cheese.

People who make their own marshmallows say things like "you'll never eat store bought again." Why not? Buying and then devouring a bag full of mass-produced marshmallows will make you just as fat as eating the ones you make yourself. The only difference: there's no mess in the kitchen to clean up before the ants get to it.

I guess it was the challenge presented by this. And the way they looked in the morning light, once I finally cut them all to size:

That took forever too. I really started to hate marshmallows once this was all said and done.

This recipe from Thomas Keller's French Laundry Cookbook was very easy, at least. No need for candy thermometers, just boil some sugar, water, and corn syrup together, then beat it for 12-ish minutes with bloomed gelatin, add the flavorings (I tossed in the whiskey with the vanilla), pour into a pan and let it sit for a while. Cut, dust with confectioner's sugar, eat, done. In the end you'll be left with a trillion squares and powdered sugar everywhere.

There are other recipes that call for egg whites. That's probably messier still.

I'm not doing this again. It was a complete waste of whiskey and now I have a trillion of them in the pantry.

Or if I somehow forget this lesson, I'll use the Alton Brown method of making mini mallows.

As for my birthday present, what will I use it for next?

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Lemony Pasta with Lox

Dorothy, the genius lady behind Shockingly Delicious, has awesome ideas. Need to caramelize onions? Use your slow cooker. Want grown up rice krispie treats? Brown the butter and add rosemary.

Those are just two of my favorites.

So when she posted her take on Lemony Pasta with Smoked Salmon and Dill, I knew I had to try it. It sounded so easy. I love easy.

I finally got my hands on some Meyer lemons. Dorothy and Erika (of In Erika's Kitchen) both mention Meyer lemons a lot. Sweet lemons is how my grocer labeled them. I like sour stuff. But I trust these ladies.

Still, I had to make a few modifications. Instead of crème fraiche, I used a wheel of Boursin herbed cheese. It never melts the way I want it to, but it always tricks me into using it. And I also forgot the capers. This would have helped out in the sour department.

In the end, it tasted fine. I really like lox. It's about the only way I tolerate salmon. I also really like it raw (drowning in lemon juice). But lox and pasta is good. I should have used the crème fraiche. And the capers. How could I leave those out? That was dumb.

Also, next time, regular lemons. Because I like to pucker up when it comes to lemons.