Tag-Archive for ◊ orange ◊

03 Mar 2017 Double Chocolate Marble Loaf

double-chocolate-marble-loaf

Weekend Cake!  Isn’t that a delightful subcategory of dessert? According to Dorrie Greenspan it’s a French concept. Weekend Cake is good for anything from breakfast through late night snacking.  Weekend Cake travels well, is long lasting and is best if left to sit a day before eating.

This recipe for Double Chocolate Marble Loaf, a “weekend cake” is from her cookbook, “Baking Chez Moi” . I’ve never been much for Marble Cake, often finding it to be dry and muddled.  Not this one! It’s truly delicious.  I’ve only made the orange chocolate-white chocolate version, but I am dying to make the mocha-cardamom version and the chocolate-mint version.

Double Chocolate Marble Loaf

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (272 grams)
  • 1¼ teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1½ sticks (12 tablespoons or 6 ounces/170 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar (200 grams)
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup whole milk, at room temperature
  • 4 ounces best-quality white chocolate, melted and cooled (Lindt)
  • 1/4 teaspoon orange or peppermint oil (I used a bittersweet chocolate-orange chocolate bar, so no oil)
  • 4 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled
  1. Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Pull out an insulated baking sheet or stack two regular baking sheets one on top of the other. Line the (top) baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Butter a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan, dust with flour and tap out the excess; set it on the baking sheet(s).
  2. Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together in a small bowl.
  3. Working in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle, or a large bowl with a hand mixer, beat butter on medium speed for 3 minutes, or until smooth. Add sugar and beat for another 2 to 3 minutes, scrape sides. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat for a minute after each one goes in. The batter may curdle, but you needn’t worry.
  4. Reduce mixer speed to low and mix in the vanilla. Still on low speed, add the flour mixture in 3 additions and the milk in 2, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients and mixing only until each addition is incorporated.
  5. Scrape half of the batter into another bowl. Using a flexible spatula, gently stir the white chocolate into half of the batter. If you’re using the orange oil, stir it in as well. Stir the dark chocolate into the other half of the batter.
  6. Using a spoon or scoop, drop dollops of the light and dark batters randomly into the prepared pan — don’t think too much about the pattern — and then plunge a table knife deep into the batter and zigzag it across the pan. It’s best to move forward and not to backtrack. Don’t overdo it — 6 to 8 zigzags should suffice.
  7. Bake the cake for 80 to 90 minutes, or until a tester inserted deep into the center comes out clean. (My cake was done in 70 minutes, and I might have taken it out 5 minutes sooner.) Check the cake at the halfway mark, turn it around and, if it’s getting too brown, cover it loosely with a foil tent. Transfer the cake to a cooling rack and let it rest for 10 minutes, then unmold it, turn right side up on the rack and let come to room temperature.
  8. Storing: Wrapped well, the cake will keep at room temperature for up to 4 days. It can be wrapped airtight and frozen for up to 2 months; defrost it in its wrapper.

Spiced Mocha Variation: add 1 tsp. ground cardamom into the white chocolate portion and 2 ½ tsp. instant coffee or espresso mixed with 1 T. hot water to the dark chocolate portion. Omit the orange oil.

Mint Chocolate Variation: stir ¼ tsp. peppermint oil into the white chocolate portion and use only regular semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate in the dark chocolate portion. Omit the orange oil.

18 Jan 2014 Russian Tea

Russian-Tea-1a

Are you old enough to remember the “Russian Tea” phase back in the 70’s?  I was a teenager then, a very young teenager, and our Moms and Grandmas were mixing up batches of Russian Tea like crazy and giving everyone little jars of the stuff.  I think the mix had instant tea, Tang (remember Tang? Astronauts drank it!), powdered lemonade, and some spices.  You opened up your gift jar, spooned some mix into a cup, added hot water, stirred it up and  you were drinking Russian Tea!  I liked it. It was a different hot drink.  I wasn’t into coffee yet, Hot Chocolate was too childish, English tea with milk was OK, but boring. Russian Tea was fun and different–and a bit exotic.

Fast forward to February 7th, 2014, Opening Ceremonies for The XXII Winter Olympics will be held in Sochi, Russia and I will be hosting a Russian Themed Winter Olympic Dinner.  What to have to drink after dinner? My daughter suggested Vodka shots off the tip of a sword.  Umm, no.  A citrus-y, sweet, slightly spicy version of Russian Tea is more up my alley — but not made of Tang, Country Time Lemonade and Nestea. So I hit the Internet.  First spoiler, the so-called “Russian Tea” of the 70’s isn’t Russian at all. It’s an American concoction! The only thing Russian about it is it’s name.  Shhhhhhhhhh! Don’t tell anyone!  Real Russian tea is “Russian Caravan” tea, because tea used to be imported to Russia from China, via a 16-18 month caravan, and it acquired a smokey flavor from all of the caravan campfires, according to Wikipedia.  So, I went to my local Russian grocery store, yes, we have one in San Jose, and I couldn’t find “Russian Caravan” tea anywhere (nor anyone to help me), but lots of Earl Grey.  I am not serving Earl Grey tea at my Russian Dinner.  Early Gray Tea is English and I don’t like it, it’s too smokey!

So now I am back to my original “Russian” Tea quest.  I found some recipes on the Internet, checked out their star ratings, and tried a few.  One was truly horrid; it involved extracting the juice from oranges and lemons, then boiling the  rinds in sugar and water then adding  the liquid to cold tea. I was skeptical, but the very attractive, very sincere lady on the YouTube video seemed nice, and she was raving over her tea! So I tried it.  She was not honest. Her tea was bitter and horrid.  Of COURSE it was.  Boiling all that pith then adding it to the tea? I should have known better. Why do people post bad recipes?

Eventually, I came up with this version for fresh Russian Tea.  I like it.  I really like it. I served it to five friends and two relatives, and they all said they liked it.  Then I served it to another relative, the daughter who suggested I serve vodka shots off the end of a sword, and she hated it.  I was SHOCKED.  I tied her down and make her try it again.  She STILL didn’t like it.  Harrumph.  She’s no longer my favorite child.  My son loved the tea.  He said, “That’s good.  That’s really, really good.”  He’s a good boy. He’s my favorite child now.

This “Russian” tea is in the same family as hot tea with lemon and honey, but with orange added, and some cinnamon, and a few cloves, it’s a bit more complex (there’s no honey in this tea though).  I’m going to serve it at my Russian themed Winter Olympic dinner, but I’ll brew a pot of Earl Grey, too… for the weirdos.

You all know I am not a photographer, right?  I thought I was being deliciously creative setting up a picture to look like hot, citrus-y, Russian tea in cold, stark, white snow.  Epic fail.  What I got looks like tea in bubbles, oh, not even that, it looks like tea in pillow stuffing, which it is.  Can you overlook that?  Can you just try this hot, citrus-y, slightly spiced, American-Russian tea?  I think you will be glad you did.  Just make the tea once, and put it in the refrigerator to reheat as needed. Ponyat’? Da?

I am really getting into the Olympic/Russian thing now. I made Pierogi for dinner last night, and I ordered a Pierogi press and a Pierogi cookbook written by a real babuska from Amazon.  I am trying to find a Russian outfit to wear. It seems I should go as a babushka.  I already have all the right clothes in my closet…and you know, Vodka shots from the end of a sword might not be too far fetched!

Russian Tea

  • 4 strong black tea bags
  • 1 quart (4 cups boiling water)
  • Zest of 1 1/2 oranges
  • Juice of 1 1/2 oranges (about 2/3 cup)
  • Zest of 1 large lemon
  • Juice of 1 large lemon (about 1/4 cup)
  • 6 cloves (0k to double for spicier drink)
  • 1 cinnamon stick (ok to use 2 for spicier drink)
  • 1 cup sugar (might be ok to reduce to 3/4 cup for a less sweet drink)
  • 2 cups cold water 
  1. Make 1 quart of tea by pouring 1 quart of boiling water over 4 teabags and seep for 5 minutes.  Remove tea bags from hot tea and set tea aside.
  2. Zest the oranges and lemon. Put the zest in a small saucepan.
  3. Add 1 cup sugar and 2 cups cold water to the zest in the small saucepan.
  4. Bring water, sugar, and zest to a boil and boil for 5 minutes.
  5. Juice the oranges and lemon. Pour the juice into the brewed tea.
  6. Strain the  boiled water, sugar, spices and zest mixture the add to tea and juice mixture.
  7. Stir well and serve or refrigerate mixture until ready to use. Reheat in the microwave or on the stove top.
  8. Enjoy the Olympics!

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen today.  BTW, I tried one more drink in my quest for my Olympic dinner, but I think that one qualifies as a dessert (and a gold medal)!  White Hot Chocolate.  Too, too, too decadent to post…I must keep my fans from sinning…I must…I must…OK, OK, I’ll post it soon!

16 Jun 2011 Gravlax (sort of like Lox)

A few weeks ago my Aunt and I went on a seven day cruise to Alaska.  I spent most of the time reading while  looking out to sea and waiting for the next meal to be served, usually just a couple hour wait! It’s quite decadent to eat four multi-course meals a day (breakfast, lunch, tea, and dinner) all chosen off a menu, all served by waiters, while sitting at tables set with linen, too much  silverware, and many glasses.  And after all that, the biggest thrill yet awaits.  The getting up from the table, without removing a plate, and walking out the door, with not one thought about cleaning up or storing leftovers.  Now THAT, was lovely.  I wouldn’t be opposed to a fourteen day cruise next year!!!

As on most cruises, the Head Chef did a little demonstration for those of us who like to cook in real life (being on board ship is by no means real life). The Head Chef of The Dawn Princess showed us how to make Gravlax and Tiramisu. Tiramisu I can take or leave, and I usually leave, which is very odd since I am a cake person to rival Gayle King, and a coffee person to rival Howard Shultz but, hand me a raw fish and I get all giddy!  I took lots of notes during the Gravlax portion of the demonstration.  When I got back on land, I knew I was going to make  Gravlax for our Cook Book Club meeting.  The theme was “Something You Love But Seldom Make”.  This recipe fit perfectly, as I love it, but had never made it.  Gravlax is one simple recipe, and it’s a stunning appetizer plate or brunch treat.

I know some of you are asking, but what is Gravlax? Think Lox!  It’s very similar, but with a shorter curing time (two days versus six months). Gravlax is a Scandinavian dish of dry-cured raw salmon marinated in salt, sugar, dill, and citrus and often served thinly sliced on bread as an appetizer often accompanied by a dill-mustard sauce.

Dawn Princess Gravlax

  • 1 salmon fillet, about 2 lbs (very fresh, wild caught)
  • 500 grams of table salt (I weighed this out to be about ¾ cup)
  • 500 grams of sugar (I weighed this out to be about 1 ¼ cups)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • One bunch fresh dill
  • 1 large orange, sliced
  • 1 large lemon, sliced
  1. Place the salmon side on a large piece of plastic wrap. Run your hand over the surface and remove any and all bones with small tweezers.
  2. Mix the salt and sugar together. Sprinkle approximately half of the salt/sugar mixture over the salmon fillet. Then top with a good amount of  freshly ground black pepper.
  3. Top the black pepper with a heavy layer of fresh dill sprigs.
  4. Top the dill with a layer of the orange and lemon slices.
  5. Pour remaining sugar-salt mixture over the top of everything.
  6. Wrap the fish, covered with the salt, the dill, and the orange and lemon slices and a final layer of salt/sugar, completely and tightly in plastic wrap.
  7. Lay plastic wrapped fillet on a cookie sheet and refrigerate for 30-48 hours.  (80% of the recipes I read on the Internet said to weigh the fish down with something heavy during the refrigeration time. The chef did not say this, but after reading the recipes on line, I decided to do the same.  I used a 12-pack of soda.)
  8. Remove the plastic wrap from the fish. Drain off the liquid. Quickly rinse the salt off with cold water, then dry with a paper towel.
  9. Thinly slice the salmon, holding the knife at a diagonal.  Serve.  The chef served the gravlax on a sliced sweet baguette with a honey-mustard-dill sauce (equal parts of honey and mustard, with a few tablespoons chopped fresh dill).  My kids, and I, love to put the Gravlax on top of  bagel halves which have been spread with thin layer of cream cheese and then topped with thinly sliced red onion, capers, and tomatoes. Or how about Eggs Benedict with Gravlax rather than Canadian Bacon?
  10. Leftovers can be wrapped tightly in plastic and kept for one week in refrigerator, and can be stored in freezer for longer storage.  If gravlax is frozen, be sure to defrost gently in refrigerator, or the texture of the gravlax will be compromised.

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen today.  If you’d like to see more recipes, just click on the “In The Kitchen With Polly” header on the top left hand side of the page, which will allow you to scroll the recipes in order of posting.  If you would like to search on a particular ingredient, just type the name in the search box.  I think my dear friend Rattie has designed a very user friendly website!

Polly

23 Sep 2010 Asian Glazed Thighs

My friend Anne, has a brother John.  He’s a rugged Man’s Man from Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.  He canoes.  He scuba dives.  He sports shark tattoos. He swims in Lake Superior  (In the winter.  I don’t know why. Something to do with Polar Bears.) John also cooks.  Often on a grill.  John offered to be my guest poster today with this recipe for Asian Glazed Thighs (Note to John, you might consider revising the recipe title…the mind does tend to wander a bit…)

John  found this recipe in Parade Magazine a few years ago.  Damn.  He reads the newspaper, too.

John said, when introducing this recipe to me, “Too often, very tasty Asian cooking is drowned in soy sauce.  Not so with this dish.  The orange flavor really comes through because you’re using both the zest and the juice of the orange. You’ll taste the soy sauce, but just a hint of it.”  Now, I did mention that this man swims in Lake Superior, right?  In fact, he took his scuba check out dives in Lake Superior in April.  He had to wade through the ice floating in the lake before submerging…makes you wonder a bit about his judgment, doesn’t it?  🙂  So…, just to be on the safe side,  I tested this recipe before I posted it.  YUMMMMmmm.  I knew, with the first stolen tester off the grill, that he had a GREAT recipe.  I was licking my fingers and moaning, impatiently waiting for the rest of the chicken to be done.

Just to be on the double-safe side, I took the chicken to Yoga-Massage night to share with my friends and to get their feedback.  To keep their minds on the food, I didn’t mention the name of this dish.  I know them. If they knew they name of this dish they would have gone where we don’t want to go…

We all loved the chicken.  I got multiple requests to post the recipe ASAP.  So here it is.

Thanks, John.  If this recipe is well received, John has promised to share his Coffee and Soy Marinated Pork Chop recipe.  Double damn.  He likes coffee, too.

Asian Glazed Thighs

Eight boneless/skinless chicken thighs
2 tbsp toasted sesame oil (I used regular sesame oil)
Finely grated zest of 2 oranges
1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
¾ c fresh orange juice (juice from about 3 medium oranges)
1 tbsp minced garlic
3 tbsp soy sauce
¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
¼ c honey
Salt and pepper to taste
Sesame seeds (for garnish)

1.       Rinse thighs and pat dry.

2.       Combine rest of ingredients for marinade.  Reserve 1/2 to 1 cup of the marinade, cover and refrigerate (you’ll be using this to baste the chicken later).  Toss the chicken in the rest of the marinade.  Cover and refrigerate for 4 to 6 hours or overnight.

3. Remove chicken and basting marinade from fridge 30 minutes before cooking.

5.       Grill  thighs, basting often, for about 15 minutes. (This is the fun part.  Toss the thighs on a very hot grill-hot enough to char the outside a little.  Then baste often and flip often.  John moves the thighs onto and off of the heat, assisted by a glass of wine, and finds he usually grills the meat for about 15 minutes.)

6.       Sprinkle with sesame seeds before serving.

John says,  “The honey caramelizes very nicely on the grill. You can bake the thighs in the oven (350° for about 45 minutes), but why?  The grill adds a very nice smoky flavor.”  John  also grills some sweet peppers (coated in olive oil and sprinkled with Kosher salt) and often  serves over a bed of rice.  See his picture above.  Looks like he eats veggies, too…

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen today, especially you, John!

18 Sep 2010 Vegan Chocolate Cranberry Orange Marmalade Cookies

This is a tweaked version of a Veganomicon recipe for Chocolate Raspberry Cookies. I didn’t care for the seeds too much, in the original recipe, and I thought the raspberry flavor wasn’t quite strong enough. It was kind of a “there’s something fruity about this cookie, but I can’t quite figure out what” kind of thing. Besides, chocolate and orange are one of the best flavor combos around, IMHO, and a personal fave, so I subbed orange marmalade for the jam, added chocolate chips, orange extract, orange flavored cranberries AND managed to cut 1/4 cup of sugar from the original recipe. They have a nice orange flavor, tangy cranberries and gooey chocolate that will invariably end up on your eyebrow, jeans and elbow for some reason. Technically, you could make the dough without the chocolate chips and cranberries and add those in a nice symmetrical pattern when you smoosh the cookies flat before you bake them. Not that I’m the type of person that would DO that kind of thing…, no siree, not me. I have a sister who would do that, but I don’t have time for that kind of silliness… Much.

Chocolate Cranberry Orange Marmalade Cookies

½ cup canola oil
½ cup orange marmalade
¾ cup organic sugar
1 tsp orange extract
½ tsp vanilla
1 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
¾ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
½ cup orange flavored dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 350, lightly grease cookie sheet or use parchment.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the first five ingredients. Assemble your dry ingredients and sift directly into the marmalade mixture, stirring with a fork after every ½ a cup or so. Dump in the chocolate chips and cranberries and use your hands to fully combine all the ingredients. The dough may be a little crumbly and that’s okay, just try to get it as pliable as you can.

Roll the dough into walnut-size balls (or use a cookie scoop) and place them on cookie sheet. Flatten them with your hands into 2 ½” discs. They’ll only need to be a ½” apart since they don’t spread out when baking. Cool in pan for 5 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to finish cooling.

Makes about 2 dozen cookies.

Thanks for visiting my little vegan corner of the web today!

07 Sep 2010 Mixed Berry Pie

Been to the Farmers’ Markets this weekend? Did you buy a bunch of berries? Time for a Mixed Berry Pie! It is still cool enough that it’s OK to turn on the oven making it the perfect time to make this delicious pie. The orange peel sets this pie above all other berry pies, and the cornstarch-flour thickening is perfect. The pie is great served slightly warm for dinner, with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream or a bit of whipped cream on the side and absolutely divine room temperature, with a cup of hot coffee on the side, for breakfast.

I haven’t mastered pie crust yet, so use your favorite recipe, or that Pillsbury unroll and bake stuff (like I did) which will enable you to get this pie in the oven in 20 minutes or less. Ready, set, goooooo! You’re going to knock the socks off your dinner guests!

Mixed Berry Pie

1 double crust pastry
1 c. sugar
3 T. cornstarch
2 T. flour
grated zest of 1 medium orange
pinch of salt
6 c. mixed fresh berries*
1 T. cream or milk
pinch of sugar

Prepare pastry. Roll out half the pastry and line the bottom of a 9 inch pie plate. Refrigerate the lined pie plate and the leftover pastry while you mix up the berries. In a large bowl mix sugar, cornstarch, flour, orange zest and salt. Add berries and toss gently to coat each berry. Pile berry mixture into pasty lined pie plate. Roll out second half of pastry. Cut slits in pastry. Lay pastry over berries and tuck into bottom pastry. Decoratively crimp and trim the top and bottom crust to seal together. Brush top pastry with a bit of cream or milk. Sprinkle with a pinch of white sugar. Refrigerate for 20 minutes. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place pie on a baking sheet, and place in oven. Bake 50-60 minutes or until pastry is golden and filling is bubbling. Cool completely on rack before serving (juices need to cool to thicken).

*recipe originally came with these proportions: 2 cups blueberries, 2 cups blackberries, 1 cup fresh raspberries, 1 cup quartered fresh strawberries. I wouldn’t use any more strawberries than 1 cup (they don’t hold up well) but the rest of the proportions are mix-and-matchable. Do what I do, buy one or two baskets of everything at the farmer’s market and what makes it home gets put in the pie. If you are a bit short of the required six cups of berries, peel and chop an apple or pear to add into the mixture.

I made the berry pie at the top and my friend Louise made the beautiful berry pie below.  Both of us believe that Mixed Berry Pie is most people’s favorite pie, if it’s not, it’s because they have never tasted this one!

Thanks for stopping by our kitchens today, see you tomorrow!  What shall we make…??