In Mexico, this simple cake is called panqué de elote, pan de elote or pastel de elote. It is often served for breakfast. We ate it for dessert after our family favorite Middle School Tacos on Cinco de Mayo this year and ate the leftovers for breakfast. Perfect. 🙂
This recipe was adapted from Milk Street. The original recipe accurately describes the texture as somewhere between cake and cornbread while hinting at custard. I used Greek yogurt and modified the method and the baking time for a convection oven. I served the cake with strawberries which was a lovely accompaniment.
Yield: 8 to 10 servings
3 medium ears fresh corn, preferably yellow, husked (see Note)
36 grams (1/4 cup) fine yellow cornmeal
14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
57 grams (1/4 cup) plain whole-milk yogurt (I used whole-milk Greek yogurt)
165 grams (1 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons) all-purpose flour
2 T cornstarch
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp table salt
2 large eggs, plus 2 large egg yolks
1/2 cup grapeseed or other neutral oil
Confectioners’ sugar, to serve
fresh strawberries, to serve
Heat the oven to 350°F with a rack in the middle position. (I set my oven to the true convection setting.)
Mist a 9-inch round cake pan with cooking spray.
Hold an ear of corn upright in the center of a medium bowl. Using a chef’s knife, cut the kernels from the corn. Repeat with the additional two ears. Measure 250 grams (1 1/2 cups) of the freshly cut kernels and add to a blender; if you have extra corn, reserve it for another use.
To the blender, add the cornmeal, condensed milk and yogurt, then puree until smooth, 15 to 20 seconds, scraping down the blender as needed. Let stand for 10 minutes. (I used a Vitamix.)
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder and salt.
To the blender, add the whole eggs and yolks, and the oil; blend on low until smooth, 5 to 10 seconds.
Pour the puree into a large bowl.
Add the flour mixture and whisk just until evenly moistened and no lumps of flour remain. It is important that you don’t whisk vigorously! Gentle mixing, just until no pockets of flour remain, will minimize gluten development so the finished cake is tender.
Transfer to the prepared cake pan and bake until golden and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes in a convection oven or 40 to 45 minutes in a standard oven.
Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes.
Run a paring knife around the pan to loosen the cake, then invert directly onto the rack and lift off the pan. Re-invert the cake onto a serving platter and cool completely, about 1 hour.
Serve dusted with Confectioners’ sugar with strawberry slices on the side.
Note: Don’t use frozen corn kernels—it results in a dense, gummy texture. Made with fresh corn, the cake’s crumb is much lighter and softer.
My father-in-law makes jambalaya year round. I always enjoy it! I typically make it once a year after finding a new version to try for our celebratory Mardi Gras meal.
I was drawn to this recipe because it utilizes a slow cooker- and mine is underutilized. I learned that I should stick with my typical cooking methods! I significantly extended the cooking time for the rice, probably because I didn’t use parboiled rice. Oops. It was a little bit of a struggle. In the end, the rice did absorb all of the wonderful flavors of the dish. It was worth the wait!
The recipe was adapted from food52.com, contributed by Kristina Vanni. I used kielbasa instead of andouille sausage, chicken thigh instead of chicken breast meat, and modified the method and proportions. I loved that this version incorporated chicken, sausage, and shrimp.
We ended the feast with our annual King Cake, a family favorite.
Yield: Serves 6 to 8
2 T extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 large green bell pepper, chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped
6 garlic cloves, minced
3 T tomato paste
1 T chopped fresh thyme
1 T Creole seasoning (I used Slap ya Mama)
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 bay leaves
3 cups chicken stock
1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 (12 ounce) package andouille or kielbasa sausage, cut in half lengthwise and then into 1/4-inch half-moons
1 1/2 cups uncooked long-grain white rice, preferably parboiled (I used Basmati)
1 pound raw large shrimp, peeled and deveined (I used 21-25 count per pound)
sliced scallions, for garnish
Louisiana-style hot sauce, optional, for serving
In a large skillet or sauté pan over medium to medium-high heat, heat the 1 tablespoon of oil until shimmering. Add the onion, green bell pepper, and celery. Cook until the vegetables are softened. (Alternatively, set the slow cooker to the sauté setting and complete these steps.)
Add the garlic and cook until fragrant.
Add the tomato paste, fresh thyme, Creole seasoning, salt, pepper, and bay leaves. Stir to combine. Remove from heat and transfer to the slow cooker.
In the same pan over medium to medium-high heat, heat the remaining tablespoon of oil. Add the sliced sausage and cook until lightly browned on both sides. Transfer to the slow cooker.
Add the cubed chicken to the skillet and cook until lightly browned; transfer to the slow cooker.
Add the chicken stock and diced tomatoes. Stir to combine.
Cover and cook on low for 4 to 6 hours, or on high for 2 to 3 hours. (I cooked the dish on high for 3 hours.)
If cooking on high and using long grain white rice that is not parboiled, add the rice to the pot after 1 1/2 hours. (I used Basmati rice and it took 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours on high to be fully cooked.)(If using parboiled rice, add it to the pot 20 to 30 minutes before the end of the cooking time.)
Once the rice is tender, add the shrimp to the slow cooker, stir, and cook on high for 2 to 5 minutes more, stirring once or twice, until the shrimp are pink throughout and are fully cooked.
To serve, top with chopped scallions for garnish. Serve with Louisiana hot sauce for additional heat, as desired.
I could eat broccoli rabe with a side of broccoli rabe- an absolute favorite. My husband could eat pappardelle with a side of pappardelle. 😉 Now you can see why this dish was perfect for our Valentine’s Day dinner! Everyone loved it. ❤
This recipe was adapted from Bon Appétit, contributed by Kristine Kidd. I modified the proportions and method. Fabulous.
Yield: Serves 6 to 8
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
8 garlic cloves, peeled, flattened
1 large yellow onion, chopped
8 ounces cubed pancetta
2 teaspoons fennel seeds, crushed (I used a mortar & pestle)
1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper flakes
2 large bunches broccoli rabe (also called rapini; generous 2 pounds), stems sliced 1/2 inch thick, tops cut into 2-inch pieces
2 cups water
17.64-ounce (500 g) package dried pappardelle pasta
2 cups freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese, plus additional for serving
1/2 cup raw pine nuts, toasted (@375 degrees for about 5 minutes)
Heat 4 tablespoons oil in heavy large skillet, preferably with a lid, over medium heat. (I used a large enameled cast iron pan.)
Add garlic and cook until golden brown, stirring frequently, about 2 minutes. Discard garlic.
Add onion, pancetta, and fennel seeds to skillet; sauté until onion is tender and pancetta begins to brown, about 8 minutes.
Add dried crushed red pepper, then broccoli rabe stems and cook 4 minutes to soften slightly, stirring occasionally.
Stir in broccoli rabe tops, sprinkle with salt, and add 2 cups water. Cover and cook until stems and tops are tender, about 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Meanwhile, cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite. Drain pasta, reserving 2 cups cooking liquid.
Add pasta to skillet with broccoli rabe and stir over low heat to combine, adding reserved pasta cooking liquid by tablespoonfuls to moisten if necessary.
Stir in 2 cups of the cheese. Season to taste with salt and generous amount of pepper.
Transfer to shallow bowls, if desired. (I served it in the pot.) Sprinkle with pine nuts and garnish with additional cheese.
Hope everyone had a Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Other than wearing green, we typically celebrate the holiday by having a festive meal. 🙂
This year, instead of making a new soda bread, I made this Irish version of beer bread. I loved the caraway seeds (which I also love in soda bread) and the flecks of green from the fresh herbs in the dough.
We ate it for dinner with shepherd’s chicken pot pie, roasted asparagus, and green salad. It would also be a perfect accompaniment to a traditional celebratory corned beef and cabbage meal.
The recipe was adapted from 177milkstreet.com. I modified the baking time to bake the loaf in a pullman loaf pan in a convection oven. The bread was delicious with and without salted butter.
Yield: one Pullman loaf or one 9-inch loaf
260 g (2 cups) all-purpose flour
60 g (1/2 cup) cake flour
1 T baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 T caraway seeds, coarsely ground in a spice grinder
We ate this wonderful one-pot dish during the Super Bowl this year. The chili and biscuit dough can be made in advance, even several hours in advance, so it was perfect for the occasion. It also complemented our mandatory game day guacamole.
The recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by Melissa Clark. I modified the proportions to serve 8 people- so that we would have leftovers! 😉 I reheated the chili, topped it with the biscuit dough and placed it in the oven just before serving. Great.
Yield: Serves 8
For the Cornmeal Biscuits:
1 cup/120 grams all-purpose flour
2/3 cup/92 grams fine yellow cornmeal
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp granulated sugar
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
8 T/113 grams cold, unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
3/4 cup/177 ml buttermilk or plain whole-milk yogurt
1 scallion, thinly sliced, plus more for serving
milk, more buttermilk, or yogurt, for finishing
3+ tablespoons grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or Pecorino-Romano, for finishing
For the Turkey Chili:
3 T extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 to 1 3/4 pounds ground turkey
1 very large or 2 medium yellow onions, diced
1-2 jalapeños, seeded (if desired) and diced (I used 1 1/2 jalapeños)
6 garlic cloves, finely grated, passed through a press or minced
1 1/2 T chili powder
2 1/4 teaspoons fine sea salt, plus more to taste, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 (28-ounce) can whole plum tomatoes with juices (I used San Marzano)
3 (15-ounce) cans pinto or black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves and tender stems, plus more for garnish
sour cream or Greek yogurt, for serving, optional
sliced or pickled jalapeños, for serving, optional
To Prepare the Biscuit Dough:
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, sugar, salt and baking soda.
Using a pastry cutter (or your hands), cut (or rub) in the butter until mixture resembles rolled oats.
Fold in the buttermilk and scallion slices.
Gently stir mixture until it comes together in a moist, sticky mass. Cover bowl and refrigerate until ready to use. (This can be done a day in advance.)
Heat oven to 425 degrees, preferably on convection.
To Prepare the Turkey Chili:
In a large ovenproof skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat until it thins. (I used an enameled cast iron pan. A cast iron skillet would also be great.)
Stir in turkey and cook, breaking up meat with a wooden spoon, until it’s no longer pink with some browned bits, about 7 minutes.
Reduce heat to medium, and add onion and jalapeño, and cook until translucent and tender, about 5 minutes.
Stir in garlic, chili powder, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, oregano, cumin, and pepper, and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute longer.
Using kitchen shears (or your hands), break up tomatoes and add them, along with the juices, to the pan. (I cut the tomatoes while they are still in the can.)
Add beans and remaining 3/4 teaspoons salt, and scrape up any brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until slightly thickened, 3 to 5 minutes. If the mixture seems very dry, add a few tablespoons water. It should be juicy-looking but not wet.
Remove from heat and stir in cilantro. Taste and add more salt, if needed.
To Finish the Dish:
Divide biscuit dough into 8 equal balls. Use your palm to flatten each ball into a 3/4-inch-thick disk. Arrange on top of turkey chili.
Brush biscuits lightly with buttermilk, and sprinkle grated cheese on top.
Transfer skillet to oven and cook until biscuits are golden at the edges, 20 to 30 minutes. (I cooked mine for 22 minutes on convection.)
Let cool for 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with additional cilantro and scallions, if desired. Serve with sour cream and sliced or pickled jalapeños.
My daughter and I are obsessed with mini cakes. My mom gave me 6-inch cake pans for Christmas and we have been waiting for the perfect occasion to use them. Yay for Valentine’s Day! 🙂 ❤ I will admit that I’m not sure if a 3-layer cake is truly “mini”…. but it was really cute.
Some math is involved in order to adapt a recipe to make a mini cake. In this case, the vanilla cake recipe, originally for an 8-inch layer cake, was reduced to 57%. I made the red velvet cake, originally for 12 cupcakes, in its entirety in order to make additional cupcakes. The icing recipe makes enough to generously frost the layer cake as well as the cupcakes.
The vanilla cake recipe was adapted from The Vanilla Bean Baking Book: Recipes for Irresistible Everyday Favorites and Reinvented Classics by Sarah Kieffer. The red velvet cake and cream cheese frosting recipes were adapted from Martha Stewart Living.
For the Vanilla Cake Layers:
Yield: Two 6-inch cakes
2 large eggs
1 egg yolk
1 3/4 pure vanilla extract
5 1/2 T sour cream
scant 2 T buttermilk
162 g all-purpose flour
169 g granulated sugar
1/4 tsp plus generous 1/8 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp plus generous 1/8 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp plus generous 1/8 tsp fine sea salt
9 T (129 g) unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into 1-inch pieces
For the Red Velvet Cake Layer:
Yield: One 6-inch cake and 5 standard cupcakes (Alternatively, 57% of the recipe can be made to just make a single cake layer, if desired.)
148 g (1 1/4 cups) cake flour (not self-rising), sifted
1 large egg, room temperature (can put in a bowl of warm water to quickly change the temperature)
1/4 teaspoon red gel-paste food color
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk
3/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoons distilled white vinegar
To Make the Vanilla Cake Layers:
Adjust an oven rack to the middle position. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, preferably on convection.
Butter two 6-inch cake pans and then line them with parchment paper. Butter the parchment and then flour the pans. Set aside.
In a medium bowl or liquid measuring cup, whisk the eggs, egg yolk, vanilla, sour cream, and buttermilk.
In a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt on low until combined.
With the mixer running on low, add the butter one piece at a time, beating until the mixture resembles coarse sand.
With the mixer still running on low, slowly add half the wet ingredients. Increase the speed to medium and beat until incorporated, about 30 seconds.
With the mixer running on low, add the rest of the wet ingredients, mixing until just combined.
Increase the speed to medium and beat for 20 seconds. (The batter may still look a little bumpy.)
Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl, and use a spatula to mix the batter a few more times.
Divide the batter between the cake pans. Each well should be about halfway full. (I weigh them to make sure that the batter is evenly distributed. Each pan had about 360 g of batter.)
Using an offset spatula, smooth the tops. Tap the pan gently on the counter 2 times to help get rid of any bubbles.
Bake for 22 to 24 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Let cool for 30 minutes in the pan. Then, remove from pan, remove the parchment paper, and let cool completely before frosting.
To Make the Red Velvet Cake Layer & Cupcakes:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees, preferably on convection. Place 5 cupcake liners in a standard muffin pan. Butter one 6-inch cake pan and then line it with parchment paper. Butter the parchment and then flour the pan. Set aside.
Sift together cake flour, and cocoa; add salt and whisk to combine.
With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, whisk together sugar and oil until combined.
Add the egg, beating until incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed.
Mix in food color and vanilla.
Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of buttermilk, and whisking well after each.
Stir together the baking soda and vinegar in a small bowl (it will foam); add mixture to the batter; mix on medium speed 10 seconds.
Place 350 g to 360 g batter in the prepared cake pan, about halfway full. Divide the remaining batter evenly among lined cups, filling each about three-quarters full.
Bake the cake pan, rotating halfway through, about 23 to 25 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean. Transfer to wire racks to cool for 30 minutes before removing from the pan to cool completely.
Bake the cupcakes in the center of the oven for about 17 to 18 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
Yield: 4 cups, enough to frost 1 6-inch cake and 5 cupcakes
8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
12 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 pound (4 cups) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
gel food coloring, if desired
decorative sprinkles, if desired
Beat butter and cream cheese with a mixer on medium-high speed until fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce speed to low.
Add sugar, 1 cup at a time, and then vanilla; mix until smooth. (I sifted 1 cup of sugar at a time prior to adding it to the butter-cream cheese mixture.)
Tint the frosting with food coloring, if desired.
Fill between the cake layers and the frost the top and sides of the cake. Using a pastry bag with a large fluted tip, pipe onto cupcakes in a circular motion, starting on the outer rim.
Decorate with sprinkles, if desired.
Refrigerate the cake (and cupcakes) prior to serving.
I made these delicious cookies for my daughter and some of her friends for their Valentine’s (Galentine’s!) Day celebration. Tanya Ott, the amazing baker of globalbakes.com, promised that they would hold their shape and she was right. I was so pleased! 🙂 Because the dough does not contain a rising agent, the cut out shapes stay completely intact while baking.
The cookie recipe was adapted from globalbakes.com. I made half the recipe, used fine sea salt, increased the chilling time, and baked the cookies in a convection oven. Tanya’s blog has many informative videos with amazing royal icing techniques and ideas. I highly recommend checking it out. 🙂
The royal icing recipe is from Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook.
For the Cream Cheese Sugar Cookie Dough:
227 grams (1 cup; 2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
114 grams (4 oz) cream cheese, at room temperature
200 grams (1 cup) granulated sugar
1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
337 grams (2 1/4 cups plus 2 T) all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp fine sea salt
In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the butter and cream cheese until well blended and smooth.
Add the sugar, vanilla extract, and egg yolks, and mix until just combined.
Add the flour and salt, and mix to form a soft dough.
Shape the dough into a ball, press into a 1/2-inch disk, and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or until firm.
Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface to 1/4 inch thick. Cut the dough into desired shapes with cookie cutters, and place them on a plastic wrap-lined cookie sheet. Place another layer of plastic wrap between each layer of cookies. (I stack similar shapes on top of one another.)
Chill for at least 15 minutes. (I chilled the cut shapes overnight.)
Preheat the oven to 350F, preferably on convection. Line 2 or 3 baking sheets with parchment or silicone baking sheets.
Place the chilled cookies one inch apart on prepared baking sheets. (Bake cookies of similar size at the same time.)
Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until light golden brown around the edges. Bake time will vary with the size and thickness of the cookies. Allow to cool completely before frosting or decorating.
For the Royal Icing:
1/2 pound (8 oz) Confectioners’ sugar
2 1/2 T meringue powder
liquid or gel-paste food coloring
sanding sugar or sprinkles, as desired
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine sugar, meringue powder, and a scant 1/4 cup (4 T) water on low speed. Beat until mixture is fluffy yet dense, 7 to 8 minutes.
To thin the icing for flooding (filling in areas with additional icing), stir in additional water, 1 teaspoon at a time. Test the consistency by lifting a spoonful of icing and letting it drip back into the bowl; a ribbon should remain on the surface for 5 to 7 seconds.
To tint icing, dip a toothpick or wooden skewer into food coloring, and gradually mix it in until the desired shade is reached. (I used 3 shades of pink once the icing was “flood” consistency.)
Using a pastry bag fitted with a small round tip, pipe a border around each cookie. Then, thin the icing to a flood consistency and fill in the border. (I used a larger tip to fill in the cookies.)
Decorate with sanding sugar or sprinkles before the icing has set, if desired.