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.
In Swahili, wali ya mboga translates to “rice and vegetables.” This upscale version incorporated chicken as well. This dish was similar to a biryani with layered rice with greens, caramelized onions, and yogurt-marinaded chicken in tomato curry sauce. To serve, each serving was also topped with pickled onions, called kachumbar, and salted creamy yogurt. Beyond full-flavored.
I must mention that I really browned my tomato paste during the cooking process. Recently, I have read about the importance of letting tomato paste darken for optimal flavor- apparently, I took this advice to heart! The sauce in my finished dish was much deeper in color than in the original recipe.
The recipe was adapted from Bon Appétit, contributed by Zaynab Issa. I modified the proportions and method. I boiled the rice as instructed in the original recipe but struggled with the method- and wasn’t completely thrilled with the resulting texture. Next time, I would cook the rice using a traditional method or use a much larger pot to boil the rice.
Yield: 6 servings
For the Dish:
1 2/3 cups good-quality white basmati rice (such as Shahzada)
1/4 cup plain whole-milk yogurt (not Greek) (I used whole milk cream-top plain yogurt)
one 1″ piece ginger, scrubbed, finely grated (about 1 T)
8 large garlic cloves, finely grated or pushed through a garlic press, divided
2 3/4 tsp Diamond Crystal or 1 3/4 tsp Morton kosher salt, divided, plus more
1/2 cup plain whole-milk yogurt (not Greek) (I used whole milk cream-top plain yogurt)
To Make the Dish:
Place rice in a medium bowl and pour in cold water to cover. Agitate rice with your hands until water is cloudy. Drain and repeat until water is almost clear (about 3 times). Pour in water to cover rice by 2″; soak at least 30 minutes and up to 12 hours.
Stir yogurt, ginger, half of garlic, 3/4 tsp Diamond Crystal or 1/2 tsp Morton kosher salt, and 1/4 tsp turmeric in a medium bowl to combine. Season with pepper. Add chicken thighs, turning to coat. Let sit at room temperature at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour.
Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium to medium-high. (I used a large enameled cast iron pot.)
Add onion and sprinkle with 1/2 tsp Diamond Crystal or 1/4 tsp Morton kosher salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is frizzled and deeply browned, 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer onion to a plate and set aside.
Heat remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in same skillet (still over medium to medium-high).
Working in batches if necessary, remove chicken from marinade and cook until browned and cooked through, about 5 minutes on the first side and 4 minutes on the second side. Transfer chicken to a plate, leaving oil behind.
Add tomato paste, coriander, cumin, chile powder, remaining half of garlic, remaining 1 1/2 tsp Diamond Crystal or 1 tsp Morton kosher salt, and remaining 1/4 tsp turmeric to skillet. Cook over medium to medium-high, stirring often, until tomato paste turns a shade darker in color, about 5 minutes.
Reduce heat to low, stir in 1 cup water, and bring to simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until flavors come together and sauce has thickened, 10–12 minutes.
Return chicken to pan and stir to coat in sauce. Remove from heat; cover and keep warm. (I placed the pan in a warming drawer.)
Drain rice and cook in a very large pot of boiling generously salted water 10 to 15 minutes, until tender. (Alternatively, the rice can be cooked traditionally using a 1:2 ratio with boiling water. Cook, covered, over low heat for 15 minutes.)
Stir the Swiss chard, kale or spinach into the rice.
Continue to cook until rice is tender and greens are wilted and bright green, about 1 to 3 minutes more.
Drain in a colander and let sit 10 minutes to allow moisture to steam off.
To Assemble and To Serve:
While the rice rests, combine onion, lemon juice, chiles, tomatoes, and 1/4 tsp Diamond Crystal or 1/8 tsp Morton kosher salt in a small bowl. Toss with a fork to combine, breaking up the onion slices. Let kachumbar sit 5 minutes.
Stir yogurt and remaining salt in another small bowl.
To serve, fluff rice with a fork, making sure the greens are evenly distributed; transfer to a platter.
Scatter reserved caramelized onions over and arrange chicken on top. (Or for a more casual look, return rice to pot and gently stir in chicken and onion.)
According to the original recipe, in Romagna, in Northern Italy, piadine are often served with cured meats, greens and fresh cheeses that soften in the warmth of the freshly cooked bread. They are folded in half and eaten like a sandwich. This version is based on the classic presentation. Yum.
The recipe was adapted from MilkStreetTV.com, contributed by Erica Bruce. I bought lard for the first time in my life to make this flatbread! Christopher Kimball convinced me that lard was the secret to both the optimal texture and flavor in this wonderful bread. In the article, they found that when using lard “the piadine were tender with just the right chew and (had) a deeper, richer background flavor. (They) also tested vegetable shortening, which gave the same supple dough but lacked a bit of flavor. Lard was the clear winner.” The flatbread was perfect.
This special sandwich was a fabulous and fast summer dinner. We hope to try piadine with all sorts of other toppings in the near future. It was dangerously easy to make. 🙂
Yield: 4 flatbread sandwiches (4 servings)
For the Piadina:
1/2 cup water, divided
1/4 cup (4 T) plain whole-milk yogurt (I used Greek yogurt)
311 grams (2 cups) bread flour
1 tsp fine sea salt or table salt
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
63 grams (5 T or 1/3 cup) lard, at room temperature
In a liquid measuring cup, whisk together 1/4 cup of the water and the yogurt.
In a food processor, combine the flour, salt and baking powder. Process 5 seconds.
Add the lard and process until combined, about 10 seconds.
With the processor running, add the yogurt mixture.
With the processor still running, add the remaining water 1 tablespoon at a time until the dough forms a smooth ball, about 1 minute. If the dough doesn’t ball up in the processor, gather it together and briefly knead it by hand.
Divide the dough into 4 pieces. (I used a kitchen scale.)
Roll each into a ball, then cover with plastic wrap. Let rest for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the topping.
Using a rolling pin, form each dough ball into a 10-inch round. (The round will be approximately 1/16-inch thick.) Poke the surfaces all over with a fork.
Heat a 12-inch cast-iron skillet over medium until a drop of water sizzles immediately, 4 to 6 minutes.
One at a time, place a dough round in the skillet and cook until the bottom is charred in spots, 1 to 2 minutes. (I cooked mine for a little less than 1 minute.)
Using tongs, flip and cook for about 30 to 40 seconds. Transfer to a plate and cover loosely with foil. Repeat.
For the Topping:
3/4 to 1 cup whole-milk ricotta cheese
finely grated lemon zest from 1/2 a lemon (about 1/2 tsp), or more, to taste
2 T freshly squeezed lemon juice (from 1/2 a lemon)
coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 slices prosciutto, at room temperature
baby arugula (about 1 cup per person) (we also used baby spinach)
extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling, optional
In a medium bowl, stir together the ricotta and lemon zest. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Add the lemon juice to the ricotta, or reserve to toss with the arugula (or spinach).
Spread the ricotta mixture evenly over half of each piadina, then top with 2 slices of prosciutto.
In a medium bowl, toss the arugula with the lemon juice (if not in the ricotta mixture) and a pinch of salt. Mound on top of the prosciutto.
Drizzle with oil, if desired, and fold. (I omitted the oil.)
My husband made this full-flavored grilled chicken for my birthday dinner. One of our favorite grilled chicken marinades is yogurt-based. It truly results in the most juicy and flavorful meat. Because yogurt is more gentle than vinegar or lemon juice used in other marinades, the marinating time can be extended without altering the texture of the meat. Making the marinade a day in advance is perfect when activities are planned for the day of the meal and there is little time to spend in the kitchen.
Much of my birthday celebration was focused on food- no surprise. 🙂 My first surprise was a very special breakfast pastry delivery from Dominique Ansel in NYC. (I am a huge fan!) So beautiful, I had to take a few photos.
If that wasn’t enough, we enjoyed the beautiful weather by going out to lunch at a favorite outdoor spot. Lovely.
We ate this grilled chicken over rice for dinner. This recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by Melissa Clark. The original recipe suggests serving it with pita and cucumber-tomato salad. I loved it with grilled tomatoes. We also had warm naan on the side.
My daughter and I made Strawberry Crumb Cake for our celebratory dessert. We ate it warm with vanilla ice cream. ❤
Yield: Serves 4 to 6
6 garlic cloves, finely grated, pressed, or minced
2 lemons, zested
1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt (I used Greek yogurt)
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus more sprigs for garnish
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for the tomatoes and for serving
1 1/2 tablespoons za’atar, plus more for serving
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano or marjoram, plus more sprigs for garnish
1 3/4 teaspoons coarse salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 to 2 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs (I used 8)
8 to 10 Campari tomatoes
pita, rice, or naan, for serving, as desired
In a large bowl or container, stir together 5 of the grated garlic cloves, half the lemon zest, 1/3 cup yogurt, the cilantro, oil, za’atar, oregano or marjoram, salt and black pepper. Add chicken and toss until well coated. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
When ready to cook, light the grill to medium (or heat your broiler with the rack 3 inches from the heat source).
Remove chicken from bowl, shaking off any excess marinade, and grill or broil on one side until charred in spots, 5 to 8 minutes. Flip the chicken and grill or broil for another 5 to 8 minutes, until just cooked through. Using an instant-read thermometer, the meat should have an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
Brush the Campari tomatoes with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Thread onto skewers. Grill until heated through, slightly charred, and soft.
While the chicken and tomatoes are cooking, place remaining 2/3 cup yogurt in a small bowl. Stir in the reserve grated garlic clove and lemon zest, and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Cut one zested lemon in half and set aside for serving (save the other zested lemon for another use).
To serve, place chicken on a serving platter and drizzle with olive oil and a large squeeze of the zested lemon. (We served it over Basmati rice and drizzled it with the juices accumulated after removing the chicken from the grill.)
Top with cilantro and oregano or marjoram sprigs and serve with yogurt sauce.
I love yogurt-based marinades because the resulting meat is always juicy and tender. This dish not only had a yogurt marinade, it was made on a single sheet pan and had a bright and spicy “finishing condiment” as well. A winner. 🙂
The rimmed sheet pan did accumulate a lot of pan juices, but the chicken and cauliflower were still perfectly crispy on top. The cauliflower and chickpeas absorbed a lot of wonderful flavors from the pan drippings as well.
This recipe was adapted from Bon Appétit, contributed by Kat Boytsova. I added chickpeas and served the roasted chicken, cauliflower, and beans over rice, drizzled with pan juices. We also had warm naan on the side. The lemony cilantro-onion-jalapeño finishing condiment was essential and absolutely delicious.
Yield: Serves 4 to 6
For the Chicken:
3″ piece ginger, peeled
2 cups whole-milk Greek yogurt
1/2 cup (or more) 2% Greek yogurt, for serving (can substitute whole-milk yogurt)
Place a rack in upper third of oven; preheat to 425°. (I set my oven to convection roast.) Line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil.
Finely grate 3″ piece ginger into a medium bowl. Transfer all but 1 teaspoon of the grated ginger to a large resealable plastic bag, reserving ginger in bowl for the finishing condiment. (I used a gallon-size bag.)
Add 2 cups whole-milk yogurt to bag with ginger.
Cut 1 lemon in half crosswise and squeeze juice from each half into the yogurt mixture.
Add cayenne and 2 T plus 1 tsp garam masala. Seal bag and shake to combine.
Season 8 chicken pieces with 5 tsp salt. (I placed the chicken on a plate, seasoned with half the salt, turned each piece over, and seasoned with the rest of the salt.)
Place chicken pieces in the marinade bag, seal, and shake again to cover all the pieces.
Squeeze out as much air as you can from the bag, which makes sure that all the chicken is covered with the marinade. Let marinate at least 30 minutes at room temperature, or keep in the fridge for up to 4 hours. (I marinated the chicken 3 hours in advance, letting it come closer to room temperature for 20 minutes or so before roasting.)
Drain and rinse the garbanzo beans. Lay out on a paper towel to dry thoroughly.
Cut 1 head of cauliflower into quarters through stem end. Place quarters cut side down and remove most of the core. The cauliflower florets should fall apart and separate naturally, but you can slice any larger florets in half or into quarters until all florets are about 2″ in size. You want the more or less evenly sized so they’re cook evenly.
Transfer cauliflower and beans to the prepared baking sheet.
Drizzle 3 T oil and 1 1/2 tsp salt over and toss to coat. Spread evenly all the way to edges of pan, making sure that the pieces aren’t too crowded, otherwise they’ll steam instead of roasting. (If you ended up with more cauliflower than can fit in a single layer, take some out and save it for something else.)
Remove chicken from marinade, slightly shaking off excess. Arrange on baking sheet skin side up, nestling into cauliflower. (It’s okay if some marinade clings to the chicken, just make sure it’s not pooling in pan.)
Roast chicken and cauliflower, turning pan halfway through and moving chicken around with tongs to ensure even browning, until chicken skin is blistered, meat is tender all the way to the bone, and cauliflower is nicely charred, 35–40 minutes. (The internal temperature should reach 165 degrees.) Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.
To Make the Finishing Condiment and to Serve:
Chop the onion, place it in a colander, and rinse it with cold water. (This removes some of the onion’s sharpness.)
In the bowl of a food processor, finely chop the cilantro.
Add the onion to the food processor, finely chop.
Add onion and cilantro to the bowl with the reserved ginger (from step 2 above).
Finely grate zest of remaining lemon into the bowl. Cut lemon in half and squeeze 1 half into the bowl; reserve remaining half for another use.
Remove seeds and ribs from the jalapeño, if desired, finely chop. Alternatively, it can be thinly sliced into rings. Add to the bowl.
Season with remaining 2 tsp garam masala and 3/4 tsp salt.
Mix with a spoon to combine, taste, and add more salt and lemon juice if necessary.
Arrange chicken, beans, and cauliflower over rice, if desired, on individual plates or on a platter. Drizzle with pan juices, as desired.
Top with lemon condiment and serve with a dollop of yogurt or yogurt to pass at the table, as desired. (I served 2% Greek yogurt with the meal.)
I have another rotisserie chicken dish to share. Rotisserie chicken meat is used as a shortcut to prepare this delicious Middle Eastern dish. I also used store-bought pita chips in the topping. It was very quick to pull together on a weeknight- fast, crowd-pleasing comfort food. 🙂
The topping was the absolute highlight. Quite often, the bread is layered in the base of this dish. This adaptation reverses the sequence in which the finished dish is plated so that the bread and nuts provide a crispy contrast to the brothy base. Great.
The recipe was adapted from everylittlecrumb.com. I used fresh herbs and pita chips in the topping. I also modified the method and proportions and made the lemon-garlic-yogurt sauce ahead of time to heighten the flavors.
Chickpeas and/or roasted eggplant cubes can be substituted for the shredded chicken to make a vegetarian version.
Yield: Serves 6
For the Chicken & Rice:
1rotisserie chicken, skin and bones removed, meat shredded
2cupsyogurt (I used a combination of whole milk yogurt and fat-free Greek yogurt)
2 largegarlic cloves, crushed with a garlic press
3/4tsp coarse salt
freshly squeezedlemon juice from 1/2 lemon, or more, to taste
1/4cuppine nuts or almond slivers, toasted
3 to 4 T chopped parsley and/or mint
olive oil, for drizzling, optional
Prepare the chicken by shredding the rotisserie chicken meat.
In a sauté pan, warm the shredded chicken meat in 2 cups of the chicken stock; keep on low heat until serving so the chicken warms through.
Cook the rice in the remaining 2 cups of chicken stock.
To Make the Pita Chips: Toast the pita bread in the oven by placing in a single layer on a parchment lined baking sheet, and drizzling well with olive oil and tossing to combine. Bake at 350 F for 8-10 minutes or until crispy and golden brown, and set aside. (I substituted store-bought pita chips, broken into cubes.)
Mix together the yogurt with the crushed garlic, salt, and lemon juice. Stir well to combine. (I made this in advance and kept it in the refrigerator.) Adjust the seasoning and amount of lemon juice, to taste, before serving.
Assemble by placing the rice in the base of a deep serving dish. Pour some- or all of- the chicken stock over the top, and scatter the shredded chicken evenly.
Dollop the garlic yogurt on top and smooth out, then top with the crispy pita chips.
Garnish with paprika, chopped parsley and mint, and toasted nuts. Drizzle with olive oil, if desired.
I was inspired to make this meal after receiving several beautiful homegrown cucumbers from a neighbor. What an excuse to make schnitzel! 😉 I loved the combination of the pork with the crunchy and fresh cucumber salad.
This recipe was adapted from Food and Wine, contributed by Justin Chapple. I modified the proportions and used homegrown cucumbers instead of Persian cucumbers. Delicious.
Yield: Serves 6 to 8
6 Persian cucumbers, sliced 1/2 inch thick OR 3 cucumbers, peeled and sliced 1/2 inch thick
freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped dill, plus small sprigs for garnish
1 3/4 cups whole-milk yogurt
1 1/2 to 2 cups seasoned breadcrumbs
two 1 1/4-pound pork tenderloins, cut on the bias into 12 to 15 thin slices (each), about 1/4 inch thick
canola oil, for frying
In a colander placed over a bowl, toss the cucumber slices with 1 teaspoon of salt. Let stand for 15 minutes, then gently squeeze out the excess water.
In a large bowl, mix the cucumbers with the chopped dill and 1/4 cup of the yogurt and season with salt and pepper. (I used whole-milk Greek yogurt in the salad.)
Meanwhile, put the breadcrumbs and the remaining 1 1/2 cups of yogurt in 2 separate shallow bowls. (I used glass pie plates.)
Season the pork with salt and pepper and dip in the yogurt, letting the excess drip back into the bowl. Dredge in the breadcrumbs, pressing to flatten the pork and help the crumbs adhere.
In a large skillet, heat 1/4 inch of oil until shimmering. (I used a 12-inch cast iron skillet.)
In batches, add the pork in a single layer and cook over moderately high heat, turning once, until browned and crispy, about 5 minutes. (I placed the pork into the pan with tongs but turned the pieces over with a spatula to keep the coating intact.)
Transfer to a paper towel-lined rimmed baking sheet to drain.
Serve the pork with the cucumber salad and garnish with small sprigs of dill.