Sunday, March 31, 2013

Lemon Poppy Seed Sweet Bread

A tender crumbed slightly sweet bread full of bright lemon flavor and poppy seeds, this lemon poppy seed loaf is perfect with a smear of butter or a wedge of goats' cheese.

We are all about citrus this #SundaySupper!  Our host for this Easter Sunday is the delightful Jen from Juanita’s Cocina and, like me, she would choose lemony desserts over chocolate ones.  Because we are special like that.  When I read the theme for this week, I knew I wanted to bake bread because I am still in Providence visiting my daughters and I can buy fresh yeast at the neighborhood market.  I just love that stuff!  I’ve called this sweet bread because it’s got some sugar, but it’s not cinnamon-roll-sweet-dough sweet, if you know what I mean.  The sugar is just enough to offset the tart lemon juice and zest.  This loaf is delicious with a smear of butter or to accompany a wedge of goats’ cheese.  I wish I could bottle the aroma as it bakes.

1 packet (1/4oz or 7g) active dry yeast or .6oz or 17g cube fresh yeast
3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon sugar
3/4 cup or 180ml very warm water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups or 375g flour
1 egg plus 1 yolk (We’ll use the white to glaze before baking.)
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup or 60g butter, melted then cooled
Grated zest from 1 large lemon
2 tablespoons poppy seeds plus extra for sprinkling, if desired

Put yeast in a large mixing bowl with 1 teaspoon sugar and pour in the warm water. Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes, then add in the vanilla. (If yeast doesn't foam, discard and start over with new yeast.)

Nice and foamy.  The brown is from the vanilla.

Add in one-third of the flour and the rest of the sugar.  Mix well.

Divide your second egg and save the white in a small bowl.  Add the melted butter, the other whole egg plus the yolk to the batter.  Mix well.

Then add the lemon juice and lemon zest and poppy seeds and mix again.

Add in the last two cups of flour, one at a time, mixing with each addition.

When the dough gets too stiff to use a spoon, turn it out onto the counter top and mix by hand.

Continue kneading until the dough is elastic and supple.

Put in a greased bowl (use butter or canola oil) and let rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in bulk, 30 minutes - 1 hour.

Before rising.

After the first rise.
Punch down and divide in half.

Make two sausage shaped rolls with the dough and then twist them together.

Tuck the ends under.

Put your loaf on a greased baking sheet.  Allow to rise again in a warm place until almost doubled – another 30 minutes – 1 hour.   I set mine on top of the oven because I had vegetables roasting in it for dinner.  If you don’t already have something cooking in our oven, when the time is almost up, preheat your oven to 350°F or 180°C.

Whisk your egg white with a fork or small whisk and brush it on the loaf with a pastry brush or clean paint brush.  Sprinkle with extra poppy seeds if desired.  I know it looks like the poppy seeds are showing and extra wouldn't be necessary, but somehow when they bake, the inside ones don't show as much.

Bake your loaf in the preheated oven about 30 minutes or until it is golden brown and sounds hollow when you thump it.


As you read this, I will be high above you, winging my way back to Dubai, leaving my baby girls behind.  I am sad thinking about it since I won't see them again till graduation time in June. I wish you all many blessings for Easter.  Please pray for traveling mercies, if you are so inclined. 

And make sure to have a look at all the fabulous citrusy recipes the Sunday Supper group have made for you today!

Better with Citrus Breakfasts:
Orange Ricotta Pancakes from Gotta Get Baked

Big On Citrus Breads & Condiments:
Honey Lime Dressing from Ruffles & Truffles Lemon Poppyseed Sweet Bread from Food Lust People Love
Meyer Lemon Pistachio Loaf from The Girl in the Little Red Kitchen
Moroccan Preserved Lemons from MarocMama

Make You Pucker Salads, Sides, & Main Dishes:
Ceviche from Cookistry
Cilantro Lime Rice from Crazy Foodie Stunts
Citrus Ginger Chicken from Kudos Kitchen
Easy Indian Lemon Chicken from Soni’s Food
Grilled Orange & Lime Chicken Thighs from Big Bear’s Wife
Meyer Lemon-Garlic Shrimp & Asparagus with Brown Rice from Daily Dish Recipes
Orange Chicken from Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
Red Cabbage and Red Pepper Salad with Citrus Dressing from Family Foodie
Seared Cod with Grapefruit Fennel Slaw from Magnolia Days
Tangy Lemon Rice with Grated Mango & Roasted Cashew from Sue’s Nutrition Buzz

Sour Citrusy Sweets & Desserts:
Blood Orange Sorbet from My Cute Bride
Broiled Oranges with Toasted Coconut from Neighborfood
Clementine Curd from Small Wallet Big Appetite
Creamsicle Cupcakes from The Meltaways
Dairyfree Key Lime Meringue Bliss from The Not So Cheesy Kitchen
Fresh Lemon Mousse from Comfy Cuisine
Frozen Lemon Dessert from Gourmet Drizzles
Gluten Free Orange Pound Cake from Simply Gourmet
Honey and Lemon Cake from Happy Baking Days
Key Lime Biscotti from Juanita’s Cocina
Key Lime Cheesecake from Flour on My Face
Key Lime Cookie Bars from Supper for a Steal
Key Lime Truffles from What Smells So Good?
Lemon Blueberry Polenta Cake from Vintage Kitchen Notes
Lemon Coconut Cinnamon Rolls from Chocolate Moosey
Lemon Cookies from Basic N Delicious
Lemon Cream Pie Push Pops from Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
Lemon Layer Cake from Crispy Bits & Burnt Ends
Lemon Ricotta Cake from The Urban Mrs.
Meyer Lemon Snack Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting from Peanut Butter and Peppers
Mini Meyer Lemon Pies from Cravings of a Lunatic
Mini Orange Cream & Lemon Cream Scones from The Foodie Army Wife
No-Bake Lemon Cheese Cakes w/Blueberry-Lemon Sauce from Momma’s Meals
Olive Oil Cake with Orange Marmalade from Hip Foodie Mom
Omiyage California Citrus Cake from Ninja Baking
Orange Cake with Orange Syrup from The Lovely Pantry
Pink Grapefruit Pie from In the Kitchen With Audrey and Maurene
Pink Lemonade Pound Cake from In the Kitchen with KP
Sugar-Free Lemon Meringue Pie from Webicurean
Tarte au Citron from That Skinny Chick Can Bake

Sour Sips & Drinks:
{DIY} Arancello and Limoncello from girlichef
Orange Creamsicle Smoothies from Mama.Mommy.Mom

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Prawn Patia for #RandomRecipeChallenge

I am either very brave or rather reckless.  The other night, I invited folks over for dinner to try out a whole new randomly chosen recipe, one I had never made before.  Granted, they were mostly college students and two of them were my daughters so it wasn’t a tough crowd.  But time was getting short (again!) for participating in +belleau kitchen's Random Recipe Challenge where, according to this month’s rules, we were supposed to make a recipe we had clipped and saved from a magazine or newspaper and this was the clipping I had chosen for this month.

It has been among my recipe clippings for a very long time but I had yet to try it.  I have no idea of its provenance so I can’t give credit where due.  But I looked up Prawn Patia on the ever-helpful internet to discover that it is originally a Persian dish that made its way to India with the Parsees.  Who knew?  All I can tell you is that it was roundly acclaimed delicious and I am sorry it took me so long to get around to cooking it.  If you have cookbooks you are under-using or clippings that have been neglected, you might want to start accepting the Random Recipe Challenge as well!

1 1/2 lbs or 600g raw prawns or shrimp (peeled and deveined)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon turmeric (I screwed up and used ground cumin instead – didn’t miss it, still delicious.  If you are a fan of cumin, you might want to do the same.)
1 teaspoon cayenne
3 onions
3 large tomatoes or 5 Roma tomatoes
Olive oil
1 large bunch cilantro or fresh coriander
1-2 green chilies or jalapeños
3 cloves garlic
2 inches or 5cm piece fresh ginger
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 heaped teaspoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice (As you can see, the original recipe called for tamarind but I couldn’t find any here in Providence.)

Put your prawns in a large bowl and sprinkle on the salt, cayenne and turmeric (or cumin - see note above in Ingredients.)  Give the whole thing a good stir and set aside.

Slice your onions finely then chop your tomatoes.

Sauté the onions, with a good couple of glugs of olive oil, in a large pot that is big enough for all of your ingredients.

Meanwhile, peel and mince the ginger and garlic.  Finely chop your fresh pepper/s.

Wash the cilantro and chop the stem end of the bunch.  Add the chopped stems to the prawns and stir.  Chop the rest of the cilantro roughly and set aside.

Yeah, there are some leaves in there too.  Don't sweat the small stuff. 

Cook the onions down until they are completely soft and possibly a little golden in color.  Add the garlic, ginger and peppers to the pot and cook briefly before adding in the tomatoes.

Cook until the onions and tomatoes have melted into a sauce.  Add in the cumin and stir well.

Add the prawns and half of the chopped cilantro. and cook until the prawns are done, which shouldn’t take more than 10-15 minutes.  Taste for salt and add a little more, if necessary.

Add in your fresh lime juice and brown sugar.  Stir well and serve.

Use the balance of the chopped cilantro for garnish.  I served this on top of coconut rice that my younger daughter made with this recipe except we skipped the extra grated coconut.  The coconut flavor made a lovely addition to the dish.  In fact next time, I might just add the coconut milk to the prawns and serve this over normal white rice.


Random Recipes #26 - March

Head on over to Dom’s blog and have a look at all the lovely Random Recipes my fellow bloggers have posted this month.  

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Caesar Dressing with Anchovies OR Capers

This creamy Caesar dressing with anchovies OR capers is perfect tossed with crisp Romaine leaves. The caper version is ideal when you are hosting vegetarian or vegan friends. Omni friends will not notice the missing anchovies. 

Among friends in Kuala Lumpur, my most requested dish to bring to a potluck is my Caesar salad.  I always made it just by pouring a little of this and a lot of that in a large measuring cup while not actually measuring.  But when folks started requesting the recipe, I had to take measure.  

Caesar Dressing with Anchovies OR Capers

My original recipe calls for a small can of anchovies. I would like to give credit for the caper substitution for vegetarians to my elder daughter’s roommate, Molly. 
Molly is a creative cook as well as a talented artist.  Last year she spent a semester in Italy and I thoroughly enjoyed following her exploits and getting to know her through her sketchbook blog.  And I drooled over her Facebook photos of the rustic tarts she made for a potluck.  

2 tablespoons fresh or reconstituted lime or lemon juice (You can also use vinegar, in a pinch.  Desperate times have called for desperate measures.)
3/4 cup or 180ml olive oil
1/4 cup or 60ml cold water (Using cold water helps the dressing emulsify.)
1 small (1.6 oz or 45g) can anchovies in olive oil OR two generous tablespoons drained tiny capers
1/4 teaspoon powdered English mustard (Colemans)
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 large cloves garlic, peeled
1/4 teaspoon sea salt or to taste  (You can add the salt after blending if you’d like.  Some anchovies and capers are saltier than others.  We don’t mind salty so I just go for it with a 1/4 teaspoon.  And add more after if necessary.)

This is so easy.  Puree all the ingredients in a blender or with a hand blender until emulsified. 

Give it a quick taste and add more salt, if necessary.

If you are using capers, the resulting dressing may be a tiny bit more green.

This dressing is best served tossed with crisp romaine leaves which you then sprinkle with freshly grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese or a suitable substitute, if needed.  It will keep for a couple of weeks stored in the refrigerator in a closed jar.


Monday, March 25, 2013

Peanut Butter M&M Muffins #MuffinMonday

Way back when I was a freshman (first year) at the University of Texas at Austin, I lived in an all-girls dorm called Contessa West.  It was suite-style, which meant three bedrooms with two girls each and a tiny common area in which you could not swing the proverbial cat, with a round table, four chairs, a two-burner electric stove, a hotel refrigerator and a bathroom-sized kitchen sink.  And that is all.  I am staying with my younger daughter in her campus apartment for a few days and, while student housing undoubtedly varies from school to school, I can only say, it’s lovely.  Three bedrooms with only one girl each and a fairly well equipped kitchen.  It has a real stove with an OVEN, a full-sized fridge and actual counter top space for food prep.  Her corner bedroom is full of light from three big windows and from my vantage point, perched in her bed writing this, I can see the beautiful dome of the Rhode Island State Building.  It’s a far cry from Contessa West, back in the Dark Ages, I can tell you.  Tell me, was your campus housing anything like this?  (Disclaimer:  Any mess you see is mine!  Amazingly, they keep their common area quite clean and my daughter's bedroom is fairly tidy.)

I could swing a few cats in here! 

My cardigan on the chair!

Check out all those windows!  And, yes, that is my unmade bed, where I am perched writing and my stuff on the desk.

Last night we were making gyozas from this recipe and I didn’t take a single photo but I can tell you they were delicious.  But yesterday morning, I was baking muffins and, since it’s Muffin Monday, I will share.  Our ingredient this week is peanut butter and since nothing goes better with peanut butter than more nuts and chocolate, I added in Nutella and Easter M&Ms.  My younger daughter and one of her roommates enjoyed a couple and then we took a few up to my elder daughter who works on Sundays at RISD|Works for her to share with her colleagues.  They were a hit!

2 cups or 250g all-purpose flour
1/2 cup or 115g sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup or 120ml peanut butter
1/4 cup or 60ml Nutella or other hazelnut chocolate spread
3/4 cup or 180ml milk (I used Rice Dream because that is what my daughter had. Worked great!)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
1/4 cup or 60ml canola oil
1/2 cup or 100g milk chocolate M&Ms plus extra for decoration

Preheat your oven to 350°F or 180°C and prepare your muffin pan using non-stick spray, butter or by lining it with paper muffin cups.

Put your flour, sugar, baking powder and salt into a large mixing bowl and give it a good stir to combine.

In another smaller bowl, whisk together the peanut butter, Nutella, milk, vanilla, egg and canola oil.

Pour that luscious, chocolately peanutty mixture into your dry ingredients and mix until it is just coming together.  You’ll still see a little flour, but that’s perfect.

See that?  That's how you know this muffin will be delicious. 

Fold in the M&Ms.

Divide the batter between your muffin cups and poke a few more M&Ms into the batter for decoration.

Bake in your preheated oven for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Cool in the pan for a few minutes and then remove to finish cooling.  I didn’t have a wire rack here so I put them on another baking tray that was chilled from the cold weather we are experiencing.  And several were eaten warm, almost straight from the oven.  Yum!