PRUE LEITH’S SMOKED SALMON AND BEETROOT BLINIS

This recipe was chosen by Prue as a technical challenge for the Great British Baking Show last year. Of course, small details in the preparation are not shared with the contestants, but the online recipe tells you pretty much all you need to know to make them without stress in the comfort of your kitchen.

SMOKED SALMON AND BEETROOT BLINIS
(slightly adapted from Prue Leith’s recipe)

For the blinis:
170g all purpose-flour
2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
1 large egg, separated
1 tbsp olive oil
220ml whole milk

For the topping:
100g cooked beetroot
1 tsp hot prepared horseradish
pinch of crushed sea salt
125g cream cheese
smoked salmon, flaked
¼ lemon

Make the blinis. Sift the flour and salt into a bowl. Make a well in the centre, then add the egg yolk and the olive oil and whisk, drawing in the flour. Slowly add the milk, whisking to a smooth batter.

In a separate bowl, using a hand-held electric blender, whisk the egg white to stiff peaks, then gently fold them into the batter.

Heat a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. Once the pan is hot, spoon 1 tablespoon of the batter into the pan and cook for 1–2 minutes, until the edges are set and the mixture is bubbling. Turn the blini over and cook until golden brown on the other side, then place on a wire rack to cool. Cook in batches using the remaining batter until you have 12 blinis. Set aside to cool.

For the topping, place the beetroot, horseradish cream, salt and 50g of the cream cheese in the bowl of mini food processor and blitz until smooth. Spoon the beetroot mixture into a clean bowl and fold in the remaining 75g of cream cheese, until evenly combined, thick and smooth. Spoon the mixture into a piping bag fitted with a medium piping tip.

Pipe a swirl of beetroot mixture onto each blini, then top with flakes of the hot smoked salmon. Squeeze the lemon juice over the top, then garnish with fresh dill.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: These were very delicious!  I made them as an appetizer for our Valentine’s dinner but as you know, I can be pretty slow to blog on stuff, so you only got to see them as July is coming to an end. Such is life.

The main issue the contestants had with the recipe was cooking the blinis. Many added oil to the pan, and that’s a mistake. Even if it seems like it cooking them on a dry pan will end in tragedy,  that’s how you get the right searing, proper texture and no excess oil as you bite into them. They are delicate, soft, and I find the addition of beets to the cream a real touch of class. Cannot beat that color. Or…should I say cannot “beet” that color?  (ouch!)

ONE YEAR AGO: Mandioca Frita 101

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TEN YEARS AGO: Tour de France Final Stage: PARIS

ELEVEN YEARS AGO: Snickerdoodles with a Twist

 

POLENTA BITES WITH SPICY TOMATO SAUCE

I like to think I’m a person who resists temptations. You know, self-control, determination, that sort of thing. It all goes reasonably well until I am confronted with a new, sexy silicone mold. Or a pair of colorful earrings. But that’s about it. Ok, maybe nail polish is hard to say no to at times. I swear, that’s it now. Back to cooking. Silikomart has been my obsession for a very long time. Today I share with you a cute appetizer idea using one of their molds: Sushi. Adorable. Can you make it without the mold? Absolutely!  But… if you also suffer from Silikomart-weakness, maybe you should bring one home…

POLENTA BITES WITH SPICY TOMATO SAUCE
(from the Bewitching Kitchen)

200 g corn flour (for polenta, quick-cooking or regular)
500 ml water
salt to taste
1 T butter
1 cup tomato sauce (store bought or home made)

for the spicy cilantro sauce (makes more than you’ll need):
1 cup cilantro leaves
1/4 cup lime juice
2 tsp Asian fish sauce
1/8 cup rice vinegar
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp Sriracha sauce 

Bring salted water to a boil in a saucepan. Pour the corn flour slowly constantly stirring with a spoon. Cook according to the brand of corn flour you are using. I used regular polenta, and it took about 30 minutes to get fully smooth. Once the polenta is cooked, stir in the butter.

Make the spicy cilantro component. Place the cilantro leaves in a food processor and whirl until finely minced. Add the remaining ingredients and process until well combined. Reserve. Leftovers keep a few days in the fridge. 

Pour the polenta into the Sushi Maki silicone moulds and level with a spatula. Let rest until solidified, then unmold them, spoon the tomato sauce in the small cavity, and a touch of spicy cilantro dressing.

Serve warm or cold.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: These polenta bites can stand very well with just the tomato sauce and if you like, a bit of cheese on top, a quick run under the broiler. It turns out I had made a mahi-mahi sous-vide just a couple of days before, and the spicy cilantro sauce was part of that recipe. I decided to add just a little touch to top the tomato sauce and it all worked surprisingly well, so I incorporated in this post. I realize that I went overboard with the sauce and hid the nice little hole on the top of the mold. Oh, well… no major harm done. But I exercised a little more restraint on my second batch…

In this case, I finished them with a brushing of olive oil and a visit to the air-fryer for about 10 minutes at 390 F. Delicious texture, probably even better if serving tem as finger food. If you don’t have an air-fryer, just place them in a 450 F oven until golden brown.  Then top with some warm sauce, and serve.

You can use mini-muffin tins to make the exact same type of preparation, but there’s something about the Sushi mold that I find pretty irresistible. I got mine on ebay last year, but The Place that Sells it All carries it. Obviously.

ONE YEAR AGO: Vague Mousse Cake

TWO YEARS AGO: Cottage Loaf, my very own technical challenge

THREE YEARS AGO: Pork Ribs: Sticky, Spicy and Awesome

FOUR YEARS AGO: Sobering Peach Sorbet

FIVE YEARS AGO: Buttermilk-Blueberry Breakfast Cake

SIX YEARS AGO: Silky Cauliflower Puree with Almond Milk


NINE YEARS AGO:
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TEN YEARS AGO: Summer’s Finale

 

 

 

BLACK OLIVE TAPENADE AND DEVILED EGGS

Tapenade-flavored deviled eggs! A great departure from the classic, this was a recent blog post by my dear friend Karen. We love deviled eggs so I was quite excited when she shared her version that included a hefty dose of black olive lusciousness to make them even more special. At first I thought we had one of those convenient ready-made jars from Trader Joe’s sitting in our pantry, but of course, the moment I had a very important use for it, they were nowhere to be found. I had to take matters into my own food processor. You know what? Home-made is infinitely better. There’s a fresh taste to it, plus I could customize it adding a bit of orange zest. Total winner!

BLACK OLIVE TAPENADE
(adapted from many sources)

1 + 1/2 cups pitted black olives
1 teaspoon anchovy paste
2 tablespoons capers, rinsed
juice of half a lemon (taste and add more, if you like)
chopped fresh parsley to taste
olive oil to desired consistency
salt and pepper
orange zest

Add all ingredients to the bowl of a food processor, except olive oil, salt, pepper, and orange zest. Process until smooth. With the motor running, drizzle olive oil until it gets to the consistency you prefer, I added a bit less than 1/4 cup.  Season with salt, pepper, and add orange zest at the very end.

BLACK OLIVE TAPENADE DEVILED EGGS
(slightly modified from Karen’s Kitchen Stories)

6 hard-boiled eggs
1/4 cup full-fat yogurt
1/2  tsp Dijon mustard
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 heaping tablespoon (or more to taste)  olive tapenade
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Paprika for garnish

Peel and slice the eggs in half, lengthwise. Place the yolks into a bowl and mash with a fork. 

Add the yogurt, mustard, and cayenne pepper, and mix until smooth. Add the tapenade and salt and pepper and stir until thoroughly combined. Place the yolk mixture into a piping bag and pipe into the egg white cavities. Sprinkle with paprika and chill until ready to serve. You should chill too, it’s an easy recipe, perfect for entertaining.

ENJOY!

to print the recipes, click here

Comments: Confession time. I gave you the recipes with more or less precise measurements, but I did not use a single measuring cup or spoon to make them. Because I’ve been baking so much, I get pretty tired of measuring and weighing items. When it comes to a savory recipe, I want freedom. So I pretty much eye-balled everything. And used my taste buds to judge if I needed more capers, more lemon, more parsley. I advise you to do the same, it is quite liberating (wink, wink). Yes, no two attempts will be exactly the same, but isn’t that part of the charm of cooking? Now, of course baking is another story, your goal is to reach that perfect mousse emulsion, the cake with correct structure and moisture, the macarons with the perfect mixing of almond to meringue. Precision rules.

These turned out delicious! I made a batch on a Saturday morning while The Man was playing golf and the plan was to surprise him with the platter ready and waiting. But he finished the game early, and arrived while I was piping the filling. So there you go, you got to see a picture of the process.

I like to use yogurt instead of mayo, as mayonnaise does not enter our home, but you should go the more authentic route if you prefer.

Karen, thanks for constantly inspiring me, as you know I have a huge list of recipes to try from your site, but I jumped on this one like Buck jumps on a snake in the backyard. Sorry for the image, but it’s accurate.

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YOU SAY EBELSKIVER, I SAY FALAFEL


Have you heard of ebelskivers? With a fun name that twists the tongue around, ebelskivers are creatures conceived in Denmark, designed to make your mouth water and your waistline expand. Think pancakes in round shape, served as a bite-size delicacy. To properly make them, you need a pan like this one.

With that pan calling the Bewitching Kitchen home, I was eager to make my first batch of ebelskivers. The perfect opportunity shaped up: a bunch of golfing friends came to stay with us and play in a tournament with Phil. My plan was to offer them a special breakfast on Sunday morning before they headed to the golf course. But, I kept that plan well hidden. It would be a surprise. Guess who was really surprised? Yours truly. Their performance on the golf course on Saturday made them all want to get up at the crack of dawn and go practice for a couple of hours before the final outing. Breakfast? Who needs breakfast when there’s golf? They grabbed a bunch of cereal bars and off they went. Oh, well. So much for a carefully planned ebelskiver extravaganza…

So I was left with a virgin ebelskiver pan. Then serendipity hit. I was talking to my friend Elaine and she mentioned making falafel in her “special pan.”  She had no idea I had the same type of pan! You can check her recent blog post about it with a jump here. It turns out hers is a slightly different version, with a larger number os smaller cavities. Falafel… We both love falafel. My pan would no longer be a virgin.

FALAFEL
(adapted from Elaine’s foodbod)

250g dried chickpeas, placed in a large bowl of water and soaked overnight
1 medium shallot, peeled and roughly chopped
1 bunch flat leaf parsley
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1/4 cayenne pepper (optional)
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt to taste
chickpea flour, about 1/4 cup (depending on moisture of your mixture)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Wash and drain the chickpeas.

Put everything except the flour in a food processor and chop to a chunky crumb, then put it all into a large bowl. Add the baking powder and enough flour to bring the mixture together in your hands, then create small balls of the mix and flatten them slightly to make the falafel shape.

Put your ebelskiver pan over a low/medium heat and place a small amount of oil in each dip and allow it to heat up briefly. Place a falafel in each dip and cook until done, moving the pan around to make sure it heats evenly.  Turn the falafels gently with a fork when the underside is golden brown, to brown the other side. Remove them to a low oven while you prepare the rest of the meal, or serve right away.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

 

Comments: These turned out delicious! At first I thought that it would make too much filling and I would have a bunch of falafel mixture leftover. Not the case. For my size pan, with the seven medium-sized cavities, it was almost the exact amount. Because my falafels were bigger than Elaine’s, I decided to add a little baking powder  to help lift them a little more. After I “fried” them on both sides, I placed them in our small toaster oven just to keep warm while I finished the rest of the meal. Great to have an additional use for this pan, in fact I have a few savory recipes that might cook very well in it. A fun toy to play with, that’s for sure….

I served ours drizzled with a mixture of yogurt and tahini, seasoned with a touch of salt and lemon juice. It was quite tasty,  but unfortunately the photo did not do it justice, so I skipped sharing it. Elaine served hers over hummus, her picture is worthy of a cooking magazine. Go check it out…

😉

Sharing is caring… while you’re here, grab a pin!

ONE YEAR AGO: Happy Thanksgiving!

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TORTA DE LIQUIDIFICADOR

Come again? 

🙂


The best translation for this Brazilian recipe would be “Blender Pie.” First, let’s learn how to say it like a native. Repeat after me, three times:
.

Easy, right? I knew you could do it.

baked2
I have a sister in Brazil who is 16 years older than me. By the time I got into my teens she was already married, throwing parties, and pretty involved into cooking. One of the things she used to make was this blender pie, but her favorite filling was tuna with green peas, black olives and tomatoes. Being the mega picky girl I was, I never touched that kind, preferring instead more friendly (and austere) versions with ham and cheese, at most a touch of oregano. The basic process is always the same, a thick batter is made in the blender, half of it gets poured into a baking dish, the filling of choice scattered on top, and the rest of the batter spread all over. It is comfort food by default, or as we say in Portuguese, por definição. I won’t sugar coat the pill, it is a bit heavy. Accept it and move on. As an appetizer a couple of small squares will be enough for each guest. If you’d like to serve it as dinner with a salad on the side this full recipe feeds six hungry people.

Blender Pie

TORTA DE LIQUIDIFICADOR
(BLENDER PIE)
(from the Bewitching Kitchen)

for the “dough”
1 cup oil (I used canola)
2 cups milk (full-fat)
3 eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup shredded Parmigiano cheese
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

for the filling
caramelized onions
sautéed mushrooms
shredded mozzarella cheese
diced tomatoes
(or any other filling you like to use)

Heat the oven to 375 F. Lightly grease or spray with oil a baking dish (9 x 13 or slightly smaller is fine).

Make the dough: add to a powerful blender all the ingredients, and blend for 5 minutes until completely smooth. Stop the blender and clean its sides a couple of times during the process.

Pour half of the batter in the prepared dish, add all ingredients for the filling on top, pour the rest of the batter, spreading gently with an offset spatula to enclose all the filling.

Bake for 45 minutes or until all puffed up and golden on top. Let it cool until just warm before cutting in slices. It can be prepared a couple of days in advance, to re-heat use a low oven, microwave is not recommended.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

compositeblender

The beauty of this recipe is its versatility. You can pretty much use any filling you imagine: shredded barbecued chicken, ground beef with taco seasonings, roasted veggies, maybe some grilled shrimp, all doable. One popular version in Brazil uses corn and peas, green and yellow like the colors of the country. I do think cheese is pretty much mandatory in any kind of blender pie. If using shrimp or roasted veggies I suppose a bit of crumbled feta would be a nice option. No need to measure anything, just cover the extension of the baking dish with a hearty amount of filling.

I made this particular version for a reception we hosted. Keep in mind that in the span of two weeks we hosted three receptions for faculty and one pizza-party for our whole lab. After the pizza party we had some toppings leftover, so this Brazilian concoction of my past was a perfect choice to use it all up. But to make it more special, I prepared a batch of  caramelized onions, following this recipe from my friend Elaine. She used a clever method that allows caramelization to be an almost hands-free process, by making them in a low oven. I added a smidgen of balsamic vinegar to the onions, together with salt, pepper and olive oil.

Here they are, in a before and after shot…
caramelizedonions1caramelizedonions
I intended to add black olives to the filling too, but found the bowl with pitted Kalamata staring at me right after shutting down the oven door. Not the first time I pull this type of trick on myself, I believe it won’t be the last. Black olives would have been wonderful… (sigh)

The little pie squares are irresistibly gooey due to all the cheese…

closeup1

So there you have it, a Brazilian concoction from my teenage years finally featured in the Bewitching Kitchen. I hope I made my sister proud!  

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