Monday, June 20, 2011

More favorite berry recipes

This is my favorite recipe for strawberry shortcake.

And this berry recipe is definitely worth a re-post.  It's soooooooooo amazing!

Berry Patch Lemonade

This drink is always welcome anytime and especially at summer Bar-B-Ques & Picinics.  From Favorites.

• 1 pound berries, fresh or frozen (strawberries, raspberries, or blackberries)
• 1 can (12 oz) frozen lemonade concentrate
• 4 cans (12 oz) cold water
• Ice cubes
• Mint leaves (optional)

Puree berries in a blender. (Sometimes it helps to add a little bit of the water during this step for your blender’s sake). Strain if desired. Mix lemonade with water in a pitcher. Add pureed berries, blend and chill. Pour over ice in tall glasses and garnish with fresh mint leaves or more sliced berries.

Icebox Strawberry Pie

In step 1, it is imperative that the cooked strawberry mixture measures 2 cups; any more and the filling will be loose. If your fresh berries aren’t fully ripe, you may want to add extra sugar to taste in step 2. Use your favorite pie dough recipe. Chill the heavy cream in step 4 to help it whip more quickly.  From Cooks Illustrated*.  Serves 8

Filling
2 pounds frozen strawberries
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon unflavored gelatin
1 cup sugar
Pinch salt
1 pound fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced thin
1 (9-inch) pie shell , baked and cooled (see note)

Topping
4 ounces cream cheese , softened
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup heavy cream, chilled

1. COOK FROZEN BERRIES Cook frozen berries in large saucepan over medium-low heat until berries begin to release juice, about 3 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high and cook, stirring frequently, until thick and jamlike, about 25 minutes (mixture should measure 2 cups exactly!).
2. ADD GELATIN Combine lemon juice, water, and gelatin in small bowl. Let stand until gelatin is softened and mixture has thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir gelatin mixture, sugar, and salt into cooked berry mixture and return to simmer, about 2 minutes. Transfer to bowl and cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes.
3. ADD FRESH BERRIES Fold fresh berries into filling. Spread evenly in pie shell and refrigerate until set, about 4 hours. (Filled pie can be refrigerated for 24 hours.)
4. MAKE TOPPING With electric mixer on medium speed, beat cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla until smooth, about 30 seconds. With mixer running, add cream and whip until stiff peaks form, about 2 minutes. Serve pie with whipped cream topping.

*See this food blog for a similar recipes also from Cooks Illustrated.

"Kitchen Sink" Carrot Cake

Kitchen sink carrot cake? That's right; as in "everything but the..." While purists may argue over exactly what, beside carrots, is "allowed" in carrot cake, Baldy is a fan of a carrot cake with lots of add-ins.  So everything is welcome here--nuts, raisins, pineapple, etc.  Add some coconut or ginger too if you'd like.  This recipe halves beautifully to make a square cake as well.  Adapted from King Arthur Flour.

CAKE
·          4 large eggs
·          1 cup granulated sugar
·          3/4 cup brown sugar
·          2 teaspoons vanilla extract
·          3/4 cup melted butter
·          3/4 cup vegetable oil
·          2 cups Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
·          1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
·          1 teaspoon baking soda
·          1 1/2 teaspoons salt
·          2 teaspoons cinnamon
·          1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
·          1/8 teaspoon allspice
·          3 1/2 cups finely grated carrots
·          1 cup diced pecans or walnuts, toasted if desired
·          1 cup golden raisins
·          8 ounce can of crushed pineapple, drained and squeezed dry
  
FROSTING
·          6 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
·          1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened  (note: if you substitute low-fat or fat free here the consistency of the frosting will be a bit more runny).
·          1 teaspoon vanilla extract
·          1/8 teaspoon salt
·          3 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
·          2 tablespoons milk, or enough to make frosting spreadable

Directions
1)       Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9" x 13" pan.
2)       Beat the eggs, sugars, and vanilla in a large mixing bowl till smooth, about 2 minutes at medium-high speed.
3)       Mix the melted butter with the oil. With the beater running, add the oil mixture in a stream, beating till smooth.
4)       In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, leaveners, salt, and spices. Add these dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, stirring to make a smooth batter.
5)       Stir in the carrots, nuts, coconut, and pineapple.
6)       Spoon the batter into the pan, spreading it to the edges.
7)       Bake the cake for 40 to 50 minutes, until the cake is golden brown, and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean.
8)       Remove the cake from the oven, and cool right in the pan.
9)       When it's completely cool, make the frosting.
10)    Combine the butter, cream cheese, vanilla, and salt in a medium-sized bowl, and beat together until light and fluffy.
11)    Add the sugar gradually, beating well.
12)    Add the milk a little at a time, until the frosting is a spreadable consistency.
13)    Spread frosting over the cake. Garnish with minced crystallized ginger, if desired.
14)    Yield: 9" x 13" sheet cake, about 24 servings.

Recipe summary
Hands-on time: 20 mins. to 25 mins.  Baking time:  40 mins. to 50 mins.  Total time: 2 hrs 30 mins. to 2 hrs 45 mins.  Yield:  9" x 13" sheet cake, about 24 servings.

Oven Fries

"Take care to cut the potatoes into evenly sized wedges so that all of the pieces will cook at about the same rate. Although it isn't required, a nonstick baking sheet works particularly well for this recipe. It not only keeps the fries from sticking to the pan but, because of its dark color, encourages deep and even browning. Whether you choose a nonstick baking sheet or a regular baking sheet, make sure that it is heavy duty. The intense heat of the oven may cause lighter pans to warp.  Serves 3 to 4."  From Cook's Illustrated, Published January 1, 2004. 

INGREDIENTS
·          3 russet potatoes (about 8 ounces each), peeled, each potato cut lengthwise
            into 10 to 12 evenly sized wedges
·          5 tablespoons vegetable oil or peanut oil

INSTRUCTIONS
1. Adjust oven rack to lowest position; heat oven to 475 degrees. Place potatoes in large bowl and cover with hot tap water; soak 10 minutes. Meanwhile, coat 18 by 12-inch heavy-duty rimmed baking sheet (see note) with 4 tablespoons oil and sprinkle evenly with 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; set aside.

2. Drain potatoes. Spread potatoes out on triple layer of paper towels and thoroughly pat dry with additional paper towels. Rinse and wipe out now-empty bowl; return potatoes to bowl and toss with remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Arrange potatoes in single layer on prepared baking sheet; cover tightly with foil and bake 5 minutes. Remove foil and continue to bake until bottoms of potatoes are spotty golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes, rotating baking sheet after 10 minutes. Using metal spatula and tongs, scrape to loosen potatoes from pan, then flip each wedge, keeping potatoes in single layer. Continue baking until fries are golden and crisp, 5 to 15 minutes longer, rotating pan as needed if fries are browning unevenly.

3. Transfer fries to second baking sheet lined with paper towels to drain. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste and serve.

Black Bean and Chickpea Hummus

This is one of our favorite homemade hummus recipes.  The nonfat yogurt and black beans make it a bit healthier too.

Ingredients

o 1 cup canned black beans, drained
o 1 cup canned garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained
o 1 T olive oil
o 2 T fresh lemon juice
o 2 T plain nonfat yogurt
o 2 T water
o 1 clove garlic, chopped
o 1 ½ teaspoons curry powder
o Salt and pepper to taste


Directions
Place black beans, garbanzo beans, olive oil, lemon juice, yogurt, water, and garlic into a blender or food processor. Season with curry powder, salt, and pepper. Cover and puree until smooth. Refrigerate until ready to serve.