Thursday, March 11, 2010

Buttermilk Cake Doughnuts

This is one more reason my husband has added to to the "why we should get a fry daddy list". I am standing my ground, the dutch oven works perfectly fine for the occasional fry. And now these doughnuts are added to my reasons why we don't need a fry daddy list - I would eat these all the time...these are so good! Like Michael Pollan says, eat at much junk food as you like as long as you make it yourself. 

Buttermilk Cake Doughnuts
Adapted from Nancy Silverton as seen on Serious Eats

  • 1/4 crème fraîche or sour cream
  • 3 1/4 cups unbleached pastry flour or unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon (0.3 ounce) packed fresh yeast or 1 1/8 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk
  • 1 extra-large egg
  • 2 extra-large egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

How to:
In a small stainless-steel bowl set over a pot of gently simmering water, heat the crème fraîche until just warm.

Heat the oil to 375°F.

Over a large mixing bowl, sift to combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, nutmeg; make a large well in the center. Place the yeast in the well; pour the crème fraîche over it. Allow it to soften, about 1 minute.

Pour the buttermilk, whole egg, egg yolks, and vanilla extract into the well; whisk together the liquid ingredients. Using one hand, gradually draw in the dry ingredients. The mixture should be fairly smooth before you draw in more flour. Mix until it is completely incorporated and forms a very sticky dough. Wash and dry your hands and dust them with flour.

Sift an even layer of flour onto a work surface. Scrape dough out of bowl onto the surface; sift another layer of flour over dough. Working quickly, pat dough into an even 1/2-inch thickness. Dip cutter in flour and, cutting as closely together as possible, cut out the doughnuts and holes. Place holes and doughnuts on a floured surface. Working quickly, gather scraps of dough together, pat into 1/2-inch thickness, and cut out remaining doughnuts and holes.

Fry the doughnuts one or two at a time to keep the oil temperature up. It takes about 45 seconds per side. When they are a light golden brown, remove from oil and place on a paper towel lined baking sheet. The doughnut holes take less time and you can fry 4 to 5 at a time.

Add the finishing touches of your liking. I made three varieties: sprinkled powdered sugar over doughnuts, pressed the doughnuts into cinnamon sugar mixture, dipped them in a quick frosting made by slowly mixing buttermilk into some powdered sugar until a thick, but thin enough to run off of a spoon, mixture was formed.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Yogurt-Marinated Chicken Kebabs with Aleppo Pepper

I picked up some aleppo pepper over the summer at Penzey's. Aleppo pepper is a Syrian spice, similar to paprika, but with a tad more heat and a smoky flavor. Other than topping deviled eggs,  I have not found, or really sought out, a recipe to use aleppo pepper. If I stumbled across it in the spice cabinet, I would open the little jar, take a whiff, and put it back.  I just couldn't think of anything to do with it that wasn't just a mere substitute for paprika. It is a different more complex flavor than sweet paprika, there has to be a way to use it and highlight its flavor. Well, there is...this recipe cured my aleppo pepper block. I liked it so much, I already have to go back to Penzey's and get a refill.

Yogurt-Marinated Chicken Kebabs with Aleppo Pepper
Adapted from Bon Apetit as seen on

  •  1 1/2 tablespoons Aleppo pepper (or 2 teaspoons dried crushed red pepper plus 2 teaspoons Hungarian sweet paprika) plus additional Aleppo pepper or paprika for sprinkling
  • 1 cup plain Greek-style yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled, flattened
  • 2 unpeeled lemons; 1 thinly sliced into rounds, 1 cut into wedges for serving 
  • 2 1/4 pounds skinless boneless chicken (thighs and/or breast halves), cut into 1 1/4-inch cubes
  • Two bell peppers, chopped into 1 inch squares
  • 1/4 cup plan Greek-style yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Oat and Pecan Coffee Cake

This is one of my go-to recipes. I do not know where it came from or who gave it to me, but whoever you are thank you. This coffee cake is sure to please. It has made countless appearances on my breakfast table for over 10 years now, and yes I had at one point doctored up a vegan version. The cake is not overly sweet; the oats give it body -- it's a perfect accompaniment for a hot creamy cup of coffee on a lazy morning.

I usually make this the day before I plan to eat it, the cake gets more moist and flavorful.

Oat and Pecan Coffee Cake

  • 1 cup oats
  • 1 1/2 cups hot water
  • 1/2 butter
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoon flour
  • 3 tablespoon butter
  • 2/3 cup pecans, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

How To:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Using a pad of butter, grease the bottom and sides of a 9 inch spring form cake pan.

Boil the 1 1/2 cups of water and pour over the oats and let sit for about 5 minutes.  Cream the butter and brown sugar in a mixer. Once the butter and sugar are thoroughly combined, mix in eggs and the vanilla.

In a separate bowl, sift the dry ingredients together. Slowly mix in the dry ingredients into the butter mixture. Once combined, add in the saturated oats and mix until loosely combined. Pour the batter into the greased pan.

For the topping cut the butter with the sugar, flour, and spices. Add in the copped pecans and mix with your fingers until it reaches a crumbly/streusel texture. Sprinkle the topping over the cake.

Bake the cake for 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.