Basic Sponge Sheet

Sponge Cake Sheet

4 eggs
pinch salt
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup sifted corn starch
1/4 cup sifted flour

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease an 11 x 16 jelly roll pan or a 9 x 13 pan and line with parchment paper.

Separate eggs. Beat egg whites with salt until they hold soft peaks. Gradually beat in sugar, sprinkling it in a little at a time. Continue beating until whites are very firm, about 5 minutes in all.

Stir yolks with a fork to break them up. Add vanilla. Fold a quarter of the stiffly beaten egg whites thoroughly into egg yolks. Pour egg yolk mixture on top of remaining whites. Sprinkle corn starch and flour over mixture. Fold all very gently together until no pieces of egg white show. Careful not to overmix.

Pour into prepared pan, spreading batter evenly. Bake 10-12 minutes or until cake is very lightly browned.

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Punjabi Vegetable Curry

Vegetable Curry

Adapted from “The Art of Good Cooking”

I was pleasantly surprised by the number of Indian style recipes in “The Art of Good Cooking.” This was the first one I tried from the book and to be honest, I was skeptical. I first experienced well made tasty Indian food in high school. I say “well made” because prior to this, my experience with Indian food consisted of overly spicy burning your entire mouth to the point that you can’t taste and might as well be eating canned dog food mixed with oil and heavy cream. My stepmother introduced me to healthier, flavorful dishes, mostly of north Indian decent.
This recipe uses curry powder which was more available than spices such as turmeric, cumin, and ground coriander that curry powder can (but not always) be essentially comprised of.
A vegetarian dish that if served with rice and a side of Raita is easily a full satisfying meal. It has over 5 different vegetables which makes the dish more lively, and each one is easy to find and inexpenive. Like most curries, a fair number of ingredients are needed for this recipe. I find that each one creates a distinct layer of flavor within the dish that contributes to the overall highly spiced (but not necessarily hot and spicy-that’s up to you) multi-fascited profile. This is no boring dish.

3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons brown mustard seeds
1 green bell pepper chopped
1 large onion diced
4 cloves garlic minced
1 tablespoon freshly grated or minced fresh ginger
3 tablespoons curry powder (or 1 tablespoon each ground coriander and cumin, 1 /2 tablespoon turmeric)
1 fresh serrano pepper or cayenne pepper to taste
1 small cauliflower cut into florettes
2 red potatoes peeled and diced
1/2 – 3/4 cup stock (or as needed)
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1/2 pound fresh green beans trimmed and cut in half (or 1 package frozen green beans)
1 package frozen peas
1 lemon juiced
1/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
Salt and Pepper
1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Heat oil in a deep pot over medium heat. Add mustard seeds. When seeds begin to pop, stir in green pepper, onions, garlic, serrano pepper if using and ginger, and saute until tender. Add curry powder, cayenne if using, salt, and pepper. Add cauliflower and diced potatoes and toss in spice mixture. Add stock and tomato sauce. Cover pot and simmer over medium low until potatoes and cauliflower are tender – add more stock if needed. Add green beans, then peas. Continue to cook until all vegetables are tender. Do not allow to dry out too much. Alternatively, you may turn up the heat at the end if there is too much liquid – there should not be too much sauce surrounding the vegetables. Add lemon juice. Adjust seasoning as necessary.

Just before serving, sprinkle with chopped cilantro and shredded coconut. Serve with fluffy steamed basmati or jasmine rice and Raita.

Serves 6-8

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Apple Roll

Apple Roll

Adapted from “The Art of Fine Baking”

1 recipe coffee cake dough (see below)
2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups peeled, cored, coursely chopped apples (I like honeycrisp)
1/4 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup cinnamon sugar (see note)
1 egg mixed with
1 tablespoon milk

Coffee Cake Dough
2 packages of yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup warm milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
3 egg yokes or 2 whole eggs
2 – 3 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup unsalted soft butter

Make coffee cake dough:

Combine yeast with milk, sugar, salt, lemon, and vanilla in the bottom of a large mixing bowl. Allow to sit and foam up a minute. Mix in eggs. Add flour – enough to make a medium soft dough. Work in soft butter. Kneed in bowl or on table for 10 min. adding more flour if necessary. Dough has been kneeded enough when it is shiny and elastic and possibly has small blisters on the surface. Place in bowl dust top lightly with flour. Cover bowl with a towel and place in a draft free warm place (sometimes I flip the oven on its lowest setting for a minute, turn it off, and place dough in oven) to rise 45 minutes. Dough should almost double in size.

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 x 5 x 3 loaf pan.

Mix chopped apples with 1 tablespoon cinnamon sugar.

Punch down dough and roll into a large square or oval shape about 1/4 inch thick. Brush with melted butter. Scatter chopped apples over dough. Sprinkle with raisins. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar (reserving about 1 tablespoon for later).

Roll dough up jelly-roll style. Fit into loaf pan.

Let rise until dough has almost doubled. Brush with egg mixture and sprinkle with remaining tablespoon of cinnamon sugar.

Bake in preheated oven about 45 minutes or until golden brown.

Makes 1 loaf

Note: Cinnamon Sugar can be made by simply combining 1 cup granulated sugar with 1 tablespoon cinnamon.

 

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Turkey Sausage with Sauteed Sweet Potatoes and Apples

Turkey Sausage with Sauteed Apples and Sweet Potatoes

A rustic seasonal dish that combines the comforting flavors of fall and Thanksgiving. For the apples, I use granny smith which are very tart and require slightly more sugar, but any firm crisp apple may be used. The brown sugar helps brown and caramelize the apples almost like an apple pie. The original recipe from “The Art of Good Cooking” did not have sausage but I found that the saltiness balances the sweet and acidic flavors from the sweet potatoes and apples. The sausage also rounds out the dish to make it a complete lunch or small dinner.

1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 pound sweet turkey sausage
1 1/2 – 2 sweet potatoes or yams peeled and cut in 1/2″ cubes
3 semi-tart, hard apples peeled cored and sliced 1/4″ thin and halved
1/2 stick of butter (4 tablespoons)
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/4 cup orange juice
pinch of salt
crumbled goat cheese (optional)

Heat a medium sized skillet large enought to hold all of the sausages in one layer over medium heat. Add oil. Place sausage in pan and brown on all sides and remove. Add about half the butter. When butter has melted, add sweet potatoes and sautee until crisp and tender all over

While sweet potatoes cook, heat a large skillet over medium low heat. Add remaining butter. When butter has melted, add apples, sugar, and lemon zest. Sautee for a few minutes.

Meanwhile, slice the sausage at an angle in 1-2 inch pieces.

When apples are slightly browned and dry but not quite soft, add orange juice. Add the sweet potatoes and sliced sausage to the pan. Cook until orange just evaporates and sausage is cooked through.

Serve and top with crumbled goat cheese.

Serves 4

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