Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Peach Streusel Coffee Cake

I've been on quite the baking spree lately!  I'm guessing it's due to the fact that all of the Williams-Sonoma cookbooks I have are filled with scrumptious, mouth-watering photos.

I'm definitely planning to bake this again~ it's simple to pull together and would also taste great with other fresh fruits.  Fresh raspberries maybe?

Peach Struesel Coffee Cake

Peach Streusel Coffee Cake
The Williams-Sonoma Baking Book, pg. 131

Makes one 9-inch cake

For the Streusel:
3/4 cup all-purpose (plain) flour
1/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
6 Tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

For the cake:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose (plain) flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 large egg
4 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp pure almond extract
2 firm, ripe peaches, 1 lb total, peeled, pitted, and sliced 1 inch thick

Preheat the oven to 350F.  Grease and flour a 9-inch round springform pan or square baking pan or baking dish.  If using a glass baking dish, set the oven temperature to 325F.

To make the streusel, in a bowl, stir together the flour, brown sugar, granulated sugar, and cinnamon.  Using a pastry blender or your fingers, cut or rub in the butter until coarse crumbs form.

To make the cake, in a bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.

In another bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed or a wire whisk, beat the egg, melted butter, milk, vanilla, and almond extract until creamy, about 1 minute.  Add to the flour mixture and beat just until evenly moistened.  There should be no lumps or dry spots.  Do not over mix.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread it evenly.  If using a springform pan, arrange the peach slices in concentric circles from the pan sides to the center.  If using a square pan, arrange slices in rows.  Gently press the slices into the batter.  Sprinkle evenly with the streusel.

Bake until the topping is golden brown, 40-45 minutes.  A toothpick inserted into the center of the cake should come out clean.  Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for 20 minutes.  Remove the sides of the springform pan, if using.  Serve warm or at room temperature, cut into wedges or squares.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Steamed Salmon with Charmoula

Mouthwatering...this isn't the overcooked, dry piece of salmon you're used to eating.  It's so much more.



I stumbled on this recipe in The Williams-Sonoma Cookbook: The Essential Recipe Collection For Today's Home Cook the other night when looking for "light" recipes my dad would enjoy for Father's Day.  I decided to stick with fish and this particular recipe stood out to me with all of the fresh herbs, lemon juice, and spice blend.  I decided to give it a try and let me tell you, it is super flavorful, quick, and delicious.

The cookbook gives a brief history on the "Charmoula" sauce:

Charmoula is a classic Moroccan preparation that can be used as a marinade or a sauce and is commonly served with fish.  It features many familiar Mediterranean ingredients, but extra doses of paprika and cumin give it a distinctly North African character.  To make the sauce without a food processor, mince the garlic or crush it through a press, chop the cilantro and parsley leaves finely, and combine with garlic and herbs in a glass or ceramic bowl.  Add the remaining ingredients and whisk until smooth.

Everyone, including my picky husband, loved the flavor of the sauce and said they would "definitely eat this again".  One thing to note, I didn't have time to marinate the fish beforehand and it still tasted great.

Steamed Salmon with Charmoula
Williams-Sonoma Cookbook, pg. 172
Makes 4 Servings

4 cloves garlic
1/3 cup firmly packed fresh cilantro leaves
1/3 cup firmly packed fresh flat-leaf (Italian) parsley leaves
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (I only had lime juice on hand and it still tastes bright and fresh)
1 1/2 tsp paprika
3/4 tsp ground cumin
1/8-1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 center-cut salmon fillets, about 6oz. each, skin removed

To make the Charmoula, with the motor of a food processor running, add the garlic cloves one at a time until finely minced.  Then add the cilantro, parsley, lemon juice, 1 tsp. salt, the paprika, cumin, and cayenne to taste and puree until smooth.  Slowly add the oil, processing until smooth and emulsified.  Measure out 3 Tbsp of the sauce and reserve.  Put the remaining sauce in a serving bowl, cover, and refrigerate.  Put the salmon on a platter and rub both sides of the fish with the 3 Tbsp sauce.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerated for at least 2 hours.

Remove the fish and the remaining sauce from the refrigerator and let stand at room temperature for 20 minutes.  Pour water to a depth of 1 inch in a large steamer pan or other large pot and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat.  Set a steamer rack or other large, round rack over the simmering water.  Arrange the salmon fillets on a heatproof plate, place the plate on the rack, cover the pan tightly, and steam until the fish is firm to the touch and is barely opaque when tested with a knife, about 8 minutes {I brought the water to a boil, and then added the fish to a steamer basket that sat inside by soup pot and left the temp on medium-high, and worked just fine}.  Transfer the fish to warmed individual plates and top each fillet with a generous spoonful of the charmoula.  Pass the remaining sauce at the table.

I served the salmon over a couple spoonfuls of couscous and some grilled asparagus.  you decide to make this, please let me know what you think!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Mango-Coconut Sherbet

This Mango-Coconut Sherbet is pretty much amazing.  I've had my KitchenAid Ice Cream Mixer attachment for over a year or two now, but I've never attempted to make any sherbets!  I was also pleased that this recipe comes together so quickly.  As long as you have your ice cream maker ready, all you need to do is puree the ingredients and then churn!  Within 30 minutes you could be enjoying some homemade goodness.

You can find this recipe in the June 2011 issue of Cooking Light (love that magazine!).

Mango-Coconut Sherbet
Cooking Light, June 2011

2 cups cubed peeled diced mango
1 (13.5 ounce) can of light coconut-milk
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice 
1/4 cup unsweetened flaked coconut, toasted

Combine cubed mango, sugar, 1 tablespoon lime juice, and coconut milk in a blender; process until mixture is smooth, scraping sides as necessary. Pour mixture into the freezer can of an ice-cream freezer, and freeze according to manufacturer's instructions to soft-serve consistency. Spoon sherbet into a freezer-safe container; cover and freeze 2 hours or until firm. Sprinkle each serving with coconut. 

Nutrition Information:
Cal: 171
Fat: 4.1g
Sat Fat: 3.8g
Mono Fat: 0.1g
Poly Fat: 0g
Protein: 1.1g
Carb: 35.4g
Fiber: 1g
Chol: 0mg
Iron: 0.4mg
Sodium: 26mg
Calcium: 4mg