recipe

Sour Cream Coffee Cake

by Anne Maxfield on February 9, 2017

Accidental Locavore Sour Cream Coffee CakeSour cream coffee cake is definitely a throwback to another era.

It’s comfort food and seems to be making a comeback.

For whatever reason, it’s been on the Accidental Locavore’s radar for a while now.

But there were all those apple cakes.

And then, today, it seemed like the right time.

Months ago, I found the recipe my friend Alan’s mom gave me way back when.

She made the best coffee cake and she finally gave me the recipe (after I swore that the little cactus I gave Alan was in fact a cactus and not a marijuana plant).

This is easy and quick to put together and will always make you feel better.

Accidental Locavore Coffee Cake RecipeSour Cream Coffee Cake Recipe:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • ½ cup butter (or from the original recipe, margarine)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

Topping

  • ¼ cup light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease an angle food pan or 9×9” baking dish.

Cream together sugars, butter, salt, eggs and vanilla.

In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking powder and baking soda until well combined.

Add the sour cream and then the flour mixture to the creamed ingredients and beat at a slow speed until very smooth.

In a small bowl, mix the brown sugar, cinnamon and nuts for the toppling.

Spoon half the batter into the pan and sprinkle half the topping evenly over it.

Pour the rest of the batter into the pan and top with the remaining topping.

Bake for 45-50 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Serve and enjoy!Accidental Locavore Coffee Cake Swirl

My verdict:

Almost as good as I remembered it! I’d like more topping and more swirl but that’s easily fixed with more sugar and maybe some butter – like a streusel topping. Going back to the apples, they’d make a good topping too (but I’d cut them into smaller cubes).

Since nuts are no longer part of my culinary vocabulary, I used dark brown sugar and cinnamon and sprinkled some maple sugar balls on the top.

And if you’re feeling blue about whatever, it’s a great start to the day!

 

 

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Brussels Sprouts Gratin

by Anne Maxfield on February 6, 2017

As much as the Accidental Locavore likes  Brussels sprouts any way, every now and then, you need to mix it up, dress them up.

Cheese is always good.

And knowing how to do a béchamel sauce (which technically becomes a mornay sauce with the addition of cheese) is handy for a lot of things—mac & cheese, croque monsieur, etc.

Serves 6

Brussels Sprouts Gratin

For the Mornay sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups whole milk (warmed)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2/3 cup grated smoked Gouda cheese (2 ounces)

For the Brussels sprouts:

  • 1 1/2 pounds brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved

For assembling the gratin:

  • 2/3 cup finely grated aged Gouda (2 ounces)
  • Smoked flaked sea salt, such as Maldon or regular sea salt

Preheat oven to 375°.

Make the sauce: Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and whisk until mixture bubbles slightly but has not started to brown, about 2 minutes.

Gradually whisk in milk. Raise heat to medium-high and bring to a boil, whisking often.

Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, until thickened, 12 to 15 minutes. It should coat the back of a wooden spoon.

Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat. Add cheese and stir until melted.

Blanch the brussels sprouts: Place in a microwave-safe dish. Sprinkle with about a tablespoon of water and cook, covered, for 4-5 minutes until just tender.

Assemble the gratin: In a lightly greased gratin pan, add the Brussels sprouts.

Pour the sauce over the brussels sprouts and sprinkle with cheese and a pinch of smoked sea salt.

Bake until bubbling and golden, about 25 minutes. Serve and enjoy!

 

My verdict: This is a great dish for those who may be on the fence about Brussels sprouts. Like bacon, cheese makes everything good.

Hmmm…speaking of bacon, a little cooked and crumbled would probably go really well in this.

We really liked this. It’s a great side dish to something simple like a steak. You can easily substitute almost any cheese for the smoked Gouda, or even a combination, if you’ve got stray scraps in the fridge.

Topping it with Parmesan and/or breadcrumbs would also be delicious. Just think of it as a Brussels sprouts version of mac & cheese (and it will seem almost healthy).

 

 

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Spare Ribs Vindaloo

by Anne Maxfield on January 26, 2017

How could you resist a mash-up like spare ribs vindaloo, recently in Food & Wine?

And then, spare ribs were on sale.

Kismet.

This made a lot of ribs and the Accidental Locavore only bought a single rack. It may look like a lot of ingredients, but you probably have most of them.

Spare Ribs Vindaloo

  • A 2-pound rack St. Louis–cut pork ribs, halved
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 dried New Mexico chiles, stemmed and broken into large pieces
  • 2 tablespoons cumin seed
  • 3 whole cloves
  • One 1-inch cinnamon stick
  • 2 tablespoons ancho chile powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar (mixed use)
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 large red onion, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 quart chicken stock or low-sodium broth
  • 1/4 cup silver tequila
  • 3 tablespoons finely grated jaggery (or brown sugar)

Season the spare ribs with salt and pepper and let stand for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a spice grinder, grind the dried chiles with the cumin seeds, cloves and cinnamon stick until finely ground.

Transfer the mixture to a small bowl and stir in the chile powder, turmeric, cayenne, 2 tablespoons of the vinegar and 1/2 tablespoon of pepper until a paste forms.

In a large enameled cast-iron casserole, heat the oil. Add the red onion and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, 8 minutes.

Add the garlic, ginger and the spice mixture and cook over moderate heat, stirring frequently, until deep red in color, 8 to 10 minutes.

Stir in the stock, tequila, jaggery, the remaining vinegar, add the ribs and bring to a simmer.

Cover and cook over moderately low heat until the ribs are very tender, about 1 hour.

Transfer the ribs to a work surface and let cool slightly; cut into individual ribs.

Simmer the sauce until thickened and reduced by half, about 10 minutes; season with salt.

Return the ribs to the sauce and stir to coat. Serve with steamed basmati rice and enjoy!

My verdict: I think we were a little underwhelmed by these the first time around. However, like a lot of slow cooked food, they were much better the second night and Frank gave his “you can make these any time” seal of approval.

We both thought they could be hotter and the next time, I’ll add some minced serrano, or jalapeno.

There was a lot of sauce because I didn’t halve the sauce recipe (too lazy to do math) just the ribs, but it just meant more sauce for the rice.

I didn’t have any jaggery (do you?) so just used some brown sugar. If I get some, I’ll let you know if I think it makes a difference. However, this seems to be one of those stealth trendy foods for 2017, so you might want to be one of the cool kids and find some.

 

 

 

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Toffee Crack Recipe

by Anne Maxfield on January 19, 2017

Accidental Locavore Toffee Crack You may want to stop reading here*.

This toffee really is like crack.

Easy and addictive.

And you probably have all four ingredients in your kitchen.

Don’t blame the Accidental Locavore for this.

Makes one large sheet pan.

Toffee Crack:

  • 40 saltine crackers (or more to fill the pan)
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 cups chocolate chips

Accidental Locavore Toffee Crack CrackersPre-heat oven to 350°.

Spray a sheet pan with vegetable spray.  Line with crackers.

Put the butter and brown sugar in a medium saucepan, bring to a boil.

Reduce heat and simmer for 3-5 minutes.

Spread sugar and butter mixture evenly over the crackers.

Bake for 8-10 minutes.

Let cool slightly (mostly so you don’t burn yourself), then top with chocolate chips.

As chips melt, spread them out until the crackers are covered.

Let cool completely, break into pieces. Serve and enjoy! 

Accidental Locavore Butter for Toffee CrackMy verdict:

Blame my cousin Ellen (and her friend Mollie). She gave me a bag for Christmas.

I should never have gotten the recipe. It’s amazingly good and stupidly easy.

Mine wasn’t as good as Ellen’s but we talked it out and I think it was the sugar.

Light or dark brown sugar or a mix will work, but don’t make my mistake and use a granular (organic) brown sugar. It doesn’t melt thoroughly and my batch came out a little grainy.

For a large sheet pan, it’s a little more than a sleeve of saltines. I put them all salty side up. Ellen has done it like that and mixed it up. She says it doesn’t matter and I believe her.

This is Ellen’s advice: “You can also sprinkle toasted sliced almonds on top of the chocolate, but Mollie does not use nuts and her toffee crack is perfect.”

 

*But the inauguration is tomorrow so you might just need a double batch.

 

 

 

 

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