Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Dallas Morning News Taste Section 4/9/2014

Today's headline is :  5 Foods To Try Now.
The story basically says to step out of your comfort zone and try something new. We all know what that can means...... YUK!
Without going into detail about some of the ingredients mentioned in the article, I chose Coconut Oil as my ingredient to talk about and a recipe that sounds yummy and not yucky! Lemon Coconut Poundcake.

I had the fortunate opportunity to spend some time on the Island of St. Lucia when I was...... well, let's just say, young! It was a carefree time in my life and probably on the backside of my Hippy Days.
I stayed in a friend's house on the side of a mountain, overlooking the sea. It was Utopia. We had a housekeeper and a cook. So far it doesn't sound very Hippy - Like, does it. I always said that my parents told me I was a privileged Hippy. I think there were many of us that were.
I learned quite a bit about island cooking and one of the ingredients I was not familiar with was Coconut Oil, until then. The house had no windows and it was 3 stories connected by an open staircase that zig - zagged from floor to floor. It was quite an amazing house. The living area had an opened balcony and within arms reach , there was a Cashew Tree. The cook fried fresh Cashews in Coconut Oil, daily. They were delicious. He also shaved pieces of Fresh Coconut and fried them in Coconut Oil. With a sprinkle of salt, they were better than any chip I had ever eaten. I had fried Plantains for the first time, and they were prepared in Coconut Oil. I added it to this story. He also taught me how to climb a Coconut Tree in my bare feet. Now, that was very Hippy! I have a picture of that somewhere in my archived photographs and if I ever find it, I'll post it here.

Here's my recipe for Fried Plantains as I remember them:
I hope some of my readers will make this recipe and create a new food memory.

4 green plantains
vegetable oil ( on the island it was always coconut oil)
sea salt

Peel and slice the Plantains on an angle 1/4" to 1/2"
Preheat the oil in a cast iron skillet
In small batches, fry the slices for 2 - 3 minutes on each side
Remove, drain on paper towels ( on the Island they drained them on pieces of brown paper bags)
Use a meat mallet ( or whatever you have on hand that would smash a Plantain ) I use a stainless steel measuring cup, smash them to 1/8"thick
Place them back in the oil and fry 2 minutes more, per side, until golden brown and crispy.
Drain again and sprinkle them with sea salt
I've included a dipping sauce recipe, but you can just eat them without it if you choose.

Mojo Sauce :

1/4 C olive oil
5 cloves of garlic, minced
1 TBS finely chopped cilantro, parsley or rosemary... etc. ( whatever herb you have available).
Salt to taste

Combine oil and garlic in a saucepan
Heat on low for about 5 minutes
Remove from heat
Place in a serving bowl
Add herbs and salt
Dip the crispy Fried Plantains in the sauce

Here's another sauce that can be used as a dipping sauce ;
This one comes from Bhutan, a country in the Himalayan Mountains.

1/3 C olive oil 
2/3 C sour orange juice (or half and half regular orange juice and lime juice)
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped 
1/2 tsp cumin, ground 
1/2 tsp salt 
1/2 tsp pepper 

Prepare the same as the previous sauce.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Vintage slides
of St. Lucia:
the rough side of the island

this may be the island of Filicudi off the coast of Sicily.
Oh Well, another story , another time!
That was definitely a Hippy experience during
my many travels!

one of the grand pitons

the view from the opened living space in the house

I salted them with my Rosemary infused Sea Salt

Back to the recipe from today's paper.
Source: Tina Danze

Lemon Coconut Pound Cake:

1 1/2 C flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 C Virgin Coconut Oil, room temperature
1/4 C butter, softened
1 1/2 C sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 tsp lemon zest
1 1/2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 C buttermilk
1 1/2 C confectioner's sugar
1 1/2 TBS whole milk
1/4 C coconut flakes, toasted

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
Grease an 8"X4" loaf pan,( I use my pan release mix found under Tip, Hints and More on the blog).

In a small bowl:
baking powder
whisk well, set aside.

In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment:
coconut oil
blend well.
Add sugar and beat until creamy smooth, about 5 minutes.
Scraping down the bowl half way through.
Add eggs, one at a time, scrape the bowl between each addition.
Beat for 5 minutes, until very light and fluffy and increased in volume.
Add vanilla and lemon zest.
Mix until well combined.

Turn mixer to low speed and gradually add dry ingredients, alternating with buttermilk.
Pour half of the buttermilk in after the first addition of flour, the remainder after the second addition of flour.
Pour batter into the pan.

Bake for 70 - 75 minutes, or until it comes out clean when a toothpick is inserted int the center of the cake.

Remove from oven and place on a cooling rack for 15 - 20 minutes before inverting it onto a serving platter.

In a small bowl, whisk confectioner's sugar with the lemon juice and milk to make a smooth glaze.
Drizzle it over the cake and sprinkle with the coconut flakes.

Peace in the Kitchen!

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