ReLocavore: Redefining "local"

Back to Wisconsin, my cheesehead friends


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Bookmark this! King Arthur Flour Baking Conversion Chart

Screen Shot 2014-09-10 at 9.56.14 AMBookmark this!

King Arthur Flour has this super-useful chart on their website to convert volume to weight. Importantly, their flours have different weights for a 1 cup volume, and you can find that specific info at this page.

I can’t say enough about baking by weight. It’s always difficult for me to bake by volume anymore – I hate sifting dry ingredients and, when it matters, I don’t want to skip the step and have overly dry baked goods. I still turn to the tablespoons and teaspoons for things like vanilla, salt, or baking powder/soda but everything else – give me weight to give me cake!


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Carmel cake

20140908-182119-66079981.jpg This week on The Splendid Table, Jane and Michael Stern visited Poe Boy Kitchen in Nashville, TN and raved about the carmel cake. I haven’t had caramel cake in probably 20 years. My Aunt Nollie Mae used to make one for Easter. I could remember the taste of the super sweet frosting.

Hearing about good caramel cake on the radio, I became determined that I was going to bake a caramel cake. I realize now why no one other than my Aunt Nollie May made caramel cake. It’s giant pain in the butt.

I worked off of two separate recipes. This one for the cake, and this one for the frosting.

The frosting has this unique characteristic of letting the sugar crystallize and the crystals add a touch of “crunch” to the frosting, in strong contrast to the moist but simple cake.

Eat your hearts out.


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This Week in Veg: A lot of Leeks

What’s the term for a group of vegetables? We have a herd of cows, a flock of sheep, a murder of crows… but what do you call a bunch of vegetables? A bunch? 

Either way, we got a lot of leeks this week in the CSA. I tried to chop and freeze them a few years ago, but I just didn’t get back to using them and they got freezer burn. I think I will put them into a quiche. Sound good. Maybe with bacon? 

That's a lot of leeks. A bunch of leeks? A bramble of leeks?

That’s a lot of leeks. A bunch of leeks? A bramble of leeks?


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Korean Barbeque

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We got a lot, but still not enough heat putting the grill basket on the grate above the hot coals. So instead, we put the grill basket directly on the coals and got the heat we wanted. (Photo credit @MichaelERea)

It seems that korean BBQ is all the rage right now. I watched an episode of Mind of a Chef with Korean BBQ, then this month’s Bon Appetit magazine had a section on Korean BBQ, and lastly, a friend emailed me a feature piece from CNN on making kimchi. I guess I’m getting a pretty strong signal from the ether to make some Korean BBQ.

The components were:

  • Rice
  • Thin-sliced beef marinaded overnight in garlic, ginger, onion, pear puree, soy and sesame oil
  • Ssam sauce, a mixture of fermented soy paste (like miso), Korean hot chili paste, sesame seeds, onion, green onion, and sesame oil
  • Lettuce leaves for wrapping meat and ssam.
  • My home-fermented kimchi. SO GOOD!
  • Carrots quick-pickled in rice vinegar, sugar, and salt with black pepper and cardamom
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The banchan – the sides that go with the meat. I made quick pickled carrots, my home-fermented kimchi, and ssam, a dipping sauce.

We ended up having eight total for dinner. My guests brought Georgean (the country, not the state) walnut and chard balls, caprese salad, homemade fruit and chili salsa. And, of course, lots of beer. In cans.

Apologies for not taking more pictures and many thanks to my guests who did take pictures!


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Abundant Zucchini Recipes: Zucchini Chocolate Cake

Zucchini Chocolate Cake

Do you really have any zucchini left after all of these recipes? This is the BEST way to hide zucchini. You’ll never know it’s there… And POOF! Two zucchini will disappear without a trace.

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(Dry)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
(Wet)
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon instant coffee granules
3 large eggs
(Other)
2 cups unpeeled grated zucchini, from about 1 1/2 medium zucchini
5 2/3 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped

Heat the oven to 350F. Grease a 9″ round or square cake pan.
Whisk together dry ingredients: flour, cocoa, soda, powder, salt.
In the stand mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, then add Vanilla and coffee.
Combine the zucchini, chopped chocolate, and a third of the dry ingredients, making sure the zucchini strands are coated with flour.
Add the remaining dry ingredients into the wet. Keep the stand mixer on low to avoid a big mess.
Remove the bowl from the mixer. By hand, fold together the zucchini into the batter until just combined.
Pour into the cake pan and spread out flat.
Bake 45 mins, or until a probe comes out clean. Let cool.

Now, if you really need to get rid of some zucchini make two cakes, then make zucchini lemon curd, and chocolate frosting. Now ou you’ve used up about 5 zucchini!

After all of this, do you really still have zucchini left???


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Abundant Zucchini Recipes: Zucchini Bread

There are so many recipes for zucchini bread on the internet that there is NOTHING that I could possibly add…

Top Google Hits

  1. http://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2014/06/18/award-winning-zucchini-bread/
  2. http://www.chow.com/recipes/30429-zucchini-bread
  3. http://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes/zucchini-bread/5f75d183-d3e9-431a-9a93-22f0c957b56a
  4. http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/zucchini-bread-10000001072157/
  5. http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/recipes/seasonal/zucchini-bread-recipe

Famous Chef’s Take

Puffing up to be “the best” 

Novel (Weird) Additions

Special Diets

If you can’t get rid of a few zucchini from these recipes, then there’s no way I can help you any more.


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Abundant Zucchini Recipes: Zucchini Fritatta

Zucchini Fritatta

(From KCRW.com)

This is a variant on the spaghetti-based Italian Fritatta. 

  • 2 to 3 medium,  1 to 2 large, or 1 jumbo zucchini
  • 4 to 6 eggs
  • 1 cup grated cheese like parmesan or cheddar
  • 2 tbsp Butter or oil
  • Garlic or onion powder

Heat the oven to 400F and place a 10 to 12 inch cast iron skillet in in the oven to get hot. 

Run the zucchini through the mandoline and cut into long julienne strips. If you don’t have a mandoline, cut into uniform slices, then cross-cut into julienne strips or grate the zucchini. Toss the zucchini with salt and pepper, garlic or onion powder, and 1/3 cup of grated cheese. Beat the eggs. 

Once the oven is hot, add butter or oil to the hot skillet and swirl to coat the bottom. Remove the skillet from the oven and loosely pile the zucchini in the hot skillet. Return to the oven and cook for 8-12 minutes until the zucchini smells toasted and fragrant. Remove the skillet again from the oven and pour the eggs over the zucchini. Cook another 8-12 minutes until the center of the eggs are firm. Top with 2/3 cup of cheese and cook about 5 minutes longer, until the cheese is brown and bubbly. 

Remove from the oven and let set for 5 minutes to firm up. Slice into wedges.