Summer Cake

apricot and raspberry cake - trust in kim

If speed of consumption is any indication, then this cake is a favourite – it disappeared in 5 minutes flat at the potluck I brought it to this afternoon.  And I can see why (although I didn’t get to try it) – a light almond cake with apricots and raspberries; how could that not be good? Perfect served still warm from the oven, and might even be nice with a little vanilla ice cream.
I found the recipe on lottieanddoof, and the original recipe comes from Ripe by Nigel Slater, which I am now going to have to get my hands on.

What you need:

  • 3/4 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup minus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 & 1/3 cup self-rising flour (see below for a method if you don’t have any)
  • 1 scant cup ground almonds (almond meal)
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 4 or 5 ripe apricots (2 peaches might be nice too)
  • 1 to 1 & 1/2 cups  raspberries

If you have no self-raising flour you could do this, which is what I did, with success:

  • measure 1 & 1/3 cups of all-purpose flour and take out 2 & 1/2 teaspoons
  • add 1 & 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • add 1/2 teaspoon salt

What you do:

  1. Line a 8-inch/20 cm springform pan with parchment paper.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  3. Halve and seed the apricots and chop them into bite-sized pieces.
  4. Cream the butter, then add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy.
  5. Add the eggs one at a time and beat well.
  6. Combine the flour and ground almonds, then add 1/3 of it to the batter, mixing until just about combined, and do this twice more with the rest of the flour/almonds.  Add the milk and mix briefly, just until combined.
  7. Gently fold in the fruit.  I folded in the apricots and put the raspberries on top, but I think it might look prettier if there are raspberries mixed in.
  8. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top down a little.  Bake for 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes, testing for doneness with a toothpick – if any batter sticks to it, put it back in the oven for a few more minutes.
  9. Let the cake cool for about 10 minutes, then run a sharp knife around the edge before removing the ring.  Stand back and watch it disappear.  This one is probably best the day it is baked.

 

a cake for midsummer - trust in kim

Fruit Piroschki – Mennonite Fruit-Filled Hand Pies

Mennonite piroshky - trust in kim

My childhood was filled with these beautiful little pies, made by my Mom, Oma and Aunts, filled with various fruits and sometimes even meat. So I figured it’s  about time I made them myself.  Instead of using my Tante Kantja’s recipe (see below), which is the only one I had access to at the moment, I opted for the pastry recipe from the Smitten Kitchen Cookbook. So while it’s not the traditional Ukrainian piroschki I grew up eating, it’s the same idea: a square pastry filled with fruit.  Yum! My favourite result was the apricot/nectarine combination, but the blueberries were pretty good too.

I made the whole recipe, then baked a few and put the rest in the freezer.  They were just as good when I pulled a few straight out of the freezer and baked them up for just a little longer than the pre-frozen version. I like them best when they are freshly baked, but they will keep for a few days.

This is a great picnic food!

What you need:

  • 2 & 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup very cold butter
  • 1/2 cup ice-cold water
  • about a pound of apricots, nectarines, peaches, plums or apples, or a combination of those
  • 1 egg

What you do:

  1. Whisk together the flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl.  Cut the cold butter into medium-sized dice and add it to the flour.  Use a pastry blender or your hands (better if they aren’t too hot) and break the butter up, combining it with the flour mixture, into pieces the size of tiny peas.
  2. If it is a very warm day put the bowl in the fridge for a while to let the butter get cold again before rolling it out.
  3. Drizzle most of the water over the mixture and stir it in, adding more as you need it.  Use floured hands to knead the dough briefly until it comes together in a ball. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours.
  4. Before you are going to roll out the dough, chop up the fruit and sprinkle it with a little bit of flour or cornstarch and stir that together gently.
  5. Dust the countertop and rolling-pin (or wine bottle if you don’t have a rolling-pin) with a little flour. Cut the dough ball in half and roll out one half.  Cut the dough into 15cm/6 inch squares and fill each with some fruit (pictured below). Run a wet finger along each of the edges of the pastry, then bring two corners together to and press them together; do this with each corner until they all meet in the middle. (See picture at the top of the page) Do the same thing with the rest of the dough.
  6. Put the piroschki into the fridge for about 30 minutes. While they are chilling preheat the oven to 375 F and line a baking sheet with some parchment paper (optional – I didn’t have any and they didn’t stick to the pan).
  7. Crack the egg into a bowl add a teaspoon of water; mix with a fork. Use a pastry brush to glaze the pastry with the egg.
  8. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until they are a beautiful golden brown.  Let cool only slightly before devouring.

If you are not baking for a large crowd I advise that you freeze part of the batch for a later date.  Just put the baking sheet into the freezer until they are solid, then but them into a freezer bag.  To bake just take a few out of the freezer and place them on a pan and into a preheated oven, 375 F for 35-45 minutes.  Just as yummy as the first batch!

making piroshky - trust in kimpiroschki recipe - trust in kim

 

Panfried Garlic Trout with Zucchini

panfried garlic trout - trust in kim

Although I didn’t fish this summer I was lucky enough to be gifted some rainbow trout: two from my dad and one big one from my Uncle Peter and niece Courtney.

For this recipe I tried to recreate a fish dish I had in Mexico once, which had a lot of garlic and olive oil on it.  This turned out a little different, partly because I don’t know how to fillet and served the fish whole, but was its own kind of awesome.  The sauce was great on the fish, and also made this my new favourite way to serve zucchini.  Good thing there’s so much coming up in my garden right now!

What you need:

  • 1 large trout for 2 people (or course you can try this with other fish)
  • 1 head of garlic
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/3 cup chicken broth (or vegetable if you prefer)
  • 2 small zucchini or one larger one

What you do:

  1. Chop all except two cloves of the garlic to a medium-small size.  Chopping is preferable to using a garlic press because the press makes it mushy, and you want to have some pieces of garlic for this recipe.
  2. Heat a large frying pan (large enough to fit the fish) to medium and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil.  When it is hot add the chopped garlic and cook, stirring, until it is lightly browned.  Pour  the garlic and oil into a bowl and add the chicken broth and salt to it.  If your broth was salty you won’t need to add much or any salt.
  3. Start the grill.  Of course you don’t need to use a grill because you’re going to cook in a frying pan, but I don’t like my home to smell like fish so I choose to cook it outside. I cooked the garlic inside, but this can also be done on the grill.
  4. Cut the zucchini on a diagonal about 2 cm thick.
  5. Season the fish with salt and pepper, inside the cavity of the fish if you’ve got a whole one, or just on top if you have fillets.
  6. Add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil to the pan, let it heat, then add the 2 cloves of garlic cut in half.  Let this cook until the garlic has begun to brown.
  7. When the grill is hot put the frying on it and place the fish in it, keeping the olive oil and large garlic pieces in the pan, and put the lid down.  Cook on each side for 7-8 minutes, depending on the size of the fish.  When it is don’t remove the fish from the pan to a serving plate and cover to keep warm.
  8. Place the zucchini slices in the frying pan and cook for about 3 minutes per side, so it is still firm in the inside.  Add half of the garlic and chicken broth sauce and stir to coat the zucchini. Let the sauce heat up for a minute or so.
  9. Spoon some garlic sauce into the cavity of the fish, then arrange the zucchini around it the fish on the platter.

Bon appetit!

 

Fresh Fava Bean and Summer Vegetable Salad

fava bean salad - trust in kimfava beans - trust in kim

This winter I saw a few recipes that called for fresh fava beans, but I’ve never been able to find them in a store, so I chose this to be one of my experimental crops in my community garden this year.  They are a bit of work to shuck and peel, but they are so tender and delicious.  I think I’ll be growing them again next year to try out a few of the other recipes.  This salad capitalizes on the availability of fresh vegetables in the summertime, at the peak of their flavour.

What you need:

  • about a pound of fava beans in their shells
  • one cob of fresh corn, cooked and the kernels cut off
  • a few small cucumbers or half a large one
  • 1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup lightly toasted walnuts
  • your favourite vinaigrette or this one:
  • 1 heaping teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • a little salt and pepper
  • 2 – 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil

What you do:

  1. Toast the walnuts a little and let them cool.  I do this is a frying pan, tossing often and watching them carefully so they don’t burn.
  2. Cook the corn and let it cool. You can boil it for just a few minutes or grill it.
  3. While the corn and nuts are cooling down you can prepare the fava beans.  Begin by boiling a large pot of water.  Remove the beans from their pods, then boil for 2 & 1/2 to 3 minutes; less time for smaller beans.  Drain then cool down right away in a bowl or sink full of cold water; ice water is even better.
  4. Now comes the labourious part – remove the skin from each bean. Make sure you’re listening to some good music and the time will pass quickly.
  5. Mix the vinaigrette ingredients and pour some of it over the sliced red pepper to mellow the flavour a little. Let this sit for about 20 minutes.
  6. Slice the cucumbers as thinly as you can, with a mandoline.
  7. Combine the cooled fava beans, corn, cucumbers, and the onion with its dressing.  Toss lightly, then add more dressing if you think it is needed; I liked it best lightly dressed.
  8. Top with the toasted nuts just before serving.

 

Grilled Corn on the Cob

grilled corn on the cob - trust in kim

Grilled corn on the cob is the perfect summer treat, as long as it’s crisp and fresh. To choose the best corn I peel the husk back at the top of the cob and pierce one of the kernels with a fingernail. If it pops it is a fresh one; if it doesn’t you’ll want to put it back and try another one. When corn is really fresh I believe the very best way to eat it is plain.  That way you can really taste the pure flavours of the corn.

What you need:

  • corn on the cob – I do one per person, plus an extra to put in a recipe like this or this the next day
  • a barbecue or coals left over from a fire
  • optional: butter, salt, mayonnaise, chili powder

What you do:

  1. Immerse the corn cobs in a large bowl or sink full of water for 1/2 hour to an hour.  The husks are less likely to burn this way.
  2. When the barbecue is hot place the cobs on it – they still have the husks on them (not like in the picture – that comes later).
  3. Use tongs to turn every few minutes so the husks don’t burn. Right now you are steaming the corn inside the husks so they are mostly cooked through.  This process doesn’t take long, so I don’t leave them on for more than 8-10 minutes.
  4. Remove the corn from the barbecue and pull back the husks (as shown in the picture).  Place them back on the grill, turning every minute or so until there is a little bit of browning happening to the corn.
  5. Enjoy as you wish, plain (yummiest ever), with butter and salt, or some mayonnaise and chili powder.

 

Cherry Tomato and Baby Bocconcini Salad

tomato and bocconcini salad - trust in kim

These pretty little yellow tomatoes came out of my garden this summer, along with the greens, so I just added the bocconcini to make a salad.  Nothing says summer like tomatoes fresh from the garden, and the cheese is mild enough that it doesn’t steal the limelight from their flavour. It’s nice with a little bit of bread to soak up any extra balsamic glaze. Delicious and super fast!

What you need:

  • some cherry tomatoes
  • fresh greens
  • baby bocconcini
  • basil
  • balsamic glaze, storebought
  • salt and pepper

What you do:

  1. Place the greens on plates.
  2. Distribute the whole tomatoes and bocconcini on top of the lettuce.
  3. Stack a few basil leaves up, roll them, then slice the roll thinly – this is a chiffonade.  Loosen up the basil strips and place a few on each plate.
  4. Drizzle a little balsamic glaze on top, then add a tiny bit of salt and pepper.
  5. Enjoy right away!

Cilantro Guajillo Chili Tofu

cilantro guajillo chili tofu - trust in kimguajillo chili tofu - trust in kim

This is one of my favourite new recipes, and I’ve made it a few times this summer already.  I can honestly say that this is my favourite tofu recipes I’ve ever made, and right now one of my favourite meals period.  And I’m not a vegetarian!

The guajillo chili salsa is a garlicky olive oil sauce with orange juice and cilantro – packed with flavour, which is just what tofu needs.  I make up a recipe of the salsa and keep it in the fridge to use on various foods, including grilled chicken and shrimp.  This time I served it on a bed of greens with grilled fresh zucchini. Another time I made it with spinach and my favourite dressing. 

What you need:

  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 head garlic, chopped
  • salt and pepper
  • juice of 1 large orange
  • 2 dried guajillo peppers, cut into strips (I use kitchen scissors to do this)
  • 1 bunch cilantro, washed and dried
  • 1 block medium-firm tofu

What you do:

  1. I like to prepare the guajillo chili salsa a while before I need to use it so the flavours have a chance to mingle.  To begin, heat a frying pan to medium heat and add the olive oil.  Add the garlic, pepper and a liberal amount of salt, and stir once in a while.  When it is slightly golden add the orange juice and guajillo pepper strips, seeds and all.  Let this simmer for a few minutes. Set aside to cool, then use an immersion blender or food processor to blend with the cilantro, stems and all.  Season to taste with salt and pepper; I find it usually needs a bit more salt. Refrigerate to use when you wish.
  2. Pat the tofu dry on a towel then slice about 1.5 – 2 cm thick.  Heat a little olive oil in a frying pan and add the tofu strips. Spoon about one teaspoonful of guajillo chili salsa on each strip of tofu, then flip them.  Let them fry for about 2-3  minutes on that side, then add another teaspoonful of salsa to the other side and fry that for another 2 minutes or so until it has darkened a bit.
  3. When you remove it from the pan make sure to scrape up any baked-on bits of salsa and spread them over the tofu.  So tasty!

guajillo chili in olive oil - trust in kim

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