Sunday, July 09, 2017

Copper Country Strawberry Festival Muffins



We are always glad to be in the Keweenaw for strawberry season.   There is something about the hard winters and late springs up here that make for really outstanding strawberries.   I have fond memories of strawberry shortcake and margaritas made with the local ones.   This year, I made 12 half pint jars of jam using my outdoor canning rig.

I still had lots of berries to use up, so I tried a variation of a recipe I once made for blueberry lemon ricotta pound cake.   I updated it to use whole wheat flour and strawberries, and I baked it in a muffin tin.   Fantastic!  And good for you, too.

Strawberry Lemon Whole Wheat Muffins
makes 1 dozen

¾ cup granulated sugar
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 large eggs, at room temperature
¾ cup part-skim ricotta cheese
2 tablespoons lemon zest
4 tablespoons lemon juice, divided
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
2 cups fresh strawberries, hulled and cut into quarters
2 tablespoons packed confectioners’ sugar

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners.  Beat sugar and butter in a large bowl  until creamy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until fully incorporated. Beat in ricotta, lemon zest, 2 tablespoons lemon juice and vanilla until just combined. Sprinkle flour on top, then evenly sprinkle baking powder and salt over the flour. Beat until almost combined. Add berries and gently fold into the batter. Transfer to the prepared muffin pans, filling cups to the top.  Bake the muffins until starting to brown around the edges and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean, about  25 minutes. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 20 minutes, remove from pan.   Clean the bowl, add confectioners' sugar and whisk in the remaining lemon juice until smooth. Drizzle the the glaze on the muffins.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Lemonade Icebox Pie



I've been very busy this month of June, and I just realized I needed to make a pie for Liz, the highest bidder at my church's silent auction for my Pie of The Month.   I make a home made pie for 10 months each year, and deliver it to the winner's home.   Since I am out of town this weekend and next, I had to make a weeknight delivery.   I needed something quick and also I wanted something light and refreshing, so I turned to Southern cuisine.

I've never tried to make an icebox pie, which is a refrigerated (or frozen) creamy pie, but a recipe caught my eye for lemonade flavored one.   I was a little put off by the use of sweetened condensed milk, lemonade concentrate and Cool Whip as I don't usually use convenience foods ingredients, but I figured the southern belles knew what they were talking about, so I went with it!  I made my own graham cracker crust, at least, instead of the premade one called out in the original.

Crust

1 1/4 cups Keebler® Graham Cracker Crumbs
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup margarine or butter, melted

Directions
In small bowl stir together crumbs and sugar. Add margarine or butter. Toss until combined.  In 9-inch pie plate evenly spread crumb mixture. Press onto bottom and sides of pie plate. Bake at 375°F for 6 to 8 minutes or until light brown. Cool


Filling
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
3/4 cup thawed lemonade concentrate
1 carton (8 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed
Lemon, for garnish

In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and milk until smooth. Beat in lemonade concentrate. Fold in whipped topping . Pour into crust. Cover and refrigerate until set.  Garnish with lemon

This pie was delicious!  Perfect for a hot summer day....both rich tasting and light at the same time.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Pickled Shrimp

I spend a lot of my work time in the south these days, which has enhanced my appreciation of southern food.   I think I really got interested in it when I read the Lee brothers epic cookbook Southern Cuisine, and now wherever my business travel takes me, I am always wandering around bookstores looking at local cookbooks to add to my collection.    It was courtesy of the aforementioned Brothers Lee that I first heard of pickled shrimp, and I had it bookmarked in my brain to try for a while now.   The other day a recipe from Cook's Country popped up in my feed that I was inspired to try out, with my own adaptations.   I like my food a bit spicier than they do!


I liked the taste of the coriander seeds they suggested.   I didn't have any lemons or dill so I skipped it, and I reduced the oil and used a heavier hand with the hot pepper flakes.   Here's how I made it:

Pickled Shrimp

2 pounds extra-large shrimp (21 to 25 per pound), peeled and deveined
Salt
8 cups Ice
1 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
2 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
3 bay leaves
1 teaspoon allspice berries
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 T red pepper flakes
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 T capers
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon hot sauce
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 cup thinly sliced red onion



Combine 4 cups cold water, shrimp, and 2 teaspoons salt in Dutch oven. Set pot over medium-high heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until water registers 170 degrees and shrimp are just beginning to turn pink, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat, cover, and let sit until shrimp are completely pink and firm, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir ice into pot and let shrimp cool completely, about 5 minutes. Drain shrimp in colander. Combine vinegar, sugar, garlic, bay leaves, allspice, coriander seeds, and pepper flakes in large bowl and microwave until hot, about 2 minutes. Stir to dissolve sugar. Let cool completely. Whisk in oil, capers, mustard,  hot sauce, Worcestershire, and 1 teaspoon salt until combined. Stir onion, and shrimp into vinegar mixture until thoroughly combined. Push to submerge shrimp in marinade, then place small plate on top to keep submerged. Cover and refrigerate, stirring occasionally, for at least 3 hours or up to 48 hours. To serve, remove shrimp from marinade using slotted spoon.

I really loved how this came out!  We ate it for supper with garlic bread, but it would make a great party appetizer/