May 13, 2010

It’s still rainy and gray here in Brooklyn, which makes me feel like I’m back in good ol’ Washington.  Because of that, and because it was Mother’s Day on Sunday, I decided to make one of my mom’s “signature dishes”… in particular, a breakfast dish my mom made all the time for us growing up: Dutch Babies.  You may know this as a “german pancake,” but in our household, it was Dutch Babies all the way.  In fact, if you ever slept over at the Pickard household, you’ve probably had this before. 

Dutch Babies (via All Recipes)
2 eggs 1/2 cup milk 1/2 cup sifted all-purpose flour (I did not sift.) 1 pinch ground nutmeg (I used vanilla extract cause I’m not a nutmeg fan) 1 pinch salt 2 tablespoons butter 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar for dusting DirectionsPlace a 10 inch cast iron skillet (I used a square baking pan) inside oven and preheat oven to 475 degrees F (245 degrees C).In a medium bowl, beat eggs with a whisk until light. Add milk and stir. Gradually whisk in flour, nutmeg and salt. Remove skillet from oven and reduce oven heat to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Melt butter in hot skillet so that inside of skillet is completely coated with butter. Pour all the batter in the skillet and return skillet to oven. Bake until puffed and lightly browned, about 12 minutes. Remove promptly and sprinkle with powdered sugar.
Mine turned out sort of sad since I halved the recipe (for my baby oven), but were still delicious!  Instead of my childhood favorite of more butter and piles of powdered sugar, I decided to make a more sophisticated topping for the pancake.. Let’s call this:
Blueberry and Basil “Compote”
Ingredients:1 cup blueberries1/4 cup chopped basilJuice from 1 lemon2-3 tbls powdered sugar
Put ingredients in a bowl and mash with whatever you have to mash with.
You can pile as much or as little of this on top of your Dutch Baby.
Next came my first adventure in tempeh.  Tempeh is a strange combo of grains and tofu and who knows what else that looks pretty gross uncooked.

but as a veggie bacon, it’s much more visually appealing.

Tempeh Bacon (vegan) (via Lunch Box Bunch)  (some people hate tempeh. It is a bit nutty, but I enjoy it.. especially on a sandwich.)5 ounces tempeh (2/3 a standard 8 ounce pack)1-2 Tbsp maple or agave syrup1 Tbsp olive oil1/2 tsp cumina dash of cayenne1 tsp liquid smoke (or BBQ spices)1 tsp soy sauce1/2 tsp thick black pepperfor pan: 1 tsp olive oil*if you don’t have liquid smoke use any of these BBQ spice combos:(garlic, pepper, paprika and onion)To make:Very thinly slice the tempeh. (if anyone knows how to do this, please let me know. Mine was not thin enough.Combine all ingredients in a shallow dish.Soak tempeh in marinade for 1-2 minutes.Turn saute pan on high, add 1 tsp olive oil.Lay the tempeh flat on skillet. One layer only. Drizzle a bit of excess marinade onto skillet-it should be sizzling a lot now.Allow to cook for 1 minute, then flip.Allow to cook for another minute on other side-or until both sides are crisp and browned.Lay cooked tempeh on parchment paper to cool.For a crisper tempeh bacon, do not pour excess marinade in skillet, and allow all liquid to steam off of pan while cooking.(This tasted fine, but cutting it thin was impossible, which meant the marinade didn’t.. marinate enough.  Live and learn.)Caramelized Grapefruit(I got this idea from a similar thing on the menu at Egg. They used mint, which I didn’t have… but it was fine without.)
1/2 grapfruit (per serving)1 tbls of brown sugarHeat up a pan to medium heat.  Place grapefruit flatside down for about a minute. Turn over and sprinkle the top with brown sugar.  Place back down in the pan.  Sugar will begin to bubble and caramelize.  Remove from heat.

I really can’t get over how good that combo of basil, blueberry and lemon is.  I may eat it every day forever.