Can one be an “accidental cookbook author”? Is such a thing possible? Yes…I am living proof that by just being in the right place at the right time some amazing things can happen totally by accident! I so enjoy working and styling food for cookbooks and have worked on many over the years. I, on the other hand, have never been particularly interested in doing one of my own. So it was even sweeter and more fun when I got this pre-release cookbook cover image from Spring House Press and there was my name right under Zack Browns! Me, the accidental cookbook author!
As a “tease” I am going to share with you one of the 24 recipes I conjured up and developed, tested and styled for this book with Zack who was a joy to work with. If you have not already heard about his potato salad Kickstarter project then a quick look here will tell you more. All the gorgeous images are the work photographer Danielle Atkins. The person who brought us all together…who was the glue…is J Spinks…art director extraordinaire.
How I got involved with Zack’s Kickstarter is another story, but that is all in the cookbook. This was a labor of love that I worked on just for the absolute fun of it as well as my interest in pursuing projects that are works of good.
Later on there will be some cookbook giveaways and other fun stuff. Today I share with you a yummy spring potato salad recipe, “Egg, Apple & Smoked Trout Potato Salad with Cider Dressing”, to tease your potato salad palate, . Enjoy!
Egg, Apple & Smoked Trout Potato Salad with Cider Dressing
Tossed with pepper arugula and watercress and smoky trout, this entree potato salad is exquisite. The apple slices and cider vinegar add a fresh dimension. Served with good crusty bread and a chilled white wine, it’s just what spring calls for.
1 lb baby Yukon gold or honey gold potatoes
2 tart apples, thinly sliced
juice of 1/2 lemon
2 egg yolks
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup olive oil, plus more for drizzling
3 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 handful watercress
1 handful baby arugula
8-10 ounces smoked trout, separated into chunks
4 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and quartered
Bring potatoes to a boil in salted water. Reduce heat and simmer, about 20 minutes, until potatoes are knife tender. Drain and set aside. Once cool, cut each potato in half.
Toss apples with the juice of 1/2 lemon and set aside.
Make the dressing: Put the egg yolks, additional lemon juice, and a dash of salt and pepper in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a few times to mix. With processor running, drizzle in olive oil until mixture has thickened. Add the mustard and vinegar. Pulse to blend. Taste and adjust seasoning.
To serve: gently toss the potatoes, apples, watercress, arugula and trout with the dressing. Place mixture on a serving platter or individual plates. Scatter sea salt and pepper over salad. Top with egg pieces and drizzle with additional olive oil if desired.
It is a proud moment in blogging when a post ends up on the cover of a magazine!
In May of 2015 I posted a blog featuring “A Mother’s Day Tennessee Strawberry Tart” and now May 2016…one year later my tart is the cover story of the May/June Edible Nashville. Thanks Jill Melton and Edible!
There is nothing so sweet as the beginning of Strawberry Season. Every May the Downtown Nashville Farmer’s Market begins to fill up with local farmers offering pints and quarts of berries and this May is no different. I bought my first berries this past weekend. I picked up a couple of extra cartons for gifts for my daughters. Yes Strawberries do say love!
So in honor of Tennessee Strawberry time I am going to share previous posts I have done which feature fresh, local, Spring Strawberries.
If I were a berry I would enjoy resting on top of a sponge cake, dusted with powdered sugar….or swirling around in sweet juice in a canning jar for all to admire….or being wrapped up snuggly in a blanket of dough. Wouldn’t you?
A few weeks ago Wouter was working in Los Angeles and I had the week at home to myself. Busy with photo shoots and faced with all the craft services tables and lunches every day on set, I decided to make sure I ate cleaner and healthier when at home,
My friend Terry is always referring to her “bean diet”…I am not sure what that is exactly..but she swears by it. With this bag of “Orca Beans”, also known as Calypso or Yin Yang Beans, and the recipe on the back of the package as my guide, I made a killer salad and went on my own version of the “bean diet”.
1 cup chopped fresh orange (peeled, de-seeded) with juices
2 Tbsp minced jalapeno pepper
juice of one lime
salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/2 tsp ground cumin powder
1 to 2 fresh avocados chopped (peeled & seeded)
Place beans in a pot with the water and season with salt & black pepper. Bring to a boil, turn to simmer and cook just until beans are softened (but not mushy). Drain cooked beans in a colander and rinse with cool water. Let drain for a few minutes.
Put cooked, cooled & drained beans in a large bowl along with the chopped mango, orange and jalapeno pepper.
Add lime juice, salt & black pepper to taste and cumin powder and toss gently. Add chopped avocado if serving immediately, otherwise cover and chill salad and add avocado right before serving. Taste and adjust seasonings to your liking. This salad keeps chilled for 3 to 4 days. It just gets better and better!
There is a sweet and funny family story that inspired me to make my own version of Erwtensoep or Dutch Pea Soup. If you are lucky enough to know my partner Wouter, a Dutch man who tells a good story, you may also have heard the tale of him and his late Mother Elizabeth’s restaurant meal concerning “This is NOT Erwtensoep!”
Now, according to Elizabeth real Dutch Pea Soup has no potatoes even though you can order it many places in The Netherlands with this addition. Her firm belief in the absence of potatoes…a long-suffering Waiter, and Wouter…as well as a bowl of pea soup led to a bit of hilarity that only exists in the retelling. I leave it at that.
After much research and discussions with Wouter about Dutch Pea Soup, combined with my fondness for all things “peas and potatoes”, I made this cross-culinary version using Southern USA country ham hocks, split green peas and baby Yukon gold potatoes. It is a most delicious soup. Although Elizabeth is no longer with us and she might possibly declare “This is NOT Erwtensoep” I do believe even she would find it tasty. Bon Appetit and Laten We Eten!
These little salt and pepper ducks that I bought in Budapest last summer look right at home in this multi-culinary setting. A Dutch Pea Soup made with Southern USA Ham Hocks and seasoned with Salt and Pepper from Hungarian Ducks!
A photo of shelves and shelves of cans of Ertwensoep I took on our last trip to Amsterdam while grocery shopping.
I love the changing of seasons and the culinary markers for each, currently Spring Asparagus and leaves of tender baby Kale. Bright, new green colors shooting up from the soil inspiring new recipes to be tried & shared.
Pesto using fresh chopped asparagus spears, tender kale leaves, lime juice, garlic, pistachios, olive oil and Parmigiano Reggiano? Why not! New season, new dish.
I tossed this deeply flavorful concoction with hot Bucatini pasta, chopped grape tomatoes and shreds of Parm. Simple, fresh, Spring.
Do you ever use Bucatini? I prefer it to regular spaghetti noodles. Bucatini is a bit larger and has a teeny-tiny hole running through each strand…look closely at the photo below and you may can see the hole…for the pasta sauce to soak into giving it more flavor and sauce for every bite. I get Bucatini and most of my pastas from Lazzaroli Pasta located on 5th Avenue North here in Nashville. If you have not been there treat yourself to an outing to Tom Lazzaro’s wonderful little homemade pasta and Italian grocery store. It is small in size but mighty in deliciousness.
Hello Spring & Bon Appetit Y’all.
Hello Spring Pesto with Asparagus & Kale tossed with Bucatini Pasta
Add chopped asparagus spears and pistachios to a food processor and pulse until roughly chopped.
Add kale and garlic and pulse several times to make a finer chop but still rough.
Add lime juice and 1/2 cup Parmigiano. Pulse a few times. I prefer a rough chop pesto, but you make your version how you like it.
With processor running drizzle in approximately 1/2 cup olive oil. I like less oil but if you prefer a more oily pesto then go ahead and add more.
Scrape pesto out into a bowl. Stir in salt and black pepper to taste.
Cook Bucatini according to package directions and drain well. Save 1 cup of hot pasta water.
Toss hot pasta with a generous portion of the pesto & hot pasta water. Top with chopped tomatoes and additional Parmigiano. Store leftover pesto in a jar with a tight-fitting lid chilled for up to 2 weeks or freeze.
Note: This pesto is wonderful topping a flatbread pizza or smeared on crusty bread slices.
Six years ago today I posted my very first Food on Fifth blog post. It was short, the photos not very good and I got “1” comment. I don’t remember but it was probably from a relative! So here, today, is my blog’s birthday with a wee celebration cake that is easy to make, festive and delicious! And now we are “6”.
I have often been asked why I started blogging. One day while poking around in an antique store I purchased the first of my collection of old recipe boxes with handwritten recipes. I had not inherited any such thing from my Mother or Grandmother so I decided then and there to start a blog so my daughters would have a “modern-style recipe box”, and would, through my blog, learn more about me as a person, about my travels and my creative side via Food on Fifth. That’s all. No intentions other than creating a modern-style recipe box to leave for my girls chock full of memories.
Six years later I am still at it and I have learned a lot about taking photos of food and about how much I love that part. I have learned much about food failures (I don’t blog about all those!) and how to really embrace the beauty of imperfection.
It’s easy to turn a sheet cake into a quick festive cake that serves 4 people using a large round cookie cutter, lemon and lime curds and raspberry jam.
Stacked with a smear of flavors in between.
Fresh berries on top and a dusting of powdered sugar.
Voilà ! A Happy Birthday Cake for Food on Fifth. Enjoy.
Preheat oven to 350. Coat a 9 x 13 inch sheet pan with cooking spray. Line with parchment paper and spray paper. Dust paper with flour, shaking off excess and set aside.
Whisk together all-purpose flour, almond flour, baking powder and salt.
Beat together softened butter and sugar in a mixer until fluffy. Add lemon zest, almond and vanilla extracts mixing well.
Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Reduce speed and alternately beat in flour mixture and milk until blended.
Spread cake batter into sheet pan. Bake for about 15 minutes or until center is set. Remove from oven to cool on a wire rack.
When cake has completely cooled, use a 4 inch round cookie or biscuit cutter to make 5 cake rounds.
Place one round on a serving plate or cake stand and smear first layer with half the lemon curd; top with second layer adding half the raspberry jam; top with third cake layer and spread with all the lime curd; top with fourth layer and smear with remaining raspberry jam; top with fifth layer and spread with remaining lemon curd.
Add a ring of blackberries around the top of the cake and fill with blueberries. Chill cake for about 1 hour, dust with powdered sugar and serve cut into small wedges. A scoop of ice cream would be nice.
Note: I used jarred citrus curds that I found at World Market, you could make your own if you like…but these were very good and make the cake “easy”.
There is little more satisfying than making my own bread….warm, crusty loaves brought forth by my own hands. The ingredients readied, measured and mixed appeals to the organized part of me. The physical contact of floured hands to soft dough is uniquely seductive as any baker of bread will tell you.
For St. Patrick’s Day week I share two recipes for breads that are simple and quick and delicious. I enjoy making yeast breads, but Irish Soda Breads are my fall-back when time is limited and my attention span runs short whilst the desire for making a good crusty loaf is all that will suffice.
A bit of sifting and mixing….
…….just a few ingredients with little prep time and a beautiful dough is achieved.
Gently formed into a round loaf with an “X” cut into the top, this sweet loaf is ready for the oven within about 10 to 15 minutes!
One loaf baked and smeared with marmalade and one without…one sweet and one savory, both warm and ready for a slathering of Irish butter within an hour.
A Sweet + A Savory Irish Soda Bread - One Recipe, Two Loaves
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray or cover with parchment paper.
Sift the flour, salt & soda together into a large mixing bowl.
Make a “well” in the center and pour in 1 1/2 cup buttermilk and mix gently. Add more buttermilk if dough seems too dry. This dough should be soft and somewhat wet. Using your hands scrape dough out onto a lightly floured work surface.
Knead dough until smooth and shape into an 8 inch round, slightly flattened disk. Place dough on prepared baking sheet and using a sharp knife dipped in water, make an “X” in the top. Bake for about 25-30 minutes or until bread is golden brown and crusty. When you remove loaf from the oven and tap on the bottom it should sound hollow. Serve warm in slices with some softened Irish butter.
Directions for Loaf #2 – The process is exactly the same as the above loaf. This one uses yogurt and cream and marmalade.
Preheat oven to 425 and prepared baking sheet.
Sift flour, salt and soda together…make a well in the center….add yogurt, cream and half the marmalade. Stir together quickly. Scrape dough onto a floured work surface and knead a few times.
Shape into a disk & place on a baking sheet. Smear outside of dough with remaining marmalade and cut an “X” in the top.
Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown and crusty.
These breads keep well for a few days and are fantastic toasted.