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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Spanish Salpicon - Spanish Seafood Salad

From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...This dish should not be confused with its Mexican cousin which is a spicy beef salad. The Spanish word salpicon means jumble or hodgepodge and while it was originally made with beef, these days the dish can also be made with seafood and seasonally fresh vegetables. The thermostat hit 96 degrees today and I viewed that as permission from the kitchen gods to scrap the hot meal I had originally planned, and substitute it with a cold supper. We were in Seattle last week and I brought home some wonderful Spanish olive that I thought would be perfect to use with a recipe for salpicon that came from a shop called The Spanish Table. While the salad can be made with any seafood, I used fresh shrimp and some mussels, along with ripe tomatoes and other summer vegetables, to make mine. This is a delicious salad that I'm told is popular in Spanish tapas bars. It is as pretty to look at as it is delicious to eat, and it will be interesting to see if my creation bears any resemblance to the ones that are served in the tapas bars. I promise I'll let you know. I do hope you'll give this salad a try. It lends itself to near limitless variation and I think you can come up with a personalized take on the recipe. It is a perfect course to serve on a hot summer night. Mine went to the table with a crusty Portuguese bread and a delicious green gazpacho. Do try this. Here is how Spanish Salpicon is made.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Lazy Daisy Cake

From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...
This vintage recipe goes to prove "what's old is new again", and I had a good laugh when I saw the cake had "ribboned" at our county fair last week. This is a recipe that refuses to die. I hasten to add, it has enjoyed long life because it makes a buttery hot milk cake that's fast and easy to prepare, and when it's topped with its broiled coconut topping, it has an appeal that spans generations and challenges ambrosia as food for the gods. Put in a less florid way, this is a delicious everyday cake that I think your family will love. It seems to fall in and out of favor, but those of you who are of a certain age will remember its last round of popularity was in the late 40's and early 50's, when it resurfaced as rationed ingredients again became available. The cake is best when served warm, but leftovers will keep for several days and can be reheated in the microwave for their encore performance.  Those of you who prefer smaller cakes can cut the ingredients in half and use an 8-inch pan for baking. If you do not care for coconut, nuts or seeds can be used in the topping without adversely affecting the flavor of the finished cake. I hope those of you who have not yet sampled this cake will give it a try. You will not regret it. Here is how it is made.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Magic Cake

From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...I found this cake, quite by chance, while searching for Spanish recipes. The Silver Fox and I will be going to Spain and Morocco in October, and, as is my habit, I search out recipes from the countries we'll be visiting in order to give us a better idea of the food we'll be eating. The cake was featured on a Spanish language blog written by Mabel Mendez, but as I read the translation of her recipe I was surprised to learn that the cake is Romanian and not Spanish. Her version of the cake, which you can see here, was so comely that I decided to make it anyway. The cake is unusual in that a single batter produces a cake with three distinct layers. The bottom layer is dense, the middle layer is custard-like and there is a thin layer of sponge cake on top. If you are a fan of custard desserts I think you'll love this one, but if you do not enjoy vanilla flavoring use rum or lemon instead. The cake is not difficult to make, but it needs time to set, so if you decide to make it you'll want to plan accordingly. Make sure you do not over beat the eggwhites. The batter for this cake is very thin and folding the eggwhites into what is basically a liquid can be tricky. You'll want them to hold their shape but do not beat them dry. I go a bit beyond soft peaks and call it a day. I've found I get better volume with more softly beaten eggwhites. I also suggested you check the cake about ten minutes before you expect it to be done. Mine did not need to bake for a full hour. Let the cake cool to room temperature and then transfer it to the refrigerator to chill. You'll find it much easier to cut when it is cold. Here is how the Magic Cake is made.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Scripture Cake

From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...Our County Fair is well underway, and I, like most city kids, am drawn, as a moth to the flame, to the sights and sounds and smells of the midsummer fair. Not surprisingly, my favorite attractions can be found in the Agricultural Hall where food items - bread, pies, cakes, cookies, pickles and preserves - are exhibited and judged. Among this year's entries were some surprising old cake recipes that I'd like to share with you this week. While the first recipe is a challenge, I think those of you who accept the gauntlet and do the necessary research will have a good time and perhaps share it with like-minded friends. This cake is at least a century old and it was originally used to teach young girls scripture as well as baking. If you are up to the challenge, try to determine the ingredients used in this cake using the Bible verses below. A decoded version of the ingredients can be found by using the "Read More" link that appears below it. There are many version of this cake, but I selected this one, which comes from Hushpuppy Nation, because it was the oldest and most authentic recipe I could find. I have a couple of cautions to share with you before I leave you to your devices. The batter for the cake is very stiff and it will need to bake for at least 70 minutes. The baked cake will be dense and it should be allowed to sit for a day before it is glazed and served. Do be careful when making the burnt sugar syrup. When water is added to the hot syrup it will sputter and spurt and as it cools the syrup will clump and seize. Just keep stirring and it will again melt and become pourable. While this cake is a curiosity, I think those of you who actually make the cake will be pleased with your creation. It would be a wonderful exercise for a Sunday school class and it might be of interest to homeschoolers. If you enjoy fruit and nut cakes I think you'll like this one. Here is how it's made.

Scripture Cake

Biblical Ingredients:

3/4 cup _____ Judges 5:25
1-1/2 cup _____Jeremiah 6:20
5 _____ Isaiah 10:14
3 cups sifted _____ Leviticus 24:5
3 teaspoons _____ 2 Kings 2:20
3 teaspoons _____ Amos 4:5
1 teaspoon _____ Exodus 30:23
1/4 teaspoon each _____ 2 Chronicles 9:9
1/2 cup _____ Judges 4:19
3/4 chopped _____ Genesis 43:11
3/4 cup finely chopped _____ Jeremiah 24:5
3/4 cup_____ 2 Samuel 16:1
Whole _____ Genesis 43:11 for garnish
1-1/2 cups _____ Jeremiah 6:20
1/2 cup _____ Genesis 24:45
1/4 cup _____ Genesis 18:8


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