From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...Gael Greene is a woman of great appetites, only one of which will be covered here today. I've left the more titillating aspects of her biography for others to tell and if you are interested, this is one of many articles that will bring you up to speed on facets of her life that are not included here. I knew very little about her until I began to gather information for this post. Not all the luminaries from the early days of the NYC food scene had reputations that made it past the Hudson River. At that time, Craig Claiborne, Mimi Sheraton and Marian Burros were well-known in the Chicago area, and, being nothing if not loyal, those were the names I carried with me when we made the reverse migration from Chicago to New York. For better or worse, I was a New York Times gal. Gael wrote for the New York Post and New York magazine, so I'm embarrassed to say her columns were never on my radar. Following graduation from the University of Michigan, she began her career as a reporter and freelance writer. She became a restaurant critic only after being asked to do a column for New York magazine. She took the job because association with the gifted pool of writers on the magazine roster would be interesting, and, better still, those costly meals for which she became famous could be expensed. Later, it became the vehicle that afforded her time to work on her novels, a list of which can be found here. These days, she still does freelance writing and serves as a judge on the television program, Top Chef. She is probably best known for her role as co-founder of Citymeals-on-Wheels, an organization that raises funds to deliver food to the housebound elderly.
Gael Greene is not a chef and she has no formal culinary training, so I've relied on a recipe that she has made, published and attributed to her ex-sister-in-law. It is straightforward and easy to make. At one time, Greene made this loaf cake as a gift for friends at Christmas time, so you know she thinks highly of it. I'm posting the recipe as it appears on her website, but I have a couple of suggestions to make if you decide to bake the cake. First, alternate the addition of flour and yogurt rather than dumping them in all at once. Second, allow the cake to cool for about 10 minutes before you begin to pour the orange sauce over it. I did this in stages because the instructions did not call for poking the surface of the cake to expedite the process. I kept the cake in the pan until the sauce appeared to be absorbed and then I inverted it onto a rack with a drip pan under it. I suggest you remove the cake as soon as you can to prevent sticking. The cake will seem sticky at first but the tackiness disappears as the cake sits. This is a moist cake that has a very slight crunch due to the orange sugar coating. It is a nice cake that I think you will enjoy. Here's the recipe as it is featured on her blog.
Orange Pour Cake...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Gael Greene
Cake2 cups + 2 tablespoons flour, divided use
1⁄2 cup butter, softened
2⁄3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons grated orange zest
1⁄2 cup chopped nuts (walnuts or pecans)
3⁄4 cup sour cream
Topping1⁄2 cup sugar
1⁄4 cup orange juice
1 tablespoon grated orange rind
1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
2) Cream 2 tablespoons of flour into softened butter in a large bowl. Beat eggs in small bowl. Add sugar and combine with flour and butter mixture.
3) Sift remaining flour with baking soda and add slowly into the egg-butter-sugar mix until combined. Add grated orange rind, nuts, and sour cream. Pour or spoon into greased metal loaf pan.
4) Bake 30 minutes.
5) Meanwhile, combine sugar, orange juice, and 1 tablespoon grated orange rind.
6) Remove cake from oven when done. Pour topping on cake while it is still hot. Yield: 1 loaf.
The following bloggers are also featuring the recipes of Gael Greene today. I hope you'll pay them all a visit. They are great cooks who have wonderful blogs.
Val - More Than Burnt Toast, Taryn - Have Kitchen Will Feed, Susan - The Spice Garden
Heather - girlichef, Miranda - Mangoes and Chutney, Amrita - Beetles Kitchen Escapades
Mary - One Perfect Bite, Sue - The View from Great Island, Barbara - Movable Feasts
Linda A - There and Back Again, Nancy - Picadillo, Mireya - My Healthy Eating Habits
Veronica - My Catholic Kitchen, Annie - Most Lovely Things, Jeanette - Healthy Living
Claudia - Journey of an Italian Cook, Alyce - More Time at the Table
Kathy - Bakeaway with Me, Martha - Simple Nourished Living, Jill - Saucy Cooks
Sarah - Everything in the Kitchen Sink
Next week we will highlight the career and recipes of Zarela Martinez. It will be really interesting to see what everyone comes up with. If you'd like to join us please email me for additional information no later than Monday, May 7th.