Thursday, August 12, 2010

Great Recipes for the Summer's Bounty

Thanks to Jen (ZensationsbyJen) & Carrie (co-op member) for these great recipes.

Watermelon Gazpacho
8 cups coarsely chopped watermelon
1 large red tomato, diced
1/2 cucumber, peeled & diced
1/2 small purple onion, peeled & diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbs. cilantro, finely chopped
1/2 cup EVOO
1/3 cup tomato juice
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup sherry vinegar
2 Tbs. lime juice
1/2 tsp. cayenne
salt to taste
Wonderfully refreshing!
Chocolate Zucchini Cake Thanks to Carrie for sharing her favorite recipe. Carrie's tip - add an extra cup of chocolate chips!

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

2 medium zucchini, trimmed and grated on large holes of box grater
9 tbsp. butter, at room temperature
2 3/4 cups flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup corn oil
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar

1. Working in batches, put a small mound of zucchini in center of large square of double-layer cheesecloth. Gather corners together and squeeze out as much water as possible. Transfer zucchini to a bowl and set aside.

2. Preheat oven to 325ยบ. Butter a deep 9" cake pan with 1 tbsp. of the butter. Sift flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt together into a mixing bowl and set aside. Beat together remaining 8 tbsp. butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until fluffy, 3-4 minutes.

3. Add oil, beating well. Beat in one egg at a time, add vanilla, reduce speed to low, and beat in flour mixture and buttermilk in 3 alternate batches. Stir in reserved zucchini.

4. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 1 hour and 20 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to let cool. Invert onto a plate and dust with sugar.

This article was first published in Saveur in Issue #52

Originally published in The Post years ago, tweaked by Carrie over the years.

Salsa Cruda
Makes 1 quart
4 medium tomatoes
6 large tomatillo
1/2 bunch scallions
Juice of 1 lime
1/2 bunch cilantro
2 Anaheim or Cubanel peppers
1 small jalapeno pepper
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar

Blend in a food processor and serve. Can be refrigerated for up to 5 days.

Peaches work well, too

Upside-down cake is the dessert world's equivalent to everyone's favorite breakfast treat: sticky buns. Just as sticky buns bake in a pool of sugar, butter and raisins, then are flipped over so all that lovely sticky sweetness is on top, so does the appropriately named upside-down cake. Butter, sugar and fruit are arranged in a pan, the cake batter poured over it, and after baking the cake is turned upside down, revealing a moist, sweet fruit topping.

Pineapple upside-down cake is a long-time favorite in this genre, but other fruits serve equally well in place of pineapple. Try cherries and almonds, apples, or pears. Here unpeeled nectarines lend a real summery taste to this year-round treat.

1/4 cup (1/2 stick, 2 ounces) unsalted butter
1/2 cup (3 1/4 ounces) light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 large (12 to 14 ounces) ripe nectarines
2 teaspoons (1 ounce) lemon juice

1 1/3 cups (5 1/2 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces) sugar
1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons (1 1/2 ounces) butter
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract
1 large egg

Topping: Melt the butter, and mix with brown sugar, nutmeg and cinnamon. Spoon the mixture into an ungreased 8 x 8-inch square baking pan. Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Cake: Slice the nectarines 1/4-inch thick. Lay the slices into prepared pan, and sprinkle with lemon juice. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar, then beat in the milk, egg, and vanilla or almond extract. Stir in the flour, baking powder and salt. Gently pour the batter over the fruit in the pan.

Bake the cake for 45 minutes, or until the cake begins to pull away from sides of pan, and springs back to the touch. Remove from the oven, and cool for 5 minutes in the pan. Invert the pan onto a serving platter, and let it sit 1 minute more before removing pan. If any fruit sticks to the pan, use a spatula to carefully scrape it off and replace it on the cake. Serve warm, with whipped cream or ice cream, if desired.

This recipe reprinted from The Baking Sheet Newsletter, Vol. II, No. 8, August 1991 issue.