Westlake Weekly Update 10.13.21
Featured Item: Fall Recipes
Even during an undeniably complicated almost past two years, I’m always going to find the good, a perpetual Pollyanna. Yet, even during this disrupted time in our lives, something changed for the better for many Americans, cooking and eating at home. When our lives felt uncertain, there was a sure thing to give us comfort; food..and man, did we find comfort! (Hello, the Covid-19 pounds are real!) But when your favorite restaurant shuts down, what do you do? Well, you learn to cook, bake, fry, and try everything! On top of that, you post your culinary journey on social media.
It’s no secret that my happy place is in my kitchen. Irma S. Rombauer had it right when she wrote the Joy of Cooking many decades ago. Even before the craziness, like Irma, I found joy and peace in my kitchen daily. Then all of a sudden, the world knew my secret and joined me!
I had friends whose baking experience was limited to a can of at-home cinnamon rolls, who went on to become masters at sourdough bread! My caffeine-addicted teens, who didn’t bat an eye at spending my money on expensive coffee concoctions, became artisan at-home baristas. According to the experts, this cooking trend isn’t going to end anytime soon. All you have to do is check Instagram and TikTok, and you’ll understand.
I still find my joy every day in the kitchen, but now I am finding joy seeing all these new at-home chefs being born. It’s a culinary revolution, and the more, the merrier! Because I don’t just love cooking and eating food, I love to talk about food too! So during this time, I discovered that we had some crazy-good cooks right here in the office!
Therefore, this week, I am sharing theirs, not my kitchen experiences. So please try and enjoy all these tried and true recipes, and we would love to hear from you or even see your creations!
Bring on the joy…
From Troy, our resident “apple expert”…Honeycrisp Apple and Brie Croissant.
- Two Honeycrisp apples (bought from him preferably)
- One can of Pillsbury Crescent Rolls
- 8 oz of soft-ripened Brie
- Cinnamon and allspice to taste
A great recipe to get the kids involved in!
Roll out the crescent dough, but do not separate. Sprinkle with cinnamon and allspice. Spread the cheese down the center the long way. Core and slice apples into discs and lay on top of the cheese. Sprinkle a little extra spice on the apples. Fold the dough over the apples and cheese. Bake according to the package directions on parchment paper. Serve with additional wedges of apples (better buy more from Troy just in case!)
A perfect Persimmon Pudding from Yvonne
- ½ C whole wheat pastry flour
- 1 C raisins (optional)
- ½ sugar
- ¼ C nuts finely chopped almonds, pecan)
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ¾ t ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 C persimmon pulp
- ½ C 2% milk
- One egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
In a large bowl, combine all dry ingredients plus raisins. Next, add in persimmon pulp, milk, egg, and vanilla.
Heat oven to 350* Spray an 8×8” baking dish and pour in batter. Bake for 45 min.
Kitchen tip… Look for persimmons between October and February; call Manny. He’ll hook you up! The fruit should be soft yet firm and will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Jerry has a fantastic recipe, perfect for the upcoming holidays, and he knows where you can find some fresh Brussels sprouts.
Honey-Sriracha Glazed Brussels Sprouts
- 2 strips apple smoked bacon
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon Sriracha sauce
- 8 ounces Brussels sprouts
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and lay bacon in a single layer on the baking sheet. Bake for 12 minutes, remove from the oven and pour bacon grease into a medium bowl. Bake for an additional 3-8 minutes until crisp. Remove the bacon from the oven and transfer strips to a paper-lined platter to drain and finish crisping. Discard foil.
- Remove all but 2 tablespoons of bacon grease from the bowl. Add honey and Sriracha sauce and stir to combine. Add Brussels sprouts and toss to combine.
- Line the same baking sheet used to cook the bacon with a new piece of foil. Spread Brussels sprouts in a single layer on the baking sheet and pour glaze over the Brussels sprouts.
- Bake for 10 minutes, remove from the oven and stir gently. Bake for an additional 10 minutes or until Brussels sprouts are caramelized and fork tender. Remove from the oven and crumble bacon over Brussels sprouts.
Here’s Arcy’s famous Mole recipe. This one is sure to become a favorite!
- One large Roma tomato, cored
- ¼ of a large white onion
- 6 medium (60g) chiles anchos, stemmed and seeded
- ⅓ cup of vegetable oil of your choice
- ⅓ cup of animal crackers
- ¼ cup raw almonds
- ¼ cup raisins
- 1 Tbs untoasted sesame seeds
- 1 whole star anise
- 2 Tbs Diamond Crystal or 3 ½ tsp Mortons kosher salt
- 1 Tbs piloncillo or dark brown sugar
- 1 ¼ oz bittersweet chocolate, preferably 75% or more cacao
- Pinch of toasted sesame seeds for garnish
- Line a medium skillet. Preferably cast iron with two sheets of foil and heat over high until very hot, about two minutes. Char tomato and onion, occasionally turning, until charred on al sides, 12-14 minutes. Transfer to a small plate and set aside until ready to use.
- Heat 3 Tbs of oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat until very hot, about 1 minute. Working in batches, fry anchos, turning to coat, until fragrant, browned, and toasted on all sides. Transfer to a medium bowl. Fry animal crackers, frequently tossing until deep golden brown, about 1-2 minutes. Transfer to bowl with chiles. Add almonds, raisins, sesame seeds, and anise to the same pot and fry, constantly stirring until raisins puff and lighten about 1-2 minutes. Almond should be lightly browned. Add salt, sugar, 4 cups water ( or low sodium chicken broth for richer flavor), chiles, animal crackers, tomato, and onions to pot: bring to a boil; cover and reduce to a simmer. Cook until chiles and almonds are very tender, about 30 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit uncovered for 20 minutes to cool.
- Transfer cooked chile mixture to a blender and carefully blended on high until completely smooth.
- Clean and dry pot, then heat remaining 2 Tbs of oil over medium heat, until very hot. About 1 minute or until you see tiny wisps of smoke. Carefully pour blended mole into the hot oil. Arcy says STAND BACK; this will sit and sputter!
- Stir, scrapping any fried bits from the bottom of the pan. Reduce heat to medium and cook for approx. 10 minutes until the mole is glossy and very thick.
- Stir in chocolate and remove from heat. Continue stirring until completely dissolved. Season with salt or sugar if necessary. Serve over roast chicken and garnish with sesame seeds.
For an easy morning breakfast muffin, try Ivette’s Healthy Banana Muffins.
- ⅓ cup melted coconut oil or extra-virgin olive oil*
- ½ cup maple syrup or honey
- 2 eggs, preferably at room temperature
- 1 cup packed mashed ripe bananas (about 3 bananas)
- ¼ cup milk of choice or water (I used almond milk)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon, plus more for sprinkling on top
- 1 ¾ cups white whole wheat flour or regular whole wheat flour
- ⅓ cup old-fashioned oats (optional), plus more for sprinkling on top
- 1 teaspoon turbinado (raw) sugar or other granulated sugar, for sprinkling on top
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit (165 degrees Celsius). If necessary, grease all 12 cups of your muffin tin with butter or non-stick cooking spray (my pan is non-stick and didn’t require any grease).
- In a large bowl, beat the coconut oil and maple syrup together with a whisk. Add the eggs and beat well. Mix in the mashed bananas and milk, followed by the baking soda, vanilla extract, salt and cinnamon.
- Add the flour and oats to the bowl and mix with a large spoon, just until combined. If you’d like to add any additional mix-ins**, like nuts, chocolate or dried fruit, fold them in now.
- Divide the batter evenly between the muffin cups, filling each cup about two-thirds full. Sprinkle the tops of the muffins with a small amount of oats (about 1 tablespoon in total), followed by a light sprinkling of sugar (about 1 teaspoon in total). Bake muffins for 22 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into a muffin comes out clean.
- Place the muffin tin on a cooling rack to cool. You might need to run a butter knife along the outer edge of the muffins to loosen them from the pan. These muffins will keep at room temperature for up to 2 days, or in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. They keep well in the freezer in a freezer-safe bag for up to 3 months (just defrost individual muffins as needed).
Ok I stand by this recipe from Joe, it’s a regional favorite from Cincinnati, and makes the house smell incredible.
- 2 pounds ground beef
- Two large onions (we know where you can find some excellent onions) chopped finely
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp red pepper
- 4 Tbs chili powder
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 Tbs oregano
- 1 Tbs salt
- 1 tsp dry mustard
- 1 tsp of ground allspice
- 1 Tbs vinegar
- 1 – 6oz can of tomato paste
- 5 bay leaves
- 2 cups of water
Brown beef and onions. Break up with pastry cutter. Add all ingredients. Cook for 3-4 hours on simmer. You’ll have to add more water as it cooks.
This served on a bed of cooked spaghetti, and topped with grated cheddar cheese for a 3-way or added diced onions for a 4-way!
This next recipe comes from Mikey and can be served as a side or a dessert! Try this Sweet Potato Casserole for your next holiday gathering!
1 cup brown sugar
¼ cup flour
1 cup pecans (chopped) Costco sells at a great price.
¼ cup melted butter
Red Yam Mixture
2 cups mashed red yams ( 2-3 large yams – bake, peel and mash) Westlake Produce sells great yams for this dish 😊
1 egg – well beaten
¾ cup sugar
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon vanilla
¼ cup melted butter
- Combine Crust mixture in a bowl and set aside.
- Combine Yam mixture in a bowl. Mix thoroughly.
- Pour Yam mixture into a buttered medium size baking dish (7×9).
- Spread Crust mixture evenly on top of the Yam mixture.
- Bake at 350° for 30 minutes.
- Cool off for 30 minutes before serving.
And last but not least, our favorite baker Judy shares her recipe for Apple Crisp Cake
For the Crisp Topping
- 1 stick (113 grams) unsalted butter
- ½ cup light brown sugar
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup old-fashioned oats
- ½ tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
For the Cake
- 2 sticks (227 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1¾ cups granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs plus 2 large egg yolks (farm fresh is best)
- 1 tablespoon. pure vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon. baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 cups plain/all-purpose flour
- 1½ cups whole milk
For the Apple Layer
- 6 apples, peeled, sliced, cored and cut into chunks
- ¼ cup light brown sugar, packed
- 1½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ tablespoon plain/all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Preheat oven to 180C/350F. Spray a 9-x-13 inch baking pan with nonstick baking spray.
- Cut butter into pieces and place in a medium bowl. Add brown sugar, flour, oats, salt and cinnamon. Using a pastry cutter (or your hands), mix together until coarse crumbs form. Set aside.
- In the bowl of your stand mixer, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 4-5 minutes.
- Add eggs and egg yolks one at a time, and mix until fully combined after each addition.
- Add vanilla, mix in baking powder, salt and half of the flour and mix until blended well.
- Add half of the milk and mix.
- Add the remaining 1½ cups of flour and mix until combined.
- Pour in the remaining ¾ cup milk and mix until a smooth batter forms.
- Pour into the prepared baking pan.
- Place cut apple chunks into a medium bowl and add brown sugar, cinnamon and flour. Toss to coat apples evenly. Pour lemon juice on top and stir thoroughly.
- Arrange apples onto the cake batter in the pan in an even layer. Sprinkle crisp topping over the apples and place in the oven.
- Bake for 60-70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean and cake appears to be set.
- Remove from the oven and let cake cool for at least 1 hour.