I used the NY Times adobo recipe because it called for coconut milk – I’ve had a can languishing in my cupboard for too long. Most recipes I skimmed over just went with what appears to be the consensus recipe ingredients of chicken, garlic, vinegar, soy sauce, bay leaves, and black pepper.After spending a few hours in the fridge marinating, I dumped the mixture out into a big pot and brought it to a boil. I’m using some dark soy in my take on the recipe, I have mushroom soy plus a glug or two of sweet soy with the regular light soy, rice vinegar, coconut milk, 12 cloves of pressed garlic, bay leaves and ground pepper. I tossed in some whole peppercorns as well. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and give it a hour.Remove the chicken pieces to a bowl, increase the heat to reduce the sauce. I went ahead and put these thighs under the broiler to get some crust on them while I waited.Return the chicken to the reduction to keep them warm while the rice cooks. I went ahead and steamed some broccoli to give my presentation color. This dish is delicious. I had some earlier in the week sans the coconut milk in the sauce, and turned it into a stir fry.
I opened a can of coconut milk the other day for the shrimp dish but only used a couple of tablespoons out of it so I looked around for a recipe to use the rest. This one is said to be a Brazilian recipe and I had everything except for the hot chilies. I added some curry powder I had on hand to the spices in the recipe and backed off the cayenne it called for because I wanted Mrs J to not hate me. The dish was not at all spicy even though I did use canned tomato bits with the green chilies. There is one huge sweet onion in there, chopped into not so small pieces. The chicken was boneless and skinless thighs and breasts with the breasts cut into thigh sized pieces. The gravy looked thin so I stirred in corn starch in a slurry to thicken it. Pretty good over the white rice.
There was a variation of this at the Chinese buffet we frequent. It was pretty tasty but I didn’t know what to call it and so asked the woman tending the counter. She named it Coconut Shrimp. I’ve seen the version of it that has battered shrimp coated with shredded coconut for deep frying but not this creamy version. A search for “creamy coconut shrimp” found several recipes – after discarding several that mentioned mayonnaise I settled on this one. I didn’t have amaretto and didn’t want to buy a bottle for the two tablespoons the recipe called for so I subbed in a little almond extract, adding a teaspoon to the coconut sauce mixture. In another departure I used cooked shrimp instead of raw. These two things were bad calls in retrospect. The dish really needed that bit a caramelization from cooking in the amaretto. That said, it was still an enjoyable meal.
Coconut cake with lemon curd filling and brown butter cream cheese frosting. Mrs J went with box mix white cake and subbed coconut milk for the water and used coconut oil for the vegetable oil. We made 2 boxes worth of cake batter and divided that equally among three 9″ cake rounds. The lemon filling was from this recipe, and we doubled this recipe for the frosting – using browned butter rather than just plain “softened”. We used Splenda throughout. Splenda substitutes in recipes by volume and not by weight so I weighed out one pound of powdered sugar. That came to about 4 cups.
The “Better Luck” in the title is a play on the phrase “Better luck next time”, the first time we did this cake we really liked the taste but the presentation was a little lame. We are getting better but we are still on the learning curve.
Something about frigid temps makes me crave sweets. So when I was thinking about tonight’s recipes, that is what I was drawn to and lemon themed recipes rose to the top. I suppose because it brings with it a reminder of warmer climates. Which is where I am headed later in the month. Beach weather. I’ll be the pale, wind swept one by the eucalyptus tree.
One of my favorite tangy, sweet desserts is Sour Cream Lemon Poppyseeed Cake, yum, recipe here.
Since next week bring with it the ultimate date night, I thought it would be a good idea to include some special sweets: Valentine’s Day Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies, recipe here and Valentine’s Chocolates, recipes here.
Which is a good time to let you know there will be no recipe exchange next Friday. Do you have Valentine’s plans? Do you go out or stay home and cook? Or do you ignore it all together? (You should probably make sure your romantic partner is on board with that, if that’s your plan. Right?) And during these cold, cold days, what do you like to cook?
And finally, tonight’s featured recipe (pictured at top):
Lemon Coconut Layer Cake
I have a friend who loves coconut cream pie. I’m not a big fan, so I’ve never made one. But when I saw a photo of a coconut-lemon cake, I thought she might like it, so I gave it a whirl. The original cake was 6-layers, I just couldn’t fathom that, so I reduced it to a 4-layer cake. Layering is easier to do if you use pie pans instead of cake pans. This eliminates the need to cut each cake in half to achieve thin, even layers. This cake works best if made the night before. Refrigerate so the lemon filling stays firm. And shredded coconut covers any number of baking sins.
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- ½ cup butter
- 1 ½ cup sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 1/2 cups sifted flour
- 3 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 13 oz coconut milk
- 3 eggs, separated
Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 9-inch pie pans
Cream the butter in a mixer until light and fluffy. Gradually add the sugar and beat until very light, 2 to 3 minutes. Beat in the egg yolks, blending well.
Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt and add to the creamed mixture in 3 parts, alternating with the coconut milk, and beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Add the vanilla and beat to thoroughly combine.
In a clean bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff, and then gently fold into the cake batter. Divide evenly and pour into the pans, spreading to the edges. Bake until a toothpick inserted into one of the cakes comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Cool 15 minutes. Loosen and invert onto racks to cool completely.
Lemon cream filling:
- 2 egg yolks, beaten
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
- 1 tablespoon butter
Combine the egg yolks, sugar, cornstarch, water, lemon juice, lemon zest and butter in the top of a double boiler set over, but not touching, boiling water. Cook, stirring, until thick and creamy, about 5 or 6 minutes. Cool thoroughly before spreading on the cake layers.
Okay, so all the recipes for lemon filling wanted a double-boiler. I started with one, but after 5 minutes of stirring and not thickening, I changed over to a saucepan and whisked it for 5 minutes while it boiled and thickened and had no issues with it burning or sticking. High altitude may have been the reason for my original troubles. Water boils at a lower temperature here, so the double boiler may not have offered enough heat to thicken the sauce.
Butter Cream Frosting:
- 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 6 tbsp butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ cup coconut milk
- 2 cups shredded coconut
With a mixer, mix together sugar and butter. Mix on low speed until well blended and then increase speed to medium and beat for another 3 minutes.
Add vanilla and milk and continue to beat on medium speed for 1 minute more, adding more cream if needed for spreading consistency.
To assemble: Place first layer on cake plate, bottom side up, spread with a third of the lemon filling, sprinkle with coconut, place next layer, bottom side up, repeat and again with the third layer. Place fourth layer, top side up. Frost and garnish with more shredded coconut.
That’s it for this week. On Monday the full dinner menu and shopping list will post and it will be a Valentine’s dinner if you need ideas. Happy Valentine’s Day! – TaMara
This is pretty easy, brown some chicken in a little oil, add a few tablespoons of curry powder and some onions. Don’t let the curry burn, add a little broth or water until the chicken is half done. Dump in a can of coconut milk and a can of diced tomatoes and simmer until the chicken is done. Serve with veggies of your choice. I cooked some “exotic” rice I bought at the Amish country store the other day. Colorful with brown and red grains to go with the white. Steamed some broccoli and sliced a tomato and it was good to go.
I’ve had a can of coconut milk in the cupboard for a long time and only got around to using it today. The curry was a recent purchase from the Asian market. It didn’t take long to find an interesting recipe with a Google search. The recipe reads “spicy” but I kept it tame lest Mrs J throw her plate at me. She does have a temper.
I used some bone-in chicken thighs rather than breast strips, and left off the mint and cilantro garnishes. Yuck. No fresh tomatoes in the house so in went a can of bits from Del Monte. Not an endorsement–they were on sale. We had the curry over white rice, potato bits or noodles would work fine instead if you’d rather.