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Easy As…Upside Down Cake

Slice of cake3This was better than I even imagined. I was craving something intensely blueberry and I had just made the Pineapple Upside Down Cake for a birthday. I decided if it was good enough for pineapple, it was good enough for blueberries. And boy was it. I had to tweak the recipe a bit to complement the blueberry flavor, adding lemon to the mix and I reduced the flour down so the blueberries were not overwhelmed by cake.

Blueberry Upside Down2Blueberry-Lemon Upside Down Cake

  • 8 oz frozen wild blueberries (or enough to completely cover the bottom of an 8×8 baking dish)
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp lemon zest

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  • 1/3 cup shortening (I used butter)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup unbleached flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 2 tbsp of lemon juice + enough water to make 1/2 cup of liquid.

8×8 glass baking dish and mixing bowl

 Melt 3 tbsp of butter and add to baking dish with sugar, lemon juice and zest.  Mix well.  Spread blueberries evenly over sugar and butter mixture.

In bowl, cream shortening and sugar until fluffy.  Add egg and vanilla, beat until fluffy.  Sift together flour, baking powder and salt, add to creamed mixture.  Add lemon water and zest to batter, mixing well (it will be lumpy) and then pour over blueberries.  Bake in a 350 degree oven for 40-45 minutes, until a toothpick test in the cake center comes out clean.  Cool 5 minutes and then invert on a plate.

ETA: click any photo to enlarge and uncompress.

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copyright Whats 4 Dinner Solutions 2014

 

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Dinner Menu: Lemon Nut Pork Chops and Raspberry Poppyseed Cake

Lemon nut pork copyrighted

I had a request for a Poppyseed Cake, so I thought it was a good enough reason to use it for the menu this week. These are some of my favorite pork chops (the other being my peach chutney pork chops) and a breeze to make. If you want some good baked potato ideas, head on over to last week’s recipe exchange.

On the board tonight:

  1. Lemon-Nut Pork Chops
  2. Baked Potatoes
  3. Steamed Asparagus
  4. Raspberry Poppy Seed Cake

Lemon-Nut Pork Chops

  • 4 boneless pork loin chops (approx. ½” thick)
  • ½ tsp crushed garlic
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • ¼ tsp lemon zest
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • ¼ cup finely chopped pecans or hazelnuts (the finer the grind, the better this works, if you have a coffee grinder that’s best)
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 1 lemon, quartered

skillet

Rub chops with garlic, salt, pepper, & zest. Melt butter in skillet on medium heat. Brown chops, 5 to 7 minutes on each side. Spread 1/4 nuts on plate. Remove chops 1 at a time and press 1 side into nuts. Add ¼ more nuts each time. Sprinkle any remaining nuts over chops. Stir lemon juice into pan drippings, deglaze, heat for 1 minute and spoon over chops. Serve with lemon wedges.

Baked Potatoes – scrub well, rub with olive oil and kosher salt. If you have them, use metal skewers to speed up cooking.  You can place two potatoes per skewer.  Bake at 450 degrees, for about 30-45 minutes, depending on size of the spuds.

Asparagus – snap ends off each stalk by grabbing the lower, tougher end of the stalk and then tugging on the flower end until the tough bottom stalk snaps off. I use a skillet to steam with just enough water to barely cover stalks, cover and cook for 2 to 8 minutes, until stalks are bright green, but still slightly crisp. Serve with butter or vinaigrette.

Raspberry Poppy Seed CakeRaspberry Poppy Seed Cake

  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • ½ cup butter
  • 2 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp poppy seed
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 ½ cup flour
  • ½ cup sour cream

Filling:

  • 2 cup raspberries (about 12 oz)
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp flour
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg

10” springform pan, greased & floured and 2 bowls

In one bowl, beat sugar & butter until fluffy. Add zest and egg. Beat 2 minutes at medium speed. In second bowl, mix together poppy seeds, soda, flour & salt. Add to butter mixture. Add sour cream. Mix well. Spread batter in springform pan. Combine filling ingredients with a fork, mashing slightly and spoon over batter. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-55 minutes until golden brown. Cool slightly before removing from pan.

Shopping List:

  • 4 boneless pork loin chops (approx. ½” thick)
  • 2 oz finely chopped pecans or hazelnuts
  • 2 oz lemon juice
  • 1 lemon
  • 4 baking potatoes
  • 1 lb asparagus
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1-1/2 sticks butter
  • 2-1/2 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp poppy seed
  • 4 oz sour cream
  • 1 ¾ cup flour
  • 12 oz raspberries

Also: baking soda, salt, nutmeg, pepper, crushed garlic, olive oil, kosher salt

Originally posted January 2010

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Roasted Mozzarella Asparagus

Sorry for the light posts. I do have some fun things in mind though, starting with Orange Brownies tonight. So there’s that. Roasting is our menu exchange theme for tomorrow, so I thought I’d start things off with some asparagus which I think would go very well with JeffreyW’s flatiron steaks.  He made them look so good, I’m going to try one this week. I usually go for sirloin, but these looked amazing, so I’ll give them a taste. I’ll let you know how they turn out. Now for a side:

Roasted Mozzarella Asparagus

  • 2 pounds fresh asparagus
  • Good olive oil
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 1/2 cup  fresh, shredded mozzarella
  • 1/2 tsp lemon zest

Baking sheet

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Break off the tough ends of the asparagus. A quick trick is to keep the rubber band in place, snap off one or two to see where the tough break is, then use a knife to cut them all at that place. Remove rubber band and wash stalks thoroughly, pat dry.

Place the asparagus on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, then toss to coat completely. Spread  in a single layer and sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Roast for 25 minutes, until tender but still crisp. Spread mozzarella and lemon zest evenly over the top and broil for 2 minutes or until the cheese is melted and golden.

If your weather allows, you can also do these on the grill, use a nice grilling pan and adjust the time according to grill temp.

Grilled Spicy Flank Steak

It’s that time again, my favorite time of year, grilling season.  We’ll start of with some spice. Probably too hot for Mrs. J, but if you like a little heat with your grilling, this one is for you.  Tomorrow I will post a nice grilled potato you can serve with this entrée.

Grilled Spicy Flank Steak*

  • ING-chili-garlic-sauce-2_sql1 tbsp chili garlic paste
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest
  • 1 tbsp ground ginger
  • 2 tsp crushed garlic
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • 1 lb flank steak

ziplock bag

Add all ingredients to zip-lock bag and marinate overnight*. Remove from marinade. Grill 5 minutes each side for rare (125 to 130 degrees).

*you can also put this together and freeze. Take it out to thaw in the refrigerator the night before.

Serves 4.  Serve with rice or Grilled Greek Potatoes .

Mmm…Shrimp/Crab Dip

Just about a perfect thing to go with the crackers we just made.  I kinda winged this recipe, used a small packet of the fake crab meat and fortified that with a good handful of boiled shrimp.  It has the best part of an 8oz tub of whipped cream cheese and probably a half cup of mayo.  Lots of green onions, nearly two bunches of them chopped up finely.  There is minced garlic, an Anaheim green pepper, minced, and some Worcestershire sauce, some Tabasco, the zest of a lemon, the juice of that lemon, some salt and fresh ground black pepper.  A bit of cayenne would work in there but this batch doesn’t have any.  There may be stuff I’m forgetting but that is going to get you close enough to there that you can’t miss.

Some Spicy Crab Dip

Well, spicy imitation crab dip, anyway.  I made a crab salad the other day using fake “leg meat” – this time I bought the flake style fake meat.  Recommended.

I started with a good double handful of the crab, and chopped it some more.  The dressing is a combination of sour cream, cream cheese, and mayo.  Roughly equal parts of each.  Added the zest of a lemon and a tablespoon of lemon juice.  Some worcestershire sauce, about a teaspoon, a few cloves of garlic, grated or pressed.  It needed a bit of color so I minced some green onion,  and a bit of heat was provided by a finely diced bit of anaheim chile and a sprinkling of ground cayenne.  Added a scant teaspoon of dried dill weed, and a couple of teaspoons of white wine.  After these pictures were taken I also added some diced red bell pepper and just a little diced red onion.  Made it a little prettier.

I think that’s all, enjoy!

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Crab Salad, Crab Dip?

I mentioned yesterday that I had tasted a crab salad at a buffet, it looked like a creamy cole slaw.  I got it back to the table and was surprised that is was a very nice dilled crab salad.  I decided that I was going to try to duplicate it myself.

Here we go:

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Lemon Garlic Basil Shrimp

This dish sprang fully formed from the brow of Zeus.  Sorta.  Started out the afternoon peeling and deveining shrimp.  Plenty of different ways to go from there.  I was thinking garlic-buttery shrimp and Mrs J agreed.  Lemon kinda snuck in there.  And those few asparagus spears left over and lonely looking in the veggie drawer.  Needed some carbs.  Rice?  Yeah, rice is fine but looky here:  Bow tie pasta in the cupboard!  The basil in the patio container has a new lease on life since Mrs J added a bit of fertilizer.  Chop some of that…  Zest a lemon..juice it, take out the seeds, chop the asparagus, start the pasta water…grate some parmesan..on a roll here now.  Slice a buncha garlic…mmm mandolin thingy…watch those fingers.  Ok, pasta in, splash some water in a pan, add the asparagus, cover, steam for a few…add butter, olive oil, the garlic, stir it around, add the shrimp, mix some chicken paste with a cuppa water, stir in some corn starch.  Shrimp are done, add the chicken stock, stir as it thickens, pasta done, drain and add to the pan, add the chopped basil, the grated cheese..holler, “Dinner’s ready”!

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Watermelon Coolers

I was searching for something new and different to do with watermelon.  Found two drinks that sounded refreshing.  I may be trying them this weekend.  Give you an update then.

The first one is from the FoodNetwork:

From FoodNetwork.com

Watermelon Cooler

  • 1 1/2 pounds (4 cups) sliced seedless watermelon, rind removed
  • 1 cup lemon sorbet
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 1 1/2 cups cold water
  • Watermelon wedges and mint, for garnish

2 large glasses

In a food processor, blend watermelon, sorbet, and lemon zest until very smooth. Stir in 1 1/2 cups cold water; cover and refrigerate until very cold. Serve over ice and garnish with watermelon wedges and mint.

The next one is a melon cooler with a kick.  Definitely an adult beverage.  I combined several options for this one:

Kicked Up Watermelon-Strawberry Cooler

  • 4+ pounds watermelon
  • 2 lb strawberries, washed and hull all but 6
  • 1/2 cup vodka (more to taste)
  • 1/4 cup Triple Sec (more to taste)
  • 6 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 6 wooden skewers

Fine strainer or cheesecloth

    6 glasses and 1 pitcher

    Cut the watermelon in half and make 6 melon balls.   Place one melon ball and one unhulled strawberry onto skewer.  Set aside.

    Remove rind and seeds from the remainder of the watermelon, cut into large chunks.  Puree watermelon and strawberries.  Strain out pulp, add alcohol, 3 tbsp limejuice and fruit juice to pitcher filled with ice, stir.   Mix sugar and 3 tbsp of limejuice on flat plate and dip glass rims in the mixture.  Pour into glasses, garnish with fruit skewers.

    Roast Chicken with Fettuccine

    Thawed a whole chicken overnight in the fridge.  I was torn between roasting it in the oven or out on the grill.  My basic laziness won out, I did it in the oven.  Nothing you haven’t seen here before so I won’t go into it.  I will talk about the cheese sauce for the fettuccine.  I had some fresh goat cheese that wasn’t getting any fresher, and a bunch of asparagus that needed dealt with so I plugged those into the Great Gazoogle Recipe Finder.  Plenty of recipes to choose from, I sampled several and went with none of them in particular and several in general.  If that makes any sense.

    I ended up roasting the asparagus in a 400 oven for about five minutes after tossing them in olive oil.  For the cheese sauce I made a roux of butter and flour and stirred in some heavy cream and half & half until it thickened and then added about six ounces of the goat cheese and a good dollop of ricotta.  Grated in some lemon zest, and some parmesan.  Dumped the pasta and the sauce into a bowl with the asparagus and tossed it together.  Sliced the chicken into chunks and layered that on for a picture then plated some for Mrs J and myself.  Good stuff.  The sauce got a bit thick, perhaps some of the pasta water stirred into the sauce would have helped that.

    Enjoy!

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