Friday, June 9, 2017

Sensational Lemon Roll

Fresh strawberries were the impetus to make this old-fashioned dessert last weekend. Well, strawberries and company coming. It's from an old Best of Bridge cookbook. The tart lemon filling is mellowed by whipped cream. Fresh strawberries aren't called for in the recipe, but they were a great addition.

Sensational Lemon Roll

Sponge Cake
3 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon grated orange rind
1/3 cup fresh orange juice
1 teaspoon vanilla

Icing sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 10” x 15” jelly roll pan (edged cookie sheet) with parchment paper.
In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs until well combined, gradually beat in sugar. Continue beating until mixture is pale yellow and thickened, at least one minute.
Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt; stir into egg mixture. Add the juice, rind and vanilla. Stir to mix.
Pour into pan. Bake 12-15 minutes; don’t overbake.
Invert cake onto a clean tea towel that has been sprinkled with icing sugar. Roll together and cool. When completely cool, unroll, fill with Lemon Filling, re-roll and chill several hours before slicing and serving.

Lemon Filling

2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon grated lemon rind
½ cup fresh lemon juice
1 cup whipping cream
Fresh berries to garnish

In a double boiler, use a whisk to combine eggs, sugar, and lemon juice. Cook, stirring constantly, over simmering water, until thickened, about 15 minutes. Strain through a mesh strainer, then stir in the lemon rind. Cool completely. Whip the cream and fold into the lemon mixture. Chill until ready to assemble Lemon Roll.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Gazpacho à la provençal

Chilled tomato soup is not only eaten in Spain, but throughout the Mediterranean region. This recipe is adapted from Laura Calder's book French Taste, and is utterly refreshed on a hot summer evening. It's so easy to make; simply chop, chill, and blend. 

Making tiny croutons as a topping is optional, but cubing, drizzling with olive oil, and sprinkling with salt and herbs, then baking until crispy results in tiny irresistible bites. Once I begin snacking on them, I find it hard to stop. 

Toppings are a fun part of eating this soup. Drizzle with olive oil and a little bit of balsamic vinegar, then add croutons, feta cheese, fresh basil, avocado - whatever takes your fancy.

Using fresh, garden-ripe tomatoes is ideal, but failing that, store-bought, vine-ripened, fully ripe tomatoes will suffice.

Gazpacho à la provençal

2 pounds ripe tomatoes, quartered, seeded, chopped
1/2 English cucumber, diced
1/2 sweet red bell pepper, diced
1/2 small red onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 cup tomato juice, OR de-fatted chicken stock, OR vegetable stock
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
12 fresh basil leaves
salt and pepper to taste
pinch of cayenne pepper
Honey (optional) I used 1 Tablespoon

Combine all ingredients in a large glass bowl. Cover and chill overnight. The next day, puree the mixture, leaving some chunks, if desired. Season to taste.