Tag Archives: Savory Baking

Onion Fennel Orange Upside-down Shortcake


(Kim here.)

Whoa, what a title, there’s a lot in this recipe! I made it the other day from the Savory Baking Cookbook by Mary Cech. Like I’ve said a million times, I love this cookbook. The Chili Cheese bread is pretty much ridiculously amazing (tonight I made corn muffins, and you bet I dropped about a cup of cheese into the batter when no one was looking.) (Just kidding, people were looking, and they definitely didn’t care ).

I’m doing a 365 photography challenge and today I was…. a bit lazy, you could say. Instead of taking a new picture, I used the onion upside-down cake photo from two days ago, but hadn’t yet had time to edit and post. I’m a busy woman, so I don’t mind having two photoshoots on a day when I have the time. I won’t get too much into it, but I don’t really like this photo too much. I’m think I’m still sad I’m not Katie Quinn Davis. ; )

onion fennel orange upside-down shortcake

Onion Topping
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 medium onions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup dry sherry
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup water (I forgot this)
1 small red bell pepper, roasted, peeled, and roughly chopped (I forgot this too)

Shortcake
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
zest of 1 medium orange
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 cup whole milk

Combine all the onion topping ingredients – except the last two! – into a large saucepan and cook on medium high for 25 minutes.

To prepare shortcake, put the flour, baking powder, salt, orange zest, and butter in your food processor. Pulse for 10 seconds the mixture is well-combined. It’ll look pretty much the same, so I tasted it to make sure the butter was fully incorporated. You may want to test this yourself mostly because it tastes good. Add the milk and pulse until the mixture forms a dough. You could eat it at this stage too, I wouldn’t blame you.

Add the red peppers and 1/2 water to the onions. I completely forgot to do this, and it still turned out, but I’m thinking it might have been even BETTER with these ingredients. Can’t say for sure.

Spread the dough over the onions. I had difficulty doing this. It was certainly not as easy as wasting time on Pinterest. Just try and cover the onions and you’ll be okay. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the shortcake comes out clean. Cool about five minutes, then set a plate over the pan and carefully flip it over so the cake falls out of the pan. Serve IMMEDIATELY. Or you can wait and eat it later.


Chili Cheese Bread



Kim here with another savory recipe! This recipe is from my Savory Cooking Cookbook by Mary Cech, that I absolutely love. Like I’ve said before, I want to bake, but I don’t necessarily want something sweet. Well, this bread did not disappoint. It’s very moist, tender, cheesy, and, although I used whole wheat flour, it really did feel more like white flour, which is what I told my Dad I used when he asked. Whenever I bake with whole wheat, my dad, before eating whatever it is, will ask, “Is this white flour or no?” I’ll lie and say it’s white flour, then he’ll eat it and say it’s great.

This is great for brunches, breakfasts, or a side-dish at dinner. Or sliced for a great lunch or a snack anytime. Peckish at midnight? Slice yourself some chili cheese bread for a midnight snack. If you’re a hobbit, have a little, or a lot, at elevenses. If you’re a trucker, why not pack some on the go to eat during those long stretches of nothingness (in Ohio)? Going on a picnic? This literally screams picnic food! If you just ate another meal, have some bread anyway. And for elves, it’s a great alternative to lembas bread. (Why? Don’t know, but I challenge you to try it, elves!) It’s literally always a good time to eat this.  It’s so tasty, it’s hard not to eat the whole thing. The only time I would not bake this bread is during Thanksgiving, simply because I’d rather eat the sweet potatoes, and I would resent you for putting me in such a dilemma.

A/N: I think when I made this I used 2 cups shredded cheese, when it only calls for one. I remember telling everyone that is has the same amount of cheese as it has flour. Um… oops? Add as much cheese as you want, I’m sure it’ll come out great no matter what!

Here’s the recipe

2 cups whole wheat flour

2 teaspoons sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1 cup milk

1/3 cup vegetable oil

1 egg

one 4 oz can peeled green chiles, drained

3 tablespoons finely chopped jalapenos

1/2 cup finely chopped red bell pepper

 

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit, and butter an 8X3 inch loaf pan. Mix flour, sugar, baking powder, pepper, salt, and cheese together until well combined. In a separate bowl, whisk the milk, oil, egg, green chiles, jalepenos, and red pepper in another bowl. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients. Pour the moist batter in the prepared loaf pan and place in oven for about 45 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and springs back when gently pressed.

Technically, you’re supposed to let it cool – but who does this?


Sweet Potato Cranberry Strudel


Even I’m surprised that the last three entries of this blog are sweet potato recipes! But what can you do? Sweet potatoes are an amazing food, so why stop eating them? This most recent recipe, the strudel, is from a book I bought at borders for only a few dollars. But I probably would have spent more on it. It’s called Savory Baking. I love baked goods. I love the texture of quick breads, I love the variety of recipes, I love eating them with peanut butter and yogurt. I love pulling them out of the oven a couple minutes before the timer is set to go off. I love not waiting for the food to cool and burning my tongue, I love pastries, I love eating the batter. I just love it all.

But, sometimes, I don’t feel like eating cake and sweet muffins all the time. Because it’s not healthy, but also I just don’t feel like eating something sweet every time I feel like baking. That’s exactly the purpose of this book! I picked it up and immediately wanted to buy it, but then I opened the book to the Sweet Potato Cranberry Strudel I knew I was doomed. BOTH my favorite fall-time foods in ONE RECIPE and then WRAPPED IN PASTRY DOUGH. Can it get better? Maybe, but it’s so close to perfection why bother trying? I made it the other day and here’s the recipe.

Sweet Potato Cranberry Strudel

1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup raisins (calls for golden, but I used the more common darker kind)
1 medium sweet potato
salt & freshly ground black pepper
2 large carrots, peeled and sliced
1/2 cup plus 6 tablespoons unsalted butter (I only used 1/2 cup, which I thought was too much in the end)
1/2 pound (8 ounces) phyllo pasty, thawed
1/4 cup toasted pecan pieces and finely chopped (I believe I used closer to a half cup, but perhaps I just over did it)
coarse sea salt

Put the dried fruit in a small bowl and pour hot water over them, set aside to plump for 10 minutes, then drain.

Put the chopped sweet potato in a medium saucepan, cover with hot water and cook on high heat until fork-tender. Do the same with carrots (which might take longer). Drain the potatoes and carrots.

Put butter in small saucepan over high heat until it turns at golden-brown color, then pour butter into a small dish and set aside.

Smash together the potatoes and carrots with 6 tablespoons of butter (I think few tablespoons would have tasted better, but that’s just me), and blend in the dried fruit. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Unroll the phyllo dough. While working, you might want to place a slightly damp towel over the yet-unused dough so it doesn’t dry out. Place a layer of dough onto your work baking sheet/work surface, brush butter over it, and sprinkle with your chopped toasted pecans and a little sea salt. Do 7 layers of this. On the last layer, spread the potato and carrot mixture on one of the long edges of the dough. Pack it tightly and roll it closed. Brush with butter and sprinkle with pecans and sea salt.

Place in oven for 25 minutes. When done, cut slowly with a serrated knife with sawing motions, or else your pastry will most definitely flake (still tastes the same, though)

I didn’t even put the proper amount of butter in. I just couldn’t do it. It’s so much butter. SO MUCH. It’s fine if I was only planning on eating a little bit, but I was planning on eating a lot of it, and I didn’t want that much butter. Phyllo dough usually calls for brushed butter in between each layer, so that it’s browned and delicious once baked. I was worried skimping on the butter would create poor results. Some parts of the dough were falling apart when I took it out of the oven, and I think it’s due to the fewer tablespoons of butter slathered in between the phyllo dough layers. But i wasn’t really complaining.

I couldn’t wait for it to come out of the oven, and after hurrying through photographing it (got a lot of blurry photos, unfortunately. Unprofessional? Maybe. Hungry? Very.). I sliced up a peice and ate into it. My first thought was that it was far too buttery than was necessary. I don’t need that much butter. I love butter to enhance foods, but when I’m eating something and I taste “butter” and not “pastry dough”, something is wrong. However, besides that, this recipe was absolutly delicious! I just couldn’t get enough of it! I ate a quarter of it before I felt sick (from the butter). The sweet potato was perfect and the cranberry and raisins added amazing and subtle sweetness. I want to make this again, but perhaps with something besides butter in between the dough. Maybe egg yolk or watered down sweet potato puree? Or if that doesn’t work, I could use a thicker dough to eliminate the need for all the layer of butter. I also might try it with seasonings. I’m surprised it didn’t have any! It was delcious as it, though.

This recipe is great for a holiday party or family gathering. I think everybody will love it.