Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Oven-Puffed Pancake with Berries

I love brunch.

If that's all I wrote and walked away from my computer I think you'd get an idea how this goes down. I'd talk about breakfast potatoes/hash browns, coffee in kitschy cups and tucked away cafes. Maybe I'd mention a light Pacific Northwest sprinkle and lament on the art of a coffee bean. However, I think I'll ramble about berries and the beauty of a cast iron pan.

Very rarely do A and I make the same thing for brunch. Sure, we've had more pancakes before mountain adventures than I can even count, but the ingredients we're never the same. Fine, there has been an egg or two but rarely are they prepared in the same way nor are the veggie mix-ins repeated. So it goes without saying that this oven puffed pancake is a winner based on the fact that it's on a second run. Same ingredients, same preparation, maybe a bit warmer weather. Well, it is Juneuary so that last part may not be true.

As it comes together quickly and can incorporate whatever produce is in season, I highly recommend making this when entertaining guests or impressing your parents when visiting home. If they don't already own a cast iron pan (side note: Mom & Dad - suggestion for the one I got you for Christmas), buy them one now. They raised you, it's the least you can do. Peer pressure!

Saturday morning is only 3 days away so ready the kitchen for the greatest brunch you've ever tasted!

Oven-Puffed Pancake with Berries
Adapted from Two Tarts

  • 3 tbs goat butter
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup blueberries, raspberries, or blackberries (or combination), fresh or frozen

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 F. Place the goat butter in a 10-in cast iron skillet, and place it in the oven.
  2. Combine the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl. In another bowl, whisk together eggs, almond milk milk, and vanilla. Add this to the dry ingredients, and whisk until combined and smooth.
  3. Wearing an oven mitt, remove the hot skillet from the oven (the butter should be bubbling), and pour in the batter all at once. Sprinkle the berries evenly over the top, and return the skillet to the oven. Bake until the pancake is nicely browned and puffed around the edges, 12 to 15 minutes.
  4. Remove the pancake from the oven (don't forget that oven mitt!). Cut into wedges and serve with a bit of maple syrup or powdered sugar.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Roasted Cauliflower with Israeli Couscous

Oh please, you shouldn’t have. A round of applause for posting within two weeks of my last post? Oh stop! Call it a mid-year resolution or that I’ve seen the blogging light radiating out from my computer screen. Either way, my camera is firmly planted on A’s couch ready to document our cooking adventures. Maybe not the popcorn for dinner ones.

I have a slight announcement to make but, until plans are set in stone, I am going to keep things vague. There may or may not be a move in the future, most likely by the end of the summer. My internship with Edelman is coming to a close next week and I’m looking forward to enjoying my free time in the (theoretical) Seattle sunshine. Plans are being made for mountainous hikes, city bikes and a little fun in Canada.

Now that I will have a bit more time on my hands (or in the kitchen), look forward to seeing posts more than once every ice age (the glacial event, not the never ending sequels of children's movies). For the time being though, I present you with my flavor of previous week - roasted cauliflower with Israeli couscous!

You would never believe it, but this was the first time I ever made Israeli couscous. Usually I order it without hesitation at restaurants and find myself craving it every few months but for some reason I never thought to make it myself. If you're spying on me, you can see that I'm kicking myself right now. Not only is Israeli couscous a lot easier to make than rice or normal couscous, I think it has a certain bite that the former are lacking.

That combined with my gut wrenching love of roasted vegetables, I had a lunch made in heaven on my hands. I even pawned some off on "A" for lunch twice last week... he didn't complain. Nor should he.

Roasted Cauliflower with Israeli Couscous
Adapted from The Whinery 

  • 1 head of cauliflower (or other)
  • 1 head of purple cauliflower (or other)
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 red onion
  • 2 tablespoons parsley, chopped (divided)
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons everyday seasoning (I use Trader Joe’s Everyday Seasoning)
  • 1 cup cooked black-eye peas (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons capers, rinsed (optional)
  • 1 – 2 cups Israeli couscous, cooked (recipe below)
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
  2. Prep and cut cauliflower into florets
  3. Cut onion and bell pepper into even bite-size chunks and dump into a large bowl
  4. Add a tablespoon of parley
  5. Drizzle with olive oil, and add salt, crushed pepper and seasoning
  6. Toss and mix well to coat
  7. Spread out in a single layer onto a baking dish or pan
  8. Roast in the oven for about 15 – 25 minutes, until vegetables are tender and caramelized
  9. Mix in black-eye peas and capers with the vegetables and roast for another minute or so
  10. Remove from oven, mix in Israeli couscous, sprinkle another tablespoon of parsley on top and serve immediately

Israeli Couscous
  • 2 cup Israeli couscous, preferably whole-wheat
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 cups of water 
  • Salt to taste
  1. Heat one tablespoon of the olive oil over medium-high heat in a medium saucepan and add the couscous.
  2. Stir until the couscous begins to color and smell toasty, 4 to 5 minutes. 
  3. Add water and salt to taste and bring to a boil. 
  4. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer 15 minutes, or until the couscous is tender. Drain if any liquid remains in the pan.
  5. When the couscous is done, fluff and set aside to be tossed with roasted cauliflower


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