Green Eats: Food of love

A few new recipes, tried and tested, in the spirit of Valentine’s Day.

Cornbread corn bread 311 (photo credit: MCT)
Cornbread corn bread 311
(photo credit: MCT)
Obviously, I love food. I love thinking about it. I love creating new flavor combinations, and I adore recipes that are so successful that I want to make them again and again. I just hate the dishes and the cleaning up part.
So in the spirit of Valentine’s Day (which I personally celebrate on Tu Be’av – the Jewish answer to Valentine’s Day), I’ve decided to share with you a few new recipes I’ve recently tried and loved. I’ve made my own changes and improvements to suit my own tastes and local ingredients, and here are the results: Note: The 70% wholewheat flour, organic baking chocolate, crushed almond meal and brown rice flour can be purchased at the Nitzat Haduvdevan health-food chain throughout the country.
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The original recipe for this amazingly delicious cornbread was designed by Kristine Kidd, food editor at Bon Appetit magazine for 20 years.
I fell in love with it, and I know you will too.
✔ 1 cup cornmeal, (preferably the yellow vacuum-packed whole grain type) ✔ 1 cup 70% whole-wheat flour, or half all-purpose, half whole-wheat flour ✔ 1 Tbsp. baking powder ✔ 1 tsp. coarse sea salt or kosher salt ✔ 1 cup yogurt or buttermilk (or 1 Tbsp. white vinegar plus enough milk, soy milk, or almond milk to measure 1 cup total) ✔ half cup real maple syrup ✔ 1 egg ✔ 1⁄2 cup (100 gr.) unsalted butter ✔ 11⁄2 Tbsp. minced fresh sage or rosemary ✔ Maple-Molasses Butter, see recipe below Preheat the oven to 200°C.
Heat a 24-cm. ovenproof skillet in the oven for 10 minutes.
Combine cornmeal, flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl and whisk to blend. In a separate bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, syrup, and egg.
Carefully remove the hot skillet from the oven and add the butter and sage. Swirl until the butter melts and the sage sizzles. Pour butter and sage into the bowl with the buttermilk, leaving just enough butter in the pan to coat the pan. Whisk to combine. Add to the dry ingredients. Stir just until combined.
Pour the batter into the skillet. Using a pot holder, carefully return the skillet to the oven. Bake until brown around the edges and springy when pressed in the center, about 20 minutes. Let cool in the skillet 10 minutes, and serve from the skillet or turn out onto a platter, if desired. Best served warm or at room temperature with the Maple-Molasses Butter (recipe follows).
MAPLE-MOLASSES BUTTER Makes about a half cup
✔ 1⁄2 cup (100 gr.) unsalted butter, at room temperature
✔ 2 Tbsp. real maple syrup
✔ 1-2 tsp. molasses (optional but recommended)
✔ 1⁄4 tsp. coarse sea salt or kosher salt
✔ 1⁄4 tsp. ground cinnamon
✔ dash- tsp. ground cloves
✔ Pinch of cayenne pepper
Mix the butter in a small bowl until smooth and light. Gradually mix in the maple syrup, and then all the remaining ingredients. Serve at room temperature. (The butter will keep for several days. Cover and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before serving.)
Makes 9
Believe it or not, these brownies are just as good as the regular kind, if not better, and certainly healthier.
✔ 150 gr. dark chocolate (I used Organic Nature 60% cacao solids)
✔ 1⁄2 cup butter
✔ 1⁄2 rounded cup almonds, processed into a fine meal
✔ 1⁄4 cup brown rice flour
✔ 1⁄2 tsp. salt
✔ 1⁄4 tsp. baking soda
✔ 2 eggs
✔ 1 cup packed natural light sugar (“sukar kanim”)
✔ 2 tsp. real vanilla extract
✔ 1⁄2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Line an 29 x 19-cm. rectangular baking pan or a 22 x 22-cm. square pan with aluminum foil (preferably from recycled aluminum – at health-food stores) and lightly oil the bottom.
Melt the dark chocolate and butter in a glass bowl in the oven or in the microwave and stir together to combine. Cool slightly.
Mix the crushed almonds, brown rice flour, salt and baking soda in a bowl. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, or with a wire whisk, beat the eggs till frothy. Add the sugar and beat until smooth. Pour the melted chocolate mixture into the egg mixture gradually, mixing constantly (make sure to clean off the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula and add to the mixing bowl). Beat well for a minute till smooth and glossy.
Add the flour mixture and vanilla and beat another minute, then stir in half the chopped nuts. Pour into the prepared pan and level with a knife. Sprinkle the remaining nuts on top. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Do not overbake. Cool on a wire rack and before cutting.