Tuesday, May 27, 2008

False Dichotomies . . . or Memorial Day in review.

Yesterday my husband P and I had our friends J and H over to enjoy the weather, argue politics, and eat.  Apparently my attempt at political persuasion was full of false dichotomy (thank you J), but the eats (of which I took no pictures, sadness) were received without complaint.  

We grilled our chicken sausage from our CSA 
and used it to top pizza we made on the barbecue.  Alas P is vehemently against gas grills, so we attempted this on our little charcoal guy.  We put a pizza stone down to try to evenly distribute the heat.  The dough turned out a bit soft for my tastes- more like bread then pizza crust.  The recipe from Alton Brown worked out beautifully (man did it rise a lot), I'm blaming our shoddy pizza-baking.  Don't get me wrong, the toppings of arugula pesto, chicken sausage and mozzerella, and roasted tomato, basil and cheese were delectable
 and the whole thing went down, as the english say, a treat.  But 
in the spirit of full disclosure, I prefer a crispier crust.

CSA asparagus went into a salad with white beans, artichoke hearts and grape tomatoes which is served over toast.  Inspired by the spring salad at Tria, this is great served room temp or warm, and when you top it with a poached egg (yummmmm) it's a great light dinner. 

I do have a picture  and recipe for our dessert, which is a recipe I adapted from the most recent Cooking Light.  This is originally was a recipe for a pound cake with lemon-basil glaze, but since I wanted to serve it with my minted fruit salad and we had a ton of mint from our CSA, I made it lemon-mint.  It's not quite a pound cake, more of a cross between a pound cake and angel food cake.  The glaze adds a nice lemony sweetness.  I baked in my cathedral bundt pan (thank you jenny) which gives it lots of nice crisp ridges for the glaze to run over.

doesn't that look just precious?

Pound Cake with Lemon-Mint Glaze

cake:
10 tablespoon butter, softened and divided
1 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (about 10 ounces)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
rind of 1 lemon
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 large eggs
1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk
juice of one lemon 
3 large egg whites

GLAZE:
1/4 cup half-and-half (I used skim milk cause it's what I had)
3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint 
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Dash of vanilla salt


Preparation
1. Preheat oven to 325°.
2. To prepare cake, coat a 12-cup Bundt pan with 1 tablespoon butter, and dust with 2 tablespoons granulated sugar.

3. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 3 ingredients (through 1/4 teaspoon salt) in a bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Combine 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar and the remaining 9 tablespoons butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Beat in rind and extract. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine buttermilk and 2 tablespoons juice. Add flour mixture and buttermilk mixture alternately to sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture.

4. Place egg whites in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at high speed until soft peaks form, using clean, dry beaters. Add remaining 1/4 cup granulated sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until stiff peaks form. Gently fold one-third of egg white mixture into batter; fold in remaining egg white mixture. Spoon batter into prepared pan. Bake at 325° for 55 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool cake in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove cake from pan; cool completely on wire rack.

5. To prepare glaze, combine half-and-half and basil in a small microwave-safe bowl; microwave at HIGH for 45 seconds. Let stand 5 minutes. Strain mixture through a sieve over a bowl; discard basil. Combine half-and-half, powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons juice, and dash of salt; stir with a whisk until smooth. Drizzle half of glaze over cake; let stand 5 minutes or until set. Repeat procedure with remaining glaze.

2 comments:

foodvox said...

I'm not sure myself that any argument about politics could be completely free of false dichotomies . . . but that cake looks fantastic! :)

Anonymous said...

Lauren

This cake looks delicious but I never heard of a cathedral bundt plan but I like the effect.