First off, I should be done travelling now, for a few months at least. I picked up my daughter from Idaho after finishing potato harvest, yes, kids still help with stuff like that in some places and they make pretty darn good money doing it. Now that I'm home its' time to catch up on birthdays. My potato picking daughter and I both had birthdays while on vacation and both were missed. I was able to make her cake, Pumpkin with Salted Caramel Buttercream(recipe is in Modern Recipes) at my brothers before I brought her home. Mine had to wait until I got home so I could share it with you. It's not an old recipe, but it is one of my all time favorites and the one I make every year for my birthday. It's not a typical birthday cake but is perfect for the time of year and is amazing.
Caramel Apple Upside-down Cake
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 medium apples( I always use Honeycrisp) about 2 pounds
1/4 cup brandy
1 cup granulated sugar
For the Cake
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk
3 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup cake flour
1/2 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cloves
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
Peel and slice the apples about 1/2 inch thick.
Butter and line with parchment a 9-inch cake pan.
In a very large frying pan melt 6 tablespoons butter. Layer in the apples.
Let the apples cook until one side is browned and they have softened, about 10 minutes, then turn them over.
Add the brandy then 1 cup of granulated sugar. Let it cook until the sugar and the apples darken in color, about 10-15 minutes.
Transfer the cooked apples to the prepared cake pan. Pour in the sauce left in the pan.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Mix together the buttermilk, egg yolks and vanilla, set aside.
In a large bowl whisk together the the flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices.
Rub in the butter until it is the consistency of rough cornmeal.
Stir in the wet ingredients.
Spread over the apples.
Bake for 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Let sit for a couple minutes, then invert it onto your serving plate.
Best served warm or at room temperature.
Have a great week and if you have any questions ask away.
I love cooking retro and for me that doesn't just mean pulling out an old cookbook and finding a fun recipe, although I do that too, it means trying to cook everything thing in the most economical, time efficient way while not forgetting the reason your doing it. I do it because I love my family and love to cook them really good food. I appreciate that vintage cookbooks realized that they were meant for home cooks who had other things to do during the day besides cook but who would be cooking every bit of food that went on the dinner table and the breakfast table. One of my personal goals is to get rid of all boxed and canned foods in my house and cooking retro helps with that. Cooking retro doesn't even require you to use old recipes, it requires cooking smart, thinking ahead, streamlining what your cooking and finding creative ways to use leftovers.
This weeks recipe involves a make at home biscuit mix that you keep in your fridge. There book I got it from has a number of different recipes that use it but once you make the mix your imagination is the limit.
Homemade Biscuit Mix
8 cups sifted all purpose flour
8 teaspoons baking powder
4 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 cup shortening
Sift together the dry ingredients and work in the shortening until you have an even crumb.
Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a month.
Now lets use that handy mix. This week I have been working on getting back into the groove of cooking retro because vacation totally messed up my schedule.
My usual butcher was having a sale on pork loin roasts which is what inspired the entire meal. My green grocer also has new crop apples for cheap so there was the beginning. I usually combine retro foods with modern so this menu is a mix of new and old, but mostly old.
Roast Pork Loin with Gravy
Brussels Sprouts with Bacon
Cinnamon Sweet Potatoes
Apple Pan Dowdy with Whipped Cream
It looks like a lot but really is all about time management. Start with the the roast. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and rub your roast down with salt and pepper. Place it in a roasting pan and cook it for about 30 minutes a pound. For me that ended up being about 2 hours.
Next get your sweet potatoes boiling. I used the recipe for sweet potatoes that I shared for Christmas.
While that is cooking get your dessert started.
Apple Pan Dowdy
4 cups peeled, sliced apples
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup apple cider, optional
2 cups Homemade Biscuit Mix
1/2-3/4 cup milk
Butter a baking dish and pour in the apples. Spread the sugar over the top and sprinkle over the spices. Dot the butter over the top. Pour in the apple cider(if you know you have really wet apples skip the cider).
Mix together the biscuit mix and the mild and cover the apples with the dough, it should be about 1/4 inch thick, leaving holes for the steam to escape.
Bake at 350 for 40-60 minutes or until the apples are soft and the top is browned.
You are going to get your dessert assembled and set it aside so you can finish getting dinner ready.
Next you should be cleaning your Brussels sprouts and have your sweet potatoes cooling.
Chop your potatoes and get them on a greased pan small enough to fit in the oven with your roasting pan. Drizzle them with oil and toss, sprinkle with salt, pepper and other spices of your choosing, I like garlic and rosemary. They need to cook for at least 40 minutes so get them in the oven at the proper time.
I always cook my Brussels Sprouts with bacon and shallots. Chop a couple slices of bacon and start cooking them down then slice a shallot. After the bacon is crisp remove it from the pan and toss in the shallot.
Now to tackle the sweet potatoes...
Peel and slice the cooked sweet potatoes into 1/2 inch slices. Throw a nob of butter in a large saute pan. Once its melted, add a few tablespoons of brown sugar, some cinnamon and a dash of salt. Layer in the sweet potato and let them cook, turning occasionally to coat with the butter and brown sugar. They can cook for the remaining time just keep and eye on them , the longer they cook the better they taste because the sugar and spices can really sink in.
Back to the Brussels Sprouts.....
The shallot should be lovely and brown now so add the Brussels Sprouts to the pan, toss them around a bit and add some salt. Once the pan heats back up pour in about 1/2 cup water and cover, they need to steam a bit so they aren't hard in the middle. you want them to get soft and to brown a bit so keep an eye on them.
Your roast should be done right about now, if you've timed this right, take its temp and if its ready pull it and start your gravy. Check your potatoes and flip them if you like them browned on more than one side.
Use the drippings and the juices that will come from your cooling roast to make a simple gravy.
Once you are ready to slice your roast, pull the potatoes from the oven and put the Apple Dowdy in the oven. Don't forget to start the coffee and you're ready to serve.
I know it can look overwhelming if your just starting out, but including the time your dessert cooks while you're eating this meal only takes 3 hours from start to finish. You can do it!
Have a great week and let me know if you have any questions.
Well, our vacation was a nothing short of awesome. We bought a used RV last year and had only taken it on short trips until we took this one and I cant wait to go out again. My husband, daughters, puppy and I, drove down the coast from Florence, Oregon to Los Angeles stopping along the way in Bandon, San Jose, Santa Cruz and Pismo Beach. I saw dolphins for the first time and more humpback whales than I have seen in my life until this trip. The humpbacks were breathtaking. My daughters and I had gone for a walk by the RV resort in Pismo Beach and they were going crazy, jumping and splashing, amazing! Disneyland was our next stop. I had never been before, neither had our youngest daughter so we were really excited. It was a blast! It was exactly what I wanted it to be, except the Haunted Mansion. I have wanted to go to it since I was a little kind and saw it on The Wonderful World of Disney, but it had just been changed for the holidays to The Nightmare Before Christmas, which I love, but it wasn't the same. We went to Magic Mountain next and found it completely disappointing. I had been to Six Flags before and liked it but this experience was just bad. Next stop was San Diego. I love San Diego. My husband introduced me to the city and I fell for it immediately. First stop was the USS Midway Museum. My husband was part of her final crew and that ship is a big part of who he is. We had never taken the girls to see it before and we decided this trip would be a good time to take them. We also went to the Maritime Museum. Our girls loved it and can now relate to what their dad is saying when he talks about his experiences in Desert Storm. Then we just walked around. That area of the city is exciting at night so we took the girls to one of our favorite restaurants, Brians 24 and then walked around some more. When we got back to our RV and were getting ready for bed both of the girls were talking about plans for them to be able to come live in San Diego when they graduate. I think San Diego will become a usual family stop from now on. We spent our last day at the zoo, because you have to go to the zoo when you're in San Diego. After that we drove to Idaho to drop our older daughter off for potato harvest, they still let kids do hard labor in Idaho, and that was our vacation. With a quick stop in Utah to pick up my grandparents antique hutch :)
So now it's time to get back to the kitchen. This weeks recipe is for Salmon Nests circa 1960.
2 tablespoons diced onion
2 tablespoons diced green pepper
3 tablespoons oil
1 cup condensed tomato soup
1 teaspoon yellow mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1-14 ounces can pink salmon
3 cups mashed potatoes
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
3 tablespoons butter, melted
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
In a saute pan cook the onion and pepper until soft. Stir in the tomato soup and seasonings. Add the salmon and continue cooking until hot.
Make nests out of the mashed potatoes, I made a disk and then piped the sides, and fill them with the salmon mixture.
Top each nest with breadcrumbs and drizzle with butter.
Bake for 15 minutes or until the potato and breadcrumbs begin to brown.
* Don't forget to remove the spine pieces from the salmon and the skin if desired.