Thursday, December 18, 2014

Black and White Wednesday #153 Christmas Edition-The Gallery

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Welcome to the Christmas edition of Black and White Wednesday! I'm just a little late posting as our admin, Cinzia, had a lovely birthday luncheon today and wanted to include some images from her celebration! Happy Birthday, Cinzia! Black and White Wednesday will take a break and return for week #154 on January 7, 2015.


Saffron Butter Cake with Orange Glaze
Lynne-Cafe Lynnylu

Please do not use images or text without my permission. 

Saffron Butter Cake with Orange Glaze

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Just a quick post with a recipe for an easy cake to make for the holidays. Saffron and butter give the cake a lovely yellow color and the orange glaze helps preserve the flavor for up to a week.

Saffron Butter Cake with Orange Glaze
Recipe Adapted From Gale Gand's Short and Sweet
  • 2/3 cup orange juice ( I used fresh mandarin oranges)
  • 2 pinches saffron
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened slightly
  • 1 cup plus 1/3 cup sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a 9-inch loaf pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.
  2. In a small saucepan, bring the orange juice and saffron to a boil. Remove from heat and set aside to steep.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt. In another bowl, cream butter until smooth. Add 1 cup sugar and mix. With the mixer running, add the eggs, one at a time, mix well. Add half the dry ingredients and mix. Add 1/4 of the saffron steeped orange juice and mix. Add remaining ingredients. Remove any remaining saffron threads in the orange juice and mix them in the batter. Reserve remaining saffron steeped orange juice for glaze
  4. Pour the batter in the prepared pan. Bake 65-75 minutes or until a tester inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  5. Meanwhile, make the glaze. Stir the remaining 1/3 cup sugar into the reserved orange juice until sugar is dissolved.
  6. When cake is done, let cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Carefully, run knife around the sides of the pan and remove the cake to a wire cooling rack. Peel off the paper and using a pastry brush, spread glaze over the tops and sides of cake. Let it soak in. Let cake completely cool at room temperature, then serve. Or wrap in plastic and refrigerate. Cake will keep for about a week refrigerated. If desired, cake can be frozen up to 4 weeks. 

 This black and white image is my contribution to Black and White Wednesday #153 hosted by yours truly.

Please do not use images or text without my permission. 

Monday, December 15, 2014

Announcing Black and Wednesday #153-Christmas Edition

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“Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmas-time.” 
― Laura Ingalls Wilder

Announcing the Christmas edition of Black and White Wednesday! This long-running blog event is open to anyone who loves culinary related images either photographed in black and white or converted to black and white using a favorite software program. The images don't have to be holiday oriented; just shades of black and white. Think of food, restaurants, kitchen items, even animals and  plants; the possibilities are endless. The device you use to capture the image is up to you-DSLR, point and shoot or smartphone.

The rules and history of BWW can be found here. You don't have to have a blog to submit an image-just send me your image at lynnylu AT gmail Dot com. before 10 am New York time, Wednesday, December 17, 2014. I look forward to seeing them!

Please do not use images or text without my permission. 

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Dakar Spice Rubbed Lamb Kebabs with Mustard Onions-

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"One who eats alone cannot discuss the taste of food with others" African proverb

In my mind as I walk the busy streets of Dakar,  the capital of Senegal, I see curls of wood smoke and the smell of roasting meat assail my senses. I follow my nose and there before me I see long lines of people from all walks of life; young and old, patiently waiting to be served on grease-stained papers chunks of succulent roasted meat, thinly sliced onions in a mustard vinaigrette and a side of bread. I realize that I am witnessing the best of street food Dakar has to offer.

Typical street food, these spice-rubbed lamb skewers, most often called dibi (roasted meat)are bought at dibiteries"hole in the wall" type restaurants with large wood fires. There are usually no seats or limited seating in a dibiterie, so long lines are the norm.  The tradition of roasting meats in this fashion originates from the Arabs, but with sheep instead of lamb. As Senegal is roughly 95 % Muslim, pork would not be used in a dibiterie.

With peanuts being a major cash crop in Senegal, I thought a rub consisting of ground roasted peanuts, and a melange of spice would be delicious slathered on the lamb before grilling. Tsire or suya, a Nigerian speciality, is a thin cut of beef that is marinated in the ground roasted peanut rub, but the term Tsire now pertains to the rub.

D is for Dakar-this is my second post on The World Culinary ABC hosted by yours truly. Thanks to Aiuolik for creating the World Culinary ABC. For more Dakar cuisine, see us on our Pinterest page.

Dakar Spiced Rubbed Lamb Kebabs with Mustard Onions
Modified from Sean Brock-Food and Wine and The Chile Foundry
Serves 4

For the Lamb
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup coarse Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tablespoon agave nectar
  • 1-1/2 cups thinly sliced yellow onion
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground white pepper
  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil, plus more for oiling the grill grates
  • 2 pounds trimmed leg of lamb, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • Freshly ground black pepper
Tsire Spice Rub
  • 1 cup roasted peanuts
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  1. Prepare rub by combining all ingredients. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the vinegar, Dijon mustard and agave nectar. Stir in the onion slices and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Preheat a grill pan or preheat a gas or charcoal grill to medium heat. Oil the grates. In a large bowl, toss the lamb with 1 tablespoon of peanut oil. Salt and pepper the lamb pieces. Use enough of the Tsire rub to generously coat the lamb. Thread the lamb pieces onto 8 skewers. 
  4. Grill over medium heat, turning occasionally, until charred in spots, 6-7 minutes, for medium. Transfer the lamb to a platter and serve with the mustard onions.
The mustard onions can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2 days.

Please do not use images or text without my permission. 

Monday, December 08, 2014

ABC Mondiale-Dakar

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Dakar, the capital of Senegal, is the fourth stop on our whirlwind journey of the World Culinary ABC. The cuisines of SamoaIndia and Australia are behind us with pleasant memories of food enjoyed as we move on through the world of food.
The food of Senegal, a West African cuisine,  is a fusion of three cuisines-North African, French and Portuguese. Dakar, the capital, sits at the tip of the Cape Vert peninsula settled in the 15th century by the Lebou people skilled in aquaculture; fish being an important part of the Senegalese cuisine. The national dish is thiéboudienne, ( pronounced Cheb-oo-jen), chunks of fish stuffed with herbs and served on a bed of locally grown rice and vegetables. Another very popular dish is Thiébou guerté,  translated as "the rice of peanut", Senegal's cash crop. Chicken, lamb and beef are also used in many dishes, as well  as sweet potatoes, black-eyed peas, okra and cabbage. Most dishes are stewed and served over rice. 

French pastries are often served at breakfast and beverages include bissap, made from hibiscus, sugar and water as well as home roasted coffee, mint tea and a yogurt drink called Toufam. The are a few traditional desserts; Thiakry, a couscous pudding, Cinq Centimes (the five cent cookie) made from peanuts and a Banana Glace, a French inspired dessert.

I chose Dakar for my contribution to World Culinary ABC since many of the traditional foods grown in Senegal and other countries in Africa have heavily influenced the cuisine of the low country of South Carolina and Coastal Georgia. As a child of the South, I grew up enjoying seafood from our waters, locally grown peanuts, sweet potatoes, okra and black-eyed peas from our gardens; recipes gleaned the West African influence in the area. 

Senegalese Okra Stew

This rich and creamy vegetarian stew is  an embodiment of some of the similar vegetables that I use in many of my dishes. Okra, butternut squash or sweet potatoes, nut butter and a heady mixture of cumin, fresh ginger, and hot peppers create a colorful and delicious melange of flavors.
 Original recipe from Food and Wine.

Senegalese Okra Stew
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 tablespoon peeled ginger, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 to 1 habanero, seeded and minced (use gloves as the habanero is very hot)
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds, toasted and ground
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1-1/2 cups 1/2 inch cubed butternut squash or sweet potato
  • Salt
  • 3-1/2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 3/4 pound small to medium size okra, trimmed and sliced crosswise
  • 1/4 cup cashew butter (or peanut butter)
  • Cilantro leaves, for garnish
  1. In a large pot, heat the oil. Add the onion, ginger and garlic;cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, 5-6 minutes, until softened. Add the habanero, cumin and turmeric. cook an additional 2 minutes. Add the squash or sweet potato, season with salt and cook, stirring until the squash is coated with the seasonings. Add 3 cups of the broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, simmer over medium low heat until squash is tender-5-6 minutes. Stir in the okra and cook until tender, about 3 minutes.
  2. In a bowl, whisk the cashew or peanut butter into the remaining 1/2 cup broth (heated). Stir this into the stew and simmer for 5 minutes. Serve in soup bowls and garnish with cilantro. The stew can be made one day ahead and refrigerated.

You are welcome to participate in our journey of Dakar. You will need to post a Senegalese recipe by December 27th. In your post, please include a link to this post and to the World Culinary ABC then leave a link to your post in the comments section below. Old posts can be used but update the details. Multiple entries are welcomed. If you don't have a blog but would like to submit a recipe, send me an email at lynnylu AT gmail Dot com and I will be happy to post it for you.

Contributions to ABC Mondiale-Dakar

Poulet Yassa-A traditional chicken dish from the Casamance region of Senegal-Morena
Mafé-Senegal-Beef stew with Vegetables and Rice-Similar to the African Peanut Stew-Lucia
Yassa Poulet-Another delicious variation of the traditional chicken dish-Pinko Panino
Dakar Spice Rubbed Lamb Kebabs with Mustard Onions-street food from Dakar-Lynne
Yassa au Poulet-Love the interesting renditions of this traditional chicken dish-Eloisa
Please do not use images or text without my permission. 

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Coffee Bean Still Life -Black and White Wednesday #152

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Some classic quotes about that lovely black liquid that many of us stand in long lines for.......

"It is inhumane, in my opinion, to force people who have a genuine medical need for coffee to wait in line behind people who apparently view it as some kind of recreational activity."  Dave Barry

"As long as there is coffee in the world, how bad could things be."  Cassandra Clare-City of Ashes

"At Starbucks I like ordering a "Tall venti in a grande cup". That's like basically me asking for a small large in a medium cup." Jarod Kinta-This Book Has No Title

"No matter what historians claimed, BC really stood for "Before Coffee."Cherish Sinclair-City of Ashes

"Life is a beautiful and endless journey in search of the perfect cup." Barbara A. Daniels

The image above is my contribution to Black and White Wednesday #152 hosted this week by Aparna from Stories From the Mahe Coast. I photographed the beans with an iPhone 5 (sadly lost in San Antonio recently), processed it in Photoshop CC, added a filter from MacPhun Tonality Pro and added two textures (Elysium and Danielli) from Flypaper Textures.

Please do not use images or text without my permission. 

Monday, November 24, 2014

Sheermal-We Knead to Bake #22

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A saffron-flavored flatbread, Sheermal is similar to Naan and can be served as a sweet bread for breakfast or tea time or a savory bread to accompany curries, soups or kebabs. It is found in the countries of Pakistan, India, Iran and Bangladesh and is of Persian origins. Slightly different from Naan in that milk replaces the warm water used in preparation of the dough. Traditionally, the sheermal is cooked in a clay oven called a  Tandoor, but a conventional oven produces a very good bread. Sheermal is the November bread for the We Knead to Bake Facebook baking group. Our lovely admin, Aparna has the recipe on My Diverse Kitchen.

A few ingredients in this recipe for Sheermal sound very exotic, such as kerwra (screw pine extract) and rose water, however each flavor can be an acquired taste and can be left out all together. Crushed cardamon, a  pungent and aromatic spice, and a member of the ginger family can be substituted for  the kerwra and rose water. The saffron is essential and makes a lovely color sheermal. 

Hipstamatic image of Sheermal


  • 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/4 cup lukewarm water
  • 2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup ghee
  • 1/2 cup milk, more, if needed
  • 1 teaspoon chewer water or rose water-Omit if desired, use 1/2 teaspoon crushed cardamom
  • A few strands saffron soaked in 2 tablespoon warm milk
  • Melted butter, for brushing
  1. Mix the yeast, sugar, and warm water together. Let stand for 5-10 minutes until frothy. Place the flour, salt  and crushed cardamom, if using,in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a few times to mix. Add the yeast mixture and the beaten egg. Pulse a few times to mix well. Add the 1/2 the ghee and pulse a few times, then add the remaining ghee. Pulse a few times until the mixture looks like bread crumbs.
  2. Add enough milk and rose water or kewra, if using. Then knead until you have a soft, slightly sticky dough. Transfer dough to an oiled bowl, cover with a damp tea towel and let rise until doubled, about 1-2 hours.
  3. Remove the tea towel, and knead the dough again. Shape into a ball, lightly coat with some of the ghee and let rest for about 15-20 minutes.
  4. Divide the dough into 4 equal portions and using your fingers, press out each portion into a 4 inch round (1/8-inch thick).  Place the rounds on a parchment lined or lightly greased baking sheet. Using a fork, prick holes over the whole surface of the dough rounds.
  5. Brush the dough rounds generously with the saffron milk mixture. Bake at 350°F or 180C for about 10-15 minutes, until golden brown. Do not over bake. Remove from the oven and immediately brush the shells with melted butter or more ghee. Serve warm.

This bread has been submitted to Yeastspotting.

Please do not use images or text without my permission. 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Pastrami,White Cheddar and Apple Grilled Cheese on French Bread

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Originally called "Johnny Apple Cheese", aka Johnny Pastrami by , this hearty grilled cheese sandwich features an apple butter, Dijon mustard and honey spread that is a perfect complement to the thinly sliced apples that are layered in along with the beef pastrami and white cheddar cheese. I first saw this recipe in Fine Cooking and was intrigued not only by the beautiful image of the sandwich with enticing drips of melted cheese, but also by the name of the sandwich.

Eric Greenspan graduated from the Berkley Hass School of Business and the Cordon Bleu Culinary School in Paris and has worked with the top chefs in the world. However, he is well known for his grilled cheese sandwiches, having been inspired to transform the traditional cheese plate into a sandwich. His premier sandwich, dubbed-The Champ, was filled with taleggio cheese, raisin walnut bread, apricot caper puree and beef short ribs.

Instead of using the homemade apple chutney that Chef Greenspan uses, a tangy apple spread made from apple butter, Dijon mustard and honey mimics the chutney flavors perfectly-  Fine Cooking

While the recipe calls for sourdough bread, I thought my homemade French bread loaf made a good substitute.
Pastrami, White Cheddar and Apple Grilled Cheese
  • 3 tablespoons apple butter
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • 4- 1/2-inch thick slices sourdough or French bread
  • 8 ounces white cheddar cheese, thinly sliced or coarsely grated (about 2 cups)
  • 2 ounces thinly sliced salami
  • 6-10 thin slices of apple, honey crisp is a good choice
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  1. Combine the apple butter, honey, Dijon  mustard and a pinch of the salt in a bowl. Spread on both sides of the bread and top with half the cheese and half the pastrami. On top of that, layer the sliced apple, overlapping slightly, and the remaining cheese. Repeat with the other two slices of bread to make two sandwiches.
  2. In a heavy duty skillet over low heat, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter until lightly browned. Add the sandwiches and cook, adjusting heat if necessary, until golden brown on one side. Flip, adding the remaining tablespoon of butter, and cook, lifting the edges of the bread to allow the butter to run under. Again, adjust the heat as necessary, until the cheese has melted and other side is a golden brown. Slice in half and serve.

Easy French Bread Loaf

Using the bread machine to process the dough, then baking the bread in a conventional oven makes this an easy everyday bread.

  • 4 cups bread flour
  • 1-1/3 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2-1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  1. Process the ingredients according to the manufacturer's instruction for basic bread dough. When cycle has completed, remove the dough from the machine to a lightly floured surface. Punch down and let rest, covered, about 10 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 400°F. Lightly grease a 9x5x3-inch loaf pan. Using your palms and fingers, flatten the dough into an oval about three times the width of your baking pan. Fold over the edges, as if you were making an envelope. Place the loaf in the pan, seam side down, ends tucked under. This ensures a loaf that is higher in the middle and rounded on top.
  3. Place the bread in the preheated oven. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until loaf sounds hollow when tapped. Remove the loaf from the pan and let cool on a rack. For a softer crust, immediately rub the top of the loaf lightly with butter.

The black and white image above is my contribution to Black and White Wednesday #151, hosted this week by Sanhita from the blog, Pocket Full of Spices. BWW is an ongoing blog event begun in July 2011 by the talented Susan of The Well-Seasoned Cook. Susan handed the reins over to the also talented Cinzia of, Cindy Star Blog. It is a delight to post my black and white culinary images to this event.

Please do not use images or text without my permission. 
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