101 Cookbooks https://www.101cookbooks.com When you own over 100 cookbooks, it is time to stop buying, and start cooking. This site chronicles a cookbook collection, one recipe at a time. Sun, 12 Jul 2020 14:32:11 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.2.1 https://www.101cookbooks.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/cropped-101fav-1-32x32.png 101 Cookbooks https://www.101cookbooks.com 32 32 146864163 Chocolate Fudge & Tahini Cake https://www.101cookbooks.com/chocolate-fudge-tahini-cake/ https://www.101cookbooks.com/chocolate-fudge-tahini-cake/#comments Fri, 10 Jul 2020 23:36:43 +0000 https://www.101cookbooks.com/?p=9568 A 100% rye flour version of Benjamina Ebuehi’s Chocolate Fudge & Tahini Cake from The New Way To Cake. It's everything you want in a cake. The chocolate notes are deep, the crumb perfectly moist, and the salted tahini icing? Something I didn't know I needed in my life until now.

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I baked a 100% rye flour version of Benjamina Ebuehi’s Chocolate Fudge & Tahini Cake yesterday, and it’s everything you want in a cake. It is from her book The New Way to Cake, the chocolate notes are deep, the crumb perfectly moist, and the salted tahini icing? Something I didn’t know I needed in my life until now. The tahini rounds out the sweetness of the sugar in the icing. Fragrant sesame notes come to life as you whisk the flavors into balance with a generous pinch of salt. It’s so good.

Chocolate Fudge & Tahini Cake
There are a lot of reasons to love The New Way To Cake — the range of beautiful signature cakes, the minimalist book design, the naturally-lit photos by Holly Wulff Petersen — but her celebration of flavors close to my heart is what initially attracted me to it – hibiscus, chamomile, citrus, and chocolate all represent in unique and delightful ways.

A Bit More About Benjamina

She’s a London-based author, baker, food stylist & recipe developer, and she has been involved in some great projects since her appearance on The Great British Bake Off a few years back. You can follow Benjamina on Instagram. She also works in an ambassadorial capacity with Luminary Bakery (read about them!), and co-founded The Sister Table. And, if her use of tahini is what caught your attention today, have a look at the Necatrine, Tahini & Hazelnut Pavlova, on her blog. Or this Tahini Granola

Benjamina Ebuehi's The New Way To Cake

The New Way To Cake

Before we jump into the Chocolate Fudge & Tahini Cake, a few more notes related to The New Way to Cake. The book is 160 pages in length, soft-back, with sixty cake recipes. It has a premium feel, and would make a nice gift for any baker in your life. The main sections are Nuts & Caramel, Spices, Chocolate, Citrus, Floral, and Fruit. The two recipes I’ve earmarked to bake next: Hibiscus Buttermilk Cakes, and then a Chocolate Guinness Bundt with Yogurt Glaze.Chocolate Fudge & Tahini Cake

Benjamina’s Chocolate Fudge & Tahini Cake

The two main components here are a coffee-bolstered, cocoa-based chocolate cake, and the salted tahini icing/frosting. You can make either component a day ahead of time if needed. Although, I should note that, generally speaking, I like to frost cakes the day of serving. Up to that point, keep the cake covered (after cooling completely) and, if needed, rewhip the icing before using.
Salted Tahini Icing

A Rye Flour Swap

I made a few alterations to Benjamina’s cake out of necessity (different pan / alternate flour) & the good news is it baked up wonderfully. All-purpose flour can still tough to come by right now, and I keep a lot of rye flour on hand. I had a hunch that a rye flour swap would be good here – so I went for it. 100% rye. Didn’t hold back. So good! I think people worry that going an aggressive whole-grain flour swap will result in tough, dry cakes and muffins. And quite honestly, that can often be the case. But this worked nicely – have a look at the slice down below! So tender. If you’re apprehensive, go with all-purpose flour, or you can do half rye, half all-purpose flour. But there’s something that happens in the intersection of the rye, coffee, and cocoa, that is really nice.Chocolate Fudge & Tahini Cake
One slice of Chocolate Fudge & Tahini Cake

Benjamina Ebuehi's Chocolate Fudge & Tahini Cake from The New Way to Cake

Let’s Talk Pans

Per my mention up above – I didn’t have the three 6-inch cake pans Benjamina used to create the stunner cake pictured in her book (above). But you all know I have an endless collection of bundt pans. So that’s what I used. I baked the batter in a single 9-inch bundt pan. Buttercream wasn’t going to work with the ridged cake, so I did a salted tahini icing that I could pour over the bundt shape cake, in place of the tahini buttercream version in the book. No bundt pan? My sense is you can get away with baking in a single 13×9 pan, or two 8-inch rounds as well (adjusting the timing, of course). A long way of saying, don’t be deterred if you don’t have the “correct” pan. Bake until a cake tester or toothpick comes out clean.
Chocolate Fudge & Tahini Cake
And a last little side note – I’ve been trying to add weekly favorites links to my newsletter more regularly – articles, books, cookbooks I’m excited about, recipes to try, products I love, or new discoveries in general. So, instead of including them here in “Favorites Lists” on the site, you’ll be able to get them there, along with the heads up on new recipes I’m highlighting. I’ve been sending newsletters out once a week, on Saturday mornings. xx -h.

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Roasted Tomato & Sourdough Soup https://www.101cookbooks.com/roasted-tomato-sourdough-soup/ https://www.101cookbooks.com/roasted-tomato-sourdough-soup/#comments Sat, 04 Jul 2020 02:46:11 +0000 https://www.101cookbooks.com/?p=9548 If you have both tomatoes and sourdough on hand, consider this. A spicy, saffron-smacked take on pappa al pomodoro, the bread-thickened Tuscan classic. A spicy, saffron-smacked take on pappa al pomodoro, the bread-thickened Tuscan classic.

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There are two things we have in spades right now – ripe tomatoes and sourdough bread. Inevitably, this time of year the variations on tomato soups and sauces coming out of the kitchen are many. The other night, I made this. Walking into the kitchen, I imagined building on the idea behind pappa al pomodoro, the tomato-centric, bread-thickened Tuscan classic. We ended up sitting down to a spicy, saffron-smacked stew with a tomato and sourdough foundation dotted with chickpeas. It was a big hit, so I made it again the next day so I could shoot and share it here. If there’s a place where summer eating meets comfort food, this is it.
Roasted Tomato & Sourdough Soup Recipe

The tomatoes!

Let’s talk details. Your choice in tomatoes here is key. It’s the flavor base of this soup. Go for the most flavorful, ripe, in-season tomatoes you can get your hands on. Ugly or not-perfect is fine, they’re going to get roasted and blitzed anyway. I save my cherry tomatoes for other uses – salads, roasting, pastas, etc. and opt for medium-sized varietals like Early Girl or San Marzano instead.  
Roasted Tomato & Sourdough Soup Recipe

Roasting For Flavor

Here’s roughly what your tomatoes, onions, and garlic should look like after roasting (below). I put the onions and garlic on their own baking sheet in case they cook faster. It makes it easier for you to remove them early if needed. You can certainly do a version of this soup without roasting, but the depth of flavor you get from this extra step is worth it.
Roasted Tomato & Sourdough Soup Recipe

The Bread Component

Our “house” sourdough bread is ~60 % whole wheat / rye flour blend, plus a good amount of cooked quinoa. It’s quite hearty and wholesome, and it’s great here. I use heartier whole-grain sourdoughs in soups like this one, or bread-thickened ribollita all the time. I think people worry that they need to use a white loaf (like a ciabatta or “Italian” bread), but you can totally experiment. It might not be typical, but it can be tasty (and more nutritious).  
Roasted Tomato & Sourdough Soup Recipe

Variations

I was craving something invigoratingly spicy when I threw this together the other night. I was after a straight, direct shot of tomato & spice. That’s why you see a good dose of cayenne in the recipe. I added a bit of saffron because tomatoes and saffron are one of my favorite flavor combinations. That said, there are (of course) endless other directions you could explore! For example: 

  • A more classic flavor profile: dial back the spices, turn up the basil.
  • Add a dollop of harissa instead of cayenne.
  • Use yellow tomatoes + lots of black pepper & experiment with a turmeric-chive-garlic drizzle of some sort.
  • Use some of your corn by adding it with the chickpeas. And for the experimenting bread bakers out there – how about a sourdough with a percentage of cornmeal, whole corn, etc in the bread slot? I’d use something other than a quick bread style cornbread (not enough structure when it hits the soup). 

Roasted Tomato & Sourdough Soup Recipe

It’s wild how in my garden there will be a blast of tomatoes for a few weeks and then it’s over in a flash. If you’re looking for other ways to put a dent in your tomato supply right now – some ideas. Try to make the most of them while they’re here. Try a fresh version of this tomato sauce. Use them in a tomato tart. Make this favorite salsa. Or load them into a coleslaw. xx – h

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Rustic Tomato Tart https://www.101cookbooks.com/tomato-tart/ https://www.101cookbooks.com/tomato-tart/#comments Sat, 27 Jun 2020 00:32:02 +0000 https://www.101cookbooks.com/?p=9530 A beautiful tomato tart layered with jammy, caramelized onions, laced with fresh basil. A rustic free-form tart perfect for summer.

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Free-form tarts are the savior of the unfussy cook. Unlike tarts baked in a pan, there’s no need to worry about trimming dough, rolling out perfect circles, or using pie weights. They’re the sort of thing I love to pull from my oven year round, but especially in conjunction with peak tomato season. A beautiful tomato tart layered with jammy, caramelized onions, laced with fresh basil alongside a simple green salad? Good lord yes.
Favorite Tomato Tart Recipe
This tomato tart recipe is a few personal winks, twists, and additions away from one of the classic versions you might find in France. I talk more about the crust I use down below, and the toppings as well. I love these sorts of tarts for picnics, beach days, and road trips, dinner gatherings, and potlucks – cut into wedges or grids. They show off the best flavors of the season, and once you make the dough (takes less than five minutes), the rest is a breeze.
Caramelized Onions for Tomato Tart Recipe

Let’s Talk Toppings

You can keep the toppings as simple or as complex as you like, and the version here splits somewhere down the middle. The version you see pictured (and featured in the recipe) combines caramelized onions and peak, in-season, tomatoes as the core components. Cooking the onions takes a bit of time, but to be honest, if you do a big skillet full and keep them in the refrigerator, they’re great on pizzas, in sandwiches, and in noodle & pasta bowls throughout the week.
Tomato Tart Recipe
To the onions here, I add a big pinch of turmeric and lots of black pepper, but you don’t have to. You can think of the onions as their own component and season them as much or little as you like – as long as you imagine your seasoning will go well with tomatoes, you’re likely fine. There’s basically a world of possibilities. I can imagine cinnamon, cumin, caraway, ground peppers, curry blends, etc. all being wonderful additions. I talk more about toppings down below, but the tart dough is basically a blank, buttery canvas to experiment with.

Make-ahead Friendly

With a bit of advance planning, these sorts of tarts are completely weeknight friendly. Especially if you think of the tart dough as one component. You can make it days in advance and refrigerate. Or make extra, double-wrap and freeze – thawing before using (but keeping cold). I think of the toppings as the second component and often do a big batch of them over the weekend. For tarts like this one, I might caramelize the onions in advance by a day or two. Or browse your refrigerator for other ideas. If I had extra pesto, perhaps slather it across the dough before topping with other ingredients. Or, if it was winter, maybe I’d grab some roasted winter squash.

A Rustic Tart Crust

The crust of this tart deploys a favorite baking trinity of mine –  rye, cooked quinoa, and all-purpose (or bread) flour. I use a blend of these three ingredients increasingly often – when I bake sourdough, when I make flatbreads (and pizza crusts), and for tarts like these. The butter brings richness and flavor while you get the nutritional boost of the whole grain quinoa and rye flour along with a bit of lightness from the white flour. If you nail the ratio correctly, you end up with goodness coming from your oven that is rustic, flavor-rich, and satisfying – with nice, flaky texture. AND the recipe introduces you to my favorite method for pulling a pie or tart dough together.
Tomato Tarts Before Baking

A Few Tart Tips

  • Make sure your toppings aren’t hot when you assemble your tart. Whether you’re making this tart, or riffing on it with another idea you have, make sure your roasted squash, or blistered mushrooms, or grilled squash are room temperature or colder. This way it wont melt the butter in your crust.
  • Work quickly when you’re rolling out your well-chilled dough. Make sure your counter and rolling pin are dusted with flour. If your dough is sticking at all and you get the sense it has become too warm, transfer it back to the refrigerator for 10-15 minutes, and try again.
  • If you think your unbaked tart isn’t looking great, power through it. Look at my unbaked tart picture just above. It’s no prize winner, but have faith! They look exponentially better after they’ve been brushed with egg and baked until golden in a hot oven.
  • That also reminds me, resist the urge to under bake. I tend to go as long as I can in the oven, to get that nice color, and to give crispness and structure to the crust. You’re aiming for golden plus plus plus.

Tomato Tarts on Parchment Paper

Ideal Tomatoes for Tomato Tarts

I use a blend of whatever tomatoes are most flavorful at the moment. They don’t have to be the best looking tomatoes, and a tart like this is a great way to use slightly blemished tomatoes because once they bake you won’t know the difference. I like to use a mix of tomatoes of different sizes, and a mix of colors as well if I have them. Variety is all good here. Use what you’ve got as long as they taste good.
Close-up of Two Rustic Tomato Tarts
As I’m looking at this photo, I keep thinking to myself, “you should have kept it in the oven another five minutes.” It has good color as-is, but it had the potential to get really, really good. Next time!
Tomato Tarts with Green Salad

Enjoy the tart(s)! Let me know if you experiment with the toppings in anyway. You know I love your wildcards! -h

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Frosty Lime Sherbet https://www.101cookbooks.com/lime-sherbet/ https://www.101cookbooks.com/lime-sherbet/#comments Fri, 12 Jun 2020 18:27:52 +0000 https://www.101cookbooks.com/?p=9517 The trick I use with lime sherbet is to use a bit of orange and lemon alongside fresh lime juice. It takes a bit of the edge off the lime and you end up with a sherbet that tastes like lime tangled with a Creamsicle.

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Temperatures spiked to over 90°F this week in Los Angeles and the Santa Ana winds are here. Winds like these – hot, dry, strong, unpredictable – are unusual in June. They bring morning nose bleeds and turn palm fronds into ribbons that can cut. They’re both beautiful and disturbing. To keep doors and windows from slamming (and to keep the air circulating), I propped them open with rocks and my heaviest pots. Then I went to the garage and dusted off the ice cream maker for the first time this year and set to work making a simple lime sherbet.
Frosty Lime Sherbet Recipe

The recipe is roughly equal parts plain yogurt, fresh citrus juice, and simple syrup. The trick is using a bit of orange and lemon to take just the right amount of edge off the lime juice. You end up with a lime sherbet that tastes like it tangled with a Creamsicle. In the recipe I let you know that I used 4 limes, 1 orange, and a big lemon. Basically, you want 1 1/3 cups of freshly squeezed citrus juice. That said, you can adjust the recipe based on what you have on hand. For example, bump up the orange juice if you’re short a lime. Just make the effort to freshly squeeze your fruit, it makes a difference.Key Limes, Lemons, and Limes for Sherbet

Lime Sherbet Variations

Coconut Lime Sherbet: Swap out up to 1/2 cup of the yogurt for an equal amount of full-fat coconut milk.

Key Lime Sherbet: Substitute the juice of half of the limes with the juice of key limes.

Meyer Lime Sherbet: Substitute the juice of a Meyer lemon for the lemon called for. And add the zest as well.

Frosty Lime Sherbet Recipe
I’m also going to mention one last thing we do with this sherbet. Take a tight, little scoop of the sherbet and place it in a small Picardie glass, or something similar. Top with a shot (or half-shot) of reposado tequila and enjoy asap. If this is already a thing – I think of it as tequila affogato (which means ‘drowned’ in Italian) – apologies in advance for not crediting. If not, it should be. Enjoy!

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Zucchini Bread https://www.101cookbooks.com/zucchini-bread/ https://www.101cookbooks.com/zucchini-bread/#comments Sat, 30 May 2020 00:20:15 +0000 https://www.101cookbooks.com/wp101/archives/my-special-zucchini-bread-recipe-recipe.html If you're looking for a go-to zucchini bread recipe, give this a shot. The recipe delivers a single beautiful loaf of walnut studded zucchini bread. Moist, just sweet enough and loaded with toasted walnuts inside and out, it has a sweet nut-crusted top, requires one pan and is a rustic stunner.

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This recipe makes a single beautiful loaf of walnut studded zucchini bread. And a sizable one at that. For years I would load my zucchini bread batter with all manner of zest, spice, and whatnot. But that’s not how I roll anymore. Over the years I began to prefer this pared-down and more minimalist version. Moist, just sweet enough and loaded with toasted walnuts inside and out, it has a sweet nut-crusted top, requires just one pan and is a rustic stunner. If you’re looking for a go-to zucchini bread recipe, give this a shot.
Zucchini Bread Recipe

A Few Zucchini Bread Tips

Pre-grate & Freeze Excess Zucchini: When you have more zucchini than you know what to do with, grate it and divide 2 1/2 cup portions into freezer bags. Thaw and use with this recipe later in the year.

Too Much: If you’ve baked more zucchini bread than you can eat, slice it, divide with parchment paper, and freeze in baggies. When you’re ready for it, thaw and toast (or toast in a pan with a bit of butter).

Accurate Baking Time: A cake tester is important here. This is a big loaf and you want to make sure the interior is cooked though. If cake batter is visible on your tester keep baking in 7-10 minute increments. 

Yellow Summer Squash Are OK Too! You can basically use any summer squash you like here. Classic green-skinned zucchini are most typical, but you can also use eight-ball squash, patty pan, crooked neck squash, etc. I like to leave the skins on all of them for the color-flecks they lend to the batter. One thing to keep an eye out for is any squash that has developed seeds. Just scoop those out prior too grating.
Zucchini Bread Recipe

Variations

My Special Zucchini Bread: This is the more maximalist version of zucchini bread I’ve featured here since 2008. To the batter add: the zest of 2 lemons, 1/4 cup poppy seeds, 1/3 cup finely chopped crystalized ginger, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and 1 tablespoon favorite curry powder. So fragrant!

All the Zests Zucchini Bread: Add the zest of 3 limes, 2 oranges, and 3 lemons. Consider swapping almond extract for the vanilla extract.

Basil & Lemon Zucchini Bread: Add 1/3 cup chopped fresh basil and zest of two lemons to the we ingredients. You can use Italian or lemon basil.

Zucchini Oat Bread: An idea I haven’t tested yet, but want to mention it in case someone wants to give it a try. Swap 1/3 cup of the flour for old-fashioned oats.

Raz el Hanout Zucchini Bread: I’ve baked a delicious version using a Raz el Hanout spice blend, highly recommended! Just add 1 tablespoon of Raz el Hanout to your dry ingredients.

Zucchini Bread Muffins: Yes, you can make muffins! Fill lined muffin tins 2/3 full – 3/4 if you’re living on the edge! And bake until golden and cooked through.
Zucchini Bread Recipe

More Zucchini Ideas

If you have a garden that is anything like ours, it’s putting off an incredible number of zucchini right now. Take a look at these zucchini recipes. I’ve been trying to come up with more recipes that put a real dent in the zucchini supply. So far, this Pasta with Smashed Zucchini Cream is a favorite, and this Grilled Zucchini & Bread Salad is perfect for summer & using up extra sourdough at the end of the week. And we love this Simple Sauteed Zucchini, especially with a little side action of this favorite pesto.
Zucchini Bread Recipe
Enjoy! And please leave notes in the comments if you have other variations you like.

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Grilled Zucchini & Bread Salad https://www.101cookbooks.com/grilled-zucchini-bread-salad/ https://www.101cookbooks.com/grilled-zucchini-bread-salad/#comments Thu, 28 May 2020 15:20:34 +0000 https://www.101cookbooks.com/?p=8822 If you need to put a 2 pound dent in your zucchini supply right now, give this a go. A bread salad made with torn pieces of toasted multi-grain bread, grilled zucchini, chickpeas, and a simple, garlic-forward ponzu dressing.

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The only zucchini recipes that have my attention right now call for pounds of it. One half cup here, or a medium zucchini there just isn’t going to cut into the supply coming out of the garden. Apparently many of you feel similarly, because a lot of you made the Pasta with Smashed Zucchini Cream I posted last week (so good! Also uses 2 pounds). Today’s recipe is a panzanella of sorts, a simple bread salad made with torn pieces of toasted multi-grain bread, grilled zucchini, chickpeas, and a simple, garlic-forward ponzu dressing. Like the pasta, it will also put a 2 pound dent in your zucchini haul.

Grilled Zucchini & Bread Salad

The recipe

You can toast the bread, and pull the dressing together ahead of time if you like. Beyond that, when you see an opening on the grill, get in there. Grilling the zucchini takes ten minutes or so. This is a great side for whatever else you might have coming off the grill, but I also like it as a light main for summer nights.
Grilled Zucchini & Bread Salad

Tips

Choosing zucchini: Although, generally speaking, smaller zucchini have nicer texture and taste better, this is a great way to use up larger zucchini. Sliced zucchini with a larger diameter is easier to grill, if you’re not using a grilling basket.

Thickness: You want to get the thickness of your zucchini slices right here. In the recipe, you’ll notice that I I have you slice the zucchini 1/4-inch thick. The main thing is this – I’d rather you err on the thicker versus thinner side when slicing here. This way your squash will maintain some structure. It’s on the grill for a bit, and if you slice too thinly, the slices are more likely to tear or disintegrate. If your slices are right on the money at 1/4-inch-ish, you should be all good.

Bread: I like a good-quality multigrain bread here. Tear bread pieces large enough that the edges get crispy, but the interior stays a bit chewy when toasting.

Grilled Zucchini & Bread Salad

Variations

– With Crispy Fried Shallots:  I wanted to keep this recipe as simple, summery, and straight-forward as possible, so I didn’t call for any intensive toppings. That said, crispy fried shallots, to finish things off, would be bonus here. If I’d had some on hand, I wouldn’t have skimped using them. I use them in this cilantro salad, and the recipe is included there.

– Spicier! To let everyone dial up the heat to their liking, serve with a little jar of sesame chile oil on  the table. Drizzle to taste.

– With cheese: Not for the vegans in the crowd, but a bit of crumbled feta or cotija cheese is a nice touch here. 

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A Favorite Rice Noodle Stir Fry to Make with Whatever Green Veg you Have https://www.101cookbooks.com/rice-noodle-stir-fry-recipe/ https://www.101cookbooks.com/rice-noodle-stir-fry-recipe/#comments Fri, 22 May 2020 23:02:54 +0000 https://www.101cookbooks.com/?p=9455 A favorite noodle-based stir fry with silky rice noodles, bright and crunchy broccoli, toasted cashews, quick-marinated crumbled tofu, and pan-seared onions tossed in a feisty chile-boosted soy sauce.

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If you messaged me this week after I posted a badly lit photo of an exceptionally tasty stir fry on Instagram, this is 100% for you!  It’s the kind of stir fry I pull together often, a catch-all of things needing to be used up. You’ve got silky rice noodles, bright and crunchy broccoli, toasted cashews, quick-marinated crumbled tofu, and pan-seared onions tossed in a feisty chile-boosted soy sauce. I added mushrooms the second time I made it (for these photos), but you don’t have to. I used broccoli, but you can use asparagus, shredded brussels sprouts or kale. I’ll talk more about that down below. I definitely tend to do that thing you’re not supposed to do here – overload the pan- but it’s the kind of one-pan meal I love. Enjoy!

A Fave Rice Noodle Stir Fry Recipe
A couple things before we get to the recipe. If you make a lot of stir fries, consider investing in a wok. The cast iron wok I bought with Grace Young from The Wok Shop in San Francisco years ago is one of my prized cooking vessels (this is the one). It’s the kind Cantonese home cooks swear by to impart the coveted taste of wok hay. I’m not saying I’m there yet, but I aspire. And if you don’t have a wok, don’t let it deter you – grab your largest skillet and use it for your stir fry.
A Fave Rice Noodle Stir Fry with Whatever Green Veg you Have on Hand

A Few Stir Fry Variations

I’ll put most of this in headnotes of the recipe as well.

Green Vegetables: I’m writing this recipe up using broccoli as the green vegetable here, but you have lots of other options. Use an equivalent amount of asparagus (1 1/2-inch segments), or 4-5 big handfuls of , chopped kale, pre-cooked artichoke hearts are fair game, or peas, (or pea shoots!). You see where I’m heading? This is all really adaptable based on what you have on hand.

Make it a Little Creamy: A splash of coconut milk toward the end is nice.

Citrus is Good: One of my favorite finishing touches here is to throw something citrusy in at the end. I have a makrut lime tree on the patio, so I often sliver a couple leaves razor thin and add them at the end. Lemon zest, Meyer lemon zest, and/or orange zest is equally welcome here. Totally not necessary, but it really is a nice touch.

A Fave Rice Noodle Stir Fry Recipe

Boil versus Soaking the Noodles

I’m having you boil the noodles here to get them just the right amount of tender. It’s what I did to get dinner on the table quickly the other night, and works great. The common alternative is to soak them, but there is such a wide range of noodles out there, and I’m sure you’ll all use quite a range of them, so I think boiling them is the safest bet for consistency across the board. Depending on the noodles, sometimes the soak technique doesn’t work, and you end up boiling them anyway.

Recipe Journal Entry of a Stir Fry with Handwriting and Photo
Here’s the photo I posted taped in my recipe journal along with notes about how to make it after dinner the other night. I do this when I want to remember something I liked so I can make it again at some point. You can see the size of the noodles I used (left-hand page), and I also like to leave “next time” notes to myself (down in the corner) – ways to tweak, flavors or ingredients to add or explore, etc. Enjoy!

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Pasta with Smashed Zucchini Cream https://www.101cookbooks.com/pasta-with-smashed-zucchini-cream/ https://www.101cookbooks.com/pasta-with-smashed-zucchini-cream/#comments Wed, 20 May 2020 14:45:29 +0000 https://www.101cookbooks.com/?p=8804 If you have an endless supply of zucchini right now, this is your recipe. A simple, garlic-boosted pasta, it uses two pounds of zucchini, and is endlessly adaptable.

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There is an incredible amount of zucchini coming out of our garden right now, and I’m focused on using it. This means ignoring recipes that call for small quantities of zucchini, turning my attention to making things that can put a real dent in the supply. Enter this simple, garlic-boosted pasta. It uses two pounds of zucchini, and is endlessly adaptable.Pasta with Smashed Zucchini Cream

Pasta Choices

I used long, slender bucatini pasta this time around, but enjoy this recipe with a wide range of pasta shapes. It’s nice with whole wheat pasta, or even some of the alternative lentil noodles. It’s particularly good with textured, short pastas because the sauce and garlicky zucchini chunks get caught up in every bite.
Pasta with Smashed Zucchini Cream

Favorite adaptations

Once you have your smashed zucchini sauce and pasta as a foundation, you can take this in a lot of different directions. We’ve been finishing it off with lots of halved cherry tomatoes plus garlic bread crumbs in place of the sliced almonds. The flavor pop of sweet from the tomatoes alongs with the crunchy crisp of the breadcrumbs is great. Alternately, you can boost the whole situation nutritionally by stirring in a few handfuls of thinly sliced kale that you’ve massaged with a bit of olive oil and lemon juice. You can also make more Asian-inspired, brothy version by adding more water to the zucchini, add a dollop of favorite curry paste, and use rice noodles. Top with crispy, grilled or oven roasted mushrooms and a drizzle of toasted sesame oil. Or, simply add a few dollops of pesto to the smashed zucchini sauce to up the summer basil factor.

Pasta with Smashed Zucchini Cream

Other ways to use up zucchini

I like this super quick, sautéed zucchini – similar in spirit to today’s recipe, it is also extra garlicky, and you get those nice browned bits where the zucchini hits the pan. You see it pictured over noodles as well, but I often enjoy it over quinoa or farro. And, this one is an oldie (posted in 2010), but these quick pickled zucchini are always nice to have on hand.

Pasta with Smashed Zucchini Cream

Other favorite noodle recipes include: this incredible vegan ramen, my favorite pad thai, sriracha rainbow noodle salad, and black sesame otsu. Or browse this list of tasty noodle soups!

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Chocolate Dipped Biscotti https://www.101cookbooks.com/biscotti-recipe/ https://www.101cookbooks.com/biscotti-recipe/#comments Fri, 15 May 2020 23:10:21 +0000 https://www.101cookbooks.com/?p=9435 Sesame studded and heavily scented with crushed fennel seeds and chamomile, these chocolate dipped biscotti punctuated my espressos this week.

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Sesame studded and heavily scented with crushed fennel seeds and chamomile, these chocolate dipped biscotti punctuated my espressos all week. They were the petite treats I looked forward to. If you’ve never baked biscotti before, they’re a lot of fun, and quite adaptable. The main thing? You double bake them. First with the biscotti dough shaped into a long loaf. And a second time after you’ve baked and sliced those loaves into biscotti.

Chocolate Dipped Biscotti Recipe
You can play around with the flavors here, but the way the fennel seeds and chamomile complements the chocolate is really fantastic (I used, and loved, Guittard 66% organic semisweet). That said, I’ll offer up some alternative suggestions down below, because I totally get that not everyone keeps chamomile around 😉 xx!
Chocolate Dipped Biscotti Recipe

Biscotti Tips:

A couple things I should point out:

Rolling Technique: First, make sure to roll your dough into a tight shape (pictured below). This way, when you go to slice your biscotti after the first bake, they’ll hold their shape. You don’t want crumbling biscotti going into the second bake. A serrated knife is the way to go for slicing, using a quick sawing motion, and not too much downward pressure.

Texture and Baking: If you like a cake-y biscotti, slice them a shade thicker and bake them for a hint less time. If you like a crunchier, more structured biscotti, slice them a shade thinner, and bake them a bit longer (consider flipping them toward the end to really get both side toasty).

Storage: On the storage front. They’ll keep in an air-tight container for a couple of weeks.

Chocolate Dipped Biscotti Recipe

Variations

Herbs: I love herbs like rosemary, thyme, and lavender in biscotti. You can experiment with those. Chop and add to your dough with the other dry ingredients. Go easy, make notes, and adjust each time you bake them. A teaspoon is a good place to start.

Spices: A bit of turmeric, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, all are welcome here. Basically if it’s a flavor you can imagine being good in a muffin, it’s fair game here. Or, pre blended spices. My favorite chana masala blend is magic here, and garam masala is a good fit as well. 

Citrus Zest: Lemon zest, makrut lime zest (or minced leaves), orange zest – all add a sunny punch of flavor.

Outer Texture: I rolled these biscotti in sesame seeds to add some texture and boost the flavor inside the cookies, but you could go in all sorts of directions. You could roll them in large grains of sugar, for a crunchy, shardy texture. Or, poppy seeds (or a blend of seeds) could be nice. Or, you could add some sort of flavor boost or ingredient to the egg wash you do before the first bake.
Chocolate Dipped Biscotti Recipe

This is what my biscotti looked like when they came out of the oven after their second bake. Once you’ve sliced your biscotti, for the second bake, you can put them all on one pan. They’ve already risen, so you don’t need to distance them the way you would with most other cookies.
Chocolate Dipped Biscotti Recipe
If biscotti aren’t your thing, but you’re still up for a baking adventure, I love these brownies, this Devil’s Food Cake, these snickerdoodles, or the swirl cake from last week.

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Chocolate Almond Swirl Cake https://www.101cookbooks.com/chocolate-almond-swirl-cake/ https://www.101cookbooks.com/chocolate-almond-swirl-cake/#comments Sat, 09 May 2020 02:49:12 +0000 https://www.101cookbooks.com/?p=9417 A fun swirl cake made with a beautiful yellow olive oil cake paired with classic chocolate buttercream frosting that has been bolstered with an entire tablespoon of almond extract.

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Buckle up everyone! I’m going to counter all the recent bean recipes with a birthday cake. It was Wayne’s birthday this week and I felt like a special cake was in order. I wanted to make something that looked classic from the outside, with a surprise when you slice into it. I also wanted to combine all the flavors he loves – chocolate, olive oil, almond, and a good kiss of salt to balance the sweet. He’s always showing me photos of crazy cakes, so I thought it’d be fun to bake him some sort of a swirl cake.

Chocolate Almond Swirl Cake

The Swirl Cake Game Plan

Swirl cakes, zebra cakes, and tiger cakes all have three main components: the base cake, the swirl, and the frosting or icing. For this version I made an incredibly moist and fragrant olive oil cake to use for the base and swirl. It’s a favorite made with yogurt which helps keep things tender. The tangy note of the yogurt nicely balances out the sweetness as well. And then there’s the frosting. The frosting here is classic chocolate buttercream bolstered with an entire tablespoon of almond extract. On the swirl front I ended up doing two versions to see which one I liked better – one I envisioned with a hot pink dragonfruit or raspberry swirl (I had such high hopes!!), and another with classic chocolate. 
Chocolate Almond Swirl Cake

How to Assemble a Swirl Cake

This is what a swirl cake looks like (above) just out of the oven. When you slice into it you get beautiful striping and swirls depending on how you layer or swirl the batter. For a cake like this I use a ratio of about 2 parts yellow cake batter to 1 part chocolate cake batter. You do 2 big spoonfuls of batter into the center bulls-eye of your prepared cake pan, and then top it with one spoonful of chocolate. Repeat until all the batter is gone. Always placing the batter onto the bulls-eye.Chocolate Almond Swirl Cake Recipe

The Frosting

Before we get to the details, just a reminder to let your cake cool completely before you attempt to frost it. And before you go to mix up your buttercream, make sure your buttercream is at a nice, mild, room temperature. Not too warm, not too cool. You want it to whip up nice and billowy. If your kitchen is too warm, and your butter is starting to get a little sweaty looking as you mix it (or at any point, really). Just give it a few minutes in the refrigerator.Chocolate Almond Swirl Cake
To make this shape cut a square cake in half, and stack.

A Tasty Fail

You can see a couple of in-process shots (below) of the version of the swirl cake made with dragon fruit puree. You know those smoothie packets? I pureed one of those. And it looked incredibly promising all through the bake. The disappointment came when you sliced into the cake. If you were expecting bold stripes, no dice. But if you were expecting a really delicious cake, we’re still in business. If you want to make this version – do it for the flavor, not the visual. Mix 1/4 cup of the puree into about half of the yellow cake batter, and skip the cocoa. 
Chocolate Almond Swirl Cake
Before the bake (above), after the bake (below). 
Chocolate Almond Swirl Cake
Swirl cakes are a lot of fun. And you can play around with all the different components of your cake if you have another frosting you like, favorite base cake recipe, or even the shape. 

Or, if swirl cakes aren’t your thing but you still want to make something sweet and tasty try these brownies, this Devil’s Food Cake, this popular chocolate cake, or skip the cake altogether, and churn up some berry swirl ice cream.

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Homemade Refried Beans https://www.101cookbooks.com/refried-beans/ https://www.101cookbooks.com/refried-beans/#comments Sat, 02 May 2020 01:57:25 +0000 https://www.101cookbooks.com/?p=9404 If you've only ever had refried beans from a can, this should be the next recipe you cook. Homemade refried beans are a game-changer. Use just the right amount of olive oil to cook well-minced onions along with the beans and plenty of their broth. Smoked paprika adds a hint of smoky depth you can't quite put a finger on, my secret ingredient is a finishing splash of freshly squeezed lemon juice. I think it's the element that helps keep the beans from seeming too heavy, and the acidity counters the starchiness of the beans.

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If you’ve only had refried beans from a can, this should be the next recipe you cook. Homemade refried beans are a game-changer. They’re simple to make and having them on hand makes it simple to throw together meals for days. Think tacos, tostadas, chilaquiles, and next-level bean dips. There are a lot of opinions about how to make refried beans. I’ll just say this: when I’m home alone, and there’s no one else to share a meal with, this is how I cook them. This version is so incredibly good that I usually just enjoy them by the spoonful. But it’s also so simple that I didn’t think to share the recipe here until a number of you asked when you saw me cooking in one of my Stories recently. So here we go!
Homemade Refried Beans Recipe

My Refried Bean Technique

The way I cook refried beans is quite straight-forward, although I do have a couple somewhat unconventional moves that I stand by. I like my beans with depth and flavor, while still maintaining some brightness and lightness. I use just the right amount of olive oil to cook well-minced onions along with the beans and plenty of their broth. Smoked paprika adds a hint of smoky depth you can’t quite put a finger on, while keeping things vegetarian. My secret ingredient is a finishing splash of freshly squeezed lemon juice. I think it’s the element that helps keep the beans from seeming too heavy, and the acidity counters the starchiness of the beans. Don’t skimp on the lemon juice.
Pinto Beans in a Clay Pot

Good Beans Matter

I feel like a bit of a broken record. You hear this from me every time I feature a bean recipe. Try to purchase dried beans from a source that has good turnover. You don’t want to buy a bag of dusty, sad beans that has been on the shelf too long. Bulk sections of grocery stores often move through their beans and pulses quickly, or keep your eyes peeled for dried beans at your local farmers markets, co-ops, and the like. Or, search around for heirloom beans online – there are so many wonderful beautiful varietals. I use pinto beans here, but you can certainly explore other types of beans – black beans, cranberry beans, etc. Play around!
Homemade Refried Beans Recipe

Mash Before Cooking

One last thing I’ll mention before we get to the recipe. A lot of people like to mash their beans at the end of the cooking process, but I usually do it at the beginning. It’s less messy this way, you aren’t working over a hot burner, and I find it easier to get the the consistency just right. I’ll mention it down below, a potato masher is great for this. Any mashing tool: a pestle in a bowl, a big fork, whatever can smash beans. A few pulses with a hand blender can also work, but I like the consistency you get from doing it by hand, and there’s no extra appliance to wash.

I hope you try these! They really are one of my favorite simple culinary pleasures. And if you’re on the lookout for other bean inspiration I’ve done this post about how to cook beans that are tender, creamy and nearly perfect using an easy, lower temperature long cooking method. Enjoy!

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Sunshine Pad Thai (Vegetarian) https://www.101cookbooks.com/pad-thai-recipe/ https://www.101cookbooks.com/pad-thai-recipe/#comments Thu, 30 Apr 2020 23:15:00 +0000 https://www.101cookbooks.com/wp101/archives/sunshine-pad-thai-vegetarian-recipe.html The pad thai recipe you're looking for! Try this simple trick to make a turmeric noodle version.

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Pad thai is nearly always a crowd-pleaser. It’s the sort of food that’s good, even when it’s bad. I mean, everyone loves a noodle-based stir-fry. Also, all the gluten-free people can get on board, because, rice noodles. Today’s pad thai recipe is the riff I’ve been making lately – combining a Thai heart and a California spirit. Hot water is traditionally used to soften the rice noodles. I boost that water with lots of turmeric and the noodles drink it up until they glow a hot yellow. Also, this typically ends up being a one-dish meal for us, and I can’t help but add a significant green component. Enter broccolini.

Sunshine Pad Thai (Vegetarian)

The Pad Thai Set Up

Like any other stir fry, you want to have all your ingredients prepped, and your noodles soaked before you fire up the burner. Once you start cooking, things go down fast. For this recipe I have you cook the broccolini first, remove it from the pan, and then proceed with the recipe. One pan meal.

Sunshine Pad Thai (Vegetarian)

The other wild card here is in relation to the bean sprouts. Sometimes, none of the stores within walking distance of my house have them, or they are sad looking. I substitute dice celery, which I actually love – lots of crunch and flavor! Hope you enjoy!

Sunshine Pad Thai (Vegetarian)

Variations

A number of you have left tweak and variations in the comments that I wanted to highlight. Shanti noted, “I used normal broccoli and also threw in peppers and carrots I had lying around for extra crunch.” Similarly, Christine says, “we used regular broccoli instead of broccolini – next time I will use even more. I also used both celery AND sprouts to up the veggie content.” Jen is a cook after my own heart (using what she had on hand) saying, “Made this with what I had – broccoli, cashews for peanuts, no green onion or bean sprouts/celery – and brown rice noodles. Still delicious!”

Sunshine Pad Thai (Vegetarian)
For you turmeric lovers, you can also browse these turmeric recipes. This pad thai recipe is one of my favorite ways to incorporate the super spice, but you’ll find lots of other ideas as well. Enjoy!

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How to Cook Beans that are Tender, Creamy, and Nearly Perfect https://www.101cookbooks.com/how-to-cook-beans/ https://www.101cookbooks.com/how-to-cook-beans/#comments Sat, 25 Apr 2020 02:19:21 +0000 https://www.101cookbooks.com/?p=9386 The best way I know to cook beans, and the one I always return to. A version of the much-loved Tuscan bean recipe - fagioli al fiasco. Traditionally, beans were baked overnight in a Chianti bottle placed near the embers of that night's fire. While not exactly authentic (no fire here), I do a riff on the general idea, using a low-temperature oven and enamel-lined pot.

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This is a recipe I included in Near & Far in 2015 inspired by a trip to Italy a few years prior to that. It’s arguably the best way I know to cook beans, a version of the much-loved Tuscan bean recipe – fagioli al fiasco. And it’s the method I always return to. Traditionally, beans were baked overnight in a Chianti bottle placed near the embers of that night’s fire. While not exactly authentic (no fire here), I do a riff on the general idea, using a low-temperature oven and enamel-lined pot. The technique couldn’t be simpler and if you want to know how to cook beans that are beautifully luxe, tender, and creamy this is the recipe to try.How to Cook Beans that are Tender, Creamy, and Nearly Perfect

What kind of Beans to Buy?

The beans pictured here are Rancho Gordo cranberry beans. Velvety and thin-skinned they are an absolute dream to cook with. You can also use cannellini or cassoulet beans. I mean, in all honestly, most beans cooked this way are going to be wonderful. The main thing I would pay attention to is source. Buy beans from a place that has good turnover, or from a farmer or company you know and trust. Buying beans that have been sitting around or stored for years can be a problem. The beans stay tough, etc. 
How to Cook Beans that are Tender, Creamy, and Nearly Perfect

The Magic of Bean Broth

The key to these beans is their simplicity. It’s one of those occasions where you just really need to keep it basic. Use good beans, good garlic, and good olive oil. The gentle, steady heat of your oven will coax the handful of ingredients into a beautiful, brothy pot of beans. Keep in mind, the bean broth is special in its own right, and I love to sip it straight from the pot. It’s freckled with chile flakes and dotted with olive oil and you should savor every tablespoon of it. The bean broth here is somehow exponentially better than when I cook beans on the stovetop. 
How to Cook Beans that are Tender, Creamy, and Nearly Perfect

Ideas Related to Serving Beans

You can enjoy these beans on their own, use them to top bruschetta, or ladle them over pasta. We had them for lunch this afternoon on top of fresh-off-the-comal masa tortillas that had been slathered with avocado and a smear of a Cali-style chermoula sauce. In fact, that’s what we’ve had for lunch the past three days. Laugh/cry.

Leftovers! I used the last of this pot of beans in an impromptu casserole by tossing 2/3 beans (and broth) with 1/3 leftover short pasta and a bit of torn mozzarella in an 8×8-inch baking dish. Top with a bit more cheese, lemon zest, scallions, and lots of herby bread crumbs. Bake, covered for 35 minutes or until bubbly and hot. So good! It was just right served alongside asparagus and a simple salad. Bad picture below!

How to Cook Beans that are Tender, Creamy, and Nearly Perfect
If you’re interested in an Instant Pot version of this recipe, I’ve got you. And if you’re looking for other basic, pantry-friendly recipes, have a look at the rice recipes (particularly this green rice), or these pasta recipes (this pasta with creamy crushed walnut sauce is quite popular rn). There are also a lot of bean recipes in the archives, don’t miss this simple farro & bean stew, this carrot, dill & white bean salad, and ribollita is always a crowd-pleaser. If you’re interested in seeing me cook these, I’m going to post the video here (under the Cooking III highlights). Please enjoy!

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Lime & Blistered Peanut Coleslaw https://www.101cookbooks.com/coleslaw-recipe/ https://www.101cookbooks.com/coleslaw-recipe/#comments Wed, 22 Apr 2020 16:45:16 +0000 https://www.101cookbooks.com/wp101/archives/lime-peanut-coleslaw-recipe.html This feather-light, mayo-free, coleslaw recipe uses blistered peanuts, cherry tomatoes, and lime vinaigrette and is perfect alongside fajitas, or whatever you have coming off the grill. Keep in mind - great coleslaw is rooted in great knife skills.

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If you ask me, a great coleslaw recipe is created with good knife skills and a short list of easy-to-find ingredients. Equal importance being placed on both ingredients and the cut of the cabbage. When cabbage is cut into ribbons that are too wide, the slaw ends up awkward, heavy, and daunting on the fork. If the pieces are too long, cheeks get dirtied with dressing-soaked cabbage sticks – awkward and messy. I like to shred my cabbage into ribbons that are thin as can be, half a pencil width at most. The cabbage becomes feather light and yet each bite maintains the perfect amount of coleslaw crunch.

Lime & Blistered Peanut Coleslaw Recipe

Inspiration for this Coleslaw

When Wayne and I visited Mexico City I discovered a simple snack that quickly became a favorite – salt-kissed peanuts that tasted as if they had been misted with lime. I made this coleslaw the other night with those flavors in mind. It builds on the peanut salad I included in Super Natural Cooking and is a tasty (and colorful) alternative to more typical, mayo-based coleslaws. I made it to go along with fajitas, but I suspect it would be a welcome addition to any potluck, BBQ, or summertime party or picnic – tacos, burgers, or whatever else you have planned for this holiday weekend.

Lime & Blistered Peanut Coleslaw Recipe

Ingredients & Variations

I’ve been buying my tomatoes direct from farmers. If tomatoes aren’t your thing right now, I would substitute chopped avocado and red onion. Or, now that I’m thinking about it – shredded apple, or apple slices, or jicama. Other ideas: roasted cherry tomatoes in place of the fresh ones – would take longer but would add an entirely different flavor profile. 

Lime & Blistered Peanut Coleslaw Recipe

Creamy Coleslaw

You can easily make this a creamier coleslaw by adding a dollop of your favorite mayo or yogurt after the initial tossing of ingredients – before you add the peanuts. It’s one of those things that is all about personal preference. Sometimes a hint of creamy is perfect, but some people really like to go for it! I mean, I’ve definitely had conversations with people convinced that a good coleslaw is as much about the mayo as it is about the cabbage.
Lime & Blistered Peanut Coleslaw Recipe
This coleslaw is great for picnics and BBQs, alongside other classics like macaroni salad, this sriracha rainbow noodle salad, ultimate veggie burgers, corn salad, and the like. There’s a whole list of salad recipes if you’d like to browse, as well as lots of summer recipes here. Enjoy!

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Fluffy Pancakes https://www.101cookbooks.com/pancake-recipe/ https://www.101cookbooks.com/pancake-recipe/#comments Tue, 21 Apr 2020 17:10:19 +0000 https://www.101cookbooks.com/wp101/archives/001464.html A pancake recipe that delivers a beautiful, classic stack with impossibly tender crumb and golden edges. The pancakes have lightness and lift, and good color. The recipe is also endlessly adaptable based on what you have on hand.

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I first posted this pancake recipe in 2006, and figured it was time to elaborate a bit. It’s a recipe I use it a lot, resulting in a beautiful, classic stack of pancakes with impossibly tender crumb and golden edges. The pancakes have lightness and lift, and good color. That said, the real reason I love this recipe is because it’s endlessly adaptable. I’ve used it as a base pancake recipe and jumping off point for endless pancake adaptations and I heartily encourage you to do the same. You can experiment with a range of flours, liquids, and add-ins, and I list off a number of suggestions below.
Fluffy Pancakes Recipe

Buttermilk, Yogurt, or Milk? – use what you’ve got!

You can make these pancakes with just about any liquid you have on hand. I’ve listed them in order of preference. Buttermilk is wonderful, but yogurt works like a dream too. Not everyone keeps buttermilk on hand, but many people have a cup of yogurt. Go for it! Thin Greek yogurt with an equal amount of water, so for this recipe I’d combine 1 cup + 2 tablespoons Greek Yogurt with the same amount of water. If you’re using a standard yogurt don’t bother thinning it.

Both of the above (buttermilk or yogurt) are A-plus choices. Don’t have other of those? Dairy milk, oat milk, and almond milk will all give you good results. When using one of these, allow the batter to sit for 5-10 minutes before cooking, allowing the batter to thicken a bit.

Experiment with Different Flours in Your Pancakes

I’ll start by saying, you can use all-purpose flour in these pancakes. But, by all means, experiment with more nutritious whole-grain flours if you have them (I have suggestions below and in the recipe). White whole wheat flour works wonderfully here. It’s the Trojan horse of whole-grain flours, because for finicky people who won’t eat anything brown or wholesome you can pass it off as white. It is made from a strain of hard white winter wheat berries and the nutritious bran and germ aren’t processed out the way they are in all-purpose white flour. The white whole wheat flour makes for a tender crumb.

Rye Pancakes: Replace about 1/2 of the all-purpose flour with rye flour.

Oatmeal Pancakes: Replace 1/3 cup of the flour with quick cooking oats or oatmeal you’ve blitzed int a blender. These are particularly good with slices of banana cooked in. Sprinkled with a bit of brown sugar in place of syrup.

Tiny Grain Pancakes: Stir 1/2 cup cooked quinoa or millet into your batter.

Blueberry Beet Pancakes (Vegan):  If you’re looking for a colorful vegan pancake variation – hearty, substantial, delicious, and kid-friendly. 

Variations From other Cooks

A number of you have left helpful comments for tweaks and variations to this recipe over the years and I wanted to list off a couple:

Lactose Intolerant: Jenny noted, “I just made these this morning for my lactose-intolerant twins, substituting the 2 1/4 C buttermilk for 1C soy milk. They were absolutely awesome! I ground 2 C wheat berries, which made 4C flour, and doubled the recipe for my large family.” 

Lots of Bran: Rachael says, “I would really encourage you to try adding bran to your waffles or pancakes next time. I substitute up to half of my flour with bran (sometimes have to reduce the liquid a bit or add in something thicker, like yogurt, because the bran doesn’t absorb milk)… it lends a wonderfully nutty flavor to things and it lightens the texture substantially, not to mentioned the good-for-you fiber.

Extra Credit Fluffy

I’ve tweaked the recipe here to have you separate your eggs, and beat the whites into fluffy peaks. It’s an annoying step, and requires extra effort, but is arguably worth it. You fold the whites into your batter as a last step before cooking, and it adds a really nice lightness to the pancake batter. That said, if you’re not feeling up to it, no big deal – lightly beat the two eggs and add them to the liquid mixture.
Fluffy Pancakes Recipe

Favorite Toppings for your Pancakes

Whole Blueberry Maple Syrup: This is my favorite syrup for these pancakes and worth the bit of extra effort to make. It’s delicious, fragrant and beautiful without being overly sweet. To make blueberry maple syrup put half of a 6-ounce basket of blueberries, 1/4 cup sugar, 1/4 cup maple syrup, and 2 tablespoons of water in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Heat and stir until the sugar dissolves. Simmer for 5 or 6 minutes or until the blueberries begin to split. Remove from heat and press the blueberry mixture through a fine strainer into a bowl. Mash the fruit to get all the juiciness extracted. Throw out the solids. Stir the remaining blueberries into the warm syrup and set aside. You can use whatever sugar you like here – white, brown, coconut sugar, etc.

Churro-style Cinnamon Sugar: Combine 2 tablespoons cinnamon with 1/2 cup sugar and stir well. Sprinkle generously across hot buttered pancakes. You can experiment with the sugar blend beyond this as well, adding a pinch of ground cloves or curry powder, and/or crushed rose petals.

Tasty Add-Ins

Berries: If you’re adding berries to your pancakes, add them to your pancakes after they’re on the griddle. This way your pancake batter retains its color.

Bananas: If you’re adding slices of banana to your pancakes, add them after the pancakes are on the griddle.

Boosts: Adding a boost of oat bran, wheat germ, nutritional yeast, kale or beet powder, hemp or flax seeds is always an option. I usually start with a tablespoon or two.

Some Cooking Tips

My pan of choice for pancakes is cast iron, but any pan that holds steady heat is fine. The key is getting and maintaining the right temperature. Too much heat and you end up with burned pancakes that are under-cooked in the middle. Too little heat, and they take forever to cook, and they end up with a bit dry with a toughened crumb. I tend to start  at a lower temperature than I think I’ll want, and creep it up from there.

Keep Those Pancakes Warm!

Unless you have a griddle, or multiple pans going, you’re going to need make your pancakes in batches. And you don’t want your first round to go cold while you’re making the next. If you have a cooling rack you use for cookies, you can deploy it here. Place pancakes, preferably in a single layer, on the cooling rack after transferring from the skillet, and place them in a 200F oven to keep warm. I like the cooling rack better than a plate because it allows air to circulate around the entire pancake. This way, the bottom sides of the hot pancakes won’t get soggy.

Enjoy the pancakes! If you’re looking for breakfast recipes don’t miss this healthy granola, or the best waffle recipe (seriously!), these homemade cinnamon rolls, a loaded frittata, tofu scramble, Herb Cream Cheese Scrambled Eggs, and the baked oatmeal is always popular. Ooh – I also love this Cinnamon Vanilla Sunflower Butter on freshly baked toast. 

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