Monday, August 17, 2009

Peach Raspberry Coffee Cake; Romaine, Grilled Avocado, and Smoky Corn Salad with Chipotle-Caesar Dressing; Chickpea Flour Pizza w/ Tomatoes and Parm

And a final installment to Cooking at the Lake House with Nancy, Jenni, and Vicci will combine Sunday breakfast and lunch.

Unfortunately, Nancy needed to leave late Saturday afternoon to go to a wedding so Jenni and I were on our own. We went to a Middle Eastern restaurant for dinner where we had to-die-for hummus and were served shish kebabs (on skewers the size of swords!) balanced on large platters of rice. We both took at least half of our meal home (although we did eat our desserts to the point of almost licking the plate—whoever devised the recipe for Choclava, baklava layered with bittersweet chocolate served warm and drizzled with more chocolate, was an absolute GENIUS).

For Sunday breakfast, Peach Raspberry Coffee Cake and yet more fruit salad. :)

I made this coffee cake the previous weekend and wanted to “tweak” it a little before posting. And, it is a perfect “guest breakfast” because the dry ingredients can be put together even days before, then the liquid ingredients are mixed, the peaches sliced, and then it is put together and baked.

This is adapted from recipe found in an old Eating Well magazine (1993!), I used half white whole wheat flour and pureed pears in place of half of the canola oil, and I cut the sugar in the cake a little since the topping was sweet. The original recipe used nectarines, but I had peaches which were riper so I used them. I also added almond extract and, since I love the taste of peaches with almonds, I subbed pecans in the original recipe with chopped toasted almonds. The topping was a surprising mixture of Grape Nuts cereal, brown sugar, and nuts which added texture and flavor without a lot of fat (as some buttery streusel toppings do). In the following recipe I increased the amount of raspberries because there didn’t seem to be enough of them.

It was very good. Very.

I did not have a 9” springform pan which the original recipe called for, so I used a 10” cast iron skillet for both versions of this coffee cake and it worked great (with some measurement alterations). The crust was crispy, it looked pretty, but I did have to play around with the baking time and oven heat.

Here is the peach, raspberry, and almond version:

* Exported from MasterCook *

Peach-Raspberry Coffee Cake

Recipe By: Vicci

Servings: 10

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method

-------- ------------ --------------------------------

1/3 cup Grape-Nuts® -- cereal

2 tablespoons brown sugar

3 tablespoons toasted almonds -- chopped

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup white whole wheat flour

1/3 cup sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 large egg whites

1 large egg

1 cup lowfat buttermilk

2 tablespoons canola oil

3 tablespoons pureed pears

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3/4 teaspoon almond extract

2 medium peaches -- sliced 1/8" thick

2/3 cup fresh raspberries -- (can used frozen if fresh are not available)

Position rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 375F. Spray nonstick cooking spray into a 10" diameter cast iron skillet and set aside.

Mix topping ingredients, Grape Nuts through cinnamon, in a small bowl and set aside.

In a large bowl, stir together the flours through salt and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg whites through almond extract. Make a "well" in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the egg mixture. Stir gently until just blended. Pour into the prepared skillet.

Arrange fruit, overlapping somewhat, in a layer on top of the batter, then arrange the raspberries on top. Sprinkle evenly with the topping.

Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes, then cut and serve.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Per serving: 258 Calories (kcal); 5g Total Fat (1g Saturated); (18% calories from fat); 8g Protein; 46g Carbohydrate; 20mg Cholesterol; 449mg Sodium

Food Exchanges: 1 Grain(Starch); 0 Lean Meat; 0 Vegetable; 0 Fruit; 1 Fat; 1/2 Other Carbohydrates

Okay, now on to lunch.

Jenni had suggested a salad which sounded very intriguing, Romaine, Grilled Avocado and Smoky Corn Salad with Chipotle Caesar Dressing, from Gourmet. Because I love the spicy smokiness of chipotles, I jumped on the idea. And I was not disappointed. Corn on the cob and avocado were grilled and, after the corn was sliced off the cob, mixed with chopped romaine then tossed with a wonderfully complex dressing of Parmesan, olive oil, lime juice, garlic, and chipotles.

Romaine, Grilled Avocado, and Smoky Corn Salad with Chipotle-Caesar Dressing

Serves 4 (main course) or 6 (side dish)

  • Active time:30 min
  • Start to finish:40 min

June 2009

Grilled avocado is one of those things that sound faintly ridiculous until you try it—then you wonder why you never had it before.

  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon minced canned chipotle chiles in adobo
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 ears of corn, shucked
  • 2 firm-ripe 6- to 8-oz avocados, halved and pitted but not peeled
  • 1 head romaine (1 lb), tough outer leaves discarded and head quartered lengthwise, then cut crosswise into 1-inch strips
  • Prepare grill for direct-heat cooking over hot charcoal (high heat for gas)
  • Put parmesan in a medium bowl and add olive oil in a slow stream, whisking. Whisk in lime juice, garlic, chipotles, and 1/4 tsp each of salt and pepper.
  • Rub vegetable oil on corn and cut sides of avocados, then season with 1/8 tsp each of salt and pepper. Grill avocados, cut sides down, and corn, covered only if using a gas grill, turning corn occasionally, until golden-brown, 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Peel avocados and thinly slice. Cut corn kernels from cobs.
  • Toss romaine with dressing and serve topped with avocado and corn.

Cooks’ note:

  • Corn and avocados can be grilled, in batches if necessary, in a lightly oiled hot grill pan over medium-high heat.

It was a perfect, light lunch.

We also made Madhur Jaffrey’s “Chickpea Flour Pizza with Tomatoes and Parmesan” which was featured in Food & Wine. Now this was interesting.

I pressed my 10” cast iron skillet into use once more to cook this. It is quite simple, the chickpea flour is mixed with salt and water and allowed to rest for a half hour, then some rosemary is stirred in. Olive oil is heated in the skillet and the batter poured in. Now, it looks very odd, as it is a thin batter and you don’t expect it to firm up at all, but after a couple of minutes it does.

You then sprinkle tomato, Parmesan, and ground black pepper over the top and broil until crisp.

It was delicious, but Jack (who joined us for lunch) said that it was not nearly enough in quantity, that he could have eaten a whole one by himself. Next time… ;)


  1. 2/3 cup chickpea flour (see Notes)
  2. 1/3 teaspoon salt
  3. 1 cup water
  4. 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped rosemary
  5. 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  6. 2 tablespoons chopped tomato
  7. 1 tablespoon finely chopped onion
  8. 3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  9. 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper


  1. Preheat the broiler. Sift the chickpea flour with the salt into a medium bowl. Slowly add 1/4 cup of the water, whisking constantly to form a paste. Beat with a wooden spoon until smooth. Whisk in the remaining 3/4 cup of water and let the batter stand at room temperature for 30 minutes, then stir in the rosemary.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a 12-inch nonstick ovenproof skillet. Stir the batter once, pour it into the skillet and drizzle the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil on top. Cook the pizza over moderately high heat until the bottom is golden and crisp and the top is almost set, 2 to 3 minutes. Burst any large air bubbles with the tip of a knife.
  3. Sprinkle the tomato, onion, Parmesan and pepper over the top, then place the skillet under the broiler and cook until the pizza is golden and crisp, 4 to 5 minutes. Slide the pizza onto a work surface, cut into wedges and serve hot.


Chickpea flour is available at Indian and Middle Eastern markets, at health-food stores and by mail.

Alas, all good things must come to an end and so it was with our cooking weekend with my friends. But I can count on, sometime in late February or early March, receiving an e-mail from Jenni which will begin “Hey, I just saw a recipe that would be great for our lake house weekend!”


1 Comment:

Ashley said...

I love using cast iron for cooking - great recipes!