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You'll find over 355 of my favorite recipes here, including ideas for Quick meals, Cooking for 2, Feasting on Leftovers, and cooking with 5 Ingredients or Less. I'm adding new posts regularly; you can subscribe by email or RSS feed if you'd like to receive the latest recipes. Bon appétit!

Oven Fried Curly Fries

July 24, 2015

By Kath Dedon

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I was intrigued by all of the spiral cut vegetables I had been seeing on the Internet. Zucchini noodles are everywhere! And people seem to love using them instead of pasta.

So…when I saw last week that Amazon was featuring the Paderno Tri-Blade Spiral Vegetable Slicer as one of their sale items on Prime Day I took the bait.

I could have made zucchini noodles, a spiralized cucumber salad, or any number of low-carb healthy dishes. What did I make the first time I used my spiral slicer? Why, Oven Fried Curly Fries, of course!

My new kitchen toy cut the potato very quickly. It feels like a solidly-built gadget that will stand the test of time. We shall see.

The strips of potatoes were very long, so I cut them down to a more manageable length with a pair of kitchen scissors. After a quick toss with olive oil and a sprinkle of salt they were ready for the oven.

The Oven Fried Curly Fries were delicious and fun to eat! Bob totally approved and I know I’ll be making these fries again.

If you don’t have a spiral slicer, you could use a sharp knife to cut a potato into very thin fries and then proceed with the recipe. They won’t have the fun curly shape but they’ll still be tasty!

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Oven Fried Curly Fries, served with grilled chicken sausage, grilled eggplant, and a salad.

Oven baked spiral cut potatoes

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Oven Fried Curly Fries

(Adapted from Davida’s recipe on The Healthy Maven)

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(print the recipe)

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Serves 2

 

1 large russet potato

1 tablespoon oil

Salt, to taste

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A 12.75-ounce russet potato is big enough to serve 2!

Russet potato

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1. Preheat the oven to 400˚.

2. Cut the potato with a spiral slicer. Use scissors to cut the long strips into shorter lengths.

Paderno Spiral Vegetable Slicer

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Spiralized potato

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3. Put the potatoes in a bowl and toss with the oil.

4. Spread the potatoes out on a large parchment lined baking sheet. (I don’t know if the parchment paper is necessary. I had some, so I used it.)

Ready for the oven

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5. Bake for 15 minutes. Turn the fries over with a spatula.

6. Bake for an additional 5 – 10 minutes, or until done they way you like them.

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2 Oven baked spiral cut potatoes

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Chop Salad with Corn, Sugar Snap Peas, and Bacon

July 18, 2015

By Kath Dedon

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We celebrated Bob’s birthday with Slow Cooker Chicken Mole, Rice, and this Chop Salad with Corn, Snap Peas, and Bacon from Tom Douglas’ Tom’s Big Dinners. Dessert was Baklava!

Because this Chop Salad is so full of vegetables, it was perfect with the Chicken Mole. It took a bit of time to do all of the slicing and dicing, but since the Baklava had been made earlier in the day and the chicken was cooking in the slow cooker it was easy to give my full attention to the salad.

This Chop Salad with Corn, Snap Peas, and Bacon is very colorful and would be a perfect salad to take to a summer potluck party. Everything can be prepared ahead of time; add the lettuce and toss with the dressing just before serving.

I followed Tom’s recipe pretty closely, although I did omit the basil leaves (Bob’s not crazy about basil) and the Parmesan cheese. The cheese probably would have been good but I wanted the vegetables to be the stars with the bacon playing a major supporting role.

Tom suggests being creative with it. You could use diced salami instead of the bacon, or diced Gouda instead of the Parmesan. You could add diced celery or garbanzo beans. His only rule is that everything should be diced into small pieces and there should be more vegetables than lettuce.

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Chop Salad with Corn, Snap Peas, and Bacon

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Chop Salad with Corn, Snap Peas, and Bacon

Adapted from a Tom Douglas recipe in Tom’s Big Dinners

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(print the recipe)

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Serves 8

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½ pound bacon (about 5 slices of thick bacon)

6 ounces sugar snap peas (1½ cups), strings removed, cut in half on a diagonal

1½ cups fresh corn kernels (about 2 ears)

1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded, and cut into ¼-inch dice

1 medium carrot, peeled and grated

½ medium red bell pepper, cut into ¼-inch dice

½ bunch radishes, thinly sliced (about ½ cup)

½ bunch green onions, thinly sliced (about ¾ cup)

½ pint cherry tomatoes, cut in half

½ head romaine lettuce (about 4 cups chopped)

1 cup fresh basil leaves (about 1 ounce), cut into thin strips (optional, I didn’t use)

½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (optional, I didn’t use)

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Mustard Vinaigrette

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

2 teaspoons minced garlic (about 2 cloves)

½ cup olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

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1. Cook the bacon in a skillet over medium-low heat. Drain on paper towels and chop into small pieces.

2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and have a bowl of ice water ready. When the water’s boiling, add a bit of salt and the sugar snap peas and corn. Cook for 1 minute, then drain and put the peas and corn in the ice water for a few minutes. Drain the peas and corn and set aside. (I spread them out on a paper towel-lined baking sheet to help them dry out.)

3. Make the vinaigrette. Put the vinegar, lemon juice, mustard and garlic in a bowl. Whisk together while slowly pouring in the olive oil so it emulsifies. (Or do as I did and shake it all up in a Blender Bottle if you have one.) Season to taste with salt and pepper.

4. When ready to serve, chop the lettuce and put it in a bowl. Add the peas, corn, cucumber, carrot, red pepper, radishes, green onions, tomatoes, and basil if using. Toss with the vinaigrette. If using cheese, then toss in the cheese. Put the salad in a serving bowl and sprinkle the bacon over the top.

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2 Chop Salad with Corn, Snap Peas, and Bacon

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Quick Rub for Roast or Grilled Chicken

July 2, 2015

By Kath Dedon

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I’ve become a huge fan of rubs. Rubs are a great way to quickly add a lot of flavor to grilled or roasted meats. There’s no need to plan ahead to marinate the meat. A good rub makes summer meals super simple.

I recently tried my hand at Tom Douglas’ rub for salmon and it was fantastic. Inspired by that experience, I wanted to come up with a rub for chicken.

I found a rub from Bon Appétit online. They call it 4-3-2-1 Spice Rub. The numbers refer to tablespoons: 4 tablespoons kosher salt, 3 tablespoons light brown sugar, 2 tablespoons paprika, 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper. That seemed like a good place to start, but I wondered if that much salt was necessary.

I’ve played around with it over the past month. I roasted a spatchcocked chicken. (It was my first time spatchcocking. It’s very easy to do with good poultry shears.) I grilled chicken thighs over indirect heat. And most recently, I roasted chicken thighs in the oven. This Quick Rub for Roast or Grilled Chicken proved to be excellent each time.

Using half as much salt as Bon Appétit used, the rub was still excellent. I have Aleppo pepper and I used that. I don’t know if it makes a real difference. If you can’t find it, just substitute ground ancho pepper or some other ground pepper with moderate heat.

So here it is. I think it’s ready for prime time. If you try this Quick Rub for Roast or Grilled Chicken, please let me know what you think.

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Rub for Roast or Grilled Chicken

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Quick Rub for Roast or Grilled Chicken

(Inspired by Tom Douglas’ Chicken Rub and Bon Appétit’s 4-3-2-1 Spice Rub)

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(print the recipe)

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Makes about ½ cup

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3 tablespoons maple sugar (I like the flavor that maple sugar contributes, but you can substitute brown sugar.)

2 tablespoons smoked paprika

2 tablespoons kosher salt

1½ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper (or substitute ancho pepper)

1 teaspoon turmeric

1 teaspoon granulated garlic

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1. Combine all of the ingredients and store the rub in a jar.

Measured in the bowl

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Chicken Rub spices mixed together

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2. To use, generously sprinkle some rub over chicken and rub it into the skin. Roast or grill the chicken.

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Chicken thighs skin-side down in an oiled cast iron skillet. I spread the rub on this side.

rub on bottom of chicken thighs

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I turned the thighs skin-side up and generously sprinkled the rub on each one.

rub on top of thighs

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I then rubbed the rub in, covering the thighs.

rubbed in

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Ready for the oven! I roasted them in a preheated 450 degree oven for about 30 minutes.

ready to roast

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Here’s proof that I did spatchcock a chicken. This one’s ready to go into the oven. Chickens cook faster when spatchcocked, but this was a big bird and it took about 45 minutes at 450 degrees.

spatchcocked chicken

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Happy 4th of July Weekend! 

Rub for Roast or Grilled Chicken 2

All-American Potato Salad for Two

July 1, 2015

By Kath Dedon

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Lately I have been craving potato salad. Maybe it’s because it’s almost the 4th of July so you could say it’s potato salad season. But I did not want to make a big batch of potato salad for just the two of us. Leave it to America’s Test Kitchen to come to the rescue. I made their All-American Potato Salad from The Complete Cooking for Two Cookbook.

The recipe was so similar to the potato salad that I have made for years. I didn’t need to make many changes. I like to pour dill pickle juice over the hot cooked potatoes to give them more flavor. ATK used vinegar in the same way. I used both pickle juice and vinegar for this recipe.

The original recipe uses sweet pickle relish. I like sweet relish but Bob really hates it so I used dill pickle relish which worked fine. Use whichever one you prefer.

Working with small quantities, the recipe seemed easier than making enough to serve 8 – 10. It took less than an hour start to finish. It’s supposed to chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour, so it could be made early in the day before the house heats up. The only thing I had to do at dinner time was to cook some chicken and toss a Dedon House Salad.

If you’re cooking for a small household, give this All-American Potato Salad for Two a try. It’s a perfect classic potato salad and you won’t have a lot of leftovers. And it’s SO much better than your average supermarket deli potato salad. You can’t beat homemade!

P.S. The little bit that was leftover was delicious for breakfast!

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All-American Potato Salad for Two

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All-American Potato Salad for Two

(Adapted from a recipe in America’s Test Kitchen’s The Complete Cooking for Two Cookbook)

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(print the recipe)

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Serves 2 – 3

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1 pound russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch pieces

1 tablespoon kosher salt

1 tablespoon dill pickle juice

1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar

¼ cup mayonnaise

1 small celery rib, minced (about 1/3 cup)

1½ tablespoons dill pickle relish (or sweet relish, if you prefer)

1 small shallot, minced (about 2 tablespoons)

1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley

½ teaspoon dry mustard

½ teaspoon celery seeds

1 large hard-cooked egg, cut into ¼-inch pieces

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Ingredients

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1. Put the potatoes in a medium pot and add water so they are covered by one inch. Stir in the tablespoon of salt. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to simmer for 6 – 8 minutes, until tender.

2. Drain the potatoes and put them in a bowl. Pour the dill pickle juice and vinegar over them and gently stir with a spatula to distribute the juice and vinegar. Let the potatoes cool for about 20 minutes.

Cooked potatoes

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3. While the potatoes are cooling, make the dressing. Stir the mayonnaise, minced celery, pickle relish, minced shallot, minced parsley, dry mustard and celery seeds together.

Dressing ingredients

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Dressing mixed

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4. After the potatoes have cooled for about 20 minutes, gently stir the dressing and the hard-cooked egg into the potatoes. Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.

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All-American Potato Salad

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All-American Potato Salad for Two 2

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Etta’s “Rubbed with Love” Salmon

June 8, 2015

By Kath Dedon

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Back in 2001 Tom Douglas wrote in his Seattle Kitchen cookbook that “Etta’s Pit-Roasted Salmon with Grilled Shiitake Relish” had become a classic at his third Seattle restaurant, Etta’s. Etta’s opened in 1995. Today, 20 years later, you’ll still find Etta’s “Rubbed with Love” Salmon on the menu and it is still served with Etta’s Cornbread Pudding and Grilled Shiitake Relish.

Tom uses salmon fillets that have had the skin removed and he uses the spice rub on both sides. My Copper River Sockeye fillet still had the skin so I only used the rub on the flesh side. I don’t find it necessary to try to remove the skin because after the salmon is cooked it slips right off.

In the cookbook’s version of the recipe, Tom grills the salmon over a charcoal fire. But he also has a video showing how to start the salmon on the stovetop. Because the rub contains sugar, you need to keep the pan at a medium to medium-low heat so it doesn’t burn. Just a couple of minutes in the pan will beautifully brown the fish. At that point it can be turned and finished in a preheated 350 degree oven. To watch the video to see how he applies the rub (since I failed to get a photo of the rub on my fish) and to see how he cooks it click here.

When Tom wrote the cookbook it wasn’t that easy to find smoked paprika. He said you could buy Rub with Love Salmon Rub which uses the ingredient, or you could make the recipe in the book which calls for regular paprika. So if you want to make the rub yourself you can go either way. I had some Penzey’s Smoked Paprika so that’s what I used. (Since writing the book, Tom has added his own apple-smoked Smoked Paprika to his Rub with Love collection.)

Laura joined us for dinner last night. I cut the fillet into three 6.5-ounce portions and used Tom’s stovetop method. We all agreed that Etta’s “Rubbed with Love” Salmon is outstanding! The cookbook has the recipes for Etta’s Cornbread Pudding and the Grilled Shiitake Relish but I decided to keep it simple for a hot summer night. We enjoyed the salmon with corn on the cob and a salad made with lettuce from our garden. Delish!

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Etta’s “Rubbed with Love” Salmon (photo by Laura)

This photo illustrate’s how easily the skin slips off once the salmon is cooked. ;)

Etta's Rub with Love Salmon

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Etta’s “Rubbed with Love” Salmon

(Adapted from the recipe in Tom Douglas’ Seattle Kitchen)

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(print the recipe)

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I made the full recipe of the spice rub but only used half of it since I only had 3 fillets instead of 6. I saved the other half in a small jar for a future meal.

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Serves 3

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Salmon Spice Rub

3 tablespoons maple sugar (or use firmly packed brown sugar as Tom does)

2 tablespoons smoked paprika (or regular paprika if you can’t find smoked)

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1½ teaspoons freshly ground pepper

1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme

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Three 6 or 7-ounce salmon fillets

Oil for the pan (I used grapeseed oil.)

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1. Preheat the oven to 350˚.

2. Combine the five ingredients for the spice rub. Set half of it aside for another meal.

Tom Douglas' Salmon Spice Rub

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3. Preheat an oven-proof skillet over medium-low heat.

4. Just before you’re ready to cook (not more than 5 minutes before), sprinkle half of the recipe of the spice rub over the salmon. Gently press it on with your fingers so it will adhere well.

5. Heat the oil in the pan. Add the salmon, flesh-side down. Cook for a minute or two until the spice rub has caramelized.

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Note the thin tail portion of the fillet on the upper right. After caramelizing, I turned the tip under the fillet so it would cook more evenly as you’ll see in the next photo.

Start on the stovetop

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6. Flip the fillets over and put the pan into the preheated oven and cook for about 8 minutes, until the salmon is done to your liking. (Timing will depend on the thickness of your fillet. The general rule of thumb is about 10 minutes for every inch of thickness.)

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Ready to go into the oven. I turned that thin tip under the rest of the fillet before I put the pan in the oven.

Caramelized

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Thanks to Laura for this photo!

Etta's Rub with Love Salmon 2

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Ivar’s Famous Tartar Sauce

June 7, 2015

By Kath Dedon

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People in Seattle have been enjoying Ivar’s Famous Tartar Sauce since 1938. That’s when Ivar Haglund opened a small fish and chips stand on the Seattle waterfront. By 1946 his business was doing well but he realized that people wanted a sit-down restaurant so he opened Ivar’s Acres of Clams. Ivar’s Acres of Clams is still on the waterfront, although it is temporarily closed for the city’s seawall restoration project. Ivar’s website advises to “Keep Clam”; they’re planning to reopen on July 1, 2015.

Fortunately for Ivar’s fans, people have been able to get their Ivar’s fix during this closure at one of the many other venues. There are two other restaurants, seafood bars, and seafood stands at the major sports venues in town.

Throughout his career, Ivar was one of the greatest cheerleaders for the Pacific Northwest. He was famous for his puns, wacky publicity stunts, and later for his television commercials. He was truly a beloved Seattle character. He died in 1985 at the age of 79 but his legacy lives on with his restaurants and seafood company.

In December 2013 I went to a Tom Douglas Cookbook Social with Joan, Laura, and Carrie. Bob Donegan, the current President of Ivar’s, Inc., was there with a newly published cookbook celebrating Ivar’s 75 years, Ivar’s Seafood Cookbook, the O-fish-al Guide to Cooking the Northwest Catch by “The Crew at Ivar’s” and Jess Thompson. He was also serving samples of Chris Garr’s House-Made Bacon-Wrapped Halibut which was delicious. I made a mental note that I wanted to check out the book. Laura secretly bought an autographed copy and surprised me with it for my birthday a few weeks later!

The cookbook is a delightful history of Ivar’s with lots of photos, historical information, cartoons, and trivia. It’s a fun look at the past for anyone who was in Seattle in the ‘40s, ‘50s, ‘60s, and ‘70s. Jess Thompson is credited for all of the puns that are in the book. They really capture the spirit of Ivar Haglund.

I made Ivar’s Famous Tartar Sauce and it worked really well with my Homemade Dungeness Crab Cakes. Making your own tartar sauce means you get to control the ingredients. I wanted to make an egg-free version so I subbed a vegan mayonnaise for regular mayonnaise. Serious Eats did a taste test of 4 different brands of vegan mayonnaise and Hampton Creek’s Just Mayo came out on top. I have to say that it’s pretty hard to tell the difference between it and regular mayonnaise.

Ivar’s Famous Tartar Sauce is great with seafood, but it would also be a delicious dip for vegetables or French fries. The cookbook even suggests adding some lemon juice and using it as a dip for asparagus. If you like being in charge of the ingredients in your food, I think you’ll enjoy this one. And if you love seafood and would like a glimpse into mid-century Seattle, I highly recommend Ivar’s Seafood Cookbook!

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Ivar's tartar sauce

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Ivar’s Famous Tartar Sauce

(Adapted from the recipe in Ivar’s Seafood Cookbook)

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(print the recipe)

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Makes 2 cups

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¼ cup chopped yellow onions

2 tablespoons chopped green bell pepper

2 tablespoons dill pickle relish

1 tablespoon white vinegar

1½ teaspoons sugar

½ teaspoon kosher salt

2 cups mayonnaise  (Use a vegan mayonnaise for vegan or egg-free.)

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Unsweetened pickle relish

pickle relish

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1. Put everything except the mayonnaise in a food processor and process for 10 seconds. (A small 3-cup capacity food processor works fine.)

small food processor

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2. Add the mayonnaise and process for an additional 15 seconds.

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Finished tartar sauce made with egg-free (vegan) Just Mayo

processed

Ivar's Famous Tartar Sauce

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Coconut Sweetened Chocolate Cake

May 18, 2015

By Kath Dedon

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Earlier this month, we celebrated a special birthday. Laura turned 30! (Wait! Am I old enough to have a 30-year-old?) I made a Coconut Sweetened Chocolate Cake and I baked it in two 6-inch cake pans to make a small cake for a small family dinner.

The recipe for Cocoa “Crazy” Cake makes just the right amount of cake batter for two 6-inch layers. This time I tried it with coconut sugar and it worked just fine.

For frosting, I used half of the recipe for Hershey’s “Perfectly Chocolate” Chocolate Frosting. I subbed coconut sugar for the powdered sugar. It made way too much frosting for my little cake, but we found that the leftover frosting was delicious served as a little dollop over ice cream.

I’m really glad I invested in those 6-inch cake pans. It’s so much fun to make smaller versions of large cakes! If you like to try alternative sweeteners, I highly recommend this Coconut Sweetened Chocolate Cake. It was a big hit at our house.

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birthday cake

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Coconut Sweetened Chocolate Cake

(Adapted from the Cocoa “Crazy” Cake in The New American Diet, by Sonja L Connor, M.S., R.D. and William E. Connor, M.D.)

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(print the recipe)

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The cake is vegan. I used butter for the frosting, but you could swap the butter for a vegan butter substitute if you want to make the cake totally vegan. The parchment paper probably isn’t necessary in the pans, but I had some so I used it.

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Makes a 6-inch layer cake (or you could make a one layer 9-inch cake or 12 cupcakes)

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Coconut oil (or other oil) for greasing the pans

1½ cups (180g) all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

3 tablespoons cocoa powder

½ teaspoon salt

1 cup coconut sugar (or white sugar)

3 tablespoons oil

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 tablespoon vinegar

1 cup cold water

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1. Preheat the oven to 350˚.

2. Prepare two 6-inch cake pans. Grease the bottoms and sides with coconut oil. Cut two pieces of parchment paper to fit the bottom of the pans. Put the paper in the bottom and then grease the paper.

3. Stir the flour, baking soda, cocoa powder, and salt together in a medium bowl.

4. If your coconut sugar has a coarse texture, press it through a fine mesh strainer into the bowl to give it a finer texture. Stir it into the other dry ingredients.

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The coconut sugar I used was a bit coarse.

coconut sugar

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I pressed the sugar through a fine meshed strainer with the back of a spoon.

through a strainer

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5. Pour the liquid ingredients into a bowl and stir well with a fork or whisk until well blended.

6. Pour the cake batter into the two prepared cake pans.

ready to bake

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7. Bake the cake for 30 minutes, until a toothpick in the center comes out clean.

8. Cool in the pans on a cake rack for about 10 minutes. Then remove the cakes from the pans and finish cooling on wire racks.

baked

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cake cooling

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9. When completely cool, frost with Coconut Sweetened Chocolate Frosting.

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Coconut Sweetened Chocolate Frosting

(Adapted from Hershey’s “Perfectly Chocolate” Chocolate Frosting recipe on the Hershey’s Cocoa box.)

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½ stick (4 tablespoons) butter (or a vegan substitute to make it vegan)

1/3 cup cocoa

1½ cups coconut sugar (or powdered sugar)

2½ tablespoons coconut milk

½ teaspoon vanilla

 

1. Melt the butter in a pan and pour it into a mixing bowl.

2. Sift the cocoa through a strainer into the bowl and mix well with the butter.

3. Blend the coconut sugar in a blender until it is as fine and powdery as you can get it. (Obviously, this step is not necessary if you use powdered sugar.)

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Blended coconut sugar

Coconut sugar blended fine

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4. Alternately add the coconut sugar and the milk to the butter/cocoa mixture, mixing well after each addition. Add a bit more milk if needed. Mix in the vanilla.

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Coconut Sweetened Chocolate Cake tall

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