Ginger adds a warm, earthy, autumn kick to this classic dessert.
Years ago, my mother taught me how to make a skillet pie. This is much like a regular pie, but quicker, and quite a bit more rustic. Simply start with a cast iron (or other oven safe) skillet. Melt butter, add a touch of flour and sugar and fruit, and heat in the skillet till the fruit starts releasing it’s juices and forming a syrup. Then top it with a pie crust and pop it in the oven. So simple and easy.
I started combining ginger with blueberries in dishes recently, and I just love the flavor combination: down home with a kick. A few weeks ago, my friend Diane baked me a blueberry and nectarine pie, and that inspired the addition of the peaches.
I wanted a simple dessert like that, but I did not want to bother with pie crust, so I substituted with a standard crisp topping – with a touch of ginger for a little more kick. Toasted nuts would be delightful in this topping as well.
We are fruit smoothie people, so our freezer is always stocked with frozen fruit; this recipe was easy to whip up with ingredients we keep on hand all the time.
As always, delightful kitchen helpers make the food taste more delicious.
My husband turned 39 yesterday, so we made him a pie. My daughter had some thoughts about what kind of pie we should make. The conversation went like this:
Gem: I want to make Daddy a cherry pie for his birthday Me: I just bought ingredients for coconut cream pie, because it’s his favorite Gem: I think Daddy wants cherry Me: Did you ask him? Gem: Daddy, do you want a surprise?
Such is my life. For the record, we ended up making the pie I planned on, and she got away with being cute. It’s a kind of win-win. And, she was a great help in the kitchen.
The Dahlia Lounge has the best coconut cream pie in Seattle. Maybe anywhere. Aaron and I are big fans.
I was so thrilled to find that Tom Douglas and his team published the recipe for their Dahlia Triple Coconut Cream Pie in the Dahlia Bakery Cookbook: Sweetness in Seattle. This cookbook is a great teaching cookbook. It’s more than just recipes, and it covers the how and why of techniques, so you really learn how to cook rather than just how to follow directions.
That was the pie I made for Aaron’s birthday. And it was amazing.
Happy birthday, my love. You are a wonderful husband and father, and we love you. I hope 39 is an awesome year for you.
FTC Disclosure: of course, I use affiliate links wherever possible, including this post.
Tom Douglas, the guy who arguably put Seattle’s culinary scene on the map, took his place behind the stove of the demonstration kitchen at Macy’s, and started off by saying: “Today I want to talk to you about effort. If there is one thing I want you to take away today, it’s that it’s worth the effort.”
He was talking about cooking at home for your friends and family. He was talking about sharing not just the family recipes, but the stories that went along with them, such as the way the house smelled when his Grandma came to visit and made her famous schnecken, and the benefits of being the biggest kid in a very large family, when they all reached in to grab their favorite bits of the gooey treat.
Take 3 recipes, he said, say for instance one pie, one cake, and one cookie recipe, even if you’re afraid of baking – especially if you’re afraid of baking. Make each one three times, following the directions exactly. The trick to baking well is following the directions. By the third try, you will OWN that recipe.
Pick recipes you want to be known for, and be the person who’s known for bringing it. You don’t have to be a great cook, just well practiced at a few recipes. You can grow your repertoire later, just start with three.
Tom prepared three recipes for us: Grilled Cheese with Caramelized Broccoli Rabe and Fontina, Coffee-Bean Turkey with Sweet Onion Gravy, and Pear Tarts with Dreamy Caramel Sauce.
Now, I don’t have room enough to share all three recipes in one post, so I’ve picked one to share today, perhaps more on another day. You’ll just have to come back and visit my blog again some day. Two of the recipes are from Tom’s new cookbook that he is promoting, The Dahlia Bakery Cookbook. Of course, the recipe I chose to share has something to do with coffee, Coffee Bean Turkey with Sweet Onion Gravy. This recipe is from the Macy’s Culinary Council Thanksgiving & Holiday Cookbook.
“Seattle is famous for its coffee. And that inspired me to stuff the turkey cavity with whole roasted coffee beans. Turns out they add a nice toasty-smoky aroma that seasons the bird from within. I leave them in even after the turkey’s done. If a few slip out at the table while I’m carving, it’s a good conversation starter.”
Get this one ready for Thanksgiving:
FTC Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. I was paid to attend this event, but as always, my opinions remain my own.
Add the olive oil to a large skillet over medium heat
Thinly slice and caramelize the leeks, and brown the chicken. Make sure the leeks are well caramelized, releasing all their sugars. This will help to counteract the tartness of the pomegranate juice.
Add one tub of Knorr Chicken Homestyle Stock concentrate and thin with the pomegranate juice.
Grind the walnuts to the size of breadcrumbs in a food processor, and add to the pot along with the cardamom.
Cover and allow to simmer for approximately 20 minutes. Cook time will vary, just make sure the chicken has reached an internal temperature of 165°.
Shred or cut chicken into bite size pieces and stir back into gravy. Remove the lid to allow the gravy to further reduce. It should be thick enough to sit on top of the rice rather than run right through.
Serve on basmati rice.
If the gravy is a little too tart, add a tablespoon of sugar, but not too much. This isn’t supposed to be dessert.
Cooking the chicken in larger pieces results in juicier meat, but if you are in a hurry, cut the chicken into bite sized pieces before browning, and do not cover while simmering to significantly cut the required cooking time.
This isn’t a pretty dish, but it’s yummy. In fact, you might even find yourself closing your eyes as you enjoy it.
FTC disclaimer: I received free product from Knorr for use in creating this recipe.
I’m still mulling recipe ideas for the O Foods Contest, but in the meantime, I’ll go ahead and post this notice to spread the word.
O Foods Contest for Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month
September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, and for the second year in a row, Sara of Ms Adventures in Italy and Michelle of Bleeding Espresso are hosting the O Foods Contest to raise awareness of this important health issue.
There are TWO WAYS to take part in the O Foods Contest:
ONE: Post a recipe to your blog using a food that starts or ends with the letter O(e.g., oatmeal, orange, okra, octopus, olive, onion, potato, tomato); include this entire text box in the post; and send your post url along with a photo (100 x 100) to ofoods[at]gmail[dot]com by 11:59 pm (Italy time) on Monday, September 28, 2009.
PRIZES for recipe posts:
1st: Signed copy of Dolce Italiano: Desserts from the Babbo Kitchen by Gina DePalma, Executive Pastry Chef of Babbo Ristorante in NYC, who is currently battling ovarian cancer, inspired this event, and will be choosing her favorite recipe for this prize;
TWO: If you’re not into the recipe thing, simply post this entire text box in a post on your blog to help spread the word and send your post url to ofoods[at]gmail[dot]com by 11:59 pm (Italy time) on Monday, September 28, 2009.
Awareness posts PRIZE:
One winner chosen at random will receive a Teal Toes tote bag filled with ovarian cancer awareness goodies that you can spread around amongst your friends and family.
Ovarian cancer is the leading cause of death from gynecologic cancers in the United States and is the fifth leading cause of cancer death among U.S. women; a woman’s lifetime risk of ovarian cancer is 1 in 67.
The symptoms of ovarian cancer are often vague and subtle, making it difficult to diagnose, but include bloating, pelvic and/or abdominal pain, difficulty eating or feeling full quickly; and urinary symptoms (urgency or frequency).
There is no effective screening test for ovarian cancer but there are tests which can detect ovarian cancer when patients are at high risk or have early symptoms.
In spite of this, patients are usually diagnosed in advanced stages and only 45% survive longer than five years. Only 19% of cases are caught before the cancer has spread beyond the ovary to the pelvic region.
When ovarian cancer is detected and treated early on, the five-year survival rate is greater than 92%.
And remember, you can also always donate to the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund at our page through FirstGiving!
Please help spread the word about ovarian cancer.
Together we can make enough noise to kill this silent killer.