Sorry for being a bit late this week; hubby and I haven’t been feeling up to par this week. The good thing is that it gave me a chance to make another treat to tell you about. We’ll start with that one. I decided to make another cake with the lovely blood oranges that I’d found. The recipe made a lovely everyday cake, but the flavor of the oranges wasn’t quite as pronounced as I’d hoped. Still, once I added a little glaze, it was a nice treat in the middle of the day.
Blood Orange Olive Oil Cake (from Smitten Kitchen)
3 blood oranges
1 c. sugar
1/2 c. buttermilk or yogurt
2/3 c. extra-virgin olive oil
1 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9×5 loaf pan and set it aside. Zest 2 of the oranges and place the zest in a bowl with the sugar. Rub them together with your fingers til evenly distributed.
2. Supreme the 2 zested oranges by cutting off the top and bottom (so they can stand up), following the curve of the fruit and cutting away the peel and pith, and cutting the segments out of their membranes. Break the segments up into 1/4 in. pieces.
3. Halve the remaining orange and juice it into a measuring cup (should be about 1/4 c.). Add buttermilk til the measure reaches 2/3 c. Pour this in with the sugar and mix well. Whisk in the eggs and oil.
4. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Gently stir the dry mix into the wet ingredients. Fold in the orange pieces and pour the batter into the prepared pan.
5. Bake 50-55 min or til golden and a knife inserted in the center removes cleanly. (Mine took about 60 min, and I had to cover it with foil for the last 10 minutes so it wouldn’t over-brown.) Cool in its pan for 5 min; then remove it from the pan and cool it completely. (I suggest using the juice of another orange and some confectioner’s sugar to make a glaze which you can pour over the cooled cake.)
While the cake was good, what I really wanted to tell you about is something that I’ve been craving ever since my best friend and I made it a couple of weeks ago: summer rolls! These are (hopefully!) going to be a go-to lunch for me this summer. They were so easy to make, didn’t require the oven, and tasted incredible. It was also pretty fun to make something that uses your hands more than utensils. I strongly recommend that you make these as soon as is humanly possible!
Vegetable Summer Rolls with Spicy Peanut Sauce (from The Kitchn)
For the dipping sauce: (You MUST make this; it’s divine.)
2 tbsp. peanut butter
2 tbsp. rice vinegar
1 tbsp. soy sauce
2 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper
1/2 tbsp. water (If desired; ours didn’t need it.)
For the noodles:
1 1/2 oz. cellophane noodles
1/2 tsp. sesame oil
1 pinch crushed red pepper
For the veggie dressing:
1/2 tsp. rice vinegar
1/2 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. fish sauce
Juice of 1/2 lime
For the wraps:
1/3 seedless cucumber
1/2 peeled medium carrot
1/2 red bell pepper
2/3 medium radishes
1 chopped scallion (We didn’t have this, and it still tasted lovely.)
8 rice paper wrappers
2 tbsp. cilantro
16-24 mint leaves (Another item we didn’t have and didn’t really miss.)
1. Whisk together the dipping sauce ingredients; adding the water to thin if necessary. The sauce should be smooth and creamy; set aside.
2. If the cellophane noodles are very long, you can break them into smaller pieces. Cook the noodles according to the package directions. If you can’t read the package, try boiling a small pot of water, turning the heat off, adding the noodles, and letting it sit 10 minutes or so. Drain the noodles and toss them with the sesame oil and red pepper.
3. Use a mandoline or box grater (or the newest item on my kitchen wishlist) to julienne the veggies (cucumber, carrot, bell pepper, and radish). (We just thinly sliced ours.) In a small bowl, whisk together the veggie dressing ingredients. Add the veggies and scallions and toss to coat.
4. Fill a pan halfway with water, bring it to a boil, and let it sit for 5 min. (The water will need to be cool enough to put your fingers in.) To soften the wrappers, immerse them one at a time in the hot water til soft, about 30 seconds, turning once. Use both hands to remove the wrapper and spread it out on a plate.
5. Fill the center of the wrapper with 3/4 herb leaves, 1-2 tbsp. noodles, and 1/8 of the veggies. Roll it like a burrito and serve with the peanut sauce.
The red streak you see in the sauce was some chili paste that we decided to add to our dipping sauce. Just the teeniest dab made the sauce just as spicy as we wanted it: a nice heat, but not too much burn.
Here’s hoping you don’t catch the bug and do eat something delicious very soon!