Category: Recipes by Ingredient + Prep

Black Pepper-Cardamom Banana Bread

I’ve never even been to Café Grumpy, but Noah brought a few slices of their breads and pastries to the office one day and I was blown away by this savory banana bread. I searched for the recipe and found it on Greenpoint Gazette but the measurements were in grams which is really annoying, Brooklyn! It’s easy enough to convert using a recipe calculator or use a digital scale, but the cook in me still needs to feel if everything is right after the conversion. I found myself rounding off the converted measurements, and in the end I realized I could have just used my usual banana bread recipe and added the yogurt, the black pepper and cardamom to the batter. So much for science.

I used a loaf pan for my version, but I had enough leftover batter to fill up a mini one. I lined the large pan with greased parchment paper to make it easy to separate the bread before serving. I always found that the larger loaves that I bake are more sticky. Sprinkle the top of your loaf with confectioner’s sugar if you want to be extra fancy.

2 cups flour, sifted
2 tsps salt
1 tbsp baking soda
1 tsp black pepper, ground
3 tsps cardamom, ground
4 very ripe bananas
1 4-oz plain yogurt
1 tsp vanilla
1 stick of butter, cut into smaller pieces
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 eggs

1. Heat oven to 325º and grease a loaf pan. Set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, salt, baking soda, black pepper, and cardamom. Set aside.
3. In another medium bowl, mash ripe bananas with yogurt and vanilla until well-combined. Set aside.
4. Place butter along with both sugars into a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Cream. Slowly add eggs, scraping down the sides of the bowl in between pulses to ensure that all ingredients are well-incorporated.
5. Alternating between the dry ingredients and the banana and yogurt mix, add everything to the mixer using a medium setting so as not to over-mix.
6. Pour batter into the loaf pan and place on a baking sheet. Bake for 45-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean and the cake is golden. Remove from oven and let cool for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Related post/s:
Greenpoint Gazette’s recipe
My very reliable banana bread recipe without the fixings

Golden Beets Salad with Figs and Ricotta

Spring can’t come fast enough outside but at least the produce I’m starting to see in the markets tell me it’s around the corner. I bought a pint of figs and thought about this great spring salad that’s usually matched with toasted kale. I used the mache I had in the fridge instead but feel free to use any mixed greens.

This is the first time I’ve ever peeled golden beets before roasting them. It was more work, but less messy later and it stops you from double-guessing if they are tender enough after 25 minutes in the oven. You can see they’re good to go since they’ve already been sliced.

When plating, act like you’re a chef on TV and smear the ricotta with the back of your spoon–it makes for a great presentation.

4 small golden beets, peeled and cut into wedges
olive oil
2 tbsps balsamic vinegar
1 tsp maple syrup
mache, or any mixed greens
3 fresh figs, stemmed and sliced
a scoop of fresh ricotta
salt and pepper

1. Preheat your oven to 425º. Toss the beet wedges with some olive oil and sprinkle them with salt. Spread them on a baking dish and roast until tender, about 25 minutes.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together balsamic vinegar and the maple syrup. When the beets come out of the oven, toss them with some of the dressing. There should be some olive oil coating the beets. If not, drizzle a little more olive oil.
3. Assemble your salad. On a plate, smear a spoonful of fresh ricotta using the back of a spoon. Create a bed of greens and then top with the dressed beets. Add the figs and drizzle some more of the maple syrup-balsamic vinegar dressing all over for a little sheen. Season with some pepper and serve.

Homemade Blueberry Oatmeal Scones

I had a long weekend coming and I wanted to prepare for a lovely and slow Monday morning and thought of baking something the night before so I can leisurely enjoy breakfast the next day. I found this blackberry oatmeal scone recipe from 3191 Miles Apart and adapted it using blueberries, the only frozen berries I had left in my freezer from all the smoothies I’ve been making myself in the mornings.

It also required 2 tbsps of milk but I only had almond milk handy so I used that knowing that a wee bit of a different kind of milk won’t make too much of a difference. For the plain whole milk yogurt, I just picked up a small cup of the regular Fage total Greek yogurt. Pulsing all the dry ingredients and then folding it in with the wet was sloppy, but I held them together with flour dustings and gently patted the dough down to make a semi-thin wheel before I sliced them into 8 beautiful pieces.

1/2 cup rolled oats
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour, more for dusting
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tsp lemon zest
2 tsps baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
6 tbsps unsalted butter, cubed
1 cup frozen blueberries
1 egg
2/3 cup plain whole milk yogurt
2 tbsps almond milk
1 tsp vanilla
sugar for dusting

1. Preheat oven to 400». Add the oats, flours, sugar, zest, baking powder and soda, salt and butter to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until it resembles a coarse meal. Transfer to a mixing bowl and add blackberries, toss gently until blackberries are coated.
2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, yogurt, milk and vanilla. Gently fold the wet ingredients into the blackberry mixture until just combined. Dough will be sloppy but take care not to crush the berries.
3. Transfer to a floured work space and gently pat out into a circle about half an inch thick. Cut into 8 pie-shaped wedges and carefully transfer each scone to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 14-18 minutes or until lightly browned. Transfer baked scones on a wire tray and let rest.

Hwe Dup Bap, Korean Rice Bowl with Sashimi

This is more of a how-to assemble this rice bowl than a recipe, but Korean hwe dup bap is one of my comfort foods so I decided to put it up. Just like the Japanese chirashi, all you need is sashimi-grade fish on top of rice, and typical me, I put both versions together. I don’t have exact measurements either because I make the faux sushi rice per serving and I just estimate the right ratio of rice to the mirin-sugar-salt mixture.

rice vinegar
white sugar
white rice, freshly cooked
soy sauce
sesame oil
nori, torn in smaller sheets
sashimi-grade tuna, sliced in manageable pieces

1. Make the sushi rice. Combine the rice vinegar, sugar, and salt in a small bowl. In a separate large bowl, combine your freshly cooked rice with the vinegar mixture and mix well.
2. Make the sauce. In another small bowl, combine the kochujang paste with soy sauce and sesame oil. Whisk to dilute the paste as much as possible.
3. Assemble your rice bowl. In a bowl with a serving of the rice, drizzle in the kochujang sauce and top with the tuna. Drizzle a little bit more sesame oil and sprinkle with togarashi. Serve with nori on the side.

Soba Noodles with Miso-Pickled Ginger Dressing

For the pickled ginger in this recipe, you can buy the pre-packaged ones from your Asian market–it’s the kind you eat with your sushi–or easily make your own if you have a few extra hours to marinate. I’ve included that recipe below just in case.

When assembling the dish, I tossed all the vegetables with the dressing first before I folded them in with the soba noodles because I didn’t want the noodles to break and get soggy. Serve this cold and you’ll have a nice salad to eat for your Meatless Whatever-Day of the week.

For the pickled ginger:

1 large knob of ginger, peeled, thinly sliced
1 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup of white sugar
1 tsp salt

1. In a small pot, bring water to a boil. Then add the ginger and cook, stirring once or twice, to soften it, about 30 seconds. Drain the ginger in a strainer, separating the pieces with chopsticks so they drain well. Transfer the ginger to a bowl and let stand.
2. In another separate pot over medium heat, combine the vinegar, sugar, and salt. Stir until the sugar and salt dissolve, then increase the heat to medium high and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat. Pour in the vinegar mixture to completely cover the ginger in the bowl. Let stand for a couple of hours, or overnight.

For the soba:

2 tbsps white miso paste
2 bundles of soba noodles
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp rice vinegar
pickled ginger
1 medium carrot, cut into matchsticks
1 small head radicchio, thinly sliced
2 scallions, chopped
1 sheet toasted nori, torn
2 tbsps toasted sesame seeds

1. Cook soba noodles according to package directions. Rinse under cold water, drain, and place in large colander.
2. Blend miso, sesame oil, rice vinegar, pickled ginger, and about 3 tbsps of water in a blender until smooth.
3. Pour in the miso-pickled ginger dressing in a large mixing bowl. Stir in carrots, radicchio, green onions, nori, and the sesame seeds until well-combined. Fold in the soba noodles and toss gently.