So I haven’t even gotten around to telling you about the first dinner party that was almost completely inspired by Smitten Kitchen, but now another one’s happened and again, Smitten Kitchen recipes had a strong representation at the table. I made Smitten Kitchen’s Strawberry Summer Cake–basically a simple buttermilk cake infused with melting strawberries–and an improvised spinach quiche. Naomi made Smitten Kitchen’s Lemony Zucchini Goat Cheese Pizza and this coffee cake. So basically, an ALL-CARB dinner. A+ for nutrition right?
I’d mentally bookmarked Smitten Kitchen’s goat cheese pizza awhile back, for some reason, each time I revisited the recipe I was less and less inclined to make it–an all pastel-colored pizza lacking in tomato sauce with a crust that looked more like bread than crust. But I was so wrong. The tanginess of the lemon exudes through every smear of the smooth goat cheese highlighted by shreds of basil and tender, oven-withered discs of zucchini. The dough is springy and resilient and doesn’t even TRY to steal the stage from the gorgeous toppings with flaws like too much chewing.
To use up sour cream she had on hand, Naomi also made this simple coffeecake that was moist, tender and tight-crumbed to perfection. Reminded me of one of my favorite coffee cakes minus the chocolate chips.
In other news, Lilly is back. Everyone say hi to Lilly.
She helped make the strawberry cake!
While she attacked the strawberries, I tweaked the recipe by decreasing the butter to 4 tablespoons (half a stick), browning it for maximum flavor, and subbing in Greek yogurt.
Of course, I only decided to brown the butter after I had dumped it in the sugar. Which meant that the sugar particles clinging to the butter turned into charcoal-looking butter-soaked caramely bits. Whoops.
But somehow, I still achieved the promised “puddles of jam” and “receding berries” that “dimple like a country quilt” result promised by Smitten Kitchen. She tells it like it is–this cake is moist and jam-y and loaded with melting strawberries. YUM. THIS CAKE IS GREAT. MAKE IT. Even with my crazy edits, I couldn’t stop eating it (and somehow…I feel like no one is surprised).
Then there was the quiche. I threw this together with two impulsive finds: this spelt crust and this Spinach pie recipe from Stonyfield because apparently no one else in the world makes quiche fillings with a yogurt base.
I tweaked the recipe a little–decreased the yogurt, butter and cheese slightly, and then dumped in the wilted spinach mixture. It looked more like a modern art pattern than something edible:
It didn’t look like it had enough spinach in it, so I made another batch of spinach (doubling the original recipe) and tossed it in before I poured the whole mixture into the crust. I was legitimately afraid it would overflow, but somehow it didn’t.
And so my modern art piece went into the oven…
…and came out looking only slightly more normal:
The original version of this crust included spelt flour and looked extremely thin and rustic. Since I only had whole wheat flour and decided to double the recipe because I wasn’t sure it would hold all of my filling, my version was decidedly less thin and rustic. In fact, it was rather bready and doughy in some parts that I had sloppily rolled out. Definitely not a flaky, tart-like crust like in traditional quiches. Still, I’m interested in giving it another try using the original recipe measurements and spelt flour.
And though I was apprehensive about the heavy-on-the-yogurt filling, you couldn’t taste it at all–it was just a cheesy, slightly creamy filling, heavy on the spinach 🙂
2 tablespoons butter
1 medium sized onion, chopped
20 ounces spinach
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
2 cups Fage 0% Greek Yogurt
1 cup (8 ounces) mozzarella cheese or some other cheese blend, grated
1 cup parmesan cheese
3 large eggs, beaten
1.5 cup whole wheat flour
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2/3 cup almond breeze + 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1) Preheat oven to 350°F. Melt butter in large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and sauté until browned and tender, about 8 minutes (less if you chop the onions small). Mix in spinach, salt and pepper. Sauté until the spinach wilts, about 3 minutes.
2) In a medium bowl, combine yogurt, mozzarella, parmesan, and eggs. Add spinach mixture and fold together until well combined.
3) Pour spinach and yogurt mixture into pie crust. Bake for 40 minutes until the center is set. Let stand for 10 minutes before cutting and serving.
Smitten Kitchen’s Strawberry Summer Cake
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus extra for pie plate
1 heaping tablespoon Greek yogurt
1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour (can swap 3/4 cup or 94 grams all-purpose flour with 3/4 cup or 75 grams of barley flour, see Note)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon table salt
7/8 cup sugar + 2 tablespoons sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup Almond breeze
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 pound (about 25 medium) strawberries, hulled and halved
1) Preheat oven to 350°F and grease 9″ round pan.
2) Brown the butter in a small saucepan. Watch it carefully!
3) Whisk flour, baking powder and salt together in a small bowl. In a larger bowl, combine butter and 7/8 cup sugar until smooth. Mix in egg, milk and vanilla until just combined. Add dry mixture gradually, mixing until just smooth.
4) Pour into prepared pie plate. Arrange strawberries, cut side down, on top of batter, as closely as possible in a single layer (though I had to overlap a few to get them all in). Sprinkle remaining 2 tablespoons sugar over berries.
5) Bake cake for 10 minutes then reduce oven temperature to 325°F and bake cake until golden brown and a tester comes out free of wet batter, about 50 minutes to 60 minutes. (Gooey strawberries on the tester are a given.) Let cool in pan on a rack. Cut into wedges.