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Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Sharing My Recipes, My Life, And The Food Tale Of Two Cities

Fresh Peach Cake With A Pistachio Crunch Topping

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If I had to make a dessert that my guests might think I worked all day on, this would be the one. It’s sweet with a kiss of saltiness from the pistachios on the top. The cake is so moist, and I will tell you my secret for that in a minute. I start with making the batter.

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In an electric mixer with the paddle attachment I add in room temperature unsalted butter with the mixer on low. To that I add the sugar and turn the mixer up to med speed for about 3-4 minutes until the butter is light and fluffy. Next some good vanilla and two room temperature eggs, one at a time. I let that mix together for a minute before adding in room temperature sour cream and my secret ingredient, ricotta cheese. Let that all combine before the dry ingredients go in. Now for the dry I have flour, baking powder, baking soda, and Kosher salt that I’ve sifted together in a bowl. I slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet until just combined, then I turn the mixer off. You don’t wont to over mix the ingredients once the dry has been added to the wet. Remove the paddle attachment and scrape as much batter off the paddle as possible. You want all that delicious batter for the cake.

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Next I’ve peeled, cored and then sliced five peaches that I’ve got sitting in a bowl. I also have another bowl with cinnamon sugar that I mixed together. Using a 9 x 9 pan that I’ve buttered really well, so that the cake will come out easily, I add half the batter to the bottom of the pan, like you see in the picture below.

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Using an off set spatula, I spread the one half of the batter out evenly.

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After laying the first half of the sliced peaches onto the batter, I sprinkle them with a dusting of the cinnamon sugar that I made. Next I add in the second half of the batter and spread that over the sliced peaches and lay the rest of the slice peaches, pressing them gently down slightly into the batter. Once more with the rest of the cinnamon sugar, really sprinkling it all over every part of the cake. Finally I top the peach cake with chopped pistachios. I set this in the frig for about 15 minutes to let it rest and then I preheat my oven to 350 degrees. After 45-50 minutes if a tooth pick comes out clean, the cake is ready to let cool completely, before cutting.

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Prep Time; 15 minutes
Yields: 6 servings
Cooking Time: 45-50 minutes
Bake: 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes

Ingredients”
1/4 pound of room temperature butter ( 1 stick)
1-1/2 cups of granulated sugar ( 1/2 a cup reserve for cinnamon sugar)
1 tablespoon of good vanilla extract
4 ounces of room temperature sour cream
4 ounces of room temperature ricotta cheese
2 large room temperature eggs
2 cups of sifted all purpose flour
1 teaspoon of sifted baking powder
1 teaspoon of sifted baking soda
1 teaspoon of sifted Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon

Directions: Place wet ingredients into mixer first as stated above, approx. 3-4 minutes to make the butter and sugar mixture light and fluffy. To that add the rest of the wet ingredients, vanilla, eggs, sour cream, ricotta cheese. until it’s all well combined. Next add the sifted dry ingredients, flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda, slowly, Once, just combined, the mixer off.  Spread 1/2 of the batter into a buttered 9 x 9 pan. Lay the half of the sliced peaches on top, sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Now add the other half of the batter, spread that evenly over the first layer, add the other half of the sliced peaches. Press these peaches down slightly into the batter. Add the rest of the cinnamon sugar all over the top. Finish with the chopped pistachios. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes until cake tester comes out clean. Let the cake cool completely before cutting.

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Breakfast Casserole

2015-01-23 11.28.15

This is one of my “go-to” breakfast recipes. It’s everything you want for breakfast all in one dish. I call it my Breakfast Casserole. The topping, well… I love Pico de Gallo so yes, it’s in there along with potatoes, breakfast sausage, scrambled eggs, and cheese.

First, I’m taking a little help from the grocery store so I can make this wonderful Breakfast Casserole as quickly as possible.

The scrambled eggs are mixed with half-and-half for richness and chives for a mild onion flavor. finally topped with Goat cheese for a little tang.

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If you’ve learned anything about me you know I love all kinds of fresh salsa like Pico de Gallo.

So what you have are layers of your favorite hot breakfast food on the bottom with a chilled Pico de Gallo on top. I ask you, what could be better?

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Yields: 4 servings
Prep time: 15 minutes (includes prepping the vegetables and making Pico de Gallo)
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Equipment: 9 x 11 baking dish, 12-inch non-stick sautèpan, 9-inch Cast Iron Skillet, large mixing bowl, whisk

Ingredients:
1 package of shredded hashbrowns (available in the refrigerated section)
4 tablespoons of unsalted butter, plus 1 tablespoon for sautèing the pepper and onions, reserve the rest for the hashbrowns
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 yellow bell pepper, diced
1 onion, diced
1 package of frozen Banquet original breakfast sausage links, sliced 1/2-inch thick (substitute turkey)
1 4-ounce package of Goat cheese
2 tablespoons of chives, minced
1/4 cup of half-and-half (substitute whole milk or heavy cream)
1 dozen large eggs scrambled (link for my Perfect Scrambled Eggs recipe is below)
1 1/2 tablespoons of Kosher salt (1/2 a tablespoon for the hash browns)
2 teaspoons of fresh ground black pepper (1 teaspoon of black pepper for the hash browns)
4 cups of Pico de Gallo (link for my recipe is below)

Directions:
Spray the 9 x 11 baking dish with a non-stick cooking spray.

Start with prepping all the vegetables, and making the Pico de Gallo. Place the Pico in the refrigerator to chill.

To start, in a cast iron skillet on medium heat, melt unsalted butter. Add diced onions, diced red and yellow bell peppers, sautè until soft, tender, and golden brown, around 15 minutes. Next, add the remaining butter, allow to melt, then add the shredded hashbrowns. Stir the peppers, onion, and potatoes together allowing the butter to coat all the ingredients really well, season with Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Adjust the heat to medium-high. Using a spatula, press to potatoes into an even layer. Cook until a light golden brown on the bottom, about 2 minutes. Flip the potatoes with the spatula and brown on the other side,  for another 2 minutes. Remove from the heat.

Transfer the hashbrown mixture into the greased 9 x 11 baking dish as the bottom layer.

In the same pan, on medium-high heat, add the sliced breakfast sausage link. Cook for 3-5 minutes until browned on all sides. Add the cooked breakfast sausage as the next layer over the of the hashbrown mixture. Spread evenly over the potatoes.

In a large bowl whisk together the eggs, half and half, Kosher salt, and freshly cracked black pepper together. Whisk for at least 5 minutes, allowing as much air as possible to be incorporated into the eggs. You want to see foam bubbles forming at the top of the egg mixture.

Using large 12-inch non-stick sautèpan, on medium-low heat add the egg mixture to the pan. As the eggs begin to set, gently pull the eggs across the pan, using a rubber spatula, forming large soft curds, continue cooking-pulling, lifting and folding the eggs, until thickened and no visible liquid egg remains. Do Not rush this process, times may vary slightly, approx.10 minutes.

Add the scrambled eggs with chives over the top of the sausage. Spread the scrambled eggs out evenly to cover. Top the eggs with crumbles of soft Goat cheese.

Finally, spoon the Pico de Gallo for that burst of flavor and color.

 

Pico De Gallo Two Ways

 

Perfect Scrambled Eggs

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Beef Barley Soup

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Having worked at a few diners in my day, the words that are often spoken are “Soups On!”  I’ve made the soups, and served them too. My beef and barley, #soup was definitely a favorite on those cold Florida days. Let me start by showing you how I cook the barley.

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I start with low sodium chicken broth in a large pot. and some good barley. Next I add the barley to the chicken broth and bring them up to a boil, lower the heat to a simmer, and cook the barley until all the liquid has been absorbed.. This may take around 20-25 minutes to happen, so while the barley is cooking, I start the soup at the same time. The barley will have soaked in the flavor of the chicken broth which will make them really plump and delicious. Once the barley has finished cooking, I place a lid on it, move the pot off the heat, and let it sit until I’m ready to add it into the soup.

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Moving forward, in a large heavy bottom pot, I heat up some olive oil. To the oil I add in diced onion and let it saute until the onion is translucent. Next some minced garlic, dried oregano, crushed red pepper flakes, Kosher salt, and black pepper. I stir that around for just a minute before adding in the ground beef. Here I’m using a very lean type, ground sirloin. I want to use the very best ingredients for this soup so the finished product will be delicious. I let the ground sirloin cook on med high heat, with the onions, garlic and spices until it’s nice and brown in color. When the meat has finished browning I add in all my veggies. I have diced celery, diced carrots, and a can of fire roasted diced tomatoes. Remember to cut all the veggies around the same size so they cook evenly.  I stir all these ingredients together and let cook for a minute before adding in my liquid.

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I’m adding in some low sodium beef stock instead of beef broth. The stock has a deeper and richer flavor, and I thought it would be delicious in this soup. You want to make sure that that you add enough liquid. What I do is, to add enough beef stock where the liquid comes up to about 2 inches from the top of the pot. If you think you don’t have enough liquid, then you can always add in some water. Still on med high heat, I bring everything up to a bubble before reducing the soup to a simmer and letting it cook for around 30 minutes. After the 30 minutes I add in all that delicious barley that I’ve already prepared.

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I let that continue to simmer for another 15 minutes, so the barley can marry with all the other flavors in the soup. Turn the heat off and cover the pot and it’s ready to eat. Wait!, what about some home made croutons for the top. I just happen to have a nice baguette left over from yesterday that would work just perfect. All I did was to slice the baguette up and drizzle the slices with olive oil, salt and pepper and toasted them off in the oven until golden brown. “Soups On!

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Yields: 6 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 40-45 minutes
Ingredients:
1-1/2 cups of barley
1 quart of low sodium chicken broth
2 pounds of ground sirloin
1 -1/2 quarts of beef stock
1 diced onion
1 cup of diced carrots
1 cup of diced celery
3 cloves of minced garlic
1 tablespoon of dried oregano
1-1/2 tablespoons of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon of black pepper
1-15 ounce can of fire roasted tomatoes

Directions:
First you want to have all you veggies prepped, and the can of tomatoes opened and ready before starting the soup. Start by cooking the barley in the chicken broth at the same time you start the soup. After about 20 minutes of simmering on low keep your eye on the barley to make sure all the liquid has been absorbed so that you can remove it from the heat. Place a lid on it to keep it warm while the soup is cooking. After the soup has been simmering for at least 30 minutes then add the cooked barley, and continue simmering for another 15 minutes. At this point the soup is done. Place a lid on the pot to keep it hot and make yourself some delicious home made croutons for the top. I like to even throw on some shredded cheese. You know everything is just better with cheese!

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Savory Beef Brisket

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I love making beef #brisket for so many reasons. I’ts really just one of those styles of meats that you can #tastethelove and do just about anything with. I like to take the cooked brisket and portion it out. Because there is only two of us, a 3 pound piece is more than enough to make different styles of meals out of the same batch that was cooked. For example; on the first night, I added some of my homemade barbecue sauce to half, and we had barbecue beef brisket sandwiches. My favorite way is to not add anything to the finished brisket, and with it’s savory beefy broth, make tostadas. That’s what I’ve done here. Let me tell you how easy this recipe is to do.

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I start  with the #brisket, and turn the meat over so the fat side is up and score the fat. I just simply season the meat liberally with salt and pepper on the scored fat side. I throw some large chopped pieces of garlic in the bottom of a casserole dish and lay the beef in the dish fat side up. There are only a few ingredients going in. I pour over the meat a mixture of, beef consomme, low sodium soy sauce, liquid smoke, and the juice of 1/2 a lemon. To that I add an onion that I’ve quartered, broken up into smaller pieces, and place around the outside of the brisket. the last ingredient is, I add in one can of fire roasted diced tomatoes that have been drained, and spread the diced tomatoes over the top. Next I wrap the whole thing with plastic wrap and set into the refrigerator over night.

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The next day when I’m ready to cook this off, I take the plastic wrap off and replace it with foil, bake it off at 300 degrees for around 1 hour and 15 minutes a pound. So for this size piece of brisket, comes to 3 hours and 45 minutes. I do however check it after 3 hours to see how it’s doing, because sometimes it may not need the whole 45 extra minutes. If after 3 hours you can stick a fork into the brisket and you can tell it’s going to fall apart easily, then go ahead and take it out and let it rest covered on the counter for about 15 minutes.

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Now after the meat has rested for a bit in it’s juices, I pull the foil off, take a fork and scrape the cooked tomatoes off to the side where they fall into the broth. I pull the tender brisket out carefully and place it on my meat board. I start with cutting the fat cap off, then I just shred the meat with two forks. While I’m doing this, I have the casserole dish on top of the stove, on med high heat reducing the broth so that it becomes more intense with beef flavor.

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Once the broth has reduced by half, I turn the heat down to low and the brisket back in and let simmer for another 10 minutes, and then remove the dish from the heat.  You can see how the meat just absorbs most of that delicious broth. I like to keep it covered with foil so its stays nice and hot until I’m ready to dish this savory delicious #brisket up. I was saying earlier how my favorite way to eat this was. Well this is what I do.

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I have to have some Pico de Gallo first. You can get my recipe for Pico de Gallo with the search bar under, Pico de Gallo two ways.

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I place some of the #brisket on a Tostada, then some freshly grated Jack cheese, and top it with some of my delicious Pico de Gallo. This is definitely my favorite way to eat this scrumptious savory beef #brisket.

Inactive Prep Time: 24 hours
Oven Temp: 300 degrees
Prep Time: 5 minutes

Ingredients: 3 pound flat top beef brisket
1/4 cup of beef consomme
1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
Juice of half a freshly squeezed lemon
4 dashes of liquid smoke
3 cloves of chopped garlic
1 large onion quartered and broken up
1-15 ounce can of drained fire roasted tomatoes ( diced tomatoes are fine)
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of black pepper

Directions:
Place chopped garlic in bottom of a casserole dish. Score fat side of the brisket with salt and pepper liberally. Place the brisket, fat side up into the dish. Place the quartered onion pieces all around the outside of the brisket. Add the drained fire roasted tomatoes all over the top. Mix all the liquid ingredients, beef consomme, soy sauce, liquid smoke, and lemon juice together then pour over the brisket. The liquid will settle on the bottom. Cover with plastic wrap, refrigerate for 24 hours. Set the oven temperature to 300 degrees. Remove plastic wrap and replace with foil, and place into the oven for 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes per pound. Check after 3 hours to check on tenderness to see how much longer you need to cook the brisket. It may need 15- 45 minutes longer. When finished, remove from oven, let rest covered for another 15 minutes. Take the tomatoes from the top and scrape them off the sides of the meat. Remove the brisket out from the dish carefully and cut the fat top off, then shred the beef. Reduce the broth, by half on med high heat,( whisk the broth occasionally) on top of the stove while your shredding the meat. then add the meat back into the broth and let simmer on low for another 10 minutes. That’s all there is to it. At this point you could add you favorite barbecue sauce and stir the sauce through or just serve this savory beef brisket as is. Both ways are delicious.

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