Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Where You Taste The Love

Fresh Peach Cake With Pistachios

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Family and friends always ask me if it took me all day to make my Fresh Peach Cake With Pistachios. Truth is it doesn’t. I’ll show you how easy this dessert is to make.

The sweetness from the fresh peaches and that kiss of saltiness from the pistachios give this cake great flavor and texture. This cake is so moist you’re not going to believe it! I do have a secret ingredient and I’ll explain that in a minute.

I start with making the batter.

eggs

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Reserve the vanilla bean pod(s) for your granulated sugar. You’ll have vanilla-flavored sugar for future recipes.

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Fresh Peach Cake Topped With Pistachios

 

 

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Inactive Prep Time 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 45 to 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Yields: 6 servings
Equipment: Stand Mixer, large mixing bowl, medium-size mixing bowl, small mixing bowl, offset spatula, 9 x 9-inch baking pan

Ingredients:
1/2 pound (2 sticks)of unsalted butter, room temperature, 1 for buttering pan
1 1/2 cups of vanilla-flavored granulated sugar (reserve 1/2 a cup for the cinnamon sugar mixture)
1 tablespoon of pure vanilla extract
4 ounces sour cream, room temperature
4 ounces of ricotta cheese, room temperature
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 cups of all-purpose flour, sifted
1 teaspoon of baking powder, sifted
1 teaspoon of baking soda, sifted
1 teaspoon of Kosher salt, sifted
1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
1/2 cup of pistachios, roughly chopped
garnish with powdered sugar or a dollop of fresh whipped cream

Directions:
Butter a 9 x 9-inch baking pan really well.

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, start by adding the room temperature unsalted butter. With the mixer on low speed, add the sugar and turn the mixer up to medium speed for about 3 to 4 minutes until the butter is light and fluffy.

Next, reduce the speed to low, add the vanilla and two-room temperature eggs, one at a time. Let that mix together for a minute before adding the room temperature sour cream. To that add, my secret ingredient, the ricotta cheese. Let that all combine. Turn the mixer off scrape down the sides of the bowl before adding the dry ingredients.

In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and Kosher salt. Turn the mixer back to low speed and slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet until just combined, turn the mixer off. You don’t want 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.

Next, I’ve peeled, cored and then sliced five peaches in a medium-size bowl. In a small bowl add the ground cinnamon and sugar, whisk to combine.

Preheat the oven to 350-degrees F.

Add half the batter to the bottom of the greased baking pan. Using an offset spatula, spread the batter out evenly on the bottom of the pan.

Arrange half of the sliced peaches into the batter, sprinkle them with a dusting of the cinnamon sugar. Next, add the remaining half of the batter and spread that over the sliced peaches. Arrange the rest of the sliced 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, sprinkle the top of the peach cake with chopped pistachios. Transfer the cake to the refrigerator for 15 minutes to rest.

Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, if a toothpick comes out clean, the cake is ready. Allow the cake to cool completely before cutting.

Serve my Fresh Peach Cake With Pistachios warm or at room temperature. Maybe with a dollop of fresh whipped cream, or a dusting of powdered sugar, YUM!

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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.

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

So what you have, with this dish, are layers of the food you love to eat for breakfast topped Pico de Gallo. I ask you, what could be better?

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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Prep time: 15 minutes (includes prepping the vegetables and making Pico de Gallo)
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Yields: 4 servings
Equipment: 1 (9 x 11) baking dish, 1 (12-inch) non-stick sautè pan, 1 (9-inch) cast-iron skillet, 1 large mixing bowl, whisk

Ingredients:
1 package of Simply Potatoes 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, crumbled
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 freshly 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 for the bottom layer.

In the same pan, on medium-high heat, add the sliced breakfast links. Cook for 3 to 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 a large 12-inch non-stick sautèpan, over 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 softened Goat cheese.

Finally, spoon on the Pico de Gallo for that burst of color and flavor. There you have it my Breakfast Casserole.

Pico de Gallo-Two Ways

The Perfect Scrambled Eggs

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Beef Barley Soup

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Having worked in a few diners in my day, soups are a staple on most menus. I’ve made and served a lot of homemade soups. My Beef Barley Soup was definitely a favorite.

Chicken Broth

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Stuffing (2)

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Olive Oil

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I’m using beef stock instead of broth. The beef stock as compared to the beef broth adds a real depth of flavor.

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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 3 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 13 minutes
Yields: 6 servings
Equipment: 6-quart saucepot, 6-quart Dutch oven

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups of barley, uncooked
1 quart of chicken broth, unsalted
2 pounds of lean ground sirloin (90% lean)
1 1/2 to 2 quarts of beef stock, unsalted
1 onion, 1-inch dice
1 cup of leafy-top carrots, 1-inch dice
1 cup of celery, 1-inch dice, include leafy tops
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon of dried oregano
1 1/2 tablespoons of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper
1 (15-ounce) can of fire-roasted tomatoes
Parmesan cheese, shredded, for garnish
Homemade Ciabatta Croutons for garnish

Directions:
Start by adding chicken broth into a large saucepot. Add the barley to the chicken broth. Over medium-high heat, bring up to a boil, lower the heat to medium-low and simmer until all the liquid has been absorbed 20 to 25 minutes.

Once the barley has finished cooking, cover, remove from the heat, and set aside.

In the meantime, in a large heavy bottom pot over medium-high heat add olive oil. To the oil, add the diced onions, stirring frequently, cook until the onions become translucent 2 to 3 minutes. Next, add garlic, dried oregano, red pepper flakes, Kosher salt, and fresh ground black pepper, stir to combine.

Add the ground sirloin. Using a wooden spoon, break the meat up and cook, stirring occasionally until the meat is no longer pink, 7 to 10 minutes.

Next, add the carrots, celery, and the fire-roasted diced tomatoes with juice, stir to combine. Stirring frequently, continue to cook for another 3 to 5 minutes.

Add the beef stock. Add enough beef stock so that the liquid comes up to around 2 inches from the top of the pot.

Note: If you think you don’t have enough liquid, you can always add water.

Still, over medium-high heat, bring everything up to a bubble before reducing the heat to medium-low. Simmer for 30 minutes. At this point add the cooked barley, stir to combine.

Continue to simmer for another 15 minutes. Turn the heat off and cover. The Beef Barley Soup is ready.

Wait!, what about Homemade Croutons for the top. I just happen to have a nice baguette leftover from yesterday that would work just perfectly. 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!

Homemade Ciabatta Croutons

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