excerpted from Let Me Feed You: Everyday Recipes Offering the Comfort of Home
BUTTER’S AVOCADO TOAST
Makes 4 servings
- 4 thick slices whole grain or sourdough bread
- 4 medium avocados
- 1 tsp chili flakes Zest of 1 lemon Salt and pepper
- 4 radishes, thinly sliced
Toast the four slices of bread and lightly butter. I like to give my bread a good toasting so it has a little crunch in contrast to the mushy avocado.
Use a large knife to cut an avocado horizontally until it touches the pit. Use the pit as your guide as you cut all around the avocado. Pull the two halves apart by twisting in opposite directions. Use the same large knife to give the pit a little whack, then gently twist and lift it out (be careful here, people; I don’t want anyone ending up in the emergency room). Use a spoon to scoop the avocado from the skin and place it in a small bowl. Repeat with the remaining avocados.
Use a fork to mash the avocados, but don’t overdo it, as I think a few chunky bits are nice. Add the chili flakes, lemon zest, and salt and pepper to taste.
Spread onto the prepared pieces of toast, then top with the sliced radishes and another sprinkle of salt.
REAL ENGLISH MUFFINS
“At Butter, we are famous for our marshmallows. I can’t tell you how many people have asked me over the years, ‘You can make a marshmallow from scratch?’ Which inevitably leads me to respond, ‘Of course. How did you think they were made?’ I find English muffins are a little like marshmallows: a classic item we associate more with grocery-store shelves than we do our own kitchens. But, like the great marshmallow mystery, once you make your first batch of English muffins, you’ll realize you now have one less item to add to your grocery list forevermore.”
- Butter for mixing bowl and pan
- 3 cups bread flour
- 3 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 package (about 2 1⁄4 teaspoons) instant yeast
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup water
- 1⁄4 cup whole milk
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1 tbsp olive oil 1⁄4 cup cornmeal
Lightly butter a large mixing bowl and set aside.
Place the flour, sugar, yeast, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. Give it a couple of turns to combine.
In a small saucepan over medium heat, warm the water and milk to about 120ºF; if it’s too hot, it will kill the yeast (and you don’t want that on your conscience). Turn the mixer on low and add the warm liquid, beating to combine. Add the egg and olive oil and beat again. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Turn the mixer to medium-high and continue to beat until the dough comes together and starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl, about 4 to 5 minutes. The dough should be quite soft and a little sticky.
Shape the dough into a ball and place in the prepared bowl. Give it a turn and flip it over so that the top of the dough is now lightly buttered. Cover with plastic wrap or a clean tea towel and let rise in a warm, draft-free spot on your counter until doubled in size, 1 to 2 hours.
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Sprinkle the cornmeal over it and set aside.
Punch the dough down to release any air inside. Turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface. Divide into 12 equal pieces and shape each piece into a ball. Flatten each ball into a 3-inch disk and place in the cornmeal on the cookie sheet. Turn each muffin over once to coat both sides in the cornmeal. Cover with plastic wrap or a clean tea towel and let rise again in the warm, draft-free spot until they gain about 50 per cent in size, 45 to 60 minutes. Lightly grease a large cast-iron or nonstick skillet with butter or vegetable oil and heat over medium heat. Place several pieces of dough in the skillet and cook until they’re a lovely golden brown, 4 to 6 minutes per side. Adjust the heat as necessary to avoid burning.
Using a paper towel, wipe up any excess cornmeal left in the pan between batches to avoid burning it. (You can also use an electric griddle, which will fit six at a time, but I find the cast-iron or nonstick skillet creates much more even browning on the muffins.) Transfer the muffins to cooling racks lined with paper towel (to help absorb any excess butter or oil) and let cool completely (as hard as it might be to resist!).
Using a serrated knife or a fork, split the muffins open. Lightly toast in a toaster or toaster oven, smother with butter and jam, and enjoy!
Store, in an airtight container or wrapped in plastic, at room temperature for several days or up to 2 months in your freezer.
ALMOND BLUEBERRY CAKE
Makes 1 (9-inch cake), about 8 servings
“I love the simplicity of this one-layer cake, perfect for when you’re in need of dessert but pressed for time. It comes together in a flash with no frosting required – just a little sprinkle of icing sugar and maybe a scoop of whipped cream.
- 1 1⁄2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1⁄2 tsp baking soda
- 1⁄2 tsp salt
- 3⁄4 cup almond meal (ground almonds)
- 3⁄4 cup butter, room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup plain yogurt
- 1 tsp pure vanilla
- 1 tbsp orange zest
- 1 cup fresh blueberries
- Sprinkle of icing sugar (optional, for serving) Whipped cream (optional, for serving)
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Butter and flour a 9-inch circular cake pan. Set aside. Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt onto a large piece of parchment paper. Add the almond meal and set aside.
In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on high speed until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the yogurt and vanilla and mix again. Turn the mixer to low and slowly add the dry ingredients until just combined. Remove the bowl from the stand and scrape down the sides. Gently fold in the orange zest and blueberries.
Spread the mixture evenly into the prepared cake pan. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until a wooden skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before turning the cake out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Invert the cake so the top is facing up and place it on a serving plate. Use a small sieve to lightly dust the top of the cake with icing sugar. Serve each slice with a dollop of whipped cream, if using.
Store, covered, for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
STRAWBERRY RHUBARB COMPOTE
Makes 1 cup
“Just like butter and milk, I consider this compote a staple in my house. It’s so easy to make and even easier to use up. It’s the perfect accompaniment to a slew of breakfast options, like my Great Oat Loaf, yogurt and granola, pancakes, or French toast. I also like to fill my Breakfast Nest Cookies with it, fold a scoop into some whipped cream, or spoon it on top of a slice of pound cake. It’s even great with just a big ol’ scoop of vanilla ice cream for dessert. Then, just like that, it’s time to make another batch.”
- 3 cups chopped frozen rhubarb
- 3 cups frozen strawberries
- 1⁄4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tsp lemon zest
Place the fruit and sugar in a pot over medium-high heat. Stir to combine, and keep stirring for a couple of minutes until the sugar starts to melt and the fruit is warming up. Reduce the heat to medium, add the lemon zest, cover, and cook down for 10 to 15 minutes. Check in every 5 minutes or so to give it a good stir and reduce the heat further if necessary to avoid burning the fruit.
Uncover and continue to cook down, stirring constantly until the fruit is very thick and mushy (like a very loose jam), about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool.
Store, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
TIP I prefer to use frozen fruit as it’s more economical and means you can make this recipe year-round. You can mix up the choice of fruit if this combo isn’t your favorite: peach and raspberry or straight-up blueberry are both delicious options.
THE BEST AND BASIC QUICHE
(INVENTED BY SOME WOMAN NAMED LORRAINE)
Makes 1 (9-inch) quiche, 6 to 8 servings
- 6 slices thick-cut bacon, cut in 1-inch pieces
- 1 shallot, peeled and finely diced
- 1 recipe Flaky Quiche Pastry, prebaked (recipe below)
- 1 cup grated Gruyère
- 4 eggs
- 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1 cup milk
- 3⁄4 cup sour cream
- 1 tbsp finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄2 tsp pepper
Preheat the oven to 325ºF.
In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, cook the bacon until it starts to brown. Add the shallots and cook until softened, about 5 minutes in total (if you omit the bacon, just sauté the shallots in 1 tablespoon butter). Transfer to a dinner plate lined with paper towel and pat to remove any excess fat. Spread the bacon and shallots evenly across the bottom of the prepared quiche shell. Sprinkle with the grated cheese.
In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and flour. Add the milk, sour cream, parsley, salt, and pepper and whisk again to combine. Pour the liquid ingredients into the shell. I like to put the quiche pan atop a cookie sheet lined with parchment, as it makes it easier to get the quiche in and out of the oven and catches any spills.
Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the edges are set but the center remains a little wobbly. Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack. Allow the quiche to cool for at least 1 hour prior to removing from the pan and cutting.
Store, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Serve cold or reheat in a 200ºF oven for about 20 minutes.
FLAKY QUICHE PASTRY
Makes 1 (9-inch) quiche shell
- 1 1⁄2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1⁄2 tsp salt
- 1⁄2 cup butter, chilled and cut in 1-inch cubes
- 1⁄3 cup ice water
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1 tbsp water
Place the flour and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Pulse the machine a couple of times to combine. Add the cubed chilled butter to the bowl and continue to pulse until pea-sized crumbs begin to form. This happens pretty quickly, so keep your eye on it, as you don’t want to over-incorporate the butter into the flour. The pea-sized chunks of butter will release steam when the quiche bakes, creating a lovely flaky pastry.
Turn the food processor on and pour the 1⁄3 cup ice water through the feed tube in a steady stream. As soon as the dough starts to come together, stop the machine. Remove the dough from the bowl and shape it into a disk. Wrap the disk in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or overnight.
Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
Remove the chilled disk of pastry from the refrigerator and place it on a lightly floured work surface. Use a rolling pin to roll from the center of the dough out toward the edges, rotating the dough every few strokes to make sure it doesn’t stick to the counter. Lightly dust with more flour as needed to avoid it sticking. Continue to roll until the pastry is about 1/8 inch thick and 11 inches in diameter. Roll a pastry docker over the rolled pastry or use a fork to create random holes across the surface. The steam needs somewhere to escape when a pastry shell is blind-baked to avoid it shrinking in the pan.
Carefully fold the pastry in quarters and transfer to a 9-inch quiche pan with a removable bottom. Unfold and press the pastry into place, making sure not to stretch the pastry. Run your rolling pin across the top of the pan to cut a clean edge around the top of the pastry shell.
In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and 1 tablespoon water. Use a pastry brush to coat the inside of the pastry shell with the egg wash.
Bake for 15 minutes, until the pastry is beginning to turn a light golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool before filling.
The unrolled pastry can be frozen for up to 3 months. The baked pastry shell will keep, well wrapped, in the freezer for up to 1 month
Let Me Feed You: Everyday Recipes Offering the Comfort of Home by Rosie Daykin. Copyright © 2019 Rosie Daykin. Photography by Rosie Daykin and Janis Nicolay. Published by Appetite by Random House®, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.