Storm the Cassoulet

Carrot Cake Pancakes with Cinnamon Honey Butter

carrot cake

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup toasted chopped walnuts
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
pinch of ground ginger
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon canola or vegetable oil
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 large eggs – lightly beaten
2 cups grated carrot – about 1 pound
1 tablespoon orange zest
butter for pan
cinnamon honey butter (recipe below)
maple syrup or marscapone cheese, optional
Can also add golden raisins, optional

Method:

Combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger in a large bowl with a whisk.

In a medium sized bowl, whisk brown sugar, buttermilk, oil, vanilla and eggs together.

Add sugar mixture to the flour mixture and gently combine with a large spatula. Do not overmix.

Fold in the carrots, orange zest and walnuts.
Heat a cast iron skillet/griddle/other large skillet over medium heat. Coat the bottom with butter. Spoon (1/4 cup) batter into the skillet and gently spread the batter out a little bit. Cook for a couple minutes or until you see the top covered with bubbles. Flip over and cook another minute or two.
Keep pancakes warm in 190 degree oven until you are ready to serve. Serve with cinnamon honey butter (recipe below) and good ole maple syrup.

Cinnamon Honey Butter
Ingredients:

3 tablespoons softened unsalted butter
2 tablespoons honey
pinch of cinnamon
pinch of salt

Method:

Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl until well incorporated.

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Roasted Asparagus with Mint Butter

EE-roasted-asparagus

Ingredients:

1/2 stick (2 ounces) unsalted butter, room temperature

2 tablespoons olive oil 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint, plus additional sprig for garnish

Salt and pepper to taste

2 pounds fresh asparagus, ends trimmed

Method:

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

In a medium bowl stir the mint and butter together until combined. Place in a small ramekin.

Place the asparagus on 2 baking sheets and toss with the olive oil. Roast the asparagus about 15 minutes until soft and slightly charred, turning once. Remove from the oven and place on a serving dish, dollop with the mint butter and garnish with mint sprig. Serve warm.

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How to Make Clarified Butter

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To make 1 cup of clarified butter you’ll need 1¼ cup of butter. (You will lose approximately 25% of the original butter’s total volume when clarifying.)

Place butter in a saucepan over a very low heat. Let the butter melt slowly, do not stir the butter while it is melting.

As the butter melts, it will separate into three layers. The top layer is a thin layer of foam, the middle layer contains the bulk of the liquid (weighing in at about 80% of the total), and the bottom layer is where the water and most of the milk solids are. This natural separation is what makes clarifying possible.

Skim the foam off the surface of the butter, discard the foam. Be cautious to avoid dipping the ladle into the butterfat while skimming, as the fat should remain intact.

At this point, there are two possible methods for removing the butterfat from the water on the bottom of the pan. The method we chose to illustrate is to decant the fat from the water.

Carefully and slowly pour the fat into another container. You can see the water underneath the clear yellow butterfat. If you notice any of the water slipping into the fat, you may need to re-decant your new batch of clarified butter. If there is any water in the clarified butter, and you try adding it to a hot pan, the water will immediately boil when it hits the pan, causing the hot clarified butter to splatter out of the pan and potentially burning the cook.

An alternate method for separating the fat from the water is to use a ladle and skim the fat up and out of the pan, making sure not to let any of the water get into the ladle.

Pour your newly clarified butter to a separate container, and discard the water and small amount of remaining milk fat.

If the clarified butter sits for a moment, you might notice more foam float to the top; use a spoon to remove this last bit of foam.

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Seasoned Roasted Garlic Butter

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Ingredients:

1 head garlic

Olive oil

½ cup butter, softened

1 teaspoon honey

Method:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Peel away the dry outer layers of skin from garlic. Cut off the pointed top portions (about 1/4 inch), leaving the bulb intact. Place the garlic, cut side up, in a custard cup. Drizzle with a little olive oil. Cover with foil and bake 25 to 35 minutes or until the cloves feel soft when pressed. Set aside just until cool enough to handle. Squeeze out the garlic paste from individual cloves.

In a mixing bowl combine the garlic, butter, honey and one of the seasoning blends. Transfer to waxed paper. Shape into a 5x1x11/2-inch log. Freeze 1 hour or until firm.

Slice and serve on grilled chicken or fish, swirl into soup or just melt on warm biscuits.

Options:

Red Pepper Seasoning

Use 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper.

Black Pepper Seasoning

Use 1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper, 1/2 teaspoon smoked sea salt and 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed.

Herb Seasoning

Use 1 teaspoon herbes de Provence, 1/2 teaspoon finely shredded lemon peel and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt.

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Sweet Potato and Sage-Butter Casserole

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Ingredients:

2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces

1 pound Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces

4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, plus 1 ounce (2 tablespoons), melted

2 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage

1 1/2 cups whole milk, warmed

Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

1 cup fresh breadcrumbs (from 3 slices white bread, crusts removed)

Method:

Place sweet potatoes and potatoes in a large saucepan; cover with water, and season with salt. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 9 minutes. Drain; pass through a ricer into a bowl.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Melt 1 stick butter in a small saucepan over medium heat, swirling occasionally, until golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat; add 2 tablespoons sage. Stir butter mixture and milk into potatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a 2-quart casserole dish. (Mixture can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.)

Combine breadcrumbs with 2 tablespoons melted butter and remaining 1/2 tablespoon sage. Season with salt and pepper. Toss to combine.

Top potato mixture with breadcrumbs. Bake, uncovered, until bubbling around edges and breadcrumbs are golden brown, 30 to 40 minutes. (If browning too quickly, tent with foil.) Let stand, uncovered, for 10 minutes.

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