Four Clan Kitchen

What we eat everyday

Archive for June, 2011

Peach Cake

Posted by fourclankitchen on June 26, 2011

I am a great fan of simple desserts, fruity desserts and desserts that can be eaten for breakfast.  This peach cake is among the best of this genre.  In addition, it contains almond flour and extract, a perfect foil for the intense peach flavor the cake packs.  This recipe is adapted from Food52, a great archival blog for everything from Sangria to Hummus.  I made just a few changes: I increased the number of peaches to 4 and the amount of almond extract to 1/2 tsp (up from 1/4 tsp).  I also omitted the nutmeg from the recipe, because I felt that it would be discordant with the sweet harmony of the almond and the peach.


3-4 ripe peaches or nectarines (I used 4 small and did not peel )

1 cup sugar, divided

6 tablespoons softened unsalted butter

1 egg

1/2 cup buttermilk

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2  teaspoon almond extract

1 cup all purpose flour

1/2 cup almond flour (or finely ground almonds)

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

Turbinado Sugar (optional)


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 9-inch springform cake pan.

2. Cut the peaches into bite sized pieces. Toss the peaches with 2 tablespoons sugar. Set aside.

3. Cream together the butter and remaining sugar with a wooden spoon or spatula. Add the egg, buttermilk and extracts, and stir to combine.

4. Combine the flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add this flour mixture to the butter mixture, mix until smooth. Pour into the prepared pan.

(Alternatively you can combine Steps 3 and 4 as follows: mix all the dry ingredients together, cut in the butter till you get coarse crumbs, then add in the egg and the liquid ingredients.  This is what I did: there is one dish less to wash and the cake was perfectly good).

4. Press the peaches into the top of the cake. They can be nicely arranged, but I mixed mine into the batter because I did not read the instructions carefully enough. This was fine, but made the peaches settle at the bottom.

5. Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce the oven heat to 325 degrees and bake for an additional 45 to 55 minutes, or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean.  Mine took about 42 min.

6.  Cool in the pan for about 10 min.  Cut and remove pieces carefully onto serving plates because the cake wants to come apart around the peaches.  Enjoy with a glass of milk.

Posted in baked, Breads, Breakfast, Brunch, Dessert | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Tomato Jam

Posted by fourclankitchen on June 19, 2011

Our local Farmer’s market and food co-op are full of San Marzano tomatoes right now.  These are basically plum tomatoes and are prized for their low water and seed content, making them the ideal choice for sauces, jams and slow roasting.  Since I only see them in summer, I am trying to preserve these in as many ways I know how.  This recipe for tomato jam (barely adapted  from Mark Bittman, NY Times, 2008)   is absolutely the most perfect of summer preserves, giving you an all round tongue buzz of  sweet, savory, sour and spicy flavors all in one little shmear on your cracker or toast.  It also takes very little hands on time and is totally worth doing.  The recipe makes about 1 pint, so I’ve never frozen it.  But I do freeze a very similar cranberry jam for as long as a year with no loss of flavor or texture.


1 1/2 lb (about 3 cups) tomatoes, cored and coarsely chopped (Roma are best)

1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
1 tablespoon fresh grated or minced ginger
1 teaspoon ground cumin, preferably freshly ground
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (the original recipe calls for 1/4 tsp)
1/3 teaspoon ground cloves, preferably freshly ground (the original recipe calls for 1/8 tsp)
1 teaspoon salt
1 jalapeño or fresno, stemmed, seeded (if you want your jam to be less spicy)  and minced, or red pepper flakes or cayenne to taste.

1. Combine all ingredients in a heavy medium saucepan, Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring often (stick around for this, because it will burn in a hurry. You could also add a 1/4 of water here,  if you needed to walk away for a bit.  This will keep it from burning).
2. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until mixture has consistency of thick jam, about 1 hour 15 minutes (mine took an hour when cooked without a lid).

3. Taste and adjust seasoning, then cool and refrigerate until ready to use; this will keep at least a week.

Posted in condiments, Side Dishes, vegan, Vegetarian | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Chinese Wonton-Watercress Soup

Posted by fourclankitchen on June 8, 2011

I have been working non-stop for 5 weeks on a big work-related project.  Its finally submitted, but the rest of my life is a wreck.  So dinner had to be whatever the heck was in the fridge and in the garden. I started by planning an egg drop soup, but had to take a detour since I only had 1 egg.  I  ended up instead with this whatyoumightcallit Chinese soup which had  chicken wontons/ potstickers from the freezer and every vegetable shrapnel from my fridge. As you can imagine, the  vegetables you use are irrelevant, pretty much anything will do.  Also,  I swirled in an egg into the soup at the end, because the initial plan after all was an egg drop soup.  But when I tasted it, it was so full of flavor that I thought the egg was unnecesary.


1 tbs. cooking oil

7-8 cups chicken stock (or water+2 heaping tbs. Better than Buillion Chick Soup Base- this is what I used_

1/2 medium sized onion, diced

1 bunch water cress, coarsely chopped

1 carrot, peeled and diced

1 poblano pepper, thinly sliced

1 large tomato, coarsely chopped

3 large mushrooms, stemmed and sliced

2 tsp. grated ginger

2 fat cloves garlic, grated

1/2 cup cilantro, chopped

4-5 basil leaves, cut into strips

1 tbs. soy sauce

1/2 tsp ground black pepper, adjust to taste

1-2 tsp toasted sesame oil for garnish (optional)

10-20 potstickers/wontons (I used the chicken and cilantro wontons sold by Costco-they are smallish).


Heat the cooking oil in a large pot.  Briefly, saute the onions, garlic and ginger, then add the carrots,  peppers, mushrooms and water cress.  Saute for a few minutes, then add the water and boullion or chicken stock.  Now add the cilantro and basil (don’t take out the cilantro, it is the key flavor).  Bring the soup to a boil, then add the wontons.  Cook the wontons through (usually about 10 min).  A few (2-3) minutes before the wontons will be cooked, add the tomatoes.  Finish with the soy sauce and black pepper.  Adjust the soy sauce, if the salt is inadequate.  Ladle into bowls and drizzle with sesame oil if using.  Dig in!

Posted in Asian, Brunch, Chinese, Main Dishes, Soups | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

%d bloggers like this: