Four Clan Kitchen

What we eat everyday

Archive for October, 2012

Small batch sweet hot pepper pickles

Posted by fourclankitchen on October 20, 2012

I am still putting away things that I grew over the summer.  This year, I had a real nice crop of anaheim peppers.  For reasons that I don’t understand, this batch was way hotter than what I usually get at the grocery store, but I guess that is not so unusual for peppers.  These were just the right heat for me to make hot and sweet pepper pickles.  There was no recipe that I could find, so I basically made them like Thai cucumber pickles (or my best guess as to how they are made). If you are like me and like to be hit all at once with hot, sweet, salty, bitter and sour, then these are for you.  They are also really easy to make.


6 Anaheim peppers, cut cross-wise into discs (any pepper that is mild to seriously hot will do here, so adjust according to your heat tolerance)

3 cloves garlic, peeled and coarsely pounded

2 cups vinegar

1/2-2/3 cup sugar

1-1 1/2 tsp Diamond kosher salt (You will want less of any other type of kosher or table salt)


1. Put the vinegar, sugar and salt in a large sauce pan and bring to a boil.

2.  Add the garlic and peppers, turn off the fire ( If you boil the peppers, they lose their color).

3.  Taste and adjust the salt and sugar.   Store in a non reactive container in the fridge.

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Apple Cake

Posted by fourclankitchen on October 14, 2012

This is apple cake recipe is from the NY Times (first published in the 1970s).  It takes about 15 min to put together and can be eaten for breakfast or a coffee time snack. If it makes you feel less guilty about eating cake for breakfast,  by all means put it in muffin pans or loaf pans.   I even serve it for dinner sometimes, when I dress it up with a caramel sauce.  Although I haven’t tried it,  I think it would take very well to adding more cinnamon or substituting half the flour with whole wheat flour.  The recipe follows the original exactly, with one exception.  I added 1/2 cup of milk to it.  I do this for all soda breads because I think it makes for a softer texture.  This is a huge cake and takes very well to freezing (sliced up) for several months.  So enjoy!

3 cups flour, plus more for dusting pan

Butter for greasing bundt pan
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup milk

3 cups peeled, cored and thickly sliced tart apples, like Honeycrisp or Granny Smith
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
1 cup raisins (optional, but delicious)


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Butter and flour a 10-inch bundt pan. Beat the oil and sugar together in a mixer (fitted with a paddle attachment) while assembling the remaining ingredients. After about 5 minutes, add the eggs and beat until the mixture is creamy.  Add the milk.

2. Mix together 3 cups of flour, the salt, cinnamon and baking soda. Stir into the batter. Add the vanilla, apples, walnuts (if using) and raisins (if using) and stir until combined.

3. Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan. Bake for 1 hour and 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan before turning out.

Caramel Sauce (the recipe is from the blog:  Thibeault’s Table;  I did not make this, this time, but will add pictures when I do)


1 (2 sticks) cup butter (unsalted)

1 cup sugar

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup cream

pinch of salt

2 tsp vanilla

Place all the ingredient in a thick bottomed sauce pan and cook on medium heat for 5-6 min.  Serve over the apple cake, vanilla ice cream… you get the picture. This is a lot of caramel sauce, but the left overs freeze very well, but I don’t know how long they last.

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Quick Cheese Bread

Posted by fourclankitchen on October 6, 2012

This is a wonderful cheese bread that tastes as good as a yeasted batter bread, but comes together  in a fraction of time.  Seriously.  You can make this loaf in the time it would take you to put together a batch of biscuits.  It tastes terribly good and very rich and would go with any meal: by itself at breakfast (no butter needed),  or with a soup or salad for lunch or dinner.  This recipe is from America’s Test Kitchen Cookbook.  I borrowed this from the library and absolutely love it.  If you are a reasonably good cook, this book could be your go to book. Everything I have made from it has been right on.  I tweaked this recipe a little.  I took out sour cream and replaced it with yogurt and the whole milk with 2% milk.  I also added the herbs de provence.  I did not have Parmesan, so I used a mix of asiago and cheddar.  When I make it again,  I will reduce the cheeses to make it less rich.


1 cup shredded parmesan cheese  (I used a mixture of cheddar and asiago, about half and half)

3 cups unbleached all purpose flour

1 tbs. baking powder

1 tsp table salt

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

1/4-1/2 tsp black pepper, ground

1 tsp herbs de provence (you could use your favorite here: oregano,  sage, dill, marjoram)

1 cup asiago cheese, broken up into 1/4-1/2 inch bits (or use sharp cheddar)

1 1/4 cup milk (1 used 2%)

3 tbs butter, unsalted, melted

1 large egg

3/4 cup whole milk yoghurt (the original recipe calls for sour cream)


1.  Place a rack at the center of the oven and preheat to 350˚F.

2.  Grease an 8.5×4.5″  loaf pan and sprinkly 1/2 cup of grated cheese at the bottom (this forms a nice crust on the bottom, you want this).

3. In a large bowl,  mix together flour, baking powder, salt and spices. Add the cubed cheese and mix.

4.  In a medium sized bowl,  mix together, milk, egg, yogurt, melted butter.

5.  Mix the dry and wet ingredient until just combined.  The mixture will be thick.

6.  Transfer mixture into the prepared loaf pan.  Use a spatula to even out the top.

7.  Sprinkle remaining cheese on the top.

8.  Bake for 45-50 min, until an inserted tester comes out clean.

9.  Let the bread sit in the pan for 5 min, then transfer to a wire rack or a metal plate to cool for 45 min.

10. Slice and eat.

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