Plethora of Ricotta

Lemon Ricotta Pound Cake

What do you do when ricotta is on sale, even if you cook for one and the size that’s on sale is the “family size”, 32 ounce?

Buy it and bake cakes with it, that’s what!

Trying my hardest to steer away from flour/butter/sugar, that’s why I decided not to bake a cake for my recent birthday and went with fresh tarts (which by the way also include flour/butter/sugar).  I was craving cake because I skipped cake – go figure!

Found a few recipes for a coffee cake which contained less sugar but decided on this Lemon Ricotta Pound Cake, of all choices.

Straight from the oven, I immediately sliced it and doled it out to friends and neighbors.  I actually stored a big piece in the freezer; it’s in there now.  Out of sight, out of mind – well, maybe.

I used this recipe from a fellow food blogger, Alexandra Cooks making slight changes:  used 2 eggs, used ½ cup of plain Greek yogurt, and used 1 cup of ricotta.  Really easy recipe with buttery, moist results!  So good, really!

Lemon Ricotta Pound Cake

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 ½ sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 cups whole-milk ricotta cheese (I used 1 cup of part-skim)
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
zest of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
½ cup Greek yogurt, plain

Process

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Grease a 9x5x3” loaf pan or 3 mini loaf pans and line bottom with parchment.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Stir to blend.

Using a mixer, cream the butter, ricotta and granulated sugar until blended, it’s ok if there are some visible pieces of butter/cheese. In other words, the batter will not look entirely smooth. With the machine running, add the eggs 1 at a time. Add the vanilla, zest and lemon juice until combined. Add the dry ingredients, careful to just combine and not over mix.

Add to pans and bake for about 40 minutes; test with a skewer or toothpick for doneness.

**Note:  a couple of changes I would make – cream the butter and sugar first for about 5 minutes then add the remaining wet ingredients; I would also use 1 stick of butter and 1 cup of sugar instead of 1 and 1/2.  I do plan to bake this again as it is so easy and results are great!


Meaty Mushroom: Shiitake

Roasted Shiitake Mushrooms

I’ve posted about mushrooms before.  Yes, I do love them and in so many ways.

I just bought two big batches of shiitake mushrooms and decided to easily oven roast them.  The shiitake mushroom is quite satisfying in any dish and is often used as a substitute for meat in many vegetarian dishes.  I love their chewiness and they absorb flavor so well.

I normally would use Asian style herbs and flavors on these mushrooms but just simply put together a basic fresh minced garlic, olive oil, oregano and red pepper flake combo.

I also added the same herb mix to a chicken breast that I roasted as well.  Super simple, just the way I like it!

You can put these on the grill too!

Roasted Shiitake Mushrooms

Ingredients

4-5 C shiitake mushrooms – washed, dried, stems trimmed
1/2 sweet onion – cut into 1/4″ thick slices
1 t salt
1/4 t pepper
1/4 t red pepper flakes
1/4 t oregano
4 garlic cloves, minced
dash of ground coriander
2 T olive oil
1/2 t balsamic vinegar

Process:  add mushrooms and onions to a large bowl; add the remaining ingredients in a small bowl and mix; add this mixture to the mushrooms; roast seasoned mushrooms in a shallow pan for 15 minutes at 400 F.

Key:  t=teaspoon, T=tablespoon, C=cup