Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Last Thursday's Supper

Last Thursday morning I went to the farmer's market in Syracuse. While I always love the farmer's market, it's usually a little overwhelming to consider going there. I discovered the secret-- don't go on Saturday! On Saturday it is crowded, and there are lots more vendors selling things other than fresh produce. This Thursday, I parked right next to the market, breezed through selecting yummy things, and was out again quickly! That's really key when there's three kids with you.

I have no idea what to do with eggplant at this point in my life, but I just loved the colors, so I had to snap a picture.

Cheyenne eating one of the little plums we bought.

It isn't ALL fresh vegetables-- there's some pretty yummy fresh-made doughnuts we had to sample!

Aren't these pretty little plums? They were destined for plum torte.

Fresh Plum Torte
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 12 plums (small deep purple, prune or Italian), halved and pitted
  • 1 T sugar
  • 2 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • Vanilla ice cream or whipped cream for serving
Preheat oven to 350° and spray 9- or 10-inch springform pan. (I used the 9-inch-- it was less dusty.) Cream together sugar and butter until light and creamy. In a small bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Add to butter mixture with eggs and vanilla and beat well. (I didn't sift together the dry ingredients first, just dumped them in at that step. It worked fine, but maybe you like to sift flour!) Spoon batter into the pan and place plum halves, skin side up, on top of batter. They will sink as it cools. Batter will barely cover the bottom of the pan, which is as it should be! Sprinkle lightly with sugar, lemon juice, and cinnamon. (The first time I made this recipe I forgot to do this, and I did it when it came out of the oven. I almost liked it better that way-- the lemon juice was fresher tasting!) Bake torte for one hour, depending on pan (a black pan takes less time.) Torte is done when tester inserted in the torte comes out clean. (Mine was done in a little over 40 minutes, since I have a black non-stick pan.) Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack for a few minutes. Remove from the pan, cool to lukewarm, and serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream. (I didn't put anything on it, and it was pretty good plain. The ice cream may have helped the taste of the occasional overly tart plum, though.)

This was how it looked before it went in the oven. I think I used a few more than a dozen plums-- 14 or 15 maybe? Just cover the torte nicely.

Then, while the torte was baking, we got busy with the supper. Tori cut up the fresh green beans.

And I made Crispy Yogurt Chicken, from Pioneer Woman, slightly tweaked.

Crispy Yogurt Chicken
  • Chicken pieces (I had tenders on hand)
  • 2 cups plain, unflavored yogurt
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic
  • Herb of your choice (I was in the mood for Rosemary, snipped from my herb garden!)
  • Juice of one lemon
  • Salt
  • Butter
  • 2 cups Panko bread crumbs (these bread crumbs are awesome, but plain old bread crumbs will work if you're desperate)
Mince the garlic and herbs, and add them, along with the lemon juice, to the yogurt. In another bowl, mix the bread crumbs with a bit of salt, or seasonings. Shake salt onto the chicken pieces, dredge them through the yogurt and then through the bread crumbs. Place them on a cookie sheet or in a 13x9 pan. Put dabs of sliced butter on each piece. Now, Pioneer Woman says to cover with foil and bake for 1 to 1 and 1/4 hours at 350°. I'm forgetful and impatient, so I rarely bother with the tin foil, and the chicken will be cooked much sooner than an hour, especially if you cut your chicken into smaller pieces-- it just won't be as crispy. Depending on how rushed I am for supper, I have done this in as little as twenty minutes, or as long as 45 minutes. I also usually crank the heat up a tad-- 375° or 400°. If you do go with the foil, remove for the last 15 minutes of baking.

Here's the chicken, a-waiting to be baked.

What a yummy looking supper! That's jasmine rice we're having with the chicken. My in-laws often use this rice, and I'm a huge fan. With just a tad of butter and some salt, it's better than candy!

All year long, we eat frozen green beans quite happily. When these come along, though, we wonder how we were ever content with the frozen ones.

The finished plum torte.

It is quite moist, and SO GOOD! It's one Evan doesn't like, though. He's not a huge fan of plums. This is one of those dishes that does depend heavily on the quality of the plum. There were a few in this batch that were a bit tart, but the rest of the torte was excellent.

Okay, now I have to go to bed so I can get up in the morning and head off to the farmer's market again!

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