Sunday, February 10, 2013

dutch baby pancake with sautéed apples

i thought it would be a fun way to try out my new cast iron skillet by making a  "dutch baby" pancake. like a giant popover, the batter is soft and eggy without being overly sweet. the batter is easy to make either by hand or in the blender, and it makes a lovely addition to brunch or as a dessert to finish a meal. i topped it with sautéed apples, as this time of year they are delicious from the farmer's market. you can enjoy this whole wheat dutch baby pancake year round by topping it with any seasonal fruit.

start by coring and slicing the apples into thin pieces.

 sauté the apples for about 5 minutes in 1/2 tbsp butter with a sprinkling of cinnamon, allspice, and maple syrup.

fresh and high quality ingredients make a difference here, as the recipe calls for so few.

to your eggs you will add 1/2 cup flour. i opted for whole wheat pastry flour.

add 1/2 cup milk. i usually have 1% on hand.

for ease, i just threw the eggs in the blender for a few seconds, and then added the rest of the ingredients. pulse a few times and then let the blender run for about 5-10 seconds.

 melt 1.5 tbsp of butter in the cast iron skillet on the stovetop. once it is melted, tilt the pan to coat the bottom and partially up the sides.

 pour the batter into the hot skillet, and then carefully transfer the skillet into a preheated oven. bake for 20-25 minutes until it is puffy and golden brown.

 the outer crust is a good indication of when the pancake is done, and there shouldn't be any uncooked batter.

 top with the warm sautéed apples, and you are done! the pancake is delicious served warm.

you can slide the whole pancake out of the skillet to cut it, or just slice pieces as you would a pie. refrigerate the leftovers and reheat in the oven or toaster oven.

recipe based on the whole foods recipe

whole wheat dutch baby pancake with sauteed apples
serves 4-6


1 large apple, cored and sliced thinly
1/2 tbsp butter
~ 1/4 tsp cinnamon (or more to taste)
~1/8 tsp allspice (to taste)
1-2 tsp maple syrup

4 eggs
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup low-fat milk
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp vanilla extract

optional garnish ideas: lemon juice to squeeze on top, extra maple syrup, yogurt


1.   preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat and melt 1 tbsp butter. when the butter is melted, toss in the sliced apples. sprinkle with cinnamon and allspice, and cook for about 5 minutes until the apples soften. near the end of cooking, add 1-2 tsp maple syrup to taste.

2.   in a blender, crack the 4 eggs and pulse a few times. add the flour, milk, cinnamon, and vanilla. pulse a few times, then blend for 5-10 seconds until completely combined.

3.   melt 1.5 tbsp butter in a 10 inch cast iron skillet. tilt the pan to coat the bottom on partially up the sides of the pan. pour the batter into the hot pan, and transfer it immediately to the preheated oven.

4.   let it bake for 20-25 minutes until the sides and top are golden brown, the pancake is puffy, and there is no more raw batter. let cool slightly, then top with the sauteed apples. squeeze lemon juice over the top (optional) and serve warm.


- refrigerate any leftovers in a tightly sealed container, and reheat in the oven or toaster oven.

- as the pancake does not have sugar added, i like to use a sweeter variety of apple like fuji or golden delicious.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

sweet potato chili

the winter chill has set in, and while that doesn't make for wonders in the fresh produce department, there are still plenty of things to buy at the farmer's market. root vegetables store well, and are a perfect addition to this vegetarian sweet potato chili recipe.

i found this recipe while looking to use my slow cooker. once you prep your ingredients, it is easy to throw everything together and let it cook all day. this is not only an easy way to have a meal ready - it also lets the flavors meld together. if you don't have a slow cooker, try simmering the ingredients together with a little extra liquid, for a few hours on low heat over the stovetop.

to prep, first chop up your sweet potatoes into cubes and put them in the bowl of slow cooker.

chop the green pepper, onion, garlic, and almost all the prep is done!

i like to take the harsh edge off the flavor of onion and garlic before adding them to the slow cooker. i added this step, so if you want to skip it, the chili should still turn out fine. after caramelizing in a bit of olive oil, they should look something like this:

measure out the spices. do cinnamon and cocoa sound weird in chili? trust the recipe, it brings a warmth to the spice mix just like a mole sauce. rinse the black and kidney beans if using canned, and add them to the bowl of the slow cooker with the chopped green pepper.

if you want all the work to be done, you can slice up the scallions ahead of time.

to make it easy to start the slow cooker in the morning, you can refrigerate your prepped ingredients until you are ready to start the slow cooker. Then you can just add all the pre-chopped ingredients to the bowl at once.

add the tomatoes and water last, then give the mixture a stir.

after 7 hours on low, the sweet potatoes should be soft, yet still hold their shape. 

dish into bowls, top with sour cream or greek yogurt, and sprinkle on some scallions. this chili is also delicious reheated the next day.

sweet potato chili
recipe based on: slow-cooker chili from real simple


1 medium onion (red or yellow), chopped 
5-6 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil 

1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp ground cumin
2 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

1.5 cups black beans or 1 15.5 oz can black beans, rinsed
1.5 cups kidney beans or 1 15.5 oz can kidney beans, rinsed 
1 cup corn (i used frozen)
2 small sweet potatoes, cut into roughly 1/2 inch cubes
1 28 oz can fire roasted tomatoes
1 cup water

to serve:
sour cream or greek yogurt
2-3 scallions, sliced


1.   heat the 2 tsp olive oil over medium heat for a few minutes to warm the pan. add the chopped onion and saute for 2-3 minutes. once onion starts to soften, add the minced garlic and let cook for 2 more minutes, stirring a few times. once the onions have some browning, they are ready.

2.   add the onion/garlic, bell pepper, spices, black beans, kidney beans, corn and sweet potatoes to the bowl of your slow cooker. pour the diced tomatoes on top and add about 1 cup of water. give the ingredients a stir.

3.   set the slow cooker for 7 hours on low. alternatively, you can set it for 4 to 5 hours on high. after 7 hours on low, the sweet potatoes should be cooked and the chili is ready to eat! serve with a spoonful of sour cream or greek yogurt on top and sprinkle with sliced scallions.