Tuesday, November 20, 2007

cake tomate, pistache & chorizo

You may remember I made these little salami/pistachio muffins for a Halloween party. Jack liked them and things the dudes in his family will like them too (because of the guy-friendly mixture of salami and pistachio, I really want to name them "man muffins," but that sort of takes the manliness away from them, huh?), so he asked that I make them for the Thanksgiving trip home. So that's what I did tonight.

Here is the recipe from the Chocolate & Zucchini cookbook that was the basis of my muffins (my adjustments in italics):

( Tomato, Pistachio, and Chorizo Loaf)

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

2 tablespoons sesame seeds-one for the pan, one for topping

1 1/4 cups all purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

3 large eggs

1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/2 cup plain unsweetened yogurt (preferably whole milk), Greek-style yogurt, or buttermilk (I used a bit more-about 3/4 cup)

3 1/2 ounces Spanish air-dried chorizo, preferably spicy, skin removed if any, and diced ( substitute cooked Mexican chorizo or pepperoni ) (I used Volpi Sopresseta Salame)

12 sun dried tomato halves packed in oil, drained and finely diced. (the ones I got were not packed in oil...)

3 /4 cup shelled unsalted pistachios, toasted ( available from gourmet or natural foods stores, or Middle Eastern Markets; if you can only find salted pistachios, rinse under cold water, drain and bake in a 350 degree oven for 5-7 minutes, stirring halfway through) (I used more...probably more than a cup, actually.)

3/4 cup (loosely packed) fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped (I forgot to get this, so there's none in mine)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9by 5 inch loaf pan, sprinkle half the sesame seeds onto the bottom and sides, and shake pan to coat.(I obviously used a mini-muffin pan instead of a loaf pan)

2. Combine the flour and baking soda in a small mixing bowl and set aside. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs salt and pepper. Pour in the oil and yogurt, and whisk again. Sift the flour mixture into the egg mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until incorporated. Don't over mix the batter- it's ok if a few lumps remain. Fold in the chorizo, sun dried tomatoes, pistachios, and parsley. Stir to combine. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, level the surface with a spatula, and sprinkle with the remaining sesame seeds.

3. Bake for 40 -50 minutes, until loaf is golden and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean (mini-muffins take much less time...maybe 10 minutes a batch? just keep your eye on 'em). Let cool for a few minutes on the counter, run a knife around the pan to loosen, unmold, and transfer to a rack to cool completely. Cut into slices or cubes just before serving. ( The loaf can be made up to a day ahead, wrapped tightly in foil, and refrigerated. Bring to room temperature before serving.)

My batter:

This recipe can be kind of time-consuming what with all the ingredients, but it's pretty easy, and it's really hard to screw up. It's pretty, too, with the red salami and the green pistachios and the dark red tomatoes. So very holiday!

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