Sunday, April 27, 2008

Silver Palate Carrot Cake

Carrot Cake

In the beginning, Sheila's mother drove her famous carrot cakes down to Manhattan daily from her Connecticut kitchen. The cake became a Silver Palate classic; it may now become yours as well.
Butter, for greasing the pan

3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
3 cups sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 1⁄2 cups corn oil
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 1⁄2 cups shelled walnuts, chopped
1 1⁄2 cups shredded coconut
1 1⁄3 cups puréed cooked carrots
3⁄4 cup drained crushed pineapple
Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe follows)

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease two 9-inch springform pans.

2. Sift the dry ingredients into a bowl. Add the oil, eggs, and vanilla. Beat well. Fold in the walnuts, coconut, carrots, and pineapple.

3. Pour the batter into the prepared pans. Set on the center rack of the oven and bake until the edges have pulled away from the sides and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 50 minutes.

4. Cool on a cake rack for 3 hours. Fill and frost the cake with the cream cheese frosting.

10 to 12 portions

Cream Cheese Frosting

8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
6 tablespoons (3⁄4 stick) unsalted butter,
at room temperature
3 cups confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Juice of 1⁄2 lemon (optional)

1. Cream together the cream cheese and butter in a mixing bowl.

2. Slowly sift in the confectioners' sugar and continue beating until fully incorporated. The mixture should be free of lumps.

3. Stir in the vanilla, and lemon juice if desired.

Frosting for a 2-layer cake

The Silver Palate Chicken Marbella

Chicken Marbella

This was the first main-course dish to be offered at The Silver Palate shop, and the distinctive colors and flavors of the prunes, olives, and capers have kept it a favorite for years. It's good hot or at room temperature. When prepared with small drumsticks and wings, it makes a delicious appetizer.

The overnight marination is essential to the moistness of the finished product: The chicken keeps and even improves over several days of refrigeration; it
travels well and makes excellent picnic fare.

1⁄2 cup olive oil
1⁄2 cup red wine vinegar
1 cup pitted prunes
1⁄2 cup pitted Spanish green olives
1⁄2 cup capers with a bit of juice
6 bay leaves
1 head of garlic, peeled and finely puréed
1⁄4 cup dried oregano
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
4 chickens (2 1⁄2 pounds each), quartered
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup dry white wine
1⁄4 cup fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley or fresh cilantro, finely chopped

1. Combine the olive oil, vinegar, prunes, olives, capers and juice, bay leaves, garlic, oregano, and salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add the chicken and stir to coat. Cover the bowl and refrigerate overnight.

2. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

3. Arrange the chicken in a single layer in one or two large, shallow baking pans and spoon the marinade over it evenly. Sprinkle the chicken pieces with the brown sugar and pour the white wine around them.

4. Bake, basting frequently with the pan juices, until the thigh pieces yield clear yellow (rather than pink) juice when pricked with a fork, 50 minutes to 1 hour.

5. With a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken, prunes, olives, and capers to a serving platter. Moisten with a few spoonfuls of the pan juices and sprinkle generously with the parsley or cilantro. Pass the remaining pan juices in a sauceboat.

16 pieces, 10 or more portions

Note: To serve Chicken Marbella cold, cool to room temperature in the cooking juices before transferring the pieces to a serving platter. If the chicken has been covered and refrigerated, reheat it in the juices, then allow it to come to room temperature before serving. Spoon some of the reserved juice over the chicken.

Silver Palate Lemon Cake

1/2 pound sweet butter at room temperature
2 cups granulated sugar
3 eggs
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
2 tightly packed tablespoons of grated lemon zest (or bergamot zest)(I'd go to three)
2 tablespoons lemon juice (or bergamot juice)

Lemon Icing
1 pound confectioner's (icing) sugar
1/4 pound butter at room temp.
3 (I'd use 4) tightly packed tablespoons of grated lemon (bergamot) zest
1/2 cup fresh lemon (bergamot) juice

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
2. Carefully and thoroughly grease a 10-inch tube pan (I use a bundt pan and also very lightly flour it as well as grease it)
3. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, blending well each time.
4. Sift flour, baking soda and salt together and then stir into egg mixture alternating with the buttermilk. I add 1/3 of the flour, stir, 1/2 the buttermilk, stir, 1/3 the flour, stir, 1/2 the buttermilk, stir, 1/3 the flour, stir. Then mix in the lemon (bergamot) zest and juice.
5. Pour the cake batter into the pan making sure to keep it mostly even. Cook far an hour and five minutes in the middle of the oven. Experience tells me to start checking after an hour and use a toothpick, waiting for it to come out clean. It can take as long as an hour and a half sometimes.
6. Cool the cake in the pan for ten minutes, then put a plate on top (upside down) and invert the pan and plate together so the cake drops neatly onto the plate. This cake even with greasing and flour often comes apart a bit at this stage.
7. While the cake is baking, or now, make the icing.
8. Cream the butter and sugar for the icing together thoroughly. Mix in the lemon zest and juice.
9. Spread the icing evenly on the cake, using some if needed as glue to hold errant bits of cake together. Put any extra in the hole in the middle.

William Safire's Chopped Liver

I turned to my Times colleague Marian Burros, author of ''The New Elegant But Easy Cookbook,'' for the recipe: ''Saute one finely chopped medium onion in two tablespoons hot chicken fat until lightly golden and very soft. Add 1 pound chicken liver and saute until cooked through; process in food processor with one small raw onion and one hard-cooked egg. Season with salt and pepper and mix with enough chicken fat to make it moist and spreadable.''

Saturday, April 5, 2008

King's Chicken Adobo


3 pound chicken, cut-up
5 cloves garlic, crushed
1 ½ cups rice wine vinegar
1 cup soy sauce
1 cup water
3 bay leaves
1 Tablespoon black peppercorns


In a sauce pot, combine the chicken, garlic, vinegar, soy sauce, water, bay leaves and peppercorns, and bring to a boil, cover, and simmer for 35 to 45 minutes. Pan fry or grill chicken before serving.


Traditionally, the chicken is pan fried in its own fat which is skimmed from the top of the braise. For more flavor and depth, add pork belly to the recipe. Adobo is the national dish of the Philippines.