Sunday, November 7, 2010

Sunday Cooking

I can't remember if I mentioned that I have family coming down from Topeka to visit. So I went to the library and got several cookbooks for local recipes. After all, if you're coming from Kansas to Louisiana, you'll probably want to eat Louisiana food, right?

This is some gumbo on the stove that I made this morning. We tasted it at lunch with rice, and it was good. It has okra, shrimp and cajun sausage in it. It's my first gumbo attempt. I don't like things too spicy, but once it's served up in the bowl you can add Tabasco sauce to put more zing in it. 

This is an oatmeal cake topped with pecan icing. It's a very different kind of cake, moist and almost like a big cookie. I made three of these yesterday. The whole house smelled like a pastry shop! I got the pecans locally, a family member gave me a whole huge bag of freshly cracked shelled pecan halves. They are glorious! Nothing tastes quite like really fresh local pecans.

It's a really old recipe, I baked it in a springform pan to make it easier to get it out of the pan. It's good for dessert, or for a coffee cake first thing in the morning with coffee. And super easy to make.

Oatmeal Cake

9 1/2" Springform pan (a pie or cake pan will work if you don't have one of these) well greased with shortening
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

1 1/2 cups boiling water
1 cup rolled oats (not the instant kind, the long-cooking variety)
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt

1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup evaporated milk
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup chopped pecans (or walnuts, if you like those better)

Pour boiling water over the oats in a bowl and let stand 20 minutes.

Cream butter with both sugars and add eggs. Sift flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt together and add to butter mixture. Mix thoroughly, then add the soaked oats. Pour the batter into the greased springform pan and bake for 50 minutes.

For the frosting, melt the butter in a saucepan. Add evaporated milk, brown sugar, and vanilla. Mix lightly. Stir in the chopped nuts. Spread over the warm cake while still in the springform pan, and place in the oven under the broiler briefly, until the sugars bubble and caramelize and the top is lightly browned.

Cool thoroughly on a wire rack before removing the sides of the pan. In fact, if it can sit and cool for several hours, it will come out of the pan slick as a whistle!

Enjoy with a cup of coffee, or a big cup of hot chocolate. YUM!


SummersStudio said...

I loooove gumbo and I will definitely try that oat meal cake. My pecans are very local. They come off the 5 trees between my house and our neighbors.Sundays are our day for cooking. Peter is smoking a ham right now. I can smell it and my mouth is watering. So seeing your food has now got my tummy rumbling with anticipated pleasure.

Andrew Thornton said...

I will have to try your recipe out.

Gumbo is one of my favorites. I stumbled upon the recipe quite by accident when I was trying to whip up dinner for my family one night and use the contents of the refrigerator. Surprisingly, it matched the recipe I found online later almost exactly. Who knew I was making a roux?

P.S. I miss fresh pecans. We used to pick and crack them by the bucketfuls as kids.

Beatnheart said...

looks and smells so good...drolling over here in Southern California.

LLYYNN - Lynn Davis said...

LeAnn, it's very rich and yummy, I hope you'll like it. It showcases the fresh pecans wonderfully.

Andrew, I have a secret - they sell "instant roux" in a jar down here! I didn't trust myself to get the roux right, so I used "roux helper" - isn't that funny?

It cooked slowly in the pan all day, and by the time we ate it as an appetizer for dinner it was thick and very tasty. Love that shrimp and cajun sausage!

Cynthia - it smelled as good as it tasted! A lovely welcome to Louisiana, I hoped.

Alice said...

I've only had Gumbo once, and that was when I was very young. As a kid, I didn't really like it. I haven't had a chance to try it again as an adult.

Your family lives in Topeka? How funny--as I live about 35 miles South of Topeka. Small world!