A foil-wrapped meal for home_ campsite

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					8E       MERCURYNEWS.COM                  100                                                                                                                           SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS               WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 28, 2009

   The Smith Island cake,                                                           Sausage and potato packet                                                               Bulgur mexicana
   in delightful miniature
                                                                                                                                                                            Serves 4
                                                                                    1 tablespoon good olive oil           ½ teaspoon salt
                                                                                    4 medium onions (about 1              6 Italian sausages (about 1                       2 tablespoons butter                      Condiments:
                                                                                       pound total), halved                  pound total), 3 hot and                           or margarine                           1 cup shredded Cheddar
        By Walter Nicholls                  ing the tiers with, most com-              crosswise                             3 sweet                                        1 medium onion, chopped                   1 cup alfalfa sprouts
          Washington Post                   monly, chocolate icing. Like            12 small Yukon gold pota-             1 pound kielbasa sausage,                         1 cup bulgur wheat                         ⁄3 cup sliced green onions,
   EWELL, Md. — As she                      most islanders, Guy credits                toes, (about 1 pound total),          cut into four pieces                           1 large stalk celery, thinly sliced           including tops
stacks and frosts her 10-                   the late Frances Kitching                  peeled or unpeeled                 2 sprigs fresh rosemary                           ½ green or red bell pepper,                ⁄3 cup shelled sunflower
layer yellow cake with choc-                with promoting the cake be-             About 16 garlic cloves,               1 tablespoon chopped fresh                           seeded and diced                           seeds
olate icing, Beverly Guy will               yond the island's shores.                  unpeeled                              parsley                                        1 teaspoon chile powder                    ⁄3 cup sour cream
not share the recipe, for                       Each Smith Island layer                                                                                                     ¾ teaspoon ground cumin                   2 tomatoes, diced
one simple reason: all those                is baked in an individual                  Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Arrange a piece of heavy-                               2¼ cups vegetable stock                   Bottled taco sauce
commercial bakers on the                    pan. Island bakers say their            duty aluminum foil about 36 inches long on a cookie sheet so                            Salt and pepper
mainland. They've been sell-                method produces a moister               the foil extends about 9 inches past either end.
ing what she calls “Smith Is-               cake that is easy to ice be-               Pour the oil over the foil, then rub onion halves in the oil to                          Melt butter in a frying pan over medium heat. Add onion
land-like” cake.                            cause of the smooth-surfaced            coat them. Distribute potatoes and garlic around the onions                             and bulgur and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is soft
   “You may think I'm petty                 layers, which are “sealed”              and sprinkle with the salt. Finally, scatter the sausages                               and bulgur is golden, seven to eight minutes.
and hateful,” Guy says, “but                with a delicate crust on the            throughout the vegetables and place the rosemary on top.                                    Stir in celery, bell pepper, chile powder and cumin. Cook
they are pushing it to the                  top and bottom.                             After making certain the ingredients are in one layer,                              two minutes. Pour in stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat
hilt.” They think nothing,                      With all due respect to             fold the foil overhang over the mixture and fold in the sides                           to low; cover and simmer until all liquid is absorbed, about 20
she says, of crumbling Oreo                 the families who have made              to secure the food in a tight casing. Bake the packet for one                           minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
cookies and candy bars be-                  their iconic, multilayered              hour. Using potholders, transfer it from the pan to a platter.                              To serve, mound bulgur mixture on a platter or individual
tween the layers. Smith Is-                 cakes for generations, The              Open the foil carefully, sprinkle the food with the parsley and                         plates. At the table, offer condiments, each in its own small
land cake is much simpler                   Washington Post, when the               serve directly from the packet.                                                         serving dish.
than all that, and it “has to               cake last year was named
come over on the ferry to be                Maryland’s official state                From Jacques Pepin’s “Fast Food My Way;” submitted by                                   From “Sunset Vegetarian Cooking;” submitted by Virginia
real,” she says.                            dessert, asked cake artist              Gloria Elizabeth                                                                        Leslie
   No one is sure when the                  Kendall Barrett to create a
women of this little island of
watermen — only 260 full-
time residents — started
                                            modern, and perhaps more
                                            portable, version.
                                                The recipe is compli-
                                                                                     A foil-wrapped meal for home, campsite
baking cakes of pancake-                    cated, but the results are de-
thin layers, sparingly cover-               licious and showstopping.                  The rugged souls among              Request line                                     e-mailed. “I’m tired of the             and the cream and put it
                                                                                    us probably don’t let the                                                               typical pie or applesauce.”             under the broiler to brown.
                                                                                    winter chill keep them from               n Good friend Miriam                             n “Many years ago my                 The easiest and best cake
  For best results, make the cupcakes and ganache 1 day in                          the great outdoors.                    Mazliach of Fremont just                         mother made a cake us-                  ever.” Burrell hopes a Plates
advance; the cupcakes will be easier to cut into thin layers.                          But the only thing I’m              picked the last two buckets                      ing self-rising flour and                reader remembers the se-
The ganache can remain covered at room temperature or                               pitching right now is another          of apples from her trees.                        what was then called sweet              cret to this favorite cake.
can be covered and refrigerated. Allow to come to room                              log on the fire in the family           “I’m writing to ask your                         cream,’’ Barbara Burrell
temperature before using.                                                           room. I’m grateful for solid           readers for some new and                         says. “She topped the cake              Contact Kim Boatman at
                                                                                    walls and a working furnace            creative uses,’’ Mazliach                        with a mixture of coconut               homepl8s@aol.com.
                                                                                    this time of year, even on the
Smith Island cupcakes                                                               mild days. Yes, I’m a fair-
Makes 18 regular-size cupcakes or 9 large ones                                      weather camper. But, points
                                                                                    out Gloria Elizabeth of San
For the cupcakes:                           For the chocolate ganache:              Jose, there’s no reason all                                        SPECIAL                          “WE LOVE ALL FOUR
23⁄4 cups flour, preferably                 1 pound semisweet choco-                of us can’t enjoy a taste of
    King Arthur all-purpose                   late, preferably Valrhona,
                                                                                                                                                Steak, Seafood &                       PROJECTS WE’VE DONE
  3                     1                                                           campfire cooking, no matter                                 Lobster Dinners with
1 ⁄4 tablespoons plus ⁄8                      chopped
    teaspoon baking powder                  2 cups heavy cream
                                                                                    the season.                                                 Sparkling Wine or                      W I T H VA L E T ! ” — J U D Y K .
                                                                                                                                                 Sparkling Cider
 ⁄4 teaspoon salt                                                                   kimboatman                               A Red Rose                                        E X P E R I E N C E T H E VA L E T D I F F E R E N C E Y O U R S E L F
8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted                For the chocolate glaze:                home plates
                                                                                                                              for each          $
                                                                                                                                                 3395 - $4995
    butter, preferably Plugra,              8 ounces semisweet                                                               Sweetheart!            Starting at 11am          CLOSETS •     GARAGES          • HOME OFFICES • WALL BEDS
    at room temperature                        chocolate, preferably                                                            Make Your Reservations Now!
                                                                                        Remembering a discus-                      JAPANESE STEAKHOUSE                                                                               CAMPBELL
2 cups sugar                                   Valrhona, chopped                    sion about foil-packet cook-                www.kyotopalace.com
4 large eggs                                6 tablespoons (3⁄4 stick)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract                    unsalted butter,
                                                                                    ing a while back, Elizabeth
                                                                                    sent Jacques Pepin’s “deli-
                                                                                                                            408    377-6456
                                                                                                                             PRUNEYARD SHOPPING CENTER 2ND FLOOR
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   1190-J DELL AVE.

1 cup whole milk, at room                      preferably Plugra                                                                                                                                                                    408.370.1041
                                                                                    cious and easy” recipe for

                                                                                                                             Tutor                        Circle
    temperature                             1 tablespoon light|                     sausages and potatoes, from
                                               corn syrup                                                                    Find a tutor. Be a tutor.                                                                               LOS ALTOS
                                                                                    his “Fast Food My Way.”                                                                                                                         SHOWROOM
For the simple syrup:                       5 teaspoons water                           Yukon Gold potatoes,                                                                                                                         359 STATE ST.
1 cup water                                                                         onions, Italian sausage and
1 cup sugar                                                                                                                                                                                                                         650.941.7761
                                                                                    kielbasa are coated in olive
Flavoring, such as Grand                                                                                                     Better tutors mean better grades. Tutor
                                                                                    oil and spread in a single
   Marnier (optional)                                                                                                        Circle represents a network of more than
                                                                                    layer on a foil-lined cookie             500 qualified tutors at affordable rates,
                                                                                    sheet. You seal the foil                 ready to help students age 7 and up in any
   For the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line                          to make the packet, then                 subject at any level. We’re also seeking new
cupcake pans with paper liners.                                                     serve dinner right out of the            tutors who can meet our high standards. For
   Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.                                  packet after it bakes for an             details visit our website today.
   Beat butter and sugar on medium speed for several min-                           hour. Elizabeth likes that the
utes until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, then                        recipe can easily be adjusted            www.TutorCircle.com                             W W W. V A L E T O R G A N I Z E R S . C O M            LICENSE#782217

the vanilla extract; beat on medium speed 2 to 3 minutes.                           to your taste, whether it’s
   Reduce the speed to low and alternate adding the dry in-                         varying the type of sausage
gredients and the milk, 1/3 of each at a time, beating until                        or peeling the whopping 16
combined and stopping often to scrape the sides of the bowl.                        cloves of garlic rather than
Do not overmix.                                                                     leaving them unpeeled.
   Divide the batter among the cupcake liners and bake for                              I liked the recipe so much
20 to 25 minutes or until the tops of the cupcakes spring                           for its simplicity and hearty
back when touched. Transfer to a wire rack to cool com-                             taste that I immediately
pletely. Cover loosely until ready to assemble.                                     added the ingredients to
   For the simple syrup: Combine the water and sugar in a                           the family shopping list. I’ll
small saucepan over high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar.                      likely use some good French
Bring to a boil, then let cool. Add flavoring, if desired.                           sea salt to replace the half
   For the ganache: Have ready a large roasting pan.                                teaspoon of salt for which
   Place chocolate in large heatproof bowl. Bring cream to                          the recipes calls.
a boil over medium-high heat in a heavy-bottomed medium
saucepan. Remove from the heat and pour over the choc-                                 MEATLESS MEXICAN:
olate; stir until well incorporated. Pour into roasting pan,                        Virginia Leslie of Milpitas
spreading it evenly so ganache cools naturally and quickly.                         has the answer for the reader
   When ready to assemble, make the chocolate glaze: Heat                           who wanted a Mexican-fla-
about 1 inch of water in a medium saucepan over medium                              vored vegetarian dish. The
heat. Place a medium stainless-steel mixing bowl on top, fit-                        bulgur Mexicana recipe
ting it snugly over the opening of the saucepan. Combine the                        she found in the cookbook
chocolate, butter, corn syrup and water in the bowl, stirring                       “Sunset Vegetarian Cook-
gently to combine. Remove from the heat.                                            ing,” she said, “tastes to me
   Remove cupcakes from their paper liners. Turn each on                            like there’s meat in it, even
its side and use a serrated knife to cut 8 very thin layers,                        though there’s not.’’ Added to
keeping them in proper order. (If you have trouble with this,                       the bulgur are celery, onion,
freeze the cupcakes for up to 1 hour to firm them up a bit.)                         bell pepper, chile powder and
Use a pastry brush to lightly coat the bottom layer with                            cumin. It’s even more appeal-
simple syrup. Spread a thin layer of ganache on the bottom                          ing when you assemble an
layer. Repeat with the remaining layers, rebuilding the cup-                        array of condiments, such as
cake right side up and ending with a coating of ganache on                          shredded Cheddar, sun-
the top. Refrigerate for about 10 minutes, until set.                               flower seeds and sour cream,
   Place a large wire cooling rack over a rimmed baking                             in small serving dishes. That
sheet. Place the filled cupcakes on the rack. Spread a little                        way, diners can create their
ganache on the sides of the cupcakes to cover any crumbs.                           own dish much as you as-
Ladle the chocolate glaze over the cupcakes, allowing the                           semble a taco with toppings
excess glaze to drip onto the baking sheet. When the glaze                          to your taste.
has set, seat the cupcakes in clean paper cupcake liners.                              The recipe is a good way
    Each regular-size cupcake: 504 calories (52 percent from fat); 29 g fat; 17 g   to use the Grandma’s chile
saturated fat; 6 g protein; 62 g carbohydrates; 86 mg cholesterol; 175 mg sodium;
3 g dietary fiber.                                                                  powder now sitting in my
                                                                                    cupboard, thanks to many
Kendall Barrett, Kendall’s Cakes, Falls Church, Va.                                 reader tips about sources.

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