Saturday, October 11, 2008

Opal Lee's (Meemoe) Apple Cake w/Real Scotch Butterscotch Sauce


My friend (and fellow chef) Dacia, comes from a long line of good southern cooks. Her grandmother, Opal Lee (Meemoe to her family), was famous for her cakes and it is said she made a fresh cake everyday.  In my book, this feat alone makes her a world class cake expert.
This week, I asked Dacia for one of Meemoe's best Apple Cake recipes, and boy did she come through!  I was given permission to print this recipe and I am thrilled to share it with you.  This cake has love baked into every bite!

I would call this an "old fashioned Apple Cake", and you may be inclined to add any number of the options listed in the recipe.  Please note, this makes several cakes, you may want to cut the recipe in half or make the full recipe and freeze the extra cakes.  If you freeze the cake, triple wrap in plastic wrap and store up to 2 months.

Thanks Meemoe (and Dacia)! 

   Opal Lee's (Meemoe) Apple Cake w/Real Scotch Butterscotch

This recipe makes a large amount of batter, use a large bowl.

Makes: one 13x9 and one 9 inch round cake or a loaf pan

3 sticks butter, (1 1/2 cups)
3 cups sugar
6 eggs, room temp
4 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1-teaspoon salt
1-teaspoon cinnamon
1-teaspoon nutmeg
1-teaspoon allspice
4 1/2 cups sliced apples, peeled or unpeeled
4 teaspoons baking soda
2 cups raisins or dates (optional, I did not use any at the FM)
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup nuts, chopped or ground

Preheat oven: 350 degrees

In a medium bowl combine: flour, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice. Set aside.

In another bowl, prepare apples and toss with baking soda. Set aside.

Cream butter and sugar in a mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, alternating with flour mixture. When eggs and flour are completely incorporated add vanilla, then apples, raisin/dates (optional), nuts (optional).

Butter and flour pans listed above and pour batter into each one, filling 1/2 to 3/4 full. Bake until toothpick inserted in the middle of cake comes out clean.
*This cake freezes well.
**13x 9 pan: 40-50 minutes
**9-inch round or square pan; 35-45 minutes
**Loaf pan: 40-50 minutes
**Muffins: Begin checking at 20-25 minutes

To serve:
*Meemoe would spread salted butter over the hot cake and serve it warm. or
*Dust with powdered sugar, or
* When hot, drizzle with Real Scotch Butterscotch sauce, serve extra on the side.

Real Scotch Butterscotch Sauce

1 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1/3 cup heavy cream ( you may use 1/2 & 1/2 but the sauce will be thin)
3 Tablespoons corn syrup, agave nectar or honey
1 pinch of sea salt
3 Tablespoons Scotch
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, butter, cream, corn syrup and salt. Bring mixture to a boil, and stir constantly, until mixture thickens,(as the sauce cooks, the boiling mixture will develop larger "bubbles" as the liquid evaporates. When this happens check to see if the sauce will coat the back of the spoon, if it does, then you are ready for the next step).

When caramel sauce coats the back of the spoon, stir in Scotch and vanilla. Remove sauce from heat and allow to cool. Have a few spoons ready.. it's THAT good. Sauce will last for 2 weeks in refrigerator. Warm gently before serving.

Chef Deb

Friday, October 10, 2008

Three Potato Chowder


This is the perfect cold weather comfort soup. Please feel free to adjust this recipe to suit your diet.
*Bacon can be omitted and crispy shallots may be substituted to add depth of flavor.
*A Vegan version can be made by omitting milk and substituting unsweetened soy, rice, or almond milk.
*For thicker dairy free soup, puree half.
*Add 2 cups chopped kale for a heartier soup.

Three Potato Chowder

8 Strips Bacon (turkey bacon, or Smart Bacon), chopped
2 small Colorado sweet onions, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
1 small jalapeno, or roasted green chile
7 medium Colorado Gold potatoes
7 medium Colorado Red skin Potatoes
1 large sweet potato or yam
1 Bouquet Garni (BG)= 1 bay leaf, 6 stems parsley, 4 stems thyme, 6 whole peppercorns
2 quarts milk (2% is okay)
Kosher or sea salt
Fresh ground pepper
Garnish: Chopped chives, grated local cheese,

In a large stockpot over medium heat, sauté bacon (or turkey bacon, smart bacon) until crisp. Remove bacon and all but a few tablespoons of fat. Chop bacon and set aside.

Sauté onions, celery, and jalapeno until the vegetables are translucent. Add all the potatoes, BG and milk. Bring soup to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 20-25 minutes (You may need to skim the foam off the top, this is normal).

Once potatoes are tender, add 2 teaspoons salt, fresh ground pepper then taste and adjust seasonings. Remove the BG.

To Plate: Ladle soup into warm bowls, top with chopped bacon/smart bacon, cheese, and chives. Season with fresh pepper and serve with crusty bread.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Squash Varieties

For anyone interested in identifying squash varieties and finding out the subtleties of each one, please click on the title of this post.


Look at all those gorgeous squash! Incredible colors! I was able to get a great deal on all of these, so my daughters and I went crazy. What you don't see is the huge box of tiny pumpkins on the floor off to the right.


Recipe will follow soon. I just wanted to get these photos up and motivate you to begin thinking about winter squash...

See you at the Market!

Chef Deb