Cook of the Week: Sheri Boettcher recipes

Adam Robison | Buy at photos.djournal.com Tarta de Santiago, or St. James Cake.

Adam Robison | Buy at photos.djournal.com
Tarta de Santiago, or St. James Cake.

Tarta de Santiago

(St. James Cake)

4 eggs

11⁄4 cups sugar

1 stick butter, room temp

3⁄4 cup all-purpose flour

1⁄2 teaspoon baking powder

1⁄2 cup water

2 (11⁄3-cup bags) slivered almonds, ground

Zest of 1 lemon

Powdered sugar to decorate

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8- or 9-inch round springform pan. In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs and sugar together. Add the butter, flour, baking powder and water and beat with an electric mixer. Stir almonds into the batter. Add lemon zest and stir until thoroughly mixed.

Pour batter into cake pan. Bake on middle oven rack at 350 for about 45 minutes. Cake is done if a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

The traditional way to decorate the cake is to sprinkle powdered sugar on the top, with a cut-out of the sword of St. James or a cross on top. Create a cross on a clean piece of paper and after the cake has cooled, place the cross in the center of the cake and, using a sifter, dust the top with powdered sugar. Remove the paper cross.

Beef Barley Soup

11⁄2 to 2 pounds lean beef, cubed

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

21⁄2 quarts water

1 (14-ounce) can chopped tomatoes

3 ribs celery, sliced

4 carrots, sliced

1⁄2 cup pearled barley (not quick cooking)

8 ounces sliced mushrooms

1 cup fresh green beans, broken into pieces

5 beef bouillon cubes or 5 teaspoons granules

1⁄4 teaspoon black pepper

2 dried bay leaves

1⁄2 teaspoon dried basil leaves

1⁄2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves

1⁄3 to 1⁄2 cup red wine (optional)

Brown beef in olive oil in a Dutch oven or a large pot. Add onion and garlic and cook until tender. Add water, bring to a boil and skim top. Add remaining ingredients except the wine, if using. Bring soup to a boil, cover and lower the heat to simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. When soup has finished cooking, add wine, if using. Serve soup with French bread that has been sliced, spread with butter, sprinkled with Parmesan cheese and toasted in the oven.

Makes about 1 gallon.

Jim’s Hummus

1 (15-ounce) can of chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed

1⁄4 cup tahini (sesame paste)

1⁄4 cup lemon juice

1 tablespoon water

1 teaspoon olive oil

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1⁄2 teaspoon salt

Sprinkle of paprika

Crush chickpeas and set aside. Combine tahini and lemon juice. Mix well. Add water and olive oil, then garlic and salt and mix. Add to beans and whip well. Sprinkle with paprika. Serve with warmed pita bread cut into wedges or with raw veggies.

Lebanese Charburgers

2 pounds lean ground beef

1 medium onion, chopped fine

1 bunch of fresh parsley leaves, chopped fine

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper

1⁄4 teaspoon allspice

1 lemon

16 pita bread pocket halves

Minced tomatoes

Finely chopped lettuce

Italian dressing

Mix ground beef, onion, parsley, salt, pepper and allspice together. Form into 8 patties. Broil over charcoal. Before removing charburgers from grill, squeeze juice from a lemon over them.

Cut burgers in half. Combine tomatoes, lettuce and Italian dressing to make a sauce. Place sauce in each of 16 pita bread halves and add a half burger to each.

Makes 16.

Homemade Breakfast Granola

Dry ingredients

1 box (18-ounce) old fashioned rolled oats

4 cups puffed brown rice

1 box (12-ounce) untoasted wheat germ or a 12-ounce jar of toasted wheat germ

1 cup oat bran

1 cup non-fat dry milk powder

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 bag (7-ounce) flake coconut

1 cup sliced almonds

1⁄2 cup coarse chopped walnuts

1⁄2 cup coarse chopped pecans

1⁄2 cup untoasted pumpkin seed kernels

1⁄2 cup untoasted sunflower seed kernels

Wet ingredients

1 stick butter

1⁄3 cup coconut oil

3⁄4 cup honey

11⁄2 cups of pear nectar

3⁄4 cup of pineapple juice

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 teaspoon pure almond extract

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Mix dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl and set aside. Heat wet ingredients in a large pot just until warm and butter has melted. Mix well and remove from heat.

Begin adding dry ingredients to liquid mixture, stirring well until all the dry ingredients are coated thoroughly. Spread mixture onto cookie sheets with sides or into large baking pans. Bake at 250 degrees for 2 hours, stirring every 30 minutes. Cool. Store in an airtight container in refrigerator. Serve with fresh fruit and milk or yogurt.

Note: If desired, you may add 2 cups of dried fruit after mixture is combined.

Mary’s Blackberry Jam Cake

13⁄4 cups all-purpose flour

11⁄2 cups sugar

1 cup salad oil

1 cup buttermilk

1 cup seedless blackberry jam

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1⁄2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 teaspoon ground allspice

1⁄2 teaspoon ground cloves

3 eggs

1 cup chopped pecans

Buttermilk Icing

3 cups sugar

2 sticks butter

1 cup buttermilk

2 tablespoons light corn syrup

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 9-inch cake pans.

Measure all cake ingredients except pecans into large bowl. With electric mixer at low speed, beat ingredients until just mixed; increase speed to high and beat about 8 minutes or until sugar is completely dissolved, occasionally scraping bowl with rubber spatula. Fold pecans into mixture and pour batter into pans. Bake 40 minutes or until cake pulls away from sides of pan. Cool in pans on wire racks for 20 minutes. Remove cakes from pans.

For the icing, combine all ingredients except pecans in a 4-quart saucepan. Place over medium heat until boiling point is reached, stirring constantly. Cook until a candy thermometer reaches 238 degrees or until small amount of mixture dropped into cold water forms a soft ball. Pour mixture into large bowl and beat with electric mixer at high speed until it is of spreading consistency, about 7 minutes, occasionally scraping bowl with rubber spatula. Fold in pecans. Spread icing between layers and on sides and top of cake.