Hye Thyme Cafe

Welcome to the Hy
e Thyme Cafe. Although not all of my recipes are Armenian, the name is a little nod to my Armenian grandmother who is no longer with us. The Hye refers to all things related to her homeland, and she represents all things food-related to me, so the two just seemed to go together. I can't even claim that my Armenian recipes are truly Armenian, since Greece, Turkey, Armenia, Lebanon, Syria, and even Egypt share so many foods that they've all sort of morphed into one over thousands of years.

Whether you like to cook, bake, have never done either, or just like to play with your food...come on in and join me! :)


Monday, September 18, 2017

Cranberry-Orange Oatmeal Cookies

Cranberry-Orange Oatmeal Cookies: Hye Thyme Cafe


In a long, convoluted series of events, I somehow recently ended up with a food storage container belonging to my sister's best friend. Always looking for an excuse to cook or bake something new, I decided to follow that old adage of never returning a container empty - despite the fact that it wasn't me who had emptied it. During her last visit here, my sister had left me with a container of quick-cooking steel cut oats. Although I always make my oatmeal with steel-cut oats, I have to admit to never having seen the quick-cooking version before and wasn't sure what to make of them - literally or figuratively. Sounds like an oxymoron since steel cut oats are the least processed version.

Because I typically like to play with a mixture of old fashioned and quick-cooking oats when baking cookies, I decided to throw some of the quick-cooking steel-cut oats into the mix and try these Cranberry-Orange Oatmeal Cookies. Don't worry, you can use whatever type of oats you have on hand - they will still be plenty tasty, only the texture will be different. I got a chuckle later when I received a text from my sister's friend saying that her husband wanted to send me some more containers. 😊

INGREDIENTS :
1 1/2 c dried cranberries
1 large orange (juice and zest)
1 stick butter, softened
1/2 c Crisco shortening
1/2 c light brown sugar
1/4 c sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 c flour
1 t baking soda
1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t ground cloves
3 c oats (I used 1/3c each quick and quick-steel cut and 2 1/3 c old fashioned)

  1. Start by zesting your orange and setting the zest aside, then placing your cranberries in a medium sized mixing bowl and squeezing the juice from the orange over the cranberries. This will allow them to plump up and not dry out while baking. Set that bowl aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter, Crisco, and sugars until light and fluffy.
  3. To the butter mixture, add the eggs, one at a time until incorporated, then the orange zest, so the zest will permeate the butter with its flavor - since fat carries flavor.
  4. Now that the cranberries have had a few minutes to soak up some of the orange juice, stir the oats in with the berries to soak up the rest, and set aside for the moment. Letting the oats soak up the additional liquid will prevent the juice from gumming up your flour mixture.
  5. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and clove, to make sure the spices are evenly distributed, then add to the butter mixture, at little at a time until incorporated.
  6. Stir in the oat and cranberry mixture last.
  7. Using a cookie scoop or rounded tablespoon, drop dough onto ungreased baking sheet and lightly pat into rounds.
  8. Bake at 375 for 12-15" until golden and set.
  9. Slide a spatula under the cookies to release them from the tray, but allow them to cool in place for a few minutes before transferring them to racks to cool completely. If you transfer them to racks immediately, they will still be soft and are likely to bend and fall through the racks.
Makes approximately three dozen cookies.


Cranberry-Orange Oatmeal Cookies: Hye Thyme Cafe
Cranberry-Orange Oatmeal Cookies: Hye Thyme Cafe

Cranberry-Orange Oatmeal Cookies: Hye Thyme Cafe

Cranberry-Orange Oatmeal Cookies: Hye Thyme Cafe

Friday, August 25, 2017

Curried Granola-Crusted Shrimp with Grilled Pineapple

Curried Granola-Crusted Shrimp with Grilled Pineapple : Hye Thyme Cafe

I was very excited when Golden Girl Granola reached out to see if I would be interested in participating in their annual recipe challenge again this year. The first year was Entrees, last  year Desserts (I placed 2nd - yay me), and this year Appetizers. The first thing that came to mind was using the granola in some sort of Stuffed Mushrooms. The problem with that... I loathe mushrooms, so I wouldn't even begin to know how my own recipe turned out! Then I thought of some sort of cheese ball or brie, but that would have been too easy. 

Golden Girl sends each participant a bag of their choice of flavor/blend to use in their recipe, but that's always a tough call if you don't know what it is you'll be making when you first sign up. For that reason, I opted for the "Original," which is a mix of rolled oats, honey, almonds, coconut, non-GMO/expeller-pressed canola oil, vanilla, and sea salt. The inclusion of the coconut sent my mind down the tropical path toward pineapple, which then led me to the shrimp and curry.

The recipes will be evaluated at 25% each on Taste, Visual Appeal, Creativity, and Crowd Appeal. I'm crossing my fingers that my shrimp dish hits all those notes with the judges. 

INGREDIENTS :
1 pineapple
1 lb large shrimp, peeled and cleaned *
1 1/2 c Golden Girl "Original" Granola, crushed fine
3 egg whites, beaten
1/2 c rice flour *
2 T curry powder *
1/4 t each Salt and Pepper
Oil for frying
Skewers or Picks
Optional: Chutney, or Plain Yogurt with Curry Powder for dipping ****
* I would have preferred to use fresh shrimp, but none of my local markets had raw, large shrimp, so I went with a bag of frozen, pre-cleaned, easy peel - thawed, peeled, and blotted dry. While rice flour tends to produce the best "crisp," you can use AP flour, or even cornstarch. If you "like it hot," but your curry blend is on the mild side, pump it up with a pinch of cayenne. A nice Mango Chutney would be great with these as well, but I opted to use some of my homemade plain yogurt mixed with additional curry powder.

INSTRUCTIONS :
  1. Peel your pineapple by slicing off the top and bottom, then carefully making lengthwise slices all the way around the outside, going back with the knife to shave any remaining rind.
  2. With your naked pineapple standing on end, make one slice down its length, right along the edge of the core, set that slice aside and lay the pineapple cut-side down to repeat slicing along the core on each side so that you end up with four strips and the core - discard the core, then slice the widest strips in half lengthwise, so you are left with approximately 1" wide pineapple "sticks."
  3. Heat a well-oiled grill pan or grill, and grill the pineapple sticks until nicely caramelized on each side; set aside until cooled, then slice into chunks. It's much easier to grill the pineapple in slices than to flip all those chunks, but if you're feeling ambitious and don't want any edges without grill marks . . . 
  4. Set up your dredging station by setting out one bowl containing your flour (again, feel free to add a pinch of cayenne if your curry blend is mild) curry, S&P whisked together, a second bowl containing your beaten egg white, and a third containing your ground granola.
  5. Heat your oil - I prefer to work in smaller batches/smaller pot and about 1" of oil.
  6. Blot your cleaned/peeled shrimp dry and, holding each by the tail, dip first into the flour mixture (shaking off any excess), then the egg white, then the granola (shaking off any excess) - repeat and set aside.
  7. When all of your shrimp have been double-dipped, fry them a few at a time for about 3" until golden.
  8. Skewer a pineapple chunk, followed by a shrimp, then another pineapple chunk, and serve with your preferred dipper.

 



Okay, I have a confession to make ... while not in my "loathe" category with mushrooms and cauliflower, and while I do occasionally eat shrimp, a bite or two of lobster, or even a few crawfish, I'm not a seafood person either, but these shrimp really are good! If even I enjoyed them, I'm fairly certain you will enjoy them!

Best of luck to everyone participating in the challenge, and a BIG thanks to Golden Girl for inviting me to play with their granola again. :)

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