Hye Thyme Cafe: May 2015

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, May 25, 2015

Banana-Orange Cheesecakes with Granola Crust for Two

Banana-Orange Cheesecakes with Granola Crust for Two - Hye Thyme Cafe


On a recent trip to a Christmas Tree Shop, I picked up a few four-inch Springform pans, so I naturally had to make cheesecake. I also recently received some samples of Golden Girl Granola to try and review, so I decided to use their Chocolate Decadence granola for the crust. Because there is chocolate in the granola, I was torn between a chocolate/peanut butter cheesecake or, because I had bananas and an orange on hand, a banana/orange version. I opted for the banana this time around since I also had strawberries, and banana with strawberry and orange is a killer combination.

CRUST:
3/4 c Golden Girl Chocolate Decadence Granola
1 T brown sugar
Zest from 1 orange (reserve a little for garnish)
1 T melted butter

FILLING:  (All at room temp)
8 oz cream cheese
3 T heavy cream
1 T orange juice
2 egg yolks
1/4 c sugar
1 small banana, mashed

TOPPING:
2 T sour cream or yogurt
1 t sugar
1/2 t orange juice

GARNISH:
Fresh strwaberries
Reserved orange zest

  1. Preheat oven to 325.
  2. In a food processor or mini bullet blender, pulse together the crust ingredients to break down the chunks of chocolate and some of the oats.
  3. Press crust into bottom and slightly up sides of pans, bake for 7-8" to set; set aside.
  4. Beat cream cheese until smooth and creamy, then add heavy cream and orange juice.
  5. Add the yolks, one at a time until incorporated, then slowly add the sugar.
  6. Add the mashed banana, and let mixer run for a good 5" or so.
  7. Distribute filling equally between pans and bake for approximately 45" until just slightly jiggly in center.
  8. Stir together topping ingredients and smooth over tops of cheesecakes, returning to the oven for 2" to set.
  9. Let cool completely, then chill for at least an hour before serving.
  10. Garnish with strawberry slices and reserved orange zest.


Banana Cheesecakes with Granola Crust for Two - Hye Thyme Cafe
Banana Cheesecakes with Granola Crust for Two - Hye Thyme Cafe
 
Banana Cheesecakes with Granola Crust for Two - Hye Thyme Cafe
Banana Cheesecakes with Granola Crust for Two - Hye Thyme Cafe


Banana-Orange Cheesecakes with Granola Crust for Two - Hye Thyme Cafe


Banana-Orange Cheesecakes with Granola Crust for Two - Hye Thyme Cafe



Friday, May 15, 2015

Jalapeno-Cheddar Biscuits

Jalapeno-Cheddar Biscuits - Hye Thyme Cafe


I love the combination of Jalapeno and Cheddar. When I lived in New Orleans, every once in a while, I'd pick up a sort of Jalapeno-Cheddar Bubble-Loaf, all nice and soft and squishy with tons of cheesy-spicy goodness. Then, when I moved to New York, I had the pleasure of enjoying many loaves of Jalapeno-Cheddar Bread baked by my sister and one of my nephews. That one makes for awesome grilled-cheese sandwiches, toads in a hole, etc. I haven't gotten around to baking it yet myself, but I'm thinking it's about time.

Every now and again, I'll get a craving for something jalapeno-cheddar but don't want to wait around long enough to deal with a yeast recipe. That's when a muffin, scone, or biscuit recipe comes in handy. This time around, it was biscuits - super quick biscuits since I make them in the food processor. You can use fresh jalapeno if you like, but I used canned. I debated using fresh but realized that I would have ended up grilling them so they didn't go in raw, and since the whole point was a "quick" recipe ...

INGREDIENTS :
2 c flour
2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1 t sugar
1 stick butter, divided (5T / 3T)
1 c shredded cheddar
3 T canned diced jalapeno
1/2 c +/- milk 

  1. Add the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar to your food processor and pulse to combine.
  2. Chop the 5T butter into small pieces, add to the food processor and pulse two or three times just to get started.
  3. Add the shredded cheddar and jalapeno (drained), and pulse until a pebbly texture forms - I used fresh shredded cheddar. If using pre-shredded, add a bit more because the fresh is softer/finer and takes up less space by volume in a measuring cup.
  4. While pulsing off and on, drizzle the milk through the feed tube until the dough starts to pull together into a ball.
  5. Turn out onto work surface and pat to about 1" thick.
  6. Spray baking sheet, or line with parchment or a Silpat, and either drop or cut dough into shapes and transfer to prepared baking sheet.
  7. Bake at 400 for 18-20", until golden
  8. Melt the remaining 3T butter together with 1t of the liquid from the jalapenos and brush over the biscuits and soon as they come out of the oven.

Jalapeno-Cheddar Biscuits - Hye Thyme Cafe
Jalapeno-Cheddar Biscuits - Hye Thyme Cafe






Jalapeno-Cheddar Biscuits - Hye Thyme Cafe


Jalapeno-Cheddar Biscuits - Hye Thyme Cafe

 
Jalapeno-Cheddar Biscuits - Hye Thyme Cafe
Middle - light and fluffy
Jalapeno-Cheddar Biscuits - Hye Thyme Cafe
Bottom - golden brown


Jalapeno-Cheddar Biscuits - Hye Thyme Cafe

 
Jalapeno-Cheddar Biscuits - Hye Thyme Cafe


I got a little heavy-handed with the milk this time and the dough ended up very soft, so it wasn't in the mood to be shaped nicely. I was afraid they would turn out very dense, but not at all, so if you also get a little heavy-handed with the milk, don't panic and feel you need to add more flour - just make your biscuits free-form.

With this batch, I made 7 large biscuits. I'm thinking these would be really good with some chicken, veggies and gravy poured over the top like chicken and dumplings. Dang, wish I hadn't polished off the chicken in a chicken salad.

I stowed the extra diced jalapenos in a little zip-lock bag in the freezer for future use - sometimes I'll add them to a mac and cheese, toss into a frittata, blend into a cheese sauce to pour over baked potatoes ...


Sunday, May 3, 2015

Granola-Crusted Pork Chops and a Review - Golden Girl Granola

Granola-Crusted Pork Chops - Hye Thyme Cafe


I was recently given an opportunity to review some of the flavor offerings by Golden Girl Granola. I've always been a granola fan. One of my earliest memories, however, was not about eating granola but making it at summer camp as a kid to feed to the goats (no pun intended). As you may already have gathered, I'm also a big yogurt fan, and granola makes a great topping for yogurt, not to mention ice cream, etc.

Golden Girl offers seven flavor combinations:

  • Forest Maple (maple syrup and almonds)
  • Creative Cranberry (cranberries, coconut, almonds)
  • Blueberry (blueberries, coconut, almonds)
  • The Original (coconut, honey, almonds)
  • Home Sweet Honey (honey and coconut)
  • Truly Tropical (mango, cashews, coconut)
  • Chocolate Decadence (chocolate, coconut, almonds)

What I love about Golden Girl is that they have managed to achieve that perfect balance between sweet and savory. Some granolas are rather blah, while others have a cloyingly sweet coating. A Shirley, Massachusetts-based company, Golden Girl sources its honey from the Merrimack Valley Apiaries in Billerica, Massachusetts. They produce a lovely wildflower honey which is used raw, unfiltered, and unheated for the best possible flavor.

I'm hoping that as the company grows, they will begin incorporating a wider variety of fruits and nuts to their mixes, and maybe some seeds. In the meantime, you really can't miss with what they offer now, and it sounds like a great company, not only for how they came to be and operate, but what they do for their community. You can read their story here. I think their mission statement speaks volumes in itself.



I've been out of town for a bit, taking in the recent festivities celebrating the 100th anniversary commemorating the Armenian Genocide, but before leaving, I did have an opportunity to partake of some of my sample stash.  If you've been following along, you saw that I enjoyed (several) bowls of homemade Coconut Yogurt topped with Creative Cranberry and then made a fabulous breakfast including Forest Maple Granola French Toast.

Even before that, I had posted a recipe for Scalloped Potatoes with Thyme in which I alluded to the Granola-Crusted Pork Chops.  I was holding out until I had a chance to try the other flavors before writing up this post. East was as perfectly balanced as the last - great flavor, light crunch, perfectly sweetened.

INGREDIENTS
2 pork chops
Salt and Pepper
Dijon Mustard
2 c Golden Girl The Original granola
  1. Let your chops sit out for a while to warm up so you're not shocking them by putting them in a hot oven while still cold.
  2. Pat the chops dry and trim any fat.
  3. Season on both sides with a bit of salt and pepper, then rub with a light coating of Dijon (What goes better with honey -granola- than mustard?)
  4. Press the coated chops into the granola on both sides to coat.
  5. Transfer to casserole dish (buttered or sprayed if not going on top of scalloped potatoes as mine did) and cover lightly with foil - starting covered will prevent the granola from burning.
  6. Bake at 350 for 30", then uncover and continue until golden and cooked through - total time will depend on oven, baking dish, etc.


Granola-Crusted Pork Chops - Hye Thyme Cafe
Granola-Crusted Pork Chops - Hye Thyme Cafe





Granola-Crusted Pork Chops - Hye Thyme Cafe


Granola-Crusted Pork Chops - Hye Thyme Cafe


Granola-Crusted Pork Chops - Hye Thyme Cafe


Granola-Crusted Pork Chops - Hye Thyme Cafe
Can you see how juicy? The Dijon creates a nice seal.

You can find Golden Girl Granola in Fairway Markets, as well as many Whole Foods, Hannaford, and several other markets. You can also order online. Golden Girl comes in individual 14-oz. resealable bags or by the dozen in 3-oz. snack packs.

A big thanks to Thought for Food & Son for bringing Golden Girl to my attention and to Golden Girl for providing me with the samples to review. 

Although I was provided the product for review, all opinions are strictly my own. This is not a paid post.



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