Before and After: Lotus Root and Chips

By Libbie Summers
Photography by Chia Chong

The beauty of the lotus root.
Peel, slice, fry, salt, repeat.

Lotus root…before. 
Lotus Root, Food Styling, Food Photography, Libbie Summers
Lotus root…after.
Fried Lotus Root, Lotus Root Snacks, Unusual Snacks, Libbie Summers, Chia Chong, food Styling, Food Photography
Spiced Lotus Root Chips
(try with any of the finishing salt recipes below) 

What you need:
1 lotus root, peeled using a vegetable peeler
juice from one lemon
canola oil for frying
Dry Herb Finishing Salt (recipe to follow)
Chai Spiced Finishing Salt (recipe to follow)
Sweet Onion Finishing Salt (recipe to follow)
Coriander and Pepper Finishing Salt (recipe to follow)

What to do:
Line a baking sheet with paper towels and set aside.

Squeeze lemon into a medium mixing bowl filled halfway with water. Set aside.

Slice lotus root into 1/8-inch thick slices (we used a mandoline). Place in the lemon water while your oil is heating up.

Heat oil in a wok or heavy pan until it is hot, but not smoking (approximately 300 degrees F.) Working in batches, pat dry lotus root slices before lowering into the hot oil. Fry lotus root slices until golden brown, turning as needed. Remove with a spyder or slotted spoon to the paper-towel lined baking sheet and immediately sprinkle with a Finishing Salt. Allow to cool before storing in an airtight container.

Dry Herb Finishing Salt
In a small bowl, stir together 1 tablespoon dried oregano, 1 tablespoon dried dill, 1 tablespoon dried parsley flake and 1 teaspoon flaked or kosher salt.

Chai Spiced Finishing Salt
In a small bowl, stir together 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves, 1 teaspoon ground ginger, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1 teaspoon turbinado sugar and 1 teaspoon flaked or kosher salt.

Sweet Onion Finishing Salt
In a small bowl, stir together 1 tablespoon dehydrated onion, 1 teaspoon turbinado sugar and 1 teaspoon flaked or kosher salt.

Coriander and Pepper Finishing Salt
In a small bowl, stir together 1 teaspoon ground coriander, 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper and 1/2 teaspoon flaked or kosher salt.

Before and After: Spring Onions and Waffles

Recipe and Styling by Libbie Summers
Photography by Chia Chong

Spring Onions…before.
Garden Vegetables, Spring Onions, Onions, Food Photography, Food Styling, Libbie Summers, Chia Chong

Spring Onions…after. 
Breakfast recipes, Waffle Recipes, Savory Waffles, Libbie Summers, Chia Chong,
Savory Spring Onion and Pancetta Waffles
(maple butter, sea salt)
makes 5/serves 4 for breakfast or dinner/serves 20 for an appetizer

Ingredients:
1 packet active dry yeast
1 cup warm water
½ teaspoon sugar
3 cups All-Purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
1 ¼ cups milk
½ cup melted butter
3 eggs, separated
4 ounces diced and cooked pancetta
3 spring onions diced, green and white parts
Maple Butter (recipe to follow)
Sea salt for sprinkling

Directions:
In a small mixing bowl or glass measuring cup, dissolve the yeast in the water. Stir in sugar and allow mixture to sit until it begins to bloom (foam). In a large mixing bowl, stir the flour with the salt and pepper. Whisk in the yeast mixture, milk, butter and egg yolks until smooth.

In a medium mixing bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Fold them into the batter and let stand for 20 minutes. Just before cooking, fold in the pancetta and spring onions.

Preheat the oven to 200ºF

Prepare a waffle iron by spraying with non-stick cooking spray and heat. Pour 1 1/4 cups of the batter into the iron and cook until the waffles are golden, 6 minutes. Transfer the waffles to the oven to keep warm. Repeat with the remaining batter. Serve with a dollop of Maple Butter on top and sprinkle with sea salt.

Maple Butter
yields about 1 cup

1 cup Irish butter, room temperature
2 tablespoons good maple syrup

Directions:
In a small mixing bowl, stir all ingredients together. Serve with warm Savory Spring Onion and Pancetta Waffles.

Libbie Loves: Banana Crushes

By Libbie Summers
Assisted by David Dempsey
A few things I’m banana crushing on this week!

Banana Inspirations, Libbie Summers favorite things, Banana Crushes

  1. Downloadable Banana Leaf Print  @Etsy
  2. Banana Door Stopper available @houzz
  3. Lole I Glow Travel Yoga Mat from @lole available  @moosejaw
  4. Banana Flambé Jam available @touchofeurope
  5. Rive Droite Lounge Chair from @patrick_norguet available @hive_modern
  6. Rachel Comey May Heel in Old Gold from @rachelcomey available @Vertandvogue
  7. Handsewn Italian Leather Driving Gloves
  8. Kip and Co X Electric Confetti Banana available @electricconfetti
  9. Vintage Jewelry found @Evergreen Antiques I’ll be giving these away tomorrow on Instagram!!!!

Lemonhead Cake

By Libbie Summers from Sweet and Vicious (Rizzoli)
Photography by Jade + Matthew Take Pictures

I love all sweet-and-sour foods: a half-ripe persimmon, cheap Chinese takeout, and Lemonhead candies. For a candy, Lemonheads have it all going on—a 1980’s fashion-forward color, eye-squintingly sour outer shell, and a sweet, smooth center. It could possibly be the perfect candy, so I let it be the inspiration for this sweet and sour cake: tangy lemon layers with sweet, buttery frosting decorated with the candy it’s named after. Finally! A sweet-and-sour dish that delivers and doesn’t involve a sauce packet you have to open with your teeth.

Candy Cake, Cake Decorating, Cupcakes, A Food-inspired Life,  Lemonheads
Lemonhead Cake
(sweet + sour lemon cake)
serves 20 (makes 1 two layer cake or 24 cupcakes)

What you need:
2 3⁄4 cups cake flour
1 2⁄3 cups sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
3⁄4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
3⁄4 cup (1 1⁄2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
4 large egg whites, plus 1 whole large egg
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk or regular whole milk
1⁄2 teaspoon lemon extract
1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla paste Swiss Meringue Buttercream Frosting (recipe to follow),tinted bright yellow with food coloring
2 (7-ounce) bags Lemonhead candies for garnish
Lemonhead Syrup: 1⁄4 cup Lemonhead syrup (5 Lemonhead candies melted in 1⁄4 cup water and cooled)

What to do:
Preheat the oven to 350° F. Spray two 8-inch round cake pans with nonstick cooking spray, line the bottoms with parchment paper, and spray the paper. Set aside.

In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and lemon zest and mix on low speed for 1 minute, or until just combined. Add the butter and increase the speed to medium. Mix for 2 to 3 minutes, until the mixture is a paste. Add the egg whites one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the whole egg and beat to combine. Scrape down the bowl as needed. The batter will be thick.

In a liquid measuring cup, stir together the coconut milk, lemon extract, and vanilla paste. With the mixer on medium speed, slowly pour this mixture into the batter. Beat for 3 to 5 minutes, until fluffy. Scrape down the bowl as needed. Divide the batter between the prepared pans and bake for 25 to 35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Let the cakes cool in the pans on a rack, then turn them out of the pans. Slice a thin layer of cake from the top of each layer to create
a flat surface. Place one layer (cut side up) on a cake pedestal or plate. Using a chopstick or skewer, poke a few holes in the top of the cake. Brush the top of the cake with half of the Lemonhead Syrup. Let the syrup seep into the holes. Spread 1 heaping cup frosting over the top of the first cake layer. Place the second cake layer on top of the frosting, cut side up, poke holes in the top, and brush the top with the remaining syrup. Spread 1 heaping cup frosting as a crumb layer (Watch this How To Frost a Layer Cake Video) to cover the entire cake (it’s okay if you can see the cake through the frosting). Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Use the remaining frosting (about 3 cups) to apply the final decorative layer over the entire cake. Garnish with Lemonhead candies. (I love polka dots, so I piped dots all over the cake and then put a Lemonhead candy on each dot. You could cover the entire cake in Lemonheads, which would be unreal!)

Swiss Meringue Buttercream Frosting
(easy, buttery, and stable)
yields about 5 cups

 

What you need:
5 large egg whites
1 1⁄2 cups sugar
1 1⁄2 pounds (6 sticks) butter,cut into chunks, at room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

What to do:
Fill a medium saucepan with 2 inches water and place over medium-low heat. Set a medium ovenproof bowl over the simmering water, making sure the bottom of the bowl doesn’t come into contact with the water.
Put the egg whites and sugar in the bowl and whisk together until all the sugar crystals have dissolved. Pour the hot egg white mixture into the (room temperature) bowl
of a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whisk on high speed for 10 minutes, or until the meringue has doubled in volume, holds a stiff peak, and has cooled down. It’s important that the meringue is not warm, or it will melt the butter. I usually stick my finger down into the meringue to feel the temp—and get a taste!

Remove the whisk attachment and replace it with the paddle attachment. Mix the butter into the cooled meringue, 1⁄2 cup at a time.
Cupcake, Girl eating cupcake, Lemonhead Cupcakes, A food-inspired life
Dessert Party, Desserts, Libbie Summers, Sweet and Vicious, A food-inspired Life

 

Hump Day: Chapter 29

“Just because you attach it to your wrist does not make it a proper bracelet.” –The Bitch on Fashion.
Vizsla, Fashion, Watermelon Skirt, Watermelon,