Brazil Nut and Date Bread with Honey Butter

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Brazil Nut and Date Bread with Honey Butter

(Serve for breakfast, snack, cheese plate or dessert!)

Yield: 1  9-inch pie

Unsalted butter, to prepare the pie pan
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons white whole wheat flour, plus more for dusting
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon orange zest, grated on a Microplane
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 cup finely chopped Medjool dates, pits removed
2 tablespoons whole milk
1 cup raw brazil nuts, chopped roughly
3 large eggs

Adjust an oven rack to the middle position, then preheat the oven to 325ºF.

Butter a 9-inch pie pan, then dust with flour, tapping out any excess.

Mix together the flour, cinnamon, salt, cocoa powder, zest and baking powder in a medium-sized bowl.

Add the dates, milk, nuts and eggs and mix very well using a wooden spoon. Get in there with some elbow grease, and really stir until well combined. It’ll be thick and chunky, but that’s a good thing.

Pour the date batter into the prepared pie pan and or use the back of the wooden spoon to level off the batter.

Place the pie pan on a sheet pan and transfer to the oven.

Bake, uncovered, 40 to 45 minutes, until the top is light to golden brown and the center springs back when pressed.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan. Once cool enough to handle, remove from the pie pan, slice (using a bread knife) and serve with a slathering of honey butter.

Honey Butter:

1/2 stick unsalted butter (4 tablespoons), softened
2 tablespoons honey, preferably orange blossom

Mix the butter and honey in a small bowl until thoroughly combined.

Photo: Ronald Tsang

P.S. This recipe was recently featured in an issue of Clean Eating Magazine and my new online cooking course with Clean Eating Magazine, “Clean Cooking & Nutrition: The World’s Healthiest Proteins & Advanced Vegetable Prep” will be starting on April 3! It’s gonna be so. much. fun! Check out the course trailer/preview to see for yourself!

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Sweet Potato Waffle with Honey Butter

You may  want to make an extra sweet potato or two this Thanksgiving.

Watch me make this recipe on my Facebook page.

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Sweet Potato Waffles with Honey Butter

Yield: 12 waffles

 

Waffles:

1 sweet potato (about 3/4 pound)

1½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon kosher salt

2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

1/16 teaspoon ground nutmeg

2 large eggs

1¼ cups 2% or whole milk

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

¼ cup pure maple syrup, preferably Grade B

1 tablespoon orange zest (zest of 1 large orange), grated on a Microplane

Extra-virgin olive oil, for preparing the sweet potato

Nonstick spray

 

Adjust an oven rack to the middle position, then preheat the oven to 400ºF. Rub a thin layer of olive oil on the sweet potato, set on a parchment paper-lined sheet pan, and bake for 45 to 60 minutes, or until a knife inserted through the skin doesn’t stick.

Peel and mash the baked sweet potato. Measure 1 cup and place in a large bowl. Using a small spoon, eat any extra mashed sweet potato when no one is looking.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a medium bowl.

Whisk the eggs, milk, vanilla, butter, maple syrup, and orange zest into the bowl with the mashed sweet potato.

Slowly whisk the flour mixture into the sweet potato egg mixture until just combined. It will be on the thick side, so don’t worry.

Place two sheet pans in the oven, and preheat the oven to 200ºF; this will keep the waffles warm as you make them.

Heat a waffle iron until hot and spray lightly with nonstick spray.

Pour in just enough batter to nearly fill the iron, but do not overload it.

Cook the waffles until done, about 5 minutes.

As the waffles finish cooking, place them in the oven, uncovered, on the warm sheet pans. To keep the waffles from getting soggy, do not stack them.

Serve with honey butter and maple syrup.

 

Honey Butter:

1 stick unsalted butter (8 tablespoons), softened

¼ cup honey, preferably orange blossom

 

Mix the butter and honey in a small bowl until thoroughly combined.

Creatures of Habit

We are all creatures of habit – some good, some bad. It is my hope that over the years we will all replace one bad habit for a good one. What’s my favorite habit? Well, read on my friends.

For the last (give or take) 15 years, I have been in the habit of going to the farmers market every Sunday, the Hollywood Farmers Market, that is. In fact, I think of the farmers market as my second home because I used to work at the one in Hollywood for over 10 years selling fruit for one of the farmers… my buddy Ken Lee.

Not only is it filled with every possible fruit and vegetable that you could possibly want, but so many people, from so many different walks of life come to shop every week – from the city’s greatest chefs, to tourists, to famous actors, to everyday shoppers. I love it!

This Sunday, my sous-chef and I were making our plans for what to buy, when we remembered that the L.A. Marathon was taking place. (Gasp!) Translation: roads closed everywhere.  A-ha! (pointing skyward) What a great opportunity to walk. I love L.A. without any cars. Ahhhhh.

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And with this fancy little rolly cart, care of my friends at Lucini Italia Olive Oil, we were able to cruise to the market in style!

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What have we here? Oranges, Fresh Herbs, Snap Peas, Flowers, Tomatoes, Lettuces, Cabbage, Greens….. Everything is so fresh and delicious. Starting with amazing produce makes my job as chef so easy! I love supporting my local farmer friends. Also, (come closer) …near the end of the day you can find a few really great deals!

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ImageImageImageImageImageOh, and how cool is this – remember the little jaunt to Houweling’s greenhouse that my sous and I took last week? Well, look what we found. Turns out the cucumbers and tomatoes we have been buying all these years are from Houwelings! No wonder we like them so much.

ImageAll said and done, we were all filled up with fresh goodness and ready to go.

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But, wait! What about our weekly loaf of fresh sourdough bread?! Our favorite bakery, the Village Bakery, couldn’t make it to Farmers Market because of the L.A. marathon. No sourdough bread? Not on my watch! So, we walked (briskly) back to my apartment, dropped off the fresh produce, grabbed some fleur de sel, a few thin slices of butter – and in the car we go! (cue very cool driving music)

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Needless to say, we arrived just minutes before they closed. Praise Latte! So there we sat, my sous and I, in the front seat of the sunny car, tearing that delicious loaf into pieces – slathering them with butter and dusting them with fleur de sel. With free street parking to boot!

Now this is a habit I can get used to.