The combination of the sweet scallops, creamy avocado puree and the sweet and tangy cherry salsa was a win.
Believe it or not I still have some poppy seed dishes left in me. Waffles have been on my mind lately from my feeble attempts to rethink the popular chicken and waffle. I made poppy seed belgian waffles and topped it with sauteed spinach and shallots, eggs mollet and parmesan hollandaise. Voila! A waffle version of eggs florentine. It happened by accident actually. First I thought of which vegetables to pair the waffle with. Then I thought real hard about the sauce and I could not come up with much but hollandaise. Parmesan hollandaise? Even better. Bacon lardons were also part of the mix but I made the dish vegetarian this time around for my vegetarian friends. Do include bacon lardons in yours!
Ooh look at that yolk oozing out. I loved the poppy seeds in the waffles too. They added a nice crunch of course and extra nuttiness. My friends loved the dish.
Biscuits – another way to use poppy seeds! Fresh from the oven the warm buttermilk biscuit was fluffy, buttery and now also pleasantly crunchy from the black seeds. I paired it with duck confit (also begging to be used up) for a little appetizer. I topped a biscuit half with shredded duck confit and savory cherry compote made with fresh cherries, red wine, orange juice, sugar and spices. The lovely duck confit and cherry compote pairing is straight out of Sunday Suppers at Lucques cookbook. I finished the dish with a quenelle of tangy creme fraiche to contrast with the earthy spices of the duck and compote. A few sprigs of microgreens later and the cute appetizer was ready to be consumed. I saved the skin from the duck leg and made a cracklin out of it. Delicious!
The original inspiration for this dish was the Thanksgiving-themed sandwiches of deli turkey, cranberry sauce and cream cheese that I used get at a sandwich shop during the college days. Duck confit for turkey, cherry compote for cranberry sauce, and creme fraiche for cream cheese. And of course , the touch of poppy seeds.
Another thing I wanted to try with the poppy seeds was to make a lemon meringue tart but with a poppy seed crust. Since I have more savory tendencies though I ended up making a savory tart. First I made the tart dough using a pate brisee recipe substituting some of the flour with poppy seeds and unsalted butter with goat butter. For the filling I sauteed pancetta, leeks and peas, seasoned simply with salt and black pepper. I filled the blind baked tart dough with the filling once it had cooled a bit and poured over the custard mixture which consisted of a eggs, cream, crumbled goat cheese and chives. I sprinkled a bit of grated parmesan on top and baked it off. This was pretty easy to whip up and I got to use up about 1/2 cup of the poppy seeds! That’s good news. I’ve got another ball of poppy seed-goat butter dough in the freezer for another day when I want to whip up another easy tart.
My friend Erika was celebrating her birthday today and I wanted to make her something delicious and pretty. Cupcakes always seem to bring a smile to people’s faces and are fairly easy enough to make that even I can do them. My next pantry project is to use up the huge container of poppy seeds I bought two years ago when I needed just a pinch to garnish scallop carpaccio. I love lemon poppy seed cake so I decided to do a cupcake version of it. Meringue frosting would add a unique twist to it and look beautiful. Then I thought why not stuff it with lemon curd? In the end this cupcake became a perfect smashup of lemon poppy seed cake and lemon meringue tart.
I used Joy of Baking’s vanilla cupcake recipe as the foundation and added the bright lemon flavor to it. The lemon curd was store bought to save some sanity on my part. I had a little taster of the cupcake and it was delicious! I loved the lemon flavor of course and the crunchy poppy seeds added a great texture and also a nice visual effect once the cupcake liner was peeled off prior to devouring. But he toasted meringue frosting was the cherry on top though. Aerated, glossy, and nicely browned just on the edges.
Lemon Poppy Seed Cupcakes with Lemon Curd & Meringue Frosting
makes 12 regular cupcakes
1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
2/3 cup (130 grams) granulated white sugar
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups (210 grams) all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup (60 ml) buttermilk
2 tbsp lemon zest
juice of half lemon
3 tbsp poppy seeds
about 1/2 cup of lemon curd
2 egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
Heat oven to 350 degrees.
In a mixer cream sugar, butter and lemon zest. Add eggs one by one until incorporated.
In another bowl whisk flour, baking powder, poppy seeds and salt.
Add half of the dry mix, then buttermilk, then remaining dry mix and lemon juice. Mix just until the ingredients are incorporated.
Line cupcake pan and divide batter evenly.
Bake for 18-20 minutes and then cool on a rack.
Once cupcakes are completely cool stuff each cupcake with a generous teaspoon of lemon curd. I used the cone method from Cupcake Bakeshop by the talented Chockylit.
Now make the meringue by beating the egg whites. When it gets foamy add cream of tartar and slowly start adding the sugar. Beat until hard peaks. Use your favorite piping tip to apply the meringue to the cupcake. I used a #4 open star tip and then broiled it just enough to get the ridges nicely toasted.