Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Blueberry Sour Cream Coffee Cake; Green Blender Salsa

Hey, foodies, I'm not cooking tonight...meetings and activities, so eating on the go. However, I've done a little cooking the past two days that I haven't blogged about, so I'll give it to you in lieu of a meal tonight.

It's Vicki's (my wife) birthday on Monday, and she brought a coffee cake to work today to celebrate as she's off next week. Here's the recipe. Don't think about fat grams on this one...just enjoy the sheer deliciousness of it.

Also, as a sort of encore, I'll give you one of my two favorite salsa recipes on earth - Chuck's famous Green Blender Salsa - super easy, and addictively good. Enjoy!

Blueberry Sour Cream Coffee Cake
1.5 c. packed brown sugar
1/2 c. granulated sugar
1 T cinnamon (I use Vietnamese cinnamon from Pensey's's TOTALLY worth going out of your way to get it)
1 stick (1/2 c.) butter (if you use unsalted, add 2/3 tsp salt), room temperature
2 small containers of fresh blueberries

2.5 c. flour
2 sticks (1 c.) butter (if you use unsalted, add 1-1/3 tsp salt), room temperature
3 eggs
1.5 c. sour cream
1/2 c. granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla (I use Pensey's double-strength...again, well-worth it!)
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350. Grease the bottom of a 9x13 pan.

In a medium bowl combine all filling ingredients thoroughly. Set aside.

Make the batter: In a large bowl, cream butter & sugar. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Add baking powder, salt and flour, and mix well. Mix in the sour cream. The batter will be stiff.

Spread half of the batter in the pan. It will be sticky and hard to spread, but keep working it from the center toward the edges, trying to make an even layer. Spread half of the brown sugar filling over the batter, and sprinkle on on pkg. of blueberries. Repeat with a second layer, which will be even harder to spread, but just do your best. Using a butter knife, cut through the layers all over the cake.

Bake for about 45 minutes until set and just browning on top. Allow to cool before serving. You won't believe how fabulous this is. Be sure to use good's key!

It's easy to half this recipe...just use a jumbo egg or beat the second egg in a small bowl and just use half of it.

Green Blender Salsa
This is one of my two favorite salsas, and it's absolutely the easiest ever. (I'll give you the other in another posting sometime.) I invented this salsa about 2 years ago.

1 can of tomatillos - about 14oz., I think, look in the Hispanic foods aisle at the grocery store
1 medium onion, trimmed, peeled and cut into chunks
2-3 cloves of garlic, peeled and quartered
about 1 c. (lightly packed) fresh cilantro, stems and leaves, rinsed of sand & dirt
juice of 1-2 limes - depending on size and juiciness
generous amount of freshly ground pepper
2 pinches of salt (the tomatillos are canned with salt, so you don't need too much)

OK, the technique is goes: put it all in the blender and puree for a minute or two. Whew! Check salt, and serve.

If you want a little heat, throw a rough-chopped jalapeno into the blender as well.

For both heat and texture, mince a few scallions and a jalepeno and add them after blending.

You can use fresh tomatillos (about 1/2 pound) - just remove the husks, simmer in salted water until cooked through (about 10-15 minutes), and drain. However, canned tomatillos are almost as good.

This salsa doesn't keep well...there's so much pectin in the tomatillos that it tends to gelatinize when refrigerated. You can stir it back up to loosen it up again, but the flavors and texture are best right away.


  1. When are you going to stop by with the coffee cake? I will make some good coffee. : )

  2. Hi Chuck. Ok, LOVE your blog. Somehow I have screwed up this coffee cake. It was soft on the bottom, more like a pudding, but the top set up beautifully. I cooked it slightly longer than called for, so I dont think that was the issue. Any thoughts?? Thanks. Ann Meagher

  3. Ann, I'm sorry the recipe didn't work for you! My best guess is that it could have used a little more cooking time. It's tricky because each pan and oven is a little different.

    This cake is so gooey, you can't really use the toothpick test. The way I test it is to jiggle the pan a little. The middle of the cake will jiggle like pudding if it's not done. When it's done, it no longer jiggles. With all the brown sugar and butter, it's OK for the top to get well-browned and a bit crisp, as long as it doesn't scorch.

    I'm not sure what else the problem could be. I hope it works out better next time. Good luck!