Monday, September 19, 2011

Los gringos strike again

The other day at the supermarket, Felipe eyed me suspiciously. Did you just put zucchini in the cart? You?  Zucchini?  I think he thought someone else had commandeered our cart, or failing that, my brain. Zucchini, along with iceberg lettuce, is pretty much the only vegetable that I routinely reject. For zucchini bread. You know, like carrot cake. -What? Zucchinis in cake? Felipe shook his head and wandered off to the next aisle, muttering something along the lines of -estos gringos... under his breath.

Fair enough. It's not his fault he doesn't know that Americans use zucchini as an excuse to make (and eat) cake and at the same time use up their summer garden overflow. 

That night, we had coffee and zucchini bread. I was about to ask how the weirdo American vegetable bread was when Felipe blurted out between bites,Wow, this is so could sell this...For some reason that I still don't understand, when Colombians really like some food item, they tell you you could sell it (even people like Felipe who have zero interest in selling anything). Two Brazilians and one German later, the bread was almost gone, and Felipe was eyeing it dangerously. There's a phrase that's used in Spanish in situations like this that I find hilarious: el pan me está haciendo ojitos (the bread is making (little) eyes at me). ¿Me puedo comer otra tajada? (Can I eat another slice?) This phrase, on the other hand, drives me crazy. Amor, no soy tu mama. (Sweetheart, I am not your mother.) If you want to finish off the bread, finish the damn bread. Next week it's your turn to sneak zucchini into the cart.

I should say that I'm actually not generally a big fan of zucchini bread, often finding them too dense and heavy, but this particular zucchini bread I like very much. It's nicely spiced but not overwhelming, and the tangy lime glaze is an especially nice foil to the lightly sweet bread. I highly recommend it alongside a mug of cafe con leche. We've been using one of those Italian espresso pots to make cafe con leche lately and I don't know if I'm ever going to be able to go back.

Zucchini Bread with Lime Glaze
     heavily adapted from Karen DeMasco

1/4 c. (2 oz.) extra virgin olive oil
1/4 c. (2 oz.) vegetable oil
3/4 c. + 2 Tbsp. (175 g.) sugar
2 medium eggs, room temperature (if you only have large ones, leave a bit out)
1 c. (140 g.) flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. freshly ground nutmeg
1 1/4 c. (150 g.) zucchini, finely grated (use the smaller side on the box grater)
zest of 1/2 lime

For the glaze:
2-3 Tbsp. lime juice, freshly squeezed 
100 g. white sugar
1/4 tsp. cornstarch

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Butter (or oil) and flour a 9 in. x 5 in. loaf pan, then tap any excess flour out. In a large bowl, beat the oils, sugar and eggs together for 3 minutes until lightened in color. Sift the flour, baking soda and powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg together directly into the bowl, then stir well. Stir in the zucchini and lime zest, then pour the batter into the loaf pan. Bake for ~ 45 min., until a knife stuck into the center comes out clean and the bread has begun to pull away from the sides of the pan.
Let the bread cool in the pan for 10 min. Stir together the lime juice, sugar and cornstarch. Add a bit more lime juice if the glaze is too thick to brush on. Invert the bread out of the pan, then put it back right side up on a plate. Brush the glaze over the cake, letting it drip down the sides. Let cool completely.

Pan de Zucchini con Cobertura de Limón

1/4 taza (2 oz.) de aceite de oliva
1/4 taza (2 oz.) de aceite vegetal
175 g. de azúcar blanca 
2 huevos medianos, temperatura ambiental
140 g. de harina de trigo (tipo 000)
1/2 cucharita de polvo de hornear 
1/4 cucharita de bicarbonato de soda
1/2 cucharita de sal
1 cucharita de canela
1/4 cucharita de nuez moscada recién rallada 
150 g. de zucchini, rallado chiquito (usa el lado con huecos más pequeños del ralladora de caja)
cascara de 1/2 limón, 

Para la cobertura:
2-3 cucharadas de jugo de limón fresco
100 g. de azúcar blanca
1/4 cucharita de maízena (almidon de maíz)

Precalienta el horno a 180ºC. Amanteca y enharina un molde de pan, después voltea el molde hacía abajo para que cualquiera harina adicional salga. En un bol grande, bate los aceites, el azúcar y los huevos juntos por 3 minutos o hasta que estén más claritos de color. Tamiza la harina, bicarbonato de soda, polvo de hornear, sal, canela y nuez moscada juntos directamente al bol, después revuelve bien. Echale el zucchini y la cascara de limón, revuelve bien, entonces echa la masa al molde. Hornea durante ~ 45 minutos, hasta que un cuchillo metido al centro salga limpio y el pan se haya empezado a separarse de los lados del molde.
Deja el pan a enfriar en el molde por 10 min. Revuelve el jugo de limón, azúcar y maízena juntos; echale un poco más jugo de limón si la mezcla está demasiado espesa para untar. Voltea el molde hacía abajo para sacar el pan, después voltea el pan otra vez para que esté sentado bien sobre un plato. Unta la parte de arriba del pan con la mezcla de limón y azúcar, dejandole caer por los lados. Deja el pan enfriarse completamente.

1 comment:

  1. My new school friend just brought a zucchini chocolate cake around today - it has been making little eyes at me all day ;P The lime glaze makes this so appealing...