Times of Oman
Oman dining: Perfect pairing
August 7, 2017 | 8:10 PM
by Oneza Tabish
Strawberry and cream cake is a unique combination and is very delicious.
 
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Like many other things in life some foods work well when prepared together. These delicious duos when combined makes some wonderful recipes.

STRAWBERRY AND CREAM CAKE

Strawberry and cream — a match originally made in England is a unique combination and can also be made into a delicious, homemade strawberry cake with a thick cream cheese frosting and garnished with fresh strawberries.

INGREDIENTS



1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature

2 cups white sugar

2 large eggs

2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 cup buttermilk or milk mixed with lemon juice

2 cups + 3 tablespoons white flour

5 tablespoons cornstarch

3 tablespoons strawberry jell-o mix dry

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

2/3 cup chopped fresh strawberries

Few strawberries for topping

For Frosting

1/2 cup unsalted butter softened

1 package (8 ounces) full-fat cream cheese at room temperature

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

4 1/2 cups powdered sugar

PREPARATION

Preheat the oven to 175 degrees C. Grease and flour a 9 x 13 pan and set aside. Beat butter with hand mixer until light and creamy. Slowly add in sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy.

In another bowl, lightly beat eggs and then add the mixture and mix along with the freshly squeezed lemon juice. Beat in milk with lemon juice (mentioned in ingredients).

In a separate bowl, sift together flour and cornstarch 2-3 times and then add in jell-o mix, baking soda, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and beat at low speed until just combined.

Remove the stems from the strawberries and finely chop. Add in the finely chopped strawberries to the cake. Pour the batter evenly in the prepared pan. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the centre. Cool the cake for at least one hour and then chill in the fridge for another hour.

Frosting: Beat the softened butter and cream cheese until completely creamy. Beat in the vanilla. Slowly beat in the powdered sugar until smooth and desired consistency. Spread the frosting evenly over the cake and decorate with strawberries.

(This recipe would be great with buttermilk, but if you do not have the same, remove 1 tablespoon from the milk being used and replace it with lemon juice. Mix and allow to sit for 5 minutes before using.)

CORN AND SPINACH BAKE

Corn, spinach, and cheese — this magical trio always render a blockbuster performance when paired together. This is a simple recipe that is packed with the goodness of cheese, the crunch of corn, and the nutrition of spinach.

INGREDIENTS

1 teaspoon olive oil

1 onion, finely chopped

1 clove garlic, grated

1 cup chopped spinach

3/4 cup boiled sweet corn kernels

Salt to taste

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper powder

1/8 teaspoon dried oregano

1 cup readymade white sauce

1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese

PREPARATION

Heat oil in a wok, add onions and garlic and sauté it till they turn pink in colour. Add spinach and corn and cook on a medium flame for 3 to 4 minutes. Add salt, pepper and oregano and mix well. Now add white sauce and 2 to 3 tablespoons of cheese and mix well and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the mixture into a baking dish and sprinkle the rest of the cheese and grill in an oven till the cheese melts. Serve immediately.

BALSAMIC WATERMELON FETA SALAD

Watermelon when combined with feta with a dash of vinegar does not only elevate the taste of a salad but is a visual bouquet of delight. Glazed balsamic vinegar drizzled on watermelon and feta chunks is the best combination of health and taste one could ask for. This salad is jam packed with everything cheesy, salty, juicy sweet and more – sweet watermelon, creamy/salty feta, pungent onion slices, crunchy almonds, and tangy dressing.

INGREDIENTS

For the dressing

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons white vinegar

Salt and pepper

1/4 cup olive oil

For the salad

2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

1 watermelon, cut into bite-sized chunks

6 cups fresh spinach or arugula

1 red onion, thinly sliced

2/3 cup feta cheese, crumbled

1/2 cup slivered almonds

PREPARATION

In a small bowl, combine vinegars, salt, pepper, and whisk until salt is dissolved. Slowly whisk in olive oil, a few drops at a time. Add in chopped basil, taste, and adjust seasonings. In a large bowl, combine the melon, arugula/spinach, onion, and feta. Pour the dressing over the melon mixture and toss gently until everything is coated and evenly mixed.

To serve, divide salad among individual plates and garnish with slivered almonds and extra basil leaves.

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