March 29, 2010

A Birthday Meal Down South

Just back from a road trip to see friends and family down south. While there, I had a hunkering for a truly southern meal, and my good friends R & H in my hometown appeased me. With a birthday in our midst, we celebrated in style with a lightened-up version of a country favorite, Country-Fried Steak with Mushroom Gravy and of course, classic yellow cupcakes with chocolate buttercream. Good times were had by all, and we sauntered to bed that evening comfortably stuffed!

This is a keeper recipe I've had around since earlier days of subscribing to Cooking Light. I've done nothing to it except to try and make it at least once a year in order to stay in touch with my southern roots! You can use just about any type of mushroom for this, but the button mushrooms you see here make the best presentation. We served this with green beans sauteed in toasted almonds and olive oil with some cracked pepper and salt. Instead of mashed potatoes, I roasted baby red potatoes in rosemary, sage, oregano, garlic powder, and more olive oil, salt, and pepper.

As for the cupcakes, I polled before I arrived and knew to bring a recipe for classic yellow cupcakes with chocolate buttercream frosting. This is a variation from Cupcake Bakeshop by Chockylit, one of my all-time favorite cupcake blogs.

Classic Yellow Cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream

1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
8 tbsp (1 stick) butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup milk, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a separate bowl, sift first three ingredients together and set aside. In another bowl, cream butter and sugar together with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, and mix well each time. Add dry ingredients alternately with milk in four additions (flour, milk, flour, milk) and mix until virtually no lumps (about 3-5 minutes). Add vanilla and stir to combine. Divide evenly in lined cupcake pan (1/2 to 2/3 full) and bake 16-18 minutes until golden or toothpick comes clean. Cool completely before frosting.

No comments: