Black Pepper Pound Cake

When looking through the Iowa State Fair cookbook a few weeks ago, I was wanting to make some desserts for a group of students coming to visit.  I knew that there was one member of the group who was allergic to chocolate, which made this the perfect opportunity to try out the black pepper pound cake recipe I’d been eyeing for some time.  I didn’t know what to expect — would the pepper seem out of place?  I’ve tasted some great pairings of lemon and black pepper with chocolate, but what would this look like without the chocolate there?  Luckily, the recipe still had lemon flavoring within it.

I have to admit, I was pretty delighted with the taste of the cake.  The black pepper added some spiciness that was unexpected.  With dessert, I do not often think I want something that is hot, but this was a subtle heat that added to the cake, but did not distract from it.

Black Pepper Pound Cake.jpg

Black Pepper Pound Cake

1 c butter, softened
3 c sugar
3 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
2 tsp lemon extract
6 eggs
3 c flour
1 c heavy cream
Powdered sugar

Cream together butter and sugar.  Beat in pepper and extract.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Add flour alternately with cream; mix well.  Pour into greased and floured 10-inch tube pan.  Bake in 325 degree oven for 70 to 75 minutes.  Cool 10 minutes; remove from pan.  Dust with powdered sugar, if desired.

Frittata!

Earlier this spring, I had my parents visiting for the weekend.  Often times when they come to visit, we end up going out to eat, but this time, I wanted to cook for them.  So, as often is the case, especially lately, I began perusing the internet, searching for the perfect breakfast to make for them.  I came across this frittata on Skinnytaste.com and with so many different vegetables starting to come into season, I am looking forward to trying it again.
The recipe suggests caramelizing the vegetables in a skillet and also baking the frittata in that skillet.  I don’t have a skillet I can put into the oven, so instead I put it all into a pie plate and baked it that way.  I didn’t take any photos — Skinnytaste has some good photos on its web site.
Check out the recipe below.

Caramelized Onion, Red Pepper, and Zucchini Frittata (modified slightly from Skinnytaste.com)
1 red onion, sliced or diced
1 red pepper, diced
1 small zucchini, diced or chopped into matchsticks
8 eggs
¼ c grated parmesan cheese
2 tsp olive oil or butter
steak shaker or your favorite seasoning blend
Preheat oven to 350.
Over medium-low heat, heat oil in a skillet.  Stir in onion and cook until starting to caramelize.  Add peppers, to soften.  Add zucchini and start to sweat out the zucchini.  Season with seasoning salt and cook a few more minutes, until all vegetables are softened and slightly caramelized.
In a bowl, whisk eggs, cheese, and additional seasoning salt.
Pour vegetables into a glass pie plate and spread to fill the plate.  Pour the egg and cheese mixture over the vegetables.  Bake in the oven 15-20 minutes, until frittata and egg are cooked to your liking.
Slice into 6 pieces and serve.

It also reheats nicely.