The Cookbook Challenge! Recipes From Huckleberry!

The Cookbook Challenge!  Recipes From Huckleberry!

Recently, I tried my hand at another epic Cookbook Challenge from a wonderful cookbook that my husband and I bought, in part, because of the stories the author, Zoe Nathan, shares of her adventures in baking.

The Cookbook Challenge!

There’s nothing that endears you to a cookbook more than reading about the “inside” story, so to speak, of how it came about…after reading about Huckleberry, one of my goals in life is meet the unique and enterprising author of this cookbook!  The recipes are also mostly breakfast and brunch recipes, which are my weakness, so of course, this cookbook is quickly becoming a favorite!

Huckleberry Cookbook by Zoe Nathan

My husband was drawn to this unique cookbook because he remembers picking huckleberries as a young boy by his uncle’s farm in Idaho.

Huckleberry cookbook.

I just knew that a cookbook with polka dot paper edges had to be worth trying!

In her fun writing style, Zoe Nathan tells the reader that there are two ways to use her cookbook:

“If you choose to wake up at 6 A.M. to surprise your family with muffins made by exactly following one of our recipes, I promise you will be successful and get a lot of extra praise and appreciation from your family.  You can also use these recipes to give you guidance, messing around with them, inserting your own ideas, until you get it exactly as you want it.  I will certainly not be offended.  Remember, baking is supposed to be fun, so don’t take yourself too seriously while doing it!”

Huckleberry Cafe in Santa Monica, California

The Huckleberry cookbook also shares the name of  Zoe Nathan’s bakery and café in Santa Monica, California!  Anybody game for a road trip!!

Besides being a visual feast, Huckleberry cookbook features recipes that are hearty and healthy where basic ingredients are combined in a way that you won’t soon forget the deliciousness–they’ll put a whole new twist to your next upcoming family get-together!

Huckleberry Cookbook Challenge!

Huckleberry bakery and cafe.

Zoe Nathan first met her husband, Joel Loeb, when she was hired to bake pastries at his restaurant, Rustic Canyon.  Their “real life” collaboration was meant to be…together they own and bake for Huckleberry Bakery and Café now! 

Huckleberry Monte Cristo Sandwiches! 

I had my first delectable Monte Cristo sandwich at a local deli and was hooked from the first yummy bite!  That deli has since closed up shop, so when I saw the recipe in Huckleberry for these sandwiches, I knew it would be one of the first things I made from this wonderful cookbook!

Ingredients:  Serves 3

3 tbsp. heavy cream

You can use half and half or milk too–I love the cream.

3 sage leaves  I don’t add this.

1/4 tsp. kosher salt

Pinch of fresh ground pepper

3 eggs whisked

1 tsp. sugar

9 slices brioche bread

Brioche bread.

The Huckleberry cookbook has a recipe for Brioche bread, I just bought mine.  Challah bread works great too.

4 tbsp. Dijon mustard

I don’t usually like Dijon, but it’s good in these.

6 tbsp. mayonnaise

12 thin slices of ham

I like Land O’ Frost Bistro Favorites Black Forest ham.

1 1/2 cups grated Gruyère cheese 

Sometimes I substitute Swiss cheese, which is just as good.

Blueberry jam

Huckleberry homemade jam recipe after sandwich instructions.

Powdered sugar for dusting

Instructions:

In a small sauce pan, bring cream to boil with sage, salt and pepper.  Allow to cool completely.  Whisk in eggs and sugar.  Put in refrigerator until needed.

To build the sandwiches, start by laying out all nine slices of bread.  On 3 slices spread mustard; set aside.  On the 6 remaining slices spread mayo, and divide the ham and cheese on these bread slices.  Put mustard-covered bread slices on top of 3 of the ham and cheese slices, then invert those onto the last 3 ham and cheese slices.  This makes 3 triple decker sandwiches with the mustard slices in the middle.  To be honest, I don’t make triple decker sandwiches, but I’m sure I would love every extra yummy bite of bread if I ordered these at Huckleberry!

When you’re ready to cook sandwiches, heat 1 tbsp. of butter in large saucepan over medium heat; dip the sandwiches in egg batter until well coated and cook until the top, bottom and sides of sandwiches are goldeny brown and cheese is melted.  Slice and serve with a light dusting of powdered sugar and a dollop of blueberry jam,  the recipe for Huckleberry homemade blueberry jam is below.

Cooking with a skillet.

I cook these in a cast iron skill because it creates the best golden brown color. 

Blueberry Jam:

4 cups fresh blueberries

1/4 cup honey

1/4 cup water

Combine above ingredients in medium stainless-steel saucepan.  simmer until jammy, about 15-20 minutes.  Serve as dip for Monte Cristo sandwiches.  This will keep good for approximately two weeks in your refrigerator. 

Homemade bluberry jam.

This jam is easy to make and used for several recipes throughout the cookbook.

The Cookbook Challenge! Recipes From Huckleberry!

Every Monte Cristo sandwich I’ve ever eaten has always been cut into fourths, making them the perfect triangle size for dipping in the jam.

I have also had Monte Cristo sandwiches served with turkey slices add along with the ham and cheese, with strawberry or raspberry jam.  

Zoe Nathan states in her introduction, that this cookbook came about largely due to the fact that after she had her son, baking became more personal and she loved to make him freshly baked goodies from her own kitchen; it gave her a great sense of satisfaction.  That’s the special feeling she wanted to share with us in her Huckleberry cookbook.

If you try this recipe, let me know how you liked it.  Any new recipes you’ve tried lately and absolutely loved?

Happy baking…..and eating!  Mary

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