Mustard Mayhem

I started making mustard in 2012.  I had long ago fallen in love with Vilux Peppercorn Mustard.  I used it on roasted veggie sandwiches, in dressings, and to make a sauce for grilled salmon and just about anything else I could think of.  I loved it so much that I bought a case of it before we moved from Minneapolis to NE Tennessee – thinking that would tie me over long enough to find it in a grocery here.  Ha!

Not only could I never find it around here, but our favorite grocery in the world (and only place we could find it in Minneapolis) also stopped carrying it, citing difficulties with the distributor.  Yes, it is available online, but it’s already expensive enough without including shipping.

Mustard is ridiculously easy to make.  It also lasts a long time in the fridge, and can be made shelf-stable with a water-bath canner.  It’s cheap, too.  For the cost of one jar of Vilux or other “fancy” mustard, I can buy a pound of mustard seed – enough to make 14 half-pint jars, easily.

Last year I added homemade mustard to the list of goodies in the Christmas – or as is the case this year – MLK Day goodie basket.  In preparation, I purchased 5 pounds of yellow mustard seed from Penzey’s.


The process for making mustard is simple.  Pour mustard seed into a large bowl.  Cover with apple cider vinegar.  Let it sit.  Keep adding vinegar until the mustard seed stops absorbing it.  You can add things to it at this point, as well: herbs, seeds (like cumin, caraway, etc.).  I wanted to make Green Peppercorn mustard, but I also knew I was going to make some other varieties, so I soaked 8 ounces of green peppercorns in vinegar in a separate bowl.

At this point you can process the mustard or do like I did and carry on with life for a day or two.  Or in my case, three weeks.  It’s all good.  When you are ready, grab your additions, more vinegar, maybe some wine, and a food processor.  Let the Mustard Mayhem begin!  1013363_10152128749128116_2117184311_n


Each recipe below starts with 2 cups of soaked mustard seed.  That’s enough to keep normal people in mustard for quite  while.

Green Peppercorn: The One That Started it All

2 cups mustard seeds that have absorbed as much vinegar as possible.
1/2 c. soaked green peppercorns
1/2 c. white wine*

*I had some boxed chardonnay that needed to be used (no one seemed to want to drink it).  If you don’t have wine, use more vinegar.

Place the mustard and peppercorns in the bowl of a food processor.  Process.  Pour the wine through the feed tube and continue processing until it is the consistency you like.  I process mine for about 3 minutes.  That’s it!  Mustard!  Delicious, earthy, pungent, peppery mustard.  Add more peppercorns or fewer.  Whatever.  These proportions suit us nicely.

Red Pepper Mustard

2 cups mustard seeds that have absorbed as much vinegar as possible.
3 dried red peppers
1/2 c. White wine
1 Tbsp Turmeric^
1 tsp sea salt

Soak 3 dried red peppers in boiling water for 5 minutes.  Coarsely chop.  Add these, along with the mustard seed, turmeric and salt, to the bowl of a food processor.  Process.  Pour the wine through the feed tube and continue processing until it is the consistency you like.  I process mine for about 3 minutes.

^ Turmeric is the spice that gives good old French’s mustard that insane yellow color.  It is also good for you.  And it can be a bit bitter.  The salt balances the bitterness.

Rosemary Thyme Mustard

2 cups mustard seeds that have absorbed as much vinegar as possible.
2 Tbsp fresh rosemary, coarsely chopped
1 tsp ground thyme (or 2 Tbsp fresh, coarsely chopped)
1 c. white wine

You get the idea.  I used more wine in this one because I just wanted it to be a little thinner.  Sometime you just want to go crazy.

And Finally…

Black Gold

Look, I had to call it something.  It has more stuff in it than the others, so it needed it’s own name.  While it is sometimes fun to give recipes names like this,  it is after all, only mustard.  Still, I really like this stuff.

2 cups mustard
1/2 cup black sesame seeds
1/2 cup dried red shiso leaves, ground
3 ounces pickled sushi ginger
2 Tbsp ginger paste
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup umeboshi vinegar
2 cups apple cider vinegar

This is the kind of thing you can do when you make your own mustard.  It gives you something to do with the shiso that grew very well last year, as well as the open jar of pickled sushi ginger that you used once last year and would love to get out of the refrigerator.  Not to mention the half-quart of apple cider that no one drank last fall so you cultured it with some umeboshi vinegar, with this very day in mind.


Well of course, 5 pounds of mustard seed is a bit overboard.  But as I said, it is for gifts, and for long-term use.  And that means putting it in glass jars and sitting it on the shelf until I need it.

That is also quite simple.  Gently heat the mustard at a simmer, stirring often so it doesn’t burn.  Sterilize your jars.  My canner holds 14 half-pints or 10 pints.  A double batch of any of the recipes above will make enough to fill a canner with 1/2 pint jars.  It just so happens that 5 pounds will make about 10 batches of these recipes.  Woo hoo!

Fill the hot, sterilized jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace.  Process in a water bath for 10 minutes.  Done.  Mustard for gifts, or to last you one very active grilling season.


Chicken Breast Stuffed with Capicola and Provolone

I had one chicken breast left from the package after making the Indian-inspired chicken dish, last night.  It would have been big enough for two people sliced and added to some rice, pasta, or soup, but I wanted a real blue-plate sort of meal tonight; meat, potatoes, vegetables.  So, I got out the old meat mallet and took after that lonely thing until it was almost the size of a standard dinner plate.  I seasoned one side with my standby Cavendar’s Greek Seasoning (salt-free version in the blue container), turned it onto a plate and covered it first with a layer of capicola (prosciutto, ham or salami would do, also), followed by a layer of sliced provolone.  I rolled it up into a log and let it chill in the fridge while I was at work.

Roasting veggies in a hot oven with a little olive oil is my favorite way to eat veggies.  Mr. Dewey likes them that way, too.  In fact, he ended his 40+ year ban on beets, turnips, rutabaga and even asparagus when I presented him with a dish of roasted root vegetables one day last fall!  If the weather is too warm to turn on the oven, I grill them.  The great thing about roasting veggies is you can cook a whole week’s worth of veggies at one time.  With minimal seasoning, they are completely versatile.  Portions of veggies can be seasoned and added to dishes or served as sides, or, one of our favorites, stuffed into a mustard-slathered baguette, topped with cheese, wrapped in foil and heated on the grill!

So, I threw some broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots into a small glass dish, and drizzled a little olive oil over all, and tossed them into the 400˚F oven.   I roasted a dish of Honey Gold baby potatoes, drizzled with olive oil and a little sea salt at the same time.  While these roasted, I heated more olive oil in a skillet and browned the rolled, stuffed chicken breast on all sides.  That finished in the oven along with the veggies and taters for the last 10 minutes.

I tossed a little chopped fresh parsley on the potatoes as they came out of the oven and we had dinner!  It looked lovely, too, with that capicola and melty provolone peeking out the side.  A loaf of red wine and cheddar bread from the “Healthy Bread in 5 Minutes a Day” book went quite nicely with the meal.  Lemon bars were the perfect dessert.

Indian-inspired Quick Dinner

Mr. Dewey woke up with the beginnings of a cold.  I’ve had a stuffy head for a week or more, and have just felt wrung out.  It seemed some warm, head-clearing, blood-cleaning spices were in order.  I often will make a slow cooker chicken and lentil dish with Buryani paste, tomatoes, onions, and a few other seasonings.  I like to cook the lentils separately in the rice cooker, with lots of cumin, cilantro, and ginger in the lentils, and the other seasonings in the chicken.

I didn’t have everything on hand that I needed for that dinner, so I just started pulling stuff from the fridge.  Here’s what I ended up with:

2 chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch chunks
1 Leek, trimmed of tough ends, chopped, rinsed and well drained
1/2 medium yellow onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 -10 ounce package of frozen spinach, thawed
2 Tbsp curry powder
2 Tbsp Coriander Chutney*
1 tsp Ginger, minced
1/4 cup creme fraiche, buttermilk, yogurt, or 1/2 and 1/2
1-2 tsp honey**

Sauté the leeks and onions in olive oil until tender, about 5 minutes.  Add garlic and sauté another minute.  Add curry powder and chicken; sauté another 5 minutes.  Add about 1 cup of water, the coriander chutney and ginger; cover and simmer until the chicken is cooked through, another 5 to 10 minutes.  At the end, stir in the creme fraiche or whatever dairy you have on hand.  Serve.  We ate it just like that, but it would also be good over rice or lentils, or even with boiled potatoes.

**I used creme fraiche because I had some on hand and needed to use it up.  Only after I had stirred it in did I realize that I had sweetened it with honey when I served it with breakfast the week before.  Yikes!  Turns out, it was perfect.  The sweetness from the honey perfectly balanced the slight bitter edge from the curry powder.  It was really good!  So, if I make it again and use some other dairy, I will remember to add honey.

Swad Coriander Chutney

* I am in love with Swad Coriander Chutney.  I found it at the local Kroger and keep at least two jars of  it on hand at all times.  I could eat the stuff with a spoon!

This meal was delicious, healthy, quick, and did the trick of opening up stuffed heads and warming us up from top to bottom.




Orange Marmalade

I recently made some chocolate bread from these wonderful folk, and while enjoying it with mascarpone cheese and strawberry jam, thought how yummy it would be with orange marmalade – not the sickeningly sweet kind found in the grocery, but the slightly bitter stuff  you would find in some tiny British Isles import store in DC.  it is navel orange season, and the ones I found recently were particularly tasty. So, I bought a bunch and decided to try my hand at homemade marmalade.

Recipes for the stuff are easy to find, but I noted little similarity among them, other than the main ingredient: oranges. Some called for pectin, others not.  Some called for crazy amounts of sugar, others for honey and corn syrup.  Some were as simple as “slice oranges, add sugar and lemon juice and boil the hell out of it,” while others were more complicated than the directions for building one of those fake Rolls Royces out of a VW chassis.  Vanilla, cinnamon, brandy, vodka, peel, roast, scald, seed, chop, STOP!

Hoping for something fairly simple but not so simple it wasn’t worth the effort, I did what I often do, and took pieces of several recipes and patched them together, hoping it would turn out in the end.  I started with a recipe that called for a long poaching of a bunch of oranges and lemons together, along with cinnamon sticks.  I did not want to peel the oranges, then remove the pith and chop the fruits and the peels, as some recipes called for. For one thing, the pith is bitter, and I wanted that element.  For another, I’m just not that motivated. So, poaching sounded good.

Fruit is thinly sliced and returned to poaching liquid.

Fruit is thinly sliced and returned to poaching liquid.

I wondered if it made any real difference to poach whole fruit and then cut it, or if I could just cut the fruit and start boiling it straight away.  I’m still not sure, although when I did slice and then poach one orange, I noticed the pith stayed solidly white and, well, pithy.  When I poached the whole fruit and then sliced it, the pith was translucent and more solidly attached to the peel.  It looked more appealing, in any case.  So, I poached.  Most of the recipes called for far too much water. I’m no jelly-making wizard, but even I can tell that 12 cups of water, three cups sweetener and eight whole fruits was not going to make anything remotely spreadable.

In the end, I made two batches, with two different amounts of sugar and water.  One was plenty thick, and the other not so much.  Combined and cooked a little longer, the two were just about right.  Here is what I came up with:


Sugar is added and boiled to the gel point.

Sugar is added and boiled to the gel point.

14 seedless navel oranges
4 lemons
1 – 3# stick of cinnamon, broken into pieces
10 cups water
10.5 cups sugar

Poach fruits and cinnamon in water for 2-2 1/2 hours.
Cool. Remove cinnamon pieces and discard them.
Remove fruit from liquid. Quarter, seed as needed and thinly slice fruit.
Return fruit to water.
Bring to boil.
Add sugar and boil, stirring often, until syrup is desired thickness. At least one hour.

Process for 10 minutes in a hot water bath.

Done and ready for the pantry!

Done and ready for the pantry!

Lobster in Chili Cream with Lemon-Basil Basmati

I have not done much cooking with lobster.  I don’t have much trouble accepting that living creatures are butchered for my dinner, but I hate the idea of putting a live creature in scalding water.  I also don’t like paying a galling amount of money for a lobster tail.  So I was quite excited when Earth Fare had a special offer this week for two lobster tails for $9.  I bought 4.

I scouted the internets for some recipe ideas, but didn’t find myself excited by all the butter, cream, and oils used in so many of the recipes.  For instance, a sauce for 4 servings required 1 cup peanut oil and 2 cups heavy cream.  I already rode the cholesterol carousel once this month, thank you!  But for some reason, my belly wanted a cream sauce for this lobster.  A fairly thick one at that.  I wanted something with a robust flavor as well, but not something that would completely mask the subtle flavor of the lobster.

Here’s what I came up with:

4 lobster tails, uncooked, shells removed and reserved.

Lobster in Chili Cream with Lemon-Basil Rice

Lobster in Chili Cream with Lemon-Basil Rice

2 T. corn starch
2 T. chili powder (I used Earth Fare’s blend for this)
1/4 t. cayenne pepper
1 cup sliced crimini mushrooms
2 T. olive oil
2 T. butter
1 1/2 c. half and half

1 cup basmati rice
2 c water
Juice from two lemons
1 T. dried basil

First, I started the rice, liquids and basil in the rice cooker.  Have I ever said that I love my rice cooker?  I love my rice cooker.  Anyway, I started the rice.  I would probably have preferred to use chicken stock in place of the water, but I was making extra rice for a dish for the church dinner tomorrow, and wanted that dish to be vegan, so, water…

Once the rice was ready, I started on the lobster part.  I cut through the shells and removed the meat.  The shells went into a stockpot with the half and half, and simmered while I worked on the rest of the meal.

The mushrooms were thinly sliced and ready for the pan.  I cut the lobster tails into 5 or 6 pieces each, then patted them dry with paper towels.  These were then tossed in a bowl that had the cornstarch, chili powder and cayenne mixed together.

The coated lobster pieces then went into the sauté pan wherein the oil and butter were hot and ready, along with the mushrooms.   This was sautéed until the lobster was cooked through and the mushrooms were tender but not limp – probably 6 minutes.  I strained the hot half and half over the lobster and stirred it until the sauce was thickened and well combined with the seasonings from the pan. Just for fun, I added a splash of peppered vodka, a little sea salt, and a pinch of sugar (which was needed to offset the slight harshness from the vodka.  If I hadn’t used the vodka, I would not have needed the sugar.

To serve, I placed a nice little timbale of rice in the center of each bowl, piled the lobster and mushroom mixture down one side of each timbale, and pooled the chili cream around the bottom of each bowl.  Garnished with a few chopped green onions (green part only), and served with some fresh baguette and a glass of chardonnay, and it was a festive dinner.

Well, That Was Fun!

I volunteered to make dinner for our congregation again this year, as part of our Stewardship Pledge campaign.  It was the second year doing what we call our “Gratitude Dinner.”  Last year we did Mediterranean, including tzatziki, hummus, pita bread, meitzanasalata and Chicken and Feta pies – and lots and lots of baklava.

This year, the Session requested Italian.  The first thought was lasagna.  Our ma made a killer lasagna, and my brother Mike has carried on that tradition quite nicely.  I can whip up a pretty good one, too.  But then I got to thinking…I’d have to come up with a vegetarian version, a meat version, and a – gulp – gluten free version, to satisfy all the dietary concerns of the members.  Easy enough to do, I suppose, but frankly, lasagna, even when paired with a salad just seemed a little heavy, a little dull, and a little too, well, average.  It’s also not something that I felt could be served family-style.  That was a big deal.  We served the 2011 dinner family-style, which was not done before at FPCe, and people loved it.  It added to the festive, communal feeling we wanted.  Lasagna is fantastic – don’t get me wrong.  But by the time the dish got to the third or fourth person out of the eight in each serving section, it would look like roadkill, frankly.

Some other kind of pasta?  Forget it.  Spaghetti dinners are like Bibles in a church – there are a bunch of them in each one.  It’s a toss-off way to make a quick and cheap bit of money.  Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but the Gratitude Dinner is different.  So, I set a few challenges for myself: no pasta, gluten-free as much as possible, and, just for fun, with a focus on seasonal, locally available, and relatively healthy dishes, and oh yeah, mascarpone.  I wanted some desserts made with mascarpone because, well, mascarpone.

The first challenge, I knew, would be the mascarpone.  Northeast Tennessee is not known as a paragon of culinary opportunity.  After all, this is the place where I encountered a sweet but parochial deli employee at the local grocery who shared with me her excitement at having figured out – after three years – how to make a beef sandwich that “tastes just like Arby’s!”  I am not going there, folks.  I did find mascarpone at the Earth Fare in Johnson City, but at about $5.50 for 8 ounces, it would have taken about my whole budget just for dessert.  We’re talking 100 people, here, after all.

So why not just make my own?  Challenge accepted.  After plugging around the internet for several hours, I learned a couple of things:
1) Restaurants cheat.  A lot.  While looking through forum posts, I learned that many restaurants make tiramisu with cream cheese, and one even admitted to using Cool Whip!
2) Tiramisu is sort of like “Cappuccino.”  If the only cappuccino you’ve ever tasted is the kind you get at a Kwik E Mart, then you have no clue what cappuccino really is.  Likewise tiramisu.  It may still be tasty, but if all you’ve had was stuff made with Cool Whip and graham crackers, you just don’t need to be giving me advice on how to make it, much less mascarpone.

Most people said “boil whole milk and curdle it with lemon juice, then strain it.”  That wasn’t good enough.  First of all, that is paneer.  I love paneer, and enjoy making it.  But it isn’t creamy and luscious.  I did find an interesting research paper, published through the California Polytechnic State University, or Cal Poly.  It was written with great details.  The researchers measured the moisture and fat content of various commercially available mascarpone brands.  They worked on mouth-feel, texture, proportions of cream to milk, and more, as well as tests using various curdling agents.  Interestingly, they did not use the one curdling agent I knew was most traditionally used when making mascarpone – tartaric acid.  But, since I already knew I would not be able to find any here (and did not have time and money to order online), I was looking for alternatives, anyway.  This paper included lemon juice, citric acid, and lactic acid.  It looked like the perfect road map to mascarpone.  I read it three times, meticulously calculated the ingredients, and decided to make a sample run, using citric acid.  I was happy to find it in the aisle with canning supplies at my local grocery store.

Following the process to the “T”, I made a test batch that looked gorgeous; creamy, silky, even, dense and luscious.  And then I tasted it.  The best description I could come up with was “creamed aspirin.”  What a letdown!  Back to the research paper, to see what I did wrong.  I could find no errors.  No miscalculations, no missed steps.  As far as I can tell, the only variable was the citric acid.  It is possible that commercially available citric acid is different from what the laboratory at the Agricultural College at Cal Poly was using.  I may never know.

What I did know, was that I had to come up with something else.  I tried a smaller amount of the citric acid.  It still tasted bad and would not curdle.  Fine.  Lemon juice would have to do.  And that bucket of creamed aspirin would make a nice acidifier for the garden.  Using the same proportions of cream and milk, I went at it with lemon juice.  But I just could not get it to curdle.  Then I realized that I was using ultra-pastuerized milk and cream.  Ultra-pastuerized dairy products have no cultures – not an iota of bacteria to work with.  A thorough search of stores in the two neighboring towns turned up no dairy that was NOT ultra-pastuerized.  I would have to either find a raw milk supplier, or give up, it would seem.  The raw milk issue was more than I could manage.  $8 a gallon for whole milk, and no one had cream.  Grrr.  As a last-ditch effort, I decided to try something a little different: a combination of ultra-pastuerized cream and, instead of milk, cultured whole buttermilk from Homestead Creameries.  Their buttermilk is beyond anything I have ever had.  It is as thick as sour cream, and I often use it in the place of sour cream.  I have it on hand all the time.  I was thinking that the cultures in the buttermilk would be enough to react with the lemon juice to make a good curd.  It didn’t.  Brought to a simmer with the cream, it was luscious and thick, but it would not curdle.  Disgusted, I put the pot in the fridge and stomped to bed.

When I took it out of the fridge the next morning, though, I found that it has solidified into a beautiful cream, thicker than sour cream, but not quite as thick as cream cheese.  Into the cheesecloth-lined strainer it went, and by the end of the day, I had a bowl of mascarpone – perhaps slightly tangier than a true mascarpone, but it would do nicely for what I had in mind.  So, into mass production I went, until I had enough.  Here’s how I put it all together:

Mascarpone Crema with Honey-poached Autumn Fruits

4 parts mascarpone
4 parts cream cheese
1 part cream simmered with scraped vanilla beans and their seeds
1 part locally produced honey

Blend in the food processor and portion evenly into punch cups (I filled 65 punch cups just over half-way.  Refrigerate to set (overnight was great).  On the day of the dinner I poached a mixture of locally grown pears, figs, and plums in honey syrup.  These were drained and cooled, then placed on top of the creme.  The garnish was ricciarelli, a gluten-free (more on that, later*) almond cookie – perhaps one could call it a frangipane biscuit.

I decided that I wanted a chocolate option, too, so I made Mascarpone Chocolate Mousse with the rest.  Using 70% cacao chocolate chips, I made a ganache.  To six cups of ganache I added 12 egg yolks, then folded in the whipped whites from those eggs.  Garnish was a whirl of barely sweetened whipped cream and a ricciarelli.

*While the recipe I found claims these are gluten free, I was unable to find almond paste that did not have wheat starch as a binder.  So, I was forced to make my own, using pretty much equal parts blanched and skinned almonds, powdered sugar (making sure it was gluten free, also), bound with corn syrup and tapioca starch.

Having conquered mascarpone and thus dessert, I was free to go on to the rest of the menu.  Stay tuned….

Cake with a Twist

Years ago I ran into a simple cake, what one might consider a “tea cake” – light, simple, no frosting, not too sweet – and was instantly smitten.  It was a Lemon Rosemary cake.  I recreated it a couple of years ago, and find it is one of the most popular desserts I’ve served.  My friend, Deb, likes it so much that she tries to convince the other guests that they won’t like it, so she can have more.  It never works.

Lemon-Rosemary Cake

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
2 eggs
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of 1 lemon (about 3 Tbsp)
1 1/2 tsp. finely chopped fresh rosemary*
2 Tbsp. Olive Oil**
1 tsp. vanilla
8 Tbsp. unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup Buttermilk
Powdered Sugar for dusting

350ºF Oven, 30-40 minutes.

Grease a 9 or 10 inch layer pan.  Line with parchment.  Grease and flour the parchment-lined pan.

Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.  Set aside.

Beat eggs with a whisk.  Add olive oil, lemon juice and vanilla.  Set aside.

Cream butter in a mixer with a paddle attachment.  And sugar and beat for several minutes until fluffy and pale.
Gradually add the egg mixture.  Scrape down the sides.
Add a third of the flour and mix just to combine.  Add half the buttermilk and mix.  Scrape down the sides.  Repeat with half the remaining flour, then the buttermilk.  Scrape the sides again.  Add the lemon zest and rosemary with the last third of the flour.

Scrape into the pan and bake until the cake is lightly golden and set.  Allow the cake to cool about ten minutes.  Invert the cake onto a plate, peel away the parchment, and then invert onto another plate.  Allow it to cool completely.  Dust the cake with powdered sugar and garnish with a sprig of rosemary and some long strands of lemon zest.

This cake is great serves with iced or hot tea or coffee, as a treat, or as a light dessert.  It is especially good with a Mediterranean or Middle Eastern meal.

*Dried rosemary doesn’t work.  It stays too chewy and you don’t get the flavor.
** Good olive oil is pretty much always a little green looking.  If you purchase “light” olive oil, it is likely a blend of olive and some other oil.  Get the good stuff.

A Twist on the Twist: Toasted Sesame Cake

1 1/2 cups Spelt flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 eggs
2 1/2 Tbsp. Toasted Sesame Oil
1/4 cup. sesame seeds, toasted (preferably black ones, but either is ok)
1 tsp. vanilla
8 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup buttermilk
Powdered sugar for dusting

350ºF Oven, 30-40 minutes.

Grease a 9 or 10 inch layer pan.  Line with parchment.  Grease and flour the parchment-lined pan.

Toast the sesame seeds over medium high heat in a small dry skillet.  Stir or shake the pan constantly so they don’t burn.  Set them aside in a heat-proof dish to cool.

Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.  Set aside.

Beat eggs with a whisk.  Add toasted sesame oil and vanilla.  Set aside.

Cream butter in a mixer with a paddle attachment.  And sugar and beat for several minutes until fluffy and pale.
Gradually add the egg mixture.  Scrape down the sides.
Add a third of the flour and mix just to combine.  Add half the buttermilk and mix.  Scrape down the sides.  Repeat with half the remaining flour, then the buttermilk.  Scrape the sides again.  Add the sesame seeds with the last third of the flour.

Scrape into the pan and bake until the cake is lightly golden and set.  Allow the cake to cool about ten minutes.  Invert the cake onto a plate, peel away the parchment, and then invert onto another plate.  Allow it to cool completely.  Dust the cake with powdered sugar and garnish with a sprinkling of toasted sesame seeds.

I really like the use of Spelt flour in this recipe.  The heartiness of the flour holds up well to the toasty flavor of the seeds and oil.   It looks very earthy – like something Tim Bombadil would make.