Thursday, February 13, 2014

PO-MO (pomegranate molasses) Bacon

So it was my mom's birthday and I sorta forgot to get her a present.  Luckily, if you can cook you always have that in your back pocket so my present was making her a birthday brunch.  I was gonna make her rose water white chocolate bread pudding because the woman loves her rose flavored nonsense but then the idea for these little beauties popped into my head and I redid the whole menu.  The other stuff was pretty good too: thyme and goat cheese pancakes with honey, strawberry cucumber salad with feta and vanilla cardamom mimosas; I'll probably post those recipes on here eventually but these were definitely everyone's favor part of the meal so they're coming first.  When it comes to candied bacon like this, you have to get the thickest cut you can get.

1 lb thick cut bacon
1/4 cup brown sugar
3 tbsp pomegranate molasses
fresh black pepper (as much as you like)

1. Preheat the oven to 350.
2. In a large bowl, toss the bacon with the brown sugar and black pepper.  Then drizzle on the pomegranate molasses, massaging it in.
3. Lay the bacon out in a single layer on a cooling rack over a cookie sheet to collect the drippings (I HIGHLY recommend wrapping the cookie sheet completely in foil to avoid having to scrub bacon grease and melted sugar off it later)
4. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until crispy and delicious.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Light, Fluffy, Waffles

This blog has sorta turned into a breakfast blog.  I'll post some no breakfast food eventually. Anyhoo, these are by far the best waffles you'll ever taste, super crisp, light, and airy.  The basic recipe comes from Cookwise by Shirley Corriher which happens to be an amazing book.  When I saw a waffle recipe that uses yeast I just had to try it.  Unfortunately it just seemed like I was never in a place where I both had the book and a waffle iron; I was either at school with the book or at my parent's with the iron so once I moved back home, this was the first thing I did.  I really can't recommend this recipe enough.

1/2 cup warm water
1 packet dry active yeast (2 1/4 tsp)
2 cups warm whole milk
1 tbsp sugar
9 1/2 oz AP flour
2 tbsp semolina flour
3 eggs, separated
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
3/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp corn syrup
1 and 1/4 stick of butter, melted
1/2 tsp vanilla extract (optional)

1.  combine the warm water, yeast, and sugar together and let sit for 5 minutes to let the yeast wake up. if after 5 minutes it's not bubbly, something is wrong and you need to start over with newer yeast.
2. mix in the milk, flour, salt, vanilla (if using) and melted butter. mix until smooth. set aside for at least 1 1/2 hours; overnight is better.
3. right before you are about to make the waffles, whip the egg whites and cream of tartar in a bowl (metal or glass, no plastic) until stiff peaks.
4. mix the egg yolks, corn syrup, and baking soda into the flour yeast mixture.
5. mix 1/3 of the egg whites into the batter. then fold the remaining 2/3 in, in 2 segments.  the batter is pretty thin so it's a little annoying to try to fold egg whites in but just power through, it's worth it.
6. dish into your pre-heated waffle iron and cook according to your waffle iron's instruction.  since it's leaven mostly by steam you'll need the iron to be as hot as it can go most likely; just mess around with it and you'll find the right setting and timing for your iron. serve immediately with syrup/whip cream/ butter/ ice cream/ fried chicken/ whatever you like.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Dutch Baby

This is a super easy breakfast recipe thats relatively fast to make.  You pretty much just run all the ingredients through a blender then pop them into a skillet and pop the skillet into the oven.  Its more or less a huge popover.  Some people might be put off by the Dr. Oetker because it's artificially flavored.  If you are one of those all natural, locally grown, organic people you can switch it out for some other vanilla sugar, but Dr. Oetker is what my Oma always uses when she bakes.  A lot of grocery stores carry it but if you can't find it try a German grocery store.

2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1 tbsp melted butter
2 tbsp butter
2 1/2 oz AP flour
2 tbsp sugar
2 packets Dr. Oetker Vanilla Sugar
1 pinch of salt

powder sugar to serve
Maple syrup/honey/ice cream/whipped cream/fruit to serve

1. preheat the oven to 350
2. pop a 10 inch cast iron skillet in the oven for 10 minutes to heat it up.
3. add the unmelted butter to the skillet and return to the oven to heat it up.
4. while the butter is melting in the oven, in a blender combine the eggs, milk, 1 tbsp melted butter, flour, sugars, and salt. Blend for 20-30 seconds.
4.  Immediately pour the batter into the skillet and return to the oven, bake for 30-35 minutes.  When its golden brown around the edges and all puffed up, remove from the oven, slide out of the skillet and dust with powdered sugar and cut into wedges with a pizza cutter.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Spanish Eggs

I first became aware of Spanish eggs from the show please like me (which happens to be hilarious).  Each episode is named after the dish that the main character makes in the opening credits.  It would make a great brunch or paired with a salad, dinner.  If you wanna make it a bit more substantial, you can replace the bacon with italian sausage or fresh chorizo.

1 medium onion, diced
4 strips of bacon
3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 pint cherry tomatos, cut into quarters
1 tsp of coriander seeds, freshly ground
1/2-1 tsp sriracha, based on your tastes
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
couple dashes worcestershire sauce
4 eggs
salt and pepper to taste
olive oil

1. preheat the oven to 350
2. fry up the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat.  Once the bacon is golden brown and crispy, remove and drain on paper towels.  either remove some of the bacon grease or add olive oil to make sure you have about 1 tablespoon of oil/fat in the skillet. once cool enough to handle, chop up the bacon.
3. Over medium add in the onion.  Cook for a few minutes until the onion starts to soften.  add in the garlic, tomatoes, coriander, and Italian seasoning. Continue to cook until the tomatoes are heated through and softened a bit, a couple more minutes.  add in the worcestershire sauce, sriracha, bacon, salt and pepper.
4.  Grease 4 ramekins with olive oil.  spoon about a 1/3 of a cup of the tomato mixture into each ramekin and then break an egg on top.  Drizzle each with olive oil and then pop in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until the egg white is more or less set.

Watermelon Sake

This is almost like Japanese sangria and is just perfect for sitting around the backyard, maybe grilling some yakitori. Picking out a bottle of sake can be pretty intimidating, what with all the Japanese terms and names that, lets be honest, no one has any clue what they mean.  Now I'm no expert on sake but I'm working on that; the only advice I can really give is since you're adding flavors, don't waste really expensive, good quality sake on this recipe.  It seems like a basic rule is the longer the name of a category, the better the quality (junmai ginjo-shu is better than junmai-shu, junmai daiginjo-shu is better than junmai ginjo-shu); I'm sure there are a lot of exceptions to this rule though.  Anyhoo, try using one that's labeled Junmai-shu (which uses rice that has been polished to at least 70%) or Honjozo-Shu (which is junmai-shu which has had distilled alcohol added).

750 ml Sake
the zest of 2 limes
2 sprigs of mint
1 pint watermelon chunks
2 tbsp sugar

wedges of lime to serve

1. mix together all the ingredients and let the sake infuse in the fridge for 6-12 hours. strain and served chilled with a twist of lime.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Burger, Fries, and a Shake

Beef and ice cream don't seem like they go together but grind up that beef, put it on a bun and blend that ice cream into a milkshake and suddenly its a classic combination.  And what's burgers without fries so here comes a post with 3 recipes (we were too lazy to take 3 separate pictures).  I'm pretty proud of these burgers.  Since you're suppose to use beef thats about 20% fat for burgers, instead we are using about 3 parts of beef thats almost entirely learn and 1 part ground up bacon which is mostly fat.

For Burgers
12 oz of top round roast or other very lean beef, cut into 1 inch cubes
4 oz raw bacon, cut into 1-1 1/2 inch stripes
1 tbsp coarse mustard
1 tsp worcestershire sauce
1 egg yolk
hefty pinch of salt

1. Run the beef and the bacon through a meat grinder.  You can use a food processor but it wont be as evenly ground.  Mix in the mustard, worcestershire sauce, egg yolk, pepper and salt.
2. Form patties, about 6 oz per patty.  Grill at high heat for about 2 minutes per side or until the center is 130-135 degrees.  Serve how ever you like it, we put them on brioche buns with lettuce, sliced shallot, ketchup, and mayo.

For French Fries
4 russet potatoes
1 gallon peanut or other neutral oil
salt (finer/ non-kosher salt is better for this)

1. Using a v-slicer attachment for cutting fries, use it for what it's intended for.  It's up to you whether you want to leave the skins on or peel them.  Place the cut potatoes in cold water.
2. Blanch the potatoes in 2-3 minutes in boiling water working in batches.  move to a baking tray lined with paper towels in a 300 degree oven to dry off the fries.  Once they are dry, fry in 375 degree oil 2-3 minutes or until golden brown and crispy,  drain on inverted cooling racks over paper towels.

For Bailey's Strawberry Milkshake:
4 cups haagen-dazs strawberry ice cream
8 full frozen/fresh strawberries
2 tsp honey
1/4 cup baileys

1. I've said it once, I'll say it again, put all the ingredients into a blender, and you know, make a milkshake.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Strawberry Muffins

Yesterday morning my mom came in and started demanding strawberry muffins; it sounded sorta weird but since I have no backbone I got to work.  It actually turned out really well. Even people who normally grind their own spices rarely grind cinnamon sticks or whole cloves, I guess because they are so big, which is a shame; it'll just take an extra second or 2 in your electric spice grinder.  It really makes a difference.

12 1/2 oz cake flour

1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1 cup plain greek yogurt
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup vegetable or other neutral oil
1 egg
2 tsp butter flavoring 
2 tsp grand marnier
1/4 tsp freshly ground cloves
1/4 tsp freshly ground cinnamon
1 1/2 cups chopped fresh strawberries(cut to about the size of blueberries)
hefty pinch of salt 
coarse sugar

1. Sift or whisk the flour, baking soda, powder, cinnamon, cloves and salt together.
2. In another bowl, whisk together  the yogurt, sugar, oil, butter flavoring, grand marnier, and egg.
3. Take a tablespoon of the flour mixture and toss 1 cup of the strawberries in it, this will keep them from sinking to the bottom.
3. Pour the wet stuff on the dry stuff, and stir it together as quickly and using as few strokes as possible. The more your stir, the tougher they get so best to minimize it. fold in the flour coated strawberries
4. fill muffin tins 3/4 of the way full; sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup of strawberries and some course sugar on top, and bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. serve warm with butter or clotted cream.