Sunday, June 29, 2008
Saturday, June 21, 2008
Thursday, June 19, 2008
This is really good. It has the extra tartness of homemade yogurt and sweetness from the sugar. I found this recipe for frozen yogurt which was based on this recipe which came from Dave Lebovitz's cookbook "The Perfect Scoop". And so on, and so on, and schoo be do be do be. On my first attempt, I drained my 1% skim milk yogurt before I made it into frozen yogurt. That turned out to be a bad idea. With homemade yogurt, strained yogurt turns out to be very thick. It's almost like cream cheese. The way ice cream makers work is as the ice cream freezes and becomes more solid, it moves to the middle of the machine. The yogurt cheese was so thick it moved to the middle of the machine instantly. My second attempt was successful. I used whole milk homemade yogurt. I may strain the yogurt slightly next time since it didn't' scoop well. It was easy to scoop, but it didn't hold a shape. I'll update this if I come up with a better method. If you are starting with store bought yogurt you should check out the other recipes in the links for suggestions. I plan to serve mine with grilled fruit.
VANILLA FROZEN YOGURT
3 c yogurt
3/4 c sugar
1 tsp vanilla
Whisk ingredients together and freeze as directed in an ice cream maker.
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Bacon in a can. Take it camping with your whipped cream can pancakes. :)
Bacon ice cream is showing up everywhere. It was just on the top chef finale. It must be pretty good if it keeps showing up. Or, it might just be that people are in love the concept. I read the recipe, and it is butter pecan with candied bacon replacing the pecans. (Well, a few twists on a butter pecan ice cream base.) In fact bacon ice cream has become so popular that people are adding their twists to bacon ice cream. Dark chocolate bacon crunch sorbet anyone? No. Well you must not be in an ice cream mood.
How about some chocolate covered bacon (You have to click on that link for the picture. It's quite odd.) or bacon toffee perhaps?
See also Bacon fun part one, part two, and part three.
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
The most likely reason our veggies turned brown is because we covered the pot
with a lid after adding the vegetables. Yes, covering the pot certainly seems
like the logical thing to do! After all, a covered pot conserves energy, brings
the water back up to a boil, and keeps the steam inside the pot--all things that
would theoretically help our veggies cook more quickly. Here's what is really
going on in that pot: As the veggies hit the boiling water, volatile acids are
released into the water and are carried away in the steam. When the pot is
covered, the steam and the acids it contains are forced back into the water.
Once there, the acids react with the chlorophyll in the vegetables, turning them
an unsightly shade of brown. A similar reaction will take place if there's too
little water in the pot (thus concentrating the acids in the water) or if you
overcook the vegetables (thus prolonging the exposure time to the acids).
Solutions? Use a large amount of boiling water for blanching, test the
vegetables frequently to check their doneness, and leave the pot uncovered!
Monday, June 16, 2008
We made these chocolate chip brownie bars for Lillian's baptism. Three notes on them. First, they are a fair amount of work. You are making brownie batter and chocolate chip cookie dough all at once. (I found the recipe to be less of a hassle then Julie, but I'm guessing more people would agree with her.) Second, they make enough for an army. The bars get to be approximately two inches deep so if you cut them an in an a 1 1/2 inch square, you have a good sized bar. One pan makes a ton of bars. Third, our bars didn't come out pretty like the ones Eggs on Sunday made in the first link. They didn't have distinct layers. Our cookie layer got very dark. You wouldn't know the cookie layer was there unless you knew to look for it. Julie's oven temperature is a little off, so that may be the problem. We ended up having to cook these longer then the recipe called for. In another oven you may or may not get the pretty version. Now for the important part, the taste is exactly what you would imagine. Chocolate heaven. What else would you expect from a somewhat cakey brownie topped with a chocolate chip cookie. I've added a picture to this post of the pretty cookies Julie's friend Beata made for the baptism. The original chocolate chip/brownie recipe came from this cookbook.
CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE TOPPED BROWNIE BARS
For the brownie layer
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into chunks
1 2/3 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped (I omitted)
For the cookie layer
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 sticks (12 tbsp) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cups (packed) light brown sugar
2/3 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped into chips, or 1 cup chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9x13 inch baking pan with aluminum foil or parchment (use enough so that it comes up and over the sides), and butter the foil/parchment.
To make the brownie batter, melt both chocolates and the butter together in a bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water, stirring occasionally. Melt and stir just until the mixture is shiny and smooth, then remove the bowl from the heat and set aside.
Meanwhile, beat the sugar and eggs together in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or using a hand mixer) on medium high speed for about 2 minutes, until pale, thick and creamy. Beat in the salt and vanilla, then reduce the speed to low and mix in the melted chocolate and butter, mixing just until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and then add the flour, mixing on low speed just until it disappears into the batter. Turn off the mixer and fold in the chopped walnuts by hand with a spatula, then scrape the batter out into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a spatula. Set aside.
To make the cookie dough, first whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt in a small bowl, and set aside. Wash the bowl of your stand mixer (that you used to make the brownie batter), and then beat the butter and both sugars together using the paddle attachment on medium-high speed until smooth and creamy, about 3 minutes. One at a time, add the egg and the egg yolk, beating for 1 minute after each addition. Beat in the vanilla, then reduce the speed to low and add the dry ingredients, mixing only until they disappear into the batter. Still on low, mix in the chopped chocolate or chocolate chips.
Drop the cookie dough by spoonfuls onto the brownie batter, then use a spatula to gently smooth out the cookie dough layer evenly over the batter.
Bake for 50-55 minutes, until the cookie top is deep golden brown and a sharp knife inserted into the pan comes out with only faint streaks of moist chocolate.
Transfer the pan to a cooling rack to cool, then when you're ready to cut them, just lift them out using the foil/parchment that you lined the pan with. It's easiest to cut these when they're cool/cold, if you can wait that long.
Monday, June 9, 2008
1 c whole wheat flour
1 1/2 c rolled oats
1/2 c oat bran ( I used wheat bran)
1 c raisins
1/2 c coconut
3/4 c semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 c walnuts, broken
1/2 c sesame seeds
1/4 c flax seeds, ground
1/2 t baking soda
1 t cinnamon
1 large pinch each nutmeg + cardamom
1 t vanilla
1/2 c applesauce
1/2 c maple syrup
1/2 c brown sugar
Roll a tablespoon of the mixture into your hand and then flatten. Place on a silpat covered cookie sheet and bake for 14 (16 for me) minutes or until the tops feel dry. Let rest on cookie sheet for 3 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool. Store in a covered tin.
Saturday, June 7, 2008
O.K. so I have a fish phobia. I have this belief that I don't know how to cook fish. I actually not that bad. I'm still a bit afraid of it though. I'm trying to cook and eat more fish, because I don't eat enough. I have a big box of pollock in my freezer for inspiration. This isn't the most impressive fish recipe ever, but it's quick and easy and I seem to make it quite often. I also recommend coming to terms with the fact that the fish might not be whole when you serve it off the grill and that's O.K. Fish can get hard to flip,especially if it's really thin like this fish. By the way, there is not less calories in cooking spray then oil. Cooking spray is just oil and propellants. There is only less calories if you use less then you would if you were using oil. It makes more sense in this recipe to spray the fish with oil then to try to brush it on.
CORNMEAL CRUSTED FISH ON THE GRILL
Fish (I used pollock that was maybe 1/4 inch thick)
Seasoning Mix (I used Penzey's Northwoods Fire but I also like Cajun seasoning or Old Bay seasoning. Anything you like on fish.)
Salt (if there's none in your seasoning mix)
Pat fish dry with paper towels or a kitchen towel if it's really wet like mine was. Season fish with seasoning and salt (if using). Bread fish with cornmeal. Heat the grill with the flat grill pan on the grill. Spray the fish liberally with cooking spray. I cooked my thin fish for 3 minutes per side. Cook for the correct time for the thickness of your fish.
Hey, do you like to sit and stare at a sunflower for a half hour while you drink your morning coffee every couple of weeks, but haven't figured out how that can save the environment? Well the Great Sunflower Project is looking for people to do just that. They want people to see how long (up to a half hour) it takes for 5 bees to reach you particular sunflower. Don't have a sunflower? They'll send you seeds. They are using the data to study bee Colony Collapse Disorder. A recent problem (since October 2006) with the collapse of bee colonies. If you've seen Bee Movie you already know bees are important for the pollination of fruits, vegetables, and flowers in addition to the whole honey thing.
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
Monday, June 2, 2008
This dish can be served hot or cold. If you serve it hot, add toasted panko breadcrumbs to the top. If you serve it cold along side your grilled food, skip the bread crumbs, because they'll get soggy. Don't add any bread crumbs to the hot version if you think you might have leftovers. Sprinkle the bread crumbs on top of the individual servings instead.
A word about panko bread crumbs. They're freekin' awesome. You should never use another kind of bread crumb. They're crispy and magnificent. They are great for breading a pork chop or topping a casserole. A Japanese product, they were all the rage on Iron Chef (a cooking competition show on the food network) a few years ago. Now they have them in supermarkets everywhere. What is panko?
CAULIFLOWER WITH LEMON, CAPERS, AND HARD BOILED EGG
1 head cauliflower, cut into pieces
1 1/2 T lemon juice
1 hard boiled egg, chopped
2 T capers
2 T parsley
salt and pepper
panko bread crumbs
Steam the cauliflower. Mix in the rest of the ingredients (except panko and butter). *Optional*Top with panko that you cooked in butter in a skillet until browned.
Place cauliflower and lemon juice in a covered, microwave safe bowl. Microwave until the cauliflower until it is cooked through. Start with 5 minutes and check. Add one minute and check again. Repeat until your cauliflower is done. (Mine takes 9 minutes in my slow microwave.) All microwaves cook differently. Write down your time so you know how long to cook it next time. Mix in remaining ingredients (except panko and butter). *Optional*Top with panko that you cooked in butter in a skillet until browned.
First of all, of course, there are the eggs from the Berg farm sold at the Wilton Cenex Station. That's where I get mine. You can get free range, grass fed eggs here for three dollars a dozen. Duck eggs anyone? They sell local duck eggs here when they are available. Evidently ducks don't lay eggs reliably in the winter. Duck eggs are (evidently) prised by bakers. The whites in duck eggs have more protein and whip higher, making fluffier cakes. I found this post on cooking with duck eggs. I don't see duck eggs in my future, but if they're in yours, good luck.
GRILLED VEGETABLES IN FOIL PACKETS
Place veggies in center of foil. Season to taste with salt and pepper, dot of butter (or olive or canola oil). Add 1T water (or ice cube). Seal foil with some area for steam expansion. Cook over indirect heat turning halfway between cooking time. You can also use a marinade (that hasn't been near your raw meat) or salad dressing. Kraft Zesty Italian is really good with veggies on the grill. I think it's terrible on salads though. Weird. These charts are from the cookbook that came with my Weber grill. I'll let you know my real life times as I make veggies this summer.
BEANS, GREEN AND WAX (WHOLE) 30 beans 30-35 minutes (real world time 20-25 minutes)
BROCCOLI 1 cup 15-18 minutes
BRUSSELS SPROUTS 1 ½ cups 18-20 minutes
CARROTS 1 ½ cups 15-20 minutes (20 minutes real world time, done but not browned)
CAULIFLOWER 2 cups 20-25 minutes
CORN ON THE COB (FOIL WRAPPED) 4 ears 25-35 minutes
EGGPLANT (cut into 1-inch slices) 1 small 20-25 minutes
KOHLRABI (julienned) 1 ½ cups 25-30 minutes
MUSHROOMS (WHOLE OR SLICED) 1 ½ cups 8-12 minutes
PEPPERS, RED, GREEN OR YELLOW
(CUT INTO 1-INCH STRIPS) 1 ½ cups 15-20 minutes
POTATOES (FOIL WRAPPED) 4 medium 50-60 minutes
YELLOW SUMMER SQUASH
(CUT INTO 1-INCH CUBES) 1 ½ cups 6-10 minutes
ZUCCHINI (CUT INTO ½-INCH SLICES) 1 ½ cups 6-10 minutes
DIRECTLY GRILLED VEGETABLES
First brush vegetables with oil or vinaigrette. Then place on cooking grate and turn once during cooking.
ASPARAGUS- Wash and scrape off scales with vegetable peeler or knife. Snap or cut off woody stems. Arrange spears crosswise on grill and cook 5-7 minutes.
GREEN ONIONS- Arrange crosswise on grill. Cook about 3 minutes.
MUSHROOMS- Thread on skewers and cook about 3 minutes.
ONION- Cut in ¾ -inch slices. Thread crosswise onto skewer and cook 10-12 minutes.
TOMATOES- Halve tomatoes crosswise. Cook 5-6 minutes. Do not turn.
ZUCCHINI- Halve lengthwise. Cook 7-9 minutes.
ROASTED RED PEPPERS
Place whole pepper on cooking grate. Cook pepper until it chars evenly on all sides. Remove from cooking grate and place in a zip lick bag and close tightly. Let stand 10-15 minutes. Peel off charred skin, cut off top and remove seeds. Pepper can be done ahead of time at this point and stored in fridge. It is also good with green peppers.
ROASTED CORN IN HUSKS
Trim off excess silk and soak in water for at least one hour. Cook 25 minutes turning three times.