Thursday, December 24, 2009

Happy Holidays!

Hey there!  Just a quick one to say hi!

Nothing too special going on here at the KitchenWords kitchen- some meatloaf and mashed potatoes tonight for a Christmas Eve meal (late, late dinner) and some spicy lamb bolognese and garlic bread for Christmas Day Feasties.  I was going to do beef tenderloin but a mix up led to me deciding not to.

I have recieved many, many awesome food gifts (riesling herb jam and homemade cheese, butterscotch rice crispy treats, cookies) for presents which I cannot wait to tuck into as well in the next few days.

I wish you all happy times and happy eating!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Cookie Swappage

So we all showed up with cookies in hand last night.  It was good good good good good.  Except for now.  I have have piles of cookies.  How did I not think of this?

Just kidding.  I knew this would happen.  Elastic pants are my friend.  Until January something something when my Boot Camp class starts after work.  Then I will miraculously work off all the sugar I have eaten and will eat.  And then I can wear regular pants again.  But that will be a story for another time.

Anyway - so...The bounty:



The Official Cookielist:

Raspberry Chambord Lemon Thumbprints
Christmas Sugar Cookies
Pride Cookies
Chocolate Coconut Cookies
Gingerbread Cookies
Raspberry Linzer Cookies
Orange Chocolate Cookies
Shortbread and Chocolate Dipped Shortbread
Cake Batter Cookies (3 kinds!!!)

Frick!  We know how to party!





We all wanted to lick the linzers.  The raspberry jam just looked too good.


Elizalick.                                                        

Nicalick.


The cookie hotnesses:



We took many versions of this.  Of course I delete every one that I DON'T look like a complete lunatic in.  So we are left with the one where I look clearly insane.



And last but not least - the sight I will be looking at pretty much every night.  Maybe with a few different dones subbed in...


Monday, December 14, 2009

I just ate...

a panini with the following ingredients:
Cheddar Cheese
American Cheese
Taleggio Cheese
Monterey Jack Cheese
Anchovies
Grilled Eggplant

on Pan Sobao bread.

And it was really good.



There's not much left...

I think I really, really, really like anchovies.

When did this happen?

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Roasted Root Veggie Puree with Figgy Goat Cheese by accident!

Ok - so I tried to make this:

Puréed Roasted Parsnips Recipe
2 lbs parsnips, peeled, stringy cores removed, chopped (about 1 1/2 pounds after removing cores)
3 Tbsp butter, melted
1 1/2 cup water
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Peel parsnips, make a cut off the top of the fat end of each parsnip. This will show you extent of the inner core. Often this core is stringy and woody, especially at the larger end of the parsnip. When you are prepping the parsnips, cut around this core.

2. Place chopped parsnips in a medium sized bowl, add the melted butter and stir to coat. Lay out the parsnips on a roasting pan in a single layer. Roast in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, at 400°F, until lightly golden, turning the parsnips once half-way through the cooking.

3. Put cooked parsnips into a blender or food processor. Add 1 1/2 cups water, and pulse until puréed to the desired consistency. Add more water if necessary. Add nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste.

from here:  http://simplyrecipes.com/recipes/pureed_roasted_parsnips/

but I realized that in no way, shape or form did I have 2 lbs of parsnips laying around.  I had one bag.  But I also had a sweet potato and a turnip.  So I chopped 'em up, tossed them in olive oil, salt and pepper and roasted at 400 for about an hour.  Then I threw it all in the food processor.

Seemed chunky and dry.  I looked in the fridge.  A little bit of heavy cream left.  Tossed that in.  Pulsed.

Dry.

Threw some water in.  Pulsed.

Dry.  Threw some whole milk in.  Pulsed.  Better.  Tasted.  Good but missing something.

Found some goat cheese with fig from the co op in the cheese drawer (didn't mean to buy the fig kind but it wasn't bad).  Threw it in.  Pulsed.

Hmmmmm.

Put it in crocks.  Baked.




Yesssss.  Came out great. 

I highly suggest just throwing stuff in as you go sometimes.  Sometimes the results are definitely repeatable.

By the way - we had it with this:  http://bigflavors.blogspot.com/2009/07/balsamic-marinated-pork-tenderloin.html (Thanks Ashley!  And an addendum - I did pork roast, not loin and marinated it for a long time.)  Full meal here...




All in all - a great evening meal for a snow day. 

Monday, November 30, 2009

chili reincarne...?

So I had a bunch of turkey.  Shocker, I know.  And I wanted to not make Thanksgiving Part 4 for dinner and I didn't want to make turkey pot pie, or turkey shepherd's pie or turkey soup - so I whizzed it in the food processor and made some 2 Bean Spicy Turkey Chili with a Cornbread Hat.  Not hard.  I even cheated and used the chili seasoning mix (doctored with more chili powder, garlic powder, red pepper flakes and cumin).  I chopped an onion and a clove of garlic and browned, threw in whizzed turkey, heated it, tossed in spices and heated until fragrant.  I then added 1 1/2 big cans of whole peeled tomatoes, hand crushed and that tiny, cute can of tomato paste.  2 cans of white kidney beans and 1 can of black beans for the beanage and simmer for 1/2 hour or so and heck yeah! 



Spoon into crocks and top with cornbread mix (I use Jiffy Corn Muffin mix - it's like 12 cents a box or something and perfect) and bake in a 400 degree oven about 25 minutes.



Excellent use of turkey in a very unthanksgiving way.  If I had more turkey I would do turkey enchiladas too.  Maybe next year.  :)

Saturday, November 28, 2009

troy farmer's market food find



Marshmallows!  They had lots of kinds (passionfruit!  cardamom!  vanilla!) but I went for chocolate.

Friday, November 27, 2009

well THAT'S over.

Not that I don't like Thanksgiving.  Because I do.  But I am glad it's over.  Cooking a big meal like that for two people just seems silly.  I didn't do anything major- just a turkey breast, stuffing, mashed potatoes, honey roasted root vegetables and a red wine caramel apple pie for dessert.  I bought way too much cheese and crackery stuff to snack on beforehand, as always, but all was good.

But it's over.  And now all I feel is the mild panic of upcoming Christmas.  Not about the food (although that has its stresses) but about everything else.  Presents, ideas, shopping, etc.  Blech.

So I will stay in for most of Black Friday (ew - the thought of standing on line for any Christmas something makes me want to puke) except for Tight Knit tonight.  Then I will tackle the thought of Christmasing tomorrow.  Just the thought, though.

Hope you all are happy and full and enjoying leftovers.  Stuffing is better the next day, anyway.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Pork. Boubon. Dijon. Dinner.

So I made this (from the lovely Ashley's flog) last night because I had taken out some thick cut pork chops and I always blank out on ideas when it comes to pork.  I usually do a veggie brown rice fried rice with small cubes of pork thingy, but I wasn't up for that last night.  Plus I usually serve it with yummy Asian Market dumplings of which I have none of currently (no room in freezer).  I have been wanting something easy to make, and this was it.  A few ingredients in a ziploc bag, 1/2 hour in the fridge, thicken reserved marinade while you cook the chops and woohoo!  The sauce from the marinade was delicious - very bourbon-y but it made sense, wasn't intrusive, and the sweetness and dijon really shone through.

I served it with roasted beets tossed with a tiny bit of balsamic (I am now officially liking beets), some sauteed beet greens and some squash.  I bought a whole load of root veggies with the intent to make this (by the way, please make that.  Make lots and lots of it.  It is so insanely good) but I ended up going simple with the beets and squash because I wasn't up for monumental choppage.

Either way - perfection for a weeknight and great for pork.

holy crApp

So I was Thanksgiving food shopping with C and I whined wondered aloud about the fact that there wasn't an app for my iPhone that centered around a shopping list I could input then check off as I go.  I like to make random statements like that without any research.  C thoughtfully remarked, "Um.  Don't you think there probably IS an app that does something like that?"

Upon searching for about three seconds the next day I found about seven apps that did that.  Reviews for a few are here. 

I think I might buy the "Grocery Gadget" one - it looks like it does a little more than just create a check off list and I like the idea of creating several lists for different stores...and even putting some pictures next to items for the weird stuff that's hard to find (Asian Market, anyone?).

Plus, I walk around the store with my phone anyway - usually obsessively refreshing Facebook - so at least I can use the phone more constructively while shopping.  If I actually had music on my phone (I use my Pod for music, phone for everything else) the phone would be a PERFECT gadget to bring food shopping as I usually like to put headphones on while I shop so no one talks to me.  Maybe I will download a shopping playlist onto the phone just for that purpose.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Quorn for everyone!

I know I should be writing about things I cook, not premade things I buy and shove in my foodhole, but I cannot pass up talking about Quorn.

Remember that chicken patty sammy you had in gradeschool?  It was breaded and mass produced and mass prepared and perfect.  Remember how it probably had more heinies and lips in it than it probably had chicken?  Well - welcome to Quorn: The Non-Chicken Chicken Patty That Is Good For You and Tastes Just Like Third Grade.

You can find these in most supermarkets and of course at the Co Op.  But let me tell you about what Quorn is.  It's mycoprotein.  Mycowhowho? 

Micoprotein.  "The principal ingredient in all Quorn products is mycoprotein (“myco” is Greek for “fungi”). The mycoprotein comes from Fusarium venenatum, which was originally discovered growing in a field in Buckinghamshire, England. In the late 1960s, initial product development began, soon recognizing mycoprotein’s potential as an efficient and nutritious protein source."  (http://www.quorn.us//cmpage.aspx?section=WhatIsQuornMore info here.

Anyfakechicken, this stuff is awesome.  I started with just the basic model, Chik'n Patties. (By the way, I love that taking out/changing a few letters then legally allows you to not put anything related to the word in the thing.  Example:  You want to make something seem like fish but you call it "Fisssssssssssshe" which would legally allow you to make your product out of veal, but sell it like it's fish.  Awesome.)  So the Chik'n Patty is awesome.  Total school food heaven.  Slap that thing on a soft, white bun and hello school cafeteria.  Serve it with too soft and overly salted french fries and you'll be looking to sign up to be a class helper and pass out the crayons to the class in no time.

Today I took a step up and graduated to the Quorn Cranberry & Goat Cheese Chik'n Cutlet and wow!  I would like to be buried with a box of these please so I can take them to the World Beyond with me.  Holy yum.  I kind of felt like having a glass of wine with this, but I was at school and they frown upon drinking wine out of a Nalgene while I am teaching literature (strange, that) so I just had my boring lemony water with it.  I brought one for lunch and just threw it in the microwave so I am excited to try it after I cook it properly in the oven.  And when I got those I also got a box of Quorn Gruyère Cutlets  which now I CANNOT WAIT to try.  And there are a lot more Quorn products that I will now look for, and obsess over.

The worst thing about Quorn?  Well that has to be the name.  I hate telling people about it and saying "So there's this stuff called Quorn, but it's spelled with a Q-U-O-R-N and there is no corn in it and it's chicken but it's not chicken."  Sheesh.

Either way - go ahead and get some.  But don't forget to wear your galoshes.  And clean your room when you get back.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Eff Panini Presses. For real.

Just kidding.  Well...sort of.

I will continue my sad, sad panini adventure.

After I bought the press I realized I had really nothing to make paninis with (not the sad part).

I went to two stores for panini guts, I wanted to keep the first one simple.  Price Chopper for good roast beef, brie, roasted reds, artichokes (I had some pesto at home).  Co op for Rockhill Bakehouse bread - sourdough.  (Probably should have done the brie there but I wasn't thinking clearly.)  Oh, and chocolate.  But not for the panini (not the sad part).

Long story short here:  So, I made them.  And they sucked (the sad part).  They sucked so bad I didn't even have mine.  I was so absolutely disgusted I cleaned up the kitchen and went to bed.  I was even thinking about returning Benvolio!

Yep.  I had a panini tantrum.  C ate his and was perfectly happy with it.  I threw mine out.  The reason was - Sog Factor.  They were so gross and soggy looking when I pulled them off the press I wanted to cry (I take making dinner a little too seriously, I know - but I really feel a sense of failure when something I make doesn't turn out.  Especially something I have been excited about).  It turns out that they crisped up after they were taken off the press, but I was so highly annoyed by then I didn't even want it.  Why yes, I am an only child, why do you ask?

Happy Ending:
I read up on it.  You wouldn't think I needed to know that much about grilling a damn sandwich but I did learn some things in my research.  Reasons why Panini One failed:
  • roast beef waaaay too juicy
  • roasted reds wicked wet, if I want to you them I have to consider better placement
  • sourdough bread not dense enough - too holey
  • didn't brush the bread with oil
Anyway - some lessons learned.  I tried again today and was much more successful.  I need to find some better bread...and maybe try some less juicy guts.

All in all, Benvolio will stay.  I look forward to not hating him a whole bunch.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Adventures in Panini Part 1

You knew it. (grilled cheese panini!) 
I knew it. ( monte cristo panini!)
I had to have it. (p b and j on raisin bread panini!)

I whipped myself into a froth earlier today thinking about it.  So I got it.  I will now panini the crap out of everything.  Beware.  Tuesday night I think will be Panini Night for awhile (thanksgiving panini - turkey, cheese, cranberry mayo, stuffing!)

To complicate things more, Macy's was having a one day sale and for some reason I reconfigured Crossgates in my mind to contain both Macy's and William-Sonoma  on the same side.  And I am wearing uncomfortable heels.  So I parked by Macy's, scoffed at what they call a sale (marked up items marked down to regular price - I was looking for panini presses and presure cookers) then had to hoof it across the whole mall to get to WS to see if I even LIKED the one I have been drooling about.  And I did.  Oh boy did I.  It has heft, some neat adjustable things about it and gets really hot - which means possibly cooking other stuff in there too.  It also can be stored standing up (it has wittle feet!) and looks prett durn easy to clean (as all things nonstick usually are).


Don't worry - I didn't get any of the spreads they had so handsomely displayed nearby.  I can make my own damn olive tapenade chutney lemon wasabi delight.

I was there to buy the press, so I bought the press, and while they were in the back getting it I helped myself to some hot cider.  Yum.  I like free things.  Especially when I am about to pay 80 bucks for something I don't really need at all but want passionately.  This nice man rung me up...



and I was on my way.  Across the entire mall.  Carrying a heavy-ass panini press.

In the car I realized I had no panini guts residing in my household currently. Or good bread.  A leftover eggplant lasagna on diet wheat bread panini was NOT the way I wanted to break in Benvolio (which is what I just named my new panini press).   So this meant I had to go to more stores.  Which I was kind of ok with. 

More on how this paninipalooza turns out later...

Panini Me Me

Soooo... a little while ago I got this in my email...




and now I think about it a lot.  Probably more than a normal person should.  Like on my commute home (40 minutes!  That is a LOT of time to paniniponder!).  Or when I am checking my email.  And sometimes in the shower.  And when I am cooking other things.  SO...usually when I devote that much brain time to things, it means I want them.  And I will probably, even if I can't really afford to, buy them.

BECAUSE I WANT TO PANINI THINGS!  I feel bad for C because then he will be forced to eat all things panini.  I got gigantic muffin pans and that poor man has been eating different flavored gigantic muffin creations for months.

And yes, I do have a cast iron pan with the raised grill lines which is good, but I REALLY like the idea of being able to truly control the heat with the press, and also being able to walk away from the thing and have things not burn into a volcano rock.  And my cast iron pan is not that big.  And it suuuhuuhuucks to clean.

AND I WANT TO PANINI THINGS!  Grilled cheese sammies with ham and yummy veggie things with pesto mayo and using awesome bread and MAYBE EVEN DESSERT PANINIS WITH NUTELLA (and bananas).

Now here's the deal - panini makers come in all flavors and sizes.  Some are amazing.  Some are just awful.  Some are ok.  Some are called George Foreman Grills (which are NOT panini presses, btw).  And without walking into Williams-Sonoma I am going to guess that the one they are hawking is pretty good. It probably has good weight and great electronics that will last and some awesome easyclean plates that come out and tap dance into your dishwasher for you.  But I am sure if i did a little research I can find something comparable online/Ebay/Marshalls Homestore/back alley black market panini scalper. 

But I just kind of want to...

go and buy this today on my way home. 

And panini the crap out of something tonight.



Monday, November 16, 2009

wants and whines.

I want to go to this.  And don't be grossed out, but maybe even this.

I guess I could drive to these events, it's not that far but I want things like this to happen HERE.  Albany has the eaters.  We have the desire.  Why,why,why can't we get ourselves together?

Or am I just missing these things because I remained uninformed?

And I want to start a supper club where we eat at people's houses all themey-like and everybody brings food and chats and drinks wine.

And I want a pony.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Dear Eggplant,

We are not friends.  I keep trying to be friends with you but you continue to be difficult.  Maybe I don't know how to be friends with you.




Maybe I don't want to have to do the work to be friends with you.  Maybe you even scare me a little bit.  But I want to love you.


 Yet you scorn me.

Remember that cafe in Florence where you were covered in sauce and greasy and you gave me a stomachache?  Remember how you were the worst meal I had in the whole three weeks I was there?  What happened?

A few weeks ago I baked you up with disgusting results.  You went straight from the oven, into a tupperware then into the garbage a week later.

And now yesterday.  I salted you, yet in my eggplant lasagna you still wept.  You wept an ocean making my meal runny and tasteless even though I did so much work to prevent it.

Eggplant, how many more chances should I give you?  I don't know - you just keep making me sad.  Please eggplant, stop making me so so sad.



Love,
N

Friday, November 13, 2009

Creo Visit

I went to Creo last night in Stuy Plaza.  It was very nice inside (standard high ceilings, beige curtains, "you can come in jeans or a party dress and still feel comfortable" feel)  and we had a good meal.  A little pricey, but I was prepared for that.  I loved this on their menu:

Water, a diminishing natural resource, is available upon request

Oh please. 

"No water for me, waitress.  I will drink only expensive wine, because that is NOT a diminishing natural resource, unlike water.  Don't give me any of that water stuff.  I want to save the world."

They also had some fancy wording for some dishes. I can't seem to find them on their online menu but the one we had at the restaurant had some excellent foodie titles.  It reminded me of this:

Excerpt from David Sedaris' "Today's Special."

As a rule, I'm no great fan of eating out in New York...SoHo is not a macaroni salad kind of place. This is where the world's brightest young talents come to braise carmelized racks of corn-fed songbirds or offer up their famous knuckle of flash-seared crappie served with a collar of chided ginger and cornered by a tribe of kiln-roasted Chilean toadstools, teased with a warm spray of clarified musk oil. Even when they promise something simple, they've got to tart it up - the meatloaf has been poached in seawater, or there are figs in the tuna salad. If cooking is an art, I think we're in our Dada phase.

 
I've never thought of myself as a particularly finicky eater, but it's hard to be a good sport when each dish seems to include no fewer than a dozen ingredients, one of which I'm bound to dislike. I'd order skirt steak with a medley of suffocated peaches, but I'm put off by the aspirin sauce. The sea scallops look good until I'm told they're served in a broth of malt liquor and mummified litchi nuts. What I really want is a cigarette, and I'm always searching the menu in the hope that some courageous young chef has finally recognized tobacco as a vegetable. Bake it, steam it, grill it, or stuff it into littleneck clams, I just need something familiar that I can hold on to...I order a [hot dog] with nothing but mustard, and am thrilled to watch the vendor present my hot dog in a horizontal position. So simple and timeless that I can recognize it, immediately, as food."
 
So true.  Creo piled their potatoes high and stuck a homemade potato chip on top.  I saw an appetizer for another table which was very precariously balanced and I am guessing had some magically flavored foodglue keeping it together.
 
Either way:
 
 He - Lump Crabmeat Pesto Risotto app, Veal & wild mushroom meatloaf with Creo' mashed potatoes dinner
 Me - Caesar & shaved parmigiano reggiano app, Grilled New York sirloin served with a rich demi glace & finished with roquefort dinner
Us - 7 layer chocolate moussed mocha torte four layers of dark chocolate espresso cake, layered with chocolate mousse & frosted with mocha buttercream dessert
 
His wild mushroom gravy was insanely good, meatloaf awesome as well, my steak perfectly grilled (something I suck at myself) and the pesto risotto was very good as well.  Dessert was eh - we both decided that my flourless chocolate cake tasted better than their 97 layer chocotorte.
 
Fun night, good food.  I will go again but there are so many other places to try!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

pork katsu

So at my absolutely favorite asian market on central (no idea what the name is - new with a big red roof) I found some Tonkatsu sauce (probably not hard to find, but I finally remembered to look for it).  I wanted to do a pork cutlet but I was not interested in frying it.  I found this recipe which works great and I like the technique of mixing a small amount of oil withe the crumbs - which makes it kind of "oven fried".

original recipe here:  http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/eating-well/golden-baked-pork-cutlets-recipe/index.html

I made some changes
3 boneless, thick cut pork chops, sliced in half so each is very thin, then pounded thinner

2 cups whole wheat panko bread crumbs
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons canola oil
2 large egg whites, lightly beaten
cornstarch

Directions

Preheat oven to 400°F. Place a cooling rack over a sheet pan.


Mix panko breadcrumbs, garlic powder and salt in a shallow dish. Drizzle with oil and mash with a fork until the oil is thoroughly incorporated. Lightly beat egg white with a fork in another shallow dish. Sprinkle cornstarch over the pork slices and pat to coat evenly on both sides. Dip the pork into the egg, then press into the breading mixture until evenly coated on both sides. (Discard leftover mixture.)
Place the pork on the prepared baking sheet. Bake until just barely pink in the center and an instant-read thermometer registers 145°F, 14 to 16 minutes.


This really gets as close as you can get to restaurant katsu.  Serve with Tonkatsu sauce and enjoy the crunchiness!

Monday, October 19, 2009

New York Style Crumb Cake Muffins

I had to make muffins for a school breakfast and I wanted to use my GIGANTOR EXTRA LARGE muffin pans because I am obsessed with them. I doubled the recipe and it made 12 muffins, Twelve GIGANTOR muffins.

Some notes:

-I made my cake flour with this info: http://www.ehow.com/how_2107935_make-cake-flour.html. I used two cups of regular flour and 1 cup of whole wheat flour (then doubled it) and did the whole sifty cornstarch replacement thing.
-No buttermilk in the house so I used equal amounts of yogurt.
-Um. I didn't have enough eggs. But I made this anyway - I think I was short two yolks for the doubling of the recipe. Not sure if that really affected anything.


Recipe here from Cooks Illustrated:

Don't be tempted to substitute all-purpose flour for the cake flour, as doing so will make a dry, tough muffin. If you can't find buttermilk, you can substitute an equal amount of plain, low-fat yogurt. When topping the muffins, take care to not push the crumbs into the batter. Cooled leftovers can be wrapped in plastic wrap and stored at room temperature for up to 2 days.

Ingredients
Crumb Topping
1/3 cup granulated sugar (2 2/3 ounces)
1/3 cup dark brown sugar (2 2/3 ounces)
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon table salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick), melted and still warm
1 3/4 cups cake flour (7 ounces)

Muffins
1 1/4 cups cake flour (5 ounces)
1/2 cup granulated sugar (3 1/2 ounces)
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon table salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter (3/4 stick), cut into 6 pieces, softened but still cool
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup buttermilk
Confectioners' sugar for dusting

Instructions
1. FOR THE TOPPING: Whisk sugars, cinnamon, salt, and butter in medium bowl to combine. Add flour and stir with rubber spatula or wooden spoon until mixture resembles thick, cohesive dough; set aside to cool to room temperature, 10 to 15 minutes.

2. FOR THE MUFFINS: Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Line standard-sized muffin pan (cups have 1/2 cup capacity) with baking-cup liners.

3. In bowl of standing mixer fitted with paddle attachment, mix flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt on low speed to combine. With mixer running at low speed, add butter one piece at a time; continue beating until mixture resembles moist crumbs, with no visible butter chunks remaining, 1 to 2 minutes. Add egg, yolk, vanilla, and buttermilk; beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 1 minute, scraping once if necessary.


Note - Mine was super fluffy!  Look!














4. Using 1/4-cup measure or ice cream scoop, divide batter evenly among muffin cups; using small rubber spatula, spread batter into even layer. Following photos below, break apart crumb topping into large pea-sized pieces and spread in even layer over batter (about 1/4 cup of crumbs per muffin), beginning with edges and then working toward center. Bake until crumbs are golden and wooden skewer inserted into center of muffin comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Cool muffins in pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack at least 20 minutes. Dust with confectioners' sugar just before serving.


OK.  So - What I did not bank on was the cake part coming up through the crumb topping.  I was going for a true NY Style crumb cake which is about 2 inches of cake wearing about 6 inches of crumb as a hat.  The cake part came up through and made these kind of...well, ugly.  It might be because I tried to GIGANTORSIZE them or the lack or 2 egg yolks or yogurt instead of buttermilk.  Either way I took them out of the oven and was a tad disappointed:















They were all...tumory looking.  But it was a first try.  And I figured that I would bombard it with powdered sugar if need be.  Here is a single one looking all bumpy:















Not horrible but not exactly what I was looking for.  But - throw some sugar on it and no one will be able to tell:















See?  The reviews are in btw -   Charlie says it's more complex than regular coffee cake.  We both decided it is because of the whole wheat flour.  And the thing is dense as hell.  I might actually serve it cut in half with a scoop of vanilla in the middle.

I will try this again with all the right ingredients I think.  Hope the peeps at school like it.

Monday, October 12, 2009

foetry (food poetry) 3

like silk
and butter
and everything good about
its master.
the journey was hard.
the birth was
beautiful.
sunshine,
friends surrounding
green and blue and
warm.
then
yanked
and piled,
and squeezed into something new.
the past
a husk that’s left behind.
it grows older in the dark, then is
poured into the light.
now it marries other things,
it waits for
heat
or acid
glistening.
how dare we
refer to it
with merely letters,
call it by it’s full name,
goddamn it,
it’s earned it.


(olive oil)



NK 2009

foetry (food poetry) 2

something about the
sound
out of the block,
the comfort in my hands,
any other feels wrong,
i don’t understand
why they’re all
not like mine.
attentive,
always ready,
turned the wrong way
they bite their masters.
trust and care,
keeps them sharp.
speed
not always a friend.
but nothing feels like
dancing more
then
tip down,
push forward,
follow through,
pull back.
repeat.

 
(my knives)
 
 
NK 2009

foetry (food poetry) 1

papery
smash.
smear across the wood or
so thin it’s transparent or
chunked.
potent.
burns easily.
on you
for days.
in you for days.
noticeable when
absent,
obnoxious when
too present.
festivals
in its honor.
important
but small and irreplaceable.

(garlic)



NK 2009

Friday, October 9, 2009

shrimp feta pasta

I made this tonight and it is a pretty easy and good weeknight pasta dish.  I hardly ever use feta and it is delicious in this and really gets down with the red pepper flake well.  That's right, I said "gets down".  Like a funky mofo.

1/4 cup butter
1 medium onion, diced
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 1/2 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
Salt to taste
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
3/4 cup dry vermouth
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
4 ounces crumbled feta
Any favorite small pasta



1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

2. Put the butter and onions into a large skillet, and place over medium-high heat. Once the butter has melted and the onions begin to soften, add the garlic and let brown lightly while onions continue to soften.  Then stir in the shrimp, red pepper flakes, and oregano. Cook until the shrimp are firm and opaque, about 5 minutes. Season with salt, then stir in the chopped parsley, and pour into a casserole dish.

3. Pour vermouth into the skillet, and simmer until reduced by half. Add chopped tomatoes and continue cooking until heated through (let liquid reduce if possible, it makes for a less runny result). Spoon tomato mixture on top of the shrimp and sprinkle with crumbled feta cheese.

4. Bake in preheated oven until the cheese softens and turns golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes.  While it is baking, prepare your favorite pasta and warm some bread.

5.  Fill bowl with pasta halfway, spoon in baked shrimp and feta and make sure you get liquid from the bottom of the casserole dish.  Serve with warmed bread.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

about soup

a great list of easy soups here:  http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes-and-cooking/50-easy-soups-1--10/index.html?nl=FN_092109_15

for me food network can be pretty hit or miss, but i have had enough successes to trust them as long as i think the recipe through and trust myself to add something or delete things that don't look right.  and i pretty much suck at making soup.  i know, it should be easy, but i have a block for some reason.  all my soup ends up tasting like salty water with chunks of stuff in it.  the recipes on the link seem pretty simple and quick and something that i would do for a snowy wednesday night  when i don't want to have to do too much work.  most likely i would pair any soup with something else, even just garlic bread or something, because i always feel that soup is not enough, but some of these seem pretty hearty.

my favorite combination is a well known one - tomato soup and a grilled cheese.  at a local coffeeshop here: http://www.spectrum8.com/town/index.html they make quite the delicious combo - a tomato bisque and a cheese toastie (the name is so cute i can hardly stand it) and so i think i might just go there for it from now on for this...


there are lots of other interesting combinations and now the link has given me even more ideas.  i  have also slaved over a cooks illustrated french onion soup (recipe here: http://www.cookography.com/2008/the-best-french-onion-soup-ever) which was worth it.  the baking of the onions adds an insane amout of flavor - but it is a lot of kitchen time for a soup.

wow.  are you sick of hearing about soup yet?  or me typing the word soup?  i think i am.  so check out the link and make some plans to make some hot, liquidish dinner.  if i have any soupcesses (See what i did there?) i will be sure to let you know.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Heck Yes Roasted Broccoli

You need:


2 big bunches of fresh broccoli (3-5 pounds?), cut in pieces (use some of the stems too! just peel sides off and chop in healthy chunks) -make sure this broccoli is dry dry dry or the roasting will not work…
olive oil
kosher salt
5 garlic cloves, sliced
1 lemon
Fresh Parm Reg

How to:
1. Preheat oven to 425
2. Put the broccoli on a cookie sheet covered in heavy duty foil. Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper.
3. Add sliced garlic cloves and toss

4. Roast in the oven 20 to 25 minutes, until “crisp-tender and the tips of some of the florets are browned.” (About ten minutes in, shake the pan to move it around a bit, just redistribute) By the way - you WANT some edges to brown. You want the garlic to be pretty browned too. By the end they should be tiny, delicious, brown garlic chips. The browning turns this broccoli from eh to eeehhhhYYEEAAAHHH!
5. Remove from oven and zest a lemon over the broccoli and squeeze the lemon juice on top
6. Grate some fresh Parm Reg over it
7. Toss and serve!
No joke. This an amazing way to have this vegetable. Go make some now. No really.


Heck Yes Roasted Broccoli Comments...



SO I have been thinking about this (a lot. i have been thinking about it a. LOT!) and I think the next time I do the broccoli I will add a little pancetta in the mix. It kind of takes the sort of healthy spin away (although olive oil does add caloriesas well) I bet adding salty/cured meat to this would be pretty insane. I can’t decide whether to cube the pancetta and saute it in a pan then throw it in when i toss in the lemon and zest and stuff, or to just start it with the broccoli itself. I guess it depends on how long it would take to crisp up in the oven… Worth trying anyway. Or even throwing in some bacon crumbles at the end - to get similar results.


also possibly an asian spin by tossing in some tamari with the oil and sprinkling with roasted sesame seeds at the end (or using sesame oild instead of olive?)?


wow. obsessed with this dish. me.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Yin and Yang Salad with Peanut-Sesame Dressing Recipe

Stolen from http://www.101cookbooks.com/ who stole it from somewhere else so I don’t feel that bad…




Salad Part

2 bags shredded napa cabbage
3/4 bag shredded red cabbage
1/2 bag shredded carrots
5 - 8 radishes, shredded
4 or 5 green onions (white and green parts), julienned or chopped
1 cup Peanut-Sesame Dressing (recipe follows)
4 cups 1/2-inch cubes chilled ginger tofu (recipe follows)
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds

(I GUESS you could shred all that cabbage yourself, but the supermarket has perfectly good and fresh stuff already done for a decent price. Save yourself the trouble and buy it. You have to do a ton of other stuff for this salad, so this will be a gift.) Toss the cabbages and carrots in a large bowl. Pile shredded radish in the middle and sprinkle green onions around the edge of the radish pile.



Peanut-Sesame Dressing Part

2/3 cup creamy peanut butter
1/3 cup brown rice vinegar
1/4 cup maple syrup
3 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons tamari
1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 cup lightly packed fresh cilantro leaves

If you’d like a spicier dressing, just add more crushed red pepper flakes. This thickens up once it’s refrigerated, so you can either add a little water to thin it or leave it thick to use as a sauce on grains and other cooked dishes. You might want to I.V. it straight to your capillaries or something because this dressing is pure, taste bud insanity. You should bathe your newborn baby in it ‘cause this shit is delicious.


To make just blend the peanut butter, vinegar, maple syrup, water, tamari, ginger, garlic, sesame oil, and crushed red pepper in a food processor until smooth and creamy. Add the cilantro and blend just until it’s finely chopped. The dressing will keep for 2 days, covered and refrigerated but really- it won’t last that long.


Gingered Tofu Part

2 (12-ounce) containers water-packed extra-flrm tofu
2/3 cup tamari
1/4 cup brown rice vinegar
1/4 cup toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
I tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
I tablespoon canola oil


Drain the tofu and cut into 1-inch wide strips, and pat dry with paper towels. Cover a large baking sheet with more dry paper towels. Place the tofu in a single layer over the towels on the baking sheet and let drain for 2 hours, changing the paper towels after 1 hour.

Whisk the tamari, vinegar, sesame oil, garlic, and ginger in a bowl to blend. Put tofu in a shallow container and cover with marinade. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours and up to 1 day. I suggest as long as possible because the tofu drinks this marinade and makes this salad incredible. Halfway through your marinade time turn the strips over so both sides get a chance to take a bath. A wonderful, finger-licking bath.

Preheat the oven to 400 F. Oil a heavy, rimmed baking sheet with the canola oil. Drain the tofu and place it on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes on each side until golden brown and heated through. Serve warm or cold, or at room temperature. The tofu will keep for 1 day, covered and refrigerated.

After All That Work Is Done:

Bring salad, tofu, sesame seeds and dressing to table and have people dig the heck in. Pile on the tofu, sprinkle with the sesame seeds, dress and serve. Fuck yeah. Really – this salad might change your religion.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Ridiculously Easy Flourless Chocolate Cake with Ganache and Berry Coulis (plus bonus truffles!)

Flourless Chocolate Cake stuff:


8 ounces squares semisweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup white sugar
cocoa powder for dusting
3 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

HOW TO:

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Grease an 8 inch round Springform pan and cover bottom with parchment. Dust sides with cocoa powder.

In the top of a double boiler over lightly simmering water, melt chocolate and butter. Remove from heat.

Combine sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Slowly fold in chocolate a little at a time, so as not to scramble the eggs.

Pour into prepared pan.

Bake in preheated oven for 30-35 minutes. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely. This sounds easy but it’s absolutely not. The cake will be fudgy and wet and difficult to remove. Really let it cool before you do anything. Then do whatever you do - SLOWLY. The sides of the Springform come off easily, but separating the bottom from the cake is difficult, even with the parchment. I slid a knife between the parchment and the pan and that seemed to work ok.

Ganache stuff-

8 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, cut into small pieces
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoons cognac or brandy (optional)

HOW TO:
Place the chopped chocolate in a medium sized stainless steel bowl. Set aside. Heat the cream and butter in a medium sized saucepan over medium heat. Bring just to a boil. Immediately pour the boiling cream over the chocolate and allow to stand for 5 minutes. Stir with a whisk until smooth. If desired, add the liqueur.

NOW COMBINE IT:

“Ice” the cake with the ganache, pour some in the middle and ice the top and sides with an offset spatula. or a spoon. or your hands.

Fresh Berry Coulis Stuff:

Berries
Sugar

HOW TO:

Push berries through a sieve into a bowl. Add sugar to taste. Put in squeeze bottle then when you are ready, squeeze the coulis onto the cake in a pretty way. :) So it looks all professional and shit.


TRUFFLE BONUS!
any extra ganache should be refrigerated. after you have woken up from the sugar coma of the cake, get the ganache out of the fridge and scoop it into balls. roll balls in cocoa. TRUFFLES! you can fridge or even freeze these because you might not need them with all that cake around.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

so. um. five ingredients:


1/2 - 3/4 cup chopped shallots
1 stick or so butter
half a bottle dry white wine
3 to 4 pounds of mussels
shaved parm reg.
debeard and seperate good mussels from bad mussels (open ones are dead - chuck them). saute shallots in butter until softened. pour in white wine, heat until simmering. pour in mussels and cover. steam for 5 - 7 minutes until all are open. taste broth and salt/pepper to taste. if you want to be fancy shmance, toss some chopped parsley in at the end.




scoop up broth and mussels in a bowl. for real - you need some bread to sop up the broth because holy frickin moly. heaven.

this can be served with pasta but i prefer to eat a buttload of bread with it instead.

can be made in a pan on the bbq too. or probably on an open fire camping. or on a hot rock in a sauna.



Sunday, April 5, 2009

The One Stewart's Made and the Two I Made

I have a lot of things to say related to ice cream.

First off:

Stewarts ice cream (which I have always just deemed as OK except for their Bear Tracks or Bear Claws or Adirondack Something or whatever the hell has the graham cracker and caramel stuff in it) has a new flavor. The ice cream is Carrot Cake Ice Cream. You can only get it at the Sundae counter* and you can have them hand pack a pint which you will want if you like carrot cake. Actually you will want them to hand pack the trunk of your car with this shit because it’s insane. It is smooth consistency (which some (Charlie) thinks does it a disservice (but he’s crazy)) and they actually have the cream cheese frosting SWIRLED IN. I just fought off the uge to captilalize that whole last sentence because I am THAT excited about cream cheese frosting. I just went with the SWIRLED IN so you wouldn’t think that maybe I would kill your mother for some cream cheese frosting. Which I probably might depending on the quality of the frosting and how long it has been since I have had it last. So go get some of this as soon as you can if you live in a place that has a Stewarts. I am kind of hoping that Ben and Jerry’s steals this and does a little magic with it in their style, because it would be good if maybe it had some lumps in it (shut up Charlie I am not agreeing with you I just thought of that myself).
*I have forgotten to tell a few people that you can only get it at the counter and this has led to really bad results. Mostly the people have been VERY upset that they can’t find it in the freezer and then they end up drowning their sorrows in some other flavor they only half want, and eating way more of it because of the depression that ensued after they couldn’t find the Carrot Cake one. Ooops.



Second off:

So yeah. I made some more ice cream. But this time I shared it. So I hardly had any. This experiment lead to pretty good results, I’d say.


Chocolate Blackberry Shortbread Ice Cream


Chocolate Ice Cream (You’ve seen this before):

1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 cups half and half
1 cup of sugar
1 tsp vanilla (or 1 split and scraped vanilla bean)
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa



You will also need:

Frozen Blackberries
Shortbread Cookies


Really it’s the same process as the other ice creams on here, but at the end you add the stuff and such. It seemed to be best to put the ice cream in a chilled bowl right from the ice cream maker and fold the other ingredients in. The chunks slow the maker down too much and it starts to make a sad whine while you are adding that doesn’t seem right. In making the first batch, I made some mistakes and will do it a little differently the next time. Here’s where I sucked:


Mistake 1: I added the berries mostly whole and frozen, which lead to big, berry-flavored ice rocks in the final product. I think I will keep a few berries whole but most i will chop and thaw before I add them in. I am thinking that some I might even thaw completely so they juice up and that might lead to a nice blackberry flavor which would cut the sweetness of the chocolate a little bit.


Mistake 2: I added shortbread and did not break it up enough. My original plan was to make the shortbread, and I think I will next time, but I didn’t have time, so I bought a package of Keebler Sandies Simply Shortbread (they were good). I broke them up but I needed to do it a little more. They acted as I thought they would in the ice cream though, they absorbed a lot of the ice cream and became sort of almost kind of hard, kind of spongy and tasted really good. The flavors made sense. I think even just Chocolate Shortbread would be good too. I must try.

So all in all, it was good, but ice cream shouldn’t cut your mouth when you’re eating it (unless you are eating Edward Scissorhands Rocky Road or something) so I have to be wary of making my chunks too chunky.

Next up:

Caramel Ice Cream with Broken Samoas


Caramel Ice Cream is mostly like Vanilla but with some changes:

1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 cups half and half
2 tbs sugar
1 tsp vanilla (or 1 split and scraped vanilla bean)
4 HEAPING tbsp of prepared caramel

You will also need:

Girl Scout Samoa Cookies


Again make the ice cream like before and obviously add the cookies at the end. A few things about making the caramel ice cream:

1. I chose to use prepared caramel (I used Mrs. Richardson’s Butterscotch Caramel - and have you had any of her ice cream stuff? Her Hot Fudge is RIDICULOUS. I can only imagine that Mrs. Richardson is really some really fat dude that really likes to add hot sugary stuff to his ice cream or some dastardly alien that plans to end the world by fattening us up, bombing us, then releasing a bunch of alien cannibals upon us to chomp on our obese carcasses). Because I chose to use prepared stuff I cut the sugar to almost nothing. At first I thought the caramel would provide ALL the sugar, but for some reason the base really did need a little to make it pop. A lot of recipes I found for caramel ice cream had you making your own caramel first, which makes total sense, but I do something wrong with caramel and fuck it up every single time, so I just bought some.

2. The 4 heaping tbsps are an ESTIMATE. You just have to add one and stir, then taste, add one and stir, then taste. I think it depends a lot on the kind of caramel you are using. Add the sugar only if you need it, at the very end.

And again - I didn’t break up the samoas quite enough. i will chop them up more next time. I think I also might pop some in the food processor and process until they are crumb consistency and add them as well. Might make for a neat texture. (Also, maybe some flake coconut.) Again, the flavors were good, just needed some work.


So, I was happy with the first try of both of these. I think I might invest in some smaller tupperware so I can really make personal servings of the stuff I make, which would be easier on me if I keep it, and kind of cool to give away. I looked for some waxed paper containers at one time to buy so I didn’t have to worry about collecting my tupperware back, but I remember having to buy them a zillion at a time, so I didn’t go for it. Perhaps BJ’s has something I can use in smaller quantities. I will have to look.

And there it is. The latest adventures in Frozen Dairy Product. I know, I know. You peed your pants it was so damn exciting.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

chocolate makes you fat. but fuck it.

there’s something about valentine’s day chocolate. the heart box, the old favorites (caramel, toffee, anything dark chocolate), the ones that taste gross but you still take a bite and then try to pawn it off on the one you love.

this valentine’s day i bought some extra chocolate on sale. because i didn’t get ENOUGH chocolate. because the gigantic lindt bar, smaller 98% cocoa bar and box of truffles were not enough. so i waited until the 15th and bought THREE candy hearts full of goodness.

three.
that's right.  i. bought. three.

what have i learned from this experience?

1. chocolate is fucking good.

2. there’s some weird ass shit in some whitman’s. like:
  • when was there a peanut butter chocolate one? and why does it taste so DIFFERENT than a reese’s peanut butter cup?
  • and what about the chocolate covered nuts? why are they there? (better yet, why aren’t they raisins
  • coffee cream center? when did this get added? it’s weird.
  • the plain chocolate bar one? THAT’S THE SUCKIEST ONE! if i wanted a chocolate bar i would have bought a chocolate bar. and it’s always right in the middle. like some sort of bullshit staple for the oldentimes or something. like if a 90 year old lady got a box of whitman’s and didn’t see the bar in the middle with the messenger guy (whitman?) she would toss the box and start fucking shit up. please.
  • why is raspberry so underused within the array? and where is the banana chocolate combo? or something with rice krispies in it?
  • two words. pretzel center. let’s go, whitty.
  • did God make caramel because he loves us or just wants to see us get stuff on our teeth for 20 minutes and sweat while trying to work it off with our tongues? and a related question with jolly ranchers there, too. and along that vein - why no jolly ranchers?
3. chocolate is fucking good. (did i say that one already?)


and just so you know. i only opened two boxes of chocolate. the other one i have in the freezer of a third party (charlie) and when the others are gone i will still have more. mwa ha ha ha ha.
see you all at the mall. because i will be there buying pants that are the next size up because i bought 3 candy hearts full of chocolate and ate them.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Foetry (food poetry?)

i am a featured reader tomorrow at a poetry reading. i decided to write a little about food. i came up with a few pieces i like, but by far this one captures a kind of tangible anger i have…




i
fucking hate
you
rachael ray.
i hate that i had to look your name up
just to see if i spelled it right.
i hate your
accessibility.
i hate that
so many
trust you
and rave
and that you’re some maven,
some icon,
some goddess,
because you can open a can of peas.
i hate
that you’ve slutted yourself out everywhere,
no mystery,
nothing intriguing.
your face,
your hoarse voice
stupidly hollering.
i hate that you’re
America.
i hate your disrespect
for pure creation.
pre…made,
pre…boiled,
pre…prepared,
pre…vent me,
someone,
from assassination.
fuck you
and your
Yummo!
and your
E.V.O.O.
and your tricks
and your tips
and your shortcuts.
come here.
i’ll tell you to your face.
i’ll fuck you up,
with a spatula.
with a reduction.
with a roux.
i’ll roast you
under the table.
i’ll leave you
crying
onion tears
with wilted thyme
and unusable,
droopy celery.
i call you out,
rachael.
today.
bike racks.
three o’clock.
bring your
fucking
wisk.


NK '09

video of a live reading of this poem here: 
http://www.flickr.com/photos/milkwithice/3199989729/in/set-72157612575459841/

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Mexican Chocolate Ice Cream

so i made Mexican Chocolate ice cream and i tasted it last night. i have to say, for the first batch of chocolate i have made in a while, it tasted pretty darn good. first, the recipe:



1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 cups half and half
1 cup of sugar
1 tsp vanilla (or 1 split and scraped vanilla bean)
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
cinnamon - um…no idea how much. a tablespoon? i just do it to taste…



so, it is the same recipe as the vanilla base with a few things added because even chocolate ice cream has vanilla in it. (and if chocolate and vanilla can get along, America, why can’t we?) same deal as making the vanilla (you can scroll down and see the procedure for that under the “Vanilla/Red Wine Caramel Apple Pie Ice Cream” entry.) The difference is that as you are heating the cream/sugar/vanilla mixture, slowly add in the cocoa and wisk constantly. the cocoa is going to be a bitch and not combine. in fact, it is going to lay on top of the cream and be a total jerk. keep wisking. as the cream mixture heats it will incorporate. slowly add cinnamon and keep tasting. cinnamon can quickly overpower everything (it is the rachael ray of spices…loud and obnoxious if you use too much, but perfect if it’s in the background where you can kind of tell it’s around but don’t really have direct contact. like if you were at a party and rachael was like 4 rooms away. it’d be kinda cool if she was there, but you don’t really want to stand next to her…) so add and wisk and taste. add. wisk. taste.
both the cinnamon and the cocoa might not wisk in completely or when you are chilling might separate a bit. that is ok. when you spin it in your ice cream maker it will allllllllll come together (just like an A-Team plan).
so spin and store in freezer overnight at least.
upon tasting i realized a few things:
1. it’s pretty kick ass for a first revisit.
2. it could be kickiner assiner (translation: more kick ass) if i used fancy cocoa. i just used hershey’s but i can get some french stuff from the local co op that might make the stuff pop or make the chocolate a little deeper tasting.
3. it needed chunks of something. possibilities: brownie chunks, angel food cake chunks, marshmallow swirl,
barbie hair...

4. consistency seemed creamier than the vanilla. not sure why…
i would like to try a regular chocolate without the cinammon. and maybe throw in some raspberryness along the lines of raspberry liquor or frozen fruit. i want to stay focused though. i probably should have done plain chocolate before i mucked it up with the cinnamon, but it actually worked out well.
other things i would like to do with a plain chocolate:
-chocolate with peanut butter swirl
-chocolate with york peppermint patty chunks
-lay in a bathtub full of it
-marry it

Friday, January 9, 2009

Vanilla/Red Wine Caramel Apple Pie Ice Cream

kind of a long name. like, both ben AND jerry would nix that in a board meeting. they would name it “American Flag Eagle Pride Army Navy Mission Accomplished” or something. i realize that is equally long but it would definitely appeal to people down south more than my lame name. alright though, let’s get down to business here. this is how i made it. first i made the pie, recipe here:

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/tyler-florence/the-ultimate-caramel-apple-pie-recipe/index.html

finished pie here:



i know. kind of looks sexual with the caramel drip - not intended. the pie is AMAZING on its own so make 2 and double the caramel part each time. you want a lot of caramel in this mofo.



then the ice cream must be made. so far i have opted to deal with basic ice cream rather than custard. custard involves eggs in a heated cream mixture which scares the crap out of me, what with the whole tempering and all that. i will get into custard. yes. shut up i will, just not yet. i have to get the feel of this new maker and consistency and things like that. and thats a huge excuse but it will work for now.


so the ice cream recipe that seems to work for me is this:


1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 cups half and half
1 cup of sugar
1 tsp vanilla (or 1 split and scraped vanilla bean)


throw it all in a pot and heat until just BEFORE boiling. don’t let it boil for geebus’ sake! alton brown said not to. something about the proteins breaking down. that sounds bad, right? something BREAKING DOWN? breaking down is never good pretty much so don’t let it boil. wait until there are these tiny little mini eruptions on the top of the cream then pull it off the heat. oh yeah, stir constantly. wear your ipod or something because this takes some time. i use a silicone spatula for almost everything and it is very good for this as well.
then let it cool enough to put in in a container and cool overnight in the fridge.
next day assemble your snazzy ice cream maker (the ice cream maker bowl should be totally frozen and ready for spinning. to check if it’s ready, shake it. if you hear liquid squishing around in there it is NOT ready. to be safe, freeze ice cream maker bowl for 2 days) and pour the ice cream base in. let it spin at least 40 minutes. ice cream will NEVER come out any thicker than soft serve consistency in one of these things so don’t bother to spin further. just throw the finished stuff in the freezer overnight for a hard freeze. anyway, in the last few minutes of spinning, add cut up chunks of apple pie (now LISTEN. i KNOW you will be “adding cut up chunks of apple pie” to your mouth too, just make sure a good amount makes it into the maker.) for about a pint of ice cream i would do the equivalent of 2 slices of pie but keep in mind i like chunky ice cream. if your ice cream maker can’t handle the churning, throw it into a cold bowl and fold in the chunks by hand. then take the whole shebang and put it in a decent container, cover it with plastic wrap (and by cover it i mean make sure the plastic wrap is touching the ice cream, caressing it in a loving way, whatever) to avoid freezer burn.


use ziploc tupperware things with blue screw tops. they seem to do well in the freezer and hold about 1 batch.



--for an EXTRA TREAT (which, you know, after making an ENTIRE PIE then putting it in BOWL OF ICE CREAM, you probably really still need an extra treat) put a layer of the pie chunks on the bottom of the container, then put the finished ice cream on top. this works well with smaller tupperware, like doing single servings (buying smaller tupperware might help control the amount you stuff in your gullet or make it easier to give to people) or double servings (1 movie, 1 cute boyfriend/girlfriend/Realdoll, 2 spoons*!). if you do that you have this insane frozen pie layer to dig around in- it’s like a present on the bottom of a present!--

so there it is. America Mission Accomplished Apple Pie Vanilla Flag Eagle ice cream.

(by the way - naming this ice cream reminds me of this Always Sunny clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1AlanjArRmM )



*Realdolls don’t really need their own spoon i don’t think…