Saturday, July 28, 2012

Wednesday, July 25, 2012 Torta di Pere

3 Pears, Peeled, in a Small Dice
1/2 Cup Butter
1 Cup Flour
1 Tbsp Baking Powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 Eggs, at Room-Temperature
3/4 Cup Sugar
3/4 Cup Bittersweet Chocolate Chunks

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9inx9in Pan. Mix the flour, baking powder and salt together, set aside.

Brown the Butter. Melt the Butter in a medium saucepan (because it will foam a lot) and cook it stirring constantly until the Butter browns and smells nutty (about 6 to 8 minutes). It helps to frequently scrape the solids off the bottom of the pan in the last couple minutes to ensure even browning. Remove from the flame but keep in a warm spot.

Using a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the Eggs on high speed until pale and very thick. It will take nine minutes to get sufficient volume. (This was pretty cool to watch them get all light and fluffy!) Add the Sugar to the Eggs and whip a few minutes more.

Just as the Egg-Sugar mixture is starting to loose volume, turn the mixture down to stir, and add the flour mixture and Brown Butter. Add one third of the flour mixture, then half of the butter, a third of the flour, the remaining butter, and the rest of flour. Whisk until just barely combined and then use a spatula to gently fold the batter until the ingredients are combined. It is very important not to over-whisk or fold the batter or it will lose volume.

Pour into prepared pan. Sprinkle the Pear and Chocolate Chunks over the top, and bake until the cake is golden brown and springs back to the touch, about 40 to 50 minutes or a tester comes out clean.

I was amazed how well the batter surrounded the Pears and Chocolate.

This one was so good we didn't share it with anyone...

Sunday, July 22, 2012 a Squash?

Maybe it's all the cooking shows we've been watching lately but when a friend at work gave me an unknown squash I was pretty confident I could make it delicious. I did a little google search for 'Green Squash' and once I got past the links for Zucchini I found out this was a Kabocha, which seemed to be more or less like a green Pumpkin.

Let's just say, I am not a MasterChef, I would have been Chopped for this one & Chef Ramsey would have kicked me straight out Hell's Kitchen for this one.

It seemed so simple. Cut. Take out Seeds. Slice. Drizzle with Butter and Cinnamon & Sugar. But I think I needed to peal it, maybe mash it, maybe cook it longer or (and this is most likely) look up an actual recipe. So I tried and failed and learned something for next time. Chocolate Chip, Banana, and Chocolate Chip & Banana Pancakes

I'll admit I'm a Pre-Mixed Pancake kind of girl. I think they taste good. But I like trying to make things from scratch, here was my first attempt. (Thank you Smitten Kitchen & Martha.)

2 Cups Flour
2 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp kosher salt
3 Tbsp Sugar
2 Eggs, Lightly Beaten
3 Cups Buttermilk
4 Tbsp Butter, Melted
1 Banana, Sliced
1/2 Cup Chocolate Chips

Place a pan over medium heat. Whisk together the Flour, Baking Powder, Baking Soda, Salt, and Sugar in a medium bowl. Add the Eggs, Buttermilk, and 4 Tbsp melted butter, and whisk to combine. The batter should have small to medium lumps.

Test the griddle by sprinkling a few drops of water on it. If the water bounces and spatters, the griddle is hot enough. Brush Butter onto the griddle. Wipe off the excess with a folded paper towel.

Using a 4-oz. ladle, about 1/2 cup (for a 6-inch pancake), pour the Batter in pools 2 inches apart. Arrange a few slices of Banana and some Chocolate Chips or Banana's AND Chocolate Chips, pressing them in slightly. When the pancakes have bubbles on top and are slightly dry around the edges, about 2 1/2 minutes, flip over. If any batter oozes or toppings roll out, push them back under with your spatula. Cook until golden on bottom, about 1 minute.

Repeat with the remaining batter. You can keep the finished pancakes on a heat-proof plate in the oven at 175°F. Serve warm.

Sunday, July 15, 2012 Chocolate Covered Bacon

A San Diego Fair favorite. I tried it last year for the first time, it was coated in solid chocolate, I wanted to try and make it myself with a little less chocolate, I still need to work on perfecting it but it was pretty delicious.

I used the Chocolate Sauce from the Roasted Pears with Chocolate & Olive Oil we made for Valentine's Day. I remember it being easy to make and it mostly solidified when it cooled. Not a candy finish but it was solid enough to hold.

6 Pieces of Bacon
1 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
1 Tbsp Sugar
3/4 Cup Heavy Cream
4 Oz. Bittersweet Chocolate, Chopped 

Cook the Bacon until crispy and delicious.

Bring the cream to a boil in a saucepan. Then, in a bowl, combine the chocolate, remaining butter, amaretto, and hot cream. Let stand for 1 minute and then stir with a spatula until smooth. Serve the roasted pears drizzled with the chocolate sauce and olive oil and sprinkled with sea salt.

Dip into chocolate and set on wax paper. Place in freezer until solid, re-dip if necessary. The Local Animal

One of my favorite restaurants in downtown San Diego is the Neighborhood their entire family of restaurants is really wonderful (another favorite is Craft & Commerce).

I've taken CPB there a few times and this menu item was so good he asked to go back two days in a row and order the same thing. It sounds a little odd but I promise it's amazing.

Meet the Local Animal:

After a nice Local Animal the best place to go next is Petco Park.

Oh say can you see?

Saturday, July 14, 2012 Bacon Wrapped Dates with Goat Cheese

We had these Bacon Wrapped Dates with Goat Cheese in Laguna Beach on our way to the Pageant of the Masters.

There's a chance they were so delicious because this was the view while we enjoyed them.

We decided to recreate them, just to be sure. With a little help from Mother Thyme.

18 large Medjool dates, pits removed
4oz goat cheese
6 strips thick bacon, cut in thirds

Preheat oven at 375 degrees. Slice dates lengthwise add in a piece of goat cheese.

Close tightly and wrap with bacon, securing with wooden pick.

Bake for 14-17 minutes, turning halfway.

I think they turned out pretty well, but I think the view really did make them amazing.

By the way Pageant of the Masters is an wonderful event in Laguna Beach where they recreate masterpieces using sets, props & real people. The results are incredible. Since no pictures are allowed during the performance you'll just have to go in person.

Monday, July 9, 2012 a not so Secret Meatball Recipe

As mentioned preciously CPB makes a mighty good meatball. He made them again last night and took the time to write it out, the current recipe had ingredients but no quantities. So I sat there, watched him work and wrote down the quantities as best I could.

1lb Ground Beef
1/2 Cup Bread Crumbs
1/2 Onion, Carmelized & Diced
1/4 Cup Scallions, Diced
1/4 Cup Parmesan, Grated
3 Cloves Garlic, Minced
1 Tbsp Basil, Diced
1-1/2 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
1-1/2 tsp Steak Sauce
1/2 tsp Oregano
Salt & Pepper
1 Egg

Mix Ingredients together for into 12 balls. Preheat Oven to 425 degrees, place a layer of Marinara in a 9x13 Pan and bake for 12 minutes.

1 Tbsp Butter
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
3 Tbsp Port Wine Sauce

Heat Butter, Oil & Wine in a pan and pan sear the meatballs all together til the outside is nicely browned. Serve with Marinara for dipping, over Pasta with Marinara or as a Meatball Sub.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012 an Independence Day Asian Burger Phanouropita Cake with a Story

I've been reading this book, Best Food Writing 2011 - Edited by Holly Hughes there are a lot of great articles in here, probably how they made it into the book. I came upon my first recipe in the book about quarter of the way through in a story Saints, Cakes & Redemption by Allison Parker and decided to give it a try.

1 Cup Vegetable Oil (plus more for greasing)
1 Cup Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice (from about 3 Oranges)
1/2 Cup Brandy
1 Cup Sugar
1 Cup Walnuts, Finely Chopped
4 Cup Flour
1-1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1-1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1-1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Cloves

Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C) degrees. Oil the bottom and sides of a 9x13 pan.

In a large bowl, whisk together the Oil, Orange Juice, Brandy, and Sugar until thoroughly combined. Mix in the Walnuts.

Sift together into a medium bowl the remaining dry ingredients. In small batches, add the Flour Mixture to the Brandy Mixture, whisking vigorously as you go. Continue whisking until completely combined. Tradition dictates that you’re supposed to whisk for 9 minutes by hand. (I recommend you start the time when the first batch a Flour Mixture is added, but that may be cheating)

Scrape the Batter into the prepared pan. Before putting the cake into the oven, pause to say whatever kind of prayer you feel comfortable with as you focus on the thing you hope to find.

Bake the cake until the top looks hard and golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 19 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then remove the cake from the pan and let it cool completely on a wire rack.

Traditionally, the cake is now given away whole or cut into nine pieces and shared with others. If you’re serving the cake at home, you may want to sift a little powdered sugar over the top of the cake before slicing. The cake dries out easily, so if you do cut into it, make sure to wrap any leftovers well in plastic and foil, or store in an airtight container.

Here's my work space, complete the the book on the edge of the counter and Hulu playing while I bake. This was a delicious cake, definitely better hot and fresh. I think next time I'll serve it with Ice Cream. On  an other note, this is another sweet treat my Vegan friend can eat.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...