Thursday, September 29, 2011
Monday, September 26, 2011
We have a good friend named Alex.
He makes good toffee.
Like good good.
His recipe is here.
You have to try it.
It's good alone.
And crumbled into some dark chocolate ice cream.
Oh my my my.
And next time?
I'm going to add some chopped walnuts.
Alex's Chocolate Toffee Ice Cream
Makes about 2 quarts.
Adapted from Alton Brown.
Adapted from Alton Brown.
1 1/2 ounces unsweetened cocoa powder
3 cups half-and-half
1 cup heavy cream
8 large egg yolks
9 ounces sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
Alex's toffee, broken into crumbles
Place the cocoa powder along with one cup of the half-and-half into a medium saucepan over medium heat and whisk to combine. Add the remaining half-and-half and the heavy cream. Bring the mixture just to a simmer, stirring occasionally, and remove from the heat.
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk the egg yolks until they lighten in color. Gradually add the sugar and whisk to combine.
Temper the cream mixture into the eggs and sugar by gradually adding small amounts, until about 1/3 of the cream mixture has been added. Pour in the remainder and return the entire mixture to the saucepan and place over low heat. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture thickens slightly and coats the back of a spoon and reaches 170 to 175*. Pour the mixture through a strainer and into a container and allow to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. Stir in the vanilla. Place the mixture into the refrigerator and once it is cool enough not to form condensation on the lid, cover and store for 4 to 8 hours.
Pour into an ice cream maker and process according to the manufacturer's directions. This should take approximately 25 to 35 minutes. About 5 minutes before done, mix in the toffee crumbles and continue. Serve as is for soft serve or freeze for another 3 to 4 hours to allow the ice cream to harden.
Friday, September 23, 2011
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
When I get my cooking magazines, I have a system.
Then, I put away.
About a week later, when I'm not chasing a toddler around, I revisit.
I really read the recipes and dog ear.
Not to be confused with flagging.
Then I try out the recipes and rate them and etc etc and put the magazine away again.
About a month or so down the road, I revisit again.
Usually something new will catch my eye and I leave the mag open to that page and leave it on my counter to try within that week.
This was one of those recipes.
Didn't really seem like much until I re-read it.
I was wrong.
This is probably my new favorite comfort food.
You really have to try this.
I make it all. the. time.
And it freezes really well too!
Cuban Black Beans and Rice
Adapted ever so slightly from CI.
1 cup dried black beans, rinsed and picked over (Goya is the best!)
2 cups homemade or store-bought chicken stock
2 cups water
2 large green bell peppers, halved and seeded
1 large onion, halved at equator and peeled, root end left intact
1 head garlic, 5 medium cloves removed and minced (about 5 teaspoons), remaining cloves split in half and skin removed
2 bay leaves
1 1/2 cups long grain white rice
2 tablespoons olive oil
6 ounces bacon, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 tablespoon minced fresh oregano leaves or a scant teaspoon dried
4 teaspoons ground cumin
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 medium scallions, sliced thin (optional)
1 lime, cut into 8 wedges (optional)
Dissolve 1 1/2 tablespoons salt in 2 quarts cold water in large bowl or container. Add beans and soak at room temperature for at least 8 hours and up to 24 hours. Drain and rinse well.
In large Dutch oven with tight-fitting lid, stir together drained beans, broth, water, 1 pepper half, 1 onion half (with root end), halved garlic cloves, bay leaves, and 1 teaspoon salt. Bring to simmer over medium-high heat, cover, and reduce heat to low. Cook until beans are just soft, 30 to 40 minutes. Using tongs, remove and discard pepper, onion, garlic, and bay leaves. Drain beans in colander set over large bowl, reserving 2 1/2 cups bean cooking liquid. (If you don’t have enough bean cooking liquid, add water to equal 2 1/2 cups.) Do not wash out Dutch oven.
Put your oven rack to middle position and set to 350*. Place rice in large fine-mesh strainer and rinse under cold running water until water runs clear, about 1-2 minutes.
Remove all excess water; set rice aside.
Cut remaining peppers and onion into 2-inch pieces and process in food processor until broken into rough 1/4-inch pieces, about eight 1-second pulses, scraping down sides of bowl as necessary; set vegetables aside.
In now-empty Dutch oven, heat 1 tablespoon oil and bacon over medium-low heat; cook, stirring frequently, until lightly browned and rendered, 15 to 20 minutes. Be sure to scrape down the sides as you stir this to get the flavors to all meld together. Add remaining tablespoon oil, chopped peppers and onion, oregano, and cumin. Increase heat to medium and continue to cook, stirring frequently, until vegetables are softened and beginning to brown, 10 to 15 minutes longer. Add minced garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add rice and stir to coat, about 30 seconds.
Stir in beans, reserved bean cooking liquid, vinegar, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Increase heat to medium-high and bring to simmer. Cover and transfer to oven. Bake until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender, about 30 minutes. Fluff with fork and let rest, uncovered, 5 minutes. Serve, passing scallion and lime wedges separately, if desired. Enjoy!
Sunday, September 18, 2011
I don't know what Sally Lunn bread is.
Do you care after looking at this?
Just know that it's super easy, quick-bread.
Like banana bread but plain.
What does this mean?
No kneading, hardly any rising, and fresh bread at the end.
Sally Lunn Bread
From Smitten Kitchen.
Makes 1 loaf.
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon table salt
1 1/8 teaspoon active dry yeast
3/4 cup whole milk
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 large egg plus 1 large egg yolk
In a large bowl, whisk together 3/4 cup flour, sugar, salt and dry yeast.
In a small saucepan, heat the milk and butter together until the mixture is warm (105 to 110*). The butter doesn't have to be completely melted....no worries if yours isn't!
Gradually pour the liquid ingredients into the dry mixture and mix with an electric mixer for 2 minutes or stir vigorously by hand with a wooden spoon for 3 minutes.
Add the whole egg, the egg yolk and another 1/2 cup flour and beat again for 2 minutes by machine or 3 by hand.
Add the last of the flour and beat or stir until smooth.
Scrape down bowl and cover the top with plastic wrap. Let rise for one hour or until doubled.
Haha, can you see it? :)
Meanwhile, butter and flour a 9x5x3 inch loaf pan. Once the dough has doubled, scrape it into the prepared pan. Cover with buttered plastic wrap and let rise for a total of 30 minutes. After 15 minutes, however, remove the plastic and preheat your oven to 375*.
*this would have looked more "risen" but my husband put his finger in the back corner and deflated it....*
Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Cool in pan for 5 minutes then turn out to a rack to cool.
Enjoy with that salted brown butter honey spread.....yum.