Monday, July 28, 2008

Wholewheat Blueberry Pancakes

Wholewheat blueberry pancakes
- 2 cups King Arthur's whole wheat flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1.5 to 2 cups milk

  1. Mix above ingredients together
  2. Form small pancakes on hot skillet. Gently press blueberries into the first side. Flip over when bubbles start to form on pancake surface.
  3. Cook second side briefly.
  4. Enjoy!

With much maple syrup.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Three Cheese Lasagna

I borrowed this from Bon Appetit 1997/, except I omitted a few items for the sake of time (or lack thereof). Specifically, I left out the spicy Italian sausage, and instead of using tomato paste, just bought a jar of 365 brand original pasta sauce from Whole Foods.

Meat Sauce

- several cloves garlic, chopped
- 3 cups chopped onions
- 2 cups finely diced carrots
- 2 lbs ground beef (or ground turkey)
- ~ 20 oz. 365 Brand Pasta Sauce
- salt/pepper
- brown sugar
- oregano
- basil


- Lasagna noodles
- Grated mozzarella, parmesan cheese
- 20-30 oz. ricotta cheese
- 10 oz. chopped frozen spinach
- 2 large eggs

  1. First prepare the meat sauce. Cook onions and carrots together until soft, then add ground meat. Then add in tomato sauce, seasonings, and let simmer.
  2. Cook lasagna noodles in pot of boiling water until almost tender. Drain, cover with cold water.
  3. Combine ricotta with parmesan, some spinach, and 2 eggs.
  4. Drain pasta and pat dry.
  5. Layer away. Wrap tightly with aluminum foil.
  6. Bake 350 degrees ~ 40 minutes, or until slightly burned and cheese bubbling everywhere.
  7. Enjoy!

I bought these beautiful semolina flour lasagna noodles, and was waiting for an opportune time to eat them. Conveniently, I also had a tub of ricotta, onions, and carrots in the fridge recently, so the opportunity arrived.

These lasagna noodles have natural vegetable dyes for the colored striations.

Some mozzarella on the surface.

Final product was reasonably successful. Flavor and seasoning were good, but slightly too liquidy.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Summer Veggie Medley

We bought 25 lbs of purple onions, and I wasn't sure how to finish all of them. Well, I added some haricot verts and three colors of bell peppers, and voila, a tasty, and light summer vegetable dish.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Blueberry Gelato

Much less hassle in making gelato, since no eggs are required. Saves me the trouble of making a custard base for regular ice cream.

Blueberry Gelato

- 1.5 - 2 pints fresh blueberries
- 3/4 cup sugar
- dash of salt
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1/2 cup milk

  1. Cook the blueberries, salt and sugar together, for about 10-20 minutes, or until softened.
  2. Blend in food processor. Don't bother using a chinoise or sieve to filter the liquid. The seeds are fairly small, and add a nice texture to the cream.
  3. Mix in cream and milk.
  4. Chill overnight.
  5. Add to ice cream maker.

One of my many pints of blueberries...

After cooking, and mixing with cream and milk we have this.

Continuing my attempts at minimalist plating techniques. A bit of my lemon-blueberry bread with blueberry gelato, fresh blueberries, and chocolate-espresso sauce.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Deconstructed Surf and Turf

Decided to try and improve my plating. Here we have what I call a deconstructed surf and turf.

The turf- a seared filet mignon au poivre. 7 minutes on first side, 4 minutes on second side gives a nice medium. Served on a bed of haricot verts, and pomegranate molasses.

The surf- a mahi-mahi poached in white wine, lime juice, leeks. Served with a smear of orange gastrique, and the poached leek on top.

The gastrique is just reduced sugar with apple vinegar and orange juice; I was very pleased with the gastrique, which added a wonderful citrus angle to the seafood element.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Cha Shao Bao 2.0

Tweaked the recipe slightly since last time, my wrapping technique is much improved. I realized it's the same method of wrapping jiao zi, except done in a circular fashion, with the extra twist at the end.

Cha Shao Bao Filling

- Previously made Chinese BBQ pork
- Onions
- Ginger
- Oyster sauce
- Sugar
- Hoisin sauce
- Red wine

  1. Mince previously made pork, onions, ginger. Mix together, and cook with oyster sauce, sugar, hoisin, and a little bit of red wine. Add quantities as required to suit your taste.
  2. Add touch of salt and pepper.
  3. Let cool.

Cha Shao Bao Dough

- 2.5 cups bleached AP flour
- 1.5 cups wheat starch
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 packet yeast
- 1 cup warm water

  1. Mix dry ingredients together.
  2. Proof yeast, add.
  3. Mix, do the usual dough rising/beating.
  4. Steam ~ 10 minutes over high heat.
  5. Enjoy!

The recipe might seem the same, but this time I used wheat starch instead of potato starch, and reduced the amount of water.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Lemon Blueberry Bread

I had some extra yogurt in the fridge, so I added it in for extra moisture. Any type of yogurt works well- you can use whole milk plain yogurt. Or try vanilla/soy yogurt too- I find the soy yogurt has a natural sweetness to it, allowing me to reduce the amount of added sugar.

Also, used a blend of oil for this one- regular vegetable oil + olive oil.

Lemon Blueberry Bread

- 3 cups flour
- 4 tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp salt

- 2 cups yogurt
- 1.5 cups sugar
- 5 extra large eggs
- lemon zest
- almond extract
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice

- 1.5 cups smallish-blueberries
- poppyseed (optional)

  1. Mix dry ingredients together separately.
  2. Mix wet ingredients together. Slowly add in dry ingredients.
  3. Add in blueberries last; gently fold into mixture.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees F, for ~ 1.5 hours.
  5. Makes 1 loaf.
  6. Enjoy!

Dusted with a bit of confectioner's sugar, which helps since this bread is not particularly sweet.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Banana Bread

Finally made a decent banana bread.

Makes 1 loaf.

Banana (Walnut) Bread

- 6-7 ripe bananas
- 1 stick butter, melted
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 2 tsp rum
- all spice
- pinch of salt
- 3 cups flour
- walnuts, raisins optional.

  1. Mix everything but the flour. I like to add less sugar, since the bananas are already so sweet.
  2. Add in flour, mix well.
  3. Add in optional raisins, walnuts.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees F for about 1.25 hours.
  5. Let cool on wire rack.
  6. Enjoy

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Molasses Brined Pork Chops

I'm going on a July 4th road trip, so I thought it'd be great to brine some pork chops and bring them along. The chops turned out beautifully- in fact, I might have over-grilled them, because I thought the meat was still undercooked due to the effectiveness of the brining. Also, I didn't have time to do a proper spice rub, only had time to rub pepper and curry on them, but it still turned out pretty well.

Molasses Brine

- 1.5 gallons water
- 1 cup salt
- molasses
- brown sugar
- ketchup
- pepper
- chopped ginger
- thyme
- rosemary

  1. Basically, make a huge pot of whatever brine ingredients you want to throw in.
  2. Heat until boiling, to properly dissolve ingredients.
  3. Let brine solution cool- otherwise solution will cook the meat.
  4. Pour cooled brine solution to cover proteins. Do NOT brine more than 12 hours, or meat will take on the consistency of ham.
  5. For my pork chops, they were pretty thick, about 1.5" with the bone-in. I brined for about 8-9 hours.
  6. Discard brine solution, dry chops, and pat with spice rub of your choosing.
  7. Grill until meat near the bone no longer looks pink.
  8. Remove from heat, let rest 5 min.
  9. Enjoy!
  10. The meat will be a little salty, so I'd recommend cutting the saltiness with a slightly sweet spice rub, or adding a nice mango salsa side dish.