Sunday, December 7, 2014

Waffle Sunday

I don't think I will ever get tired of waffles, or of trying new waffle recipes. Today, I made a recipe from the Pioneer Woman. I did use buttermilk instead of milk, and unsalted butter, because that's what I stock in my fridge.  
2 cups All-purpose Flour
3 teaspoons Baking Powder
1/2 + 1/8 teaspoon Salt
1/4 cup Sugar
1-1/2 cup Milk
2 whole Egg Yolks
4 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
1 stick (1/2 Cup) unsalted butter, Melted
4 whole Egg Whites, whipped to stiff peaks.

It took my waffles about 4 minutes to cook up nice and crisp. I know why she said serve immediately. After a few minutes. They lost that initial crispness. 

Now, slather on some toppings. How about some leftover ganache? 

See entire original recipe here:

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Crème Brûlée

Crème Brûlée

1 qt. heavy cream
8 large egg yolks
1 cup (~6.5 oz.) white sugar
1 vanilla bean*

Preheat oven to 325°F. 

Split and scrape vanilla bean. Place vanilla bean, vanilla bean seeds, 1/2 c. sugar, and heavy cream in a large sauce pan over medium heat. Stir to incorporate. Scald, but do not boil. 

Meanwhile, whisk together remaining sugar and egg yolks. When the heavy cream mixture is almost at a boil, remove from heat and temper the yolks (add and quickly stir in a little of the hot cream at a time. Otherwise, you get scrambled eggs!) Until all your mixture is whisked together. If it won't fit into your bowl, pour tempered yolks into the pan and whisk together. 
*If you do not have a vanilla bean, substitute with vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract, but add them now, after the mixture has been removed from the heat.

If you are cooking ahead, you can stop here, cool and refrigerate the mixture up to 3 days before baking. 

Now, you are ready to finish your crème brûlée off in the oven. Place a tea towel on the bottom of a roasting pan or a 9x13 cake pan. Place ramekins on top of the towel. Carefully fill the ramekins with the custard mixture. Place any remaining mixture into the refrigerator. You can keep it for about 3 days. 

Next, you need to fill the pan with HOT water about half way up the side of your ramekins. THIS IS IMPORTANT! DO NOT GET ANY WATER INTO YOUR RAMEKINS. If you do, your beautiful custard will NEVER SET and all your work was for naught. :( 

I usually place the pan in the oven, then carefully ever so slowly add hot water to the roasting pan. Then gently slide it into the oven. The more shallow ramekins make this harder. 

Bake until set, but still jiggly. This takes about 20 min, but can be more or less depending on the ramekin size.

Refrigerate a minimum of 2 hours. Nothing says nasty like a hot crème brûlée. Just before serving, dust the top with some sugar and "brûlée" with a torch. FOLLOW SAFETY PROCEDURES! If you don't know how to do this, Alton Brown has a video

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Mashed Rutabaga with Potato

2 pounds rutabaga, peeled and cubed (about 3 large)
2 pounds potatoes, peeled and cubed (about 2 medium)
3 cloves of garlic, peeled
4 tablespoons butter
2/3 cup milk, half and half, or cream (pick your fat level...) 
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, or to taste
2 teaspoons chopped parsley (optional)

Cook rutabaga and potatoes in salted water in separate saucepans with garlic cloves. When both are tender, remove from heat. Rutabaga will take longer than the potatoes. Drain; mash rutabaga well, then mash the potatoes. Combine mashed root vegetables; add butter, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Slowly add in milk until you reach desired consistency. Beat well. Taste and add more salt if necessary. Garnish with chopped parsley.

Inspired by:

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Beautiful Brown Bread

1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) warm water
2 tablespoons (1 ounce) unsalted butter or margarine, softened
1/2 cup (6 ounces) honey
1 tablespoon molasses
2 cups (8 1/2 ounces) Bread Flour
1 2/3 cups (6 3/4 ounces) Whole Wheat Flour
1 tablespoon cocoa
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 teaspoons instant coffee (not espresso powder)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast

Pour all of the ingredients into the pan of the bread machine. Run the dough cycle. Check the dough about half way through the kneading cycle. If it is sticky add more bread flour until it looks like a smooth dough. *I added about 1 1/4 cup more white flour. When cycle is complete, divide dough in to pieces (4 loafs, 8 mini loaves, 12 rolls). Allow to rise about 1 hour or until puffy but not doubled. 

Bake in a preheated 350°F oven for 20 to 25 minutes. The loaves will appear slightly darker on the top when they're done. 

All you need now is some nice spreadable butter!

Adapted from:

Monday, October 27, 2014

Spiced Kettle Corn

I don't generally like kettle corn, but I must say I am in love with this version from Melissa d'Arabian.

2 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup popcorn kernels
4 tablespoons sugar
fine salt, to taste
ground cinnamon, to taste
cayenne, to taste

Get the oil hot over medium heat. (If you do high heat, you will burn the sugar!) Quickly stir in butter, then popcorn, then sugar. Put the lid on and shake it like you mean it!

See full instructions and original recipe here. She even has a video.

The changes I made: 1 added an additional tablespoon of sugar. (hey, I like it sweet!). I do not measure the salt, cinnamon, or cayenne. I spread my popped corn out on a sheet of wax paper and sprinkle with salt, cinnamon and cayenne to my liking.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Couche Couche (Cush Cush)

Well this was a culinary FAIL! It's been a while since I had one, so I guess I needed to be humbled. I suppose I need someone to show me what I did wrong. 

It looked and sounded simple enough. There were many recipes out there, but basically couche couche is simply cornmeal, a pinch or salt, wet with milk or water and then fried up in an iron skillet. Fried cornbread! and you get to eat it for breakfast. 

See recipes here:
With Milk:
With Water:
With Milk and Water:

I saw a suggestion in one of the comments to use buttermilk. 

It seems the most important part is not to burn it, but I did. SAD FACE!! 

Stir it! 

oh crap! 

See that black? That's called burnt and it's NO GOOD! 
Maybe I will try again. Maybe not. Maybe I should wait to see 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Alligator Étouffée

I had a package of gator in my freezer that I needed to use up: 

So... I searched the internet and settled on making Gator Étouffée. I got the original recipe from here. The main changes I made were using a bit of Chachere's and cutting back on the celery because I don't care for it. Also, I added a bay leaf, and cut the butter in half. The original calls for TWO STICKS of butter. I'm sure it's yummy, but it was great without it. In fact, I may cut the butter back more if I were to make it again.   

1/2 c. butter (1 stick)
2 medium onions, chopped
2-4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped (optional)

1 (10 oz) Rotel Brand tomatoes
1 bay leaf
Chachere's or Salt, black pepper, and cayenne to taste
1 lb alligator meat, cut in thin strips

1/2 cup green onions, sliced
1/4 cup parsley, fresh (or 2 tbsp. dried)


In a large pot, sauté onions, garlic, celery  and bell pepper in the butter until soft.

Add the Rotel and bay leaf simmer for 20 minutes, covered.
Add the alligator meat and cook over a low heat until tender for about one hour. If it thickens too much while cooking, add chicken stock or water. 

Add the green onions and parsley and cook 10 minutes.
Serve over rice.