Sunday, September 29, 2013

Apple Dutch Baby

For weeks I have been craving a dutch baby pancake. The crazy thing is that I'm not sure I've ever had a dutch baby before. It's just that one of my favorite bloggers posted one months ago (a year?!) and I've been thinking of it ever since.

Then, pouring salt in my wounds, my sister-in-law described a dutch baby she made just two weeks ago! I knew it was fate and I must make this pancake.  As luck would have it, we went apple picking yesterday so I have a plethora of apples in which to use for this.

The other lucky thing is that the dutch baby doesn't call for anything special, just eggs, flour, sugar, milk--no fancy buttermilk, no special sugars, not too hard, ready quickly.  A perfect breakfast!

The only thing I changed from this recipe of Spinach Tiger was using Penskey's Baking spice instead of cinnamon.  Why ruin something simple with more spices than just cinnamon you ask? Well...we're out of cinnamon, obviously we have to fix that situation before we do any more with our apples but on this early morning I wasn't about to go to the store first!  I'm glad to report that the baking spice was also delicious and the warming smells of baked apples filled the house as expected.

The results were a bit eggy--custardy but eggy. I think this means I maybe should havve cooked it a bit more but then again, it was golden...the best part was the caramelized edges and I think I could have thrown in one more apple at the beginning.

Recipe from Spinach Tiger

2 apples
4 T butter
2 t baking spice or cinnamon
1/2 t nutmeg
4 eggs
1 C flour
1 C milk
1/4 C brown sugar
1 t vanilla
Powdered sugar for serving

Apple Dutch Baby
1. Preheat the oven to 450
2. Peel and thinly slice two apples
3. In an oven-proof frying pan melt 4 T butter (woah) over medium heat
4. Add cinnamon, nutmeg and sugar. Melt and Add apples.
5. Saute 5 minutes or until apples are soft
6. Stash the pan in the oven until the batter is ready
7. Stir together eggs & flour until smooth. Add milk & vanilla. The mixture will be very runny.
8. Remove frying pan from the oven, pour batter on top of the apples, place back in the oven and bake 15-20 minutes until golden brown
9. Sprinkle with some powdered sugar and serve

Sunday, September 8, 2013

S'mores Ice Cream

Earlier this summer, I found a recipe for s'mores ice cream and I knew I had to make it. I immediately went out and bought all the ingredients. And then summer happened. And this weekend, when it was reaching over 107, I decided it was time to turn on the broiler and make some ice cream.

The original recipe is not that informative. It gives measurements but is a bit vague about the instructions. If you don't make egg-based custards all the time you might not know how to follow this recipe. Also, the measurements for the mix-ins were way off for me (we have so many extras!)

I haven't tasted the ice cream yet, but I've eaten the mix-ins dipped in the churned melty leftovers and it's fantastic! I can't wait to eat the ice cream when it's frozen and fully mixed.

6 graham cracker sheets
3 C mini mashmallows
6 oz semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate
4 egg yolks
1 1/2 C half & half
1 1/2 C heavy cream
1/2 t vanilla
1/4 t salt

1. Whisk together egg yolks and half and half until combined, set aside
1A. Prepare an ice bath, take a really big bowl and fill it with ice and water, but not too high, you will be adding another bowl or your pan on top and you don't want it to overflow all over your counter (trust me.)
2. Turn on the broiler. Place 2 cups of marshmallows in one layer in an oven-safe saute or frying pan with slightly higher sides.
3. Broil 1-2 minutes or until golden brown. DO NOT WALK AWAY OR YOU WILL START A FIRE. Watch the marshmallows occasionally opening the oven to see how brown they are. It's okay for a few to get burned but most should be mid-to dark brown
4. Remove from the broiler, turn off the broiler, add heavy cream to the marshmallows and whisk over medium-high heat until all the marshmallows are melted. Do not let it boil, if it starts to look like it's going to boil turn down the heat.
5. Pour a little of the hat marsrhmallow cream into the egg mixture. Whisk vigorously! Pour a little more hot marshmallow cream in. Whisk vigorously!!
6. Pour all the tempered egg mixture into the pan with the hot marshmallow cream. Whisk vigorously! Whisk 3-4 minutes or until you dip a wooden spoon into the custard and then you run your finger over the spoon and a line stays in the custard.
7. Remove the pot from heat and place in the ice bath. If it's too big, transfer custard to another bowl and place into the ice bath.  Whisk until cool, or let cool to room temperature without excessive mixing.
8. Once cool, stir in vanilla and then pour into a tupperware and refrigerate several hours or overnight
9. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Place 3 graham crackers on the sheet. Cover with 1 cup of mini marshmallows.
10. Melt chocolate in the microwave 1-1 1/2 minutes on half power. Stir and microwave 30 more seconds on half power until fully melted
11. Turn on the broiler. Broil 1-2 minutes until marshmallows are golden, DO NOT WALK AWAY OR YOU WILL START A FIRE. Open the oven occasionally to watch.
12. Remove the pan from the broiler, turn off the broiler. Immediately top marshmallows with 3 remaining graham cracker sheets. Spread melted chocolate over the top. Freeze on the cookie sheet until set.
13. Chop frozen s'mores into 1 inch or smaller pieces, eat some, freeze in a ziploc bag.
14. Later, churn your ice cream according to manufacturers instructions. Pour churned ice cream into ice cream container and mix with frozen s'mores pieces. Freeze until set.

Note. The frozen s'mores pieces are really tasty. If you happen to make a little too many, don't feel sad. This could be your favorite new summer snack!

Note 2: We think that some graham cracker crumbs and chocolate shavings might be delicious in addition to the larger pieces of s'mores--but this is before tasting it.  Can't wait to taste it!

Note 3: We tasted it, and it's good but rich. I might consider using classic milk chocolate for this recipe and having smaller bits. Still delicious though. And rich.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Roasted Pepper and Tomato Chimichurri Bruschetta

Each Thursday this summer I have joined my coworkers at the beach to listen to the free concerts and generally hang out.  Sometimes, I make food and sometimes I don't. This last week was a big event though. We decided to have a bruschetta buffet and my coworker Mey and I cooked for them.

Bruschetta is a great appetizer idea that keeps you relatively full because you eat it on bread. Our spread had 5 different kinds of bruschetta--Sunset Peach, Traditional, Olive Tapenade, Strawberry Caprese, and of course, roasted pepper and tomato chimichurri.  We served all this on little toast crackers, wheat thins and small slices of hearty bread.

There were a couple of tomato-haters at our picnic and even they liked this bruschetta because it was so flavorful you hardly noticed the tomatoes.

2 bunches cilantro
2 cloves garlic, peeled
2 T olive oil
1t hot pepper flakes, divided
2 bell peppers (I used orange)
3 medium yellow tomatoes
1/2 C cherry tomatoes, halved

1. If you have a gas stove, turn on the burner and place peppers directly on the burner. Roast about 10 minutes, turning with tongs until each side is charred. Be sure to watch these a little so they don't set on fire.
2. Meanwhile, chop tomatoes into bite sized pieces
3. When the peppers are done, place them in a bowl and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Let sit 5 minutes. The steam will make the skin easy to peel off
4. Use a paper towel and your fingers to peel peppers, remove stems and seeds and cut into pieces about the same size as the tomatoes
5. Make the chimichurri - In a small chopper (if you use this, do two batches) or food processor combine cilantro (you can use stems and leaves or just leaves here--I used just the tops), garlic, olive oil and salt to taste. Blend until a paste forms.
6. Stir chimichurri with peppers and tomatoes and let it chill until ready to serve--or you can serve it right away.
*I found that there were lots of juices from the tomatoes which I drained off before refrigerating