Showing posts with label sugar. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sugar. Show all posts

Monday, April 11, 2016

Pork Chop with Caramelized Onions and Cinnamon Rice Pilaf

Pork Chop with Caramelized Onions and Cinnamon Rice Pilaf


Last September, I published a pork chops dish for #SundaySupper that was not satisfying from the standpoint of it's plate presentation, so I decided to replicate it again.

Inspiration Behind the Dish

I remember reading in Think Like a Chef by Tom Colicchio with Catherine Young, Lori Silverbush and Sean Fri that Chef Colicchio doesn't change the proteins on his restaurant menus very often, but he will change the vegetable accompaniments depending on what's in season and what is at it's peak. Using this theory, I consulted The Flavor Bible to re-pair pork chops for spring produce. Spring onions are obviously in season around now and onions were strongly suggested as a pairing with pork. I knew caramelized onions were sweet and thought it would be a good substitute to apples that are in season in the autumn.

Dish Details

I prepared my pork chops using a tried and true method from Chef Tyler Florence. In addition, I utilized the guide to making rice pilaf and my love for caramelized onions can be traced back to this recipe on epicurious which I found about six years ago. I'd imagine this dish would be at home on any casual chain restaurant, however I'm unsure if one would go through the trouble of brining their chops.

Ingredients

1 gallon water
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup kosher salt plus more as needed
Thyme sprigs
4 pork rib chops with the bone frenched
Freshly ground black pepper
Olive oil
2 tablespoons plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, divided
2 large yellow onions, peeled and cut in half lengthwise, then sliced thin
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 shallot, chopped
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup white rice
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 1/4 cup chicken stock
Italian parsley leaves, chopped (for garnish)

Method

1. Prepare the pork chops. Brine the chops by combining the water one cup kosher salt and brown sugar and stir until dissolved. Add the thyme sprigs and the pork chops, then cover and refrigerate covered for two hours.


Once the two hours have elapsed, drain the brine and discard the brine. Pat the pork chops dry with paper towels, then season on both sides with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Heat two tablespoons olive oil in a non-stick skillet over medium high heat. Once hot, sear the pork chops in the skillet, approximately three to four minutes per side, then remove and tent with aluminum foil to keep warm while the onions and rice are prepared.


2. Caramelize the onions. In the same skillet used to prepare the pork chops, melt two tablespoons butter in an additional two tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Once melted, add the onions and stir, coating them in the fat. Continue to cook the onions until they reduce, soften and turn a golden brown, stirring occasionally, approximately twenty to thirty minutes. Stir in the granulated sugar, then season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.


3. While the onions are caramelizing, prepare the rice. In a medium saucepan, melt one tablespoon unsalted butter in one tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add the shallot to sweat, then season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, approximately two minutes. Perfume the shallots by adding the cinnamon, then the rice. Stir the mixture until the rice is toasted and coated in the oils, approximately 3 minutes. Stir in the wine and stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and let it steam until the rice has absorbed, approximately twelve to fifteen minutes. Once the rice is finished, remove from heat and fluff with a fork. To plate, spoon a portion of the rice off center on a warmed plate, then rest the pork chop on the rice so that the frenched bone is raised. Drizzle some caramelized onions over the pork, then garnish with parsley leaves.


Final Thoughts

If you look closely, you'll find that I seared the pork chops in a stainless steel skillet in the picture above yet I instructed to sear them in a non-stick one. I made this change because I thought the onions might be able to pick up some of the pork fond but I found the sear on the pork a little too dark and I didn't want my onions to have a charred taste when they were supposed to be sweet so I switched pans. Additionally, Chef Florence instructs to finish the chops off in the oven and I did in this case but I omitted it from the instructions because I found them to be a little dry, despite the fact that they were brined. If the pork chops are one-inch thick or more, roast them in the oven at 350° Fahrenheit until their internal temperature reaches 140° Fahrenheit, approximately thirty minutes. In the end, I found the onions a very good substitute for apples and am surprised it isn't more common.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Chocolate Indulgence Cake with White Chocolate Sauce and Candied Pecans #ChocolateforJoan

Chocolate Indulgence Cake with White Chocolate Sauce and Candied Pecans #ChocolateforJoan





I make an effort to try to avoid clichés, but every now and then you realize that life is short and people need to make the most out of each day.

When I started this website more than three years ago, I didn't anticipate that I would form real life friendships with other food bloggers I met through social media, however over time that is exactly what occurred. So couple of weeks ago when I learned that my friend Joan of Chocolate Chocolate and More passed away in her sleep, I felt a strong sense of loss.

I had seen Joan online for years and I was fortunate enough to meet her a handful of times in the last year. The only picture I have of the two of us was taken the first time we met when she was in town for IFBC in 2014, however. I had just moved into the area less than a month before and was unable to attend the conference considering I hadn't completely unpacked everything but I was able to sneak over to the host hotel to meet some friends for a few hours for lunch on the Friday before official conference activities began. We instantly connected. I remember at one point that afternoon, nature was calling so I asked her to watch my phone while I was in the men's room. She teased that there might be additional pictures in my phone's gallery when I returned that Mrs. Stuntman might find questionable. I returned a couple of days later on Sunday afternoon. I was only able to see her in passing but she was thoughtful enough to leave me a gift bag of some of the items she collected during the weekend.

(From left to right: Bobbi of Bobbi's Kozy Kitchen, me, Kim of Cravings of a Lunatic and Kiss My Smoke, Joan)

The second time I met Joan in person was at the Food and Wine Conference this past summer. She was invited to speak because more than two million people have 'Liked' the Chocolate Chocolate and More Facebook page. To put that in perspective, Joan has more Facebook 'Likes' than Giada De Laurentiis, Bobby Flay and Alton Brown combined. My memories of Joan on that trip are surrounded by my lunch at Shubee's Coastal Grill and Bar because she was one of the ladies who I was lucky enough to join on that occasion. Something as mundane as transportation to the restaurant stood out because Joan was kind enough to give me a ride in her son's new car, where I returned the favor of teasing her by suggesting she baptize the vehicle by giving the car in front of us a love tap.

The last time I met Joan in person was a couple of months ago at IFBC. Unfortunately, we only met in passing because we mostly attended different sessions and I couldn't attend many of the after hour social gatherings because I opted for my own bed over a hotel room which meant I was driving and couldn't enjoy any cocktails.

Each time I met her, I found her to be incredibly kind, thoughtful and sincere.

Inspiration Behind the Dish

For this dessert, I used Joan's website name for inspiration. The dish had to contain at least three components, two of which had to contain chocolate. The Flavor Bible didn't yield any surprises with items such as nuts, cream, mint and sugar pairing well with both chocolate and white chocolate. Berries were also common between the two but I decided to omit them from the dish because they are not in season.

Dish Details

I'd imagine you could find this dish on any restaurant dessert menu. For it, I paired adaptations of a chocolate cake found on foodnetwork.com with a sauce found on epicurious and the pecans on food.com.

Ingredients

Cooking spray
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 2 1/4-ounce package pecan halves
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup (approximately 6 ounces) white chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups whipping cream
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
Mint leaves for garnish

Method

1. Complete the mise en place. Preheat the oven to 400° Fahrenheit. Coat four ramekins with cooking spray and set aside.

2. Candy the pecans. In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat, then add the pecans and toss to coat. Add the brown sugar and salt and stir until caramelized. Transfer the pecans to wax paper in a single layer to cool and set aside.


3. Prepare the sauce. Place the white chocolate chips in a heat safe bowl, then slowly bring the whipping cream to a boil in a medium saucepan. Once a boil has been reached, pour the cream over the chocolate and whisk to combine and melt the chocolate.


4. Bake the cake and finish the dish. Set up a double boiler by filling a medium saucepan with enough water so that the water level is just shy of a heatproof bowl placed over the saucepan. Bring the water to a boil over high heat, then reduce to a simmer. Place the heatproof bowl over the simmering water and add the semi-sweet chocolate chips and stir until melted. Add the butter and sugar and stir until melted then whisk in the two eggs until well combined. Add in the flour and stir until just combined but do not overmix. Remove the chocolate from the heat, then spoon an equal portion of the batter into each of the prepared ramekins. Place the ramekins on a baking sheet, then place into the oven for ten to twelve minutes. To present, invert a ramekin onto a warmed plate, spoon some sauce around the cake, then garnish with the pecans and mint leaves.


Final Thoughts

Mrs. Stuntman enjoyed the dish, however she thought the cake was a little rich. She did ask for more pecans.

Since Joan's passing, there have been a number of tributes that have been published but I wanted to highlight a Go Fund Me page to support the three teenage children that have survived her. Please contribute to it if you can.

Other loving tributes include:

Joan does have contributors, so her blog in addition to her social media pages remain active so please be sure to catch her on Facebook, G+, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter.

Rest in peace, my friend. You're genuinely missed.

November 11, 2015 update:

Robin of Simply Southern Baking saw this and shared a few of her pictures that were taken at Shubee's. Thanks, Robin!

(From left to right: Lisa of Jersey Girl Cooks, Robin, Melissa of Serendipity and Spice, Marlene of Nosh My Way, Joan, Wendy of The Weekend Gourmet, KC of Chat 'n Dish, me, Faith of An Edible Mosaic and Healthy Sweet Eats)



Friday, June 19, 2015

Mozzarella Ice Cream with Tomato Jam and Candied Basil #FWCon #WiswconsinCheese

Mozzarella Ice Cream with Tomato Jam and Candied Basil #FWCon #WiswconsinCheese




Yikes! Has it really been two weeks since my last post? Where has the time gone? In all honesty, I have been pretty busy with my daughter finishing up her school year and I was eating a lot of heat and serve dinners Mrs. Stuntman purchased from Costco. There's nothing wrong with them, but they're not appropriate to publish here.

In addition, my summer schedule significantly changed a couple of weeks ago when Mrs. Stuntman and I agreed that I would make a return trip to the Food and Wine Conference next month. I have very fond memories from last year's conference because I was able to connect in person with so many people I had been speaking to online and because I won a recipe contest with a filet mignon dish.

Inspiration Behind the Dish

Speaking of recipe contests, Wisconsin Cheese has sponsored one for the 2015 Food and Wine Conference and this is my entry. The rules stated that each entrant develop an original, easy summer recipe, so per (what has become) my standard operating procedure, I consulted my copy of The Flavor Bible which suggested pairings with wine, bread, and fruit. I had originally planned to prepare either a crostini or bruschetta, however one evening I was replicating the caprese pasta dish I published last autumn and thought that the flavors of mozzarella, tomato and basil might work here, but I knew that a plate of sliced tomato, mozzarella and basil drizzled with some balsamic would be insufficient. I had always been intrigued by dessert menus at fine dining establishments that feature cheese plates, so it occurred to me concept of a caprese salad could be converted into a dessert.

Dish Details

For each component of this dish, I studied several versions I found from a google search and used similarities between them to develop these original recipes. I believe this dish could be featured on any fine dining dessert menu. One of the requirements was to use cheese produced from cow's milk from a Wisconsin cheese producer so I ensured I used mozzarella from one of these companies.

Ingredients

For the tomato jam:
2 pounds Roma Tomatoes, coarsely chopped
Juice from 3 limes (approximately 1/2 cup)
1 pinch kosher salt
1 cup sugar

For the ice cream:
8 ounces mozzarella, coarsely chopped
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
1 cup sugar
4 egg yolks

For the basil:
1 bunch fresh basil leaves
1 egg white
1/2 cup sugar

Method

1. Prepare the jam. In a medium saucepan, combine all ingredients over medium high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and stir occasionally until the jam is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, approximately 1 1/2 to 2 hours.


2. Prepare the ice cream. Put the mozzarella cream and milk in a blender and blend until the cheese has broken into bits. Separate the eggs and place the yolks in a separate bowl and beat, then set aside. Combine the dairy mixture with the sugar into a medium saucepan over low heat to warm. Slowly raise the heat. Once the mixture reaches approximately 100° Fahrenheit and pour approximately 1/2 cup of the dairy into the eggs to temper them. Pour the egg yolks and cream back into the dairy and stir. Continue to slowly raise the heat and stir until the mixture reaches 175° Fahrenheit, then remove from heat and transfer the custard to a medium bowl and place in an ice bath to cool, then refrigerate for at least 3 to 4 hours. Transfer the custard to your ice cream machine, then churn according to the manufacturer's instructions.



3. Candy the basil. Place the egg white in a bowl and then the sugar on a small plate. Dip a basil leaf into the egg white and shake off any excess, then dredge the leaf in the sugar on both sides, then place on a parchment-lined sheet pan to dry, approximately 10 to 12 hours. To plate, spoon some jam on a cold plate, top with a scoop of ice cream and garnish with candied basil leaves.


Final Thoughts

The 2015 Food and Wine Conference will be held July 17 through 19 at the Rosen Shingle Creek in Orlando, Florida and will connect bloggers with small business owners, winemakers, chefs, public relations professionals, traditional media, new media, authors and brands. Topics of discussion will range from search engine optimization, marketing and promotion on social media, and effective writing to publishing a cookbook, working with public relations agencies and food photography. I invite you to attend and recommend you use the promotion code available from any of the 33 brand ambassadors to receive a $50 discount off of a conference ticket. Even if you are not attending, I encourage you to stay updated by following the #FWCon hashtag and by giving the Food and Wine Conference facebook page a 'Like', adding the G+ page to your circles, and following the twitter and pinterest pages. Furthermore, please 'Like' Wisconsin Cheese on facebook and follow them on twitter, pinterest and Instagram.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Simple Brined Roast Chicken with Herbs and Garlic for a Five Ingredient or Less #SundaySupper

Simple Brined Roast Chicken with Herbs and Garlic for a Five Ingredient or Less #SundaySupper




I have a bit of déjà vu here...You might remember about a year ago I prepared a salad for a #SundaySupper theme of Five Ingredients or Less. Well, the challenge has returned this week (this time hosted by T.R. of Gluten Free Crumbley) and I thought I'd give it a second shot.

Inspiration Behind the Dish

I still maintain that this challenge would be great on Top Chef either as a Quickfire Challenge or a Last Chance Kitchen dish. The rules specify that water, salt, pepper and cooking oil do not count towards the five ingredients. If memory serves me correctly, I relied upon a whole bunch of store-bought ingredients but didn't use any of the "freebee" ingredients. This time around, I've done a complete 180, using all of my freebees in addition to preparing a dish from scratch.

Dish Details

I understand that restaurants, during the process of hiring a head chef, will request each candidate to roast a whole chicken and I couldn't think of a more flavorful way to prepare one given the constraints. Other than a process of roasting a chicken (oven temperature and cooking time) I borrowed from Melissa d'Arabian, this is a Crazy Foodie Stunts original.

Ingredients

1 cup kosher salt plus more for seasoning
1 cup sugar
1 gallon water
1 4-to-5 pound whole chicken
3 to 4 cloves, smashed with the side of a knife
2 to 3 sprigs fresh rosemary
2 to 3 sprigs fresh sage
Freshly ground black pepper
1 to 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Method

1. Brine the chicken. Remove the giblets from the cavity of the chicken and place in a container that holds at least 8 quarts (I use a stockpot). In a separate large bowl, combine the water, 1 cup salt and sugar and stir until dissolved. Pour the season water (or brine) over the chicken, and if necessary weigh the chicken down with a bowl or salad size plate to fully submerge the chicken. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours to overnight.


2. Roast the chicken. Preheat the oven to 425° Fahrenheit. Remove the chicken from the brine, then discard the brine. Pat the inside and outside of the chicken dry with paper towels, then season the cavity with salt and pepper. Place the herbs and garlic into the cavity, then drizzle about 1 tablespoon (or more, as needed) olive oil over the outside of the bird on both sides and rub it in to coat it evenly. Truss the chicken in the manner described here, then put the bird on a rack in a roasting pan and roast in the oven until the internal temperature in the deepest part of the thigh (but not touching the bone) reaches 175° Fahrenheit, approximately 60 minutes. Remove the roasting pan from the oven and let the chicken rest for 10 to 15 minutes before carving.


Final Thoughts

I prepared this chicken on a Sunday. I dropped it into the brine at about 10am and removed it about 7 hours later once I was finished with #SundaySupper chat. It was actually one of the more flavorful chickens I've roasted, although it wasn't one of the more prettier pictures I've taken of my food. A whole chicken isn't commonly served in a restaurant setting simply due to the portion size but it makes for a great comfort food at home. If you have never brined your chickens in the past, I urge you to take the extra time to do so. You will be greatly rewarded.

Are you hungry but your pantry bare? Then review the other #SundaySupper dishes that have been prepared using minimal ingredients:

Drinks
Appetizers and Snacks
Main Dish
Side Dish
Desserts
Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Light Stunt: Broccoli with Beef

Light Stunt: Broccoli with Beef




It came as a surprise to me recently that when I was in the produce section at the supermarket with my daughter when she pointed and exclaimed, Broccoli! I like that stuff! When I inquired, she told me that her school cafeteria serves it frequently so I promised to prepare more dishes with broccoli.

Over the last several months, I've gotten to know the staff at the local supermarket so I had them slice a couple of sirloin steaks so that they would be suitable for a stir fry and the prep for the garlic, ginger and broccoli took less than 20 minutes which makes for a great weeknight dish.

The Challenge

Measure my daughter's taste for broccoli.

The Source

The only place where I deviated from my source was in the garnish (I added sesame seeds) so I'll refer you to epicurious.com for the recipe.

Successful?

As I'm finishing my dinner, I look over to my daughter's plate to see most of the beef gone, but only half of the broccoli eaten. She eventually finished the beef but left about one-third of the broccoli which is more than I expected, however I'm now on a new quest to find a broccoli dish that she will completely eat. You can bet I'll be consulting The Flavor Bible.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Strawberry Balsamic Cheesecake

Strawberry Balsamic Cheesecake




It's highly unusual that I'd publish two sweet dishes in a row and no, there's nothing wrong with me. I'll be back to my savory self probably in my next post. This dessert happened simply because some friends from California were visiting this past weekend so we met at a mutual friends' home (the three of us knew each other from college) just north of Seattle for dinner where I was asked to bring a dessert and decided upon a cheesecake.

I was a little surprised when I did a google search for strawberry cheesecake because I found a lot of plain cheesecakes with a strawberry topping. I found only two that put strawberry purée into the cake batter and chose the one that used fresh strawberries. In addition, I knew pairing strawberries and balsamic was pretty common in Italy and I have some experience with the affinity myself last summer when I made a strawberry balsamic ice cream so a made a few additions.

The Challenge

Uphold the reputation I built for myself as a food blogger.

The Source

I adapted this Martha Stewart recipe

Ingredients

1 pound fresh strawberries, hulled plus 1 pound fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced thin lengthwise
3 tablespoons light corn syrup
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
4 to 5 whole sheets graham crackers
3 tablespoons plus 1 cup granulated sugar, divided
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
Cooking spray (or an additional 1 tablespoon butter if not available)
4 8-ounce bricks cream cheese at room temperature
1 pinch salt
2 large eggs at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
8 ounces mascarpone cheese at room temperature
Boiling water

Method

1. Prepare the strawberry purée. Preheat the oven to 300o Fahrenheit. Combine the hulled strawberries with the corn syrup in a small bowl, then place on a aluminum foil-lined sheet pan in a single layer and roast them in the oven until they are a deep red, the syrup thickens and the berries shrink slightly, approximately 90 minutes.


Empty the strawberries and any fluids into a blender to purée. While the blender is running, add the balsamic vinegar. Set aside to cool completely while the crust is prepared.


2. Prepare the cake crust. Increase the oven temperature to 350o Fahrenheit, then spray a 9-inch springform pan on the bottom and sides with cooking spray (or apply approximately 1 tablespoon butter, if substituting). Line the bottom and sides of the pan with parchment paper, then wrap the bottom of the pan in a double layer of aluminum foil. Grind the graham crackers in a food processor with 3 tablespoons sugar. Slowly pour in the melted butter until a paste is formed. Transfer the paste to the springform pan in an even layer so that the entire bottom is covered in crumbs. Bake the crust in the oven until it is firm and has slightly darkened, approximately 10 minutes. Set aside on a wire rack to cool while you prepare the cake batter.


3. Prepare the cake batter and bake the cake. Decrease the oven temperature to 325o Fahrenheit. Place the cream cheese bricks into a mixing bowl and mix with an electric mixer, using a paddle attachment until creamy, then scrape down the sides of the bowl. Mix in the sugar and salt, eggs (one at a time), vanilla and mascarpone until creamy and there are no lumps, scraping down the sides of the mixing bowl after each addition. Stir in the reserved strawberry purée until the batter becomes uniformly pink in color. Empty the cake batter into the springform pan on top of the crust in an even layer, using a baking spatula to ensure the cake is flat on top. Place the springform pan in a large roasting pan and pour enough boiling water in the roasting pan so that the water level reaches halfway up the side of springform pan. Bake in the oven until set, approximately 60 to 70 minutes. Remove from the water bath, then place the springform pan on a wire rack to cool before covering with aluminum foil and refrigerating it overnight.


4. Garnish the cake. One to two hours before serving, place the strawberry slices in concentric circles, starting at the outer edge of the cake, then so that the slices overlap slightly with each inner circle, then recover and refrigerate until ready to serve.


Successful?

I wasn't as happy with the consistency as I would have liked because the batter was too soggy but the flavors were definitely well balanced because the sweet strawberries balanced by the tart vinegar. One of my friends who was there had even asked for the recipe.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Mint Ice Cream Sandwich Featuring The Girl in the Little Red Kitchen Bake Shop Signature Chocolate Chip Cookies

Mint Ice Cream Sandwich Featuring The Girl in the Little Red Kitchen Bake Shop Signature Chocolate Chip Cookies




A couple of months ago, Mrs. Stuntman came home from the supermarket with some ice cream sandwiches. At first, I couldn't understand the purchase. Why eat frozen food in the dead of winter? I might have even mocked her, suggesting that she could even store them outside overnight as it was colder there than in the freezer. Alas, a couple of nights later, I found myself reaching for one as I was watching television. As I was eating it, I was reminded of my favorite ice cream sandwich, It's-It. For the uninitiated, it's ice cream sandwiched between two oatmeal cookies, then dipped in chocolate. As I was eating the dessert, I thought to myself, I could do this better. Taking inspiration from the It's-It, I really liked the idea of using cookies in the dish instead of a chocolate wafer found in many store bought varieties which made me think of my friend Susan of The Girl in the Little Red Kitchen.

You might remember Susan from last summer when she prepared a Peach Slab Pie for my Adding Some Class with... series. If you'll remember, I noted at the time that she had successfully funded a Kickstarter campaign to open a bake shop. Well, I'm happy to announce (if you were unaware previously) that the bake shop is now open for business! The Girl in the Little Red Kitchen Bake Shop features Susan's Signature Chocolate Chip Cookies, Triple Choc-o-lot Cookies, Peanut Butter Cookies, Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich Cookies, in addition to a Cookie Sampler Package that contains 4 each: Original Chocolate Chip, Triple Choc-olot Cookies and Peanut Butter Cookies plus a Cookie of the Month Club where she highlights cookies with seasonal flavors. Each order arrives in a beautiful gift box that contains cellophane pouches with two cookies in each pouch (or single-packed in the case of her Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich Cookies).


After making my own purchase of Susan's cookies, I can highly recommend you do the same. In my case, I used Susan's Signature Chocolate Chip Cookies in this dish. If you have been reading this website for any length of time, you know I'm not a fan of taking short cuts, so you might be asking yourself why are you taking a short cut here? I would reply with is this a short cut? Had I baked my own, I would have used the same quality of ingredients Susan uses and prepared them with the same care which is a huge contrast to the mechanically prepared confections found at the supermarket. The mint flavored ice cream was made to appease my daughter because it's one of her favorite flavors in addition to it's visual appeal.

The Challenge

Successfully complement cookies from The Girl in the Little Red Kitchen Bake Shop.

The Source

I adapted David Lebovitz's Mint Chip Ice Cream recipe.

Ingredients

1 cup whole milk
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups heavy cream
1 pinch salt
2 cups packed fresh mint leaves
5 large egg yolks
1 to 2 drops green food coloring (optional)
1 dozen The Girl in the Little Red Kitchen Signature Chocolate Chip Cookies

Method

1. Combine the milk, sugar, remaining heavy cream, salt and mint leaves in a small saucepan and scald over medium-low heat. Once hot, shut off the heat, cover and let the mixture sit for 60 minutes to allow the mint leaves to steep and let the flavors infuse. After the hour has elapsed, strain out the mint leaves, and discard but not before pressing down on them against the strainer with a spatula to extract as much flavor as they can muster.


2. Whisk the egg yolks in a medium bowl and set aside. Rewarm the mint-infused milk, then slowly whisk in a small portion into the bowl with the egg yolks to warm the yolks. Combine the warmed yolks back into the infused milk and cook over medium-low to medium heat until the mixture reaches 170o Fahrenheit, stirring constantly until it thickens and coats the back of a spoon. Strain the infused milk and eggs into a bowl with the remaining 1 cup heavy cream and green food coloring (if using), then let it cool. Cover, then refrigerate overnight. Churn it in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.



3. To serve, place one cookie on a plate, flat side up then top with a scoop of ice cream, then a second cookie, pressing down on the second cookie so the ice cream fills it's circumference.

Successful?

The mint flavor was a little strong but it still complemented the cookies well. Once again, I highly recommend you to patronize Susan's bake shop, but if you're unable to do so, please 'Like' her facebook page, add her on G+, follow her on twitter, Instagram and pinterest.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Banh Mi Burger for #WeekdaySupper

Banh Mi Burger for #WeekdaySupper




Before I begin with my dish, please first let me explain my absence in the last two weeks: I have been busy packing my things for a move. As you're reading this, I'm spending my first full day as a metro Seattle resident. Mrs. Stuntman and I decided to relocate primarily because I had been living in one of the most expensive regions in the country. Why Seattle? It's a short plane ride away from my daughter's grandparents, better schools than in California and the region's reputation for coffee and seafood. I also respectfully request a couple of weeks to get settled before I publish new dishes here.

Earlier this month, I published a sirloin steak dish for #SundaySupper sponsored by The Beef Checkoff so I chose a different cut of beef to display the flexibility of beef, this time for an evening after returning home from the office. In case you haven't already, please 'Like' them on facebook in addition to following them on twitter, pinterest and #SundaySupper's own beef pinterest board. In the interest of full disclosure, this post is sponsored by The Beef Checkoff. All opinions are my own. This dish is not traditional, by any means, but has been adapted from the traditional Vietnamese version.


The Challenge

Demonstrate the versatility of beef in a dish appropriate for a weeknight preparation.

The Source

Adapted from a recipe found on Food & Wine magazine's website. I reduced the amount of spice by omitting the jalape?os and decreased the amount of Tobasco because I don't like heavily spiced foods.

Ingredients

1/2 cup julienned carrots
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons Tobasco
2 teaspoons tomato paste
1 clove garlic, minced
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 pounds ground beef (I recommend an 80/20 mixture)
1/2 tablespoon curry powder
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
1 24-inch baguette, quartered crosswise, then each quarter cut in half length-wise
Cilantro sprigs, for garnish

Method

1. Finish the mise en place. Preheat the oven to 400⁰ Fahrenheit. Combine the carrots, rice vinegar and sugar in a small bowl and let them steep for 10 minutes. Then remove the carrots with a slotted spoon to set aside and discard the pickling fluid.


In a separate bowl, combine the mayonnaise, Tobasco, tomato paste and garlic, then season with salt and pepper. Set aside.


Separately, combine the ground beef and the curry powder then season with salt and pepper. Form the ground beef mixture into four oval-shaped patties, approximately 6 inches long and 1 inch in length. In addition, spread the butter on the cut side of each piece of baguette.


2. Cook the burgers and toast the baguette. Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the burger patties and cook, turning once, approximately 6 minutes per side for medium doneness. While the burgers cook, place each baguette piece on a foil-lined sheet tray, cut side up, and place in the oven, toasting the baguette until lightly browned, approximately 5 minutes.


3. Assemble the burgers. Spread the seasoned mayonnaise onto each baguette half and top one slice with a burger patty. Garnish with the pickled carrots and cilantro sprigs, then top each burger with the remaining halves and serve hot.

Successful?

Despite it not being traditional, it was one of the most well balanced burgers I've prepared. The spice in the mayonnaise balanced out the acidity of the carrots and the savory burger patty. I'll definitely repeat.

Before you go, I present a preview of the other #WeekdaySupper dishes that will appear later in the week. Please check them out.

Sunday Supper Movement



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