Monday, August 31, 2009
Sunday, August 30, 2009
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Thursday, August 20, 2009
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened (Leave the butter out at room temperature or place on top of warm oven to soften but don't let it melt!)
- 1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract (try not to use vanilla flavoring - some of them have corn syrup)
- 16 ounces (a little more than 2 cups) of semisweet chocolate chips
- Whisk together flour, salt and baking soda and set aside
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugars together until smooth and creamy. Scrape down the bowl and add the eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated. The mixture will look light and fluffy.
- Add the vanilla and beat for 5 seconds.
- Add half of the flour mixture and mix for 15 seconds. Add remaining flour mixture and beat until just incorporated. (Don't overbeat.)
- Using a spatula or wooden spoon, fold in the chocolate chips.
- Cover the bowl tightly and put in the refrigerator for 6 hours. (I only put mine in for 3 hours because it was getting late and I really wanted my cookie. In terms of texture, I think my cookies would have came out better if I had refrigerated the dough for 6 hours.)
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper (I used foil and it was fine.).
- Use an ice cream scoop with a release mechanism to scoop out dough in 2 tablespoon-size balls. Use your hands to shape the dough into perfect balls and place them on the prepared baking sheets, about 1 inch apart.
- Bake for 12 to 14 minutes, rotating the pans once during the cooking time, until the edges of the cookies are golden brown and the tops just start to darken. (I didn't rotate my cookies and they were fine.)
- Cool the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Use a spatula to transfer the cookies to the rack to cool completely (although they are delicious warm).
- The cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
This is my revised 5-minute version of the Croque Monsieur/Madame. Well, okay, it's really a "fancy" ham and egg sandwich. But it's healthy, quick, easy and great as breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Flaky Pie Crust
from Chef Shelley Young
- 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon sugar, optional
- Pinch fine sea salt
- 3/4 stick unsalted butter, chilled
- 3 tablespoons shortening, chilled
- 3½ tablespoons cold water
*(Correction: I previously wrote that this will make a double crust pie. That's incorrect. This is enough if you are making a single crust pie with a bacon lattice top. Double the recipe if you want to make a double crust pie like I did here. When you get to step 4, after you form a ball with the dough, use a big clean knife and cut the ball in half. Reshape into a ball and follow step 5 and 6.)
- Put flour, sugar (optional) and salt in bowl of food processor fitted with metal blade.
- Cut butter and shortening into small pieces; add to processor.
- Pulse mixture until crumbly and butter is in small pieces throughout flour.
- Working quickly, start processor and add cold water until mixture just forms a ball.
- Turn out dough onto work surface; flatten into a disk.
- Wrap in plastic wrap; refrigerate at least 24 hours before rolling out.
Bacon Apple Pie
from Eclectic Gecko with some extra notes from me
- Pastry for a double-crust 9-inch pie, uncooked
- 6 cups apples, peeled, cored and cut into thin slices (about 2 lbs or 8 medium apples); try to avoid mealy apples
- 3/4 lb uncooked bacon; thick-cut recommended
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoon flour
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- For the pie wash: Mix 1 tablespoon milk with 1 tablespoon sugar
- Fry bacon in skillet until slightly floppy. It should harden and become more crispy as the oil drains on paper towels.
- Chop bacon into 1/2″ pieces. Line bottom of pastry-lined pie dish with a layer of bacon, reserving the rest.
- In a large bowl, mix together sugar, flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Add apple slices and remaining bacon pieces. Toss to coat.
- Transfer bacon-apple mixture to pastry-lined pie plate.
- Place upper crust on pie, cut away extra dough and tuck/seal the top and bottom pastry dough (If you wish, you can do a lattice pastry top. Or, you can make a bacon lattice top and use uncooked bacon for the lattice - remember to adjust recipe though). Cut slits on the top if you are using the double crust to allow steam to vent. Brush top with milk and sugar pie wash.
- Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 1 hour or until bubbly and brown.
- Cool before serving.
Monday, August 17, 2009
- 3 lbs Sea Salt
- 4 sprig Fresh Rosemary
- 6 sprig Fresh Thyme
- 4 sprig Fresh Parsley - flat leaf
- 1 - 2 lb Iberico de Bellota Pork Loin
- 4 oz Jamon Serrano (Spanish cured Ham) - thinly sliced
- Spanish extra virgin olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
- In a large bowl, mix the salt with 3 tablespoons of water until the salt is slightly damp. (the salt needs to moist so it will pack well.
- Spread half of the salt down the center of a baking sheet and top with 2 rosemary sprigs, 2 parsley sprigs and 3 thyme sprigs.
- Lay the pork loin on top of the herbs.
- Place the remaining herbs on top of the pork, then cover the pork completely with the remaining salt, making sure to pack it well around the pork.
- Bake for 25 minutes
- Let the pork rest for 5 minutes
- Using a fork – crack open the side of the salt crust. The upper half of the crust, now a hard shell, should lift off easily.
- Transfer the pork to a cutting board and let rest for another 5 minutes.
- Slice the loin into ½ inch thick slices and arrange on four plates.
- Lay the jamon in between the pork slices.
- Drizzle with some olive oil and serve warm