Thursday, June 12, 2014

Very banana pancakes

These pancakes are almost like browned banana pudding. They are delicious, particularly when served with coconut lemon curd. The batter will be somewhat difficult to work with.

1 egg
2 tbsp sugar
2/3 cup flour
0.25 tsp salt
0.75 tsp baking powder
0.25 cup coconut milk
2 large bananas

Whisk egg and sugar until frothy. Mash the ripe bananas.

Sift egg with baking powder and salt. Fold into egg mixture. Add the coconut milk. Finally mix in the bananas.
Heat a pan on medium with a little bit of butter. Fry the pancakes 2 tbsp portion at a time. 

Cook until lightly browned on both sides. Flipping may be tricky. Cool on a cookie rack.

Coconut lemon curd

My first introduction to lemon curd took place in the household of one of my college friends. Her dad, a pediatric neurologist, prepared fresh scones for us when we came to visit one winter. The delicious scones were further improved by adding a dollop of lemon curd on top. That lemon curd came from a jar, and since then I've come to realize that the fresh version offers a crispness that is absent from the preserve.

0.25 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tsp lemon zest
1/3 cup sugar
3 egg yolks
0.25 cup butter
4 tbsp coconut milk

Add lemon juice, zest and sugar to a small sauce pan. Stir over medium heat until the sugar dissolves.

Whisk they egg yolks until frothy, then gradually mix in the warm lemon mixture. 

Heat carefully, if necessary over a steam bath, until the mixture coats a spoon. Remove from heat. Add in butter, dissolving it a cube at a time. Stir in coconut milk. Refrigerate.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Punctuated equilibrium rip of pizza

American Flatbread in Middlebury Vermont makes the most amazing flatbreads ever. Not only do they source their ingredients from local farmers, they also use the very best. In their cozy space is a wood-fired oven. Watching the bakers prepare the flatbreads is an experience in and of itself. This is an imperfect ripoff of their vegetarian white pizza.

1 portion pizza dough
2 oz goat cheese
2 oz Feta cheese
5 Kalamata olives
0.25 cup roasted red pepper
0.5 small onion sliced
1 oz pepper jack cheese
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
0.5 tsp minced fresh rosemary
olive oil

Stretch out the pizza dough and place onto a parchment paper. Preheat oven with baking stone to 450F.

Brush dough with olive oil. Sprinkle with goat cheese, Feta and herbs. Distribute roasted peppers, olives and onion slices on top. Sprinkle with jack cheese.

Bake until golden brown. Cool on cookie rack before serving.

Cheese puffs

I clearly remember my mum's first experiment with these. She got the recipe from a friend (before the internetz happened) and she followed it to the letter. I was hanging out in the kitchen as well, watching her every move. She mixed all the ingredients, commented how the batter seems very low viscosity, but then refrigerated it and scooped it onto pans. You see, the recipe did not mention the step where you essentially boil the flour and melt into that hot mixture the cheese and mix in the eggs...before baking. So, once we baked the little scoops of dough, it all flowed into a continuous layer on the baking sheet.
Given the cooking step, the preparation of this dough makes a little bit of a mess, but ultimately it's worth the effort.

0.5 cup water
4 tbsp butter
0.5 cup flour
1 pinch salt
2 eggs
0.5 cup grated cheddar
1 tsp thyme leaves
0.5 tsp black pepper

Melt the butter with the water and thyme in a pan. Mix in the salt.

When it is hot, add in the flour and mix until it is smooth. Remove from heat and mix in the eggs one by one. Fold in most of the cheese cheese and all the black pepper. 

Scoop into 12 balls. Sprinkle top with remaining cheese.

Bake at 425F for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown.

Cool on a cookie rack. Serve warm.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Veggie cream cheese

There is a bagel shop in in my town that sells the most amazing bagels and donuts. They are made on site and their texture is amazing. Truly. The best I've had. Of all the possible toppings, the savory ones are most delicious with some veggie cream cheese and maybe a fried egg to top it off. While you may not have access to the best bagels ever, I'm sure this combination would improve any bagel.

8 oz Neufchatel cheese
1 carrot
0.5 red bell pepper
0.5 yellow onion

Mince the carrot, bell pepper and yellow onion.

Microwave cheese just to soften it. Mix in vegetable ingredients.

Cover and allow to rest in the fridge overnight. Spread on your toasted bagel in the morning.

Simple pina colada

When you are missing the sunshine and flavors of the Caribbean, this drink is an easy way to soothe your soul. Of course, it never tastes as good as consumed by the ocean on a lounge chair.

4 fl oz of cream of coconut
4 fl oz of pineapple juice
2.5 fl oz of rum
2 cups ice
pineapple for garnish

Shake the cream of coconut well. Measure into a blender. Crush ice separately if your blender is a weakling like mine.

Combine all ingredients and blend until smooth. Garnish with pineapple. Serve immediately.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Mushroom risotto

I haven't had much experience with mushroom risotto before. In college I participated in the preparation with a group of students, but the outcome (prepared under the supervision of a self-proclaimed expert chef) was rather terrible. Since I believed that the dish was as it ought to be, I haven't ventured in that direction until now. Well, this iteration was rather different, and much, much more delicious.

3 cups chicken broth
1 cup arborio rice
1 tbsp butter
0.5 cup dry white wine
1 tbsp olive oil
0.5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
16 oz mushrooms
0.5 onion
0.5 tsp freshly minced rosemary
0.25 tsp lemon pepper
0.5 cup ground parmesan

Heat the chicken broth over low heat. Cook mushrooms in evoo until soft and slightly browned. Remove from pan, set aside. Add remaining olive oil and diced onions. Cook for a minute. Add rice and cook until pale golden. Stir constantly, do not burn.

Add the wine and stir until fully absorbed. Add the chicken stock 0.5 cup at a time, stir each time until fully absorbed. Cook until rice is al dente.

Stir in mushrooms, butter, lemon pepper, rosemary and shredded cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.