Saturday, June 30, 2007

lemon pancakes

Instead of my usual favorite pancakes, I decided to give another pancake recipe from Marion Cunningham's Breakfast Book a try. I'm so glad I did.

lemon pancakes
These were deliciously airy, with a whisper of lemon and small chewy bits from the cottage cheese. I actually forgot about the butter in the microwave, so the first batch was butter-free. Still pretty tasty, but the ones with the butter were better.

- 3 eggs, separated
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup cottage cheese
- 1/4 cup butter, melted
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoons grated lemon zest

Separate the eggs and beat the egg whites until they hold stiff peaks. In another bowl, stir together the egg yolks, flour, cottage cheese, butter, sugar, salt, and lemon zest until well mixed.

With a large spoon or a spatula, fold the egg whites into the yolk mixture. Gently stir until there are no yellow or white streaks.

Heat a skillet or griddle over medium heat. Grease lightly and spoon out about 3 large tablespoons of batter for each pancake. Cook slowly for about 1 1/2 minutes, then turn the pancake over and cook about 30 seconds. Keep the panckes warm in a 250°F oven until ready to serve.
Makes 12 3-inch pancakes
[From The Breakfast Book, by Marion Cunningham]

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Friday, June 29, 2007

zong zi (or chinese tamales)

This is one of my favorite foods. It's sticky rice wrapped in bamboo leaves, with stewed meat tucked inside. It's a traditional Chinese food that corresponds with the dragon boat festival. More info here.

zong zi
I'm terrible at making these. Somehow, my mom makes it look so easy, but mine always turn out kind of measly, and there's always rice leaking out. There's a fair amount of skill in holding loose rice and other fillings in a cone made of two bamboo leaves, flipping the end of the leaves over the top to make a pyramid shape, and then somehow tying it all together with string, without having it fall completely apart.
[sticky rice, pork belly, peanuts, salted duck egg yolk, dried chinese black mushrooms, chestnuts, dried shrimp]

Friday, June 22, 2007

salad and crumpets

Breakfast foods are great anytime.

breakfast sandwiches (for lunch)
Poached eggs on crumpets with pepperoni and tomatoes (left over from the pizza party). The salad is mixed greens with almonds and blue cheese.
[crumpets, eggs, tomatoes, pepperoni; mixed greens and herbs, tomatoes, sliced almonds, blue cheese; dressing: reduced balsamic vinegar, olive oil, vanilla, grand marnier]

Saturday, June 16, 2007

pizza dough

In preparation for a "build-you-own-pizza" party we were hosting, I made a bunch of pizza crusts.

pizza dough
Pizza dough is fun and easy to make. The stretching is the tricky thing. I made a bunch of individual sized pizza crusts (medium thickness) before figuring out how to make a great thin crust. It requires some patience, since you have to keep waiting for the dough to relax before stretching it out a little further.
[you can find the recipe here.]


Thursday, June 14, 2007

mid-day snack

There's something comfortina about eggs. And it makes a perfect snack when paired with a crisp-chewy tortilla and some homemade salsa.

egg on tortilla
I fried the tortilla in a little canola oil (I've done variations where I used bacon fat - definitely superior). I'm always a little shaky with the over-easy egg, mostly because I almost always break the yolk, but this came out quite nicely.
[corn tortilla, egg, salsa]

Saturday, June 02, 2007

guest chef series #7: carne asada

Our friends F & C invited us over for a home-cooked Mexican meal. C went all out and made 4 different salsas, beans and rice (with chorizo), horchata, jamaica, and arroz con leche for dessert. It was all extremely delicious and we stuffed ourselves until we couldn't breathe.

Aren't these beautiful? They were also extremely tasty.
[C's secret family recipes]

carne asada
F fired up the grill and cooked up carne asada and pollo. It was such a nice afternoon of just hanging out on their patio and chatting and eating.
[carne asada, chorizo beans, rice, grilled green onions]