Sunday, June 29, 2008

full american breakfast

Since pancakes are so American, I couldn't really call it a full English breakfast, but the other components are taken from the Brits.

pancakes, sausage, and grilled tomatoes
One thing we loved when we were in England were the "full English breakfasts". I love the name, and more importantly, the fried/griddled/grilled tomatoes that come with it. The English breakfask comes with bacon (or sausage), toast, eggs, and tomatoes. This version omits the eggs, but adds pancakes which are distinctly American.
[pancakes, sausage, tomatoes]

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Sunday, June 15, 2008

more ice cream

I just got my copy of David Leibovitz's The Perfect Scoop and have been itching to try something out. I bought a beautiful flat of strawberries, and this sour cream and strawberry recipe seemed the perfect way to use some of them.

Strawberry and Sour Cream Ice Cream
The strawberries were really sweet, and the slight tartness of the sour cream made for a really nice ice cream. D throws chocolate chips into all ice cream, and it didn't hurt this flavor at all.
[strawberries, sour cream, heavy cream, sugar, vodka, lemon juice]

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Saturday, June 14, 2008

variations on a theme

This is a variation on this.

beef with eggplant
Again, the eggplant is deep fried first, and then pan fried with the aromatics, beef, and sauce. I made this a little spicier than normal by accident.
[eggplant, beef, onions, garlic, ginger, chiles, soy sauce, vinegar, sugar]

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weekend breakfast

I love waffles. They say that the waffle iron is probably the wedding gift that is used once at the beginning of the marriage, but somehow we've managed to not only continue to use the waffle-maker for 10 years, but we upgraded ours along the way.

vanilla belgian waffles
I'm always in search of the perfect waffle. This was a spur-of-the-moment decision on a weekend morning to make some waffles. This particular recipe provided, thick, crisp, and fluffy waffles with a nice vanilla flavor. Very tasty. This recipe, from The Bread Bible, by Beth Hensperger, is currently at the top of my list for non-overnight waffles.

INGREDIENTS
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 tablespoon sugar (optional)
- pinch salt
- 3 large eggs
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

1. Preheat hte Belgian waffle iron to medium-high or follow manufacturer's instructions. In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, sugar, if using, and salt.

2. In another bowl using a whisk or electric mixer, beat the eggs until thick and foamy, about 2 minutes. add the butter, milk, and vanilla. Add the dry ingredients and beat until smooth. Do not overmix.

3. Pour batter in iron and cook until your waffle shrieks at you. (Well, that's what mine does. It's got something called "waffle tone", which implies some sort of soothing "ding", but it's more like a pterodactyl is in the machine crying to be let out.)

Recipe from The Bread Bible by Beth Hensperger. Published by Chronicle Books ©1999. Go out and buy it, it's full of great recipes for bread and other baked goods.

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Thursday, June 12, 2008

ice cream experiments

Christina's ice cream in Cambridge, MA has the most wonderful and unusual flavors. I was inspired to replicate their lemon-thyme since we had a bunch of lemons in the house.

honey lemon-thyme ice cream
So, we were out of sugar, but for some reason have a ridiculous amount of honey, so I thought it'd be a simple substitution. The honey actually changes the consistency of the ice cream quite a bit, so it's a lot softer and almost chewier than it would be normally. It also overwhelmed the thyme flavor, so there's just a bare hint of it. But since it was a very nice flavorful local honey, it added it's own level of floweriness.
[cream, milk, honey, lemon juice, lemon zest, thyme]

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Tuesday, June 03, 2008

default

When I'm not feeling inventive, the spice rub comes out. We had some flank steak in the freezer, and I thought we could grill it and eat it with a salad.

grilled steak salad
My mom had given me a bag of these cute mini peppers, so I grilled those as well. Plus finding a few last flour tortillas in the fridge and an avocado, it suddenly became quite a substantial meal.
[steak, spice rub, greens, peppers, avocado, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, pepper]

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Sunday, June 01, 2008

bacon-wrapped...

Our friend was making Jamaican spice-rubbed steaks, so I volunteered to bring plantains, to go along with the theme. I decided that fried plantains are good, but wouldn't they be even more awesome if they were bacon-wrapped? Everyone at the party agreed.

bacon-wrapped plantains
I did two small batches with slightly different techniques to see which would taste better. This photo is from the first technique, where I merely wrapped the plantain slice in bacon and fried it. The winning batch (no photo) was a variation on tostones, where you pan fry the plantains, pull them out and slightly smash them, soak them in salt water for about a minute, and then fry again. So before the second fry, I wrapped them in the bacon and fried them. They were tender, and delicious, and the slight sweet starchiness of the plantains offset, the crisp smokiness of the bacon.
[plantains, bacon, salt, oil]

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