Sunday, July 29, 2012
I happen to have a ginormous stash of mustard seed, both whole and ground. This, of course, is due to my not reading the fine print when I ordered it. I thought I was buying a one-pound bag of each and instead, ended up with several pounds of seed and a couple of pounds of ground mustard. Solution? Make a lot of things that require mustard, of course!
I'm pretty lucky that my middle kidlet loves all things mustard. She'll eat it on anything. I tend to like mustard with pretzels and ham... and little else. Well, until this stuff.
Once obsessed with Stonewall Kitchen's Bourbon Molasses Mustard, I decided to try to replicate it. I think this version is pretty close, except I swapped out brandy for bourbon... because that is what I had on hand.
Brandy Molasses Mustard
Saturday, May 12, 2012
Saturday, April 28, 2012
Thursday, April 26, 2012
If you're new to artichokes, there are a few things you should know about this flower. When buying artichokes, carefully lift the petals from the sides, looking inside for any bugs or bug... residue. There's nothing worse than getting a nasty artichoke. They should look clean, like this:
The petals have a sharp spiny bit at the very tip, just in the middle. You're going to want to be careful handling these. As you trim the tips from the petals, gently lift each petal by the side edge to avoid being jabbed by the thorn. They're nasty little buggers, and the bigger the artichoke, the bigger the thorns are.
Wednesday, April 25, 2012
I don't know about you, but when it is hot out, I can't eat anything heavy. Living in Florida, this leaves me craving food that fills you up, but doesn't make you feel like you have a lead balloon in your stomach. If you like spicy food that makes your tongue tingle, give this a shot. It is crispy, sweet, hot, and definitely addictive.
The bread you use for this is rather important. You want to avoid a harder, chewy crusted bread, because when you bite into it, the cucumbers will slip out the other end. A bread that is too soft can't support the moisture that the cucumbers produce, and will fall apart in a gummy mess. Aim for bread rolls that are substantial, with a dense, drier crumb. My supermarket bakery calls these Water Rolls, and they are somewhat like an Italian bread with a soft, chewy crust due to the egg wash that is applied.
Fiery Cucumber Sandwiches (makes 2 small sandwiches)
1/3 English cucumber, peeled and sliced thinly (this is not an exact science)
thinly sliced onion, about a tablespoon per sandwich
2 tsp mayonnaise (real mayonnaise!), divided
2 tsp Thai sweet chili sauce, divided
1/2 tsp sriracha sauce, divided*
2 small rolls (hamburger roll sized)
Slice the rolls horizontally. Spread the bottom of each roll with 1 tsp mayonnaise, and squirt about 1/4 tsp of sriracha sauce directly on the mayonnaise. Spread evenly on top of the mayonnaise. Spread half of the sweet chili sauce on the other half of the roll. Divide cucumber slices and onion slices between the sandwiches. Place the top of the roll on each sandwich, grab a napkin, and go to town.
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
I love pineapples. Quite a bit of my early teens was spent sitting on our front steps scooping pineapple rings out of a can with a fork and eating them, while my friend Robin and I watched cars go by. We lived in a small suburb... watching cars go by was a way to pass the endless amount of time that summer seemed to be, since we couldn't go to the beach until the weekend.
Unlike big hair, Wham!, and acid-washed jeans, my love of pineapple has stood the test of time. It is quite versatile, but one of my favorite ways to eat it has to be sliced into huge, watermelon-like wedges, or tucked into this bread pudding. My kids love this for breakfast the next day, but I love it when it is still barely warm.
Pineapple bread pudding
2/3 cup granulated sugar
5 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
3/4 tsp kosher salt
1 20 ounce can crushed pineapple, in its own juice, drained
6 slices white or wheat sandwich bread, crusts removed, diced into 1/2 inch cubes
2 Tbsp packed light brown sugar
Preheat oven to 350F; butter an 8x8 pan; set aside.
Sunday, January 8, 2012
Since I moved to the wild tropics (also known as Florida), I'm a bit thrown back at the endless summery season here. The great bonus, of course, is the abundance of local fruit and veg all year around.
I happened upon a couple of half-pints of red currants on offer at my local grocery store. I snatched them up and headed home to make the tart, versatile jelly that I love so much. Slather it on toast, croissants, or mix it with a bit of Dijon mustard and glaze some chicken breasts with it.
You'll find that the measurements don't require a certain amount of currants, but as long as you have at least a cupful, you can make enough of this ruby red jelly to last you for a week or so. This recipe doesn't require any additional pectin, it will softly gel thanks to the apple. The jelly is unprocessed, and is unsuitable for long-term storage.
Small-Batch Red Currant Apple Jelly
1 Granny Smith apple, unpeeled and grated
minimum 1 cup red currants, stems removed
1/3 cup water
Prepare several layers of cheesecloth in a sieve, and place it over a liquid measuring cup In a nonreactive pan, heat the water, apple, and currants until it comes to a simmer. Gently crush the berries with a spatula or a spoon to encourage them to release their juices. Simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and scrape into the cheesecloth-prepared sieve. Allow to drain. Resist the urge to press the solids into the cheesecloth; this will result in cloudy jelly. If cloudy jelly doesn't bother you, of course, go right ahead and squeeze the last essence from the simmered fruit.
Measure the liquid. Wash out the nonreactive pan, and pour the liquid back into the pan. Add the same measure of sugar as there is liquid to the pan. I had a little under 3/4 of a cup, and added enough water to bring it to 3/4 cup. Have a couple of clean heat-safe glass containers (I use Pyrex 6 oz. custard cups, but feel free to use a proper canning jar). Heat the juice and sugar to a rolling boil, stirring. Keep an eye on it, as it does have a tendency to boil over. Once the mixture boils, time 5 minutes for a batch under 2 cups of liquid, and 10 minutes for a batch over 2 cups of liquid. Pour hot liquid into the glass jars, and allow to cool to room temperature. Cover and store in the refrigerator. Eat within a couple of weeks, if you can manage to make it last that long.