April 30, 2012

Flatbread on the Fly


 Flatbread is one of my go-to dinners during a busy week. I can use up nearly anything sitting in my fridge by throwing it on a Trader Joe's pizza dough. Last week it was spread with delicious fig & walnut liquor preserves(a gift from a guest I hooked up with a gallon of lemon juice at random, this was the result), caramelized onions, and mushrooms from our ffty box. 
I roll out the dough(more like pull with my hands) and throw down a layer of cornmeal for crunch beneath. Spread the fig jam, caramelized onions, and sprinkle on lightly sauteed mushrooms. Bake at 450 for 15-20 minutes then crumble blue cheese over the top. Even my onion hater loooved this. Sweet, salty, and easy as pie.

March 31, 2012

Melt in Your Mouth Shortbread

A few nights ago, I exchanged gifts for christmabirthdaeaster. Long story short, it had been a long time since my best friend and I had seen each other. Among awesome new culinary experiences at a Shabu Shabu restaurant, I received the Tartine Cookbook in exchange for a Barefoot Contessa cookbook I love. I successfully skimmed my way through it last night and absolutely fell in love. The authors, Elisabeth Prueitt and Chad Robertson, own one of San Francisco's most famous bakeries, Tartine. The book offers tried and tested recipes and describes, in depth, the reason why they use the ingredients they use as well as techniques. It's a great read on its own but the recipes are absolutely golden. I decided to try my hand at one of their most simple recipes for shortbread last night with amazing results. Be prepared for the most buttery, fall apart in your mouth cookie. It's all one could ever want in a short bread recipe, really. I can imagine changing this up only slightly with some lemon or orange zest on occasion. But they're perfection without any alterations. Here's the recipe.

March 28, 2012

Candied Bacon & Cornmeal Waffles

Candied bacon: 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard+1/4 cup brown sugar. Toss it in a ziplock bag and squish it around until coated. Cook in 425 degree oven for 20-30 minutes or until the bacon is caramelized around the edges. Holy mother, this pork was delicious. 
 Cornmeal waffles are my new favorite as well. I just love the texture and slight caramelized sweetness. This recipe was pretty perfect: crunchy cornmeal waffles. Especially with candied bacon. 

Homer drools.

-J


March 17, 2012

New Zealand

Green-lipped mussels 
Satay Kingdom in Wellington 
Drinks at Mac's Brewery. Seriously good cider.  
Classic Kiwi brunch: bacon and sausages 
 My biggest obsession, pies. Butter chicken as reigning champ.
 Steinlager-arguably NZ's most popular beer.
My standard breakfast. The softest white toast with Wattie's beans, Anathoth raspberry jam, and grilled tomatoes.

I can't say I disliked anything I ate while in New Zealand. But you won't see me hunting down Marmite anytime soon.

February 9, 2012

Quick Dinner

corn tortilla+black beans+2 fried eggs over easy+ blended salsa+sour cream+pico de gallo+fresh avocado+chopped cilantro
=what breakfast/lunch/dinner dreams are made of.

January 11, 2012

Homemade


First attempt bread making at home. Delicious right out of the oven but could still use something. I suspect more kneading by hand is in order. 

January 3, 2012

fresh pea soup

2011 went by in what seemed like a blur. I spent the year working my toosh off and realizing I shouldn't live to work but rather we should all work to live. It doesn't matter how much overtime or money I might bring in, life is about happiness and doing the things you enjoy most. I plan on finding that balance to keep me content and semi-sane in 2012. The new year brings promise of new and exciting things to come. 
Jarrod and I are heading to New Zealand for a much needed vacation and to finally meet the 'rents come February. I'm excited to say the least. We'll be doing a full circle of the north island while attending a few of his best friends' weddings. Celebrations all around, my liver is quivering in fear.
 
In preparation for our "Summer" vacation, we're going on a homemade soup rampage(see: diet) for the entirety of January. Should be easy since half of what I normally make for dinner is rustic, simple soups. This bright green soup is delicious and quite possibly the easiest thing you'll make all year.  
My recipe was loosely adapted from Ina Garten's Fresh Pea recipe. I changed a few things based on what we had(ie. no onions, just leeks, sub goat cheese for creme fraiche) and the flavor profile I think of when I think pea soup: smokey pork. I used smoked sea salt to bring out that flavor without having to buy a gnarly looking ham hock. It also saves a whole lot of cooking time(no simmering for hours!) as this really only takes about 15-20 minutes to prepare. 
Here's to a fabulous new year!

Fresh Pea Soup

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter or olive oil
  • 2 cups chopped leeks, white and light green parts (2 leeks)
  • 2 cups chicken, vegetable or beef stock
  • 1 (10-ounce) package frozen peas
  • 5 fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 ounces goat cheese, crumbled (more for garnish)
  • 1/4 cup freshly chopped chives, (more for garnish)
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked sea salt 

Directions

Heat the butter or oil in a large saucepan, add the leeks and cook over medium-low heat for 5 to 10 minutes, until they are tender. Add the stock, increase the heat to high, and bring to a boil. Add the peas and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, until the peas are tender. (Frozen peas will take only 3 minutes.) Off the heat, add the basil, salt, pepper and goat cheese. 
Using an immersion blender, puree until smooth. Stir in chopped chives and ladle into serving bowls. Garnish with a crumbling of goat cheese, a bit more chives and a large pinch of smoked sea salt. 

December 22, 2011

Presents

chocolate crinkle cookies via shiny new mixer.
the trick to super white snow is to roll them in granulated sugar first.