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Categories: recipes

bills corn fritters

05/20/2011 1 comment

bills sweet corn fritters

If Americans have heard of Bill Granger, they’ve probably either been to his restaurants in Sydney (and now Japan, apparently) or possibly seen his show, “bills food” on the Cooking Channel (Sunday mornings, 9 a.m. ET — plug plug!). Why Curtis whats-his-name is catching on Stateside and bill remains a secret, I can’t tell – well, maybe that’s the Oprah-effect. Anyway, bills restaurants serve amazing breakfast (it’s a must-do in Sydney) and one of his best dishes is the corn fritters. His ricotta pancakes and scrambled eggs are also delish, but I digress.

At home, until the first fresh corn arrives, bills corn fritters are off the menu. Frozen just won’t cut it. There’s just enough batter to hold the fritters together, and it’s all about the corn, red bell pepper and green onion. Today, our first two ears of corn arrived in our CSA box from Full Circle Farm.

You can read the old post for a little more of the play-by-play, but these fritters are good for B, L or D.

Sweet Corn Fritters with Bacon & Tomato
Adapted from Sydney Food

1 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 t. salt
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
2 cups fresh corn kernels, cut from the cob (~2 ears)
1/2 cup red bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup green onions, sliced on the bias
1/4 cup cilantro and flat-leaf parsley, chopped
4 tablespoons vegetable oil

To serve
5-6 slices crisp bacon
Roasted tomatoes

Whisk together flour, baking powder, paprika, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Create a well in the middle of the bowl. In a small bowl, beat together eggs and milk. Add egg mixture to dry ingredients and whisk until smooth. The batter will be on the thick side.

In another bowl, mix together corn, peppers, green onions, cilantro and parsley. Mix in ¾ c. of batter – just enough to bind the veg together. You’ll think it’s not enough. Have faith!

Heat a griddle or large frying pan over medium heat. Add the vegetable oil.

Spoon 2 T. of batter into the pan for each fritter, cooking 3-4 at a time. Brown on the first side 3-4 minutes and turn to brown on the other side.

Serve with bacon, a few leaves of arugula and roasted tomato.

A few notes:
Cook the bacon first and use the drippings for the fritters — mmmm, bacon fat. ☺

Categories: Australia, recipes

Chilled Banana & Pistachio Rice Pudding

05/17/2011 1 comment

Chilled Banana & Pistachio Rice Pudding

There’s no meal that rice is excluded from at my house – breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack, appetizer, entrée, dess–errrr-–no. I’ve never been a big fan of rice for dessert. I didn’t like Botan Rice Candy growing up, but its got its own Facebook page, so apparently a lot of people do (at least 1,955 as of today). I was never a big fan of rice pudding – I think it was the raisins.

But last fall, the guys at Skillet turned me into a believer with their brown sugar and cinnamon rice pudding with roasted pear and hazelnuts. I mean, right?!! In two minutes flat, that rice pudding went like this:



Now converted, this Chilled Banana and Pistachio Rice Pudding is my latest discovery. With basmati rice, it’s not too gummy. And with cardamom, cinnamon and nutmeg and banana, it’d make it a tasty closer for an Indian meal.

A few notes:

1. I used unsalted pistachios and added them as a topping/garnish, rather than mixing in as directed (at least initially). Mixing them in would probably give you good texture if you’re eating them same day, but I didn’t want the pistachios to sog out.
2. For whatever reason, I had the hardest time maintaining a simmer on this recipe — on a gas stove! It would either boil or not bubble at all, so I had to stand over the pot and monitor it, rather than just letting it simmer and stirring it occasionally.
3. I used skim milk. With the cream, it was plenty rich. Dial it up to 2% or whole milk if you like, but skim worked just fine for our tastes.

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Categories: dessert, recipes

Outrageous Pretzel Bars

05/15/2011 1 comment

@JustinChapple's Outrageous Pretzel Bars from Food & Wine Mag

I love chocolate covered pretzels. Earlier this week Adam Roberts, the @amateurgourmet, retweeted @JustinChapple’s Outrageous Pretzel Bars in Food and Wine magazine. Cookie layer + fudge layer+ pretzels = straight into my recipe file and off to the grocery to buy 2 bags of chocolate chips.

Three notes:

1. Even spreading is important for the layers. From the photo, you might have thought that this was just a fudgy brownie with some pretzels slapped on top. Oh no-no-no! But that’s a good idea. I’ll do that, too.  You can see that my layers were not so even, since you can’t even really see the cookie part. It was a bit better in the middle of the pan.

2. The cookie layer also has its own bag of chocolate chips in it, which I might omit next time (I can’t believe I just said that). But you know, you’d get more straight-forward cookie-ness.

3. I used 60% cacao Ghirardelli chocolate chips. But with the sweetened condensed milk in the fudge layer, next time I’ll go for a higher percentage, or even unsweetened, for more chocolate impact and less sweetness.

Categories: recipes

Calendar Says May, Weather Says Soup

Giada’s Chianti Marinated Beef Stew Meets Short Rib Ragu

After a beautiful sunny day yesterday, well, most of the day, Mother Nature is back to the same ol’, same ol’ in the Pacific Northwest. While other people are persevering and standing at their grills in their rain slickers, I gave in and made a stew.  I started out thinking about making a daube, or just a simple vegetable beef soup,  and ended up somewhere in the middle crossing Giada De Laurentiis’ Chianti-Marinated Beef Stew with her Short Rib Ragu. Later this week, I’ll see if the leftovers can be morphed into something similar to that ragu.

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Beef Stew a la Giada

Adapted from Giada at Home and Everyday Pasta

3 T. olive oil

~3 lb. boneless chuck roast, cut into 3-4 in. chunks

4 oz. pancetta, diced finely

1/2 large onion, chopped

2 large carrots, chopped in 1/2 in. pieces

2 stalks celery, chopped in 1/2 in. pieces

4 small red potatoes, quartered

2 1/2 c. beef broth

2 2/3 c. red wine (I used chianti)

1 14.5 oz. can whole tomatoes, crushed by hand

2 sage leaves

1 rosemary sprig

2 garlic cloves

salt & pepper

Salt and pepper the beef. Brown the beef in olive oil over med-high heat in a large dutch oven. It’ll likely take two batches. Remove beef and set aside.

Add the pancetta to the pan, cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the veg and cook for 2-3 minutes.

Add the beef broth, wine, tomatoes, herbs and garlic. Add back the beef and its juices. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and cook for 2-3 hours, until beef is tender. Remove the rosemary sprig and shred beef into smaller chunks to serve.

Categories: recipes, soup

Ingredients for Life: Gochujang

05/14/2011 4 comments

Tofu, love it or hate it, is a blank canvas for flavor. I hear you snickering over there, “Blank canvas for flavor. That stuff is BLAND.” On it own, plain, it is bland, no doubt. But maybe that’s why Asian cultures have been dousing it for centuries in miso, soy sauce, ginger garlic sauce, red pepper paste and whatever else  to give it a little more zip. But let’s talk about that red pepper paste, aka gochujang.

I only just discovered gochujang in the last year or so when I hit upon this recipe for Daeji Bulgogi over at Serious Eats. It comes in a red plastic tub and is a deep red, almost mahogany color. It packs a spicy punch, even though the first ingredient is not red peppers (that’s #4, preceded by corn syrup, rice and water.) It’s a fermented product, but doesn’t have really any stinkiness to it. If anything, it just smells sweet. And sorry gluten-free eaters, I’d check the label before you dive into this. Mine at least has glutinous rice and wheat gluten as ingredients.

The Bul-tofu above is my go at Burp and Slurp’s Korean BBQ tofu paired with brown rice and a tangle of stir-fried vegetables (broccoli, julienned carrot, baby bok choy, sugar snap peas). My CSA box dictated that part of it. Just stir-fry it over medium-high heat in a couple of teaspoons of canola or vegetable oil, broccoli first, with a couple of cloves of garlic sliced and about an inch of ginger, minced. Add 1/4 c. of chicken broth to help steam the broccoli, drizzle with soy sauce to taste, and cover cooking for 2-3 minutes – checking for doneness. This always seems to vary. Less is more. Add the quickest cooking veg last,  for 1-2 minutes. Done.

Adapted from Burp and Slurp

1 pkg firm or extra-firm tofu (pressed for 15-20 mins. to remove extra moisture)
1/3 cup gochujang
6 cloves garlic, grated
1 inch ginger, grated
1/2 onion, grated
1/3 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoonbrown sugar
2 green onions, cut on the bias (for garnish)
Non-stick cooking spray

Preheat the oven to 450. Slice tofu into 1 in. cubes and press to remove extra moisture.  I used two heavy cookie sheets as weights.

In a large bowl, mix together gochujang and next 6 ingredients. Add the tofu to the bowl and stir gently to coat the tofu evenly. Set aside and let marinate for 30 minutes.

Line a cookie sheet with foil and spray it with non-stick cooking spray. Arrange the tofu on the cookie sheet in rows. Bake for 40 minutes. Tofu should be firm. You can try to turn the tofu over about halfway through the baking time. If they stick to the pan, just leave them, it’ll create a nice char on the bottom.

Serve over brown rice and garnish with green onions.

Categories: recipes

Leftovers: Quick(ish) Posole Rojo

05/08/2011 1 comment

Years ago at Hop Kiln Winery we had a crockpot posole rojo with chicken that was a revelation with Marty’s Big Red – a meritage that’s now just called “Big Red.”  I later discovered posole is really meant to have pork, and should be made with dried chiles and dried hominy.  So the whole thing was one big shortcut, but still tasted great.

Anyway, yesterday I found myself with the best of both worlds. The pork was already ready to go thanks to the braised carnitas I made on Thursday for Cinco de Mayo, so I broke out the dried chiles for a little toasting and soaking. If you’ve got a good market nearby (that’s not to say your regular old grocery store), it’s at least as cheap, if not cheaper, than the canned route and provides better flavor. The carrots I add on general principle – everyone needs more veg.

I used both EllySaysOpa’s recipe and Rick Bayless’ posole rojo as references. EllySaysOpa’s recipe gives a good guideline on cooking the pork shoulder if you’re starting from square 1.

Quick(ish) Posole Rojo

4 oz. dried red chiles (I used guajillo and pasilla)

~ 4 c. boiling water to cover (this will depend on the bowl you’re soaking the chiles in)

1/2 white onion, chopped

4 cloves garlic, divided – 2 for the chile sauce, 2 more for the posole, sliced

3 c. chicken broth

1 t. Mexican oregano

1.5 t. salt (or to taste)

2 c. shredded pork (leftover from braised carnitas)

1 29 oz. can white hominy

2 large carrots, peeled & chopped into half-inch disks

Garnish with a squeeze of lime, radish slices, cilantro, cheddar cheese, plain yogurt.

Stem and seed the chiles. Toast them over low heat in a dry pan until they become fragrant, turning frequently. Soak the chiles for 3o minutes in a large bowl with ~4 c. boiling water (enough to cover). When the chiles are softened, blend them with the soaking water, 2 cloves of garlic and 1/2 white onion until smooth.  You’ll probably need to do this in batches, depending on the blender. Strain the chile sauce through a mesh sieve to catch the chile skins.

In a large dutch oven, combine the chile sauce, chicken broth and oregano. Add the pork, hominy and carrots and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 25-30 minutes  (or until the carrots are softened).  You want the sauce to reduce a bit. Add salt to taste.

Categories: recipes, Uncategorized