Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Baconsgiving Cupcake

Baconsgiving Cupcake
Originally uploaded by kel h
I am going to "Baconsgiving" tonight (which is a celebration of all things bacon being hosted by friends of a friend). It's an odd thing for a vegetarian to go to a bacon festival, but it sounded like fun, and the challenge of making a bacon cupcake proved too strong to resist.

My friends Mike and Clare have gotten into making milkshakes, and I had a bacon maple whiskey milkshake at their house a long time ago. It sounded like a good departure point. Martha Stewart's maple cupcake recipe (which I found on 52 Cupcakes) seemed to have the most mapley goodness, so I used that with some modifications to make it more bacony. And I am always up for a good whiskey buttercream frosting (and this time I used angostura bitters instead of food coloring to take the whiteness down a notch, which I think added a nice flavor)
2-3/4 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temp.
1/4 cup bacon fat
8 strips of bacon
2 cups pure maple syrup,, preferably Grade B
3 large eggs, room temp
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract or seeds from 1 vanilla bean pod

1 stick butter softented1 lb powdered sugar
1 pinch salt
1 tbsp milk
3 tbsp irish whiskey

preheat oven to 350

Mix dry cupcake ingredients
In mixer cream butter, then add bacon fat (I broiled my bacon and poured off the fat into a measuring cup and then ran the VERY crispy bacon through the food processor to turn it into bacon crumbs)
Once its all smooth add the maple syrup
Then add eggs 1 at a time, and add vanilla
add dry ingredients and bacon and mix until combined
bake at 350 (I did mini cupcakes and it made four dozen. They cooked for around 11-12 minutes)

for the frosting
cream the butter. Add sugar. Then add milk and whiskey. Add pinch of salt and then add a bit more sugar or milk to get the right texture

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The last slice of butternut squash lasagna

Me and a bunch of my friends like to play trivia at a local bar on Monday nights. I usually cook dinner for me and my roommate (since we share a farmshare from Enterprise Farms). Sometimes I invite another friend who has a longer distance to travel over to have dinner with us.

Well, it has been a lot of fun to have these dinners with a bottle of wine and friends, and so I figured I would expand the invite to the whole team. It was a blast. The six of us went through the entire lasagna, a whole bunch of roasted brussel sprouts (I made converts of my roommate and another friend who both hated them before) and three bottles of wine...AND came in FIRST!

Here is a recipe for the Roasted Butternut Squash Lasagna. I reccomend using the ameretti cookies, even though it sounds odd. They taste good in the lasagna, add some body, and also...you have leftover cookies which everyone LOVED

Also, to roast brussel sprouts, cut them in half, coat with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and roast at 400 for around half an hour until they carmelize and turn brown. If you don't think you like brussel sprouts, make them this way. If you still don't like them...it's official, you don't like brussel sprouts. Most people just don't like the way they are prepared traditionally

from the Runaway Spoon
1 stick butter plus two tablespoons
dried rubbed sage
1 large butternut squash
1 7-8 oz container marscapone cheese
8-12 ameretti cookies (crushed to make 3/4 cup crumbs)
2 tbsp flour
2 cups milk
1/2 tsp nutmeg
no boil lasagne sheets
8-10 oz grated fontina
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400. put your whole butternut squash in the oven and roast for 1 1/2 to hours until soft. Set aside for a smidge so it is cool enough to handle
In a saucepan brown a stick of butter and add a few pinches of sage. Set aside
Once your squash has cooled a bit, slice in half, remove the seeds and fibrous part and then spoon the roasted squash into a bowl (should be super easy)
combine with half to a quarter of the marscapone, salt, pepper, a pinch of sage and the amaretti cookie crumbs.

To make bechemel sauce melt 2 tbsp butter and then cook 2 tbsp flour in the butter. Add salt, pepper and nutmeg. simmer until thickened. Then add all but 2 tbsp of the browned butter

to assemble
coat the bottom of the baking pan with the last 2 tbsp browned butter
1 layer noodles
squash mixture
bechemel sauce

Bake at 400 for abt half an hour and let sit for 10 min

Saturday, November 13, 2010

New Drink: Napoj

Napoj means beverage or potion in polish, and this drink starts with Krupnik (a polish honey liqueur)

1 tbsp ginger simple syrup
1.5 oz lime juice
1.5 oz brandy
3 oz krupnik

Reuben Mac and Cheese

Reuben Mac and Cheese
Originally uploaded by kel h
I saw this recipe on Rachel Ray, and it sounded like a good idea. I made the mac and cheese and then filled my soup cups, layering corned beef for my roommate, and fake steak strips for me. I've seen recipes for brined seitan, but I'm lazy :P

1 pound cavatappi, hallow corkscrew shaped pasta or, other short cut
2 slices rye bread
3 tablespoons butter plus some for buttering toast
A handful fresh parsley leaves
1 teaspoon paprika
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
1/4 cup spicy brown deli mustard (recommended: Gulden's)
1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
1 cup shredded Gruyere
1 cup shredded yellow Cheddar
3/4 pound good quality deli corned beef, sliced as thick as bacon, chopped
1 pound sauerkraut, rinsed and well drained
Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta. Salt water and cook pasta to al dente.

While pasta cooks, toast rye bread in toaster then butter hot bread. Coarsely chop bread and place in food processor. Add parsley and paprika to bread and process into bread crumbs, reserve.

Heat a sauce pot over medium heat. Add butter to pot and melt, whisk in flour 1 minute then milk. Season the sauce with salt and pepper, thicken sauce 5 to 6 minutes then stir in mustard. Melt 2/3 of the combined cheeses into the sauce.

Preheat broiler.

Drain pasta and return to hot pot. Toss hot pasta with chopped meat and sauerkraut to combine, stir in cheese sauce and coat. Transfer mac n cheese to casserole and top with bread crumbs and remaining cheese. Brown under broiler 3 to 4 minutes, serve.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Shepherds Pie

Shepherds Pie
Originally uploaded by kel h
So, chicken pot pie and shepherds pie are fairly similar, except swap white wine and chicken broth for red wine and beef broth and use potatoes instead of puff pastry.

I used the rest of the veggies I didn't use monday, and tossed some ground beef left over from the stuffed cabbage I made a while back for the roommate.

This recipe is loosely based on one from Food Network

Also, Cider and Bourbon is the new Gin and Tonic

2 lbs potatoes washed and cubes
1 clove garlic grated
1/4 cup cream
1/2 cup grated cheddar
1 onion chopped
3 celery stalks finely chopped
3 cloves garlic grated
2 carrots peeled and diced small
2 parsnips peeled and diced small
1/2 small butternut squash peeled and diced small
1/2 celery root peeled and diced small
1/2 fennel bulb core and tips removed diced small
1 pkg crimini mushrooms chopped
1 oz dried porchini mushrooms
1 cup red wine
2 cups beef broth (I used not beef broth from better than boulion)
2/3 cup flour
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp dried sage
1 tsp herbs de provance
2 bay leaves

Boil potatoes in salted water for 20-30 min til fork tender. Mash with garlic, cheese, cream, salt and pepper and set aside
In a bowl combine 1 cup broth, wine and tomato paste and dried mushrooms. Microwave for 30 sec and let mushrooms sit to reconsitute
melt 2 tbsp butter in a dutch oven
sautee crimini mushrooms a few at a time and set aside. Melt another tbsp of butter and sautee onion, bay leaves and celery for 2 minutes. Add flour and cook for 2 minutes
add diced veggies and cook for 5-10 minutes til beginning to brown
Remove reconstituted musrhooms and set aside with crimini mushrooms.
Add liquid to veggies and simmer or 8 minutes
then add mushrooms and simmer for a few more minutes until sauce thickens
Ladle filling into ramekins and dot top with mashed potatoes. Put in the oven for 15-20 min until potatoes are crispy
(I layered the veggies with ground beef left over from something else for the roommate)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Fall Veggie (and sometimes Chicken) Pot Pie

I've taken to making dinner for friends (and not just the roommate G) more and more often, and this week has been no exception. Some friends and I go to trivia on Mondays (this week we took 3rd place). I made Pot Pie for me, G and Tom. It was easy to cook for all of us because I made a vegetarian pot pie filling with a bunch of fall veggies from the CSA share, and then roasted some chicken to toss into the boys pot pies. (I used my awesome soup cups, but I forgot to take a picture. I did the same puff pastry lattice for mine as Paula Deen did, so I used her picture). The recipe is VERY loosely adapted from Ina Garten's and was inspired by a veggie pot pie I had at Highland Kitchen (theirs had brussel sprouts, which I would have added if I had them)

2-3 breasts chicken
2 onions chopped
2 leeks, split and sliced into 1/2 inch slices
3 cloves garlic grated
3/4 cups flour
1 cup white wine
4 cups water
2 tbsp better than boulion (I did one each of mushroom and veggies)
1 cup crimini mushrooms chopped
1 small butternut squash peeled and diced 1/2 inch
1/2 small head of fennel (tops and core removed) diced
1 small celery root diced
2 parsnips peeled and diced
2 heads of broccoli chopped
1 large carrot peeled and grated
1 tsp herbs de provance
2-3 tbsp cognac
butter and oil
puff pastry

coat chicken with olive oil, season and roast at 350 for 35-40 min. Set aside
set the oven for 400 and toss veggies in olive oil. Season and roast for 20-30 min until tender
melt 2 tbsp butter and add a tbsp or two of olive oil
sautee onion, garlic and leeks until translucent
add flour and seasonings. cook for 2-3 min
Add wine to deglaze pan and then add water and better than boullion and cognac
when veggies are done roasting add them to the pot and simmer until sauce is thickened
Fill individual ramekins (add diced chicken to those you want to have meat in)
cut your puff pastry (which should have been dethawing) into strips. Weave a lattice pattern across the top of the ramekin (Mine used six pieces per ramekin)
bake at 400 for around 20 min until puff pastry is done ( you can do an egg wash if you want it shiny on top)

Bok Choy and Buckwheat Soba Noodles with Miso Sauce

One of the things we get a lot in our CSA is Bok Choy. I've made it a couple of times before, and I DO like it braised in coconut milk...but today i had a break from work and I stopped at the local asian market and picked up a boatload of buckwheat soba noodles and some miso paste, and decided to use some of them instead:

1 onion chopped
1 clove garlic grated
1 tsp ground fresh ginger
olive oil and seseme oil
soy sauce
rice vinegar
miso paste
lime juice
corn starch
buckwheat noodles
1 head bok choy cut into 1 inch pieces

sautee the onions, garlic and ginger in abt a tbsp each olive oil and sesame oil
add the bok choy and sautee until just beginning to get tender and add about a tsp of rice vinegar
in a small saucepan combine 2 tbsp miso paste with 1-2 tbsp water and 1 tsp lime
add soy sauce to taste. It will probably be a bit runny to get the flavors right. Add about a half tsp of cornstarch and whisk. add to the bok choy and simmer until sauce thickens.

Toss 1 bundle of soba into a pot of salted boiling water. Boil according to directions and drain.

Pour bok choy over drained soba noodles and enjoy!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Bourbon Tasting Notes

Bourbon Tasting Notes
Originally uploaded by kel h
Notes on a Bourbon Tasting:
ranked from most to least favorite ( i think...,it gets a little murky in the middle)

Woodford Reserve
Gentleman Jack
Knob Creek
Evan Williams Single Barrel
Sam Houston
Evan Williams
Wild Turkey = Tastes like Burning
Wild Turkey=Tastes like burning

Carrot Cake Muffins with Ginger Cream Cheese Frosting

we have a TON of carrots in our CSA lately. Now, I love me some carrot soup, but I decided to do something a little different and make some muffins. I had recently watched the Alton Brown ep about muffins, and was reminded of the importance of not overmixing. This recipe is adapted from Joy Of Baking. Their recipe uses coconut, and does not have dates, nutmeg or cinnamon.


1/2 cup pecans or walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped

2 cups grated raw carrot (about 2-3 peeled carrots)

1 large apple, peeled and grated

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup granulated white sugar

3/4 cup brown sugar

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp ginger

1/2 cup chopped dates

3 large eggs

3/4 cup safflower, corn, or canola oil

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Frosting Ingredients

1 pkg cream cheese

1 stick butter softened

6-10 tbsp powdered sugar

1 pinch salt

1 tsp grated ginger

1 tsp vanilla

Comine dry ingredients (including dates and nuts). In another bowl combine wet ingredients (including apple and carrot). Pour wet ingredients into dry and mix just until everything is moist (over mixing=dense muffins). Bake at 350 for 20-24 min

For frosting, cream butter and sugar. Add vanilla and ginger, and then add cream cheese.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Sweet Potato Pie

Sweet Potato Pie
Originally uploaded by kel h
I made sweet potato gnocchi, and figured since I was steaming sweet potatoes, I would make some pie as well. I adapted Emeril's Pie Crust, and used Alton Brown's pie filling recipe

Pie Crust
1 cup flour
1/4 cup shortening
1/4 cup butter
1 tsp sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 cup ice water

combine flour, sugar, salt and fat in a food processor. trickle water in while food processor is running a little at a time just until the dough forms a ball. fold dough in half and squish several times and chill before rolling out. Then chill while making the filling

1 lb sweet potatoes (cubed and steamed)
1 1/4 cup plain yogurt
5 egg yolks
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup chopped pecans
1-2 tbsp maple syrup

Steam and mash the potatoes
put into a stand mixer and mix until smooth
add eggs, yogurt and seasonings
pour filling into pie shell
toast pecans in a pan. pour maple syrup over and shake for a few minutes to candy the pecans before sprinkling over the pie

bake at 350 for 50-60 minutes until custard sets

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Stuffed Baked Potato Soup

Stuffed Baked Potato Soup
Originally uploaded by kel h
here's what I did to make some soup (based very loosely on Alton Brown's Potato Soup Recipe):

1 package chopped pancetta (to replace 5 pieces bacon)
2 leeks halved and chopped
3 cloves garlic shredded
1 bunch broccoli chopped (stem peeled)
3 tbsp butter
6 cups veggie stock
1/4 cup flour
4-6 baked potatoes (based on size)
1 1/2 cup half and half
2 tbsp white wine vinegar (original from Alton Brown suggests sherry vinegar if you have it)
1/2 cup shredded cheddar

brown the pancetta/bacon
then add the butter, shallots and garlic
cook until translucent
add flour and cook for a few minutes
then add chicken stock

run baked potatoes through a ricer (or squish them through a strainer if you're me)
add potatoes, cream and vinegar to the pot
great the cheese
whisk everything together
season to taste and simmer

Monday, November 1, 2010

Squash & Ricotta Tart

Squash & Ricotta Tart
Originally uploaded by kel h
I got this idea from Food and Wine Magazine. They used a puff pastry shell, but I am still too amused by my tart pan, so I used that instead.

Squash & Ricotta Tart

Tart Shell:
1 1/2 cup flour
3 tbsp butter
3 tbsp shortening
dash salt
3-4 tbsp cold water

combine flour and salt in the food processor. Then add fats. Add water just until a ball forms. Roll to 1/4 inch thick and lay into tart/pie plate
pop in the freezer to chill

if needed, bake at 400 for about 15 minutes after docking (stabbing with a fork to prevent bubbles)

Tart filling

1-2 small squash
2 cups ricotta
1 egg
1 tsp herbs of choice (I used herbs de provance)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cream
1 tbsp butter melted
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp honey
salt and pepper

preheat oven to 400
Slice squash into 1/4 rounds, remove seeds and wash (the original recipe didn't require the squash to be peeled but I did it anyhow)
combine melted butter, olive oil, and honey and brush squash rounds. season rounds with salt and pepper and bake at 400 for 15 min (or until soft with edges that begin to brown)
reduce temp to 375
in a bowl combine ricotta, cream, egg, 1 scant tsp salt, pepper and herbs to taste. Pour the ricotta into the tart shell. place the squash rings on top.

Squash and Ricotta Tart

Bake in 375 oven for 30 min
you can also put the squash seeds on a bake sheet with salt and pepper and bake until they start to pop like popcorn.

garnish tart with seeds, let sit for ten to fifteen minutes and slice.