Sunday, August 30, 2009
Saturday, August 29, 2009
So, my chocolate fix followed me to Bridgehampton for a stay-in-NY-cation with my BFF Rachael. While hurricane Danny threatened with dark skies and rip tides, we pointed our blazing yellow Mini Coop to the three vineyards in the Hamptons. Sipping wine turned out to be an easy (and lovely) alternative to a beach day, and after 3 tasting sessions we stopped at a farmers market on the way home for fresh corn. I grabbed 4 ears (with thoughts of this swirling in my head) and couldn't resist a bag of their homemade chocolate crinkle cookies for the trip back to the city.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 325°F. Line the bottom and sides of the baking pan with parchment paper or foil, leaving an overhang on two opposite sides.
Combine the butter, sugar, cocoa, and salt in a medium heatproof bowl and set the bowl in a wide skillet of barely simmering water. Stir from time to time until the butter is melted and the mixture is smooth and hot enough that you want to remove your finger fairly quickly after dipping it in to test. Remove the bowl from the skillet and set aside briefly until the mixture is only warm, not hot.*
Stir in the vanilla with a wooden spoon. Add the eggs one at a time, stirring vigorously after each one. When the batter looks thick, shiny, and well blended, add the flour and stir until you cannot see it any longer, then beat vigorously for 40 strokes with the wooden spoon or a rubber spatula. Stir in the nuts, if using. Spread evenly in the lined pan.
Bake until a toothpick plunged into the center emerges slightly moist with batter, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool completely on a rack.
Lift up the ends of the parchment or foil liner, and transfer the brownies to a cutting board. Cut into 16 or 25 squares.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Monday, August 24, 2009
They call it a "breakfast-inspired" dessert (it's meant to be served with maple ice cream -- YUM!), but I could have eaten this sweet and savory cornbread at any point in the day. It would be delightful with chicken-apple sausage in the morning, or as a side to pork chops for dinner. My mouth is watering already.
To avoid a dry result, follow the direction on how to cook the bacon, and make sure to add the bacon drippings into the batter. To stay on the lighter side, I skipped this step but my cornbread would have been tastier with the extra fat (and though the reviews were good, those who'd dined at Le Pigeon in the past noted that my version was slightly less "bacon-y" than the original). We drizzled with maple syrup and served with a side of my new absolute favorite ice cream: Haagen-Dazs Fleur De Sel Caramel (mind-blowing).
P.S. I updated the comments section, so it should work now for everyone! And special thanks to Emily W. for capturing a shot of the finished product at the party!
Le Pigeon, Portland OR
2 tbsp. butter
1 cup plus 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
1/2 cup diced bacon
1 1/4 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup whole milk
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup dried apricots, diced
3 tbsp. honey
1 tbsp. molasses
Preheat oven to 325 F. Grease an 8x8-inch baking pan with one tablespoon of the butter. Coat with 2 tbsp. flour and set aside.
Heat remaining butter in a saucepan over medium heat and add the bacon. Cook until bacon is browned and cooked through, about 5 minutes. Set aside.
Combine the remaining 1 cup of flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in mixing bowl. Make a well in the center and add buttermilk, milk, and eggs. Stir until just combined.
Combine apricots, honey, molasses, and cooked bacon with about a tbsp. of the bacon drippings and stir to combine. Add to cornmeal mixture and pour into prepared pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 30 minutes.
Note: It took me almost 45 minutes in the oven for my toothpick to come out clean.
Friday, August 21, 2009
Friday, August 14, 2009
Chile-Corn Custard Squares
3 1/2 tbsp. vegetable oil, divided
Heat 1 1/2 tbsp. oil in heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and saute until soft and beginning to brown, about 12 minutes. Set aside to cool.
I had one day at home before driving out to Ohio to see my friend Dave say his vows at our college chapel on Saturday, and I spent it like any other one-day home: shopping at the mall with my Mom, lunching at my favorite Mexican food joint, and spending the evening around my parents kitchen table. Unable to resist the lure of my Mom's ENORMOUS kitchen (compared to my city "kitchen-closet" it's the biggest kitchen on the planet) I decided to use up all of her farm market peaches for the most summery dessert I could think of: peach crisp.
My friend Ben and I grabbed a pint of Caramel Swirl ice cream to a-la-mode the crisp and O.M.G. It was gone in a flash and, embarassed that none of us could pull ourselves from the dessert coma to leave the table, we spent the next hour telling stories and laughing off some of the calories. Couldn't ask for a better summer night.
P.S. My Steelers won their preseason opener on Thursday... it's gonna be a great fall :)