Peach pie! #fridayflour on a monday (Taken with Instagram)
Brian’s birthday is at the end of January and instead of going out to eat, Brian suggested I (we) should cook instead. Naturally I thought, I should try something from my Ad Hoc book, but when I finally looked at the recipes, everything required 4+ hours of time. Time which I didn’t have. So instead, we just went to the market and cooked what look’s good. Brian had one request though, popovers. His birthday meal consisted of steak, brocollini and popovers!
The steak was simple, no recipe required. In a large skillet, add a teaspoon of cooking oil and turn on high. Heat the oil until it’s hot, you can tell because it’ll start to smoke. In the mean time, season both sides of the steak with salt and pepper. Once the oil is hot, move your seasoned steak to the pan and start cooking. Leave the steak on the pan for about 3-5 minutes. You’ll want the steak to brown and get a good coat. Once the first side is done, turn it and repeat. If you have a thick piece of steak, consider turning it on it’s sides. Shortly before it was done, we tossed in some smashed garlic cloves and rosemary sprigs to add some flavor. It didn’t make too much of a difference, so it’s up to you. After you cook your steak to your liking (we cooked until it was medium), remove it from the heat and place it on a dish. Cover the dish lightly with foil and let the steak rest for about 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, it’s ready to serve!
I LOVE BROCOLLI (and anything related to it)! It’s probably the vegetables I’d choose if I could only eat one vegetable for the rest of my life. Anyways, we cooked some brocollini. I’ve had it before at restaurants, but never made it myself. First, blanch the brocollini. Boil water until it’s steaming and comes to a rolling boil, then add the brocollini. We left it in the pot for no more than 3 minutes. While you’re blanching your brocollini, add some oil to a medium size pan and set on high. Once you’re done blanching the brocollini, hopefully your pan is hot. Once the pan is hot, add the brocollini to the pan with some minced garlic and chili flakes. Toss is altogether in the pan for a couple of minutes. Once done, remove from the pan and you’re done!
POPOVERS! (Recipe adapted from Ina Garten) Probably my favorite part of the meal.
1 1/2 Tbsp unsalted butter (melted), plus softened butter for greasing pans
1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 tsp kosher salt
3 extra large eggs (I didn’t have EXTRA-large so I used large) at room temperature
1 1/2 cups milk, at room temperature
Servings: About 12 popovers
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Great aluminum popover pans with softened butter. If you don’t have any popover pans, substitute them with a cupcake pan. Now I didn’t have either, so Brian and I were brilliant and created our own vessels. We shaped foil paper to a measuring cup, then lined it with wax paper. Genius? I think so! It worked out just fine! Place the pans in the oven for about 2 minutes to preheat. We accidentally skipped this step, but it still worked out fine for us. Meanwhile, whisk together the melted butter, flour, salt, eggs and milk until smooth. The batter should be thin. Fill the popover pans less than half full and bake for exactly 30 minutes. Once done, take them out of the oven and boom, you’re done!
*Note: I know I’m well behind on my posts, but fridayflour is in full steam. More posts to come!
As week three approached and Chinese New Year right around the corner, I thought it would be appropriate to make some sort of Chinese dish, so I settled on dumplings. I remember when I was little my mom would let me “help” her stuff and fold each pastry skin, though I don’t know how helpful I could have been as I’m not very good at this now. I can’t imagine my seven year old self being any better.
After reviewing a few recipes online — I saw that I could customize my own filling with whatever I’d like. I thought it’d be great if I could make my skins from scratch, so I enlisted in this task. This was probably the most enduring piece of dough I’ve ever dealt with and a fridayflour failure first. I knead the dough over and over again and when it came to using it for the actual dumpling it was much too thick. Even with the rolling pin, it just wasn’t right. I easily caved and used the back-up shells I bought from the store. In the end, I think it was a good choice, I saved several of my family members from eating thick-skinned dumplings. Eck! Maybe I’ll improve my culinary skills and try the dough again, until then, store bought dumpling skins it is!
Recipe (only for the dumpling filling because, well, the dough was just to thick)
- 2 lbs of ground pork
- 1/4 cup of minced bamboo
- 1/4 cup of diced chives
- 3 cups of diced napa cabbage
- 3 cloves of garlic (minced)
- Minced ginger
- 3 Tbsp soy-sauce
- 2 Tbsp sesame oil
- Dumpling skins
In a large bowl mix the ground pork, bamboo, chives, cabbage, garlic and ginger. Once combined, add the soy sauce and sesame oil. Than add salt and pepper to your liking (I didn’t measure it out). Make sure the soy sauce, sesame oil, salt and pepper is well distributed throughout the mixture. Feel free to add more soy sauce or sesame oil as you please.
Next, wrapping the dumpling. So, it took quite a few times to learn how to do this correctly. Actually, it took my mother showing me, until I did it correctly. Here are step by step directions.
1. Scoop about 1-2 tablespoons of the mixture to the center of the dumpling skin.
2. Fold the dumpling skin in half and pinch the top.
3. Now, pleat the right side of the dumpling towards the center (on one side only).
4. Then, pleat the left side of the dumpling towards the center. The back should remain smooth.
5. You’re almost done! to close the ends of the dumpling, indent the ends so it makes a heart shape, then pinch together. Repeat step 5 on the other end of the dumpling.
You’ve successfully made a dumpling! There are several ways to cook your delicious dumplings. We tried it two different ways, pan fried and boiled. Note, if you pan-fry your dumplings, you’ll want to use dumpling skins that are made for pot stickers, they’re a bit thicker so they won’t break while frying.
1. Take a non-stick frying pan and add about a tablespoon of oil. Turn it on high until the oil is hot.
2. Once it’s hot, place your dumplings (pot stickers) in the pan, standing up and cook for about 2 to 3 minutes until the bottom turns golden brown.
3. Now, add about 1/2 cup to 1 cup of water (depends on how big your pan is and how many pot stickers you’re cooking) to the pan and cover with a lid. The water will evaporate and steam the rest of your pot stickers so it’s fully cooked.
4. Remove from the pan once all the water is evaporated.
1. Fill half a pot with water and bring to a boil.
2. Once boiled, add dumplings and bring to a boil again. Stir the dumplings around so they don’t stick to the pot.
3. Once boiling again add 1 cup of cold water and bring it to a boil.
4. Remove from the pot.
Now enjoy with some soy sauce and vinegar!
For my second meal, I decided to make breakfast for dinner, featuring cheese. One, I love breakfast, and two, I love cheese. CHEESE IS SO GOOD.
I didn’t think this one through too much as the meal was much sweeter than I anticipated, but thankfully Brian bought a pack of bacon (BACON!) for some savory goodness. Overall the meal went well, probably would be best served in the morning, but I was short on time as I was traveling later in the week. A hearty breakfast meal will come in time.
It’s winter so the blueberries weren’t too sweet, but it was perfect! The blueberries were tart, a good balance for what was to come. The french toast was delicious to say the least. French toast + nutella + mascarpone + fruit? What more can a girl ask for?
Blueberry Lemon Ricotta Pancakes (with blueberry compote)
- 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
- 2 Tbsp of sugar
- 1 tsp of baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
- 2 large eggs, separated
- 1 Tbsp grated lemon peel
- 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1/3 cup (skim) ricotta cheese
- 1-2 cups of blueberries
In a bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. In another bowl, whisk buttermilk, egg yolks, lemon juice and lemon peels. Stir the buttermilk mixture into the flour mixture until the mix is evenly moistened. Stir in the ricotta cheese.
In another bowl, use a mixer to beat the egg whites until it forms a soft peak. (You’ll want to use a mixer unless you want to whisk for days or get super buff forearms). Next, use a spatula and gently fold the egg whites into the buttermilk and flour mixture. You’ll want to fold the egg whites in until it is distributed throughout the mixture. The batter should be slightly chunky, not completely smooth. Now add the blueberries.
Now, use a large non-stick frying pan and coat with oil. Heat the pan to medium heat. Once hot, use a ladle to drop batter into the pan. Cook until the pancakes are lightly browned on the bottom than turn them over with a spatula.
The pancakes are almost done! Now for the compote!
- 1/2 cup blueberries
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 1/2 cup water
Place all ingredients in a small pot and simmer on medium high heat until the blueberries slightly break open. The mixture will become slightly syrupy. I prepared the compote simultaneously while cooking the pancake batter. Once both are done, let the pancakes and compote cool, than plate and serve!
French Toast with DELICIOUSNESS
- Day old bread (sliced)
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/4 tsp vanilla
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1-2 Tbsp butter
- Sliced strawberries
First mix the eggs, milk, vanilla, and cinnamon together in a bowl. I like using a shallow bowl with a wide bottom as I find it’s easier to dip the bread. Once the batter is made, heat a non-stick frying pan to medium high and melt some butter in the pan. Next, dip one slice of bread (I used challah) in the batter. Make sure both sides are coated in batter. Once coated, place the slice of bread on the pan. You’ll want to toast each side until it’s slightly browned. Finish coating and toasting the rest of your bread. Once done, let it cool for a few minutes, the fun part is next!
For three layers of french toast goodness, grab three slices of french toast. On one slice, spread mascarpone and on another slice spread nutella. As for how much mascarpone and nutella?
A LOT. Use your own discretion. Place the sliced strawberries on top of the mascarpone, after the slice of bread is covered in strawberries, place the slice with nutella on top, with the nutella facing the strawberries. Now repeat the process with your last slice of bread. Spread mascarpone on the second slice of toast (the one with nutella on the other side) and spread nutella on the third slice. Cover the mascarpone with sliced strawberries and place the third slice of bread on top. Voila, you’re done!
I’d say breakfast for dinner was a success. No unforgotten carrots to be pealed and no hot oil splashing onto your face. Now only 50 more meals to go! Next up, homemade dumplings to celebrate Chinese New Year!
Look what came in the mail today :) I will automatically cook greatness, hopefully.
Just completed my first meal in 2012. Boeuf Bourguignon! Adapted from Anthony Bourdain’s Les Halles Cookbook.
Served with pappardelle pasta and green string beans tossed in a butter, garlic and olive oil sauce.
The dish didn’t require anything out of the ordinary, just beef, carrots, onions and such. (See below for the recipe). Overall, the dish was fairly easy to make. The hardest part was probably seasoning and browning the meat (note to self: don’t be shy, learn to season meat aggressively). However, first mistake, I forgot to peel the carrots and wasn’t reminded until after I chopped them. Solution? I peeled each chopped carrot individually, with love of course. If you have 3+ hours to spare, make it, it’s delicious!
On the menu for week 2? BREAKFAST FOR DINNER!
- 2 lbs paleron of beef, or chicken steak or same amount of shoulder or neck, cut into 1-1/2-inch pieces (I used chuck steak)
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 bouquet garni (made of parsley, thyme and bay leaves)
- 1/4 cup of olive oil
- 4 onions, thinly sliced
- 1tbs. all purpose flour
- 1 cup red Burgundy (though I hear any red will do)
- 6 carrots, cut into 1-inch peices
- Salt and pepper
- Chopped flat parsley
Stage 1 Season the meat with salt and pepper. In the Dutch oven, heat the oil over high heat until it is almost smoking. Add the meat in batches — not all at once! — and sear on all sides until it is well- browned (not gray). You dump too much meat in the pot at the same time and you’ll overcrowd it; cool the thing down and you won’t get good color.
Sear the meat a little at a time, removing it and setting it aside as it finishes. When all the meat is a nice, dark brown color and has been set aside, add the onions to the pot. Lower the heat to medium-high until the onions are soft and golden brown (about 10 minutes). Sprinkle the flour over them. Continue to cook about 4 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally then, add the red wine (I definitely used more than 1 cup as the recipe calls for, but use can use your own discretion). Naturally, you want to scrape up all that really good fond from the bottom of the pot with your wooden spoon. Bring the wine to a boil.
Stage 2 Return the meat to the pot and add the carrots, garlic and bouquet garni (typically you’ll tie the bouquet garni together and toss it in the pot, in my case I didn’t have anything to keep the parsley, thyme and bay leaves together so I let them float loosely and that was perfectly fine for me). Add just enough water (and 2 big spoons of demi glace, if you have it) so that the liquid covers the meat by one-third — meaning you want a ratio of 3 parts liquid to 2 parts meat (instead of water, I used beef broth). This is a stew, so you want plenty of liquid, even after it cooks down and reduces. Bring to a boil, reduce to a gentle simmer, and let it cook for about 2 hours (3+ hours for me), or until the meat is tender (break-apart-with-a-fork tender).
You should pay attention to the dish, meaning check it every 15 to 20 minutes, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pot to make sure the meat is not sticking or, God forbid, scorching. You should also skim off any foam or scum or oil collecting on the surface, using a large spoon or ladle. When done, remove and discard the bouquet garni, add the chopped parsley to the pot and serve. (I was told that boeuf bourguignon is best served a day after it was made, so I made the dish on Friday but waited until Saturday night to eat it)