Friday, September 23, 2016

grilled brussel sprout naan pizza

Did you guys know that naan bread makes amazing weeknight pizza crust? You know, because you can just throw your toppings on, heat it through, and have a "pizza" in less than 30 minutes. Tonight was a lovely night for grilling and sauvignon blanc. It's still quite warm out, but a few leaves have fallen, so this pizza has a touch of fall with walnuts and Brussels sprouts.

Grilled Brussels Sprout Naan Pizza with Walnuts, 
Goat Cheese and Spicy Honey Drizzle (whew)
-1/4 cup honey
-1 small red Chile, chopped fine
-zest of 1 lemon
-1/2 lb. Brussels sprouts, stems removed, sliced thin
-3 garlic cloves, chopped
-1/2 cup walnuts
-1/2 teaspoon curry powder
-1/4 teaspoon turmeric
-1/4 teaspoon chili powder
-1/4 teaspoon black pepper
-1 Tablespoon butter
-1 Tablespoon vegetable or Walnut oil
-6 oz. goat cheese

Make the honey drizzle: heat the honey and Chile in a small sauce pan over low heat for about 2 minutes. turn off heat and stir in lemon zest. Let sit while you prepare the pizzas.

Prepare the grill: light charcoal in a starter chimney. When the charcoal is mostly gray and has stopped flaming, distribute hot coals in half of the grill base, so you can do indirect grilling on the other half. 

Place a cast iron skillet on the grill directly over the coals and add the butter and oil. When butter is melted, add the walnuts and spices to the pan. Cook until just fragrant. Add the sliced Brussels sprouts and cook until bright green and just barely soft, about 4-5 Minutes. Remove from heat. 

Brush the Naan with oil on both sides. Evenly distribute the Brussels sprout mixture on the 2 naan breads. Break up the goat cheese into small hunks and place evenly on the pizzas. Place the pizzas on the cool side of the grill, close the lid and let cook 4-5 minutes. Turn the pizzas 180º and cook for another 4-5 minutes, until crust is crisp but not charred, and cheese is slightly melted. Drizzle with spicy honey and serve hot!

Related posts from the archives:

Friday, September 16, 2016

rice krispy kremes

I work in an office where we celebrate every one's birthday. At the beginning of the year everyone writes 2 or 3 of their favorite treats on a slip of paper and we all draw some one's name. I drew my boss's name, and his requests were Rice Krispie Treats and Krispy Kreme Donuts. Not much fun for someone who likes to make things from scratch and be creative in the kitchen, but I had to grant his birthday sweets wishes... so I combined them! It was too perfect... like, duh, the metamorphosis of the two was inevitable.

So, not really a recipe... I just made the classic Rice Krispie Treats recipe and spread it out in a single layer about 1-inch thick. After it cooled a little, I used a biscuit cutter and a small circle cutter to make donut shapes. Then I dipped them in a copycat Krispy Kreme glaze (recipe here) and added sprinkles. They turned out adorable, and were a hit with my coworkers.

Chocolate glazed!

So cute!

Friday, September 09, 2016

succotash casserole with biscuit top

My garden surprised me. I had given up on it due to disappearing tomatoes (deer? squirrels? aliens??) and non-producing pepper plants. But the other evening as I was mowing I saw a bounty of poblano peppers and even a couple little tomatoes and some chile peppers! Praise Be!

Between my garden  miracle and the last of the summer corn at the grocery store, I knew I needed to make something to honor the end of summer (and celebrate my electric bill being slashed in half for the fall/winter). I came up with this succotash casserole with a biscuit top. It has summery flavors... bright, sweet, a little spicy, but with the warm autumnal comfort that casseroles evoke.

Succotash Casserole with Biscuit Top
-4 medium yellow potatoes, peeled and diced
-3 strips of thick-cut bacon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
-1/2 large red onion, diced
-2 teaspoons seasoned salt (I used Lawry's low-sodium)
-3 Tablespoons all purpose flour
-2 cups chicken stock
-1/2 cup milk
-2 cups fresh corn (from 3 ears)
-1 large poblano chile, or 2 small, chopped fine
-1 medium tomato, chopped
-12 oz. frozen baby lima beans
-Salt and pepper to taste

Crust: (borrowed from Serious Eats)
-1 stick unsalted butter, cut into small pieces and refrigerated
-1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
-2 teaspoons baking powder
-1 teaspoon salt
-3/4 cups milk

Make the filling: Bring water to boil in a 4-5 qt. dutch oven. Add some salt and cook the potatoes until just fork tender, about 6-8 minutes. Drain and set aside. Add the bacon to the dutch oven and cook until crisp. Remove the bacon to a paper towel, leaving the grease in the pot. If needed, add more cooking oil so that there is 3 Tablespoons of oil in the dutch oven. Add onion and seasoned salt and cook until just translucent. Sprinkle flour over onions and stir, cooking for about 2-3 minutes. Add the chicken stock and milk and let come up to a simmer, stirring and scraping the bottom to get any brown bits. Remove from heat. Add the potatoes, bacon, corn, poblanos, tomatoes and lima beans. Season with salt and pepper and stir to combine well.

Preheat oven to 400ºF. Make the biscuits: Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Add the butter and use a fork or pastry blender to quickly work the butter into the flour until the mixture has pea-sized crumbles. Add the milk and stir until just combined. Drop the dough in golf ball-sized heaps onto the top of the filling mixture in the dutch oven. Bake for about 40 minutes until the biscuits are golden on top. Let cool 10 minutes or so before serving.

Related posts from the archives:
Fry Bread with Maple Corn Hash
Bacon Corn Pesto with Pierogies
Gluten-Free Gnocchi with Corn & Tomatoes
Chicken Upside Down Cake
Tater Tot Pizza
Peach Ginger Scones
Potato Chicken Casserole with Lemon and Truffle Salt
Beer Bratwurst Mac 'n Cheese


Friday, September 02, 2016

bao buns with filipino fillings

My boyfriend has been instrumental in getting me to start blogging again. He loves to cook as much as I do, and in fact owns a restaurant and food truck here in St. Louis, Guerrilla Street Food. They are kind of a big deal. They serve modernized Filipino food. I've learned quite a bit about Filipino food in the past year, and I've fallen for it pretty hard. It's Island food, Asian food, Spanish food, American food, and more, all brilliantly combined into it's own unique cuisine. It's fusion before fusion became an overused buzzword.

These Bao/Siopao buns are a combination of Chinese Gua Bao, which are little taco-shaped steam buns usually filled with pork belly, and Siopao Asada, which are a street food popular in the Philippines consisting of a sweet barbecue pork encased in a fluffy white steamed bun.

We both made a different filling. I made Longganisa sausage, which is a sweet pork sausage that I've come to know from Guerrilla Street's longganisa corn dogs and from various dishes at their monthly brunch. I got a grinder attachment for Christmas and have been meaning to try out grinding my own meat and making sausage. This is a fresh, uncased version that's simple to make and very flavorful. There's a good amount of sugar in it so it gets really caramelized when you cook it. HECK YES.

He made a vegetarian version of Asado filling using jack fruit instead of pork. We heard that jack fruit is used a good substitute for pulled pork because of it's texture. It really did turn out great! We're not gonna give up pork, but jack fruit is a good option in it's own right.

It was so fun to "project-cook" with each other. It takes some planning, and good communication, and sharing and helping... and random dancing. I encourage everyone to get in the kitchen with their significant other. I hope these recipes or other recipes on my blog inspire these kind of kitchen adventures.

Bao Buns 
(makes 16)
-1 teaspoon active dry yeast
-1 teaspoon granulated sugar
-1/2 cup water
-1/2 cup all purpose flour
-1 1/2 cups cake flour
-1 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
-1/4 cup sugar
-1 Tablespoon vegetable shortening, melted
-1/4 teaspoon salt

In the bowl of a stand mixer, dissolve the yeast and sugar in warm water (105ºF-115ºF), and let it stand for 10 minutes or until foamy. In a separate bowl, sift together the flours and baking powder, stir in the 1/4 cup of sugar. Add the melted shortening and salt to the yeast mixture. With the dough hook, on low speed, add the flour mixture to the yeast mixture and mix until a dough forms. Continue to mix on medium speed to knead the dough for 5 minutes or so until it is smooth. Clean out bowl and oil it. Place the ball of dough back in the bowl, cover and let sit in a warm spot until it doubles in size, at least an hour, mine took almost 2.

Form the dough into a 16 inch log and slice into 16 1 inch pieces. Roll the pieces into balls, then flatten and roll out into ovals, approx 3" x 6".  Lightly brush the top of each oval with vegetable oil, fold lightly then set aside to rise, covered, for another 30 minutes to an hour.
Place each bun on a square of wax or parchment paper and place in a bamboo steamer to steam for 10 minutes. Work in batches, depending on the size of your steamer. Do not crowd the buns in the steamer. Serve immediately with the fillings of your choice, or allow to cool then freeze.

Longganisa filled buns

Fresh Longganisa Sausage 
(makes more than you'll need for the bao...keeps well and is great for breakfast)
-2 tablespoons soy sauce
-3 tablespoons rice vinegar
-1 Tablespoon Pernod
-½ cup brown sugar
-1 tablespoon salt
-2.5 lbs coarsely ground pork butt
-6-8 cloves garlic, minced
-2 teaspoons black pepper
-2 teaspoons smoked paprika

Combine the soy sauce, vinegar, Pernod, sugar and salt in a bowl. In another bowl, mix the pork with the garlic, pepper and paprika. Pour in the soy sauce mixture and work into the meat with your hands until well-incorporated. Cover and refrigerate overnight or up to 2 days. Form and cook as desired. For these buns, I did some free-form sausage shapes, patties and balls. Yep. Balls.

Cucumber Red Onion Quick Pickles
-1 cucumber
-1/2 medium red onion
-3 Tablespoons rice vinegar
-2 Tablespoons soy sauce
-2 teaspoons sugar
-2 Tablespoons minced cilantro
-5-6 pineapple sage leaves, chopped fine

Cut the cucumber in half lengthwise and scrape the seeds out with a spoon. Slice thin and place in a shallow baking dish with the sliced onions. Combine the vinegar, soy sauce and sugar in a small bowl until the sugar is dissolved. Pour over the cucumbers and onions. Sprinkle the cilantro and sage over. Toss to combine everything. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Stir before serving.

Jack fruit Asado-filled buns
Jack fruit Asado
-2 20 oz. cans jack fruit, rinsed and drained, seeds removed
-1 Tablespoon vegetable shortening
-1 yellow onion, chopped
-6 garlic cloves, minced
-1/2 cup water
-3/4 cup Asado sauce (below)

Preheat the oven to 400ºF. In a shallow sauce pan or dutch oven over medium heat, melt the shortening. Add the onions and garlic and season with salt, cook until translucent. Add the jack fruit and water. Cover and cook for 10 minutes or until jack fruit can be pulled apart like pulled pork. Mash with a wire potato masher or pull apart using 2 forks. Do not over mash. It should look like pulled pork. Pour the Asado sauce over the jack fruit and stir, cooking another 2 or 3 minutes until well combined. Line a cookie sheet with foil and coat with vegetable oil. Spread the jack fruit evenly on the sheet and place in the oven. Roast for 20-30 minutes until the sauce has absorbed into the jack fruit and it has gotten darker and drier. Serve on steamed buns hot, with extra sauce, chopped scallions and chiles (if desired) or cucumber red onion quick pickles (see above).

Asado Sauce
-4 Tablespoons soy sauce
-4 Tablespoons sugar
-3 Tablespoons oyster sauce
-1 Tablespoon hoisin sauce

Combine all ingredients well. Serve on jack fruit Asado buns.

Related posts from the archives
Siopao pork steamed buns
Salsiccia balls with peppers and polenta
Pretzel balls with mustard rarebit
Mongolian beef balls
Wonton soup
Fish balls with sweet pork filling