Wednesday, June 30, 2010
I've been thinking that hot dogs are just about perfectly patriotic for the Fourth of July. They don't cost much, so you can feed the multitudes. They couldn't be faster, so you don't have to miss all the fun. You can customize them in a million different ways, so everyone is happy. You can a keep it simple for the kids with a squirt of ketchup, or make them high falutin' fancy for the adventurous crowd. That's how I like them-so full of fixings, that you could skip the dog (which I do, frankly. Frank-ly, ha! ) A friend of ours is starting a hot dog stand in Hawaii, and I've been working on secret sauces for him. So far this chicken wing sauce has been the favorite, but my tangy root beer barbecue sauce is a close second . I'm also workingon a spicy apricot simmer sauce that should go well on a dog, so I'll be sure to share if it turns out well.
This morning, the Des News ran an article about hot dogs with loads of marvelous variations.
Check it out and give it a try. Maybe I'll even get one made before the Fourth so I can share it with you.
Sunday, June 27, 2010
For the crust:
1/2 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 cups flour
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
For the filling:
6 extra-large eggs at room temperature
3 cups granulated sugar
2 tablespoons grated lemon zest (4 to 6 lemons)
1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 cup flour
Confectioners' sugar, for dusting
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
For the crust, cream the butter and sugar until light in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Combine the flour and salt and, with the mixer on low, add to the butter until just mixed. Dump the dough onto a well-floured board and gather into a ball. Flatten the dough with floured hands and press it into a 9 by 13 by 2-inch baking sheet, building up a 1/2-inch edge on all sides. Chill.
Bake the crust for 15 to 20 minutes, until very lightly browned. Let cool on a wire rack. Leave the oven on.
For the filling, whisk together the eggs, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and flour. Pour over the crust and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the filling is set. Let cool to room temperature.
Cut into triangles and dust with confectioners' sugar.
Friday, June 25, 2010
Mojo de Ajo Veggie Fajitas
Pico De Gallo, for serving
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Monday, June 21, 2010
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Money Saving Tips: The grocery stores will have big meat sales for Father's Day, so stock up. Any tender cut of beef for grilling will work well here, so ask your butcher for your best and cheapest cut.
Combine all of the ingredients above and bring to a boil, adding cornstarch to thicken. Soak the bamboo skewers in water to avoid burning. Place 3 pieces of beef on each skewer and cook on the grill 3 minutes on each side or until desired doneness. Brush with sauce and serve.
Here's what I'm serving alongside:
Monday, June 14, 2010
Hooray, my pictures are working. Thanks for your tip in the comment section, Catherine.
I buy canned pineapple rings about once a year, just in case my Dad wants a pineapple upside down cake. (Some years he wants a chocolate mayonnaise cake, and I keep dried dates on hand for that, but that's another story.) My Dad's birthday comes just a few weeks before Father's Day, so that leaves all of us ten siblings scrambling for not just a birthday but also a Dad's day gift. It's tough to know what to get for the guy that has it all, especially considering that he is a superlative gift giver. I've given up getting wrappable gifts for the most part-unless I catch him openly admiring something and I can quickly buy it before he can. Instead, I bake him gifts from my kitchen. This year it was pineapple upside down cake. He loves my pineapple upside down cake, because I make it just like his mother did. You can't get fancy and modern with fresh pineapple. No, it has to be canned pineapple rings studded with seven maraschino cherries. The cake itself is tender and slightly sweet, making a perfect foil for the sugary brown syrup and bright pineapple juice. Bake it in a cast iron skillet for the best results. When you are all done enjoying your pineapple upside down cake, you will be left with a few extra pineapple rings, plus some juice. They make a splendid sauce and topping for chicken, especially again in your cast iron skillet that can travel so seamlessly from stovetop to oven. (If you don't own a cast iron skillet, buy one. But if you can't do that, wrap the handle of your skillet with tinfoil, and it'll fare well.) The chicken is tender and sweet, but the pineapple is the true star of this dish. It takes on savory notes from the soy sauce and chicken, but the pineapple's sweetness is intensified by the brown sugar and the high heat. It's given me a new reason to buy pineapple rings, and not just for my Dad's cake. But I'll keep buying if for that, too. Happy Father's Day, Pop.
Dad's Pineapple Upside Down Cake
from Joy of Cooking
Estimated Cost: $5.00
1 (20 ounce) can pineapple rings
3 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup flour
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
6 tablespoons buttermilk
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Drain 7 slices of pineapple (reserve juice and remaining slices for recipe below). Heat a nine inch oven proof skillet over medium heat. Add 3 tablespoons butter. When the butter is melted, sprinkle brown sugar over the top. Place one pineapple ring, in the center, and surround it with remaining pineapple rings, each with a cherry in the center. In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, 2 tablespoons buttermilk, and vanilla. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, powder, soda, and salt. Add softened butter and buttermilk and beat until smooth. The batter will be stiff. Add the egg mixture and beat until smooth. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, atop the pineapple rings. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove the cake from the oven and tilt the pan in all directions to loosen the cake. Let cool for 2-3 minutes and unmold. I like to place a large plate on top of the skillet and flip it over. Voila!
Pineapple Glazed Teriyaki Chicken
Estimated Cost: $7.00
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
4 slices red onion
4 slices green bell pepper
4 canned pineapple rings
juice from 20 ounce can of pineapple rings
3 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons brown sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Add oil and let warm. Add chicken and brown, about three minutes per side. Cover each piece of chicken with a slice of onion, green bell pepper, and a pineapple ring. Combine pineapple juice, soy sauce, and brown sugar. Pour over chicken. Place chicken in oven and bake for twenty minutes, basting with sauce frequently. If sauce reduces too quickly, you can add chicken broth or water. (I don't season with any salt, since the soy sauce is already salty.) Serve with rice.
Cinnamon Raisin Swirl Bread
I'm working on my post about pineapple chicken and pineapple upside down cake, but my pictures are downloading as complicated gibberish code instead of image. You are all so smart; can you tell me what I'm doing wrong? Computer troubles reveal my true nature as a Flintstone. I'm tempted to throw a rock at my computer and see if that would fix it. It hasn't worked yet.
Anyway, I'm too chipper to let it get me down today. This last weekend I was out looking for shoes when I spotted these stunners from Dansko. Hopefully you will see a pair of shoes, and not the scrambled jibberish I was referring too earlier. Can you see them? " "Too much moolah, but very cute," I told my sister, Heidi. She blabbed my secret yen to my littlest sister Mary Kate, the one with five kids that I just babysat while she was in the Cayman Islands. As a thank-you present, she suprised me with the shoes I'd been admiring. I love their comfort, their stylishness, their pretty straps, but mostly I love that my two sisters conspired to suprise me.
I'll be back later today, after I throw a second rock at the computer. Happy Monday.
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
Monday, June 7, 2010
FOR THE MOJO DE AJO
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons minced garlic (4 to 6 cloves)
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice (from 2 limes)
1 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
FOR THE FAJITAS
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 large white onion, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices (about 1 cup)
1 large green bell pepper, ribs and seeds removed, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast (1 small whole), sliced 1/2 inch thick
8 ounces boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 2), sliced 1/2 inch thick
8 small flour tortillas (about 6 inches), warmed (instructions follow)
Guacamole, for serving
Sour cream, for serving
Shredded mild cheddar cheese, preferably longhorn, for serving
Make the mojo de ajo: Cook oil and garlic in a small saucepan over low heat until garlic is soft and fragrant, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in lime juice, red-pepper flakes, and salt.
Make the fajitas: Heat a large skillet (preferably cast-iron) over high heat. Add oil, and gently swirl to coat. Add onion and bell pepper, and season with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until onion is browned in spots, and pepper has softened slightly and skin is blistered, about 5 minutes. Add chicken and 1 teaspoon salt, and cook, stirring frequently, until chicken is browned and cooked through, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the mojo de ajo, and stir to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately with warmed tortillas, guacamole, pico de gallo, sour cream, and cheese.