Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Spelt Pancakes v2.0

As much as I love eggs for breakfast, I sometimes get the urge to change things up with pancakes. I wasn't completely pleased with my first attempt at making spelt pancakes. They were a bit on the dense side, so I wanted something lighter while still using spelt flour. I knew that buttermilk and separating the eggs to whip up the whites would be in order. These pancakes were so much better - light, fluffy, and wholesome. 




Buttermilk spelt pancakes
adapted from Aubergine-Eggplant

100g all-purpose flour

140g spelt flour
1 tbsp baking powder
Teaspoon of sugar
Pinch of salt
2 eggs (soak in hot water while preparing other ingredients to bring to room temperature and then separate)
1 cup buttermilk or yogurt
1/3 cup milk
2 tbsp butter, melted and cooled

1. Combine dry ingredients (both flours, baking powder, 
sugar, and salt) in a large mixing bowl. 
2. Combined egg yolks, buttermilk, milk, and butter in small bowl, and whisk well.
3. Whip egg whites until soft peaks form.
4. Add the wet ingredients from step 2 to the dry ingredients in step 1, stir until just combined. Lumps are good!
5. Gently fold the egg whites into the batter.
6. Heat a non-stick skillet or griddle over medium low heat. Spray your pan with cooking spray or use a little butter. Your pan is ready when droplets of water sizzle on contact. 
7. Pour 1/4 cup batter onto your pan, and cook until bubbles appear all over, above 3 minutes. Flip and cook for another 3 minutes until golden brown. Repeat with remaining batter.
8. Serve with good maple syrup.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Rhubarb-raspberry buckle

I'm really lucky to have a sweet and generous friend in Sheri. When we met up for dinner recently, she generously gifted me a LARGE bag of cleaned rhubarb from her parents' yard. Her husband was kind enough to remove all the leaves and clean them for me too. Since rhubarb pairs so well with berries that aren't readily available until later in the summer, I prepared the rhubarb to be frozen. Of course, during this process, I discovered from frozen rhubarb from last summer that I neglected to use.

I had very little homemade vanilla ice cream in the freezer, so I wanted a rhubarb dessert that would stand well on its own. Lottie and Doof came through again with a rhubarb buckle. Instead of 4 cups of rhubarbs, I  only used 2.5 cups, and added 1.5 cup of raspberries. The two fruits baked wonderfully together under a layer of tender yellow cake, and a scrumptious crumb topping spiked with ground ginger. Even Aaron went for seconds of this dessert in one sitting!


Thursday, May 24, 2012

Pittsburgh

We recently made our first trip to Pittsburgh to attend the graduation weekend events for Aaron's sister. We are so proud and happy for her completion of the pharmacy program at Duquesne University. Pittsburgh is an older, compact city split into pieces by the Ohio and Alleghany rivers that run through it. The population is certainly dominated by the several universities situated within Pittsburgh.

On Day 1, we visited the Strip area to hit up the original Primanti Brothers, per Aaron's request. This deli is known for their sandwiches with outrageous condiments or toppings like coleslaw and French fries. We opted for the pastrami. I was expecting a hoagie type roll, so I was surprised by the sliced white bread. It was alright - one of those things you just have to try.


Meanwhile, my special request was to hit Wholey's. Even though we shared a sandwich at Primanti's in hope of sharing another sandwich at Wholey's, that simply wasn't possible. The fried fish for the sandwiches was as big as my head! I opted for a large lobster mac and cheese to go instead. It was a decadent luxury - rich and creamy Vermont cheedar, al dente shells, and large chunks of fresh lobster.

I then wandered into PennMac, a Pittsburgh institution. If only we had a picnic to enjoy, I would have loved to buy a variety of cheeses to enjoy from this large Italian grocer.


Before leaving the strip, I stopped by Enrico Biscotti. This was a fun bakery with large glass jars filled with layers of enormous biscotti. Having made chocolate almond biscotti using Dorie Greenspan's recipe, I was disappointed with these biscotti. I found them to be tasteless and drier than your typical biscotti. I included 2 bacon peanut butter biscotti for Bailey when I bought a half dozen.

There was one Pittsburgh restaurant that really piqued my interest: Salt of the Earth. It's only been open for a year, and they focused on preparing food from farm to table. Aaron went for halibut, which he declared one of his favorite meals ever. I opted for the veal, mostly because it would be served with sweetbreads.


After graduation, we had some time to kill before dinner. We went to The Church Brew Works, which was a church converted into a brewery! It was quite impressive to see how much of the original church structure was preserved for its new purpose.


Friday, May 18, 2012

Topolobampo

I was pretty spoiled in April with a nice dinner at Goosefoot, and then Topolobampo just two weeks later. Topolobampo is Rick Bayless' two Michelin star restaurant. We have enjoyed Frontera, Xoco, and Tortas Frontera on numerous occasions, but getting a table at Topolobampo requires several weeks of planning!

We opted to order a la carte rather than a tasting menu because we wanted to mix and match our options. 

Lasana Autoctona de Huitlacoche: "Lasagna" of corn masa noodles, huitlacoche (inky corn mushroom), roasted white sweet potato & crunchy nixtamal in herby-green, fresh corn sauce (wild greens, serrano chile).

Tres Bocaditos Oaxaquenos: Three bites of Oaxaca - aged beef tenderloin tasajo (tlayuda, black beans); classic chorizo (Oaxacan pasilla salsa, quail egg); red chile pork loin cecina (avocado-tomatillo salsa, pickled ripe tomatillos, pickled radish pods)

Carne Asada y Barbacoa en Mole Negro: Seared Premier Wagyu ribeye & slow-roasted Crawford Farm lamb in classic Oaxacan black mole (chilhuacle chiles & 28 other ingredients), corn husk-steamed chipil tamal,  unctuous black beans, smoky green beans.

Pescado en Mole de Olla: crispy skin Alaskan arctic char, rich red guajillo chile broth (epazote, garlic,  tomato), garlicky chayote & huauzontles (Mexican greens), yucca, Napa & lime.

Crepas con Cajeta y Ciruela: Warm, buttery crepes with homemade goat’s milk caramel, dried and fresh Seedling Farm plums, dried plum-armagnac ice cream, toasted hazelnuts

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Do-rite Donuts

There's a new donut shop near my office, which is bad for both my waistline and my wallet. Thankfully, Do-Rite Donuts close early in the afternoon once they sell out of the day's product. I've accumulated these pictures from three separate visits over the course of several weeks.

Maple bacon cruller - French crullers have become my favorite donut. I believe they were my grandfather's favorite because whenever he would visit, he would bring us a few. They tend to be lighter than most donuts due to the pockets of air in the piped shape. Unfortunately, this donut did not really do anything for us as the maple frosting was overpowering, and the texture did not compare favorably for a cruller.

The meyer lemon pistachio donut was quite muted in flavor. 

I don't really recall ever having a buttermilk donut before Do-rite, but their version is a home run. Crunchy on the outside with a rich crumb that just melts in the mouth.

I thought the sticky bidness sounded like a good match for Aaron's love of cinnamon rolls and my love for caramel. It was certainly light and delicate, but the pecans were a miss on this sticky bidness. 

As a chocoholic, I loved the thick layer of ganache on the valhrona chocolate cake donut. Perfect balance especially with a cup of coffee. 

Finally, there was the carrot cake donut with a tight middle to hold the the cream cheese and nuts. A delicately spiced and glazed muffin disguised as a donut. 



Monday, May 7, 2012

A year ago today...

I started this blog as a creative outlet from my day job and to hold myself accountable to using the contents of our weekly produce share. I was a newlywed, and I wanted us to eat healthier and seasonally by incorporating more produce into our diets. Admittedly, I am not sure what will come of this blog as time goes on. I am disappointed that I have not been able to blog as frequently as I would like, but I'd like that to change with the bounty of summer around the corner. I hope I can continue challenging myself in the kitchen to try new recipes, flavors, and techniques.

Today, I'm finally posting pictures from our deliciously memorable meal at goosefoot. Not only was the food gorgeous eye candy, but it was also my most enjoyable restaurant meal in recent memory. Service was smooth and professional but personable. We were given our menus as a souvenir because it was printed on planting seed paper!

lobster/scallop/hubbard squash/licorice root/curry

 sunchoke soup/potato/shrimp/truffle essence

 loup de mer/meyer lemon/leek/tapioca pearls

roasted quail/spiced beluga lentils/ginger/compressed apple

angus beef/heirloom carrots/goosefoot/cumin/shallot jus
pleasant ridge reserve/celery-truffle caponata/almond
 
palate cleanser: beet, yuzu, pomegranate, tonic
passion fruit/coconut/lime/vanilla cremeux

chocolate/sea beans/orange/mulled wine

gooseberry dipped in chocolate and chopped hazelnuts