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Posts Tagged ‘breakfast’

Since probably the mid 80’s, Thai cuisine has seen an explosion of popularity, likely due to a booming post-war tourism industry in Southeast Asia. As all popular things do, Thai cuisine was quickly adopted as the trendy go-to cuisine in America, built to excess, and generally ruined. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good dish of Pad Thai as much as the next person might. But a vast difference can be found from one pad thai to another. Generally, when seeking out foreign cuisines, look for recipes that aren’t written in english.

Thailand is host to a litany of amazing dishes exemplifying the core four flavors of their cuisine: sweet, sour, salty, and spicy. One thing that people don’t necessarily think about, however (maybe I can’t speak for you, but I’ve really never considered it), is what breakfast looks like in this part of the world. Rice and noodles are all well and good, but when it comes to the most important meal of the day I’ll usually reach for something a bit more familiar.

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Pa Thong Ko are a Thai version of a traditional Chinese-style cruller. Crispy on the outside, light and airy on the inside; They’re almost more similar to the fried bread dough you’d get from a dirty cart at the county fair. Served with coconut jam (which is really a custard), you can see the influence from French colonialism, much the same way that the Banh Mi came about in Vietnam.

According to Thai tradition, the traditional X shaped fritters represent two inseparable lovers, always seen together. In stark contrast, Chinese tradition recounts a tale of two evil men who were put to death in boiling oil.

Pa Thong Ko, adapted from SheSimmers
makes 10-12 fritters

  • Bread Flour*, 260g
  • Active Dry Yeast, 2g
  • Baker’s Ammonia, 2g
  • Alum Powder, 1/2 teaspoon
  • Kosher Salt, 8g
  • Granulated Sugar, 14g
  • Warm Water, 170g (3/4 cup)
  • Vegetable Oil, 1 tablespoon, plus more as needed
  • Baking Powder, 4g

Combine all ingredients except baking powder in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Mix on medium speed for 8 minutes. Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl and lightly coat top of dough with oil. Cover with a towel and allow to rise 4-5 hours. Transfer dough to a lightly floured work surface and lightly dust flour over dough. Sprinkle baking powder over dough. Fold and knead about 4 times. Roll dough to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut to desired shapes.
In a heavy-bottomed pot, heat 4-5 inches of vegetable oil to 350F. Fry dough until deep brown and crispy, 1-2 minutes on each side. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain excess oil

*Yes, you can use All-Purpose flour

Sangkhaya (Coconut Jam/Custard)
makes just over 1 cup

  • Egg Yolk, large, 4 each
  • Palm Sugar, 3 tablespoons
  • Granulated Sugar, 5 tablespoons
  • Coconut Milk, full-fat, 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons
  • Dried Pandan Leaf**, about 1/4 cup
  • Kosher Salt, 1/8 teaspoon

Combine egg yolks and sugar in a medium-sized bowl. Whisk vigorously until thick and creamy. Meanwhile, heat coconut milk, pandan and salt in a heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat. While whisking, add 1/3 of the hot coconut milk to the egg yolk mixture. Continue whisking until full incorporated. While whisking, add egg mixture to remaining coconut milk. Continue cooking over medium heat, whisking very frequently, until sauce is thick, about 5-8 minutes. Once thick, immediately remove from heat, transfer sauce to a bowl or other container and refrigerate until cooled completely.

**If you can’t find pandan or don’t want to buy it, substitute 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract.

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I think it probably goes without saying that having the web-slinger in the MCU is going to be super exciting. After years of lousy films featuring your friendly neighborhood Spiderman, one last reboot of the character might just be what they need to keep thing on the right track. With the brief glimpse of Tom Holland we got in Civil War, I have high hopes for Homecoming and beyond.

Next up in Mighty Marvel Superheroes’ Cookbook is probably the most simplistic recipe I’ve ever written about on C&K. Two instructions, no ingredients. Seriously.cookbook02

When I first got this book. This recipe was the way I would describe it to people; Step One: Make Pancakes.

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Please ignore my mediocre artistic talents.

Needless to say, this will work with whatever pancake recipe you like and whatever chocolate sauce you have on hand. It’s really that simple.

Pancakes, from Chefsteps

  • Pastry Flour, 200 grams*
  • Granulated Sugar, 30 grams
  • Malted Milk Powder, 20 grams (optional)
  • Baking Powder, 12 grams
  • Kosher Salt, 6 grams
  • Whole Milk, 240 grams
  • Eggs, whole 108 grams (2 each)
  • Butter, unsalted, melted, 60 grams

Sift together dry ingredients. Whisk together milk and eggs and combine with dry ingredients, mixing just enough to combine. Add melted butter and mix just enough to combine evenly. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add batter, about 1/4 cup at a time. Allow to cook on the first side until bubbles begins to form around the edges. Using a spatula, flip pancake and continue cooking 1-2 minutes (if you’re feeling daring, flip that badboy right in the pan).

*If you don’t have pastry flour, you can substitute 176g All-Purpose Flour and 24g Corn starch

Chocolate Gravy

makes about 3 cups

  • Butter, unsalted, 8 tablespoons
  • Granulated Sugar, 1 cup
  • Cocoa Powder, 1/2 cup
  • All-Purpose Flour, 1/4 cup
  • Whole Milk, 2 cups
  • Vanilla Extract, 1/2 teaspoon

Melt butter in a medium sauce pot. Whisk together sugar, cocoa and flour. Add dry ingredients to melted butter, whisking until smooth. Add milk slowly, whisking until fully incorporated. Bring to a simmer and cook until thickened, about 2-3 minutes. Add vanilla, stirring to combine. Let cool slightly before serving.

Using the same pancake batter, we can knock another recipe out pretty quickly.

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The only glimpse we’ve seen of a cinematic Galactus is in the 2005 Fantastic 4 adaptation where he appears as a cosmic hurricane, rather than a physical being. However, gigantic, stuffed pancakes are certainly a breakfast worthy of the devourer of planet.

The Cookbook offers a few suitable suggestions for filling these mammoth pancakes, but I went with the same formula I use for building the ultimate breakfast sandwich: meat, cheese, egg, something sweet, something spicy.

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Admittedly, this one really wasn’t super photogenic. For fillings, I’ve got ham, swiss, a runny egg, and a mango & hot pepper chutney.

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I’m still really not sure how to get into this style of writing. With a regular cookbook, I could write about the chef themselves, the history of the recipe I’m working on, or maybe what I think of their ideas on food and why they do certain things certain ways. But The Mighty Marvel Superheroes’ Cookbook is a bit different. The recipes are all super basic, and it really barely has anything to do with the characters at all. I’m just going to kind of wing it and see how it goes, sound good?

Ben-Grimm---The-Thing

Ben Grimm, better known as the ever-lovin’ blue-eyed Thing: One-time leader of the Yancy Street Gang, military aviator, NASA astronaut, founding member of the Fantastic Four. Growing up in a Jewish family in the Lower East Side of New York City, Grimm’s early life was based largely on that of creator Jack Kirby. Along with Reed Richards and Susan and Johnny Storm, Grimm was exposed to high levels of cosmic radiation, mutating his physical appearance, as well has giving him superhuman strength, stamina, and resistance to injury.

In addition to being one of the characters most beloved by fans, The Thing is even one of the more popular characters in-canon; Heroes from across the Marvel universe were more than happy to attend his Bar Mitzvah (yes, The Thing had a Bar Mitzvah) and the subsequent poker tournament.

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Blushing Ben makes a few appearances throughout the Cookbook, the first of which being his Clobbered Omelet.

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Pretty straightforward with this one. When you get down to it, it more closely resembles a frittata, but cooked on the stovetop rather than baked.

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The Thing’s Clobbered Omelet

serves 4-6*

  • Butter, unsalted, 4 tablespoons
  • Poblano Pepper, seeded, diced, 1 each
  • Red Bell Pepper, seeded, diced, 1 each
  • Yellow Onion, small, diced, 1 each
  • Shiitake Mushrooms, sliced, 8 ounces
  • Mixed Vegetables**, about 1 cup
  • Eggs, 12 each
  • Heavy Cream, 1/2 cup
  • Kosher Salt and Black Pepper, to taste
  • Cheddar Cheese, shredded, about 1/2 cup

Melt butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add all vegetables, cook until tender and lightly browned. While vegetables are cooking, combine eggs and cream. Season with salt and pepper and whisk until smooth. Increase skillet to high heat. Add egg mixture over vegetables and top with cheese. Cook until egg begins to set around the edges. Using a rubber spatula, gently pull cooked egg towards the center of the pan, allowing uncooked egg to fill the empty space. Continue pulling the cooked eggs this way until no uncooked eggs remain, about 4-5 minutes. Carefully slide or flip eggs onto a serving plate or platter. Cut into wedges, serve hot.

*If you’re not serving a crowd, feel free to cook the veggies and advance and store in the fridge. For a single serving, I used about 1/2 cup of the veggie mix, 3 eggs, 2 tablespoons of cream and just a sprinkle of cheese.

**If good, fresh vegetables are in season, definitely go with your favorite mix of fresh veggies. I used a frozen blend from the grocery store.

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Excelsior! As promised, I’ve finally got around to finishing up the first piece in a new series of cook-the-book style posts! First at-bat is Stan Lee Presents the Mighty Marvel Superheroes Cookbook. 

The book begins with a brief introduction and some basic tips on safety and kitchen cleanliness. Then, as any good morning would, delves into some breakfast.

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A wise man once said “There has never been a sadness that can’t be cured by breakfast food” and a trip to your local diner will prove that every time. While studies have more or less debunked the conventional wisdom that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, starting your morning with good food is a great way to set the tone for the rest of the day.

With Captain America’s Day Starters, we get a few different options for easy, healthy and delicious kick start.

‘Fresh fruit or fruit juice. Lots of vitamins C and A’

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I’ve wrote on here a few times about how great smoothies can be for breakfast. Blend up your favorite mix of fruits and veggies with some juice or milk (I also like to throw some type of sea vegetable in the mix) and you’re ready to go. Once you blend your mix, you can freeze it in an ice cube tray to make things even easier while you’re still groggy. This particular blend I threw together features banana, pineapple, orange, mango and sweet potato.

‘Milk is the best source of calcium. It’s need for strong bones and teeth. It also supplies protein – essential building blocks for our bodies’img_4825

Milk is certainly nutritious, if not a little bit weird as a concept, but yogurt has even more calcium and is loaded with beneficial bacteria. Mixed with granola and some fresh fruit, it makes for a hearty, protein-packed breakfast.

‘Bread or cereal, lots of variations in this department’

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For simplicity, flavor and customization, look no further than Avocado Toast, loaded with Omega 3 fats and complex carbohydrates. The only two things you need are in the name itself. Apart from avocado and toasted bread, the possibilities are near endless. The folks over that The Kitchn have a great piece to get your creative juices going; Here, I’ve got 12 grain bread with butter and sesame seeds, mashed avocado, and thinly sliced cucumber tossed with salt, pepper, chili flake and lime juice.

Now, for those looking for a more traditional American-style breakfast, look no further than Hulk’s Fried Potatoes with Bacon and Eggs

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This dish needs little explanation, if any at all. Bacon, eggs, toast, breakfast potatoes; Maybe some coffee, if you’re so inclined. I will give one little trick I recently picked  up while working mainly breakfast shifts: par-boil your potatoes with onions and garlic. This cooks them through, so when you fry ’em up they’ll be soft on the inside and crispy on the outside. It’s the same principle to making great French Fries.

In Our Next Exciting Issue…

The Thing’s Clobbered Omelet

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Miso Horny

I’ve been waiting for that joke for so long you guys. Anyway…

The Greek philosopher Democritus claimed that, when chewed, food broke into four distinct shapes, with the size and shape of the pieces determining the taste: Large, round pieces were sweet, while small, round pieces were bitter. Salt was given by small, angular bits, and larger angular chunks were sour.

Until the late 19th century, it was assumed that these were the four basic tastes. Then along came chef Georges Auguste Escoffier. Known as the ‘king of chefs and the chef of kings’ Escoffier developed nearly in its entirety what we now know as classical French cuisine. By developing rich sauces and deeply roasted meat dishes, he made food that didn’t just taste good, but was the best food anyone had tasted; A flavor that wasn’t simply a combination of sweet, sour, salty and bitter. Just a few years after the publication of Escoffier’s Le Guide Culinaire, Japanese chemist Kikunae Ikeda noticed that dashi made with kombu, a type of seaweed, was especially more delicious or ‘yummy’ (in Japanese, umami) that those made without. By studying the chemical makeup of the kombu, Ikeda pinpointed the fifth taste.

Glutamic acid, known now as Umami, create the flavor of savory-ness “common to asparagus, tomatoes, cheese and meat” as Ikeda described. Think about the crust of freshly baked bread. Crispy, roasted mushrooms. Soy sauce. Steak, seared in a ripping-hot cast-iron skillet. It’s why brown food tastes so great. However, it’s difficult to create a dish that’s strictly tastes of umami. As with the other tastes, balance is the key.

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I find that one of the more interesting ways to utilize umami is in largely sweet products. In the same way that salt makes chocolate and caramel taste extraordinary, umami ingredients provide a truly unique contrast.

This week, I wanted to take a page from friend and queen of doughnuts Ren Weiner. Miso, a Japanese seasoning of fermented soy beans or other grains, is jam-packed with umami goodness, and plays quite well with rich, eggy doughnuts. The dough itself carries a smattering of white miso (also called yellow), which has a mild, smooth taste (I swear this isn’t a cigarette ad). Red miso, with a more intense, aggressive flavor gets blended with plain ol’ sugar to make a nice topping. My miso sugar didn’t really dry out like I had hoped it would, but was spectacular tasting nonetheless.

Miso Doughnuts, adapted from Bon Appetit

makes about 10 doughnuts

  • Red Miso, 1 tablespoon
  • Granulated Sugar, 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon, divided
  • Active Dry Yeast, 1 package (2 1/4 teaspoons)
  • Egg, whole, 1 each
  • Egg Yolk, 1 each
  • Butter, unsalted, melted, 3 tablespoons
  • Whole Milk, 3 tablespoons
  • White or Yellow Miso, 3 tablespoons
  • All-Purpose Flour, 2 cups, plus more as needed
  • Vegetable Oil, for frying

Pulse red miso and 1/2 cup sugar in a food processor until mixture resembles brown sugar. Spread out evenly on a parchment-lined  baking sheet and let sit until dry, 2−2 ½ hours. Pulse in food processor until no clumps remain. Transfer miso sugar to a bowl and set aside.

Combine 1 tablespoon sugar and 1/4 cup warm water in a small bowl. Sprinkle yeast over and let sit until foamy, 5−10 minutes.

Beat egg, egg yolk, butter, milk, white miso, and remaining 1/4 cup sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer with whisk attachment until smooth. Add yeast mixture and flour and mix until a loose ball forms.

Switch to dough hook and mix on medium until dough is smooth,  5−7 minutes. If dough is wet, add more all-purpose flour as needed.

Place dough in a large bowl lightly coated with nonstick spray. Cover and let sit in a warm place until nearly doubled in size, 1−2 hours.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; lightly flour. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and pat out to 1″ thick. Punch out rounds with biscuit cutter. Repeat with scraps. Transfer rounds to prepared baking sheet, cover loosely, and let rise in a warm place until almost doubled in size, 45−60 minutes.

Pour 2 inches of oil into a large heavy saucepan. Heat over medium-high until thermometer registers 325°. Working in batches, fry doughnuts until deep golden brown, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to paper towels and let cool slightly before tossing in miso sugar.

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In America, Thanksgiving is kind of a big deal. Restaurants bust out catering pickups all week long, and the smarter of the home cooks begin their prep days in advance. I generally have a good gameplan for the gluttonous holiday (which was recently featured in State14!), but even the best laid plans can go awry due to weather, lost attention, or a host of other mishaps.

Today, as you may note, is not Thanksgiving. Today is the day after Thanksgiving. That means I just had one of the deepest sleeps I’ve had in weeks, and also that I’m nearly out of tupperware. As great as Thanksgiving is for bringing family together, sharing food and spending time with loved ones, the more practical application is packing your fridge with enough leftovers to last a good couple of weeks. The ultimate use of Thanksgiving remnants is to pack it all into a sandwich. I’ve said before that sandwiches are by far the best category of food, and I will continue saying that to my grave. This is the holiest of all sandwiches. I often tout my love of a classic Reuben as the best sandwich, but the Thanksgiving Leftover sandwich, saved for just one day of the year, is a beast all of its own. While I love that sandwich more than any other, I’ve written about it multiple times before (in 2012 and 2013), and wanted to push my creativity a bit this year.

Getting weird with your leftovers definitely isn’t a new idea. This year, I’ve seen my share of cool recipes: Egg Rolls, Burritos, Eggs Benedict, Pizza, Nachos; the possibilities are near endless. Serious Eats may get the trophy for their Stuffing Waffles, but I wanted to take it just a step further.

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As my southern friends will vouch for, chicken and waffles is truly an amazing combination. Sweet and savory, breakfast and lunch. Sneakers Bistro knows what’s up. I prefer to break down my turkey rather than roasting it whole, which left me with some big ol’ turkey wings to do something cool with: Sous vide until super tender (a la Modernist Cuisine), then fried with a crispy breading. The debate rages online as to whether gravy or maple syrup is the appropriate condiment for this behemoth, but being that I’m from Vermont I’m sure you can guess what side of the line I fall on. I like to mix some of the good stuff with my leftover cranberry sauce and a bit of Cholula.

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As a customer and restaurant-goer, brunch can be one of the greatest meals of all time. Straddling the line between breakfast and lunch (obviously), brunch opens up a whole range of possibilities that would otherwise seem pretty weird. Fried chicken at 10am? Of course. Pancakes in the afternoon? Why not? Brunch also creates an acceptable reason to drink liquor with your first meal of the day, and every now and then we could all really use that. Burlington has innumerable places to get brunch, all packed to the brims on any given Sunday, but the best by far has to be Sneaker’s Bistro, which also happens to be within walking distance from my apartment. As far as I’ve found in the area, they have the best balance between a straight-up breakfast menu (which, within itself strikes a perfect balance between the sweet stuff and savory stuff) and a straight-up lunch menu. But besides the great food and drinks, I think what really sets brunch apart from other meals is that it allows you to sleep in and still enjoy breakfast foods.

On the flipside, however, as a cook and as anybody who works in restaurants will tell you, brunch can be an absolute nightmare. It usually means starting work in the wee hours of the morning to be open by the time normal people are just starting to wake up. It usually means preparing a menu almost completely separate from your normal dinner menu (unless you’re a breakfast/brunch place only). It usually means dealing with an unusual amount of shitty children. It usually means you put a lot of time and effort into developing some pretty creative stuff only to have people ask for the diner staples anyway. “House made Nova Lox, you say? Local bagels? That sounds pretty good. I’ll get a bacon-egg-and-cheese on white bread.” I don’t want to knock a good bacon-egg-and-cheese, but it’s a hard feeling when your customers aren’t as excited about your food as you are.

Whether you’re a jaded cook or just a breakfast food-enthusiast, I think we can all agree that the good outweighs the bad, and brunch is here to stay. For the 4th week of Reddit’s 52 Weeks of Cooking Challenge, we’ve got BRUNCH WITH A VENGEANCE.

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While I normally prefer stuff on the sweeter side – french toast, cinnamon buns, really maple-y bacon – I am once again trying to eat a bit healthier. Brunch is a great vehicle to get some fruits and veggies in at a time where you may otherwise be tempted to indulge a bit. Kale, spinach and Swiss chard provide a great base to this fluffy frittata, mixed with some cherry tomatoes (yes, I know it’s January) to get that sweetness I was craving. Now, I’m not normally one to go for egg whites against whole eggs, and it’s been shown that egg whites alone aren’t all that beneficial to you, but when I make a frittata I like to go with a little higher ratio of whites to whole eggs in order to lighten up the texture a little bit. In addition to being super tasty and easy to make, this was super filling and definitely got me ready to face the day ahead!

Braised Kale & Tomato Frittata

makes 4-6 servings

  • Vegetable Oil, as needed
  • Garlic, minced, 3 cloves
  • Mix of Kale, Spinach, Swiss Chard, or other greens, 1 large bag (about 8 cups)
  • Vinegar*, about 1/4 cup
  • Cherry tomatoes, halved, 2 cups
  • Eggs, 4 each
  • Egg Whites, 4 each
  • Fresh Oregano, minced, 2 tablespoons

Preheat oven to 400F. In a medium oven-proof skillet, heat vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add garlic, stirring frequently, and cook until it begins to brown. Add the kale, spinach and Swiss chard, packing tightly into the pan. Allow  to cook about 2 minutes, then add the vinegar to steam the greens. Cook until tender, and total volume is reduced to 2-3 cups. Add cherry tomatoes and stir to combine. Whisk together eggs, egg whites and oregano. Add egg mixture to pan and cook for 2 minutes without stirring. Transfer pan to oven and bake until set, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven, allow to cool 5-10 minutes before cutting and serving.

*Whatever vinegar you have on hand will work. Balsamic might be weird, but I won’t tell you what to do.

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