Thursday, December 8, 2016

Oyster Preparation. Lucky Twelve Oysters!

 Years ago, at one of the Taste of the Beach events,
Mr. Hawthorne and I went to The Lucky Twelve Tavern's
It's All About Oysters Special.

For about 18 - 24 oysters:

1 TB paprika
1 TB sugar
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted

Mix paprika, sugar, and cheese and sprinkle over top of oysters.
Pour butter over top.
Place oysters under 450° broiler for about 5 minutes.  Time depends on distance of oyster to heat source.  Watch it.

Remember, you can never under cook an oyster.  You can, sadly, over cook an oyster.  Don't do it.

These are best on the grill, but sometimes one must just improvise.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Oysters. Oh MY! Broiled OYSTERS!! OH MY GOODNESS!!!

Get ready for some of the best flavors and textures you've ever had the pleasure to feast upon.

Rosie's got another bag of oysters and she's coming up with another new way to make them extraordinary.

Rosie's Oysters
2 dozen oysters
1 TB unsalted butter
1/2 TB oil 
1 large mushroom, small chop
3 oz. mixed greens - I used kale, spinach, and chard.
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 bulb fennel, charred and chopped
1/2 apple, small chop
3-4 TB cream, enough to bind
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
fresh grating of nutmeg
2 TB pumpkin seeds
Chèvre cheese
1/2 leftover homemade breakfast biscuit, toasted
Plugra unsalted butter

Melt butter with oil, add in mushrooms and cook about 2 minutes over medium heat.  Add in greens and cook, stirring for about a minute.  Add in garlic, fennel, and apple.  Turn off heat.  In a minute or two, add in cream, season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg, and stir in pumpkin seeds.

Top each oyster with greens mixture, crumble some Chèvre, sprinkle the toasted biscuit crumbs over, and dot with a pat of butter.

450° for 6-7 minutes, turning halfway through. 

Douse the fennel in extra virgin olive oil and char over an open flame.

Chop a large mushroom and the charred fennel
and mince the garlic.

Add in the baby greens to melted butter and a little oil.

2-3 minutes until wilted.

Add in garlic, fennel, and apple.

Then the cream, seasoning, and pumpkin seeds.

Top oysters with greens mixture.

Then some Chèvre.

And some crumbled homemade biscuits.

Under the broiler until nicely browned.

I love the flavor of Chèvre and apples together.
And the texture of the pumpkin seeds???

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Rosie Makes Waffles.

I found Fannie Farmer's recipe for the classic waffle.
This is the ONLY waffle I will ever make from now on.
This waffle is magnificent.
It's not just any waffle, mind you.
It's an overnight yeast-raised batter waffle.

Would you just look at that waffle,
all decked out,
with Plugra butter and pure maple syrup and strawberries.
Crunchy pockets of sweetness and goodness.
This is a perfect breakfast.

I thought I'd hit the breakfast jackpot
a week or so back,
what with the toasted, Plugra'd pumpernickel,
the orange marmalade,
the perfect poached egg,
and the bacon, first boiled, then babied
to the absolute perfect texture.

But Fannie's waffles rate right up there.

Let me start at the beginning.
It was a dark and stormy Friday night.
Rosie was antsy.
What to do?
What to do?
Well, she started thinkin'.
Which can either be a good thing or a bad thing.
In this case it was a good thing.
I remembered reading somewhere
about Fannie Farmer's overnight yeast waffles.
And right then and there on that Friday night,
I decided what I was having for Saturday morning breakfast.
Rosie'sAdapted Recipe for Saturday Morning Waffles
since she never has whole milk,
but always has skim and heavy cream.

1 package yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1 stick unsalted butter
1 cup skim milk
1 cup heavy cream
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp sugar
2 cups flour
2 eggs
 1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla

Sprinkle yeast over the water with a pinch of sugar.
Stir to dissolve. 
While yeast is "proofing"
(It's proving it's alive by eating
and emitting carbon dioxide and getting foamy.),
melt butter and add in milk.
Warm it a bit (not hot)
then whisk into yeast.
In another bowl, mix flour, sugar, and salt.
Add to liquid mixture and whisk until smooth.
 Cover bowl and let stand at room temperature overnight.

In the morning,
beat in baking soda,beaten eggs, and vanilla.

Heat up the waffle machine.
For the first waffle, I use butter.
None for the rest.
Pour in about 1/2 cup batter into the iron
and if your instructions that come with the machine
say cook 3-4 minutes, then try 5-6 minutes.
If your machine has a light that goes off,
keep the waffles in a bit longer.
Crisp is good.

We like to put these in the toaster oven before serving,
 to crisp them up and make 'em even better.

Serve with ...  oh so many different things!
Whatever fruit you want -
strawberry, blackberry, blueberries come to mind.
Let sweet butter melt into the little squares.
Drizzle pure maple syrup over the ridges.
It's ALL up to you.
Choose wisely!

Now, follow the pictures.

My yeast has "proofed."

Here's my dough mixture the next morning.
My finger is pointing to where the level was
the night before.
That's how much it's risen.
Covered, overnight, room temperature.

Puffy, yeasty batter.

There's my little electric waffle maker.
And my first two buttered waffles.

Here's the first batch of waffles
and my cup of coffee.
This is when I decided to take the waffles up a notch.

Add some butter and pure maple syrup.

I had some strawberries.
These waffles are extraordinary.

I put the rest in storage bags and refrigerated them.

I happened to have some orange syrup 
and caramelized orange peel in the fridge
I'd made for some oysters. 
I pulled off an end of a cold waffle
and swirled it in the cold syrup.
Then I scooped up some caramelized orange peel pieces
and popped the whole in my gaping maw,
licking my fingers and relishing every bit.
 It was divine.

I have no shame.

The next morning when I came out of the shower,
I smelled coffee and yeast.
Mr. Hawthorne had made coffee and put a few waffles
in the toaster oven to heat them up.
I could smell the yeast from the waffles.
Breakfast was bliss.

Once you make these waffles,
there's no turning back.
None whatsoever.

Make a batch for this weekend.
Put extras in storage bag and refrigerate.
Pop into toaster oven for a quick breakfast
the rest of the week.

And try different toppings -
blueberry sauce,
strawberries, blackberries, blueberries,
caramelized orange, orange syrup,
pure maple syrup, and butterbutterbutter.

You will thank me.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Mo' Oysters.

Rosie is making mo' oysters.
And that would be Moreover Oysters.

Rosie, as you know, doesn't do 'Leftovers."  She does "Moreovers,"  which is when you take "leftovers" and make something much more better!

My leftovers today include yellow rice and black beans and cornbread.

I put a few grains of rice, a few black beans, some chopped onion, and a pinch of cumin on each oyster.
Then I crumbled some cornbread over top.

Add some grated PepperJack cheese on top.

Then give it a quick trip under the broiler.

And enjoy!
More oysters forthcoming.

After all, 'tis the season!

Monday, November 28, 2016

Rosie And Her Oysters!

Now, what do we have here?
I believe it's another oyster preparation.
You know the Hawthornes love their oysters,
so we're always trying to come up with
different toppings to accentuate the oyster.
We don't want to overpower the delicate, briny oyster.
We just want to accompany it with a few extra flavors.
And in the Hawthorne household,
you never know what those flavors are going to be.

 Toppings For My Oysters
 1/4 fennel bulb, roasted, chopped
extra virgin olive oil
1 TB chopped scallions
1 TB minced celery with fronds
2 TB chopped apple
1 orange, rind caramelized
grated Parmesan cheese
panko breadcrumbs
unsalted butter

Pour a little olive oil over the fennel,
roast over an open flame, cool, then chop
along with the scallion, celery, and apple.

Place some caramelized orange on each oyster (2 dozen).
Top each oyster with fennel mixture.
Give each a light grating of Parmesan cheese,
a sprinkling of panko, and a small pat of butter.

Under a 450° broiler for about 6-7 minutes,
until lightly browned.
You may want to turn oysters halfway through broil time.
Remove from oven and top with more caramelized orange.

(I put the first caramelized orange pieces underneath the toppings
so they wouldn't burn under the broiler.)

To caramelize orange rind,
 peel the rind off one orange, 
being careful to avoid the pith
(bitter white part),
then slice into thin strips.
Place in small saucepan,
cover with water,
bring to boil.
Pour off water and repeat twice.
Add juice of the orange, 1/2 cup cold water,
and 1 cup sugar to pan with orange peels.
Bring to boil, 
then simmer gently over very low heat,
 occasionally swirling pan,
 until peels are sticky and syrupy - about 20 minutes.

 I normally don't have fennel,
but sometimes one finds themselves with the odd vegetable.
I had 1/2 a fennel left over from one of Mr. Hawthorne's concoctions -
Pasta with Sausage Ragu.
He's so pleased with himself and this dish.
He's already made it 4 times
and tomorrow he wants to make it again
"because don't you think it would be better that way?"

Who is this man?
What have they done with Mr. Hawthorne?

Whomever he is, he can stay.

And stay tuned for his Sausage Ragu recipe.
You'll be quite happy with it!

I doused the fennel with a little extra virgin olive oil
and roasted it over an open flame.

Boil the orange peel.
3 times.

Add the sugar and orange juice.

Bring to boil,
then gently simmer.

When it gets syrupy like this,
take it off the heat.
Caramelization can go downhill in a heartbeat.
As in burn.
So don't become a statistic.
Not that I am.

Choppy-choppy the fennel, scallion, celery, and apple.

Write down directions as you go along.

Place a little caramelized orange on top of the oyster.

I wouldn't mind slurping this down just as is.

Top with a little of the fennel mixture,
sprinkle on the Parmesan and panko.
I put on the pat of butter halfway through cooking.
Almost forgot it.

450° broiler.
6-7 minutes.
Until lightly browned.

I love oysters.