Monday, February 8, 2016

Rosie Makes A Grilled Portabello Salad.

I wanted something different today.
I always want something different.

Imagine when I stroll through Food Lion and other markets and ask the butchers, "Do you have a new protein you're offering?  Some new animal?  I'm tired of the Same Old Same Old."  They look at me oddly and possibly think I should be under observation.


















Today, the role of Meat is being played by Portabella.

The role of Crouton is being played by Parmesan Crisp.


Rosie's Portabella Salad
1 portabella mushroom, gilled and stemmed

2 TB pancetta
1 Parmesan crisp
mixed baby greens
spinach
cucumber, tiny dice
chopped red onion
Clementine, peeled, divided, and pithy fibrous stuff removed


Sauté the mushroom and pancetta.

For Parmesan crisps, use about 1/4 grated Parmesan cheese for each crisp. You'll want a bunch of these.  Great for snacking on.  You want a medium to coarse grate, not a fine grate.  Lightly press the Parmesan into thin rounds on parchment paper.  Bake at 375° 7-8 minutes.  Watch carefully!  Like toasting nuts, baking cheese can go South in a Second!.

Rosie Tip:  If you want Parmesan cups, immediately remove from baking sheet and drape over small inverted cup.  I was too lazy to do this.

Make the salad:
Mix greens, cucumber, onion, and clementine slices.
You can find these and many other fine olive oils and vinegars at the Outer Banks Olive Oil Company,  Mile Post 6 in Kill Devil Hills.

Mix and Match!

Toss with vinaigrette:
1/8 cup lemongrass mint white balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup blood orange olive oil
pinch kosher salt
freshly ground pepper
Whisk olive oil into vinegar. Mix in freshly ground pepper to taste.

To plate:
Place a mushroom and top with a Parmesan crisp.  Add salad.  Serve.


Parmesan rounds ready for oven.













Scrape out gills and stem.







Toss salad with dressing.

And assemble.




Thursday, February 4, 2016

Rosie Makes Golden Syrup, Pancakes, And Waffles.

I have just the thing for your breakfast this weekend.  Golden Syrup with your pancakes and/or waffles.  And I've got a perfect pancake/waffle batter recipe for you.

I have a Facebook friend in Australia (Rosie waves wildly to Kerry Hancock!) and she and I have shared an expensive postal relationship.  First I sent her Outer Banks Sea Salt, then she sent me pink Murray River Sea Flakes, Vegemite, and CSR Golden Syrup.  CSR stands for "Colonial Sugar Refining Company."

As to Australian sugar, it goes back to the early stages of Australian colonization.  Colonists recognized the need for a local source of sugar, so they planted sugar cane, set up mills, and started the original refinery in Sydney in 1855. 

The Hawthorne menfolk were quite intrigued with the Golden Syrup and actually prefer it on their pancakes and waffles rather than their usual maple syrup.  I don't like the chemical-laden artificial pancake syrups and don't bother with them.  It's real maple syrup for me, but ...

I couldn't forget that Golden Syrup.

So I set out to recreate it.

 
The sugar I'm using is Organic Sugar Florida Crystals Pure Cane.


Now, I'm sure you're asking yourself, "What's the difference between regular sugar and cane sugar?"  Pure cane sugar is milled out of sugarcane and only sugarcane.  Our "regular sugar" is a product of both sugarcane and beets.

Pure Sugar VS Regular Sugar:
  • Most people think pure sugar tastes better than regular.  Beets can "contaminate" the taste of sugar.
  • It performs better in certain recipes.  I don't think I'd be able to recognize that.
  • People like it for its aesthetics.  Pretty granules.





 Next time I might try using Turbinado sugar.













Golden Syrup
Makes 1 pint.

3.5 oz. cane sugar
3 TB water

 In a medium sauce pan over medium heat, twirl the sugar and water and caramelize the sugar until a golden color.

10.6 oz. boiling water
17.6 oz. cane sugar
1 lemon slice

Carefully add in the boiling water, then the rest of the sugar.  Whisk to dissolve.  Add lemon wedge and simmer 45 minutes.  The lemon keeps it from caramelizing any more and prevents sugar crystal from forming.  Remove after cooking.

Strain into jar.
If it gets to thick for you, simply nuke it for a few seconds and it thins out.
Use on pancakes, waffles, ice cream, as a marinade.  All sorts of uses.




Starting out.
Simmer, whisking.

Starting to change color.

Getting closer.


Ah...  That's the color I want.


Add in sugar and boiling water.


Add in the lemon slice and keep it at a bare simmer for 45 minutes.

Strain.

Hmmm.  Colors look the same.
Taste test.  Damn close.  I could tell on a blind taste test that mine had more of a molasses thing going on, but all the other flavors were spot on.  Mine was a little thicker, but if you want, thin it out with a little boiling water or nuke it a bit.

Now that I've made the syrup, I have the perfect pancake/waffle recipe for you.

 
Sometimes, you just have to have pancakes.
Nothing else will do.
Over the years,
I've experimented with pancake batters
and I really like this one.
It's now my go-to batter for pancakes and waffles.

Pancake/Waffle Batter 
1 cup flour
1 TB sugar
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup buttermilk
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 stick (4 TB) unsalted butter, melted

Whisk together dry ingredients.
In another bowl, whisk buttermilk, egg, and vanilla.
Slowly stir liquid mixture into dry mixture.
Gently stir in butter.
You want lumpy.
Let rest 5 minutes before cooking.

 
Lumpy batter.
That's what you want.
 
 
I like to leave my waffles in about a minute or two
longer than when the light goes out on my waffle machine.
I like my waffles on the crisp side.

Thanks again to my "Down Under" friend,  Kerry Hancock, for sending me a sample of this truly golden syrup.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Rosie Makes Moreovers In The Form Of Hairy Balls.



The other day, I made potstickers and I had pork mixture leftover.
So naturally, I'm making MOREOVERS! today.

Years ago, I wrote this:

Nothing goes to waste in the Hawthorne Household.
And I don't refer to the remnants as leftovers.
Immediately after writing the word "leftovers,"
I knew I needed another word that was more real, more definitive, and positive.
First I thought of the word re-do's.
But that implies it wasn't done right the first time around when it certainly was.
Then I considered do-overs.
But, of course, that, too, has a negative connotation.
I've put a lot of thought into this trying to come up with just the right word which describes
the process of what I do in the life chain of the produce and viande
I prepare and serve and consume.

And my word is Moreovers.

Think about it:
You've already produced and served a wonderful, satisfying, convivial repast.
So, what's next?
MORE is next.
When you say "Moreover," you're likely going to top what you previously said,
put an exclamation point there,
and/or put it in bold or italics.
So, I have no leftovers.
I have MOREOVERS!


My MOREOVERS! today are Fried Hairy Balls.  Please enjoy.


 For the pork mixture:
1 lb ground pork
3/4 cup Napa cabbage minced
2 TB chopped red onion
1 large garlic clove, minced
2 tsp sesame oil
2 TB tamari sauce
1 TB rice vinegar
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp crushed Szechuan pepper
1 inch chunk frozen ginger root

Combine pork, cabbage, onion, garlic, sesame oil, tamari, rice vinegar, salt, pepper, ginger juice and minced pulp.
I always keep frozen 1-inch chunks of ginger on hand.  I nuke them for about 22 seconds, then squeeze the juice into my mixture.  Mince the rest of the ginger and add to the mix.



 I formed the pork into walnut-sized balls.

Then I sloppily wrapped them in cooked Somen noodles.

I fried them in 325° peanut oil for about 4 minutes, until golden brown.
Drain on paper towels.

Serve with whatever sauces you like.
Duck sauce, plum sauce, soy sauce, hot mustard, sweet chili sauce.
And I have to have my cilantro from the garden.






Monday, February 1, 2016

Rosie Makes Potstickers! Haiku Gone Wild!

 
I love potstickers!  
Haven't made them in ages.   
Love a good Haiku.


Here's my mise-en-place.
Pork, cabbage, ginger, onion.
Forgot the garlic.


 Squeeze the ginger juice.
 Cabbage, onion, garlic, pork.
Squish all together.

Fork ever' which way.
Mix and stir.  Toil and trouble. 
I got this, you know!
Eggrolls are quartered.
Mr. Hawthorne stuffs his wraps.
He has shit detail.

 Made twelve stuffed wontons.
The three of us ate them all.
We love our wontons.
Start turning over.
Salivation occurring.
Haiku makes no sense.

Hot oil sheet in pan. 
Layer stuffed wontons in pan.
Brown, turn over, then water.


Cover, slow simmer.
Four or five minutes. Tender.
They're ready to serve.


 Rosie's Potsickers

1 lb ground pork
3/4 cup Napa cabbage minced
2 TB chopped red onion
1 large garlic clove, minced

2 tsp sesame oil
2 TB tamari sauce
1 TB rice vinegar
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp crushed Szechuan pepper
1 inch chunk frozen ginger root
12 wonton wrappers

Combine pork, cabbage, onion, garlic, sesame oil, tamari, rice vinegar, salt, pepper, ginger juice and minced pulp.
I always keep frozen 1-inch chunks of ginger on hand.  I nuke them for about 22 seconds, then squeeze the juice into my mixture.  Mince the rest of the ginger.

Place a small bit of the pork mixture in  the center of the wonton, brush the edges with water, and press to seal.  Be sure not to over fill your potstickers..

Pour a thin film of peanut oil in a skillet.  Heat to about 325° and brown the potstickers on one side.  Turn over and carefully pour about 1/2 cup water in pan, cover, and simmer about 5 minutes.

Serve with dipping sauce.

This mixture would make enough stuffing for 24 potstickers, but it's just three of us here now, so I'm only making 12 potstickers.

Saving the rest for something else!

Dipping Sauce
 Enough for 12 potstickers.

1 TB rice vinegar
1 TB soy sauce
1 tsp sugar
1 heaping tsp sweet chili sauce
1/2 tsp hot mustard

Mix all together.













Friday, January 29, 2016

Rosie Rises To The Occasion. SOUFFLÈ!

Please check out Rosie's latest column in the Outer Banks Voice.


  Click here for recipe.