Friday, April 17, 2015

Activity In Colington Harbour Canals Tonight And I'm Looking Forward To My Next Meal.

Today, on the Outer Banks, I finally experienced my first day of spring.  

There is a lot of water activity.
Happy to see it!




 I'm always happy to see emails from Tasting Table in my Inbox.
I know there's going to be something I want to try.
Their recent recipe was for potato pancakes and smoked applesauce.
Say wha?
Smoked applesauce???
I'm sorry, but I have to give smoked applesauce a try.

Smoked Applesauce

Mr. Hawthorne smoked 2 Granny Smith apples.
Apples were cored, peeled, and cut into quarters.
Stovetop smoker, applewood chips, 190°-205° for 20-30 minutes.
 I processed the applesauce with 1/4 cup brown sugar, 
1 TB lemon juice, and 1/2 tsp kosher salt.
Heat it up.

Potato Pancakes
1 potato
1 small onion
Grate potato and onion.
Place gratings in towel and squeeze liquid out.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper
and form about 8 pancakes.
Chill in freezer for 30 minutes.
Working in two batches,
fry potato pancakes in 350° peanut oil
 until they hold their shape and are light golden brown.
3-4 minutes each side.
Remove from heat and drain on wire rack, not paper towels.
I know they're not done.
Re-fry in two batches until crisp and golden brown.
Transfer to rack and season with kosher salt.

 Bacon Weave
3 slices bacon, cut in half
Weave the slices.
Bake at 400° until browned on one side.
Discard grease.
Turn over and bake until other side is browned.

Loved the bacon weave.
What's not to love about bacon?
Loved the potato onion pancakes.
Apple-smoked applesauce?
I tasted it.
Taste again.
Do I like this?
OK, taste it again.
Taste it again.

It's weird.
I like weird.
I think.
Yeah...  I think I like weird...

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Rosie Makes Mama Hawthorne's "Things."


When I was a little girl,
Mama Hawthorne would make these frozen treats.
I loved them.
 She poured hers into 12 paper-lined muffin tins.
I'll be using my new popsicle molds and popsicle bags.
Mama would always try to hide them,
but I would always find them
and eat about 6 of the little cupcakes in one sitting.

I always called them those "things."
When I found Mama Hawthorne's handwritten recipes,
in her careful penmanship,
I learned they were "frozen fruit salads."

 Mama Hawthorne's Things
 2 cups sour cream
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp kosher salt
2 TB lemon juice
8 oz. crushed pineapple, drained
4 TB chopped maraschino cherries
Optional:  3/4 cup crushed pecans
Mix all together.
Pour into 12 paper-lined muffin tins
or into popsicle molds or bags.

These are my favorites.
Popsicle condoms!

You won't believe how good these are.
Another Trust Rosie moment.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Rosie Does Not Want To Be Messed With Today.

Where There's A Wing, There's A Way!

Every now and then,
you just want some fried chicken.

 Today, I'm making buffalo wings for my little Hawthornelet-
with a hot buffalo sauce,
a tangy coleslaw, and a most delightful bleu cheese dip.

The wings of buffalo!

Buffalo wings, so the story goes,
were invented in 1964 by Teressa Bellissimo,
proprietor of the Anchor Bar, in Buffalo, New York.
The bar received a delivery of chicken wings
instead of necks which were used in their spaghetti sauce.
To avoid wasting the wings,
Bellissimo concocted a bar appetizer,
  with the result being the wings we know and love today.

 First, I cut off the tips.

 I put the wings in a storage bag
along with a marinade:
1 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup Texas Pete
Place the bag in a bowl and refrigerate,
massaging the meat once in a while,
being sure the marinade gets all over the meat.
Marinate at least an hour.
Mine stayed in the marinade for three hours.

Do not throw those tips away!
Place in freezer bags, label, and date.
Save them for making your own chicken stock.
And, believe me, you haven't lived until
 you've tasted your own homemade chicken consommé.

 Next, I'm making a bleu cheese dressing
for dipping the wings.
 Rosie's Bleu Cheese Dressing
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 TB lemon juice
1/2 tsp granulated garlic
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce
pinch Kosher salt, to taste
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper, to taste
2 ounces bleu cheese, crumbled
Mix all together.
Cover and refrigerate and let the flavors meld.
After an hour or so,
taste test and adjust seasonings if necessary.
 I always like to add a little extra ground pepper and greenery on top.

Next, I'm making a cabbage and lettuce slaw -
a little cool to tame the Buffalo Sauce a bit.
Cabbage and Lettuce Slaw
2 cups sliced lettuce
1 cup sliced cabbage
2 TB buttermilk
1 TB lemon juice
1 TB mayonnaise
1 TB roasted red pepper, chopped
1 TB rice vinegar
1 TB sugar
1 TB chopped chives
1 TB chopped scallions
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
sprinkling of celery seed 

Mix together all except lettuce and cabbage.
Taste test and adjust seasonings if needed.
Pour dressing over tossed cabbage and lettuce slices.
Cover and refrigerate at least an hour.
Taste test again.

Those peppers are from a big batch 
Mr. Hawthorne canned last fall.

The lettuce is a nice addition to this slaw.

After marinating the chicken for 3 hours 
in a buttermilk and Texas Pete mixture,
I shook two wings at a time in cornstarch, 
kosher salt, and freshly ground pepper.

I use peanut oil for deep frying.
Never crowd the pan when frying.
It lowers the temperature of the oil
and you'll end up with greasy food, not crisp.
If the oil isn't hot enough,
the oil will reach the chicken before
a protective crust forms, making the chicken greasy.
If the oil is too hot, the exterior will overcook
before the interior is properly cooked.
When the oil is at the proper temperature,
the breading on the surface will quickly form a protective shield, 
preventing the oil from penetrating the chicken.

The temperature of my oil ranged between 325° and 350°.
I fried the wings for 8 minutes -
crisp on outside and juicy on the inside.
Drain on paper towels.

Lastly, I made a quick Buffalo sauce.
Rosie's Buffalo Sauce
6 TB unsalted butter
4 TB Texas Pete
1 TB Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce
1 TB white vinegar
1/4 tsp granulated garlic
1/4 - 1/2 tsp of cayenne
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
In a small saucepan, melt butter.
Stir in rest of ingredients.
Serve warm.

Is that not some beautiful fried chicken?

Normally, for Buffalo chicken,
you'd toss the wings with the hot sauce;
however, I prefer to dip.

I would like the Wings of Buffalo please!

Friday, April 10, 2015

Rosie Makes The Breakfast Of Champions.

This exciting breakfast dish
is right on time for a leisurely weekend.
Please enjoy.

The Hawthornes love a good breakfast
and I've got a most satisfying one for you today.

 Remember those wonderful fan rolls I made?
I had four left so Rosie's making Breakfast Moreovers 
with bacon, onions, tomatoes, cheeses, and eggs.
Mr. Hawthorne and I both loved all these flavors together.

 Here's where we're headed:
This would have served four easily, adding 2 more eggs to the dish, but it was just the Mister and me, so only two eggs.

Breakfast Bake
4 homemade fan rolls, torn into cubes (about two cups)
If you don't want to make the fan rolls, although you really should because they are some of the all-time bestest rolls I've ever had, then I would substitute a nice artisan loaf.
1 TB olive oil
1 TB unsalted butter, melted
8 slices bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 medium onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 Roma tomato, chopped
1/4 cup grated cheddar cheese
1/4 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese
1 TB snipped scallions
1/3 cup chicken broth
4 eggs

Heat oven to 350°.
Lightly butter a 1-quart shallow baking dish.
Toss the bread with the butter and olive oil and spread on a baking sheet.  Bake about 15 minutes, tossing the bread once or twice, until the bread is golden and crisp.

Cook the bacon until crisp.  Transfer bacon to paper towels to drain.  Reserve 1 TB bacon grease.

Add onion to skillet and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, about 2 minutes.  Add chopped tomato and heat through.

Combine bread, bacon, tomato, onion, cheeses, scallions, and chicken broth and stir until bread is evenly moistened.  Spread the mixture in baking dish and cover with foil.

Bake 25 minutes, then remove foil and bake until top is crisp, about 10-12 minutes.  Remove dish and, using a ladle, press 4 indentations into the bread mixture.  Carefully crack an egg into each indentation.  Return to oven and bake about 12 minutes.  I prefer my whites set and yolks runny.  Cook longer if you want a tighter yolk.

 Toss the bread with olive oil and melted butter
and spread evenly on a baking sheet.

 Toast until golden.

 Now this is how I do my bacon these days
I cut the bacon into inch or so pieces,
cover with water, and boil over medium high.

 As the water evaporates, lower the temp.
Cook until crisp.
Drain bacon on paper towels.
I have found that this method of cooking bacon
results in more evenly cooked bacon,
less salty bacon, and less smoky bacon.
I think the flavor is improved - it's rounder and more subtle.

 Retain 1 TB of bacon grease,
sauté the onion slices,
then add the chopped tomato and heat through.
 See how pretty the bacon is?

 Mix all ingredients and spread evenly in a buttered baking dish.

 Make indentations and add eggs.
Like I said, it's just the two of us,
so only two eggs.
This would serve 4 easily.

 I baked for about 12 minutes at 350°
to get set whites and runny yolks.

 After thought:  a little sprinkle of Parmesan never hurts.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Wosie Woks.

 While I was hunting and gathering in the kitchen
I came across a pig, a bunch of broccoli,
carrots, onion, garlic, ginger, pineapple,
and a leftover container of Chinese take-out rice.

Well, shoot!
There's my dinner.

I'm going to doctor up that rice, stir fry the rest,
 and make a sweet and sour sauce to pull it all together.
 And here's Rosie's glistening Sweet and Sour Pork.

First, I'm going to fix that rice.

Rosie's Fixed Chinese Take-Out Rice
1 small carton Chinese fried rice
1 egg, beaten
 1 TB unsalted butter
1 TB oil
2 TB diced green pepper
2 TB diced onion
1-2 TB Asian sweet chili sauce (to taste)

Heat a small skillet over medium heat with a teaspoon of oil.
Pour in the egg, swirling to spread out evenly.
When it's lightly browned on the bottom, (maybe 45 seconds)
flip over and cook the other side.
Let cool, then slice into strips.
Heat a skillet over medium heat
with one tablespoon each of butter and oil.
Toss in the diced pepper and onion,
and cook for one minute.
Add in rice and heat through, stirring.
Add in sweet chili sauce to taste.
Cover and set aside.

 Here's my little omelet, sliced.
 Use that much pepper, onion, and sliced omelet.

 Add in the sweet chili sauce.
Cover and set aside.

Next, I'm making the sweet and sour sauce.

Rosie's Sweet And Sour Sauce
1/2 cup water
pinch salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup ketchup
2 TB soy sauce
8 oz. can pineapple chunks, with juice
2 TB cornstarch
2 TB water
In a small saucepan, mix water, salt, brown sugar,
vinegar, ketchup, soy sauce, and pineapple.
Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer.
Mix the cornstarch with the water until dissolved
and pour into mixture.
Stir to blend and cook until thickened.
Cover and set aside.

Stir-Fry Ingredients
From top right, clockwise:
crinkly carrot slices
 chopped green pepper
 sliced garlic clove
three chunks frozen ginger
1 small onion, chunked
  pork tenderloin, cubed into bite-sized pieces

First I tossed the pork pieces in cornstarch.
Then I marinated my pork in:
 1/2 cup soy sauce
 2 TB sugar
minced garlic cloved
frozen piece of ginger, squeezed through a garlic press
1 minced garlic clove
zest of one orange

Set aside and drink a glass of wine.
Or two.
 Fog coming through this afternoon.

 Now I'm starting on the stir-fry.
 Add 1 TB peanut oil to hot wok over high heat.
Add in onions and peppers and ...
 ... carrots and broccoli.
Stir and fry!
About 1 minute.
 Pour in about 1/4 cup water
and steam the vegetables for another minute.
Remove to a bowl and cover.

While the vegetables are resting and steaming in the bowl ...
 ... heat up the wok with a tablespoon or so of peanut oil.
High heat.
Add in half the pork.
Cook, stirring, until browned.
A minute or two.
Transfer to bowl of vegetables.
 Repeat with second batch of pork.

 After the second batch is almost ready,
add in the rest of the vegetables and pork.

 Add a tablespoon of cornstarch to the marinade
and pour down the side of the wok.
 Stir-fry another minute.

  And serve...