Monday, December 30, 2013

Fry, Baby!


Every now and then,
Rosie gets a hankerin' for something fried.

Today, it's going to be a treat -
fried onion rings and fried green beans.
And I'll be using my iSi Gourmet Whip!
And I won't be reading the recipe very closely
so I'll end up putting over twice as much flour
in my batter than was called for.
And it still came out terrific!

Truth be known,
it was not my fault, of course.
If only recipe writers would list their ingredients properly.
The flour was listed as 1 3/4 cups.
I didn't see the part in the fine print in the instructions
where it said to whisk 3/4 cup flour into the mix.
The other cup is to dredge the vegetables in.
So, recipe writers, if you're going to divide a quantity,
then write the recipe accordingly:
List 3/4 cup flour and 1 cup flour separately.

As I mixed the batter, I thought it was a tad on the heavy side.
It wasn't until I had the batter in the canister
that I realized my mistake.
As good as the results were,
I can't wait to try this with the proper amounts.
According to the author, the results are some of the
 "laciest, crunchiest onion rings you'll ever taste."

Here's the recipe for the batter,
and notice I have separated the 1 3/4 cups flour.

Siphon-Battered Onion Rings
 by Modernist chef Richard Blais
3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup plus 1 TB rice flour
1 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup light ale or lager
1/2 cup vodka
1 cup flour, for dredging
oil, for frying
1 onion, sliced crosswise 1/2 inch thick,
separated into rings

 Whisk 3/4 cup flour with the rice flour,
salt, and baking soda.
Whisk in the beer and vodka until the batter is very smooth.
Strain the batter, then pour it into the canister
of a 1-pint iSi Gourmet Whip Plus siphon.
Seal the siphon and charge with one nitrous oxide cartridge.
Shake the siphon to distribute the gas.
Repeat with a second cartridge.

Heat oil to 350°.
Dredge onion rings in the flour, shaking off excess.
Transfer rings to a large bowl.
Holding the canister upside-down,
dispense enough batter to coat the rings.
Lift from batter, allowing any excess to drip off,
and, working in batches,
carefully transfer them to the hot oil.
Fry until onion rings are golden brown and puffed,
about three minutes.
Drain on paper towels.
Lightly season with salt.

I've whisked my flour, baking soda, and salt.
Beer going in for a delicious flavor
plus the bubbles lighten the mixture.

Next the vodka.
Alcohol boils off more quickly than water,
enhancing a batter's texture.

Both beer and vodka strategies are used,
their effects amplified by aerating the batter in a siphon.

Just imagine this beautiful foam
with 1 cup less flour!

Always fry in small batches to maintain even temperature.

These were heavenly.

Mr. Hawthorne made the dip:
 1 TB mayonnaise,
 1 TB ketchup
1 tsp yellow mustard
1 tsp Texas Pete
I added a bit of cayenne powder.

I can't wait to try these properly prepared.
They will be exquisite.

A few days later,
I made these again, with the proper amount of flour.

These are divine.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Rosie Takes A Wok On The Wild Side. Stir Fry. Beef And Vegetables.

It's so nice to be cooking again!
(As in NOT baking.)

 I haven't had a good stir fry for a while ...
or since the last time I stir fried.
I am not a fan of the ChinaMacs down here.

Lunch today is thinly sliced flat iron steak,
carrots, broccoli, pepper, celery, and mushrooms.

 I pop my meat into the freezer for about 30 minutes
and then slice it.
That way, you can slice thinner and easier.

 I marinated the meat in 2 tablespoons cornstarch,
mixed with 1 tablespoon each of rice wine and soy sauce.

 Prepare the vegetables -
crinkle cut carrots, broccoli florets,
sliced baby bellas, sliced celery,
and chopped yellow pepper and green serrano.
I forgot the onion.
Didn't miss it.

 I heated my wok over high heat
and added a tablespoon or so of peanut oil.
I prefer peanut oil for stir frying
 because of the high smoke point.

Heat the oil hot hot hot.
350° ...
and drop in the broccoli ...
Time:  1:36

 ...  the carrots ...

 ... the mushrooms ...

 ... and the celery and peppers.
 Stir and fry.
Time:  1:37

 Add a little water down the side of the pan
to steam cook.
Time:  1:38

Place in a bowl and cover.

 Reheat wok, add oil, and heat it.
I start at 350° and crank it up to 400°.
Get a digital thermometer.

Drop in the meat.
Time:  1:43
Yes.  I took a break.

 Add in some sliced garlic and ginger.
 Time:  1:43

Add in the vegetables.
 Shake it all up.
Time:  1:44
Time:  1:45

 Middle Hawthorne prepared the rice.
I added sliced scallions from my planter on the deck.

Top with mung beans and alfalfa sprouts.

Like I said,
I love a good stir fry.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!

We'll put the star on
on Christmas Day.

It's how the Hawthornes roll.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Rosie Is Published.

Please check out my December column
in the Outer Banks Voice.

I can eat oysters all day long.
From breakfast.
To lunch. 
To appetizers.
To champagne.
To dinner.

Please join me.


Monday, December 23, 2013

Day 17 Of The Rosiethon. Rosie Makes Lemon Bars.

 Dear Readers,
this is the last installment for my 2013 Rosiethon.
Hope you found something you liked.
Merry Christmas, everyone!

Today, I'm making Lemon Bars.

For the crust:
1 cup flour
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
Mix together flour and sugar.
Cut in butter with a pastry blender
 until mixture resembles coarse meal.
Press into lightly greased 8" square pan.
Bake at 350° for 20 minutes.

While the crust bakes, make the filling.
2 eggs
 1 cup sugar
3 TB flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
3 TB lemon juice
grated rind from 1 lemon

Beat eggs.
Gradually add in sugar, beating until light and fluffy.
Mix in rest of ingredients.
Pour mixture over baked crust
and bake an additional 25 minutes.
Sprinkle with confectioners' sugar and cut into squares or bars.

 Baked crust ready for filling.


Day 17 Of The Rosiethon. Rosie Makes Lemon Coins.

 Lemon Coins
2 cups flour
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup Crisco
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 TB lemon juice
zest of one lemon
1/2 tsp vanilla

Beat butter and shortening until well blended.
Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy.
Add egg, milk, lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla.
Sift together flour and baking powder.
Add to butter mixture.
Divide in half.
Wrap each half in plastic and flatten.

Take out one round of dough
and roll out on a lightly floured surface to about 1/4 inch thick.
Cut out small rounds 
and place on parchment-lined baking pan.
Bake at 375° about 9 minutes, until lightly browned.
Cool completely on rack.

Spread Lemon Filling
on one cookie and top with another.

 Dough will be very soft.
Divide in half.

Lemon Filling
3 TB unsalted butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
zest of one lemon
2 TB lemon juice
2 TB heavy cream

Whisk all together.
Spread on a Lemon Coin and top with another Lemon Coin.