Monday, May 30, 2016

Rosie Redeems Herself. Chocolate Cupcakes!

Not to worry.
I'm done the vegetarian for a while
and I was done with it before I finished it.
Just wanted my readers to know what I've been going through.
I'll still eat General Rosie's Tofu any day though.
I have the Ultimate Chocolate Cupcake
with Ganache Filling and Creamy Chocolate Frosting.
Wish I could say it was my recipe,
but I got it from the 20th Anniversary Special Edition
of Cook's Illustrated

Ganache Filling
 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 TB confectioners' sugar
Nuke the chocolate, cream and sugar in small bowl about 30 seconds.  Whisk until smooth.  Slightly chill in refrigerator for no more than 30 minutes.

Combine bittersweet chocolate, powdered sugar, and heavy cream.

Nuke and stir until smooth.  You now have ganache.

 3 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

1/3 cup Dutch-processed cocoa
3/4 cup hot brewed coffee
3/4 cup bread flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
6 TB vegetable oil
2 large eggs
2 tsp white vinegar
1 tsp vanilla extract
Heat oven to 350° and line 12-cup muffin tins with paper or foil liners.  Place chocolate and cocoa in medium bowl.  Pour hot coffee over mixture and let sit, covered, for 5 minutes.  Whisk mixture gently until smooth.  Cool mixture completely in refrigerator.
Whisk oil, eggs, vinegar, and vanilla into cooled chocolate mixture until smooth.
Whisk flour, sugar, salt, and baking soda in medium bowl.
Add flour mixture to chocolate mixture and whisk until smooth.
Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin cups.  Place a slightly rounded teaspoon of ganache filling on top of each muffin.  Bake at 350° until cupcakes are set and just firm to touch, about 16 minutes.  Let cupcakes cool in muffin tin on wire rack about 10 minutes, then lift each cupcake from tin, set on wire rack, and let cool completely before frosting.

Prepare chocolate, cocoa, and hot chocolate mixture.

Gather the rest of the ingredients.

 I'm a messy baker.

 Add a little ganache on top of each cupcake.



Baked muffins.  Oh, the house smells so good now!

Remove from tins and cool on racks.

Chocolate Frosting
1/3 cup sugar
2 egg whites
pinch salt
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into12 pieces and softened
6 oz. bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled
1 tsp vanilla extract

Combine sugar, whites, and salt in bowl of stand mixer and set over saucepan filled with 1 inch of barely simmering water.  Whisk gently but constantly, heating until slightly thickened and foamy and it registers150°, about 2-3 minutes.
Fit stand mixture with whisk and whip on medium speed about 3 minutes.  Add butter, 1 piece at a time, beating until smooth and creamy. Add in cooled melted chocolate and vanilla and increase speed to medium high, beating until light, fluffy, and thoroughly combined, about a minute, scraping down beater and sides of bowl.  Frost cooled cupcakes.

Ingredients for frosting.

These are divine.


That ganache filling sinks to the bottom.

Before these were even finished,
I was asked to cook another batch.
That's how good these are.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Rosie Makes General Tso's Cauliflower.

As you might have read,
I have vegetarian Hawthornelets now.
I don't know where I went wrong,
but I'm hoping this is just a phase.

Today, I'm making General Tso's Cauliflower.
And by God, it's going to be GOOD!

General Tso's Cauliflower
 1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets
peanut oil

1/2 cup flour
1/3 cup cornstarch
3/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 eggs
3 TB soy sauce 
1 TB rice vinegar

2 tsp sesame oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 TB minced ginger
2 dried red hot chilies
1/4 cup vegetable broth
1/4 cup soy sauce
3 TB rice vinegar
2 TB mirin
3 TB sugar
1 TB cornstarch

toasted sesame seeds for garnish
1 scallion, sliced, for garnish

Whisk flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl.  Whisk eggs, soy sauce, and vinegar in a liquid measuring cup.  Pour egg mixture into flour mixture, whisking until smooth.

Heat oil in cast iron skillet until 350°.

Dip each cauliflower floret in batter, shake off excess, and place in hot oil.  Do not crowd the pan.  Fry until cauliflower is golden on all sides -about 4 minutes.  Drain on paper towels.

In a medium saucepan, prepare the sauce.  Heat sesame oil over medium heat.  Add garlic, ginger, and chilies, and cook 1-2 minutes, until fragrant.  Add broth, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and mirin.  Bring to a simmer over medium heat.  Simmer for 5 minutes.

In a small bowl, whisk sugar and cornstarch.  Pour about 1/4 of hot sauce over mixture, whisking  until smooth.  Pour cornstarch mixture to pot and bring to a simmer, stirring until mixture thickens and is smooth.

Add cauliflower to pot and toss to coat.  Garnish with toasted sesame seeds and sliced scallions. 

Assemble ingredients for the cauliflower batter.

Coat cauliflower in batter.

Prepare the sauce.

Cornstarch mixture into sauce.

Frying cauliflower on left.
Sauce on right.

Garnish with toasted sesame seeds and sliced scallions.


Now, this is the last of vegetarian recipes for a while.
I'm going to redeem myself with decadent chocolate cupcakes,
so stay tuned!

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Get Thee Behind Me Seitan!

Vegetarians are KILLING me!
And if I get hungry enough, I might just eat me a vegetarian.

Above is fried tofu cubes.
Seriously,  I'm down with the tofu, as in General Rosie's Tofu. 
That's  some badass stuff.
And I never thought I'd say that about tofu.  
Bed of jasmine rice, steamed broccoli, and pressed, marinated, and fried tofu with sliced scallions and toasted sesame seeds.

Now I'm on to my next vegetarian creation -  "Wings" of Buffalo.
Middle Hawthorne wanted me to try my hand at seitan and, of course, I'd never heard of seitan.  Seitan is wheat gluten and I just happened to have a box of vital wheat gluten in my pantry.

Looks like we'll be having the "Wings of Seitan" for lunch today.

1 cup vital wheat gluten
3/4 cup water
2 TB soy sauce
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp ginger powder
6 cups vegetable broth
1 half onion, sliced
1-inch knob of ginger

Combine vital wheat gluten, garlic powder, and ginger powder.
Mix soy sauce and water.
Stir liquid into dry ingredients to combine.
The mixture will have a very rubbery consistency.
Knead seitan by hand about 20 times, then let sit for 5-10 minutes.  Knead again a few more times.
Separate the gluten ball into 4 small chunks and stretch and press out into a flat shape about 3/4" thick.
Add seitan to 4 cups vegetable broth in a large pot and bring to a slow simmer.  Toss in the onion slices and sliced ginger for extra flavor.

Cover pot and cook for an hour or more.  Add in about 2 more cups of vegetable broth halfway through cooking as the seitan will expand.

Remove from broth and allow to cool before using.

I made the seitan the first day, covered and refrigerated it, and made the dish - the Buffalo Wings of Seitan - the next day.

To prepare the seitan:
Cut the seitan "cutlets" into bite-sized pieces.
Mix a little cornstarch with a pinch each of kosher salt, pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder.
Heat oil to 325°-350°.
Drop seitan pieces into hot oil and fry a few minutes each side until crisp and light brown.  Drain on paper towels.

Buffalo Sauce
1/2 stick unsalted butter  (OK.  I actually used "Smart Balance" for the boys, because they don't do butter anymore.)
1 TB Lea & Perrins
2 tsp white vinegar
a few shakes red pepper flakes
3 TB Texas Pete
pinch kosher salt, freshly ground pepper, garlic powder, onion powder

Combine all ingredients.  Heat over low heat until butter melts.

Soy and water on left.
Vital wheat gluten, garlic powder, and onion powder on right.

Mix together.

This is a weird consistency.
It's expanding.
I think it's breathing.

Knead it.

Divide into four balls.

Press out into "cutlets."

Add to broth.

Put in some onions and ginger for more flavor.

Holy crap!
Right now, I don't want to eat this. 

 This is my liver on alcohol.

 I sliced the seitan into bite-sized pieces.

 Then I tossed them in cornstarch seasoned with a pinch of kosher salt, pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder.
Fried in peanut oil.

And serve.
With black and mahogany rice and Catalina vegetables.

I must say:  Sauces are wonderful.
And the seitan is not bad.
It's fried, and that is good.
It's crisp.
But it don't taste like chicken.

Oh, why not add some steamed broccoli in there?