Saturday, December 16, 2017

Rosie Makes Sticky Buns.

 This is the way to start out your morning -
with a delicious sticky bun, a cup of coffee, and a view.

Doesn't get much better than this.

I make these on a lazy Saturday afternoon so I can enjoy them on a leisurely Sunday morning.

Now, let's get down to business.  The pecan sticky buns start out with a basic sweet dough, then a caramel glaze that goes on the bottom of the baking pan (which becomes the top of the buns), a cinnamon and sugar filling that gets rolled up in the dough, and finally a pecan caramel mixture that gets poured on top.

 Pecan Sticky Buns

For the dough:
3 eggs, room temperature
3/4 cup buttermilk, room temperature

1/4 sugar

1 tsp kosher salt
1 package yeast
4 1/4 cups unbleached all purpose flour plus more for dusting the work surface (I use King Arthur.)
6 TB unsalted butter, melted (I prefer Plugrá butter.  And the only place on the Outer Banks I can find Plugrá  is at Fresh Market.)

In a stand mixer:
Whisk eggs.  Whisk in buttermilk, then sugar, salt, and yeast to combine.  Add in 2 cups of flour and the butter, stirring slowly until evenly combined.  Add all but 1/4 cup of flour and knead with the dough hook at low speed for about 5 minutes.  The dough should be soft and pliable.  If it's wet and sticky, add more flour.  Knead another 5 minutes.  The dough should pull away from the sides of the bowl but stick slightly to the bottom.  Turn dough out onto lightly floured work surface and knead by hand for a minute or so to ensure the dough is uniform.  If it sticks to the work surface, add flour a tablespoon at a time.

Transfer dough to a large oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise until doubled.  About 2 hours.

Before dough.

After dough.

For the caramel glaze:
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
6 TB unsalted butter
3 TB light corn syrup 
2 TB heavy cream
pinch kosher salt

Combine all ingredients in a small sauce pan and cook over medium low heat, whisking occasionally, until butter and sugar melt and mixture is thoroughly combined.  Pour mixture into a 9 x 13-inch baking dish and spread evenly.

For the cinnamon-sugar filling:
1/4 cup light brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
pinch kosher salt
1 TB unsalted butter, melted

For the filling, combine all ingredients.

Now, for the assembly.
 To assemble:
Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface.

Shape and roll it into a 12 x 16-inch rectangle. 
 Brush the surface with 1/4 cup melted butter.

Sprinkle the filling mixture over the buttered rectangle.

Pat the cinnamon mixture into the dough.

Roll the dough into a tight cylinder.
Pinch the seam to seal and place seam side down.
Gently stretch the cylinder to form an 18-inch length with even thickness.

Slice into fourths.

Slice each quarter into thirds.

Place buns into prepared baking dish.
Cover with plastic wrap and set in a warm place to rise - about 2 hours.

Like this.

Place baking dish in a 350° oven and bake buns about 25 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer registers 180°.

Let cool slightly on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then invert onto a rimmed platter.

While cooling, prepare the pecan topping.
For the pecan topping:
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
3 TB light corn syrup
3 TB unsalted butter
pinch kosher salt
3/4 cup pecans, lightly toasted and chopped
1 tsp vanilla

Combine brown sugar, corn syrup, butter, and salt in a saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat, whisking to thoroughly combine.  Remove from heat and stir in toasted pecans and vanilla, evenly coating the nuts.  Ladle a spoonful of the topping over each sticky bun.  

Let cool in pan on wire racks about 10 minutes while you prepare the topping.
Invert onto rimmed platter.

Ooooh.   Look at that syrupy goodness.

Spoon the nutty caramel topping over each bun.

And serve!

Bon appétit, indeed!

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Welcome To The Mind Of Rosie. And Coconut Cream Pie.


The other day, Rosie was trolling on Facebook, chatting up her imaginary friends, and one friend... let's call her... "Debbie," asked Rosie, "Rosie, do you have great recipe for a delicious coconut cream pie you would share?"

Well, no I didn't.  But now I do.

As you know, Rosie loves a challenge.
So she had to come up with a coconut cream pie recipe.

 A good pie starts with a good crust, and I got that in spades.
 Pie Crust
1/2 pack graham crackers (Use Nabisco, not Food Lion.  There is a difference.  Rosie Note:  There's a BIG difference in chocolate chips, too.  Use Nestle's!  Not Food Lion.)
1 dozen ginger snaps  (I use Murray's.)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup sweetened coconut flakes
Process well and press into 9" deep dish pie pan.
I use plastic wrap and a mini rolling pin to get an even crust.

Lightly toast 2 cups coconut flakes. 

For the pie:
 I'm calling this my "Coconut Pudding Pie" because of the consistency.
And after some Monday morning quarterbacking, I think I know what should have been added to give the pie just a bit more body.  Not that anything is wrong with this pie.  It's delicious.  But some people may want something a little sturdier.  Not to worry.  Rosie's got your back.

Rosie's Coconut Pudding Pie
1 can coconut milk
1/2 cup skim milk
1 cup whipping cream
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp kosher salt

Combine all ingredients.  Stir to dissolve sugar.  Heat over low heat, stirring, until boiling.

4 egg yolks, beaten

Slowly drizzle about 2 cups of the hot cream mixture into the beaten yolks, whisking constantly.
This is called "tempering" the yolks.  You want to slowly bring up the temperature of the eggs without scrambling them.  Pour yolk mixture back into cream mixture and stir in:

1/3 cup homemade vanilla pudding mix

Rosie Note:  I happened to have a zip-lock bag of homemade pudding mix (recipe below*) in my fridge and thought this would be an ideal time to use it. 

Another Rosie Note:  Now here's where my Monday morning quarterbacking comes in:  In addition to this homemade custard mix, I would whisk in:

1/3 cup cornstarch

I think the additional cornstarch would give the pie the extra thickening quality and tighter consistency which some might desire.

Bring mixture to simmer over low heat, whisking constantly, until mixture starts to thicken.  Be patient and keep whisking.  Maybe 10 or so minutes.  Until pudding starts to boil.  Whisk faster for another minute.

Remove from heat.

Stir in:
1 TB vanilla
2 TB unsalted butter 
1 cup toasted coconut

Pour into prepared crust.  Cover with plastic wrap touching the surface to prevent a film forming on the pudding.  Refrigerate overnight.

Sprinkle remaining toasted coconut over top.

*Rosie's Homemade Vanilla Pudding Mix
 Vanilla pudding mix:
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup nonfat dry milk powder
3/4 cup cornstarch
1 tsp kosher salt
2 whole vanilla beans 

Whisk together the sugar, dry milk powder, cornstarch, and salt.
Split open vanilla beans and scrape seeds into sugar mixture, whisking to combine evenly.  
Cut pods into pieces, place in airtight container, and add sugar mixture.  Mix well to combine.
Store in fridge.

Now, if you want to know why I keep homemade vanilla pudding mix in my fridge, wonder no more.
Rosie makes a kick-ass Rum Cake, which uses said pudding mix.

And an even kicker-ass Rummy Fruity Bundt Cake


Now, for the step-by-steps.
Slowly whisk the hot cream mixture into the beaten egg yolks.
You don't want to cook the eggs.  Just heat 'em up.
 Return the yolk mixture to the pan and whisk in the vanilla pudding mixture and the cornstarch.

 Cook to thicken, whisking constantly.
Stir in some toasted coconuts.

 Pour hot mixture into prepared crust.

 Cover and refrigerate.
 Try and wait 24 hours for it to set.
Patience, Little One.  Patience.
 And here's your reward!

Thanks to "Debbie" for the inspiration!

And if anybody else has any requests, please meet me on Facebook or e-me at  Thanks!

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Rosie Makes Shrimp Bisque And Some Other Stuff.

  It's a lazy Sunday and I'm hungry.
 I have some cooked shrimp in the fridge, so I'm going to wing shrimp bisque.

Whenever I'm making something, I generally pick and choose my ingredients.  Unless you're baking cookies or a cake where actual chemistry is involved and amounts need to be measured, you can pretty much pick and choose as you go along.  Take some of this, a little bit of that, add it together, season it, and there ya go. Always taste test throughout.

Hope you enjoy it!

Rosie's Shrimp Bisque
2 handfuls cooked shrimp, peeled
vegetable broth

1 TB olive oil
1 TB unsalted butter
1 small onion
2 celery stalks
2 large mushrooms
2 TB flour
2 cup skim milk
1 cup cream
sherry, to taste
fresh herbs - tarragon, chives, scallions, parsley
sweet red bell pepper, minced

Finely chop onion, celery, and mushrooms.
Heat butter and oil over medium heat and sauté the vegetables 2-3 minutes.
Add flour and cook another minute, stirring, to cook the raw taste out.
Slowly whisk in milk, cooking, and letting it thicken.  
Stir in cream.  Heat through.

In a processor, purée shrimp, with enough vegetable broth until smooth.
Reserve a few whole shrimp to top bisque with.

Add shrimp purée to soup mixture.
Add sherry, to taste.  I used 2 tablespoons.
Season with kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste.

Ladle soup into bowls, garnish with a whole shrimp or two, and sprinkle some pretty green herbs and minced red pepper over top.

I like to add some oyster crackers for some crunch.

I didn't stop with the bisque.
I wanted more!

So I made some fried mozzarella and red onion rings.
You gotta try this.
First slice some red onions.
Then squish some fresh mozzarella in between the rings.
It must be the good, fresh mozzarella from the deli.  Not the ubiquitous bricks in the dairy aisle.
Place prepared slices in the freezer for 30 minutes or so.

Then take the onion and mozzarella pieces and give it the 3-bath treatment.
First dredge through flour seasoned with kosher salt and pepper, shaking off excess,
then drop into a beaten egg bath and let it drain off a bit,
then drag it through some panko breadcrumbs.
Fry in 350° peanut oil on each side until golden brown.
Drain on paper towels.
And dig in!

Ooey-gooey cheese.  Crisp crust.
What's not to love?
I'll be making these again.  And again.

And then I had a proper meal - fried oysters, homemade coleslaw, homemade tartar sauce, homemade cocktail sauce.

The oysters were freshly shucked, then tossed in flour with freshly cracked black pepper, a bit of paprika, and a little dried mustard powder.  Lightly fried in 350° peanut oil (Don't crowd the pan!) for about a minute, then drained.

Coleslaw - Shredded cabbage, carrot, and green pepper.
Toss with dressing, cover, and let sit in fridge for at least 30 minutes for flavors to meld.

Coleslaw Dressing:
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 TB sour cream
1/4 cup buttermilk
2 tsp sugar
1 TB cider vinegar
few shakes of Lawry's seasoned pepper
pinch kosher salt
Mix all ingredients.  Pour over slaw mixture.  Toss to coat evenly.

Rosie's Tartar Sauce
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 TB sweet relish
1/2 - 1 tsp chopped capers
1 heaping TB chopped red onion
2 tsp chopped fresh tarragon

Combine all ingredients.
If you don't have fresh tarragon in your herb garden, not to worry.  Substitute with fresh parsley and/or chives, which is a totally different flavor, but quite doable.

Rosie's Cocktail Sauce
1/2 cup ketchup
2 TB+ horseradish
2 tsp Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce
1 TB lemon juice

For extra oomph, I like to press the liquid out of my horseradish.  More heat to the mix.
Combine all ingredients casually.  You don't need a homogeneous mixture.  I prefer pockets of flavors.  You dip into one section and get a few flavors here, then dip into another section and get more flavors there.  Add more horseradish if you like sinus-cleaning.  I do.

Rosie Note:  None of these amounts are etched in stone.  Taste test as you go along.  Make it yours!

Bon appétit!