Sunday, February 24, 2019

Rosie Makes Banana Muffins.

What do you do when you have bananas fermenting on your counter?
 Well, you could make banana bread

 you could make some of the best muffins ever.
Seriously, these are mighty fine muffins.  (And I'm not even a banana fan.)

Banana Muffins
3 bananas, super-ripe
1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
1 TB vanilla
2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp kosher salt
3/4 cup buttermilk, room temperature

Streusel Topping
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 stick unsalted butter (You want it cold.)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Combine flour, sugar, and salt.  Use a pastry blender to cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Stir in walnuts.

For the muffins:
Heat oven to 425°. 
Peel bananas and mash well in a large bowl.
Stir in vegetable oil and melted butter.
Stir in both sugars and combine well.
Stir in eggs, vanilla, and buttermilk, mixing well.
In another bowl, whisk dry ingredients - flour, baking powder and soda, and salt.
Add dry ingredients to batter, gently folding until ingredients are just combined.
Place liners in muffin tin and evenly portion batter into each liner. 
Top each muffin with streusel mixture.

Bake in 425° oven for 8 minutes, then rotate pan and bake 6-8 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out fairly clean.  A few crumbs are fine.  You just don't want it wet.

Cool in pan for a few minutes, then remove to rack to cool.

Ladle batter into prepared muffin tins.

Distribute streusel topping evenly.
Ready for the oven.

And bake. 
Remove from tins and cool on rack.

Nice texture and even crumb.

If you like, you can slice these, slather with some butter, sprinkle on some cinnamon and sugar, and toast.  Serve with applesauce.  Mighty good!


Sunday, February 17, 2019

Rosie Makes Her Beer-Battered Coconut Fried Shrimp.

I love fried shrimp and one of my favorite fried shrimp preparations is coconut fried shrimp.
I like to serve the shrimp with my special orange dipping sauce.

Dipping Sauce
1/4 cup chili garlic sauce
2 TB orange marmalade
2 TB brown sugar
1 TB cider vinegar
1 TB soy sauce
1 TB orange blossom honey
Heat all ingredients to a simmer in a small sauce pan, stirring to dissolve sugar.  Remove from heat and let cool.

Use your biggest and best shrimp for this dish.

Peel, detract, and butterfly your shrimp, leaving the tails on.
(Yes, I call it detracting.  It's not deveining because that's not a vein running down the back of the shrimp.  It's the digestive tract.  Remove it.)

Every time I make fried shrimp, I make up the batter as I go along.
" 'til it looks right."
I like the slight beer flavor in this particular batter and I like the lightness which the beaten egg white adds.

For the batter:
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 beaten egg
3/4 cup beer
1 egg white, beaten until foamy
Combine first five ingredients. Gently fold in egg white.

Dip shrimp in batter to coat.

Dredge battered shrimp through a mixture of equal parts coconut, panko, and cracker crumbs (crushed Ritz and saltines) shaking off any excess.
Or you can just toss the shrimp and coating in a container.

Heat peanut oil in a heavy, deep pan.  350° - 375°.
Drop shrimp, one by one, into the hot oil, taking care not to crowd the pan.  Frying too many at one time lowers the temperature of the oil and you get greasy shrimp - not crisp.
Fry 60- 75 seconds.  Do NOT overcook your shrimp!
You want a nice golden color.

Remove shrimp to rack and let drain.

Serve fried shrimp with dipping sauce and a sprinkling of fresh parsley.
Tender, juicy, sweet shrimp.

Most excellent shrimp!


Friday, February 15, 2019

Shrimp For Lunch. With A Barbecue Sauce.

I love shrimp.
And I always have frozen shrimp on hand.
So today, I'm grabbing a pound of that shrimp,
lightly breading and frying it,
then serving it on a bed of rice 
with a nice homemade barbecue sauce.
Frying shrimp, if it's done correctly,
really brings out the shrimp flavor.
And my barbecue sauce
is light enough to perfectly complement the shrimp.

For the breading:
3/4 cup flour
3/4 cup cornstarch
1 tsp Cajun seasoning
1 tsp cayenne powder
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Combine all ingredients.
Add shrimp and toss to coat evenly and lightly.

For the BBQ sauce:
1/2 cup ketchup
2 TB brown sugar
2 TB cider vinegar
2 TB Lea & Perrins worcestershire sauce
1 tsp Mr. Stubbs hickory smoke
Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan and heat to simmer.

In a large skillet, add a film of peanut oil
and heat to 350°-375°.
Add shrimp and cook about 1 minute.
Shrimp should be a light golden color.

Drain on paper towels.

In a medium skillet, pour in a tablespoon or so of peanut oil 
and heat over medium high.

Add in a handful each of chopped celery and onion.
Cook for one minute, then add in shrimp.

Serve on a bed of rice. 
Pour a little barbecue sauce over shrimp.
Sprinkle on some fresh parsley.


Monday, February 11, 2019

Valentine's Sweets.

For Valentine’s Day, one can never go wrong with chocolate.   I have a decadent dessert for you that gives you a double dose of chocolate – intense bittersweet chocolate mousse in a chocolate filigreed cup.  It’s always a plus when your serving container is edible.

For the chocolate cups:
Ice molds
8 oz. premium bittersweet chocolate (I prefer Ghirardelli.)
1 TB Crisco

To make the chocolate cups, you first need a mold to pipe the chocolate onto.  The easiest way I’ve found is to use ice for the molds.  Simply fill a muffin tin tray with water and freeze.

Melt together chocolate and Crisco in microwave.  Nuke for one minute, then 30 seconds at a time, stirring until melted.  Whenever you melt chocolate, be sure to use a perfectly dry bowl. Any amount of water will make your chocolate “seize,” or clump up and get grainy.  The addition of the shortening ensures a smoother product with a more manageable consistency.  Butter or margarine cannot be substituted for the shortening because both contain water.
Spoon chocolate into a pastry bag with a small piping tip or you can use a plastic bag with tiny snip in the corner for piping. Invert the ice “muffins” onto a work surface and, using a quick back and forth motion, pipe the chocolate over the ice, side to side and up and down, turning the ice, to make a chocolate cup.  Let chocolate set and then gently lift the chocolate off the ice.  While you’re at it, pipe some chocolate hearts as well.  Refrigerate.
For any leftover chocolate, grab some strawberries or pretzels and deliciously dip away!  Refrigerate.

For the chocolate mousse:
8 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped  (Ghirardelli.)
¼ cup strong coffee
3 TB sugar
1 tsp vanilla
Pinch kosher salt
2 eggs, separated
1 TB sugar
1 tsp vanilla
½ cup cream
1 TB sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Melt chocolate with coffee and 3 TB sugar in a double boiler.  Add in vanilla and a pink of kosher salt and stir until smooth.

In another bowl, beat yolks until light colored.
Rosie Note:  Whenever you have eggs to beat, whether yolks or whites, you’ll get a better volume if your eggs are at room temperature.

 Beat in a little of the chocolate mixture to temper the yolks, then stir yolk mixture back into the chocolate mixture until well combined. 

Beat whites until stiff peaks form.  Beat in a tablespoon of sugar and a teaspoon of vanilla. Take about 1/3 of the egg whites and stir into chocolate mixture until smooth.  Gently fold in the rest of the whites.

Beat cream until soft peaks form, then add the tablespoon of sugar and the teaspoon of vanilla.

Rosie Note:  Whenever beating cream, it helps to have the both bowl and beaters chilled.  It gives you more beat for your buck. 

Fold whipped cream into chocolate mixture, then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

When ready to assemble, spoon mousse into chocolate cups.  Garnish with sliced strawberries or piped chocolate hearts, if desired.

Happy Valentine’s Day.