Saturday, September 16, 2017

Guacamole!

PHOTO : A Muse For Food

For Guacamole Day, I won't even begin to go into my own recipe and variations. Everyone has their own style and tastes

So, who am I to argue.

Check out All Recipes for their list of their Top 20 recipes for Guac.


Hit it!

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Popcorn!

It’s hard to think of a more purely American food than popcorn. Whether it’s salted and buttered at a movie theatre, kettle corn at a state fair, or a caramel popcorn ball at holiday time, we devour the stuff.


But where did the concept of popped corn come from?
Corn or Maize is strictly a new world crop. It didn't exist in Europe, Africa, or the Far East.


"Smithers…I want some of this 'Popped Corn' everyone is talking about."

Well, blame the Mexicans. Maize is an indigenous crop that fueled all of the Native American cultures, Mayan, Aztec, Olmec, and Incan. This was a staple crop both for trade and for sustenance, including snacking. Which brings up popped corn. Archeologists have even found traces of popcorn in 1,000-year-old Peruvian tombs. Clearly, the ancients knew what they were doing despite the lack of a wheel.



Cut to, the first Thanksgiving feast, in Plymouth Colony in 1621. According to myth, Squanto himself taught the Pilgrims to raise and harvest corn, and pop the kernels for a delicious snack. Unfortunately, this story contains more hot air than a large bag of Jiffy Pop. While the early settlers at Plymouth did indeed grow corn, it was of the Northern Flint variety, with delicate kernels that are unsuitable for popping; roasting or boiling or animal feed were the best options for this product. 



So how did popped corn come about? Let's go back to the Native Americans, they know so much. French explorers wrote of Iroquois popping tough corn kernels in pottery jars filled with heated sand. The Iroquois nation spread throughout the Great Lakes region, so it is likely that settlers to upstate New York, Vermont and Quebec were the earliest European-American popcorn makers. By the mid 1800's, popcorn was beloved by families as a late-night snack in front of the fire, or at picnics and sociables. But mass consumption of the treat didn’t take off until the 1890's, after a Chicago entrepreneur named Charles Cretors built the first popcorn-popping machine.



Cretors was a candy-store owner who purchased a commercially made peanut roaster so he could offer freshly roasted nuts at his shop. But he was unhappy with the quality of the machine, and began tinkering with it. A few years later, Cretors had designed entirely new machines, powered by steam, for both nut roasting and popcorn popping. The steam ensured all kernels would be heated evenly, for the maximum number of popped kernels, and it also enabled users to pop the corn directly in the desired seasonings. By 1900, Cretors introduced a horse-drawn popcorn wagon, and the era of the popcorn eaters began.

Image : BSA


These days, the majority of Americans get their popcorn from a microwave, not a horse and buggy. The first patent for a microwave popcorn bag was issued to General Mills in 1981, and home popcorn consumption increased by tens of thousands of pounds in the years following. Today, Americans eat about a million pounds worth of (unpopped) popcorn a year.

"I like My Popcorn Bags!"
Image : Jill

So, on National Popcorn Day check out all these recipes for Savory and Sweet styles of popped corn.

Here's a favorite :

 Garlic Cheddar Popcorn Balls
Image courtesy : Kirbie's Cravings

EQUIPMENT
Two (2) Large Glass Mixing Bowls
A Microwave that will hold one of the bowls
A sharp Knife or Food Processor
Parchment or Wax Paper
Your Manicured Hands

INGREDIENTS
  • 50 cloves fresh Garlic (Yes, you read that right)
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher Salt
  • 4 cups (900g.) shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • 5 quarts (20 cups) Popped Corn


TECHNIQUE
Peel the Garlic and mince using a sharp knife or a few pulses of a food processor along with the Kosher Salt. Try not to create a pureé. This prevents sticking and absorbs all of the yummy Garlic juices.
Combine the minced Garlic/Salt mixture in a large mixing bowl with the shredded Cheddar Cheese.
In another large glass or plastic bowl, make alternate layers of Popped Corn and garlic-Cheese mixture, coating the Popped Corn as evenly as possible, especially at the edges of the bowl.
When layered, place the  bowl into the Microwave and cook for one (1) minute on High. Shake the bowl gently; rotate the bowl 180 degrees and cook for one (1) more minute. Do not overcook.
Immediately turn the gooey mixture out onto cookie sheet, and quickly shape into plum-size balls.
Place the balls onto sheets of Parchment or Wax Paper to set.
If the popcorn mixture gets too hard to mold, just zap it in the Microwave for a few seconds to keep it pliable.

Makes about 4 dozen popcorn balls, but that's up to you.


Recipe adapted by Wait At The Bar

Image Courtesy : Noble Popcorn

And, in case you're wondering, the world's largest popcorn ball was unveiled in Sac City, Iowa in 2009. It contained 900 pounds (408 kg.) of popcorn, 2,700 pounds (1225 kg) of sugar and 1,400 pounds (635 kg.) of Dry syrup mixed with water. It held the record until later that year when a group at the Indiana State Fair, built a 6,510 pound (2953 kg.) popcorn ball, beating Sac County’s record by 1,510 pounds (685 kg.), but the Indian ball was pulled apart to feed livestock at the end of the festivities. Sac City’s ball remains the largest popcorn ball still intact.



© L. M. Sorré

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Hot Buttered Rum Day



Nice and toasty on those cold winter nights. But what exactly is it??

Well, Kenneth Roberts, author of the 1937 bestselling historical novel Northwest Passage, says “After a man’s had two—three drinks of hot buttered rum, he don’t shoot a catamount. All he’s got to do is walk up to him and kiss him just once, then put him in his bag, all limp.”

"Dang! It's cold." - Kenny Roberts, Hell's Kitchen, NYC c. 1911

That notwithstanding, in the United States, hot buttered rum’s history dates back to the colonial days.  It was in the 1650's when the island of Jamaica began exporting molasses, a byproduct of sugar cane production, to Colonial America. Using the molasses, the New England Colonies began opening distilleries where they began to add distilled rum to hot beverages such as toddies and nogs, creating such beverages as hot buttered rum, eggnog, and many others.


"Hmmmm. Not enough Rum."


Traditionally, a hot buttered rum is made by blending a buttered rum batter with dark rum.  Dark rum is rum which has been barrel-aged for a long length of time to retain a deeper, molasses flavor.  Those that prefer a milder or a spicier taste may choose the option of using light rum or spiced rum mixed with the batter.

So, how do we do this in our modern over-technological age??

Well, the good folks over at CDKitchen have us all covered…

Behold!

Slow Cooker Colonial Hot Buttered Rum

Photo : CDKitchen

Yes, you read that right. Hot Buttered Rum in a Crock Pot!

What better after a crumby day at the office and having to shovel out your car twice that day??

Here it is :

EQUIPMENT
Your favorite Slow Cooker or Crock Pot
Some large Coffee Mugs
Spoons (you must have these somewhere)
A Ladle

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups (450g.) firmly packed Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 cup Sweet Butter (that means no salt, lunkhead)
  • 1 pinch Kosher Salt
  • 3 whole Cinnamon Sticks
  • 6 whole Cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
  • 2 cups (475ml.) of Dark Rum (your hangover favorite)
  • 2 quarts (1.9 l.) Hot Water
  • Heavy Cream, whipped, for topping
  • Additional Ground Nutmeg, for topping




TECHNIQUE
Combine the Brown Sugar, Butter, Salt, Cinnamon Sticks, Cloves, and Nutmeg in the Crock Pot or Slow Cooker. Add the Hot Water. Stir well. 


Cover the pot and cook on LOW for five (5) hours. (Again, you read that right.)

After five (5) hours, add the Dark Rum; stirring to blend. 

Ladle from Crock Pot in warm Coffee Mugs with a scoop of Whipped Cream and a dusting of Nutmeg.

Slurp and enjoy!


Recipe courtesy CDKitchen
Adapted and Copyright by L.M. Sorré




Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Raisin Bran….And A Return!

It's finally time…

To get back on track…

With…


NATIONAL RAISIN BRAN CEREAL DAY!!


I know that I have forgotten this site due to other obligations which have now gone by the wayside.

However, Wiki has this to say, if you believe them….

"Skinner's Raisin Bran" was the first raisin bran brand on the market, introduced in the United States in 1926 by the Skinner Manufacturing Company.[2]
The name "Raisin Bran" was at one time trademarked by Skinner, however in 1944 the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit found:
The name "Raisin-BRAN" could not be appropriated as a trade-mark, because: "A name which is merely descriptive of the ingredients, qualities or characteristics of an article of trade cannot be appropriated as a trademark and the exclusive use of it afforded legal protection. The use of a similar name by another to truthfully describe his own product does not constitute a legal or moral wrong, even if its effect be to cause the public to mistake the origin or ownership of the product." [2]
SOURCE : WIKI

IMAGE SOURCE : runningwithspoons

So, now, it's time to get back to the kitchen and explore all of the things from the back cupboard….

Here is a blatant recipe that I stole from Food.com

So, that YOU too can make your own version.


2 quarts US

  1. Preheat oven to 350*. Combine bran, flours, powdered milk and salt in a mixing bowl.
  2. Mix the water, oil & honey together and stir into the dry ingredients. Use a large fork to mix well.
  3. Divide the dough in 4 pieces. Place one portion on a piece of floured waxed paper. Cover with another sheet of waxed paper.
  4. Gently roll out dough to a 12" x 15" rectangle.
  5. Remove top piece of waxed paper and invert the dough onto a greased cookie sheet. Remove the other sheet of waxed paper.
  6. Bake @ 350* for 16-18 minutes.
  7. Cool and break into pieces in a paper bag. Make smaller pieces using a rolling pin.
  8. Repeat with the other portions of dough (roll out & bake a portion whle one cools).
  9. When all cereal is cooled and broken up, combine with raisins. Store in a covered container.


I've never tried this mixture, so it's up to you and your GI tract to see if it works.

Now that that's over, please keep coming back. There are three (3) cookbooks in the works and I need all of the moral support and all the Olive Oyl that I can get.

l.



©L. M. Sorré 2016

Saturday, March 17, 2012

St. Paddy's....

Just in time for Saint Patrick's Day,



Guinness Marshmallows



This recipe makes about three (3) dozen marshmallows, the first few will be neat but you'll be tempted make giant marshmallow blocks by the end, so your results may differ.



INGREDIENTS
For the Bloom:
  • Three (3) tablespoons (1 ounce or 4 packets, 28 g.) Unflavored Gelatin
  • Four (4) teaspoons Vanilla Extract
  • 2/3 cup (148 ml.) flat Guinness Stout

For the Sugar Syrup:
  • 1 cup (237 ml.) flat Guinness Stout (basically, dump whatever is left in the bottle....unless you've been drinking it, in which case... Come on! It's flat beer!)
  • 1.25 cup (296 ml.) Corn Syrup or Sugar Cane Syrup
  • 1.5 cup white granulated Sugar
  • pinch Salt

Powdered Sugar for coating and a bit of Vegetable Oil for coating the pan



TECHNIQUE
To flatten the beer, open the bottle and let it sit overnight. If you're in a rush, pour the beer into a bowl and stir with a whisk to release as much of the carbon dioxide as possible. Do not, and I repeat, DO NOT attempt to "whirr" the beer in a blender to de-fizz it. You will have Beer and foam everywhere, which could be fun if you're with that "certain" friend, but not today.

Line an 8x8-inch or 9x9-inch (23x23-cm.) square cake pan with parchment paper and brush it lightly with vegetable oil. I usually use two pieces of parchment, one going one way and the other crossing it, making sure to leave some extra length flopping over the sides of the pan to make "handles" for easy removal of the future Marshmallows.

To make the "Bloom", sprinkle the Gelatin into the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the Vanilla and flattened Guinness. Install the whisk attachment to your mixer and go to town until no lumps remain. If you don't have a stand mixer, a hand held mixer works just as well. If you don't have any power tools, a plain old whisk will do the job too, and give you a good workout. The important thing here is no lumps; so, how you get there is up to you.

For the Sugar Syrup, dump the flat Beer into a large six (6) quart heavy bottomed saucepan or enameled cast iron dutch oven, like Le Creuset, and place over medium heat. Simmer the Beer until it's reduced by half, then add in the Corn Syrup, Sugar, and Salt. Clip a candy thermometer to the side of the saucepan with the bulb in the simmering liquid. Turn the heat to high and bring the Sugar mixture to a boil. As the Syrup heats, it will foam up to nearly fill the pan. Keep an eye on it so it doesn't boil over. When the mixture is between 225°F and 230°F (107°C~110°C), let it bubble for about five (5) minutes and then remove it from heat. Don't just turn the burner off, physically move the pot onto a cool burner. You want the syrup to reach somewhere between 240°F- 250°F (115°C~121°C), any more and you have caramel, which is delicious, but not what we want. If you're having a hard time getting a read on the thermometer but think you're almost there, turn off the heat, stir down the bubbles really quickly using a wooden spoon and take a reading. You'll lose a degree or two of temperature, but you'll know for sure where you're at.

With the mixer on low speed, carefully pour the hot molten Sugar Syrup down the side of the bowl into the Gelatin Bloom. You may need a significant other or third hand with this step as handling molten sugar syrup can be dangerous. Slowly rev the mixer up to high once all the syrup has been added and let it whip for about eight (8) to ten (10) minutes, until it looks like glossy meringue and is very thick. For those of you not using power tools, this is where your forearm workout begins.

Now you've got Marshmallow! Pour the Marshmallow into the prepared cake pan and let it cure, uncovered, out on the counter for ten (10) to twelve (12) hours or overnight.

When the Marshmallows are cured, rub the top with a little Powdered Sugar and turn the Marshmallow bloc out onto a cutting board using the parchment paper handles. Peel the parchment paper off and rub the bottom, now top,  with more Powdered Sugar. Cut the Marshmallow bloc into 18-22 squares of equal size. Marshmallows will keep in a covered container for several weeks.


VARIATIONS
Chocolate. And Pretzels.
Yes, you read that right. After the Marshmallows have cured and have been cut up into cubes, you can then dip them in melted chocolate and then roll them around in crushed pretzels. Personally, I find that this overpowers the flavour of the Guinness, but I leave this up to you.


Adapted from The Kitchn.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Make Your Own

Last Year, I posted a listing on how to make your own Girl Scout Cookis and put everyone out of business.

With Easter a mere forty days away, I give you this :

Photo courtesy Instructables

The good folks over at Instructables have come up with a complete recipe with detailed instructions on eggs-actly (sorry, I had to make the joke) how to make these lovelies at home.

I have high eggs-pectations that all of you will try this......details after the JUMP


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Pizza Ice Cream?


Pizza baked in an ice cream cone....

I want one!


Only at Kono Pizza in Japan.


Sigh