Rose’s Dutch Baby

Since I mentioned my recent Bread Bible Studies, it’s probably a good time to show you what I was able to do with Miss Rose’s help.  But I’m going to keep my oohing and aahing to a minimum because it’s one long ass recipe.

To summarize, I chose Christmas morning to resume my Bread Bible Studies.  All I can say is that this apple filled dutch baby was a Christmas miracle.  And it was just as good as a cold snack late on Christmas night as it was piping hot for breakfast that morning.

Rose’s Apple Filled Dutch Baby

Adapted from Rose Levy Beranbum’s The Bread Bible

BAH Note: The most important thing about this recipe is to remember that the batter has to rest for at least an hour.  If you don’t like long delays in getting apple filled goodness into your belly, make the batter the night before.  I honestly don’t know if the flour in my container was bleached or unbleached.  I’m sure RLB has her reasons for specifying bleached but I was perfectly happy with the results I got with my King Arthur All Purpose.

RLB’s headnote for this recipe says her “goal was for a Dutch baby that had crisp, puffy sides but a tender, almost custardy bottom (as opposed to an eggy/rubbery one).”  I can not provide a more accurate, enticing description than that.

Batter

  • 142 grams (1 cup) bleached all purpose flour
  • 37 grams (3 tablespoons) sugar
  • 1.7 grams (1/4 teaspoon) salt
  • 56 grams (4 tablespoons) melted butter, divided
  • 242 grams (1 cup) whole milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Place the flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor and pulse a few times to combine.  Add 2 tablespoons of the melted butter and process until the mixture resembles tiny peas, approximately 20 seconds.  Scrape down the sides of the workbowl.  With the food processor running, add the milk, eggs, egg whites, and vanilla and process until the batter is smooth, about 20 seconds.

Allow the batter to sit for an hour at room temperature or refrigerate for up to 24 hours.  If you refrigerate overnight, allow the batter to come to room temperature and whisk it lightly.

30 minutes before baking, place a rack in the bottom third of the oven and heat your oven to 400 degrees.  When ready to bake, remelt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and add it to a 12 inch, oven safe frying pan (I used a stainless steel pan because I don’t know that my Calphalon nonstick is safe to 400 degrees).  Use a pastry brush to coat the bottom and sides completely with the butter.  Place the empty pan in the oven for 3 minutes until the butter is hot and bubbling.

Carefully remove the hot pan from the oven and pour the batter over the hot butter.  Bake for 15 minutes then lower the heat to 350 degrees and continue to cook until it is puffed around the edges above the sides of the pan and has a golden brown color, approximately 30 minutes.  Approximately 15 minutes before the end of the cooking time, quickly make 3 small slits in the center of the Dutch baby to release steam and allow the center to dry more.

While the Dutch baby is in the oven, make the apple filling.

Apple Filling

  • 63 grams (4 1/2 tablespoons) butter, softened
  • 717 grams (2 pounds) granny smith apples, peeled, cored, and sliced 1/4 thick
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 40 grams (3 tablespoons) brown sugar
  • 38 grams (3 tablespoons) granulated sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Melt the butter in a large frying pan set over medium heat.  When the bubbling subsides, add all the ingredients.  Cook for approximately 15 minutes until the apples are tender and glazed.  Turn off the heat and cover the pan to keep warm.

Once the Dutch baby is removed from the oven, carefully transfer it to a large plate or platter and fill it with the spiced apples.

{printable recipe}

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Quick Brioche

I’ve been making progress on my Bread Bible Studies.  I’ve had two very satisfying wins recently thanks to Miss Rose and my confidence level working with yeast is a little better than it was.  So when I saw a recipe for Nick Malgieri’s Quick Brioche posted on Piece of Cake, I decided to give it a try.  What sealed the deal for me is that the recipe called for the food processor to do the heavy lifting and there was minimal kneading involved.

Note to Recipe Developers and Cookbook Publishers: If you develop your recipe using a ginormous food processor, you may want to include that detail somewhere in the recipe.  It will save me a whole lot of heartache.  And cursing.

The reason for that aside is because this dough completely overwhelmed my run of the mill Cuisinart.  It got under the blade assembly and oozed out of the work bowl down onto the (very technical jargon ahead) stem thingy that makes the blade spin.  If you’ve never experienced this, having to remove sticky bread dough from a sharp metal blade and from a narrow plastic tube is no freaking fun.

Once that disaster had been cleaned up and the dough made it onto the counter for a bit of kneading, my outlook improved.  The dough was responding and I had a decent shot at turning the near miss into a save.

I portioned the dough into two loaf pans and set them to rise while the oven heated.  I baked.  I cooled.  And I tasted.  Technically, I was successful.  My efforts were rewarded with two loaves of bread.  But I think what I managed to produce might have been better utilized for something like french toast than topping with butter or jam.

I wonder if Mr. Malgieri gives private instruction on how to master his Quick Brioche?

A Rebuttal to Food 52

Dear Amanda, I spent a good bit of time today reading your essay and the subsequent comments regarding Google’s Recipe Search.  Thank you for adding your voice to the conversation.

In general, I agree with most of your essay.  But as a someone who does not have the resources to focus on blogging as my full time career, I take exception to your suggestion that “a very simple place to start is by tracking the number of comments relative to pageviews, the number of Facebook likes a recipe has garnered, or how often a recipe has been shared.”

While Google’s approach doesn’t take quality into account, a structure built around comments, page views, likes, and stars turns a search into a popularity contest destined to be dominated by the power bloggers and mega sites.  How is a small blogger supposed to compete with the likes of Smitten Kitchen, Pioneer Woman, and even Food 52 within those parameters?

Providing quality content is no guarantee that the page views will come.  Sometimes it takes luck, fairy dust, or the right person seeing a post Stumbled to start generating the buzz that initially gets bloggers noticed.  I blog because I want to blog not because I want to play the social media game and get bogged down in the need to be heard on Twitter, Facebook, StumbleUpon, FoodBuzz, and the countless other sites that people look to for validation.  I tried it.  And I didn’t like how it turned something I do because I enjoy it into a competition. It shouldn’t be about me vs. you or us vs. them…but it feels like it is.

I believe the logic that say “a recipe with 74 comments is almost certainly better than one that takes 8 minutes to make” is faulty.  Just today there is a lively discussion going on at Tastes Better With Friends about blog commenting.  If we base the definition of quality on the metric of commenting, does one distinguish between the fluffy “looks yummy” comments and the more substantive ones that spark a discussion about skill or technique?  I’ll be the first to admit that comments are hugely validating.  And while I appreciate getting the fluffy ones because it lets me know that I’m not merely speaking out into the void, I love the ones that show someone took the time to read what I had written and found a way to connect to it.  It might not even have anything to do with the recipe being posted.  Are 70 fluffy comments worth more than 4 that further the conversation?

As a food blogger it is my responsibility to truthfully represent the recipes I post in terms of time and effort.  As a food blog reader, it’s ultimately up to me to determine whether the recipe I’ve found online meets my definition of quality.  Quality = subjective.  For some people, that’s going to be about opening cans and microwaving sides while for others it’s going to be about locally sourced this and organic that.  Who am I to judge?

I’m a home cook.  Five days a week I do look for quick and easy recipes that fit my lifestyle.  And there’s nothing wrong with that. Just because I do use quick and easy recipes to make my weekday life easier, that in no way precludes me from jumping in to a more challenging and time consuming recipe on the weekends.  But we all cook for different reasons.  For some, it’s merely fuel for the body, consumed on the run between a string of part time jobs cobbled together to make ends meet.  For others, it’s a leisurely undertaking that feeds the soul. It’s a big enough internet that there’s room for all of us and the websites that meet our needs.

Ultimately, I choose how my name is associated with my online content.  While I may never enjoy the commercial success achieved by other food bloggers, that doesn’t mean that I am not successful at what I do.  It makes me sad that we have collectively redefined success to mean being ranked on the first page of a Google search.  Saying you’re not successful if you aren’t ranked first in a web search is like saying you’re not a good cook if you don’t have top of the line appliances.  These things are merely tools.  How we use them, and the power we give them to rule our lives, is completely up to us.

Sincerely,

Wendi @ BAH

Apricot Miso Pork


I know you’ve seen this pig before but you’ll have to forgive me.  I’ve been awful about documenting some of the food I’ve been cooking.  But I don’t want my lack of photos to keep you from something as good as Apricot Miso Pork.  In fact, I don’t know what you have planned for dinner this weekend, but scrap whatever it is and make this instead.

The only bad thing I can say about AMP is that each time I’ve made it, I’ve managed to set off my smoke detectors.  Those things are really sensitive to a change in temperature and when I open my oven door to baste the pork, they start screaming.  So please make a mental note that you may want to remove the battery from yours before you begin…just don’t forget to put it back after you’ve enjoyed a meal of perfectly glazed pork.

Apricot Miso Pork

Adapted from Bon Appetit, January 2011

BAH Note: Even though I have access to an Asian Market, I get my miso at Whole Foods.  The only reason for that is that’s where I found it the first time I ever bought it.  So I’m used to the brand they carry.  So much so that I made The Mistah take a picture of the container so that he could pick up a tub when we ran out recently.  He scoffed at my peculiarity…until he tried the pork.  Also, I fought the desire to make a substitution for the champagne vinegar.  It’s not something I usually stock and I hate buying specialty ingredients. Deciding to go ahead and buy it was the best thing I could have done.  The champagne vinegar gives the glaze and the sauce a special, bright punch.  If you’re so inclined, you could substitute white wine for the chicken broth.  I’ve made it both ways and can’t decide which I like better.

  • 5 tablespoons apricot preserves
  • 1/4 cup brown or red miso
  • 1/4 cup champagne vinegar
  • grated zest of 1 orange
  • 2 – 3 pounds pork tenderloin
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth

Heat the oven to 425 degrees and line a sheet pan with aluminum foil.

Combine preserves, miso, vinegar, and orange zest in a small saucepan.  Cook over medium heat 1 to 2 minutes until the preserves melt and the sauce thickens.  Set aside about three  or four tablespoons of sauce.

Pat the pork dry and season with a bit of kosher salt.  If using two thin tenderloins instead of loin roast, tie them together with butcher’s string being sure to tuck the thin ends underneath. Place on the prepared sheet pan.

Roast for 10 minutes and then use a pastry brush to baste the pork with some of the reserved glaze.  Continue to roast until the pork registers an internal temperature of 160 degrees, basting every 10 minutes.  If the glazes starts to char, carefully drape some aluminum foil over the top of the pork and continue to roast and baste.

Transfer the pork to a cutting board and rest for 10 minutes, covered with foil, while you finish the sauce.

Add the chicken broth (or wine, if using) to the remaining glaze still in the sauce pan.  Whisk to combine and cook for about 5 minutes or until reduced to about 2/3 cup.

Serve the pork slices drizzled with the sauce.

{printable recipe}

Tomato Fennel and Crab Soup

In my post cookbook breakup period, I’ve been looking for new inspiration.  So in addition to trolling the blogs for new recipe ideas, I’ve casually started buying cooking magazines again.  I figure if I can spend $29.99 on a cookbook that I only grab a few recipes from and then neglect on the bookshelf, why not spend $2.99 on a magazine that I can tear the pages from and then recycle?  The math might not add up but the space reclaimed on my bookshelf is priceless.

Tomato Fennel and Crab Soup

Adapted from Mark Bittman, Bon Appetit January 2011

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced
  • 28 ounces diced tomatoes in juice
  • 1 can vegetable broth
  • 8 ounces crab meat

BAH Note: You’ll want to be sure to pick through the crab meat for any small bits of shell or cartilage.  Even in the dead of winter, I was able to find crab at the grocery store.  I think I used Phillip’s lump and it didn’t cost me an arm and a leg.

Heat olive oil in a dutch oven set over medium high heat.  Add onion and fennel and cook until softened.  Add tomatoes and vegetable broth and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer the soup for 10 to 15 minutes.

Working in batches, carefully transfer the soup to a blender and process until smooth.  Return the soup to the pot, taste for seasoning, and add salt and pepper as desired.

Add crab to the soup and simmer for 5 minutes to warm through.  Serve immediately.

{printable recipe}

 

 

Flashback Friday – Over My Head

Flashback Friday

The following originally appeared on 9/15/08 at Exit 51.

Over My Head

Do you ever start something thinking you know EXACTLY how it’s going to turn out only to have those ideas shot to hell?  Yeah, me too.  Sometimes it involves a DIY project, like that time I thought it would be a great idea to update my grandmother’s bathroom.  Somewhere around the step of me trying to strip 50 years worth of paint off the door, I knew I was in over my head.

Peach Salsa

And sometimes it involves cooking.  I’ll think to myself “I’ve done something like this before, everything should be fine.”  Only, it’s not.  Take pork.  I don’t know what it is about pork that confounds me so. But it does.  Sometimes it comes out great.  And other times, despite a hot oven and digital thermometer that tells me it’s done, it’s a spectacular failure.  This is reason number one that I try never to serve a recipe to guests that I have never made before.  Too much room for error.

How can my instruments lie to me like that? At an internal temperature of 155 degrees, why is my pork still pink?  And I don’t mean a soft shade of blush.  No, I mean a bright pink that screams “I’m not done”.  I’m all about life adventures but food poisoning isn’t one of them.  Luckily, my friend Microwave finished the job up in a jiffy.  But still, this plagues me.  How can I not get something as simple as properly cooked pork right?  Did I mention this is why we have fried chicken for Easter?

Fortunately, the peach salsa that I’d made to go with the pork was impossible to get wrong.  And it brought a little bit of life to a meal that was otherwise completely forgettable.  I bet this would be good with fish too.  Give it a try and let me know.  And if anyone can tell me what the heck I’m doing wrong with the pork, I’m all ears.

Peach Salsa

  • 1 large peach, peeled and diced
  • 1/4 cup red onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup jicama, diced
  • juice from half a lime
  • cilantro, chopped

Put all ingredients into a bowl and mix well to combine.

Cider Glazed Chicken

Since I seem to be all about le poulet why not post another chicken recipe?  I grabbed this one from The Kitchen Witch, who grabbed it from Cooking Light.  Why do I get the feeling that The Universe is trying to get me back together with Cooking Light?

There’s a story about this dish.  It involves Tivo.  I may have mentioned that I fought Tivo for the longest time.  And then once it came into my life, I couldn’t live without it.  I imagine people once felt the same way about electricity, cell phones, and Facebook.  Anyhow, the beauty of Tivo is that The Mistah and I get to keep up with our shows even if they don’t appeal to both tv viewing members of our household (I’m looking at you Wipeout).  And for those shows that we both enjoy, we can watch them together on our schedule, not the network’s.

So there I was, halfway through the latest episode of White Collar when The Mistah came through the door.  He saw that I had started watching it without him and was all sad faced.  In a moment of inspiration, I told him that he could start watching it from the beginning , I would fix dinner, and when he got to where I was in the show, we would finish watching it together.  Who says compromise is hard?

In the time it took him to reach the 29 minute mark, which through the magic of Tivo is less than 29 minutes since we are not held hostage by commercials, Cider Glazed Chicken was prepped, cooked, and plated.

Sadly, there is no photo documentation that this meal ever existed at BAH.  We were too busy finishing that episode of White Collar.  You’ll just have to mosey on over to TKW’s blog for the photo.

Cider Glazed Chicken

Based on The Kitchen Witch’s Adaptation of Cooking Light’s Recipe

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 4 boneless chicken breast cutlets
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup apple cider
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard

Pat chicken cutlets dry and season with salt.  Melt butter in a large, nonstick frying pan over medium high heat. Add chicken to pan and cook 3 to 5 minutes per side or until cooked through.  Transfer the chicken to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm.

Add the apple cider and mustard to the pan, scraping up any bits off the bottom, and cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until reduced and syrupy.  Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper as desired.

Return the chicken to the pan, coat with the sauce, and serve with rice, noodles, or mashed potatoes.

{printable recipe}