Flashback Friday – Timing

The following post appeared on BAH on 10 August 2009.

Hot Stuff

In the kitchen, timing is everything. Food is done when it’s done. You get a little wiggle room with some dishes. Others are not so forgiving. Worst of all is when you’ve unknowingly overcooked something. Like that time I made baked eggs. I was expecting something along the lines of maybe a soft boiled or poached egg. What I got was tough and rubbery. Seriously, my fork kept bouncing off the whites as I tried to cut into them.

I did not pay attention to a cardinal rule of cooking – timing involves more than watching a clock. Yes, paying attention to how long a recipe says it will take is important. But so is paying attention to how it smells and looks. Every time SFC is cooking, I try and explain not to just go by how many minutes are on the timer but to use all the senses. Clearly, I need to remember my own words.

Baked Eggs in Tomato Parmesan Sauce

Martha Stewart Everyday Food, as posted on thebittenword.com

I scaled the recipe to make two servings. If I can get this to work they way I think it’s supposed to, I bet it would make a great brunch dish or an easy weeknight dinner.

  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed dried rosemary
  • 1 can (15 oz) diced tomatoes in juice
  • 1/2 can (15 oz) crushed tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan
  • 4 eggs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Set two 12 ounce ovenproof bowls on a large rimmed baking sheet.

In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium flame. Add garlic and rosemary; cook, stirring until garlic is golden, about 2 minutes. Add diced tomatoes with juice, crushed tomatoes, and 2 tablespoons parmesan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally until slightly thickened, 2 to 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Divide tomato sauce between bowls, reserving 1/2 cup. Crack 2 eggs into each bowl and top with reserved sauce and 2 tablespoons parmesan. Bake until egg whites are just opaque, yolks should still be soft, 24 to 28 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through.

{Printable Recipe}

Flashback Friday – Notes on a Recipe CI’s Buttermilk Pancakes

The following post appeared on BAH on 5 August 2009.

Best Buttermilk Pancakes

Breakfast at our house is usually pretty routine. I make a batch of Alton Brown’s Overnight Oatmeal once a week. And I alternate that with some of SFC’s Not Quite Scrambled Eggs. They’re a cross between scrambled and over hard. Difficult to explain but very enjoyable to eat. Or, if I’m short on time in the morning, I’ll toast an English Muffin and make a breakfast sandwich with a Morningstar Farms Veggie Sausage. But every so often, I get a taste for pancakes.

Most recently, this came while I was going through the July/August Cook’s Illustrated. Page 23 promised the Best Buttermilk Pancakes. I happened to have both buttermilk and sour cream, which the recipe called for, so I figured it was a sign that I should heat up the griddle.

Overall, it’s a solid recipe, although I found the batter to be too thick. My first batch of pancakes did not spread on the griddle. This led to the inside being gummy and undercooked when the outside was nicely browned. I added just enough buttermilk (maybe a quarter cup or so) to thin out the batter so that it spread into lovely rounds on the got griddle.

My only other problem was that even though I had scaled their recipe in half, I was still left with too many pancakes to eat in one sitting. So I wrapped the leftovers in paper towels to absorb moisture as they cooled and set them in the refrigerator. Once fully cooled, I transferred them to a plastic bag for short term storage. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to introduce the Best Buttermilk Pancakes to a slice of spiral cut smoked ham for a late night snack.

Best Buttermilk Pancakes

Cook’s Illustrated

Wrapped in plastic wrap, you could also freeze any leftover pancakes once fully cooled. Reheat in the toaster.

CI Note – “Cook’s Illustrated prefers Gold Medal or Pillsbury All Purpose Flour. If you use an AP flour with a higher protein content, like King Arthur, you will need to add an extra tablespoon or two of buttermilk.”

According to the recipe, this will make sixteen 4 inch pancakes, serving 4 to 6.

  • 2 cups (10 ounces) unbleached all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1/4 sour cream
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons vegetable oil

Whisk flour, sugar salt, baking powder, and baking soda together in a medium bowl. Whisk together buttermilk, sour cream, eggs, and melted butter in a second bowl. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the buttermilk mixture. Stir until just combined. The batter should remain lumpy. Do not overmix. Allow the batter to sit for 10 minutes before cooking.

Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Using paper towels, carefully wipe out the oil, leaving a thin film on the bottom of the pan. Pour the batter, 1/4 cup at a time, onto the skillet. Cook until the edges are set, the first side is golden brown, and bubbles on the surface are just beginning to break, approximately 2 to 3 minutes. Flip the pancakes and cook until the second side is golden brown, about 1 to 2 minutes longer .

Serve immediately or transfer to a wire rack set inside a baking sheet in a 200 degree oven.

Repeat with remaining batter, using remaining oil as necessary.

{Printable Recipe}

Flashback Friday – Bacon Prayer

The following post appeared on BAH on 3 August 2009.

Prayer to Assist with the Enjoyment of Quality Bacon

O wonderous St. Anthony, please bless me with an abundance of quality bacon and grant me the patience and timing to properly fry each glorious strip. Amen.

I’ve fried my share of bacon over the years and I know that sometimes it does take the intercession of the Saints to keep things from going to hell in a handbasket. But I’ve learned that you don’t need the patience of a Saint to cook bacon. And you don’t need to spend hours degreasing your kitchen either. What’s my secret? My bacon never sees the inside of a frying pan anymore.

It may seem radical, but I cook my bacon in the oven. I got the idea from Ina, the Barefoot Contessa herself. And then I wondered why it never occurred to me before. It’s the perfect solution. All you need is a hot oven, a baking sheet, and a wire rack and you too can enjoy quality bacon. Amen.

Ina’s Oven Cooked Bacon

  • Thick cut slices of smoked bacon
  • Sheet pan
  • Wire cooling rack

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Place the wire cooling rack in the sheet pan and arrange the bacon on the rack in a single layer. Bake for 15 to 25 minutes until the bacon is browned and crisp. Drain on paper towels and enjoy.

{Printable Recipe}

Flashback Friday – Bon Appetit Hon!

The following post originally appeared on BAH on 27 July 2009.

You know how people grow and develop and change over time?  I’ve discovered that blogs can do the same thing.

Bon Appetit Hon had its beginnings back in 2007 as Exit 51.  I set it up as a means to keep in contact with my husband while he was overseas.  But as time passed, more and more of Exit 51 became about food.  What I was making, what I was thinking of making, what worked, and what failed.  Not to mention all the food diversions that the Internet threw my way.

So in 2009, just as Exit 51 was about to enter the Terrible Two’s, I decided it was time to make a change.  Call it growing pains, or an identity crisis, or whatever you like.  But to me, the name Exit 51 just didn’t convey the idea that it’s about the food.  And Bon Appetit Hon was born.

Exit 51 still lives on here for now.   And there will be links back to it since part of moving forward is always remembering where you’ve been.  I hope you’ll follow along and see where this journey takes us.

Welcome to my kitchen in Smalltimore.  Pull up a chair, make yourself at home, and Bon Appetit Hon.