The Breukelen Life

The Breukelen Life

Food, Love and Life in Brooklyn

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“Lobster is so Cheap Right now!” Lobster Ravioli edition

August 28, 2013

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There are few things in this world better than lobster, homemade pasta and fresh ricotta. Yes. Together. In the same day. On one plate.

The price of lobster has been driving way down lately – like $5/a pound down. And that’s for Fresh Direct, northeastern lobster. I’m not talking about Chinatown lobster here. It’s unheard of! That price has already inspired a lobster party in this lady’s apartment so when I saw that magical price again this week; I just had to order more.

There are quite a few lobster recipes on my to-do list. Spicy Singapore Lobster stew has been on there for as long as I can remember but it has just been to hot for that. This weekend, P and I went for lobster ravioli.

We chose to make our own dough and fresh ricotta from scratch. We used my trusty ricotta recipe and had to do a bit of trouble shooting due to a faulty thermometer. No worries though, we just brought the whey back up to temp and like magic, we had ricotta. For the dough we went with Lidia’s recipe. Any of her pasta dough recipes, which you can see here, will work wonderfully.

We followed this recipe. The filling was basic and was nice for the lobster, but the sauce…meh. I know, there is little wrong with tomatoes, garlic, and cream but when it overpowers lobster, it’s a terrible, terrible thing. Next time I’ll go with something more basic such as some olive oil, garlic and fresh tomatoes or just a brown butter with a tad of Parmesan.

PS. I realize now I should have taken more detailed pictures but there was quite a distraction with all of the making things from scratch. My apologies!

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Sauce
olive oil, extra virgin
shallots
garlic
mushrooms handful (optional, i like them )
1/4 c lobster meat
1 c cream (warm in microwave so it won’t curdle)
1/2 c tomato sauce
a few basil leaves chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Filling

2 tbsp olive oil
1-2 shallots, chopped
2 c cooked lobster meat, chopped roughly from 3-1lb. lobster (set aside ¼ cup or so of lobster meat for the sauce),
2 pinch parsley
1/2 lb ricotta cheese
3-4 Tbsp parmigiano-reggiano, grated
pinch salt and pepper

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Ravioli Filling

Cook shallots in olive oil on medium high heat.
Once the shallots have softened, add lobster meat and parsley. Take the pan off the heat and mix in the ricotta and Parmesan.Taste filling and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Ravioli Construction
There are two options here.

Since we made our own down, we rolled out and used a ravioli press. If you do not have those tools available and are buying pre-made pasta dough you can use the following option.

On a pasta sheet laid out on the counter, add about a tablespoon or so of filling a couple of inches apart. Wet with egg wash (1 egg and a T Water) the pasta in between the filling creating the borders of the ravioli’s so they seal properly.

Top off with another pasta sheet.

Around each mound of filling, press out on the wet area, making sure there are no air pockets in the filling. Cut each ravioli out with a pizza roller. Ensure the ravioli’s are well sealed again (or they will open up in the water when cooking).

In a large pot of boiling water, cook the ravioli’s for 7-8 minutes until they float up. (If you are lucky enough to have extra, lay them individually on a baking sheet and freeze before cooking them. When they are frozen, place them in a sealed plastic bag.)

Lobster Sauce
Cook shallots and garlic in oil.

When the mushrooms have softened, add lobster meat, tomato sauce and heated cream.Turn down the heat and let the sauce simmer until it has slightly thickened. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add basil last.

Tis the season – Corn Cakes

August 26, 2013

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In case the last post didn’t clue you in, P and I are crazy about corn right now. If you’re not into corn right now, it’s now or never. (Same goes for tomatoes) The season is fleeting and there’s no better way to embrace the end of summer. SUPER SAD FACE.

Today, we’re talking about corn cakes!

It only took me a bite to be fully and utterly hooked on these things. I’m two batches in and I’ll be going for a third this week.

The first batch we ate on the roof, covered in an heirloom tomato salad with fresh mozzarella. J ate a few smothered in honey. And what of the second batch? Well, the second batch I ate alone, and no I’m not ashamed. I sautéed some spinach and garlic, tossed in the fresh cherry tomatoes and ate on the couch, sans pants and a fresh (for me) episode of Freaks and Geeks. And yes, they are just as good thrown on a paper towel and eaten plain. Top with an egg for a delightful breakfast.

I adapted from Food52 and it’s as easy as can be. I replaced the buttermilk with my yogurt whey (a win win in my book!).

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• 2 cups corn kernels, divided in half (from about 3 ears)
• 2 tablespoons butter, plus more for cooking
• 1/2 cup buttermilk (or yogurt whey)
• ½ cup all-purpose flour
• 1/2 cup cornmeal
• ½ cup whole wheat flour (if you don’t have, just use equal amount of all purpose flour)
• 1 teaspoon baking powder
• 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
• ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
• 1 tbsp maple syrup
• 1 tbsp chopped chives (optional)
• Pinch of salt and pepper

1. In a blender, purée half the corn kernels, butter, cayenne pepper and buttermilk until mostly smooth. Transfer to a bowl. Mix in remaining corn kernels.

2. In a separate bowl, thoroughly combine all of the dry ingredients.

3. Add wet ingredients to the dry, and mix until just combined.

4. In a skillet, melt some butter over medium heat and about add 2 heaping tablespoons of batter for each pancake. (You can customize this based on how big you’d like your cakes to be, of course.) Cook about 2 minutes per side or until cooked through. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

Smooth as Silk Corn Soup

August 23, 2013

written and cooked by Pitasushii

Restaurant Week, also known as “the two month period that restaurants snootily serve the lower class and call it a week” has just passed and man did I do it right this year!  Five restaurants in five weeks took me through a tornado of amazing food around New York City.  Being a bit of a foody, and a relatively poor one, I have some places I regularly hit up for deals during this time.  My favorite as many of my friends know is Gotham Bar and Grill.

The reason it happens to be my favorite is that it somehow manages to be all my favorite things at once:  unpretentious, conveniently located, fantastic service, complex and well thought out dishes, few tourists, local ingredients, I could go on and on.  I decided to let my boyfriend in on the experience this time and reserved lunch for the two of us.  One of the dishes (that I didn’t ORDER!) was a fantastic corn soup with roasted cherry tomatoes.  I took one small taste from his bowl and my eyes rolled back in my head.  What a fool I was to order the striped bass ceviche (which was also excellent) and not this amazingly flavorful corn soup.

I was so mad at myself, I decided it was time to try and make it.  I was doubly inspired when I happened upon this corn soup recipe I found on Food52.  It was easy, few ingredients, and after a few tweaks was very close to the soup I fell in love with.  Give it a try.  It’s quick enough it can be thrown together after work and enjoyed for days after.

Corn Soup

Smooth as Silk Corn Soup inspired by 80twenty

• 5 cobs of corn
• 1 tbsp olive oil and 1 tbsp butter
• 3 small leeks, white  part only
• 1 small Yukon potato, rough chopped
• ¼ cup cashew pieces, plus a few extra
• 1 teaspoon dried tarragon
• 1 tablespoon lemon juice
• Salt and pepper to taste
• Cherry tomatoes (optional)

Remove the corn kernels from the cob and set aside.  This is easiest done by holding the corn vertically on top of a bowl on a large plate and cutting down the sides.  Break the cobs in half and place, along with 8 cups of water, in a large stock pot. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce to simmer for 30 minutes or more (if you’ve got the time).

To prepare the leeks, fill a large bowl with water then cut each leek in half down the middle until just before the stringy white root.   Slice the leeks into thin half moons and toss into the bowl of water.  Once all leeks have been sliced and submerged, toss around with your hands to loosen any sediment, then scoop the cleaned leeks off the top.  All of the sediment will be on the bottom of the bowl so scoop, don’t strain!  This may sound like a huge pain in the ass, but I promise you, it’s worth it to not chomp down on some sand like you’re eating your soup at the beach.

As the corn stock is cooking, in a second large pot heat the olive oil and butter over medium heat. Add the leeks and cook until just soft and translucent.  Once the corn stock is ready, add to the leeks along with reserved corn kernels, potato, cashews, and tarragon then simmer for 30 minutes.

Take off heat and using an immersion blender, blend until completely smooth.  This could take about 5 minutes depending on your blender.  If you have a really great blender, power to you!

This next part is a pain but makes a huge difference.  Press the soup through a fine mesh sieve.  You will need to stir it and scrape the sides to get all the liquid through, but I promise it is worth it.

The soup should be extremely smooth and fragrant.  Add lemon and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Serve sprinkled with some extra crushed cashew pieces, roasted cherry tomatoes (literally halved tomatoes I toasted for 5 minutes on some tin foil), and a drizzle of olive oil.  Enjoy!

Plum Torte

August 12, 2013

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I was thinking, Why does this cake need cinnamon? at the exact moment I pulled it from the cabinet and simultaneously opened the container and spilt it all over myself.

Have you ever split cinnamon on your face? It’s a weird feeling, not unlike sand, but softer, more pungent. I can still taste it through my nose. Yes, weird I know.

Anyways, this cake!

Oh man, once this baby started baking, the smell of lemon and cinnamon wafted through the apartment making it all too clear why this cake was one the most requested from the New York Times. And yes, the cinnamon and lemon started to make sense too.

I’ve had this recipe in my queue for quite a few summers, refusing the use anything other than farmer’s market plums and constantly missing the short season. Not this summer my friends. A quick run for tomatoes turned into a heavy loot to carry home with eggplants and zucchinis at their peak. And of course, among that was a nice pound of sugar plums.

While this recipe asks for Italian purple plums, I made do. I can see why though, the sugar plums are softer and they disintegrated a bit. No worries though because it only gave the cake more of an opportunity to soak up the plum-y goodness.

Overall, this is simple cake and can be used with a variety of summer fruits. The dough is sweet and the crunchy top is worthy of any crème brulee. Enjoy!

1 cup of all-purpose flour
1 tsp of baking powder
large pinch of salt
1 cup sugar (I used 2/3 cup – later versions of the recipe cut to the ¾ cup), plus 1 tbsp (give or take depending on the tartness of the plums)
8 tbsp of unsalted butter, softened
2 large eggs
12 purple plums, halved and pitted
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp ground cinnamon

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1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees

2. Sift the flour, baking soda and salt

3. Cream 1 cup sugar and butter in a large bowl until light in color. Add the dry ingredients and then the eggs.

4. Spoon the batter into an ungreased 9-inch spring form pan.

5. Cover the top of the batter with the plum halves, skin side up.

6. Sprinkle with the remaining tbsp of sugar and the lemon juice. Sprinkle with cinnamon.

7. Bake until golden and the plums are bubbly 45-50 minutes. Cool on rack.

Berry Buckle

July 24, 2013

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Crumbles and crisps are all the rage this time of year when berries are in full bloom at the farmers market. But the media this year in particular has unearthed a few more items to add to our repertoire. The buckle…the brown betty…sonker…the pandowdy….grunts…slumps. I won’t go into the details.

You can read all about the differences here (on Huffington Post)
Here (on the New York Times)
Here (on Food52)
And
Here ( on What’s Cooking America)

And that’s just the start of it.

Today, I’m here to talk about the buckle. A buckle is a single layer cake with berries added to the batter. The topping is a streusel, which gives it the buckled or crumbled appearance.

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Yes please. This one in particular… A berry one with a roasted hazelnut streusel topping (Yup, went there) is nothing short of amazing. The recipe come from Food52 by way of Joy of Baking.

I like the streusel topping of the Food52 version. More butter, more spices with the added touch of a high-class hazelnut sits just right with me. But the batter and filling recipes of the Joy of Baking seems more suited to an original buckle. Is it worth the extra steps? Only another buckle attempt will tell!

For now we’ll just talk about Food52. I was thrilled to have another chance at using my leftover whey to replace the buttermilk. My only beef with the recipe is that I think it would be best to beat the egg, sugar and vanilla with a hand mixer until light and fluffy. This just has you using a whisk. I still ended up with a pretty great cake so who knows. I mixed in a bunch of different fruit because I was low on blueberries. No complaints on that end.

Enjoy!

Hazelnut Streusel

• 3/4 cup roasted hazelnuts (you can use any other nut, but why would you?)
• 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
• 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg (freshly ground)
• 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
• 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold and cut into 1/2-inch slices

1. Pulse hazelnuts in food processor until no large pieces remain. About 8 to 10 long pulses.
2. Add the brown sugar, flour, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Pulse several times to combine.
3. Add the butter, and pulse until incorporated, and the mixture looks damp and clumpy. About 8 to 10 pulses. Set aside until ready to sprinkle on the buckle.

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Berry Buckle Batter

• 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
• 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
• 1 cup sugar
• 1 large egg, cold
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 2/3 cup buttermilk, room temperature
• 2 level to slightly less than level pints of berries — translation: it’s okay to snack on a few! (blueberries, blackberries, boysenberries, huckleberries, marianberries, raspberries, etc..)

1. Preheat oven to 350º F with a rack in the lower middle position. Butter and flour a 2-inch deep 9-inch square, 10-inch round, or 11- by 7-inch rectangular pan. Set aside.

2. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Whisk until well mixed, about 15 seconds.

3. Place butter in a glass bowl or 4-cup glass measure. Microwave for 25 to 35 seconds, until about half melted. Add the sugar, egg, and vanilla to the bowl, then whisk until combined and mixture looks slightly fluffy. Gradually beat in the buttermilk (or whey!).

4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, and stir just until the batter is smooth. Gently fold in the berries (some of the aggregate-style will break and discolor the batter, but it will come out fine in the end).

5. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan, spreading it evenly. Sprinkle with the streusel topping in an even layer. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes. The top will be golden brown, and a toothpick inserted near the center won’t have any batter clinging to it (though it may have berry juice or streusel on it).

6. Let cool on a wire rack for at least 20 minutes before serving. Serve warm or at room temperature. No one will complain if you add a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of ice cream, but it’s also good enough to eat plain.

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Urban Oyster – Cobble Hill Tour

July 22, 2013

Stinky Bklyn
When, a few months ago, P and I saw a Gilt City deal for an Urban Oyster food tour in Cobble Hill it was a no-brainer. $33 for a three hour tour and tastings? Yes please!

This past Saturday was the day and I think we both agree that it was well worth the money and the time in the heat. (The tours normally start at $60 so we had a good deal to say the least.)

Ham bar at Stinky Bklyn

Ham bar at Stinky Bklyn

I was a bit wary at the beginning – the tour started at Stinky Bklyn and the second stop was 61 local – both being places I had been before, several times. I mean, despite that, I love both of those places and am not going to turn my nose up at a pimento cheese sandwich nor will I at some spicy pickles.

The tour progressed quickly and we delved deeper into the neighborhood and down streets where I have yet to venture. It was great! The tour tied together a lot of places, which showed the immense community support that all of the local businesses give each other.

One Girl Cookies

To just name a few things….61 local gets their olives from Sahadi’s. If you order from D’Amico online, they will package up sweets from Court Street bakery and ship it to you.

The stops also included Damascus bakery, One Girl cookies, Court Pastry Shop, D’amico foods (which has it’s own coffee roaster) and the Brooklyn Pharmacy & Soda Fountain. The tour was also peppered with short stops in the shade and little tidbits about the neighborhood and New York in general.

Lobster Tails

Lobster Tails

My most favorite stop, by far was the Court Street Bakery and D’amico foods. They were the longest standing in the neighborhood and I am still dreaming about those lemon drop cookies from the bakery.

While it seems a bit touristy to do a food tour in a neighborhood you live right next door too, it was really a great experience and gave me a chance to go into several places that have been on my ‘list’ for quite sometime. Overall, highly recommended!

Puerto Rico

July 20, 2013

Coconut Pirate Drink at Villa Cofresi Hotel

It rained alot.

It rained alot.

I’m about three weeks too late in talking about Puerto Rico but better late than never right? It was my first trip in awhile where the complete focus wasn’t on eating and I’m shocked to say, I had a great time!

No, not really that shocked. I knew the trip would be great, we had fun things planned, and we actually did them and enjoyed each other’s company in the mean time. If you’ve never been the to Puerto Rico outside of San Juan, I highly recommend it.

There were well kept stray dogs everywhere.

There were well kept stray dogs everywhere.

The beau and I flew into Aguadilla and drove down to Rincon. We spent two days into Rincon checking out the beaches, snorkeling and cooking dinner at the beachside grill our hotel provided.

We had a great meal at La Copa Llena at the Black Eagle. It was right on the water and the food was incredibly fresh and well prepared.

After Rincon we drove to Luquillo so we could eat at the food kiosks and we could go to the El Yunque rainforest. The kiosks were not what we imagined. Well yes, some of them fulfilled the cheap, fried food and under hot lamps experience. But mostly we just thought it was a big strip mall of restaurants. We enjoyed the sit down places the most, getting hot fresh mofongo and margaritas (that could have used a little work).

Mt. Britton

La Mina Falls

La Mina Falls

You can read more about the kiosks here. Our hotel was able to recommend a few of the better stalls and we were happy to take her recommendations. Beyond hungry, hot, sunburned and in front of 50 food stalls is not a place you want to be.

The plan was to spend the final day in San Juan but, we had to back track a bit when the Camuy Cave tour we wanted wasn’t available until that final day. So, our last day, we got up a 4AM and drove to San Juan for a 5:45AM pickup for another 1 ½ hr drive to the caves. GAH.

I was not a happy camper and after I pushed my crankiness away, it was replaced with terror after I learned I would be not only zip lining but also repelling and jumping into caves. If you have read at least one other post on this blog, I think it’s safe to say you can see that I’m not really this type of girl. But I’ll try anything once and so I did.

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Looking back on it now, I think I could have dealt without climbing over the rock covered in cockroaches and the water that I think is STILL in my ear. But overall, I’m glad it’s an experience I’m glad I had and I’m happy we didn’t do the typical tour. I can say, if you want to get over some other sillier fears in life, this is definitely the thing to do. You can read my review on the cave tour here.

Have you ever been? Let me know how your trip went!

Apricot Butter

July 17, 2013

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Last Wednesday night, I waited with baited breath for my Fresh Direct order. The very short CandyCot apricot season was coming to a close, and I knew that this Fresh Direct order held my last taste of them until next summer. Next summer! God it was so far away! I was already missing the honeyed jewels of California, a taste that I had grown to crave.

I know. They are apricots. But these are no ordinary apricots; they are THE apricots that will change your thoughts on all apricots to come. They are smaller than they average commercial apricot, fleshier and less fuzzy, smooth almost like a nectarine. They taste, literally like candy with tiny honey pots speckled in the flesh, bursting on your tongue.

(Lucky Peach did a great ode to the CandyCot which you can read here.)

Needless, to say, I was really, really excited about this Fresh Direct order. They were having a sale, 2 lbs for $12. I ordered for P and B. Sr. as well. Six pounds were coming and it was a cause for celebration.

Imagine my f***ing disappointment when I received replacement boxes for all six pounds. Of course I expressed my concern, and in typical Fresh Direct fashion, they funded my money but still…

Ugh! Then, on top of all that, I had almost 8lbs of sub par sour cots. What to do, what to do? Well, first things first, I gave P two boxes. Another box went to J.

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I went with apricot butter for the rest. I have no confidence whatsoever that this came out properly. It’s not thick enough, that much I know for sure. But regardless, I was left with delicious apricot spread that is great on yogurt, and has excellent potential for ice cream and other such snacks.

Commercial apricots are in their peak time right now so go for it!

The below is from the New York Times. The vanilla bean adds an excellent bourgeois touch and I’m into it. The cooking time is not enough so keep going until you achieve your desired consistency. Ok?

PS. I skipped all the canning steps below because I don’t have time for that, nor the canning supplies. Really I just don’t have the supplies, lord knows I had the time last weekend. I included in case you want to go for it!

Enjoy!

4 pounds apricots, halved, pits removed
1 ½ vanilla bean, halved and seeds scraped
1 cup sugar, plus more as needed
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon lemon juice.

1. In a 6- or 7-quart pot set over very low heat, cook the apricots, covered, until completely soft, 60 to 90 minutes, stirring often. I put in a half cup of water to speed up the cooking process.

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2. Pass the apricots through a food mill fitted with a medium or fine screen. Return the purée to the pot.

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3. Line the bottom of a large, wide pot with a few paper towels. Set 4 clean 8-ounce jamming jars in the pot so that they do not touch. Fill the pot with enough water to cover the jars by 1 inch. Place over high heat, cover and bring to a boil. Uncover, slip the jar lids into the water and simmer until you’ve finished preparing the apricot butter.

4. Meanwhile, add the vanilla bean and seeds and the sugar to the apricots and bring to a rolling boil over medium heat, stirring often, until the purée glazes the back of a wooden spoon, 10 to 15 minutes from when it starts to boil. (Wear long kitchen mitts to prevent burns; the fruit will spatter.) To check the consistency, remove the pot from the heat and place a spoonful of purée on a plate. Refrigerate for several minutes. If the apricot butter is too thin, return the pot to the heat and continue boiling until it has reached the desired consistency.

5. Add the salt and lemon juice, and sweeten to taste with more sugar if necessary. Remove the vanilla bean. Using clean tongs, remove the sterilized jars from the simmering water and shake out the water. Fill each jar with the hot apricot butter. Clean the rims of the jars to promote a good seal, then fasten the caps tightly and invert onto a wire rack to cool. Store in a cool, dry place or in the refrigerator and eat within a few months. Makes 4 8-ounce jars. Adapted from June Taylor.

Oatmeal Pancakes

July 15, 2013

pancakes
I think I have tried over a dozen pancake recipes over the past 10 months.

The beau is a bit of a fiend about pancakes and I supposed it’s been the one thing I know I can make, that he will eat without question. The first batch was simple. Flour, milk, eggs, baking soda. From there I moved on. Adding buttermilk. Greek yogurt. Quinoa. Pumpkin when it was in season. And for this weekend – oatmeal.

I found today’s recipe after receiving a text to “keep it simple.” I receive that request quite often ever since I had a foray into whipping egg whites before mixing it into the batter. Gnocchi from scratch, risotto, homemade yogurt, fresh brownies…. It was whipping egg whites that pushed this boy over the edge.

Oatmeal

But I digress…I came across this morning recipe on Smitten Kitchen which is loosely adapted from Good to the Grain, a cookbook I just may have to invest in. It involves more than 2 steps (mixing and cooking), so I made sure to do those before the boy came over.

While of course, after more than a dozen pancakes recipes, I really have no idea where I stand with any of them. I’m sure though, that since I am taking the time to write about this one, I can say with confidence that these puppies are a winner.

Oat Flour
Cooking Pancakes

I enjoyed the process of putting these together… the grinding of the oats, the cooking of the oatmeal and the browning of the butter (my added step!). While the scent of these cooking was more appropriate for fall, I brought them into summer after topping them with a peach and blueberry compote that would make any farmers market proud.

Enjoy!

3/4 cup oat flour (you can make this by pulsing rolled oats into a food processor or spice grinder until finely ground; 1 cup of oats yielded 3/4 cup oat flour for me)
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon Kosher or coarse salt
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melt in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring frequently mixing up the brown bits – cool slightly (you will need extra unbrowned butter for the pan)
1 1/4 cups whole milk
1 cup cooked oatmeal*
1 tablespoon unsulphured (not blackstrap) molasses or 1 tablespoon honey
2 large eggs

Whisk the dry ingredients (oat flour, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt) together in a large bowl.

In a smaller bowl, whisk the butter, milk, cooked oatmeal, honey and eggs together until thoroughly combined.

Gently fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Using a light hand is important for tender pancakes; the batter should be slightly thick with a holey surface.

Heat a 10-inch cast-iron pan or griddle over medium heat until water sizzles when splashed onto the pan. Lower to medium-low.

Rub the pan generously with butter; Boyce says this is the key to crisp, buttery edges. Working quickly, dollop 1/4-cup mounds of batter onto the pan, 2 or 3 at a time.

Once bubbles have begun to form on the top side of the pancake, flip the pancake and cook until the bottom is dark golden-brown, about 5 minutes total. Wipe the pan with a cloth before griddling the next pancake. Continue with the rest of the batter.

Serve the pancakes hot, straight from the skillet or keep them warm in a low oven.

Do ahead: Although the batter is best if using immediately, it can sit for up to 1 hour on the counter or overnight in the refrigerator. When you return to the batter, it will be very thick. Thin, one tablespoon at a time with milk. Take care not to over mix.

* Make oatmeal, if you don’t have any leftover: Bring 1 cup of water, 1/2 cup of rolled oats and a pinch of salt to a boil and simmer on low for 5 minutes. Let cool. Make extra if you would like a snack.

Don’t whey me down

July 10, 2013

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Since I’ve started making yogurt, I’ve had the nagging feeling that I should be doing something with the discarded whey.

But what??

Who knows, I would say as I let it drain down the sink.

The recent article from Modern Farmer (“Whey too much: Greek Yogurt’s Dark Side”) got me thinking. “For every three or four ounces of milk, Chobani and other companies can produce only one ounce of creamy Greek yogurt. The rest becomes acid whey.” For every five cups of milk I use, I am left with almost 3 cups of whey.

While my small batch of goods had nothing on Chobani’s, I still felt as though I could be doing something with it. I cook! I bake! And most of all, I’m using expensive, organic, local milk to make my yogurt. I should be using every bit of it as possible.

A few articles got my brain clicking. This article from Prairie Homestead was great as well as a few others that likened whey to buttermilk. Sounds great to me!

I started with substituting water for whey in my pizza dough. Next up, biscuits and pancakes!

Below is the recipe from “My Pizza” by Jim Lahey. It uses all-purpose flour. I unfortunately only had bread flour in the house and it reacted a bit differently to the long rise period. I am realizing now that I was confusing the recipe from “My Bread” (my go-to with a shorter rise period plus bread flour) with the recipe from “My Pizza” (a longer rise period with all purpose flour and no freezing).

I was left with a very, very sticky dough.

My faux pas was fixed with about a cup more of all-purpose mixed in. It didn’t affect the end result too much (it could have used a bit more salt). All in all, we were left with a crisp, flavorful crust to which my beau responded “I wouldn’t know there was yogurt stuff in here if you didn’t tell me.” Which to me is a win, win.

This is the original recipe from “My Pizza.” Learn my lesson and heed the flour warnings!

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500 grams (about 3 ¾ cup) all purpose flour plus more for shaping
1 gram (1/4 tsp) dry yeast
16 grams ( 2 tsp) sea salt
250 grams (1 1/2 cups) water or whey

1. In a medium bowl, blend all dry ingredients. Add the water and mix thoroughly.
2. Cover with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel. Allow it to rise at room temperature for 18 hours or until it has doubled in size.
3. Flour a work surface and scrape out the dough. For each portion, start with the right side of the dough and put it towards the center; the do the same with the left, then the top and then the bottom. Shape each portion into a round and turn seam side down. The mounds should not be sticky, if they are dust with more flour.
4. If you won’t be using the dough right away wrap in plastic and refrigerate for up to 3 days. (I froze mine.) Leave at room temperature for 2-3 hours before using.

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