recipe

Back to the Mother Ship

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When I first started working on Zodiac I didn’t anticipate how much I would love it and how at home I would feel with her.

Getting back to a wooden boat made a big difference. My first vessel Bounty was wood and since her I have only worked on steel ships; they just don’t have the same personality as wood. There is also an age factor for lots of wooden boats, Zodiac was built in 1924 and you can feel the history in her, even if most of her has been replaced over the years. At night laying in your
bunk with the generators off you can hear everything, you can hear someone sneeze at the other end of the vessel, but you can also hear the waves lapping at the hull. She has a certain smell to her, a combination of wood, grease, pine tar, paint and whatever other products have been used on her. Just like any other smell of home you don’t notice it after a time, but going away and coming back it hits you again and there is something comforting about that. Some of my old things from Bounty, a bag, collection of papers and little things that don’t get washed still hold her faint sent and it brings back memories.

Most tall ship work is seasonal, they are most active during the summer and Zodiac is no exception. Her sailing season starts off slow in March and gradually picks up speed in May, come July and August we are booked back to back. I don’t have time to breath let along time enough to shop so my shopping lists have to be thoroughly organized. Zodiac’s summer season is hard to beat, we sail around the San Juan Islands, down to Seattle and Port Townsend and then the big trip of the year north to Desolation Sound for two weeks. It’s a lot of hard work but I live for that, I love to cook all day, everyday, her winter season on the other hand is very different.

Late October Zodiac is put to bed, her sails and rigging come down, a large wooden frame and tarp is put over her and most of the crew disappears. I haven’t seen any of that, I’ve only heard about it, but this year I’m returning to the boat early and I’ll get to be a part of it. On weekends some crew return for a few hours to assist in maintenance, varnishing, caulking deck seams, replacing rotten wood and something greasy in the engine room. Lots of tall ship sailors avoid this winter period, you’re not sailing and you could be stuck in weather you hate, buried in snow or melting in the humidity. The maintenance that gets done is necessary, during the summer we don’t have the time for a lot of these projects and with people running all over the deck you can’t exactly put ‘wet paint’ signs on everything.

With all this work being done on the ship she looks a bit different. The cover makes a big difference, keeps the wind off and a little warmth in, plus it’s just weird to not look up at a big sky filled with rigging. No one really lives on the ship and those that do are there for the maintenance so things are a bit messy, no paying passengers to impress. Tools are left out at the end of the work day, a layer of saw dust coats everything and miscellaneous piles of junk have appeared where there were none before. It makes sense, why clean up in the middle of a long project when you are going to get back at it the next day. In about a month we’ll have our first sail of the season, everything will get cleaned up and put back to what I know as normal. Till then I’ll live around the work and enjoy the ship in her different state.

 








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Pho

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52 weeks of cooking – Stocks and Broths

There are two parts to a good Vietnamese pho, a rich flavorful stock and the toppings.

Let’s start with the stock. Lots of people use the term stock and broth interchangeably, but there is a difference. My food hero, Alton Brown, defines a stock as being made with bones while a broth is made from meat and vegetables. This means that a stock is packed with collagen, this has an impact on it’s texture, it ends up being heavy and velvety on the tongue. On the other hand, broth is just a flavorful liquid and lacks the weight of a stock. I believe in stocks, specially for a soup like pho when there are minimal components, you want every player to count and stand out on their own.

Part two, the toppings, which is pretty much everything else, herbs, crispy bean sprouts and barley cooked beef all covering a bed of noodles. These things can’t be skipped, of coarse you can go vegetarian and substitute the beef with tofu or a different preferred protein. Thai basil and cilantro add a pop of freshness to balance the richness of the stock and the bean sprouts add a needed crunch of texture. A sprinkle of mint, sliced chilies, green onions, squeeze of lime, a dollop of chili paste and hoisin sauce are also welcome additions.

 




Pho

 

Ingredients

Broth

  • 1 gallon stock
  • ginger
  • onion
  • star anis pods
  • fennel seeds
  • cinnamon stick
  • clove
  • coriander
  • fish sauce
  • sugar
  • salt

To Serve

  • thin rice noodles
  • flank steak, thinly sliced against the grain
  • Thai basil
  • cilantro
  • mung bean sprouts
  • mint
  • chilies, sliced
  • green onions
  • lime wedges
  • chili paste
  • hoisin sauce

Directions

Broth

  1. This recipe is all about doing things to taste, start off light with the spices and let the stock simmer for about an hour, taste and adjust. If there is a spice you like more than others add a bit more. The stock should only be at a bare simmer so it doesn’t become cloudy, the stock should cook 2-3 hours.

To Serve

  1. In a large bowl place cooked rice noodles, slices of beef and pour over the hot stock so it starts to cook the raw beef. Then put as much or as little of the toppings as you like.

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Yeasted Blini

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52 weeks of baking – The Roaring 20’s

I’m a bit of a history nerd, mostly when it comes to clothing and complicated royal family trees, not so much with food. The history of food is interesting, but what people actually ate as their everyday fair, especially in the Western world, is a little boring for my creative taste buds. Looking into historical food I prefer recipes for preserving interesting cuts of meat along the lines of homesteading, raising your own animals and using every piece of it. There are some really great British programs out there on the subject, Historical Farm Series and Supersizers Eat.

This week’s baking challenge is to make something from the 1920’s, my gut reaction was to make a finger food, something for a cocktail party. Canapés became popular because they were one bite, pop it into your mouth and still have your hand free to hold your drink as you socialize. In French canapé translate as sofa, you can see how little savory bites on slices of bread can look like they are sitting on a sofa.

I made a yeasted blini as my couch, fluffy little pancakes with a hint of sour from an overnight fermentation topped with a cream cheese and goat cream, sliced cucumber, shards of hot smoked salmon and strips of pickled red onion. This makes a lot of tiny pancakes, after awhile I got tired of making them so I made them a little bigger. They work well for both sweet and savory applications, so top these with whatever you like, sour cream and macerated berries is a great option for leftovers the following day after you cocktail party.

 







Yeasted Blini

 

Ingredients

Sponge

  • 1/2 c water
  • 1/4 c flour
  • 1 tsp. yeast
  • 1 tsp. sugar

Batter

  • 3/4 c milk
  • 1/2 c heavy cream
  • 2 tbsp. butter, melted
  • 1 egg yolk, save the white for later
  • 1 1/4 c flour
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • butter for cooking

Suggested toppings

  • Cream cheese, cucumber, salmon
  • Fried mushrooms
  • Parsley mayo and hard boiled egg slices
  • Caviar
  • Sour cream and jam
  • Lemon curd

Directions

Day before

  1. In a large bowl whisk the sponge ingredients together, let sit at room temperature for 1 hour until it doubles in size.
  2. Add the batter ingredients to the sponge ingredients, mix till combined. Make sure to hang on to the that egg white, you’ll use it tomorrow. Cover and refrigerate the batter over night.

Day of

  1. Let the batter sit out and come to room temperature, 1-2 hours.
  2. In a clean bowl whisk the egg white to soft peaks and gently fold into the batter.
  3. Add some butter to a large skillet on medium high heat, use a ladle to make small, very small, dollops of batter. Cook them just like pancakes, flip them when little bubbles form on the surface of the raw batter.
  4. These do not have to be served piping hot, pile on a plate and cover with a towel while you make all of them. They can sit like this for up to an hour before you serve, it will take a little bit of time to make them, specially if you make them very small.

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Sweetheart tarts: Express love with a home-cooked meal

Before I get to the sweet treats of Valentine’s Day, let’s consider its savory side. As in gooey mounds of cheese, golden caramelized onions, and smokey bacon, cloaked in creamy custard. That’s right, quiche. Or, in honor of today’s theme, a Sweetheart Tart. Who wouldn’t want chocolate AND a “quiche” on a day set aside for romance.

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Tortang Talong – Eggplant and Pork Omelet

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52 weeks of cooking – Filipino

In Southeast Asia it’s normal to have a maid and it’s even more normal to have that maid live in your home.

When my family first moved to Singapore my mom didn’t want to have a maid. The whole idea of having someone else live in your home doing the job my mom usually does as a housewife was unusual. After three years my mom finally gave in, she’d gotten more of a social life and became busier, plus she’d gotten use to the idea and met many lovely maids who worked for her friends. One of her friends was moving away and her maid was looking for a new job, it was perfect timing and a good fit. So we got our maid Anna.

Anna was from the Philippines and shared many Filipino dishes with our family. My favorite was tortang talong, roasted eggplant and ground pork omelet that she’d serve us for lunch on the weekends. It is a very simple and relatively quick to make dish once you have the eggplant roasted, just a matter of cooking up some meat and adding eggs. I like this served as a main dish with some rice on the side but you could cut the eggplant into quarters making smaller potions and serve it as a side dish, it also works well without the pork.

 






Tortang Talong – Eggplant and Pork Omelet

 

Ingredients

  • 1 large eggplant
  • 1 shallot or onion
  • 1/2 lb ground pork
  • 1 tbsp. oyster sauce or soy sauce
  • 4 eggs
  • salt and pepper
  • oil for cooking

Directions

  1. Cut the eggplant in half lengthwise leaving the stem end on, place cut side down on a baking tray, prick the skin and roast at 375F for about 45 minutes until tender. Broil the eggplant for a few minutes until the skin blister and blackens, let cool and peel off the skin.
  2. Mince the shallot and sauté for a minute until softened, add the ground pork breaking it up with a spatula, cook until golden brown, stir in the oyster sauce and remove from the pan.
  3. Cut the eggplant flesh into a few segments, not going through the stem end and flatten the eggplant in the hot pan, use the back of a fork to make it lay flat. Season with salt and cook for 1 minutes on each side to get a little caramelization.
  4. In a separate bowl scramble two eggs, season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle half of the pork mixture over the eggplant and gently pour in the scrambled eggs, use a spatula to nudge the egg in between the eggplant and pork. Clean up the edges of the pan and scrape the egg mixture in close to the eggplant.
  5. Turn the heat to medium low and put a lid on the pan to help cook more evenly. Flipping it over and keeping its shape can be tricky, loosen the mixture and slide onto a plate, invert the omelet back into the pan and finish cooking for about a minute.
  6. Serve with rice, more oyster sauce and chili sauce.

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Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies and Cookie Milk Cocktail

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52 weeks of baking – Drink Pairings

Most of the time when I make myself a cocktail I just mix up whatever I have on hand, more often than not it turns out a bit odd. I fiddle with it to try and fix it, sometimes it improved greatly other times it’s more tolerable. There are those rare occasion that I know what I’m looking for, what flavors I desire and it comes out perfect the first time around. This is one of those occasions, I wanted a little evening tipple to compliment my cookies and you can’t have cookies without milk so that was easy to know what my mixer was going to be. This milk based cocktail has baileys that adds a bit of chocolatey flavor and amaretto for some sweet nuttiness that pairs well with a variety of cookies but especially something with chocolate chips.

Chocolate and caramel are a match made in heaven, there are a lot of great recipes for caramel stuffed chocolate chip cookies, but I hate those store bought caramels. They are hard and never a dark enough flavor for me, that’s why I think it’s better to add a real caramel sauce right into the cookie dough. Overall if you were wolfing these cookies down you might not notice the caramel flavor, but it’s there in more than just taste it has a lot of mouth aroma. You know what I mean, that first hot bite of something you are also taking in a breath of air and there is another flavor that hits you at the back of the throat before you start chewing. That’s where the caramel is. Also a heavy pinch of finishing to garnish the cookies before baking really brings out the caramel.

This milky cocktail and caramel chocolate cookie are a great match, a glass of fancied up cold milk with soft flavors and a warm rich cookie with a balanced punch of salt. The texture of this cookie adds another element to this combination, the edges have a delicate crisp while the lower sugar content makes the center softer and calls out to be dunked.

 










Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies and Cookie Milk Cocktail


Ingredients

Caramel Sauce

  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 2 tbsp. water
  • 1/4 c heavy cream
  • 1 tsp. butter
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Cookies

  • 1 c unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 c brown sugar
  • 1 c white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 c caramel sauce, cooled
  • 4 c flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 c chocolate chips
  • finishing salt for garnish

Cookie Milk Cocktail

  • ice
  • 4 fl oz (1/2 c) milk
  • 1 fl oz (2 T) Baileys
  • 1 fl oz (2 T) Amaretto

Directions

Caramel sauce

  1. In a small sauce pan add the sugar and water, heat on medium high, do not stir. Keep a close eye on the sugar, once it has dissolved you can swirl it now and again to even out the color. You are looking for a deep amber, once it has reached the desired color take it off the heat and add the heavy cream.
  2. Stir the mixture until it becomes smooth, if it’s not smoothing out, but it back on low heat to dissolve the caramel lumps, stir in the butter, salt and vanilla. Set aside and let cool.

Cookies

  1. In a large bowl cream together the butter, brown sugar and sugar until fluffy. Add the vanilla and eggs, one at a time until fully incorporated, scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the caramel sauce.
  2. Incorporate the dry ingredients and chill the dough for 1 hour.
  3. Preheat the oven to 375F.
  4. Scoop the dough onto a greased tray placing about 2 inches apart, flatten and garnish with salt. Bake for 13 minutes at 375F until the edges are golden brown.

Cookie Milk Cocktail

  1. In a short class filled with ice pour over the milk, baileys and amaretto, stir and garnish with a cookie.

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Basic Pizza Crust

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Some foods are easy to make for small groups, but when you scale them up to 75 portions it becomes tedious.

Students can be persistent and repetitive, they would always ask for grilled cheese, pizza and hamburgers, over and over. I’m not a big fan of making those dishes, they are more time consuming than you’d think when you do everything from scratch. Grilled cheese: make 10 loaves of bread, slice the bread, slice giant blocks of cheese, assemble sandwiches and grill the sandwiches on a big griddle in a poorly ventilated galley in the Caribbean. Maybe that’ll help paint a picture as to why I don’t like making grilled cheese sandwiches for 75 people, you can imagine why hamburgers are even worse. And it’s not even just 75, no starving teenager wants just one sandwich, they want another one.

Out of those three I think that pizza is the most special and easiest so I would only make it when someone would request it for their birthday… and if I liked them. When I did make it I wanted it to be a surprise, be as sneaky about it as I could be. I had a chalkboard in the galley, I’d write the day’s menu on it so I wouldn’t have to me asked 50 times a day what the coming meal was. When I would make pizza I’d put something crazy like “Rutabaga Pie” on the board, then they’d spend all day wondering what that was. The galley was down below and could be closed off from prying eyes so it was easy to make things in secret occasionally. I’d have one or two students who I knew could be trusted guard the door while I was topping the pizzas and then hide them away in the fridge until the last minute.

I really got the students good one time, they had no idea, even the students who were in the galley that day helping me with dishes were oblivious until I pulled the hot pies out of the oven. Everyone in the galley grabbed a tray and we paraded it up to the service area where everyone was waiting for dinner. Surprising people with food, seeing the joy in their face is something that I really love and teenagers always give great reactions.

Luckily I no longer cook for vast hordes of ravenous teenagers on a regular basis and I still enjoy making pizza. When I make pizza at home I have a slightly different approach, it’s more about the texture of the crust rather than making a lot of crust and a different selection of ingredients for toppings instead of just cheese and pepperoni.

Some of the toppings I went with this time, a classic margherita, sausage and mushroom, broccoli with lemon zest and pickled onions and anchovy, olive, capers and salami.

 














Basic Pizza Crust


Ingredients

  • 3 c bread flour
  • 3 c all purpose flour
  • 4 tsp. yeast
  • 2 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 c olive oil
  • 2 1/4 c water

Directions

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer mix together all of the dry ingredients, stir together and shake the bowl to create a level surface. To avoid having to wash a measuring cup I press a ¼ dry measuring cup into the flour mixture to create a well the depth of the cup, then pour the oil into this well. Using a dough hook begin to mix the dough and slowly pour in the water. After the initial two cups of water let it knead for a minute and add more water if needed. You want the dough to pull away from the sides of the bowl cleaning leaving no sticky dough behind.
  2. Knead the dough in a stand mixer for a total of 5 minutes, the dough will still be a little rough, not as smooth as a traditional bread dough. The shorter kneading time creates a weaker gluten structure making the pizza crust not as chewy.
  3. Let the dough rest in a greased and covered bowl for at least 2 hours, this dough can be made the night before and left in the refrigerator, doing so will allow for a more flavorful crust. If you refrigerate the dough make sure to leave it on the counter for an hour or two before shaping.
  4. Divide the dough into two or four portions depending on how many pizzas you want to make. Roll and stretch the dough into your desired shape, round or rectangular to fill a sheet pan. If you are having trouble stretching let the dough rest for 5 minutes to relax the gluten and you’ll have an easier time manipulating it.
  5. Lightly brush the crust with olive oil, this prevents it from drying out and makes a beautiful golden brown crust. Let the dough rest while your oven preheats to 500F and you prepare your pizza toppings, at least 30 minutes.
  6. Par bake the crusts on the lowest rack of the oven at 500F for 8-12 minutes depending on the thickness, you want there to be a kiss of color on the edge of the crust and the top feels set to the touch.
  7. Once the crusts come out of the oven top them with your desired ingredients and return to the oven on a rack in the upper half of the oven for 10-15 minutes until the crust is nicely browned and the cheese melted. Let cool for 3-5 minutes, slice and serve.

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Ricotta Stuffed Chicken with Black and White Gastrique

52 weeks of cooking – Vinegar

I love vinegar, can’t get enough of it, I’ve tried drinking vinegars and that’s where I draw the line, not a favorite of mine.

Vinegar is complex and each is very unique, there are lots of different flavors and most anything can be turned into vinegar that has an alcohol content. My husband makes wine and cider, sometimes it doesn’t turn out how he thought it would, too sour to consume, so he turns it into vinegar. Old wine does not become vinegar on it’s own like some people assume, you need a mother, a scoby, this blobby substance made from cellulose and bacteria that ferments alcoholic liquids into an acid. Put a mother into some old beer, wine, hard cider, wait a month or so and you have vinegar. My favorite one that my husband has made is from a raspberry wine that was very tart, it made beautiful vinegar, mostly we used it for salad dressing.

This week’s cooking challenge is vinegar, yessssss, but what to choose? My first thoughts were for my favorite vinegar dish, chicken Marbella; chicken marinated in red wine vinegar with capers, olives, dried fruit, oregano and garlic. It’s one of those dishes that I don’t care so much about the meat, I want the goodies and the sauce, luckily for me no one else seems to love it as much as I do so I get it all. Wahah! Or another great one is vinegar caramels, I miss read a recipe and had the best happy accident ever, I’ll have to make those soon to share with you. I decided it was best to make something I hadn’t made before so I chose a gastrique.

A gastrique is a classic French sauce made of caramelized sugar deglazed with vinegar and reduced till thickened. The sauce is both sweet and sour, deep rich flavor and can be seasoned with all sorts of things, citrus, herbs, tomato, whatever you like. I made my gastrique with honey instead of sugar and used two types of vinegar, one for sharpness, the other for depth. I drizzled the sauce over a chicken breast stuffed with ricotta and spinach, the grassy notes of the spinach paired well with the dark cherry quality of the gastrique. I served my chicken breast with horseradish and olive oil mashed potatoes and brussel sprouts in a mustard butter sauce.

 





Ricotta Stuffed Chicken with Black and White Gastrique


Ingredients

  • 4 chicken breasts

Filling

  • 3/4 c ricotta
  • 1/2 c cooked, squeezed, chopped spinach
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp. herbs de provence
  • salt and pepper to taste

Gastrique

  • 1/4 c honey
  • 1/2 c white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 c balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Prepare the chicken breasts by slicing a pocket into the flesh, make the incision hole about two inches wide so you don’t have as big a space to close. Make it as deep as you can without cutting all the way through, you are trying to create a pocket for the stuffing.

Filling

  1. Mix all the ingredients for the filling together, taste and adjust the seasoning.
  2. Divide the stuffing into four portions and push into the pockets of the chicken breast, use your fingers to push it as deep as it can go. Lightly press the breast so that if there is too much filling some will ooze out now instead of into the pan. Secure the opening with two pairs of crossed tooth picks. Season the out side of the breasts with salt.
  3. In a pan over medium high heat with a little oil sear the chicken breasts on both sides until browned. Turn the heat down to medium low and place a lid on the pan to help the chicken steam until it reaches an internal temperature of 160F. Remove from the pan and let rest while you make the sauce.

Gastrique

  1. In the same pan the chicken was cooked add the honey and and cook over low heat for about 5 minutes until it becomes noticeably darker.
  2. Add the two vinegars and cook for about 15 minutes swirling the pan occasionally until the sauce coats the back of a spoon. Season to taste and serve drizzled over the chicken.

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Chicken and Pork Pastry Rolls

52 weeks of Baking – Geekery

I have been in love with historical clothing for as long as I can remember. Simple everyday dresses to elaborate evening gowns, what’s not to love, there is something for everyone, every era has its own unique style.

My favorite clothing era has consistently been the Georgian period, 1714 to 1830 ish, think Marie Antoinette and the American Revolution. There are a lot of historical drama series set in this period that display well researched costumes; I’m currently really keen on Outlander. The popular tv series is based on a book series, romantic novels with a time traveling twist which is one of the more appealing aspects of the story. Why does she get to fall back in time? Why not me?!



I’ve done some research into food from this era because I’m a nerd and I’ve co-hosted two parties with a Georgian theme, I was hoping to find food to match. Things are kinda basic and under seasoned, not really my style, but then I discovered the cook book affiliated with Outlander and I found more inspiration. Recipes inspired by more than just a time period are more interesting to me, probably not as historically accurate, but with some other story they can then be twisted and use more unique ingredients. Food is so closely linked in my mind with sorties, so why not food from a story that is not my own.

For these pastry rolls I took inspiration from a recipe from Outlander Kitchen, I used rough puff pastry from Bon Appetit instead of a short crust pastry for extra crisp and flakiness. This recipe is really great to tweak and make your own based on what ingredients you have on hand, just keep the ratios vaguely the same. I like the combination of chicken and pork, the chicken keeps it lighter than a traditional British sausage roll. The addition of dried fruit adds pops of sweetness and the truffle oil is a must for a bit of musky flavor.

 








Chicken and Pork Pastry Rolls


Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground chicken
  • 1/2 lb ground pork
  • 2 slices of bacon, chopped
  • 1/2 c dried mushrooms, hydrated in hot water and diced
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 celery rib, minced
  • 1/2 c bread crumbs
  • 1/4 c dried apricots or sour cherries, roughly chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. truffle oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. thyme
  • 1/2 tsp. fennel seeds, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. juniper berries, roughly chopped
  • Beaten egg for egg wash
  • Finishing salt for garnish
  • 1 batch rough puff pastry from Bon Appetit

Directions

  1. Chop all the ingredients that need to be and mix everything together throughly with your hands, chill until needed.
  2. Prepare one batch of rough puff pastry, chill thoroughly.
  3. Preheat an oven to 425F.
  4. Roll the pastry out into a large rectangle, split down the middle lengthwise. Split the filling in half and shape into a log, use damp hands to squeeze and pat the meat the length of the pastry. Place the filling log about 1 inch from the edges, fold the pastry over the top and snuggly tuck together. Crimp the edge with a fork, brush with the egg wash, score the top lightly, garnish with finishing salt and cut into desired lengths. Repeat with the remaining pastry and meat filling.
  5. Bake at 425F for 25-30 minutes until golden brown all over.

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Red Bean Buns 2 ways

52 weeks of cooking – Olympics

This week’s reddit cooking challenge is to cook something for the Olympics, my first idea was for something Korean. My husband recently fell in love with Korean food so this was another great opportunity to make some and I just happened to have some red bean paste on hand.

These two red bean buns are very different in taste and texture even though they both contain the exact same filling. The steamed buns are soft and have a vanilla cake like taste, I feel I can’t put it in my mouth fast enough because of how fluffy they are. The sticky rice cakes on the other hand are chewy with small bits of crunch from the seeds and those seeds also leaned to their very toasty flavor. Sprinkling salt on the sticky cakes as soon as they come out of the pan is a must, it brings out the butter flavor and compliments their sweetness.

I also made some cinnamon and ginger tea to accompany the buns, 4 cups of water boiled for 20 minutes with 1 inch of ginger sliced thin and 2 medium cinnamon sticks. Add sugar to taste.

 














Red Bean Buns 2 ways


  • Yield:
    6 steamed buns, 6 sticky rice cakes
  • Category:

Ingredients

Steamed bun dough

  • 1 3/4 – 2 c flour
  • 1 tsp. yeast
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tbsp. butter, softened
  • 3/4 c milk

Red bean filling

  • 400 g prepared red bean paste
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp. brown rice syrup

Sticky rice cake dough

  • 3/4 c glutinous rice flour
  • 1/4 – 1/2 c water
  • 1/4 c toasted sesame seeds
  • butter for frying
  • salt for garnish

Directions

Steamed bun dough

  1. Mix all of the steamed bun dough ingredients together until it forms a shaggy ball. On a clean surface knead for 3-5 minutes until you have a uniform smooth ball, cover and rest for 1 hour. Make the red bean filling while you wait.
  2. Divide the dough into 6 equal portions and roll into balls. Flatten and put about 1 ½ tablespoons of red bean paste into the center. Gather the edges of the dough together to seal the filling in to make a tight ball.
  3. Line your steaming basket with a sheet of parchment paper cut into a circle with a few holes in it to allow steam through, place buns into steaming basket about 1 inch apart and let the buns rise for 30 minutes.
  4. Heat up the steaming water and place the basket in the pan, place a cloth over the lid to collect the steam so it doesn’t drip onto the buns. Turn to medium low and steam for 15 minutes. Serve warm. These freeze great, to reheat wrap in a damp paper towel and microwave for 1 minute.

Red bean filling

  1. Taste your red bean paste, add sugar to taste. Mix everything together in a small pan, cook for about 5 minutes stirring often to prevent sticking. The paste will caramelize and thicken, let cool.

Sticky rice cake dough

  1. Slowly drizzle the water into the rice flour, only add as much water is needed so there is no dry flour left. Knead the dough a few times until the texture is consistent, the dough should be soft and tacky, not runny, add more flour if needed.
  2. Divide the dough into 6 equal portions and roll into balls. Flatten and put about 1 ½ tablespoons of red bean paste into the center, pat down the paste. Gather the edges of the dough together to seal the filling in, softly pat between your hands to help seal it.
  3. Wet your fingers and tap the buns so they become slightly moist, dry your hands and press each ball into the sesame seeds flattening it into a round patty, both sides should be pressed into the seeds, shake off the excess.
  4. Heat a non stick skillet over medium heat, when hot turn down to medium low, add butter and the cakes. Cook for 3 minutes on each side until golden brown. Sprinkle with salt and serve warm.

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