A Six Minute Trip FROM MAINE TO KEY WEST VIA KANSAS
There are a lot of easy home runs for breakfast that don’t take a lot of work. You can improvise quickly just combining great flavors on hand!
Here we take an already wild Maine blueberry English muffin from Wolferman’s and key up its wild side a smidge.
The Irish, particularly Kerrygold, make the best, sweetest, nuttiest butter. With a little sweet citrus of the key lime marmalade, and a rich sharp bite from Kerrygold’s Dubliner cheese, you get a lot of mmmouthfeel fast.
Slice the cheese in advance and leave it in a container, and you can make these on the go out the door to work PDQ!
My confession: You know. You “experiment” in college. I used to be ashamed of it, but I can say it now:
I love puréed soups!
French cuisine’s powerful, simple heart of darkness. Beguilingly simple, flavorful, healthy… soup.
My friend, who was a medical student at Columbia, talked me into taking an adventure: A student Spring Break deal at the Club Med on the island of Guadeloupe in the French Caribbean. College girls, fabulous beaches, tiki bars, college girls, and, as I found out when we got there, puréed soups.
Each night started with a different potage (soup), taking advantage of a good supply of vegetables that were grown on the island by the hotel, an early stab at sustainability by the French owners. Simple vegetables, a carrot-ginger. or a potato leek, or a lentil, combined with a spice or two, can create amazing flavors. These potages were hearty, nutritious, and so fibrously filling, that they kept you from over-indulging on the later courses.
A few of us played beach volleyball in the afternoons with the kitchen staff. They worked out their aggressions on the guests who were willing to endure their volleyball Thunderdome.
David, the Potager (soup guy), looked more like Goliath out there. He had a big mane of black hair, a rocket serve that could leave a huge welt on your arms if you actually stopped it. He always sported a massive, and confident grin, a visual affectation that telegraphed his palpable Parisian smugness. He had a right to be cocky. He was the kitchen’s rock star. His soups were the opening act of every evening’s meal.
One day, a few of us were allowed to come to the kitchen. I discovered David’s secret weapon was not a slingshot, but steam! He didn’t drown the vegetables, only adding enough liquid to make his soup, and leave enough room in his massive pot to allow for the steaming of his vegetables before puréeing. It maxed out the flavor and nutrition!
Fast Forward thirty-five years to 2017, in Killarney, a charming coastal tourist town south of Cork, situated near beautiful parks, on the verdant coastline of Western Ireland.
These days the big draw is a tiny rock of an island, Skellig Michael, recently made famous by Luke Skywalker’s appearance on it in final scene in Star Wars Episode VII.
The chef at the amazing Brehon Hotel, Charlie Byrne, rekindled my romance with puréed soups. His wicked wonder is a cauliflower soup, with a toasted cumin seed. The cumin seeds compliment the cauliflower brilliantly!
This is my more humble, and low-volume home homage to the soups of the Caribbean and Kilarney, with a lot of the heavy fats lifted from past recipes that I’ve tasted/reviewed, that rely on a lot of butter. Fats are a necessary part of our diet, but too much is a bad thing. Fatphobes, don’t freak out about the cream! 118 ml/ 1/2 cup, distributed over 12 servings, is only 10 ml per 148 ml serving (5 oz). By contrast, a pat of butter is about 12 ml. (1-1/2 tsp.)
It’s simple, easy to make with a good blender or an immersion blender (my fave). It’s also really inexpensive!
2 heads of cauliflower
1 large onion
2 stalks celery
118 ml / 1/2 cup whipping (heavy) or cream coconut cream (Vegan)
Set the pots and pans on the stove. Set your 8″ sauté/fry pan to medium low.
Add the cumin seed to the 8″ fry pan. Swirl gently to distribute the seeds across the pan or stir with a non-stick spatula. Remove when lightly toasted, meaning if y’all can smell the fragrance of the cumin oil warmed up, it’s done. We’re not looking for burn marks like toast. 3-7 minutes depending upon stove equipment. Use the spatula to put the toasted seed into a mini glass work bowl. Set aside;
While toasting the seeds, trim off the base and leaves from the heads of cauliflower. Open the head up by trimming clusters, breaking them down into smaller 1-2″ (approx) bits. Smaller chunks of cauliflower let steam work more efficiently to cook more evenly and help the immersion blender work better.. Stop and swirl/stir the cumin as needed. Put the cauliflower florets into the stock pot;
Peel the carrot. Quarter it. Put in the stock pot.
Clean the celery. Quarter. Put it in the stock pot.
Very coarsely cut the onion. Spray or coat the nonstick frying pan with avocado oil. Set to medium. Put the into the 12″ frying pan. Cook, stirring periodically with the spatula, until the onion softens and starts to turn translucent.
Add enough water to fill up about 1/3 of height of the vegetables. About 2 cups. Mostly we’re worried about steaming the veggies here. You can always add more water if it is too thick down-road;
Set the pot to medium. Cover. When is reaches a boil. Set to low to simmer. Cook for approximately 20-30 minutes, or until tender enough that the cauliflower falls apart easily when poked at with the spatula but still has some structure. Resist cranking up the heat, and let the steam do its job. Fiber is lost when overcooking.
Add the cumin, cayenne, and white pepper. Add the cream or coconut milk with coconut cream in it.
Using the pimer/immersion blender, purée the soup until smooth and creamy. Keep the blender down, and use the low setting, working in a circle by blending in different places to break down the bigger pieces.PIMER/IMMERSION TIPS:
REMEMBER TO STOP COMPLETELY before you pick up the immersion blender and move it, or stuff will go everywhere.
Don’t rest the stick on the bottom. Keep it just about a 1/2″ from the bottom to let the vegetables get under it.
If your stick has a Turbo feature, like the All-Clad, featured below, stick it in the middle. Get it positioned well. Brace yourself and hit it. Turbo can have a bit stronger pull, so hold on. This will get that final, nice smooth pureé quickly though. Otherwise you have to keep moving around on low speed to get it to the same consistency.
BLENDER/FOOD PROCESSOR TIPS:
Make sure it has a good motor. Soups can put more load on the motor than smoothies.
Empty the vegetables and any liquid in the pot into a large work bowl, as you’ll need to work in batches.
Reserve the pot, as you’ll return the finished puree back to it, and then finish the soup there.
Add salt to taste. If too thick, add a little water. Stir.
The Jazz Chef’s Cauliflowah Cumin Chowdah goes great with slices of a nice crusty French bread. It can easily be frozen/reheated. If you do freeze or store, you may need to add a little water to thin it.
Why would I call this riff on my house popcorn a bribe (baksheesh)? Everyone who cooks for a family knows that there are a few things that will win over that person stuck doing chores or honey-dos that aren’t always ‘fun.’ The other meaning of the word is a tip for service, so, this is my attaboy for those unsung household jobs that need doing by someone.
A little Berbere spice and black truffle oil make this oh so nice. My Jazz Chef’s Hellza’Poppin’Popcorn blend a low-hull, super tasty midwestern blend, but you can use pretty much any good corn seed out there.
One nice use of this sultry popcorn, other than snacking, is to put a tablespoon or two into small cups to serve as an amuse-bouche before a meal.
Blend the salt and seasonings together in your seasoning dish. Crush the fenugreek leaves and drop in. Stir together with a small spoon and set aside.
Place the popcorn in the Whirley-Pop and add avocado oil (If using an oil popper). Close the lid;
Set the heat to medium, or slightly under. Overheating will scorch the popcorn.
Using the crank, turn the popcorn. You don’t have to crank hard. A nice steady, medium-slow speed will help keep it turning which keeps it cooking evenly and lowers seed loss;
When the popping begins, stir as long as you can. When there is resistance, stop.
Pour the popcorn into your large workbowl.
Spray with the avocado spray. Sprinkle with popcorn seasoning. Grab the bowl with both hands and “flip” the popcorn by pulling the bowl up and inside towards you rapidly. Spray the popcorn coming up from the bottom and season again with the rest of the seasoning. Toss
Drizzle the truffle oil, just enough to give it fragrance, not make it heavy or greasy. Toss.
Perché dovrei usare questo popcorn improvvisato fatto in casa per corrompere? Chiunque cucini per la propria famiglia sa che ci sono poche cose che renderanno i lavori domestici meno noiosi e più dolci, come mangiare qualcosa di buono subito dopo. In altre parole è una mancia per il lavoro svolto, la mia ricompensa per quelle faccende di casa noiose che qualcuno deve svolgere.
Un po ‘ di spezie Berbere e un olio al tartufo nero rendono questo popcorn così buono! Io uso il mio mix Hellza’Poppin’Popcorn di Jazz Chef, una miscela molto gustosa del Midwest, ma è possibile utilizzare praticamente qualsiasi buon chicco di mais.
Oltre che mangiarlo come spuntino, un’ altra buona alternativa per consumare questo popcorn è quello di metterlo in piccole ciotoline da servire come aperitivo prima dei pasti.
60 g circa del mix per popcorn Jazz Chef Pops Poppin’Corn
Mescolare insieme il sale e le spezie. Schiacciare le foglie di fieno greco e aggiungerle. Mescolare insieme con un piccolo cucchiaio e mettere da parte.
Mettere il popcorn nella macchina per popcorn Whirley-Pop o, se si usa una padella, aggiungere l’olio di avocado, farlo scaldare e unire i popocorn. Chiudere con il coperchio.
Cuocere a fuoco a medio, o poco più basso. Troppo calore brucerebbe i popcorn.
Se si usa la macchina da popocorn, con la manovella, ruotare i popcorn. Non è necessario farlo velocemente. Una velocità costante medio-lenta andrà bene. Questo mantiene una cottura uniforme e ottimale.
Quando inizia a scoppiettare, continuare a utilizzare la manovella fino a quando non schiocca più. Quando c’è resistenza, fermarsi.
Se invece si usa la padella i chicchi di mais cominceranno a scoppiettare. Non aprire il coperchio, aspettare che gli schiocchi siano distanziati ogni 7-8 secondi, poi spegnere.
Versare il popcorn in una grande ciotola. La Whirley-Pop ha una porta sul lato sinistro che per aprirsi va sollevata. Se la porta è bloccata, utilizzare la manopola sulla porta per liberarla.
Spruzzare con lo spray avocado. Condire con metà mix di spezie e sale. Prendere la ciotola con entrambe le mani e mescolare i popcorn tirando la ciotola rapidamente verso il proprio corpo rapidamente, in modo da farli saltare leggermente per aria. Spruzzare altro olio di avocado sul popcorn che prima era sul fondo della ciotola, cospargere con la metà rimanente del mix di sale e spezie e mescolare di nuovo.
Irrorate con l’olio al tartufo, quanto basta per dare fragranza, non lo rende pesante.
Italians love their tarts! Tarts, especially those with jam, are a staple of Italian breakfasts and snacks. It is very easy to find these at children’s birthday parties, because they are a relatively “healthy” food, compared to other sweets. They are everywhere, in bars, in the supermarket, patisseries, but a homemade tart is absolutely the best!
These tarts are made with just a few ingredients. They can be filled in many ways, and are quite easy and cheap to produce.
You can eat them comfortably with your hands. In addition, this tart is a basic, easy preparation that is very versatile. You can freeze it, both raw and cooked, and it will still remain perfect!
Prepare a double batch, and freeze part. Then, to serve it, you thaw it in the fridge for a few hours, and prepare it as you prefer.
With this base recipe you can even make cookies, maybe adding chocolate chips or nuts. You have many possibilities!
I really love to change up breakfasts, especially on the weekends. It’s nice to start the day with a food that “embraces” me.
I get bored easily, so I improvise a new variation from time to time. Today, I have decided to make a tart a bit ‘different and to enrich it with a luscious frangipane, the almond version of a pastry cream, where almond paste base is enriched with sugar and butter for a soft, spreadable cream filling used for pastries like this fruit tart.
Cooking in the oven becomes a wet mixture with a slight almond aroma. I covered everything with a peach jam, but you can choose any flavor that you prefer.
This cake is good for the lactose intolerant, because it contains no milk or butter, and is free of eggs.
So it was born, a magnificent tart, healthy and delicious, perfect for breakfast or for a snack. The kids love it! I was amazed of how they devoured it. They usually prefer chocolate anything, but the fruit and the frangipane’s consistency has won them over.
I usually prepare a tart like this the night before, but it keeps well for several days. If you use the pastry to make cookies, store them in a tin box and will keep perfectly!
In a mixer with a flat beater, mix the milk and sugar, oils, honey, inulin and baking powder. Mix at low speed until integrated.
Grease your springform pan with oil or butter, then sprinkle with some flour.
Flour the work surface. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a single circle.
Lightly fold your dough round in half, then in fourth. Put it in the pan and open it. Work the dough into the pan, pressing into the corners and sides of the pan evenly. The crust should be 8mm/ 3/8″ thick. There will be extra dough once the crust is formed. Cut it off and reserve it for the lattice top. Wrap the reserved dough in plastic wrap to preserve.
Put the springform pan and your dough ball into the freezer to chill for about 15-20 minutes, so the pastry will maintain a better shape during cooking.
Combine the frangipane ingredients in Tart Filling with a flat beater mixer until fully integrated.
Remove your springform pan with pastry crust and the ball of reserved pastry dough from the freezer. Fill the crust with the frangipane.
Bake at 170°C/338°F for 30 minutes.
On a piece of parchment paper, roll out the shortbread top in an 8″/20 cm circle. Press a lattice mold into the dough and remove any excess pastry, or cut into strips and make a lattice. Transfer parchment and lattice to a baking sheet.
Remove the tart base from the oven. Put in the lattice top. Cook separately for 15-20 minutes.
When the tart is fully cooled, add the jam and fruit to the top of the frangipane.
After the lattice has fully cooled, sprinkle it with powdered sugar.
Top the tart with the lattice.
† Caster sugar is relatively new to Americans, but it is a superfine sugar that is common in Europe and Asia. It should be a staple in your pantry because it cooks so much better. It is not standard white American sugar. If you can’t get your hands on some quickly, you can approximate it a bit by using a 3:1 ratio of American white refined sugar to powdered sugar. Best to order it.
Crostata con Frangipane e Marmellata, Senza Latticini
La Diva dei Dolci
Le crostate, soprattutto quelle con la marmellata, sono un dolce tipico in Italia per le colazioni e le merende. Si trovano ovunque, nei bar, al supermercato, nelle pasticcerie, ma la crostata fatta in casa è in assoluto la più buona.
E’ molto facile trovarle alle feste di compleanno dei bambini, perché sono un cibo abbastanza “sano”, rispetto agli altri dolci. Infatti, le crostate sono fatte con pochi ingredienti, possono essere farcite in molti modi, sono abbastanza facili ed economiche e si possono mangiare comodamente con le mani. Inoltre, la pasta frolla è una preparazione base molto versatile, perché la si può congelare, sia cruda che cotta, e rimane comunque perfetta. Quindi è possibile prepararne una dose doppia, e congelarne una parte. Al momento dell’ utilizzo, la si fa scongelare per qualche ora in frigo, e poi si prepara come si preferisce. Con questa ricetta potete fare anche dei biscotti, magari aggiungendo le gocce di cioccolato, o frutta secca, avete moltissime possibilità.
Io amo molto variare le colazioni, soprattutto il fine settimana, è bello iniziare la giornata con un cibo che mi “coccola”. E poi mi annoio facilmente, quindi devo cambiare. Ho deciso di fare una crostata un po’ diversa e di arricchirla con una golosissima crema frangipane, che cuocendo in forno diventa un composto umido con un leggero aroma di mandorla. Ho ricoperto tutto con una marmellata alle pesche, ma si può scegliere qualsiasi gusto si preferisca. Infine, questo dolce va bene anche per gli intolleranti al lattosio, perché non contiene latte o burro, ed è priva di uova.
Così è nata lei, una buonissima crostata, sana e golosa, perfetta per la colazione o per la merenda. I bambini la amano, mi sono stupita di come l’abbiano divorata. Di solito infatti preferiscono dolci con il cioccolato, ma questa consistenza un po’ pastosa del frangipane li ha conquistati. Io l’ho cotta la sera prima, ma si conserva benissimo per diversi giorni. Se invece con la pasta frolla volete preparare dei semplici biscotti, conservateli in una scatola di latta e saranno perfetti.
Per 8 persone
Una ciotola o un mixer per impastare
Uno stampo per torta da 21 cm di diametro
Uno stampo per creare le strisce di pasta da mettere sulla marmellata (o un coltello per tagliarle a mano)
50 g di zucchero Zefiro
50 g di farina di mandorle di Aziende Campobasso
65 g di farina di farro Ecor
20 g di farina di grano duro del Molino Chiavazza
5 g di baking Cameo
10 g di inulina (è uno zucchero, ma si può eliminare)
20 g olio extravergine d’oliva Monini
20 g olio di semi di girasole Giglio D’Oro
100 g latte di avena di Alce Nero (o di mucca)
25 g di miele Ambrosoli
6 cucchiai di marmellata di albicocche o a piacere.
In un mixer con una frusta piatta, mescolare il latte e lo zucchero, gli oli, il miele, l’inulina e il lievito.
Aggiungere tutte le farine a bassa velocità fino integrarle. Mescolare per circa 2 minuti. Riserva della pasta per la parte superiore.
Ungere il vostro stampo a cerniera con olio o burro, poi cospargere con un po’ di farina. Infarinate il piano di lavoro. Utilizzando il matterello, stendere la pasta frolla in un unico cerchio.
Leggermente piegarlo a metà, poi in un quarto. Mettilo nella teglia e aprirlo. Il lavoro nella padella, premendo negli angoli e sui lati della padella in modo uniforme.
Unire gli ingredienti per la frangipane.
Rimuovere lo stampo a cerniera e crosta di pasta dal freezer. Riempire la crosta con il frangipane.
Cuocere in forno a 170 ° C / 338 ° F per 30 minuti.
Su un pezzo di carta da forno, stendere all’inizio shortbread in / 20 centimetri cerchio 8″ . Premere uno stampo reticolo nella pasta e rimuovere l’eccesso di pasticceria, o tagliati in strisce e fare un reticolo.
Trasferire pergamena e lattice di una cottura foglio. Rimuovere la base crostata dal forno. Mettere in cima reticolo. Cuocere separatamente per 15-20 minuti.
Quando la torta è completamente raffreddato, aggiungere la marmellata e frutta alla parte superiore del frangipane.
Dopo che il reticolo si è completamente raffreddata, spolverare con zucchero a velo
Top la crostata con il reticolo.
Finito il riposo in freezer cuocere la rete di pasta da sola per 15/20 minuti.
Quando la torta è completamente raffreddata, aggiungere la marmellata di frutta sulla parte superiore del frangipane.
Dopo che la griglia di pasta si è completamente raffreddata, spolverare con lo zucchero a velo.
There are crumpet people and there are English muffin people. I count myself amongst the crumpet-crazy! I like the more defined holes that hide all of the bad-for-you-goodness of butter, and jam.
It’s also a texture thing. English muffins are a bit coarse. Crumpets are a little softer, not as chewy. They’re British, legit, smooth, and elegant, like a James Bond opening line.
Just toast and eat them with a little butter on the top. They keep well in the fridge, so you have a snack or breakfast item that’s tasty and thrifty too!
I provide the American cup measurements, but a good scale and correct metric measure is always better in baking.
Crumpets, and “English Muffins,” their sort of bastardized crumpet-cousins, that are hard-baked on both sides, are both griddle breads. The yeast lets them rise. Crumpets are a bit thinner batter, more like a pancake. That also lets them open up more of those wonderful holes. The thing that separates them from pancakes are that they are a yeast-raised bread, not really a batter.
Yeast’s a Beast
We’re taught to fear bacteria like the 21st c. germaphobes that we’ve all become.
There are good bacteria, and BAD bacteria. Bacteria is essential to your existence. Your gut is populated with it. You wouldn’t be able to digest your food without it.
Basically, you’re feeding it to feed you. Put it in flour, and it snacks away on the sugars in the flour, plus any that you’ve added in. When it “burps,” it creates gasses that get trapped in the dough, and cause it to rise.
Yeast is one of the most powerfully positive bacteria in your culinary arsenal. You can use dried, or you can create your own starter, literally out of thin air. (See my starter recipe for breads.)
Read up more on yeast in my how-tos, to learn more about how to use it, and control the beast!
USE THE SCALE
(TRUST THE MATH FORCE, LUKE…)
Want to cut the recipe down by a third? 355g *.33 = 117.5g.
How many cups is that?
Scales measure MORE ACCURATELY than our kitchen cups. Some measuring cups can be off by quite a bit, which affects the recipe.
Working in units based in 10s are much easier to deal with than all of the backflips we do for the King’s cups.
Turn your scale on. Make sure it is set to grams.
Temper, temper, Temperature
In bread recipes, temperature is important. Baking on a warm summer day, or a cold one, affects the conditions in which the yeast do their dining on the foods in which you use them. You want your yeast happy? They do ideally well to start multiplying at 26°c / 79°F. Fermentation, not that we’re doing that here, is slightly higher, at 35°c / 95°F.
So we’re better off, here with hot kitchen sink water (37-40°c / 105-115°F). It will cool a bit in the mix with the other ingredients.
When proofing, if it’s 75-80°F if you don’t have a proof setting, that gets your oven to about 25-29°c / 80-85°F, turn on the oven at its lowest setting for about two to three minutes, and then turn off. Stick your Thermapen into the oven to see if it’s the right air temp.
Don’t put your proofing bowl on too hot of a wire rack or it will cook it. Cool that first, before using.
Test your griddle before doing this. Get it up to 149°c / 300°F. Tap the Thermapen to it. Is it correct? If not, adjust the temperature and mark, on your unit, where the correct temperature is on the knob/dial, or note the number if it’s digital. Contact the manufacturer if it is significantly off.
Makes 14-16, depending upon the size of the griddle rings used.
Avocado oil baking spray or Baker’s Magic spray (See article on Avocado Oils. Do not use Pam, Crisco, etc. Low-temp sprays burn, become toxic, AND change the taste.)
Place the work bowl onto a scale and hit the TARE button to zero out the weight of the container. Add the first ingredient. Repeat for each one.
Measure the flour, yeast, salt and the nonfat dry milk powder into the work bowl by weight.
Place the mixing bowl into the mixer’s stand.
Attach the flat beater.
Mix the dry ingredients thoroughly with a flat beater for 1 minute at low speed to distribute evenly.
Put your pourable liquids cup on the scale. Tare it to deduct its weight from your calculation. Remove it from the scale and take it to your water faucet.
Run your hot water for a bit to warm it up.
Read the temperature, using your digital thermometer, in the middle of the water, not touching the glass/plastic, it should read 26°c / 79°F. Temperature counts with yeast.
Not hot enough? Let the water run a bit hotter;
Too hot? Add a little cold water.
Adjust the volume to 355ml / 1.5 cups
Mix the batter in your mixing bowl for three (3) minutes, or, by hand, five (5) minutes, starting at the lowest speed to integrate and increasing speed to low, 2-3, on the mixer. DO NOT OVERMIX.
This is a wet dough, more like a batter. When finished, it should have the consistency in the photo. If it’s too thick, you can see the bottom of the mixer, add a few drops of water until it thins a bit.
When finished, remove the beater blade and scrape any excess off of it into the bowl with a spatula.
Scrape down the sides of the bowl, if necessary.
Cover with a kitchen towel, and place work bowl in a draft-free, warmer place, 24°c – 27°c / 75°-80°F.
On a warm day, any kitchen counter will do.
On a colder fall/winter/spring day, measure the air temp of your oven with your thermometer. Not 24°c/75°F? Put into your oven and…
If your oven has a proof setting, set it to PROOF.
For ovens without a proof setting:
Take out the covered mixing bowl;
Turn on the heat for one minute to the lowest setting, and turn off the oven;
Wait a minute for the heating units to cool, and then test with your thermometer. If it’s between to 70-85°F that’s great! Put the covered mixing bowl back into the oven, and leave it there with the oven OFF.
Set a timer for 30 minutes, and a second timer for 20 minutes.
Pre-heat your griddle or non-stick cooking surface to 150°c / 300°F(If you have an adjustable temp griddle, or a stove-based one, 138°c / 280°F is optimal and can be checked with a digital thermometer by gently touching it to the surface so you don’t scratch your griddle, or pan).
When the 20 minute timer is done:
Put your mini work bowl onto the scale. TARE it.
Separate an egg white, or add the liquid egg white to the mini-prep bowl. TARE it.
Add the cold water and the baking soda to the mini prep bowl.
Using a mini-whisk or a fork, combine ingredients;
After the 30 minute timer is done, check the batter to see that it has doubled in volume.
Yes? Go to the next step.
Not ready yet? Wait a bit more. If it doesn’t double, you may have old or largely dead yeast. You can stir some fresh yeast into 30 ml / 2 tbsp of water, and then gently fold in. Don’t mix vigorously, it breaks down the structures of the dough.
Put clean rings (washed and dried if it’s your first use) on the griddle. Have the avocado oil spray and tongs, ladle at the ready.
Pull out the proofing dough:
Remove the towel cover;
Using your spatula, gently fold (turn) the egg white, water, and baking soda into the mix. DO NOT stir aggressively as this will break down the risen dough. Make sure the liquids integrate by lifting from the bottom with your spatula and folding in inside to outside, outside to inside.
Spray each ring’s inner sides and the bottom of the ring with the avocado oil spray.
Ladle in dough, enough to fill 1/2 of the height of a 19 mm / 3/4” English muffin ring. It will rise up to about 1/2 to 2/3rds high. Do not overfill!
The crumpet will cook nearly through after a few minutes. Holes will form on the top as it rises but it is nearly fully cooked.
Using your tongs, remove the mold as the dough pulls away from it, and set aside for the next use. If it sticks a bit, use a regular table knife, run around the inner edge, between metal and crumpet, to separate out anything that sticks.
Flip it overfor just a moment (5-7 seconds) to cook the dough on top. Do not leave too long or the top will seal like an English muffin. Remove from the heat to a cooling plate.
Inspect the batch. If the bottoms are too dark on the first try, reduce the heat. They should be light to medium brown, not brown-black. If the dough sticks, it’s usually because the griddle isn’t at the right temperature. Use your digital thermometer to test the griddle, and adjust temp. Clean the rings after use if they have dough stuck to them.
Serve with Kerrygold’s softened butter spread, and an assortment of jams. If storing for later use, let cool fully at room temp for an hours before bagging and putting in the refrigerator. Store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks (They won’t last that long!).
† While the photos will show my old steel coated tin rings, I’ve moved on to a set of Norpro non-stick rings They’re not much more, they are a lot easier to clean, and they need less oils, reducing calories a bit.
A little Semitic synthesis brings brei, broken bits of Jewish matzoh, soaked in eggs and scrambled or pancaked, with harissa, the ketchup of the Middle East and North Africa, in a quick and easy dish that you can whip off in the morning, or for a quick dinner before heading out here or there.
Remembering that less is more, flavor the egg wash, don’t drown it in harissa. If you’re mad about the stuff, just put a little more on to yours as a topping.
Sun Ra was one of the most skilled and “out there” World Jazz synthesizer/pianists and bandleaders. He was also a vegetarian. To honor his complexity, we take the vegetarian dog of your choice up to a new level.
A lot of improvisational riffs revolve around repurposed food. I made some wonderful lavender pasta a couple of nights back. I have enough extra that it makes a nice lunch… something. What, though?
It doesn’t reheat really well, and its flavor, which is very delicate, can be lost.
I tried a bit cold and it was amazing! Thinking outside the box, I thought it might be a nice part of a cool salad. So I started doing the refrigerator inventory in my head, as we all do: I had a little bit of cubed turkey and ham from the short-ends of a couple of sandwich blocks of meat.
I wanted to blend them all together for a quick lunch, but they needed a tie-in.
Light bulb moment? My Lavender-Fennel Pollen dressing!
It’s creamy, and mildly tangy with a the lavender’s purple passion and a little fennel scent on the back-end of the flavor set. A vanilla Greek yogurt adds both the right tang and a mildly sweet vanilla bean tastebud surfboard for the lavender and fennel pollen.
The whole thing accentuates and complements the smoky, salty ham, the savory of the turkey and the lavender pasta threads tossed in the greens.
You can add whatever greens you want, but I used flavor neutral romaine.
We want the lavender and fennel to do the talking, so riff away, but watch out for adding any really strong flavors. Also, remember to take it easy with the lavender: It can become overpowering quickly!
FYI, Lavender pasta is pretty easy to make with some culinary lavender and a standard fettucine recipe, but, as I have a lot of people venturing into the world of originalist cooking, I include a really great source for the pasta in Seattle, Pappardelle’s.
I served it with a little green chile cornbread (see that recipe).
Lavender – Fennel Pollen Dressing
118ml (1/2 cup) organic sour cream
60ml (1/4 cup) Stonyfield Greek Vanilla Yogurt
30ml (1/8 cup) milk
8g (2 tsp) fennel pollen
6g (1.5 tsp) culinary lavender
6g (1.5 tsp) Himalayan pink salt (or to taste)
Milk is variable. Use enough to make the viscosity of the dressing thin enough to pour, but not too watery.
Mix the ingredients and let stand while you make up the salad (see below), or for about 10-15 minutes to give it time to let the lavender steep into the mix. Salt is another big variable here. Too much overwhelms the sweetness of the yogurt which works the aromatics better, but it’s too sweet without a little balance from the salt. Adjust all of the stuff to hit your own happy spot!
If you’re lactose intolerant or vegan, try coconut milk as a substitute, and coconut milk yogurt.
THE Lavender Chef’S Salad
1/2 head romaine
1/2 head butter lettuce
170g (6 oz) chopped turkey breast
170g (6 oz) chopped Hormel Natural Choice ham (butt block, not sliced)