Friday, November 26, 2010

Taste Tester Sets A Rib Record

These are the 15 racks of ribs that Taste Tester is smoking today for the annual family post-Thanksgiving Day party.  We spent an hour rubbing them all with his famous recipe.  He'll be managing 3 smokers, doing a huge smoked salmon also, and letting me in the way for some grilled veggies.  Every year at this time, and several more at different BBQs, people request these smoked ribs, and it wasn't until this year that we admitted to each other we don't really like smoked ribs that much.  It's just that he's so good at it, it's become a burden he has to bear.  I do love his sense of responsibility.

Crab Cakes Eggs Benedict

While I didn't take photos of this, the recipe seemed worth sharing because it was actually delicious. I didn't have any bacon or sausage to serve with breakfast, so I found a can of crabmeat in the pantry and went to town.

Crab Cakes Eggs Benedict with Lemon Cayenne Hollandaise

Part 1: Crab Cakes
1 can crabmeat, 1/2 cup crushed breadcrumbs or crushed crackers, 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
4 chopped green onions, dash of garlic salt, dash of pepper
1 tbsp mustard, 1 tbsp mayo, juice of 1/2 lemon

I formed these into 3 patties, could have done smaller patties and made 4 with the same recipe though.  Then I pan fried them in a few tablespoons of olive oil till browned on each side.

Part 2: Hollandaise Sauce
4 tbsp butter, juice of 1/2 lemon, 3 tbsp Fage (or other Greek-style) yogurt, 2 egg yolks, cayenne pepper

In a double boiler (for me, a metal bowl perched on a small pot of simmering water), I melted the butter with the lemon juice.  I threw in the Fage to sub for more butter/egg yolks but it made for a great base that's ultimately healthier.  I whisked these till they were well blended, then threw in 2 egg yolks and about 1/4 tsp cayenne and kept whisking.  Hollandaise is basically an emulsion of eggs and butter, so you can't walk away from it.  It took about a minute to thicken up, then I took it off the heat and whisked a little more and put it aside while I moved onto...

Part 3: Bread and Poached Eggs
3 eggs, 2 toasted English sourdough muffins

The pot of boiling water for the hollandaise became my poaching water, and it's recommended to add vinegar to the pot to help the egg proteins cook.

Your water should be simmering, and you crack the egg right into the water.  With a slotted spoon, pick up the egg after 3-5 minutes and check for doneness: the white should be only 3 inches across and done, but the yolk will still be a soft bubble of runny goodness.  While the eggs poached, I plated the muffins and the crab cakes onto them - Taste Tester got 2 and I had one, they were filling.

Then I ladled out the eggs onto the crabcakes, and spooned the hollandaise over it.  Incredibly good!

Here's an image of how mine mostly looked, but my hollandaise is thicker.  I seriously will hang my camera in the kitchen from now on, I've missed 2 great meals and people are going to think I'm a liar.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Fleece Winter Hats for Unfortunate Kids

I made this for a friend's kid, and I'll be making more to embarrass other people's kids.  They can't avoid crazy Aunt Rachael.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Eric's Salsa

I made salsa for a birthday party this weekend, and the party man liked it enough he asked me to post the recipe.  The photo's kinda lousy but atleast you can see it's red.

Ancho Erico Salsa

6 halved tomatoes
2 quartered red onions
2 fresh jalepenos
2 garlic cloves
3 dry ancho chiles
1 bunch cilantro
salt to taste

I roasted the first 3 ingredients at 500 degrees until the tomatoes were somewhat blackened and the onions were getting charred.  The anchos were softened up in a bowl of water in the microwave, I set it for 3 minutes and let them sit.  They will only soften if the water can reach inside their skins, so you might use scizzors to snip them lengthwise.

While the anchos softened, I used the hand blender to blend up my initial ingredients in a big bowl.  Then I added the anchos (less the water they soaked in), the garlic cloves too, and blended them in.  I put this in the fridge overnight to be sure the anchos are completely softened, and then I reblend in the morning to get rid of any chunks leftover.  Salt to taste, then finish with the cilantro.  I think cilantro's fresh flavor will get pretty weak if added to a hot salsa.