Sunday, September 13, 2015

things have changed

I (sort of) remember a time when drunken party conversation topics were more like hopes, dreams, and (mostly) boys. These days, we've gotten a lot more practical. As I was saying goodbye to my friend Todd (and a whole lot of bourbon), we somehow got to talking about what I should be making for breakfast tomorrow.

We decided on eggs Benedict. I must have been drunk to agree because:
a) I hate poaching eggs. It scares me.
b) Hollandaise? Who has time?
c) Pretty sure there's not an ounce of bread in the house, much less an English muffin.

However, the thought of letting Todd down with another breakfast on Instagram was unbearable, so I faced my fears, and made do with what I did have in the house.

Instead of the carb base, I split, seeded and roasted a couple of bell peppers. Gently tucked in a poached egg, topped it off with the easiest blender hollandaise in the world, and then fried up some Niman Ranch bacon lardons to top the whole thing off with since I didn't have the traditional Canadian bacon.

I must say I didn't miss the bread component at all. I loved that the whole thing was still rich with hollandaise, but didn't feel like it was going to sit in my stomach all day.

Bell Pepper Benedict
hollandaise slightly adapted from The Brewer & the Baker
serves 2

2 bell peppers
1 T. olive oil
4 eggs
2 strips bacon, sliced into lardons

For the hollandaise:
2 egg yolks
juice of 1/2 lemon
8 T. butter, melted

1. Halve and seed the bell peppers. Brush on a little olive oil, and roast in a 350-degree oven until just tender.

2. Bring a large pot of water to simmer. Crack one egg into a small bowl, and lower it slowly into the pot. Repeat with the remaining eggs, poaching in batches, if necessary. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate once the whites are set. Set aside.

3. Meanwhile, fry the bacon until crisp, and set aside to drain on the edge of that paper towel-lined plate.

4. Place the egg yolks and lemon juice in the blender. Blend for 30 seconds before streaming in the melted butter.

5. When all of the pieces are done, set two bell pepper halves on each serving plate. Top with poached eggs, hollandaise, and bacon, and serve immediately.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

green tea swag

Matcha pancakes. Matcha anything, really. Yes, I'm that girl.

But these pancakes are really good, and, if I may be shallow, super pretty. They're not overwhelmingly grassy, which I find to be most people's complaint about matcha flavored things, and the coconut oil gives it a sweet richness that made the butter on top almost unnecessary.

However, I do have to admit that snuggled between each pancake is my new favorite discovery, Srikaya Coconut Egg Spread, which is on Amazon, but I found at another new favorite discovery, the Indonesian restaurant-grocery Simpang Asia. It's the stuff your Kaya toast dreams are made of, and now, your matcha pancake dreams can get in on the action, too.

Matcha Pancakes
slightly adapted from Diane, A Broad
serves 2

1 egg
1/3 c. almond milk
2 T. coconut oil (plus more for skillet)
2 T. sugar
1/2 t. vanilla extract
1/2 c. flour
1 T. matcha powder
1 1/2 t. baking powder
pinch salt

1. In a large bowl, whisk together the egg, almond milk, coconut oil, sugar, and vanilla extract. Add the flour, matcha powder, baking powder, and salt, and whisk just until no dry spots remain. The batter may still be lumpy.

2. Heat a heavy cast-iron skillet over medium-low heat. Brush with coconut oil. Using a 1/4-cup measure, dollop circles of pancake batter onto the skillet. Wait until bubbles appear and pop on the surface, then flip the pancakes and cook for another minute or so. Stack pancakes and serve hot with good butter.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

hot, sticky, sweet

I've had this recipe bookmarked for ages, but one elusive ingredient has prevented me from ever making it.

Yuzu kosho. A strange, spicy, tart paste that, for all I know, has been right under my nose the whole time because nothing is marked in English. I'm pretty sure I've never seen it, though, and I frequent a lot of Asian grocery stores. But after years of staring at the recipe on my Pinterest board, I gave in and ordered it on Amazon.

Was it worth the wait? Yes and no. No, in that it hardly came through for all the miso that was in the marinade. Yes, in that it's an incredible marinade regardless of how much yuzu kosho you could taste. And we all win because this takes little to no time on the grill, which is the only way to cook in this heat.

If you're looking for more spice, I'd go to a full teaspoon (as indicated below). Otherwise, just enjoy that miso-brown sugar salty sweetness with your carb and vegetable of choice (brown rice and green beans sauteed in coconut oil for us).

Miso- and Yuzu Kosho-Marinated Short Ribs
slightly adapted from Food52

6 T. red miso
1 t. yuzu kosho
1 t. mirin
1 t. rice wine vinegar
1 T. brown sugar
1 lb. Korean-cut beef short ribs (not pre-marinated)

1. In a small bowl, combine the miso, yuzu kosho, mirin, rice wine vinegar, and brown sugar. Taste and adjust for seasoning.

2. Coat the ribs evenly in the rub and allow to rest, covered, for at least one hour in the fridge. Grill until cooked to desired doneness. Serve immediately.