Tuesday, June 24, 2014

beet tortilla chips

Ginger and I were in Parker and Otis, one of our favorite stores here in Durham, and they had a bag of beet chips out to sample. They were good. I looked at the ingredient list, came home, did a little research, and made some chips.

I already had some beets handy from our last visit to the Farmer's Market, so I put those on to boil with a couple of cinnamon sticks, a sliced lemon, some peppercorns, and a tablespoon of dried lemongrass -- only because those were things I had in my pantry and fridge. I brought them to a boil and then let them cook about forty minutes. After they cooled a bit (and I saved the beet water, by the way), I peeled them, diced them, and put them into the food processor with about a tablespoon of olive oil and processed them until they were smooth.

I had some Torti Masa on hand from earlier attempts at making tortillas, so I used that as the base. I got it from our local Latino grocery store, Compare Foods, where I go to get lots of fun stuff. Anyway, here's the recipe:

2 cups Torta Masa (Masa harina)
1 1/2 cups puréed beets
1/2 cup beet water
4 tablespoons olive oil
Canola oil (or your choice) for frying
Put the masa in a bowl and add the beet purée and the oil and stir together. Add enough of the beet water to make it come together as a dough. It needs to be wet enough to roll out, but not sticky. Add the water in small batches; you can add more easier than you can take it out.

Preheat the oven to 350. Pinch enough dough for about a one inch ball and then flatten it into a disc. Spread some of the masa on the counter and dust the disc and roll it out so that it is a thin and even circle. Cut it into wedges (you may even want to use a pizza cutter) and place the pieces on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a Silpat. Bake the chips for ten minutes. Let them cool. (You will need to do this in batches; I had about five sheet pans worth.)

Pour about an inch and a half on oil into a saucepan and heat the oil to 350. Fry the baked chips in batches -- don't crowd them. They only need to fry about two minutes or so. Drain on a sheet pan lined with paper towels. Sprinkle with salt while they are still hot and a little oily.

These are vegan chips and are also gluten free.

And they're good.



Monday, March 03, 2014

maple bourbon bacon waffle bread pudding

First, the bacon — two ways:

8 strips bacon
brown sugar
Press the bacon into the brown sugar to get it to stick to both sides. Sprinkle with black pepper and lay across a cooling rack that is sitting on a parchment lined baking sheet. Put in a 375 degree oven for 20-25 minutes, or until the bacon is well cooked. Set aside to cool and then chop into pieces.
10 slices center cut bacon, cooked until pretty crisp, chopped into small pieces.
Next the waffles:
3/4 cup flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
Mix first five ingredients together in a bowl. Add the last five and mix well. Spray the waffle iron with cooking spray. Pour the batter according the the waffle maker’s instructions and then sprinkle part of the cooked (not candied) bacon on top and cook the waffle.

Now the pudding:
8 cups 1" waffle pieces (four full sized Belgian waffles)
12 large egg yolks
2 cups whole milk
2 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Cut waffles into bite-sized pieces and set aside. In a large bowl combine egg yolks, milk, cream, syrup, vanilla and kosher salt. Mix well until combined. Add waffle pieces and candied bacon. Stir mixture together until waffles pieces are coated with the egg mixture. Pour into prepared 13x9 baking dish, confer with plastic wrap and let sit in the fridge for at least an hour.

Take out of the fridge a half hour before cooking and preheat the oven to 375. Cover with foil and bake for an hour. Remove foil and bake another 20-30 minutes, or until center is set. Remove from the oven and brush top with melted butter. Can be served warm or at room temperature.



pig in a blanket waffles

1 package Li'l Smokies

2 packages Crescent Roll dough

Cut each triangle of dough into five relatively similarly sized pieces and wrap each one around one of the little sausages.

3/4 cup flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar

Mix first five ingredients together in a bowl. Add the last five and mix well. Spray the waffle iron with cooking spray. Dip each pig in a blanket in the waffle batter and place on waffle iron. Cook according to waffle maker’s instructions. We served them with honey mustard sauce.



chocolate chip cookie waffles

1 cup butter
1 1/2 cups brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
2 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 12 oz. package of chocolate chips

Cream butter and sugar together in mixer for 5-7 minutes. Add vanilla and eggs and mix to combine. In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking soda, and salt. Add gradually to butter-sugar mixture. Add chocolate chips.

Spray the waffle maker well and, using a one ounce scoop, drop the cookies on the waffle iron and close the lid. Cook for 3-4 minutes.



maple cornbread waffles

1 cup cornmeal
1 cup flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar (for sweet cornbread)
1/3 cup melted butter
3/4 - 1 cup buttermilk
1 egg
1/4 cup maple syrup

Mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl and whisk the butter, buttermilk, egg, and syrup in another. Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and pour in the buttermilk mixture. Stir until combined. Cook according to waffle maker’s instructions.

We topped these with a piece of fried chicken and some honey butter.



sweet potato waffles

1 1/2 cups cooked and mashed sweet potatoes (one large or two smaller sweet potatoes)

1 cup milk
1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 egg whites, at room temperature

Prick the sweet potatoes -- I used purple ones -- with a fork until there are holes all over. Put in a microwave on high for five minutes. Then do it for another five. Take the potatoes out of the microwave, wrap them in foil, and set them aside for about fifteen minutes, then mash them in a bowl and add the butter, sugar, and milk, mixing until well combined.

In another large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir the sweet potato mixture
into the flour mixture and thoroughly combine.

Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Gradually fold egg whites into batter 1/3 at a time. The batter will be thick.

Spray your waffle iron with cooking spray and then cook the batter according to the waffle maker’s instructions. We served these with Cackalacky pulled pork (which is to say I put a Boston Butt in the crock pot, covered it with Cackalacky sauce, and let it ride all night on low) and pimento cheese.

NOTE: Strain and save the drippings from the crock pot, let it cool and skim the fat off, add a can of Guinness and a handful or two of brown sugar, and let it reduce by about half and you’ll have
yourself a mean barbecue sauce.



pimento cheese

Almost eight years ago, I posted a recipe for pimento cheese. It's a good recipe. But after six years in Durham and a great deal of exploration, I have to say it is not my go to recipe any more.

2 red bell peppers, roasted, peeled, and diced
16 oz. cheddar cheese, grated
8 oz. goat cheese
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1 tablespoon lemon juice
tabasco sauce
black pepper
1 tablespoon of bourbon
Put the two peppers right on my gas burners on my stove and roast and turn them until the outsides are charred. Then put them in a bowl and cover them with plastic wrap and let them sweat for about fifteen or twenty minutes. Take a couple of paper towels and wipe the charred skins off and brush the seeds out of the middle. Don’t wash them to clean them; it takes away from the flavor. When they have been cleaned, cut them in a small dice and set aside in a bowl.

Grate the cheddar cheese (don’t buy it pre-grated) into a large bowl and then crumble in the goat cheese. Add the rest of the ingredients, along with the peppers (and the juices that have accumulated in the bowl) and mix them together. I find it works best to do this by hand.

If you aren’t a goat cheese fan, you can substitute cream cheese.

Besides the taste, the biggest advantage of this recipe is it can be heated and melted. Face it — who likes hot mayonnaise?




1 6 oz. container of Greek yogurt (I use Face)
1/2 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and finely diced
1 tablespoon fresh dill leaves, finely diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste

Though some recipes encourage you to put all of the ingredients in a food processor, I suggest you dice everything well and mix it by hand to give it a chunkier texture. Make it as early as possible -- even the night before -- so the flavors have a chance to marry. We made this sauce to go with the falafel waffles and avocado hummus.



falafel waffles

1 15-ounce can chickpeas,  drained and rinsed

1/3 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 egg whites, beaten until stiff

Put all of the ingredients except the egg whites in a food processor and puree until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and fold in egg whites until combined. Spray the waffle iron with cooking spray and follow waffle maker’s instructions. We topped ours with avocado hummus and tzatziki.



avocado hummus

1 can (15 oz.) garbanzo beans (chickpeas)

2 avocados
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup tahini
1/2 cup olive oil
salt and pepper

Open the can of garbanzo beans and drain them in a colander, then rinse them well. Place them in a food processor with the avocados, lemon juice, and tahini. Puree the mixture and stream in the olive oil. Salt and pepper to taste.

That's right -- it's sitting on a falafel waffle with tzatziki on the side.