Sunday, February 28, 2010

Egg-spert Eggs, Maybe - Frying an Egg?

This may seem like a silly post to do, but I have been "Fried Egg" challenged since I got back to Portland. I think I have finally re-mastered the Fried egg... although I am not sure if it really qualifies or not. You'll see what I am talking about.....

I love my eggs sunny-side up, with runny yolks for dipping toast. I usually accomplish this with one of my 'tried and true' cast iron skillet rubbed with butter. Well, that has all changed since I started cooking on a glass cook-top instead of gas. I found out the hard way that all your pans need to have smooth bottoms,

but all my cast iron pans have a thin ridge on the bottom, so they don't make full contact with the cook top... Thus they have been rendered impotent for egg frying. It was a sad day and the angels wept...

But I think I figured out how to get my sunny-side up egg.... Using that ever so wonderful Pyroceramic Corningware....  You've heard me talk about it before, here and there, but I think I have come to the realization that this bit of yesteryear IS the wave of the future.

(This really isn't an advertisement, cause they don't make it anymore - darn it)

Frying? an Egg in CorningWare

Olive oil
2 eggs
1 Corningware Petite pan (P-83-B) with a lid (P-83-C)
Toast points

OK, Heat the skillet over really low heat

and add the butter and oil.

When it becomes a little bubbly......

Crack the eggs into the skillet. (Though this skillet is so small, it is better suited to 1 egg) and season with salt and pepper if desired.

Then place the lid on...

It will get steamy under there and help to set the sunny side of the egg a little. (this is why I am not sure if this qualifies as a fried egg, maybe it's a steamed egg, or a steam fried egg - basted or braised maybe? I don't know)

After about 2 minutes, your egg will be ready, the white will be set and the yolks still runny....

Now the funny part...

I forgot just HOW non-stick Corning Ware can be, so while I was deftly trying to photograph the sliding of the egg onto my plate, it suddenly slid all at once and I kind of missed the shot... LOL

Serve with toast points.....cause it makes it easier to do THIS....

and THIS.....

YUM! And now the angels sing with joy as the fried egg has returned to the menu once again.


Side Note:  Your best resource for Vintage Corningware (Pre-1999, when World Kitchen, LLC ruined the brand by peddling their cheap stoneware) will be thrift stores such as local charity ones or the larger Good Will Industries and Salvation Army stores.  I would avoid antique shops if you can, they will be higher priced.  Trust me, there is A LOT of this out there, it was manufactured for 40 years, so it should not be too hard to find and should not cost you an arm and a leg either.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Doughnut and Bacon Lovers Unite!!

This is a Maple Bar.......

This is a Maple Bar from VooDoo Doughnuts.....

Any questions? :)

It has been a long time in coming. After moving back to Portland, I have FINALLY made it back to the BEST doughnut shop on the planet, I just felt the need to share. Especially since I fancy myself to be a connoisseur of all things Bacon. ;)
It's not often that I find a maple bar with REAL Maple glaze instead of that artificial "Mapleine" flavoring stuff that smells like gasoline. (are you listening Krispy Kreme?) Let alone one that has been lovingly graced by a slab of porcine goodness.

Voodoo Doughnuts has been a pumping out treats for residents of Portland for awhile now. Some classic, some not so classic such as this little number I picked up as well.....

A raised doughnut with Chocolate glaze, Rice Krispies and a drizzle of Peanut butter... Awesome!

They even make Vegan doughnuts.... As well as the Official Doughnut of Portland, "The Portland Creme"

So to all my Foodie Friends out there, if you ever visit Portland, be sure to hit Voodoo at either 22 SW 3rd in the Downtown area or 1501 Davis on the East side... You will NOT be disappointed...

And remember, "The Magic is in The Hole", or in the case of my BM (Bacon Maple bar), the magic is in the smoked domesticated boar belly. ;)

Mangia!! But only 1... or your arteries will be screaming for mercy! LOL

Friday, February 26, 2010

Walnuts Gone Wild - Carameled Walnut Tart al'Orange

I have been craving walnuts like crazy. Probably because of all the coffee posts I have been doing lately. As a result, I decided to revisit a recipe I posted on BakeSpace over a year ago, when I was having just such a walnut craving and wanted something closely akin to Pecan pie. My end result was not really Pecan Pie-esque, but it was REALLY good... More of a Carameled Walnut pie.

This time instead of my normal Pâte Brisée, I decided to use a Fillo crust. A word of warning about Fillo.... It's extremely thin and sometimes hard to work with, the key to Fillo success is speed, you have got to get it situated and get the butter on it before it dries out.

Caramel Walnut Tarte al'Orange

9 inch Pie Plate
6 sheets of Fillo
4 TB of melted Butter (so it's lower in fat than Pâte Brisée)

Melt the butter and preheat the oven to 400 degrees

Grab the Pie plate and brush it with the melted butter.

Unwrap the Fillo

Unroll it, removing 6 sheets, then wrap it up and place the unused portion back in the refrigerator.

Lay down the first sheet and brush it with butter.

Lay down the second sheet in the opposite direction, then brush that one with butter as well.

Continue laying sheets perpendicular to the previous and buttering each sheet until you have completed all six layers.

Brush the final sheet with the remaining butter and cover with wax paper, then cover that with a baking sheet.

Flip the whole thing over and cut around the pie plate with a pizza cutter or pastry wheel....

to remove the excess phyllo.

Flip it back over and dispose of any little pieces and the waxed paper.

Line with parchment paper and pie weights bake for 13 minutes.....

Remove the wights and parchment and bake an additional 3 minutes, until golden.

Set aside to cool while completing the filling below.......

1 1/2 cup Granulated Sugar
2 TB Orange Blossom Water
3/4 cup Heavy Cream
8 TB Unsalted butter
1/4 tsp orange oil or the zest of 1 orange
2 1/2 cups Walnuts; Rough Chop (although I cheated cause I was just shy and added 2 TB slivered almonds)
Large pinch of Salt

Combine sugar and orange blossom water in a 6 or 8-inch heavy bottomed saucepan and place over medium flame.

Cook, shaking pan occasionally, until sugar melts; continue cooking, stirring occasionally and scraping sides with a flexible spatula, until mixture turns golden.

Don't let it get too dark.

Reduce the flame to low, and then carefully add cream and the butter, in chunks while whisking the mixture.

Careful, cause it will sputter and spit.

Continue cooking, whisking constantly, until butter melts and mixture is uniform.

Stir in walnuts, orange zest and a large pinch of salt.

Spread the hot filling into the cooled tart shell, evenly, and refrigerate for about an hour to allow the filling to set.

Serve naked or prepare UN-sweetened whipped heavy cream with a drop or two of Cointreau and the zest of 1/2 orange. (I personally like it naked)


Thursday, February 25, 2010

Chiacchierata di Caffè - Sometimes You Need a Quickie

I mean a shot of espresso... and in this case it's a matter of size. ;)

I don't always want to break out the Moka pot and brew 2-4 shots of the shot o' sacred brew, so I use this handy little 1 Tazza (cup) stove top model for a quick hit of Black Nectar.

Based on the same principals are the Moka pot, this little baby brews a perfect cup of heaven every time. One of the advantages of this pot is that the cup is warmed as you are brewing, alleviating the need for soaking your cup with hot water, as is necessary for a Moka Pot. The process is simple and the results are quick, you can tip back a shot and begin your day. For a day without coffee is a day without sunshine.

Place water in the bottom portion, just up the the pressure relief valve.

Place the filter in and fill....

Then fill with espresso grind coffee, heaping it just a little, but don;t press down.

Screw one the top and grab a demitasse cup.

Place the pot over medium heat and set the demitasse cup under the "faucet" and wait about 3 minutes.

Suddenly this fountain of sultry ambrosia shall spill forth from the spigot......

Enjoy as you like, with sugar, or with a piece of biscotti.... I prefer to shoot it myself, after first having sniffed all the aroma out of the crema. ;)

Cin Cin!!

The demitasse is "Candia", I am assuming that is the pattern name, because everything else on the bottom is written in Greek. I believe it is an Ibex on the cup, though it has a beard which may mean it's a stylized goat (which is fine, I mean I AM a Capricorn after all) but other than that, I have no idea who manufactured it.... It's all "Greek" to me... :)