Tuesday, May 30, 2006
Southern Mop - adapted from Master Cook
1 cup cider vinegar
1 cup water
1/4 cup mirin
1 tablespoon crushed dried red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons dark corn syrup
1 tablespoon dry rub
Mix all ingredients in saucepan and simmer 5 minutes. It will be sour tasting, so don't panic. Baste pork butt with the mop every 20 to 30 minutes during the last couple of hours of cooking. Boil any leftover mop sauce for 5 minutes, then pour over shredded or "pulled" pork meat just before serving.
Cola BBQ Sauce - adapted from Weber
1 tablespoon dry rub
3/4 cup ketchup, generic is just fine
3/4 cup cola, generic is also fine
2 tablespoons soy sauce, Lee Kum Kee is recommended
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 teaspoon crused dried red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce, optional Lee Kum Kee recommended
1/2 cup bourbon, optional but darn good
Mix all ingredients in saucepan and simmer 5 minutes. Adjust seasonings for too salty or too sweet. Serve on pulled pork or on the side for dipping.
Saturday, May 27, 2006
LA VIDA DULCE SWEET DRY RUB - adapted from Barbecue America
1/4 cup raw sugar
1/4 cup kosher salt
1/4 cup paprika
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon granulated garlic powder
1 teaspoon ancho chile powder
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
Mix all ingredients throughly. Store in airtight container.
LA VIDA DULCE DRY RUB - adapted from Weber
1/2 cup kosher salt
1/4 cup ground black pepper
2 tablespoons paprika
1 tablespoon granulated garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 teaspoon chile powder, dealer's choice
1 teaspoon ground celery seed
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Mix ingredients thoroughly. Store in airtight container.
Each rub makes enough for two big pork butts or 3-4 racks of ribs.
If BBQ-ing pulled pork, sprinkle remaining rub on meat just before serving.
Wednesday, May 24, 2006
Thank you for contacting me regarding network neutrality, which is the principle that consumers should have access to the Internet content and applications of their choice without interference by network operators. I appreciate the opportunity to hear your views on this issue.
As a longtime advocate for network neutrality, I believe that network operators should facilitate, not stifle, Americans' access to the Internet. Consumers will suffer if network operators are allowed to discriminate against their competitors' use of the network by giving certain content preferential treatment.
I believe that individuals' ability to define and shape their experiences on the Internet has led to an explosion of creativity that has greatly benefited our economy and our lives. I fear that if network operators abandon the principle of network neutrality, the next generation of Internet innovators will be harmed.
Congress is currently considering a number of bills on this issue. As a member of the Senate Commerce Committee, which has jurisdiction over broadband and telecommunications issues, please be assured that I will continue working to ensure that the Internet remains an engine of growth for commerce and ideas.
Again, thank you for writing to me. Please do not hesitate to contact me again about this or any other issue of concern to you.
United States Senator
Tuesday, May 23, 2006
Thursday, May 18, 2006
STRAWBERRY FOOL ON THE HILL - adapted from BBC Food
4 Bauducco Champanhe sugar biscuits OR Italian savoiardi cookies,
broken into pieces, not completely crushed
8 oz. fresh strawberries, stemmed, hulled and sliced
2 tablespoons brown sugar, add more if needed
1 slice Chinese candied ginger, about 1-inch, very finely minced
1/2 pint heavy whipping cream
2 large whole strawberries stem on, 2 thin slices candied ginger,
plus additional sugar for garnishes
Chill two tall martini or parfait glasses in the freezer. Place cookies in a ziplock plastic bag and break into pieces, set aside. In a small bowl combine sliced strawberries and sugar, sweeten to taste. Cover with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator about 30 minutes. In mixer bowl pour whipping cream over minced candied ginger and refrigerate also for 30 minutes to infuse flavor. Strain the strawberries through a sieve, reserve liquid. Remove about half the sweetened sliced strawberries, set aside, then gently mash the remainder in the sieve, reserve liquid. Whip the cream into soft peaks. Fold the mashed drained strawberries into the whipped cream by hand, going for a marbled effect. To assemble dessert, place about 2 teaspoons of the reserved strawberry liquid on one saucer and sprinkle sugar on another. Holding by the stems, dip the rims of the chilled glasses into the liquid, then into the sugar. Place a couple of larger broken cookie pieces in the base of the glasses, add some of the reserved strawberry liquid and then a bit of the reserved sliced fruit. Top with strawberry ginger cream, then repeat the layers beginning with smaller pieces of cookie, liquid, slices, and finally more cream. To serve, garnish each glass with any remaining sweetened strawberries, and top with one whole berry and a thin slice of candied ginger. If desired, may be chilled in refrigerator before serving.
Friday, May 12, 2006
Coconut Cheesecake Bars - adapted from Eagle Brand
1 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs OR Marias
2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
2 packages cream cheese, 8 oz. size, softened at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup cream of coconut
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon dark rum, it couldn't hurt
2 large eggs, beaten
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 can sweetened condensed milk, 14 oz.
1/2 cup shredded coconut, for garnish
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9x12 pan. Combine crumbs and melted butter in a bowl and press into pan. Bake for only 5 minutes, to set crust. Let cool slightly. Place remaining ingredients, except shredded coconut, into mixer and combine till smooth. Pour mixture into crust. Sprinkle with shredded coconut. Bake for 20-25 minutes till set. Remove from oven and let cool. Refrigerate at least 3 hours or overnight before serving. May be kept covered with plastic wrap in refrigerator up to three days. Serves 16.
Sunday, May 07, 2006
WHEAT SANDWICH BREAD (pain ordinaire) - adapted from the CIA
Makes two loaves
2 teaspoons instant dry yeast OR one envelope instant yeast
2 cups warmed milk
2 tablespoons sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons plain salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted OR plain vegetable oil
4 cups unbleached bread flour
1 cup whole wheat flour OR King Arthur White Whole Wheat Flour*
additional butter or oil to grease loaf pans
additional flour as needed
In a sauce pan, warm milk on medium heat, just until tiny bubbles begin to form along the edge of the pan, to a temperature of about 90-110 degrees F. In the bowl of your KA stand mixer fitted with the dough hook (Arrghh, again the Pastry Pirate appears!) combine the yeast, milk, and sugar at LOWEST speed. You don't want a mess all over the place. Allow mixture to rest for a couple of minutes. Meanwhile, measure out the two flours and salt onto a large sheet of waxed paper. Add the melted butter to the mixing bowl, and starting at LOW speed, begin to add the flour mixture, holding the waxed paper, slowly pour into the bowl from the side, adding a bit at a time, not all at once. Otherwise you will be wearing the flour. Continue mixing at low speed for 5 minutes. Meanwhile lightly grease two 8-inch loaf pans and your stainless steel proofing bowl, or a "big salad" size bowl. Increase mixer speed to medium and continue kneading about 10 minutes. Dough should be smooth and elastic. Transfer dough to greased proofing bowl, turn once to coat and cover with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise until doubled in size, about 30 minutes. Remove dough and place on floured surface. Knead by hand 2-3 minutes, and divide in two. Form each piece into a smooth ball, then press into a circle, like a pizza. Starting at one end, roll into a loaf shape and pinch the seam to seal. Place each loaf in pans seam side down, pressing dough into corners. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes until crust is golden brown. To test for doneness, remove loaf from pan and tap on bottom for hollow sound. If not, place back in oven for up to another 10 minutes. When loaves are done, place on cooling rack and allow to rest for at least 30 minutes before slicing.
* available at Ralphs or online at King Arthur Flour
Friday, May 05, 2006
I have enjoyed grilled fish tacos with salsa, but the battered and fried versions served at some restaurants never tasted fresh to me, and the shredded cabbage was too soggy. Then I read an article in Gourmet written by Calvin Trillin about Tacos Baja Ensenada. I had to find this place, and Mark joined me. I had written down the address on a piece of paper, but left it at home, (DOH!) so we began our adventure on Whittier Blvd. near the I-710 Long Beach Freeway, and travelled east. Just past the intersection of Atlantic and Whittier, we found it. Now at this point I could go on about how the angels sang a heavenly chorus, and how the moon and stars sparkled and lit up the sky, but the article in Gourmet said it already. Apparently Mr. Trillin has been here before, his articles are framed and posted on the walls of the indoor dining area. These fish tacos are NOTHING like that other place! And I have yet to try anything that comes close. Bring your appetite and plan on staying a while to enjoy a leisurely meal of fish tacos, burritos, cocteles de mariscos, and cool drinks.
Tacos Baja Ensenada
5385 Whittier Blvd.
Thursday, May 04, 2006
Hairy Bikers' Guacamole - adapted from BBC UK
4 jalapenos, seeded and ribs de-veined *see note
1 cup cilantro, chopped
2 tomatoes, finely chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 white onion, finely chopped
1-2 tbsp. water
1 medium lime, juice only
3 ripe Haas avocados, diced
1. In a molcajete or mortar & pestle, pound the chiles, cilantro, tomatoes, and onion to a fine paste. You can also use a food processor and gently pulse a couple of times. Pour into serving dish.
2. Add a little water and lime juice to thin. Mash in the avocados. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve with tortilla chips. Go easy on the salt in the guac if the chips are salty.
*Note: the heat of the chile is in the ribs, not so much in the seeds, so if you want more kick, leave it all in. Otherwise, remove the seeds and ribs. Wash your hands thoroughly after handling any kind of chile, do not touch anything or it will burn like the dickens. Wear gloves if you must, but wash all utensils and cutting boards as well.
One container at least 8 -10 ounces of your favorite fresh OR jar salsa from the supermarket
Three large Haas avocados, slightly mashed
Juice of one lime
Kosher salt and ground black pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients in bowl, add more salsa if desired, adjust seasoning and serve with Super A tortilla chips!
Wednesday, May 03, 2006
This simple dessert is a real treat, makes people think you know what you're doing. It requires only a few ingredients, but the key is using fresh produce and good rum, don't go El Cheapo on this one. Great for backyard barbecue parties. If you have a cast iron grill pan, it works just as well indoors, to get those nice grill marks. Be sure to brush the pineapple with a neutral flavor oil, so as not to pick up anything that would clash and ruin this dessert. You can also skewer pineapple chunks, pop them on the grill and serve with the lovely rum sauce.
Grilled Pineapple and Rum Sauce - adapted from Chef2Chef
Makes 8 servings
1/2 cup ginger ale
3/4 cup sugar
1 lime, zest and juice
1 lemon, zest and juice
1 orange, zest and juice
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1/2 cup dark rum, we prefer Meyers
1 large fresh pineapple
Canola or plain vegetable oil, for grilling
Vanilla ice cream, optional, we prefer Rite Aid Coconut Pineapple Ice Cream
Toasted coconut, optional garnish
Combine the first six ingredients in a sauce pan. Bring to a simmer and lower heat. Once the sugar melts, then add the rum, doing this away from the burner to avoid any flare-ups. Reduce to syrup consistency and turn off heat. Meanwhile, clean and core pineapple and cut into 1/2 inch thick rings. Brush with a little oil and grill over medium heat, turning once, about one minute per side.
Serve with citrus rum syrup drizzled over top and top with ice cream and toasted coconut, if desired.
Monday, May 01, 2006
Margarita Pie - adapted from Eagle Brand
1 1/4 cups crushed Marias cookies
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 can Magnolia or Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk
1/3 cup fresh lime juice
3 tablespoons tequila
1 tablespoon triple sec
1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream, whipped
Garnishes: whipped cream, orange, lemon, or lime twist, mint leaves
Combine cookie crumbs, butter & sugar. Press into 9-inch pie pan and chill while making pie filling. In a large bowl mix condensed milk, juices and liquors. Gently fold in the whipped cream. Spread filling into pie shell and refrigerate or freeze at least 4 hours until firm. To serve top with your choice of garnishes. Makes 6-8 servings.
Strawberry Margarita Pie: Use only 1/4 cup lime juice and add 1 cup diced fresh strawberries, folding in with whipped cream.