Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Blueberry Scones

Holy cow -  I cannot believe it’s been a month since my last post! It’s been killer at work and have had many social activities that's too good to pass up. However, this does not mean the cooking has stopped. I’ve been doing versions of a certain fireball that had some office-mates running the other direction at the mention of my food :P I’m finalizing this so stay tuned,  am excited how version 3 turns out. 

Now the recipe on hand is one of my go-to’s if I’m not feeling particularly adventurous but am in need of something to “wow” the crowd. While I’m sure you’ve seen a million blueberry scone recipes online, I feel strongly about sharing this to add to your repertoire of foolproof basic recipes. This is a recipe I’ve adapted from Cooks Illustrated. There was not much tweaking necessary here.


Takeaways
Typical recipes get you scones that are… hard. I’ve never had the “real thing” but I do know what I don’t like about some scones: hard, tasteless and too sweet. My ideal scone ought to hold its shape but remain soft inside. Butter is a must in here. A technique introduced by Cooks Illustrated is grating butter instead of cutting it into the flour. A good rule of thumb when you want soft and flaky dough is to not overwork it. I feel that it’s hard to do this using food processors and pastry cutters, because it takes time to cut the butter into the flour. By grating the butter, you’re left with pieces small enough that all you would need to do is to pat it until it’s combined with the flour. 




Monday, March 21, 2011

Breakfast Sandwich Makes A Comeback


Out on my usual Saturday afternoon scavenging, I head to Sur La Table. In there I walk around, feasting my eyes on pots, spoons and the fish turner I’ve been salivating on for weeks… There’s always a tug and play between these things and myself. While I could easily purchase it, I hold back because I can’t quite justify it. The reason could be finding a space in the kitchen, how soon/often I’ll be using it, I haven’t read any reviews, compared prices and the list goes on. But there’s one item I almost never hesitate to purchase: books. Specifically, cookbooks. On this day, hiding behind the usual Food Network fare is ‘wichcraft.


Music: It's Business Time by Flight of the Conchords  

Wichcraft is a New York based restaurant, serving up sandwiches. The restaurant boasts sandwiches made from ingredients that are local and seasonal. The idea was concocted based on the chef’s experience of making sandwiches out of the leftover meats after the restaurant has closed. His concept was simple: make the ingredients great to eat on it’s own and use quality bread. As I scroll through the pages of the book,  this breakfast sandwich caught my eye. Eggs - good. Bacon - good. Frisée - dressed frisée? And gorgonzola cheese - very interesting.



In keeping with their seasonal theme, I opted to use arugula in this recipe instead of frisée. There was none in any of my usual stores so I assumed it wasn’t in season.  I did a little digging and found out it’s in season spring-summer. Arugula and spinach were my choices so I picked arugula.  Arugula has a nice peppery bite which I thought would complement the bacon and gorgonzola well.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Chicken Club Fried Rice


I feel that fried rice is one of those dishes that never quite gets the recognition it deserves. Google it: day old rice… clean out you fridge… throw in some left over meat… bada-bing bada-boom and you got yourself a cheap meal. This perception saddened me. Just go to your favorite Chinese joint and look around you, it’s present on many tables.   Fried rice miraculously complements any entrée in the menu. By itself, is fabulous. Plus, veggies and carnivores can dig in harmony. But it’s almost become an afterthought. So in this week’s post, I pay tribute to the one that many of us love yet may have overlooked. I present – chicken club fried rice



Takeaways
I’ve titled this club because the recipe was developed to infuse bacon in every bite. The flavor from the bacon comes from rendering the fat. The liquefied fat is bacon gold – there’s your base flavor, no additional tutelage necessary to make it taste good.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Stylish Blogger Award #1 and 2

The beginning of this month kicked off with a bang -  I reached my 2000th page visit and received not 1 but 2 Stylish Blogger Awards within the same week! Boy was I walking on clouds last week :)

I'd like to thank 2 lovely ladies who has passed this award to this blog:

Tina @ www.pinaycookingcorner.com

I am so honored to be given this award by both of you -  especially since I am a fan of your blogs!

Following the protocols of the blog -  here are 7 tidbits about me:
  1. I'm a total prankster... my most recent activity: collecting the holes from the hole puncher in the office for months.  We used this to fill a friend's umbrella in time for the rainy season. Turned out he loaned it to someone else and we have yet to find out what happened :P
  2. Birds scare me.
  3. I cry easily watching movies - I can't help it, I am such a girl!
  4. Also, am the type to drag someone to a scary movie and watch it half the time with my eyes covered. 
  5. I am horrible at writing messages on greeting cards.  We pass around so many of them in the office, I think I ran out of things to say.  My most famous yet is "Happy Birthday - you are now old..."
  6. While most friends would say my dream is world domination -  I would really love to be able to just travel the world and learn about what people eat.
  7. I will never hear the end of it from him, but oh well :P The boyfriend is the driver behind much of the ideas I've had about cooking. Sure there are differences in opinions but he's right about 80% of the time...
Now for the best part - I'd like to pass on this award to the following styling bloggers:

Tes @ tesathome.com 
Boulder Locavore @ boulderlocavore.blogspot.com
Cherry Tea Cakes @ www.cherryteacakes.com
Doggie Bag It @ www.doggiebagit.com
Ping's Pickings @ pingspickings.blogspot.com
WellJourn @ www.welljourn.org

Should you accept this award, here are the rules:
  1. Thank the blogger who presented this award, make a post, and put a link back to the person/s who gave this award.
  2. Share 7 things about yourself.
  3. Pass the award along to 10 recently discovered great bloggers.
  4. Contact these bloggers and personally tell them about the award.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Corn & Parmesan Ice Cream

There’s an ice cream that I grew up eating in Philippines - they call it sorbetes. The sorbetes man would push his cart around the neighborhood, ringing the bell and yelling out “Ice cream! Ice cream!”  I remember racing to him, clutching my merienda money. Leaning on the cart, tiptoeing to get a glimpse. I loved the way the cold air hits my face as he slides the opening of the cart. The wooden bucket is filled with 2 flavors: ube and cheese. You can smell these flavors along with the ice particles and the sea-salt lining the bucket. I’d get both flavors, of course! And because I was a regular, he gives me an extra cone to top the ice cream. Here was a technique of mine:  with the ice cream held firmly in place using both cones, turn it horizontally and rotate as you lick. No head tilting or lost scoops here –



Here I tried to re-create the cheese ice cream but was not successful at researching a recipe that sounded legit. At first, I couldn’t pinpoint the type of cheese used for the ice cream of my youth. But soon I was horrified to read the “cheese” used in today’s commercial ice cream. I will not go into it because that would comprise of a full pledge post. Refocused, my research pulled up variations with cheddar, gorgonzola, goat’s cheese and parmesan – there were plenty! Parmesan came the closest to the taste I was looking for:  a little sweet, a little salty and a little nutty. I had also been planning on doing a corn-based ice cream – so I thought, why not?

ping services