Posts for April 6th 2010
Savory Soft Pretzels
1-1/2 cups lukewarm water
1 package active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
4-1/2 cups flour
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
2 teaspoons table salt
1 large egg, separated
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons baking soda
Coarse salt, for sprinkling
- Preheat the oven to 400°. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. In a small bowl, whisk together the water and yeast; let stand for 5 minutes.
- Using a standing mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine the flour, brown sugar and table salt. Mix in the egg yolk, butter and yeast mixture on low speed until the dough is smooth and elastic, 5 to 7 minutes. Let the dough rest for 5 minutes.
- In a large, shallow baking dish, combine the baking soda with 2 cups warm water. On a work surface, divide the dough into 6 equal pieces. Using your hands, roll out each piece into a rope about 42 inches long; dip in the baking soda mixture for 30 seconds. Using the prepared pans as a work surface, shape each rope into a pretzel.
- In a small bowl, beat the egg white with 1 tablespoon water. Brush the pretzels with the egg white mixture. Sprinkle with the coarse salt and bake until deep golden, 12 to 15 minutes.
From Everyday Food
Sweet Soft Pretzels
1 pound store-bought pizza dough, thawed if frozen
All-purpose flour, for work surface
1/3 cup finely chopped nuts or 1/2 cup chopped chocolate or 2 tablespoons fennel seed
Olive oil, for bowl and baking sheet
3 tablespoons baking soda
2 tablespoons coarse sugar
- Place dough on a lightly floured work surface; sprinkle with nuts, chocolate, or fennel seed. Gently knead to incorporate. Transfer to an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rest 1 hour.
- Divide dough into 8 equal pieces. On a lightly floured work surface, roll each piece into an 18-inch-long rope. To shape dough into pretzels, form each dough rope into a U-shape and twist ends twice. Fold twisted end down and pinch to secure (see below). Transfer pretzels to an oiled baking sheet and let rest 20 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Bring a large pot of water to a boil; add baking soda. In batches, boil pretzels until puffed and slightly shiny, about 1 minute. With a slotted spoon, transfer to a wire rack to drain. Return pretzels to baking sheet; sprinkle with sugar. Bake until golden brown and cooked through, 10 to 15 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through. Serve warm or at room temperature. (To store, keep at room temperature, up to 2 days.)
While PartySugar was pressing a sandwich with smoked ham and cherry mustard, I was busy placing my own honey-glazed Easter leftovers between slices of bread. I was drawn to this nontraditional ham salad, which is made with chopped ham, cream cheese, and Dijon mustard and mango chutney for tang and sweetness. I used a spinoff of Major Grey's Chutney, a ginger-mango preserve created two centuries ago by a British Army officer. When combined with dense pumpernickel bread and thinly sliced cucumbers, the result is a tea sandwich with a spicy, lemon-tinged twist. The recipe, when you read on.
From Martha Stewart
1 1/2 pounds strawberries, hulled
3 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 1/2 cups finely ground graham crackers, (about 4 sheets)
1 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 pound plus 13 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped and reserved
8 3/4 ounces mascarpone cheese, room temperature
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
- Place strawberries in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with corn syrup, and toss gently to coat.
- Bake until syrup thickens and strawberries turn deep red and shrink slightly, about 1 hour 30 minutes.
- Transfer strawberries and syrup to a medium bowl, and mash with a potato masher. Let cool completely.
- Raise oven temperature to 350 degrees.
- Stir together graham cracker crumbs, 3 tablespoons sugar, and the melted butter in a small bowl. Press mixture into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan to make an even layer. Bake until crust is firm to the touch and has just darkened, about 10 minutes.
- Transfer pan to a wire rack, and let crust cool completely.
- Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees.
- Put cream cheese into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; mix on medium-low speed until creamy, about 2 minutes.
- Scrape down sides of bowl, then gradually add remaining cup sugar and the salt.
- Scrape down sides of bowl; add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing well after each addition.
- Scrape down sides of bowl, and mix in vanilla bean seeds and mascarpone until very creamy and no lumps remain, about 3 minutes. (Reserve vanilla bean for another use.)
- Transfer 5 cups cream cheese mixture to bowl with mashed strawberries; stir to combine.
- Pour strawberry-cream cheese mixture on top of crust; smooth with an offset spatula. Carefully spoon dollops of plain cream cheese mixture on top, smoothing with an offset spatula.
- Wrap the exterior of the springform pan in 2 layers of foil; set in a large roasting pan. Fill roasting pan with boiling water until water reaches halfway up the sides of the springform pan.
- Bake cheesecake until set, about 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes.
- Remove springform pan from water bath, and transfer to a wire rack to cool.
- Refrigerate until cold, at least 4 hours (up to overnight).
Over the past couple of days, the staff behind my favorite food magazine, Food & Wine, has been building excitement toward their annual announcement of the Best New Chefs. Editor-in-chief Dana Cowin tweeted 10 clues that alluded to each chef's restaurant and this morning, the glossy launched an iPhone application devoted to featuring past Best New Chefs.
Later tonight, in New York City, there is a glitzy party celebrating the 10 chefs! Receiving the title of Food & Wine Best New Chef is a prestigious one that's similar to winning a James Beard Award, and everyone from Thomas Keller to Michael Schlow to David Chang was, at one point, a Best New Chef. Find out who this year's lucky 10 are after the break.
As the weather begins to take on a warmer outlook, celebrations of food and drink finally come out of hibernation. From the Beer, Bourbon, & BBQ festival a stone's throw from Baltimore to strawberry celebrations in Texas and Louisiana, there's plenty of Spring festival spirit.
Personally, I'm dreaming of sipping Gruner, playing golf, and rubbing elbows with the likes of Eric Ripert at this year's Pebble Beach Food & Wine Festival, but I'll settle for swirling wine and shopping bottles at the SF Vintners Market! Where will your travels take you? Let us know below.
- Chapel Hill, NC: The Social History of the Martini with Dale DeGroff — April 7
- Dallas, TX: Dining Out in Dallas: Battle of the Chefs — April 7
- Boston, MA: Taste of the Nation Boston — April 8
- Vail, CO: Taste of Vail — April 8-10
- Pebble Beach, CA: Pebble Beach Food & Wine — April 8-11
- Clear Lake, TX: Crawfish Festival — April 9-10
- Timonium, MD: Beer, Bourbon, & BBQ Festival — April 9-10
- Poteet, TX: Poteet Strawberry Festival — April 9-11
- Ponchatoula, LA: Ponchatoula Strawberry Festival — April 9-11
- San Francisco, CA: SF Vintner's Market — April 10-11
- Baltimore, MD: Michael Pollan Lecture: In Defense of Food — April 13
Garlicky Steak and Asparagus
1 12- to 14-oz. boneless beef top loin (strip) steak, cut about 3/4 inch thick
1 or 2 large cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
1/2 tsp. cracked or coarsely ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. salt
8 to 10 thin asparagus spears, trimmed (6 oz.)
2 tsp. garlic-flavored olive oil or olive oil
1/2 cup beef broth
1 Tbsp. dry white wine
1/4 tsp. Dijon-style mustard
- Rub the steak on both sides with a mixture of the garlic, pepper, and salt, pressing in the mixture with your fingers.
- Place the asparagus in a shallow dish and drizzle with the oil.
- For sauce, in a medium skillet stir together the broth and wine. Cook over high heat for 4 to 5 minutes or until mixture is reduced to 1/4 cup. Whisk in mustard; keep warm.
- Preheat an indoor electric grill on high setting, if available. Place steak on the grill rack. If using a covered grill, close lid. Grill until steak is desired doneness. (For a covered grill, allow 3 to 4 minutes for medium rare or 5 to 7 minutes for medium. For an uncovered grill, allow 6 to 8 minutes for medium rare or 8 to 10 minutes for medium, turning steak once.) If space allows, add asparagus to covered grill for the last 2 to 3 minutes or for uncovered grill the last 4 to 5 minutes of grilling. Cook asparagus until crisp-tender. Alternately, place steak on the unheated rack of a broiler pan. Broil 3 to 4 inches from the heat for 8 to 10 minutes for medium rare or 10 to 12 minutes for medium, turning once and adding asparagus to the rack of the broiler pan the last 2 minutes of broiling.
- Spoon sauce on serving plate. Cut steak in half crosswise. Serve steak halves atop sauce with asparagus on top.