Archive for the ‘recipes’ Category
Bread, ham, and butter.
So very simple. But often it’s the simplest things that are the best.
This was another treat from the France portion of our trip. We bought it at the bakery right before we left Paris, and ate it that night after we arrived at the hotel in Germany.
(And then instantly regretted not discovering it earlier in our trip!)
It’s so simple, it’s almost embarassing to post a recipe for it – but something about the combination of crusty bread, good ham, and high-quality European butter is just so very delicious.
- crusty baguette
- thick-sliced ham
- good-quality European butter
- Cut the baguette into sandwich-sized lengths. Slice each piece in half, lengthwise.
- Spread each half with a thick layer of butter.
- Layer several slices of ham on the bottom half of the bread, then top with the other half.
Every time we travel, Son and I always come back with a long list of foods we want to try making at home.
(Usually, that list includes every single thing we ate on our trip.)
Normally, it remains a long list, and we never actually get around to trying to cook any of the foods we had on our trip. But for some reason, this trip was different – I actually managed to replicate, or make my own version of, many of the foods we ate in Europe.
I had originally intended to post each travel post with a recipe… but let’s be realistic, I’d never have written a single post if I’d had to try to cook something for every single restaurant we tried. And also, life has a tendency of getting away from me – although we’re long past the London portion of the trip, there are still a good five recipes that I actually did make, that haven’t made it to the blog yet!
But such is life.
The recipes will show up here and there, I imagine.
But let’s start with this one: as I mentioned in the post about our dinner at Les Cocottes, I’ve never before been so enamored with a salad. Something so good… I just had to try it out at home!
The lovely thing about this is that it’s incredibly easy to make, and quite elegant to serve. The most difficult part about this is poaching the eggs… which isn’t even that hard to do! (Seriously – this was my first time ever in my life poaching eggs, and I was terrified… and then it turned out to be nothing at all.)
There’s a bite from the frisée, a tang from the vinnaigrette, richness from the bacon, and creaminess from the poached eggs. Serve with some toasted baguette slices, and you’ve got the perfect lunch – or an excellent start to a dinner party!
Recipe from The Kitchn
- 4 cups (about 4 oz) frisée lettuce, torn into large bite-size pieces
- 1-2 slices thick bacon, sliced against the grain into 1/4″ pieces
- 1 tbsp white vinegar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 medium shallot, finely minced
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Cook the bacon pieces in a small skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until golden brown. Remove from heat. Transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate to drain, reserving the rendered fat.
- Fill a saucepan with 4 inches of water and add the white vinegar. Bring the mixture to a gentle simmer. Crack each egg into small bowl, being careful not to break the yolks. With a slotted spoon, stir the simmering water to create a whirlpool, then slide the first egg into the middle of the swirl. Using the back of the spoon, coax the whites to stay close to the yolk. Repeat with the second egg. Simmer the eggs for 2-3 minutes. When cooked, use the slotted spoon to transfer each egg to a bowl of warm water. Trim off any straggling pieces of cooked egg white.
- Place the frisée in a large bowl.
- Reheat the skillet with the rendered bacon fat over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the red wine vinegar and mustard and stir to combine. Stir in the bacon pieces.
- Immediately pour the hot dressing over the greens and toss. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Divide the salad between two bowls and top each with a poached egg. Season the eggs with additional salt and pepper, if desired. Serve immediately.
Happy Pi(e) Day!!!
As a unabashed math nerd, this is definitely my favorite food holiday.
Because really, who doesn’t love an excuse to eat pie?!
And since pi(e) day falls oh so close to St. Patrick’s Day, a Beef and Guinness Pie fits the holidays perfectly!
I had originally intended for this to be part of the Fridgg Top Ten series we were doing for about a month. It was so much fun to have an excuse to cook all sorts of recipes that I might not otherwise! But it took so much time… and there were a lot of things that I was “supposed” to make that just weren’t things that would get eaten around here – like waaaay more desserts that a household of two can (or should!) reasonably consume.
You’ll still see some of the recipes – there were quite a few things that got cooked and photographed for future Top Ten posts that will show up on Fridgg eventually. But this is the year where we’re letting go of all the things that just don’t work for us… and the Top Ten series just wasn’t working.
But back to the pie! Definitely no regret about trying this recipe out. I made it during a period of cold and rain… so I can authoritatively tell you that it’s perfect comfort food.
Confession… we didn’t use the Guinness. We don’t love the taste, don’t typically have beer in the house, and let’s be honest, I was just plain too damn lazy to go out and get some just for this recipe. So I replaced it with an equal amount of beef stock.
Don’t do what I did. Holy mother of ducks, was it salty! If you don’t want to use the Guinness, maybe replace it with a different beer, or use half beef stock and half water instead?
But despite the beef stock faux pas, this was still really, really tasty.
Whether you’re celebrating Pi(e) Day or St. Patrick’s Day… you should definitely try this!
Beef and Guinness Pie
Recipe from Abbe’s Cooking Antics.
Warning: if you’re going to make this, read all the directions ahead of time! In total it will take at least 5 hours to make, although most of that time is hands-off so you can do something else at the same time.
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 red onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
- 2 sticks celery, chopped
- 4oz white mushrooms, sliced
- 1lb good quality stewing steak
- 1 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped OR 1 tsp dried rosemary
- pinch of salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1 heaping tbsp plain flour
- 9 fl oz Guinness (half a can)
- 4 fl oz beef stock
- 4oz cheddar cheese, grated
- 2 store-bought pie crusts, or your favorite recipe for a double crust
- 1 egg, beaten
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Heat the olive oil in a large ovenproof saucepan on a low heat.
- Add the onions and fry gently for about 10 minutes.
- Turn the heat up, add the garlic, carrots, celery, mushrooms, beef, rosemary, salt, and pepper. Stir it all together gently.
- Cook for 3 or 4 minutes, then stir in the flour and cook for a minute before pouring in the Guinness and beef stock.
- Bring to a simmer, then cover the pan with a lid and place in the preheated oven for about 1 and half hours.
- Remove the pan from the oven and give it a stir then put it back into the oven and continue to cook for another hour, or until the meat is very tender. Remove from the oven.
- If at this stage your beef pie filling is still a bit wet, put it back on the stovetop and simmer gently to reduce the sauciness a bit. If it’s too wet your pie base will turn to mush – too dry and you’ll have no sauce in your pie.
- When you’re happy with the consistency, stir in half of the cheese, and remove from any heat.
- Allow to cool for at least an hour (to prevent a soggy pie bottom).
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Grease a pie dish with butter.
- Dust a clean work surface with flour and roll out one half of your pie crusts to 1/8″ thick.
- Line the base of your greased pie dish with the crust.
- Roll out the remaining crust to the same thickness, large enough to form a lid.
- Spoon the pie filling into your crust-lined pie dish.
- Scatter the other half of the cheddar across the top of the pie filling.
- Brush the beaten egg around the edges of the crust, then place the second pie crust on top.
- Pinch the edges together to form a crust and trim to fit the pie dish.
- Brush the top with beaten egg and make a small slit with a knife in the center of your pie crust, to allow steam to escape.
- Bake the pie for 45 minutes, or until the pastry is cooked, puffed, and golden.
After yesterday’s face-off between Thin Mints and Samoas, I couldn’t let Thin Mints just run away with the victory that easily!
I mean, that Thin Mint Oreo Milkshake was insanely delicious, and I can’t deny it deserved to win, but… to be honest, I’ve kind of always been just a bit more of a Samoas girl.
This Samoas bark was something I made for my sister last year for Christmas – we were visiting my grandparents for Christmas, and I wanted to be able to give my siblings something, but didn’t want to have to lug all their Christmas gifts all the way to Arizona and back.
Since Kristen’s known for being a lover of all things Samoas, I had the idea of making a Samoas-inspired chocolate bark for her. (Patrick got homemade licorice caramels – I’ll be posting that recipe later this year.)
When I thought up the idea, I did a quick search to see if anybody had made this before. And while yes, of course there are people who’ve made Samoas-inspired chocolate bark before, none of the recipes out there were quite what I had in mind.
This recipe couldn’t possibly be simpler. Layers of chocolate, shortbread, caramel, coconut, and more chocolate – just like the Girl Scout cookie! Except even more decadent, because you get way more chocolate and caramel in every bite with this version. (No regrets.)
If you like Samoas, then you’ll definitely love this bark – and love how easy it is to make!
- 22 oz chocolate, divided
- 10.6 oz (2 packages) Walkers shortbread
- 22 oz caramel bits
- 1 cup coconut
- Line a small rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Melt 15 oz of the chocolate in a double-boiler, or in 30-second increments in the microwave, stirring well in-between microwaving.
- Spread the chocolate evenly over the parchment paper.
- Put the shortbread in a ziplock bag, seal the bag, then use a rolling pin to crush the shorbread into crumbs. Spread the crumbs evenly over the chocolate, and lightly press into the chocolate with your fingers. Let the chocolate cool completely before proceeding.
- Melt the caramel in a double-boiler, or in 30-second increments in the microwave, stirring well in-between microwaving. Stir in the coconut.
- Spread the caramel mixture evenly over the shortbread.
- Melt the remaining 7 oz of chocolate. Drizzle the chocolate over the caramel, to create stripes. Let everything cool completely.
- When the bark is completely cool, use the parchment paper to remove the bark from the baking sheet, and place the parchment-lined bark on a cutting board. Using a sharp knife, cut the bark into triangles (or whatever shape you prefer).
When it comes to Girl Scout Cookies, are you Team Thin Mints, or Team Samoas?
Everybody’s one or the other. My mom? Team Thin Mints. My sister… solidly in Team Samoas.
But what about Tagalongs, I ask you? Or Do-Si-Dos? Or the classic but unfairly maligned Trefoils?
Those cookies are great and all… but I guarantee you, it’s the Thin Mints and Samoas people go for first.
(Trust me – I used to be a Girl Scout!)
So on Fridgg, which cookie comes out as the winner – Thin Mints or Samoas?
Thin Mints get an early lead, with Laurie’s no-churn Thin Mint ice cream and Thin Mint truffles edging out Deb’s Samoas scones!
And it looks like the Thin Mints are keeping their lead, with Jamie’s Thin Mint-inspired naughty Girl Scout cocktail and Justine’s Thin Mint pots de creme – although Claire’s Samoa cookie doughnuts do look delicious!
But wait – do Samoas have a chance? Lisa’s Samoa rice krispie treats, Phillip’s Samoa mini doughnuts, and Jess’ homemade Samoa cookies all look like winners!
But alas, it wasn’t to be! Team Thin Mints takes the win, with this boozy Thin Mint Oreo Bailey’s Irish Cream milkshake from Peabody!
Did your team win? Tell me who you were rooting for!
(As for me? I’m Team Tagalongs. I’m a rebel like that. 😉)
Obviously, I had to try out the winning milkshake – because when you mix Thin Mints, Oreos, ice cream, and booze, everybody wins!
And my goodness, was it delicious! It tastes like drinking minty oreos… not a bad way to enjoy your Girl Scout Cookies!
Thin Mint Oreo Bailey’s Irish Cream Milkshake
Recipe barely adapted from Sweet Recipeas.
- 4 large scoops of good vanilla ice cream
- 100ml (about 3 oz) Bailey’s Mint Irish Cream (or an equivalent amount of milk for a non-alcoholic drink)
- 4 Thin Mint cookies
- 4 Double-Stuffed Oreos
- whipped cream and extra cookies to garnish
- Add the ice cream, booze or milk, Thin Mints, and Oreos to a blender. Starting low and slowly increasing the speed, blend until smooth.
- Pour into a glass, and top with whipped cream and additional cookies.