Dec 27, 2012

Tomato and Corn Pie

A late Merry Christmas to everyone and a very HAPPY 2013 to all of you!! I have been eying this Tomato and Corn Pie from Closet Cooking for a little while now. I was thinking of making this one night and when I told Mr. G what was to be our dinner, he was not say the least.

Ignoring his comments, I decided to make it anyway. The results?! This pie was GOOOOOOOD!! Mr. G ate his words and half the pie!! =P

The pie crust is a savory yummy biscuit, and inside is a yummy tomato and corn filling with a bit of kick from the cayenne. Overall a wonderful yummy pie!! Although the name (and the picture) does not scream, "make me now", it really was a very good savory pie and I will definitely make this again!! Try it and let me know what you think!

Tomato and Corn Pie
from Closet Cooking

1 1/2 cups corn, about 3 ears
1 1/2 pounds beefsteak tomatoes, about 4 medium, diced
2 strips bacon, cut into small pieces and cooked (see note)
1/4 cup mayonnaise or sour cream
2 green onions, sliced
2 tbsp fresh parsley (see note), chopped
1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese, grated
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
salt and pepper to taste
2 pie crusts pastry or biscuit (recipe follows)
1 tablespoon butter, melted

1. Mix the corn, tomatoes, bacon, mayo, green onions, basil, cheddar cheese and cayenne and season with salt and pepper.

2. Fit one of the pie crusts into a 9 inch pie plate, pour in the corn and tomato mixture and fit the remaining pie crust on top folding it over the edges of the bottom one and crimping to seal in the juices.

3. Brush top of the pie with butter and cut 3-4 1-2 inch slits in the crust to let out the steam.

4. Bake in a preheated 350F oven until the top is golden brown and the filling is bubbling, about 30-40 minutes.

Biscuit Pie Crust
from Closet Cooking

2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoons salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and cut into 1/4 inch cubes
3/4 cup milk
1 tbsp dried oregano(see note)

1. Mix the flour, baking powder and salt in a food processor.

2. Add the butter and pulse until it resembles coarse meal (you can also do this with pastry cutter or two knives).

3. Add the milk and pulse until it forms a dough.

4. Split the dough in half and roll each out on a well floured surface one at a time.

  • *The original recipe calls for four strips of bacon, I only used two because I really wanted the tomato and corn to shine and not be overpowered by the bacon flavor.
  • *The original recipe calls for a handful of basil, I didn't have basil but had some parsley, so I substituted that instead.
  • *For the crust, the original recipe calls for 2 tbsp of basil, I decided to use 1 tbsp of dried oregano instead.

Dec 20, 2012

Sweet Bread French Toast

Before seeing this recipe, my French toast consists of drenching bread in lots of beaten eggs. I would use at least one egg per piece of bread. It was okay....but not quite like the ones from the restaurant. I was browsing my The New Best Recipe cookbook from Cook's Illustrated and thought I would try this!

What surprised me is there's only one egg for four servings of French toast!!! Is it just me or is that crazy? I ended up using some sweet bread for the French toast and it was so delicious!! It was nice and fluffy, not too eggy, and the perfect crisp to soft ratio. Yum!! It's also so easy, it's really doable even for a weekday morning.

Sweet Bread French Toast
from The New Best Recipe

1 large egg
2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp sugar
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
4 to 5 day old challah or sweet bread, 3/4 inch thick (see note)
unsalted butter for frying (1 tbsp per batch)

1. Heat a 10 or 12 inch skillet (preferably cast iron) over medium heat for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, beat the egg lightly in a shallow pan or pie plate; whisk in the melter butter, then the milk and vanilla, and finally the sugar, flour and salt, continuing to whisk until smooth.

2. Soak the bread without oversaturating, about 40 seconds per side for challah and 30 seconds per side for sandwich bread. pick up the bread an allow the excess batter to drip off; repeat with the remaining slices.

3. Swirl 1 tbsp butter in the hot skillet. transfer the prepared bread to the skillet in a single layer; cook until golden brown, about 1 minute 45 seconds on the first side and 1 minute on the second.. serve the French toast immediately. Continue adding 1 tbsp butter to the skillet for each new batch.

  • *You can also use sandwich bread instead of challah.  You will need about 6 to 8 slices of day old sandwich bread.  You will want to cook it for 30 seconds on the first side instead of 40 seconds. 

Dec 14, 2012

Cornflake Chocolate Chip Marshmallow Cookies

This cookie comes from the great Christina Tosi of Momofuku Milk Bar. I was so excited when I saw this book, I took a look at the Momofuku cookbook that came out before, but I wasn't too excited about it. Everything in there had so many steps; it just wasn't for the everyday cook. When it comes to baking though, I am willing to be in the kitchen all day!!

I love the recipes in this cookbook, I want to make everything. There's a recipe for Kimchi Croissant with Blue Cheese (eew?!) and Lap Cheong Foccacia!! Crazy!! I can't wait to make every single thing! For the inaugural recipe though, I chose this "simple" cookie. It doesn't sound that magical, maybe just your run of the mill kitchen sink cookie, but it really is a lot more sophisticated than that. The key is the CORNFLAKE CRUNCH!!

What is cornflake crunch? It's cornflakes mixed with milk powder, butter, sugar and salt and baked until it becomes this yummy goodness. Added to the cookies, it creates this crunchy, caramel-ly cookie that's out of this world! haha. Try it!! The only warning is YOU MUST REFRIGERATE THE DOUGH BEFORE YOU BAKE IT!! Don't skip this step or it won't come out right. Otherwise, make this and come join me in cookie heaven!

Cornflake Chocolate Chip Marshmallow Cookies
from Momofuku Milk Bar

16 tablespoons (2 sticks)/225 g butter, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups/ 250 g granulated sugar
2/3 cup/ 150 g tightly packed light brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon/ 2 g vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups/ 240 g flour
1/2 teaspoon/ 2 g baking powder
1/2 teaspoon/ 1.5 g baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons/ 5 g kosher salt
(3 cups)/3/4 recipe Cornflake Crunch (recipe follows)
2/3 cup/ 125 g mini chocolate chips
1 1/4 cups/ 65 g mini marshmallows

1. Combine the butter and sugars in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and cream together on medium-high for 2 to 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the egg and vanilla, and beat for 7 to 8 minutes.

2. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix just until the dough comes together, no longer than 1 minute. (Do not walk away from the machine during this step, or you will risk overmixing the dough.) Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula.

3. Still on low speed, paddle in the cornflake crunch and mini chocolate chips just until they’re incorporated, no more than 30 to 45 seconds. Paddle in the mini marshmallows just until incorporated.

4. Using a 2.-ounce ice cream scoop (or a 1/3-cup measure), portion out the dough onto a parchment-lined sheet pan. Pat the tops of the cookie dough domes flat. Wrap the sheet pan tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or up to 1 week. Do not bake your cookies from room temperature—they will not hold their shape.

5. Heat the oven to 375°F.

6. Arrange the chilled dough a minimum of 4 inches apart on parchment- or Silpat-lined sheet pans. Bake for 18 minutes. The cookies will puff, crackle, and spread. At the 18-minute mark, the cookies should be browned on the edges and just beginning to brown toward the center. Leave them in the oven for an additional minute or so if they aren’t and they still seem pale and doughy on the surface.

7. Cool the cookies completely on the sheet pans before transferring to a plate or to an airtight container for storage. At room temperature, the cookies will keep fresh for 5 days; in the freezer, they will keep for 1 month.

Cornflake Crunch
from Momofuku Milk Bar

1/2 (12-ounce) (5 cups)/ 170 g box cornflakes
1/2 cup/ 40 g milk powder
3 tablespoons/ 40 g sugar
1 teaspoon/ 4 g kosher salt
9 tablespoons/ 130 g butter, melted

1. Heat the oven to 275°F.

2. Pour the cornflakes in a medium bowl and crush them with your hands to one-quarter of their original size. Add the milk powder, sugar, and salt and toss to mix. Add the butter and toss to coat. As you toss, the butter will act as glue, binding the dry ingredients to the cereal and creating small clusters.

3. Spread the clusters on a parchment- or Silpat-lined sheet pan and bake for 20 minutes, at which point they should look toasted, smell buttery, and crunch gently when cooled slightly and chewed.

4. Cool the cornflake crunch completely before storing or using in a recipe. Stored in an airtight container at room temperature, the crunch will keep fresh for 1 week; in the fridge or freezer, it will keep for 1 month.

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