Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The Buttermilk Effect: Part 2 Buttermilk Pie





So my search for the next recipe in the buttermilk series, led me on a goose chase.  Not necessarily a “wild” goose chase, but a goose chase non-the-less.  Basically it resulted in my searching of buttermilk in the index of my reference cookbooks.  Buttermilk chicken, buttermilk biscuits, buttermilk with red tomatoes….Curious, buttermilk pie.



I had never heard of buttermilk pie.  So I did some research.  Buttermilk pie is a “custard like pie” traditionally made with eggs, vanilla, and buttermilk.  It originated in the United Kingdom, but now is predominately a southern pie.  I found the recipe in “The Martha Stewart Cookbook”.  It intrigued me from the start.  Would it taste like buttermilk?  What would the consistency look like and feel like?  I had some buttermilk to use up after all and this recipe was it’s starring role. 


I can tell some of you are saying “Yeah right Sara, buttermilk tastes terrible this pie is not the pie for me”.  I know, I thought the same thing, but it makes a really great pie!  My mother can’t stand pie, but she loved this!  It has a very light lemon flavor and it is not too sweet.  Ok, just look how pretty it is!!!!!

The first thing I had to do, was make a crust.  Martha Stewart’s cookbook recommended a Pate Brisee’ crust.  It is a simple crust that requires only a few ingredients and a some time to chill in the refrigerator.  I made crust in 10 minutes in the bowl of my food processor.  Step one done.  Step two is to make the filling and that wasn’t very hard either.  All you need to do is mix the rest of ingredients together and pour it into your prepared pie crust and bake.  You could use a purchased pie crust if you wanted too.  I challenge you to make this from scratch.  It isn’t that hard and the reward you will get when you see the pie will amaze you.

Stay tuned for the next installment of “The Buttermilk Effect” (pretend you heard my voice booming in your head),when we will learn about buttermilk and what it does to your meat.


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Buttermilk Effect: Three different ways to use buttermilk. Part One…..



Ok, so sometimes when I go to the grocery store, I buy things I might not use.  I buy things “just in case”.  Example:  I need to bake or make something right now and I am a missing one ingredient in every single recipe I look at.  So I had better buy that one ingredient the next time I go to the store, so I am never in that terrible predicament again, but then I run out of time to make that recipe and I am stuck with an ingredient that will most likely expire and end up going down the drain.  Buttermilk.  It is one of the ingredients I always buy because all the recipes I want to make call for it, and it always goes bad because, I can’t get to it in time.  There may have been an instance, when I never even opened the container, but it was in refrigerator….just in case.


This time, things are going to be different.  I will use up my buttermilk before it’s time passes on.  This time, I will make amazing things with it, so it doesn’t feel lonely in the back of the refrigerator.  I have selected three recipes to show case buttermilk.  An appetizer or side choice, a dinner and a dessert, each using buttermilk in a different way.   For those of you who might not know, buttermilk is the liquid left after butter has been made.  It is very,very tangy and not all that pleasant to drink.  It can be used in a variety of dishes and I intend to show a few of them.


A common use of buttermilk is in baking.  Biscuits are delicious made with buttermilk.  Buttermilk gives the biscuits a tender and flaky crumb.  I absolutely love biscuits.  I would rather have a biscuit for breakfast than an English muffin, or for lunch as bread for my sandwich. Dinner is also a perfect opportunity to showcase biscuits on the side.  They are so easy to make too!  No one needs to use the boxed mix.  You have all the ingredients you need to make biscuits.  You might need to buy the buttermilk.

This weeks recipe, Cheddar Chive and Jalapeno Biscuits, is from one of my newest acquisition.  Joy the Baker (joythebaker.com) is a blog that I never knew existed until I found the cookbook at my grocery store.  I opened the book and the pages magically opened to a recipe called Peanut butter bacon cookies. (oh don’t you worry, these will be coming up) I was hooked!  I came home, read the bio for the author, looked her up on the web and have been following Joy every since.  Joy’s cookbook is easy to read, hilarious and encouraging.  Joy creates simple recipes for things you would never imagine combining, and everything looks so mouth-wateringly delicious. 

Stay tuned for the next two posts to find out more!


Saturday, January 19, 2013

Bread Pudding And Chocolate Sauce




I have never been a big fan of bread pudding.  I don’t know if it is a texture issue or a flavor issue.  I have had bread pudding that have had both of those such problems.  Sometimes it seems like the bread pudding tastes like an egg casserole, or in one case, at a restaurant that is no longer open, it tasted like lobster.  Yes, lobster.  I think convenience plays a big part in my bread pudding lack of interest.  I never have enough bread on hand to make proper bread pudding.   When I come across recipes of bread pudding, I usually turn the page and never give it another thought.  Well, that was before this one. 


Something happened this week that made me give bread pudding a second thought.  I found a recipe that gave me pause and the next day someone gave me a loaf of leftover bread and I had everything in my inventory to make the recipe.  So I had a recipe that intrigued me, a loaf of bread, and all the ingredients.  The stars had aligned.  It was time to give bread pudding another shot. 


I have a secret.  I have been in love with Jamie Oliver, well let’s just say…. FOREVER!  I have almost all of his cookbooks and I have watched all of his shows.  I have another secret. I have never made anything in any of his cookbooks ( I have eight of them).  Jamie’s cookbooks are beautiful, well written and fun to read.  He is fun to watch and he makes things seem so easy.  The bread pudding recipe that is gracing this blog post is his.  Finally.  I found the recipe in “Jamie’s America”, a book he created to pay homage to the United States.  Jamie traveled the country and fell in love with all of the different regions of cooking and made the recipes his own.  “Bread Pudding with Chocolate Sauce” came from the Louisiana chapter. 

The original recipe is called “Bread Pudding with Chocolate Beer sauce”.  Beer was the only ingredient I didn’t have on hand, so I omitted it.  I used an Italian style loaf of bread that had been sitting around for a few days.  I also substituted chopped, toasted, slivered almonds instead of pecans.  Other than that the recipe was pretty straight forward. 

Also…… it was delicious!  The chocolate flavor was absolutely intense.  The nuts gave it a good crunch and the texture wasn’t soggy or eggie at all.  The white sauce you see in the picture isn’t a fancy addition.  It is melted vanilla ice cream!  Please give this a try!


Sunday, January 13, 2013

Scallion Cheddar Potato Pancakes



These are what I want for breakfast.  I love breakfast, but not a sweet breakfast.  Ok, so I don’t like eggs either.  I know crazy.  I am a pain in the buns when we go out for breakfast.  No pancakes, no French toast, no omelets, nothing left but, oatmeal (blurgh) and assorted pastries.  Ok, so I do like pancakes, but prefer them cold with peanut butter.  Every once in a while when we go out for breakfast I get lucky.  Potato pancakes or lox and a bagel are my favorite breakfasts.  It would be really cool to have lox on potato pancakes.  Can we say heaven?

A few nights ago we had breakfast for dinner.  I made my family pancakes and sausage.  While their pancakes were griddling, I took the opportunity to make myself something special.  I took a simple latke or potato pancake recipe and made it my own.  I also got to use a new pan.  I am the proud new owner of a cast iron skillet.  These pancakes cooked beautifully in the pan.  The heat stayed even and the edges of the pancakes were crisp and golden. You can use any type of skillet you have.  I added some oil to my pan, but if you wanted to be more health conscience, you can easily make these in a nonstick pan.  The finished dish was perfect!  I think it could be accepted on any breakfast menu!


Just a note, I didn’t use a cookbook for this one.  I mixed what I wanted into the pancake batter and used what I liked.  Please feel free to change the ingredients around.  Just make sure you dry your potatoes and add egg and flour to help the pancakes bind. I only used two potatoes and produced six pancakes of fairly good size.





Thursday, January 10, 2013

Luscious Lemon Bars






So I love sweet.  I love easy. I like recipes I don’t have to run to the store to get a single ingredient for.  Life handed me lemons. (I actually bought them) I made Luscious Lemon Bars.


I didn’t buy lemons for this recipe.  I bought lemons just to have in the house.  I love having tea with lemon, water with lemon, chicken with lemon, lemon with lemon……  I love the smell of lemon dish detergent and lemon perfume (not the same thing).  So I was wandering around the house and realized it is the January and summer is a long way off.  I need sunshine!  Lemons are like sunshine!  Lemon bars are like eating sunshine!


I just happened to find a wonderful lemon bar recipe in my newest cookbook, “The Smitten Kitchen”.  You will remember it from my last post.  I love this cookbook!  I love Deb Perelman’s blog the smitten kitchen.com.  Please check it out!  The great thing about this recipe, is it uses the entire lemon!  Yep, the skin, the pith (the white stuff around the lemon) the membranes, everything but the seeds.  You just slice the lemon up, pick the seeds out, and whiz the entire thing in the food processor.  Oh, and that is another great thing!  The entire recipe is made in the bowl of a food processor! The crust and the curd!  Please give this recipe a try if you enjoy easy and sunshine!


Sunday, January 6, 2013

“Cheddar Swirl Breakfast Buns” or “The Best Thing I Ever Put in My Face”






So….. Hi!  My name is Sara and I am a victim of blogger ADD.  I have so many things going on, my one passion that I have all to myself, gets pushed to the side.  I have so many things that I want to share with all of you.  I just can’t ever find the time to sit down and do it.  I have a new hobby that has taken me away from my kitchen.  Knitting!!!!!!! I love it!  But I promise you, this will not become a knitters blog.  I am still a beginner and I am not in the position to give advice on knitting…not yet at least!


Here is the recipe for the cheddar buns.  I didn’t take as many pictures of the process as I wanted, I just don’t seem to have the right light in my kitchen.  The recipe comes from one of the newest cookbooks in my collection.  “The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook” by Deb Perelman.  Deb is a fellow blogger, who I have followed for a few years and she has written a beautiful cookbook with simple, easy to follow recipes.  I would highly suggest getting this book to keep in your kitchen.  I LOVE IT!  She has taken all of the pictures herself in her tiny, tiny kitchen.


Before you start making these delicious buns, please do not get scared by the time it takes to make these.  A proper yeast bread needs time.  Not a lot of attended time, but time.  The total time for these is 4-5 hours.  I started these the night before and put in them in refrigerator to finish in the morning.  This recipe is perfect to start on a Friday night and have it baking when the kids get up in the morning on Saturday.  These buns are soft and squishy and absolutely delicious.  The combination of cheddar, dill onion will make you swoon.   You will be mother of the year.