5.88 – Ginger Ice Cream with Kumquat Compote

My friend Brandon picked 5.88. I met Brandon through Twitter and mutual friends. If it’s baseball season, you will find him at the Padres game. He’s one of those people I was destined to know in life, one way or another. I consider him a very dear friend and love spending time with him. He picked a beautiful book and recipe, seems very fitting.

Here’s a song…

Little Bit of Love – Katie Herzig

#5 – The Kinfolk Table, Recipes for Small Gatherings by Nathan Williams. This is a new book in my collection, it was just released this September and I had it on pre-order. Williams is the founding editor of Kinfolk magazine, which I subscribe to. It is a gorgeous book-like magazine that features a collaboration of writers, photographers, stylists, etc. to give the reader ideas for a “natural approach to entertaining”. The magazine is beautiful, filled with amazing pictures and warm ideas for your gathering, whether you’re entertaining for two or 50. I just wish there were more recipes in the magazine. I was really, probably ridiculously, excited for The Kinfolk Table because I knew it would be full of recipes. It does not disappoint. With the same collaborative approach as the magazine, Williams collected recipes and stories from home cooks across the world. Each cook has a small page feature with their recipe attached, and the photography is gorgeous. It reads like the magazine does, very natural, simple and elegant. I love this book.

.88 – page 88 is a recipe for Ginger Ice Cream with Kumquat Compote. This particular recipe was contributed to the book by Diana Yen, a food stylist and caterer from Brooklyn. She and her team are coming out with a cookbook this Spring. I was really happy to open to this page! While I haven’t made this recipe, I have made ice cream and enjoy doing so. There really might be nothing better than homemade ice cream. It is so good. Dust off that ice cream maker you received as a wedding gift and treat yourself (possibly the fam, if they should be so lucky) to a bowl of homemade loveliness. It will make everything better, at least for a little while.

Ginger Ice Cream with Kumquat Compote adapted from The Kinfolk Table.

Ginger Ice Cream

You’ll need:

  • 1 cup fresh ginger, peeled and coarsely grated
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 2 large egg yolks

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Place the ginger in a a large saucepan and cover with cold water (about an inch above the ginger). Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for about 5 minutes (this makes the kitchen smell AMAZING!). Drain the ginger and discard the liquid.

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Return drained ginger to the saucepan and add the sugar, milk, cream. Split the vanilla bean and scrape the seeds, discarding the pods.

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Add vanilla seeds to the pan and bring to a simmer over medium heat.

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Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks in a large bowl.

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Until they turn pale in color.

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At this point, I would have someone help you. The book recommends wrapping a damp towel around the base of the bowl to keep it steady. I found an extra set of hands made it easier. Very slowly, whisk in about 1/4 cup of the simmering ginger mixture. Slowly pour in the remaining mixture, whisking constantly.

Return mixture to the pan and cook, stirring constantly, over medium-low heat for 10-12 minutes. Don’t allow the mixture to come to a boil. When it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, it is done. Remove pan from the heat and allow to steep for 30 minutes.

Strain mixture into a large bowl (use a fine-mesh strainer) and discard the solids. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate until the mixture is completely chilled, at least two hours. This is very important, do not rush it. The longer your mixture cools, the better. In fact, you can make the base up to two days before churning.

Churn the mixture in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

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Transfer ice cream to a 1-quart container and freeze until firm, at least two hours.

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Kumquat Compote

You’ll need:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 pound kumquats, scrubbed, halved, and seeded
  • 2 star anise pods
  • 2 cardamom pods
  • 2 slices of fresh ginger

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Stir the sugar and water together in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring until all of the sugar is dissolved. Stir in the kumquats, star anise, cardamom, and ginger and return to a boil.

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Reduce heat to medium and simmer for about 40 minutes until thickened and jam-like.

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Transfer to a jar.

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Compote can be made up to 3 days in advance. Keep it stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container.

Serve the ice cream with the compote.

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Serve it in a beautiful glass, a dessert this lovely deserves a special serving dish. I had it with coffee this morning. Seriously, it was an amazing Sunday breakfast!

I love this recipe, especially the ginger ice cream. I might have to try some of the ice cream with chocolate sauce, that is a little more my style. The compote is gorgeous, as you can see, and tastes delicious. It has that sweet, candied citrus flavor with a hint of the bitterness; it goes very well with the ginger. Really, a great holiday dessert; especially for those of us who live in San Diego. It has all of those warm winter flavors but in a cool dessert.

Shopping Notes: Kumquats were purchased from Specialty Produce. The coffee I paired this recipe with is from Dark Horse Coffee Roasters, a local company.

I encourage you to try this recipe. It will impress your dinner guests with it’s sophistication and beauty. Be sure to #TheIncidentalSpoon and follow the blog so you don’t miss a thing!

Cheers!

Favorite Things

I’d like to think of this as a gift guide, but worry that maybe it’s too late, so I’m calling it a Favorite Things list. Not everything on this list is food-related, some of the things are just items I either have and love or WANT (hint, hint). I’ve linked all of the images, so just click!

COOKBOOKS

fish

The Photography of Modernist Cuisine by Nathan Myhrvold

Tartine Book No. 3 by Chad Robertson

L.A. Son by Roy Choi

A Work in Progress by René Redzepi

The Kinfolk Table

Magazines

Bon Appetit

Saveur

Food & Wine

Put A Egg On It

Lucky Peach

Short Stack Editions

Tools

Japanese Knives from Sur la Table

Hedley & Bennett

Botticino Marble Coasters from Anthropologie

Juicer from Williams-Sonoma

Ice Crushing Bag w/ "Schmallet" Mallet from Food52 Provisions

Knife Please Necklace from Verameat

Beverages

Fugu Vodka from Ballast Point

Old Pogue Bourbon

St-Germain

Growler of The Butcher from Societe Brewing Company

Ellie's Brown Ale from Avery Brewing

Casamigos Tequila

Coffee

Coffee and Tea Collective

Dark Horse Roasting

Revolution Roasters

Caffe CaLabria

Stumptown Coffee Roasters

Bird Rock Coffee Roasters

Books

Eleanor & Park

Want Not

Packing for Mars

Blood, Bones & Butter

Life is Meals

Anything That Moves

*All photos courtesy of individual product websites

73.73 – Cannellini Beans, Calamari & Spinach Salad

A few days ago, I tweeted that I needed a number for today’s post, Scott replied with 73.73. I met Scott through Twitter and we have actually shared beers on a few occasions. He is a great guy who is passionate about sports and writes about them, under a non-corporeal pseudonym on Padres Public. Padres Public is a mash-up of Padres bloggers who decided that it would be beneficial to put all of their writing in one location. It is not a bar, though most of us wish it was; these guys would be great at running a bar. Anyway, check out the site, especially if you’re a sports fan. Their writing is funny, insightful and fresh; they have some pretty clever ideas including a cool podcast, called Padres and Pints, where they feature a local sports-related celebrity at a San Diego-area brewery (Ben was interviewed a few months ago; here is the link…check it out!).

Here’s a song, it has nothing to do with Scott; I just like it. 

Lark – Josh Ritter

#73 – Cristina’s Tuscan Table by Cristina Ceccatelli Cook. My mom gave me this book after she took a trip to Sun Valley, Idaho. Cristina Ceccatelli Cook owns a charming restaurant there, Cristina’s Restaurant, that my mom just LOVES. The cookbook is gorgeous, intimidating and very special. My mom even had it signed for me.

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If you find yourself in Sun Valley, please visit Cristina’s Restaurant and let me know how much you liked it. I am excited for the chance to visit.

.73 – page 73 is a recipe for Cannellini Beans, Calamari & Spinach Salad. This is another new one for me. I’ve never prepared calamari. The recipe is actually a four-parter, which was very intimidating at first. Once I stepped into the kitchen to work on it, though, I became really excited and very passionate about making it. I knew from the start that it would be really beautiful; it’s just one of THOSE recipes. As I found out, there is no reason to be intimidated, more steps does not equal more difficult.

Make this recipe, I am not kidding, I followed the steps below and came out with a dish my husband called “RQ”. This is really the highest compliment Ben can give me; as a home cook, Restaurant Quality is pretty darn good. It suggests that all the elements came together correctly, from the styling to the ingredients to the preparation itself. So, make it and feed it to your loved ones. You will be glad you did.

Cannellini Beans, Calamari & Spinach Salad adapted from Cristina’s Tuscan Table. This recipe actually contains 4 total recipes in order to fully execute it, all listed below.

Cannellini Beans

You’ll need:

  • 2 cups dried cannellini beans
  • 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
  • 4 sage leaves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 cup ev olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cup chopped roma tomatoes I used canned, they are better than out of season tomatoes
  • salt & pepper

Soak beans, overnight, in 6 cups of cold, salted water.

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Drain, rinse and place in pot with 8 cups cold, salted water. Add garlic, sage, bay leaves, ev olive oil, tomatoes, salt, and pepper, and bring to a boil. Once boiling, lower to a simmer, cover and cook for 3-4 hours until beans are soft.

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Hot Oil

You’ll need:

  • 1 cup ev olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 cloves garlic

In a pan, heat ev olive oil over low heat. Add the red pepper flakes and garlic and let infuse over low heat for 45 minutes.

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Cool and strain before adding to vinaigrette.

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Spicy Vinaigrette

You’ll need:

  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 cup Hot Oil (recipe above)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • pinch of salt

Whisk ingredients together.

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Cannellini Beans, Calamari & Spinach Salad

You’ll need:

  • 6 calamari steaks (about 1 1/2 pounds), pounded
  • 1/4 cup ev olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped italian parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoon chopped chives
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 lemons, cut in wedges
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 pound baby spinach

Place steaks, ev olive oil, parsley, garlic, chives, and red pepper flakes in a dish and marinate, refrigerated, for about 30 minutes.

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Heat a cast-iron grill to very hot (next time I will use the barbecue). Grill steaks for 2 minutes, squeeze lemon wedges over the top and flip. Salt and pepper the cooked side.

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Cook for one more minute, squeeze lemon wedges and salt and pepper this side and remove from grill.

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Cut steaks into slices.

On a dish, arrange spinach

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and hot cannellini beans,

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and top with calamari.

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Drizzle with Hot Vinaigrette.

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Pair it with a great beer, like Bear Republic’s Racer 5, and enjoy!

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A “RQ” dish. It was delicious and stunning.

Shopping Notes: All fresh produce was purchased at Specialty Produce. The calamari steaks were frozen (they only take about 10 minutes to defrost) and purchased from Seaside Market in Cardiff-by-the-Sea, California. Bear Republic is a craft brewery in northern California; Racer 5 is one of my all-time favorite beers.

As always, be sure to #TheIncidentalSpoon if you make this recipe! Subscribe to receive emails so you don’t miss a single post!

Salute!

Hidden Rose in a Pie

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That is an apple. Isn’t it incredible?! The first time I saw this gorgeous Hidden Rose (that is actually it’s name!) was when Specialty Produce posted it on Twitter or Instagram (follow them @SpecialtyProd on Twitter & @SpecialtyProduce on IG). I was really excited to try this beauty. Ben was stopping by SP to get apples for our Thanksgiving pies and picked a couple of these up. I was hesitant to use these in our Thanksgiving pies because I wasn’t sure they would hold up. So he just grabbed a few to try; eaten raw, they are quite tart.

Now that Thanksgiving is over, I thought this would be a great time to test these guys out in a traditional pie recipe. I’m using the same recipe that I used for the Thanksgiving pies (which turned out beautiful using Honey Crisps), so I have the technique pretty down.

A little Pink & Glitter – Tori Amos for your listening pleasure.

Hidden Rose Apple Pie adapted from Bon Appetit November 2013

For the crust you’ll need:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

For the filling you’ll need:

  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling dough
  • 3 pounds Hidden Rose apples I would use 4 pounds next time
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup (packed) brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons raw sugar

Pulse flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a food processor to combine. Add butter and pulse until mixture is coarse with a few pea-size pieces of butter. IMG_5123

Transfer to a bowl; drizzle 1/3 cup of ice water over and, using a fork, gently mix. Keep adding water by the tablespoon until the dough starts to come together in clumps (dough should be on the dry side; it will hydrate as it rests).

Form dough into two disks. Wrap in plastic and chill for at least an hour.

Place a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees. Roll out one disk of dough on a lightly floured surface. It should be about 13 inches round. Transfer to a pie dish. Chill until firm (about 20 minutes).

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Toss apples, sugar, brown sugar, vinegar, butter, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, allspice and 1/4 cup flour in a large bowl.

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Pour filling into crust.

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Roll out the second disk of dough into a 12 inch round; place on top of apples. Press crusts together, trim overhang and crimp edges.

Cut 5 small slits in top crust to allow steam to escape.

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Beat the egg with a tablespoon of water in a small bowl.

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Brush egg was over the top of the crust and sprinkle with raw sugar.

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Chill in the freezer for 15 minutes.

Place pie on a foil-lined baking sheet and bake 30 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees, rotate pie and continue baking. Be sure to tent the edges of your crust if it is getting brown so you don’t burn it (I bought this nifty little crust saver tool from Williams-Sonoma, doesn’t quite fit this dish but is A LOT easier than tenting your crust with foil).

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Bake for another 50-60 minutes, until juices are bubbling and the crust is golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool for at least 4 hours before serving.

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Okay, truth and honesty time. These apples are not meant for a pie, they just don’t hold up as well as some of the more pie-friendly varieties. BUT, they taste amazing. I guess what I’m trying to say is this, make the pie and eat it. I wouldn’t plan to impress people with it, the apples just can’t maintain their crispness and so the pie ends up a little messy…

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Messy, however, doesn’t have anything to do with flavor. The flavor is the BOMB. In my opinion, often times the messier something is, the more delicious. So do it, but plan on sitting in front of your fireplace, listening to music, enjoying the pie straight from the pie dish.

I am going to try to get my hands on some more Hidden Rose apples and make applesauce and a cobbler. Their flavor, when cooked, is incredible and I think using them in sauce or cobbler might be a better way to go.

Cheers!

14.63 – Tortilla Black Bean Casserole

My friend, Jessica, picked these numbers. Jess is one of many people I started referring to as twitter/beer friends (her twitter account is private so I’m not sharing it here). Over the past few years, I have met some of the best friends I’ve ever had. I met them through twitter and the San Diego beer scene. When asked how we’d met, it was just easy to say that they are twitter/beer friends. I don’t refer to them that way anymore. Calling them my twitter friends short-changes the relationships. They are my dear friends and mean the world to me.

Insert here: I’m going to add a song to each post. I listen to music when I cook, when I write, pretty much all the time. It just seems right, so here you go…

Find Out Who Your Friends Are – Tracy Lawrence featuring Tim McGraw & Kenny Chesney

Jess. Jess has this laugh that is incredibly contagious; you can’t help but smile or laugh right along with her. She loves her friends, really, truly, loves them. An incredibly creative woman, she throws an elaborate murder mystery party, for her friends, each year. This year’s Murder Under the Big Top party was amazing (as I hear they all are) from the invitations…

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to the DJ, decorations (she had a cotton candy machine!!!), drinks (a keg of beer from Mike Hess Brewing), and food (hired Mastiff Sausage Co., a food truck, to come out and make corn dogs). I had so much fun. The organization and planning that she puts into these parties just proves how passionate and creative she is; and how much she loves us, her friends.

I am blessed to call Jessica my friend, utterly grateful to have her in my life. I’m so happy every time she walks into the room, I know I’ll have fun, be safe and, best of all, I’m in the presence of someone who feels the same way about me.

#14 – Better Homes and Gardens The New Cook Book. You probably already have this book in your collection. I think I received my copy about 12 years ago at one of my wedding showers. It’s a great book for a new cook, recipes are fairly simple and there are tips throughout, like how to properly frost a cake to roasting poultry.

I don’t think it’s right to say I’ve moved on from this book, but I guess I kind of have.  I haven’t used it for years yet I hold onto it because, well, you just don’t let go of BH&G The New Cook Book. It’s a kitchen staple.

.63 – page 63 is the recipe for Tortilla Black Bean Casserole. I love mexican food. I love casseroles (so convenient). I was excited to make this. Looking back now, having made and tasted the recipe, there are a few things I would change. I’ve added the changes, that I would execute next time, in italics. Also, in the book, the recipe calls for low-fat ingredients. I don’t roll that way, I use real cheese and sour cream. Just know you can substitute the low-fat stuff if you prefer; I don’t recommend it.

Tortilla Black Bean Casserole adapted from Better Homes and Gardens The New Cook Book.

You’ll need:

  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped green bell pepper
  • 1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes I would use a 28 ounce can next time
  • 3/4 cup picante sauce
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 15 ounce cans black beans, rinsed and drained I would use 2 more cans
  • 12 6-inch corn tortillas I would use 8-10
  • 2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese I would double this
  • 2 medium tomatoes, sliced
  • 2 cups shredded lettuce
  • sliced green onion
  • sliced pitted ripe olives
  • 1/2 cup sour cream or plain yogurt I would use a full cup

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

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In a large skillet, combine onion, bell pepper, undrained tomatoes, picante sauce, cumin, and garlic.

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Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in beans.

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Spread one third of the bean mixture over the bottom of a 3-quart rectangular casserole dish. Top with six of the tortillas, overlapping. I would cut it down to 4-5 tortillas and overlap as little as possible, cutting tortillas to cover the casserole.

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Cover this layer of tortillas with half the cheese. I would use twice as much cheese, put it everywhere, make it cheesy!

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Add another one-third of the bean mixture, top with remaining tortillas (I put some more cheese on this next layer of tortillas), and remaining bean mixture.

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Bake, covered in foil, for 30 to 35 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Let stand 10 minutes.

Top with tomato slices, shredded lettuce, sour cream, olives, and green onions.

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Pour yourself a nice cold beer and enjoy!

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Notes: The reason I would add more canned tomatoes, beans and use less tortillas is because it ended up pretty dry. However, it was a lot better reheated hours later. I would definitely make it again with the changes I’ve added.

Shopping Notes: All fresh produce was purchased at Specialty Produce. The beer pairing is from one of our favorite local breweries, Modern Times Beer. These guys know how to make beer and, if you have the opportunity, check out their amazing tasting room, it will blow your mind.

There you go, a wonderful friend, a comforting recipe and a perfect pairing. Be sure to #theincidentalspoon if you make this recipe! Also, subscribe to receive the emails so you don’t miss out!

Salud!

Peppermint Buttercrunch

I’ve had these…

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and these…

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sitting on my kitchen counter for over a week. Ben has been eyeing both items while casually asking when I am actually going to do something with them. I’ve known all along what I planned to make. I knew the second I saw the recipe in this month’s Food & Wine. Peppermint Buttercrunch. I just kept putting off making it, I guess I just needed my mood, the weather and holiday spirit to get in sync.

This morning, while driving the MiniBens to school, the outside temperature on my car’s gauge indicated it was 47 degrees. 47 degrees is pretty crisp for the coastal area of southern California where I live. We turned on the seat heaters and embraced the small glimpse of winter weather. Meanwhile, half of the country is covered in ice.

After dropping the kids off at school, I knew that this was the morning I would finally make the Peppermint Buttercrunch.  When I arrived home, I donned my purple knit Ugg boots (!) and apron,

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switched Spotify to some Christmas music (Digster UK’s Indie Christmas playlist – check it out!) and embraced the holiday on this chilly morning.

I haven’t made a lot of candy. I’ve dabbled with a few recipes but it can all be quite intimidating. Candy making requires a close eye on the thermometer, every degree counts. However, toffee & buttercrunch aren’t difficult to make and you needn’t be intimidated by them. In fact, you might want to be more intimidated by the number of dishes you’ll do than the difficulty of the actual recipe! Maybe someone else will be really excited about what is to come and they’ll help with the dishes.

The result of this recipe is definitely worth the patience (and dishes) required. Also, with the minimal ingredient list, how can you not give it a go?!

Peppermint Buttercrunch adapted from Food & Wine December 2013.  Makes about 1 1/2 lbs.

You’ll need:

  • 1 stick + 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure peppermint extract
  • 12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 cup crushed peppermint candies
  • candy thermometer (mine is from the supermarket; it’s nothing special & gets the job done)

Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper, or a silicone baking mat (I prefer parchment paper).

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Combine the butter, sugar, water, and salt in a saucepan and cook over moderate heat until the temperature reaches 298 degrees.

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Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the peppermint and vanilla extract (TJ’s Bourbon Vanilla Extract is fantastic! And, bourbon?!? Yay!)

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Immediately pour the buttercrunch onto the baking sheet and spread with an offset spatula. Let cool completely.

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Microwave half of the chocolate, in a glass bowl or measuring cup, in 30 second intervals. Stir between each one, until the chocolate starts to melt. Stir in the remaining chocolate until completely smooth.

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Spread half of the melted chocolate on the cooled buttercrunch and sprinkle with half of the crushed peppermint. Let set.

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Carefully set another baking sheet on top of the buttercrunch and gently flip the baking sheets. Peel off the parchment paper. Spread remaining chocolate onto the buttercrunch and sprinkle with remaining peppermint. Let set until completely cooled.

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Break into pieces before eating, storing or giving.

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This recipe turned out so yummy! It is hard to think of giving it away, but homemade gifts are some of the best and I know a few people who would love this. I will tuck a few pieces away for Ben and the MiniBens but the rest are being wrapped up for some special people. A little white bag box, with a bit of parchment inside, tied up with a festive piece of holiday string and an ornament gives this homemade gift that extra special touch (add these touches, they help show how much love you put into making the candy).

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A small pile of scraps aren’t quite worthy of gifting but I won’t let them go to waste:)! Hey, the cook deserves a treat, right?

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Ribbon and bag box purchased from The Container Store. Ornament from Target.

An excellent treat for friends, coworkers, teachers, or the family. Be sure to #theincidentalspoon if you post any pictures of your Peppermint Buttercrunch on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram! Off to my brother and SiL’s for cocktails, a special hostess gift in hand!

Merry, merry!

56.127 – Prosciutto-Wrapped Shrimp with Bourbon Barbecue Sauce

I let my husband, Ben, pick the next number.  Next post will be one of you, I promise.  I’m still trying to get a handle on this whole “blog” thing.  He picked a very random number, pretty sure it doesn’t mean anything to him, but he means the world to me.

My husband, Ben.  The most incredible, loving, intelligent, and compassionate man in my life.  The father of our two boys and proud owner of Reggie, the WonderDog (not really, but have you met Reg?  He is pretty rad).  Ben is a sports guy.  A REAL sports guy.  He actually gets to watch, read, write, and talk sports for a living.  He loves his job and is the hardest working sports guy in San Diego.  A weekday radio show from 6-9 a.m. on XTRA Sports 1360 and weeknight sports on 10 News.  Check him out, his link is in the blogroll to the right of this post.  This man deserves all of the wonderful; he is an angel (no joke, he may really be one).

Number 56 is Food & Wine magazine.

When a magazine is picked, I’ll use the most current issue.  I was excited when the magazine came up for this post.  I subscribe to a handful of cooking and food magazines and will feature them a lot on this blog.  Honestly, I cook more from my magazines than my cookbooks.  Each offers something different, new and exciting. They highlight seasonal ingredients, fresh ideas and have a broad spectrum of recipes.  I really have no fear when cooking from the magazines.  Whether it’s knowing that other home cooks across the world are cooking right along with me, or that I just enjoy the challenge and don’t worry about failing.  If you don’t have a subscription yet, I encourage you to get one and just go for it!  The more you mess up in your kitchen, the more you learn.

I’ve subscribed to Food & Wine for over ten years.  If you are a food and wine lover, this is your magazine.  I read more for the food than the wine.  While I appreciate the occasional glass of vino, I’m a craft beer gal.  We have an amazing craft beer scene in Southern California and I do my best to love it, support it and drink it!  Food & Wine is a fantastic magazine for the wine lover.  Great articles, pairing notes and more.  I encourage you to check it out.

.127, I ran into another number snag, which will happen with some of the books and most of the magazines.  There isn’t a recipe on page 127 of December’s issue of Food & Wine.  When this happens, I’ll just keep flipping the pages until I get to the next recipe.  Page 136.

Shrimp.

I don’t do shrimp, nope, never.  Shrimp is my ONE “thing”.  I haven’t been able to stand shrimp since I was 2-years old.  I can detect shrimp in anything.  Yet, here I am, challenging myself with this blog.  I knew that I would run into shrimp at some point; just didn’t think it would be so soon.  I will make this shrimp recipe, which will be fabulous for those of you who like shrimp.  Have I mentioned that I have never cooked shrimp? Never.  I’m scared.

Page 136 of this month’s Food & Wine is a recipe for Prosciutto-Wrapped Shrimp with Bourbon Barbecue Sauce.  This will be a fantastic recipe for your holiday cocktail party.  Loads of flavor (prosciutto, bourbon, barbecue sauce?!?), easy to prep ahead and simple to eat with just your fingers.  Did I mention beautiful?

The Recipe – Prosciutto-Wrapped Shrimp with Bourbon Barbecue Sauce adapted from Food & Wine December 2013.  This recipe makes 24 shrimp.

You’ll need:

For the barbecue sauce:

  • 1 tablespoon ev olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, halved & thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon chopped rosemary leaves
  • 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon (yay!)
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup prepared barbecue sauce, preferably something less sweet
  • dash of Worcestershire sauce
  • dash of hot sauce
  • salt & pepper

For the shrimp:

  • 24 extra-large shrimp, shelled and deveined
  • 1 tablespoon ev olive oil
  • salt & pepper
  • 12 slices of prosciutto, halved lengthwise
  • 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • lime wedges

Make the barbecue sauce:

In a skillet, heat the olive oil over moderate heat.  Add the onion and rosemary.

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Cook for about 6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onion starts to turn brown.  Add the garlic and cook about 5 minutes, until softened.

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Stir in the remaining barbecue sauce ingredients.

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Season with s & p.  Puree the mixture in the food processor until smooth.  Transfer to a bowl.

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For the shrimp:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Toss the shrimp with the olive oil and s & p.

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Wrap each shrimp in a half slice of prosciutto…

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and place on a rimmed baking sheet, about one inch apart.

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Brush the shrimp with the barbecue sauce.

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Roast the shrimp for 5 minutes.  Turn the shrimp over, brush them again with barbecue sauce and roast for 5 minutes longer.IMG_5314

You’ll know the shrimp are cooked when they are white and firm and the barbecue sauce is shiny.

Transfer the shrimp to a plate and sprinkle with the parsley.  Serve with lime wedges and extra sauce for dipping.

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Make ahead:  The barbecue sauce can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.  The wrapped shrimp can be refrigerated for up to 8 hours before roasting.

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Shopping for locals:  If you live in the San Diego area, I thought I’d add where I bought some of my ingredients for this post.  The shrimp and prosciutto were purchased from my local Whole Foods.  The fish mongers at Whole Foods are so kind and helpful, mine shelled and cleaned the shrimp for me.  All of the produce for this post was purchased at Specialty Produce. SP is by far my favorite place to get wonderful produce in San Diego, be sure to check out their Farmers Market fridge.  I used Maker’s Mark for the bourbon, remember to always use something you would actually drink in your recipes, if you wouldn’t drink that bourbon, don’t cook with it (same goes for wine).

This recipe was a huge success!

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Ben loved every bite!  And, seeing as he was the only one eating this batch, that was a lot!  I will definitely make this recipe again.  It will be the perfect recipe for a holiday cocktail party.

An unexpected, maybe even unwelcome, recipe that turned out gorgeous!  Be sure to tag or hashtag #theincidentalspoon if you post any pictures of your Prosciutto-Wrapped Shrimp with Bourbon Barbecue Sauce!  I want to see them!

Until next week (or maybe sooner!),

Buckets of Merriment & Cheers!

12.5 – Pesto

This is the number my mom chose.  It’s her birthday this week (a big one that she doesn’t want me to mention but she’s not old and if you know my age, well, you can probably figure it out).  Anyway, 12.5 is her birthday so she picked that number.

I’ll get to cooking soon enough, but this blog isn’t all about cooking, it’s life, too.  And my intention is to say something about each person who contributes a number, whether I know them well or have never met them.

My mom, and I’m going to try not to get too deep here, is the strongest woman I know.  She has given my brothers and me the world.  She loves my kids to the moon and beyond.  She lives near us, so we are blessed to see her, and her wonderful husband, often.  She’s a source of inspiration and I am so proud that she’s mine.  Happy Birthday, Mom.

Okay, so 12.5 – Cookbook #12, right now (and this may change as my collection grows and changes) is Saltie.  I can’t remember why I bought this cookbook; it must have been recommended in one of my cooking magazines.  I love Saltie.  Saltie is a “not just a sandwich shop” sandwich shop in Brooklyn, New York.  I have never been, but someday hope to visit.  The book is filled with amazing sandwiches, soups and pastries.  The photography is gorgeous, you should definitely pick it up.  I have spent a lot of time just flipping through its pages for inspiration.  I am excited she picked this number because, honestly, I haven’t made a lot from it.  And this is one of the main reasons for doing this blog.

.5, okay so here is something I’ll run into with this number game.  Page 5 in this book, as in most cookbooks, is the introduction, the pantry list or something similar.  I added a 0, so, page 50 (and no, she’s not 50, that would mean she had me when she was 15, she didn’t).

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PESTO

I love pesto.  I think it is delicious, yes, but mostly I love the color of pesto.  That brilliant green green.

A confession here, pesto is not hard to make but I don’t usually make it, I procure it.  I have found a jarred pesto from Trader Joe’s that I like and think is just as good as any you’d make at home.  So, now you know.

I’m cooking here, though, so pesto is the recipe of the week…

This Pesto recipe, adapted from Saltie, is a very simple, basic recipe.  Nothing to shy away from and absolutely delicious.  This recipe makes about one cup.

You’ll need:

  • food processor (you can do this with a chef’s knife but a fp makes it soooo easy)
  • 6-8 garlic cloves (adjust this to your taste)
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • sea salt
  • large bunch of fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup ev olive oil
  • 1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • fresh ground pepper

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Put the garlic, pine nuts and a pinch of salt into a food processor and pulse or purée into a coarse chop.

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Add the basil leaves and, while puréeing, drizzle the olive oil into the fp (this will help loosen the mixture).  Mix until pesto is blended, but not perfectly smooth.

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Transfer the pesto to a bowl, mix in the grated cheese, and season with s & p to taste.

Cover with plastic wrap, pushing the wrap against the surface of the pesto, and refrigerate up to 3 days.

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I love pesto on just about anything but, especially, just simply toasting a few slices of a baguette with a little ev olive oil and a dollop of beautiful fresh burrata cheese.

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I wrapped the jar of pesto with a simple tiny gold spoon from West Elm.  Adding a simple touch will make your homemade gift even more special.  Plus, I love spoons!

Off to Grandma’s (my kids call her Ama) house we go…Cheers!