Category Archives: How To

How to Make Creme Anglaise AND Bacon Ice Cream!

Good old English Cream, it makes its own delicious dessert, sauce, and is the base for ice cream.  So this recipe is just a standard recipe to make a no frills creme anglaise.  The cool part is that you can really customize a creme anglaise to be whatever you want it to be, if you add chocolate chip cookie dough at the end then put it in an ice cream machine. . . cookie dough ice cream. . . just saying, think of the possibilities that you can play with here.  Add chocolate and then whisk it in a bowl over an ice bath until you have an insanely delicious pudding.  The recipe today is to make a maple creme anglaise that would be a decadent replacement for your favorite pancakes, or better yet you could make a waffle with chunks of bacon in it, turn this creme anglaise into an ice cream(adding bacon to it also) and serving the two with some more maple syrup.  NOMNOMNOM BACON

 

BACON MAPLE CREME ANGLAISE (and ice cream)

INGREDIENTS

  • 1cup – Heavy Cream
  • 1cup – Whole Milk
  • 1/2cup – Granulated Sugar
  • 6 – Eggs, Yolk Only
  • 1tsp – Vanilla Extract
  • *optional* 1tsp – Cinnamon, ground
  • *optional* 1/4cup – Maple Syrup
  • *optional* 6 slices – Bacon, cooked til crispy and crumbled

RECIPE

  1. Get a mixing bowl with ice, and a smaller mixing bowl to put on top of it, and have a strainer/colander ready next to it (a fine mesh strainer would be best)
  2. In a small sauce pan combine the cream and milk with vanilla extract over medium heat
  3. Bring to a simmer
  4. In a separate mixing bowl combine the egg yolks and sugar, whisk until they become glossy and ribbon-like(about 3 minutes)
  5. When your milk/cream is simmering remove from heat and whisk 1 cup at a time into the egg yolks until half the mixture has been incorporated, then return the mixture to pan
  6. While continuously whisking the sauce return the pan to medium heat and whisk over the heat until it reached about 160 degrees, don’t let it come to a simmer you’ll start scrambling the eggs.  This step should take around 5 minutes, and the sauce will thicken to the point where it coats the back of a spoon and holds a line drawn with your finger(this state of thickness is called nape)
  7. Pour the creme anglaise through the colander/strainer into the bowl over ice
  8. At this time add the bacon, cinnamon, and maple syrup, then whisk for about 5 minutes until it has cooled to around room temperature.  You can fully chill and serve it, but to make it into an ice cream you just pour the creme anglaise into your ice cream machine after it’s been fully chilled!
  9. If making the ice cream, serve on a waffle then  drizzle with maple syrup and crumbled bacon
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How to Make Your Own Hot Sauce

I’m just going to step up to the plate and say out loud that I am a hot sauce fiend.  It’s one of the reasons I love Korean food so much, spicy makes the world amazing.  Honestly, making your own hot sauce is really easy, kinda awesome, and completely customizable.  So far I’ve made sesame mango hot sauces, green and red jalapeno sauces, and am about to embark on a new blended hot sauce.  There are only three base ingredients that are one hundred percent essential to the process, peppers, salt, and vinegar, after that you can really add whatever flavorings you want to impact the sauce.  Pretty much what you’re looking for is a double fermentation process.  You’re going to start out chopping and salting your peppers to bring out the liquid in them, this liquid is going to ferment over night.  Then you’ll agitate the whole mixture by using a stick blender(or working in a blender in batches) to make it smooth.  Then it can be thrown into a larger container and mixed with the vinegar, cover, and keep in a cool dark place.  I’ve only ever done this with the lid fully on during the second fermentation period, but I’m thinking about experimenting with using a cheese cloth lid to let the bacteria causing the fermentation to breath, potentially making it stronger and deeper in character.  Anywho, here’s a nice sample recipe for a delicious “buffalo” inspired red hot sauce

 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2# – Peppers, stemmed and roughly chopped (1/4# Red Jalapenos and 1/4# Red Fresnos)
  • 2tbs – Salt
  • 1 1/2c – Distilled White Vinegar

RECIPE

  1. When finished roughly chopping peppers, add salt and thoroughly combine.  The reason you’re roughly chopping, and breaking the cell walls is to force the peppers to release more liquid and making the fermentation happen faster
  2. Leave the salted peppers for around 12 hours, I left mine for almost 19 and it wasn’t too sour or powerful
  3. Use an immersion blender or a regular blender(working in batches) and pure the pepper until it’s as smooth as you can get it
  4. Add the vinegar, and stir to combine, if you have the immersion blender you can blend again after adding the vinegar.
  5. Place peppers (covered with lid) in a cool dark area of the house for 11 days.  After four days taste the sauce every day, when it hits the flavor profile you’re looking for throw it in the fridge to slow down the fermentation process.
  6. At the end of the process you can blend the whole thing again, at which time you have an important decision.  Do you put the peppers through a cheese cloth and only retain the juice?  Do you pour the peppers through a china cap large whole strainer and let a little sediment get in your sauce, or do you just serve it as it is?  I like straining it and using the left over jalapeno pulp with brown sugar and lime to make a nice crust for a white fish, dressed with a drizzle of buffalo sauce.  No way is wrong, so play around.

Just a note, you can play with your flavors by increasing/lowering the amount of vinegar you use.  If you taste it and it’s more spicy than tart you can add more vinegar, and vice versa.  Play around and make it your own!

*To make it in to a delicious buffalo sauce, just combine with an equal portion of melted butter and whisk to combine while bringing to a simmer, about two minutes.

How to Make Tahini

Hello everyone!  As I’m sure you know, hummus is friggin delicious, and so is baba ghanoush!  Both of them share one key ingredient, tahini.  What is tahini (pronounced tahina)?  It’s pretty much sesame seed butter.  You’ve had peanut butter, and maybe even almond or hazelnut butter, but sesame butter is its own weird creature.  So far I’ve made both black/white and blended seed tahini, as well as a traditional toasted white seed tahini.  Today we’ll be going with the white seed variation that is simple, easy to make, lasts forever, and is a great addition to many unexpected dishes.  For example, a dressing for kebabs, a thickener for sauces, dressing for salads, just imagine a sesame marinaded piece of grilled halibut with tzatziki dressing.  My mouth is watering!

 

White Sesame Tahini
White Sesame Tahini

WHITE SESAME TAHINI

INGREDIENTS

  • 1c – Sesame Seeds, Whole White
  • 1/2C – Pure Sesame Oil
  • 2 1/2C – Peanut Oil (If allergic try to substitute another smokey flavored oil like almond or at worst EVOO)
  • Salt – To Taste Only

RECIPE

  1. Place sesame seeds in a large pan.  Place over medium heat, and toast for 5-6 minutes.  Every two minutes toss the seeds until you hit four minutes, then toss every 20 seconds until they become aromatic.  The second you see any browning color remove them and let them cool.
  2. Once cooled place the seeds in food processor(or blender if necessary), add in sesame oil, then pulse 4-5 times for 5 seconds each.
  3. Turn on processor and slowly drizzle in peanut oil until thoroughly blended, if needed add an additional 1/2 cup.  Don’t worry so much about thinning out the tahini, even though it softens the flavor of the toasted seeds it makes it more forgiving when you add it to marinades and dressings.

How to Make Duck Breast Prosciutto

Okay, so you may have had some prosciutto, or eaten some salami, but today is a bit of an advanced lesson that deals with home curing your very own duck breast prosciutto.  I’m just going to start outright by saying that you have a high chance of cross contamination if you don’t start out by designating your entire bottom fridge shelf as a curing shelf for a minimum of 15 days.  ALSO you’ll need a little special equipment, a 1/2 sheet pan, plus a 1/2 sheet pan cooling rack, as well as some cheese cloth, and as far as specialty ingredients we’ll just say juniper berries if you can find them.  Now that we have that out of the way, let’s talk about prosciutto, a prosciutto is traditionally a cured hind leg of a pig that has been submerged in salt for weeks, then pulled out, rinsed, dried, and smeared with lard then more salt before being hung to dry for years.  Duck prosciutto are duck breasts that have been submerged in salt for a day or two, rinsed, dried, and seasoned before being hung to dry for a couple weeks.  If you’re seeing what I’m putting down, it’s not exactly a prosciutto, but it’s a cured meat so I guess they’re similar enough, anyways, at work I’ve butchered over 50 ducks by this point and have made over 100 breasts of duck prosciutto and each time it’s getting a little better.  It’s very easy to do and I wanted to share, due to the lean meat of duck breasts they cure rapidly, and the fatty skin makes for an incredible fatty burst of flavor, they’re delicious sliced thin served raw, or cubed and used as lardons for your pasta.  If you’re feeling wild you can make one of my favorite sandwiches in the world, duck breast, brie, apricot jam, and toasted almond in a panini.

The Duck Prosciutto available at The Curious Cheese Shoppe in Santa Monica, CA
The Duck Prosciutto available at The Curious Cheese Shoppe in Santa Monica, CA

DUCK BREAST PROSCIUTTO

INGREDIENTS FOR CURE

  • 4 – Duck Breasts, Skin on, Boneless (you may have to buy a couple ducks and butcher out the breasts)
  • 3lbs – Kosher Salt

RECIPE

  1. Butcher your duck breasts (the link leads to a tutorial video)
  2. Rinse and pat breasts dry, then score the duck fat, making sure to not pierce all the way to the flesh
  3. In a 8″ square baking dish pour in up to 1″ salt, no less than a 1/2″ though
  4. Place breasts on salt, skin side up, and completely cover with salt by a minimum of a 1/2″ with no meat showing anywhere (putting it skin side up allows the juices leached out to go down instead of welling up in the skin)
  5. Wrap thoroughly with plastic wrap and place on predesignated bottom shelf of your fridge for 36 hours, but no longer than 48

INGREDIENTS FOR DRYING

  • 2ea – Whole Allspice
  • 2ea- Garlic Cloves
  • 4ea – Whole Juniper Berries
  • 2tbsp – Whole Black Peppercorns
  • 2tbsp – Dried Sage
  • 2tbsp – Dried Thyme

RECIPE

  1. Combine all the items in a mortar and pestle, if you don’t have one, combine everything but garlic in a coffee grinder(it will not be good for coffee anymore) and when finished put 1 tsp of the mixture on the garlic cloves and smash into mush with the side of your knife then combine with the rest of the spices until incorporated.
  2. Pull the ducks out of the salt and discard the salt, rinse the duck and pat thoroughly dry with paper towels
  3. Rub the ducks thoroughly with the spice blend, ensuring to rub well into the skin
  4. Wrap the ducks in a thin single layer of cheese cloth making sure no meat is exposed
  5. Place wrapped duck on cooling rack on top of 1/2 sheet pan and place in your fridge for 15 days, flip the ducks after 7 days
  6. If they are still flimsy to the touch after 15 days leave them in there another week, really they’ll get better over a couple weeks period

So next time you’re going to impress someone with a duck confit, and you ended up buying a whole duck, cure the breasts and build up a supply of delicious duck prosciutto.  The best way to story is in the cheesecloth on a rack in some container of sorts so it’s properly vented, it will only last a few weeks wrapped in plastic as bacteria will form, but now you know how to do something that’s incredibly delicious and easy, but time consuming.  How awesome is it going to feel when you’re having over guests and you whip out a meat and cheese platter with a meat you cured yourself, pretty damn awesome, that’s how awesome!

How to Make Seasoned Oil (Garlic Rosemary)

So, this is something that is incredibly simple to make, and yields a delicious bi-product too!  I’m talking about flavored oils, in culinary school we made all kinds, lemon oils, basil oils, etc etc, but today we’re going to stick with the easiest one to make in your own kitchen, herbed garlic oil!  What are the uses of flavored oils?  Garnishing is the first and foremost, you just finished making an amazing hummus and you want to put a nice little pool of oil in the middle, why not have it taste like garlic and rosemary.  It’s great for finishing risottos, a delicious change of pace for vinaigrette, and added level of depth as a finishing oil in your stir fry.  Really you can use it for anything your heart desires, and more importantly it will impress people at a dinner party.  That’s all anyone cares about anyway.  With that said, you have 20 guests showing up in an hour and your caprese salad needs a sexy finishing oil, you’re in luck.  I’m even going to offer two methods for the process

There’s an extra recipe at the bottom so you can also have delicious crostini with your caprese!

GARLIC ROSEMARY OIL & GARLIC PUREE

INGREDIENTS

  • 1gallon – 75/25 Canola/Olive Oil Blend
  • 2lbs – Peeled Garlic
  • 1/2lb – Rosemary Sprigs

RECIPE #1, oven method

  1. Set oven to 180, or 200 if that’s your lowest setting, anything under 225 will help the oil retain some of its own flavor
  2. In a large sauce pot add the garlic and rosemary, then fill with oil
  3. Cover and place in oven for a minimum of one hour.  At the end of the hour retrieve one garlic glove and allow to cool for a minute, squeeze it between your fingers, if it’s soft and gooey you can pull it out, if not go for another half hour (it will realistically take 1 1/2 – 2hours to get all of that oil up to temperature and cooking)
  4. When finished, remove from oven and strain in a separate container reserving the garlic and rosemary
  5. Oh wait. . . you’re done!

 

RECIPE #2, burner method

This recipe is based on temperature control, and I make mine using an induction burner with a constant heat source, since I’m assuming you’re using fire or electricity and will need a thermometer, preferably a probe one or candy one you can leave in for a constant temperature.

  1. In large sauce pot add garlic, rosemary, and oil
  2. Bring up to 180 degrees
  3. Poach the garlic and herbs for 45 minutes, at 20 minutes start stirring every 5 minutes (otherwise you’ll ended up with some browned garlic, not a bad thing, but too much can give the oil an off flavor)
  4. Take off heat, strain and reserve garlic/rosemary
  5. BOOM finished!

 

ROASTED GARLIC PUREE

  1. In a food processor add the reserved garlic and herbs, puree about 3 minutes, scrape down sides, puree 2 more minutes until smooth (there will still be flecks of rosemary, that’s just fine)
  2. Put puree on everything ever

How to Make Spaetzle

 

Spaetzle - photo from Foter
Spaetzle – photo from Foter

Spaetzle is one of those simple dishes that’s hard to perfect, but easy to do.  I had eaten spaetzle and seen how it was made, but had always thought it looked hard to do, well. . . I was wrong!  It’s really simple and is one of my favorite fast pastas to make.  It’s also a lot of fun to make and does require two pieces of special equipment: a perforated sheet pan and something to rub the dough through said sheet pan.  Basically you just shlop your dough/batter together, let it sit for a little to allow the gluten to settle, and then you form it by pushing it through the perforated pan into the boiling water.  Actual cooking time?  3 minutes.  What sauce does it work well with?  ALL THE SAUCES!  Now that you’re not intimidated by this delicious dish, here’s the recipe!

 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 Cup AP Flour
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/3 Cup Milk
  • 1 TSP Salt
  • Pinch Nutmeg

Spaetzle cooking stock

RECIPE

  1. Sift flour and salt into a mixing bowl
  2. Whisk together egg and milk in separate bowl
  3. Make a well in the flour/salt, put a pinch of nutmeg in the bottom of your well
  4. Add 1/3 of the liquid, mix until incorporated, repeat until you have a batter (slightly lumpy is okay, but very small lumps only)
  5. Let set 15 mins
  6. Boil salty water in a large wide pot
  7. Use a perforated sheet pan, a pizza pan, a perforated roasting pan, anything with equal size little wholes in it, preferably something that will cover the top of the boiling pot, and pour your batter on top, then use a rubber spatula to rub all the batter through the holes into the water.  Work in batches so that the batter doesn’t cook to the perforated pan faster than you can push it through
  8. Allow to cook about 3 minutes or until they’re floating, reserve and toss with your favorite sauce!

That wasn’t so hard was it?  Let me know how your spaetzle experiments turn out!  I want to try putting fresh herbs into my dough/batter next.  Sage spaetzle with brown butter sauce?  mmmmmMMMMmmmmmm!!!!

How to Make Dashi Broth (Ichiban Dashi)

This one’s a fun one for anyone interested in Japanese cooking, it’s the building block of most Japanese soups, and sauces.  We’re talking about dashi!  It’s a fish stock/broth that really doesn’t require much cooking, it really doesn’t require much of anything considering it’s two ingredients and water, but those ingredients speak for themselves, and that’s the entire point.  Minimalism, simplicity, and allowing good ingredients to be the stars.  Obviously for your first couple tries you’re going to want to use the cheap stuff, but once you’ve made a few dashi stocks you’ll want to improve the quality of your ingredients as well as refine your technique.  I’ve heard of several different methods of making dashi, and this is one of my favorites because of its speed and attention to the ingredients.

Katsuoboshi or Bonito Flakes, available at any Asian Market
Katsuoboshi or Bonito Flakes, available at any Asian Market

INGREDIENTS

  • 1QT – Water
  • 1 – 5×3 Rectangle of Kombu
  • 3/4Cup – Katsuoboshi (Bonito Flakes)
Kombu, Dried Kelp, also at Asian Markets
Kombu, Dried Kelp, also at Asian Markets

RECIPE

  1. Bring water to a simmer, remove from heat
  2. Add in the kombu
  3. Allow to cool to room temp, about 30 minutes
  4. Remove kombu
  5. Bring water back to a simmer, remove from heat
  6. Add bonito flakes, let sit 3-4 mins
  7. Strain through chinois or cheese cloth lined colander
Miso Soup is made with Dashi. . . but that's for another article!!!
Miso Soup is made with Dashi. . . but that’s for another article!!!

There you have it, the basis for Japanese soups, broths, and sauces.  Remember that this is just one way to make it, and why did I decide on this version?  Because it doesn’t require you to soak your kombu overnight, it also doesn’t require you to boil your kombu.  Soaking overnight develops great flavor, but most home cooks don’t want to dedicate that much effort to stock, and even though it’s faster to bring your kombu to a boil then cut off the heat and steep it that way, you also run the risk of damaging the flavor of the kombu.  By treating the kombu itself like a teabag you will be able to steep all the flavors without damaging any of the delicate nature of the kelp.  Theoretically, one of the best methods would be to bring your water to a boil, remove from heat, and add both your kombu and bonito flakes(in cheesecloth sachet), then just retrieve the bonito after 5 minutes, and leave the kombu to steep for another 25 minutes.  I’ll try it out, and I recommend you do the same if you want to make delicious miso soup, or shiitake mushroom soup!