Friday, September 30, 2016

Pecan-Crusted Trout with Creamy Lemon-Garlic Sauce

Pecan-Crusted Trout with Creamy Lemon-Garlic Sauce

1. Combine 1/2 cup mayonnaise, 1 Tablespoon minced fresh parsley, 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
2 teaspoons lemon juice, and 1 minced garlic clove in a small bowl. Chill until ready to use (up to 3 days).

2. Process 1 cup pecans and 1/4 panko bread crumbs in a food processor until pecans are finely chopped and mixture resembles coarse meal, 10 to 12 pulses. Transfer to a shallow dish. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon salt,
1/2 teaspoon pepper, 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper, and 1 teaspoon lemon zest. Whisk 1 large egg,
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper together in a second shallow dish.

3. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 200°F. Place a wire rack inside a rimmed baking sheet.  Pat 6 boneless trout fillets (from 3 fish) dry with paper towels, and season with salt and pepper. Working with one fillet at a time, dredge flesh side of trout in egg mixture, allowing excess to drip off. Dip egg coated side of trout in pecan mixture, pressing gently to adhere. Transfer trout , pecan side up, to a large tray and repeat with remaining fillets.

4. Heat 2 Tablespoons oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat, until shimmering. Place 3 fillets in skillet, pecan side down, and in alternating directions to fit. Cook until pecan coating is browned and fragrant, 3 to 4 minutes. Using 2 thin spatulas, carefully flip fillets. Continue to cook until skin is browned and trout flakes easily with a fork, 2 to 3 minutes longer. Transfer trout, pecan side up, to wire rack and keep warm in oven.

5. Wipe skillet clean with paper towels. Repeat step 4 with remaining 3 fillets and 2 Tablespoons oil. Serve with lemon-garlic sauce.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Cross Stitch Gifts

Grumpy Cat throw pillow.
(Adapted from this pattern.)

A bookmark for a friend (named Becky!), who loves to read.

Carnitas Tacos with Pico de Gallo and Cumin Lime Cream

Slow Fried Pork (Carnitas)

1. Trim extra fat from a 3 pound boneless pork shoulder roast, and cut it into 2-inch chunks. In a small bowl, mix 1 teaspoon ground cumin with 1 teaspoon salt.

2. Adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position and heat oven to 375°F. Pat the pork dry with paper towels, and season with the salt and cumin mixture. Transfer pork to a large Dutch oven. Add
4 cups peanut oil, 1/4 cup Coca-Cola, 2 cinnamon sticks, and 2 bay leaves. Juice 1 lime directly
into the pot, then add the spent lime halves.

3. Bring the oil to a simmer over medium-high heat, then transfer the pot to the oven and cook, uncovered, until the edges of the pork are well browned and the meat falls apart when prodded with a fork,
2½ to 3 hours.

4. Remove the pot from the oven and, using a slotted spoon, transfer pork to a colander set over a bowl;
let drain about 10 minutes (discard the oil). Shred the pork and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Pico de Gallo

1. Core 1½ pounds tomatoes. Remove seeds and cut into 1/2-inch pieces. Put in a large bowl.
Stem, seed, and mince 1 large jalapeño chile, and mince 1 small garlic clove.

2. To the diced tomatoes, add 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion, 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, and the minced jalapeño and garlic. Stir in 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice. Season with salt, pepper, sugar, and
extra lime juice to taste.

Cumin-Lime Cream

1. Mix 1/2 cup sour cream, 2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice, 3/8 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon cumin         in a medium bowl.

For Tacos: Layer Pork, Pico de Gallo, and Cumin-Lime Cream on warm corn tortillas (I toast them over the flame on a gas stove). Add cheese and extra cilantro, if desired.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

All-Purpose Cornbread

All-Purpose Cornbread
(ounces) = weight

1. Set 3/4 cup frozen corn kernels on the counter to thaw. Melt 8 Tablespoons (4 ounces) unsalted butter and set aside to cool. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 400°F. Generously grease an 8-inch square glass baking dish with vegetable shortening. Whisk 1½ cups (7½ ounces) all-purpose flour,
1 cup (5 ounces) finely ground cornmeal, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon baking soda, and
 3/4 teaspoon salt in large bowl until combined; set aside.

2. In a food processor or blender, process 1/4 cup (1¾ ounces) packed light brown sugar, 1 cup buttermilk, and thawed corn until combined, about 5 seconds. Add 2 large eggs and process until well combined (corn lumps will remain), about 5 seconds longer.

3. Using rubber spatula, make well in center of dry ingredients; pour buttermilk mixture into well. Begin folding dry ingredients into wet, giving mixture only a few turns to barely combine. Add melted butter and continue folding until dry ingredients are just moistened. Pour batter into prepared baking dish and smooth surface.

4. Bake until cornbread is deep golden brown and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 25-35 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then invert onto wire rack; turn right side up and let cool until warm, about 10 minutes longer, and serve. (Leftover cornbread can be wrapped in aluminum foil and reheated in a 350°F oven for 10 to 15 minutes.)

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

North Carolina Lemon Pie

aka Atlantic Beach Pie

North Carolina Lemon Pie

1. For the crust, adjust an oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350°F. Melt
10 Tablespoons unsalted butter. Combine 6 ounces saltine crackers and 1/8 teaspoon salt in a food processor and pulse to coarse crumbs (~15 pulses). Add melted butter and 1/4 cup light corn syrup to processor and pulse until crumbs are broken down into oatmeal-size pieces (~15 pulses). 

2. Transfer saltine mixture to a greased 9-inch pie plate.  Using bottom of a dry measuring cup, press crumbs into an even layer on bottom and sides of plate, using your hand to keep crumbs from spilling over plate edge. Place plate on baking sheet and bake until light golden brown and fragrant, 17 to 19 minutes.

3. For the filling, whisk 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk, 4 large egg yolks1/4 cup heavy cream,
1 Tablespoon grated lemon zest, and 1/8 teaspoon salt in bowl until fully combined. Whisk in
1/2 cup lemon juice (from ~3 lemons) until fully incorporated.

4. With pie plate still on baking sheet, pour filling into crust (crust needn't be cool). Bake pie until edges are beginning to set but center still jiggles when shaken, 15 to 17 minutes. Place pie on wire rack and let cool completely. Refrigerate until fully chilled, about 4 hours.

5. For the topping, use an electric mixer with a whisk attachment, on medium-low speed, to whip
1/2 cup chilled heavy cream with 2 Tablespoons sugar and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract until foamy (~1 minute). Increase speed to high and whip until stiff peaks form, 1 to 3 minutes. Spread whipped cream over top of pie. If you want to pipe on the whipped cream, as in the above photo, quadruple the whipped cream ingredients.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Chewy Chocolate Sugar Cookies

Chewy Chocolate Sugar Cookies
from America's Test Kitchen
(ounces) = weight

1. Adjust oven to middle position and heat to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. Microwave 4 Tablespoons (2 ounces) unsalted butter in a medium bowl until melted. Add 
½ cup (1½ ounces) Dutch-processed cocoa powder and 2 Tablespoons molasses and whisk until combined. Whisk 1½ cups (7½ ounces) all-purpose flour, 1½ teaspoons baking soda, and ½ teaspoon salt together in a bowl.  Using a stand mixer fitted with paddle, beat 8 Tablespoons (4 ounces) softened unsalted butter and
1 cup (7 ounces) sugar on medium-high speed until fluffy, 3 to 6 minutes.  Add cocoa mixture and beat until combined. Add 1 large room-temperature egg and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and beat until incorporated. Reduce speed to low, slowly add flour mixture, and mix until just combined.

3. Spread ¼ cup (1¾ ounces) sugar in a shallow dish. Working with 1 Tablespoon (7/8 ounce) dough at a time, roll into balls, then roll balls in sugar and space 1½ inches apart on prepared sheets. Bake one sheet at a time, until cookies have puffed and cracked, and centers are just set, 12 to 14 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through baking. Let cookies cool on sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely. 

Friday, September 9, 2016

Beef, Green Bean, and Scallion Stir-Fry

Beef, Green Bean, and Scallion Stir-Fry
from America's Test Kitchen

1. Whisk 1/3 cup chicken broth, 1/4 cup oyster sauce, 2 Tablespoons coconut aminos (or soy sauce),
 2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar, and 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes in a small bowl.

2. Prep stir-fry ingredients: Halve a 1-pound flank steak lengthwise, then slice thinly against the grain;
trim 1-pound green beans and cut into 2-inch pieces; cut 1 bunch of scallions into 2-inch pieces;
mince 6 cloves of garlic; and mince or grate 1 Tablespoon of fresh ginger.

3. Heat 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over high heat until just smoking. Add green beans and cook, stirring occasionally, until spotty brown, 4-6 minutes; transfer to a large bowl.

4. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in now-empty skillet. Add half of beef and cook, about 1 minute per side, until browned. Transfer beef to bowl with green beans and repeat with additional 2 teaspoons oil and remaining beef.

5. Add 2 teaspoons oil and scallions to skillet and cook until scallions are browned in spots, about 2 minutes. Add garlic and ginger and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Return green beans, beef, and any accumulated juices to pan. Add broth mixture and cook until thickened. Serve with rice.

Corn and Bean Salsa

Corn and Bean Salsa
from Grandma Suzie

1.  For the vinaigrette*, mix 1/2 cup red-wine vinegar and 1/4 cup dijon mustard in a blender.  Add 1/2 cup vegetable oil in a slow stream with the blender on, mixing until emulsified.  Pour into a large container and whisk in an additional 1 cup oil.  Stir in 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.

2.  In a large bowl, stir together 1 15-oz can kidney beans (rinsed), 1 15-oz can corn (rinsed)**1/2 of a red onion (minced), 1 red and 1 yellow bell pepper (minced), 1 jalapeno (seeded and minced), 1/4 cup fresh cilantro (minced), and the zest and juice of 1 lime.  This can be prepared a day or two in advance.

3.  Just before serving, add in a diced avocado and as much of the vinaigrette as desired.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Serve with Tostitos Scoops.

*This vinaigrette is very versatile.  If I make it for salad, I like to add 1 tablespoon chopped, fresh basil and 1 tablespoon chopped, fresh thyme.  Switch out different oils and vinegars to your heart's content.

**You could probably cook up some fresh corn when it's in season and use that.  I've never tried it that way, but I bet it's delicious!

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Sesame-Lemon Cucumber Salad

Sesame-Lemon Cucumber Salad
from America's Test Kitchen

1. Peel, halve lengthwise, and remove seeds from 3 cucumbers. slice 1/4-inch thick on bias (diagonally).

2. Toss cucumbers with 1 tablespoon salt in a colander set over a bowl.  Weight cucumbers with a water-filled 1-gallon zipper-lock bag for at least 1 hour, or up to 3 hours. Rinse cucumbers under cold running water and drain well. Transfer cucumbers to a medium bowl.

3. Whisk 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar, 2 Tablespoons toasted sesame oil, 1 Tablespoon lemon juice,
1 Tablespoon toasted sesame seeds, 2 1/2 teaspoons sugar, and 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes together in a  medium bowl.  Add to cucumbers and toss to coat. Refrigerate until chilled.