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Feb. 1st, 2014

high fidelity

Fenn's (aka Martha Stewart's) Mac and Cheese

6 slices good quality white bread, crusts removed and broken into 1.5 - 2 inch pieces
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for the casserole dish
5 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 1/2 cups grated sharp white cheddar
2 cups grated Gruyere
1 pound elbow macaroni


1. Heat the oven to 375 degrees.  Butter a 3-quart casserole dish; set aside.  Place bread pieces in a medium bowl.  Melt 2 tablespoons of butter.  Pour melted butter in the bowl with the bread, and toss.  Melt remaining 6 tablespoons of butter in a high sided pot over medium heat.  When butter bubbles, add flour.  Whisk for 1 minute.

2. Slowly pour milk into the flour-butter mixture while whisking.  Continue cooking and whisking until mixture bubbles and becomes thick.

3. Remove pan from heat.  Stir in salt, nutmeg, black pepper, cayenne pepper, 3 cups of cheddar and 1 1/2 cups of Gruyere.  Set cheese sauce aside.

4.  Add macaroni to a large pot of boiling water;  cook 2-3 minutes fewer than the manufacturer's directions, until outside of pasta is cooked and inside is underdone.  Drain macaroni and rinse under cold water.  Drain well and then add macaroni to the cheese sauce.

5.  Pour macaroni and cheese mixture into the casserole dish.  Sprinkle remaining cheese on top, and then scatter breadcrumbs on top of that.  Bake until browned on top.  20-30 minutes.

6.  Eat and enjoy...possibly seconds, thirds, or fourths.
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Jan. 25th, 2014

high fidelity

Carrot Cake

Cake
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
3 eggs
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup veggie oil
3/4 cup buttermilk
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups grated carrot
8 ounces crushed pineapple (drained)
3.5 ounces flaked coconut
1 cup chopped pecans

1) Grease and line cake pans.
2) Mix first four ingredients together.
3) In separate bowl, beat eggs and next four ingredients at medium speed until smooth.
4) Add flour mixture slowly.
5) Fold in carrot, pineapple, coconut, and pecans.
6) Bake at 350 F for 25-30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Frosting
8 ounces cream cheese
1/2 cup butter
16 ounces powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla

1) Beat cream cheese and butter together until smooth.
2) Gradually add powdered sugar, then add vanilla.
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high fidelity

Adobo (from Erik)

2/3 cup of white vinegar
2 cups of orange juice
4 cloves of garlic, chopped
20-25 whole black peppercorns
salt
soy sauce
4-5 chicken drumsticks
1) Mix vinegar, OJ, garlic, and peppercorns together in the pot. Add a good pinch of salt.
2) Add soy sauce to desired color and salt balance.
3) Heat on 6 (medium high) and add drumsticks, making sure they are submerged.
4) Cook uncovered until pot begins to boil.  Turn heat down to 3 (medium low).
5) Simmer until the skin pulls upward on the drumsticks and you can see the bone.
6) Remove chicken and set aside covered.  Cook sauce down to desired consistency.
7) Strain sauce over chicken to remove garlic/peppercorns.
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Dec. 2nd, 2013

high fidelity

Grandmother's Buttermilk Cornbread (from AllRecipes.com)

Original:
1/2 cup butter
2/3 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease an 8 inch square pan.
Melt butter in large skillet. Remove from heat and stir in sugar. Quickly add eggs and beat until well blended. Combine buttermilk with baking soda and stir into mixture in pan. Stir in cornmeal, flour, and salt until well blended and few lumps remain. Pour batter into the prepared pan.
Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.


What can I say, no substitutions necessary. The baking soda is pretty key, I've tried subbing in 3x baking powder, doesn't rise as well.  You can sub in 1/2 cup milk for 1/2 of the buttermilk if necessary.
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Dec. 1st, 2013

high fidelity

Homemade Peppermint Marshmallows (Confections of a Foodie Bride)


  • 3 packages unflavored gelatin

  • 1 cup cold water, divided

  • 1 cup light Karo syrup

  • 1 1/2 cup grandulated sugar

  • 1/4 tsp salt

  • 1 Tbsp peppermint extract

  • Gel food coloring (optional)

  • Baking or cooking spray

  • Powdered sugar for dusting/stick-proofing


  1. Place 1/2 cup cold water in the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Sprinkle the gelatin over top and set aside.

  2. Clip a candy thermometer to a small sauce pan. Heat corn syrup, sugar, salt, and the other 1/2 cup cold water over medium heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Turn to high and cook to 240 F (use a candy thermometer), 6-8 minutes longer.

  3. Turn mixer to low and slowly pour the hot syrup over the gelatin. Increase the mixer speed to high (and because I had an unfortunate experience once, I do this gradually over about a minute to prevent sugar lava from slinging on me... again) and let run for ~10 minutes. Add the peppermint extract and whisk for another 5 minutes until you have a glossy, smooth, and thick marshmallow mixture.

  4. While the marshmallow is whisking, heavily coat the inside of an 8x8 pan with baking spray (there's no such thing as over-greasing!). Coat with powdered sugar and tap out the excess. Pour in the marshmallow mixture (it will come all the way to the top). Drop 6-8 drops of red food coloring over the top and swirl with a knife held vertically. (Alternately, you could add this to the stand mixer and let the whisk go around the bowl 2 or 3 times.) Let sit for at least 4 hours (I do overnight) until solidified and cooled.

  5. Turn the marshmallow squares out onto a heavily powder-sugared surface. Using a long greased knife, cut the marshmallows into 1-inch pieces (they'll be 2 inches tall if you don't cut them in half horizontally, which I did). As you're cutting the marshmallows, keep all sides of the marshmallows dusted with powdered sugar and store in an airtight container for ~2 weeks.

For my test batch, I made 1/3 of the recipe and used vanilla instead of peppermint:

1 package gelatin
1/6 cup cold water (2 2/3 tbsp)
1/3 cup Karo
1/6 cup cold water (2 2/3 tbsp)
1/3 cup and 2 2/3 tbsp sugar
pinch salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Worked really well, although it is VERY difficult to get the marshmallow goo into the pan.  Next time, I'm going to try this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ka_ohSDGkKc), basically using a greased cake tip and bag to pipe out marshmallow onto a cookie sheet.  The lady in the video also uses a rubber spatula to spoon the mixture in and a tall glass to hold the bag.  Also will transfer the marshmallow as soon as it looks stringy and opaque - I think it cools too much if you wait the whole 15 min. I think the 1/3 recipe is more than enough to split between gift receivers, especially since you have to eat these soonish.
high fidelity

Hot Cocoa Mix (Alton Brown)

Original: (http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/hot-cocoa-recipe/index.html)

2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup cocoa (Dutch-process preferred)
2 1/2 cups powdered milk
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 pinch cayenne pepper, or more to taste


I made only half this much since I'm testing it out. I also put everything through our sifter to make it powdery with no clumps. I used Guittard's Cocoa Rouge.  Turned out creamy and very chocolatey.
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high fidelity

Salted Caramel Bourbon Popcorn (Confections of a Foodie Bride)

Made this as a test run for possible holiday gifts.

Original:

  • 6 cups popped popcorn (the yield from 1/3 rounded cup of kernels)

  • Cooking spray or parchment paper

  • 6 Tbsp butter

  • 1/3 cup dark brown sugar

  • 3 Tbsp light corn syrup

  • Heaping 1/4 tsp salt, plus more for sprinkling

  • Scrapings from 1 vanilla bean (can substitute 1 tsp vanilla extract or paste)

  • 4 Tbsp bourbon (or other whiskey)


  1. Preheat oven to 300.

  2. Spray a large baking sheet with cooking spray or line it with parchment. Have a rubber spatula handy.

  3. Pop the popcorn and transfer it to a large bowl.

  4. Heat the butter, sugar, molasses, corn syrup, and salt in a medium sauce pan over medium-high heat, stirring frequently.

  5. Once the mixture comes to a boil, cook another 5 minutes.

  6. Remove from heat and add the whiskey (watch up for splatters) and vanilla.

  7. Stir and immediately pour over the popcorn.

  8. Use a rubber spatula to stir until the popcorn is nicely coated and then transfer to the baking sheet, spreading out to an even layer.

  9. Taste a couple of kernels - not "salted caramel" enough? Sprinkle with more salt.

  10. Bake for 35 minutes, stirring once halfway through.

  11. Let cool ~15 minutes before eating.

  12. Store leftovers in a ziptop bag on the counter... if you have leftovers.

Overall, went well.  However, baking in the oven for 35 min cooked the popcorn down and almost burned the caramel.  Next time I would bake for 10 min, or see if I could get away with not baking it at all.  I would also be a little less liberal with the sprinkling of salt.
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high fidelity

Apple Cranberry Jam (Food in Jars)

Tried this one out in very small batch since I didn't want to haul out the canner.

Original (http://foodinjars.com/2009/11/gift-in-a-jar-apple-cranberry-jam/):

8 cups of peeled and diced apple (approximately 5-6 large apples, 1/2 inch dice. Use a softer apple like a Golden Delicious. Firm apples won't cook down as well.)
4 cups of whole cranberries
6 cups sugar
1 cup water
2 lemons, zested and juiced

Combine the apples, cranberries, sugar and water in a large pot (use a big one, this jam will bubble) over high heat. Bring to a boil, skimming off the foam that develops on the top of the fruit. Cook for 10-15 minutes, until the cranberries pop and the apples soften.
Add the lemon zest and juice and simmer until the liquid in the pot begins to thicken (because both apples and cranberries are naturally high in pectin, you won't need any additional pectin to help this jam set, as long as you cook it until thick and syrup-y).
Ladle into prepared jars, wipe rims, apply lids and process in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes. Label nicely and distribute to those you love.


I made only 1/4 of this:
2 cups apples (used Honey Crisp)
1 cup cranberries
1 cup sugar
1/3 water
1/2 lemon, zest and juice
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cloves

I added the spices at the same time as the zest and lemon juice.  Overall, I would use more sugar next time (maybe 1 1/4 cup?), as it is a little tart.  Also, I would chop the fruit up using the food processor so that it's a little less chunky.  With the ingredients above, I got about 2/3 of a pint.
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