Monday, October 26, 2015

The New England Express

The other day, a colleague of mine posted that it was officially fall for her now that she had made her first batch of New England Express cocktails.  I might need to move into the cubicle next to her.  Then again, I know the guy who works in the cubicle who works next to her.

Recipe from Bon Appetit

The New England Express
Servings: 8

  • Thyme Syrup 
    • ⅓ cup sugar 
    • 8 sprigs thyme 
  • Assembly 
    • 2 cups apple cider 
    • 1½ cups dark rum 
    • ¾ cup fresh lime juice 
    • 1 teaspoon Angostura bitters 
    • Club soda 
    • 8 sprigs thyme 
    • 8 lime slices 

Thyme syrup: Bring sugar and ⅓ cup water to a boil in a small saucepan, stirring to dissolve sugar. Remove from heat, add thyme sprigs, and cover. Let stand 10 minutes, then strain into a small jar. Let cool.

Do Ahead: Syrup can be made 1 month ahead. Cover and chill.

Assembly: Mix thyme syrup, cider, rum, lime juice, and bitters in a pitcher. Divide among rocks glasses filled with ice; top off with club soda. Garnish with thyme sprigs and lime slices.

Do Ahead: Thyme syrup, cider, rum, lime juice, and bitters can be mixed 4 hours ahead. Cover and chill.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Potato Gratin Fries

I really, really want a deep fryer. These would be really, really good. From the Washington Post Magazine, August 23, 2015.

Potato Gratin Fries

A rich, special-occasion dish of beautifully layered potatoes, crisp on the outside and buttery within. Without the top crust, it's not a true gratin, but it is assembled in the same way for the baking. At G by Mike Isabella, these accompany a cauliflower "steak"; you can serve them the same way you would any fries: alongside roasts or steaks, with sandwiches or salads, or as an appetizer (with ketchup or the dipping sauce of your choice, if desired). You'll need an instant-read thermometer.

Make Ahead: The baked potato gratin needs to be refrigerated/weighted overnight. It can be refrigerated for up to 5 days before frying.

Servings: 12-16
Tested size: 12-16 servings

  • 5 pounds russet potatoes (5 to 6 large), peeled
  • 16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon coarse sea salt
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Slice the potatoes as thinly as possible, preferably using a mandoline. (Don’t worry about immersing them in water to keep them from turning gray; the last-step frying renders that moot.)
  2. Line the bottom of an 8-inch square baking dish with parchment paper, and brush it with some of the melted butter. Arrange one layer of the potatoes in the dish, overlapping them slightly. Brush with the butter and sprinkle with a little bit of the salt. Repeat with another layer of potatoes, butter and salt, and repeat until all the potatoes, butter and salt are used.
  3. Cover the dish tightly with aluminum foil; bake until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a skewer, 60 to 90 minutes. Remove from the oven. Fit a dish on top so it presses directly on the potatoes through the foil, and put a few heavy cans of tomatoes or beans on the dish, as weights. Cool to room temperature, then transfer the setup to the refrigerator to chill and compress overnight.
  4. When ready to fry, pour the oil to a depth of 4 inches into a deep skillet over medium-high heat. Set a cooling rack over a baking sheet lined with paper towels.
  5. Remove the potato gratin from the refrigerator. Fill the sink with an inch of hot tap water, and set the pan in the water for a minute or two to loosen the solid mass. Discard the foil, run a knife blade around the inside edge of the dish and invert onto a cutting board so the gratin comes out in one block. Discard the parchment paper.
  6. Use a sharp knife to cut the gratin into 1-inch slabs. Turn each slab onto its side and cut on the diagonal into 1/2-inch pieces. Return the bulk of the pieces to the refrigerator to stay chilled until you fry them.
  7. Once the oil registers 375 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, use a slotted spoon to carefully lower each piece into the hot oil, holding it for a few seconds before releasing (so the layers won't break up). Fry in batches, to avoid overcrowding, until the potatoes are golden brown, about 5 minutes. (Fry any odd/stray layered potato pieces left over from cutting, too.) Transfer to the cooling rack. Serve warm.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Broccoli Chicken Mac and Cheese

I think both LBA and SoBA would eat this.  Mrs. BA, probably not.  From Gimme Some Oven via BuzzFeed

Broccoli Chicken Mac and Cheese
Yield: 6-8 servings
This Broccoli Chicken Mac and Cheese recipe is made with a delicious cheddar-Parmesan cheesy sauce, and kicked up a notch with fresh broccoli and cooked chicken.

Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Total: 50 mins
Difficulty: Easy

  • 1 pound dry pasta (I used small shells, but you could use macaroni or any shape of pasta) 
  • 1 bunch broccoli, cut into bite-sized florets 
  • 2 tablespoons butter or olive oil 
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced 
  • 3 tablespoons flour 
  • 1 cup vegetable or chicken stock 
  • 1 cup milk, warmed 
  • 2 1/2 cups freshly-grated cheddar cheese (I recommend sharp cheddar) 
  • 1/2 cup freshly-grated Parmesan cheese 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or more to taste 
  • 1/4 teaspoon finely-ground black pepper, or more to taste 
  • 2 cooked boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup extra shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs 

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Cook pasta al dente in a large stockpot of salted water according to package instructions. About 2-3 minutes before the pasta reaches al dente, add in the broccoli florets and let them cook alongside the pasta for the remainder of the cooking time. Drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, as the pasta water is heating, melt butter in a (separate) medium saute pan over medium-high heat. Add garlic and saute for 1 minute or until fragrant, stirring occasionally. Whisk in the flour until combined and cook for an additional 1 minute, whisking occasionally. Slowly whisk in vegetable or chicken stock until the mixture is smooth. Then slowly whisk in the milk until it is combined. Continue cooking for 1-2 minutes, or until the mixture comes to a simmer. Then remove from heat, and stir in the cheddar, Parmesan, salt and pepper until the cheese sauce is smooth. Remove from heat.

Once the pasta and broccoli are cooked, pour the cheese sauce on top of the pasta, add in the chicken, and toss until everything is evenly combined.

At this point, you can either serve the pasta stovetop-style as-is. Or pour the pasta into a greased 9 x 13-inch baking dish, and sprinkle with extra cheddar cheese and Panko breadcrumbs. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the top becomes slightly crispy and the breadcrumbs are slightly golden. Remove and serve immediately.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Salty Chocolate Chunk Cookies

I love a good chocolate chip cookie.  Mrs. BA, in fact made some just this past weekend, she used Mrs. Nestle Toulouse's recipe.  She should make these, too. Via Epicurious

YIELD: Makes 24 servings

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder 
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda 
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature 
  • 3/4 cup (packed) light brown sugar 
  • 1/2 cup sugar 
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar 
  • 2 large egg yolks 
  • 1 large egg 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • 8 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate (do not exceed 72% cacao), coarsely chopped
  • Maldon or other flaky sea salt
Place racks in upper and lower thirds of oven and preheat to 375°F. Whisk flour, baking powder, kosher salt, and baking soda in a medium bowl; set aside.

Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter, brown sugar, sugar, and powdered sugar until light and fluffy, 3-4 minutes. Add egg yolks, egg, and vanilla. Beat, occasionally scraping down the sides of the bowl, until mixture is pale and fluffy, 4-5 minutes. Reduce mixer speed to low; slowly add dry ingredients, mixing just to blend. Using a spatula, fold in chocolate.

Spoon rounded tablespoonfuls of cookie dough onto 2 parchment paper-lined baking sheets, spacing 1" apart. Sprinkle cookies with sea salt.

Bake cookies, rotating sheets halfway through, until just golden brown around the edges, 10-12 minutes (the cookies will firm up as they cool). Let cool slightly on baking sheets, then transfer to wire racks; let cool completely.

DO AHEAD: Cookies can be made 1 day ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.