Saturday, June 30, 2012

Date Night : Bibimbap with Asian Marinated Flank Steak, Kimchi Fried Rice, Sautéed Vegetables, & Sweet Gochujang Sauce

Wow, I'm just now realizing that I haven't posted a date night recipe in a while. That's sad. But hey, I'm posting one now, that counts for something. Do y'all love the whole Asian taco craze right now? We sure do. One of our favorite places to go that features this fusion is Hankook Taqueria in Atlanta. If y'all are ever in Atlanta for the weekend, I seriously recommend that you go there. Alton Brown actually featured it on "The Best Thing I Ever Ate" on the Food Network. The tacos are great, but I personally prefer their Bulgogi nachos, sesame french fries, and Bibimbap. And for a while now, I've been itchin' to recreate one of their dishes at home. Well, we finally got inspired to make Bibimbap, which is pretty much a bowl of rice, vegetables, some kind of meat, and an egg. It really is up to you on how you make it, and that's why I like it. The first thing that I knew I wanted to make was Asian Marinated Flank Steak because that's just the perfect component. We like our steak seared to medium or medium-rare, but you can cook yours anyway you like. At the bottom of the bowl, we scooped a heaping amount of bacon-kimchi fried rice to serve as the base. This rice is super delish people. So, don't leave it out. Now, the vegetables, that's solely up to you. We used carrots, zucchini, mushrooms, and spinach. But, other popular choices are squash, bean sprouts, or onions. Just pick your favorites and cook 'em up! We topped our Bibimbap with a fried egg and a drizzle of sweet Gochujang sauce. These are important components, so don't leave them out. And if you don't know what Gochujang is, it's a Korean condiment that is similar to Ketchup, but somewhat spicy like Sriracha. I know this may seem like a crazy dish, but it all totally works. It's like a really fancy fried rice, yummmm!! Enjoy :)
Bibimbap with Asian Marinated Flank Steak 
Don't Forget the Fried Egg + Sweet Gochujang Sauce!
For the Asian Marinated Flank Steak:
½C Soy Sauce
½C Cooking Sherry
4T Honey
2T Sesame Oil
2T Fresh Ginger, Minced
3 Cloves Fresh Garlic, Minced
½t Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
1 Whole Flank Steak
Hoisin Sauce, For Glazing

For the Kimchi Fried Rice:
1t Sesame Oil
1T Vegetable Oil
1T Chili-Garlic Sriracha
3 Slices of Thick Cut Bacon, Cut into Small Pieces & Fried until Crispy
2 Cloves of Garlic, Minced
3 Green Onions, Thinly Sliced
2T Soy Sauce
¾C Kimchi, Chopped
3C Leftover White Rice

For the Sweet Gochujang Sauce:
1T Gochujang & Rice Wine Vinegar
1T Honey
1t Soy Sauce, Brown Sugar, Sesame Oil
1t Toasted Sesame Seeds

For the Bibimbap:
Prepared Kimchi Fried Rice
Asian Marinated Flank Steak, Thinly Sliced
Sautéed Carrots, Zucchini, Fried Spinach Bean Sprouts, & Mushrooms
Fried Eggs
Fresh Minced Chives or Green Onions, For Garnishing
Prepared Sweet Gochujang Sauce, For Drizzling

1. To Marinate the Asian Flank Steak: Combine all of the ingredients in a mixing bowl and whisk until incorporated. Remove the flank steak from the package and rinse it off. Place the meat into a plastic big and pour the marinade over the meat. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight preferably. Remove the steak from the marinade and place on a plate, and let it come to room temperature, about 1 hour.
2. To Cook the Asian Flank Steak: Heat a grill pan on high heat. When the pan is extremely hot, place the steak on a slight angle. Cook without touching for about 2 minutes. Rotate the meat about 45 degrees, keeping it on the same side, and cook for another 1-2 minutes. Flip the meat over and cook it using the same method used previously, and for a total cook time of 5-8 minutes for medium-rare. Glaze the meat with the hoisin sauce while the meat is cooking. Remove the meat to a cutting board and let it rest for 10 minutes before slicing. Once it has rested, thinly slice the meat against the grain. Keep it warm until ready to serve.
3. To Make the Kimchi Fried Rice: In a medium bowl, combine the rice and chili-garlic sauce. Mix until the rice is evenly covered in the sauce, set aside. In a large fry pan or wok, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and green onions until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the rice and mix everything together well. Use a spatula to flatten the rice against the pan, and keep still for about 3 - 5 minutes to let the rice get crispy. Repeat until the rice is evenly crispy. Next, add the soy sauce and sesame oil, adding more to taste, stir well. Mix in the crumbled bacon and chopped Kimchi. Keep warm until ready to serve.
4. To Make the Gochujang Sauce: Mix all of the ingredients in a bowl until smooth and incorporated. Refrigerate until ready to use.
5. For the Bibimbap: Scoop some of the Kimchi fried rice into a large bowl. Top the rice with all of the sautéed vegetables & sliced flank steak around the bowl, leaving a spot in the middle. Place the crispy soft poached egg in the center. Garnish with a drizzle of the Gochujang sauce on top of all the components.  Serve warm.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Cinnamon-Sugar Whole Wheat Pizza Dough Pretzels with a Drizzle of Honey

I'm obviously not a big fan of chains. I just don't like the whole "mass-produced" idea. I prefer quality not quantity. But, there are those times where you have no choice and a chain is all you got. One of those chains that I don't mind to frequent is Mellow Mushroom. I happen to love their unique pizza toppings, but what I love the most, are their pizza dough pretzels. You can get them savory or sweet, and for me, it just depends on my mood. However, I made some whole wheat pizza dough the other night and I thought that it would be perfect for recreating their cinnamon-sugar pretzels. I rolled the homemade dough into pretzel shapes, brushed them with butter, and dunked them into a cinnamon-sugar mixture. After they bake up, you hav'ta drizzle them with some honey... because that's the best part. Lots & lots of honey!! Enjoy :)
Cinnamon-Sugar Whole Wheat Pizza Dough Pretzels

Don't forget the drizzle of honey :)
For the Whole Wheat Pizza Dough:
1t Active Dry Yeast
2 ½C AP Flour
1 ½C Whole Wheat Flour
½t Salt & Sugar
1/3C Olive Oil

For the Cinnamon-Sugar Pretzels:
½C Sugar
2T Cinnamon
Unsalted Butter, Melted
Honey, For Drizzling

1. For the Whole Wheat Pizza Dough: Sprinkle the yeast over the warm water. In a mixer, combine flour, whole-wheat flour, salt, and sugar. With the mixer running on low speed, drizzle in the olive oil or until just combined with the flour. Next, pour in the yeast mixture and mix until just combined. Coat a separate bowl with a light drizzle of oil and form the dough into a ball. Toss to coat the dough, and then cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator for at least 1 day, but preferably 3-4 days.
2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with a Silpat.
3. Remove the pizza dough from the refrigerator and cut the dough into 8 equal portions. Roll out each piece of dough into a 24inch rope. Make a U-shape with the rope, holding the ends of the rope, cross them over each other and press onto the bottom of the U in order to form the shape of a pretzel. Place the pretzels onto the prepared baking sheet. Brush on some of the melted butter.
4. Bake the pretzels for 10-12 minutes depending on your oven until they are lightly golden brown and cooked through completely. Remove them from your oven and directly dunk them into the melted butter, making sure that they are completely covered. Next, dip them into the cinnamon sugar mixture until they are coated. Place them onto a serving plate; sprinkle with more cinnamon sugar, and then drizzle the tops with honey. 
5. Enjoy immediately!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Revamped: Slow Roasted Tomato-Corn Pie with Bacon, White Cheddar, & Cracked Black Pepper Biscuit Crust

Revamped: Slow Roasted Tomato-Corn Pie with Bacon, White Cheddar,
& Cracked Black Pepper Biscuit Crust
Tomato pie is extremely popular in the South. I have always loved the flavor, but I have always hated the excess of tomato juice at the bottom of the pan. Sogginess + Me = Unhappiness. Almost a year ago, I made  this tomato-corn pie, and I really liked parts of the recipe, but I knew that I wanted to change up a few things the next time I made it. I didn't want to change the crust recipe because I loved the biscuit texture and the black pepper kick. The biggest difference between these two pies are the tomatoes. And don't get me wrong, nothin' is better than a heirloom tomato, like literally. But they have so much juice that it can make the bottom of a tomato pie very soggy. My solution? Axe the fresh tomato pie idea and use slow roasted instead. Slow roasted are an obsession right now. I made the best BLT with them a month ago, and well, they are amazing on top of everything. Well, slow roasted tomatoes are perfect in this pie, y'all. When they are mixed with fresh sweet corn, smoky bacon, creamy cheddar cheese, and green onion, it's a match-made-in-heaven. My Mountain Man, who didn't get to try a piece of my previous pie & who had never even tried tomato pie before, woofed down half of this pie before I could even cut a slice. So, he's officially obsessed with tomato pie now. This is the perfect summer dinner for us... we can just run over to the farmer's market and grab some tomatoes, corn, and green onion, and bake up one of these for dinner. It's perfect with a glass of wine!! Enjoy :)
Cracked Black Pepper Biscuit Crust
All Sliced Into
Look at those beautiful layers...
My Slice of Pie :)
For the Cracked Black Pepper Biscuit Crust:
2C AP Flour
1T Baking Powder
¾t Salt
2t Fresh Cracked Coarse Pepper (or a little more if you like, we liked a lot of pepper)
6T Unsalted Butter, Very Cold & Cut into ¼inch Cubes
¾C Buttermilk

For the Slow Roasted Tomatoes:
8 Barely Ripe Roma Tomatoes, Cut into ½inch Thick Slices
Fresh Rosemary
Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper, To Taste

For the Tomato-Corn Pie:
Prepared Slow Roasted Tomatoes, Room Temperature
2C Fresh Corn
6 Strips of Thick Applewood Smoked Bacon, Cut into Cubes & Fried until Crispy
¼C Sour Cream & Mayo
¼t Cayenne, Paprika, Garlic Powder, & Onion Powder (or seasoned to your liking)
2T Fresh Chives, Minced or Snipped
3 Green Onions, Thinly Sliced (divided)
2C Cheddar Cheese, Shredded
Salt & Pepper, To Taste
1T Melted Butter, For Brushing

1. For the Slow-Roasted Tomatoes: Preheat the oven to 250 degrees and lay the slices of tomato onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper with the fresh rosemary. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle lightly with salt & pepper. Bake for 3-4 hours until shriveled around the edge, but still maintaining their juice. If you have leftover tomatoes, simply cover the leftovers with olive oil and place into the refrigerator.
2. To Make the Biscuit Crust: Mix flour, baking powder, and salt in a food processor. Add the butter and pulse until it resembles a coarse meal. Add the milk & coarse black pepper, and pulse until it forms dough. Split it in half and roll each out on a well-floured surface. Fit one of the pie crusts into a 9inch pie plate.
3. To Make the Tomato-Corn Pie Filling: In a mixing bowl, whisk together the sour cream, mayo, cayenne, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, fresh chives, 1 green onion, salt and pepper until incorporated. Stir in 1 ½C cheddar cheese until mixed. Place half of the slow roasted tomatoes on top of the crust, and then sprinkle with some of the corn, crispy bacon, and other two sliced green onions. Spoon on the cheese mixture on top of the tomato-corn-bacon-green onion layers and lightly spread it until it’s an even layer. Sprinkle with the remaining ½C of cheddar cheese and some chives or green onions.  Fit the other piecrust on top, folding it over the edges of the bottom one and crimping to seal in the juices.
4. Brush the top of the pie with butter and cut slits in the top to let out steam.
5. Bake in a preheated 350 degrees for 30-45 minutes or until the top is golden brown and the filling is bubbling & hot.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Spiced Carrot Cake Doughnuts with Liquid Cheesecake Filling, Vanilla Glaze, White Chocolate Coating, & Milk Crumb Topping

I love love love to make doughnuts. Even though it's a process, they are just so fun to make. I have been on a red velvet kick recently, well let's be honest, my entire life. So why not switch it up a bit and make some carrot cake doughnuts? I have always preferred yeast doughnuts because they are just buttery and light & fluffy. But this time, I decided to go with a cake version. The batter consists of all the typical cake doughnut ingredients, but I have added cinnamon, nutmeg, ground ginger, buttermilk, orange zest, brown butter, and finely shredded carrots. I used a biscuit cutter and made them into larger round, like doughnut holes on steroids. After I fried them suckers up until they were brown & crispy, I let them cool enough to fill them. The filling is called "liquid cheesecake" because it literally is cheesecake... in liquid form. I just put this chilled cheesecake into a piping bag and stuffed it into the center. After they have been filled, I coated them in a classic vanilla glaze. Once the vanilla glaze has set, dip the glazed doughnuts into melted white chocolate, and then immediately dunk them into the homemade milk crumb topping. Both the liquid cheesecake and milk crumb topping comes from Momofuku Milk Bar's Carrot Cake Truffles. The milk crumb topping tastes like cereal + graham cracker crumbs + everything else delicious and sweet. Like most desserts I make, each one has about a million components, but they are all just toooooo good. Oh and just a hint to make things a little easier on yourself, I pre-made the liquid cheesecake and milk crumb topping the night before so I could just assemble them once I had fried them! We actually snatched up all these doughnuts before I could even cut into the center to take a picture of the liquid cheesecake filling, bummer (sorry guys). But, maybe that's just an excuse to make these again?! I think so!! Enjoy y'all :)
Spiced Carrot Cake Doughnuts All Lined up
Spiced Carrot Cake Doughnuts with Liquid Cheesecake Filling with Vanilla Glaze,
White Chocolate Coating, & Milk Crumb Topping
yummy white chocolate + milk crumb topping
these are sooo delicious :)
For the Spiced Carrot Cake Doughnuts:
3 ½C AP Flour
2/3C Sugar
2t Cinnamon
½t Nutmeg
½t Ground Ginger
2 ½t Baking Powder
1t Salt
¾t Baking Soda
1 Egg + 1 Egg White
1C Buttermilk
1t-1T Fresh Orange Zest
4T Unsalted Butter, Melted & Browned
1C Carrots, Finely Shredded
Canola Oil, For Frying 

For the Liquid Cheesecake Filling:
2 8oz Packages of Cream Cheese, Room Temperature
1 ½C Sugar
2T Cornstarch
1t Salt
4T Milk
2 Eggs 

For the Glaze:
3C Confectioners’ Sugar
½C Milk
½t Vanilla & Salt
For the Milk Crumb Topping:
1 ½C Milk Powder
½C AP Flour
¼C Cornstarch & Sugar
½t Salt
1 Stick of Unsalted Butter, Melted
6oz White Chocolate, Melted

1. To Make the Carrot Cake Doughnuts: In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, 2/3 cup sugar, 1 tbsp. nutmeg, baking powder, salt, and baking soda; set aside. In a bowl, whisk together egg and egg white until frothy. Whisk in buttermilk and butter. Stir buttermilk mixture into dry ingredients to form dough. Transfer dough to a floured surface; gently roll to 1/2" thickness. Using a floured 3 1/4" round cookie cutter, cut out rounds of dough and transfer to parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Gather dough scraps, knead briefly to form a ball and flatten and cut out more rounds. Repeat until all dough is used. Using a round cookie cutter, cut out center of each round. Chill doughnuts and holes for 30 minutes. Pour oil into a deep fryer and heat over medium-high heat until a thermometer reads 350°. Working in small batches, fry doughnuts and holes, turning, until golden brown, 3–4 minutes on each side for doughnuts and 2–3 minutes for holes. Using tongs, transfer doughnuts to a wire rack to drain.
2. For the Liquid Cheesecake Filling: Set the oven to 300 degrees. Beat the cream cheese in a bowl with an electric mixer for about 2 minutes. Add the sugar and mix until the sugar has been incorporated. In a small bowl, mix together the cornstarch, salt, milk, and eggs, and whisk until the mixture is smooth. Beat this mixture into the cream cheese and beat for 3 minutes. Place the liquid cheesecake in an ovenproof bowl. Place the bowl into another ovenproof pan and fill with enough boiling water to come up halfway up the sides of the liquid cheesecake. Bake the cheesecake in this water bath for 15 minutes. Remove the cheesecake bowl from the water and let it cool. Once it has cooled, pipe or stuff the cheesecake filling into the center of the carrot cake doughnut (making sure not to overstuff them).
3. For the Glaze: Mix all the ingredients in a bowl until completely smooth. One by one, dip the doughnuts into the glaze until halfway submerged. Remove from the glaze, and then turn right side up on a cooling rack over a cookie sheet (to catch extra glaze). Let the glaze harden completely before adding the melted white chocolate and milk crumb topping.
4. For the Milk Crumb Topping: Preheat the oven to 250 degrees and line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Whisk to combine 1C Milk Powder with the flour, cornstarch, sugar, and salt. Add the melted butter and use a spatula to toss the mixture until small clusters form. Spread these clusters onto your parchment covered baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Add the remaining ½C of Milk Powder and toss, and then crush the large clusters with a fork. Pour the 6oz of melted white chocolate over the crumbs and toss until large crumbs form again. Place the crumbs in the refrigerator or freezer to let the white chocolate harden. If the crumbs are too large, crush with a fork or spin them briefly in a food processor.  Keep cold until ready to top the doughnuts.
5. Garnishing the Doughnuts: Melt the 12oz of remaining white chocolate until smooth. Dip the tops of the glazed doughnuts into the melted white chocolate, so that there’s a smooth white chocolate topping. While still melted, dip the white chocolate covered, dipped doughnuts into the milk crumb topping, so that there’s a heavy coating of the crumbs on top.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Fig-Prosciutto Pizza with Crispy Shallots, Baby Arugula, & Balsamic Reduction

We are lovin' these summer pizzas that feature fruit. Who knew that would be so delicious? And pairing it with a salty meat, that's my kinda meal, baby. Well, fig + prosciutto should be served together at all times. We actually featured this combination in the recipe, Grilled Brie with Truffle Honey, Roasted Figs, & Prosciutto. And it was to. die. for. So, when I saw this pizza on The Pionner Woman's blog, I knew we had to make it. But I had to add some crispy shallots (typical) and a balsamic reduction. This pizza was scrumptious and we hoovered every slice. It was just so perfectly balanced. I urge y'all to make some of the fruit pizzas because they are just plain good, y'all!! Enjoy :)
Mmm prosciuttooooo
fig + prosciutto pizza  
you gotta have sweet & salty :)
For the Crispy Shallots:
4 Large Shallots, Thinly Sliced
2T Olive Oil

For the Balsamic Reduction:
¼C Balsamic Vinegar
1t Honey
For the Pizza:
Prepared Pizza Dough
Fig Jam
Fresh Mozzarella, Thinly Sliced
Prosciutto, Thinly Sliced
Crispy Shallots
Baby Arugula
Freshly Shaved Parmesan Cheese

1. For the Crispy Shallots: Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the thinly sliced shallots and sauté, stirring often, until they are golden brown and crispy, about 5 minutes. Remove the crispy shallots to a paper towel-lined plate to drain, and set them aside until ready to use.
2. For the Balsamic Reduction: Add the balsamic vinegar and honey to a small saucepan and cook to reduce for 3-5 minutes, or until thick and syrupy. Set it aside until ready to drizzle on top of the pizza.
3. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees and roll out half of the pizza dough as thinly as possible and place onto a large baking sheet (the other half can be used for another pizza).
4. Making the Pizza: Drizzle the dough lightly with olive oil and sprinkle a little bit of salt and fresh cracked pepper. Spread the fig jam all over the surface. Lay the sliced mozzarella across the dough, and then sprinkle the crumbled goat cheese on top of the mozzarella. Bake the pizza for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the cheese is bubbly. Remove from the oven and immediately lay the thin slices of prosciutto over the hot pizza. Scatter the crispy shallots on top of the prosciutto. Just before serving, garnish the pizza with fresh baby arugula, shaved Parmesan, and a drizzle of balsamic reduction. Cut into squares or slices and serve immediately.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Watermelon-Feta-Arugula Salad with Serrano Chile Vinaigrette

Here's another recipe that I love from my beloved Hugh Acheson. While reading about it in his cookbook, he said this was the perfect combination of sweet-salty-spicy-bitter that he had ever tried. He also liked mango, chile, and country ham, which I'm definitely going to try next. I sure do like my stuff spicy, so I doubled the amount of Serrano chiles in the salad recipe. Feel free to just use a total of two when making it for yourself. At first, we were both weary of this great combination, but eventually, it somehow all worked together. I did add some thinly sliced red onions, just for a little bite. We marinated the salad with some of the vinaigrette, added in some arugula right at the end so it wouldn't wilt, and packed them into containers for our picnic to go along side some yummy Tarragon-Lobster Rolls. We dug right into the salad first, and bam, so much flavor in such a small salad. And we loved it!! The salad was summery-fresh and the perfect side in the hot weather of Savannah. I would definitely recommend this to anyone who's looking for a unique combination of flavors!! Enjoy :)
Watermelon-Feta-Arugula Salad with Serrano Chile Vinaigrette 
the view from the top
For the Serrano Chile Vinaigrette:
½C Olive Oil
1 Lime, Zested & Juiced
2T Champagne Vinegar
3T Honey
1 Shallot, Minced
1 Large Garlic Clove, Minced
1-2 Serrano Chiles, Thinly Sliced
½t Fresh Rosemary, Minced
Salt & Pepper, To Taste

For the Salad:
Prepared Serrano Chile Vinaigrette
1 Medium Seedless Watermelon, Skin & Rind Removed & Cut into Squares
1-2 Serrano Chiles, Thinly Sliced
Baby Arugula Leaves
Red Onion, Thinly Sliced (optional)
½lb Feta, Cut into Cubes
Salt & Pepper, To Taste

1. For the Serrano Chile Vinaigrette: Combine the olive, limejuice, vinegar, shallot, chile, rosemary, and seasonings in a mason jar, tighten the lid, and shake vigorously. Keep in the refrigerator until ready to use.
2. For the Salad: Place the watermelon squares, feta cubes, Serrano slices, red onion, and arugula in large bowl, and dress with half of the vinaigrette. Season lightly with salt & pepper. Add a small amount of dressed arugula on each plate, then the watermelon-feta mixture on top. Repeat with the remaining ingredients. Garnish with the dressed Serrano slices and then drizzle with a touch of the vinaigrette around each plate. Serve immediately.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Tarragon Lobster Rolls with Butter Poached Lobster Tails, Tarragon Mayo, Fresh Chives, & Crispy Shallots on a Hot Buttered Roll

Tarragon Lobster Rolls with Butter Poached Lobster Tails, Tarragon Mayo, Fresh Chives,
& Crispy Shallots on a Hot Buttered Roll 
Okay, so I raved about these lobster rolls on Saturday. I couldn't put it up that day because I hadn't written the recipe and the pictures weren't ready. Fun Fact... I usually don't like lobster. I'm kinda not a seafood person. I'm definitely growing into it more, but fish is on my hell-naw list, and lobster used to be too. But, after this lobster roll, all bets are off. I loved it, my mountain man... he would die for it. Literally. I looked at a few recipes to get some inspiration about how to make them. I had always heard of boiling lobster, but I came across the brilliant idea about butter-poaching the lobster tails. This made the meat luscious, tender, and buttery-good. I made the mayo with some dijon mustard, fresh celery and onion, chives, fresh tarragon, and some lemon zest. It had a great strong flavor, but didn't detract from the natural sweetness from the lobster. But the best parts my friends are the hot buttered rolls and crispy shallots. The rolls are heaven-on-earth. Just whip up some of these for dinner... and then probably die immediately afterwards. Totally worth it. And if I had my say, everything would be topped with crispy shallots, like crispy shallots garnished with crispy shallots sounds amazing to me. I'm over-indulgent though. Anyway, we took these lobster rolls out to the park for picnic, along with some potato salad that is our absolute-go-to-picnic-side recipe. One of our best picnic meals ever!! Enjoy :)
Look at all those chunks of butter poached lobster
before the crispy shallot topping
our favorite potato salad.
For the Butter Poached Lobster Tails
2 Lobster Tails
Unsalted Butter

For the Tarragon Mayo:
2T Mayo
¼t Dijon Mustard
¼C Fresh Celery, Finely Diced
¼C Sweet Onion, Minced
1T Fresh Tarragon, Minced
¼t Fresh Lemon Zest
Pinch of Sugar
Salt & Pepper, To Taste
1T Fresh Chives, Minced (plus extra for sprinkling)
Butter Poached Lobster Tails, Roughly Chopped & Chilled

For the Crispy Shallots:
2 Large Shallots, Thinly Sliced
Vegetable Oil For Frying

For the Hot Buttered Rolls:
2 Top-Loading Hot Dog Buns
4T Unsalted Butter

For the Lobster Rolls:
Prepared Tarragon Mayo Tossed Lobster
Fresh Chives, For Garnishing
Crispy Shallots
Fresh Cracked Pepper, For Garnishing

1. For the Butter Poached Lobster Tails: In a small pot, bring the butter (enough to cover the tails) to a slight boil, and then add in one tail. Cook on one side for about 6 minutes, flip the tail, and then cook for another 2-3 minutes, until the shell is pick and the meat is cooked through. Remove from the butter and place onto and cutting board to cool. Repeat this step with the other lobster tail. Once both tails are poached and room temperature, remove the meat from the shells and roughly chopped into cubes. Chill the cubed meat while you make the mayo.
2. For the Tarragon Mayo: Mix together all of the ingredients until smooth and incorporated. Add in the chilled lobster meat and toss to combine. Chill in the refrigerator.
3. For the Crispy Shallots: Fry the sliced shallots in some butter or oil, over medium heat, until slightly crispy & golden brown. It just takes a few minutes. Remove them from the butter, drain them on a paper towel, and sprinkle lightly with salt. Set them aside.
4. For the Buttered Rolls: In a small sauté pan over medium heat, melt the butter. Place the rolls on their sides in the butter. Flip the buns a couple times so that all sides soak up an equal amount of butter and brown evenly. Remove the buns from the pan and place them onto a plate.
5. Assembling the Lobster Rolls: Open the buttered rolls and fill them generously with the tossed lobster mixture. Garnish with fresh chives, fresh cracked pepper, and crispy shallots. Enjoy immediately.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Spicy, Pickled Rainbow Heirloom Tomatoes on Crostini & Goat Cheese

We just got back from our weekly picnic at Forsyth, and boy did we have the best lobster rolls of my life. I can't wait to post them for y'all, that's how good they were. But, until then, I'm going to post one my favorite recipes from Hugh Acheson's cookbook, A New Turn in the South. If you didn't know, I am absolutely obsessed with Hugh Acheson, his food, & his restaurants. So, when I found out that he was coming out with a cookbook, I actually pre-ordered it like 6 months in advance. I am literally mesmerized by his modern Southern concept. This was the first recipe we actually made, and after that, we made it 3-4 more times because the Summer tomatoes were just so beautiful. Our favorite way to eat this spicy, pickled cherry tomatoes are on some crostini with a smear of goat cheese. It's wonderful and so simple. But, I think these would be awesome as a topping on Italian sandwich or on a burger. That's on the list next. Anyway, you need to hurry up and make these quick while there are so many gorgeous tomatoes out there!! Enjoy :)
Spicy, Pickled Rainbow Heirloom Tomatoes on Crostini & Goat Cheese
Southern Bruschetta, y'all :)
For the Spicy, Pickled Rainbow Heirloom Tomatoes:
3C Rainbow Heirloom Cherry Tomatoes, Cut in Halves
1t Salt
1/3C Olive Oil
3 Shallots, Minced
4 Jalapenos, Thinly Sliced
1t Cumin Seeds & Mustard Seeds, Toasted & Ground
2T Freshly Squeezed Lime Juice
2t Cane Vinegar
1T Light Brown Sugar
1C Fresh Mint & Fresh Parsley, Chopped
Salt & Pepper, To Taste

For the Bruschetta:
Prepared Spicy Pickled Tomatoes
Goat Cheese, Room Temperature
Fried Bread Pieces or Toasted Crostini

1. For the Spicy Pickled Cherry Tomatoes: Place the tomatoes in a mixing bowl. Season the tomatoes with salt & pepper. In a large frying pan, bring the olive oil to a shimmer over medium-high heat. Add in the shallot, and then the jalapenos. Fry off until tender, about 2 minutes, and then add in the cumin and mustard seed paste. Toast for 1 minute and remove from the heat. Let it cool slightly and carefully add the limejuice, vinegar, and brown sugar, and then pour this mixture over the seasoned tomatoes. Add the mint and parsley, and let it sit at room temperature for 2-3 hours to let the flavors marinate. Store this mixture in the refrigerator until ready to serve. It can be kept for 2 weeks in the bowl or canned for 6-8 months.
2. For the Bruschetta: Spread some of the softened goat cheese onto bread slices or Crostini and then top with the pickled cherry tomatoes.