Thursday, April 29, 2010

My podcast (with recipes!)

I've started a podcast, "Carrie P's Cocktail Party," where I will talk about, among other things, food and cooking.

My first episode, which will be out later today, gives basic recipes for both saganaki and mint juleps.

So, I figured I'd cross-post the recipes for the podcast here as well.

For those who'd like to check out the podcast, the link is here.

Becky’s Mint Juleps
8 cups water
4 cups sugar
2 tsp mint extract
Good Quality Bourbon (such as Woodford Reserve)
Fresh mint

Combine water and sugar in large saucepan. Bring water to a boil, stirring occasionally. When water is fully boiling, remove from heat and let cool. Add mint extract and store in fridge or for up to a week. When making the drinks, mix 2-3 parts sugar mixture to 1 part bourbon over crushed ice. Garnish with fresh mint.

1 8 oz square Kasseri cheese or Yanni Grilling cheese
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup flour
1/2 shot grand Marnier
1/2 shot "Something Strong" (ouzo, bourbon, etc)
1/2 lemon

Hardware - cast-iron or flameproof pan, heatproof spatula, stick lighter

Cut cheese in half lengthwise, so you have two long, flat, slices. As if you were going to make a kasseri cheese sandwich. Dredge in flour evenly.

Melt butter in skillet. Add cheese. Grill on one side until bottom is golden brown and edges start to melt. Flip over, grill the other side until brown and the center is gooey. (poke it with your spatula to check this).

Turn off heat, remove pan from heat source. Pour in booze. Make sure you're not near anything that can catch on fire. Use stick lighter to light booze on fire, while saying OPA!

Let burn until flames start to die down, then finish them off by squeezing lemon on. Serve in the pan, with good bread.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Oven, Part 2

I put some slightly higher rent food in the oven this week. Even so, My savory bread pudding is still pretty much peasant food.

I adapted it from a Cheese and Wine Bake in the “I Hate to Cook Book,” by Peg Bracken. It is a tongue-in-cheek relic from the 60’s and 70’s that is, as advertised, simple, filling recipes for a harried housewife.

I kept the basic recipe, changed up the cheese, removed the mustard, added some sautéed veggies and herbs.

This is literally a refrigerator Velcro recipe. You can change the type and amount of vegetables to your taste. It’s not elegant, but it is delicious.

Savory Bread Pudding

Several thick slices of bread, enough to cover the bottom of a 9 X 13 baking dish
½ stick butter, softened
2 cloves garlic
3 eggs
2 cups shredded cheese
1 cup of white wine
½ cup of broth
1 rounded cup vegetables (I used a half an onion and a package of button mushrooms. I’ve also added zucchini and red peppers)
1-2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
Several grinds of fresh pepper
Salt to taste
Pinch of cayenne pepper

Preheat oven to 350.

Soften butter. Crush garlic cloves and mush into butter. Spread butter on bread. Put slices face down in baking dish.

Sautee vegetables in a little bit of oil and a pinch of salt, and any herbs you want. You want them to give up their liquid and then let that liquid evaporate off. (If you don’t do this, your end result will be waterlogged). Stir them every couple of minutes, over medium-high heat. Turn it down if it starts to burn.

Meanwhile, beat the eggs, then add broth, seasonings, and cheese. Stir to mix.
When veggies are done, spread them evenly over the bread. Top with wine-cheese mixture.

Cook, uncovered, for 30 minutes, until bread absorbs liquid, eggs set up, and cheese is nice and golden. Serve with a green salad and a small glass of wine.

Monday, April 12, 2010

My oven's fixed...

...and the first thing I cook is a frozen pizza.

I shall fix this problem soon, hopefully with a fruit pie and from-scratch crust.