Saturday, June 20, 2015

BCBCPC (Bacon Caramel Bourbon Chili Popcorn)

 This is some fantastic stuff!

5 quarts of popped popcorn – best to use an air popper, this is about ¾ cup of unpopped corn
2 cups unsalted roasted cashews
1 lb bacon – cut in about ¼ inch squares and browned, see picture below

1 cup butter
2 cups brown sugar
½ cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar

1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ cup bourbon

Preheat oven to 250.

Melt butter over medium heat.

Mix in brown sugar, syrup, salt, cayenne, cream of tartar and stir until boiling begins.

Lower heat a wee bit, keep stirring until it reaches 250.

Remove from heat. Add baking soda and bourbon.

Stir in bacon.

Butter a large mixing bowl.

Add popcorn and cashews to bowl.

Fold caramel into mixture.

Spread onto buttered cookie sheets.

Place in preheated oven for 30 to 60 minutes, mixing every 10 to 15 minutes, until dry.

When done, cool and enjoy!

Refrigerate any leftovers. (ha!)

Wednesday, June 17, 2015



 Spaetzle is a German/Austrian style dumpling that is then fried. It is a great side for braised meats. The above is shown with caramelized onions. Could also top with chopped, fresh parsley.

 This makes 4-6 servings

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup plus a Tablespoon milk (must have some fat content)
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
pinch ground white pepper

chopped fresh parsley (or use a bunch of caramelized onions)

Mix together flour, salt, white pepper, and nutmeg.

In a separate bowl, beat eggs well.

Add egg alternately with the milk to the dry ingredients.

Mix until smooth.

Want it to be thick but not a dough. Should be a thick batter, Let rest 15 minutes. If too thin, sprinkle flour on top and fold in.

Bring pot of water to a boil and add salt.

Press mixture through spaetzle maker, or a large holed sieve or metal grater, or through a ricer set at medium or large, directly into the pot of salted water.Here's a photo of the batter going into a ricer. I do have a spaetzle maker, however, wanted to show how this works.

Cook 6 to 8 minutes.

Drain well. Want to remove as much moisture as possible before the next step as you want the spaetzle to brown not steam.

Heat sauté pan and get butter to start foaming


Sauté cooked spaetzle until golden.

Sprinkle chopped fresh parsley or caramelized onions on top, and serve.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Crab Cakes

In a large bowl, mix together:

A pound of crabmeat – picked free of shells as much as possible
1/3 cup of bread crumbs
1 shallot - minced
About ½ cup of minced red bell pepper
About ¼ cup of minced parsley
1 teaspoon of dry mustard
2 cloves minced garlic
1 teaspoon of kosher salt
½ teaspoon of cayenne pepper (adjust to taste)

In another bowl, whip together:

1 egg
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
¼ cup mayonnaise
Juice from ½ of a lemon

Then, fold liquid mixture into the crab mixture. Shape into patties – should be about 10 to 12 of them and dust with flour.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add cooking oil to pan. When oil is ready, carefully place crab cakes in pan and fry until brown. This should take 2 – 4 minutes per side. May have to cook crab cakes in batches. They should be golden brown on both sides.

Serve warm with a sauce (could just squeeze the other half of the lemon all over them, or use that lemon juice to make a lemon-butter sauce.)

Poached Pears

I am not pleased with the picture of the final product. The sauce was overcooked and was not the right consistency. So, make it look better!

This is enough liquid for four pears.

Combine the following in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Then simmer for five minutes:

2 cups red wine – use a dark red like a cab or merlot. (Don’t use a Pinot. Want to have a rich color.)
5 Tablespoons sugar
1 strip of orange zest (about 1 inch by 3 inches)
About ½ cup of orange juice (that is about the amount of juice from an orange)
About 1 Tablespoon of fresh ginger thinly sliced
1 cinnamon stick

While liquid is coming to a boil and simmering, peel the pears. Leave the stem intact. Slice about ½-inch off the bottom of each pear to create a flat bottom.

Gently place pears in poaching liquid and cover. Simmer for 20 minutes, turning every 5 minutes to ensure even color. Pears should be cooked but still firm.

Remove the saucepan from the stove, uncover and cool with the pears upright in the pan. Once cool, cover and chill in refrigerator overnight or until ready to serve.

When ready, gently remove pears from liquid and allow to come to room temperature. Place the liquid back on medium-high heat for 15 – 20 minutes, reducing the liquid by at least a half, until liquid is thick and syrupy.

Slice the pears and drizzle each with a couple of Tablespoons of the syrup.

I like to serve with mascarpone. For a full container of mascarpone, whip in about 3 Tablespoons of sugar and a good dash of vanilla or rum. (taste and adjust) Crush up some pistachios and sprinkle that on top of rounded balls of mascarpone. Garnish with mint.