Tag: Eggs

Weekend Finds 4:13:14: Passover edition!

As soon as I returned from Vietnam on Thursday, my mind quickly zeroed in on the upcoming holiday: Passover! While I sadly can’t make it home this year to celebrate with my family, I am going to have a small dinner at my house with my roommates. I don’t think we’ll do the whole seder, but I am looking forward to cooking some of my favorites and sharing this bit of tradition with my friends. Now, the age old question: should I stick with the known and loved recipes? Or try something new and adventurous? Here are some recipes I’ve been eyeing.

1. Haroset with Medjool Dates

Haroset on Weekend Finds // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
This smooth haroset has medjool dates!

I love haroset. When I was in college, and I couldn’t go home for Passover, but I certainly couldn’t cook a whole seder in my dorm, I still made haroset. This haroset looks a little more smooth than the one I usually make, but I like the addition of the dates for sweetness.

2. Matzo brittle/crunch/toffee

Matzo Toffee on Weekend Finds // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Matzo, brown sugar, butter, and chocolate: what could be better?

There are a thousand different variations on matzo brittle. Seriously, you can find so many recipes from a quick google search (see David Lebovitz, HuffPost, or Smitten Kitchen). But I’m thinking I’d like to be a little adventurous and top the traditionally matzo, toffee, and chocolate with some more interesting ingredients like dried sour cherries, toasted coconut, or pistachios.

3. Brisket

Passover Brisket on Weekend Finds // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Decisions, decisions: which brisket recipe to make?

Perhaps one thing I’m most excited to make for Passover is the brisket. My mom made this recipe from Martha Stewart at least once when I was growing up, and it is the one that really sticks out in my mind. But there are so many good looking recipes, like this one from Bon Appetit, that I’m already having trouble deciding which to use.

4. Deviled Eggs

Deviled Eggs on Weekend Finds // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
These asparagus deviled eggs look awesome.

I think making deviled eggs instead of simply serving plain hard boiled eggs might be more interesting and give me more chances to try something new. This recipe that Deb just posted on Smitten Kitchen looks great, and I love the use of a spring vegetable like asparagus.

5. Seder Plate

Seder Plates on Weekend Finds // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
I love the color of this Victorian seder plate.

I don’t have a seder plate, and this year I’ll probably just put a bunch of ramekins on a platter and call it good. Still, I haven’t been able to stop myself from eyeing some beautiful (and some very expensive) seder plates. This Victorian era seder plate is fantastic – I love the color, and I love to think that I’d use the cake stand part year round. I like the more modern take on this stainless steel seder plate. And this painted ceramic plate reminds me of the one we used growing up.

6. Matzo Brei

Matzo Brei on Weekend Finds // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
I like to sprinkle my matzo brei with sugar or syrup.

Because what else do you eat for breakfast during Passover?

Mint Matcha Ice Cream

Mint Matcha Ice Cream // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler

Mint Matcha Ice Cream // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Mint Matcha Ice Cream // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Mint Matcha Ice Cream // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler

When I made the anise ice cream that I posted about last week, it made me realize how truly simple it is to make your own ice cream. I mean, if you’ve got the ice cream attachment for the Kitchen Aid like my roommate does, or some other kind of ice cream churner. I found myself asking why I hadn’t been making my own crazily flavored ice cream for years. And you know what? I didn’t have a good answer.

So I thought I might as well start now. I’ve had some matcha sitting in my drawer since I made these madeleines, and I’d been wanting to try some matcha ice cream. But I didn’t want to make JUST matcha ice cream. After thinking about what flavor combinations might work with matcha – chocolate? lemon? – I decided to go with mint. I liked the idea of the herbaceous, refreshing mint with the earthy, almost savory matcha. So, mint matcha ice cream it is!

I also decided to make this ice cream this week because I thought it might be nice to start doing some holiday-oriented recipes. And while the flavors in this recipe have nothing to do with St. Patrick’s Day, it is green. Definitely green. Especially if you make it the day before you’re planning on eating it.

After a little research, this recipe is adapted from and inspired by David Lebovitz, Kinfolk, and many other ice cream recipes all over the internet.

Mint Matcha Ice Cream

Ingredients

1 cup whole milk
2 cups heavy cream, divided
3/4 cup granulated sugar
a pinch of salt
1 cup fresh mint leaves, rinsed
4 tsp matcha green tea
5 egg yolks

Instructions

In a saucepan over medium heat, combine milk, 1 cup of cream, sugar, salt, and mint leaves. Stir until sugar is dissolved, and once the mixture is hot and steaming, remove the pan from heat, cover, and let it steep for one hour.

Fifteen minutes before your mint is done steeping, get out two mixing bowls. In one, combine the other 1 cup of cream and the matcha. Whisk together until thoroughly combined and no clumps remain. In the other mixing bowl, whisk together the egg yolks.

Once the mint is done steeping in the milk mixture, strain out the mint leaves, pressing them to extract all of the flavor. Re-warm the milk over low heat – you want it to be warm, not too hot – and slowly pour it into the egg yolks and whisk until combined. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan, and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a heat-proof spatula, until the custard thickens enough to coat the back of a spatula. Strain the custard into the bowl with the matcha cream, and whisk again to combine. Stir the mixture over an ice bath to cool. Once cooled thoroughly, churn in your ice cream maker according to your machine’s instructions.

Gougères

Gougères // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler

Gougères // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Gougères // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Gougères // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler

I recently had a serious gougères craving. Which is not a normal craving. Normal people crave… I don’t know what. But my guess is not cheesy little dough puffs. Right?

Also, I’ve discovered I have a lot of cookbooks. I knew this. But when I was looking for a recipe to use for these gougères, I realized I have a few cookbooks that I have never even opened. Mostly these are ones I got for free. For example, I have about 5 old James Beard cookbooks. How many different recipes for one thing can the man really have? I think I need to do a little research and then pick one or two to keep. Because also, my cookbook bookshelf is officially overflowing. Books are starting to get piled on top of books, so you can’t see what they are, and everything falls out when you pull out your selection. Not good.

I also decided that I want to be the kind of person that writes notes in my cookbooks. In pencil. But still. Rather than attempting to remember what I liked about a recipe or what I did differently or what didn’t work, I should just write myself little notes in the margins. Or be like my Aunt Elise, who has layers of post-its all over her favorite recipes.

So, my February resolutions: clear out some cookbooks, or at least USE the ones I haven’t used yet and if I don’t like them, think about getting rid of them; and make notes in the margins. Totally doable, I think.

Gougères

Ingredients

1/2 cup water
1/2 cup milk (I used 2%)
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 cup flour
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups grated Gruyère cheese OR 1 cup grated gruyère and ~1/2 cup grated Parmesan
a pinch of cayenne pepper
1 tsp of dry mustard (optional – I didn’t add this, but wished I had afterwards, as my gougères were missing a bit of bite to them)

Instructions

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine water, milk, butter, salt, and pepper; Cook until the butter melts. Add the flour in one batch, and stir with a wooden spoon or spatula. The mixture will become this strange, shiny, kind of gelatinous mixture, and will pull away from the sides of the saucepan. Remove the pan from the heat, and add the eggs one at a time, stirring after each addition. It will seem, for a short while after you add each egg, that it won’t incorporate. I promise it will. There will be a magical moment where all of a sudden, the egg and the flour decide they like each other and want to be the best of friends. After adding all of the eggs, the dough should be nice and glossy. Add 1 cup of the grated Gruyère, dry mustard if you are using, and cayenne, and combine thoroughly.

Butter a baking sheet or line it with parchment or silpat, and drop the batter on by tablespoon. Sprinkle the tops with the remaining grated Gruyère or Parmesan. Bake for 25-35 minutes, until puffed up and golden brown. Allow to cool for a couple of minutes before indulging, as they’re full of steam and can be very hot.

Earl Grey Madeleines

Earl Grey Madeleines // Serious Crust by Annie FasslerEarl Grey Madeleines // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler

Elsa has discovered my secret.

My dear friend Elsa and I were hanging out quite a bit when she finally got back from her worldly travels this summer, as she was job hunting, so had her days free, just like I do. She came over one afternoon, and we decided to bake something. I started looking for recipes, and suggested rosemary shortbread, thyme/sea salt/chocolate chunk cookies, or these earl grey madeleines from Baking a Moment. She looked at me and said “Are we only allowed to make things that involve weird flavor combinations?”

She’s right. I like trying new flavor combinations. Why have chocolate chip cookies when you can add thyme? Or plain shortbread when you can add rosemary? Why not spice it up a bit? Plus, combinations like this are becoming rather mainstream. I think I’ve got her on the weird flavor combo train at this point, but she still teases me all the time. Anyway, on that afternoon, I convinced her to make earl grey madeleines with me. And dang, were they good.

For the record, Elsa made me zucchini, jalapeno, lime cookies for my birthday.

Earl Grey Madeleines

Ingredients

6 Tbl unsalted butter
3 bags earl grey tea
2 tsp light brown sugar
2 tsp honey
2 eggs
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp kosher salt

Instructions

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

In a small pot on the stove, melt the butter. While the butter is melting, cut open the tea bags, and then stir the loose tea into the melted butter. Allow to steep over low heat for about 5 minutes, then remove from the heat and allow it to steep for another 5 minutes. Strain the tea butter. I used a mesh sieve that I overlayed with the tea bags (which I had cut to make sheets). If you have cheesecloth, you can use that.

Stir the brown sugar and honey into the tea butter. They may stay kind of separated, and you can slightly reheat to try to combine them better. Ours wouldn’t really combine no matter how much we reheated them, and everything worked out just fine. So don’t stress about it.

Here’s another weird step. In a (preferably metal) mixing bowl, combine the eggs and granulated sugar. Fill another bowl with very hot water, and put the bowl of eggs/sugar into the bowl of hot water. Mix this with your fingers (I know, I know) until the eggs feel slightly warm and the sugar has dissolved and is no longer grainy. When you’ve reached that point, you can remove the bowl from the water and whip the eggs/sugar on high until it has tripled in volume.

In another bowl (I know, it’s a bowl heavy recipe), sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Gently fold the egg mixture in in two additions. Pour a little bit of this batter into the tea butter, stir it up, and then pour the tea butter into the batter. Again, gently fold until thoroughly combined.

Spoon the batter into a buttered and floured madeleine pan. You only need to fill up the molds about 2/3 of the way. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until they’re golden-brown around the edges. Remove the madeleines from the pan immediately and allow them to cool on a wire rack. Enjoy with a glass of milk, a nice coffee, or tea!