The Grey Market

The Grey Market

IT WAS only last month that Netflix announced that its award-winning documentary series Chef’s Table would feature local Savannahian and prized chef Mashama Bailey and her business partner John O. Morisano.

The episode, premiering next year, is set to tell the story of how the two created the Savannah’s The Grey, and how Chef Bailey is the first African American woman nominated for and a finalist in the runnings for the James Beard Award for Best Chef: Southeast.

Chef Bailey ventured all the way down to Savannah from New York after connecting with Morisano, the brain behind the revamp of the old Greyhound bus station that now holds The Grey.

It goes without saying that The Grey and the team behind The Grey have helped put Savannah on the culinary map—finally! Chef Bailey showcases local ingredients and culture while bringing in inspiration from global influences.

The Grey houses two seating areas, each with their own menu, yet both offering patrons one of those dining experiences that you don’t forget.

Morisano is also from New York, so the idea to bring Savannah a third concept from The Grey team originated as he sat at a lunch counter in his home state.

“I went to a place in Washington Heights, a Dominican lunch spot, and I was like Savannah needs something like this,” he told me as we chatted at a high-top in his bustling new store front.

After visiting the one-of-a-kind new location, I couldn’t agree more that Savannah had a hole that is now filled by The Grey Market.

The concept of The Grey Market is simple—part store with high quality food related products and part restaurant with a food counter where you can perch and eat your lunch. Morisano explained the concept to me perfectly:

“Everything about this is a little familiar to Mashama and me, sort of like the bustling lunch counter with people almost throwing food at you.”

As for the bodega side, the thought was to aid those that work downtown and may need to stop into a store to grab one or two items.

You can also forgo stopping in to grab one or two items you forgot to pick up for dinner, and grab an entire precooked dinner created by The Grey. The market offers grab-and-go dinners (for an extremely reasonable price might I add) that usually features a meat, two sides, and bread.

“We tried it on the first night and it sold out immediately,” Morisano said, referencing the popularity of the family meals. Some of the items Morisano and Chef Bailey are considering featuring with the take-away meals include baked pasta, pork tenderloin, whole roasted fish, meatloaf, ribs, and fried chicken.

“All of the products that are in the market we [the Grey’s team] use. When we were talking about dry pasta, there was only one dry pasta in [his] grandmother’s Italian kitchen. Everything is picked that way,” Morisano explained describing the process of selecting products available for sale in the market.

Modeled after a true New York food hall counter, the menu is divided into breakfast, after 11 a.m., 4 p.m. to close, and all day items. You will also find baked goods and fountain sodas.

Also, the bagels are a big deal. “They are straight up New York bagels. Our baker is from New York, from the same borough of New York City I grew up in,” Morisano told me. I asked Morisano about why they chose New York style bagels over the rest.

He said, “in a way we don’t have a choice, we are all New Yorkers and do not know any other kind of bagel.”

Keeping true to The Grey’s northern roots, lox is offered alongside the bagels that are baked fresh daily. Chef Bailey’s version of lox is beet cured and served alongside cream cheese, red onion, and watercress.

Every single baked good, available in the store and both restaurants, is baked in-house on the top floor of the new marketplace.

I was told by Morisano that their NYC, a bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich, is another menu item that is 100 percent authentic to the big city. A true NYC bacon egg and cheese is served on a kaiser roll, and not a bagel or toast like so many southern versions.

“One of the thing Mashama and I knew had to be on the menu was a New York bacon egg and cheese,” said Morisano after I mistakenly asked if their version was served on a bagel. He told me you can get the sandwich on a bagel, but the true New York way is on a kaiser.

The Sizzlin’ Smoky Pig is a sandwich, on the All Day side of the menu, based on one of the original menu items served at The Grey, the Sizzlin’ Smokey Pig. It was pork served sizzling in a cast iron skillet with a cracked egg on the top. The new version features smoked pig, pepper relish, and a fried egg all served on a kaiser roll.

I asked Morisano what he personally picked to feature on the menu:

“I was interested in seeing how Mashama could take some of the things we cooked over at The Grey and use that as inspiration for doing things here…I was really interested in connecting the DNA of The Grey with The Grey Market.”

The Grey Market has a list of approximately thirty wines that was curated by the wine and beverage director Caleb. Per Morisano, “there are more fun and big wines here, we are not limiting ourselves to the old world wines like The Grey.”

So far The Market has hosted a few impromptu wine tastings, and plan on hosting more at the standing counter.

Original article is Here.

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The Black Rabbit

The Black Rabbit

If you have lived in Savannah for any time at all, it is likely you have noticed the unique black rabbit art painted on the metal door of a building that sits on Barnard Street.

Time and time again I have driven by that very spot and wondered, “What could be behind those rolling doors and who is responsible for the artwork?”

Well, my questions were answered in September. As a food lover, I could not have been more excited with the news that The Black Rabbit bar and restaurant opened its doors—big metal garage doors—to the public.

The surrounding district has gained another unique and approachable joint whose aim is to cater to locals. The responsible parties are partners David Hutchison and Patrick Zimmerman.

The story began about fifteen years ago when a friend of Hutchison spotted the building that now holds The Black Rabbit, which was originally a two-stall store front.

“The building literally had been a salon, a cobbler, a hotdog stand, a record store, and there was a vintage picker,” Hutchison explained as I waited for several sandwiches to come out of the kitchen.

Hutchison’s family purchased the building, and he quickly opened a gallery and intended on filling the second side of the building with a coffee shop. After several years of sitting unused, Hutchison began looking for a business partner to start building their local spot, and that’s where Patrick Zimmerman came into the mix.

The building received its name as The Black Rabbit over ten years ago, when Hutchison commissioned Miguel, a traveling artist from Texas, to paint the black rabbit on the door of the building.

As for business partner Patrick Zimmerman, he is no stranger to the local food scene. He has worked behind the scenes at both Betty Bombers and Butterhead Greens Cafe. So as you can imagine, the sandwiches he is currently putting out are nothing short of delectable.

“We wanted to keep [the menu] pretty straightforward,” Zimmerman said in explaining his thoughts behind creating the new menu. “I was going for kinda comfort food but also stuff people would like, even vegetarians.”

Let’s start at the very top of the list—the Smoked Turkey sandwich. Perfectly toasted sourdough bread that is perfectly buttery but not greasy encases paper thin slices of salty smoked turkey, melted havarti cheese, and Zimmerman’s Asian inspired pepper jelly.

This sandwich is destined to be a local favorite, simply because I know just how much Savannahians love pepper jelly. The twist on this sandwich is Zimmerman’s recipe for pepper jelly. Taking inspiration from Asian cuisine, his sauce is more balanced than classic pepper jelly.

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Each type of pork on the Three Piggies contributes its own flavor profile to the sandwich, while working in harmony, creating one of the juiciest deli sandwiches I have ever tasted.

“We have a little fun, like the Three Piggies with Spam, pit ham, and sliced pork shoulder, which you do not see very often,” Zimmerman told me.

I understand that using juicy as an descriptor to explain a cold cut sandwich is odd, but the juices of the pork actually ran down my hand as I chomped down. Although included, this cold stack does not need mayonnaise to lubricate any dryness that usually comes from fresh bread.

To balance the sandwich, fresh thinly sliced onions are layered with a thick cut of tomato and crisp lettuce. The cherry on top is the extremely soft bolero bread that encases the entire thing. Gottlieb’s Bakery is responsible for all of the bread used at the The Black Rabbit.

For a side with your sandwich, I would opt for the in-house pickled vegetables, which come as spicy or regular.

“Radishes, green beans, turnips, carrots, onions, and garlic,” are cooked “real straight forward with sugar, salt, vinegar, peppercorns, water, and bay leaf. I add jalapeños for the spicy one,” Zimmerman explained when I asked how he makes his pickled vegetables.

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More on the Southern side is the cucumber, tomato, and onion salad. It is just like the bowl of garden fresh onions and tomatoes you will find included on the dinner table during many Southern meals. The idea behind this side was to offer something lighter to complement the hearty sandwiches.

Finally, the German Potato Salad is available as a side. For his version, Zimmerman cooks the onions tossed with the tender potatoes in bacon fat, which results in an additional layer of flavor.
The Black Rabbit also offers dessert—King of Pops popsicles or a big slice of cheesecake from Fork & Dagger.

As for what readers, especially locals, are probably wondering the most about, the specialty cocktail menu is concise and to the point. You will find one cocktail for each type of liquor and nothing more.

No matter what your preference you will surely be satisfied with the preparation for that type of liquor. Even more so, you will be especially satisfied after reading the price of all of the house created and made cocktails.

Being a fan of bourbon, I opted for the Grandpa’s Kisses, a title that makes perfect sense after reading the ingredient list. Both bourbon and scotch are blended with apple brandy, honey, and bitters. Served in a crystal old fashioned glass, the profile of the dark liquors are prominent yet rounded out by the addition of sweet apple and aromatic bitters.

Zimmerman and Hutchison were kind enough to let me try the Room 225, a gin cocktail that is made silky by the use of sunflower seed orgeat, a nut milk.

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The cocktail is shaken with lemon juice and a few dashes of bitters before being poured into a coupe and adorned with lemon rind. It is fragrant and subtly flavored, a cocktail that would tempt you into drinking it all night.

Next year, patrons will have the opportunity to grab lunch at The Black Rabbit when Hutchison and Zimmerman expand their hours to become reachable to the entire neighborhood.

Original article is here.

 

Jerusalem Bagels with Burnt Honey Cream Cheese

Jerusalem Bagels with Burnt Honey Cream Cheese

Savory, nutty homemade Jerusalem bagels and a side of decadent, condensed burnt honey creamed cheese–it’s a baking recipe that I know everyone will love.

I am super ecstatic about this post and sharing a recipe that I will be adding to my list of rotating go-tos. As someone who constantly cooks, I can state with confidence, on behalf of all of the home cooks out there, it is rare that you find a recipe that is both easy and a show stopper.

The recipe makes Jerusalem bagels, which are different from a normal bagel due to the lack of boiling. Even though the bagels are not boiled, the flavor is still amazing. They taste reminiscent of a bagel/pretzel hybrid. By forgoing the step of boiling, you are saving on time and work, hence making the process a lot easier.

I recommend you eat these warm out of the oven or warm them up if you are eating them at a later time. They go with just about anything, hummus, cream cheese, cheese, etc.

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I wanted something sweet yet unique, so spruced up some cream cheese by making burnt honey. The process of “burning” honey is simply caramelizing it a bit, to give it a deeper more condensed flavor. A quick warning–once you eat honey like this you will never go back.

As for the topping, I glazed them with honey to add a bit of sweetness and keep with the honey theme and a sprinkling of sesame seeds to add nuttiness. The recipe is extremely versatile, serving as a great base for any topping or mix-in. In the future, I will be posting many more versions of Jerusalem Bagels.

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Jerusalem Bagels with Burnt Honey Cream Cheese

Category: Recipes

Servings: 6

Jerusalem Bagels with Burnt Honey Cream Cheese

Ingredients

  • Bagel Ingredients:
  • 1 Tablespoon of Quick Acting Yeast
  • 1 1/2 Cups of Milk, warm but not higher than 100 degrees Fahrenheit
  • 4 1/2 Cups of All Purpose Flour
  • 2 Teaspoons of Sugar
  • 2 Teaspoons of Salt
  • 1 Teaspoon of Baking Powder
  • Olive Oil
  • 4 Tablespoons of Honey
  • Sesame Seeds for Topping
  • Burnt Honey Cream Cheese Ingredients:
  • 1 Block of Creamed Cheese, softened
  • 1/2 Cup of Honey

Instructions

  1. First make your burnt honey creamed cheese. Pour your honey into a small saucepan and heat over medium heat.
  2. Cook the honey for about 10 minutes, until it turns a light amber color and thickens slightly. The honey will foam as it cooks, that is okay.
  3. Once reduced, set aside to let the honey cool completely.
  4. In a small mixing bowl, combine your burnt honey and creamed cheese. Stir to desired combination, swirled or fully mixed.
  5. Place mixture in a sealable container and place in the fridge until ready to serve.
  6. Begin making your bagels by blooming your yeast in the warm milk, allowing to sit for about 5 minutes.
  7. In a stand mixer or large mixing bowl, mix together your flour, baking powders, sugar.
  8. Pour in your bloomed yeast and milk, then mix until combined. Lastly mix in your salt as to not kill the yeast.
  9. Add your dough hook to your stand mixer, and kneed the mixture on medium for five minutes. A soft pliable dough should form. If the dough looks dry, add more milk as needed.
  10. After the dough has been kneaded, remove the dough from the mixer and rub on a light amount of olive oil.
  11. Place coated dough in a large oiled bowl, cover tightly. Allow to rise for at least one hour, or until it has doubled in size.
  12. Once the dough has risen, preheat your oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Prepare two sheet pans by lining them with slip mats or greased parchment paper.
  13. Gently remove the dough from the bowl, and section the dough into six even pieces.
  14. On a lightly floured surface, roll each section of dough into a log that is about 12 inches long. Attach the ends together to create an oblong circle. Gently place on the prepared sheet pan.
  15. After the bagels are prepared, allow them to rest for 15 minutes.
  16. Before baking, slather each bagel with honey and a sprinkling of sesame seeds.
  17. Bake for 10 - 15 minutes, or until a golden color and cooked through.
  18. Serve with burnt honey creamed cheese.
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https://epicuropedia.com/2018/08/24/jerusalem-bagels-burnt-honey/

 

Cherry Cheesecake Ice-Cream Sammies

Cherry Cheesecake Ice-Cream Sammies

August is notoriously sweltering hot in the low country. For cooks, this means foregoing recipes that use an oven to avoid heating up the house and instead opting for recipes that cool you down. I can think of no better way to cool down in the summer heat than with ice cream.

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Growing up in the south, my mom loved to make us homemade peach ice cream with one of those old fashioned ice-driven churners. The result was loosely churned ice cream with chunks of cold fresh peaches. A perfect treat after playing all day on a long, sticky summer day.

Even today, when my husband and I visit my mother for a summer holiday or gathering, she loves to make ice cream with the same machine–and many times it still includes peaches. So of course when I registered for my wedding, I wanted to include an ice cream maker. I thought it would be so lovely to be able to make my own ice cream at home

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Tips to perfect your own ice cream:

• If you want a more pungent flavor, soak your flavoring in your milk starting the night before you make your ice cream base.

• The difference between this ice cream and others is the larger amount of cream and egg yolks used in the recipe.

• Always temper your eggs to avoid creating scrambled egg ice cream.

• Make sure you completely cool you base in the fridge before you add it to the ice cream maker.

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Cherry Cheesecake Ice Cream Sandwiches

Chocolate Cookies

Ingredients:

• 1 Stick of Butter, softened
• 1/2 Cup of Granulated Sugar
• 1 Large Egg
• 1/4 Teaspoon of Salt
• 1 Teaspoon of Vanilla Extract
• 1/4 Cup of Cocoa Powder
• 1 1/2 Cups of All Propose Flour

Directions:

  1. Beat together butter and sugar until thoroughly combined and continue to beat for another three to four minutes until fluffy.
  2. While beating, combine your remaining dry ingredients in a separate bowl and mix together.
  3. In a small bowl, beat together you extract and egg.
  4. Mix 1/2 of your dry mixture into your butter mixture.
  5. Follow by your adding in your egg mixture, beating until fully combined.
  6. Finish by mixing in your remaining dry mixture.
  7. Shape dough into a disc, cover in plastic wrap and let rest in the fridge for one hour.
  8. On a well floured surface, roll out your chilled dough to an 1/8 inch thickness.
  9. Use your desired cookie cutter to cut out your cookie rounds.
  10. Place all of your cookie rounds on a slip-mat lined cookie sheet.
  11. Let the cookies rest in the fridge for another ten minutes before baking. While the cookies chill, preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  12. Bake for 10 minutes or until just done. Let cool completely before using.

Cherry Cheesecake Ice Cream

Ingredients:
• 1 Block of Creamed Cheese, softened
• 1/2 Cup of Granulated Sugar
• 4 Large Egg Yolks
• 1 Cup of Whole Milk
• 2 Cups of Heavy Cream
• 1/2 Teaspoon of Vanilla Extract
• 1/2 Teaspoon of Salt
• 1 Cup of Fresh Cherries, pitted and coarsely chopped

Directions:

  1.  Pour your milk and cream into a large sauce pan and heat over medium heat. Do not let the milk heat over a simmer.
  2. While the milk heats, whisk together cream cheese, granulated sugar, vanilla, salt and egg yolks until thoroughly combined. Continue to beat for an additional one to two minutes until fluffy.
  3. Slowly temper the egg mixture with your warm milk. Start by adding about 1/2 a cup at the time, pouring slowly while you continually whisk by hand.
  4. Once all of the milk has been tempered in, pour the custard back into your saucepan.
  5. Heat over medium and cook the custard, stirring continually. Heat until the custard coats the back of a wooden spoon or is at least doubled in thickness.
  6. Remove from the heat and pour through a fine mesh strainer.
  7. Let the custard cool completely in the fridge before churning, about one hour.
  8. When ready, add the custard to your ice cream maker and churn according to the machines instructions.
  9. Once churned at soft, stir in your cherries.
  10. Place ice cream into a sealable container, and let harden for at least one hour before serving.

Savannah Spirits Chop House

Savannah Spirits Chop House

Classics renewed, from the menu to the building, is the best way to describe Savannah Spirits Chop House.

Upon stepping into the massive building that sits on the corner of Whitaker and West State streets, you will notice original Savannah Grey brickwork, art deco inspired fixtures, and wood that has been refurbished and repurposed from the old buildings.

I say “buildings,” because the restaurant and distillery of Savannah Spirits comprises four separate structures that initially, built around 1860, housed several different businesses.

The first two floors hold seating for hungry patrons. The first floor is where the main kitchen can be found along the with distillery. On the second floor is a private dining area and an upscale whiskey bar. The top floor, complete with its own balcony, will be a site for private events.

Executive Chef Peter Schott is the brain behind the menu, which can only be described as a modern approach to chop house classics. Do not expect to dine at the Chop House and get tired, boiled shrimp cocktail sitting atop a martini glass of bottled cocktail sauce, or a butter drowned steak plopped beside a foiled over-baked potato and some runny creamed spinach, which everyone has probably experienced.

Chef Schott’s menu starts innovative and fresh and ends similarly—a product of the fact that he “has been cooking for over thirty years,” he explains.

He has cooked in a wide array of kitchens including Savannah Quarters, the First City Club, and even owned his own restaurant in New York.

The shrimp cocktail you’ll enjoy is inspired by the Chef’s love of Hispanic cuisine. He says he is “really into tacos,” and a nod to this love is obvious in the style of shrimp cocktail he created.

Dubbed the Baja Style Shrimp Cocktail, the starter arrives at your table bright and bold in both flavor and appearance. Giant sweet coastal shrimp are coated and cooked in a special sauce and served atop bright avocado mash and cilantro with a melody of pickled red onion, fresh jalapenos, radish, and cucumber.

This dish has everything you could want, crunch, creaminess, spice, sweetness, tang, and all of the fresh flavors of the vegetables.

Just like the shrimp cocktail, the Tuna Tartare is nothing close to a boring. For his rendition, Chef Schott says he “played with the flavors of borscht,” which is apparent in the use of beetroot and hard boiled eggs.

The beets were selected as the co-star to the tuna because they can stand up to the rich meaty fish, and in-fact become the star of the dish. Cooked down, removing all of the earthy notes, the beets are tender and melt away in you mouth in an identical manner as the delicate raw fish, making the two almost indistinguishable.

The starter is tossed in light horseradish creme fraiche that coats your palate with just enough fat without overpowering anything else. To finish the dish, a sprinkling of grated egg and dill.

The Lamb Meatballs offer a heartier starter than the two counterparts mentioned above. The plateful is served artfully arranged with an array of accompaniments that almost resemble a Pollock painting, almost—and I mean almost—too pretty to eat.

Your fork will glide through the delicate lamb meatballs before loading it up with the layers of punchy pesto, crispy cabbage, aromatic almonds, earthy eggplant, golden raisins, and a ton more. Although there are more ingredients than I can include each one works in harmony with the other, not overpowering the last.

For one of the mains, Chef Schott has included a meatier fish that can take just as much as a leading role as a steak. The Grilled Atlantic Swordfish Fillet looks picturesque, served with grill marks created by Chop House’s six-foot woodfire grill, which I’m told by Chef Schott “is the anchor of the kitchen” and menu.

Chef Schott’s current use of wood with the grill is “red oak” because it a “good burning” wood, meaning that it burns slower than most.

Plated next to the fish is a side that is influenced by caponata, a Sicilian eggplant dish comprised of a cooked vegetable salad. The swordfish itself is juicy, with a tickle of smoke, but is only boosted by the complex and deep flavors of the caponata which brings a warm homey feel to the entree.

The final touch, which you would expect from a seasoned chef, is a grilled half of a lemon, the addition of which brings brightness to slice through the warmth.

Chef Schott’s approach to steak is awe-inspiring with a lack of dilution and a textbook preparation. It says a lot about a Chef (and a restaurant) willing to serve their steak with very little to accompany it on the plate.

Out of all of the  beef, I tried the Prime Center Cut Filet, but as you can imagine, the Chop House has plenty of beef options to satisfy your taste. Simply prepared, which is bold for any chef, the filet is salt and peppered with a thoughtful hand, seared exquisitely on the woodfire grill, and finished with a careful amount of herb butter.

The wood fire adds a whisper of smoke and a textbook charred crust while keeping the center of the steak delicate and tender. Plated with the steak, a lightly charred onion and tomato, both acting to balance any fat the steak presents.

Of course, if you want more food to go with your steak, the restaurant offers plenty of delectable options as side items.

Chef Schott puts it perfectly: “The food is a lot more than just steaks, it is more about clean crisp flavors.”

Which means you will come in for a steak and be pleased to discover the depth and complexity of Chef Schott and Chop House’s menu.

The original article can be found Here.

Truffle + Black Pepper Brioche

Truffle + Black Pepper Brioche

Warm, tender, melty, buttery…what taste better than fresh baked bread still warm from the oven? The aroma alone that fills your home as you bake is amazing.

When it comes to cooking, baking has always been my strong suit. The precision comes easy, which is difficulty for many. What has not come easy, in my baking journey, is making homemade yeast risen bread. Yeast is one extremely finicky and easy to kill. I have read and watched countless lessons on how to bake your own bread, so I hope I can share a few tips with you so you can skip the years of struggling I endured to get yeast right.

If you’re not a baker or good at making bread, brioche is a great place to start. The recipe is almost foolproof, mainly because a lot of the work is done overnight in the fridge.

With my exuberant attempts to make bread I have learned that letting the dough rise at room temperature for twice as long does the trick. Not only does it enhance the flavor of the bread, but you do not risk killing the yeast by adding heat. I also don’t use warm liquids, again to avoid destroying the temperamental yeast. Room temperature will stills activate your yeast. Finally, make sure to place your salt on the opposite end of your yeast in your mixing bowl.

Making your own starter deepens the flavor of the bread. A starter is extremely simple to make, and it only adds a bit more preparation time to your recipe.

This recipe is extremely adaptable, you can make it into rolls, a loaf, or baguette; you can also interchange the featured addition. Cheese, dried fruit, or anything you could imagine would be delicious in this versatile bread.

This bread takes about 2 days to make.

Brioche Starter:

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tablespoons of Room Temperature Water
  • 1 Tablespoon of Sugar
  • 1/4 Teaspoon of Instant Yeast
  • 1/2 Cup of Unbleached Bread Flour
  • 1 Large Egg

Directions:

  1. In a small bowl combine all of the ingredients, mix until fully combined.
  2. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let sit on the counter for at least one day, but no more than two days.

Dough:

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup Plus 1 1/2 Tablespoons of Bread Flour
  • 2 Tablespoons of Sugar
  • 1 1/4 Teaspoons of Instant Yeast
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of Salt
  • 2 Large Eggs at Room Temperature
  • 8 Tablespoons of Very Soft Unsalted Butter
  • 2/3 Teaspoon of Truffles in Oil
  • 1 Teaspoon of Cracked Black Pepper
  • Egg Glaze, 1 Egg Mixed with 1 Teaspoon of Milk

Directions:

1. In a small bowl, whisk the flour with the sugar and yeast, last whisk in the salt.

2. Sprinkle this mixture on top of the starter. Cover it tightly with plastic wrap and let it stand for 1 1/2 to 2 hours at room temperature.

3. In your stand mixer, add in the mixture you let rise for two hours.

4. Add two eggs and mix with the dough hook on low for about 1 minute. Raise the speed to medium and beat for 2 minutes. Scrape the sides of the bowl with an oiled spatula and continue beating for about 5 minutes longer or until the dough is smooth and shiny but very soft and sticky.

5. Add the pepper and truffles, then the butter by the tablespoon, waiting until each addition is almost completely absorbed before adding the next tablespoon, beating until all the butter is incorporated. The dough will be very soft, elastic, and sticky.

4. Using an oiled spatula scrape the dough into a large greased bowl, and lightly oil the top of the dough.

5. Cover at let rise for at least 1 1/2 -2 hours, or until the dough doubles in size.

5. Refrigerate the dough for at least 10 hours, allowing it to continue to rise in the fridge.

7. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and gently press it down to deflate it. Cut the dough into 8 pieces, and with floured hands kneed and shape into balls.

8. Grease your desired pan for baking, and arrange your dough balls within. Lightly cover with oiled plastic wrap and let rise for at least one hour or until doubled in size. Preheat the oven to 425°F 1 hour before baking.

9. Lightly beat together the egg yolk and milk, then brush the top of the brioche.

10. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.

A French Mousse Tart

A French Mousse Tart

Can you believe that Easter is almost here? It feels like just last week I was coming up with something to bake for Valentine’s Day. Regardless of your beliefs, I know for most people Easter is a wonderful time to dress up and enjoy a bountiful meal with your family.

Creamy deviled eggs, sticky glazed ham, and a few gooey casseroles are just some of the things my family normally fixes for Easter dinner. My favorite part of the meal are all of the desserts. Banana puddin’, humming bird cake, and pound cake are just some of the sweets you can normally expect one of our southern gatherings. Besides loading a tiny paper plate with a sampling of each pie, puddin’, or cake, I love being someone who contributes to the dessert table. My family responds a bit more positively to my baked goods than my covered dishes.

At least a week before the gathering, I thumb through my library of cook books or have a heated but friendly discussion with my husband on what to bake. The inspiration for this one came from a true classic: Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking.

The below recipe is adapted from her recipe for a normal Pate Sablee, a tender sweet tart crust and a Chocolate Mousse. If you have never made a mousse (this was my first time too) just remember to be gentle when folding in your egg whites. Mixing the egg whites in thirds will help with the process.

For this recipe you will want to start with the tart base. You have to let it rest in the fridge for several hours.

I topped the tart with those adorable milk chocolate eggs that you can find in the Easter candy section at the grocery store. They are so adorably festive, and they taste delicious too.

Chocolate Pate Sablee

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/3 Cups of Flour
  • 2 Tablespoons of Chilled Shortening
  • 5 Tablespoons of Cold Butter
  • 3 Tablespoons of Coco Powder
  • 1/8 Teaspoon of Baking Powder
  • 5 Tablespoons of Sugar
  • A Pinch of Salt
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 Tablespoon of Cold Water

Directions:

  1. In a small mixing bowl, combine your flour, sugar, salt, coco powder, and baking powder. Stir to combine.
  2. With you finger tips, mix in the two types of fat. The ending result should look similar to dry oatmeal.
  3. Beat together your egg and water, then pour over your mixture.
  4. Kneed mixture together to create a ball.
  5. Wrap the dough and chill in the fridge for at least 3 hours.
  6. After chilled, roll out to appropriate size to fit a 9 or 10 inch tart pan.
  7. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  8. Place dough in tart pan, cover dough with parchment paper and pie weights.
  9. Bake for 15 minutes.
  10. Remove and let cool completely before adding mousse.

Strawberry Mousse

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Pound of Fresh Strawberry’s, hulls removed
  • 1/4 Cup of Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon fo Fresh Lemon Juice
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 2 Eggs, separated
  • 1/2 Cup of Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of Vanilla

Directions:

  1. Purée strawberries to create strawberry juice.
  2. In a small saucepan combine strawberry juice, lemon juice, sugar, and egg yolks. Cook over medium heat for about 15 minutes, or until mixture thickens to coat the back of a spoon.
  3. Remove from heat and let cool in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
  4. After the mixture has cooled, begin making your merengue. Beat the two egg whites until stiff peaks form.
  5. Working in thirds, gently fold in the egg whites into your chilled strawberry mixture. Place in the fridge to rest while you make the whipped cream.
  6. Whip the heavy whipping cream and vanilla with a mixer until stiff peaks form.
  7. Fold the whipped cream, working in thirds, until fully combined with the strawberry mixture.
  8. Evenly spoon into the bottom of your chilled tart crust. Only fill with enough mouse to create an amount even with the top of the tart shell.
  9. Allow to set in the fridge until the white chocolate mousse layer is ready to add.

White Chocolate Mousse

Ingredients:

  • 3 Eggs, divided
  • 1/3 Cup of Sugar Plus 1/2 Tablespoon
  • 4 Ounces of White Chocolate Chips, or 1/2 of a Cup
  • 5 Tablespoons of Butter, softened
  • 1/2 Cup of Heavy Whipping Cream Plus 2 Tablespoons

Directions:

  • Prepare a double boiler, heating the water over medium heat. In a bowl used for the double boiler, combine three egg yolks and 1/3 cup of sugar.
  • Whip the mixture, by hand or with a beater, until the eggs are pale yellow and fall back on themselves dissolving in a slow ribbon. Should take 3-4 minutes by hand.
  • Place the mixture over the double boiler and beat for another 3-4 minutes until the mixture is too warm to touch.
  • Remove from the heat and continue to beat the egg yolks until they form the consistency of mayonnaise, another 3-4 minutes. Set aside.
  • Using another bowl that will work as part of the double boiler, combine the white chocolate and 2 tablespoons of heavy cream.
  • Heat in the double boiler, constantly stirring until the chocolate has melted.
  • Remove from heat and stir in the softened butter, mixing until fully combined.
  • Combine your chocolate mixture and egg yolk mixture. Set aside.
  • With beaters or in a stand mixer, beat your egg whites until soft peaks form.
  • Pour in 1/2 Tablespoon of sugar, continue to beat until stiff peaks form.
  • In thirds, gently found the stiff egg whites into your white chocolate mixture. Set in the fridge while you make the whipped cream.
  • With beaters or in a stand mixer, beat the remaining heavy cream until it forms stiff whipping cream.
  • In thirds, gently fold the whipped cream into your white chocolate mixture.
  • Cover and let rest in the fridge for an hour.
  • When ready, use a piping bag with the desired tip to pipe the mousse as the top layer of your tart.
  • Cover and let the completed tart set up in the fridge for at least two more hours.
  • When ready to serve, top with desired decoration. I used chocolate milk eggs.

Irish Cream Fudge coated in Pistachios and Dark Chocolate

Irish Cream Fudge coated in Pistachios and Dark Chocolate

St. Patricks Day came and went here in Savannah, and, along with it, the Irish Cream Fudge I created just for the occasion. Like any good tailgate, everyone who watches the parade with my family brings a plate of food to snack on while drinking their green beer. Occasionally my family doesn’t exactly love the food I bring because it tends to stray outside the realm of a normal potluck dish. In fact I have heard the words “Don’t make something weird”, so for this year’s celebration I wanted to stick with a traditional southern dish.

Fudge was a southern treat my family grew up making for every special occasion, but normally it would be flavored with chocolate or peanut butter. If you have never had fudge, it is a creamy candy that is cooked to the soft stage of candy making and flavored with butter and something else. Fudge truly tastes like a southern dish — extremely sweet and sinful. I have never tasted another flavor of fudge besides chocolate or peanut butter (or seen anyone I know make a different flavor), so in making this Irish Cream Fudge for St. Patricks day I was not confident on how it would turn out. But to say the least, I did not hear the word “weird”.

The finished result was true to the southern originals: super rich. For this recipe I cut back the sugar to compensate for the sweetness of the Irish Cream. When cooking the candy the alcohol of the Irish Cream cooks off, so instead of finishing the batch with vanilla I replaced it with more Irish Cream so there was a bite of alcohol. The addition of a bitter chocolate and salty pistachios would help balance the decadent candy while adding texture to the buttery mouthfeel. The small tray goes a very long way because most people can only eat one small piece at a time.

Irish Cream Fudge

Ingredients

  • 4 Tablespoons of Unsalted Butter
  • 1 Cup of Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup of Heavy Cream
  • 1 Small Container of Marshmallow Fluff, 7 ounces
  • 1 1/4 Cup Of White Chocolate Chips
  • 5 Tablespoons of Irish Cream
  • A Dash of Salt
  • 1 Bag of Dark Chocolate Chips
  • 1 Tablespoons of Coconut Oil
  • 1 Cup of Shelled Pistachios, roughly chopped

Directions

  1. Prepare an 8×8 baking dish by lining it in parchment paper and buttering the paper. Set aside.
  2. In a double boiler, combine the dark chocolate and coconut oil. Heat, stirring constantly, until temperature reaches 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove from heat and continue stirring until the temperature drops to 82 degrees.
  3. Pour into the bottom of your 8×8 dish, and set aside.
  4. In a small saucepan, heat butter, sugar, salt, 4 tablespoons of Irish Cream, and heavy cream over medium heat.
  5. Once at a boil, stir sugar to combine. Continue to cook until temperature reaches 235 degrees Fahrenheit (soft ball stage).
  6. Remove from heat and quickly stir in your marshmallow cream, white chocolate, and remaining 1 tablespoons of Irish cream, making sure it all completely combines.
  7. Pour into your baking dish and spread to even it out. Immediately sprinkle with pistachios and press in.
  8. Let set in the fridge for an hour, or on the counter for one to two hours.
  9. Remove firm fudge from the dish and cut into 1 inch squares.

Asian Pear Pie(s) + Coconut, Ginger, and Almond

Asian Pear Pie(s) + Coconut, Ginger, and Almond

This week Pi Day (not actually as in the baked good, but as in the mathematical constant) is among us, so instead of making one delicious pie, I made six mini pies. I get it, what does Pi have to do with Pie, and other than a name, nothing really. It is just a good excuse for the lovers of baking to bake ooey gooey pies.

Although I do have a confession — I didn’t even know Pi Day was a thing among bloggers and bakers until my friend and fellow blogger Maria [A Common Connoisseur] mentioned baking some hand pies for it. So in the word of Barney Stinson, “Challenge Accepted!”

Of course like most, I was keen on baking one of the classics: apple, peach, or pecan. Especially considering no matter how you prepare a classic, they rarely disappoint. But really where is the fun in that? I believe you should always try to challenge yourself when given the opportunity. Per usual, my inspiration for this recipe came about from seasonal ingredients I had handy around the house.

I absolutely love Asian Pears, they are crisp like an apple yet much juicer. Normally cooks feature them in salads because they pair delightfully with savory flavors, but the firmer flesh make them ideal for baking.

As for the flavor profile of the pie, I could not in good conscious add in a bunch of spices and mask the delicate flavor. Spring is almost here, so the combination of coconut and almond felt right, and there was no better way to add those flavors than through a crunchy buttery crumble on top.

The recipe calls for 6 mini pie pans, but if you did not have any mini pie pans this recipe would adapt perfectly into one large pie.

Coconut Pie Crust

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup of All Purpose Flour
  • 1/8 Cup of Cold Butter
  • 1/8 Cup of Coconut Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon of Light Brown Sugar
  • A Pinch of Salt
  • Ice Water for Binding

Directions:

  1. In a medium bowl, mix together your flour, sugar, and salt.
  2. Into the dry mixture, cut in your butter and coconut oil with a pastry mixer. The end result should resemble course sand.
  3. Pour in enough water to bind the mixture into a dough.
  4. Cover and refrigerate for no more than thirty minutes before using.
  5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  6. Once ready to use, flour your hands and divide dough into 6 balls.
  7. One at a time, roll out each ball to a width slightly larger than the pie pan. Then place each rolled out piece of dough into each pie pan.
  8. After placing the dough inside of the pans, fill each pan with parchment paper then pie weights.
  9. Par-bake the crusts for about 10 minutes to ensure the bottoms are not soggy.

Pie Filling

Ingredients:

  • 3 Asian Pears, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 2 Tablespoons of Coconut Cream
  • 2 Tablespoons of Light Brown Sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon of Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Teaspoon of Flour
  • A Pinch of Salt

Directions:

  1. In a medium bowl toss together all of the ingredients, stir until fully combined.
  2. Set aside and let rest while you prepare the rest of the ingredients

Crumble Topping

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup of Almonds, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 Cup of Candied Ginger, finely chopped
  • 4 Tablespoons of Cold Butter
  • 3 Tablespoons of All Purpose Flour
  • 1 Tablespoon of Light Brown Sugar
  • A Pinch of Salt

Directions:

  1. In a medium bowl, combine the almonds, ginger, sugar, salt, and flour.
  2. With your fingers, work in the cold butter until the mixture comes together as coarse chunks.

Asian Pear Pie

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Divide your pie filling evenly among all six par-baked pie crusts.
  3. Equally top each pie with your prepared crumble topping.
  4. Bake for 35 minutes, or until the crumble topping is lightly golden brown.

Khao Soi + Thailand’s Yummiest Dish

Khao Soi + Thailand’s Yummiest Dish

Creamy, salty, sweet, spicy, crunchy…those are only a fraction of the descriptors you can use when describing a dish that can only be found in the northern mountains of Thailand. Reminiscent of a yellow curry, this “soup” is creamier and sweeter than any curry I have ever eaten.
I generally dislike most curry, and until I spent a whooping $1.50 at a Chaing Mai hole-in-the-wall to try this popular dish, my recent fondness of curry had not spurred.
Since returning home to my normal 9-5, I have genuinely missed the kind people of Thailand and its beautiful cities. If you know me personally, you know it is a trip I just can’t stop talking about. (Sorry, friends.) My husband thinks I am crazy because I have craved Pad Thai at least once a week since returning Stateside.


What better way to pay homage to such a wonderful vacation than to try and recreate one of best dishes we tried. Though, my husband really liked the scorpion he ate at the night market, and that probably takes the cake for the most adventurous thing eaten on our trip.
Beware, this recipe has a ton of ingredients. The good news is most of the weird ones can be found at any local Asian market. I would not recommend trying to make this dish if you are a new cook.
Unlike many recipes you will find online for this dish, this one requires you to make your own curry paste — a rewarding but exhausting venture. Also, be sure to get fresh noodles, as the dried ones do not fry well.
You will notice in my pictures that my noodles are thin, do not make that mistake either.Thicker is better!

Khao Soi + Thailand’s Yummiest Dish

Category: Recipes

Khao Soi + Thailand’s Yummiest Dish

Ingredients

  • Tools:
  • Mortar and Pestle
  • Wok
  • Ingredients for the curry paste:
  • 1 whole dried Thai Chili
  • 2 shallots, diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, diced
  • 2 inches from the bottom of a stalk of fresh lemongrass
  • 1 teaspoon of fresh lime juice
  • 2 inch knob of fresh turmeric, peeled and diced
  • 1 small bunch of cilantro stalks
  • 1 teaspoon of whole coriander 6 pods of Thai black cardamom
  • 1 tablespoon of Thai shrimp paste
  • Salt
  • Ingredients for the "Soup":
  • 1 pound of fresh Chinese egg noodles
  • 2 (15 oz) cans of coconut milk
  • 1 cup of chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons of palm sugar, brown sugar will work as a substitute
  • 4 chicken legs, split
  • Fish sauce
  • • Lime wedges and sliced shallots for topping

Instructions

  1. In a large piece of aluminum foil, combine all the ingredients for the curry but for the salt. Seal foil well into a pouch, making sure all the edges are sealed. You can cook the packet one of two ways, over burner flame or by placing in a cast iron skillet (it will damage any other kind of skillet) over high heat. Cook the pouch, occasionally turning, until it begins to smoke. This takes about 10 minutes total.
  2. Once the packet is cooled, transfer the contents to your mortar and pestle. Work to the ingredients until a paste is formed. Approximately 10 minutes.
  3. Add in the shrimp paste and salt, working until fully combined. Set aside. (Note: The shrimp paste smells extremely strong — and it is! But follow the amount in the recipe and it won’t overpower the dish.)
  4. Heat wok with enough canola or vegetable oil for frying. Once at shimmering at high heat, fry 1/4 of the egg noodles until golden brown. Drain onto paper towels season with salt, and set aside.
  5. Discard the oil from your wok, then add in 1 tablespoon of oil. Skim 2 tablespoons of fat from the top of your coconut milk and add to wok. Cook the mixture over medium high heat, stirring constantly, until it appears as though the mixture has broken. About 2-3 minutes.
  6. Add curry paste to oil and cook, stirring, for about 45 seconds.
  7. Stir in your coconut milk, then the chicken stock, and finish with your sugar.
  8. Add in your chicken legs, and bring soup to a simmer. Cook for about 30 minutes, being sure to occasionally turn the chicken.
  9. While the soup is cooking, bring a sauce pan full of salted water to a boil. Cook your the remaining rice noodles until al denti.
  10. Drain the noodles, and divide between four bowls. Top the noodles with your soup, and finish with your fried noodles. Serve immediately, and allow your guest to top their soup with the desired toppings.
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