If it feels good, eat it.

I got a pizza stone for valentine’s day and finally gave it the ‘ol college try.  It’s a cold-fermented dough recipe that sits in the refrigerator for 7 days to build up those nice big bubbles in the crust, called alveoles.  However, my attempt for a thin-crust pizza may have been a bit overzealous on the “thin” factor and the pizza itself has little structure.  Guess I’ll have to make more pizza…poor me.

Pizza sauce is super easy to make as well.  Here’s my recipe:

  • 6oz of tomato paste (1 standard tiny can)
  • 1/4 cup of hot water
  • 1/3 cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1T dried oregano
  • 1T dried Basil
  • 1t dried rosemary, ground fine

You just whisk the ingredients together and it’s that easy.  Pro tip for opening tomato paste: open both ends of the can with your can opener.  This releases the vacuum on the contents and all of it pops right out without having to scrape the bottom of the can.  Also useful for cranberry sauce.

Squid’s Ink:
3oz Sambuca Black
Balance Club Soda
It was pretty tasty and looks nice and ominous.  Also more clear ice.

Squid’s Ink:

  • 3oz Sambuca Black
  • Balance Club Soda

It was pretty tasty and looks nice and ominous.  Also more clear ice.

I was sick last week so I made my comfort food, dill soup with rosemary/thyme dumplings and took this terrible photo.

I was sick last week so I made my comfort food, dill soup with rosemary/thyme dumplings and took this terrible photo.

Fried salmon with feta beets au gratin and clementines.  A great balance of savory, earthy, tangy, and sweet.  The recipe for the beets comes from Mark Bittman’s book, How to Cook Everything Vegetarian.

Pistachio-Cranberry Ganache Tarts

These taste way too good for something that’s so simple to make.  To make the crust

  1. Pulse 1 cup of pistachios in a blender until coarse.  Be careful to not make nut butter.  Throw that in a bowl.
  2. Blend 3/4 cup of dried cranberries with a teaspoon of water.
  3. Combine in the bowl until a somewhat uniform dough forms.  If storing, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate until 30 minutes before using.
  4. Press into little cup shapes and refrigerate to set the form.  While they set, make a simple ganache.
  5. Heat one cup of heavy cream in a saucepan, constantly stirring over low heat until it just begins to boil.  (this is called “scalding the cream”)
  6. Pour the hot cream over 8oz of Ghiradelli 60% Cacao chocolate chips.  Allow a minute or two for the cream to soften the chocolate, then whisk until uniform.
  7. Spoon the ganache into the cups and you’re done.  Serve at room temperature, store in the fridge.

My quest for clear ice cubes has begun.  The ice is pretty clear, but there’s still quite a bit of dissolved oxygen making bubble at the bottom of the tray.  The next experiment will involve boiling to remove the oxygen.

Also scotchy scotchy scotch.  The larger cubes melt slower and don’t water down your drink too much by the time you’ve finished it.

Pan-seared salmon served on a garden salad with fresh lime vinaigrette.  There are two tricks to getting that fantastic restaurant-style bacon-like salmon skin. The first is removing as much moisture as possible from the fish.  After removing the scales, rub both sides with a big pinch of salt while you prepare a different part of the meal.  When you return, pat the fish dry with paper towels.  The second necessity is have a hot pan and use an oil with a high smoke point, like grapeseed or canola.  If you dip the corner of your fish into the oil and it doesn’t immediately sizzle, give the pan more time to warm up.

Pan-seared salmon served on a garden salad with fresh lime vinaigrette.  There are two tricks to getting that fantastic restaurant-style bacon-like salmon skin. The first is removing as much moisture as possible from the fish.  After removing the scales, rub both sides with a big pinch of salt while you prepare a different part of the meal.  When you return, pat the fish dry with paper towels.  The second necessity is have a hot pan and use an oil with a high smoke point, like grapeseed or canola.  If you dip the corner of your fish into the oil and it doesn’t immediately sizzle, give the pan more time to warm up.

tedx:

What happens when you ask a synthetic biologist to mix you up a cocktail? You learn how to isolate strawberry DNA. (The sticky stuff on the toothpick up there.)

Wanna know how to make a strawberry DNA cocktail yourself? We’ve got you covered.

In this animated how-to video, TED Fellow / synthetic biologist Oliver Medvedik shows you how to use pineapple juice and Bacardi 151 to isolate strawberry DNA for a very nerdy adult beverage. Watch the whole thing here»

A biology lesson and a cocktail recipe in one? You’re welcome. Drink responsibly and read more about the video here.

SCIENCE!

Curried Rissoto with Fried and Braised Tofu

The holidays got me in kind of a down mood, so I made some comfort food with a little extravagance.  Plus it was a great excuse to use my cast iron.

  1. Slice two blocks of extra-firm tofu into 1/4” thick triangles.  Dry on paper towels and fry in batches.  (Chef’s tip: after draining the tofu of oil on paper towels, dip them quickly in boiling water to remove excess oil)
  2. Combine 1 can of whole tomatoes, 3 quartered onions, 5+ cloves of garlic, and 1-5 dried chiles (depending on your heat tolerance) in a blender or food processor.
  3. Toast 1c of arborio rice in a little bit of oil until fragrant.
  4. Add the tomato mixture, tofu, 1 can of coconut milk, 20 dried chiles, and 2T curry powder to the rice.  Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 15 minutes.
  5. Put 1.5c of frozen peas on top of the rice mixture, replace lid, and remove from heat for 5 minutes.
  6. Stir in cilantro, peas, salt and pepper to taste
  7. Garnish with additional cilantro and pair with a German Reisling

Pickled Holiday Eggs

  1. Combine 1.5c cider vinegar, 1t salt, 1T sugar, 2T whole cloves, 2T corriander seeds, 1 cinnamon stick, and 1.5c water in a large pot.  Add two sliced oranges and one sliced onion.
  2. Heat on medium until spices are fragrant
  3. Pour over peeled hard-boiled eggs.  Let cool, cover, and refrigerate at least one day before serving.