Sep 28, 2011

Biscotti

Episode 21 - Biscotti - Ah, twice-baked cookies, otherwise known as Biscotti, are what we break down this episode. I show how easy they are to make, the importance of a particular power tool, and that everyone makes mistakes (especially Chefs). For more, visit www.thefirehousechef.com.
Formats available: MPEG-4 Video (.m4v)

Fuel

AP Flour (2 Cups)
Baking Powder (1½ tsp.)
Ground Cinnamon (1 tsp.)
Ground Nutmeg (½ tsp.)
Salt (¼ tsp.)
Unsalted Buter (½ Cup or 8 oz. at room temp)
Sugar (½ Cup)
Brown Sugar (½ Cup)
Eggs (2)
Chocolate Chips (1 Cup, semi or dark)
Nuts (1 Cup, walnuts, almonds, pecans, etc)

Tools

Stand Mixer
Medium Bowl
Cookie Sheet
Silpat or Parchment Paper
Rubber Spatula
Bread Knife


Tactics

Preheat oven to 325°F.  Mix dry fuel first: flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in bowl, set aside. In the Stand Mixer (or regular bowl with a hand mixer), combine both brown and white sugar with the butter and mix on high speed until light and fluffy. Mix in one egg at a time until incorporated, beating well after egg, until light and fluffy. Slow down the Mixer to low and add the nuts and chocolate and mix in. Slowly add the dry fuel in three installments until just incorporated.

Place the dough on a prepared cookie sheet (whether lined with a Silpat or parchment paper) and using a rubber spatula, form the dough into a log 12-15 inches long and 7-8 inches wide and 1 inch high (all estimations thank you).

Bake in oven for approximately 20-25 minutes. Remove from the oven and let it cool for approximately 20 minutes or until cool to the touch. Transfer to a cutting surface and using a bread knife cut into ¾ or 1 inch slices. Arrange slice cut side down on the cookie sheet, sprinkle with additional sugar, and bake for another 10 minutes. Flip the slices over and bake for an additional 10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack or cool surface to cool. Should be good for a few weeks (or shifts) if they last. Good for dunking in coffee, milk, or nothing at all. 

Sep 18, 2011

First Ever WEB EXCLUSIVE Episode!

This is a great pairing with the Barbecue Pulled Pork Sandwiches from Episode 20 - Barbecue Sauce which was just posted today! (video and recipe below)…


Cucumber “Two Ways” Salad

*Serves 4 comfortably

Fuel:

Cucumbers (2)
Dill Pickles (4-6)
Garlic Clove (minced)
Mayonnaise (½ Cup)
Sour Cream (½ Cup)
Whole Grain Mustard (1 Tbs.)
Sugar (1 Tbs.)
Pepper
Salt

Tools:

Medium Bowl
Spoon

Tactics:

Cut the cucumbers in half and using a spoon, remove the seeds. Then quarter and slice them into ⅛ inch slices. Cut the pickles in half and then slice. Place mayo, sour cream, pickle juice, garlic, mustard, and sugar in the bowl and mix to combine. Add cucumber and pickles and toss to coat. Pepper and salt to taste, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate to marinate (1 hour minimum). Serve chilled. Enjoy.

Sep 17, 2011

Barbecue Pulled Pork Sandwiches

Pulled Pork, how I love thee, let me count the ways...

1. You're classy but inexpensive.

2. You don't demand much attention.

3. Looks great with make-up or el naturale.

4. You dress up well even when you become sauced.

5. You entertain everyone in the room and make them feel lucky to have meet you.

Listen, my love for slow cooked meats is well chronicled and for all the reasons listed above. Boston butt (AKA pork shoulder) is extremely inexpensive, needing hours of unattended slow cooking, is great with BBQ or all of it's own accord and lastly, it feeds a whole crew (and then some). At the firehouse (or your home), it does require you to get things started early in the day. But after all the prep work is done, the rewards for dinner are divine (and come together quickly with little fuss). This should become a staple in every firehouse and make a regular rotation in your home. 



Episode 20 - Barbecue Sauce. In this last entry of the Condiment series in which we build together some homemade Barbecue  Sauce. At the same time, we construct some Pulled Pork Sandwiches to use as a vehicle to highlight the Barbecue.

*Serves 6 comfortably

Fuel:


Pork:


Boston Butt (6-8 lbs.)

Garlic Powder (2 Tbs.)
Mustard Powder (1 Tbs.)
Brown Sugar (1 Tbs.)
Paprika (1 Tbs.)
Cumin (1 Tbs.)
Pepper (1 Tbs.)
Salt (1 Tbs.)

Barbecue Sauce:


EVOO (1 Tbs.)

Crushed Red Pepper (1 tsp.)
Onion (minced)
Garlic Clove (6, minced)
Ketchup (1 Cup)
Molasses (¼ Cup)
Whole Grain Mustard (2 Tbs.)
Brown Sugar (2 Tbs.)
Apple Cider Vinegar (½ Cup)
*Reduced Roasting Juices (1-2 Tbs.)
Pepper and Salt to taste.

Bread:


Cibatta or French style hamburger buns

EVOO
Salt

*Optional

Tools:


Dutch Oven (2)

Boning Knife
Forks (2)
Plastic Wrap


Tactics:

Remove Boston Butt from refrigerator and remove excess fat (allow bone to remain if there). Mix all dry ingredients (Garlic Powder, Mustard Powder, Brown Sugar, Cumin, Paprika, Pepper and Salt) to make dry rub. Using boning knife, score the Boston Butt with crisscross lines that run ¼ deep. Place the dry rub all over the Boston Butt (everywhere). Wrap the Boston Butt in plastic wrap and refrigerate a minimum of 1 hour or up to over night. When ready to cook, remove the Boston Butt from the refrigerator and allow it to come to room temperature (approximately 30 minutes). 

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 250°F. Place the Boston Butt in a Dutch Oven and cover with lid. Cook in oven for 4-6 hours (or until it easily falls apart and shreds with little resistance) ensuring to turn the Boston Butt every 2 hours. Remove Boston Butt from oven and place on prepared work surface, tent with aluminum foil and allow it to cool (approximately 30 minutes).
While the pork cools, prepare Barbecue sauce. Place Dutch Oven over medium-high heat and place EVOO in. Add Crushed Red Pepper and cook for 10 seconds. Place onion in and cook until translucent (approximately 5-8 minutes). Add Garlic and cook for an additional 30 seconds. Lower heat to medium-low and then add Ketchup, Molasses, Whole Grain Mustard, Brown Sugar, and Apple Cider Vinegar. Mix to combine. Allow it to cook for approximately 10 minutes. Pepper and Salt to taste. *See Option below.

Preheat Broiler to High and set the rack approximately 3-4 “ from the top. Cut the bread rolls into halves, place EVOO on all halves then sprinkle with salt. Broil until just turning golden.
Once the Boston Butt has cooled, shred the pork using 2 forks until small thready grains of meat are left. Keep covered with aluminum foil to keep warm.

Place Barbecue sauce on both halves of the bread, fill with pulled pork (or mix pulled pork in the Barbecue sauce) then serve immediately. Serve with suggested Cucumber “Two Ways” side salad and enjoy.

*Option: Place the Dutch Oven that was used to roast the Boston Butt and reduce the juices to half (place Dutch Oven over high heat for about 10 minutes). Allow it to cool (approximately 10 minutes) then skim off fat from top. Add 1-2 Tbs. to Barbecue sauce.
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