Sunday, May 9, 2010

Garlic Bacon Mashed Potatoes

So, I know the picture shows you the lamb too, but this post is going to focus on the delicious concoction that is "Garlic Bacon Mashed Potatoes". It is a glorious culinary delight, that combines multiple comfort foods into one (i.e. bacon, garlic, and mashed potatoes). I know that you probably won't be able to use this in your home Xochi, due to the lack of pork products, but you might be able to substitute turkey bacon. There's a good chance it won't be the same though. :oP

There is no real recipe for this, it was just a brain storm. So feel free to experiment wildly with it.

So first, boil some potatoes. I prefer to use yukon gold potatoes, but I you can use any kind you like. My grandma Sarah likes to use red potatoes. I think that yukon gold's come out a little creamier, so that's why I use them. Another thing to consider with the potato preparation is whether or not you'll peel them. I take a half-and-half approach. I'll peel the potatoes, but I'll leave on some skin. Some people like lots of skin on their mashed potatoes and others like absolutely none. It's entirely up to you how much skin you'd like.

While your potatoes are boiling, set a frying pan to medium low heat for the bacon. I used 3 slices of bacon for about a pound of potatoes. The whole thing made roughly 4-5 servings. If you want more bacon, use more, if you feel your pores clogging and your heart constricting as you read that suggestions, then this might not be the post for you.

Fry the bacon in its own delicious juices. After you've done that move the bacon to a paper-towel lined plate to soak up the excess grease.

At this point I disposed of some of my bacon grease, leaving about 2 table spoons in the pan. Put the pan on medium heat and add the minced garlic. Saute until golden brown.

At this point you can finish up the prep on the basic mashed potato recipe. Check the potatoes doneness with a fork. When you can easily puncture the potato with minimal amounts of force it is done. Generally this takes 15-20 minutes of boiling, but it depends on the potatoes, your stove, and a number of other variables.

Once you're certain that the potatoes are done, drain the water out of the pot. Add about 1/3 cup of milk, 2 tablespoons of butter, and the garlic. Then use a fork or a potato masher, or whatever you want and smash some taters! I only recently purchased a potato masher, and I really don't think using a fork is much harder.

Using a large kitchen knife chop your bacon into bits. It should crumble pretty easily. Take the bacon bits and add them to the glorious mashed potato mixture. Season with salt and pepper and enjoy!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Cinnamon Apple Crepes


So after my super long hiatus, I took a cue from you Sarah and decided to try something from Mastering the Art of French cooking- crepes! This morning I made Cinnamon Apple Crepes for breakfast (although by the time I finished it was noon so I suppose this was lunch). The crepes were adapted from MtAoFC- just the basic crepe batter for savory crepes (not dessert). The filling is my own invention, apples cooked in butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, and a bit of rum. This was really really good.


Begin by making your crepe batter. Combine 1/2 cup cold milk, 1/2 cup cold water, 2 eggs, 1/4 tsp salt, 3/4 cup flour, and 2 tbs melted butter in a blender and mix on high for one minute. Cover and put in the fridge while you make your filling. MtAoFC said to let the batter sit for at least 2 hours, but who has time for that?? My batter sat for about 20 minutes and the crepes turned out fine.


Next peel and dice 3 granny smith apples (I only did 2 and couldn’t stuff the crepes to capacity which was very very sad). Actually, 4 apples might be better and leftovers are delicious…


In a saucepan over medium heat, combing 1/2 cup butter, 1/2 cup brown sugar, and 1/2 tsp cinnamon. Stir the mixture till it is thoroughly combined and bubbling gently (2~3 minutes).


Toss in your diced apples and stir to coat them in your syrup. Add 1/4 cup dark rum and stir gently. Allow your mixture to bubble gently for about 5 minutes or until the apples are soft and the syrup no longer smells like alcohol. I converted this recipe from one for bananas foster and you’re supposed to light the rum on fire to make a flambĂ©. I tried that here, but it wouldn’t catch. I think the apples released too much water and it diluted the rum too much to allow for ignition. It’s okay, if you allow the mixture to cook down the flavors become more concentrated and the alcohol all burns off. Seriously tasty stuff. Remove the pan from the heat and set it aside.


Lightly brush a 7" chef’s skillet (pan with gently sloping sides) with vegetable oil (or use a vegetable oil spray) and set over medium heat.


When the oil is smoking hot, take the pan off the heat and pour in a little less than 1/4 cup of batter. Swirl immediately so the entire bottom of the pan is covered in a thin layer of batter. Place the pan back on the heat and allow the crepe to cook for 60~80 seconds.


As soon as the edges look slightly brown, flip your crepe over. I did this by pinching an edge with thumb and forefinger on both hands and gently flipping it, but you can also use a wide rubber spatula or if you’re really cool you can jerk the pan slightly upward just as you draw it back to you and flip it in the air (thank you Julia Child). Allow the other side to cook for about 20 seconds or until it is slightly browned. The second side doesn’t cook nearly as nicely as the first side because there are all these air pockets that get in the way and you end up with this ugly spotty mess. The second side of the cooked crepe always ends up as the inside of the served crepe, just because the first side cooked is always the prettiest with all it’s lacy brown coloring. See?

IMG_5038 IMG_5053

Repeat this process till all of the batter is used up (I made 10 crepes). Keep the crepes stacked one on top of another and that will keep them warm and pliable. Fill each crepe with the cooked apples and roll into a crepe shape keeping the end of the crepe tucked underneath. Drizzle with the brown sugar sauce and serve warm. Tony mentioned he would have liked some whipped cream with the crepes. I understand, something creamy would have definitely added to the experience. If these had been for dessert I would have served them with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. I think I’ll take some ricotta cheese and mix in a little bit of honey and spread that on the bottom of each crepe next time, then put the apples on top, sort of like a cheese blintz. What do you think?

Cinnamon Apple Crepes


For the crepes:

  • 1/2 c cold water
  • 1/2 c cold milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 c flour
  • 2 tbs melted butter

For the apple filling:

  • 1/2 c butter
  • 1/2 c brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 3 granny smith apples (peeled and diced)
  • 1/4 c dark rum

Begin by making your crepe batter. Combine 1/2 cup cold water, 1/2 cup cold milk, 2 eggs, 1/4 tsp salt, 3/4 cup flour, and 2 tbs melted butter in a blender and mix on high for one minute. Cover and place in the fridge to set while you make your filling.

To make the filling heat 1/2 cup butter in a large skillet and add 1/2 cup brown sugar and 1/2 tsp cinnamon. Stir to combine. Add the apples and toss to coat. Add the rum and stir gently. Allow the mixture to bubble slightly until the apples are soft and the syrup no longer smells like alcohol (about 5 minutes). Set aside.

Lightly brush a 7" chef’s skillet with vegetable oil and place over medium heat. When the oil is smoking hot, remove the pan from the heat and pour in slightly less than 1/4 cup crepe batter. Swirl so the batter evenly coats the bottom of the pan. Return the pan to the heat and allow the crepe to cook for 60~80 seconds or until the edges of the crepe turn slightly brown. Flip the crepe and cook the other side for about 20 seconds or until that side is just barely browned. Remove to a plate and repeat the process till all the batter is gone (makes about 10 crepes).

Fill each crepe with the desired amount of apple mixture and roll tucking the seam underneath. Drizzle with the brown sugar mixture and serve warm. A scoop of vanilla ice cream makes a fantastic side. Enjoy!