Last weekend, in an attempt to pair a dessert with some rosemary flavored beer my friends brewed, I made a tarte tatin. I scented the apples and pastry slightly with some rosemary and citrus to accent the beer. I also opted to make a tart-type dough instead of using traditional puff pastry, because I find that puff pastry can be a bit too flaky and soggy.
Overall I was happy with the result, although it could have looked a bit more refined. Also, because I allowed the apples to cook so long, I think they became a bit to sweet to pair well enough with the beer.
Every once in a while I get a craving for some good, fried food… fish and chips, onion rings, etc. This past week I made some beer-battered onion rings to complement a pork chop. It’s not easy to batter-fry well… keeping the product light and crisp well after it has come out of the fryer. These came out great… I was definitely happy. I would use the same batter for Fish and Chips!
Here’s the recipe. The measurements are rough estimates… you’re looking for pancake batter consistency.
1 Cup Rice Flour (or all-purpose)
2 Tbsp Cornstarch
A Bottle of Lager (give or take)
Cayenne Pepper to taste
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
Anything Else You Might Want to Flavor With
1/2 Cup Rice Flour (or all-purpose)
2 or 3 Tbsp. Cornstarch
Onions, cut into rings
Combine the flour with the cornstarch, salt, pepper and cayenne. Slowly add beer and whisk to make a batter, being careful not to over mix. You’re looking for pancake batter consistency. Set aside for a few hours, if possible. If not, no worries.
Pre-heat a deep-fat fryer or large pot with oil to 365-375F. Combine the flour and cornstarch in a brown paper bag. Add the onions and shake to coat.
A handful at a time, shake off the excess dredge and dip the onions in the batter. Fry for about a minute or until golden, crispy and delicious. Drain on a wire rack set over parchment or newspaper. Season with salt (and pepper, if you’re a Pepper Monkey).
Eat as many as you can before you get sick from eating too much fried food. They will stay crispy for hours!
Pizza in Philadelphia is pretty abysmal. Outside Osteria and a few spots here and there, it’s pretty ugly. So, lately I’ve been making alot of pizza at home… some traditional and some not so traditional (baked egg and cotechino, thank you Osteria)
It’s hard to get it just right with an oven that only goes to about 550F. I’m working on it, adjusting here and there. I want to try Hestor Blumenthal’s method of heating cast iron and then throwing it under the broiler, but haven’t yet. Until then (or until i have a 900 degree oven), I’ll settle with what I have now. It’s not too far off…
Roasting white chocolate in a low oven (about 250-260F) for about an hour gives it a wonderful flavor. It goes from a pristine white color to a light brown (depending on how long you roast) and produces a rich, nutty taste similar to a browned butter, due to the milk solids in the chocolate caramelizing…
I’m planning to pair this with pink grapefruit ice cream and some candied kumquats!
One of my resolutions for the new year is to do more with this blog than just keeping it a reference for these sunday dinners. I’m going to try to find more time to document the process of cooking and experimenting with new ideas so it is not just always about the end result. Although, I tend to not be good with resolutions. Stay tuned…