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Miso Hungry... Miso Marinated Skirt Steaks

One of my favorite cuts of beef is skirt steak. Once you get it for cheap, but that's not the case any longer. Skirt steak is similar to flank steak in that they come for the same region of the cow, between the ribs and hip. Skit steak is commonly used in fajitas and requires just a quick pan fry or grilling.
On of my least favorite ingredients, or let me rephrase that, items I need to explore more , is Miso. I am not a huge fan of using the fermented soybean paste in soups, but I love to use it as glaze or marinade for meat and fish.The only Miso soup I have ever liked is one I made myself.I have a bag of Miso stored away in my fridge from some experiments earlier. Miso lasts quite a long time( 1 year or more) if kept sealed in the fridge and it was still good. But check your dates if the manufacturer puts one on the package. My Miso could probably go a bit further as long is its sealed tightly. The fermentation may cause the product to get stronger.If you are worried about sodium , check the contents as well.Red Miso tends to have higher amounts of sodium.

For this recipe I used a white Miso and made a quick tasty glaze for my skirt steak. I also used the same glaze for salmon steaks later on the week and it worked great. I would love to try this on the grill when summer arrives.
Miso Marinated Skirt Steaks
1 tablespoon Miso (white)
1 lb skirt steak
1 1/2 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons Sake
1 teaspoon ground ginger
3 cloves chopped garlic
1 teaspoon prepared wasabi in tube
In a bowl mix all ingredients . Place skirt steaks in bowl, cover, and refrigerate for a few hours or overnight.

Take a cast iron skillet or grill and heat on range top. Add a small amount of of oil. Depending on the doneness you desire, grill/fry for at least 3 min on high heat each side for rare. Be careful not to over cook or it will be dry and tough. I prefer mine on the more med to well done side.Allow the steaks to sit for a few minutes before you slice on the diagonal.

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Daring Bakers Make Sweet and Savory Tuiles

This month's challenge is brought to us by Karen of Bake My Day and Zorra of 1x umruehren bitte aka Kochtopf. They have chosen Tuiles from The Chocolate Book by Angélique Schmeink and Nougatine and Chocolate Tuiles from Michel Roux.

I don't know if it was coming down from a hectic December or just being to busy, but Glamah did not rise to the occasion with creativity on this challenge. With so much going on and Certain Someone away, I was grateful I had a savory option with this months challenge. I choose to use the savory recipe by Thomas Keller from his French Laundry Cookbook. The only substitutions I made to this was add a touch of turmeric for color. One day I hope Certain Someone will whisk me off to French Laundry but in the meanwhile I have my savory tuiles. Judging by the labor and almost burnt fingers rolling these babies in a hot open oven, I can see why Mr. Keller charges an arm and a leg for his outstanding cuisine. Personally,I wouldn't want that job to be in charge of the coronet shaped tulies. I didn't have metal coronets so I fashioned some out of parchment paper. The baking tuiles wouldn't keep their shape . I then then improvised with mini metal tartlette pans. Not perfect , but getting a shape. I sprinkled the tuiles with Nigella seeds that made a nice contrast with the turmeric yellow color. The filling was smoked salmon bits that I pureed with lime,onion, and avocado and a sprinkle of cayenne pepper. It was actually pretty tasty. The buttery tuiles reminded me of a high end crispy potato chip. I will probably go to foodie hell saying that. Is this something I would make again. Maybe. I appreciate learning a new technique but for me this just didn't hold my attention as other challenges have. I realize its a tough job to host these challenges each month and you cant please the thousand of Daring Bakers, Hopefully next month I will get more in the spirit. Please be sure to visit our wonderful hosts and other members to see their creative interpretations of tuiles.

You can find the printable version of all the recipes here .


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Coconut Curried Goat With Rice and Red Lentils

One of my favorite treats as a child growing up in diverse Washington D.C was when my father brought home takeout of curried goat and Roti from some hole in the wall. That was good eating. He was a man that didn't stray from his staples of Nigerian food, but he did like good Caribbean food. Lately I have been hankering for goat meat. In the Bahamas I was disappointed with their Americanized fare and didn't see any. I must have been asleep at the the foodie radar to realize goat meat has gone mainstream and is now served in many a restaurant and featured in magazines. Last time I had some goat was at a dumpy Indian restaurant and it was good but had more bone than meat for my tastes. But the sauce was spicy and thick. I purchased my goat at Pete's Fresh Market a great chain that has a large Mexican and Asian clientele. Any sort of exotic produce or meat is available and they have it at pretty fair prices. I eyed a goat leg in the butcher case. To big for just me, but I need to get one one day for a BBQ. The goat on display looked like rib cages and me not knowing cuts was perplexed. But the butcher told me he could cut it down into pieces for me, I was hoping for a boneless type of cut to cook down, but started off with 6 pounds of pieces. expertly cut up for me. The pieces he gave thankfully had a lot of meat.
6 pounds is a lot and my aim was to cook it down in the pressure cooker and eat of it all this over the weekend. It gets even better the next day.Here is my 'recipe'. Its not formal, just what I did.

Clean goat meat and pat dry. In an uncovered pressure cooker brown 2 large onions, some tablespoons of curry powder to your taste, cumin, salt, pepper,turmeric ,chili powder, and the meat with a bit of oil. Note the goat has fat, and I didn't want it to greasy. Cut up and seed about 3 jalapenos or a lesser amount of Scotch bonnet peppers if you can get them( depends on your heat tolerance). Add some cilantro and a cleaned sliced leek , and some leftover chopped tomato to the mix. Mix up . Add about 2 cups of water ( next time I would add less as it creates more liquid). Cover , seal, and cook at a pressure of 15 lbs for 45-50 minutes. Cool down with cold water method or naturally until lid releases. Drain off any excessive liquids and fat( I had about 4 cups I drained off , so next time add less liquid. But I left enough in). Stir in one can of coconut milk to finish. Serve with rice boiled with red lentils and garnish with more fresh cilantro and maybe a some jalapeno if you desire it more spicy.

You can cook this a normal stove top method but the cooking time will be between 2-3 hours. Pressure cooking cuts the time down and yields really tender and succulent meat.

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Kochen Sie Deutsch? Ham hocks and Spaetzle.

I have been seeing a lot of ham hocks around the blogosphere lately.Its funny because ham hocks are widely used in the black culture in soul food. I have seen first hand a love hate relationship with this cut of swine. Its been widely substituted by smoked turkey to season greens and such.And most of us wouldn't be caught dead eating it in polite company . But its cheap and tasty and I'm happy to see a foodie resurgence. In Germany I loved the Eisbein which is the lower more meatier part of the ham hock. A typical ham hock has to much bone, fat, gristle , and skin, to eat alone. But the chunks of meat you get are out of this world. The Eisbein I had in Germany was meat fall of the bone succulent with crispy skin. I tried to recreate this with the lowlier ham hocks. I didn't get a lot of meat, but I got. The rest went in the trash bin. But it was enough to enhance my homemade spaetzle. I didn't have a fancy Spaetzle maker, but used a colander with large holes. This dish is for my Certain Someone. You know how some people talk dirty when their loved one is away? Me I cook this German style meal I know he would love to entice him to finish his business abroad and come home quick.

The ham hocks were cooked in a pressure cooker with about 3 cups of water, peppercorns, and 3 cloves of garlic for 45 minutes at a pressure of 15 lbs. I have had a pressure cooker for years and am just starting to discover the joys of it. I cooled it down quickly to release the pressure with the cold water method( running water over the pot and waiting till it cools down enough to release safely). I then roasted them on high to get the skin crispy. The skin is gelatinous but with patience you will get some crispy parts.

Certain Someone would be so proud of me. I made Spaetzle from a cookbook written in German! Maggi Kochstudio. Easy and straightforward. I converted the weights and measures.

Spatzletig for 2

1 3/4 cups flour ( 250 grams)

3 eggs beaten

2/3 cup water ( 1/8 liter)



Water for boiling( approx 2 liters)

Boil your water in a pot.In a bowl place your flour. Add beaten egg,water, salt, and nutmeg. Mix thoroughly ( I used a whisk). Take a large holed colander and place a little mixture in at at time. With a rubber spatula or wooden spoon run the mixture back and forth across the hole until it drops in the boiling water. The spaetzle dumplings will rise to the top of the water when done. Remove with a slotted spoon. Season to taste.

I seasoned and tossed mine with a leek sauteed in butter and the garlic from the pressure cooker.Salt , fresh ground pepper and a grating of Parmesan cheese.

Next time when Certain Someone comes home I will got to the butcher and get the Eisbein cut to ensure we have more meat. But this was a tasty trial run.

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BYOB: Buttermilk Bread to Cinnamon - Raisin Bread

This weekend I was looking for a bread I could make with Buttermilk . I always have left over Buttermilk from a recipe and wanted to find a practical use for it while keeping my commitment to BYOB. I chose a pretty easy recipe from Artisan Bread In Five Minutes A Day, which most of you know is a great book and the talk of the blogosphere.Jeff Hertzerg and Zoe Francois have revolutionized home bread baking in a simple , time friendly method that allows the busy home cook /baker to always have fresh bread for their family. If you don't have this book, I suggest you get it. For those of you who are scared of yeast, this is the perfect foray into Bread Baking for you.

I selected the Buttermilk Bread from the Enriched Bread and Pastry section. If you like a chewy , spongy, white bread, with a soft crust,then try this. The Buttermilk bread made plain is a great sandwich bread. As with all the Basic recipes in Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, you can then use the basic for other recipes. Judy's Board of Directors Cinnamon- Raisin Bread called out to me. This is fantastic Cinnamon bread that's easy to make once you make the basic dough.
Judy's Board Of Directors' Cinnamon- Raisin Bread adapted from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes A Day, by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois

2 cups lukewarm water
1 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 tablespoons yeast
1 1/2 tablespoons salt
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
6 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
Butter or vegetable oil for greasing the pan

For Swirl:
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/3 cup sugar
3/4 cup raisins
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water for egg wash

To mix Buttermilk Bread Dough:
Mix the yeast , salt, and sugar with liquids( water and buttermilk) in the bowl of your stand mixer.
Add in flour gradually with the dough hook attachment. Do not knead, but mix until all is incorporated.
Cover loosely( the authors advise that it not be airtight) and allow let it rest at Room Temperature until dough rises and collapses ( approx 2 hours) .
Dough can used immediately or put , covered in anon airtight container in the refrigerator. The dough can be stored for up to 7 days and easier to handle when cold.

To Bake:
Grease your loaf pan. On a lightly floured surface roll out a piece of dough into a 8x 16 inch rectangle. I used half of the dough for my baking pan. Brush the dough with egg wash. Sprinkle sugar, cinnamon, and raisins evenly . From the short side up roll in jelly roll fashion and place in greased pan seam side down. Allow to rise/rest in pan 40 minutes ( if dough is used unrefrigerated) or 1 hour and 40 minutes if used refrigerated.
Preheat oven to 375F and bake for 35-40 minutes or until golden Brown. * I used some of the remaining egg wash on top of the dough to give the crust a gloss.A lame was used to slash the bread. I also placed my pan on a baking stone to aid in baking.
Remove from pan and allow to cool on wire rack for a few hours before slicing.

Here is the Authors of Artisan Bread In Five Minutes A Day Pictorial and recipe for Cinnamon Raisin Bread and toast

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Meringue Topped Spiced Apple Conserve

I created this dessert while shut in by the weather. Its -17F here in Chicago and my car just wont start. So while waiting for Roadside Assistance from my insurance company to come and give this old girl a jump start,I played in my kitchen. Having apples on hand I came up with this recipe. Spicy apple conserves laced with Ginger Wine, Star Anise, Ground Ginger, and Walnuts topped with a sweetened meringue and baked. Its doesn't take long to whip this together and it would make a stunning dessert that can be made partially in advance. Relatively low in fat with the exception of the walnuts, it rich in flavor and texture, while being satisfying. Just the dessert you need to get you through Arctic weather , but not leaving you to guilty by indulging.* I used Stones Original Green Ginger Wine which I found in the Bahamas. It's a product from the UK.
Meringue Topped Spiced Apple Conserve (serves 4)

For the Spiced Apple Conserves
6 apples
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
1/4 cup Ginger Wine
2 Star Anise pods
1tsp ground ginger
1/3 cup sugar
Peel apples, core and chop coarsely into larger chunks.Add to a heavy bottomed sauce pan with the remaining ingredients and slowly simmer until apples are soft. Remove Star Anise and discard.
For the Meringue
2 egg whites
6 tsp sugar
1 tsp cream
Preheat oven to 350 F. Beat egg whites with sugar and Cream of Tarter until stiff peaks form. Fill a piping bag with beaten egg whites.
Arrange the conserve into 4 ramekins. Pipe egg whites on top and bake at 350F until golden brown.. Remove from heat . * You can sprinkle with thinly sliced candied ginger(optional).Serve warm.

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I.O Organic Sicilian Blood Orange Juice, A Chicken Dish,and a Cocktail

I stuck up a Twitter correspondence with the owner of I.O Organics ,Organic Blood Orange Juice. He kindly sent me two bottles for review. I love Blood oranges and to see a product like this naturally intrigued me. Produced on his families farm in Mineo, Sicily, the juice provides 40% more than the FDA recommended amounts of vitamin C. That's more than the average orange. Potassium, fiber, iron,calcium, and Vitamin A round out the health benefits.

I was worried this would be a sugary drink. Absolutely not! The flavor was crisp and tart, while naturally sweet. One can drink this alone, or make a wonderful cocktail.
Of course my unoriginal self immediately used some of the juice for a healthy orange chicken.This chicken is not fried and cooks slow to produce a slow reduction of Blood Orange Juice , molasses, and brown sugar, Toss in some fresh Broccoli to roast and you have a healthy version of Orange Chicken.
Glamah's Not Your Food Court Orange Chicken
1 cup I.O ORGANICS Blood Orange Juice
4 chicken thighs ( bone in)
1 head of fresh broccoli
1.3 cup molasses
1/3 cup rice wine vinegar
1/2 cup brown sugar
sea salt to taste
Fresh ground pepper to taste
pinch of Cayenne Pepper
1 tsp ground Ginger
In a heavy duty enameled cast iron pan toss all ingredients and add chicken. It will be liquidy. Slowly roast uncovered at 350 degrees F until liquid starts to reduce and thicken. It will take approx 45 depending on your oven. At the 30 minute stage you can add Fresh Broccoli to the pan to roast in the liquids and with the chicken. When the chicken looks about done, you can turn up the oven temp to 475 to help the juices/liquid caramelize and glaze the chicken. Remove from oven and enjoy. Serve with rice.
I also made a cocktail. Its sub zero here in Chicago and the Blood Orange Juice evoked feelings of sunshine for me.
Banana Blood Orangetini
2 parts I.O Blood Orange Juice
1 part vodka
1 part Banana Rum
Combine all ingredients in a martin shaker with ice and serve in a frosted glass.
You can find more information of I.O Organics Blood Orange Juice here.

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Yumm... Stromboli

First of all, do you like my new look? Its amazing what you can get up to when your snowed in on the weekend. I'm rather proud of it myself.
This weekend I craved the zest of tomato sauce , but didn't want pasta. So I thought of pizza and decide to take it a step further. Stromboli.I'm talking the food item, not the place.From what I gather Stromboli is an American invention through and through. Don't we love our pockets, burritos, and such.Pure comfort and bliss.I started off with Peter Reinhardt's pizza dough. However I skipped the long ferment and mixed the ingredients of :
4 1/2 Cups all purpose flour
1 3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp instant yeast
1/4 cup olive oil
1/3/4 cups ice cold water
1 tbsp sugar
all to let rise at room temp for approx 3 hours until double. This recipe which you can find in its entirety here, yields 6 dough balls. The excess dough makes for great freezing at a later time.

Now here what you do to make Stromboli. Roll out a small dough ball( enough for an individual size pizza) into a rectangle approx 10-11 inches long and 5 inches across.

Pre heat oven to 450 degrees.
Brush your dough lightly with tomato sauce( optional) or oil if you prefer. Sprinkle some herbs, crushed pepper. Fill sparingly with topping s of your choice. I used sliced onions, ham , pepperoni, mozzarella,olives. The choice is yours.Roll carefully lengthwise, lifting carefully as you roll to encompass the ingredients. Brush with a beaten egg and very lightly sprinkle with more cheese( Parmesan works great too).
Sprinkle your cast iron pan or pizza stone with cornmeal. I confess, I was out and used flour. Lay your Stromboli down and bake for 20 minutes or until golden. Take out and let rest a few minutes.
Slice and serve. I like to dip mine in tomato sauce. These would be a great idea with different variations to serve for a Super Bowl party.

I have made a commitment this year to bake my my own breads with several other bakers. We call this BYOB. We do this for nutrition concerns, to know what we eat, and to save money on overpriced baked goods. Nothing is more satisfying than Baking you own bread.

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Dorie's Cocoa Buttermilk Cake and some news

My Auntie Mame's birthday was yesterday, and for the woman who has everything ,I made her a cake. Yes I knew she would protest( the woman lives in the gym and looks like an older Hallie Berry). But sometimes when shes she not shopping, travelling, working, or working out, she just needs to curl up in her fabulous condo overlooking the lake with a slice of rich chocolate cake, a good magazine , and some coffee.
I used my go to source, Baking:From My Home To Yours, by Dorie Greenspan. Funny, up to a year ago I didn't even know of this woman, but I have been so pleased with all I bake from her book. Some people just have that gift of good recipe writing and making it easy. I followed the recipe exactly which you can find here. The only exception was the use of Cocoa. I used Hershey's Special dark which gave it a deep rich chocolate color and flavor. I loved her Chocolate Malted Butter cream Frosting. I wondered if I messed up at first making the chocolate component but it all came together beautifully and sets beautifully in the refrigerator. Decorating was kept simple with white chocolate seas shells. I attempted to melt white chocolate in a double boiler. I got a semi melted crumbly mess. Nevertheless I pressed it into lightly a lightly oiled sea shell silicone tray. I then microwaved it for a brief 20 seconds. Be careful as it can burn easily. I always have issues with white chocolate. Nevertheless the crumbly , non perfect texture was perfect for the realistic seashells. I dusted them lightly with lustre and kept them in the fridge until ready. I assembled the two tires , frosted and adhered the shells. A little extra piping and voila!Off to aunties house it goes.
I want to take this moment to announce I am now the Chicago Cooking Examiner for Be sure to support me and check out my columns. There will be some material from the blog, but the articles are more tweaked to living , cooking, and shopping in Chicago and all of the cities resources. If you want more detailed info and decorating tips check out the latest column about this cake.

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Rethinking Salmon...Crusted & Seared In Onion Seeds and Spicy Salmon Cannellini Cakes

I'm sure most posts you are reading this week are about healthy foods, and mine is no exception. I have a rare negative opportunity with Certain Someone away for a while, to turn it into a positive.While my love is away, I can indulge in some healthier foods that aren't necessarily to his liking and experiment more. Certain Someone is not a fish person, but I love it. However Salmon is one of those fishes I can tire of easily. I purchased a pound and salmon and cut three fillets for this week. Here are two dishes I came up this week: I loved this piece of salmon I dipped in Onion seeds, otherwise known as Nigella seeds or Black Cumin. You can can find these in an Indian market. Lightly heated or toasted a nice light flavor emanates. I was more interested in visual contrast.

Heat a pan than can go into into oven with a bit of vegetable oil on the stove top. Place your salmon (Skin on and side down) dipped with onion seeds on top, in the pan.Lightly season with sea salt.Broil in oven for a few minutes until desired doneness.Turn salmon over carefully once and broil for an additional moment to cook the top. The underside of the skin should be nice and crispy. Serve atop a bed of greens dressed with lemon and olive oil.
I was craving something else a bit more substantial but light. I toyed with a can of Cannellini Beans which go excellent with salmon and came up with this spicy cakes.Not fried but still crispy, they are lighter , exotic version of salmon croquettes. You can omit the spice but that adds the punch:

Spicy Salmon Cannellini Cakes
makes 6 patties
15 oz can of Cannelini Beans rinsed and drained
6-7 ounce fillet of salmon poached (skin off)
1 egg beaten
1/4 cup Rice Flour
1 small ear fresh corn( kernels scrapped off) or 1/2 cup can. Fresh works best.
1-2 red chilies
2 cloves garlic
salt and pepper to taste
1-2 cups Panko Bread Crumbs
vegetable oil for greasing the baking sheet
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
In a bowl add the can of cannelini beans. and chopped red chili's. Take an immersion blender and mash. Add egg, rice flour, garlic, flaked salmon,corn,salt, and mix. Mixture will be goopy( for lack of better word). In a separate dish pour in your Panko Bread Crumbs. Grease baking sheet.
With well oiled hands take a scoop of mixture and drop in Panko. Turn over. Its not a firm mixture so you will need to shape it carefully. Drop well coated patties onto baking sheet. Bake for approx 10 minutes and then turn. Bake for another 10 minutes. Patties should be firm and slightly golden.
I served these atop wilted rainbow chard wilted in olive oil and lime wedges.

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New Years Eve Raclette Style

Certain Someone and I needless to say were exhausted and jet lagged by the time New Years Eve rolled around. No overpriced parties and clubs for us. We decided to use the night as an occasion to catch up with couple who are old friends of ours. Last year Certain Someone purchased a Raclette grill for us. Many of his youthful single days were spent entertaining in this style. As I had kind of lost my kitchen mojo being inactive this was a perfect solution for New Years Eve. The first time I has Raclette was in Geneva visiting a friends house while in college. I remember the real authentic Raclette cheese . potatoes and the good wholesomeness of it. Certain Someone has taken more liberties than what I remember , but that even makes Raclette more fun.

Raclette is both a cheese and a type of grill with Swiss origins. It consists of a grill with individual melting pans and a grill top. Traditionally bread or small potatoes are served alongside melted cheeses, salamis and other charcuterie, vegetables, pickled vegetables,and toppings. One can assemble all sorts of creations to melt the cheese atop. Its communal , interactive, and very filling. Traditionally a good white wine is served with.There was an old superstition not to drink water with your raclette as the cheese balls formed in your stomach could expand and cause death. We served the following:

smoked ham
pickled onions
sun dried tomatoes
green peppers
red peppers
black olives
green olives
marinated arrtichokes
sliced leeks
Gouda Cheese
Feta Cheese
Mozzarella Cheese
Smoked Gouda Cheese
Cheddar Cheese
Pepper Jack Cheese
small potatoes
There was plenty leftover and all the veg and meat sliced up stretches well for a crowd. Maybe something to consider for your next Superbowl party or get together on a budget?
The next day Certain Someone actually cooked up this big baked gratin for us with the leftovers. He layered all the vegetables. meat , and cheeses with pasta. I have to say it was quite good and fattening. Just the right dish to kick of the New Year.

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