Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Bacon Pretzel Caramels

Not just bacon pretzel caramels. Bacon pistachio pretzel caramels with Newcastle. Or, little pillows of chewy decadence.

I used this recipe from Lisa at Lisa is Cooking, substituting pistachios for the cashews, and adding crumbled bacon. Because, as everyone knows, bacon makes everything better.

First lay down the pretzels and nuts (and bacon!) in a dish lined with greased foil. Don't skip the grease part, it's completely necessary.

Next pour the cooked sugar mixed with cream and Newcastle (or any other ale you like) on top, and chuck it in the refrigerator until completely chilled.

Then cut into small pieces...

And wrap in wax paper or parchment paper.

Yes, boiling sugar is kind of scary. And it's a freaking mess to clean up afterward. But it's definitely worth it.

Sweet, salty, creamy, chewy, crunchy. And bacon.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Pseudo Filipino Breakfast

My husband was raised by his great-grandfather, who was Filipino. He grew up eating things like this - delicious, filling, cheap, and did I mention delicious?

The basic formula is mostly rice, a couple eggs, and a little meat. Garlic rice is preferred, where you take day-old cold rice, and fry it with garlic (think Chinese fried rice, but without the soy sauce). But you can just as easily mix fried garlic chips into the rice. Cook your eggs however you want. I like over-easy. Husband likes scrambled. But not really scrambled - pour the eggs into a skillet, poke the yolk, let it cook slowly, chop and flip a little. You want the separate areas of white and yolk, not a homogeneous concoction.

For the meat - the best would be longanisa. Or tocino. If you don't have access to either of those, cube some Spam and fry it in a hot skillet. Or, even better (IMHO), although it does sound strange at first, cube up some hot dogs, and fry in a skillet with a little bit of mustard (plain yellow is fine) and black pepper. Seriously. Something about the mustard and pepper makes it taste...not like a hot dog...

For garnish, add sliced green onions, some Sriracha or other hot chile, soy sauce, a splash of fish sauce, fried garlic chips. Whatever you add, it will be good.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Pan-Fried Salmon with Garlic and Capers

Or, more accurately, my husband's pan-fried salmon with garlic and capers. He makes this dish, I never have.

Season the salmon with garlic powder, paprika, a little rosemary, salt and pepper. Fry in about a half inch of canola/vegetable oil until done. Let it get crispy at the edges - yes, it's technically over-cooked, but the crispy bits are really the best part.

Remove the fish to drain on paper. Saute minced garlic and capers in a mix of butter and olive oil until they start getting a little crispy. People always say "don't burn the garlic", and this isn't exactly burnt, but it's crispy. And good. Pour the garlic/caper/fat mixture over the fish.

Served with zucchini, potatoes, garlic cloves, shallots and pearl onions roasted with olive oil, salt and pepper, this was an awesome, if garlic-heavy, meal.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Non-Food Post - Books Read in 2010

I seem to have dropped off in my reading, only 24 books in 2010. My favorites were Proust was a Neuroscientist by Jonah Lehrer and The Road by Cormac McCarthy. Honorable mention goes to Full Dark, No Stars, because it seems like Stephen King is finally returning to the writer he used to be.

With no further adieu, the list:

The Sopranos Family Cookbook: As Compiled by Artie Bucco – Allen Rucker, Michele Schicolone
The Hellbound Heart – Clive Barker
Donnie Brasco – Joseph D. Pistone
Proust was a Neuroscientist – Jonah Lehrer
Shadow of Albion – Andre Norton and Rosemary Edgehill
The Elves of Cintra – Terry Brooks
Veronika Decides to Die – Paulo Coelho
Eleven Minutes – Paulo Coelho
The Stranger – Albert Camus
The Living Dead – John Joseph Adams, ed.
Eat, Pray, Love – Elizabeth Gilbert
A Homemade Life – Molly Wizenberg
The Witch of Portobello – Paulo Coelho
Shadow & Claw – Gene Wolfe
Sword & Citadel – Gene Wolfe
Rant – Chuck Palahniuk
The Road – Cormac McCarthy
A Thousand Splendid Suns – Khaled Hosseini
The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold
Bloodstone – Nate Kenyon
The Tartar Steppe – Dino Buzzati
Gomorrah – Roberto Saviano
The Shack – Wm. Paul Young
Full Dark, No Stars – Stephen King

What did you read?