Saturday, June 26, 2010

Peanut Butter Bars

This one comes from a steak buffet place in Weston, WV via my step-mother. I adapted the proportions to fit a single 12 x 17 pan.

1. In a large mixing bowl, cream together:
  • 1/2 lb. of butter
  • 2/3 of a 16 oz. jar of smooth peanut butter (~10-11 oz.)
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1 & 1/2 c. brown sugar (approximately one 16 oz. bag)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
2. Slowly sift in 2 c. self-rising flour and continue creaming together.

3. Switch your stand mixer from regular beaters to small dough hooks and add 2 c. oatmeal (this will get very stiff, so I end up switching to a very stout wooden spoon).

4. Press the mixture into a buttered or non-stick 12 x 17 / 13 x 18 jelly roll pan.

5. Bake at 350°F for 10-12 minutes. The consistency will be like a chocolate chip cookie bar.

6. For the icing, mix until smooth & consistent:
  • 1 & 1/2 c. powdered sugar
  • the rest of the jar of peanut butter (~5-6 oz.)
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/3 c. milk
5. Pour over the partially-cooled bars and spread evenly.

Cut into squares & enjoy!

Salmon with Citrus Glaze (Alton Brown)

I can’t take credit for this one. We saw it on one of Alton Brown’s shows, Good Eats. I used it last summer when the St. Tommy’s alumni crowd gathered in the mountains of north Georgia. I used it again last night when we had a small mob over to have our house blessed. I did it from memory, but then on a whim searched the interwebs and scared up a link for the top of this post. Both times I’ve made it, I was feeding about a dozen people, so my procedure is for two sides of salmon. The other major difference is that I use less salt that most people, Alton included.

1. Into a small food processor, put
  • 2/3 c. dark brown sugar
  • the zest from 5 lemons
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
2. Blend until smooth.

3. Cover a large jelly roll pan with foil (it needs to be a pan with a decent lip, not a flat cookie sheet; there will be a lot of liquid).

4. Put 2 whole sides of salmon onto the foil and spread the glaze over them.

5. Leave the salmon to marinate at room temperature for an hour or so. It will throw off quite a bit of liquid. Don’t sweat it (fortuitous pun not intended).

6. Position a rack in the oven so that the salmon will be about 3" from the flame / element and let the broiler preheat for a couple of minutes.

7. Broil the salmon for approximately 6 minutes.

8. Turn off the heat and let the salmon sit for another ~7 minutes.

Serve and eat now. I like to serve it on a bed of low-country grits (slow cooked in milk all day long).



Tonight (27 June 2011) I modified the glaze slightly. I added fresh, grated ginger to it. Yummers! The proportions were probably also much different. I glazed three salmon fillets and one portobello cap (for SWMBO). For this, I started with the zest of three lemons, approximately 1/3 c. of brown sugar, nearly a Tablespoon of black pepper, only a bit of salt, and a chunk of ginger about 3" x 1". It was very tasty.

Bloody Mary mix

A little while back, SWMBO discovered that she actually likes a well-made Bloody Mary. She discovered this over Sunday Brunch at one of the best eateries in town, Motor Supply Company Bistro. Motor Supply has great chefs who are members of the slow food movement, buy local ingredients, craft new menus every day, and make some of the tastiest fare you will ever want to spend time on your tongue. They also have some of the best wait staff around, including one server who knows SWMBO’s dietary restrictions and palate and has never made a bad recommendation. It was this server who ran down the list of ingredients (but not the proportions) in a Motor Supply Bloody Mary.

I chased those flavors around a few times and made a few changes of my own. For instance, the best Bloody Mary SWMBO has had at Motor Supply was made with a tamarind-infused vodka. Since we go through alcohol rather slowly here at the House of Chez Casa, I didn’t want to flavor a whole bottle that was likely to be asked to serve in a variety of drinks. So I added tamarind to the mix. Other changes I made just because the results were good.

UPDATE: I keep dinking with this recipe and most recently modified the proportions for the after-party for Augustine Broadbent’s baptism; I started with 2 64 oz. bottles of juice then and am cutting the recipe in half here. This incarnation now dated 28 January 2012.

UPDATE: The Dr.’s tastebuds keep changing. For instance, she has lost her beloved pimento cheese, and has been cutting lemon way, way down. So below is for the batch I made on 9 Feb ’13 (and the recipe’s still working for her as of 12 Nov. ’16).

So here it is, the current incarnation of my Bloody Mary mix:

1. Put into a blender:
  • 1 Tbsp. Tobasco
  • 1 tsp. bitters
  • 2 Tbsp. Worcestershire
  • 2 Tbsp. A1
  • 1 tsp. pickle juice
  • the juice from ¼ lemon
  • the juice from ¼ lime
  • 1½ oz. (¼ 6 oz. jar) Kalamata olives
  • ½ tsp. celery seed
  • ½ Tbsp. pepper
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 Tbsp. pure cane sugar
  • ½ Tbsp. horseradish
  • 1 3/4 oz. tamarind patty (I get this at an Indian grocery in 14 oz patties and used 1/8 patty. Watch for seeds; I chop the patty coarsely in order to find & remove the seeds before putting the tamarind into the blender.)
2. Open a 64 oz. bottle of tomato juice and pour enough into the blender to make it 2/3 - 3/4 full.

3. Run the blender until you have a smooth (if somewhat viscous) concoction.

4. Run the contents of the blender through a food mill into a large pitcher (to get any bits and bobs, especially from the tamarind patty), pour in the rest of the tomato juice, & mix well.

5. Pour 64 oz. of the mix back into the tomato juice bottle (this is why I buy a bottle rather than a can -- resealability).

6. Split the remaining 16 oz. or so between two rocks glasses.

7. Put the bottle of mix in the fridge and do something about those two rocks glasses.