Sunday, March 31, 2013

Pilgrimage to Pinky's

I've gone mobile! This is my first post from my new fangled smartphone! I'm back in Seattle for a few days and had to stop by Pinky's Kitchen (aka Pig 'n Chips). I purposefully had a tiny breakfast before lunch at Pinky's, so by the time I got to the order window I was starving and ready for a hefty delicious BBQ extravaganza!

I got two sliders: brisket with sassy molassy sauce and pulled pork with sweet Caroline mustard sauce. I also got a small mac 'n cheese and a side of cole slaw.

Right now I'm feeling like a beached whale, happily blissed out on BBQ. ... Perhaps one slider would have been sufficient.

** Sent from my hand-held super-computer!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Gluten-Free Broccoli-Mushroom-Cheddar Pie

Woohoo!! I figured out how to make gluten-free pie dough! (for my GF buddies, cause I love them, and I love a culinary challenge) ...though admittedly, it's somewhere between pie and biscuit dough.  I did a bunch of research, and while everyone seemed to suggest that it's best to make your own flour blend, I decided I was semi-lazy and bought Pamela's Gluten Free flour blend.

I started with my sister-in-law's recipe, then compared it with the recipe on the back of my bag of Pamela's flour, made a few tester pies, and ultimately settled on this recipe:

Gluten-Free Pie Dough
6 Tbsp Butter
1 1/4 Cups Pamela's GF Artisan Flour Blend
1 tsp Baking Powder
1 Large Egg
1/4 Cup Cold Water
Pinch Sugar
Two Pinches Salt

I like to use frozen butter, cut into small cubes. Then squish the butter into the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, sugar, salt) with your fingers. The key with pie dough is that you want to keep it cool so that the butter doesn't melt. Crack the egg into a bowl with the water and beat them together with a fork or whisk. Combine the wet stuff with the dry stuff and knead it all together - if it's not easily forming a cohesive dough, add more water, a Tablespoon at a time.

Once the dough is made it could be used for anything. I made 6 personal-sized hand-held pies, and the second time I used this recipe for two 9-inch pies.

First, to roll out the dough is a little bit different than rolling out a gluteny dough. FLOUR FLOUR FLOUR. Flour everything incredibly well with GF flour.

Then, very gently, roll out the dough. The weight of the rolling-pin alone was enough pressure to achieve this. And "keep the dough moving", meaning between every roll; rotate it, lift it up, make sure it's not sticking to the table.

I placed some chopped broccoli, cremini mushrooms, and white cheddar cheese in the center of my dough, then gently folded the dough over the filling and crimped it shut.

To get nifty ruffled edges, simply poke them with your finger.

I thoroughly egg-washed the outside of each pie and topped it with more grated white cheddar.

These pies need to bake for at least 30min at 350F.

In the end it kind of looks like a blobby mess, but it sure is tasty!

Avocado Adventure!

Haas, Fuerte, and Bacon Avocados

Since moving to California, Alex and I have become aware that there are different varieties of avocado. And today, we decided to have a little avocado tasting. We bought three different varieties at the farmers market; the usual black-skinned Haas, green-skinned Fuerte, and green-skinned Bacon. Both Fuerte and Bacon are green when ripe, unlike Haas which is green at the start and turns dark-brown/black as it ripens. Here are our conclusions:
  • Haas: Arguably the most flavorful, with more of a "green vegetable" flavor and firm butteriness. Rich green-yellow flesh and thick skin.
  • Fuerte: Arguably has just as much flavor as Haas, though it's sweeter and creamier. Thin skin with green flesh.
  • Bacon: Despite its name, this was the most disappointing - it was like silky smooth avocado water. Lightest in color and flavor. Also incredibly thin-skinned. 
Granted, this study has a sample size of 1, so we really can't say anything quantitative. Though I'll take a Haas or Fuerte avocado any day!