Tag Archives: NYC

Most Important Meal of the Day

21 Feb

Buttermilk Pancakes

Growing up, Sunday mornings were my dad’s time to shine in the kitchen! His specialties at the stove consist of: lasagna and pancakes. Lasagna was always saved for the times my mom was away or my dad was put in charge of dinner. Pancakes however, were made on the regular; our Sunday morning treat! He would always make a huge batch of pancakes Sunday morning that we would devour with butter and syrup. Whatever we couldn’t finish would be frozen and eaten for breakfast before school each morning. It was the perfect way to start the day!

As an adult, I can’t say I make them every Sunday (I’d have to live at the gym!), but pancakes are definitely a welcomed surprise for my husband every once in a while. Over the past year when I’ve made pancakes, I’ve always changed and tweaked my recipes to find the best golden, fluffy pancakes and I’ve finally done it! These pancakes are fluffy, but not too dense, golden brown and melt in your mouth. It’s the perfect base to eat plain (as my husband likes them), chocolate chip (the way I like them), blueberry and whatever flavor suits you! Pair these pillows of heaven with a side of eggs and fruit and you have yourself a pretty fantastic Sunday if you ask me! img_2589

Prep Time     Cook Time     Total Time
10 Min            3.5 Min            13.5 Min

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Yields ~11 6-inch Pancakes

Ingredients:

  • 1 and 1/4 Cups of All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 Tsp of Baking Powder
  • 1/2 Tsp of Baking Soda
  • 1/4 Tsp of Salt
  • 1/2 Tsp of Cinnamon
  • 1.5 Tbs of Granulated Sugar
  • 1 Large egg
  • 1.5 Cups of Buttermilk
  • 1 Tsp of Vanilla Extract
  • 2 Tbs of Unsalted Butter, melted
  • 1/2 Tbs of Unsalted butter, for the griddle
  • 1/2 Cup of Chocolate Chops (optional)img_2569

Instructions:

  1. Whisk together baking soda, baking powder, salt, sugar and cinnamon in a medium bowl.
  2. Whisk in the egg, buttermilk, melted butter and vanilla
  3. Add in the flour and whisk until just combined. The batter should have small to medium lumps.img_2574
  4. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F. Heat the griddle/pan on medium heat and add the extra 1/2 tbs of butter. Wipe off excess.img_2576-1
  5. Using a 1/4 cup measuring cup (or a ladle) scoop out the batter and pour onto the griddle making sure each pancake is roughly 2 inches away from the other. Scatter with chocolate chips, if you’re using them.

     

  6. Once the pancakes start to bubble and pop on top and the edges are slightly dry, it’s time to flip! This will take roughly 2 minutes, but it’s all a matter of your pan temperature, so use your eye. If you think they’re ready but not sure, sneak the spatula under the side and peak under to see if it’s browned, if so, flip!
  7. Continue cooking until golden brown on the bottom and slightly firm when you lightly press the top of them with the spatula. It’s like testing a piece of steak: Rare, Medium Rare, Medium, Well Done. You want your pancakes “medium”, still squishy, but cooked through. This should take roughly 1 minute, but as mentioned before, it all depends on the heat of your pan. Low and slow is really the key here. If the heat is too high, the bottom will golden, but the pancake will not be cooked through.
  8. Once this set is cooked, transfer to an oven safe plate and place in the oven to keep warm. Continue with the next batch until the batter is gone.img_2587
  9. Serve with butter and your favorite syrup!img_2589

If you’re anything like me, you always make too much, but these are great to freeze and save for another morning. Just wrap well in tinfoil (you can even put 2 or 3 together) and place in the freezer. When you’re ready to eat, unwrap and place on a microwave safe place. Microwave for 3o seconds and then 15 second intervals until steamy and ready to eat!

Enjoy!
Kristin

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An Old Favorite

3 Feb

West 10th Street Brownies

In 2011, I took a baking class at The Institute of Culinary Education (ICE) at 50 West 23rd Street in New York City (Amazing class! I would recommend any of the classes offered at ICE. Check them out at ICE). The class was called “The Best Brownie Workshop” and was a collection of Nick Malgieri’s brownie recipes. Nick is the former Executive Pastry Chef at Windows on the World, is a 1996 inductee into Who’s Who of Food and Beverage in America. His twelfth and latest book is NICK MALGIERI’S PASTRY: FOOLPROOF RECIPES FOR THE HOME COOK. He was voted one of the ten best pastry chefs in America by Chocolatier and Pastry Art and Design magazines in 1998 and 1999, and he is the director the baking program at ICE. Check him out at Nick Malgieri.

Of course, I keep all the folders and pamphlets from past classes I take and these brownies have been a ‘go to’ for me for years now. I haven’t made them in quite some time, but it was a colleague’s birthday and these brownies were the perfect solution.

Story behind the West 10th Street Brownies:

“The name of this recipe is because I found it in Greenwich Villiage a few blocks from where I live. As I walked east on Tenth Street, I saw a yellowed index card lying on the sidewalk. When I picked it up and saw written in spidery hand in blue fountain pen ink a recipe for ‘The Best Brownies in the World.’ Well, I put it aside in a miscellaneous recipe file, and a few months later tried it. They turned out to be sensational and certainly a contender for the title.” – Nick Malgieri

I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

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Prep Time          Cook Time          Total Time
15 Minutes          30 Minutes          45 Minutes
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Yields: ~24 2-inch Brownies

Ingredients:

  • 16 tbs (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, cut into 1/4 inch pieces
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tsp of Cinnamon (*my personal addition the the recipe*)
  • 1 cup (6 ounce bag) semisweet chocolate chips
  • 19 x 13 x 2-inch pan

Instructions:

  1. Set a rack in the middle level of the oven, preheat to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and butter the pan well
  2. In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Once melted, remove from heat and add the 3 ounces of unsweetened chocolate. Let it sit for 2 minutes, then whisk until smooth. *If not all the chocolate has melted, add back to very low heat and stir constantly. Chocolate can burn rather quickly, so make sure to remove from heat  just before it is fully melted*
  3. In a large bowl whisk together the eggs, salt & vanilla until just mixed.
  4. Whisk in the sugar in a constant stream
  5. Whisk in the chocolate butter mixture
  6. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour and cinnamon, switch to a rubber spatula and fold into the chocolate/egg mixture.** Fold technique: The reason the flour is folded into this recipe rather than just mixed is to keep the air inside. This is what creates the airiness and volume in cakes and brownies. To fold in the flour make horizontal sweeping motions, like you’re folding what’s already in the bowl over the flour that you’ve added. Each time I do one sweeping motion I rotate the bowl slightly so that I’m folding from different angles and making sure I haven’t missed any of the flour. Make sure to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as well.** Careful: One of the biggest mistakes people (including myself sometimes) make when it comes to brownies is over mixing. **
  7. The batter may still be warm from the melted butter and chocolate. If so, set it aside until it has cooled to room temperature (test it with your fingertip). Once cooled, fold in the chocolate chips until just combined.
  8. Pour into the prepared baking dish and level with an offset spatula
  9. Bake for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
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  10. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let them cool completely, roughly 1 – 2 hours.
  11. Wrap the pan in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight is best.
  12. Once cold, transfer to a cutting board, measure two-inch squares and cut into pieces and eat them!

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Enjoy!

Kristin

Challah Bread

29 Jan

Giving It Another Shot!

I started on my bread making adventure when I was in college. The outcome was great, but the process had some major flaws… One major flaw in particular: I blew a fuse in the apartment EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. The apartment was somewhat drafty and to let the bread rise in a dark, quiet, warm place I would need a space heater in the back of the apartment. Never fail, 20 minutes later, the apartment was dark and shut down.

I decided to give it another go now when I moved to NYC… same problem. This apartment was much smaller and I decided it was probably a fire hazard and I should just quit the whole bread attempt. There are literally millions of other things to bake, stop with the bread Kristin!

Well, I’m stubborn and in a new apartment, but this time, IT WORKED! And it was delicious!! I decided on Challah Bread and ended with some fabulous french toast for breakfast!

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Prep Time        Cook Time             Total Time
3 – 3.5 hours          30 min               3.5 -4 hours
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Yields: 1 Loaf

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tsp of Active Dry or Instant Yeast
  • 1 Cup of lukewarm Water
  • 4 – 4.5 Cups of All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/4 Cup of Granulated Sugar
  • 2 Tsp of Salt
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 1 Large Egg Yolk (Keep the Egg White for the Egg Wash you’ll use later)
  • 1/4 Cup of Vegetable Oil

Instructions:

  1. Sprinkle the yeast in the lukewarm water with a pinch of salt. Stir to dissolve the yeast and let stand until you see a thin frothy layer across the top of the mixture. When you see the froth, this means that the yeast is active and ready to use.
  2. Whisk together 4 cups of flour (save the last 1/2 cup to the side), sugar and salt in the bowl of a standing mixer (or large mixing bowl if you’re kneading by hand)
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  3. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and add the eggs, egg yolk and oil. Whisk these together to form a semi-liquid mixture pulling in a little flour from the sides of the bowl.IMG_2309
  4. Pour the yeast mixture over the egg mixture and mix with a spoon until you form a shaggy dough that is difficult to mixIMG_2310
  5. With the dough hook attachment, knead the dough on low speed for 6 to 8 minutes (or, if by hand, turn the dough onto a floured work surface and knead by hand for about 10 minutes). If the dough seems sticky, like bubblegum, add the excess flour, a teaspoon at a time,  until it feels tacky, but no longer sticky. The dough is finished kneading when it is soft, smooth and holds a ball-shape.
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  6. Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and place somewhere quiet, warm, and dark. I placed mine in my over (with the heat off!). Let the dough rise until doubled in size, roughly 1.5 to 2 hours.FullSizeRender
  7. Braiding the Dough: There are two routes you can go here: (1) Standard 3-stranded braid, or (2) 6-stranded braid.
    1. 3-Stranded Braid: Separate the dough into 3 equal pieces and roll into a long rope, 1 inch thickness and 16 inches long. Cinch at the top, fold under and braid down. Cinch at the bottom and fold under.
    2. 6-Stranded Braid: Separate the dough into 6 equal pieces and roll into a long rope, 1 inch thickness and 16 inches long. Cinch at the top and fold under. The game plan here is “over two, under one, over two” always starting from the far right rope. Carry the right-most rope over the two ropes beside it, go under the middle rope, then carry it over the last two ropes. Lay the rope down parallel to the other ropes. It is now the furthest-left strand. Continue using the right-most rope, follow the pattern and make the braid as tight as possible. Your braid will start to shift left as you go and it is OK to lift it up and recenter if you need to. Once you reach the end, squeeze and cinch the ends of the rope together and tuck them under the loaf. If the rope seems too long, it is OK to plump it together carefully.
  8. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the loaf on the paper. Sprinkle with a little flour and drape a dishcloth over the top. Place the pan in a warm spot, away from drafts and let rise until puffed and pillowy, roughly an hour (Do NOT place in the oven this time because half way through you’ll need to turn the oven on to pre-heat). Try not to peek! 🙂
  9. About 20 minutes before baking, heat the oven to 350 degrees F. When ready to bake, whisk the reserved egg white with a tablespoon of water and brush all over the Challah. Be sure to get into ALL the nooks and crannies as well as down the sides of the loaf.

     

  10. Place the Challah in the oven and bake for 30 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through. The challah will be done when it is deeply brown.

     

  11. Let the challah cool on a cooling rack until just barely warm.
  12. Finally — Slice & Eat!!

No kidding, we ate this bread all weekend! It was a perfect addition to short-ribs, it made fantastic french toast and mid-day sandwiches. You name it, if we could make the bread fit, we did! I hope you enjoy it as much as my home did!

Enjoy!
Kristin

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