Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Bagel ever after

So, I decided I haven’t been busy enough so I wanted to devote 2 hours of my time a few Saturdays ago to making bagels. You heard me right…bagels. I have never made bread but decided I was up to the challenge and given that I only needed to purchase a few ingredients, that it was now or never. I am sure there are many twenty-something chefs (I will refer to us as chefs, not cooks) that have never used yeast to make anything. This said, yeast was fascinating! I kept saying, “Frank this is like a science project!” But way cooler because you can eat it at the end and don’t have to answer lab questions.

Annnnyway, I decided I wanted to makea my favorite bagel flavors: plain, cheddar & chive, and sun-dried tomato. At the end of it I threw in one lowly cinnamon sugar for good measure and experimental purposes. The best part about making bagels is obviously eating them and the absolute worst is waiting for them to rise once, rise again after you’ve formed them, boiling them in batches, cooking them for 5 minutes, and then 30 minutes on their alternate side. It sounds exhausting and it kind of was, but it really is just following directions and being patient. To kill time, I made sun-dried tomato cream cheese and a compound herb butter. No, I did not make homemade cream cheese but I did google it a few days ago and its surprisingly easier than you would think. I just didn’t have the energy for that. Straining something into a bucket for a week just isn't quite as easy as thawing store bought cream cheese to room temp and adding whatever you want to it.


I highly recommend making a compound butter with herbs or whatever you have lying around or a flavored cream cheese. It's super simple and really jazzes up whatever you throw on it. Cooking with compound butter is really fun for me because you can add it to fresh bread or pasta sauce, or basically whatever you would put butter and herbs in. Genius!

So, I'm not going to even address the fact that I haven't written in 2 months (or did I just do that?!) but I would like to provide a mini recipe round-up below of things I made lately that I loved. If you want a detailed recipe, please let me know:

  • Tyler Florence's Spaghetti Carbonara- I use milk/butter instead of heavy cream, pancetta is a must, and top it with fresh chives. Obsessed!
  • Sandy's Banana Bread- thanks again to Kate! A much more devoted blogger than I. Made this for a work function and it was amazing! I should have cooked it for about 15 mins longer than the recipe says though.
  • Claire Robinson's Creamed Corn was the perfect 4th of July side dish. I added milk and water to keep it from sticking.
  • I made my version of bananas foster with Kahlua a few nights ago: just put Kahlua in a pan with some brown sugar and butter until thick, add cinnamon, honey, and bananas, and pour on top of vanilla ice cream. It was better than dinner that night. Hands down.
Anywho, please let me know if you have any good reciped I should try as I have been feeling quite adventurous! Next up.....homemade bacon?!

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