Monthly Archives: November 2009

Oh.My.God.

Bacon fudge!  Kids, shall we?

– Anna

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Southern Comfort

A few weeks ago I had Anna and our friend Sean over for brunch.  We had all had particularly fun Friday nights, which called for the perfect hangover cure: getting drunk again the Bloody Mary.  A few of these and we were all feeling great again, maybe TOO great because we ended up in the pub after we we finished eating.  

 

Anna brought the bloody, Sean brought the Mary.

Along with round after round of bloody Marys, we had bacon*, eggs and a southern speciality: cheese grits.  The cheese grits were far too salty and oily (they did call for a half pound of cheese and a quarter of butter), but I found another recipe to serve with rabbit stew which was more restrained.  Grits are a lot like polenta and although they are traditionally breakfast fare, they can certainly be adapted and served with dinner.

 

Bacon and Cheese Grits

 

Just what the Doctor ordered... if the Doctor was a fat alcoholic

*The bacon came from the local butcher.  I was surprised that there wasn’t much difference in price from that purchased in major supermarkets, but the quality was vastly superior.

 

 

BACON!

 

– Ryan

 

 

 

 

 

I’m a muppet

If you need convincing [insert joke about this being a big if], I submit two examples from yesterday as supporting evidence:

1) When I turned on Kira’s oven to cook the turkey, I turned the temperature dial to where 175C is on my oven dial.  Which is not 175C on her oven dial, but 150C.  I realised after about an hour, but it was enough to balls the timing up and dinner ended up being an hour late.

2) I picked up a dish that had just come out of the oven with my bare hand, and burnt my thumb quite badly.  Which meant that I couldn’t put down the cold beer I was using to ice it, and had to eat dinner with my left hand only…quite difficult!

I rest my case.

– Anna

Parsing Thanksgiving searches

Interesting article here from the NYTimes about what you can learn by analysing the most popular online searches in the run-up to Thanksgiving.

Happy turkey day everyone!  We’ll be posting photos from our London Thanksgiving extravaganza later today or tomorrow, depending on how deep the food coma is.

– Anna

Pumpkin Pie Meringues

The last time I made meringues I decided to get experimental and try them with a twist after taking inspiration from pumpkin pie.  In theory this was a great idea. In practice, a disaster.  Since baking is an exact science, it will sometimes take a number of attempts to get your recipe right – on the first attempt I knocked all of the air out of the meringue, leaving me with sugary goo. After this disastrous effort I found the correct amount of pumpkin puree to add and realised that folding the pumpkin very gently as not to deflate the meringue was critical.

Pumpkin Pie Meringues

These are based on the same recipe as the hazelnut and cinnamon meringues but add tinned pumpkin, spices and a topping of crumbled digestive biscuits (or graham crackers if you’re in America).

200g Egg Whites (about 7)

140g brown sugar (1/2cup + 2 tablespoons)

260g castor sugar (1cup + 1 tablespoon)

1 ½ tablespoons pumpkin puree

1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Dash of ground cloves

Dash of ground ginger

2 Digestive biscuits or graham crackers (coarsely crumbled)

These are based on a Swiss meringue, which makes a very stable base but requires you to fully dissolve the sugar in the egg whites over heat before the mixing stage. The mixture will go from clear and brown to thick and white (and shiny) when completely mixed.  If mixing by hand have the TV on or a paper nearby as it will take quite a while to become stiff enough.

Combine both sugars and egg whites in a bowl. Place a sauce pan with a small amount of water on the stove, bring to a light simmer and create a double boiler with the bowl. Be sure that the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water. Do not allow the egg whites to cook, but heat through, ensuring the sugar is dissolved.

Measuring the sugar and egg whites

Combining sugar and egg whites in a double boiler

Place the egg white and sugar mixture into an electric mixer and beat for about 10 minutes on high-speed or until the egg whites are shiny and very stiff. Very gently fold in the pumpkin and spice mixture, divide into balls the size of medium apples and top with the cookie crumbs.  Bake at 110c for about 1:20 – 2:00 hours depending on humidity and oven settings.  The meringues should be firm on the bottom but still gooey in the middle – if you make smaller meringues, reduce the cooking time.

Digestive Biscuit Topping

Paula Deen Hit in the Face by a Flying Ham

We have a love/hate releationship with Southern cook Paula Deen.  We hate that she is trying to kill us but we love seeing her hit in the face by a flying ham.

– Ryan

Borough Market

I find it hard to believe that we have yet to blog about Borough Market. Borough is certainly the best known market in London and this fact is reflected by its popularity with tourists and foodies alike – particularly on Saturdays. It’s easy to be spoilt for choice with the selection of prepared foods at the market, some favorites include: raclette, venison burgers, brownies from Flour Power, loads of baked goods, strawberries with Jersey cream (in late summer), hot mulled wine and cider in the winter and greasy-spoon Maria’s – where you can get breakfast sandwiches guaranteed to cure any hangover. With all of this prepared food it’s easy to spend hours wandering around grazing while you pick up some special ingredients for dinner – incredible cheeses, meats, and vegetables. What’s on offer tends to be from the UK and seasonal, although there are several stalls specialising in German, French and Spanish fare.

We went to the market yesterday to buy some cider to mull for American Thanksgiving and picked up a couple of rabbits for some stew (recipe to come). I’ve posted some pictures below – note that they were not from yesterday – most were from October, but the strawberries and Jersey cream were from late July.

If ever you’re in London it’s a must-see.

rabbit, hare, bunnies, borough market, london

Fresh Game

Autumn Goodness

Carrots and Beets

Cheese-us!

More Veg

Strawberries and Cream!

http://www.boroughmarket.org.uk

-Ryan