Monthly Archives: February 2012

Lemon Icebox Pie Recipe (nope, there’s nothing better)

I wish I could post this bigger, please CLICK on it to really get your mouth-watering.

Have I mentioned how much I love whipped cream and lemon and pie and being frozen?

Actually I hate being frozen, ask my toes, they where frozen on many a Vermont ski lift in – 25 C° when my dad would insist the weather (howling wind, sleet) was perfect for a full day of skiing.

ANYWAY, I now know how to ski thanks to my dad.  And I  know how to make Lemon Icebox Pie thanks to the  SAVEUR 100 2012 issue which I downloaded on the iPad– and will continue to do so-love how easy it was to access everything.  (Fromage Fort is in the top 100 by the way, recipe and blog here.)

Amongst the many recipes included in the magazine was a picture of the above dessert.  How could I refrain from making it?  It’s billowy and loaded sky-high with luscious whipped cream and dense lemon filling all situated on a thick buttery graham crust.

You start by combining melted butter, graham crumbs and sugar in a food processor and pack that  into a 9″ deep dish pie dish.

Once this is done you can set it aside and begin juicing your lemons.  About 8-10 lemons make for 2 cups fresh juice. I find the easiest way to juice lemons is by twisting the lemon around a fork, gets as much juice out as possible.

You then combine the lemon juice with 2 cans sweetened condensed milk and 2 egg yolks.  Best of all–you get to scrape out and lick the remaining condensed milk off your fingers.

Then beat til frothy, about 5 minutes.

And pour into your graham crust after many tastes to ensure everything is A-OK.  You are a perfectionist after all.

The pie now goes into the oven for about 20 minutes at 400 F°.

Admission: I altered the recipe as this pie dish was the only one we had and was obviously not deep enough for all the lemon filling.  So I halved the lemon filling in the version I made.  I then only baked it for 10 minutes to adjust for the thinner lemon layer.  You want to just set the filling and get the crust golden.  It will finish setting in the freezer.

Once out of the oven settle the vanilla wafers around the edge and in the dense filling.  Allow to cool completely.

Now into the freezer.  The recipe says minimum 2 hours or overnight.  We had it in there for about 6 hours.  It was quite frozen when we removed it but softened quickly–maintaining a great CHILL in the mouth.

in freezer in case it looked like it was in a giant, metal press

Once out of the freezer add your whipped cream (3/4 cup).  You can serve immediately or put the pie in the fridge until you can’t stand to be without it any longer.

While whipping the cream,  I questioned the lack of even a teeny bit of sugar but held back and only add the suggested vanilla.  Ultimately, the creamy naked whipped cream top was perfect with the sweet lemony basement layer.

And if you do spill some sugar during this whole process….be creative with it.  Especially if you’re almost three and this is your birthday pie….

Happy Birthday Will!!!

Here is the link to the actual recipe for Lemon Icebox Pie, it’s ridiculously simple to make and people will be Mmm, Mmm, Mmming like mad.

THANKS to my brother Dave for taking all these pictures.  Check out his macro photography.  It’s unbelievable.

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Filed under All Recipes, Cookbooks, Magazines (+recipes from), Ruminations on the Edible

Plenty: Join the Chicken Confit Club (Sandwich) at Dundas/University

Starving,  I rushed not to be late for a doctor’s appointment and stumbled upon a lovely little cafe called Plenty.  It’s on Dundas, just west of University on the north side.

Previously hoping only to grab a generic sub I was thrilled to walk away with a grilled Club that contained thick, smoky bacon and chicken confit.

I’m not a regular in the area but I used to work down there and my doctor is there, so it was sweet  to find decent lunch grub.

And grub is really an unfair summary as everything looked extremely fresh, tasteful and mouth-watering (they had bacon and ..ummm..something mac and cheese…ok they lost me after bacon)

Quite a few savory galettes too which looked amazing and were priced well.  I couldn’t quite get them all in this photo below (they’re on the edge).

There is no website as of yet-they had just been open 3 days as of last Thursday, so here is a shot of the menu (apparently created by Scot Woods)  for your salivating pleasure:

Note there is a SMOKED BACON AND TOMATO JAM SANDWICH. MMMM.

And if you had not time to make breakfast:

I doubt you’ll ever make breakfast again.  Anyway, personally, I’m now psyched to have another baby at Mt. Sinai one day,  if only so that after the birth I can get a black currant scone with butter and marmalade instead of sending Tad out for Swiss Chalet.  Hell, I’ll take both.

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Dundee, Omaha: Free fresh bread and a Wall of Scotch

Time to move to Dundee

Our first full day in Omaha we walked up to Dundee,  a mile away from where my brother and his family live.  When you move to Omaha you should also try to be walking distance from Dundee.  According to a short pieceI found on-line, Dundee was an early Omaha suburb, built at the end of a streetcar line.  It’s a cozy and cool little community.

We headed first for some free bread at the Great Harvest Bread Co.  School kids stop here on their way home for a slice of their choice with some butter and honey.  Our goal was their Cheddar Garlic Loaf (a whole loaf mind you) plus the snack size slice.

The choices that morning were the Red, White and Blue Berry Bread (thick white loaf with dried cranberry and blueberry, a whole wheat cinnamon raisin and gluten-free version and fresh white bread.

That is my brother ready to load on the butter.  It’s a genetic trait in the family.  Butter-love.

We had walked by a place called Beer and Loathing earlier and I asked what it was…

Dave replied, “it’s a meat market” and I said, “oh, charcuterie!” to which he said, “no, college kids.”  Yes, I’m an idiot.

You can easily get distracted by places like the eCreamery-

With Ice Cream Flavour names like Scoops of Thanks and Anti-Aging Cream.

Then you can saunter down to get some affordable designer jeans at Scout where they buy, sell and trade modern and vintage clothes.  Great selection.

In the background you can see the sign for PITCH pizzeria.  Check out their amazing menu

And if you’re into Scotch you will want to head to the Dundee Dell.

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If you click on no other link–check out the Scotch menu….

And finally, if you really like bread as we do, you’ll want to bookend your excursion with a stop for a French baguette, croissants, pain au chocolat or sour dough at The Bread Oven.

Oh, or some French style butter.  Less moisture, more butterfat.

And I have nowhere better to take you than this butter.  Other than a walk home on a sunny day.  With a rather full dough belly.

And this quote from The Bread Oven blog:

“The smell of good bread baking, like the sound of lightly flowing water,

is indescribable in its evocation of innocence and delight.”

M.F.K. Fisher–

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Filed under Restaurants and Products, Ruminations on the Edible, Travel and Food

Jetting Off to Omaha

Market Area Ottawa, photo by Tad Seaborn

Market Area Omaha, photo by Tad Seaborn

I’m posting super-fast, super-brief as I am still in PJ’s and slippers (which reminds me PACK SLIPPERS–I am a slipper freak) and am supposed to be leaving for the airport in moments.  Maybe minutes.  So my family (my brother and sister-in-law and three nephews) live in Omaha and I’ll try and post any delicious things I come across there.  And there is deliciousness to be found.

For instance, Warren Buffet’s fave steak haunt, the old school Gorats.  (We had an amazing waitress, she had worked there almost her whole life and had been married and divorced from the chef, who had also worked there practically his whole life.)

Screen Shot 2013-05-29 at 10.01.12 PM

Indie Film scene in Omama, photo by Tad Seaborn

And other than the world-famous zoo, there is a beautiful art deco train station (Union Station, built in 1931) restored and now a museum.  Here is the ceiling in the lobby.  It is stunning.

Omaha deco chandelier

Art Deco chandelier, photo by Tad Seaborn

Anyway–so before you say Why Omaha?  Why not Omaha, people!  You’ll see.

Later!

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Happy Valentine’s Day to Me (and you of course)

Happy Valentine's Day

I hope everyone is having an enjoyable Valentine’s Day–meaning that you’ve been showered in chocolates, furry stuffed bears and wet kisses (if you’ve been hoping for such things), or that you’ve had the satisfaction of hating this horrible, commercial holiday that compete’s only with New Year’s in terms of hollow and impossible expectation settings.

If you’re panicking (from either scenario) remember this:

This was a Valentine’s message from my friend Joanne at fashioninmotion.com, which should actually be cheeseandfashioninmotion, but too late now.

Yet, good or bad, Valentine’s Day always invites one to think about having a special meal–cheesies, Diet Dr. Pepper and gummies in front of Four Weddings and a Funeral  (where you can throw cheesies at the TV whenever Andie McDowell appears) or some fancy schmancy meal–in your house or out on the town.

I had the latter–last night-actually (we live on Australia time).  No, I have a class tonight so my husband made me a delicious dinner on the 13th.

And I will share it with you:

The appetizers came from T&T and were so delicious, I must apologize for my terrible lighting and staging of the plate but I’m not about to set up a light and worry about camera angles in the middle of a romantic meal (though apparently I will think about my blog for at least 10 minutes).

We had fishballs, and veggie gyoza and sweet and sour daikon with some salted mustard greens in the back.

Next we had a surf and turf thing going on with steak and tilapia in a Yuzu sauce with lots of fresh pepper.  The tilapia was tender, sweet and delicate.

And with that a warm mushroom salad.  Mushrooms perfectly cooked–not over cooked–and in a light Hoisin sauce.

Here is a close-up–

wow–I wasn’t kidding when I went close with this–perhaps I was eating straight from the plate with my mouth?  It was lipsmacking delicious.

And finally some fresh papaya and mango tofu.  I am slightly addicted to mango tofu since our babysitter started buying it for our son.  I am sure it is not healthy at all.  But it SOUNDS healthy!

And then, just to top off my perfect night at home–an hour long Valentine’s episode of 30 Rock!!  And, since it was PVR’d, no commericals and Tad even made sure to start the show again at the end of the preceding commercial  (I hate missing even a second of a scene).

Which reminds me, I have some Valentine Day payback to think about….

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Toast Post: Welsh Rarebit

See--there's veggies--totally healthy meal.

If it were up to me, melted cheese on toast would be acceptable sustenance for snacks and meals alike.  In fact, forget the melting part;  toast, butter and the sliced fromage will do just fine.  But others (grumpy family members) don’t agree that simply swapping aged cheddar for Oka is a “whole new meal.”

So here’s my lazy solution, Welsh Rarebit, also known as Welsh Rabbit, is essentially a savory melted cheese sauce, poured over toast and then broiled and browned.  (Yes, in the UK cheese sauce can be a main course.)

The name originated as a tongue-in cheek reference to a meat-less meal made from whatever was left in the pantry or one could afford.  So I will lean on tradition and call this a perfect, well-rounded supper—ideal for the Sunday night “Oh God, is tomorrow Monday?” blues.

Traditionally made with cheddar, you can swap in any cheese on hand (that’s the point I believe) but I’m going to go with Lancashire (for tanginess) and some Oka (for the nutty, fruity quality) in this recipe.

Welsh Rarebit (one of many versions)

Serves 4

Ingredients

2 tbsp unsalted butter

2 tbsp all-purpose flour

2 tsp Worcestershire Sauce

1 tsp Dijon mustard

½ cup Guinness beer

¾  cup cream  (less for a thicker sauce)

1 ½ cups shredded cheese (1 cup Lancashire, ½ cup Oka in this case)

salt  (adjust to taste , some cheeses are saltier than others)

fresh ground pepper

8 slices toasted sourdough or rye

Method

  1. In a medium pot over low heat, melt the butter until foaming subsides. Add the flour and whisk it in until you form a smooth past (a roux).  You do not want the roux to brown at all.

 

  1. Take the roux off the burner and cool slightly (so will not splatter) when you add the mustard and Worcestershire sauce.  Whisk until smooth and then back on medium-low heat add the beer.

 

  1. Now add the cream and whisk until the sauce thickens, this will take a couple minutes.  You don’t want this to boil, if it does just lower the heat.
  2. Pull the sauce off the heat and slowly add the cheese.  It should melt easily, (if you need to you can throw the sauce back on the heat for a minute as you stir).  Set aside, keep warm.

  1. Season to taste.
  2. Turn on your broiler or preheat the oven to 500°F (260° C).
  3. Toast the bread until crisp (to avoid sogginess once cheese is added)
  4. Put the bread on a parchment lined cookie sheet.  Pour the sauce over each piece.  Broil until browning slightly (1-2 minutes).

  1. Allow to cool slightly -so it can be handled- and serve to salivating dinner companions.  (Don’t forget to drink the remaining beer!)

I WOULD LIKE TO THANK

chatteringkitchen.com, who first generously posted this as a guest blog this week–do check her out.

and also mention Mr. Cardwell who wrote a comment on the Fromage Fort post asking me to do a little testing and come up with a recipe.  I took inspiration from this great Welsh Rarebit link he sent from The Guardian.

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Oh Dough Scraper: You Don’t Know What You’ve Got Til It’s Gone

Thank God I found you again under the meat tenderizer, lodged inside the medium size whisk

I wanted to make bread on the weekend and I could not find my dough scraper.  It does often get lost in my messy “tool” drawer as it is white and thin and discrete but usually I pull it out after a couple minutes of desperate searching.  But this day I really could not find it.  Squelching panic I decided, no biggie, I can forge ahead yet soon realized that bread making life was nowhere near as comfortable without ol’ Scrapey.  Scraps I sometimes call him–or “stupid piece of plastic” if I’m mad.  (Those are all lies, we never speak)

Anyway, a bread scraper or a pastry scraper can also be called a bench scraper (although a bench scraper is a bit different, stainless steel with a straight edge).  This simple tool is all about manipulating dough.  A spatula or your hands can’t lift soft dough well and some cases just plain rip up the dough –plus if the dough is wet–forget about it.

So moving onto irritation 1:  Without my scraper I could not do this:

Scraping out Rios Jr, my sourdough starter is a neat and efficient job with a scraper and is messy, sticky and maddening without.  Wide, flexible and rounded-the scraper gets in all the corners.  (Also great for scraping under a pie crust that has gotten a little sticky or been rolled too thin.)

After not being able to do THAT….I then could not do this:

And nothing scrapes down a mixing bowl quickly like you-know-who.   You also like it on hand to then gather your slightly damp, sticky dough and remove it from the mixing bowl.  See below:

I hope you get the idea. It was near impossible to take the picture and lift dough!

And finally, on the cutting board, the scraper lets you lift, roll, move the dough around and scrape up any sticky bits left on the counter or work surface.  There is serious satisfaction in efficiently flaking dough bits away and leaving a smooth, clean surface.

Again, one handed demo with other hand on camera, apologies it is not more action packed.

And as mentioned earlier you can then also portion your dough into smaller loaves or buns with the scraper (which I did in the Fougasse recipe) but in this case I was just making my usual two loaves.

In hindsight, knowing how much I need him, I give at least 35% credit to my plastic bread scraper for any loaf I have ever made.    I love you man.

Dedicated to a lost (and found) kitchen essential and sidekick.

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