Category ... Ingredients
Jul 25, 2015 | From the kitchen of Rose
in Baking Science
Our preferences for baking powders are ones that are made with an all-phosphate product containing calcium acid phosphate and non-GMO cornstarch. Baking powders containing sodium aluminum sulfate (SAS), to aid in releasing more carbon dioxide during the baking stage, generally have a bitter after taste, especially noticeable when added to pie dough.
Recently, Rumford released a new baking powder, Rumford Reduced Sodium Baking Powder, which contains 52% less sodium than leading brands and no aluminum. Rumford informed us that this new product activates mostly during the heating/baking phase. We were curious to test this new baking powder since timing of activation has a great impact on baked goods, especially muffins and cupcakes.
Letting the cupcakes rest before baking gives the cupcakes more rounded tops because if more of the baking powder activates in the early stage from the liquid in the batter there is less to disrupt the cell structure, during baking, needed to collapse the crumb to form a flatter top.
My White Velvet Butter Cake recipe served as our test recipe, since it is an egg white based butter cake and has a somewhat neutral flavor, which enables us to perceive differences during tasting more easily.
Since there can be a relatively long time frame to fill over a dozen cupcake liners, during which the baking powder will have begun to activate, we wanted to see if the new baking powder, which reacts more in the baking stage, would give us a wider window of time to fill the cupcakes and result in more uniformly shaped cupcakes.
We made two batches of cupcakes with each baking powder serving as the leavening for each batch. Once we filled the cupcake liners, we also let some of the cupcakes rest 20 minutes, and others 30 minutes before baking them. We baked all of the cupcakes for the same amount of time.
ORIGINAL RUMFORD ON THE LEFT, LOW SODIUM RUMFORD ON THE RIGHT
The test card shows the height in inches, then the width in inches.
The cupcake on the left, made with the original Rumford baking powder, had the batter stand for 20 minutes after filling the muffin cups and before baking as did the one on the far right, made with the new Low Sodium Rumford baking powder. (It is both flatter and wider.) The middle cupcake, which is very similar to the original Rumford, but made with the low sodium baking powder, stood for 30 minutes before baking.
The results indicate that the new Rumford baking powder is more effective in preventing doming for up to 20 minutes of standing time but not longer. However, when we gave them a taste test we found major differences. The original Rumford cupcakes had a more pronounced flavor and texture. The sodium reduced Rumford ones were milder in flavor and fluffier. We preferred the original Rumford for flavor and texture.
People are always asking either how to get more rounded cupcakes or flatter ones to hold more frosting. One of the major problems is that if making 12 or more cupcakes, by the time the last few cupcake liners are ready to be filled, the batter has been sitting in the bowl for at least 10 if not more minutes, resulting in more doming in the baked cupcakes. The longer the batter stands in the bowl before dispensing, the more the loss of leavening action during filling the liners. Once the batter is dispensed into the muffin liners this action slows down but is still taking place. So when the muffins are set in the oven, there is less leavening available to burst through the air bubbles in the batter to flatten the crumb during this heating phase.
Did you know that different brands of baking powder have different compositions, reactions, and results in the finished product? If you'd like to know why, continue reading!
Continue reading "Baking Powder on the Rise" »
Jul 19, 2014 | From the kitchen of Rose
When I read on the internet that there was a new product called a cake enhancer, that was purported to produce cakes that would be softer, moister, more fluffy and stay fresh longer, I couldn't resist trying it, especially when it consisted of familiar ingredients such as rice starch and fatty acids derived from vegetable fats, which act as emulsifiers, allowing fats and liquids to combine more easily and also serve as stabilizers and texture enhancers.
I made two identical cakes, with all ingredients weighed, and at the same temperature, mixed for the same amount of time at the same speeds, and baked in the same size pans. I added the recommended 1 tablespoon of cake enhancer per cup of cake flour to one of the cakes. This batter was promisingly smoother and spread more easily but the baked cake was disappointing. It rose significantly more than the control cake but cracked a lot on the surface. It was sweeter, less flavorful, fluffier, and more dissolving, but rather than being moister, had a slightly dry aftertaste, though becoming pasty on chewing.
Jul 12, 2014 | From the kitchen of Rose
Just under the wire--12 days before The Baking Bible was ready to ship to the printer--Woody bought a new bag of "Gold Medal Better for Bread Flour" and to our shock, the name of the flour on the bag had changed to "Gold Medal Bread Flour."
I raced over to the computer to see how many instances the flour was mentioned in the book with the old name and there were 17. Then I put in a call to my editor, Stephanie, telling her what had happened and asking if it were possible to make this one last change. She called Jamie, the production editor who said it was possible. Whew!
When I first started working as a spokesperson for Gold Medal, several years ago, the name of the flour had been changed to "Harvest King Flour." Apparently many people were confused, thinking it was no longer the same bread flour. Some years later, after I was no longer the spokesperson, the name of the flour went back to "Better for Bread Flour." I'm so glad I can now make the change to refer it to in print as its latest name: Gold Medal Bread Flour, as it won't matter what the name may be changed to in the future, it will always be just that.
I use this flour for most of my breads as it has a slightly lower protein content than other bread flours and has the ideal extensibility, giving it the best rise and texture.
I recommend that if using other brands of bread flour, most of which have a higher protein content, to use half bread flour and half unbleached all-purpose flour.
For a soft white bread I prefer unbleached all-purpose flour which has a lower protein content.
And to achieve a high gluten flour, using Gold Medal bread flour, I add 3.7% vital wheat gluten or about 2 tablespoons per cup of flour.
Apr 05, 2014 | From the kitchen of Rose
Arrowroot is used as a thickener for sauces and glazes. It is made from a tropical rhizome (underground stem). I like using it for glazes to top fruit on a tart, pie, or cake because it has a slight sparkle and also because it starts to thicken long before the boiling point so does not cause the fruit to soften.
Although cornstarch, also an effective thickener (when allowed to come to a full boil), has an indefinite shelf life if stored in an air-tight moisture-proof container, I have found arrow root to have a limited shelf life.
As a result of my move from New York, I discovered I had three bottles of arrowroot each of a different vintage. I seized the opportunity to do a comparative testing of their thickening powers.
The oldest one (now don't be horrified as I was!) was 24 years old! The next to oldest was 19 years old. And the third one was 14 years old.
The results were: The oldest arrowroot thickened but not effectively as it still had flow. The next to oldest thickened but not as fully as the last one which also was less tinged with yellow. This was was kept in an airtight container in an air conditioned room which accounts for its unusual viability. I recommend that if you want to be sure of the full effectiveness of arrowroot, use it up to two years from the purchase date and then replace it.
Dec 21, 2013 | From the kitchen of Rose
Several years ago, when I was writing The Sugar BIble for Food Arts Magazine, I obtained many different varieties of sugar. One of them, beet sugar, I intended to try out in sugar syrups and cakes as I had heard claims that it did not perform as well as cane sugar. I had heard that beet sugar would cause syrups to crystallize but on experimentation did not experience this. I never got around to trying it in a cake.
Recently, however, I came across a beautiful sparkling sugar: Zulka Morena sugar. Morena is a description of granulated sugar that has not been processed with conventional sugar refining methods such as filtering through bone char. It is an all vegan, organic sugar and non-GMO. As it contains a small amount of its residual molasses it has an attractive light tan color and lovely flavor. It's moisture content from the molasses is 0.6% compared to ordinary refined granulated sugar which is 0.4%.
Although I loved the flavor of the Morena sugar when tasting it plain, I was curious if it would change the taste or texture of a cake. So I ran a test of three sugars: fine granulated sugar, Morena, and beet. The cake with the Morena sugar took 3 more minutes to bake than the other two. The texture of the Morena and fine granulated sugar was the same but the beet sugar cake had a coarser crumb and a slight crunch. The flavor of the fine granulated and beet sugar cakes was identical but the Morena sugar cake was my preference although the difference was so subtle I'm not sure anyone would notice if they weren't looking for it.
The Zulka Morena sugar is so attractive I will use it when sprinkling on top of pie crust, pastry, and cookies.
Zulka Mexican Cane Sugar 4 Lb
May 21, 2012 | From the kitchen of Rose
with people like Kate Coldrick in it! (Though I've yet to meet another Kate like this one!)
Those of you who are not familiar with the problem of bleached cake flour being unavailable in many of the countries around the world, particularly the British Commonwealth, might enjoy putting the word "kate flour" in the search box of this blog.
I encourage everyone to follow this link to Kate's blog where she continues the saga of her success in spinning unbleached flour into heat-treated flour. It is through her extraordinary determination and inspired work that this flour is now available to the consumer! Hats off to Kate.
May 30, 2011 | From the kitchen of Rose
in Baking & Cooking Tips
Here's a simple natural way to enhance the quality of sour cherry pie--a secret given to me by Justin Rachid of American Spoon Food. It's called Michelle's Miracle--an intensely concentrated sour cherry syrup made from Montmorency sour cherries. Just add 1 to 2 tablespoons to your cherry pie filling and you'll be astonished by the depth of flavor it provides. Michelle advises that refrigerated or frozen it keeps just about indefinitely.
If you cant find sour cherries, or you miss the short season, American Spoon Food's Fruit Perfect Cherries is an ideal substitute, in fact, I've often preferred it to the fresh picked cherries and the reason is the addition of the Michelle's Miracle! My recipe for using the filling is on the jar and just below.
Link to My Recipe
Cherry Pie Using Fruit Perfect Cherries
2 jars (13.5 ounces each) Fruit Perfect Cherries
1 tablespoon cornstarch (0.3 ounce/9.5 grams)
1 tablespoon water
l/4 cup sugar (1.75 ounces/50 grams)
Empty the cherries, with their
thickened juices, into a medium bowl. In small bowl, stir together the cornstarch
and water to dissolve the cornstarch. Gently and evenly stir this mixture
into the cherries with the sugar. Bake as for Cherry Lattice Pie, but at 400°F/200˚C for
30 to 35 minutes.
May 11, 2011 | From the kitchen of Rose
Recently a fellow baker from the UK posted her despair in regard to the flour and, I believe, her cookies that were not coming out well using the unbleached flour available to her. I referred her to Kate Coldrick's blog and the work she has done with her "kate flour." Here is here heart-warming thrilling response. Isn't it just wonderful how we can all help each other to be the best bakers we can possibly be. And isn't it wonderful that Kate Coldrick's brilliantly creative and relatively simple solution to turning unbleached flour into what it needs to be to create top quality baked goods in countries where bleached flour is not available is traveling around the world!
WOOOW JUST WOOOW !!!
Thank you sooooo much again for all your help this is incredible!!!!
So I made two batches of cookies (Toll house recipe), one using untreated plain flour (Protein: 10.3%) and one using Kate flour, AMAAAAAZING RESULTS !!!
The untreated were exactly as you described in your post, flat burnt pancakes w/no shape LOL !!! (and verrrry crispy in a verrrry bad way)
But the ones made with Kate Flour ...WOWZA !!! they were just PERFECTTTT, had shape, had height, perfectly even brown, AND were nice and chewy - Mmmm just AMAZING !!
So thank you soooo verrry much !!! You have changed my life forever !!! You are incredible !!! =D !!!!
I still can't believe it's the same exact recipe =O !!! They should really make Kate Flour or heat treated flour available to the public, it changes the entire game of baking and opens us Brits to a whole new world of food. . . *sigh* one day.
Apr 24, 2011 | From the kitchen of Rose
in Baking & Cooking Tips
My favorite frosting for the ultimate chocolate taste, texture and ease in making is chocolate ganache, which I wrote about, in a previous posting, Birthday Ganache.
HEAVY CREAM / ALMONDMILK
SOY MILK / COCONUT MILK
When artist friend Martha Rast asked Woody, if we had any lactose free frostings,this lead to testing with unflavored soy milk to come up with a ganache that has a slightly tangier taste compared to the standard heavy cream ganache but also has an excellent flavor and texture making ideal for the lactose intolerant or vegan. The difference between a ganache made with heavy cream and one made with soy milk is that the soy milk gives a lighter color more toward a dark milk chocolate. Its preparation requires the addition of a higher percentage of the soy milk to keep a creamy texture that will adhere to the cake.
Here is the recipe for Soy Milk Ganache with Silk plain soy milk and Valhrona le Noir Gastronomie 61% cacao.
Soy Milk Dark Chocolate Ganache
Makes: almost 3-1/3 cups/29.3 ounces/834 grams
|dark chocolate, 60 to 62% cacao, chopped||14 ounces||400 grams|
|plain soy milk, preferably Silk||2 cups (16 fluid ounces)||16.6 ounces||473 grams|
|pure vanilla extract||1 tablespoon||.||.|
Have ready a fine-mesh strainer suspended over a medium glass bowl.
In the bowl of a food processor, process the chocolate until very fine. In a 4 cup microwave proof cup with a spout, or in a medium saucepan, stirring often, scald the cream (heat it to the boiling point--small bubbles will form around the periphery).
With the motor running, pour the cream through the feed tube in a steady stream. Process for a few seconds until smooth. Pulse in the vanilla. Pass the ganache through the fine strainer into the glass bowl and let it sit for 1 hour. Cover it with plastic wrap and allow it to cool at room temperature for several hours, until the mixture reaches a soft frosting consistency.
Storage times are even longer than the heavy cream based ganache of: up to 1 week at room temperature; 2 weeks refrigerated; and 6 months frozen.
The success of the soy milk encouraged us to explore other non-dairy milks. We found that Silk Almondmilk works just as well as a direct substitution for the soy milk, is less tangy, adds a lovely almond flavoring which gives a richer dimension to the chocolate flavor.
Further exploration had us experiment with coconut cream and milks. Canned versions of both, which are thicker than heavy cream, produced a ganache similar in color to that made with heavy cream but had the disadvantage of a noticeably gritty appearance. Coconut cream contains 24% fat and coconut milk contains 17% fat. However, coconut milk in the carton has only around 6% fat. A couple of tests arrived at a ratio that works with the chocolate's weight at 15% higher than the coconut milk, which is the opposite of the soy and almond milk versions. The coconut milk gives a subtle coconut taste to the chocolate and the ganache's color is darker than the ganache made with either soy or almond milk.
Apr 04, 2011 | From the kitchen of Rose
As this question comes up with great frequency, here's a second posting with a little more information on converting different types of yeast.
To convert fresh cake yeast to instant yeast, for 1 packed tablespoon/0.75 ounce cake yeast use 2 teaspoons instant yeast or 2-1/2 teaspoons active dry
1 teaspoon instant (aka instant active dry)=1-1/4 teaspoons active dry or 1-1/2 packed teaspoons fresh cake yeast
1 teaspoon of instant yeast or active dry yeast=3.2 grams
Instant yeast can be added directly to the flour without proofing. it is available nationally under the following names:
Fleischmann's Bread Machine Yeast or Rapid Rise
Red Star's Quickrise
Red Star's Instant Active Dry
SAF Gourmet Perfect Rise
I store the unused yeast in an airtight container in the freezer where it stays fresh for as long as 2 years. (if it's a large quantity i store about 2 tablespoons of it separately so that the larger amount doesn't get subjected to oxygen and deteriorate more quickly. Instant yeast has more live yeast cells than active dry.
Jan 22, 2011 | From the kitchen of Rose
I've long wondered what a heritage turkey would be like taste and texture-wise. I once tasted a wild turkey and it made my jaw ache it was so dry and tough, but I had heard that this was not true of the heritage variety. This Christmas I finally decided to take the leap or should I say flight? We had missed Thanksgiving this year and a year without turkey seemed like a sad state of affairs. When I called Heritage Foods I learned that only frozen turkeys were available after the Thanksgiving Season, but the price was considerably lower, so I ordered the 8 pound turkey to make for the two of us over the week between Christmas and New Years.
The frozen turkey took about 48 hours to thaw in the refrigerator. As soon as it thawed enough to extract the neck and giblets I cooked them to make broth for the stuffing. (I also cut up the neck and added it to the stuffing.)
I had heard that the breast on a Heritage bird was smaller in proportion to the rest of the meat than that of a conventional domestic turkey but though it was more raised and less rounded it turned out to be the same weight as the last turkey I had cooked. As the bird had been koshered, which means salted, I decided to roast it whole. My usual method involves removing the breast with the bone but leaving the skin intact, sewing up the skin and stuffing the bird, and then braising the rolled and herbed breast separately which predictably results in moist and tender meat. But to hedge my bets I placed the turkey on a rack breast side down to self-baste. I also followed the recommended instructions to bring it to a temperature of only 165˚F (the instructions that come with the turkey state that this is the USDA recommended temperature "However, the Chefs we work with around the country recommend a finished tepeature of 10 degrees less.".)
Continue reading "The Virtues of Heritage Turkey" »
Jan 07, 2011 | From the kitchen of Rose
One of my most valued Christmas presents from my wonderful friend and neighbor in Hope, Maria Menegus, was a crate of fresh laid pullet eggs. Pullets are chickens under one year old and they had just purchased a new flock. The eggs are about the size of pheasant eggs--1-1/4 to 1-1/2 ounces compared to the large eggs used in most recipes which are 2 ounces. (I know the size of pheasant eggs because I was lucky enough to have found a clutch of them in our back yard some years ago!)
I thought that those of you who have never seen what a two day old egg looks like when fried would enjoy this picture. Note how the white is clear and both the yolk and the white are raised. I wish I could also share the flavor!
Oct 23, 2010 | From the kitchen of Rose
in Baking Science
As a result of the experimentation we performed, featured in previous postings of "The Power of Flour," we found that we preferred potato starch to cornstarch when converting both bleached and all-purpose flour to simulate cake flour. Woody and I were then curious to see what would happen if we substituted equal weight potato starch for the cornstarch component in a classic génoise.
The baking time and height of the cakes were identical. The cornstarch version had a slightly tighter and more velvety crumb. The potato starch version had a slight potato flavor which was masked by the syrup. (Note if making génoise with more clarified butter and less syrup the potato flavor might not be masked as effectively.) Conclusion: For a classic yellow génoise we prefer the 50 grams cornstarch but equal weight potato starch is an acceptable close substitute. By volume, instead of 1/2 cup minus 1 tablespoon cornstarch use 1/4 cup plus 2-1/2 teaspoons potato starch. (However, for flavor and texture we prefer 100% Wondra flour to either combination, except when using decorative fluted tube pans as the finished height is slightly lower when using the Wondra.)
COMPARISON SLICES OF CORNSTARCH VS. POTATOSTARCH
CORNSTARCH AND CAKE FLOUR
POTATO STARCH AND CAKE FLOUR
Sep 04, 2010 | From the kitchen of Rose
in Special Stories
It was 15 years ago that I last enjoyed Serrano ham. I had been invited by a Swiss colleague to accompany him on a two-day trip to Madrid to review restaurants for an airline magazine and as I was already in Switzerland for a weekend-long chocolate and pastry tour I couldn't resist tailoring the trip to tack on two or three days at the beginning to visit Spain.
In addition to the fantastic meals we experienced I fell in love with the Jamón Serrano (Serrano ham), so much so that I purchased an entire ham to bring back to my husband in NY. Much to my disappointment, this ham(which was probably illegal to bring in at the time and heavy to boot) turned out to be so salty that finally I had to discard it.
When recently I was invited to a Serrano ham dinner in New York, I leapt at the chance to revisit this specialty and was so glad I did. There is now a ConsorcioSerrano that governs the standards of this glorious ham to maintain consistency of quality. And it was great to discover that Serrano ham is now being shipped (legally!) to the US.
The dinner was held at La Fonda del Sol, located right next to Grand Central Station. The evening began with a demonstration by master ham carver Cortador Ricardo Garrido Robles from Spain.
As he magisterially cut translucent-thin pink slices of the ham, plates were passed for serving and none of us could stop eating the samples.
The ham was so perfect just by itself we would have been happy with that alone until we tasted the cuisine of Chef Josh DeChellis who briliantly integrated the jamón into each and every course. Pictured below were three of my favorites:
Continue reading "Que Serrano Serrano" »
May 01, 2010 | From the kitchen of Rose
I don't know where that saying got started (Kiss the Butcher) but you can bet that I kiss Pino on a regular basis. Of course I've known him for over 40 years. But when I met John Boyajian some years ago at the Fancy Food Show I had to kiss him too. Where would I (or many of use) be without his incomparable citrus oils--especially the lemon oil. (I've seen them even in Melbourne Australia!) Or his amazing vinegars. Or his other many other oils for that matter. click here to see his vast array of products!
A few years ago John sent me a bottle of Wasabi Sesame dressing. Made with his wasabi oil, toasted sesame oil, and a touch of soy I was addicted immediately! It was one of those 'perfect things.' It's so exciting to discover such a 'best thing I've ever tasted' prepared product. I tried it as a salad dressing but then went on to use it primarily as the perfect dipping sauce for Chinese dumplings.
I make dinner almost every night at home. But every once in a while I'm short on time so I have a trinity of ever ready favorites for those occasions. These are my idea of "fast food."
1. Frozen Chinese dumplings can be sautéed in minutes and then served with the delectable Wasabi Sesame dressing. (wine: riesling--off dry)
2. Spaghetti with Pesto ( I freeze the pesto in individual 30 gram/1 ounce servings) and just add some freshly grated Parmesan. Sometimes I add a few leaves of freshly chopped basil from my window sill plant and a few drops of that wonderful Louisiana Panola jalapeno sauce mentioned on the blog.) (wine: sauvignon blanc)
3. Brown Rice with Chinese Sausage and Shitake Mushrooms (recipe on the blog) (wine: riesling--off dry)
Apr 02, 2010 | From the kitchen of Rose
Someone on the blog requested that for the sake of completion we test unbleached flour and 15% potato starch, so Woody conducted another test and I have added the results to the conclusions in the original posting plus the photo, but here they both are just to be sure you don't miss it:
Unbleached all-purpose flour and 15% potato starch to improve the texture and flavor if not using the heat treating method results in a less cornbread-like taste, and greater tenderness.
Mar 18, 2010 | From the kitchen of Rose
Woody conducted another test using bleached all-purpose flour and potato starch and I have added the results to the conclusion in the original posting plus the photo but here they both are just to be sure you don't miss it:
bleached all-purpose flour and 15% potato starch to simulate cake flour results in a more even cake with smoother crust and better taste than cornstarch, but is not quite as tender.
Mar 06, 2010 | From the kitchen of Rose
in Baking Science
For years I have been saying how important it is to use bleached flour in cake baking and I still prefer it, but after making the fortuitous mistake of using unbleached flour in a cake baked in a tube pan, and discovering that the pan's center tube kept it from falling, I have revisited the subject and made some very interesting and ground breaking discoveries.
Woody and I have conducted numerous tests using bleached cake flour, bleached all-purpose flour, and unbleached all-purpose flour in a solid (unmelted) butter layer cake using my one bowl mixing method and the All-Occasion Downy Yellow Cake from the Cake Bible. (We used two-thirds the recipe, first using two-thirds the baking powder (2-5/8 teaspoons). Then we decreased the baking powder to 2-1/2 teaspoons because we were using a 2" high pan instead of the 1-1/2" high pans in the Cake Bible (and higher pans need proportionately less baking powder). We found that when using bleached or unbleached all-purpose flour instead of cake flour, we got more tenderness (and in the case of unbleached flour improved flavor) by replacing 15% of the flour with potato starch which comes closer to cake flour than cornstarch.The overall appearance, however, with the bleached all-purpose flour is slightly lower either in height or in the center.
1. bleached cake flour is suitable for cakes where a very tender texture is desired.
2. bleached all-purpose flour and 15% potato starch to simulate cake flour results in a more even cake with smoother crust and better taste than cornstarch, but is not quite as tender.
3. bleached all-purpose flour is preferable for cakes that benefit from more structure.
4. bleached flour results in the best flavor.
5. bleached flour results in the best volume.
6. bleached flour results in the most tender and velvety texture.
7. unbleached flour results in less volume.
8. unbleached flour results in a coarser, chewier texture.
9. unbleached flour results in a cornbread-like flavor.
10. cornstarch substitution for part of the flour for bleached or unbleached all-purpose flour is less effective to improve structure than decreasing leavening, and alters the flavor.
11. potato starch substitution for part of the flour for bleached or unbleached all-purpose flour is even more effective than cornstarch as it softens the crumb. For the unbleached flour it also improves the flavor by lessening the cornbread-like quality.
Continue reading "The Power of Flour, Part One of Two" »
Dec 19, 2009 | From the kitchen of Rose
I first fell in love with Louisiana when Terry Thompson from Mandeville came to my week long intensive class I used to teach out of my home many years ago. She has since written several cookbooks on Louisiana cuisine. Terry introduced me to the late Lee Barnes who invited me to teach at her school in New Orleans. She also introduced me to Paul Prudhomme whom I adored on first hearing.
Paul Prudhomme, for those of you who don't know, is a fantastic chef, restauranteur, and tv personality. He is also a deeply philosophical and compassionate person. Paul's blackened red fish became so wildly popular it temporarily put red fish on the endangered species list. And it was at his restaurant K-Paul's that I discovered the infamous Cajun Martini. The recipe is simply this:
Take a large bottle of gin or vodka (i prefer gin) and add a jalapeno pepper. Fill the neck space with vermouth and allow it to sit for several days. It gets more intense as it continues to sit. Chill and shake the bottle well before serving. There is something incredibly deliciously exciting about the sensation of icy cold gin with the spicy hot kick of the pepper. As an aside, it is the only time in my experience that alcohol has cured instead of worsened a headache!
Several years ago, a dear friend, Rhea Denker, whose brother lived in New Orelans, gave me a bottle of Panola's Jalapeno sauce. I quickly discovered that the slightly vinegary hot pepper was a terrific enhancement to pesto. I added a small splash to my weekly pesto and pasta and the bottle was soon emptied but I saved it for years hoping to return to New Orleans for a visit or to find a source. I don't know WHAT took me so long to think of googling and there it was in all it's glory--a website for all of Panola's products!
I was so eager to order I didn't notice that the two large bottles I thought I was ordered were, in fact, two tiny bottles only 1.7 ounces each. I should have realized this as the price was so very low the shipping was many times higher.
Here's what I thought I was ordering:
Here's what I mistakenly ordered:
And here's what they sent:
Talk about casting jalapeno sauce on the water. They must have realized my mistake and decided to remedy it. Just think how disappointed I would have been on opening the long awaited bottles only to find those two miniatures. Actually, at first I thought they had included the little bottles as samples and had run out of the big ones I thought I had ordered. Then I looked at the receipt and it clicked. My mistake.
What generosity of spirit to have thrown in that big bottle. Not surprising from what I know of the amazingly wonderful people of Louisiana.
Aug 21, 2009 | From the kitchen of Rose
It may come as a surprise to some of you who are less familiar with this blog, but despite the fact that my main definition is “baker,” I am also an avid griller. In our country place in Hope I have two Weber grills—a charcoal grill and a four-burner gas grill. And I grill all year 'round.
One of my best friends is grilling goddess Elizabeth Karmel and of course I consult all her cookbooks for new techniques and recipes.
I’ve made my own cherry barbeque sauce based on one I tasted at an event Elizabeth gave when working for Weber grill many years ago. I stopped making it when American Spoon Food took my suggestion to bottle their version of it and it is excellent. But I have to say that my number one favorite barbecue sauce was the one I tasted when travel teaching at my friend Judie Byrd’s cooking school http://www.judiebyrdskitchen.com in Fort Worth, Texas.
Judie was the most amazing hostess and she brought me to some really upscale restaurants but my favorite dinner was at Cousin’s http://www.cousinsbbq.com where we had barbecue and that’s where I fell in love with their pulled pork and their tangy barbecue sauce. I missed it so much on my return east that I called Cousin’s and begged them to ship me two bottles—I didn’t dare ask for the pulled pork, which would have required dry ice. Though they didn’t normally ship the young man who answered the phone agreed to do it.
A few years later, I met Zach Townsend, who lives in Texas. He’s a great chocolatier but also understands great barbecue and has been keeping me in good supply. Cousins has several locations in the Dallas Fort Worth area but most recently I’ve learned that it is now possible to purchase the sauce at the Dallas Fort Worth airport in terminals B and D. You can even pick up a sandwich of pulled pork to eat on the plane! Better pick up one for the people sitting next to you!
The ingredients listed on the 1 pint bottle are: vinegar (just the right amount), tomato puree, corn sweetener (not too sweet), water, molasses, liquid smoke, salt, mustard, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, citric acid, spices. They forgot to add “perfection.”