Sunday, May 29, 2011

Homemade Labneh

This reminds me of a middle eastern version of cream cheese.  It has a great tang that yogurt has but the thick creamy texture of cream cheese.  All you need is some greek yogurt, salt, and patience and you can make this in a day.  Serve with some pita bread, olive oil, and cucumber for an awesome snack.


1 quart of plain greek yogurt
1 tsp salt
cheese cloth

First pout the yogurt in a bowl and add the salt.  Whisk the yogurt until it is a smooth mixture.  Get your cheese cloth ready and pour the yogurt into the cloth.  Pull up the sides and tight it in a knot so it can be a sling.  I set mine on a strainer over a bowl to catch the whey drippings.  Let sit in your refrigerator over night.  After 1 day remove from the fridge and untie the cheese cloth.  Dry off the labneh and mold it into a circle with a paper towel.  With your thumb put a little indent in the middle and drizzle olive oil, salt, and black pepper over it.  

Friday, May 27, 2011

Honey Butter

Honey butter is a sweet change up to regular butter.  It is great on any bread, toast or pancakes and is really easy to make.  Be sure to leave the butter out at room temperature before mixing with the honey.


Butter recipe
about 3-4 ounces of honey.

Let butter sit out over night, or for at least a few hours.  Add honey and butter together in a mixing bowl and mix until completely incorporated.  

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Homemade Butter/ Butter Milk

Everyone remembers shaking the mason jar full of cream in elementary school, the end result was awesome fresh butter which nothing really compares to.  This is a lot easier now with a stand mixer, and takes a lot less time.  I add sour cream to add a little tangyness to it and it also adds a little richness.  You can add salt if you like, or turn it into a compound butter with truffles, bleu cheese, or anything else you can come up with.


1/4 gallon whipping cream
4 ounces sour cream
salt to taste

Add the cream and sour cream together in a mixing bowl.  Whisk on a low setting until the mixture forms bubbles and starts to thicken a little.  Slowly increase the speed.  Eventually increase the speed to the maximum level and then let it whisky until butter is almost formed.  Don't leave your mixer or the butter will start to splash and make a mess once it has separated from the liquid.  Strain out through a cheese cloth and preserve the liquid.  The liquid is butter milk and is awesome for fried chicken or buttermilk pancakes.  Dry off the butter with a paper towel, and season with salt if desired.  Wrap in plastic and form into a stick.  

Monday, May 23, 2011

Homemade Whole Wheat Pasta Dough

This is a great recipe for whole wheat pasta dough.  It was incredibly delicate but held its form even after 1 week of refrigeration.


1 cup whole wheat flour
2 cups white flour
1 whole egg + 4 egg yolks
2 tbl oil
cold water if needed
1 tsp salt

First mix your flours and salt together, and then form into a mound with a well n the center.

In a bowl whisk the eggs together with the oil. Add them to the middle of the well.

With a fork slowly move the eggs in a circle getting a little bit of the flour at a time until it forms a loose dough.   Then, with your hands, incorporate the rest of the flour and start to knead.  If the dough is too dry then add water teaspoon by teaspoon.  If it is too wet and sticky add a touch more flour.  Knead until you have a smooth dough.  Wrap in plastic and let sit in your refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.  Cut into pieces and roll them through a pasta press.  I put mine through up to setting 8 and then ran them through the fettucini cutter and they turned out perfect.  If you are planning on saving them or letting them sit toss them with cornmeal and a little extra flour so they don't stick together.  

Eggplant Parmesan Sliders

These are really packed with flavor and are perfect if you are wanting something vegetarian.  The spicy tomato jam accents the richness of the mozzarella perfectly, and the egg plant melts in your mouth.


6-8 Slider buns
1 large egg plant
2 eggs
1 cup bread crumbs
1 1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup cornmeal
fresh buffalo mozzarella
mescaline greens
oil for frying
salt and pepper
tomato jam
dash of balsamic

Start by breading the egg plant.  Cut the eggplant into 6-8 thick pieces.  Separate your flour, 1 cup by itself seasoned with salt and pepper and 1/2 cup with bread crumbs and cornmeal.  First dip your egg plant in the seasoned flour, then dip it in the egg making sure it all gets covered, and finally dip it in the bread crumb mixture.  Allow these to sit on a wire rack for about 5 minutes to let the crust set.  Meanwhile heat a saute pan with some oil to about medium.  In very small batches fry off the egg plant, cooking each side until it is golden brown and adding oil in-between  batches.  Next assemble your sliders.  Toast your slider buns with a piece of the mozzarella on one side and some of the tomato jam on the other.  Add the egg plant and top with some mescaline greens tossed with a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar.  

Sweet and Spicy Tomato Jam

This is a great condiment for sandwiches or even just toast.  It has a nice savory quality from the balsamic vinegar and garlic but the brown sugar and tomatoes balance it out very nicely.  I added some chili flakes for a little kick.


1 tbl olive oil
1 lb roma tomatoes, cut into large chunks
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 medium sized sweet onion, chopped
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup water
1/2 tbl salt
1 tsp chili flakes
fresh ground black pepper
1/2 packet of pectin

Heat a sauce pan to medium high. Add the oil and then add the onion and garlic.  Once that has cooked for about 3-4 minutes and is starting to brown a little add the tomatoes, salt, black pepper, chili flakes, and white sugar.  Once that has cooked down a bit add the brown sugar, balsamic vinegar and water.  Bring to a simmer.  Once it simmers for about 5 minutes and it has all come together add the pectin while constantly stirring.  When it has thickened move to a clean mason jar and let cool in refrigerator.  If the mixture is too thick add a little more water before you place in jar.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Lime Cilantro Crema

This crema is really easy to make and has a great flavor from the zest and juice of the lime as well as the chopped cilantro.  Once you let this sit for a little while it becomes very tangy and goes great with chicken tacos.


1 cup mexican crema or sour cream
juice and zest of 1 lime
about 1/4 cup chopped cilantro leaves
salt to taste

Mix all ingredients together and let sit in the refrigerator in a covered container.