Masthead header

Pimento-1

Pimento Cheese 3 Ways: Dip, Egg Salad Sandwiches, and Pimento Devilled Eggs

 

Did I mention that I love eggs? Add peppers and cheese to those eggs? Yes please!

 

The first time I ever had pimento dip was when I worked cooking at a Michael Mina restaurant in Baltimore. We had it on the menu there as a bar snack. I remember being taught to make it the first time by my friend Desiree. We made it in big batches. We had to assemble it upstairs in the butcher’s kitchen because that is where the big robo coup was.  I remember tasting it with Des and laughing about how delicious it was and how hard it was not to just keep eating the freshly grated cheddar the entire time you were preparing the mise. And that was it – I was hooked.

 

My recipe is slightly different from the one I made that day. I use more lemon juice and jalapenos, and a different mayo to pimento ratio. I also add some Mexican hot sauce – I feel that it helps to cut the richness.

 

If you are making this recipe for a party then 1 batch of the base is a great quantity. If you are making it just to eat at home – this base makes a lot. The base recipe will give you a small portion of the dip (an appetizer enough for 4 people), 24 devilled eggs, and enough egg salad for 4 sandwiches. Now – I can make this recipe and eat the eggs and the dip as an appetizer Sunday night and then have the sandwiches the next day or during the week for lunch at work – but I truly never get sick of the stuff. If you aren’t planning on making all of this or serving it at a party then consider halving the recipe.

 

Regardless of what you do – enjoy making it, eat a few bites of freshly grated cheddar, and relish the moment by yourself in the kitchen when you taste the final dip for seasoning, and then taste it again just because.

 

Pimento Cheese Dip

Pimento-3

 

16 ounces of Sharp Cheddar Cheese – (Not Pre-shredded)

1 Cup Mayo

8 ounces jarred Pimentos, drained

1 Jalapeño, seeded and diced

1 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce

Zest of ½ a lemon plus 1 tablespoon of lemon juice

Hot Sauce

Crackers for serving

Using the shredding function of your food processor, grate block(s) of cheddar. Transfer cheese to a large bowl. Remove the shredding plate and insert the standard blade into your processor and return the cheese to the processor. Pulse 8-10 times until all of the cheese is smaller in size. Remove 1/3 of the cheese to the large bowl. Add the mayo and half of the pimentos and pulse until well combined but not all the way to creamy.

 

Dice the other half of the pimento and add to the processor along with the jalapeño, worceshershire, lemon juice and zest, the remaining cheese and hot sauce to your liking. Pulse until just combined.

 

If using for a dip, serve with crackers. If making the following 2 recipes, reserve 2 ½ cups and set out the remaining with crackers.

Pimento-2

 

Pimento Devilled Eggs

 Pimento-5

12 hardboiled eggs (I bring mine to a boil, remove after 10 minutes and transfer to an ice bath)

1 ¼ cups pimento dip

3 tablespoons mustard

Hot Sauce

 

No need to wipe out your food processor!

 

Peel and cut eggs in half. Use a teaspoon to remove the yolk of the eggs and add to the food processor. Add the pimento and mustard and blend until smooth.

 

Transfer the mixture to a ziplock or pastry bag and pipe into halved eggs. Drizzle with hot sauce and serve.

Pimento-6

 

Pimento Egg Salad Sandwiches

 Pimento-4

8 slices of your favorite sliced bread

6 hardboiled eggs

1 cup pimento dip

 

Peel and Dice hardboiled eggs. Combine with pimento dip and spread onto your favorite sliced bread. Done and Done.

 

  • Jeegisha panchal - This looks amazing! Thanks so much for sharing – I can’t wait to make this!ReplyCancel

DutchBabies-2

My favorite food is eggs. Eggs in any form – although to me eggs at their best and most elevated generally means a breakfast burrito – but I just love eggs. To me – the signal of a weekend is waking up and having eggs for breakfast. Not the cereal or yogurt of a weekday quick meal before rushing out the door – but breakfast. Sitting down and taking your time to eat a hot meal – nay, hot eggs. It makes me happy. It makes me relaxed. It makes me feel like a human.

Dutch babies are a favorite of mine because although they are more similar to a pancake – they have a texture that is almost soufflé like and satisfy my need for eggs. The batter could not be any simpler to make – simply mix everything together. They cook quickly and puff up in the oven creating the most beautiful well for whatever fruit or berries you want to serve your Dutch babies with.

 

You can make these in small individual staubs or in a large cast iron. If you do not have either this also works in a glass baking dish. For this recipe I would use a Square 9 x 9 – just make sure to butter the pan before popping it in the oven and it may need a few minutes longer.

 

This recipe is so beautiful that I think it is great for company – but the gorgeous puffed Dutch baby does not stay puffed for long – so be ready – have your table set, maybe a bowl of mixed fruit on the table for your guests to serve themselves, a plate with lemon wedges and powdered sugar in a shaker. Then set them on the table as soon as they come out of the oven and wow your guests with their golden beauty!   Or – do what I do – keep your pj’s on – make your coffee while the ingredients temper – wash your berries while the batter cooks, and sit on that couch and enjoy a lazy Sunday morning with your love while eating your hot eggs.


Dutch Babies with fresh fruit

DutchBabies-1

 

Makes 2 large Dutch babies

 

¾ cup all purpose gluten free flour

3 eggs at room temperature

3/4 cup milk at room temperature

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

½ teaspoon salt

4 tablespoons butter, melted

1 lemon, cut into wedges

Fresh Fruit and powdered sugar for serving

 

Preheat an oven to 375 degrees and place either 1 large 9-inch cast iron skillet or 2 small 4-inch skillets inside.

 

In a large mixing bowl whisk together the flour, eggs, milk, vanilla and salt.

 

When the oven is preheated place the butter in the skillet (or half In each skillet).

 

Bake in the oven for 16 minutes, rotating 180 degrees after 8 minutes.

 

While the dutch babies are baking, rinse and chop your fruit.

 

Pull the pancakes from the oven when it is large and puffed and the edges start to turn golden. Scoop the fruit into the middle immediately. Serve with lemon wedges and a dusting of powdered sugar.

DutchBabies-3

  • Cord - Nathan will be making these for the family on Sunday. :)ReplyCancel

DSC_0482

Gluten Free Orrechiette Carbonara with Asparagus and Bacon

 

My name is Katy and I am a carboholic. It is troubling for a few reasons. Not only is it bad for my six pack, but I also fell in love with a glutard (too much?).   Needless to say, I have not seen gluten free orrechiette in markets, so I set out to make it myself! I love making pasta. Once you get the hang of it, it is easy, yes it can be time consuming, and space consuming, but this recipe is easy and perfect for cooking pasta in small kitchens.

 

Gluten free flour – if you don’t have to make the pasta gluten free then don’t. There are a gazillion pasta recipes online. Any basic pasta dough will do. But – to make this Gluten Free – I use Cup 4 Cup flour and HIGHLY recommend it. In fact – I do not know how this recipe will turn out with any other gluten free mix. This is the flour developed by Thomas Keller’s pastry chef. It is amazing. I’ve made empanadas and pie dough that were perfect (and some slightly less perfect but still pretty darn close conchas – basically Mexican brioche) with this flour and am such a fan.

 

Making orrechiette is so great because you don’t need fancy tools and they do not need to look perfect. They are really easy to do, although they can be time consuming. So have a buddy help, or do what I do and watch a Tiny House Hunter’s marathon with your girl while you shape the pasta!

 

If the idea of making your own pasta feels like more than you are ready for, by all means buy dried pasta or fresh pasta from the market. You will love this creamy and easy sauce. This sauce is perfect for 1 pound of dried pasta.

 

A short embarrassing story about carbonara. It starts with a confession. I frequently do not read recipes. I read only ingredient lists. Years ago (I mean years), before any culinary school or professional cooking, I saw a recipe for carbonara in one of my cooking magazines. It said something about pasta and bacon in the title and my interest was piqued. I read bacon, eggs, pasta, and Parmesan and was hooked. It had all of my favorite things. I did not get any further than the ingredients list to see how to actually make the dish. I envisioned some sort of Italian fried rice.   I made some sort of Italian fried rice using pasta instead   It was gross

Anyway – that is not what this is. It uses egg and parm and the pasta cooking water to make a deliciously creamy yet light sauce. In the spring I love this with asparagus. I also love the crunch of raw asparagus so I don’t blanch or boil it, I basically just warm it with the pasta. Want a quicker version of this?  Use store-bought pasta and skip the shallot. You can substitute the asparagus for any veg you like. You can top it with raw arugula instead of parsley to cut the richness. Add some fresh chile to add heat. Use this as a base to make your own dream pasta dish. This is just mine……Well one of mine.

 

DSC_0476

Yields: About 2 lbs Pasta

For the Orrechiette:

 

3 1/3 cups Cup4Cup flour

4 large eggs

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon kosher salt

Water, as needed

In the bowl of a food processor combine all ingredients until it looks like a wet sand. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and work with hands until combined. Add water, 1 tablespoon at a time as needed to form the dough. Knead the dough for 8 to 10 minutes until pliable.

Cut dough into 4 equal sections and wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap. Allow it to rest in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.DSC_0391

Remove the dough from the refrigerator, 1 piece at a time. Section the dough into manageable pieces and roll into logs that are about the diameter or a dime. Use a knife or bench scraper to cut the logs into ¼ inch pieces. Use a hand, bottle, or the back of a gnocchi paddle to flatten. Then, if you have a gnocchi paddle press it into the pasta. Finally, use your thumb to make an indent into the pasta and place on a tray. Continue with the dough, working in batches.

DSC_0422

For this recipe you only need about 1 pound of pasta. Freeze the rest, give it as a gift, or double this recipe and feed a crowd!

Bacon and Asparagus Carbonara

8 ounces Bacon, sliced into ¼ inch lardons (strips)

1 pound asparagus, large ends trimmed

2 Shallots, minced

3 eggs

1 cup parmesan – freshly shaven or shaved, (the fako shredded stuff won’t
work)

Freshly cracked black pepper.

About 1/2 cup chopped parsley

Start a large pot of water boiling for the pasta and generously salt.

Slice the bacon into lardons (strips) that are about ¼ inch wide. Heat a large – deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and shallots and cook until the bacon until brown and crisp and the shallots are soft– about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat.

Slice the asparagus into very thin slices. And add to the skillet.   In a medium mixing bowl whisk the parmesan and eggs together. Add a generous amount of black pepper.

When your water starts to boil add your pasta and cook until al dente (for the orrechiette I made it took 12 minutes). Before you drain the pasta – carefully use a glass liquid measuring cup to get 2 cups of the pasta water from the pot. Drain the pasta. Slowly pour the pasta water into the mixing bowl while whisking constantly so that you get a smooth sauce, not scrambled eggs.   Return the skillet to a medium –low heat. Pour the carbonara sauce into the skillet. Add the pasta and toss to coat. Add the chopped parsley at the last minute and serve.

DSC_0501

suziemanhatten-1So – my newest obsession is Suze Gentian Liqueur.  Our last beverage director was doing a tasting for new cocktails – and the perks of working in the test kitchen is that you just happen to be around for such tastings.  Our mixologist kept rattling off this name, Suze Gentian like I was supposed to know what that meant.  I asked to try it on its own and it was literally as if the clouds parted and I could hear angels singing.  Okay, not really.  But I loved it.  I quickly went to our accountant and asked for the cost of a bottle so that I could take it home with me.  Suze is an aperitif – fairly bitter.  Bon Appetit wrote a cool piece on it that will be far more informative than myself.

So if you don’t like bitter cocktails then this is not for you.  But – considering that it is bitter is also has the really beautiful floral notes.  Since buying it I have found myself – many a night – sitting in my apartment just having a little glass on ice.  It is delightfully refreshing and summery – so although I live in Chicago and we are still having snow in April – it makes me at least believe that spring is coming.

If you like strong cocktails, and bitter cocktails, then try this out!  I love it.  So much in fact that my bottles are all nearly empty (as you can see in the photos – yes I know – for styling purposes full bottles would have been prettier – but I ain’t rich and can’t buy bottles for photographing and some for testing – so zip it).

I hope you drink this and think of warm weather – or at the very least – that it warms your belly!

 

suziemanhatten-2

 

Suze Manhattans

Bartender Recipe:  Yields 1 Cocktail

1 ½ ounces whisky

1 ounce Suze

3 dashes orange bitters

½ ounce Sweet Vermouth

Grapefruit peel

Scoop about 1 cup of ice into a pitcher or mixing glass .  Measure all ingredients and pour over the ice.  Using a stirrer stir all to combine and to thoroughly chill.  Strain into a coup glass and garnish with grapefruit peel.

suziemanhatten-4

cajeta-blondies-recipes-2

It was Sunday night – Oscar night.  I continued family traditions.  I grew up watching all of the major awards shows with my mom.  We could get in our PJS around 4 in the afternoon (the time the red carpet starts on the west coast) and eat Chinese takeout and enjoy the show.

So, I ordered way too much Chinese food, put on stretchy pants and watched the show with Tanya.  I do love cooking on a Sunday though, and the idea of Chinese takeout was leaving me feeling slightly cheated.  I also had a lot of coconut flour sitting in my pantry.  So….. Coconut Flour blondies!

I think these are really easy to make.  I browned the butter to give these a deeper, nuttier flavor, but it absolutely isn’t necessary.  If you can’t get a hold of Cajeta, you can use store-bought caramel – but nothing truly replaces that amazing tangy and sweet flavor of Goats Milk Caramel.  (You can find it at any Mexican grocery store)

I used pecans, white chocolate chips, and semi sweet chocolate chips because that is what I had in my freezer.  You can use whatever you like and whatever you have.  I think macadamia nuts would be fantastic!

These blondies aren’t particularly sweet.  The cajeta adds some sort of salty-sweetness.  If you prefer your really sweet I would up the brown sugar to 2/3 cup.

cajeta-blondies-recipes

Coconut Flour Blondies

Yields:  12 squares

1/2 cup butter (browned butter is delicious!) at room temperature

1/2 brown sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla

2 eggs

1/4 cup almond milk

1/2 cup coconut flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup toppings of your choice (I used 1/3 cup white chocolate, 1/3 cup chocolate, and 1/3 cup chopped pecans)

1/4 cup cajeta

Preheat your oven to 250 degrees.  In a medium mixing bowl beat butter and sugar until light and creamy.  Add the vanilla and the eggs.  Continue to beat until frothy.  Add the almond milk and mix until just combined.  Add the flour, soda, and salt and beat again until just combined.  Add whichever toppings you choose.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat to mix in the toppings.

Grease a 9 x 13 inch pan with butter or non stick spray and scrape the batter into the pan.  Using a fork drizzle 2 tablespoons of the Cajeta over the top (Place in a microwave and heat for 15 seconds if needed to soften).

Bake for 25-30 minutes.  Remove to a cooling rack and allow to cool completely before cutting.  Drizzle the top with the remaining 2 tablespoons of cajeta and enjoy!

cajeta-blondies-recipes-3