Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Crop Bistro - 10 course tasting menu

Oye - I am still full from last night's 10 course tasting dinner at Crop Bistro

Crop is in a really neat building in Ohio City.  Chef Steve Schimoler is a very personable guy and told us the history of the old bank building and how he restored it to its current glory.

Check out the website for pictures that do the food and drinks justice but here is how my iPhone captured last night's eating extravaganza:

Left: Fall into Crop (Don Julio Reposado, Cinnamon, Apple, Orange, Cranberry)
Upper Right:  Twisted Vine (Watershed Vodka, Muddled Grapes, St. Germaine, Sauvignon Blanc)
Lower Right:  Gin-Ginger Gimlet (Watershed Gin, Domaine de Canton, House Ginger-Lime Cordial)

Chili infused deviled egg dipped in beet juice with oven dried prosciutto and a balsamic and beet reduction.
Grilled Carolina shrimp with a celery root slaw and a wasabi and chili scallion aioli.
Brown butter lobster with sturgeon caviar over fried polenta.
Nantucket scallop over cheesy grits with a chorizo gravy.

Upper Left: Braised pork belly with an asian napa slaw and a coconut green curry sauce.
Lower Left: Seared foie gras with savory french toast and a pear compote.
Right:  Red and yellow beets with apple cider vinaigrette, apple salsa, and a pecan crusted goat cheese.

Watermelon lime basil popsicle to cleanse the palate.
Quail stuffed with corn and tamales with a molé sauce over baby kale.
Braised short ribs on a sweet potato purée with a whole grain muster sauce and topped with cider braised cabbage.
My failed attempt to finish the braised short ribs.

Always room for dessert:
Affogado (Vanilla ice cream, espresso, salted caramel and whipped cream)
Holy Mole (Chocolate flourless cake, molé ganache, molé ice cream and blackberry coulis)

I'm sure that made you very hungry.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Mulled Cider with Spiced Rum

This was supposed to be posted on Friday.

I had the idea and the ingredients last week but did not get around to making it.

We had an intramural volleyball game on Thursday night and I decided it would not help our chances of victory if we had a cocktail before.

Although after losing all three games, I don't think it would have hurt.

In fact, I'm surprised I didn't go home and drown my sorrows in a warm cup of this spiced cider.

Mulled Cider with Spiced Rum
(makes 2)

20 oz apple cider
lemon rind
whole cloves
pinch of allspice
cinnamon stick
1 ½ oz spiced rum

Stud the lemon rind with cloves.  Add the rind to a medium saucepan with the apple cider and allspice.  Bring to a simmer -  you should be able to smell the lemon zest and spices.  Pour into mugs and add the spiced rum.  Garnish with a cinnamon stick.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Pumpkin Pizza with Apples, Prosciutto and Brie

Now that it's October, it's perfectly fine to put pumpkin in everything and be excited about it.

For example, I love Starbucks' pumpkin spice latte and wish they had it year round.  But would I like it as much in the spring season?  We'll never know.

This pizza, it's not all that pumpkin-y.  But it is a little orange which makes it more fall-y.

And no surprise here, like all pizza, it pairs well with beer. 

Pumpkin Pizza Dough
(I cut this recipe in half)

¼ cup barely warm water
½ teaspoon honey
½ Tablespoon active dry yeast
1 ¾ cups bread flour
½ cup canned pumpkin, (Not pumpkin pie filling)
1 Tablespoons olive oil, plus more for the bowl
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon onion powder
¼ teaspoon garlic powder

Apple, sliced thin (I used a pink lady)

Measure out the ¼ cup of warm water in a 2 cup measuring cup.  Add the honey and yeast and set aside until it is foamy.

In a stand mixer, combine the rest of the ingredients and use the dough hook to knead it for a few minutes.  Then remove and knead by hands on the counter for a few minutes.  Coat a large bowl with olive oil.  Place the dough ball in and flip to cover will olive oil.  Cover with a clean towel and set in a warm place to rise for an hour or until it doubles in size.

Preheat oven to 400ºF.  Roll out the dough on a pizza peel (if using a pizza stone) or baking sheet. Top with the sliced apple, prosciutto and brie.  Bake in the preheated oven for approximately 18 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and the crust is lightly browned.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Gingerbread Pumpkin Spice Kiss Cookies

After seeing these Pumpkin Spice Kisses at the grocery store, I knew I had to use them to make a cookie similar to one of my all time favorites: the peanut butter kiss.

These taste like fall.  Almost like a pumpkin pie.  I may like the classic peanut butter kiss better but that's because I'm biased toward both peanut butter and milk chocolate.

I'm really not that picky though.  I ate 4 yesterday.

Gingerbread Pumpkin Spice Kiss Cookies
Makes about 5 dozen - adapted from McCormick's

3/4 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoon ground ginger
3 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup molasses
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
60 pumpkin spice kisses

Preheat oven to 350°F.

In a large bowl (preferably a stand mixer), beat the butter and sugar together until fluffy.  In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Add the molasses, egg and vanilla to the butter and sugar and mix.  Slowly add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients until combined. 

Shape dough into 1-inch balls and bake 8-10 minutes or until the edges start to brown.  Immediately press a pumpkin spice kiss into the center of the cookie.  Cool on a wire rack.  Note:  If the dough is too sticky, place the dough in the refrigerator to make it easier to handle. 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Hinckley Farm

I'm taking a photography class and we went on a "field trip" to a farm in Hinckley, Ohio.  I thought I would share a few pictures from it:


Monday, September 24, 2012

Cereal Milk Ice Cream

So you know the milk that is left over after you've eaten cereal?  That's the flavor.

Growing up the law of the land was that cereals could contain up to, but no more than, 10 grams of sugar. 

As with many things from childhood, it's much easier to appreciate these things 15 years or so down the line.  So I still abide by the 10 gram rule but it's on my own accord now. 

Anyway, the base of this ice cream came from Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams.  Her ice creams are delicious and you can make them at home if you buy her book.

I think I may try this with some other cereals too:  Cinnamon Toast Crunch or Cocoa Puffs come to mind.

Cereal Milk Ice Cream
(makes about a quart)

2 cups whole milk
1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon corn starch

1 1/2 oz (3 tablespoons) cream cheese, softened
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 1/4 cup heavy cream
2 Tablespoons light corn syrup
2/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 oz Froot Loops

In a small bowl, whisk corn starch with 2 tablespoons of the milk.  In a medium bowl (I used a 3 quart), mix the cream cheese and salt until smooth.  Fill a large bowl with ice and water.

In large saucepan (preferably 4 quart but I used a 3 quart), combine the remaining whole milk, heavy cream, corn syrup and sugar.  Bring it to a rolling boil over medium-high heat and let boil for 4 minutes.  Be careful it doesn't bubble over! 

Remove it from the heat and dump in the Froot Loops.  Let steep for 10 minutes.  Strain the Froot Loops through a sieve, pressing the back to squeeze out all the flavor.  Return the milk mixture to the saucepan and whisk in the corn starch slurry.  Reheat it back to a boil over medium-high heat and allow it to boil for about a minute.  Remove from heat.

Gradually whisk the hot milk mixture into the cream cheese, whisking until smooth.  Transfer the mixture into a 1-gallon Ziploc bag, seal it up and submerge it in the ice bath.  Add more ice if necessary and let it cool down for about 30 minutes.

Set up your ice cream maker, start spinning the canister and then cut a small hole on one of the corners to pour the ice cream in.  Mine took about 20 minutes, but let it run until the ice cream is thick and creamy then quickly pack it into freezer safe containers.  Press parchment paper on the top of the ice cream, before putting on the lid, in order to seal out all air.  Freeze until firm - about 4 hours.

P.S.  I dislike how Froot is not spelled Fruit.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Pumpkin Pie Martini

I told ya so!

Last week I told you I was going start using the famous fall flavor of pumpkin and I followed through.  So there.

This does taste like pumpkin pie.  I just wish I could have had more of my favorite part of the pie, the graham cracker crust.  

Should have served it with a piece of graham cracker to dip in!  Why am I thinking about this at 7 am the following morning and not while I'm drinking it!

Well at least you can use that idea now...

Pumpkin Pie Martini
(makes 1 martini)

3 oz pumpkin puree
1 1/2 oz vodka
1 1/2 oz simple syrup
1 oz mik
pinch of allspice
graham cracker, crushed (optional)
whipped cream (optional)

Put all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker and shake over ice.  Wet the rim of a martini glass and dip into the crushed graham cracker.  Press to adhere if needed.  Strain the pumpkin mixture into the martini glass and garnish with whipped cream and a little more allspice if desired (careful not to do too much - the drink gets spicy!)