Batter Licker

May 31, 2012

gin mint julep and gin mojito

Filed under: drinks,fruit — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , — Kristen @ 12:54 pm

Someone’s jumping up a year in age this weekend. And neener neener neener: it’s not me!

I’ve already checked that off my to-do list for 2012, as I do every year about 3 weeks before Jay follows suit.

And every year, during those 3 weeks, I enjoy constantly asking Jay what it feels like to be with an older woman. Sometimes he even humors me with a response other than eye-rolling.


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May 25, 2012

gabi moskowitz’s brokeass gourmet cookbook and broccoli-kale gratin

I remember first meeting Gabi Moskowitz serendipitously at an Indian food-themed dinner hosted by our mutual friends, Rebecca and Bill Kee. While in the middle of preparing dal (a spicy lentil dish), she paused to introduce herself in a very warm and welcoming manner before putting me to work chopping onions. As I began that task, Bill casually mentioned that Gabi had a food blog too.  Soon I learned that she was not just any other kitchen maven named Gabi, but was The Gabi of Brokeass Gourmet, a recipe site with a monthly readership of over 30,000. I can guarantee the consistency of my onion cuts suffered as a result of being dorkily starstruck.

Thankfully, her fun and sassy demeanor disarmed my intimidation before I did too much damage in the kitchen. And I was happy to have shared a stove and chopping board, albeit briefly, with such an incredibly talented woman.

A few years’ worth of mostly social media exchanges later, I was excited for Gabi when I discovered she had procured a cookbook deal. When her PR rep sent me a complimentary copy of The Brokeass Gourmet Cookbook** to review, I could hardly contain myself upon its arrival. I can neither confirm nor deny whether I Gabi-vangelized the delivery person.

For those unfamiliar with this kindergarten-teacher-turned-cuisini√®re’s food blog and general background, I highly recommend you hop on over there, even if it’s just for a cursory visit. Once you bounce around her site a bit, you’ll see that Gabi’s cooking philosophy is grounded in accessibility and flavor.

These values carry over into her 116-recipe cookbook, where she starts with advice that will make meal-making much easier to manage no matter your skill level: how to stock a pantry with essentials like flour, olive oil, and salt for merely $50. And if you’re a bit of a lush like me, you’ll appreciate her subsequent input on how to smartly stock a budget bar.

Continuing to flip through the pages, I found that Gabi often takes dishes that might ordinarily be intimidating, such as Pakistani Butter Chicken (pictured above, although I deviated slightly by cooking the chicken thighs whole) or Sun-Dried Tomato Gnocchi, and simplifies the techniques involved without sacrificing flavor. She transforms the seemingly complex recipes such that beginner and immediate cooks alike can appreciate the time, steps and stress she’s saved them. (more…)

May 16, 2012

baked plantain and coconut crusted fish

I teased you last week with super easy and snackable baked plantain chips, mentioning that they were also great for coating fish and promising to provide a recipe soon. And here I am, following through on that.

This plantain and coconut crusted fish recipe was inspired by something similar devised by another cook on my team during last month’s Top Chef competition. But I wasn’t remotely involved in helping prepare the fish that night, so I scraped together this similar recipe based mostly on flavor memories. The resulting fish is very moist (thanks to the coconut milk), slightly coconutty, and has a flavorful crisp crust. (more…)

May 10, 2012

baked plantain chips

Filed under: appetizer,fruit — Tags: , , , , — Kristen @ 1:53 pm

I have a confession to make. Given my dislike of bananas (except in blended drinks and in baked goods) and an unpleasant run-in I had with a plantain dessert quite a few years back (after which I determined plantains were bananas’ uglier, starchier cousins), I’ve often glared disdainfully when passing by plantains.

Fast forward a few years to a couple savory – and much tastier – plantain preparations, and suddenly I find myself pulling a Heidi Klum: declaring plantains in and potatoes out; then double cheek-kissing my dear old potato pal as I bid him auf wiedersehen.

In a baked chip form, plantains become a fun snack food. For the easiest, most consistent preparation (and even crispiness), use a mandolin or, for the less gadgety among us (me included!), a regular vegetable peeler to thinly slice the plantains. (Trust me; I tried to very thinly slice some of the plantain by hand, and the results weren’t quite as uniform; plus they took longer to crisp up on the oven.) (more…)

May 2, 2012

marinated asparagus and lime-coconut milk hollandaise

Every few months or so, my friends Bill and Rebecca host a “Top Chef” dinner competition that’s actually more in line with “Iron Chef.” A secret ingredient is unveiled, and two teams of friends brainstorm to devise a menu featuring that ingredient in each dish before venturing out to the local grocery store.

Upon return, kitchen chaos ensues. Each team scrambles to grab the kitchen tools they require or, as often is the case, improvising when those tools – or stove burners or even counter space – are already in use.

Most recently, the teams tackled coconut. Although plantain and coconut crusted fish wowed its way to the top of the judges’ list, I walked away obsessed with marinated grilled asparagus (Bill’s genius) dipped in a lime-coconut hollandaise (I made it, but have no idea who on my team came up with the idea). (more…)

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