Batter Licker

June 27, 2012

plantain and coconut fritters with sriracha yogurt sauce

About that Sriracha Yogurt Sauce in the title: it’s super easy and fast to make, and the perfect balance of spicy, tangy and creamy. But I have no evidence that it exists.

A smarter, more patient person would have snapped a photo of Sriracha Yogurt Dipping Sauce. But I dipped and noshed first, littering the spicy and tangy yet creamy sauce with unsightly crumbs. Soooo not photogenic.

But I didn’t really think about that until now, as I’m trying to invent excuses. Forgive me. I must have been famished. I plowed through the whole bowl of sauce.

On top of that brilliant mishap, I’m told it’s barbecue season. Summer; heat; sunny outdoors. Clearly a great time to grill.

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So, instead, I thought I’d send something golden and fried your way. You know, in case you want to surmise an alternative to the traditional burger accompaniment: The Almighty French Fry. Because plantains will still satisfy that starch craving, but combined with some coconut flakes, they’re so much tastier, and sound much more sophisticated. Possibly healthier too, but I didn’t verify that. (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…)

January 23, 2012

zucchini, onion and potato latkes with chive sour cream

Too late for latkes now that Chanukah is about a month behind us? Nonsense! That would be like saying it’s too late for baked potatoes – or soup.

Seeing as frigid, rainy winter weather is just starting to renew itself after a dry heat spell here in San Francisco, I can’t believe any of those could possibly be out of season just yet.

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New Year resolution-makers might huff and puff a bit about the pan-fried in oil factor. But if the oil is hot enough, these veggie-laden pancakes will not absorb ridiculous amounts of oil. Instead, they’ll do exactly what makes them so irresistible: (more…)

January 4, 2012

project wedding dessert bar: part 14 (moroccan-spiced crispy chickpeas)

I’m a crispy chickpea addict. A year and a half ago, this snack ushered me through weeks of studying for the bar exam during Summer 2010, and (especially after passing the exam) I’ve felt indebted to it ever since.

So in some weird way, it made sense to include this snack – which stood by my side in my mouth during some of my more miserable moments – in the dessert bar I created for family and friends to enjoy on an evening celebrating one of the consistent sources of happiness during the past decade of my life: my relationship with Jay. But the inclusion of chickpeas also made sense from another perspective.

In retrospect, I realized that the desserts I chose to serve at my wedding very much reflected a sugary timeline of my life and development.

Fudge and toffee represented the beginning, when I learned my mother’s precision and the importance of following candy recipes exactly. Sometimes, my mind would wander, my wrist would ache from stirring, and I would lose focus. That’s code for: I burned and threw out quite a few bad batches along the way. But if I hadn’t learned then, I probably would have scorched a lot of chocolate instead of melting it into delightfully rich truffles.

Quite a few years later, I began experimenting with caramels, and after quite a bit of testing, I finally came up with my own basic recipe. Eventually, that recipe blossomed into the fleur de sel and bourbon spice caramels friends and family enjoyed at our wedding.

In the past year or two, I have taken more risks – in life and in the kitchen – which was reflected in the more innovative cashew-bacon brittle and s’mores brownie bites that disappeared so quickly.

But back to making crispy chickpeas … (more…)

December 29, 2011

bacon fat-roasted fingerling potatoes stuffed with beet horseradish ricotta

I realize stuffing fingerling potatoes sounds a little … crazy. And it totally is. I admit it. But don’t freak out and leave yet! I have a solution. Just because I’m nuts doesn’t mean you can’t maintain your sanity while still enjoying the delicious benefits of this recipe.

In other words, this would work equally well for stuffing a potato the size of your closed fist. Or even those mini potatoes that are bigger than fingerlings but not quite as big as your fist – you know, the ones that would still be appetizer friendly but also wouldn’t drive you mad trying to stuff them.

The only other fussy component is the beet horseradish, but there’s a way around that too if necessary. I’ve never seen the beet version in a store in real life, although I probably wasn’t looking because I didn’t even know it existed. But it was among the several gallons of pickled items my friend May shipped me from The Pickle Guys in New York as a wedding present. Aside from being slightly sweeter than regular horseradish, the beet horseradish had an incredibly bright pink fuchsia color, which I thought would be fun to punch up this otherwise brown and white dish. If you can’t find some, substitute regular horseradish, or make your own beet concoction.

Whatever you decide, procure some bacon fat. It makes a difference. (more…)

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