Batter Licker

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 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…)

September 25, 2011

project wedding dessert bar: part 2 (coconut macaroons)

It’s coconut macaroon time! Which also means it’s party time! And part 2 of my Project Wedding Dessert Bar series! Are you excited yet?!?!?

Okay, I’ve clearly had too much coffee. Time to calm down and get this show on the road.

First, we’ll need a whole lotta whites. Egg whites, not people – and certainly not in a discriminating way.

We’ll find another use for all those delicious yolks later. Mayonnaise? Hollandaise? The yolks will make a TON of either, that’s for sure. The key is no waste! There are always more delicious things to be made with the discarded parts of the ingredients. The more I cook and bake, the more I know this to be absolutely true.

But for now, just sit back and admire the skill it takes to crack that many eggs and separate the whites, while only breaking a single yolk (and it broke post-cracking because I dropped it too violently into the bowl). (more…)

April 27, 2011

sprouted bean coconut curry soup

Several friends of mine have been singing the glory of Heidi Swanson’s Coconut Red Lentil Soup for over a year. Now that I finally saddled up and made a variation of that soup, I’m inclined to join their joyful chorus.

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Truth be told, I’m a sucker for anything containing coconut milk and curry. But the beauty of this soup is that its complex and addictive flavor comes together in a relatively simple process – even simpler if you have leftover sprouted (or unsprouted) beans or lentils on hand. (more…)

September 11, 2010

samoas

Filed under: cookies,dessert — Tags: , , , , , , — Kristen @ 12:39 pm

Tomorrow, I leave for a two-week self-guided historic food tour through Paris. There will be perfectly flaky pastries and artisanal ice cream and divine butter and rich sauces and fancy chocolates and to-die-for foie gras and crackly baguettes and delicious Moroccan dishes … and, most likely, a corresponding five- to ten-pound gain in cushion for the pushin’.

But before I depart, I want to leave you with an edible gift that’s historic (in its own American way and because it was my first catering experience for my friend Meghan’s gorgeous Lake Tahoe wedding!), rich (in caramel, butter, and chocolate), and so entirely delicious as to justify the time it takes to make it: the gift of bake-’em-yourself Girl Scout cookies.

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Camping trips, craft projects, sleepover parties, and games with my best friends – my Girl Scout troopmates – fill my childhood memories. But selling Girl Scout cookies without getting to eat any until I got home and mom finally gave in and bought a box? That was pure torture.

Back then, local grocery stores were kind enough to allow us to set up a booth to sell some cookies, but the big selling was done door-to-door. (Clearly, this was before websites existed to inform our parents that the guy next door had a prior child molestation conviction.)

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Once I became a full-fledged, incredibly intelligent and experienced, “always prepared” Girl Scout, my mom required me to lead my fledgling Brownie Scout of a sister around the neighborhood and split between us the credit for total number of cookie boxes sold.

I was less than pleased to have a mandatory tag-a-long (Ha! Bad pun on another Girl Scout cookie!), but onwards and upwards we went. Literally. (more…)

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