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First batch of homebrew. Things have been fermenting down in Miami. (Oh yeah, I live in Miami now :-)

A New Year’s Brown IPA that was brewed on Jan. 1, bottle on Jan. 18, and drunk for the first time on Jan. 27.

Quite tasty, a delicious. I’ve already brewed up a batch of Kumquat Saison, to follow.

Gotta any beer tips? Shoot them my way!

Recipe over here, on my roommate’s and my own shared project.

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Salmon Gravlax.

11Jan14

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A lot of the best things you can eat are remarkably simple. Beer, bread, cheese, that perfectly grilled piece of fish. All require few ingredients, a lot of patience, but very little doing in the manner of stirring, whipping, and tenderizing. (Let’s hope no tenderizing…)

But for things that are remarkably simple, yet fantastically delicious, chances are there’s one or two tricks required to yield the perfect result.

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With gravlax, there are no tricks, unless of course, you count faith in your refrigerator. But with faith, there really isn’t any trick. Just forget about the piece of fish hopefully not rotting on your bottom shelf, and wait for breakfast a day and a half away.

Smoked salmon, or lox, are undeniably one of the true pleasure of the breakfast/brunch canon. Don’t even try to argue that a lox benedict isn’t the supreme, the queen of all Bennies.

Because you’d be wrong.

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Gravlax, or lox’s fresh, slightly more delicate sister, may subvertly challenge lox as the premier bagel topping. (May. I’ll have to do a thorough round of testing before I can present you with any sort of accurate conclusion). Lox really is just gravlax, or cured salmon, that’s been taken a step further down preservative lane and been smoked. Slightly more stable, but a little more work.

Gravlax as it turns out, requires little to no work. If you can successfully wrap something in plastic wrap, you can make gravlax. And in the realm of impressive cooking techniques, whipping out homemade, freshly cured gravlax on a Sunday morning surely ranks.

Gravlax has appeared as an appetizer on the family table before, and it was always very impressive. It is after all, a full filet of fish, ready to be eaten straight from the knife. On a hot New York City night out in a backyard, are you really going to opt for too-ripe creamy cheese over chilled, dill-laced salmon? (Thanks to Irene, and the best Upper West Side backyard.)

No, because you’d be an idiot to. And ten years later, displaced in Miami, a slice of gravlax on homemade sourdough is just as perfect as it sounds.

Even better than perfect, because it’s so goddamn simple.

Recipe on the following page.

Continue reading ‘Salmon Gravlax.’


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Sometimes when you’ve been knowingly slacking, say when you’ve been gone from the interwebs for way too (not like that’s me or anything…), you have to do something big. And “do something big” can really only mean one thing.

Bacon.

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Hello! I’m back. After a little venture to New York where I gained an appreciation for things that aren’t necessarily rolled and smothered with pork (only to return, clearly, once again to my natural state), followed by a trip down to Miami where sourdough really was the way of life. And goats. In mini SUVs. (That’s a story for another time, when a bit about getting a male goat, horns and all, into the back seat of a car is appropriate. Maybe when it’s a goat taco recipe.) By sourdough, I mean kilos of the stuff, hours in a pseudo bakery, time spent in the back of a delivery truck, and more than a fare share of goofing around and trying different pastry recipes in our downtime. (Which let’s be honest, wasn’t downtime, we really should’ve been doing other things like cleaning, cleaning, cleaning…prepping? But who cares about efficiency when there are sticky buns to be had? Come on.)

I find it most appropriate to re-enter any situation whether it’s blogging or you know, a room, with bacon. While off for a lovely weekend in South Carolina, I was reminded– really, my bad for ever forgetting– of the wonders of a bacon sausage scone. And as luck would have it, the next weekend there was “downtime” enough to try a batch of bacon sausage cheddar scones ourselves. While some would say that bacon and sausage fat, butter, cheese, and sour cream is excessive…wait. Why would you listen to someone that talks like that?

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The key to these scones, and I really think you should follow through, for your own sconely-benefit (real word), is the pizza stone. This recipe was first tested in a deck oven with a nice stone bottom, but at home a hot pizza stone (I used a couple leftover kitchen floor tiles) creates the perfect bottom crust. With the saltly bacon, punch from a chive, and a nice added flavor from the masa harina, I pretty sure you’ll agree that they were worth wasting downtime.

Because really, how can anyone waste time when a bacon sausage cheese scone is the result?

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Continue reading ‘Bacon Sausage Scones with Cheese, Chives & Masa.’


Panzanella.

05Aug13

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While these photos alone should be enough to send you flying towards the farmers’ market (it’s bread! tomatoes! buffalo mozzarella!), I’l give you a quick roundup of reasons why you should have already stopped reading and headed out to score ingredients to make a summer panzanella. Here it is: Bread salad. Bread. Salad. You thought salad was vegetables and produce? SYCHE. Salad can also be fat and loaded with bread and deliciously creamy, smoky mozzarella.

Since we’re in the middle of the summer tomato deluge, chances are you need a good recipe that perfectly showcases tomato’s sweetness and bite but goes a couple steps further than simply slice and eating the tomato on bread. (Not that I’d judge you…guess what I’m having for lunch…) Cue garlic, fresh herbs, buttery toasted bread, lemon juice, and a sprinkling of salt and pepper. Yup. Recipe, here

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Also, tomato murder is fun.

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Guacamole is the best. Anyone disagree? The only downside is that, unfortunately, you can’t eat it by the cupful. Or you could, but that would be bad if your goal was to keep calories down. (Let’s be real though, who wants to do that? Bakelist is not the blog for that…) But with the help of Greek yogurt, you can eat it by the cupful. Or at least if you happen to eat a cup of it, you’re also getting protein… so it’s healthy. Go forth, and put it on everything. Recipe, here.

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Last summer, near the end of summer, I was in Montreal. It was hot, humid, and I was there for a music festival, staying in what was a very clean, lovely hostel. Days consisted of tromping around through the mud and getting quite confused by the sudden switch to French. (Which of course shouldn’t have been surprising, and yet…) During the day, we didn’t eat much. We didn’t have time to, and besides an apple or small snack, there wasn’t really any way to carry around a picnic. But Montreal, like what I’ve unofficially decided is its American counterpart, New Orleans, does not dissapoint in terms of late night beverage and sustenance. It may have been the porch culture, the wrought iron trelisses and ballisters, it may have been the row houses, and it most definitely was the French street names, but Montreal really does perform a little trick when it switches from dusk to dark. Which I would have paid better attention to, but the food was too distracting.

Whether it was after midnight bagels, the requiste viande fume and poutine, it was all perfect. On our day off from the festival we chanced a late dinner at Au Pied de Cochon and walked away from our seats at the bar several hours later, barely able to stay awake long enough to get back to the hotel and not at all capable of thinking about anything besides The Meal. Delicious isn’t a big enough word to describe the food, but it’s what I have. After pork, fish, more pork, a tomato tatin, and much more, we ended with a tart au sucre for two. And that meal, almost a year later, stuck with me enough so that I requested the restaurant’s cookbook for my birthday. The book itself is an experience to match the meal. But the tart, the perfect, delcious maple tart is enough to recall Montreal and as it turns out, tastes just as fine in Brooklyn.

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It’s simple—butter, maple sugar, eggs, flour, cream. Little else, but baked up until golden and crisp, topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream (or bourbon vanilla)… you know.

(I’m just going to ignore the lapse between posts because it’s embarassing… and I don’t really have a great excuse. But I’ll be better, I promise. Thanks for checking back guys. xo N)

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It’s pancake time. Besides the fact that you can stack ‘em high like a Lego tower held together with delicious blueberry mortar, there is only one reason why you need to make pancakes, in particular these cornmeal silver dollar pancakes. They’re delicious. And they’ll brighten up any part of the day. Alright, two reasons. Recipe, here. If you’re unsure of the silver-dollar aspect of these pancakes, let me just say that the more pancakes resemble silver dollars, the tippier the pancake tower will be. Which means an awesome resemblance to everyone’s favorite tower.

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