Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Gleanings From a Barren Field

At the Jazz Club
When we walked in, everyone was on their feet and the pick-up band was playing something so badly -- all tweets and twits with the odd horn screech -- that I didn't recognise it until the last eight bars!  "God Bless America" which explains why no one had their hand over their heart - except me.  Better safe than sorry...

Umami In A Bottle
Trader Joe is selling a seasoning blend called "South African Smoke" composed of paprika flakes, sea salt, garlic and basil.  These are all big flakes so the 1.76 oz. bottle has a twist grinder in the top of the jar. I used it on a t-bone steak and it fitted right in.  I still haven't figured out what to do with the Smoked Salt that Joe also sells. 

Good With A Bloody Mary? - Bacon Candy
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 1/2 teas. chile powder
20 slices of thick-cut bacon

Pre-heat the overn to 400.  Line two rimmed cookie sheets with foil.  Mix the sugar and chile powder together and cover the raw bacon with it.  Bake for 20-25 minutes until the sugar carmelizes, then un-pan it onto a rack.  Store at room temperature.

As Long As You're in the Kitchen - Brazilian Truffles
1 14. oz. can sweetened condensed milk
1 oz. chopped bittersweet chocolate
1 teas. salted butter
chocolate sprinkles for rolling the truffles

Combine everything but the sprinkles in a saucepan and cook over medium heat until it's thick and shiny - about 15 minutes.  Spread the mixture out in a shallow dish and let it cool.  Butter your hands and form the mixture into balls and roll in the sprinkles.  Variations could include coconut shreds or candied orange peel that's been cut into a fine, fine dice -- think "dust."   

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