Sunday, December 27, 2009

Get Your Ass Back In The Kitchen

Yes, this is the Pornstar In The Kitchen 2010 Reebot. After a couple months of financial woes, a missing camera and crappy kitchen utensils, I've finally got my shit back together and I have two new recipes for you guys.
New Orleans Style Beignets
(From New Orleans Cuisine)
  • 1 Envelope Active Dry Yeast
  • 3/4 Cup Water (110 degrees F)
  • 1/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 Beaten Egg
  • 1/2 Cup Evaporated Milk
  • 3 1/2 - 3 3/4 Cups A.P. Flour
  • 1/8 Cup Shortening (I just used butter)
  • Vegetable Oil for Frying
  • Powdered Sugar in a shaker or sifter

I got the idea for this one after seeing The Princess and the Frog. I have a thing for movies that incorporate food, so imagine my glee when Disney's latest Princess happened to be a chef.

Needless to say, I shit bricks.

It also gave us a glimpse into the culinary world of New Orleans: Gumbo, Banana Foster's and of course, Beignets. For those of you who don't know, beignets are little New Orleans style donuts which, while not containing a lot of sugar, are covered with a generous helping of powdered sugar. They're also an absolute bitch to make.

In a standing mixer outfitted with a dough hook, start off by mixing the yeast, the water and the sugar together and then allowing it to sit until it becomes frothy. While mine never really became all that frothy, it works equally well if you just let it sit for five minutes. No harm, no foul really. Once that's done, add the salt, egg, evaporated milk, and half the flour, mixing until it starts to look doughy. Add the shortening (or, if you're like me, butter) until well incorporated, then gradually add in the flour. Personally, I stopped adding it in once I hit a collective three cups of flour. At that point I took it out and kneaded in the remaining 1/2 cup of flour by hand.

Once the dough is fully formed, pop into a lightly greased and covered bowl and let it sit until it doubles in size (You're gonna have to eyeball it. Don't worry about going over any time limits here, although if you're in a rush, you might be shit out of luck.) Punch it down, flip it out onto a lightly floured surface and commence rolling/pressing/smashing it into a rectangle a 1/2" thick, then cutting it into 2x2" squares. throw them on a lightly floured cookie sheet, cover them with a cloth and let them rise in a warm environment.

Here's where it gets interesting: You're gonna have to fry these in about 2-3" of oil, heated to 350 degrees. If you don't have a deep fryer, listen up because this might be important: In order to set it to 350 on a stove top, put it to 4 and not, as I thought, 10. Really, don't. Best case scenario, you burn your first round of beignets to a blackened crisp, MELT your slotted spoon, and nearly start a grease fire that blessedly only results in some rather nasty splatter burns on your arms. Worst case scenario, you wind up on the front page as the dumbass who burnt himself alive trying to make donuts.
Anyway, set it to four, and when the oil is heated, place he beignets in 4 at a time, taking care not to squish them or let them deflate, making sure to flip them and get them all delicious and golden brown on both sides. When sufficiently bronzed, remove them from the oil, drying them off on some paper towels and dusting them with a generous helping of powdered sugar. Serve them warm with a cup of cafe au lait.

Real Cheeseburgers
Cheeseburgers are usually a fairly good test to see how potent a chef are you. Anyone can squish meat into a patty, cook it and throw it on a bun. But honestly, feel free to take as many liberties as you want with it.

As a guideline, the burger patty should consist of about 6 oz. of actual meat. This gives you plenty of room to work with though. You can add some bread crumbs with an egg, some chopped onions, bits of cheese, mix in some sausage or other ground meat, and of course you can always hit it with some Tabasco and/or Worcestershire sauce, but be careful on this one; a lot of people mistake heat for flavour, so make sure you're enhancing the taste without overpowering it.

There are plenty of ways to cook the burger, but personally, I like putting it under the broiler; there's less mess and you can do it year round if you live in the north. Cook on each side for 5 minutes, adding on a slice of cheese at the last minute (a mild Cheddar or Monterey Jack works best in my opinion, but go nuts).

Now, as far as burger toppings go, make it a fucking salad. Honestly, you might as well go all in here, so pile it high with thick slices of veggies. Lettuce, Tomatoes, Onions, pickles, banana peppers...If it grows in the ground, put it in there. For the bun, sesame seed works nicely, as does a good Kaiser Roll, though feel free to throw it in the broiler too to get it nice and crispy.

And for the love of God, DO NOT use two Krispy Kreme donuts as buns. Actually, you know what? Fuck it. By all means, if you really want to go right ahead and do it. Darwinism in action people. If you're dumb enough to sandwich a hunk of meat between to glazed donuts, you deserve the myocardial infarction/Type 2 Diabetes/10 pounds of fat that will forever be glued to your love handles that will surely ensue from eating something this horribly unhealthy.

Sorry, needed to be said. But really, DON'T.

Anyway, when it comes to condiments, try to go with the grade-a stuff. Organic if you can, homemade of possible, and you can always go for different varieties (I personally swear by wasabi mustard). Other than that, Bon Appetit!