Breakfast, Recipes, Savoury

Fig and Bacon Jam

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I love crossing the lines between sweet and savoury. As someone who makes sweets for a living, it’s nice to change  things up a bit.

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Yesterday I had some very ripe figs, and decided I wanted to make something both sweet and salty to satisfy my cravings. I love that the bacon lends a nice smokey undertone to the sweetness of the figs. This morning for breakfast I had the jam with some fresh baked brioche and some truffle pate. Ohh yes, it was that kinda morning.

Fig and Bacon Jam

makes about 1 L

185 g thick cut bacon

50 g brown sugar

787 g very ripe figs, stemmed and quartered

198 g granulated sugar

10 g pectin

1/8 tsp salt

Dice bacon into 1/4″ pieces. Over medium heat, fry bacon until lightly golden, then add brown sugar and toss bacon to coat in sugar. Cook until sugar is melted and bacon is caramelized. Add figs and stir into bacon. Using a rubber spatula, stir figs frequently to prevent scorching on the bottom of the pot. Let mixture simmer until figs have broken down quite a bit.

In a separate bowl, whisk together sugar and pectin until there are no lumps. Add sugar mixture to pot and toss figs and bacon in sugar. Let simmer until jam is very thick, stirring to prevent scorching. If desired, blend about half of the jam to make it more smooth. Keep in an airtight container and keep refrigerated. Enjoy the next day!

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Candy, Caramel, Recipes

Vanilla Butter Caramels

Whenever I cook, I always try to consider what I have on hand so I can avoid going through the hassle of making a trip to the grocery store. I love recipes that use simple household ingredients that you can find in anyone’s pantry, and this happens to be one of them!

Yesterday I made some vanilla butter caramels; they’re both chewy and soft, and almost melt away in your mouth.

So I know that this is candy-making blasphemy, but I didn’t use a candy thermometer. I know, I know, but those of us at KnitterBakerPateaChouxMaker are also risk-takers, and this recipe is simple enough to follow without one, I promise!

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I love the beautiful sheen this caramel has, and the little flecks of vanilla bean just bring it to another level that is incomparable to any flavor a plain extract would have brought. Oh, and they taste pretty damn good too.

Vanilla Butter Caramels

makes about 36 pieces

300 g sugar

170 g corn syrup

1 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise and scraped

80 g water

130 g cream

40 g unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

Line a small sheet pan with a silicon mat or parchment paper sprayed lightly with oil. This recipe is really small, so I used metal bars to make an 11″x 5″ frame to pour the caramel into. Set pan aside.

In a medium-sized pot, combine sugar, corn syrup, vanilla beans and pods, and water, and mix until just combined. When choosing your pot, pick one with tall sides, as the caramel will bubble up a lot later on. Make sure there are no granules of sugar stuck to the sides of the pot.

Over medium heat, bring the mixture to a boil, swirling the pot from time to time. Do not stir! Let sugar boil until it reaches a deep golden brown. Immediately turn off heat, then slowly pour in 1/3 of the cream (the caramel will bubble furiously, so be careful to avoid steam burns!). Whisk in the cream until fully incorporated. Pour in another 1/3 of the cream, and whisk again. Then pour in the rest of your cream, and whisk until thoroughly combined. Add your butter and whisk until completely emulsified.

Discard your vanilla pods and quickly pour caramel into your frame or sheet pan. Refrigerate caramel until it is fully set, at least 1 hour. Using a clean, hot knife, cut into 36 pieces and wrap in wax or parchment paper. Store in an airtight container and enjoy!

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Breakfast, Dinner, Recipes

Epic (Korean) Breakfast of the Week

Recently (yesterday, actually) I discovered the local Korean supermarket near my house and I knew I had to check it out myself. One thing I don’t really like about living in Little Saigon is that everything (and i mean EVERYTHING) has some kind of Vietnamese influence in it; now there’s nothing wrong with that in itself, but it gets kind of boring after a while. Every restaurant and business has some sort of Vietnamese fusion, which is nice once in a while, but not so much every day. When I saw that there is a supermarket nearby that I recognized as purely Korean, naturally I jumped for joy! It didn’t really help that I had been craving Korean food for a while either…

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Today Robert and I made Kimchi Scallion and Potato Pancakes with Kalbi Beef Lettuce Wraps. Talk about your epic breakfast!

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Marinating the meat.

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Pancake batter and scallion kimchi.

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Makin’ pancakes 🙂 These came out really soft and eggy on the inside, and crispy crunchy around the outer edges.

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Our epic breakfast set up!

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Makes a delicious meal enough for two hungry tummies.

Kimchi Scallion and Potato Pancakes

makes 6 medium-sized pancakes

1 medium russet potato

1 cup kimchi scallions, cut into bite-size pieces

1/4 cup kimchi broth (pickling juice)

1 1/4 cup flour

2 large eggs

3/4 cup water

1/4 tsp salt

soy sauce, for dipping

Grate potato and soak grated potato in cold salted water (to keep from browning). In a medium mixing bowl, combine egg, water, salt, kimchi broth, and flour. Mix until smooth. Drain grated potato, squeezing out any excess water. Toss potato and scallions into batter, mixing until combined.

In a large skillet or griddle, coat surface with oil and heat over medium high heat. Ladle out and flatten batter to make a 4-5″ sized pancake. Cook 2-3 minutes on each side, and then until center is completely cooked. Repeat with the rest of the batter.

Kalbi Beef Lettuce Wraps

Makes 6 wraps

1 Tablespoon canola oil

10 oz beef rib eye, sliced thin

1/4 medium onion, sliced thin

3 cloves garlic, sliced thin

1 cup (store-bought) Kalbi beef marinade

2 Tablespoons dark sesame oil (you can add more to taste)

1/2 head green leaf lettuce, washed and patted dry

In a large bowl combine beef, onion, garlic, sesame oil, and marinade sauce, then let mixture marinate for 20-30 minutes. In a large skillet, bring canola oil to medium high heat, then (carefully!) add meat/marinade mixture to pan, with all its juices. Liquid will have a tendency to sputter, so be cautious and don’t do this wearing your favorite shirt! Cook meat until beef and onions are carmelized and fully cooked.

For assembly, take one leaf of lettuce and fill halfway with a few pieces of meat and onion. We also topped our lettuce cups with some more kimchi, cause that stuff just makes for some good eats!

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Breakfast, Dinner, lunch

Epic (Creole) Breakfast

Yesterday for breakfast Robert and I made a shrimp and sausage jambalaya. We put this recipe to the test, and it didn’t disappoint!

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Southern trinity of aromatics, minus the celery because I forgot to put it in the picture, hahha. Also, a ton of garlic, because I love me some garlic.

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Toasting the rice after adding the tomato paste. I love the orange/gold color that it turned when the tomato started cooking.

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After adding the liquids and the sausage.

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The results. So I’ll admit that I did take a couple shortcuts here, mainly because I wanted to use what I had on hand. Also, instead of the traditional Andouille sausage I used chicken sausage, which is probably blasphemy down in Louisiana but I’m trying to save money here! Regardless of the minor substitutions, the jambalaya still tasted amazing, and I even added a few dashes of jabanero powder to kick the spice up a notch.

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