Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Crap Cookies

Recipe: Momofuku's Compost Cookies

I read a lot about Momofuku Milk Bar's Compost Cookies. People seem to love them but there was a lot of discussion/dissent about what goes in them and how people struggled to keep them from spreading too much. Personally, I love me some kettle corn, so sweet'n salty cookies seem to be okay by me. But holy mother, what a pain to decipher and modify the recipe! Do I seriously believe people should be eating 6 ounces' worth of batter? Why would you put coffee grounds in your cookie? Why won't these bake properly? All good questions. This is one recipe that would be worthwhile busting out the kitchen scale, especially where the flour is concerned. Be sure to use ingredients that will hold their shape (so ixnay on chopped chocolate and easy on the toffee), that the potato chips are a must and feel free to give the coffee grounds a miss as well. And yes, definitely refrigerate these bad boys overnight or you will have crispy flatness to contend with.

Modifications: Essentially, you're supposed to add 1.5 c sweet things and 1.5 c salty things, for a total of 3 c of mix-ins. I used: milk chocolate chips, chopped chocolate-covered toffee almonds, Cocoa Pebbles, pecans, salted pretzels and corn chips. I think I did closer to four cups (including the rolled oats), but overall, they were much sweeter to me than salty. I'd give the Pebbles a miss, because I couldn't find them at all in the finished product, as well as the corn chips, because it gives the cookie an oiliness that was kind of icky. To compensate for the spreading, I added 3/4 c old fashioned rolled oats. Because I added oats, baking them for 9 minutes at 400F made brown, crusted, totally-raw-inside cookies. I wound up baking them for 18 minutes at 350F and letting them cool in the pan. I used a cookie scoop to scoop generous 4 oz portions and they made absurdly large cookies so make 6 oz cookies at your own risk. I also skipped freezing the pan, because I used Silpat-lined sheets.

Final Verdict
: No one at supper club complained about them but the kids preferred Breyer's to them. A good way to clean leftover crap out of your pantry, but I'm totally fine living without them.

Monday, August 9, 2010

I love Ina

Recipe: Ina Garten's Panzanella

History/Review: Stef made this for our supper club once and I was floored. I-who-do-not-like-tomatoes was scarfing them. It's a great light summer dinner (though I could not get the Sam to touch it) and the champagne vinegar dressing is pretty good on any salad. We used Acme batard for the bread. Make sure to pan fry it long enough -- almost all the way to crouton status so it can soak up more dressing. Also definitely let it sit out so it melds or whatever it is that food does.

Modifications: I used 3 heirloom tomatoes because it looked like it needed more color contrast. Also, as a huge fan of salt, I thought it was pretty salty, so you might want to ease up on how much salt you use to fry the bread. Doesn't that sound so awesome? FRIED BREAD. **Addendum: (Thanks, Alissa) I don't use caper either. Again with the salt, and also capers are like anchovies. Love or hate. You decide.

Final Verdict: SUPER YES. I pimp this recipe to everyone I meet.

What's the point?

I spend a lot of time in the kitchen. I like to cook for my family and friends. There's nothing as satisfying for me as sharing a meal together with people. Good food begets good conversation and good times -- and I'm all for that.

Ergo, this blog. I read a lot of cookbooks and food blogs and am willing to try new recipes. I fail as often as I succeed and I make notes and personal commentary about them to try and avoid the icks and highlight the yums. I've found scribles that say things like "Honey ate a LOT of these" or "Icktastic" in my cookbooks and now I'm sharing my family's quirky tastes with the fake universe known as the world wide web.

The point is not to criticize people's tastes and/or preparations. That being said, I have strong ideas about what tastes good (think more Ad Hoc, less French Laundry), so when something is a total fail, requires a tweak or there's something so astonishingly good and totally in season for eats right now, must share!

Stay tuned, and happy eating.