Just a nerd who likes to cook

Cooking with Awesome: Tartine’s fudgy brownies

I absolutely adore Tartine. Ever since I got their cookbook the flaky pie crust has become a standard in my house hold – I even went out and got a food processor JUST to make pie crust. I’m insane, but you knew that.

What were we talking about? Oh! BROWNIES. I blame Jeannette for the recent craving. So, I started flipping through my cookbook and found what has to be the most intense chocolate experience ever. I’m dead serious. Make sure you eat these warmed up topped with ice cream or a big glass of milk. INSTENSE LIKE WHOA.

Ingredients:

  • 6 oz unsalted butter
  • 1 pound bittersweet chocolate
  • 5 eggs
  • 2c brown sugar
  • 1/2tsp salt
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 1/2 oz of sifted AP flour
  • 3/4c of chocolate chips or nuts (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  2. Melt butter over low heat
  3. Remove from heat and add chocolate, stir to coat all the chocolate in the melted butter. Let sit for 5 minutes then stir until all the chunks of chocolate have melted.
  4. Place eggs, brown sugar, salt, and vanilla extract into a stand mixer or a medium mixing bowl and mix on high for 5 minutes so that the sugar dissolves and the eggs become aerated.
  5. Gently fold in the chocolate butter mixture with a spatula
  6. Fold in the flour in 3 batches
  7. If you’d like to add nuts or chocolate chips, do so at this time
  8. Pour the brownie mix into a greased 9×13 baking dish
  9. Bake for 25 minutes. Move to a cooling rack and once they’ve cooled significantly, cut and serve

Eat your way through San Francisco this weekend at the SF Street Food Festival

One of the most interesting things I’ve witnessed while living here is how Food Trucks have taken on serving delicious, creative food right on the street. My first exposure to food trucks made me pretty wary. Back in high school I remember that there was a food truck that came by in the afternoons that we dubbed the “Roach Coach” – it wasn’t particularly appetizing. So that first Friday night a few years back where I sauntered up to Spencer on the GoChez Spencer‘s food truck that parks just up the street from where I live – I was simply blown away.

 

And Saturday marks the third annual SF Street Food Fest – an event that SF Weekly is calling the biggest culinary event of the year. Over 50 vendors will line up and down Folsom Street between 22th and 26th and close to 50,000 people are expected to show up. Susie and I will be there (filming, of course!) Follow me at @flawedartist if you’d like to meet up and share a bite.

Cooking with Awesome: Chocolate Mousse

If you’ve got a date you’re looking to impress, make this dish. Few things are as romantic as chocolate mousse! It’s easy and fast to make, and the texture is incredible. It’s also incredibly versatile – you can serve it alone, toss it into a pie crust for chocolate cream pie, line a mold with ladyfingers and use it as filling, or fill small pots and top with whipped cream for petits Pots de Crème. You could even put it between too cookies and make a cookie sandwich – let your imagination be your guide!

Ingredients:

  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 2 egg whites
  • 3/4c bakers sugar
  • 1/4c Grand Marnier
  • 6oz chocolate, chopped
  • 3 tbsp strong coffee
  • 1 1/2 stick of butter
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp sugar

Directions:

  1. Separated the eggs yolks and the egg whites. Be sure to separated the white from the yolk in a small bowl first and if you’re sure there’s absolutely no yolk in the white, transfer the white to a large mixing bowl and set aside.
  2. Place the egg yolks in a small mixing bowl and add the bakers sugar. Beat with a whisk for 4-5 minutes or until the mixture falls into ribbons on itself.
  3. Add in the Grand Marnier and beat for another minute.
  4. Place the yoke and sugar mixture over a large pot of simmering water. Beat constantly for 4 minutes or until the mixture is hot to the touch. It will have the consistency of mayonnaise.
  5. Immediately place over a large bowl with ice and water and beat for another 4 minutes. Set aside.
  6. In a small sauce pan, add the coffee to the chocolate and mix for about a minute
  7. Turn the burner onto very low heat and start to add the butter 1tbsp at a time. Be sure to periodically remove the chocolate from the burner to allow the heat from the pan to melt the butter. This will ensure that the chocolate doesn’t burn.
  8. Add the chocolate to the egg yoke mixture in three batches. Set aside.
  9. In a large mixing bowl, add a pinch of salt to the 6 egg whites and beat until soft peaks form.
  10. Add the tablespoon of sugar and beat for another 30 seconds until stiff peaks form.
  11. Add 1/3 of the egg whites to the chocolate yolk mixture and beat with a whisk. Incorporate the remaining 2/3 in two installments, folding them in with a spatula. Be careful not to over mix.
  12. Chill for 2 hours then serve.

Cooking with Awesome: Sautéed Onions and Mushroom Alfredo over Fresh Fettuccine

I love making this dish. It’s just so good. It’s actually been dubbed “crack pasta” by some of my friends because once you start eating it it’s hard to stop! I made a variation of this for the Real Women of Philadelphia challenge, and that sauce turned out really well too – the cream cheese made the alfredo rich and thick.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound fresh fettuccini (if you use dried pasta for this… the dish will suffer greatly)
  • 1 large sweet onion, julienned
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • pinch of kosher salt
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 cups Shitake mushrooms, washed and sliced
  • 1 tbsp minced fresh sage
  • 1/4 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 cup of grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup half and half
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • pepper to taste
  • White truffle oil (optional)

Directions:

  1. Melt butter in a large sauce pan over medium-low heat and add onions and salt to sweat.
  2. Caramelize onions by stirring once every 10 minutes for 40 minutes
  3. Add the garlic and sauté for 3 minute.
  4. Add mushrooms, sage and cumin. Cook until mushrooms become tender, about 5 minutes.
  5. Pour cheese over the veggies until it’s melted, then add the half and half to create the sauce. Add pepper to taste.
  6. Pour olive oil over freshly boiled fettuccine and toss. Plate noodles and add alfredo sauce. Top with white truffle oil and some grated parmesan. Enjoy with a good white wine.

Awesome YouTube find: Vegan Black Metal Chef

When I first watched this I couldn’t stop laughing. There’s something magical about hearing someone scream-sing “Cut the tofu into triangles”. He’s only got 3 videos up, but they’re all worth watching.