It’s that time of year

It has gotten really quite hot here after a spell with delightful weather. So, it’s time for iced coffee! I cold-brewed it last night and today it was ready for me. Yum!20130625-IMG_9501


This Week in Food

I am really bad at remembering to take pictures of the meals that we cook and eat. I usually remember the ones we eat out, but not so much at home. But, this week I did capture some of our meals, or at least the food used.

At the beginning of the week we made grilled pizzas. The one on the left has tomato sauce, sausage, mushrooms and fresh mozzarella cheese. The one on the right has homemade ricotta cheese, fresh Jersey yellow tomatoes, basil and fresh mozzarella cheese. This is a picture of the pizzas on the grill.

Here is the ricotta cheese pizza after it came off the grill.

The crust gets nice and crunchy and the cheese get melty and good.

Later in the week I made butter poached lobster. It was a lot of work but very tasty. Of course, I forgot to take a picture of the end result, but here is the beginning.

A nice glass of wine on the deck goes with any meal.

For lunch today I had some thinly sliced Jersey tomatoes on bread with a bit of homemade mayonnaise.

Homemade Goodness

I’ve been on a homemade kick lately and I’ve been cooking up a storm of lovely homemade goodies. This week I made mayonnaise and butter and I, of course, forgot to take pictures of both. I found a farm stand in Flemington that sells fresh eggs so I was able to get some for the mayonnaise. For the butter I used regular store bought ultra-pasteurized heavy cream. The butter came out good but a bit on the bland side. I’m not sure if it’s the ultra-pasteurization or that’s just they way it is. I might try some cultured butter next.

The mayonnaise recipe came from the NY Times and it’s really easy to do if you use a stick blender with the whisk attachment. From what I’ve read, it can be done with the regular stick blender but mine doesn’t touch the bottom of the container so therefore didn’t work. The whisk however did a perfect job and I didn’t even have to pour the oil in that slowly!

The butter recipe came from a book I got from the library: Home Diary with Ashley English. All it is is one pint of heavy cream that you bring up to about 70 degrees and then process in the food processor. However, since I was anxious to make the butter I didn’t quite wait until the cream was 70 degrees. Mine was closer to 50 degrees. It’s possible that there would be more flavor had I waited for the cream to warm up more. The book said it would take about 8-9 minutes for the butter to form in the food processor but mine seemed to take only about 5 minutes. I say seemed because I’m not sure it was really done all the way. Once the butter forms from the cream you are supposed to pour off the buttermilk (saving it of course) and then knead the butter portion to get the rest of the buttermilk out. However, my butter was so soft it was impossible to knead. I did try rinsing it with water but I’m not sure I did that long enough. I will, however, keep trying this recipe and the cultured butter recipe that is also in the book. The cultured butter is made the same way except you add yogurt or sour cream to the heavy cream and let that sit for about 12 hours before processing it.

Lastly, at least for the past week, I made hamburger buns. This recipe was also from the NY Times and it turned out great and was quite easy. The only thing I changed (accidently because I didn’t read the recipe close enough) was that I added two eggs instead of one. We had them with grilled hamburgers and they were excellent.

Next on my list is ricotta cheese and homemade pasta!