Posts Tagged ‘bacon’


Fat New Year. (POPOVERS)

February 20, 2010

First morning of the year I made something I had been thinking hilarious for a while. A king-sized, over the top power brekkie I referred to in my head as the Elvis Popover. A popover is somewhat half biscuit, half inflated pancake. The eggy batter gets huge in the oven, full of nothing but its own hot air. Elvis enters the kitchen with his legendary love of the peanut butter, banana and bacon combo, a square meal if I’ve ever seen one and maybe the perfect candidate to fill the void (and cure the hangover) on this festive morning, 2010. Trashy though it may sound, with the ingredients upgraded to a food snobbery quality, it was pretty fantastic. I would do it all again even if one short week later wasn’t the King’s 75th birthday.

The base was inspired by my friend Megz, who had recently made a batch of gluten-free popovers for an afternoon gathering. Quite impressively, she took this recipe, plain as day, and swapped out all-purpose flour for spelt flour (1:1) to excellent results, pleasing immensely the guest who didn’t go that way. The melting butter and honey over the airy and dense pastry was ridiculously good and got me thinking of all the things one can put in the empty space that is the heart of a popover.

For this version, homemade peanut butter* consisted of honey roasted peanuts and almonds, the first layer on the split popover. Piled on top was bacon acquired from the kind, meat-loving hands of friends at Dickson’s Farmstand, which I like to cook -mess free- in the oven, intertwined with your everyday unlocal bananas. This heap was coated in raw honey from Clermont, NY. The jar reads ‘produced by the bees of Ray Tousey’ and every time I eat it I feel like I am being introduced to the honey and it is awesome. We can be friends with food.

Happy New Year! …it’s still new.


2 eggs

1 cup milk

1 cup flour

1 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • Preheat oven to 450 F. With butter, grease a muffin pan that makes (6) large muffins.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together all ingredients until smooth.
  • Pour batter into muffin cups filling 1/2 – 1/3 of the way up.
  • Bake at 450 F for 20 minutes, then lower the temp to 350 F for another 20 minutes.
  • When the popovers come out of the oven, make a small slit the top to let off some steam.
  • Make an Elvis special out of them or don’t! Enjoy.

Though they are best straight from the oven, remaining popovers can be reheated at any hour for days to come. They won’t do any  science magic like swell up again but keep them in the oven until crisp on the outside and heated through. They will have great flavor and texture, just about begging for your jam and butter, or savory stuff like cheese or ham. Teatime!

* Process the nuts until smooth and peanut-buttery, you can fold in some coarsely chopped nuts afterwards if you are feeling chunky. I kept it smooth like Elvis’ early years.


Another day, another squash. (SQUASH PANCAKES)

December 7, 2008


After the very first entry on this blog (the one where I botched up that custard-filled pumpkin thing) Miss S agreed upon tasting the recipe’s manifestation, that the flavors were good. Something was missing….something …hmm what was it…a wow-factor, a contrast…salty….smoky…Bacon! Somehow weird but true, this is when I decided to reinterpret the same combination of flavors (pumpkin, coconut and maple) into a dish that would pair well with bacon. ‘Pancakes!’ -the answer to the two part mystery. Bacon and pancakes. Naturally.

I tested my creation and the recipe yields alot of silver dollar-sized flapjacks. Once cooked the pancakes can be refrigerated/frozen and later reheated for a fast breakfast when there is no time for the luxury of making pancakes, only for the luxury of eating them. The batter was thin and they were much easier to flip when poured in smaller increments into my hot skillet (my! that is a hot skillet!). Maple crystals replace regular sugar and give extra maple flavor, coconut milk keeps the recipe dairy-free (though there are eggs). I used coconut oil to cook the pancakes which boosted the coconut content too. Delicious and nutritious. I got my smack in the face.

Since we’re on the subject, and ‘tis the pumpkin season, here is an article I wrote which appeared in the Queens Chronicle. (Represent.)

Edible gourds have been growing in North American soil for over 10,000 years. They were prized and cultivated by American Indians who named them something that pilgrims thought sounded like ‘squash’. And so it goes.

Over years, this term has come to be a general description of any vegetable that falls under the genus curcurbita, which also includes what we know as pumpkins. Squash is then subdivided into categories of summer and winter. Locally, we select from just a handful of the hundreds of varieties that are in existence today, but they are grown worldwide in an endless parade of shapes, sizes and color. Our current season is the best time to find winter squash such as butternut, acorn, buttercup, sunshine, hubbard, delicata and kabocha. These squash are characterized by thick skin with hard, vibrantly colored flesh, usually deep orange or yellow, which becomes very smooth and sweet after cooking. They are also a great source of vitamins A, C, potassium, iron, magnesium and beta carotene.

A good winter squash will last a month or more when stored in cool surroundings, but do not refrigerate since that will speed up its demise. Choose one that feels heavy for its size, has dull, unblemished skin bearing no soft spots. The stem should be firmly attached. Because a winter squash is hard to cut into, it is helpful to have one side stabilized on the cutting board. For a round variety, trim off a wedge and rest the cut side down. For a long, cylindrical shape, cut in half crosswise (where the neck meets the base) and stand each piece upright for cutting lengthwise. When peeling winter squash, if the vegetable peeler is losing the battle, use a kitchen knife. If it still seems too large, cut it into manageably-sized chunks and peel each separately. (November, 2007)


Yields about 2 dozen three inch pancakes
1 cup pumpkin or squash, cooked*
1 1/3 cups coconut milk
3 eggs
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 1/4 cups flour
2 tablespoons maple crystals or sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 pinch salt
coconut oil, canola oil or butter for cooking

*You can use almost any winter squash. A universal way to cook them is to cut the squash in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds, rub the entire thing with a little oil and roast at 400F until you can easily pierce the flesh through to the center. Cooking will vary depending on the size of the squash….don’t worry, if you keep an eye on it, it’s pretty hard to overcook it. Once soft, allow to cool slightly and scoop out the flesh with a large spoon.

  • In a medium mixing bowl, mash cooked squash well with a fork. Add coconut milk, eggs and canola and continue to mash/stir until fully combined or use a hand mixer.
  • In a larger bowl, Whisk together the dry ingredients: flour, maple crystals, baking powder and salt.
  • Add pumpkin mixture to the dry ingredients and stir or beat until fully combined.
  • In a large skillet, melt 1/2 tablespoon of coconut oil, canola oil or butter. Pour in a small ladle of batter and make a small pancake in the skillet, remember the batter will spread.
  • Cook on one side, about 5 minutes or until small bubbles appear on top of pancake. Flip.
  • Cook on the other side until done, another 3 minutes or so. Keep pancakes warm on a covered plate or in a low oven while cooking off the rest of the batter.

Serving suggestion: maple syrup and bacon!!!


Dear Walter Foods,

October 27, 2008


253 Grand Street • Williamsburg, Brooklyn

You are a new face in a hood that seems saturated with restaurants…until the clock strikes one. Then the choices boil down to pizza and maybe a taco or two. Sometimes people who’ve been known to keep strange hours want a proper meal, not necessarily fast food, so thank you for a surprising late-night feast on Friday. We were recommended by our birthday-girl friend because the latest dinner service we could think of in the area was over. It was almost 2am upon arrival and the waiter seated us for dinner without so much as a huff. Before too long, and a few subtle questions it was confirmed that you are a relative of Barrio Chino. Great place! The sopa Azteca is a showstopper. But hey! This is about Walter.

As diners, MG and I have a good time no matter, either praising a meal or tearing it to tiny pieces. Most everything was great, the quality was excellent and our beverage pairings, with the help of crisp shirt waiter, were definitely a success. First course was a mix-n-match oyster plate, a little sparkling wine and one frothy, honey laden El Diablo. The oysters were fantastic! Sitting patiently in their pools of liquor accompanied by a fine mignonette (which I seriously wanted to drown everything in) and a cocktail sauce with extra-generous horseradish so only a dab was needed or else it would overpower the oyster. A spicy butternut squash soup followed with a punch of unimpressive heat which lacked a note other than hot-ness. Crunchy almond garnish was nice. In honesty, I do not love cream in soups which made it velvety and smooth but heavy.

Excitement for the menu took over and though it was a big undertaking of food, we went on to order the short rib burger and the lobster club with fries and salad respectively. A surf and turf of sandwiches. We imagined the short rib to be the shreddy long cooked ribs that we know so well formed into some type of patty, but instead it was simply genius…the short rib meat ground up and prepared like a regular burger. Served mid rare with bacon and cheese on a roll so shiny I could see myself, it was an exemplary specimen. The fries were killer too. If I had only kept that damn ramekin of mignonette!

After feeble attempts to tuck into the lobster club, we only got through half due to extreme fullness. The chunks of lobster were well sized and perfectly cooked, though overwhelmed by copious but ever-delicious bacon. Even just three strips per side is a little too much when trying to feature exquisite (I love that word!) lobster, sturdy as it may be. The accompanying salad was quite salty. You’d wonder after all that great stuff who is really paying attention to the second-class side salad…well, I guess we were because we immediately agreed that it was salty and after all that rich fare something a little green was definitely needed to cleanse the old palates.

With the sandwiches we had a Hitachino Pale Ale which had an interesting clove not clover taste (we questioned their relation, don’t think there’s any) and a good dark German ale on the waiter’s recommendation, love the bowtie. The staff was pro and friendly which can be hard to come by in these parts and the bar was lively. It got a little loud in there but it is at least 50% drinkin’ bar after all, so we don’t think you should worry about it. Schmancy, tried and true comfort food late at night…Walter, you’ve got a combo that could fly. Hope to see you soon over a French Dip.

Best of luck,