Friday, April 29, 2011

Thursday, April 28, 2011

easter feast - let's eat a cute little lamb

okay, so brother-in-law-andrew-who-is-a-better-cook-than-i also grilled a lamb for us to eat on easter.
last year he kept the lamb's head in the fridge.  

anyways... andrew started off by marinating the lamb in olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, fresh oregano, kosher salt, and pepper.

then he heated his grill to medium high and kept the coals kind of off to the side (so the drippings wouldn't cause any flare ups)
kind of right in between direct and indirect heat.

then he skewered the meat...

...and set it up on his rotisserie contraption
a piece of twine was tied to one end, and andrew held it as the meat rotated, letting it wrap until the twine reached the other end.

the lamb cooked like this for about 1 hour and 45 minutes

when the desired internal temperature of 140 was reached, it was removed from the grill and andrew scraped it off the skewer with his grilling tools.
kind of reminds me of a sword full of meat. so rugged and medieval!

while the meat rests, enjoy the aromas and eye candy

time to slice 

 and serve

i hoarded the leftovers and have been eating them for lunch all week.
u jelly?

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

cream puffs for my cream puffs

hey there, cream puffs.
yes, you.  i'm talking to you. all of you.
you're looking mighty fine today.
hows about some cream puffs for my cream puffs?

mix together pudding mix, cream, and milk in a medium bowl

cover and refrigerate to set

add butter and water to a large pot

bring to a rolling boil

add flour...



and vanilla


...until it looks something like this

form into a ball and set in a large bowl to cool

add 1st egg and mix with a stand mixer/hand mixer

it will be "piecey" like this after the first egg.  add second egg and mix

it's getting smoother.  add third egg and mix

after the third egg it should be gummy and elasticy...

like this.

drop by tablespoonfulls onto ungreased cookie sheet

you can try to smooth them out with your fingers, but it doesn't really matter

bake for 18-20 minutes

let cool completely

since it was easter, i divided the chilled custard into 4 bowls

and colored each with pastel food coloring gels

doggy is patiently awating a lick

it's ok to give her just a little.

okay to pipe,  get a ziploc baggie and a glass

place ziploc in glass, and fold the top over the edges

spoon custard into baggie

scrape against rim of glass to make sure you get it all

unfold the top of the bag

squish the custard to the bottom, and seal.
when you're ready to fill the puffs (once they are completely cooled), snip a corner off the baggie
find a weak spot in the puff and gently pull apart with your fingers

squeeze the baggy and pipe the custard in.
press the puff closed with your fingers.

i took a bite out of each one of these just so you could see the finished product.
poor me.

cream puffs.

2 (3.5 oz) packages instant vanilla pudding mix
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup milk

1/2 cup (1 sitck) butter
1 cup water
1 cup flour
1 tbsp sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
3 eggs

in medium bowl, mix together pudding mix, cream, and milk.  cover and refrigerate to set.
in a large pot, bring butter and water to a rolling boil.
turn off heat, add flour, sugar, vanilla, & salt.
stir until mixture is a dough
transfer to large mixing bowl and let cool
preheat oven to 425
using a mixer, beat eggs in one at a time, beating well between each addition.  dough should be very elasticy.
drop by tablespoonfuls onto an ungreased cookie sheet
bake 18-20 minutes, until golden and puffed*
remove shells from oven and let cool completely.
split shells and pipe custard in with a pastry bag or ziploc.
store in refrigerator, eat within 5 days.
can be stored in the freezer up to 6 months.

*during the last couple minutes of baking, you can poke a hole in the puffs with a toothpick, so that they don't collapse, but i haven't found it to be necessary

Monday, April 25, 2011

easter feast - shrimp & pesto pizza

well, well, well.  long time, my friends.
how was your easter?  mine was awesome.
my family gathered at my sister & her husband's house in richmond to celebrate easter.
we went down saturday for the feast, and sunday we went to the parade on monument drive.

my brother in law is actually the best cook in the family.
but he doesn't have a blog, so i get to pretend i'm the awesome one.
take that!

i didn't cook anything but i did make cream puffs for dessert.  
recipe coming tomorrow.  sneak peek:

in the meantime, i'd like to share some of the awesome food my brother in law andrew made.

shrimp & pesto pizza

andrew pre-made his dough from scratch.  i'll see if i can get the recipe.

flour a surface
if you're too lazy to use a rolling pin, press & spread your dough out
on the floured surface until you get a 13(ish) inch circle
spread some cornmeal on your pizza round

lift the dough off the floured surface and place on the cornmeal'd pizza round

press and reshape as needed

scoop some pesto out of a jar

and spread it around the crust with the back of a spoon

lay some large shrimp over top

sprinkle with plenty of mozzarella cheese

andrew preheated the grill for about 3 hours.
the bricks were approx. 700 - 800 degrees

slide the pizza off the round and directly onto your bricks

close the lid and grill for about 5 min.  seriously, it's that quick.

when the time is up, remove it from the grill with a freakishly large spatula

place it back on the pizza round to cool a few minutes before slicing

this may or may not be what heaven looks like.

slice and serve.  mmm cheeeeeeeeese

later, i'll show you how andrew grilled the lamb... on a... skewer.
i'll just leave this right here.

here's a basic recipe for the pizza

grilled shrimp & pesto pizza
preheat grill several hours until bricks are 700-800 degrees
get some pizza dough while grill preheats.  either from scratch or store bought. if you want to make your own you'll have to google a recipe because i'm too lazy to do it for you.
brine some shrimp in salt water for a few hours beforehand.  peel before brining.
roll out pizza dough on a floured surface
transfer to a cornmeal'd surface
spread pesto on top
lay large shrimp on top
sprinkle a generous helping of mozzarella over that
grill for 5 minutes.
cool for a few minutes, slice & serve.
you're welcome.