Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Meringue Bones and Ghosts – Scary Easy

While I know no one is ever actually scared by the "spooky" Halloween treats you see posted this time year, I do know for a fact that many people are terrified to work with meringue. Hopefully, these bones and ghosts will help chase those demons away.

As long as your bowl is clean, and you don’t accidentally get any egg yolk in there, you should be fine. It may take a while, especially if you do it by hand, but if you keep whisking, eventually you should get a nice, glossy meringue that will hold a shape when piped.

Speaking of which, you can make this in any shape you want, in case you were thinking about trying to do a full skeleton (show off). Of course, different shapes may change the cooking time, but you’ll figure it out.  As long as your meringue feels firm and dry, you’re probably in good shape to let it cool in the oven.

By the way, I did these on a very humid day in San Francisco, and as they sat on the plate, they sort of stuck together a little bit.  They came apart fairly easily, but I wanted to ask our experienced bakers and candy makers if there’s a trick to prevent this kind of thing? Maybe some powdered sugar or cornstarch? Let me know if you have any ideas.

These are probably a little too time-consuming, delicate, and completely inappropriate to use for Halloween trick-or-treaters, but if you’re having a holiday themed party, these would be a hit. I hope you give these meringue bones and ghosts a try soon, and as always, enjoy!



Ingredients for  about 2 dozen small bones, or other shapes:
2 large egg whites, room temp (don’t get any yolk in it or it will not work!)
1/8 tsp cream of tartar or fresh lemon juice
a scant 1/2 cup sugar (that means almost, but not quite full), added a spoon at a time, once the egg whites start forming a very soft meringue
* bake at 225 F. for 1 hour, then turn off oven and let cool with door closed another hour

Monday, October 27, 2014

Butt Seriously, Folks

The next video won’t be posted until Wednesday this week, as I’m taking a couple days off for a little medical procedure that men my age are recommended to get. Hair transplant? No, it’s much further down. 

That’s right, I’m going in for a colonoscopy, and as a minor YouTube celebrity, I feel it’s my duty to encourage all my fans and viewers over the age of 50 to do the same. I just skimmed the brochure, but apparently this simple test can save your life. 

Remember, the longer you’re around, the more traffic these videos get. So, if you’re my age and haven’t had one done yet, please contact your doctor and get it scheduled as soon as possible…and as always, enjoy!
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Sunday, October 26, 2014

I Love New York

The recently posted Beef on Weck served as a reminder of just how many great regional recipes come from Upstate and Western New York. Here are a few of my favorites that you may have missed. To see the full post and recipe, just click on the title, and away you go. Enjoy!


Chicken Riggies

The pride of Utica! Easy and delicious, this is Italian-American comfort food at it's finest.

Chicken Spiedies

This sandwich hails from Binghamton, and besides learning a great, new chicken recipe, you'll also learn what "zuzu" is.

Syracuse Salt Potatoes

Not only is this Syracuse salt potatoes recipe one of the most delicious ways to cook baby spuds, it’s also one of the most interesting.

Cornell Chicken

Despite being invented by an Ivy League professor, this simple grilled chicken recipe is nothing short of amazing.

 

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Beef on Weck, Part 2: The Meat Within

As promised, this is how I do roast beef for "beef on weck." In episode one, we made the weck rolls, which are awesome, but become significantly more so when filled with freshly roasted beef and horseradish. And, don't even get me started on the au jus.

There are many cuts of beef used for this, including top round, rump roast, and brisket, but I like to use a nice thick top-sirloin roast. Instead of cooking it in the oven, I like to pan-roast this on the stovetop. There are many advantages to this approach. Since top sirloin roasts are only a couple inches thick, they cook relatively fast. They're also tender, flavorful, and because of their shape, very easy to slice thinly, which is one of the keys to this amazing sandwich.

As far as the au jus goes, it’s only going to be as good as the beef broth or stock you use, but I have a great tip regarding where to find the nice stuff. Most of your higher-end grocery store chains, which have in-house butchery departments, usually sell homemade stocks in the frozen food section.

It makes sense, since there are so many bones and meat scraps available. Not only are these products usually high-quality, they’re also pretty affordable, so check there before you use something out of a carton.

Anyway, thanks for your patience, and I really hope you try both recipes, and experience Buffalo’s best-kept, and most delicious secret. Enjoy!


Ingredients for 4 Beef on Weck sandwiches:
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 pound top-sirloin roast
salt and pepper to taste
2 or 3 teaspoons flour
2 1/2 cups good quality beef broth
2 tsp aged balsamic vinegar, or to taste
4 kummelweck rolls
extra hot prepared horseradish, as needed
serve with chips or fries, and pickles