Burwell General Store Swap

Triple Chocolate Gluten and Dairy-Free Biscotti – The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap!

Triple Chocolate Biscotti - TheDustyBaker

I am a DORK for the holidays!

As in, I start listening to Christmas music (privately) in October. This year my roommate let me celebrate a few days before Halloween because of Hurricane Sandy so we watched The Holiday with the wind raging outside. While I’m cooking at work (private chef-ing) I have Christmas tunes playing on low on my iPad. And the day after Thanksgiving I strapped a 6-foot, stubby tree onto my car and lugged it into my apartment where it was decorated within a few hours.

That said, this year I’m overworked and exhausted. The holidays are awesome. But yes, sometimes, they wear us out.

Fortunately one thing that living with chronic Lyme has taught me is to just let go of certain things. If I don’t make 300 gluten-free cookies is Christmas Day not going to come?!?! No! If I don’t blog for two or three weeks is the entire internet world of readers going to put me on a black list?! Ha! I think we’ll all survive (if we make it through that December 21st apocalypse thing).

Letting go of certain things I look forward to means that the things I do participate in have that much more significance and give me that extra boost of joy.

Like the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap. Continue reading

Gluten-Free Pork Rind Compost Cookies – A Recipe Swap

North Carolina Pork Compost Cookies

I had two things to accomplish with only a few hours in my kitchen; bringing a gluten-free sweet treat to my sister’s going-away picnic (she’s moving to North Carolina AND THAT DOES NOT MAKE ME HAPPY) and a take on this recipe:

Christianna over at the Burwell General Store really threw me for a loop with this one. Every month for over a year now (in my case) she’s zipped along a vintage recipe to a group of bloggers that I adore. I try to stick relatively close to the original recipe, keeping it in line with the kind of dish (savory, sweet, breakfast etc.) and keeping the prominent flavors included somehow.

But… pork, fruit and cake?!?!

I stewed for a few days and, in Dusty fashion, left this to be done the day before posting with only a couple of hours in my kitchen. But I awoke that morning with a revelation:

It was time to call in a Compost Cookie.

I trotted over to the corner store with Mitra and started grabbing gluten-free snacks and… pork rinds.

At home I opened the bag and – tentatively –  ate one.

Um… I’m not quite sure I get the allure. But they totally worked in the cookies, subtly adding some earthy saltiness and helping to balance a bit of sweet. I used dried dark cherries as my fruit and starting tossing other corner-store finds and pantry staples: chocolate chips, slivered almonds, coffee, oatmeal, potato chips, kettle corn, frozen leftover chocolate cake crumb (from Chocolate Chocolate Cookies).

They were polished off at the picnic. My family indulged, my gentleman friend ate three, and they really satiated sweet/salty cravings. They’re intense – I could only have a few bites. But once again I’ve found the basic Compost Cookie recipe to be a winner.

And the best thing about Compost Cookies are they’re really a grab-and-go experience in your pantry. So take the gluten-free cookie base and weight proportions and go hog wild*!

(*couldn’t help myself)

Check out the takes on the recipe from the group by clicking on the little froggy!

Gluten-Free Pork Rind Compost Cookies

Built around the Compost Cookie by Christina Tosi
Makes about 20-24 cookies

I both weigh and measure my ingredients, based on which is necessary or more accurate.

Ingredients:

  • 2 sticks of unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup white sugar (I used palm sugar)
  • 2/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp corn syrup
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 75 g brown rice flour
  • 75g arrowroot starch (or tapioca starch)
  • 50g millet flour
  • 25g white rice flour
  • 3/4 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt

Compost Ingredients (totaling 475 grams)

  • 150g chocolate chips
  • 100g slivered
  • 40g gluten-free old fashioned oats
  • 5g decaf coffee / espresso grounds
  • 40g potato chips
  • 60g chocolate cake crumb (like a crushed chocolate cookie or brownie)
  • 25g kettle corn
  • 30g dried cherries, chopped
  • 25g pork rinds, crushed to various sizes

Directions

In the bowl of a standing mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, sugars and corn syrup for 2-3 minutes. Scrape bowl.

Add egg and vanilla and beat on medium/high speed for 7-8 minutes. This step is vital in getting the sugars and fat to combine ideally, and will help the cookies not over-spread.

Meanwhile, weigh out flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Whisk together.

Turn mixer on low and add flour mixture until just incorporated, under a minute.

Add all compost ingredients on low except for potato chips, and mix until just combined. Fold in potato chips, trying not to break them.

Roll out onto parchment or Silpat lined sheets. Wrap tightly in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour (this, again, is vital to them not spreading too much).

Heat oven to 375°. Bake each sheet individually for 18 minutes, or until the outsides are just starting to brown but the middles are soft. Cool on pan for a few minutes before removing to rack to cool completely.

Grapefruit Sponge Pie: Burwell Recipe Swap!

Dunt-duh-nuh-naaaaaaah!

(That’s me typing out the sound of a trumpet announcing the arrival of something new!)

This morning I published this post with some whinging about being tired and un-creative. When I typed this post for the first time last night, my brain was beyond where wit and articulation are birthed. 24 hours later I’m still over-tired, but I don’t care.

Because I’ve just gone through the recipes submitted by this Burwell General Store recipe swap group, and I’m rejuvenated. I love this group of swappers. I’ve participated in thist monthly swap, organized by Christianna at the Burwell General Store, for well over a year now. But then our group got too large, so we split in two, then got overwhelmed with our own lives, then took a break, then joined up again, and now here we are!

We all write blogs for different reasons. We all read blogs for different reasons.

But if you’re looking for creativity and all-things-yummy, you’ve come to the right place this morning. Just click on that little froggy below to see variations of one simple, very old recipe from a vintage cookbook.

As I scrolled through the posts, pinning and commenting away, I met new blogging friends and reconnected with old ones.

It was a truly delicious night.

Oh, and this was my second swap today! Coincidentally my Milk Bar Mondays recipe was scheduled for today as well, and when that Grapefruit Pie didn’t turn out perfectly (one layer was perfection, the rest so not-right I couldn’t serve it to my boss family and tossed it in the trash) I wanted to give grapefruit another go. Hence this take on this recipe:

I was shocked that this worked! I just replaced grapefruit for the lemon and used the milk my boss can digest, and let some basic pastry knowledge lead to a more specific recipe than the one above. A light, spongy, fluffy layer of grapefruit-flavored custard-ness was on the table for breakfast today. It would do well for a dessert also, but on this steamy Monday with a house full of guests I’m cooking for in Amagansett, it did just fine.

Happy Double Monday, and welcome back to the Burwell Swappers,

- Jacqueline

And click on the little froggy below to check out the other Burwell swappers in their, likely, more creative variations!



Grapefruit Sponge Pie

(Lemon or lime would work perfectly too!)

  • 1 pie crust, unbaked
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs, separated
  • 2 Tbsp flour
  • 2 cups lactose-free, 2% milk
  • 3 Tbsp grapefruit juice
  • rind of one entire grapefruit

Preheat oven to 350°.

Cream the butter, sugar and egg yolks until smooth and bright yellow.

Add the flour, grapefruit juice and zest, and beat to combine.

Slowly pour in milk and stir to combine.

In a separate bowl, beat egg whites to soft peaks. Fold into mixture.

Pour into shell and bake for 45 minutes, until set at the sides but still jiggly in the center. Cool completely before serving.

Sofrito Bean Soup – a Burwell General Store Recipe Swap

Sofrito Bean Soup

It’s been a hard day’s night, and I’ve been working like a dog.

Freelancing can be awesome – no crushing subway commute, the ability to cook my meals three times a day, and relative quiet to work in that my uptown neighborhood gives me.

But it also means constantly scrambling for work, juggling many projects at once and sometimes a feeling of isolation. Topping it off with a body that requires more time than I sometimes feel I have to give it, and the days start to run together without relief.

I admit to being a bit stressed, bloggereaders. But still content, overall.

Because there are days like today, when work and words and food and people come together.  It’s recipe swap time again, and the Burwell General Store swap was the first I joined, over a year ago now. Through it I’ve met and befriended some incredibly talented people, and joining monthly with our shared love of food has been one of my favorite things about this lil ol site.

This is this swap’s recipe:

I had been daydreaming making a condiment using this recipe as a base, but then a new book fell into my hands, Chef Seamus Mullen’s Hero Food. It comes out next week, and I was to review it for one client and interview Chef Mullen for my column on Serious Eats NY. The review fell through today, contributing to the slight melancholia. But I’m particularly psyched about interviewing Chef Mullen tomorrow because his beautiful book on primarily Spanish cuisine is based around the foods he, as someone living with rheumatoid arthritis, tries to incorporate into his diet as much as possible for optimum health.

I’m getting tested for RA soon, because while many things about my health are right back on track, I’m still losing cartilage in my joints and my white blood cell count is usually a bit higher than average. I’m not too concerned by what the diagnosis or lack of diagnosis will mean – I regulate what’s going on in my body rather tightly and am generally feeling in a good space. But I don’t want my knees and back to keep disintegrating, and want to continue to use my food as medicine. So the timing of this book in my life was, well, sweet.

I’m also generally trying to cut back on the pastry a tad, because I’m still very hypoglycemic and need to keep that in check. So, in continuing my desire for more balance in my life, I wanted to shy away from adding that much sugar to something savory.

The compromise for this swap was to use a tomato reduction as the base / condiment to something nourishing and fortifying, using some of what I’ve been reading in Hero Food as inspiration and the swap recipe as the core. The result is a dish that’s incredibly dynamic in flavor, emotionally comforting, and packed with little heroes to keep body and mind strong.

I highly recommend this recipe, both the sofrito to have on hand as a base for a braise or soup, and this soup in its entirety. And I recommend grabbing Chef Mullen’s book as soon as it comes out on the 24th: it’s not written like a “health book”. It’s an incredible collection of techniques and recipes from a seasoned chef that also happens to also fill you in on the health benefits of the heroic foods included. My interview with him will be up on Serious Eats NY that day.

And I recommend checking out the recipes from my fellow swappers by clicking on the little blue frog below. Knowing that there are such beautiful people out there is quite fortifying too.

- Happy swapping, Jacqueline xoxo

Small Lima beans, sofrito, greens, olive oil, pepper and sausage.

Sofrito Bean Soup

Sofrito is an incredibly rich reduction of onions, tomato, bell peppers and garlic, simmered to bring out the vegetables’ dynamic sweetness. You can make up a batch as a basis for soups, stocks, risottos… endless possibilities. I didn’t have as many onions on hand as is usual, but I wanted my base to be more focused on the tomato anyway, in keeping up with the spirit of the swap. Whip up a batch for the soup recipe, or just to freeze in small batches for added flavor to an abundant variety of dishes.

The more time the flavors have to meld with this soup, the better. Let it sit overnight when possible.

Sofrito

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 4 large onions, finely chopped (I used 3 Vidalia and one Spanish yellow)
  • 4 vine tomatoes, grated into a pulp (basically cut the tomatoes width-wise in half, then use a box grater to puree the pulp out of them, leaving the skins aside)
  • 1 head of garlic, roasted (I chop the bottom of the bulb off, then lay it cut side down in a ramekin of about 1 tbsp olive oil, then let it cook in the oven as I’m roasting vegetables or baking or something. It packs ridiculous flavor into recipes and I generally like to have it on hand. If you don’t, then just finely mince about 6-8 cloves of garlic)
  • 2 large bell peppers, finely chopped (I used one red and one orange)
  • a glug of white wine vinegar (about 2 Tbsp, red wine or cider would work too)
  • salt to taste
  • freshly ground pepper to taste
  • red pepper flakes or preferred chili pepper, to taste
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste

Heat a heavy-bottomed pan on medium heat. Bring the oil up to temperature and add the onions, sauteing gently until soft, about 5-8 minutes. Add the onion, grated tomato pulp, garlic and pepper, and cook on medium heat partially covered for at least two hours. During that time, stir occasionally and add salt, pepper and chili / red pepper flakes as desired.  When ready to use, stir in tomato paste and cook for 20 minutes more. Freeze in batches or use in the Sofrito Bean Soup, below.

Sofrito Bean Soup

I love using a pressure cooker for how much flavor get seeped into things like beans. I got mine at a Portuguese cooking supply store, but they’re pretty easy to find and wonderfully inexpensive. If you don’t have a pressure cooker, combine the ingredients in the same order below, just simmer on the stove until tender.

  • 2 cups dried lima beans, soaked very well for at least 24 hours and rinsed
  • 2 cups chicken or clear vegetable stock
  • 1 small Abruzzese sausage or chorico (about 4oz), sliced into thin rounds
  • 6 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1 cup sofrito
  • 1 handful greens (kale, mustard, or even a salad green like arugula)
  • Olive oil and red pepper flakes to taste

In a pressure cooker combine beans, stock, 1/2 of the sliced sausage and garlic cloves. Fit lid, and heat on high until it whistles. Lower to a simmer, and cook for about 30 minutes. Reduce pressure (either by releasing the steam valve or letting it come down naturally) and check on the beans; there should still be a little liquid left, but the beans should be incredibly soft. If they’re not, bring back up to heat and have another go for 10 or so minutes.

When soft and creamy, stir in the sofrito, combining gently. The beans should break down a bit and thicken the soup. Set the heat onto a simmer, and stir in the remaining sausage and greens, cooking for a few minutes just until they wilt.

Serve with a drizzle of olive oil and a scattering of crushed red pepper.

Blueberries and (Dairy Free) Cream – Burwell General Store Swap

It’s Burwell Recipe Swap time again – check out my past swaps for more info about the group.

So…  I had plans to make something that would blow my mind.  Something I learned from Alton Brown, who’s tied as my favorite brain crush with Brian Lehrer (all you WNYCers know what I’m talking about).  Something that I figured I could mix and measure and adapt as necessary.  I even wrote the post out last night.  It was brilliantly witty.  Pinky swear it was.

And while the experiment worked up to this point…

… that beaker of coolness was as far as I got.  They were to be these beautiful pearls of dark red wine that I had simmered with some really potent dried ginger, honey and gelatin sheets.  Dropped into chilled oil, they were to separate easily when rinsed clean.

I tried several variations – still think I need more gelatin.

So, in a pinch – what could I make?!?!  Because the recipe we were given, the one that we were to try to keep close to, was this:

Honestly, reading it invoked a reaction of reverse peristalsis in me (probably the only phrase I remember from high school biology).  Look at that ingredients list: really?

So what I took from it was: fruit, gelatin, ginger.  My original idea for the swap was to be a take on Charlotte Russe, which I’ve been wanting to adapt since I read A Tree Grows in Brooklyn again a few months ago.  But for the same reason that this recipe makes me gag, I couldn’t do it.

So the result was a relatively healthy, bi-blueberry dessert served with a gluten-free lady-finger.  I did not make them.  If you want to make your own, I suggest this recipe from Krissy’s Creations.

This is definitely not my most proud swap.  But as this post goes up I’m not even near NYC at all, but on an island off of Portugal touring a vineyard, cooking food in the ground, interviewing chefs and chasing dishes around the island while my recorder runs and my photographer clicks away.  In prep for the trip I’ve been working like mad to meet deadlines.  And as I gobbled this up, I realized sometimes even last-minute creations come together when you need them.

Now please go check out my fellow swappers for, I’m sure, a tasty combo of creations!


Blueberries and Cream

Serves 8

Ingredients:

  • Scant 1lb of fresh blueberries
  • 1/2 cup dark red wine
  • 1 tsp dried ginger (less if you don’t like too much spice)
  • 2 sheets gelatin, bloomed (soak in cook water for about 5 minutes to bloom)
  • 1-8oz container cream cheese or alternative (I used Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese)
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 8 slices candied ginger
  • 16 ladyfinger or Madeleine cookies

Method:

  • Rinse and separate the blueberries, and reserve 1/2 cup.  Put in a small pot on medium heat with the wine and dried ginger.  Bring to a boil and cook for about 10 minutes, crushing some of the blueberries with a fork.  Meanwhile, bloom the gelatin.  Whisk in slowly, and cook for another 5 minutes.
  • Turn off heat, and remove 1/4 cup blueberry liquid.  Add remaining 1/2 cup blueberries to pot, and stir in – these will soften a tad but give the jam a nice texture.
  • Remove the pot to refrigerator until chilled.
  • In a small bowl, combine the cream cheese, powdered sugar and 1/4 cup blueberry liquid.  Stir until completely incorporated.  Return to fridge to chill until firm.
  • When ready to serve, scoop the cream cheese mixture into a small ziploc bag.  Snip the corner, and pipe onto the flat side of one cookie.  Sandwich with another cookie.  Spoon about a tablespoon of chilled jam onto plate, then rest cookie sandwich on top.  Garnish with candied ginger.
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