Monday, September 27, 2010

Follow Betty Brooklyn on Twitter

You can now follow Betty Brooklyn on Twitter @bettybrooklyn !

Join me at the NYC Brewer's Choice

Please join me, this Thursday, September 30 at City Winery in SOHO.

Betty Brooklyn will be participating in NYC Brewer's Choice, the highlight of New York City's Craft Beer Week!

On the menu are deviled eggs topped with crispy pancetta and handmade dilly bean pickles

The eggs are from free-range, pasture fed hens at Tello's Green Farm in Duchess County, New York.
The pancetta is from local pork that is hand-cured at Bklyn Larder.
Green beans and dill are also locally sourced.

The eggs will be paired with a rye based beer from Bear Republic that was brewed especially for New York Craft Beer Week and just won a gold medal at the Great American Beer Fest. 

Come taste and enjoy the festivities!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Squash and Poblano Pepper Tamales, an End of Summer Treat

These tamales are delicious. Oh yeah, and their vegan. That doesn't stop me from serving them with pride to carnivores and vegetarians alike. Maybe I will send along a recipe for tamales de carnitas soon, though.

Tamales are a traditional Mexican dish that is often made around Christmas and 3 Kings Day. Families will make hundreds of tamales and deliver them to friends and to those in need.

However, tamales are delicious all times of year. They are a great food to take on the road, and are high in protein (from the nixtamalized corn flour).

Seasonality: End of summer as squash, peppers and corn are all ripening
Beverage pairing: Nice cold Mexican lager, your choice

Vegetable Oil
1 red onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
1 poblano pepper, diced
1 squash (butternut, kabocha, delecata, whatever), peeled, seeded and chopped
Salt, Pepper
1 lime, juiced

-Heat a pot over medium high heat. Add a couple Tablespoons of vegetable oil and wait for that to heat up. Add the onions, garlic and poblano pepper to the oil and cook until they begin to soften. Add the squash and some salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to medium and cover the pot.
-Stir occasionally, replacing the lid each time. Cook until the squash is completely tender. and begins to mush and fall apart.
-Season with additional salt, pepper, cumin and lime juice.
-If you are making a bunch of tamales, you can double or triple the recipe.

1/2 Pound masa harina (Maseca is a common brand that can be found in almost any grocery store or bodega)
Chili Powder
1/2 Cup corn oil
2 Cups vegetable broth

-Season the corn flour with the spices. Then add the corn oil and fully incorporate it.
-Then add the broth.
-The texture should be similar to a thick peanut butter. If you need to adjust the texture, add more flour or broth.
-The recipe can be doubled or tripled for larger batches.

To assemble:
Corn Husks (Hojas de Mais)

-Soak the corn husks in luke warm water for 20 minutes.
-Make a 1/8" to 1/4" layer of Masa dough on one side of the husk, leaving 1" at the far edge.
-Place a small amount of filling (approx. 3 TBS) in the center of the dough, in a line.
-Roll the tamale up like a sushi roll or a cigar. Be sure to pinch it together slightly when one edge of the dough touches the other side. You want the dough to fuse together.
-Fold the bottom end of the corn husk up to seal it together.
-Place all of the tamales in a tall steamer with the folded end toward the bottom.
-Steam the tamales for 45 minutes, making sure that the water does not run out, burning the bottom of the pot.
-Remove the tamales, unwrap them, and slice them in pieces to taste.

HERE is a really cute you tube video of some little girls making tamales

End of Summer Canning

Tomato Jam with Cinnamon Basil and Crystallized Ginger
Tomato jam is great for grilled chicken sandwiches, delicious with pesto on grilled bread, and perfect with fresh mozzarella on a piece of country wheat toast. You don't have to add the ginger or the basil. You can add whatever seasoning or spice you like. With this recipe you will get significantly less yield than a tomato sauce, but to me, it's worth it for the super-sweet concentrated tomato taste.

3 Quarts of your favorite heirloom tomato, chopped
1 Cup sugar
2 Cups white wine vinegar
4 Inches ginger, minced
10 Pieces crystallized ginger, diced
1 Bunch cinnamon basil (or other spicy basil such as Thai or Mexican)
Salt and pepper, to taste

-Boil the tomatoes with sugar, vinegar, and ginger.
-Stir frequently and reduce to a very thick mixture (almost a paste).
-At the last moment, stir in the crystallized ginger and basil.
-Season with salt and pepper.
-Process jars in boiling water bath.

Jupiter Grape Jam with Balsamic and Rosemary
Jupiter Grapes are a seedless table grape available from the finger lakes region of New York state only for a very short window. They are super flavorful like concord grapes (maybe a little juicier), but because they are seedless you can use them to make jam (with the whole fruit), not just jelly (strained). This jam is less sweet than most and can be used as a sauce for quail, in a mini tart, or just with pb on a sandwich.

4 Bunches Jupiter grapes, pulled from the stems and rinsed
4 Sprigs rosemary
1 Cup Balsamic vinegar
Generous amount of Black Pepper
Salt to taste

-Boil the Jupiter grapes in a large pot with a little bit of water and 1/2 of the Balsamic vinegar until quite thick.
-Then, season the jam to your taste with the remaining vinegar, black pepper and salt, add the rosemary and allow it to steep for 30 min.
-Remove the rosemary, bring the mixture back to a boil and can it.

Tomatillo Salsa
This is one of my favorite recipes to make this time of year and it is so SUPER easy! You do need two very important pieces of equipment, however: a cast iron pan, griddle or grill and a blender. Can this and you will be feasting on summer bounty for the rest of the winter, or as long as your supplies last....

3 LBS of fresh tomatillos, leaves removed and fruit rinsed
4 Jalepenos
2 Heads of garlic, roasted in aluminum foil in a 300F oven until soft (20 min.)
2 Cloves garlic, raw
2 Bunches fresh cilantro
Fresh lime juice to taste
Salt to taste

-Heat your cast iron pan until it is extremely hot.
-Do not add oil.
-Drop in your tomatillos and jalepenos, blackening them on all sides. You will need to move them around to blacken them evenly. Also, you will want to do this in small enough batches where all the tomatillos can touch the bottom of the pan for more even cooking/blackening. You could also do this on a grill/griddle or barbecue if you prefer.
-Then just toss all of your blackened tomatillos and jalepenos in your blender with the roasted and raw garlic and cilantro.
-Blend (you can leave it a little chunky). Then season your salsa with salt and lime juice. You can just stop there and enjoy your creation on chips right out of the blender, but if you have slightly more restraint, bring it to a boil on the stove top. You may want to reduce the salsa a little if you feel like it is too watery. If so, this is the time to do it. When you have reached the consistency that you desire, taste it again to make sure that you still have all the acidity that you want and can it.