Monthly Archives

April 2013

Recipe Street Food Travel Turkey

It all began in Istanbul

Simit

J and I were sitting at a very early breakfast buffet at our hotel. We had set our alarms to be (embarrassingly) first in line for a street food in Istanbul, Turkey called Simit.

Simit is light and flaky, baked to a golden brown color, and topped with sesame seeds. It is sometimes formed into rings, and are often braided. Chewy like a bagel but the buttery flavor of a croissant, these tasty little devils are very addictive.

We’ve been lucky enough to travel internationally together and food has been more than an interest for both of us. We would tuck into small restaurants together and sheepishly take photos of everything from fiery shrimp fried rice served in a pineapple in Bangkok to strange dried shrimp and sake in Tokyo. Returning home, we’d try to recreate our favorites. Through all of these food-related adventures, we’ve started to learn new recipes together, laughed in the kitchen and formed a much stronger bond.

Back in Istanbul, J was realizing he couldn’t fill his luggage with Simit and was frowning. We had to try and make them back home. And so we did. Here’s the chewy, salty recipe. No travel to Turkey needed, but it’s highly recommended.

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoon butter
  • 2 tablespoon water
  • 1 tablespoon milk plus 1 teaspoon
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • sesame seeds

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a medium mixing bowl, sift together flour and salt. Make a depression in the dry ingredients with your fist, making a “hole” in the middle. Add olive oil, melted butter, water, milk, and egg. Fold dry ingredients into liquids to form a dough. This may take 10 minutes by hand. Once you have a dough, tear off pieces of dough, make long, cigar shapes. Bring ends of “cigars” together to make a circle. Place circle on greased cookie sheet. Brush with milk. Sprinkle sesame seeds on top. Repeat with remaining dough. Bake for 30 minutes, or until Simit become a golden brown color and crispy on top.

French Recipe Tiny Kitchen

Blue cheese soufflé cures the blues

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It’s the bad news everywhere, it’s the incessant rain, my partner being in Chicago for a month, it’s [insert anything here.] Many things can make a girl have the Sunday blues these days. In an effort to keep “ing” (do-ing, cook-ing, runn-ing… you get the picture) I decided to attempt an infamous recipe, the soufflé.

I’ve heard the hype, seen the movie Audrey Hepburn movie Sabrina, but thought, why not? If I screw this up, at least there’s a new day tomorrow.

I found my Barefoot Contessa in Paris cookbook and turned a sticky page 50. As a self taught cook herself, when she claims it is really truly easy, I can believe her. (Or I’m a big sucker.)

I started off by prepping everything in advance and reading all the way through the recipe, so there’s *hopefully* no surprises.

Then, wow! Nothing compares to pulling a beautifully puffed soufflé out of the oven. I mean it. Gasp, success! I hate to admit that I actually enjoyed it more than finishing a week long work project. It really is the little things in life.

Here’s the recipe, maybe you can enjoy a little of the blues-curing Blue cheese… it really is easy. Be sure to enjoy while listening to a little French music, I suggest the Amelie soundtrack.

Blue Cheese Soufflé – Ina Garten/Barefoot in Paris. Buy here, it’s a great cookbook.

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing the dish
  • 1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for sprinkling
  • 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • 4 extra large egg yolks, at room temperature
  • 3 ounces good Roquefort cheese, chopped
  • 5 extra large egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Butter the inside of an 8-cup soufflé dish (7 1/2 inches in diameter x 3 1/4 inches deep and sprinkle evely with Parmesan.

Melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat. With a wooden spoon, stir in the flour and cook, stirring constantly for 2 mintues. Off the heat, whisk in the hot milk, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, the cayenne, and nutmeg. Cook over low heat, whisking constantly, for 1 minute, until smooth and thick.

Off the heat, while still hot, whisk in the egg yolks, one at a time. Stir in the Roquefort and the 1/4 cup of Parmesan and transfer to a large mixing bowl.

Put the egg whites, cream of tartar, and a pinch of salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisky attachment. Beat on low speed for 1 minute, on medium speed for 1 minute, then on high speed until they form firm, glossy peaks.

Whisk one quarter of the egg whites into the cheese sauce to lighten and then fold in the rest. Pour into soufflé dish, then smooth the top. Draw a large circle on top with the spatula to help the soufflé rise evenly, and place in the middle of the oven. Turn the temperature down to 375 degrees. Bake for 30-35 minutes (don’t peek!) until puffed and brown. Serve immediately.

Food trucks Tiny Kitchen

By way of Chicago

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When I met my guy in Chicago for the first time he told me there was one thing we had to do. I thought, ‘Hmm.. see the skyline along Lakeshore drive, visit the Sears tower?’ No. It was to eat a Chicago Style Hot Dog. I’ve never been a hot dog girl, even when they’re grilled on charcoal til it splits open its juices; I’ve always preferred to eat other things. I was wrong.

The “Chicago Style” hot dog got its start from street cart hot dog vendors during the hard times of the Great Depression. Money was scarce, but business was booming for these entrepreneurs who offered a delicious hot meal on a bun for only a nickel. The famous Chicago Style Hot Dog was born. They’d start with a Vienna Beef hot dog, nestle it in a steamed poppyseed bun and cover it with a wonderful combination of toppings: yellow mustard, bright green relish, fresh chopped onions, juicy red tomato wedges, a kosher-style pickle spear, a couple of spicy sport peppers and finally, a dash of celery salt. (Don’t even think about putting ketchup on this doggie!) This unique hot dog creation with a “salad on top” and its memorable interplay of hot and cold, crisp and soft, sharp and smooth, became America’s original fast food and a true Chicago institution.

I highly recommend this unique creation, we even found one in Santa Fe, New Mexico at a food truck called Chicago Dog Express, voted Best Food Truck in Santa Fe in ’09 & ’10!