Brunch So Hard

A year has past since Team Vicious and Delicious suffered a surprising upset and to say the brunch stakes were raised would be an understatement.  With a new judging scheme and hosting at our house, the stage was set for a second helping… of redemption.  This year we invited friends and neighbors to be impartial judges (and to eat all of the extra food).  And while we were at it, we opted to rebrand to Team I’m So Tired, because who’s sleeping these days anyway?

Team I'm So Tired

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Under Pressure: Hot Sauce

I got a shiny new pressure cooker for my birthday and wanted to take it for a spin with something new and different.  Google piqued my interest with a red hot looking hot sauce recipe.

As the first order of business I raided the produce section for ALL THE PEPPERS!  More accurately I bagged ½ pound of fresno peppers and another ¼ pound of serranos.  Those serranos are small, so a quarter pound is a lot.  I picked out all red peppers to make sure the sauce didn’t come out a weird red-green brown color.

peppers for days

Apple cider vinegar acts as the backbone and a little fancy smoked sea salt rounds out the simple ingredient list.  All that’s left is to (carefully) slice up all the peppers and toss everything into the pressure cooker.

In the cooker

Turn up the heat and lock on the lid to let the pressure work its magic.  It took about 10 minutes to get up to temperature and then you only need to wait another minute before removing from heat and allowing it to cool down for about 10 minutes to naturally release the pressure.  Once it’s safe to open, a quick buzz with the immersion blender is all it takes to achieve spicy nirvana.

funnel hot sauce

And now we have fresh, 3-ingredient hot sauce!  It’s actually impressively delicious and considering how easy it is, makes a strong case for not buying hot sauce again.  Next up will be playing with other flavor additions and colors.

hot sauce

 

What Does The Buffalo Say?

I’m a sucker for sales at the grocery store, and even moreso when it’s at the meat counter.  Remember that time I got a bunch of Prime NY Strips just to save a few bucks?  Well it happened again, but this time with Buffalo!  So I picked up a few Buffalo NY Strips from Whole Foods and got excited about the sous vide prospects.

Taking a page out of the Food Lab’s playbook I laid out the steaks the night before and salted them heavily before placing them in the fridge to chill overnight.  The next morning they were noticeably darker and most delicious looking.

Just after lunch the bagged steaks made their way to the waiting water bath, set at 132.8°F (converted from 56°C) and left there for 4.5 hours.  During that time they were getting all tasty and tender and gray.  So to combat that grayness I turned to the trusty cast iron skillet, cranked up to “Screaming Hot” and coated with a bit of oil.  The trick here is to get the gray steaks as dry as possible before putting the fsear of god in them.  A minute per side is all it takes to finish these off.

I eagerly sliced into mine to see what it might look like, but truth be told, there was no doubt.  Perfectly medium-rare, end-to-end.

The difference we noticed with the Buffalo is it’s quite a bit leaner than Beef, so the steak was a little less juicy than a “normal” steak, but no less tender.  As for next time, I’d do it exactly the same way.  Maybe served with a compound butter on top to make up for the missing fat in the meat.

Pasteis de Nata

I’ve been on a bit of a kick cooking challenging and/or time-consuming recipes that typically have much simpler alternatives.  I made burgers from scratch, Bolognese sauce for hours, countless tortillas, dozens of pancakes, and now beautiful egg custards.  Ev and I first tasted these “Pasteis de Nata” 8 years ago on our first vacation abroad together to Portugal and Spain.  Just outside of Lisbon, Portugal, the town of Belém stakes its claim as the creator of these little treats, which is why they can also go by the name Pasteis de Belém.  That’s where we had them and we haven’t been able to find anything like them since.  Enter: the kitchen.

And serve for a beautiful breakfast the next morning.

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Water and Fire

Our grocery store ran a special on USDA Prime New York Strip steaks.  Never one to miss out on a deal, I bought four.  And for no other reason than “why not?” I picked up a grass-fed New York Strip to compare.  With five steaks and some new toys to play with, we invited some friends over for dinner and got cooking.  But seriously, just look at these steaks!

2015-01-23

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Happy Anniversary To Us!

In the blink of an eye, Ev and I have been married 4 years, and I can honestly say each day is better than the last.  And while the past 6 months have certainly been a little different with Wes’ arrival, they are still each getting better and better, perhaps even more so.  But that means we’ve had to change up how we celebrate special occasions, just like for our recent birthdays.  So for our 4th anniversary we decided rather than going out to a fancy, expensive dinner, we’d make a fancy, expensive dinner.

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