How you doin’? I’m great after a weekend of binge-watching Seinfield. What else are you going to do when there aren’t many places to go?
One of my favorites episodes of Seinfeld is when Jerry, Elaine, George and Kramer are invited to a dinner party. As usual Elaine wants to bring a gift cake and a bottle of wine to the party. Jerry and Elaine stop at Royal Bakery to purchase a chocolate babka. Jerry and Elaine forget to take a number at the counter. As a result, others get ahead of them in line and purchase the last chocolate babka. Jerry and Elaine eventually resort to purchasing a cinnamon babka without chocolate considered, "a much lesser babka." If all that wasn’t bad enough, Jerry finds that the babka has a hair on it, and they are forced to wait in line again to purchase a new cake.
According to Jerry, a chocolate babka is the “king of babkas.” It is a combination of gooey chocolate and soft, pillow-y sweet dough. This recipe produces an especially large, no, a giant babka that makes a real table statement. Cut the babka into large wedges, serve warm and enjoy.
This recipe takes a lot of time. Make sure the people you share your babka with are well worth it.
Total time: 4 hours 20 minutes
Prep time: 45 minutes
Proof time: 2 hours + 30 minutes
Bake time: 40 to 45 minutes
Yield: 10-12 servings
For the sweet dough
1 cup whole milk
1/4-ounce active dry yeast (1 package is about 2-1/4 teaspoons)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2 large egg yolks
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips or chunks
2 tablespoon vegetable oil, for the bowls
For the chocolate filling
12 ounces dark chocolate, chopped (about 3 cups)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into cubes
2 tablespoons cinnamon
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
For the egg wash
1 large whole egg
1 tablespoon water
For the white glaze
4 ounces cream cheese
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon almond extract
To make the dough
Chef’s Historical Note: New York-style babka is associated with the Eastern European Jewish traditions. This babka is usually made from a doubled and twisted length of yeast dough and can typically bake in a high loaf pan or a fluted pan. Some have fruit fillings, but nothing is better than a sweet babka dough which contains chocolate and/or cinnamon. You may have seen this style babka topped with streusel or crumb topping in your local Jewish or Russian bakery.
#Brunch #Dessert #Babka #Baking #PerspectivesTheConsultingGroup #QuarantineKitchen #Covid19 #Seinfeld
How you doin’? We are not very well this morning we are sorry to report. When we originally wrote and published this piece it was before the carnage of last week and the weekend. Let me try to explain… our offices and homes are located on the Wilshire Corridor in West Los Angeles—between the Fairfax area and Santa Monica. If you watched the news over the weekend those were two of the hottest spots in Los Angeles on Saturday and Sunday. I can’t even begin to tell you how devastating this has been to all of us right-minded protestors, property and business owners and law enforcement and fire personnel.
For those of us who were born in Los Angeles it has brought tears to our eyes to see the destruction to our working relationships between our citizens and law enforcement as well as the destruction of many of the landmarks we grew up with.
Let everyone know what happened to George Floyd in Minneapolis was one of the most deplorable cases of police brutality we have ever seen—it is enough turn everyone’s stomach. The perpetrators must be quickly tried and meet the punishment they deserve—no excuses. These events have triggered emotions in all of us and those who took to the street to let their opinions known and legally protest for reforms are soundly within their rights. Unfortunately, their/our best efforts for peaceful protest were hijacked by a few criminals, gangsters, thugs, thieves who used the protest movement as a wedge to cause mayhem, bodily harm and destruction of our beautiful Southern California cities. Los Angeles, Santa Monica, West Hollywood, Long Beach, and Culver City law enforcement officers as well as the California National Guard showed great restraint with the provocations (rocks, bricks and bottles) and insults that were thrown in their faces.
It is now apparent that our city officials vastly underestimate the potential risk to our citizens. How this can happen in the face of what was so clearly seen in Minneapolis last week is a mystery to us. Protestors, bystanders, businesses, property were left unprotected. All of this is inexcusable and not only should the criminals be met with swift justice, so should those who have been elected to office to “protect and defend” the citizenry of our great state be held accountable for their actions and inactions at the ballot box.
In keeping with our Covid-19 cooking lessons I have attached our pre-scheduled recipe for Bang Bang Shrimp Pasta. Please share a prayer for all of our great cities, our state and the United States of America. God bless!
A few chain restaurants offer Bang Bang Shrimp or Chicken—I like Cheesecake Factory’s style. It is described as a Thai-inspired dish that consists of crisp shrimp (or chicken) tossed in a sweet chili-based sauce. I decided to whip up a combined version of what I thought Bang Bang Shrimp could be with a portion of pasta to boot. This sweet and not-so-spicy (just a nice kick) shrimp dish can be served over a pile of your favorite greens, in a rice bowl with some steamed broccoli or even, dare I say, in a taco. Or if you’re not so inclined, the shrimp is just as tasty all by its lonesome. A dish that makes your mouth say “bang bang” is definitely all the more reason to try it.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 20-25 minutes
Yield: 4 servings
For the crispy breadcrumbs:
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 cup fresh or Panko breadcrumbs
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Pinch cayenne pepper
Pinch garlic powder
For the shrimp pasta:
1/2 cup whole-milk plain Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons Thai sweet chili sauce
1 teaspoon honey
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
juice of 2 medium limes (about 1/4 cup), divided
1 tablespoon Thai fish sauce
12 ounces dry spaghetti
1 pound uncooked peeled and deveined medium shrimp
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for the pasta water
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 medium scallions, thinly sliced, divided
Make the crispy breadcrumbs
ChefsSecret: The sauce can be made up to 1 day in advance and stored in a covered container in the refrigerator. Storage: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
#Entrees #Shrimp #PerspectivesTheConsultingGroup #QuarantineKitchen #Covid19
How you doin’? It’s finally Friday! Whoopie, it’s Happy Hour time! You’re going to be doing very well shortly.
What’s your favorite Southern city? I have two--I love Nashville and New Orleans! (Nashville HOT Fried Chicken will be the subject of a later blog.) When I think of New Orleans, I think the French Quarter and when I think about the French Quarter, I think of Pat O’Brien’s. O’Brien’s is known for great jazz entertainment and their most popular signature drink—The Hurricane Cocktail. The perfect place to sip a Hurricane is still in Pat O’s legendary courtyard, overlooking the flaming fountain.
This local NOLA libation is made with rum because during World War II whiskey was hard to come by, but rum was plentiful. The name for the drink comes from the glass it’s served in that resembles a hurricane lamp. You can find Hurricanes elsewhere around the city as well, and most bartenders will be happy to mix you one, but they just don’t taste as good as Pat O’Brien’s. You can see people swaying down Bourbon Street carrying their take-away souvenir glasses.
2 oz. light rum
2 oz. dark rum
2 oz. passion fruit juice
2 oz. orange juice
1/2 oz. fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon simple syrup
1 tablespoon grenadine
Garnish: orange slice and cherry flag
#Hurricane #Cocktail #Gin #HappyHour #Cocktail #PerspectivesTheConsultingGroup #QuarantineKitchen #Covid19
How you doin’? Did you ever try my recipe for Texas Cowboy Casserole (Lesson #14) using Original Bisquick? Why not? Don’t be a slacker. You’re at home with the kids and baking and cooking are great releases from all the stress you are going through. Okay, I’m going to give you another chance to be a “baking hero.”
Cheddar Corn Cakes make a great accompaniment to a nice dining room dinner or an informal outdoor cookout. It all starts with a box of Jiffy Corn Muffin mix and a box of Original Bisquick. Skip the standard bake-and-serve, store-bought dinner rolls and try these quick-to-fix biscuits studded with cheddar and corn kernels. It's almost impossible to resist eating one right from the oven!
Prep time: 20 minutes
Bake time: 20 minutes
Yield: 16 to 20 biscuits
Food release spray (Pam)
1 box of Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix (8.5-oz.)
1 large egg
1/3 cup milk
2-1/2 cups Original Bisquick Baking Mix
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons ground mustard
1/2 teaspoon ground dry rosemary
8 tablespoons cold salted butter, cubed
1/2 can (14-3/4 ounces) cream-style corn
1 cup shredded mild cheddar cheese
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons milk, plus more for brushing the tops
1/4 cup melted salted butter for brushing the tops after baking
How you doin’? As we continue to be glued to our televisions either watching reruns of NCIS or the Covid-19 news, we are all learning how hard all the scientists and health care providers are working to bring this war on coronavirus to an end as soon as possible. It seems it has the capacity to devastate our country men and women. The germs are relentless. We remind you to maintain social distancing (at least 6-feet) and wear a mask. We are doing our part to beat these little bastards.
Okay, on to today’s cooking lesson. I love green chicken enchiladas, but many times I just don’t have the time to make them—prepare the filling, fry the tortillas, grate the cheese, roll the tortilla, bake them and get them on the table.
I creatively copied this simple recipe from a Mexican dish I saw at El Coyote Cafe in Los Angeles. I wanted to find a way to cut the cooking time and eliminate some of the repetitive steps. You won’t be surprised to hear that I use my trusty Instant Pot which cuts cooking time and improves the taste and texture of the filling.
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes (estimated Instant Pot cooking time)
Assembly time: 10 minutes
Oven time: 20 to 25 minutes
Yield: 8 stacks
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1-1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1-1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs (you can use chicken breasts if you prefer white meat)
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 can (28-oz) green enchilada sauce, divided (I use Las Palmas brand)
3 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese, divided
1 can (4-oz.) mild chopped green chilies
1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
2 red jalapeno peppers, chopped, more or less to taste
1/2 cup peanut oil or other stable vegetable oil for frying
16 corn tortillas, or more to taste
1 (10 ounce) can red enchilada sauce
#InstantPot #GreenEnchiladas #ElCoyote #PerspectivesTheConsultingGroup #QuarantineKitchen #Covid19
Who is Ed Engoron?