Saturday, April 14, 2012

Grain-free Onion Rings

 Zucchini and onions

4 steps to a satisfactory level of crispiness!

Hot Sizzle
Today I had a craving for onion rings, but I wanted to experiment by making them grain-free and fried in healthy fats.  I've actually had this idea on my to-do list for oh... probably a month now?... but I finally got around to putting them together. Typical me. 

So the idea was to avoid the flour-based batter usually used to dip onion rings.  Side note: I went to a new grocery store in town (+1 point), tried pork rinds for the first time (+1 point), did not like the pork rinds at all (-1 point), and decided I needed to find a purpose for the rest of the bag (+1 point). I think I'm ahead here.  I crushed the pork rinds as fine as I could (how hard can I hit the counter with my marble rolling pin?) and set them aside on a plate.  I also poured out some coconut flour on another plate.  Good deep frying technique involves dipping your item in an egg wash, then in a powdery dusting, then usually back in the egg wash and finally in the crumb coat.

After getting my cast iron pot set up with a very generous portion of coconut oil (1/2 cup?) and a few tablespoons of butter for flavor. Another side note: did you see the previous post? I've never head of an Amish butter roll. I just had to get it when I saw it at the new grocery store today (+1 point). It was from a family-owned creamery in Wisconsin and their main product is this butter roll... cool!  So anyway, I melted the fats in the pan, whisked two eggs to place on another plate, and gathered up my sliced vegetables.  I flipped them once or twice in the egg, one by one, then tossed them with the coconut flour, then back in the eggs, and then dredged them through the crushed pork rinds.  I let them fry for about a minute on each side. 

The onions were the best!  I didn't like the zucchini very much... I think I would need to season the crumb coat if I made them again.  And I actually liked the onions better without the coconut flour step. The pork rinds seemed to stick just fine to the first egg wash, and they fried up so crispy! I couldn't believe how similar the taste was to my favorite fast food onion rings.  A little messy, but pretty easy to make overall, especially with the deep-sided cast iron. I love my pans!

This will be my go-to recipe for satiating my fried food cravings.... and using up any random bags of pork rinds.

"Amish butter roll"

So says the plain wrapper. Have you ever seen this before? The butter is good, but overly salty.

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Friday, April 13, 2012

Lemon Bars with free range eggs are the color of 1980's neon yellow

Made using eggs from my parents' back yard.  All over their yard, in fact.

California lunch

This was another toss-it-up kind of salad. Not a tossed salad, but a use up the fridge kind of salad! I had Bacon, small peppers, and tzatziki sauce on top, and while I added too much of the ultra-salty tsatziki, it was more than edible with a side of blood orange soda (not that whole bottle!). I'm not a big soda fan, but I really enjoyed this variety my mom got from Costco. Way to go Mom! :-) It even came in a beautiful glass bottle. Perfect way to celebrate the beginning of summer!

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The perfect gift from one cook to another

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Friday, April 6, 2012

Tapas at a French restaurant

Last night my friend K and I had the monthly tapas menu at my favorite restaurant, Le Cafe De Paris. Typically tapas are a Spanish thing, but in the US in the last few years, the term has simply come to mean small plates. LCDP has a tapas night on the first Thursday of every month, and we go more often than not.

Last night's tapas menu was French-themed (to scramble your brain even more), and we enjoyed asparagus with orange bechamel, chicken cordon bleu on toasts, pate with dijon, mushroom cream soup (and I don't even like mushrooms! But I liked the soup... Must have been the cream), steak tartare, and frog legs. The frog legs were tasty, but we both agreed that it was probably the deep fried crunchy goodness on the outside that really enticed us. Oh, and how could I forget the truffled pomme frites (French fries)?! They were hands down amazing. Some of the best fries I've ever had. Dessert was comprised of chocolate bonbons filled with strawberry ice cream, and creme caramel (similar to down, but probably with more cream in it, which I believe we've established by now is a typically French move!). A smooth glass of wine (or two!), wonderful company, and a gracious hostess made our evening memorable. I love this place.

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Apple-Blackberry Cake

A variation on one of Dorie Greenspan's recipes from her book Baking: From my Home to Yours. That book is chock full of great things!

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