Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas everyone! This year, Mr. Barefoot gave me an Eye-fi card, which hopefully means that the new year will be filled with delicious food photos from the Barefoot kitchen!
Today for lunch we're having cranberry brie en croute.
I've posted the recipe before, but now, with pictures! You need crescent roll dough, a round of brie, and a bag of Craisins. (for 13oz of brie or less, use one pkg of crescent roll dough, for 16oz round, use 2pkgs).

1.) Cut brie in half. Fill with cranberries. 2.) Roll out crescent roll dough. I do this in two halves, and put one half on top and the other half on the bottom. I try to roll the bottom half out thinner so it cooks more evenly.
3.) Wrap brie in dough and put on a baking sheet. Stick in oven at 375 for 20-30 minutes (until crescent roll is cooked through - you'll want to flip it over and check that the bottom is thoroughly cooked.)
Enjoy! Things will be pretty quiet on the Barefoot homefront because we are off to Bonaire with my family. Have good, safe holidays and a happy New Year! See you in 2010! If you have a resolution related to cooking, please share in the comments!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Charm City Christmas

So I had a cookie swap earlier last week, and for it I made meringues. I'm gonna post them Pioneer Woman style, with way too many pictures. The recipe is here.
You start by crushing the peppermints in a food processor. This is way better than using a hammer, which is what I used to do.

Then you put the eggs in the bowl with cream of tartar and salt, and you start mixing.
Eventually the eggs will get really fluffy and white as you add the sugar and then you will beat them until your hand hurts, and then you will add the chocolate chips.
Then you just scoop them out and put them on parchment paper.
When you make these, it is important to use only metal utensils. Plastic retains oil and any trace of fat will prevent the eggs from whipping up and getting stiff. Also make sure you use parchment paper or a sil-pat instead of greasing the pan.
Happy baking!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Snow Day Fondue

So what do you do when you didn't believe the snow reports and you didn't stock up on extra food so all you have is some produce and a giant block of gouda that Papa Barefoot handed you when you went home earlier this week?
Oh wait, and it looks like this outside:

You make Snow Day Fondue! Sister Barefoot, who lives up the street, came down and brought her husband and a big block of swiss cheese, old and slightly moldy. I've gotten less squemish about moldy cheese and just chopped off the moldy bits. Then we cut it all up and made fondue.
Oh wait, for fondue, you need bread. French bread. Well, fortunately, on a snow day, you can't go anywhere, so it's the perfect time to make bread! I used the french bread recipe from the Joy of Cooking (I will repost shortly) and let it rise all afternoon. It made 3 loaves of delicious, crusty french bread.
As you can see, Sister Barefoot also brought some apples, and Mr. Barefoot did some last minute online Christmas shopping as we got dinner ready.

Snow Day Fondue:
1 cup dry white cooking wine
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp flour
Approx 20 oz cheese, cut up into cubes or shredded, depending on level of laziness. We used Gouda, Swiss, and Parmesean, plus a tiny bit of cheddar. I would say the swiss is the most important, and then add whatever you want.

1.) Bring wine to a boil in a small pot.
2.) At the same time, melt butter over LOW heat. Add flour, and blend together until smooth and slightly cooked. You'll want to use a whisk for this.
3.) Whisk in dry white wine, a little at a time, keeping the mixture extremely smooth. This should take you about 2-4 minutes to accomplish. Whisk muchly.
4.) Add some cheese. Let it melt. Wisk. Add more cheese.
5.) Transfer to a fondue pot, or put on very low heat and have everybody stand around the stove.
6.) Dip delicious foodstuffs in melty cheese. Mmmmm. Fel warm and fuzzy.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Plantain & Black Bean Fritters

I tried these at a tasting for the wedding and decided I had to learn to make them myself. I tried this recipe from Sara Moulton and modified it a little.
  • 3 black plantains
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 can of black beans, drained
  • 1/4 cup diced onion
  • minced garlic
1.) Start by mincing the garlic and sauteing it a bit, then add the black beans and cover with water.

2.) Add the plantains to a pot, cover with water, and bring to a boil.
3.) Eventually the plantains will start to split. Pull them out and mash them up. I would probably do this with a food processor next time. Add bread crumbs until dough is manageable. I used flour because I ran out of breadcrumbs, but I don't recommend it because it didn't cook entirely.
3.) Drain the black beans and onions. Put into a food processor and pulse into a paste.
4.) Mash into a kind of circle.
5.) Spoon black bean filling and shape into a fritter. Make more.
6.) Put oil in pan, fry fritters until delicious.
7.) Eat! Yummy!
(I think next time we might deep fry them. mmmmm.)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Rosemary-Balsamic Onions

I tried this recipe from Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker - Entertaining for a dinner party with a few friends a little while ago.
  • 4 medium yellow onions (sweet ones are fine)
  • 4 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp evoo
  • 3 sprigs fresh rosemary or 1/2 tsp dried
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  1. Wash the onions, paying special attention to the root ends. Peel them, then trim the pointed, but not root, end.
  2. Place onions in slow cooker with the cut end up. Drizzle in vinegar and olive oil. Tuck fresh rosemary in among the onions, or sprinkle on dried rosemary. Sprinkle very lightly with salt and pepper. Cover and cook on High until tender and easily pierced - about 2 - 2 1/2 hours.
  3. Using a slotted spoon, carefully transfer onions to plates or serving platter. Pour the liquid from the crock over the onions.

Verdict: These were pretty good, but a little weird. It's a whole onion, so it's just kinda odd, and bulky to eat, but the onion itself was pretty good. I probably won't make this again though.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Caramelized Onion and Feta Cheese Sandwiches

I was in the mood for a gourmet but light lunch today (I have a hockey game at 1:30) so I whipped up this delicious sandwich. I used half an onion to make half a sandwich (Mr. Barefoot stole the other half). If your spouse does not hijack your meals, half an onion is sufficient for a full sized sandwich for one person. If your spouse does, use a whole onion.
  • 1/2 medium onion
  • 2 tbs butter (actually, right now, we're using vegan margarine)
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • feta cheese, to taste (would also be good with goat cheese)
  • fresh rosemary (if your awesome older sister bought you a rosemary tree)
  • 1 small pita
  1. Melt 1 tbsp butter in skillet over medium heat. Slice onion thinly into strips.
  2. Toss onion in melted butter and allow to saute until soft.
  3. Add sugar, salt, pepper, and remaining butter. (May need more butter if the onions start to burn).
  4. Continue stirring frequently for approx. 6-10 minutes, then add rosemary and saute a little more.
  5. Add feta, stir until softened.
  6. Spoon into pita and marvel at how such a simple sandwich could be so delicious.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Militant Vegetarian Warning!

Okay, so usually I believe my vegetarianism is personal and none of your business. But when it comes to lab grown meat, let me make a few points:
1) Lab grown meat sounds gross and I don't want to eat it, ever.
2) Did you read Oryx and Crake? If you haven't, you should. It's good.
3) We don't need artificial meat to reduce the environmental impact of the meat industry. We need to eat less meat.

Look, you probably wouldn't be reading this blog if you weren't vegetarian friend or a vegetarian ally. And I know I usually keep the crazy on the DL. And as a pro-choice person, I know that your life and my life are different and you probably love steak. But I'm gonna put this out there - you don't need steak. You certainly don't need steak every day. You could eat steak once a week and live to a ripe old age. Even if you do need meat every day, you don't need it every meal. Most people eat vegetarian for breakfast, and they turn out fine.

When it comes to health and wellbeing, meat doesn't matter. Eating a balanced, wholesome diet matters and I for one believe that scientific resources should be spent curing diseases and the problems of the world, and that if everybody around the world just ate meatless for a few meals a week, that too would substantially reduce the environmental impact of meat.