Category Archives: Food

Dairy-Free, Totally Vegan, Pretty Darn Close to Whipped Cream

Here’s a recipe everyone can love – whether you delight in dairy or not.

Recently I was looking into ways to curdle non-dairy milk substitutes, and got to experimenting with coconut milk, which I often have on hand (my girlfriend can’t eat almonds, neither of us love the hormone analogues in soy). Completely by accident, I stumbled on an amazingly awesome characteristic of coconut milk: It fakes whipped cream better than anything I’ve come across.

How to do it…

  1. Pour one cup of coconut milk into a saucepan and bring it to a gentle boil. (This is the milk substitute kind you’d find in the dairy case. I don’t know if the canned variety will work – it’s much thicker. Then again, it might be amazing! Leave a comment if you try it!).
  2. Once it’s boiling, the surface will begin to bubble up. Skim that off with a spoon – that’s your whipped cream substitute. Spoon it into a bowl until the foam dies back.
  3. Once you’ve skimmed the solids off, leave the saucepan boiling. Another skin will form and bubble up in a moment. Skim that off too.
  4. Drizzle the skimmings onto something that needs whipped cream! Here, we’ve used strawberries and then shaved a little chocolate. It lacks the puff of Cool Whip and other artificial stuff, but it’s rich, light, and creamy and the flavor and texture hit all those whipped cream buttons.

Simple and so tasty!

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Spiced Beef Sandwiches

I’m always looking for recipes that incorporate beer. This particular recipe takes a while but it is worth it. Great for a large crowd and the favors are well suited for football tailgating or any other fall activity.

Ingredients
1 tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. ground pepper
1 tsp. ground allspice
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
1/4 cup kosher salt
1 Tbsp. molasses
4 pounds boneless tied beef rib roast
12 ounces stout beer

Directions
Note: This needs several days to marinate and at least 7 hours of cooking time before serving.

Mix spices, sugar, and salt in a bowl. Stir in molasses to form a dry paste; rub all over beef. Place meat in a nonreactive container or resealable bag. Let marinate 4 to 7 days in the refrigerator, turning and rubbing beef once each day.

Place beef and stout in a wide (6- to 8-quart) pot and add water to just cover beef. Bring to a simmer; cover and cook until tender but not falling apart, about 3 hours (30 minutes more if using chuck). Remove from heat, but let beef sit in pot for 2 hours. When cool, remove beef and chill in refrigerator at least 2 hours.

Slice meat and assemble sandwiches.

You Had Me at Beer Butter

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My BFF sent me a picture of this recipe today. It is from Better Homes and Gardens magazine.

Stout-Soaked Porterhouse with Beer Butter

Ingredients

1 Porterhouse steak, 1-inch thick (about 1 1/4 lb.)
1 12 ounce bottle stout beer
1 T Dijon-style mustard
1 T Worcestershire sauce
2 t dried tarragon, crushed
1/2 t salt
1/2 t ground black pepper
1 shallot, finely chopped
2 t olive oil
1/2 c butter, softened

Directions

1. Place steak in a self-sealing plastic bag set in a shallow dish. Set aside 2 T beer; in a small bowl combine remaining beer, mustard, Worcestershire, 1 t of the tarragon, the salt, and pepper. Pour beer mixture over steak in bag. Marinate in the refrigerator for 4 to 6 hours, turning occasionally.
2. Meanwhile, in a small skillet over medium heat, cook shallot in hot oil 5 minutes or until tender. Stir in reserved 2 T beer. Remove from heat. Cool 10 minutes. In a small bowl combine softened butter, shallot mixture, and remaining 1 t tarragon. Transfer to waxed paper; shape into a log. Wrap and freeze.
3. Preheat broiler. Drain steak; reserve marinade. Season steak with additional salt and pepper. Place steak on the unheated rack of a broiler pan. Broil 3 to 4 inches from heat to desired doneness, turning once, broiling 12 to 15 minutes for medium rare (145 deg F) or 15 to 20 minutes for medium (160 deg F). Transfer to platter. Tent with foil and let stand 5 minutes.
4. Place reserved marinade in a small saucepan. Bring to boiling. Reduce heat to medium and simmer, uncovered, 15 minutes (Do not overcook; marinade can become bitter).
5. To serve, slice steak into portions. Drizzle with some of the marinade reduction, and top each with a slice of frozen butter. Makes 2 to 3 servings.

I fully intend on testing out this recipe with a few modifications. First, a good porterhouse steak is hard to come by, so I’ll most likely substitute either ribeye or NY strip for the steak. Second, I only grill steak, never broil. And finally, I prefer my steaks somewhere between blue and medium-rare, depending on the cut.

That time of year again

If you’ve ever crunched into some fresh sauerkraut, you know that fermentation’s more than just great drinks! As our weather switches over to a decidedly autumnal feel, at least at night, I decided to bring in what’s left on my tomato plants. These are brined (2 tablespoons salt per quart of water) and seasoned with garlic and onion, as well as caraway seed, dill seed, mustard seed, and coriander.

Next to it is some okra I brined the other day with garlic and similar spices. It smells incredible. This is a fermentation by lactic acid bacteria, which occurs naturally on the skins of… everything, and which loves a salty environment. LAB are sometimes used in brewing to produce sours, but I’m a forever fan of this tangy vegetable preservation method.

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