All posts by Qui Phan

Columbian Arepas with Chives

I love arepas, but the only ones i’ve encountered are the ones you find at the fair or rock festival with a slice of swiss in the middle. Large and filling, the arepas found at such places are more fluff than substance.  These are more of a cheesey corn cake, the added chives gives it a subtle savory note that is divine.  We served this with pernil, a Puerto Rican pulled pork to round out a brunch we put on with friends. The guests had an alternative option to cornmeal waffles and served the meal topped with guava infused syrup.

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INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup arepa flour (precooked cornmeal)
  • 1 cup  grated mozzarella (1/4 pound)
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon chives, chopped
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil

PREPARATION

  1. Toss together arepa flour, cheese, chives and 1/8 teaspoon salt in a bowl, then stir in water until incorporated. Let stand until enough water is absorbed for a soft dough to form, 1 to 2 minutes (dough will continue to stiffen).
  2. Form 3 level tablespoons dough into 1 ball and flatten between IMG_9732your palms, gently pressing to form a 1/4-inch-thick patty (2 1/2 to 2 3/4 inches wide), then gently press around side to eliminate cracks. Transfer to a wax-paper-lined surface. Form more disks with remaining dough in same manner, transferring to wax-paper-lined surface.
  3. IMG_3345Heat oil in a large nonstick or cast-iron skillet over medium heat until it shimmers, then fry arepas in 2 batches, turning over once, until deep golden in patches, 8 to 10 minutes total per batch. Drain on paper towels.

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Guava Infused Maple Syrup

This syrup was a surprising hit!  I was unsure how the guava flavor would be received by our friends, but I took a chance and it paid off.  It was a nice fruity addition to the waffles and pulled pork that was served as a Spanish take on chicken and waffles.  This syrup is also good paired with a nice salty cheese, or as a glaze for chicken wings.

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Ingredients:

  • 24 ounces maple syrup
  • 14 ounces guava paste (such as Conchita) cut into 1 inch pieces divided into 4 batches
  • water for thinning

 Directions

  1. Over medium heat, pour maple syrup into a medium saucepan. Bring syrup to a simmer.
  2. In a microwave safe bowl or measuring cup, place the first batch of guava paste and heat for 3 minutes or until guava paste starts melting. Remove from microwave and stir to ensure paste is heated through and completely melted. Pour paste into syrup and stir with a spoon to incorporate guava. repeat with remaining 3 batches.
  3. Add water if mixture is too thick until it has reached your desired consistency.  Mixture will thicken quite a bit when cooled, so try to serve syrup hot or warm.

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This was paired with Crispy Cornmeal Waffles with Pulled Pork Pernil

Crispy Cornmeal Waffles by Williams Sonoma

These waffles are light and crispy and tastes so good!  This was on our brunch menu as my take on classic southern chicken and waffles- Pulled Pork Pernil and waffles with Guava Infused Maple Syrup. This would also be delicious as a sweet treat topped with fresh berries and whipped cream.

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For the waffles:

  • IMG_97314 Tbs. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal, preferably stone ground
  • 2 tsp. double-acting baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 eggs

 Directions:

To make the waffles, preheat a waffle iron. If you want to hold the finished waffles until serving time, preheat an oven to 200°F.

Melt the butter; set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In another bowl, thoroughly combine the buttermilk, maple syrup and eggs. Pour the liquid ingredients over the dry ingredients and whisk until the ingredients are just combined. Stir in the melted butter.

Lightly butter or spray the grids of the waffle iron, if needed. Brush or spray the grids again only if subsequent waffles stick.
IMG_3350Spoon out 1/2 cup of batter (or the amount recommended by the manufacturer’s instructions) onto the hot iron. Use a metal spatula or wooden spoon to smooth the batter almost to the edge of the grids. Close the lid and bake until browned and crisp. Serve the waffles immediately or keep them, in a single layer, on a rack in the preheated oven while you make the rest.  This step is important if you wan them to remain crisp!

Serving: Serve the waffles on warm plates with ample maple syrup.
Here it is paired with Guava Infused Syrup and Pulled Pork Pernil:IMG_3353

Cornflake-Chocolate Chip-Marshmallow Cookies from Momofuku Milk bar

Kevin here. You would think we had a white Christmas in Florida by the looks of our kitchen – flour, confectioner’s and granulated sugar is everywhere. We have been wanting a Kitchen Aid mixer for years and finally got one for Christmas (thanks to our wonderful and generous parents; I mean Santa). The newness hasn’t worn off and I have been baking up a snow storm!IMG_0009
We have been hoarding baking cookbooks for years but I knew exactly which one I wanted to work through first: Chrstina Tosi’s Momofuku Milk Bar Cookbook.  She is a baking genius that matches expert techniques with the familiar flavors of the American South and our collective childhoods. Her recipes incorporate latch key cupboard staples such as Ritz Crackers, Fruity Pebbles, Funfetti Cake and Kellogg’s Cornflakes. Match these with familiar Southern favorites such as kitchen sink cookies (she calls them Compost Cookies) and Crack Pie (her version of Chess Pie) and you are on a trip down a delicious memory lane.
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What follows is the first recipe I tried. I loved them and immediately made another batch to share with our friends. We took them to a New Year’s Eve party and not a single crumb was left at the end of the night. Proceed at your own risk…these are highly additive!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 cups Cornflake Crunch
  • 2/3 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 1 1/4 cups mini marshmallows

Directions

  1. Cream together butter and both sugars in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on medium-high, 2 to 3 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl and add egg and vanilla; beat for 7 to 8 minutes.IMG_0005

  2. Reduce speed to low and add flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Mix just until dough comes together, no longer than 1 minute. Scrape down sides of bowl with a spatula.IMG_0011

  3. With the mixer on low, add cornflake crunch and chocolate chips; mix until just combined, 30 to 45 seconds. Add mini marshmallows and mix until just incorporated.IMG_0006

  4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using a 2 3/4-ounce ice-cream scoop or 1/3-cup measuring cup, portion dough out onto prepared baking sheet. Pat tops of cookie domes flat. Wrap baking sheet tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 1 week. Do not bake cookies from room temperature or they will not hold their shape. IMG_0007

  5. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line additional baking sheets with parchment paper or non-stick baking mats.

  6. Arrange chilled dough at least 4 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Transfer to oven and bake until puffed, cracked, spread, and browned on the edges, about 18 minutes. Let cool completely on baking sheets.

Cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days, and frozen for up to 1 month.
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