Presto Chango, Limoncello!

1.75 liters of Everclear, or other strong or overproof spirit
18 lemons, whole, well washed, preferably organic
superfine or white sugarfood-grade cheesecloth, rinsed and wrung out
strong butcher’s twine
large sealable glass vessel or urn, with lid.

It helps to have another pair of hands while setting this up, but once you’ve gotten the initial setup in place, it takes care of itself.

Pour the spirit into the well-cleaned urn. Drape the cheesecloth in crossing swaths, making sure to gauge the length so that once the weight of the lemons is pending, they cannot reach the spirit. Bind the cheesecloth tightly in place on the outside edge of the urn with the butcher’s twine, wrapping it under a lip to make certain it is well held. Place the lemons into their hammock and cap the whole with the lid. If the lid has a plastic or rubber gasket, you may wish to remove it, lest it leach any off-flavors into the mix. Store in a stable environment out of sunlight for nine weeks. Given variables like temperature and humidity, your limoncello may be ready before then. Warmer climates will speed up the process. Avoid opening the jar, as it will set the curing process back, but do pay attention to the color of the mix; you want it rich with a kind of varnished yellow, but it can actually go too far, overextracting into a brown color with an intensity that can be too much for some people’s taste.

At the end of the aging period you should have roughly 1.4 liters of unsweetened lemon spirit at roughly 60 percent alcohol by volume, or 120 proof. Make a simple syrup of .5 liter water and the same of sugar. When dissolved fully, add to the lemon spirit and mix well. Taste for strength, balance and sweetness and adjust water for dilution and/or sugar if necessary. Be cautious not to drown the lemon’s bite and aromatics with too much sugar, but also bear in mind that if you’re serving your limoncello from the freezer, you will perceive slightly less sweetness in the frozen mixture.Note: for more precisely diluting down to taste, you can purchase a spirit hydrometer, a device like a small floating thermometer or fishing bobber, which tells you the proof or percentage of alcohol in a solution, for as little as $7 to $10 at most brewing or winemaking supply stores. You would be looking to keep the final limoncello at about 40 percent, or 80 proof.

via Case Study | Presto Chango, Limoncello! – NYTimes.com.

Sugar Cookie Recipe

Makes 3-4 dozen

image

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup butter, softened (23 sec in microwave from fridge)
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). In a small bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in egg and vanilla. Gradually blend in the dry ingredients. Roll rounded teaspoonfuls of dough into balls, and place onto ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until golden. Let stand on cookie sheet two minutes before removing to cool on wire racks.

via Easy Sugar Cookies Recipe – Allrecipes.com.

Broccomole

Broccomole
Ingredients
3 cups chopped broccoli
1 jalapeno, chopped, seeds removed
2 tbs green onions
1 tsp olive oil
2 ounces fat free cream cheese
1/4 tsp chili powder
1 tbs cilantro
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper

Instructions

Cook the broccoli in lightly salted water until very soft. Overcook the broccoli in comparison to the al dente cooking that most recipes recommend.

Drain broccoli very well.

Transfer to a food processor. Add the remaining ingredients and process until smooth, add additional olive oil for a smoother texture.

Serve warm

via Broccomole.

Garlic and Herb Stuffed Brussels Sprouts

15 very large Brussels sprouts
1 cup of whole milk ricotta cheese
1 cup parmesan cheese, shredded
½ cup Panko bread crumbs
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried marjoram
1 teaspoon dried sage
1 teaspoon sea salt
A pinch of pepper
Olive oil

1. They say size doesn’t matter, but it does. Well, it matters here. The key to this recipe is large Brussels sprouts. I usually buy the tiniest ones I can find. But for this one, you want them super-sized. After you wash them, trim the ends and then halve them as seen below.

2. I know stuffing Brussels sprouts sounds like a pain in the rear, and if you skip this next step, it will be. We need to blanch these babies. So fill a large deep pan with water, bring it to a boil and add the sprouts. You want to add them cut-side down, since we are doing this to make coring them easier. Let them cook for 1-2 minutes and remove them and let them cool.

3. I suggest you watch the video below for this next step.
He goes through how to quickly core the Brussels sprouts in just a few minutes.

4. Finely chop the cored Brussels sprouts pieces. We are going to saute them in some olive oil along with the minced garlic until over a medium-high heat. Cook until the chopped sprouts are tender and the whole mixture is aromatic. Yum!

5. Mix the cooked garlic and sprout mixture along with the ricotta, bread crumbs, parmesan cheese and herbs. Add in some of the salt and taste the mixture. Ideally, you want it to taste a bit overly salted because it will be less salty once they are baked. So you’ll need to experiment a bit here.

6. Using a small spoon, fill the Brussels sprouts with the stuffing. Over fill them. This stuff is good!

7. Bake the stuffed Brussels sprouts for about 20 minutes at 400 degrees, or until the caps are crispy and burnt. Enjoy!

via Garlic and Herb Stuffed Brussels Sprouts – Cooking Stoned.

Stuffed-Brussels-Sprouts

The Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

These are the cookies I like the best. They may not be the kind you like, but oh man, if you do, and if you’ve been looking for a cookie that’s not crispy, but is moist and soft and a little teensy bit crispy only on the edges but has way too many chocolate chips in it for your own good, then look no further. This is your recipe, too.

4 Cups Flour
1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1 Teaspoon Salt
1 1/2 Cups Melted Unsalted Butter
2 Cups Packed Brown Sugar
1 Cup White Sugar
2 Tablespoons Vanilla Extract
2 Eggs
2 Egg Yolks
4 Cups Semisweet Chocolate Chips

Preheat your oven to 325.
Sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt.
In a medium bowl, mix the melted butter, brown, and white sugar until mixed. Beat in the eggs, yolks, and vanilla until creamy. Mix in the dry ingredients just until mixed. Stir in the chocolate chips with a wooden spoon. The batter will be thin, feel free to refrigerate it for 30 mins if you need help getting it out of the bowl. Recommended size: 1/4 cup per cookie. Makes 36 cookies. The cookies really spread out, though, so leave enough room. Allow them to cool completely before removing them from the pan.

Here’s where the fun happens. This is a recipe that lends itself well from cookies that are silver-dollar sized to a full-blown pazookie. We made a set that were about tablespoon sized that turned out about as wide as half a dollar bill. We also made a set that were the size of salad plates using a full cup per cookie. They were all delicious. The small ones were crisper, the big ones were gooey.

Paleo Meatloaf and Gravy

I made this last night and was pretty pleased with the result!

For the meatloaf:

  • 3 lbs organic beef
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 cups almond meal
  • 1 tbsp tapioca flour
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper

for the gravy:

  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp tapioca flour
  • pan drippings

Meatloaf Process:
Saut the onion in the olive oil with salt and pepper until translucent
Combine the sautéed onion, beef, eggs, almond meal, and tapioca flour in a bowl and mix well
Divide the meat in two and place in two oiled or buttered bread pans.
cook at 350 degrees for 45 minutes

Gravy process:
Combine the tapioca flour with 1 tbsp cold water to form a slurry
Drain the fat from the meatloaf into a saucepan
add 1 cup chicken stock
bring to a gentle boil
while stirring constantly, add the tapioca slurry to the pan
remove from heat, continue stirring — gravy will thicken rapidly.

Makes 10 servings

The Only Pancake Recipe

Before you begin gathering your ingredients, put your pan on medium heat and let it warm up. A cold pan is the reason your first pancake isn’t perfect.

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon white sugar
1 1/4 cups milk
1 egg
3 tablespoons butter, melted

Directions
1. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Make a well in the center and pour in the milk, egg and melted butter; mix until smooth.
2. Pour or scoop the batter onto a lightly-oiled griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake. Brown on both sides and serve hot.

How to tell if your pancake is done? Look at the edges. When the edges look done halfway through, flip the cake.

Strawberry Basil Pie Filling

Taken from kelloggs.com.

Ingredients:
2 pounds fresh strawberries
1/2 cup sugar
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp. fresh green basil, minced
6 tbsp. corn starch

Directions:
Wash the strawberries, then remove the hulls.
Leave very small strawberries whole, cut larger ones in half or quarters.
Add the prepared berries to a bowl with the 1/2 cup sugar, the lemon juice, minced basil and fold gently to coat all the berries with the sugar.
Leave the berries, covered at room temperature for about an hour, stirring occasionally; this will draw out liquid from the strawberries which is then thickened to ensure that the pie will hold together.
Pour off most of the liquid from the bowl.
Whisk in the cornstarch to the liquid until well combined.
Place filling into pie crust — I recommend the Vodka Pie Crust Recipe.
Bake at 375° until pastry is deep golden (cover edges of crust with foil if browning too quickly), 60–70 minutes. Set pie aside to cool for several hours before serving.

Raspberry Pie Filling

Taken from saveur.com.

Ingredients:
1 cup sugar
3–4 tbsp. flour
Pinch salt
5 cups fresh or thawed raspberries, stemmed
2 tbsp. butter, cut into small pieces

Directions:
Combine sugar, flour, and salt in a large bowl. Add raspberries and gently toss until well coated. Place filling into pie crust — I recommend the Vodka Pie Crust Recipe. Bake at 375° until pastry is deep golden (cover edges of crust with foil if browning too quickly), 60–70 minutes. Set pie aside to cool for several hours before serving.

Best Pie Crust Recipe Ever

This Recipe comes from Kimberly Flower, who got it out of an issue if Cook’s Illustrated, Nov 1, 2007.

Vodka is essential to the texture of the crust and imparts no flavor——do not substitute. This dough will be moister and more supple than most standard pie doughs and will require more flour to roll out (up to 1/4 cup).

INGREDIENTS
2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (12 1/2 ounces)
1 teaspoon table salt
2 tablespoons sugar
12 tablespoons cold unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), cut into 1/4-inch slices
1/2 cup chilled solid vegetable shortening , cut into 4 pieces
1/4 cup vodka , cold
1/4 cup cold water

INSTRUCTIONS
1. 1. Process 1 1/2 cups flour, salt, and sugar in food processor until combined, about 2 one-second pulses. Add butter and shortening and process until homogenous dough just starts to collect in uneven clumps, about 15 seconds (dough will resemble cottage cheese curds and there should be no uncoated flour). Scrape bowl with rubber spatula and redistribute dough evenly around processor blade. Add remaining cup flour and pulse until mixture is evenly distributed around bowl and mass of dough has been broken up, 4 to 6 quick pulses. Empty mixture into medium bowl.
2. 2. Sprinkle vodka and water over mixture. With rubber spatula, use folding motion to mix, pressing down on dough until dough is slightly tacky and sticks together. Divide dough into two even balls and flatten each into 4-inch disk. Wrap each in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 45 minutes or up to 2 days.

Use dough as per recipe.