Thursday, July 21, 2016

Funnel Cake

Every year in the field near my office, the town hosts a carnival. It makes me nostalgic for the town carnival I used to visit as a kid. My mom would give me $10 to spend, which would only give me enough tickets to go on maybe three rides and then the leftover would be spent on either kettle corn or funnel cake, depending on my mood. Funnel cake usually won out, since it was the less accessible option; popcorn is the more readily available snack, right?

These days, I'm not as keen on visiting carnivals - waiting on a 30-minute queue for a 30-second ride just doesn't have the same charm. But, that doesn't mean I can't still enjoy a good funnel cake. But, I avoid the crowds and the kids and indulge at home instead.

There are lots of recipes out there for funnel cakes made with a pancake-like batter but I'm an advocate for pate a choux batter. It yields really light and crisp swirls of cake that puff up beautifully. Plus, the batter keeps really well in the fridge so you can address your cravings after dinner for an entire week; if you're as gluttonous as I am, this aspect is probably the winning trait.
Ingredients [yields 6 to 8 small funnel cakes]:
½ stick butter (¼ cup)
½ cup milk
2 tablespoons sugar
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup flour
2 eggs
oil for frying
+ powdered sugar

Monday, July 18, 2016

Fried Calamari

The best fried calamari I ever had was in Barcelona at a restaurant by a manmade beach. It was particularly memorable because it was made with the tube portion and they were humongous. Like, 5" diameter huge.

These calamari were inspired by those Barcelona calamari. I purposely chose huge tubes to try and recreate the effect. To be frank, I missed the tentacles a little - the texture is different and enjoyable - but I liked the result nonetheless and the nostalgia was awesome.
Ingredients [serves 4]:
calamari
2 lbs. squid (tubes and/or tentacles)
¼ cup flour
¼ cup potato starch
¼ cup cornmeal
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon cayenne
oil for frying

dipping sauce
½ cup San Marzano tomatoes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
½ teaspoon chopped oregano
1 teaspoon chopped basil
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
pinch salt
pinch pepper

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Pineapple Margaritas

I feel like because it's summer and because I have a bottle of tequila staring at me on my counter every day, I've been obsessed with making margaritas. This time around, I decided to make a pineapple marg.

While I worry about breaking my margarita glasses after imbibing, I do feel like drinking a margarita out of a smoothie glass just wouldn't have the same impact and it just wouldn't taste as good, right?
Ingredients [serves 4]:
1 ripe pineapple, chopped
1 cup coconut water
2 limes, juiced
1 cup tequila
1 cup ice
1 tablespoon sugar
½ teaspoon himalayan salt
½ teaspoon lime zest
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