Saturday, April 18, 2015

Milk Bar Chocolate Chip Cookies

This recipe is based on one used by "Momofuko's Milk Bar"  an eat-in bakery in N.Y. New York. While the name is unfortunate--they are VERY fortunate to have a wonderful pastry chef named Christina Tosi. She added a secret ingredient to these cookies --milk powder. She also melts the butter.  This makes cookies that are chewy on the inside and slightly crisp on the outside. Baking is chemistry--you must follow the recipe exactly. The result: A chocolate chip cookie that comes out perfectly every time! I did adapt the recipe slightly to add 1/4 C flour and 3/4 t less salt (because I prefer using salted butter). Yield: This makes a very small batch--about 14-15 cookies if you use a 1 3/4 inch scoop --so do double it!

Ingredients:

1/2 lb. (2 sticks) butter
3/4 C brown sugar (I always use C&H)
1/2 C sugar
1 egg
2 t. vanilla
2 C flour
2 T nonfat milk powder
3/4 t. salt
1/2 t baking powder
12 oz. chocolate chips (Guittard--try a combo of milk chocolate and semi-sweet!)

Directions:

Heat oven to 375 degrees

Put butter in a medium-sized microwaveable mixing bowl. Microwave (or melt on low stove heat) until melted. Cool until just warm to the touch (like milk for a baby). Using a fork--mix in egg until thoroughly incorporated. Then mix in flour and the rest of the ingredients until just combined. Stir in chips. Use a 1 3/4" scoop or two tablespoons to make golf-ball sized blobs on a parchment-covered cookie sheet. If the dough isn't firm enough to scoop--let it cool some more. You can put in a little more flour if you're in a hurry--but it may make for a "tough cookie" if you add more than 1/4 C. HEY! That's where they got the expression "tough cookie"! From cookies with too much flour! Bahahaha! Anyway...bake 10-15 minutes until brown around the edges and lighter in the middle. But not too light. Every oven is different so you may try timing a couple of practice cookies before you do a whole pan. There should be tiny holes that look like pin-pricks in the middle of each cookie. Cool partially IN THE PAN. Then transfer to a rack or some paper towels. Serve with ice-cold milk. Perfection!


Thursday, April 2, 2015

Chipotle Orange PorkTacos

Category: Main Courses
Difficulty: Easyish--Slow Cooker!
Healthy unless you are allergic to corn

Here in border-state California (pronounced CALEEFORNEEA) we are huge fans of Mexican food--like tacos. This is a new take on the taco. Everybody in my family loves it and says it's a Keeper. I only like it. That's because I don't just LOVE sweet pork--I prefer my men sweet and my carnitas spicy. But that's just silly me. This is spicy and sweet. So if you like things like sweet pulled pork--you will really like this! It's very easy--just throw it in the slow cooker and leave for the day! Makes a ton and keeps really well.  I make a big pot and eat it for lunches for two all week. Found by my daughter on the BudgetBytes.com site. Adapted only very slightly. Yield: at least 12 tacos--maybe more.

Ingredients:

4-5 lbs pork roast (shoulder or boston butt)
1 med. onion
12 oz. can frozen OJ concentrate
7 1/2 can chipoltle peppers in adobo sauce
1 T plus 1 t minced garlic
2 C water
2 whole bay leaves
1/4 C cider vinegar
1 1/2 t soy sauce

Taco Toppings:
12 6" corn tortillas
1 med. red onion
1 med. avocado
1/2 bunch cilantro

Directions:

Dice the onion and 1 T minced garlic and place it in the bottom of your slow cooker or greased 3-qt pot. Trim excess fat off the pork roast and cut it into 2-3" cubes. Place the pork cubes on top of the onion in the slow cooker. if you don't have a slow cooker--saute onion/garlic and pork together in the bottom of the pot until onion is limp. You can skip this step if you have a slow-cooker.

Throw half of the frozen OJ concentrate in the slow cooker or pot plus salt and 2-3 smaller chipotle peppers in about 2 t. of adobo sauce. Stir 2 C of warm water until the OJ concentrate is fully dissolved and mix everything together.There should be just enough to cover the pork chunks. Add a bit more water if needed. Add two bay leaves. Secure the lid and cook on High for at least 6 hours--up to 8 is fine. If you are making this in a pot--keep it on a low heat on a burner for at least 2 hours.
Pork should be easy to shred when done.

Prepare the tangy chipotle sauce for the meat: In a small saucepan combine the rest of the frozen orange juice concentrate with one chopped up chipotle pepper--1 t minced garlic...1/4 C cider vinegar and 1.5 t soy sauce. Whisk everything together and simmer over medium hear for about 10 minutes. Add the shredded pork and stir to coat.

Build your tacos by filling the tortillas with about a tablespoon of  pork plus thinly sliced red onion and some avocado. Top with a spoonful of sour cream and cilantro and you got it! Add Pico de Gallo if you like it hot...