hello bacon, we meat again…

well, it appears i’ve returned to the food blogging world once more. on the menu today we have cheesecake- savory cheesecake- savory cheddar bacon cheesecake with a wholewheat parmesan crust. yes, that will do nicely.

and that's why you press the crumbs up the sides of the pan

so, i came up with the idea for a bacon cheesecake while making one of my favorite things: bacon-wrapped spinach/cream cheese stuffed chicken. but it turns out someone already beat me to the punch. however, i’m using my cheesecake recipe, which is a modified dorie greenspan recipe because i like light, fluffy cheesecakes, not dense ones.

cheddar bacon cheesecake with wholewheat parmesan crust

heat oven to 350F (175C)

crust:

11″ springform pan

~8 tablespoons butter, melted

~1c shredded parmesan cheese, use the good stuff.

~2-3c wholewheat bread crumbs. sorry i don’t know exactly how much i used.

various dried herbs- basil, thyme, oregano cracked black pepper, and kosher salt, to taste.

wrap springform pan in several layers of foil. use the heaviest gauge foil you can get your hands on. you need to make a water-proof seal around the pan.

mixed breadcrumbs, cheese, spices and butter together in springform  pan and press firmly to create a solid crust. don’t forget to push crumbs up the side of the pan as well. bake for about 10 minutes

filling

4 blocks of cream cheese (24oz), room temp

4 eggs

~650g sour cream

white ends of ~6 green onions

2c cooked, crumbled bacon

~2c shredded cheddar cheese

2 tbsp fresh sage

freshly cracked black pepper

various dried herbs, to taste.

lower oven temp to 325F, bring a large pot of water to a boil. find a baking dish the springform pan will fit inside.

mix the cream cheese until smooth. mix in the eggs, one at a time. mixing for 1 minute after each egg. mix in sour cream, then stir in onions, bacon, cheddar, herbs and spices.

pour the batter into the pan, over the (cooled) crust. place the pan in the larger baking dish and place in the oven. pour the boiling water into the dish (you want water at least half-way up the sides of the springform pan) and close the door.

bake for 1.5 hours, turn off the heat, then barely prop the door ajar with a wooden spoon and leave in the oven for another hour.

remove from oven and let cool completely. store in the refrigerator

garnish with more cheddar cheese, crumbled bacon and green onions.

not gonna lie, i broke the major cheesecake law and cut it while it was still warm. in my defense i had too; i was running out of light!

 

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a pie a day keeps the doctor away

hello blog,

how are you? i’m ok. it’s been one hell of a semester. i still don’t have a lightbox. therefore, i still don’t have real pics for you. but here’s one from a few months ago. it’s of a pie- blueberry. your favorite.

all the best,

me

i really hate that spherical crumbly bit. (and now you do too)

p.s. here’s that “mac and cheese nouveaux” that i never posted either:

if only i could remember the recipe...

diabetes bread

hey, remember when i used to cook new things on a regular basis, photograph it, and write a food blog about it? yeah, me too…

about a year and a half ago my friend, cindy, brought in some mexican sweet bread, pan dulce, to the vmth. now for those of you not in the know, i hate pan dulce. if you live in southern california, or anywhere with a mexican influence, there are panaderias (mexican bakeries) scattered throughout. and if you go into one, you are greeted with a sight of big, colorful rolls that scream, “eat me!”  so  you do. and then you spit it out because it’s dry, bland, and gross, and really, really dry.  i don’t touch the stuff.

no

however, when cindy brought in some of her pan dulce, i couldn’t get enough. they were different- softer, sweeter, and more flavorful than the rolls of my past. apparently she got the recipe from one of her mother’s old magazines. she scanned it and sent me the recipe via email. just think, if not for cindy, this recipe would have been lost to the ages*. and now that i’m in australia, it’s one of my most loved recipes, as nothing like it exists here. the roommates especially love it, and have christened it with the name, “diabetes bread.”

*it turns out this recipe exists elsewhere on the internet. but i still like to think she saved it from extinction, just cuz she’s cool like that.

yes

here we go!

Pan Dulce (or diabetes bread)
dough
1 cup milk
78g butter
1 tbsp dry yeast
1 tsp salt
67g sugar
725g ap flour
2 eggs
egg streusel
200g sugar
190g ap flour
91g butter
4 egg yolks

egg wash

1 egg beaten with 2 tbsp milk

in the microwave, or on the stovetop, gently heat the milk and butter until the butter is almost melted. the mixture should be warm, not hot (if it’s too hot to shower with, it’s too hot for yeast), add the yeast and let proof for 5 minutes, or until frothy. mix in the salt, sugar, flour, and eggs. turn dough onto the counter and knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. let rise, covered, for about an hour.

mix all of the ingredients for the streusel in a bowl, with your hands, until you can form balls of “dough.” cover and set aside.

once the dough has risen, shape into a log, and cut about 14 equal pieces.

to assemble

concha: flatten the dough into ~3 inch discs. then take some of the streusel and flatten into a disc as well (you want it to be fairly thick (about 1/8″) use your knife to cut curved lines (connecting at one point) into the stuesel.

elote: instead of a disc, flatten the dough into a more rectangular shape. then sprinkle some of the streusel on the dough. (i like to use a lot- hence why this portion of the recipe is doubled). then roll from the short side, pulling the ends as you go. cut slashes in the top.

cover and let rise for about an hour. before baking brush the top of the plain-topped rolls with the egg wash. bake for about 15 minutes at 350F, or until golden-brown.

woah

cheesecake off

i’ve been instructed to post this:

On Thursday August 12, 2010 at 12:30pm there will be a cheesecake contest between two first-year veterinary students: Stef and myself.

she will be destroyed.

meat pie

australia is a strange place. strange for many, many reasons. for one, the internet is slow and expensive. for a first world nation i find this very strange, and occasionally downright irritating. however, that’s not why this site exists- it’s all about the food. yes, they have food in australia, and yes, it is strange.

a couple of weeks ago, in my usual haste to get to work, i forgot to make myself lunch. i realized my folly by the time i got to the train station, and by then it was too late to do anything about it. i decided to bite the bullet and get something on campus.

when lunchtime rolled around i made my way to the cafeteria and looked for something that wasn’t over $5. that’s quite hard to do here. most prepared meals are pretty expensive; meat pies are not. i saw them sitting in their little glass-encased warmer, and at $4.00 I couldn’t pass them up. i had my choice of pepper steak or chicken and vegetables. i like my veggies, so i went with the latter.

a very standard lunch item in australia

i took my little pie to the quad (or court, as they call it here) and realized i had no utensils. but then i thought the thing was so small it seemed kind of dumb to cut it, so i just took a bite.

a very standard lunch item in australia...

that was underwhelming to say the least. tons of boring gravy, hardly any vegetables to speak of, at least crust was very flaky.

$4 wasted… i knew i could do better. and i did:

now that's a chicken and vegetable pot pie!

how’d i do it, you ask? let me tell you

chicken pot pie

crust

125g cold butter, cut into pieces

245g ap flour

1 tbsp sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1/2c ice water

chicken velouté (or gravy, if you will)

2 tbsp butter

1 medium onion, diced

1 celery stalk, diced

56g (1/4c) butter

35g (1/4c) ap flour

2 cups warm chicken stock (use the low sodium version, or better yet homemade)

1/2 cup warm milk

salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste

filling

1 large cooked and seasoned (any way you like) chicken breast, or any other chicken pieces you desire, chopped

~4 cups raw (frozen is okay) veggies. i used broccoli, carrots, corn, peas, and green beans

1 egg lightly beaten with 2 tbsp milk.

assembly

heat the oven to 350F

crust

mix the flour, salt and sugar. using a pastry blender, or your hands (which is what i do), or if you are lucky enough to not have recently moved 12000 miles- a food processor to cut the butter into the flour until pea-sized bits of butter are mixed in with the flour. add 1/4cup of the water and mix. then slowly add the rest of the water until the dough just comes together. press into a disc and roll out on a well-floured surface.

** the pie crust above is only enough for the top. if you desire a bottom crust, then double the recipe

filling

sauté the onions and celery in 2tbsp butter, in a saucepan, until softened. add the 1/4 cup of butter and flour to the pan and continuously stir for about 2 minutes. add the stock and milk and whisk until the mixture is boiling and thick. season with salt and pepper.

mix the veggies, chicken and gravy in a pie pan. place the crust on top. brush with egg wash.

place the pie pan on a foil-lined cookie sheet and bake for about 1 hour, or until the crust is completely golden brown.

let stand 10 minutes before serving.

sour-doh!

i’m on winter break right now. i’ve been cooking. a lot. unfortunately there have been some problems:

1. cooking disasters (curry failures, rice catastrophes, cake debacles, and so on. it’s been a bad month for dorian’s cooking)

2. bad lighting- my house has some pretty horrible lighting. and it’s winter here. so natural light, when it does appear (and look good), is fleeting. (i need some real lights…)

3. laziness. no explanation needed.

however, to prove i have been cooking i will give you this:

it sure is pretty, and chewy, and soft.

it’s sourdough. well, it’s supposed to be sourdough. it isn’t sour. sometimes it’s barely sour, which isn’t enough. so i toil away day and night. there are two sourdough starters on my computer desk right now. they’re active and happy. i just don’t know if they are cut out for the job. if not that’s weeks down the drain. that would fucking suck.

the good thing is i’m learning a lot about bread making. i’ve got plans to redo the ciabatta, and maybe the focaccia. i’ll be attempting baguettes sometime before the end of this month. whole wheat is perfection is doesn’t need changing.

as far as the sourdough, i believe i’m on loaf 8 or 10; i can’t remember. i’m hoping it’s just a matter of ratios and rise times. assuming i get it, which i think i will, it will be here.

i do have a new soup recipe, but again, the problem is the lighting. i’m not giving a recipe without a good pic. i’m here. i’m alive. and australia is alright.

summer’s over

it’s fall here in perth. mostly. it’s been chilly and grey with intermittent sun the past couple of weeks. however, today was 80. it’s just like home. except at home i keep hearing about spring. i have no spring in sight.

a strawberry crostata a day keeps the doctor away, right?

either way, by know now you should know i love strawberries. cakes, tarts, soups, and now another tart- a strawberry crostata. nothing new here, just a rehash of the fruit crostata from way back. just use strawberries instead. i forgot to add the “topping,” and i used lemon zest instead of orange.  still fantastic.

i did have a minor problem- i am still without my plethora of kitchen utensils. i’ve manged quite well so far; an empty beer bottle makes a decent rolling pin.

the beer was "redback." i drank it while chopping the strawberries