I’m pleased to announce that boomie’s kitchen has just purchased the domain of boomieskitchen.com. This should go into effect by March 22,2013 at which point any previous links will be directed to our new domain.
Please share this new link with your friends and family!
It’s been a while since I’ve had a chance to write something… four months to be exact. Four months of time before I’ve really had a chance to write something for myself, to do something for myself. School has been crazy this past quarter. I have finals in a few days, but of course I decide to do better things with my time like prepare for St Patricks Day.
Spring is one of the 4 seasons that I have mixed feelings about. It signals the end of my favorite winter. The obnoxious amounts of Fall spices, warm stews, and peppermint. It does, however, let me make these cutesy powdery colored foods. Yes I used the word cutesy. Yes that is a word.
I’m usually not shy with my food coloring. But I decided to let the green tea shine in this recipe. Before you moan and cringe at the use of green tea powder, stay and hear me out before you move on… Green tea powder isn’t cheap. Well, technically matcha powered (what green tea powder traditionally refers to) isn’t cheap. When you’re working with baked goods, the high quality matcha power isn’t necessary. Refined flavors of the high quality matcha can be lost in the almond or other flavors of baked goods. In addition, the antioxidants and other valuable nutritions are a lot higher in the green tea powder instead of in the Matcha powder. I found mine online if you wanted a reference.
I’m not going to lie. I was originally going to hash out a green tea macaron recipe. Then, I stumbled upon these babies in the middle of the night, when I feel the most whimsical. I also needed an excuse to use the glutinous rice powder and red beans I had in the pantry and green tea powder I just bought for macarons. The original recipe didn’t have any red beans, but I wanted to spice things up a little.
If you’re wondering where to get glutinous rice powder, you can get the more popular Mochiko powder. I used the plastic pouches that you can find in most Asian super markets where the grains are. They were conveniently located in the same isle as red beans where I shop!
The cupcakes are easy to make. You combine the dry ingredients in a bowl, combine the wet ingredients and whisk to combine. The entire process, including pictures, took me about 20 minutes. Don’t fret if your dry ingredients look a bit white, it darkens up when the wet ingredients are added in.
I made the red bean paste because I needed an excuse to make red bean paste. I ate about a fourth of what I made, and use the rest in these cupcakes. I used a tooth pick to help push down the little red bean paste disks I made with my hands, the paste doesn’t stick at all. That recipe, however, will have to be saved for another day!
Gluten Free Green Tea Mochi Cupcakes
Originally from Humble Bean
- 1 lb. glutinous rice powder
- 1 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1 1/2 tsp. green tea powder
- 3 eggs
- 1 1/2 cup milk
- 3/4 cup oil
- Red bean paste (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- In a large bowl whisk together the rice powder, sugar, baking powder, and green tea powder.
- In a medium bowl whisk together the eggs, milk and oil. Add to large bowl and whisk to combine.
- Fill cupcake liners to about 1/2 to 2/3 full. If using red bean paste, make 1 tsp disks and place into individual cupcakes, using a toothpick to help push it down so the batter covers the red bean.
- Bake for 30-40 minutes or until set and slightly browned on top. Cool and serve.
For those of you slackers (guilty as well here) and still need an ideas for Thanksgiving, check out the recipes that I made last year. This is for all of you who are a bit slow and those of you who suddenly don’t have Thanksgiving plans anymore. Just kidding! I’m actually still finalizing thanksgiving plans myself; my original anticipation to use this menu didn’t really work out given that rapid growth in Thanksgiving plans.
This year, Thanksgiving came a few weeks early for my friends. I was eager to test out some recipes, and work out a 6 hour plan to get Thanksgiving dinner ready and on the table. So this year, I present to you a thanksgiving dinner, with a turkey, 3 side dishes, and dessert for a smaller family of 5 or 6 in under 6 hours.
For the purpose of this post I couldn’t get cranberries. In fact, people from my local market kind of judged me when I told them what I was doing. I ended up cooking some crushed cranberry sauce in a pan with orange juice, ginger, and lemon juice. A recipe will be coming soon though!
Before I get into the “action plan” here is a list of recipes that I’ve posted that I will be using in this 6 hour plan.
- Herb-roasted Bone-in Turkey Breast w/ Gravy
- Ciabatta Stuffing with Chestnuts and Bacon
- Baked Mashed Potatoes with Bacon and Parmesan
- One-hour pumpkin pie
This is the exact menu that I prepared for my friends last thanksgiving. Here’s the action plan:
1:00 PM make the pie
2:00 PM prep mashed potatoes, do not bake them
3:00 PM begin prep work for the stuffing
4:00 PM prepare turkey
4:40 PM start baking turkey, finish stuffing and prepare for baking
5:00 PM start baking stuffing
6:40 PM baked potatoes while turkey is resting
7 PM Dinner is served
This year I will be trying a few new things for Thanksgiving. I’m excited to be able to share these recipes with you when I do finish everything. I wish all of you the best Thanksgiving yet, I hope my recipes will be able to strike some inspiration. Eat fast because Black Friday starts as early as 9 PM at Target this year!
During Thanksgiving, the family always looks forward to that big, juicy, 20 pound bird that always takes over the center of the dinner table. For the chefs, however, the turkey can quickly turn into a nightmare.
Dry. Bland. Still Frozen… Did I mention dry and bland? Let’s not forget about the fact that the thing is 20 pounds…
There are so many ways that the star of Thanksgiving could be ruined. Growing up with a family of 3, my grandparents resented buying a turkey just because of how unrealistic it is for us to finish the bird. Regardless, was always a turkey on the dinner table every Thanksgiving.
Things changed in college. There was no human way I could prepare a giant turkey in my college dorm kitchen, which is why I turned to turkey breasts. I’m not talking about the packaged turkey breast fillets cut off… but the bone-in stuff… At an average of 7 pounds, the turkey breast is perfect for a smaller audience and still delivers the delicious dose of tryptophan sending you into a heavenly turkey-coma right before black friday.
So onto this bird that I’m dying to share with you…it consists of a herby butter that is massaged directly onto the meat, under the skin, which is then roasted gently until it reaches perfection.
A secret for tender and moist that I abide by is the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service’s Poultry Curve. Alton Brown was actually the chef that introduced this curve to me. We are normally told that chicken has to be cooked until it reaches 165 F internally. In reality, when the turkey is resting, the outside of the turkey continues to warm the inside of it up, so we really only have to wait until 161F for safe cooking!
You honestly don’t really need gravy with this turkey but I’ve included a simple recipe that uses pan-drippings, roux, and a little bit of chicken stock that’ll get you through. I personally love gravy so I make a bowl even though I don’t really need it. I try to find something to do with it.. and yes that is my reference to a post-thanksgiving dinner dish (:
If you are using this gravy recipe for a turkey that you brined, use the lowest-sodium chicken broth you can find or even consider thinning it out with a bit of water instead of chicken broth so its not too salty.
Herb-Roasted Bone-in Turkey Breast
- 1 Bone-in Turkey Breast
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tsp dry mustard
- 1 Tbsp rosemary leaves, finely chopped
- 1 Tbsp sage leaves, chopped
- 1 tsp thyme leaves, chopped
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup butter, melted
- 1 onion, quartered
- In a bowl combine garlic, mustard, herbs, salt, pepper, and butter. Place bowl in the fridge until firm.
- In the meanwhile, place rinse and pat down turkey breast. Loosen the skin, using it as a pocket for the butter.
- Rub the herbbed butter under (not over) the skin of the turkey.
- Place in a turkey bag lightly dusted with flour, Place the quartered onion in the cavity of the breast and tie the bag according to the instructions accompanying your oven bag. Pierce the bag, as instructed by the directions on the box.
- Bake turkey at 350 for approximately an hour and a half to two hours, checking for doneness at the hour and half mark. Turkey should be cooked when it reaches 161, not 165.
Happy Turkey Day!
My first encounter with mashed potatoes was when I was about 5 years old. It came in a box, with multiple little cup-a-noodle-like cups. I loved the the idea that pouring hot water on salty flakes would transform them in flavorful clouds. But of course, these really weren’t mashed potatoes. I was ok with that.
It took me a while to understand how a potato could possibly become flakes. Then it was slighlty mind blowing to realize that you actually mashed potatoes. You’d think I was a slow kid… but I still managed UCSD somehow…
This is my secret mashed potato recipe. Its really not that big of a secret, but it is pretty legendary. It starts with potatoes boiling on a pot. Bacon is then lightly cooked, until an irresistible golden brown. Once the potatoes are soft, they are drained and mashed. The bacon, and all of its grease (and some more butter when I’m feeling naughty) is added in. I then add in cheese, a dash of salt and pepper.
After being transferred to a greased baking dish (lined with foil of course), its sprinkled with bread crumbs and more cheese. My favorite part about this is the fact that this can be prepared early in the morning before everything else and then baked right before dinner begins while the turkey is resting.
Along with the Stuffing this is one of those recipes that is enjoyed by the entire family. I’ve made this for thanksgiving 4 years in a row now, and 2 more times during christmas. Honestly, you can’t go wrong with this. In fact, this `will be my only recipe that is not changing this holiday season.
Baked Mashed Potatoes with Bacon and Parmesan
Adapted from Foodnetwork.com
- 4 pounds russet potatoes, peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 stick butter (optional)
- 1 cup whole milk, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella
- 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan, divided use
- 8 oz bacon cut into 1 inch pieces
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons plain dry bread crumbs
- Preheat oven to 400 if you are baking right away. Spray a 13 by 9 inch pan with pam. Set aside.
- Boil a large pot of salted water. Cook potatoes until very tender, about 15 minutes. While the potatoes are boiling, fry bacon until golden brown.
- Drain potatoes and return to pan. Mash well. Mix the bacon, bacon grease, and bacon bits into the potatoes and mix. Add in butter if you are using it along with the milk. Stir to combine. Stir in mozzarella and 3/4 cup of parmesan. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Transfer potatoes to baking dish. Combine the remaining parmesan and bread crumbs and cover the mashed potatoes with the mixture. At this point you can let this rest for up to 6 hours which is what I do.
- Bake uncovered for 20 minutes or until the topping is golden brown.
It’s hard to get everyone on the same page on Thanksgiving. I mean… for some people its hard enough trying to prevent the room from blowing off.
Imagine 15 people sitting around a dinner table, expecting a delicious meal put together by 1 person, each nit-picky and not accustomed to Western flavor profile. That is my family.
What I love about stuffing, and specifically this stuffing, is that there is a little bit of something for everyone at the table. My uncle loves the chestnuts, my aunt loves the vegetables, the older sibling you never really wanted (yes, I’m talking about you Peter) can’t stop picking at the bacon – this is my “one dish” that everyone loves, that is always requested.
I started the recipe by removed the extra used in the dish and relied on bacon grease. Because pancetta was difficult to find, I sautéed the vegetables in the bacon grease. From that point forward, it’s just a matter of combining all the remaining ingredients until well combined and forming a delicious bowl of stuffing.
I’m often asked why I don’t stuff my turkey instead of serving it on the side. To be quite honest, it started because my aunt was usually in charge of the turkey and I the remaining dishes. After carefully studying Alton Brown’s Thanksgiving menu, I’ve come to learn that the tasty turkey juices that seep into the thanksgiving stuffing can also seep into your stomach and make you vomit.
Although I emphasize that 161 F is indeed a safe temperature for roasting a turkey, in order for the stuffing to reach the 161, the remaining turkey has to reach high temperatures that would dry the breast and legs out – not good eats. On the other hand, while a meat thermometer might register the meat as cooked, the stuffing may be under the Alton Brown recommended 161 and filled with salmonella juices.
Another note that I have is the fact that this is indeed technically called “dressing” instead of stuffing. But lets be real, with a family that has an heavy asian influence like mine, calling this dressing might actually convince them that I’m serving bread, chestnuts, and bacon with a bowl full of ranch.
Ciabatta Stuffing with Chestnuts and Bacon
Adapted from Foodnetwork.com
- 8 ounces bacon, cut into1 inch pieces
- 2 large onions, finely chopped
- 2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
- 3 celery stalks, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves
- 3 garlic cloves, chopped
- 2 (7.4-ounce) jars roasted peeled whole chestnuts, coarsely broken
- 1 pound day-old ciabatta bread, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
- 2/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan
- 1 cup (or more) canned low-salt chicken broth
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 large eggs, beaten to blend
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 13 by 9 dish with pam.
- Gently fry bacon until golden brown. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pancetta to a large bowl. Add the onions, carrots, celery, rosemary, and garlic. Saute until the onions are very tender, about 12 minutes. Gently stir in the chestnuts. Transfer the onion mixture to the large bowl with the bacon. Add the bread and Parmesan and toss to coat.
- Add enough broth to the mixture to moisten. Season the stuffing, to taste, with salt and pepper. Mix in the eggs.
- Transfer the stuffing to the prepared dish. Cover with foil sprayed with pan, and bake until the stuffing is heated through, about 30 minutes. Uncover and continue baking until the top is crisp and golden, about 15 minutes longer.
I never really knew how I felt about pumpkin pie, I spent a good portion of my life convincing myself that I didn't like it.
Unfortunately, when the time comes, and pretty much everyone coming to thanksgiving dinner decides that they want a pumpkin pie for thanksgiving, theres really nothing to do but to give in. I think this is usually how I start making up my mind on what I like to eat.
Being the pushover that I am when it comes to deciding thanksgiving items, I give in. I go through google, pick out a well rated recipe the night before thanksgiving. I take some time to do my usual reserach on, cross reference some different blogs, ideas, and settle with a rough edit.
It involves a blend of spices that I've come up with cooked with pumpkin to remove the canned taste. Its then combined with a whole can of condensed milk, two eggs and baked until just set. Upon setting… well lets just say that the only thing left was a sad pie tin, now crustless….
I can't say that this recipe changed how I feel about pumpkin pie, nor can I say this was revolutionary, but the actual prep time only takes about 10 to 15 minutes and a short prep time is more than appreciated on a busy thanksgiving day… for boomieskitchen at least!
One-hour Pumpkin Pie
Adapted from: Allrecipes.com
- 1 (15 oz) can pumpkin
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 1/2 tsp ground allspice
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 (14 oz) can condensed milk
- 2 eggs
- 1 (9 inch) unbaked pie crust
- Preheat oven to 425 F. While the oven is preheating, combine pumpkin, spices, and salt on a pan and cook until warm and fragrant.
- Off the heat, combine pumpkin with condensed milk and eggs. Pour the batter into the pie crust.
- Place the pie into an oven and reduce temperature to 350. Bake for 35-45 minutes or until the center lightly jiggles when shaken. A knife inserted 1 inch from the crust should come out clean. Let cool and serve.
I will preface this review by saying that I had really high expectations for ‘lette macarons. I mean really… high… expectations. With a four star rating on yelp and a few recommendations from friends, I was ready for ‘lette macarons to blow my mind.
Unfortunately, I was let down. Badly.
My sweet little sister (featured in my photo guide) bought me a dozen of their most popular flavors from the Pasadena store. After trying the 12 cookies, all I can say is that I am disappointed. While ‘lette offers a step up in quality of texture from Merely Sweets, I find ‘lette macarons boring and uncreative. I say this not as an insult to the quite interesting flavor lineup and use of flavor combinations but to their repetitive use of a white chocolate based filling.
The shells of these cookies were not disappointing. But they definitely weren’t the best I’ve had. As you can see, they are smooth and pretty and that definitely holds to be true for the entire lineup but ‘lette. When biting into the smooth outer shell of they give a gentle but still oddly satisfying resistance, not quite a crunch — spot on. After chewing on them, the macaron shells seem to be a bit dry. Although they weren’t crunchy, they weren’t as moist or chewy as I had expected. I didn’t necessarily find it disturbing but rather interesting and unique to ‘lette.
Out of the dozen macarons that our kitchen taste tested, 9 of ‘lette’s macarons utilize a cream that is based on white chocolate and then thickened and emulsified by soy lecithin. Because of this, I found their macarons to be repetitive in flavor and and texture. Although I will admit that I am definitely a buttercream kind of guy, and I appreciated the first few macaron fillings that I tested, I started to think that the bakers were too lazy to come up with something innovative.
I found these macarons to be a step up from the overly salty goo that was in Merely Sweets’ macarons. I found the salt just satisfying enough for me to want another bite. Although it is a thick caramel-like sauce and not a buttercream, the salt level made the buttery hints in the macaron tasted like they used artificial flavorings. Also, the use of corn syrup in their filling was obvious and in-your-face. The additive made the filling almost gummy and clearly artificial.
Recently I’ve grown quite accustomed to rose flavored sweets, I attribute this to a good friend of mine who is slightly obsessed with macarons. Normally it is easy to overpower sweets since rose is such a pungent note. I bit into this macaron, ready for the mesmerizing floral pallet to hit me but unfortunately it was barely present. The flavor of almond dominated my taste buds while I continued to stuggle finding notes of rose in the filling. Flavor aside, I found the filling’s texture to be confusing as it was slightly chewy which further distracted the already-subtle rose flavor.
This was a standard chocolate macaron. The shells were prettily decorated with the cocoa nibs on top which added in texture and originally. The flavors were not dark nor bittersweet. It bordered between semi-sweet and milk which is a interesting juxtaposition against the popular dark chocolate flavored macaron.
Given that I was having a lemon phase during this review, I was disappointed by the macaron’s pasty texture. The high fruity lemon notes were not present but the sour taste definitely cut through the sweet shells.That said, I was confused by the macaron because of the uncommon thick filling that made the filling taste clearly artificial.
The vanilla macaron was light to taste and not very fragrant. I had personally been excited to try this macaron given my obsession over Merely Sweets’ vanilla macaron. The overall macaron was light and welcomed but the filling was barely fragrant and the vanilla did not come through clearly.
In my test batch, this macaron was the most chewy. The interesting texture was complimented by a bold pistachio undertone and flavor profile. I personally enjoyed the interesting contrast, like I was eating a chewy pistachio. What especially helped this macaron was the use of pistachios instead of the common pistachio paste which really helped the earthy tones come through.
Sweet Wedding Almond
For all of you who have tried the asian almond milk tea, this is exactly what the macaron tasted like. If you haven’t tried the sweet milk, go try it. The distinctive processed almond profile stands out in many baked goods and this macaron seemed to attest to that. Although I found many of ‘lette’s macarons to taste like almonds, I found this particular macaron to lack the nuttier flavors but rather possess a brighter floral almond note.
Earl Grey Tea
Again, I had expectations for a boldly flavored Earl Grey tea. The initial flavor profile was light and flora, unlike Earl Grey but after a few bites the tea flavor started settling in. Perhaps what was the most interesting to me was the aftertaste. For whatever reason, the light and floral tones slowly translate into a true Earl Grey and if I didn’t know any better I’d say that it shared the exact same after taste as if I just took a sip of the tea. That said, this macaron was the most gummy out of all of them in my test batch.
I was excited for this macaron because I had never had violet before but I’ve heard a few things about it before. Paired with the violet filling is a black currant jam. I found the combination of sweet and sour to be extremely favorable and I enjoyed this macaraon. Knowing that there is a violet component, however, I was upset that, like the rose, the flavors were too light to be noticed and were overpowered by the fruit.
Seeing the familiar white “ganache” that ‘lette is fond of, I was ready for another artificially flavored fruit filling, I was, however, pleasantly surprised by the delicious fruit filling in the macaron. Unfortunately, the sweet filling did detract from the overall flavor. I personally thought that they were paying homage to traditional white chocolate ganache but this “ganache” was more gummy than chocolate.
This macaron was in many ways oddly reminiscent of the lemon macaron. The filling was made of the same thick white ganache that was chewy and gummy. The flavor of this macaron, however, was less favorable compared to its lemon counterpart. The fruity flavor was uncomfortably tart and the notes of passion fruits were not strong.
Milk Chocolate Hazelnut (?)
This last macaron wasn’t on ‘lette’s website but after some digging, my best guest was the hazelnut flavored macaron. There was definitely a nut in the middle of the macaron but the gelatinous filling confused me. There was no taste of chocolate and it was purely sweet and nutty.
Issues with marketing aside, I think that my lack of ability to deffrientiate an unknown flavor goes to show the extent of how light each flavor was. That aside, my notes consistently include notes on a gummy, artificial filling. Aside from the “confused” hazelnut macaron, chocolate, and caramel every other filling was the same with flavorings. This is something that I cannot overlook. Although I enjoyed the innovative designs of the Caribbean chocolate and the impressive flavorings in the violet cassis, I cannot say that I would recommend ‘lette for someone who is looking for an authentic macaron.
As my methodologies in baking and the culinary arts are considered conservative, and I take after the traditional Laudree, I find Pierre Herme’s flavoring profiles to be my comfort zone. I would encourage those who have tried macarons in the past to give ‘lette a chance. Although I personally am not a fan of the flavorings, other people might be and I respect that.
That said, I must continue in my search for my “favorite macaron shop” for now.
And again, you rock lil sis!
Some of you might remember my peanut butter blondies, this is kind of similar to that. For those of you wondering: blondies are brownies, just without the chocolate. Now before you go on freaking out about why I haven’t posted a single brownie recipe, just wait. It’s coming.
When I first started making the recipe I was curious to see how they manipulated the chocolate chip cookie recipe, in comparison to my quick chocolate chip cookies. As I started adding the sugar, and the eggs, and the egg yolks, I realized that the recipe was exactly the same as mine. With the addition of two tablespoons of flour.
So I proceeded, expecting my chewy chocolate chip cookies. Little did I know, the addition of the salted caramel sauce made things very interesting. The multidimensional flavors of the caramel contributes to the sweet flavors of the chocolate chip cookie dough. The salt finishes the picture. I added another small pinch of salt. Yes, I’m hooked to salty sweet flavors now.
When I made the recipe, I doubled everything and baked it in an 13 by 9 baking pan. I was kind of afraid that the cookies wouldn’t cook all the way through. They didn’t. That didn’t compromise the blondies though! The blondies, like my chocolate chip cookies need some time to set when they first come out of the oven. If you like your cookies cooked all te way through, I’d recommend not doubling the recipe and baking it in a 8 by 8 square pan.
Each person I served ended up with 1.5 inch squares. Coming from someone who’s eaten a quart of ice cream in one sitting: these blondies are extremely rich. I love them. But eating too much is bad–don’t do it. Maybe just two squares… or three if you’re having a bad day. And if you are having a bad day, serve this warm with a spoon, and a giant bowl of ice cream. I even left some space on my plate… waiting for its creamy smooth companion.
Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Blondie Bars
Recipe adapted from Pink Parsley
- 2/4 cup butter, softened
- 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
- 1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
- 2 cups plus 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 3/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 Recipe of Salted Caramel Sauce
- fleur de sel, for sprinkling
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line an 8×8-inch baking pan with aluminum foil. Spray with Pam for Baking, or spray with pam and dust with flour.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl using a hand mixer, beat the butter and sugars together until thoroughly combined. Beat in the egg, yolk, and vanilla until just combined. Add in the dry ingredients and beat at low speed until the mixture is just under-combined, then stir in the chocolate chips.
- Spread half of the dough out in the bottom of the baking pan. Spread the caramel sauce over the cookie dough and drop the remaining dough in clumps over the caramel – the dough will bake together, so don’t worry if the dough doesn’t cover the entire pan.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean from the bars when tested for doneness. They may seem a little raw, they’ll continue to cook as they cool down. As soon as the bars come out of the oven, sprinkle the top with fleur de sel. Allow the pan to cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes before carefully removing the bars in the foil from the pan. Allow the bars to cool completely before slicing.