March 2012

CA Homemade Food Act

Posted on March 26, 2012

Hi there friends!

I’m thrilled to say that I’ve had another piece published in GOOD Magazine. Free Jam: It’s Time to End California’s Law Against Selling Homemade Food discusses the current state of CA’s legislation prohibiting the sale of homemade foods and the proposed law that would change those regulations and give entrepreneurs the freedom to sell certain foods made in home kitchens to the public. Fascinating stuff for food lovers!

If you’re interested in reading my last piece for GOOD about La Cocina—a business incubator that helps low-income food entrepreneurs start their own businesses—check it out here.

-Emily

for the love of grits

Posted on March 19, 2012

Soul-satisfying, approachable and inexpensive, cheesy grits are the ultimate accompaniment. Over the past few weeks, I’ve served them with spicy shrimp, with BBQ chicken and egg-topped with tomato sauce. In every iteration they were delicious. Just make them, and throw whatever you were already planning to eat tonight on top of them. You won’t regret it.

Cheesy Grits, adapted from Alton Brown
2 cups milk
2 cups water
1 1/2 t kosher salt
1 cup grits (coarse ground cornmeal)
1/2 t freshly ground black pepper
4 T butter, cut into 1 T pieces
4 oz sharp cheddar, grated

In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, bring milk, water and salt to a boil. Once the milk mixture has come to a boil, add the grits slowly while whisking. You want to whisk pretty vigorously so your grits come out smooth. Reduce the heat to low and cover the grits. Every 5 minutes or so, uncover and whisk vigorously. After about 25 minutes your grits should be soft and thick.

Remove from the heat and add the butter and pepper. Whisk together. Once combined, whisk in the cheese. Serve immediately with the topping of your choice.

Also, my preference for green beans as a vegetable side has been made quite obvious.

-Emily

as of late

Posted on March 16, 2012

Hi there friends. It’s been a while. I’ve been busier than ever in JOBYland, and that is mostly to blame for the lack of blogging. I’ve got recipes, but am currently lacking the motivation to actually write them up. Instead, I’m going to post some photos of the last week or so and hope you still stick around despite my neglect.

If you’re curious what the photo side of my brain has been working on, check it out here, here and here.

Have a beautiful weekend!

-Emily

salted dark chocolate cookies

Posted on March 9, 2012

I noticed these cookies on Orangette a few weeks ago and decided to give them a go. Who can really say no to chocolate or salt, much less chocolate and salt together.

These cookies were also an experiment in dough refridgeration. The recipe recommends that you refrigerate the dough overnight, and I was curious how much of a difference that made in the end product. The first night I baked these cookies, I froze the dough for 30 minutes before baking. I also baked them the next day after they’d been refrigerating for about 24 hours. Honestly, I didn’t notice a big difference at all.  Do note though, this dough is quite sticky straight out of the mixture so some sort of refrigeration is necessary, unless you just want to make a drop cookie similar to a chocolate chip cookie.

Salted Dark Chocolate Cookies, via Orangette and adapted from from Tartine by Elisabeth M. Prueitt and Chad Robertson, and from Renee Erickson and Boat Street Café

8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup plus 2 T unsweetened cocoa powder
2 t baking powder
8 T unsalted butter, at room temperature
cup plus 2 T sugar, plus more for rolling the logs
2 large eggs
¼ t kosher salt
1 t vanilla extract
1/3 cup whole milk (I used 1% and it turned out just fine)
Maldon salt, for finishing (Amazingly, we had this particular variety of salt. You might remember The Salties. You’re looking for a large-flaked salt so it doesn’t just dissolve into the cookie or over-salt it)


Melt the chocolate in a double boiler over simmering water. I usually use a medium-sized metal bowl over a small sauce pan with a few inches of water in it. Melt the chocolate slowly, stirring frequently. Chocolate can burn so easily.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, and baking powder. Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium-high speed until creamy. Slowly add the sugar, and continue to beat until the mixture is completely smooth and soft, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Beat in the salt and the vanilla, and then add the melted chocolate, beating to incorporate. Add the milk, and beat until combined. Finally, add the flour mixture and beat on low speed until just incorporated. The dough will be quite thick and stiff.

Cut two large pieces of plastic wrap and put them on your counter. Divide the dough into two portions and place in the middle of each square of plastic wrap. Using the plastic wrap to prevent the dough from sticking to your hands, smoosh the dough into a log like shape that is about two inches in diameter. Wrap the log in plastic wrap and stick in the freezer or refrigerate to firm up.

When it’s time to bake, preheat the oven to 350°F, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Put another sheet of parchment paper on your work surface. Take a spoonful or two of sugar, and pour it onto the parchment, making a ridge of sugar of approximately the same length as your dough logs. Remove a log from the fridge, unwrap it, and roll in the sugar to evenly coat. Using a thin, sharp knife, slice the dough into ¼- to 1/3-inch slices.  Lay the slices on the baking sheet, leaving about 2 inches between each cookie. Sprinkle each cookie with a few flakes of Maldon salt.

Bake for 10 minutes, or until the top of the cookies looks set but still feels a little soft to the touch. Transfer to a wire rack, and leave the cookies on the pan to cool. Repeat with remaining dough.

These cookies will keep for several days in a cookie tin.

-Emily

southside rickey

Posted on March 4, 2012

We’ve been having incredible weather here in San Francisco —highs in the 70s!— and it feels like summer.  This drink is delightful and refreshing and certainly fitting for a summer day, or an unseasonably warm winter one.

Southside Rickey
1 1/2 oz gin
1/2 oz simple syrup
1 oz lime juice (lemon will also do in a pinch)
2 dashes of Peychaud’s Aeromatic Bitters
spring of mint
club soda

Combine gin, simple syrup, lime juice and bitters. Stir. Add mint and shake with ice. Strain into a chilled glass and top off with a splash of club soda. Garnish with a few leaves of mint. Enjoy!

-Emily

baklava

Posted on March 4, 2012

Our friends Kelly and Russell had us over for dinner the other night for a Turkish feast. We were tasked with dessert and decided to make baklava. We thought it only fitting.

Baklava is very easy to make, but quite time intensive because lots of layering is involved. This was my second attempt at baklava and it took me about 2 hours to make, including baking time, but was worth the time investment. This baklava is delicious and balanced. I find that it is best the first day, but do admit it’s not exactly terrible with coffee the next morning.

Baklava
1 (16 oz) package of phyllo dough
1 pound nuts, chopped (We used 1/3 lb each pistachios, walnuts and pecans)
1 cup butter, melted
1 t cinnamon
1/4 t freshly grated nutmeg
2 T sugar

For the syrup 
1 cup water
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup honey
zest of 1/2 orange
1 t vanilla

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Butter the sides and bottom of a 9″ x 13″ baking dish.

Chop nuts or chop in a food processor. Add cinnamon, nutmeg and sugar to nut mixture, and set aside. Melt the butter.

Unroll phyllo dough and cut the dough to the size of your baking dish with a sharp knife. Roll up the extra and return it to the fridge or freezer. Cover with a damp paper towel to keep dough from ripping.

To layer the dough, put down a sheet and brush lightly with butter. Top with another sheet. Brush with melted butter and top with another sheet of pastry. Continue to do this until you’ve layered eight sheets of dough.

Spread a thin layer of the nut mixture and top with another sheet of dough. Layer on another eight sheets, with butter between each sheet. It is important to put butter between each sheet of dough so you end up with a flaky pastry. If you don’t put the butter between the layers, the baklava will be very dense, and that’s no fun.

Continue to layer eight pieces of dough and one thin layer of nuts until you’ve used up all of the nut mixture. I used a 9″ x 13″ pan and my baklava had three layers of nuts.  Cut into diamond shapes with a sharp knife. Bake for 50 minutes.

While the baklava is baking, combine the water and sugar in a small saucepan. Heat until the sugar is dissolved. Add the honey and zest and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and let it cool for 10 more minutes before adding the vanilla.

When you remove the baklava from the oven, pour the honey sauce over the dish and let it cool. Remove once cooled and place in paper cupcake cups. To store, place in a cookie tin or leave uncovered on a plate. Enjoy!

-Emily