Food Flight

An aviator's culinary adventures

Daube de Boeuf December 30, 2009

Filed under: Dinner — flyingbubble @ 11:07 pm
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After skimming the pages of Mastering the Art of French Cooking, hopefully searching for a recipe that sounded somewhat appetizing.  (Most of her recipes involve ingredients that I don’t currently care to eat.)  This recipe (aka Estouffade de Boeuf or Terrine de Boeuf) is a casserole of beef with wine and vegetables.  “Daube” is a covered casserole, unfortunately I missed the line of the recipe with the direction to “cover closely”.  This was also one of the few recipes I found with absolutely no butter!  The fat comes from the bacon that gets layered into the casserole.  My mom doesn’t own a 5-6 quart casserole dish (actually I don’t either), and the biggest size she could find was 1.5 quart.  We borrowed a 3 quart dish from a neighbor and decided to cut the recipe in half.  I’m not sure if that caused any problems with the preparation or cooking, maybe next time I’ll get a bigger dish and cook the full amount.  The stew was very good and my dad requested the recipe after announcing it “a keeper”.  If you have an entire day to waste cooking, you should definitely try this out.  Actually I just spent some time in the morning, picking up groceries and tossing together the marinade, and then roughly 4 hours later I did some more preparations in creating the casserole and then it just went into the oven for 3 hours.  I had my mom checking on it while Jeremiah and I took the dog (Red) out for a long walk.  Here’s the recipe (full size):


3 lbs lean stewing beef cut into 2.5 in squares

1.5 cups dry white wine, dry white vermouth or red wine

1/4 cup brandy, eau de vie, or gin

2 Tb olive oil

2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

1/2 tsp thyme or sage

1 crumbled bay leaf

2 cloves mashed garlic

2 cups thinly sliced onions

2 cups thinly sliced carrots

1/2 lb lean bacon cut into 1″ slices, .25″ thick and 2″ long

1.5 cups sliced fresh mushrooms

1.5 lbs ripe red tomatoes peeled, seeded, juiced and chopped

1 cup sifted flour on a plate

1 to 2 cups beef stock or bouillon


Place the beef in the bowl and mix with the wine, optional spirits, olive oil, seasonings, herbs, and vegetables.  Cover and marinate at least 3 hours (6 if refridgerated), stirring up frequently.

Simmer the bacon for 10 minutes in 2 quarts of water.  Drain and dry.  Prepare the mushrooms and tomatoes. (For tomatoes: drop tomatoes one at a time into boiling water to cover, boil for exactly 10 seconds.  Remove.  Cut out the stem.  Peel off the skin starting from the stem hole.  Cut tomatoes in half crosswise, not through the stem.  Squeeze each half to extract the seeds and juices from the center of the tomato. Chop into small chunks.)  Remove the beef from the marinade and drain in a sieve.  Preheat oven 325 degrees.  Line the bottom of the casserole with 3 or 4 strips of bacon.  Strew a handful of the marinade vegetables, mushrooms and tomatoes over them.  Piece by piece, roll the beef in the flour and shake off excess.  Place closely together in a layer over the vegetables.  Cover with a few strips of bacon, and continue with layers of vegetables, beef, and bacon.  End with layer of vegetables and 2 or 3 strips of bacon.

Pour in the wine from the marinade and enough stock or bouillon almost to cover the contents of the casserole.  Bring to simmer on top of the stove, cover closely, and set in lower third of preheated oven.  Regulate heat so liquid simmers slowly for 2.5-3 hours.  Then meat is done when a fork pierces it easily.

Tip casserole and skim out fat.  Correct seasoning.  (*) May be prepared ahead and reheated, and its good either hot or cold.

Beef Marinading

Me: blanching a tomato

Layered casserole ready for the oven

DONE! (with a crispy top layer because I forgot to cover it)


Breakfast Pizza Mexican Style

Filed under: breakfast,Pizza — flyingbubble @ 3:25 pm
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I’m not going to repost the breakfast pizza recipe but these are much better pictures than I posted before.  I only had my iphone available for pictures the last time we made this.  As I stated in the previous post, the recipe is versatile.  Here is one example of a different flavor combination for the pizza.  We replaced the pork sausage with Chorizo (which is basically the same thing but it has some awesome mexican spices).  We used a mexican cheese blend and replaced the hash browns with diced red bell peppers.  I also sprinkled some dried cilantro on top to complement the mexican spices.  I’m at home with my parents and I have access to a wider selection of kitchen accessories, which is why we were able to create a round pizza this time.  Its a fairly simple recipe to whip up, so if you don’t mind waiting 25 minutes for the pizza to cook, I highly recommend giving it a chance!


Fancy Quesadilla

Filed under: breakfast,Snacks — flyingbubble @ 1:52 pm
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Jeremiah was hungry for breakfast and I had already eaten so we made this recipe up based on our available ingredients.  A couple nights ago my dad and I were watching Bobby Flay’s Throwdown and we saw him win a grilled cheese contest.  My dad thought the winning recipe sounded delicious so he went out and bought the ingredients.  I arrived home on Christmas eve after a long day of skiing at Snowbowl (near Flagstaff, AZ) and my dad called to tell me that I was in charge of grilling the sandwiches and I could find everything I need already in the fridge.  The “grown up” grilled cheese sandwich was made with brie and goat cheeses, green tomatoes and bacon.  We had leftover cheese so I thought a brie and goat cheese quesadilla would be delicious.  I would have added some sliced green tomatoes if we still had any.  I’m posting this because the cheese combination is really good and worth trying.  I also forgot to photograph the grilled cheese sandwiches.  Brie is the perfect compliment to the sharp and  tangy goat cheese.  


Christmas Breakfast from Julia Child December 25, 2009

Filed under: breakfast,Dessert — flyingbubble @ 7:06 pm
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My roommate Desiree gave me Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking so I decided that I needed to try one of her recipes for a Christmas meal.  Many of the recipes didn’t sound too appealing (aspics…) but its hard to go wrong with a dessert type recipe.  I had never cooked crepes before but I love them and have always wanted to try.  So I flipped to the dessert chapter and found a recipe for crepes with almond cream.  The great thing about this recipe was that the almond filling can be made up to a week in advance and the crepe batter gets mixed up the night before so all I had to do this morning was cook and fill the crepes.  The almond cream was probably the hardest part because I had to whip up liquid into a custardy texture without scorching the milk or getting the mixture stuck to the bottom of the pan.  My arm was pretty darn tired when I finished.  The crepe batter just gets blended up so that was definitely my favorite part.  As I cooked the crepes this morning I realized that the pan and cooking surface place a large part in your ability to make crepes.  I had trouble getting the pan to the right temperature (kept swinging between too hot and not enough heat).  I used a nonstick pan instead of cast iron.  The recipe calls for cooked crepes and almond cream so I had to use the recipes for those to get to step one for the final process.  I’ll include all the recipes in this post so you can make this recipe at home.

Crepes Fourrees, Frangipane (Crepes with Almond Cream)

12 cooked crepes 6 inches in diameter

1.5 cups frangipane (almond custard)

2 ounces or squares of semi sweet baking chocolate

2 Tb melted butter

1 Tb granulated sugar

Directions: Use any of the three recipes for crepes (I used dessert crepe recipe and that’s what I’ll include here).  Spread 2 Tb of frangipane on the less-good side of each crepe.  Fold the crepes into wedge shapes, or roll them, to enclose the filling, and arrange in the baking dish.  Grate the chocolate over the crepes, sprinkle on the melted butter, then the sugar.  About 20 minutes before serving, set in a preheated 350-degree oven until the chocolate had melted.  Serve hot or warm.

Crepes Fines Sucrees (light batter)

3/4 cup milk

3/4 cup cold water

3 egg yolks

1 Tb granulated sugar

3 Tb orange liqueur, rum, or brandy

1 cup flour (scooped and leveled)

5 Tb melted butter

Directions: Place the ingredients in the blender jar in the order in which they are listed.  Cover and blend at top speed for 1 minute.  If bits of flour adhere to sides of jar, dislodge with a rubber scraper and blend 3 seconds more.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight

Frangipane (Almond custard filling)

1 egg

1 egg yolk

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1/3 cup flour

1 cup boiling milk

3 Tb butter

2 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 tsp almond extract

1/2 cup pulverized macaroons or pulverized almonds

Directions:  Beat the egg and egg yolk in he mixing bowl, gradually adding the sugar, until mixture is pale yellow and forms the ribbon.  Beat in the flour.  Then beat in the boiling milk in a thin stream of droplets.  Pour into saucepan and set over moderate heat.  Stir slowly with the whip, reaching all over the bottom of the pan.  When mixture begins to coagulate into lumps, beat it vigorously until it smooths and thickens into a stiff paste.  Then over moderately low heat, beat it with a wooden spoon for 2 to 3 minutes to cook the flour thoroughly.  Be careful the custard does not scorch on the bottom of the pan.  Off heat, beat in the butter, then the flavorings and macaroons or almonds.  If not used immediately, clean custard off sides of pan and dot top with softened butter to prevent a skin from forming on the surface.  Frangipane will keep for a week under refrigeration, or may be frozen.


Aida’s Linzer Cookies December 23, 2009

Filed under: Cookies,Dessert — flyingbubble @ 1:21 pm
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Every year I get 12 emails from the Food Network with the “12 days of cookies”.  Each day the email has a photo and recipe for a delicious holiday cookie from one of the Food Network stars.  This year I decided to actually try one of the recipes.  I’ve never made linzer cookies so it was an easy choice when I saw the chocolate hazelnut linzer cookies from Aida.  My dad doesn’t like chocolate though so I made the fruit jam version instead.  Since I happen to have a strawberry almond jam in the pantry, I added almonds to the dough instead of pecans.  I also added more jelly per cookie than recommend (I doubled the amount actually) at my mom’s request.  There are plenty of ways to personalize this recipe. Here’s the basic instructions for Blackberry Pecan Linzer cookies:

Blackberry-Pecan Linzer Cookies:

  • 1 cup toasted pecans
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into pieces
  • 3/4 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large egg yolks, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons grated orange zest, from 3 oranges
  • 1/2 cup seedless blackberry jam

Add the nuts to the bowl of a food processor, fitted with a blade, and pulse until finely ground (it should be powdery and not a paste), about 15 pulses. Set aside. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl until evenly combined and set aside.

Put the butter and sugars in the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, and mix on medium speed until creamy and light, about 2 to 3 minutes. Turn off the mixer, scrape down sides of the bowl, and add egg yolks and vanilla. Mix until well incorporated.

Mix in the orange zest, ground pecan powder, and the flour mixture until just incorporated. Divide the dough into 2 even pieces, pat each into a thin disk, enclose in plastic wrap, and let rest in refrigerator at least 1 hour and up to 12 hours.

When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and arrange racks in the upper and lower third of the oven. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and let sit at room temperature until pliable enough to roll. Roll out half of the dough on a piece of lightly floured parchment or waxed paper to 1/4-inch thickness. Using a 2-inch round cookie or biscuit cutter, cut out rounds of dough. Using 3/4-inch round cookie cutter, cut out the center of half of rounds to make rings. Transfer rounds and rings to the freezer to set up for 5 minutes before continuing. Gather the dough scraps and chill.

Transfer the chilled cookies to parchment lined baking sheets, leaving at least 1-inch between each cookie. Bake 2 sheets of cookies at a time until the undersides are golden, switching sheets halfway through, about 12 to 15 minutes total. Cool 5 minutes on sheets then remove to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat until all dough is used.

To assemble cookies, spread 1/2 teaspoon jam on the bottom side of each solid round cookie, then top with a ring-shaped cookie.


Citrus Shortbread Cookies December 21, 2009

Filed under: Dessert — flyingbubble @ 5:08 pm
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I’m finally back home in Arizona! Its so great to be in the desert again :).  Its also holiday time and that means I get to cook a lot.  My mom and I sat down and scoured through stacks of recipes and recipe books looking for foods we’d like to try.  This recipe was a magazine clipping and I unfortunately can’t figure out which magazine its from to give them credit.  My dad loves shortbread cookies and I had never attempted to bake that type before.  This citrus shortbread cookie seemed like the perfect way to kick off my holiday baking.

I had some trouble with the dough (or at least I thought I did).  It didn’t seem to be the consistency that I expected and I definitely didn’t use a rolling pin to shape the dough like the directions recommend.  My dough crumbled everywhere and I was lucky to get it all in one piece onto my cookie sheet.  Miraculously they baked up just fine and taste pretty darn good.  I also failed at the aesthetically pleasing “drizzle” effect on the icing.  I lost patience and just globbed it on top of each cookie.   (yes I realize that globbed is not a word).

Here’s the recipe so you can try this at home:


3/4 cup butter or margarine, softened

1/4 cup granulated sugar

2 cups Gold Medal all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons grated lime peel

1 1/2 teaspoons grated orange peel

1 cup powdered sugar

1 or 2 tablespoons lime juice


1. Heat oven to 350 F.  In large bowl, beat butter and granulated sugar with electric mixer or medium speed 2 to 3 minutes or until light and creamy.  Add flour, lime peel and orange peel.  Beat on low speed until mixture is blended.  Gather dough into a ball.

2. On lightly floured surface, roll dough into a 8×6 inch rectangle, about 1/2 inch thick. (If dough cracks around edges, press edges to smooth)  Cut into 12 (2 in) squares, then cut each square diagonally in half into triangles.  On ungreased cookie sheet, place triangles 1/2 inch apart.

3. Bake 12 to 17 minutes or until edges just begin to brown.  Cool 1 minute; remove from cookie sheet to wire rack.  Cool completely, about 15 minutes.

4.  In small bowl, mix powdered sugar and lime juice with spoon until smooth and thin enough to drizzle.  Drizzle glaze over cookies. (24 cookies)

NUTRITION: (1 cookie) Calories 120 (from fat 50), Total Fat 6g, Cholesterol 15mg, Sodium 40mg, Total Carbohydrate 15g, Fiber 0g, Sugar 7g, Protein 1g.


BBQ Chicken Pizza

Filed under: Pizza — flyingbubble @ 4:46 pm
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One of my favorite kinds of pizza is the bbq chicken from California Pizza Kitchen.  My roommates and I decided to make our own version of this classic flavor combo.  I just used store bought pizza dough, spread with BBQ sauce, sprinkle cheese, cooked chicken chunks, sauteed red onions, and fresh cilantro.  We baked it for 14 minutes at 425 and it was delicious!!! The crust was a bit flimsy, so I may consider pre-baking the crust next time.  We also should have used more chicken for the size of pizza that we made.  Eventually I would like to invest in a pizza stone for the oven because its just not quite the same when you bake the “pie” in a rectangular jelly roll pan.  Problems aside, with a plate and a fork it was just as good as the real thing.

My Recipe:


Pizza Dough (I used Pillsbury)

~3/4 cup BBQ sauce (I used Masterpiece HIckory Brown Sugar)

2 cups Shredded Cheese (mozzarella or an Italian blend)

2-3 Chicken Breasts

1 Red onion

Fresh cilantro to taste


Preheat the oven to 425.  Spread out the pizza dough on your pan.  Spread your favorite BBQ sauce over the dough, use as much or as little as you want.  (I’d offer a suggested amount but I didn’t measure).  Slice the chicken into bite size chunks and cook in a skillet.  Cut Red Onion into strips or chunks and saute till slightly translucent. Chop up a large handful of fresh cilantro leaves.  Sprinkle cheese on top of the sauce, then top with Chicken, red onions and cilantro.  Bake in the oven for 15-17 minutes.  Slice into pieces and serve!

The crust didn’t toast up enough so we ate our slices on plates with silver wear.  Pre-baking the crust may resolve this problem but I’ve not tried it so please let me know if you do and it works.