The countdown to the start of our annual adventure has begun. We will be spending October in Tibet, Nepal and Bhutan. For most of the trip, I will not have access to the internet, so I've put the blog on autopilot to assure you have something to read when you link here. This year, I've picked 35 recipes from my personal recipe rotation to share with you during my absence. When, and if, I am able, I'll bolster these recipes with pictures and verbal reflections of the trip. November should see the return of business as usual. Hopefully, we'll be able to talk before then.
From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...The Silver Fox comes from a family of German ancestry. His mother was a fabulous pastry cook and her kuchen puts any I make to shame. That, however, does not keep me from trying to best a pastry whose taste, I'm certain, has been enhanced by memory. While it is a bit of work, I love the kuchen I'm featuring today. The aroma of apples and fall spices brings back memories of a childhood that included bonfires and the smell of burning leaves that was enhanced, of course, by the aroma of cinnamon and cloves melding in the oven. I find it impossible to think of a fall kitchen without apples and this kuchen is so pretty, and, I might add, so tasty, that if I could only pick one apple dessert to last a lifetime, this would be it. The kuchen first appeared here in November of 2008. Here's what I had to say about it at the time.
Sunday, October 4, 2015
Saturday, October 3, 2015
From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...This recipe has been in my rotation for years now. It is safely ensconced because this chicken is nearly effortless to prepare and makes it from the stove to the table in near record time. It would be faster still if I used a commercial sauce, but I prefer not to do that. I use a simple homemade sauce that, while not a heat and eat special, comes together quickly. "Teriyaki" is actually a word that identifies a method of cooking in which meat or poultry is brushed with a sauce made from soy sauce, mirin, sugar and saki. Food historians believe that teriyaki, along with other types of roasted and grilled meats, was first made by Japanese cooks in the seventeenth century. It was, however, the sauce that set teriyaki apart from the other dishes developed at that time. Traditionally, the sauce is made by boiling the four ingredients we've already mentioned until they are reduced to the desired thickness. The luster or shine of teriyaki comes from the mirin or sake, and from the caramelization of the sugar in the sauce. Cooks are not bound to the 4 ingredient formula. I also add lemon and ginger to the sauce I make for my family. I serve this chicken with steamed rice and pass any extra sauce at the table. I never have to deal with complaints or leftovers. This is another recipe that was added to the blog in 2008. Here is what I had to say about the dish at that time.
Friday, October 2, 2015
From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...Yesterday, I warned that not all the recipes appearing in my private rotation would produce beautiful dishes. Chicken Long Rice is an example of what I meant. This homely dish, while far from beautiful, is the Hawaiian equivalent of Jewish Chicken Soup, and, despite its appearance, it has become a Polynesian favorite and is served at island family celebrations. I think those of you who try the recipe will find the soup addicting. It certainly was for me, and I was hooked when I had my first spoonful. Its mild flavor and the ease with which it can be prepared has made it one of my favorite light soups. Despite its name, this treasure of a soup contains no rice and the noodles with which it is made are actually bean threads that turn glassy as the soup cooks. These days bean thread noodles can be found in any large supermarket, so sourcing ingredients is not a problem for this dish. One caution. Don't cut back on the amount of black pepper or green onions that you add to the soup. They are both necessary ingredients and the quantities in the recipe are perfect for producing an authentically flavored Chicken Long Rice. This recipe first appeared on One Perfect Bite in September of 2008. Here is what I had to say about the soup back in the day.
Thursday, October 1, 2015
From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...Sometimes there is more to handsome than a pretty face. As of late, there have been a slew of recipes that produce dishes that look beautiful, but fail miserably when subjected to taste tests. My intent is not to take anyone down, so, rather than focus on the negative, I've decided to shout from the roof tops when I come across a recipe that actually delivers the promises it makes. This recipe, developed by Patricia Wells, is in my permanent rotation and I make it whenever I can. It is making an encore performance on One Perfect Bite because it is so very, very good. As we prepare for our trip to the mountain kingdoms of Asia, I wanted to put together a collection of recipes that I think are outstanding. Some produce gorgeous dishes, others do not, but any recipe that appears in my permanent rotation is delicious and, if you are even slightly adventurous, I know you and you family love them. I wanted to start the month with this magnificent Golden Cream and Apple Tart. Here is what I had to say about the recipe when it first appeared on my blog.
Wednesday, September 30, 2015
From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...These delicious "sandwiches" are a riff on the chocolate version that most folks are familiar with. According to food historians, Amish women would bake these desserts (known as hucklebucks, or creamy turtles at the time) and put them in farmers' lunch pails or lunch boxes. When farmers would find the treats in their lunch, they would shout "Whoopie!". Hence the name. It is thought that the original whoopie pies may have been made from leftover cake batter. As the harvest season draws to a close, the appearance of pumpkins in farmer's markets is a sure sign that it's time to put the heady spices associated with fall to work, and there is no better way to do that than to whip up some pumpkin treats. Duly motivated, I pull out my pumpkin recipes, of which there are an admittedly ridiculous number, and start to work my way through the lot. We, of course, have favorites, and, if there are young boys or teenagers around, these pumpkin whoopie cakes, known to the grandchildren as poltergeist pies, are always among the first of the recipes to be made. The pies are a bit more work than cookies, but anyone sitting at your table will love them, and you may even garner you a round of applause when they appear on your table. They are not a pretty treat but they are enormously flavorful and will please those who like sweet treats. These pies are filled with a marshmallow buttercream rather than the more common cream cheese filling, so you will find them to be quite rich and filling. The pies are not hard to make and you can have them on the table in about an hour. Here is how they are made.
Tuesday, September 29, 2015
From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...I don't have great luck with cookbooks. Generally, if between their bindings, I find two recipes that will work for my family, I consider myself lucky and move on. There are, however, exceptions. Shortly after I began One Perfect Bite, I came across The Grand Central Baking Book and happily moved from page to page, experimenting far more often than I usually do, because I was so delighted with what I found. The recipe I'm featuring tonight comes from that book and it is making an encore performance because I can't let September pass without baking it at least once for my crew. It has, with good reason, become a family favorite and I suspect those of you who try it will quickly add it to your fall dessert rotation. The cream cheese gives the cake a lovely crumb and uniquely smooth texture, while the apples add their unique flavor and moisture to the finished loaf. I think you'll love this treasure of a recipe. Here is what I had to say about the recipe when it first appeared on One Perfect Bite.
Monday, September 28, 2015
From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...Continuing with the theme of old-fashioned fall desserts, it would be impossible to overlook the niche that gingerbread has claimed for itself. It's my understanding the a gingerbread cake mix was the first of the ready-mix cakes to come to market. I have reason to suspect my mother was personally responsible for the success of the Dromedary Gingerbread Cake mix. We ate a lot of gingerbread back in the day and strangely enough I never tired of it. However, when I had a kitchen of my own, I made it less often and always prepared it from scratch, along with a lemon sauce or copious quantity of real whipped cream. Over the years, I've tried a lot of recipes looking for one that would qualify as the "world's best". The recipe I'm featuring tonight comes awfully close and I think those of you who try it will be delighted. This is a manly cake with a color that matches its deep, rich flavor. It is wonderful when served warm and I know you'll enjoy it. Make sure you generously grease your bundt pan to assure an easy release. Feel free to alter the spices to your own taste, but do not substitute another beer for the stout. The stout and dark molasses are what give this cake its unique flavor. Here is how this version of gingerbread is made.
Sunday, September 27, 2015
From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...This is one of my favorite old-time desserts. I love lemon-flavored anything and the bright palate clearing taste of this sweet-tart pudding is one that should not be missed. This easy recipe produces a batter that creates two layers, one a cakey sponge, the other a pudding that forms at the bottom of the dish in which the pudding bakes. Long time reader's of my blog will remember that one of the first desserts I featured in 2008 was an apricot-sauced, lemon sponge pudding that was made by my friend, Lily. Her version is more difficult to make than the one I'm featuring tonight, but the apricot sauce that is served with it is memorable. Lily's recipe can be found here, and there is nothing to preclude serving her apricot sauce with tonight's easier to make pudding cakes. You will have the best results with this recipe if all your ingredients are at room temperature and you thoroughly butter the ramekins in which the batter bakes. The recipe is straightforward and needs no additional input or explanation from me. If you share my love of old-fashioned desserts, I hope you'll give this version of an old favorite a try. Here is how the pudding cakes are made.