May 21, 2014

Buco Tartlets

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Creamy buco (young coconut) baked in a a buttery crust is always a great treat; truly delicious and addicting. For this batch of tartlets I used a combination of frozen shredded and dried [available from Costco]. I boiled the dried buco pieces in water before cutting them into strips. I also made a few rectangular shaped pies.  

For the most tender crust, I use White Lily® all-purpose flour. It's also good to add salted butter for better flavor. I also add a little salt to the filling.

Buco Tartlet
homemade or store-bought flaky crust
2 cups shredded buco
½ cup buco water
½ cup half and half
½ cup white sugar
½ teaspoon sea salt
4 tablespoons cornstarch
1 egg white for egg wash
  • Cut crust according to size and shape of pan/s. Refrigerate while preparing the filling. 
  • In a medium saucepan, mix the rest of ingredients except egg white. Cook over medium heat, while stirring constantly with a rubber spatula, until thickened and cornstarch is fully cooked. Mixture should be smooth and not grainy. Transfer into a shallow container and chill for 30 minutes. 
  • Preheat oven to 425°F. 
  • Roll crust shells, leaving a 1-inch overhang if desired. Ease into tart molds. Spoon generous amount of filling and cover edges with crust overhang. Brush with lightly beaten egg white. 
  • Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until crust is golden brown.

May 16, 2014

Paella Negra

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Black Paella never appealed to me because it looks dirty, not to mention it will make your mouth and teeth black during and after eating. I made a very small recipe after watching the Spanish chef José Andrés prepare and it sounded yummy. I was finally swayed. That's the power of television and YouTube. 

May 9, 2014

Deviled Ham Spread

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I love Underwood meat spreads specially deviled ham but the container is so small, 2 or 3 cans are needed to make a decent-sized sandwich. Well, actually, the pate is for small crackers or canape, not for a huge sandwich. I decided to make a copycat deviled ham spread adapted from several recipes I found online. The spread is delicious.

April 23, 2014

Pretzel Bites


with kosher salt

coated with cinnamon sugar

I love pretzels, the chewy kind, not the ones you get from the mall that are very light and soft. When I read about pretzel bites, I just had to make. I didn't follow the recipe I used to make the buns except for the poaching step because I didn't want to wait 2 days to sample these tiny treats. They are so good just with kosher salt and yellow mustard but also great dipped in milk caramel or coated with cinnamon sugar.

Pretzel Bites
adapted from King Arthur Flour recipe

1 cup bread flour
1½ cups all-purpose flour
2¼ teaspoons instant yeast
1½ teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon sugar
8 ounces warm water

poaching liquid
3 cups hot water
4 tablespoons baking soda

kosher or pretzel salt
sesame seeds
melted butter
cinnamon sugar
  • Mix pretzel ingredients in a medium bowl. Knead by hand for 5 minutes. The dough should be soft and smooth but a little slack. Sprinkle a little flour on kneading surface and on top of dough. Cover with a plastic container and let rest for 30 minutes. 
  • Preheat oven to 450°F. 
  • Divide dough into 6 pieces. Form each piece into 1-inch thick rope. Cut into 1-inch pieces. 
  • In a medium saucepan, let water boil, then add baking soda. Lower heat to simmer and poach pretzel bites in batches for 20 seconds. Use a skimmer to remove bites; place 1 inch apart on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle half with coarse kosher or pretzel salt or sesame seeds. Leave the rest plain. Bake until dark brown, about 15 minutes. 
  • Transfer salted bites on wire racks to cool or dip a few in yellow mustard and eat right away. While still warm, dip plain bites in melted butter and immediately roll in cinnamon sugar. Or leave some plain and serve with milk caramel or Nutella.
chewy crumb

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