October 2010

Happy Halloween from Katty’s Kitchen! I was inspired to bake Martha Stewart’s pumpkin cookies with brown butter icing after my friend Stuart made them with his son last week…and then kindly brought me some to try. Mmmmm…if you’ve never tried brown butter icing (I hadn’t), you will thank me for bringing this recipe to your attention. Plus, if you still have a half a large can of pumpkin leftover from making gelato, this is a fantastic way to use it up!

I made a few variations to Martha’s recipe you may find helpful:

Bag the pastry bag! I picked up a 1-5/8″ scoop at For the Kitchen in Glastonbury and it worked purrfectly! I flattened the “dome” of each scoop ever so slightly with a knife.

Salted butter variation: You may have noticed I never use unsalted butter in recipes. So if you’d like to do the same, simply use 3/4 teaspoons coarse salt instead of 1¼ teaspoons.

Just 11 minutes in my oven–12 minutes made them darker on the bottom than I prefer, so keep an eye on these as they bake and adjust accordingly.

Browning the butter: the recipe calls for melting the butter, then browning it over medium heat for about 3 minutes. My butter, in double that time, simply was NOT browning, but turning it up just a notch to medium high did the trick nicely!

Top ’em off: Like just a little salt with your sweet? I do! So I cut the sweetness of the frosting with just a touch of finishing salt (Australian flake salt) ground between my fingers and sprinkled over the top of each cookie.

I have more cookies than I can shake a stick at in my kitchen–it really does yield 72 cookies! Want some? All treats–no tricks!

Apple, peaches, pumpkin pie!” Yes, I have been known to sing this to April Katt, as Pumpkin Pie is just one of her many nicknames. What is it about cats and multiple nicknames, anyway?! But a pumpkin pie gelato made with bourbon? Now that is something to sing about, truly!

What better way to celebrate fall than with a spicy, boozy gelato? This is how we do it!

15 oz. solid pack pumpkin
1½ cups whole milk
1 can sweetened condensed milk
4 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon grated fresh orange zest
¼ teaspoon salt
1/3 cup bourbon (I used Maker’s Mark)

Beat together egg yolks, sweetened condensed milk and spices till smooth; set aside.

Heat milk on medium to medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, till small bubbles form at edge of pan. Remove from heat.

Temper egg mixture by slowly adding to hot milk, whisking constantly.

Cook over medium-high heat and continue to whisk until mixture reaches 160 degrees F and custard coats the back of a spoon. Do not let it boil!

Remove from heat and beat in pumpkin. Note the lovely color change!

Strain hot custard into clean bowl. Allow custard to cool slightly, then stir in vanilla, orange zest and salt.

Optimally, chill custard overnight. In a hurry? Please let it chill at least four hours. Just before turning the chilled custard into your ice cream maker, stir in 1/3 cup bourbon.

Place the custard and the dasher from your machine into the freezer for up to 10 minutes. And now, let’s take it for a spin: process according to your ice cream machine’s directions.

May the booziness of pumpkin pie gelato warm you through this season’s cooler nights. April Katt and I send fall greetings from our neck of the woods to yours and remind you: shared licks are the best licks! >>^..^<<

Happy fall to all!

Last week’s cool, rainy weather turned this kat’s thoughts to posole–or pork stew with hominy. What’s hominy, you ask–corn that’s been processed to remove the hull and germ. It kinda looks like chick peas. And it’s very tasty in a stew!

If you’re headed to a Latino grocery store to pick some up, you might want to know it by another name or two: pozole or mote. When I walked into Los Primos and asked for posole, I was first met with a puzzled look.
“But I know I bought it here before,” I explained.
“Mami, wait,” the man said, as he headed off,  in search of.
So mami waited. While I did, I spied the familiar cans on a back shelf and smiled.
“See, I knew you had it!”
“Mote,” the man said–just as the label read–“Mote Blanco.” Two cans, por favor.

I made this for the first time earlier this year–and my version traveled all the way to Maine for an interstate posole throwdown (remember, Marco?!). I wanna say I won, but I think it was a tie. I’m proud to say my Yankee version was noted for its depth of flavor…and I must share, it’s one of the tastiest soups I’ve ever made. You definitely want to try this one!

inspired by a recipe from THE MINIMALIST: Mark Bittman

extra virgin olive oil to coat the bottom of THE BIGGEST pot you have
3 – 3.25 pounds boneless pork shoulder*, trimmed of fat, cut into 1-inch chunks
1 tablespoon Adobo (I use Penzey’s)
1 large sweet onion diced (plus additional onion for garnish)
6 cups water
1 12-oz. bottle beer (I’ve used Abita Raspberry Wheat or a hefeweizen)
2 14-oz. cans hominy (do not drain)
7 black peppercorns
2 tablespoons epazote
2 tablespoons cumin
2 tablespoons dried cilantro
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 chipotles in adobe sauce, cut into small pieces
6 cloves garlic, minced
juice of 1 lime
1 tablespoon salt
1 28-oz. can San Marzano tomatoes (minus 4-6 tomatoes you can use for another recipe)

*My personal shopper (thanks, Ma) picked up a bone-in picnic shoulder for me this round. It was harder to cut, but certainly works just fine.

Fixin’s (any combination of the following):
fresh cilantro
diced sweet yellow onion
sliced lime
diced avocado
grated sharp cheddar
tortilla chips

Sprinkle adobo over pork. Coat the bottom of the biggest pot you own (I use my large pasta pot) with olive oil. Bring to medium heat, add onions. Add pork and stir to sear the chunks just a bit. Pour beer over pork and onions. Add six cups water, hominy and its liquid, peppercorns, epazote, oregano, chipotles, cumin, garlic, lime, salt and cilantro. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Add tomatoes and crush. Cook covered until pork is tender. Two hours does the trick nicely. Anything longer than that just keeps making the house smell delicious. When you can’t wait any longer, get those fixin’s (!) ready…chop your onions, score your avocado, make a pretty plate with the cilantro and have plenty of cheese so everyone can make their bowls their own. Did you remember to make margaritas? This old Elton John tune runs through my mind every time I think of hominy–forgive me. “Hominy (!) ‘n me, we’re pretty good company…lookin’ for an island in our boat upon the sea…”

Here you have it–posole in a bowlie! Lack of daylight hours is killin’ my photography, I tell ya!

And just to let you know, in case there was any doubt: