Month: March 2014

Bourbon Chocolate Pecan Pie

???????????????????????????????

Happy International Pi Day (a day early)! How will you celebrate?

Notice I didn’t ask whether you were celebrating. It’s implied. I mean, c’mon, it’s pie.

Last year my division held a pie happy hour — everything from pizza to fruit pie — and it was a lot of fun. This year, all of Edelman DC is having a pie tasting throw-down. In an office of 250, there are bound to be some amazing options. My entry: Bourbon Chocolate Pecan Pie. Extra-dark chocolate, buttery pecans, and just a bite of booze.

???????????????????????????????

???????????????????????????????

???????????????????????????????

20140313_203241

I can’t speak for how the finished product actually tastes, but the bourbon-sugar mixture takes pretty great.

3/14 RHRW Update:I can now speak for the finished product. Great flavor, not too sweet. I baked the pie the night before and served it at room temperature, and while it isn’t overwhelming, you can definitely taste the bourbon (a good thing in my book).

3/16 RHRW Update: For traditional Southern pecan pie, omit the bourbon and chocolate.

When filling the pie, pour the sauce slowly, in a spiral motion, so the pecans stay in place and the filling is level.

If you’re looking for more inspiration, check out my other pie recipes:
Grasshopper Pie
Apple Pie
Strawberry Rhubarb Pie
French Silk Pie
Pork and Apple Pie with Cheddar-Sage Crust

Grab some whipped cream and let’s get moving.

Bourbon Chocolate Pecan Pie

From Fine Cooking
Serves 8-10

1 pie crust
1 1/2 cups pecan halves, toasted, cooled, and coarsely chopped
1/2 cup coarsely chopped bittersweet chocolate
8 large egg yolks
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 Tbs. Maker’s Mark bourbon (1 mini-bottle)
1/2 tsp. kosher salt

RHRW Note: For traditional Southern pecan pie, omit bourbon and chocolate

Blind bake the pie crust: Roll out the crust to a 13″ diameter. Place in a 9″ pie plate, lifting the dough to tuck it into the sides of the pan. Trim edges to a 3/4″ overhang. Roll the dough under itself to build up the edge of the crust. Crimp the edge of the crust with your fingers, the tines of a fork, or a pie edger. Prick the crust all over (including sides) with a fork. Chill for up to 1 hour in the refrigerator or about 30 minutes in the freezer.

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 425 degrees. Line the crust with foil and fill with dried beans or pie weights. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and weights. Reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees and continue baking until the bottom looks dry and the edges are golden, 5-7 minutes more. Cool on a rack.

When the crust is cool, spread the pecans evenly in the pie crust. Sprinkle the chopped chocolate evenly over the pecans. Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees.

Make the filling: Put the egg yolks in a medium heatproof bowl set on a kitchen towel. Add the vanilla. In a 1-quart saucepan, combine the sugar, butter, corn syrup, cream, bourbon, and salt. Heat over medium heat just until the butter is melted and the mixture is hot but not boiling, 3-5 minutes. Whisking vigorously and constantly, very slowly pour the sugar mixture into the yolks. Strain through a fine strainer set over a 1-quart measuring cup.

Fill and bake the pie: Slowly pour the filling over the pecans. Put the pie on a large baking sheet and place in the oven. Bake until the center of the pie is slightly firm to the touch and the filling is set, 35-40 minutes. Cool on a rack for at least 1 hour before serving.

Advertisements

Macadamia-Crusted Mahi-Mahi

The wind is howling. Like, shaking my blinds, waking up Gatsby, and making me think I’m back in Nebraska in a winter blizzard howling. This is a cruel joke after a really rough winter, and then two days of 60+ degrees and sunshine. But, it’s also the incentive I need to get this delicious recipe up on my blog.

You see, I’ve been in Hawaii. Or rather, I was in Hawaii about three weeks ago.

Time out. Can we talk about Hawaii for a moment? Beautiful place. Definitely on the to-do list for pretty much anyone. In honor of my dad’s birthday, we took a cruise that stopped at all four main islands. My favorite island was Maui, I would have loved more time in Kona, and the Na Pali Coast is even more beautiful in person than in pictures. I could have spent two more weeks there (at least), but I’m so glad I went.

Anyway, I am just now getting back into my routine, and feeling the desire to cook creatively. Whenever I travel, I love to experience the local culture and food — and then recreate in my kitchen. I definitely have a few ideas from Hawaii.

But I was on the road for almost two weeks (some business, then vacation), and when I came home all I wanted was very simple, very green foods. I wasn’t ready to experiment with new ingredients or really spend much time in the kitchen. I’m just getting back into the swing of kitchen playtime.

20140309_193216

But, this is actually not a new recipe for me, although I had admittedly forgotten about it until having a similar dish in Hawaii. I first developed it about 6 years ago to copycat a dish I had at a now-defunct Asian fusion recipe. At the time, coconut-based ingredients weren’t mainstream back then, and I knew nothing about Asian cooking (umm, today I know twice as much… which is to say, still nothing), so I used dairy milk and olive oil.

???????????????????????????????

???????????????????????????????

???????????????????????????????

If you’re strict Paleo or gluten-free, panko is a no-go. The problem is, without some kind of binding you’ll end up with macadamia nut butter if you aren’t careful, and it’s hard for the coating to stick. Some people like to use nut flour or nut meal in a recipe like this, and I’m sure they are delicious. But, nuts are heavy and rich. I specifically wanted the lightness and crispiness that panko adds to the dish.

It’s great with rice, or try plantains if you can get some (presuming you like them… they aren’t really my thing). I also like it with a pineapple-based salsa, and I imagine other tropical fruits would also be good. I served this with leftover broccoli, but it tasted too bitter to me. Maybe a first-course salad would have been better? Let me know what you think.

Hope you enjoy! Aloha, and I’ll see you soon.

Macadamia-Crusted Mahi-Mahi

Serves 4

1 1/4 cups macadamia nuts
1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
1 can light coconut milk, shaken (or 1 1/2 cups dairy milk)
Kosher salt
Ground pepper
4 6-oz. boneless, skinless mahi mahi fillets, or other firm white fish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cover a large baking sheet with foil. Spray lightly with cooking spray or brush with melted coconut oil. Combine nuts and bread crumbs in a food processor. Add a generous sprinkling of salt and pepper. Pulse until the nuts are finely crushed (it will resemble couscous). Pour into a shallow bowl.

Pour the milk into a separate shallow bowl. Pat fish fillets dry with paper towels. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Dip each fillet first into the milk and then into the nut mixture. Place on the baking sheet. Sprinkle any excess nut mixture onto the fillets.

Bake for about 12-15 minutes or until a light golden brown and the fish flakes easily with a fork.