What A Night of Comfort Food (Recipes Included!)
Originally published June 16, 2017
After many days of building furniture and setting up our television and sound system, I felt that my babe more than deserved some warm and filling comfort food. So we christened our apartment with these comfortable and guiltily delicious dishes. (Not that our roasted corn soup and creamy avocado pasta wasn't comforting in its own unique way.)
Join me in appreciating yet another Gordon Ramsay recipe, one of my original dessert recipes, and our late night drink of choice. I recommend all of the following, for those nights where you just want to treat yourself to something indulgent and ridiculously satisfying.
Spicy Baked Beans with Potato Cakes
By Gordon Ramsay
For dinner this evening, I decided to experiment with yet another Gordon Ramsay recipe that Steven and I have had our eyes on for a few months: his homemade spicy baked beans with potato cakes. And it did not disappoint. This recipe is fool-proof and easy to put together. Just prep all ingredients ahead of time and add to the pot in the intended order, and you will get some of the most satisfying comfort food flavors and textures you know. Shoutout to DailyMail for posting the recipe on their website.
Baked Beans Ingredients:
1 red chilli, sliced finely (Do not dispose of the seeds. Keep them in the recipe for extra heat)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 red onion, finely diced
1 tbsp light brown sugar
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 1/4 cup smooth tomato passata
3 1/2 cups of haricot (navy) beans, drained
Salt and pepper
Potato Cakes Ingredients:
18 oz of potatoes, peeled and boiled until tender (Mine took about 20 minutes to boil thoroughly)
2 oz butter, plus extra for frying
4-5 tbsp plain flower, plus extra for dusting
Spicy Baked Bean Directions:
1. Place a large saucepan over medium heat and add a dash of oil. Once hot, add the pancetta, a little ground pepper and the chilli and fry until cooked through but not crisping. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Then add the onion and cook over a low heat until completely tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in half the sugar, then add the vinegar. Boil for 1 minute, then add Worcestershire sauce to taste.
2. Stir in the passata and season with a good pinch of salt and pepper, plus the remaining sugar and a couple of shakes of Worcestershire sauce. Bring to a simmer and cook for 4–5 minutes. Add the beans and cook for another 5–10 minutes, until the sauce has thickened and the beans are really soft and tender.
3. Taste and adjust the seasoning of the beans as you see fit, playing around with the vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper.
Potato Cake Directions:
1. Mash the boiled potatoes until smooth (or use a potato ricer), add the butter and mix well. Add 4 tablespoons of the flour along with a pinch of salt and pepper, and stir well. The aim is to form a dough, so add a little more flour if necessary.
2. Using your hands, roll pieces of the dough into balls just larger than a golf ball. Place them on a lightly floured work surface and flatten them into little cakes about 1cm thick. Chill for 20 minutes.
3. Place a heavy-based frying pan over medium heat and add a dash of olive oil. When hot, fry the potato cakes on either side (in batches if necessary) until golden and crisping slightly. While cooking, season with a pinch of salt and add a small knob of butter to the pan. Drain the cakes on paper towels to remove any excess oil.
Serve together and enjoy! I had green onion in the fridge, so I topped the potato cakes with some to add color, and have the flavor reminiscent of a twice baked potato. No, it doesn't suddenly make the dish healthy, but it's a nice touch!
Perfectly Crispy Chocolate Chip Cookies
My original recipe
Not to toot my own horn or anything, but I've come up with an undeniably delicious crispy chocolate chip cookie recipe that is the result of me changing around recipes I've found in the past to suit my love of thin crispy cookies that absorb milk perfectly and break apart in your mouth in the most satisfying of ways. I'm excited to share this recipe! They're a huge hit at parties and never stay on our kitchen counter for too long. Below you can see a small serving of cookies beside a hedgehog mug of cold milk. And yes, we're hedgehog people.
Servings: ~40 cookies
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup of unsalted butter at room temperature
3/4 cup of white sugar
3/4 cup of firmly packed dark brown sugar (The dark brown sugar gives it its lovely crispiness)
2 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspooons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips. Feel free to add 3/4 cup of chopped nuts as well, if that's your thing.
1. Pre-heat your oven to 350°. Sift flour, baking powder and salt into a medium-sized mixing bowl. Combine well. (Do not skip this step. I've found that sifting the flour breaks it up well so that it better combines with the wet ingredients later without clumping and giving you white spots on your cookies)
2. In a larger bowl, combine the softened butter, white sugar, brown sugar, eggs and vanilla extract with a silicone spatula. Scrape down the side of the bowl as needed and make sure that these ingredients are all well-combined and that there are no dark lumps of brown sugar hiding
3. Pour dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, and combine well. Use your hands if you'd like to insure that there are no clumps of butter, flour or brown sugar left behind
4. Add chocolate chips and make sure they're evenly spaced in the mixture. Try some of the dough. It's delicious when raw! (But only do this if you trust the source of your eggs. Please don't sue me!)
5. Lay out a large baking tray. (In my opinion, the cookies come out crispier when baked directly on the tray than on parchment paper)
6. Use a tablespoon or a small scoop spoon to create balls of dough the size of a ping pong ball. Gently smash them slightly as you go so that they are about a centimeter thick (You'll want your flattened cookie dough scoops to be around 3.5 inches far from each other. This recipe doesn't expand too much, so it's good to press them down to near the diameter you'd like them to be)
7. We have a convection oven, and bake these for 20 minutes at 375° F to get them to the level of crispiness we like. But because every oven is different, I would recommend baking at 350° F for 22 minutes and checking on them every two minutes following until they are a dark golden brown, like in the photos
8. Wait a few minutes after removing them from the oven to let them cool and harden a bit before platting them or setting them on a cooling rack.
All done! Serve with a cold glass of milk and enjoy! With these cookies being crispy, they are incredibly absorbent, so all of you who like dipping will be thoroughly satisfied.
Our Late Night Digestif
Madeira by V Sattui
A while back, during a trip to Helena California with his father, Steven picked up this Madeira dessert wine from winery V. Sattui. Over time, it has become our go-to for celebrations such as Valentine's Day, professional milestones, and now our celebration of the coming together of our new apartment.
At the moment, our glassware collection is on the limited side, but luckily we already had some lovely sake cups from Mashiko Folkcraft. If you haven't yet visited that store in Japantown Center, I highly recommend it for beautiful authentic Japanese pieces to add to your kitchen or home.
It was the perfect way to end an amazing day, and I look forward to adding the beautiful Madeira bottle to the console table we plan on purchasing. In the meantime, the place is looking great. Photos coming soon!