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TIP OF THE DAY: A Gift For Cookout Hosts ~ Homemade Burger Buns

If you’re invited to a cookout over Memorial Day weekend or any other time during outdoor grilling season, you can make what will be a very popular contribution:

Homemade burger buns.

TWO BURGER BUN RECIPES

King Arthur Flour has two recipes:

RECIPE #1: Sesame Burger Buns

Baker after baker commented on the website that these are “the best” burger buns (photo #1).

Soft, gold yellow from the butter and egg, with a hint of sweetness, the flavor may remind you of King’s Hawaiian burger buns.

Use them for burgers or any sandwich. You can switch the sesame for onion or garlic.

Here’s the recipe.

RECIPE #2: Cheesy Burger Buns

The light cheese aroma of these alluring buns (photo #2) comes from adding grated cheddar or parmesan cheese to the no-knead dough.

In fact, the light cheesy aroma and flavor create what you can bill as “double cheesy cheeseburgers.”

Here’s the recipe.

MAKE AS MANY AS YOU LIKE. YOU CAN FREEZE ANY EXTRAS.
 
SPECIAL BURGER ROLL PAN

This pan (photo #3) was commissioned exclusively by King Arthur Flour to make baking hamburger buns easier. Each pan bakes six large (4-inch) buns.

It’s a versatile pan: Use it for individual pies or cakes, oversized scones, muffin tops, individual frittatas or miniature pizzas.

The nonstick pan is $29.95 at King Arthur Flour.
 
 
WHO CREATED THE FIRST HAMBURGER?

It started with the Tatar armies of Ghengis Khan!

 

Homemade Sesame Burger Buns

Cheddar Flavored Burger Buns

Pan For Homemade Burger Buns

[1] You can top the buns with sesame seeds, or leave them off. [2] Add an extra hit of cheese to a cheeseburger by baking it into the bun. [3] Make perfectly-shaped buns with this special pan from King Arthur Flour.

 
Here’s the history of the hamburger.

WHY IS IT TARTAR SAUCE & TARTAR STEAK (STEAK TARTARE) INSTEAD OF TATAR?

The Tatars (no “r”) were a Chinese nomadic tribe (ta-ta-er) conquered by Ghengis Khan.

Tartar (with an “r”), the term used by Europeans, comes from the Greek Tartarus, the underworld.

When Ghengis Khan and his successors pillaged western Europe, the populace (a.k.a. victims) called them Tartars, meaning people from hell. The word referred to all Mongol invaders (no doubt, the nuances of tribes didn’t communicate over the maruading and murder).

Coincidentally, this word was similar to Tatar, so the two were (and are( confused. Over time, the words became interchangable in use. [source]
 
 
TOMORROW: HOT DOG BUNS!

  

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TIP OF THE DAY: Make Stocks & Soups From Trimmings

Root Vegetables

Chicken Stock

Soup From Trimmings

[1] Lots of trimming to come (photo courtesy True Food Kitchen). [2] Stock, ready to use or freeze—or season it and enjoy a cup of broth (photo courtesy Good Eggs). [3] Plan B: Instead of stock, turn those trimmings into a purée of vegetable soup (photo courtesy Botanica | LA).

 

When we were quite young, a friend of the family was watching our mom cut vegetables for soup, and toss the trimmings. He had grown up on a farm in Sicily, and said: “We never threw away anything edible, not the smallest part. If we could have saved it, we’d have cooked the ‘oink’ from the pig.”

That’s how it’s been through history, except in affluent homes in affluent countries, whose denizens weren’t scraping for every bit to eat.

Modern cooks who want to minimize waste know that they can add flavor to homemade stocks by saving the carrot peels, celery leaves and trimmed ends, the last scrap of onion before the root, parsley and other herb stalks, wilted herbs, sprouted garlic and onions, the tops of scallions, and many vegetable trimmings.

Consider anything that isn’t rotten or moldy, or on the “Avoid” list below.

Limp vegetables? Stock. Herbs that have begun to yellow? Stock.

Wash and trim the vegetables as usual. Then set the trimmings aside and let them dry a little bit to remove moisture before you bag them.

Toss the ends, leaves, peel, roots and stalks into the same freezer bag—and feel good about not wasting money or contributing to a landfill. (If you’re planning to use them in a week, store in the produce drawer with the air pressed out of the bag.)

When you’re ready to make stock, plan for 2 cups of trimmings per quart of stock from vegetables.

And note that the venerable chef Jacques Pépin, an instructor at French Culinary Institute in New York City, always checks his students’ waste bins to see what they’ve thrown away. For him, scraps are more about flavor and less about thriftiness (although his wife has blocked the process at home; it drove her bonkers).

SAVE THESE TRIMMINGS

  • Ends: asparagus, celery, chard, green beans, spinach.
  • Green tops: beet greens but not the rest of the beet (it will color the stock red), carrot and just about any root vegetable.
  • Herb stems: cilantro, parsley (basil and mint stems are best reserved for pesto or chopped into salads).
  • Onion family: garlic, leeks, scallions and any type of onion.
  • Peeled skin: cucumber, eggplant, potato, summer squash and zucchini, winter squash (unless you like to bake them—our Nana sprinkled them with cinnamon as a snack for us kids).
  • Root vegetable trimmings: except for the bodies of beets (color leaches in) and turnips (not everyone likes the way it tastes in stock).
  • Stalks: celery, chard, fennel (we’ve never tried rhubarb).
  • Other trimmings: bell peppers, bok choy, corn cobs, green beans, lettuce, mushrooms, napa cabbage snow peas, sugar snap peas (we’ve never tried the pods of green peas).
  •  
    AVOID: COMPOST OR TOSS THESE TRIMMINGS

    What not to use: vegetables with very strong flavors:

  • The cruciferous group: arugula, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collard greens, horseradish, kale, kohlrabi, mizuna, mustard greens, radish, rapini (broccoli rabe), rutabaga, tatsoi and turnips. Ditto, artichoke trimmings (but the cooked stem is delicious to eat).
  • Anything that will color your stock, unless you don’t care*, such as beet, tomato or the papery skins of onions (they’ll turn stock brown) and garlic. But here’s what you can do with those skins.
  • ________________

    *That being said, we once cooked a ton of beets and had lots of leftover red “beet water.” We reduced it and used it to cook white rice. It was fun.

     

    PLAN A: READY TO MAKE VEGETABLE STOCK?

    The difference between stock (photo #2) and broth is that broth is seasoned and ready to consume. Stock is left unseasoned, to provide flexibility for different recipes.

    You can use vegetable stock in braises, poaching, sauces, soups, stir fries and stews etc. We use it to cook rice and grains, including risotto: half-and-half water and stock (or all stock, if we have too much).

    Season it for udon or other Asian-style noodle soup.

    Substitute for cream in mashed potatoes, add to the vegetable steamer to infuse flavor, and many hundreds of other ideas.

    Ingredients For 2 Quarts Of Stock

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 cups of vegetable trimmings
  • 1 head of garlic, skin removed, halved crosswise
  • 6 sprigs parsley (if you don’t have stems in your trimmings bag)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  •  
    Preparation

    1. HEAT the oil in a stockpot over medium-high heat. Add the vegetables and herbs and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables begin to soften, 3-5 minutes or so.

    2. ADD 4 quarts cold water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the stock is reduced by half. This should take about 1-1 1/2 hours.

    3. STRAIN the stock through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl and discard the solids. Let cool.

    4. USE immediately, or transfer to pint or quart containers (or freezer bags, if you prefer), portioning it based on how you think you’ll use it. Ideally use frozen stock within three months.

     

    Soup Used As A Sauce

    Root To Stalk Cooking

    [4] Trimmings cooked, pureed and turned into a sauce (photo courtesy Vital Choice). [5] This cookbook has delicious recipes for every part of vegetables (photo courtesy Ten Speed Press_.

     
    PLAN B: READY TO MAKE SOUP OR SAUCE?

    Make soup. Cook the trimmings (in stock or broth) and turn them into a puréed vegetable soup, like the one in photo #3.

    You can also turn the pureed vegetables into a sauce (photo #4).

    Good news: Plan B lets you use all the cruciferous vegetables. All those broccoli stalks and cauliflower stems: delicious! We cook them even when we aren’t making soup.

    Cook, taste and season. Dilute as desired with stock or milk and voilà: Your trimmings are now a tasty soup.

    And you’ll feel good about that!

     
    MORE FEELING GOOD

    There’s an entire cookbook devoted to using every part of the vegetable (photo #5): From Root To Stalk.

      

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    RECIPE: Strawberry Balsamic Pie

    Strawberry Balsamic Pie

    Balsamic Vinegar

    [1] Strawberry balamic pie. [2] Balsamic vinegar (photo Pompeian | Facebook).

     

    In Italy, strawberries are often served for dessert with balsamic vinegar. Some of the most expensive, aged balsamics are served this way, with a few precious droplets bringing more excitement between the two ingredients (the whole is greater than the sum of its parts).

    Fine balsamic is also served with aged Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, so sophisticated foodies should consider some crumbles as a plate garnish (crumble your own from a wedge-don’t buy crumbled parmesan).

    One of our favorite bakers, Audra, The Baker Chick, sent us this recipe for If you like to bake, or simply look at beautiful cakes and pies, sign up for her emails.

    “The original recipe for this beauty comes from Four and Twenty Blackbirds, a wonderful pie shop in Brooklyn that I used to get to enjoy back in the day. I didn’t follow it exactly, partly because of what I had on hand and partly because of my own pie-making experience; but it was pretty darn amazing either way.

    “When it comes to thickening berry pies, I’m an instant tapioca girl. I really believe nothing works better. I love a juicy pie, but not a soupy one and tapioca really is the best. Happy Spring—now go make this lovely pie!”

    It’s lovely for Mother’s Day, and all through the summer.
     
    RECIPE: STRAWBERRY BALSAMIC PIE

    Ingredients

  • 2 layers pie crust
  • 3 tablespoons white sugar
  • 2 lb fresh strawberries, quartered
  • 1 small baking apple, peeled and grated
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons instant tapioca
  • 2 grinds fresh black pepper
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • Egg wash (1 large egg whisked with 1 tsp water and a pinch of salt)
  • Coarse sugar for sprinkling (it gives a nice crunch.)
  • Optional for serving: vanilla or strawberry ice cream…or a bit of each
  •  
    Preparation

    1. MAKE the crust with your favorite recipe. Audra added ¼ cup cider vinegar to the ice water and thinks it made the crust extra flaky. While the crust is chilling, prepare the filling.

    2. PLACE the strawberries in a large bowl, sprinkle with the sugar and toss gently. Let sit for about 20 minutes; then stir in the apple, balsamic, brown sugar, tapioca, pepper and salt. Toss to combine and allow flavors to sit and get juicy.

    3. ROLL out one of the chilled pie crusts and drape it over the bottom of the pie pan. Pop it into the freezer for a few minutes while you roll out the second crust. If you want to try a lattice crust, use a straight edge to cut the strips.

    4. POUR the filling into the chilled crust and add the top crust. Trim and crimp the edges of the crust and pop it into the fridge or freezer while you preheat the oven to 425°F, with a rack positioned in the middle. When oven is ready…

    5. BRUSH the crust with the egg wash and sprinkle it with sugar. Line a cookie sheet with foil and place the pie on top. Place the cookie sheet on the middle rack.

    6. BAKE for 20-25 minutes or until the crust is beginning to turn golden. Then, reduce the heat to 375°F and bake for another 35 to 40 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the pie is juicy and bubbly.

     
      

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    RECIPE: Shrimp, Corn & Zucchini Flatbread

    Shrimp Flatbread

    Arugula Pizza

    [1] Shrimp flatbread from SeaPak. [2] No matter what type of pizza or flatbread, we toss fresh baby arugula on top when it emerges from the oven (photo courtesy Purple Carrot).

     

    Shrimp is America’s favorite in the fish and shellfish category. Of the 15.5 pounds consumed by Americans each year, shrimp accounts for 4 pounds.

    (Dudes: 15.5 pounds per capita per year is way too low. Americans eat nearly 50 billion burgers a year, which translates to three burgers a week for every single person. That’s a lot of beef.!)

    For National Shrimp Day, May 10th, we whipped up this easy shrimp flatbread using frozen Shrimp Scampi from SeaPak.

    Nicely seasoned in a butter, garlic and red pepper sauce, you don’t need to add any more flavor to the shrimp.

    One way to enjoy shrimp, more often, and more affordably, is to look to the freezer section.

    While we always buy fresh shrimp for, say, a shrimp cocktail or plateau de fruits de mer.

    But in a multi-ingredient dish—like this flatbread, coconut beer batter shrimp, shrimp fra diavolo, shrimp pad thai, shrimp salad sandwich, and so on—where the shrimp is integrated with other flavors—the frozen shrimp can do just as nicely.

    RECIPE: SHRIMP, CORN AND ZUCCHINI FLATBREAD

    Prep time is 15 minutes; cook time is 15 minutes.

    Ingredients For 6 Snack Servings Or Two Lunches/Dinners

  • 1 12-ounce package of SeaPak Shrimp Scampi
  • ½ cup frozen or canned corn kernels
  • 1 small zucchini, sliced
  • Bench flour*
  • 1 16-ounce ball of pizza dough (fresh or frozen/thawed)
  • Cooking spray
  • ½ cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • Optional: ½ cup shredded mozzarella
  • 1 lemon
  • Optional garnish: baby arugula, fresh basil
  •  
    ________________

    *Bench flour is simply flour sprinkled on the work surface (once upon a time called a work bench).

     
    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 450°F. Prepare the frozen scampi according to package instructions (7 minutes in a skillet). Add the corn and zucchini to the pan and stir occasionally.

    2. LIGHTLY flour a work surface and press the dough into a large rectangle.

    3. TURN a baking sheet upside down (so the bottom is facing up) and spray with non-stick cooking spray. Transfer dough to the bottom (sprayed side) of the baking sheet. Use some of the sauce from the scampi to brush over the top of the dough, and pierce the dough with a fork to avoid large air bubbles.

    4. BAKE for 12-15 minutes. In the last 5 minutes of baking, remove the pan from the oven, cover with the optional mozzarella, and use a slotted spoon to drain the shrimp mixture, reserving the scampi sauce in the pot. Spread the mixture over the flatbread. Top with the shredded parmesan cheese and return to the oven. Bake until cheese begins to melt.

    5. SLICE the lemon and squeeze half into the scampi sauce. Pour into a small bowl to use for a flatbread drizzle, dipping sauce or even a salad dressing.

    6. TOP the pizza with the arugula or basil and bring to the table.

     
      

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    RECIPE: Rosewater Raspberry Meringues

    Raspberry Rosewater Meringues

    Bowl Of Raspberries

    Nielsen Massey Rosewater

    [1] Raspberries combine with rosewater in these pretty-in-pink meringues from Chef Ingrid Hoffmann. [2] Fresh raspberries from Driscoll’s Berries. [3] There are many uses for rosewater, in both food and beverages, and toiletries. Here’s a recipe for iced chai latte with rosemary from All Day I Dream Of Food.

     

    We so enjoyed the red wine meringue cookies we made for Valentine’s Day that we decided to make another pink, flavored meringue for Mother’s Day.

    This recipe, from Chef Ingrid Hoffmann, combines fresh raspberries with rosewater (also spelled rose water).

    WHAT IS ROSEWATER?

    Since ancient times, roses have been used nutritionally, medicinally, for religious purposes, and to make cosmetics, and as a source of perfume. The ancient Greeks, Romans and Phoenicians considered their large public rose gardens to be as important as as orchards and wheat fields [source].

    Culinary rose water is believed to have been first created in Persia during the Sasanian dynasty (224 to 651 C.E.). It was a by-product of producing rose oil (attar of roses) for perfume.

    It can be made at home, simply by steeping rose petals in water; and is available commercially. Here’s a recipe to make your own. If you’re making it to consume (as opposed to a skin refreshener), use organic roses.

    You can buy a bottle in any Middle Eastern or Indian grocery, or online.

    In the Middle East and eastward to India and Pakistan, rosewater is used in, among other preparations:

  • Beverages: jallab (a fruit syrup mixed with still or sparkling water), lassi (a yogurt-based drink from India), lemonade, milk, tea, and also added directly into a glass of water.
  • Desserts: baklava, cookies and other baked goods; ice cream and sorbet; rice pudding.
  • Sweets: gumdrops, marzipan, nougat, Turkish delight.
  • Wine substitute: in Halal cooking.
  •  
    Rosewater was used extensively by both American and European bakers until the 19th century, when vanilla extract became more readily available became.

    Rosewater is an ingredient in Waverly Jumbles, baked doughnut said to be a favorite of James Monroe, the fifth president of the United States (1817 to 1825).

    Today it is used by cooks around the world. For example, in Mexico it is used to flavor shave ice; in Yorkshire, England, it is still used in one of the area’s best-loved dishes, Yorkshire Curd Tart.

    You can add it to iced tea, iced coffee, smoothies and soft drinks; or make a Rose Martini.

    Needless to say, if you buy a bottle to make these meringues, you won’t have any trouble finishing the bottle.
     
    RECIPE: ROSEWATER RASPBERRY MERINGUES

    Ingredients For 5 Dozen Meringues

  • Cooking spray
  • 3 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • ¼ teaspoon table salt
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1½ tablespoons raspberry-flavored gelatin powder (e.g., Jell-O)
  • ½ teaspoon rosewater
  • ¼ teaspoon distilled white vinegar
  •  
    Preparation

    1. POSITION the racks in the upper third and center of the oven and preheat to 250°F. Spray 2 large baking sheets with cooking spray (to help secure the parchment) and line the sheets with parchment paper.

    2. WHIP the egg whites and salt together in a large, grease-free bowl with an electric hand mixer set on high speed, until they form soft peaks. Gradually beat in the sugar and raspberry gelatin powder and beat until the mixture forms stiff, shiny peaks. Fold in the rosewater and vinegar.

    3. TRANSFER the meringue to a pastry bag fitted with a ½-inch-wide star tip. Spacing them about 1 inch apart, pipe 1-inch-wide meringues onto the lined baking sheets. Bake until the meringues look set, about 1 hour.

    4. TURN off the oven and let the meringues completely cool and dry in the oven. Carefully lift the meringues off the parchment and store them in an airtight container. These are fragile cookies, so don’t pack them tightly. We protect each layer with wax paper or parchment.
     
    THE HISTORY OF MERINGUES

    Some sources say that that meringue was invented in the Swiss village of Meiringen in the 18th century, and subsequently improved by an Italian chef named Gasparini.

    Not all experts agree: The Oxford English Dictionary, for example, states that the French word is of unknown* origin.

    The one fact we can hang on to is that the name of the confection called meringue first appeared in print in Chef François Massialot’s seminal 1691 cookbook, available in translation as The court and country cook….

    The word meringue first appeared in English in 1706 in an English translation of Massialot’s book.

    Two considerably earlier 17th-century English manuscript books of recipes give instructions for confections that are recognizable as meringue. One is called “white biskit bread,” found in a book of recipes started in 1604 by Lady Elinor Poole Fettiplace (1570-c.1647) of Gloucestershire.

    The other recipe, called “pets,” is in the manuscript of collected recipes written by Lady Rachel Fane (c. 1612–1680) of Knole, Kent. Slowly-baked meringues are still referred to as pets in the Loire region of France (the reference appears to be their light fluffiness, perhaps like a kitten?).

    Meringues were traditionally shaped between two large spoons, as is often still done at home today. Meringue piped through a pastry bag was introduced by the great French chef Marie-Antoine Carême (1784-1833—he preferred to be called Antonin), the founder of the concept of haute cuisine.

    He also invented modern mayonnaise, éclairs, Strawberries Romanov, and other icons of French cuisine. Even though he wasn’t in on the beginning, he perfected the end.

    ________________
    *Contenders from include 1700 on include, from the Walloon dialect, maringue, shepherd’s loaf; marinde, food for the town of Meiringen (Bern canton, Switzerland), is completely lacking. None of the others sounds right, either. By default, we like the Latin merenda, the feminine gerund of merere to merit, since who doesn’t merit a delicious confection? But as our mother often said: “Who cares; let’s eat!”
     
      

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