BBQ Pulled Pork Tamale Pie

A serving of pulled pork tamale pie
This tamale pie stuffed with pulled pork was inspired by a dish I enjoyed during a Trust dinner at Playground 2 in Orange County. The pate a choux masa keeps the pie light and fluffy.


BBQ Pulled pork Tamale Pie

The trick to fluffy masa is choux dough.

Ingredients

  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • 8 Tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup masa flour
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 cups BBQ pulled pork (I used Trader Joe’s, but you can also make your own)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine water, milk, butter and salt in a medium saucepan. Bring the mixture to a full boil. Add masa all at once and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon until the mixture pulls away for the side of the pan. Continue to cook and stir the mixture for about 1 more minute.
  2. Cool mixture by running side of pan under faucet until mixture is room temperature. Beat in one egg at a time using the wooden spoon, making sure dough is smooth before adding the next egg. Beat the dough until smooth and shiny.
  3. Spread 1/3rd of dough on the bottom of a 8” square pan. Layer with pulled pork and cover with remaining 2/3rd of dough. Bake for 30-40 minutes until pie is slightly golden and bubbling around edges.

Goat cheese with candied almonds

a plate of goat cheese crusted with candied almonds and surrounded by crackers
Today is the first official day of my mid-life gap year. To start, I overslept and then failed to attend a 10:30 a.m. yoga class. Not an encouraging start to a year that’s supposed to change my life. I did, however, manage a walk around the neighborhood and took a shower. I remember reading somewhere that you should take a shower every day to avoid sinking into depression. Well, I managed that, at least.  Also, there’s an electrician here repairing lighting issues I’ve been meaning to get to for a few years. All-in-all, not a bad first day.

This recipe is based on a goat cheese appetizer we devoured during an Innkeeper seminar last week in Asheville (Yes, I’m considering Innkeeping as my next adventure.


Goat Cheese with Candied Almonds


Ingredients

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup sliced almonds
  • 1 log goat cheese

Directions

  1. Melt sugar in a skillet over medium-low heat without stirring. Sugar syrup should be tan to golden brown once melted.
  2. Add sliced almonds and stir to coat almonds well. Remove from heat and spread almonds on a silicone mat, sheet pan, or parchment paper to cool completely.
  3. Crush almonds using a rolling pin or food processor until crumbs are a bit smaller than pea sized.
  4. Roll goat cheese in candied almond crumbs, pressing crumbs on as needed until cheese is well coated. Serve with crackers or toast slices.

After 8 Mint Chip Gelato (Version 2)

Mint Chip Gelato Recipe
I’m an autumn girl. This favored season of mine showers me with crisp sweater weather, falling crimson leaves and cozy fires that align with my introvert’s sensibilities. And I cannot forget autumn’s bounty of rib-sticking roasted meats, soups and stews that beckon my German sensibilities as well. And yet, I bask in the first few weeks of summer – perhaps even more than autumn. Summer’s constant sun soaks through my tired flesh and warms my very soul. Birds sing the song of summer throughout the trees during the day while crickets serenade the night away, calming me. The longer days encourage my evening walks and dining alfresco – the TV is left silent. And my kitchen is inspired by summer’s bounty of sweet corn, ripe tomatoes, juicy nectarines and, of course, freshly made gelato.


After 8 Mint Chip Gelato (Version 2)

  • Servings: 1 ½ quarts
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This is my post-gelato school updated version of a 2012 recipe. Measurements are in grams.

Ingredients

  • 500 grams 2% milk
  • 1 bunch fresh mint leaves, washed, patted dry and lightly packed – about 2 cups
  • 145 grams sugar
  • 16 grams corn syrup
  • 1 gram salt
  • 38 grams powdered milk
  • 1 gram guar gum
  • 1 gram carob
  • 250 grams heavy whipping cream
  • 2 grams vanilla
  • 1 package chocolate dinner mints, chopped (such as Andes) – about 1 cup

Directions

  1. Heat milk to 104 degrees. Remove from heat, add ¾ of mint leaves, stir, cover and let steep for 1 to 1 ½ hours. Strain mint, pressing to extract as much mint oil as possible. Re-warm milk mixture. At 40 degrees, add sugar, corn syrup and salt. Continue heating and stirring milk mixture. At 144 degrees, add powdered milk mixed well with guar gum and carob. Heat milk to 194 degrees to pasteurize and immediately remove from heat.
  2. Cool milk mixture in ice bath, adding cream and vanilla when mixture’s temperature is reduced to 144 degrees. Add remaining 1/4 of mint leaves and emulsify with a stick blender. When mixture has cooled to room temperature, pour through a sieve and refrigerate overnight.
  3. Make gelato in ice cream maker and process according to manufacturer’s directions. Add chopped mints about one minute before gelato is finished.

Mint Chip Gelato Recpe

Quick Apple Sticky Buns

Quick sticky buns

Over 20 years ago, a young woman traveled to Sedona and stayed, on recommendation, at Don Hoel’s cabins. They were a cluster of small cabins near Oak Creek, looking a bit tired, but still cozy and homey, each with a kitchen, fireplace and a separate bedroom.

12 years later, she returned to Sedona and the first lodging she considered was Don Hoel’s. She was disappointed to learn she couldn’t reserve a cabin – the owner was selling and the cabins were closed. She stayed just down the road at Junipine, at a place that was neither cozy nor homey. During that trip, she drove past Don Hoel’s and saw the large “For Sale” sign across the closed gates. Even then, she daydreamed about buying it. The place was big – over 20 acres, with 20 cabins and a market. Her thoughts on the matter stayed in the daydream world.

The woman is back again. The place is now renamed, owned by a young couple for the past 5 years . They’ve polished the place up, adding the much needed character, and turned it into a little gem. The woman, who is not so young anymore, is envious. Again, she thinks “I could do that” and this time she doesn’t consider it just a daydream.


Quick Apple Sticky Buns

I don’t usually use packaged or pre-made products and call them my own, but sometimes busy mornings call for shortcuts. Adapted from Real Simple Quick Sticky Buns.

Ingredients

  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, sliced into 10 pieces
  • 1 medium apple, peeled and grated
  • ½ cup pecans, chopped
  • 3 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 7.5 ounce tube refrigerated buttermilk biscuits
  • ½ cup powdered sugar

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Drop a piece of butter in the bottom of 10 muffin tins. Divide apple among tins and sprinkle with pecans, brown sugar and cinnamon. Top each with a biscuit.
  2. Bake until golden brown, 8-12 minutes. Remove from oven, cover with a baking sheet and flip the tin over. Tap the bottom to release the buns.
  3. Combine powdered sugar with enough water to make a thick glaze. Drizzle glaze on still-warm sticky buns. Serve warm.

Caramel Latte Frosting

Caramel Latte Frosting

Mmm…frosting. Don’t mind if I do!

“Happy Anniversary!” – or is it “Happy Birthday?” We’re 9 years old today. For a girl who can’t stay committed to much of anything, I’m astonished to find TwoBitTart is still going – and growing! I starting this blog in 2008 with a different name (Phorenications) and a different mission – and nine years later, what began as a silly little hobby has grown into a big part of my life. This anniversary deserves some cake – like Bananas Foster Cake with Caramel Latte Buttercream Frosting.


Caramel Latte Frosting

  • Servings: Frosts one 8” round cake
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Caramel and coffee flavor this not-too-sweet frosting

Ingredients

  • 2 Tablespoons water
  • 6.5 ounces sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons strong coffee
  • 3 Tablespoons heavy whipping cream
  • 3 egg yolks
  • Pinch salt
  • 7 ounces softened butter

Directions

  1. Combine water and sugar in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat until sugar melts and turns coppery brown. Remove caramel from heat, cool slightly, and add coffee and whipping cream (caramel may bubble).
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat yolks. Add caramel to yolks in a steady stream. Continue whipping until mixture has cooled to body temperature. Add 1/3 of butter and whip. Add remaining butter and whip until frosting is pale tan, fluffy and a spreadable consistency. In addition to banana cake, this bittersweet frosting would pair nicely with rich chocolate cake.