Pickled Mustard Seeds

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Can you believe this is my 300th post? Neither can I! Thanks to everyone for reading this far! Now, on to the project post!

I originally made these as part of a recipe for those delectable uni bocadillos, but they also make a great condiment on their own, so I thought I’d post about them separately. For any mustard newbies, you most often find mustard seeds as part of whole-grain mustard, and their unique texture adds to the mustard experience. It’s hard to describe– once they absorb liquid, they transform from a dry, crunchy seed to something a little soft, with a nice little “pop” when you crunch them between your teeth.

Anyway, in addition to having them mixed into whole-grain mustard, you can also pickle them on your own to make a seed-only condiment for extra pop! I used yellow mustard seeds for this application, though you can also use brown if that’s all you can find.

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Sweet and Spicy Pickled Grapes

pickled-grapes

My first try at pickled grapes was a few years ago– I’d come across a recipe from (you guessed it) Deb at Smitten Kitchen and was determined to give it a shot. I’d never tried pickling anything before, so it seemed like as good a reason as any to start! They turned out to be absolutely amazing– sweet, tangy, and refreshing, with a hint of spice to tweak the palate from being dessert-ish to savory cheese plate-ish. I vowed to make them again at some point… and promptly forgot about them.

Still, some vestige of memory must have remained, because when I volunteered to bring a cheese plate to a gathering of my best foodie friends, a little bell in my head went “ding!” and I knew I’d have to try making these again.

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Uni Bocadillos

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Oh my god, these are really, really good. I knew they would be since I’d had them at Toro Boston as part of a tasting menu and swooned over them then, but I didn’t quite believe that the recipe I found online would be a perfect replica. I was wrong.

What is this culinary wonder, you ask? An uni bocadillo (translated as sandwich or snack). That’s right, a sandwich made with uni– sea urchin roe (okay, it’s really the entire gonads of the urchin, but “roe” sounds more appetizing so let’s go with that). When I first tasted it at Toro I was blown away by the delicate sweetness and seafood flavor of the roe– it was rich and creamy and luxurious, and I couldn’t get enough of it! The waiter described it as “like a grilled cheese, only with uni,” and it was a fair assessment– the creamy uni worked perfectly with the buttery toasted bread, and it really did remind me of a very upscale grilled cheese sandwich.

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Leftover Rice Fritters

rice-fritters

In my family we eat a lot of rice. The only problem is that we tend to make more of it than we need– not just more than we can eat in a sitting, but more than we need to pack away the leftovers, which leaves extra rice hanging out in the fridge… but not enough to make a whole new meal, which means we need to make more rice the next time we need it, which starts a vicious cycle.

Anyway, I developed this recipe as a way to break the cycle– cheesy rice fritters! They can transform even the oldest, driest riceĀ into a crispy, savory cake that makes a fantastic addition to any meal. And the best part is that the recipe uses only pantry staples, so you can make these any time!

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Cheddar and Parsley Biscuits

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I love tiny baked goods– especially ones with some kind of dainty little decoration on top. Sweet or savory, I can’t resist them! So it was only a matter of time before I tried out an idea that I think I first saw in one of Martha Stewart’s books– tiny little biscuits with a sprig of parsley baked right on top. So adorable! I served them at a picnic last weekend and they were a perfect addition to the menu!

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Buffalo Wing Popcorn

buffalo-popcorn

You guys. Make this. Make it now. Then I’ll have someone else who shares my addiction to it, and I won’t feel weird about crunching it non-stop. What is it? Buffalo wing popcorn. It’s a savory caramel corn, and it’s crunchy, sweet, salty, and spicy all at once– the perfect snack for any occasion.

Bon Appetit has called this “the best recipe we’ve ever made,” and while I’m not sure it’s the best thing I’ve ever made myself, it’s certainly unique and interesting and did I mention addictive? It starts off lightly sweet, then the hot sauce kicks in and the easiest way to assuage the slight burn is to eat more popcorn… which of course starts it all over again, and before you know it you’ve gone through a large handful and are reaching for more!

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The Cake Pop Chronicles, Part II: Canned Doughs

pops pizza

After my experiment with blueberry muffins, I decided to put a different spin on things and see what resulted when I used canned crescent roll dough and pizza crust in the cake pop maker. I tried both savory and sweet fillings here, to see which worked better. Continue reading