Thursday, April 30, 2009

Candied Orange Peel


I've said it once, and I'll say it again--I can't throw away anything that I think I can squeeze some flavor out of. I saved some orange peel earlier this week and candied it this morning. When it gets done cooling in a couple of hours, I'm going to chop it up in bake it in a Half a Pound Cake

  • Peel from 2 oranges
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2/3 cups water

  • In a saucepan cover the orange peel in water and bring to a boil.
  • Drain.
  • Repeat blanching two more times.
  • Put the orange peel to the side, and combine the sugar and water in the saucepan.
  • Bring to a low simmer and continue heating for 10 minutes.
  • Add the orange peel and continue cooking at a low simmer for 45 minutes or until the orange peel starts to become translucent (I think mine ended up cooking slightly over an hour).
  • Coat the orange peel in sugar and place on a rack to cool for several hours.
  • Add a cup of water to the orange syrup and bring to a low simmer.
  • Put aside to cool to room temperature and then add to ice tea or mixed drinks.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Great BBQ Adventure--Installment 2, McClard's

Richard sitting in a booth a McClard's waiting for our food. It's too small to see clearly, but above his head is a photo of President Bill Clinton and Dan Rather scarfing down bbq at the restaurant.

We took a bit of a detour on the bbq adventure last week, and headed southwest on highway 70 (instead of east between Little Rock and Memphis as originally planned). I'd checked out several books from the library in the last month about bbq and the last one claimed that not only was McClard‘s in Hot Springs "the best in the state since '28" (McClard's motto), but one of the best anywhere. We just had to check it out and see--it was also an excuse for us to head to one of our favorite spots in the state. We'd been going to Hot springs for years, and been hearing about McClard's for years--we couldn't believe we'd never eaten there.

I'm reading a book right now, The South by B.C. Hall (one of my husband's old professors) and C.T. Wood, that claims that Hot Springs was a regular den of iniquity well into the twentieth century, with gambling and prostitution rampant, until we finally got a governor (Win Rockefeller) who wouldn't take a payoff. This is also where another former governor, and former President, Bill Clinton grew up.

By the time we started going to Hot Springs, at the tail end of college, it was to hang out on the touristy bathhouse row and visit the Friday night artwalk and the German restaurant's bar with a big group of friends. After that my husband and I used to go at least once a year by ourselves. When we got transferred to Fort Smith it was too long of a drive, so we skipped a year.

Me in the mid-nineties by one of the springs on bath house row.


Travelling from our home in North Little Rock, downtown Hot Springs is only 50 minutes to an hour away. The first leg, on Interstate 30 is typical interstate scenery (I included the picture for the pretty red clover that has been everywhere now that it is late Spring), but hwy 70 is a wooded stretch of road through rolling hills.

The rest area outside of Hot Springs has to date to a time before America was obese, because these are the narrowest stalls I've ever seen. Is it in bad taste to post a picture of a toilet on a food blog? Sorry, had to share!!!

* * *

When we got to McClard's we were informed that the electricity had been out for about an hour and they wouldn't be able to serve certain things. Our waitress was really apologetic and super friendly. She brought us the last two glasses of ice tea in the joint and we looked around while we waited for our order of chopped pork sandwiches with a tamale on the side.

The restaurant dates back to 1928 when supposedly the McClards, who used to run a hotel, forgave someone's $10 rent debt for a secret bbq recipe. We liked the ambiance; it felt lived in and historical in a cozy way. On a weekday afternoon the place seemed to be packed with locals. This was my kind of hole in the wall. It reminded us a lot of Ed Walker's, a drive-in joint in Fort Smith that dated back to the forties.


The tamales quickly arrived. We had done our homework ahead of time, so we knew that the place was known for their tamales as much as their bbq. The tamales are what are know as southern or country style tamales; these are not what you'd get at a Mexican restaurant. The meat was yummy, and the masa seemed as though it had been soaked in sauce. The house hot sauce that we had on the side was peppery and flavorful. We approved. The tamale is part of a dish that McClard's is famous for the "whole spread" two tamales with fritos, beans, chopped beef, cheese & onions--the reviews I read from Southerners raved, some Northerners seemed a little confused by what the hell it was all about! The gentleman who was seated at the booth next to us was disappointed to find out that the lack of electricity made his waitress hesitant to bring a whole spread order out to him; he finally convinced her that if he wasn't happy with it he'd run home and stick in the microwave. He ended up staying and eating it cold and seemed to enjoy it!

Then our sandwiches arrived. Silence. I look over my shoulder to make sure there are no fervid and violent McClard's patrons standing behind me. Should I take my name off my blog so no one comes after me?
I'm afraid we were disappointed. What was all the hype about?

I don't think it was the lack of electricity. The sandwiches were warm enough. The meat just didn't taste like it had been smoked at all. The pork was nice and tender and melt in your mouth (my husband was disappointed that it was chopped, not pulled), but it had no flavor. And the sauce, while it had a nice lemony tang, had no fire at all to balance the intense sweetness.

My overall recommendation: this place is definitely worth a visit. Great service and ambiance. But, order the whole or half spread--I will next time we visit.
But don't take my word for it, there are hundreds of other reviews online! And, heck, everyone has an off day now and again.


After lunch we headed to bath house row and the promenade and spent an hour walking around.


Tuesday, April 28, 2009

A Couple Side Dishes

You may have noticed I'm banh mi crazy right now. The arrival of the farmer's market'll do that to me. Instead of posting up the wonderful star anise grilled pork I made for more banh mi, I'll show you the side dishes. Don't worry, I won't be able to stop myself from posting up the banh mi filling sometime down the road.

A while back (Easter Dinner) I made some grilled asparagus. I just can't throw anything away that I think I might get some flavor out of later--so I threw the asparagus trimmings in the freezer. And last week I made Com Xa Ga (lemon grass and chicken rice) using meat I had cut off of three chicken thighs. Well I saved those nice meaty bones, too. (I also saved the orange peel from some oranges I used for a Costa Rican casserole, but that'll be another story--and the casserole didn't turn out so hot, so that's the last you'll hear of it.)

Noodle Soup with Chicken and Asparagus Broth


  • A small amount of vegetable oil or peanut oil
  • 3 meaty chicken thigh bones
  • One onion quartered
  • 2 stalks of lemongrass, trimmed and smashed
  • 4 thin slices ginger, peeled and smashed
  • 2 small red chilis
  • A couple black or white peppercorns
  • 3-4 oz Asparagus trimmings
  • Water to cover
  • 2 TB fish sauce
  • A couple squirts lime juice
  • Heat the oil and brown the chicken thigh bones and the onion.
  • Add the lemongrass, ginger, chilis, peppercorns, and saute until fragrant.
  • Add the asparagus and saute for a couple of minutes.
  • Cover with water about and inch above the igredients.
  • Add the fish sauce and the lime juice.
  • Bring to a boil, and then turn down to a slow simmer.
  • Simmer for an hour.
  • Strain the broth.
  • Run cold water over the chicken thighs until they are cool enough to handle and shred off what chicken meat is left and add to the soup.
  • Return the soup to the stove and add a small bundle of cellophane noodles, they will cook in a minute or less.
  • Serve with Nuoc Cham and herbs (I used mint, cilantro would be good).
This made enough for 6 small bowls of soup as a accompaniment to banh mi. It would probably make 2 bowls of soup for a meal.

Rice Salad

As unseasonably warm as it has been I was craving something cool when I came up with this side dish. I know I'll be able to come up with an infinite amount of garnishes and dressing to keep this salad alive all spring and summer long.


  • 2 cups cold cooked long grain rice (preferably jasmine, but I didn't have it so I used basmati)
  • Garnishes: I used Duo Gai -- preserved bean sprouts, shredded green onions, shredded carrots, three little slices of a small red chili, and 1/4 tsp shredded ginger.
  • Dressing: I used Nuoc Cham.


  • Press 1/2 cup of cooked rice into a small bowl, cover with a pretty plate and turn over, shaking slightly to loosen the rice from the mold.
  • Sprinkle garnishes and dressing over rice.
Garnishes I'm thinking of using:

  • Pickled Daikon
  • Thinly sliced cucumber.
  • Shredded papaya.
  • Chunks of oranges or grapefruit.

Monday, April 27, 2009



I included the recipe for garlic mayonnaise in my Easter Dinner article, but I'm posting up plain mayo now, because I made a fresh batch for banh mi.

  • kosher salt
  • 1 egg yolk
  • Salt and White Pepper
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • Break egg yolk into small mixing bowl and season with salt and pepper.
  • Mix on medium low for about a minute, until the yolk becomes pale.
  • Add lemon juice and mix thouroughly.
  • Mix in garlic paste.
  • Mixing constantly on medium low add oil a drop at a time until it starts to thicken and then in a slow and steady stream, until thick and creamy.

More Banh Mi--Lemongrass Marinated Pork


  • 1/4 cup fish sauce
  • 1 TB soy sauce
  • 3 TB sugar
  • 2 TB vegetable oil
  • 2 stalks lemongrass, trimmed, small dice
  • 2 large green onions, white and pale green parts, small dice
  • 2 cloves garlic, small dice
  • 1 LB pork loin, thinly sliced

  • Whisk together fish sauce, soy sauce, sugar and vegetable oil.
  • Add lemongrass, green onions, and garlic.
  • Add pork and allow to marinate for an hour.
  • Cook under a broiler for 5 minutes on each side, basting with marinade.
  • Serve as filling for banh mi, or over rice or noodles, or over lettuce and herbs.


I picked up rice flour and have switched to using this recipe for baguettes for banh mi. I do not spray with water, as we prefer our bread to be softer for sandwiches. These turned out perfect!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Sandwich Baguettes

I plan on doing my best this summer to recreate the wonderful Vietnamese subs (banh mi) we used to get at Pho Vietnam in Fort Smith. First step . . . yummy bread. I'm using this recipe for now until I pick up some rice flour to make true Vietnamese style baguettes.

I started early this morning to beat the heat. Here in Arkansas it already got in the high eighties this week. Baking in the oven during the afternoon would require turning on the air conditioner, and I'm not ready for that yet!


1. Heat the water to 105 to 115 degrees fahrenheit.


2. Sprinkle the sugar and yeast on top of the water and let sit for 5 minutes, the surface should be foamy.


3. Pour the yeast mixture into a large bowl and mix the flour and salt in.
4. Dump the mixture onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for 8 minutes.


5. Put the dough back in the mixing bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap.
6. Let sit for an hour an a half, or until the dough has doubled in size.


7. Divide the dough into six equal parts and shape into small loaves.
8. Cover and let sit for another 30 minutes.
9. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.


10. brush the tops of the loaves lightly with cool water.


11. Bake for 30 minutes, or until golden.

Noodle Omlet



  • 1-2 oz rice stick noodles
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 TB water
  • 1 large green onion, white part slice, green part cut into matchsticks
  • 2 anchovy fillets, crushed into a paste
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Wok
  • Bamboo steamer


  • Cover the noodles in hot water and let sit for 20 minutes.
  • Meanwhile bring 4 quarts of water to boil.
  • Scramble the eggs and the 1/2 TB water
  • Add the crushed anchovies and scallions to the egg mixture.
  • Add the salt and pepper.
  • Add the noodles to the boiling water for 30 seconds and drain.
  • Rinse in cold water and mix into the omlet mixture.
  • Pour into a dish that will fit your steamer.
  • Steam for 15 to 20 minutes.

For banh mi:

  • Cut omlet to appropriate size.
  • Slice open baguette and add mayo to one side.
  • Layer the omlet with shredded carrots, preserved beansprouts, mint leaves, Nuoc Cham, and/or Siricha.


What we were listening to while I made the baguettes and we ate brunch: a Charles Trenet compilation, Richard said it was like hearing Looney Tunes first thing in the morning (he loves Looney Tunes but somehow this didn't sound like a positive statement!)

Saturday, April 25, 2009

I Seeded the Garden at the Beginning of the week

And the cucumbers are already starting to come up now, at the end of the week.


I bought small tomato plants and seeded everything else.



And the rose buds are starting to pop open.


Friday, April 24, 2009

Condiments for Vietnamese Dishes

The only fish sauce I use for Vietnamese dishes.

When we got transferred from Fort Smith to North Little Rock we were pretty excited--but there was one pretty huge downside: no more Vietnamese markets and no more Pho Vietnam (the best Vietnamese restaurant EVER). I knew that Sam's Oriental Market in Little Rock would carry the bare bones of what I needed to cook at home, and I thought Van Lang's was pretty good (it seems to have gone downhill since we moved back to central Arkansas, or is it just the comparison to Pho Vietnam?), and Saigon Cuisine had some really great dishes. But compared to Fort Smith . . . ?

Then we found the Asian vendors at the Little Rock Farmer's Market last summer, and all was right in our world.
When I was at the farmer's market on Tuesday and caught a whiff of the mint nestled next to the lemongrass, I knew it was really and truly spring. The same with the first whiffs of the fishsauce and the limejuice as I prepared the Nuoc Cham Wednesday afternoon.

Can a condiment be a favorite food? If so Nuoc Cham is one of mine! I serve it along side every Vietnamese meal I cook. Every recipe I've ever found is different; after experimenting for around five years or so this is the one that I usually make (every now again I'll experiment with a new one just for kicks). There is always a bowl in the referigerator during the spring and summer.

  • 5 TB sugar
  • 3 TB water
  • 1/3 cup fish sauce
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 2 or 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 dry red chili
  • 1 large green onion sliced, including green parts
  • 1/4 cup chopped peanuts
  • Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl--I use a pretty china one with a lid and just stick it straight in the fridge.
  • I usually forget to make it advance, but if you remember make it a day ahead, it improves with age.
  • This should make enough for several meals.

Nuoc Cham--a first taste of Spring

Another condiment that I serve regulary is Dua Gia--preserved bean sprouts. The crunchiness of the beansprouts is always a nice contrast with the softness of rice and noodles.


  • 2 TB kosher salt
  • 2 LB mung bean sprouts
  • 1 large green onion, cut into 1 inch long pices, and then quartered.


  • Bring 4 cups of water along with the salt to boil.
  • Put the bean sprouts and green onions, mixed together, into the container you'll be storing them in.
  • Pour the salt water over the beansprouts/green onion mixture.
  • Press down on the bean sprouts until the water rises to the top of the vegetable mixture.

Duo Gia--in a recyled Whole Food container!

Com Xa Ga--Lemon Grass and Chicken Rice

Before Condiments


  • Vegetable oil
  • 2 stalks lemon grass, thinly sliced into rounds
  • 2 large green onions, thinly sliced into rounds
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 dried red chili pepper, thinly sliced
  • 3 chicken thighs, meat cut away from the bones (reserve meaty bones in the freezer to make future stock)
  • 1 1/2 cups long grain (preferably jasmine) rice
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 TB fish sauce


  • On medium to medium high heat, saute lemongrass, green onions, garlic and red chili.
  • Once vegetables are softened add meat and brown.
  • Add rice and coat with the vegetable oil.
  • Add broth and fish sauce and bring to a boil.
  • Cover tightly and cook for about 15 minutes or until rice is done.
  • Serve with Nuoc Cham, Duo Gia, Siricha (Vietnamese hot sauce), and mint leafs on the side--everyone dresses up their rice to their personal taste.

After condiments: nuoc cham, duo gia, siricha, and mint leaves

I also served Asian greens on the side. Our vendor described them as mustard greens, but they aren't the same as Southern mustard greens. I cooked mine sauteed in sesame oil, garlic, salt, pepper, and a dash of white vinegar.

What we were listening to while we ate: the debut of my husband's weekly radio show, Logopolis, at City of Glass Radio, which included everything from The Decemberists to Acid Mothers Temple, and Gram Parsons to The Happy Mondays

Thursday, April 23, 2009

BBQ Chicken and Fried Green Tomatoes


What else to do with the first green tomatoes from the farmer's market than fry them up? I used this recipe and served them with jalapeno vinegar.
I've also been yearning to start experimenting with my own bbq sauces. We haven't picked up a smoker yet, so I had to use my oven broiler. But, oh well, it was yummy anyway!


  • Chicken for broiling (I use thigh meat)
For the bbq sauce (inspired by this one at bbq recipes for foodies):
  • 2 cups cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 TB red pepper flakes
  • 2 TB hot sauce
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 1 whole onion, grated
  • 2 TB catsup
  • Whisk all the bbq sauce ingredients together in a saucepan early in the day.
  • Bring to a boil.
  • Cover, and reduce heat to low.
  • Leave simmering all morning to thicken.
  • Your house will smell like vinegar!
  • Early afternoon marinade the chicken in the bbq sauce (you probably won't need all the bbq sauce--I had plent leftover for another time)
  • When you're ready to make the chicken, turn on the broiler.
  • Cook 8 minutes on each side, basting with bbq sauce you used to marinade every couple of minutes.
  • Your chicken will get blackened--yum.

Besides fried green tomatoes, I served mine with Southern biscuits and a very pared down version of Southern Style Navy Bean Soup( no ham bone, sausage, or turnip greens, just the other veggies and salt pork).

What I was listening to while I cooked: A 70s Texas mix that included folk/country singers such as Guy Clark and Townes Van Zandt

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

35th Annual Little Rock Farmer's Market Kickoff


This is one of the most exciting dates in my year! No more Kroger's/Whole Foods/Fresh Market produce for months and months. We got downtown around 9:30 or 10:00 and quickly previewed the produce and then headed inside to grab breakfast and coffee and riff meal plans off of each other, based on what we had seen. And discussing how to rein ourselves in--I'm trying to get better, and only buy enough produce for three days, instead of loading up like I do when I go to the grocery store.

Over huevos, coffee, and red velvet cookies we ended up deciding on fried green tomatoes to go with the bbq chicken I had been talking about making all week, and nebulous ideas of Vietnamese noodles or rice. Vietnamese cooking, with its intense use of veggies and herbs (not to mention the convenience of having Asian--we believe Hmong--vendors at the local farmer's market) is always my kickoff to spring and summer cooking. We knew we'd have to get lemongrass and herbs for sure from our "dollar lady."

If you're planning on heading to the Farmer's Market to buy local, just pay attention to what's being sold and ask a lot of questions. From what I read in an article about the Asian vendors last year in the Arkansas Democrat Gazette, they grow their own produce. But we overheard someone talking to the man we bought the green tomatoes from and he said that some of his stuff was from California. A lot of the produce from Arkansas will be labelled. Also, do some research about what's in season when--that will help clue you in! I know my limes I bought weren't locally grown, but since they were there, and I was there, and I was going to be cooking Vietnamese food, I went ahead and grabbed a couple!

Visit the Famer's Market homepage for a listing of what vegetables are in season, as well as information about some of the vendors.

Also, check out the farmer's market on the other side of the river in North Little Rock, also open on Tuesday and Saturday morning. All the vendors here are Certified Arkansas Farmers. From driving by I can tell it is much smaller, but if local is important it should be worth checking out. Next time we head out I'm planning on stopping there as well. If you are parked on the Little Rock side of the river the trolley runs right by the North Little Rock market.

For more information visit


Right to Left, top to bottom:
  • Casa Manana, our favorite breakfast stop in the River Market.
  • Huevos Tirados, my favorite breakfast in the River Market--and the best food you'll ever get served in a styrofoam box!
  • Red Velvet cookie from Brown Sugar Bakeshop--I've never had anything like it--wonderful.
  • Produce--yum.
  • Our favorite of the Asian vendors: everything $1.
  • Critter--a locust, I believe from the Museum of Discovery.
  • Cutting boards that would match my pasta cutting rolling pin and biscuit cutter that I got at the Greek Food Festival last year.
  • Mushrooms
  • Cool free bags that the library was handing out a couple of weeks ago, we are trying to get in the habit of carrying them everywhere.
  • Our haul: mostly from our dollar lady, what was described as a radish (pretty much a slightly hotter green onion), green onions, mint, limes, an Asian mustard green (which she let us sample a bit of before we bought), lemon grass, and green tomatoes.
  • Brown Sugar Bakeshop, where we got the red velvet cookes.
  • The man we bought our tomatoes from
  • We think this is the same woodworker who made my biscuit cutter and pasta cutting rolling pin, we've seen him down here pretty regular.
What I was listening to while I wrote this: fellow Arkansan Levon Helm‘s, Dirt Farmer

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Great BBQ Adventure of 2009 -- Installment Number One

Our exit off of I-40.

One fun thing about being in a career that transfers us a lot is discovering a new area and new things. After being in North Little Rock for over a year, and reading The Corn Bread Nation 2: The United States of Barbecue (by the Southern Food Alliance--check out their blog on my blog roll) , we've come to the realization that we live near one of the great food capitals of the world. No, not Paris, France, nor Naples, Italy--Memphis, Tennessee.

Much like wines and cheeses in Europe, BBQ is very regional in appearance, flavor, and tradition. Ten miles down the road and they do it a different way. Look in a local phone book and you'll see at least fifty listing for BBQ. I did a little research and found that Hwy 70 between Little Rock and Memphis is dotted with BBQ joints. We've decided to make our culinary purpose in life (okay, one of many) to find the best BBQ between here and Memphis.

We decided to start extremely local, at a joint a couple blocks from the townhouse we lived in when we first moved here, JoJo's Bar-B-Q in Sherwood.

Jo Jo's in Sherwood, Arkansas

We ate at Jo Jo's twice. The fried okra is wonderful and my husband swears the onion rings are divine. The pulled pork wasn't as quite melt in your mouth as I prefer. And the mild sauce didn't really have any character and the hot sauce overpowered the meat.

Great BBQ isn't always found in a shack, sometimes its in a strip mall: Whole Hog Cafe in North Little Rock, Arkansas.


Whole Hog Cafe doesn't look like anything special from the road, but word of mouth, and internet reading had pointed us in its direction. Whole Hog's home base is Little Rock, Arkansas, with fourteen locations in Arkansas, Tennessee, and New Mexico. We stayed local and went to the one here in North Little Rock. Whole Hog Cafe is listed in Fodor's travel guides as one of the five restaurants not to miss while travelling through Arkansas, and they have won numerous awards on the BBQ competition circuits (including Memphis-in-May 2002 First Place Whole Hog and Second Place Ribs). It was also mentioned on Rachel Ray's Tasty Travels on the Food Network.

Usually all that would be a complete turn off to me as a "Hole in the Wall" junkie (and not an especial Rachel Ray fan), but I have to admit the accolades are deserved.

Right to left: we sat at the back of a large dining area, awesome bbq sauces, one trophy display of many.

We got there around six or seven o'clock on a Friday night and the place was hopping. All sorts of people eating in, and picking up. We had the pulled pork plate, which included two sides. The sides were pretty limited, we each got chips, I got bbq beans and my husband got potato salad. We soon figured out why the sides were limited--the focus is on the meat. It's dry rubbed with spices and then hickory smoked for twelve hours (This was according to he website. According to our take out menu, the meat is pecan smoked for fifteen hours--maybe each location is a little different)--and yes, it's melt in your mouth soft!


A choice of six bbq sauces is on every table. We each have our favorites already. I love #4, a Carolina style vinegar and spice. Richard loves #6, a German style mustard and vinegar, but he loves #4 almost as much and went halfsies on his sandwich.


The bbq beans and potato salad were yum as well. Richard said the coleslaw was excellent and he had his, as is traditional (locally anyway), on his sandwich, though he hasn't yet talked me into eating it that way.

And to top it all off, they had a great local beer on tap (which never ever ever hurts), Diamond Bear Pale Ale out of Little Rock.

The service was quick and friendly.

It's going to be hard to continue down the road on to the next stop in our adventure with the lure of Whole Hog Cafe. We'll just have to find room in our stomachs for more bbq in addition to what we'll be eating at Whole Hog.

What we were listening to this leg of our quest: Tom T. Hall on the ride up, and various blues songs in the restaurant. Tell me Tom T. Hall's Shoeshine Man doesn't put you in the mood for good Southern food.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Onion and Poppy Seed Bagels

When I decide to start experimenting with making bread without my bread machine, do I start with something nice and uncomplex? No, of course not!

My husband and I love bagels, but around here we can rarely find the one's we like (studded with poppy seeds and caramelized onions). So I decided to try my hand at making them.


  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/4 oz package active dry yeast
  • 1 cup milk
  • 4 TB butter
  • 2 TB superfine sugar
  • 1 egg, the yolk separated from the white, and the yolk beat with 1 tsp cold water
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Poppy seeds
  • 1 onion, caramelized


  • Bring the milk to a boil in the microwave (I set mine on the beverage setting x 2).
  • Add the butter and the sugar and whisk together until the sugar dissolves.
  • Cool mixture until tepid (I put mine in the freezer for 5 minutes)

  • Mix in the yeast, and leave for about 10 minutes, or until frothy.


  • Beat the egg white and the salt into the yeast solution.
  • Pour yeast mixture into a large bowl, and one cup at a time, combine the flour and the yeast mixture.
  • Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface.
  • Knead the dough for 15 minutes.

  • Form the dough into a ball and place into an oiled plastic bag.
  • I only had quart sized bags, so I divided my dough into 4 balls.
  • Leave it in a warm place for one hour, or until it has doubled in bulk.

  • Set 4 quarts of water to boil in a large pan and preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  • When the dough is done rising, divide into 16 even pieces, and roll into balls.
  • Flour your index fingers, and press both into the center of each ball and gently pull in opposite directions, forming a hole in the center.
  • Drop each bagel into the boiling water (Mine fit 4 at a time) and poach for 15 seconds on each side--I didn't get any photos of this part, because my lens kept steaming up!
  • Remove bagels onto a greased cookie sheet.
  • Whisk the teaspoon of water into the reserved egg yolk, and using a pastry brush, coat each bagel.
  • Sprinkle over poppy seeds.
  • Sprinkle over caramelized onions (I used 2 TB of butter and 1 onion diced small, cooked quickly on medium high heat until golden brown).

  • Bake in the oven for 20 minutes, or until golden brown.


What I listened to while I baked:

Jewelled Antler Box Set

Track 11: Cutting durmast was particularly nice to knead the dough to!