Jack is Cooking Peach and Berry Pie

Well Hello Internet!

Since yesterday was the hottest day of the year (i think it got up to 108°  –  which as a LOST fan obviously holds some special significance…)  I decided that i should turn my oven on to 400° and make a pie.  An extremely Delicious, gooey, oozing pie filled with very delicious Ingredients.

it all started because i found a Peach in my fridge.  Peaches are my absolute favorite fruit, and after eating it for breakfast, i just had to have more.  I hadn’t baked anything in a while, so i figured i would make a pie.  but that’s not all i found in the fridge, there were a few blackberries also!  This got my mind gears moving and i decided that i would make a Peach and Blackberry Pie.

However, since I had eaten all of the peaches and blackberries in my fridge I would have to go buy more.  So I braved the heat, and walked to Union Square market to buy some more Peaches.  Upon arriving I encountered more berries than I could walk away from, and so along with the Peaches and Blackberries i had set out for, i returned home with blueberries and gooseberries.  (GOOSEBERRIES!)

Delicious Fruit

and Baking Ensued!

Here’s what you will need to make this pie – and you should definitely make this pie.

for the Crust (Pâte Brisée)- from Julia Child:
2 cups A/P flour
1 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Sugar
1 and 1/2 stick (6 oz) chilled butter – cut into small cubes
4 tbspns chilled vegetable shortening
1/2 cup of iced water

For the Filling:
7 or 8 Peaches
8 oz blackberries
8 oz blueberries
8 oz gooseberries (stemmed)
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup flour
1 tbspn corn starch
2 tsp vanilla extract
the inside of 1/2 a vanilla bean (optional, but steps it up a notch)
3 tbspns Rum

For the Crumble
1/2 tspn cinnamon
1/4 tspn nutmeg
3/4 cup granola
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1 cup flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup Cold Butter

preheat oven to 400°

To make the Crust
Put all the ingredients except the water into a bowl, and cut the butter and shortening into the flour until it resembles a texture similar to oatmeal.  don’t overmix the butter in, just get it to this crumble state.  (later i will do a post purely on Pie Crusts)

Add half of the water in, and mix until it just comes together.  if it is still very dry slowly add a little bit more water, but depending on the humidity of the day you will use more or less water.  (since it was VERY humid yesterday i used very little water at all)

once the dough has come together in a flaky ball, take walnut sized pieces smear them with the heel of your hand against the counter.  this will finish the mixing of the butter and the shortening.  gather all the dough together and wrap it up and chill is for an hour.

Next! prepare the fruit!

Peel and slice the peaches (this is a tedious, messy operation), put them in a bowl with the rest of the fruit, and add all the rest of the ingredients, and mix it up gently, as you don’t want to destroy the lucious berries.

the fruit!

Now, since that probably took about an hour, take the chilled dough out of the fridge and roll it out on a floured board, and place it into your pie container.  Add the filling to it.  don’t worry if its overflowing a little bit.  LET IT OVERFLOW!

put this in the fridge while you make the crumble.

to make the crumble (this ones easy!):
add all ingredients together in a bowl and mix (with your hands!!!!) until crumbly.
put it over the filling

before baking
(as you can see i actually made two…. but the ingredients listed here are only for one!)

place it on a tray and cook it first for 20 minutes uncovered.  then cover with tinfoil and bake it for another 25 minutes.  finally remove the tinfoil and bake it for a further 15 minutes.  Remove from the oven and let it cool for 30 minutes.

and then:


and then

want to eat

 and then

must. wait. 30. minutes 
and then yes you can eat it, and just look how delicious and gooey and sticky and scrumptious this is…
and save some for somebody else!


Jack is Cooking Saag Paneer

Well Hello Internet!
Another dish i have been making quite a bit recently is Saag Paneer.  This is an Indian dish most commonly made with spinach, but can also be made with a variety of other Greens.   I have experimented with many of these greens, but have to say that my favorite is to make it with a mixture of Kale, and Spinach.
Here is what you will need:
1 Bunch of spinach – (at least 250-300 grams)  cut up into large pieces
1 bunch of Kale – (250-300 grams)  – cut up into medium sized pieces
150 Grams Paneer (Indian Cheese) cut into 1 inch cubes –  This will not really work with any other type of cheese, except maybe fresh Queso Blanco
2 tbspns Oil
1 tbspn Ghee
1/4 tspn cumin seeds
1/2 tspn mustard seeds
2 cloves garlic (grated)
1 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 inch Fresh Ginger – Grated
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp sugar
1 tsp Garam Masala
100 ml milk (OPTION:  when i first started making this i used Heavy Cream.  but i don’t always have it (and its very rich), so sometimes i will use milk, or Almond Milk)
So this dish is very easy once you get the hang of it, but it requires very good Mis-en-Place.  which means have everything ready and organized before you start cooking as it all happens very fast, and there are lots of spices!  it helps if you use some ramekins, or some other little bowls.
Here is how to best organize yourself:
1. In one bowl, put the cumin and mustard seeds, along with the grated garlic.
Mustard Seeds (L) & Cumin Seeds (R)
2.  In a second bowl, put the coriander powder, the ground ginger, and the nutmeg.

3.  In a third bowl, put the sugar, the salt, and the grated FRESH ginger.
ok so that’s enough organizing.  
now for the cooking.  First! heat up the ghee in a pan, and add the paneer to it.  fry the paneer until it is nicely browned on all sides.  it can burn quickly so don’t let that happen.  once its finished cooking, strain it and put it aside in a bowl.  sprinkle the Garam Masala over the paneer while it is nice and hot.
Garam Masala

Second!  with the leftover ghee that should still be in the pan from the paneer, cook the spinach and the kale, until it is just wilted.  this will not take very long.  put all of this into a colander and let it sit.

Now is time to cook the spices.  and where all our organizing comes into play.

put the 2 tbspns of oil into the pan and heat it up.  throw the first bowl in (the cumin and mustard seeds, with the garlic)  cook it for about 10 seconds, or until the seeds start sputtering.  Then!  throw the Second bowl in – the ground coriander, ginger and nutmeg.  and cook that for about 10 seconds also.  you will have a spice goop that is very hot now.

quickly throw the cooked greens back into the spices, and toss around until the spices are even spread around.  cook this for about 2 or 3 minutes.   Then add the cooked Paneer, along with the Third bowl – with the sugar, the salt, and the FRESH ginger.  cook all this for about 2 or 3 minutes, and Finally add in the milk (or Cream, or Almond milk, whichever route you choose to go)  cook for a further 2 minutes, and then its done!

Serve it with some rice, and if you want you can serve it with some other curry!  (soon i will put up more curries, as i’ve been on a bit of a Currinary adventure recently…..  (get it curry + culinary)  😉


Jack is Cooking Some Kind of Beef Noodles (take II)

Well Hello Internet!

its been a long time.  almost a year since my last post!  don’t worry i’ve still been eating cooking a lot!  but i’ve mainly been playing with old recipes and so didn’t think i should post the same thing twice.  but since i’ve got this here website i figured i should probably start posting on it again!

So One dish that was really awesome that i made a while ago, (and took a picture of!) was this awesome beef noodle soup dish that i found in a magazine (Saveur).  I didn’t exactly make what the recipe in the magazine said, i made my own thing out of it.

So here’s what you’ll need:

1 lb of beef – doesn’t matter what cut, but its nice if it has bones in it.  i used a T-Bone steak, (which i am sorry to say had been in my freezer for too long, and had gotten a bit of Freezer burn on it.  it wouldn’t have been good as a plain steak, but was perfect for this soup)

1/4 cup sake
2 teaspoons mixed pepper corns
2 cloves of garlic (smashed)
1/2 can crushed tomatoes
1 pod star anise
1/2 onion
2 dried red chillies
a bunch of ginger (like 2 inches)

1 teaspoon vinegar,
1  teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 tablespoon sesame oil

fresh spinach
fresh egg noodles – the really thin kind!
a green onion
sesame seeds

So First, cut up the steak into random sized chunks, and throw all the meat and the bones into a pot of water.  bring this to a boil, and then drain the water.  take the beef and the bones and put it back in the pot with everything from the list in Group A.  cover this with water, and bring it back to a boil.  let it simmer for about an hour.

Then! after one hour, remove the beef from this stock and set it aside on a cutting board.  strain the liquid  so that you have a nice broth, and discard all the onions and ginger pieces, and whatever else may have been in the stock.  Cut the Beef into nice bite sized pieces.  you can now get rid of the bones, as their delicious goodness has been transferred into the stock.

Add everything from GROUP B (the soy sauce etc.) into the broth, and add the newly bite sized beef back into the broth.

In a separate pot, cook the noodles for their specified cooking time.  if they are fresh that will only be 2 minutes or so.  remove the noodles, and place them in the serving bowls.  SAVE THE WATER!
then cook (BLANCHE!) the spinach in the water.  remove the spinach from the water and put it into the bowls with the noodles.

Then take a Ladle, and ladle the nice broth over the noodles and spinach, making sure to get the good beef stuff into the bowls too.  garnish it with some Green Onions, and Sesame Seeds, and you have a Delicious Beef Noodle Soup Dish!

Heres what it looked like, PLUS the original picture from the magazine.

mmm mmm delicious!

P.S.   the original recipe which i adapted this from can be found here: