Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Rosemary Parmesan Truffle Pumpkin Seeds

In order to get enough seeds for a batch (about 2 cups), I had to carve 2 medium-sized pumpkins.
Before turning these bad boys into a savory snack, you have to soak them in water to separate them from the pumpkin goo, clean them up with water, and let them air dry (which takes too long and I have no patience for) or put them on a baking sheet and pop them in the oven at 200 degrees for about 30 minutes, stirring them every 10 minutes so they don't stick.
When they are dried and ready to go, mix them in a bowl with:
1/2 teaspoon of truffle oil (if you don't like truffles, you can use an infused oil olive, such as garlic or Italian herbs)
1 tablespoon of unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
1/2 teaspoon of pepper
1 teaspoon of freshly chopped rosemary

Toss well, then spread the seeds in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake for about 45 minutes in a 300 degrees preheated oven; stir occasionally. They should be golden brown. When you take them out, mix them with 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese and you are ready to dig in!

Rosemary Parmesan Truffle Pumpkin Seeds

Happy Halloween!!!

-Chef Cat

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

SOLD Contemporary in Potomac!!!

Our Clients closed on this amazing contemporary home in Potomac this week!

Asking Price: $1,699,000
Congratulations to both Sellers and Buyers!!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

How to make butter...

About a year ago, I had the strangest desire to make butter from scratch. So I looked it up online and decided to go for it. All you need is a hand mixer (or blender, or stand mixer), and 1 cup of heavy whipping cream. This will make a decent amount, but you can use more heavy cream if you plan on making different types of butter.

Let the beating begin...

This is after a couple of minutes after whipping the cream into shape, you could stop here and add vanilla extract and sugar to dollop on top of your favorite berries or desert, but that's not our goal here, so keeping beating (medium speed)...

After maybe 8 minutes or so, this is what the cream looks like. You can see the fat starting to separate from the buttermilk and clump together. You're doing great!

"Ewww it's just clumpy curds with this weird liquid" ...this is what you get about 10 minutes in! Congrats, we're almost done! Slow it down so you don't make a mess with the butter milk. When it looks like the picture above, stop beating! Time to drain the curds from the liquid. Use a strainer or whatever else works for you. Return to the mixing bowl and starting whisking again on medium speed.

After the second round of whisking, this is what you'll get. Gather up all that butter in your hands and start squeezing out all the leftover liquid out.

Squishy squishy...
Gently press the liquid out until you feel like there's nothing left. I would suggest rinsing the butter in ICE cold water so it lasts longer, or you can devour it in the next few days, up to you.

Homemade butter!!
Congratulations, you've just made butter from scratch!
You've got unsalted butter, but there are many other options. Strawberry honey, Cinnamon Sugar, Cilantro and Chive, Sun-dried Tomato, Chili Citrus, the possibilities are endless.

For this batch, I made my favorite, Garlic Herb Butter. You give me that and fresh baguette, I will eat the whole thing. It is also great for cooking.

Add one clove of garlic (minced), Herbes de Provence (savory, fennel, basil, and lavender), Salt and Pepper to taste. Stir together. Wasn't that easy?

Garlic Herb Butter

Feel proud, flaunt what you've made to your guests. They'll be impressed and crave it every time they come over.

-Chef Cat