Tag Archives: Netflix

Boredom: Pistachio Coconut Cream Pie!

What do you do when you’re bored?

Here’s what I do:

  • Instagram until I get to the last Instagram post I remember
  • Facebook until I get to the last Facebook post I remember OR until I get to the kind of posts that are like these that I find so annoying:
    • Dan, babe, you are the most perfect, special, amazing human being and I can’t imagine my life without you. I would literally die if I didn’t wake up inside your loving arms every day, babe. Our wedding day was the best day of my life and every other day has been the best day too and every future day is the best day of my future life. I eat drink and breathe you babe. XOXOXOXOXOXOX Amy
      • Geez, Amy. There are a lot of feelings and thoughts and emotions there (and very few commas). Maybe put some of those those in a card to Dan. He’d probably appreciate it in a way that I would not.
  • Clean
    • JK I NEVER DO THAT WHEN I’M BORED
  • Netflix
  • Make a pie

I didn’t have much to do one recent Saturday and I had all my chores done (I am very cool!). I had nowhere to be, a full fridge and a full pantry. Huh. Ok. WEIRD.

The next day was Easter. I was planning a meal at home by myself (again, I am VERY cool). I had nothing planned for dessert. It seemed perfectly appropriate to make a whole pie for one person.

For me, the most challenging and most rewarding baking projects have been pies. I am always proud of what I accomplished. But, I always can find something I would have done differently or could have done better. There’s always room to grow.

If you’re moderately experienced baker and you want to take your pie baking to the next level, please do yourself a favor and get the Four & Twenty Blackbirds cookbook. Their innovative twists on classic flavors satisfy me on a deep, soulful level.

On that lazy Saturday, where time and space no longer mattered, I decided on the Pistachio Coconut Cream Pie. Why that pie? Well, I love coconut cream pie. Plus, I had most of the ingredients for the pistachio coconut cream pie at home. Sometimes, the decisions are made for you.

This pie is worth the effort that is required to make it. Is it horribly, terribly difficult to make? No, not exactly. But it’s also not easy; it’s labor intensive. You will need a couple of hours. You will need a bit of patience and a bit of chutzpah. I was particularly nervous when I was making my custard, as the only other time I made one I scrambled the eggs when I added the hot milk. Not remotely tasty.

This pie, however, turned out to be quite delicious.

FullSizeRender (4)

The pistachio adds an subtle earthiness, and since I used the salted pistachios I had on hand, a pleasant saltiness to balance the sweetness of the cream and sugar in the pie. The area that I’m going to try to work to improve next time is the crust. It was quite loose and crumbly, I think largely due to the fact that my shredded coconut was very dry. But the flavor was spot on. And bonus, it’s gluten-free and no-bake. So lah di dah!

The moral of this story is when you get a little bored, delicious things can happen. Put your phone down and make a pie.

Dan and Amy will probably thank you. Publicly. In an Facebook post.

Four & Twenty Blackbirds pie is available at their Pie Shop in Brooklyn and on countless other menus in New York.

PIE SHOP
439 3rd Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11215
Phone (718) 499 2917
MONDAY – FRIDAY 8am – 8pm
SATURDAY 9am – 8pm, SUNDAY 10am – 7pm

Buy their book here.

Pistachio Coconut Cream Pie from The Four & Twenty Blackbirds Pie Book

Crust:

Makes one 9-inch pie crust

  • ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon shelled pistachios, raw and unsalted
  • ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • ¼ kosher salt

In a dry medium-size skillet, toast the pistachios over a medium heat until fragrant, 7 to 9 minutes; shake the pan or stir frequently to prevent burning. Pour into a shallow dish and allow to cool about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, toast the coconut in the same skillet over medium-low heat 2 to 3 minutes or until lightly golden and fragrant. When finished, immediately add to the pistachios.

Once cool, pour the toasted pistachios and coconut plus the sugar and salt into the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Process until the pistachios are finely chopped and the mixture looks homogenous, scraping down if necessary; the crumbs will stick together slightly when ready.

Pour the crumbs into an ungreased, preferably metal 9-inch pie pan. Spread evenly over the bottom; then create a circle about 1 inch in to separate the crumbs for the sides from the crumbs for the bottom. Start pressing the outer ring of crumbs evenly up the sides and into the corner (where the side meets the bottom) of the pan. Press the remaining crumbs evenly over the bottoms to meet the sides; use a flat-bottomed cup to smooth out bumps. Freeze until solid at least 10 minutes, before filling.

Filling:

  • 2/3 cup shelled pistachios, raw and unsalted
  • 2 ½ cups whole milk
  • 5 large egg yolks, whisked
  • 6 tablespoons cornstarch
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 ¼ cups coconut milk | I used full fat. Because fat is flavor.
  • 2- to 3-inch strip lime zest
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon confectioner’s sugar

Chop the pistachios in a food processor fitted with a blade attachment until chopped into medium to find pieces. Add the chopped nuts to a heavy-bottomed saucepan along with the whole milk. Bring just to a boil over medium heat, remove the pan from the heat, and cover. Set aside to steep for 15 to 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, have the whisked egg yolks ready in a large bowl. In a large heavy-bottomed saucepan, whisk together the cornstarch, granulated sugar, and salt. Whisk in the coconut milk and add the strip of lime zest. Strain the pistachios from the milk, then add the milk to the saucepan and whisk until combined. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until bubbling and thick, about 5 minutes. Once the mixture boils, cook for about 2 minutes longer. Remove from the heat.

Slowly and carefully stream one-third of the hot milk mixture into the yolks, whisking constantly to prevent the yolks from cooking. Stream in the remaining hot milk, and then return the mixture to the saucepan.

Have a large bowl ready for cooling and a fine-mesh sieve to strain the mixture through. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture just returns to a boil, 1 to 2 minutes. Strain through the sieve, using a spatula to push the mixture through and to scrape the filling clinging to the bottom of the sieve. Allow to cool for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent a skin from forming.

Sir in the butter 1 tablespoon at a time, fully incorporating each addition before adding the next. Stir in the lime juice. Pour into the prepared crust and press a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the filling. Refrigerate until firm, about 4 hours.

In the chilled bowl of an electric mixer, beat the cream on medium speed until soft peaks form. Add the confectioners’ sugar and continue beating on medium-low speed just until the cream holds stiff peaks. Remove the plastic wrap from the surface of the filling and spread the cream over the pie. Slice and serve.

The pie will keep refrigerated for 2 days.

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Podcast Roundup: Gringo Bandito Hot Sauce

If I had to break down the percentage of topics of my non-work conversation, it would probably go something like this:

  • 70%: Food
  • 15%: Podcasts
  • 5%: Netflix
  • 5%: Naps
  • 5%: Other, including but not limited to Jon Hamm, the john, ham, Jon Hamm’s John Hamm, etc.

Food is a given, as are Jon Hamm and naps, but I’ve become a huge fan of podcasts. They’re a wonderful way to pass the time when you need a little entertainment. Out on a walk? Throw on a podcast! Driving to a place? Throw on a podcast! Prepping your meez? You see the pattern here, people.

There are all sorts of podcasts for your listening pleasure, but here are my go-tos.

  • The Nerdist Podcast: Chris Hardwick (stand up comedian and former Singled Out Host) and his besties/fellow comedians, Jonah Ray and Matt Mira, co-host. They have wonderfully weird and funny conversations with celebrities and each other. Kyle Clarke, Katie Levine and Scout the dog join in and hilarity ensues.
  • Wits: Have you guys ever listened to Prairie Home Companion? Wits is like Prairie Home Companion if Prairie Home Companion had better writing, funnier guests and cooler musical artists. I don’t hate Prairie Home Companion or anything. I just adore Wits. John Moe hosts this delightfully oddball variety show.
  • WTF with Marc Maron: I resisted this one for awhile, but a friend recommended and I fell for it. Marc Maron is a comic who takes long form conversations to a new level. His honesty is charming and disarming and it allows his guests to really share with him. It feels like you’re listening in on someone’s therapy. Notable episodes are: Terry GrossHenry WinklerRemembering Harris Wittels
  • The Thrilling Adventure Hour: Fans of old time-y radio and kitschy things will love this silly, delightful show. It’s a serialized radio show that follows among others a a society couple that seed ghosts and the marshall on Mars. All the comedians ever are on this thing. Notable episodes are: all of them. The new episodes end in August, but there are 250 episodes to go back to and enjoy.

Now you’re probably wondering: what the actual fuck does this have to do with food?

Well, I LISTEN to them during cooking. Which how I sometimes fuck up cooking. Look at how I messed up my buns.

Not MY buns. These hamburger buns. My buns are great. WINK.

To a crisp.

To a crisp.

The cool part about a podcast is that you never know what you’ll learn. Even if you have preconceived notions about the guest, you might learn something really cool. For example: a recent Nerdist episode featured Dexter Holland. You might not know his name, but you probably know his work. He’s the lead singer of the bang The Offspring. They’re still touring (who knew?) but he’s also getting his PHD in molecular biology studying HIV (wait, WHAT?!) This conversation was fascinating. The most interesting thing is that this guy is curious about so many things. He didn’t know how to play music when he started his first band. He loves science so he started pursuing science. And he wanted to play music and continue studying science, so he did both.

And this is how he made a hot sauce. He’s passionate about hot sauce. So he decided to make one. You know, as you do.

Yeah. That's him on the bottle.

Yeah. That’s him on the bottle.

It’s a nice hot sauce for casual hot sauce consumption. It’s say it has a similar heat level to a Tabasco. Unlike a Tabasco, it’s much more of pepper-forward vs. vinegar-forward. It was a nice kick of heat, but it didn’t blow out my palate.

So, I salute you, Dexter Holland. Your hot sauce is solid. Your scientific research is baller. And your music is a major earworm.

That’s pretty fly for a white guy.

OH, YOU SAW IT COMING.

Gringo Bandito Hot Sauce is available at most grocery stores and online. Try it on tacos, eggs, and all the things. Eat it while listening to The Nerdist podcast and enjoy your burrito, folks.

P.S. There are some food podcasts that I’ve started exploring. More on that to come.

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Mid-Week Malaise: Fried Oreos and Rosé

It’s the middle of the week and I have that mid-week malaise. It’s too soon to get excited about this weekend. So I will reminisce about last weekend. And last weekend, I had fried Oreos and rosé on the porch. Did you? No?

Well, that’s a shame.

I’m not going to say that I won.

…but I think it’s pretty clear.

My friend Rebecca came down from DC on Saturday and we had just a splendid weekend. I don’t want to get all Mother’s Day-Facebook-post-sentimental about it, but we became fast friends eight years ago working in our first jobs together. You’ve heard of the saying, “make new friends, but keep the old, one is silver and the other’s gold.” This one is platinum.

Alright, I know, that was REALLY sappy. But I stand by it.

Ernie, as I sometimes call her (her maiden name is Ernst), came in gunning for a blog-worthy weekend and a blog-worthy weekend we had. She arrived on Saturday and we went to the Strawberry Street Festival, which was quite literally across the street from my house. I thought this street festival was going to be like, a tent with a guy doing balloon animals. He may or may not be out on a parole violation. You may or may not want to let your kids talk to him. Not so, my friends. There were several delicious food vendors, activities for the kids (bouncy houses! parrots! seriously, parrots!), some really artists and cool local shops, like Love This. They sell cool pieces, like jewelry, shoes, etc., for a great cause.

ART

ART

This is my new art from Lightbox Print Co. They do hand drawn art of buildings in The Fan. These are restaurants in The Fan and at this point I’ve only eaten at 2 of them. Challenge accepted.

And yes, we had fried oreos, drank a bottle of rose, and sat on the porch.

A match made in heaven

A match made in heaven

A woman walked by and said, “God, that looks great.”

You’re right, perfect stranger. Standing tall on the wings of my dreams…nothing’s gonna stop me now.

Next stop on our tour de food was Proper Pie Co. This is another reason why I love Rebecca. I mentioned that there was a pie shop in town and she said, “well…should we go there?” Yes. Yes we should. Proper Pie Co. is all pies, all the time. They have New-Zealand style savory hand pies, plus sweet pies. This place is dope. (Is that cool to say? I don’t know.) We split a Thai Butternut Squash Hand pie and picked up a piece of coconut cream and peach and blackberry cobbler to split later. Spoiler alert: they were absolutely scrumptious. Go there now, people of Richmond. Who am I kidding, you probably already have.

PIe dios mio.

PIe dios mio.

We went to a minor league baseball game, which was really just a vehicle for us to eat hot dogs and curly fries. Our local team is the The Richmond Flying Squirrels. So, let me correct myself. The baseball game was a vehicle to eat hot dogs and squirrely fries (seriously). I really impressed Rebecca by knowing who Carl Yazstremzki is. She’ll say she wasn’t that impressed, but I know she REALLY was.

On Sunday, I made brunch.

I love you, brunch.

I love you, brunch.

While everyone else was posting really lovely, effusive stuff about their moms on Facebook, Rebecca and I watched the first episode of Bloodline, a pretty fucked up family drama/thriller on Netflix. You know, we had to balance it all out.

Stop whatever you’re doing and watch Bloodline right now. Because Kyle Chandler is in it. I’ve been a Kyle Chandler fan (we call ourselves ‘Fandlers’…we’re working on the name) since Early Edition. Remember that show? With the blind lady and the cat. He’d get tomorrow’s news today and he’d have to try to change it. It was a terrible concept. When I was younger, I asked my dad if the actress who played the blind lady was really blind. And my dad won’t let my live this down to this very day. I’m 30, you guys. But here’s the thing. I was in 6th grade, so I should’ve probably known better. Embarrassing.

Anyway, Bloodline! It’s a Netflix original. The cast is incredible. Kyle Chandler (obviously), Sissy Spacek, Sam Shepherd, Linda Cardellini, some people you’ve never heard of from Broadway but who have won Tony Awards and are incredible. The setting is insanely beautiful. It’s so well shot. It is INTENSE. I’ve seen all thirteen episodes and I actually screamed into my hands one time. But it’s seriously that good. So, stop watching whatever you’re watching and watch this.

And then as quickly as she came to Richmond, Rebecca went back up north. To the land of……..well, shit. I don’t even know. What’s in DC again? Anything?

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