Tag Archives: American

Straberry Rhubarb Pie

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie 1

Its spring time (the end of it anyway), and there’s no better spring dessert than rhubarb! Actually, I’m just really excited about this ingredient because it has such a short season. I am not a fan of tartness or sour things, but I do like strawberries and I do like pie. Althoug I was hasty in cutting the pie, which resulted in a flood of un-gelatinzed juices, it was still delicious so I want to share the recipe.

The original can be found at Smitten Kitchen.

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie 2

I followed the recipe to the dot, except for substituting flour for quick-cook tapioca. I would suggest 1/2 cup of flour be added. Also I think I was too hasty in cutting the pie, which resulted in a very soupy pie =(

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie 3

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Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

I’ve learned to make very complicated pastries, and I think I can make them pretty consistently. Croissants, souffles, bread, and various cakes, but the one thing I haven’t made successfully is, ironically, cookies. The most basic American dessert. Until this time, all my chocolate cookies have been failures. I had half a bag of leftover chocolate chips from the last time my boyfriend, J, and I tried to make them. But it would be boring to make plain ol’ chocolate chip cookies, and I hate boring. So instead of using normal butter I decided to use brown butter!

Brown butter, or buerre noisette, is easy to make. I learned it here from Poires au Chocolat. Basically its just boiling butter until the water has evaporated and the butter turns amber, kind of like making caramel. Since the chocolate chip cookie I wanted to use called for melting butter, I decided to try browned butter instead. Browned butter has this amazing nutty flavor to it, and it definitely made my cookies more interesting. Browned butter is not suitable for recipes that don’t call for melting the butter because, well, browning it melts the butter! Also, I should note that browning butter removes water from the recipe, which may or may not matter depending on the recipe. I loved the flavor, so perhaps I will use it again the near future (banana bread maybe?).

The original recipe is Alton Brown’s “The Chewy” chocolate chip cookie which can be found here.

Chocolate Chip Cookies 1

Ingredients
  • 4 ounces unsalted butter(1 stick)
  •  6 ounces bread flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 ounces granulated sugar
  • 4 ounces dark brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 0.7 ounce whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 ounces semisweet chocolate chips

Procedure

  1. Take the butter and bring it to a boil on medium heat in a small pot/pan. Keep on letting it boil until you start to smell the browned butter and see it turn brown. There will be brown/black spots in the butter, which are toasted milk solids. Be careful not to burn them. You may choose to include them in your cookies – I did. Set aside to cool
  2. Put the butter in the mixing bowl and add both sugars. Mix.
  3. Sift the flour, salt, baking soda, and add it in 3 parts into the butter/sugar mixture.
  4. Crack an egg in a bowl, add milk and vanilla extract and whisk together. Add it to the dough. Mix thoroughly.
  5. Mix in the chocolate chips. Cover and chill in the fridge for an hour.
  6. Bake cookies at 375F for about 10~12 minutes, until the edges are a little darker.
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Square Cafe

This was the second time I’ve been to Square Cafe, and the first time I remember it didn’t impress me all that much. The menu and decor was cutesy, but the food was so so, and because its location was so out-of-the-way, I didn’t bother trying it again. However, they recently posted a groupon deal, so I invited my friend to come try it with me again, this time with a more analytical mindset.

Goat Cheese Omelet

I guess they change their menu regularly, because the goat cheese omelet is no longer on their menu. It came with asparagus, but since I didn’t like it I asked for onions instead. The omelet was bad. Overcooked and boring. I hate, hate overcooked eggs, and the only reason I ate it was because it was 1) expensive, and 2) not greasy therefore healthy. The salad on the side was also not good. It has some sort of oil dressing in it, but other than that it was boring and flavorless

I forget what my friend ordered, but her omelet was also overcooked, and the hash wasn’t crunchy. It seemed to have sit in the kitchen for a long time before it was served. I remember it being overly salty as well, and we did not finish it.

Obviously, I will probably never come back here again, with or without a groupon. I sort of do see the appeal of this place – the get their food locally, and use mostly natural or organic products, but if they cannot cook the food right, I don’t care where they get their food – bad food is bad food. Have you ever been here? If so, what do you think about Square Cafe?

Square Cafe

1137 South Braddock Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA
(412) 244-8002

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Burgatory

Burgers! Om nom nom. A couple of week ago my Sheep brought me to Burgatory which is in the northern part of Pittsburgh city. I had heard so many stories about it, and I was a little dubious about its deliciousness. I don’t like BRGR, which apparently everyone absolutely loves, so I wasn’t too looking forward to Burgatory. The Sheep also said that he didn’t like it, just so that I didn’t raise my hopes up too high.

Like in BRGR, they have a list of boozy shakes, and it seems like they were really pushing for me to try some. (I swear to god I’ll get one next time). Their menu also includes a build your own burger menu, and other deliciousness. On yelp, truffle fries were all the rage, so I ordered that, and also a custom burger.

Build-your-own-burger menu

I was debating between the bison burger and normal burger. However, I figured I would try their standard burgers first, and if its good I’ll come back for the bison burger next time.

Truffle fries with Gorgonzola and Scallions

We also decided to try the Truffle Fries with Gorgonzola and Scallions due to all the comments on yelp. These are definitely worth it. The fries had the perfect crispy exterior, and then a smooth and creamy interior. The gorgonzola complimented the truffle fries, enhancing the flavor of both in my mouth. The green onions also really lightened up the dish, away from the umami flavor of truffles and Gorgonzola and giving it a nice punch. I could eat these fries forever.

Standard Deluxe – All Natural Beef Burger with White American Cheese, Lettuce, Tomato, Onion and our House Burger Sauce.

I didn’t actually eat this, but this is what the Sheep ordered, with a side of sweet potato and russet chips.

Custom Creation – Beef patty with cajun rub, spicy ketchup, and bunless

Their burgers really are very, very good. It was so, so juicy, and perfectly seasoned. The spicy ketchup was also amazing. My only problem was that the chips seemed a little undercooked. A lot of them were very stiff and didn’t really seem edible. Also, the cajun rub didn’t really come through, which was a little disappointing.

I did not have a shake because I had already had fries, and I would feel like too much of a fat ass if I did. The waiter did ask us like 4 or 5 times though, which I thought was amusing interesting. Overall, I would definitely come back, for both the fries and burgers. Have you gone to Burgatory before? Tell me what you thought!

BURGATORY

Fox Chapel / Waterworks
932 Freeport Road
Pittsburgh, PA 15238
412.781.1456

Also at:

Robinson / The Pointe
300 McHolme Dr.
Pittsburgh, PA 15275
412.809.9400

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The Porch

A couple of weeks back my friends and I went to eat at The Porch. Its a fairly new restaurant, and I had heard that it had the same owner as Eat n’ Park. Now that’s not such a great association to have, so I never really had the desire to go. But boy, I was missing out. This place is classy and had interesting items on their menu.

CALAMARI – Crispy Zucchini, Spicy Marinara Sauce

There really isn’t much to say about calamari. I think Americans have an obsession over it, and although I do like it, I have a very high expectation for seafood. I have to say though, this was tender and perfectly cooked. Using more fresh ingredients (as in, right out of the ocean) would have made it the best calamari I’ve ever had. But no, it was just good, not amazing.

SMOKED WINGS BBQ, Buffalo and Bleu Cheese Dressing

By this point, I could tell that the kitchen staff put a lot of work into their food. This was also perfectly cooked – tender, juicy, but crispy on the outside. It comes with 3 sauces – ranch, Thai sauce (maybe?), and buffalo sauce. I would definitely order it again – probably one of the best wings I’ve had.

BIANCA Fig Jam, Goat Cheese, Arugula, Black Truffle Oil

This is by far my favorite item of the night. I currently have an obsession over cheese, especially goat cheese. I loved the peppery arugula with fig jam and goat cheese. The combination was creamy, thick, and decadent. It was a pie that had a nice savor/sweet mix going on. However, I don’t think I got a taste of that truffle oil, which was quite disappointing.

SMOKED PORK Pulled Pork, Marinated Roasted Tomatoes, Red Onion, & Cilantro

The pie on top is the smoked pork pie. I wasn’t impressed because I got maybe one strip of pulled pork. It really could use more meat. Also, I’m not fond of their crust – not enough char… a little under baked, even? I’m not sure what it is, but that caused me to not enjoy the other two pies we had ordered.

POTATO PIE Yukon Potatoes, Melted Leeks, Roasted Garlic, Pecorino Romano, & Farm Fresh Egg, with the other 2 pizzas.

The potato pie is the one to the far left. It was by far the worst thing on our table that night. It was under seasoned, and had no flavor. I didn’t understand the whole potato on a pizza thing – they didn’t even use potatoes that had strong potato flavor. Overall it was just bland, and greasy. I was eating bland, non-nutritious calories.

Despite my dislike for their pizza, I saw other people order sandwiches and entrees, which all looked delicious. I would definitely try to come back here again. I love the classiness of their menu, and the effort they put into their food as well. What do you all think about The Porch?

The Porch

221 Schenley Drive
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
412-687-6724

Monday – Friday 11AM until Close
Breakfast window opens at 7:00 AM

Saturday & Sunday10AM until Close

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