Fish & Chips

Fish & chips header

Scarlet helped Mr. Frost with his grave-rubbings until midday, when they stopped for lunch. He offered to buy her fish and chips as a thank-you, and they walked down to the fish and chip shop at the bottom of the road, and as they walked back up the hill, they ate their steaming fish and chips, drenched in vinegar and glittering with salt, out of paper bags.

–Chapter 7, “Every Man Jack”, The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

Fish & Chips

  • 8-10 Cod Fillet Strips about 1″-1 1/2″ wide, patted dry, room temperature
  • 1/3 Cup Potato Starch
  • 1/2 Cup Flour
  • 1/2 Cup Soda Water/Club Soda
  • 1/2 tsp. Salt + more for sprinkling
  • 3-4″ Oil for frying
  • 2 Large Russet Potatoes
  • Malt Vinegar

Preheat your oven to 200ºF. Heat the oil in a tall, heavy-bottomed pot to 375ºF. Drape a few paper towels on a cooling rack & have it near the stove. Mix the flour, soda, & salt in a med-large bowl to create the batter. Put the potato starch in a medium bowl or plate & dredge the fish in it. Next, dip the fish into the batter to coat completely. In a back-and-forth motion, lower half of the dipped fish into the hot oil & cook until golden & then remove to the paper towel-lined rack & sprinkle with salt. Repeat this process with the remaining fish. To keep the fish warm, put them on a tray & slide it into the preheated oven.

Bring the oil to 325ºF. Peel the potatoes & cut them into strips about 1/2″ wide by 3″ long. Submerge the pieces in cold water & swish them around with your hand. Drain & pat them dry, & then submerge them in the oil. Cook for about 2 minutes & then remove the potato pieces to the paper towel-lined rack. Raise the oil to 375ºF & submerge them again, letting them cook for another couple minutes. Remove & sprinkle generously with salt.

Serve the chips in a turned down paper bag, alongside the fish, & drench (according to your preference) with malt vinegar. And please, do not share with anyone named Jack. In fact, if you come across a Jack, run very quickly in the opposite direction.

Fish & chips bite

Listen to the episode! Fiction Kitchen Episode 24: The Graveyard Book

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Chocolate Chip Cookies for Baby Bod

In Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book, Baby Bod is described as smelling of milk and chocolate chip cookies, which is the most lovely, innocent smell I can imagine. Watching my kids eat them with cups of milk at the table warmed my little black heart; chocolate chip cookies really are the essence of childhood.

For these, I used the 2009 New York Times recipe that I’ve seen so much buzz about, and they were indeed excellently textured and tasty.

If you don’t want to purchase cake flour, or have a small kitchen and limit yourself to no more than 5 flours at a time (it was getting out of control), you can make cake flour by removing two tablespoons of flour from every cup of all purpose flour and adding in two tablespoons of cornstarch.

Chocolate Chip Cookies for Baby Bod

This is the New York Times recipe with zero adjustments

  • 2 cups minus 2 tablespoons (8 1/2 ounces) cake flour
  • 1 2/3 cups (8 1/2 ounces) bread flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 2 1/2 sticks (1 1/4 cups) unsalted butter
  • 1 1/4 cups (10 ounces) light brown sugar
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (8 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons natural vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 pounds bittersweet chocolate disks or fèves, at least 60 percent cacao content (uh, my grocery store is fancy but not that fancy, I used 10 ounces Ghiradelli premium semisweet chocolate chips)
  • sea salt

Sift together cake flour, bread flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

Cream together butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in eggs and vanilla, then add in the flour mixture and stir until just combined. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 24 hours.

When ready to bake, let dough come close to room temperature. Heat oven to 350° and prepare a baking sheet (I used parchment paper). Scoop 6 3 1/2 ounce mounds (the size of large golfballs) onto the sheet, sprinkle with sea salt and bake for 18-20 minutes until browned but still soft.

Cool for 10 minutes with the baking sheet on a rack, then move to the rack to cool the rest of the way.

Listen to the episode! Fiction Kitchen Episode 24: The Graveyard Book

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The Graveyard Book

Diana and Carrie discuss Neil Gaiman’s macabre tale of the little boy raised by ghosts, plus ladies on grey horses, baby smells, and what ghouls consider gourmet delights.
* Also, this is the last episode of our first year! Enter our birthday giveaway!

Recipes

Referenced

Tasty Time

Intro music clip: “Danse Macabre” by Béla Flek for The Graveyard Book audio (with banjo, because that’s how Neil Gaiman imagined it!). Available for purchase here.
Outro music clip: “Ghosts (Modwheel Mood Remix)” by Ladytron. Available for purchase here.

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Happy Birthday to Us!

Birthday cupcakes

November 1st marks 1 year of podcasting for us! As a thank you for supporting us along the way we’re having a giveaway for a big box of goodies related to some of the episodes we’ve done in our first year–plus items for a few of our upcoming episodes! It’ll be like an early Christmas present for one lucky person! The box will include books, eatables, figures, and other fun whatnots from media such as “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”, Harry Potter, “Ever After High”, The Hunger Games, “Avengers”, Cinder, The Neverending Story, “Jem and the Holograms”, and more!

Enter the giveaway via the Rafflecopter form below. There are several ways to get entry points below–you can do one, or all! Winner will be chosen at random. Open to US residents only. Giveaway ends October 31st, 2015, at 11:59PM EST. Winner will be announced on our Birthday, November 1st, 2015.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Gingerbread

Gingerbread is not a fantastic episode of Buffy, but the combination of fairy tales, much Willowness, and a hilarious line by Cordelia about her mom confiscating all her black clothes and scented candles make it a really entertaining one, one close to my little Buffy-enthusiast heart.

Plus it’s fall, aka the best season, and I am looking for any excuse to bake delicious fall goodies.

Gingerbread

Adapted from King Arthur Flour

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon Witchy Autumn Spice Mix (or a mixture of spices such as cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, ginger, etc.)
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup molasses
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup buttermilk (or allow 1 cup milk with a 1 tablespoon lemon juice to sit for 10 minutes)
  • 1/4 cup water

Heat oven to 350° and prepare a 9×9 baking pan.

Whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, and spices. Pour in the melted butter, molasses, and honey (you can combine the molasses and honey in a measuring cup and heat for 20 seconds in the microwave to make it pour easily) and stir gently into the flour until moistened. Add ginger, beaten egg, buttermilk and water and stir gently until evenly combined.

Pour into baking dish and bake for about 35 minutes (start checking around 33) until cake is pulling away from the edge of the pan.

Cool on a rack for at least 15 minutes before serving.

Listen to the episode! Fiction Kitchen Episode 23: Buffy the Vampire Slayer

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Spike’s Flowering Onion

Buffy onion h

Andrew: It’s an onion and it’s a flower. I-I don’t understand how such a thing is possible.
Spike: Oh, see, the genius of it is, you soak it in ice water for an hour so it holds its shape. Then you deep-fry it, root-side up, for about five minutes.
Andrew: Masterful.
Spike: Yeah. Tell anyone we had this conversation, I’ll bite you.

S7 Ep19, “Empty Places”, “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”

Spike’s Flowering Onion

  • 1 Quart or so Canola or Vegetable Oil
  • 1 Large Vidalia Onion (or other sweet onion)
  • 1 Cup Flour
  • 1 Tbsp. Old Bay Seasoning
  • 1 Egg
  • 1/2 Cup Milk

Peel the onion & cut off the top, about 1/2″ down. Place the onion on a cutting board cut-side down &, starting 1/2″ down from the core & going all the way down to the board, cut 4 deep slices equal spaces apart around the onion (making quarter sections). Next, cutting 1/2″ down again, make 3 deep, equally spaced slices, within each quadrant (aka, between each of the 4 cuts). Flip the onion over & gently separate the onion “petals”. Fill a large bowl with enough cold water & ice to submerge the onion, cut-side down. Let sit upwards to an hour, or in the freezer for about 30 mins.

Pour the oil into a large pot or little deep-fryer & heat to 400ºF (a candy thermometer is great for this if you don’t have a deep-fryer). Remove the onion from the water & par with paper towels. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour & Old Bay. In a liquid measuring cup, pour the milk & whisk in the egg until the egg white is completely broken up. Have an empty med-large bowl at the ready. Place the onion, core-down, in the bowl of flour/Old Bay, put a lid on it, & gently shake to coat the onion. Take off the lid & separate the onion petals & sprinkle more flour in between. Lift the onion & shake off the excess flour. Sit the onion, core-down, into the empty bowl & then pour the egg/milk mixture over top, covering it completely & getting between the petals. Spoon the mixture over the onion to get in all the spaces. Lift & shake off the excess & then place it back in the flour mixture & repeat the coating process, making sure to get between the onion petals.

Once your oil is at 400ºF, place the onion on a flat silicone or metal slotted spoon, core-side up, & gently lower it into the oil. Let cook for about 4 minutes & then carefully flip the onion over so the core is at the bottom & cook for about 30-45 seconds more. Remove the onion from the oil & place it, core-side up, into a mesh strainer set over an empty bowl or pot so the excess oil can drip down.

Bring the oil temperature back up to 400ºF & carefully put the onion back into the oil, core-side down this time. Use the spoon to gently press the onion to submerge it & cook for another minute or less, until it’s a nice golden brown. Remove to the strainer again, core up for a few minutes & then place right-side-up onto a paper towel. Lastly, transfer the onion to a serving plate & serve with a sauce like creamy horseradish or ranch or mayo with spices (I mixed ranch with sweet red chili sauce).

If you’d like to make a huge onion blossom platter with the sauce in the center, cook 2 onion blossoms &, when they’re done, flip them over onto the paper towels so the cores are up & use a sharp knife to carefully cut out the cores. Flip them right-side-up & lay 1 on the serving plate, expanding it to make space for the dish of sauce, & then place the other onion on top, expanding it as needed to fill in the gaps & make it all pretty & blossom-y. Place the sauce in the middle & enjoy!

Buffy onion closeup

Listen to the episode! Fiction Kitchen Episode 23: Buffy the Vampire Slayer

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Spike’s Spicy Wings

Buffy hot wings

Spike: Right. You want to learn all about how I bested the Slayers and you want to learn fast. Right, then. We fought. I won. The end. Pay up.
Buffy: That’s not what I–
Spike: What did you want, eh? A quick demo? A blow-for-blow description you can map out and memorize? It’s not about the moves, love. And since I agreed to your little proposition, we can do this my way. Wings.
Buffy: What?
Spike: Spicy buffalo wings. Order me up a plate. I’m feelin’ peckish.

S5 Ep7, “Fool for Love”, “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”

Spike’s Spicy Wings

  • 1 Quart Canola or Vegetable Oil
  • 1 1/2 lbs. Chicken Wings
  • 1/2 Cup Potato or Corn Starch
  • 3 Tbsp. Strawberry Preserves (no seeds)
  • 1/2 – 1 Tbsp. Gochujang Red Pepper Paste (found in Asian section of grocery store or at an Asian Market)
  • 1/2 Tbsp. Soy Sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. Rice Vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. Sesame Oil

Pour the oil into a large pot or little deep-fryer & heat to 375ºF. Cut off the tips of the chicken wings & discard, & then cut the wings in half at the center joint. Rinse the wing pieces & pat them dry with paper towels.

Put the starch in a medium bowl &, a few at a time, coat the chicken pieces in the powder, squeezing them to press the starch on well. Set a mesh strainer over an empty bowl & also put a couple of paper towels over a large plate.

Carefully put about half of the chicken pieces into the hot oil & cook them for 10 minutes. Lift them out & put them into the strainer so the excess oil can fall into the bowl below. Put the 2nd batch of coated chicken pieces into the oil & cook for 10 minutes. Just before lifting them out, move the 1st batch of chicken to the paper towels. Put the 2nd batch into the strainer & put the 1st batch back into the oil to cook for another 10 minutes. Move the 2nd batch to the paper towels & remove the 1st batch from the oil for the last time & let them sit in the strainer. Put the 2nd batch into the oil for 10 minutes & before they’re done–you guessed it–move the completed 1st batch to the paper towels & the completed 2nd batch to the strainer.

In a large pot on medium heat, stir together the rest of the ingredients until they are melted together & begin to thicken. Remove from heat & toss the chicken pieces in & coat them thoroughly. Place the chicken on a serving dish & enjoy! Serve with beer or Mountain Dew.

Buffy wings closeup
Listen to the episode! Fiction Kitchen Episode 23: Buffy the Vampire Slayer

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Buffy Thanksgiving

Diana and Carrie discuss the cult TV show with various vampy concoctions – Happy Meals on legs, textured blood, yummy sushi, foamy nectar, and some really bad puns. #TeamSpike #Spiffy

Recipes

Referenced

Tasty Time

Main Episode

Intro music clip: “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” Opening Theme by Nerf Herder.
Outro music clip: “Goodbye to You” by Michelle Branch (Spike and Buffy make-out background music 😉 )

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