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“The Rebel Within” Knockoff

There is so much I have to tell you about this recipe that I hardly know where to begin. So, how about at the beginning?

pot pantry cards

Almost exactly one year ago, on January 30, 2013, I wrote about how Marissa and I had gone into a kitchen store in San Francisco and found wonderful watercolor postcards of famous dishes from various San Francisco restaurants. We framed the postcards and they now hang in Marissa’s kitchen. One dish in particular caught our fancy. It is a breakfast muffin from Craftsman & Wolves.

firm yolk

The next day, 1/31/13, I tried to recreate “The Rebel Within” at home. Although the end product was tasty, it was not at all what I was looking for… there was no runny egg yolk in the middle of a baked muffin.

within

Fast-forward almost a year to January, 22, 2014, when I wrote about how Marissa and I finally went to Craftsman & Wolves and tasted “The Rebel Within” for ourselves and about my renewed passion to try to recreate it at home.

Just as I had done back in January 2013, I went online to research what I could about how it would be possible to bake a whole egg in a muffin and get it to be “soft-boiled” with a runny yolk.

3 eggs

Via

First, I stumbling upon this website and read up on “egg cookery” – I then found out that two wonderful women had “cracked the code” to The Rebel Within. They went through dozens of eggs and baked more muffins than I would have ever had the patience to bake… and they did it!

hot or cold

Via

Tuesday morning, I used their method.  The result?

not perfect

Although my “Rebel Within” was not as beautiful, or as perfect, or as tall and well-shaped as the muffins at Craftsman & Wolves or as the muffins the brilliant women at Follow Me Foodie baked, it tasted exactly like the muffin Marissa and I enjoyed at Craftsman & Wolves!  And the yolk – it was perfectly runny!

runny

If you would like to make this masterpiece at home, I’ve posted the recipe here, the majority of which is copy/pasted from the Follow Me Foodie post, with just bits and pieces of my own additions and omissions.

I still strongly suggest you go to the Follow Me Foodie recipe post and read from top to bottom about their trials and tests and all of their tips and suggestions. It’s truly amazing and a really good read, even if you do not plan to bake the muffins. There’s a whole boatload of interesting information, dedication, perseverance and patience to be seen there!

If you don’t have the time to read it all, allow me to let you in on a few of the notes that I found to be more important:

2 eggs cracked

The recipe makes six muffins. Even so, I suggest you start with 12 eggs, as I did, when you’re making the Extra-Soft Boiled Eggs. Of the 12 eggs I started with, seven turned out perfectly.

5 bad eggs

Another two would haven been “usable” but were less than perfect … and the remaining three … completely unusable.

cracked eggs

It is imperative that you “warm” the eggs before dropping them in the boiling water. Use hot tap water to do so. I actually brought the eggs to room temperature first, and then let them sit in the hot tap water for the amount of time it took the water that the eggs would be cooked in to come to a boil. Even so, two of the eggs cracked almost immediately as they were placed in the boiling water. I took those out and discarded them straight off the bat. They were two of the “completely unusable” eggs mentioned above.

breakfast sausage

Via

The Follow Me Foodie women used bacon for their recipe, I used breakfast sausage, just as they do at the C&W. As much as I love bacon, I’d suggest going with sausage for this.

Be certain to boil the eggs for EXACTLY 4 minutes and 30 seconds. If you want to achieve that runny yolk, this is the most important part of the recipe.

popover pan

The Follow Me Foodie women suggest that you either use a popover pan or a large muffin tin. I have 2 popover pans, so of course, I used a popover pan. I can’t begin to imagine how it would work in a muffin tin. It wouldn’t be tall enough.

If you don’t own a popover pan, buy one or borrow one! If you live anywhere near me, you can borrow mine.

lift off

Once the muffins were done baking and had cooled, I found it easiest to remove them by placing a baking sheet on top and flipping it over, then gently lifting the popover pan off. Because of how much they overflowed, I feared that the tops would rip off if I tried to “lift” them out of the molds individually. This is the method that worked for me.

1 good 1 bad

Finally, when peeling the extra-soft boiled eggs, take care to gently crack all over. While peeling the last couple eggs, my mind was wandering and I failed to do so. The egg on the left is what happened as a result of not cracking all over. The egg on the right is an example of how to do it correctly.

Oh, and to those of you who so generously and selflessly volunteered to be taste-testers … I’ll have to soft-boil and bake up another batch. Those first six muffins are long gone my friends!

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February 6, 2014   6 Comments

Homemade San Tung “Dry-Fried” Chicken Wings

San Tung Dry Fried Chicken Wings 1

San Tung is that restaurant in San Francisco that Marissa and I have to eat at the night I arrive in San Francisco each and every time I visit her. It serves the famous “dry-fried” chicken wings that we crave and love.

I desperately wanted to make them for the family on Super Bowl Sunday.

After much online research and some trial and error, I have the recipe for you to make at home!

fryer and set up

You’re going to need a large pot, Dutch oven, or preferably a deep fryer. If using a pot, you’ll also need a candy thermometer. Plus, you’ll need a couple big bowls, wire racks, paper towels and a baking sheet.

If you’re like me, you like your wings cut into two pieces, the drummett and the wing.

cut through skin

When cutting the wings in half, just cut through the skin, then bend the wing so you see where the joint is and cut right through the joint.

cut through joint

It’s easy once you find the joint and don’t try cutting through the bone. Then cut off the wing tip, there is a joint there too.

cut off wing tip

Save and freeze the tips for the next time you make chicken stock.

This recipe makes about 60 wings (30 wings cut in half) and it takes over and hour and a half to fry them all – twice. The recipe can easily be cut in half.

OK, let’s get started…

San Tung Dry Fried Chicken Wings

Homemade San Tung “Dry-Fried” Chicken Wings

Sweet and Spicy Sticky Sauce
1 bunch green onions, minced (green and white parts)
1 small bunch cilantro, minced
1/2 cup soy sauce
1  1/2 cups honey or agave nectar
3/4 cup water
1 head garlic, peeled and minced
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons Szechuan chili sauce

Wings
8 pounds chicken wings
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
10 cups canola oil
2 cups cornstarch, divided
1  1/2 cups water

split onions and cilantro in half

Sauce: Mix together the green onions and cilantro. Divide in half, placing half in a small bowl, cover and refrigerate.

sauce ingredients

Place the other half in a large bowl and…

whisk sauce

…whisk in the remaining sauce ingredients.

cook sauce

Pour the sauce into a large skillet and simmer for 10 minutes until thickened.

reduced

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February 3, 2014   2 Comments

cooking in a postage stamp-sized kitchen

We return later today from a glorious long weekend, spent with Marissa and her boyfriend, Jeff, in San Francisco and Napa.

San Francisco from the ferry

Marissa had a very busy and stressful work week, so I made dinner on Friday night in her very small kitchen. When I say small, I mean really small!

In May, Marissa moved from the Outer Sunset neighborhood to Pacific Heights. Part of the tradeoff to live closer to the center of the city was less space.

postage stamp kitchen

The closet-sized kitchen is only 7 feet wide by 10 feet long, with less than 25 square feet of walkable floor space and only 3 linear feet of counter space. No dishwasher, no garbage disposal, and a smaller than average sized refrigerator.

fridges

Speaking of the refrigerator… remember this Friday Funny I posted last week?

small fridge

It is Marissa’s reality! Here is her refrigerator…

fridge

… and here is how mine typically looks. Just a bit of a contrast!

filled to the rim with goceries

So, what did I make for dinner in the tiny kitchen, you ask?

After a quick trip to Trader Joe’s, I unpacked it all, which took up every inch of counter space, then I proceeded to make a one pot (no drain) pasta dinner, rounded out with salad and garlic bread. The salad recipe will be posted tomorrow.

foil to cover holes in cover

The one pot Marissa owned, that was big enough, had a lid with holes, for draining pasta. I needed a solid lid so I covered the pot with foil, then added the lid, for a tight seal.

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October 7, 2013   6 Comments

so far away…

Grande Palace

My baby girl, Marissa, is 8,530 miles away from home. She and her boyfriend, Jeff, are in Bangkok, Thailand today and tomorrow. Then they’ll travel to the beaches of Phuket or Patong (I can not remember which) for a week of fun in the sun before heading back to their foggy homes in San Francisco.

beach thailand

I’m very excited for her and wee bit nervous, all at the same time. It’s not as if she hasn’t traveled abroad before. She studied in Paris, France for five months during her sophomore year in college… and she went alone that time.

I guess the difference is that I had been to Paris many times myself before she went, but I’ve never been to Thailand. Heck, I’ve never been to Asia. So, I suppose it’s just a touch of worry of the unknown.

Jeff is wonderful and protective of her, they’re both supremely intelligent people, they’ll be fine!  There, I talked myself into being just fine too! Thanks for listening!

portobello with kale

Let’s get to the recipes for Day 6 of Week One of the “Detox Cuisine” Cleanse. The only new recipe today is another juice for breakfast. Once again, you’ll need a juice extractor to make it.

green lemon ingr

The only change I made to this recipe was to increase the lemon from 1/2 lemon to one whole lemon. As you know, I love lemon, so be sure to taste before doing the same.

Tomorrow, the seventh and final day of Week One, all of the meals are repeats. I’ll be sharing with you the snacks allowed and their respective recipes, along with my thoughts on Week One of the cleanse.

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February 9, 2013   No Comments

muffin “almost there”

Here is a quote from yesterday’s post:

“So back to the drawing board. I hope to have it down by tomorrow and post the recipe and my success.”

craftsman and wolves sign

What I hoped to have down was the recipe for “The Rebel Within” from Craftsman & Wolves, a restaurant in San Francisco.  “The Rebel Within” is a buttery, cheesy, sausage flecked muffin with a soft-cooked egg in the center. The egg yolk in the muffin should be soft and runny with the oozing yolk dripping like liquid gold onto the plate.

oozing

The muffin is named after a Hank Williams III song. Williams is the grandson of the legendary Hank Williams and the son of Hank Williams, Jr.

So, the big question is… did I get it right? Was I successful? Was the liquid gold running onto my plate?  No. No. and No!

I really wanted to name this post “Muffin Extraordinaire” but it’s honestly only “Muffin Almost There.”

blueprint

I developed the recipe by using the blueprint of the muffin that I found on the restaurant’s website. It’s a tongue-in-cheek blueprint with a hint of what ingredients to use, but it has no real portions. At least it gave me a starting point.

First, I tried soft poaching the eggs for 3 minutes in simmering water and then shocking the cooked eggs in ice water, as with THIS method. But once the muffins were baked, the yolks were firm, not even close to runny.

The second go-round, I tried only poaching three of the eggs for one minute and shocking them in the ice water. I cracked the remaining three eggs directly into the bottom layer of batter in the muffin tin.

I imagined that the 1-minute poached eggs would work and that the raw eggs would run all over the place and make a mess.

Once the muffins were baked, I anxiously cut into one of each type of muffin. The result? Exactly the same as the first time around. The yolks were cooked firm. The raw eggs did not run and make a mess, as I anticipated, they were firm right in the center of the muffin, just as the poached eggs were.

Even though the yolks didn’t turn out as I had hoped, I am going to share the recipe I developed while trying to get it right, because even without runny yolks, the muffin is AMAZING! Wonderfully scrumptious. Somehow the muffin is dense, yet still fluffy and fabulously flavorful.

Instead of naming my version “The Rebel Within” I shall name mine “The Easter Egg Within.”

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January 31, 2013   7 Comments

orthopedics, San Fran, and runny yolks

bones

The day after returning from San Francisco, I had a follow-up appointment at the orthopedics office. The x-rays showed that I am completely healed and may resume all activities, unrestricted. Yay – take that you stupid extension ladder!

castro

I had THE best time with Marissa in the City by the Bay. We shopped, we ate, we treated ourselves to a mani/pedi, we ate, we shopped some more, and we ate…

pot & Pantry storefront

One of the stores we went to was Pot & Pantry on the corner of Guerrero and 18th Streets.

sink

It’s an adorable little store that is deliberately designed to feel as if you’re shopping in a friend’s kitchen. Customers can buy, sell, or trade new and gently used kitchenware. It’s mostly new with a bit of vintage here and there.

I bought a couple little things, big surprise!

pegboard

While checking out, I noticed little postcard-sized cards that had lovely watercolors of food on them.

The rebel within C&W

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January 30, 2013   2 Comments

Pepperoni Arrostiti

As promised, I recreated the Pepperoni Arrostiti that we so enjoyed at Trattoria Contadina.  The cheese stuffed bell pepper uses three different Italian cheeses; mozzarella, asiago, and bel paese. In case you haven’t heard of bel paese before…

Bel Paese – Literally meaning “beautiful country”. This cheese was invented in 1929 by the Galbani Cheese Company in Lobardy. A wax rind covers the uncooked cheese made of pasteurized cow’s milk. The small discs have a soft texture and are peppered with small holes. Bel Paese appears pale with touches of creamy yellow. This cheese is similar to mozzarella or Fontina in its mild, buttery flavor but is distinct in its body and tang. Bel Paese is versatile and easily melted.

It took two tries to get this recipe just right.  The first time, I took pictures. The second time, I forgot to do so. As a result, the pictures won’t reflect the light roasting of the peppers before cutting and filling with cheese. I decided this was needed because the peppers were not soft enough the first time around. After roasting lightly, they were the perfect texture… just as we’d enjoyed at the restaurant. Be certain to serve with a nice crusty Italian bread. Trust me, you’ll want it to sop up the tasty sauce.

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August 10, 2012   2 Comments

Musée Mécanique

There is something super special, never attempted before, a first time ever – thing at the end of this blog. Be patient and read through to the end. Hopefully, it will be worth the wait!

This, the seventh post about our trip to San Francisco, is the last. We were only there for 4 nights and 3 days, but we packed in quite a lot. So, this is a continuation and conclusion to Sunday.

After dinner at Boudin Bakery at the Wharf, we walked a short distance west to Pier 45, Shed A.  It is there that you will find the well-known and dearly-loved city treasure, Musée Mécanique, an antique coin operated arcade.

Admission is free…but bring plenty of quarters. Or just plenty of cash, they provide the change machines. The four of us went through more than $30 in about 1 hour. But what FUN!

The Musée Mécanique is a for-profit museum and is owned and managed by Dan Zelinsky. It attacks more than 100,000 visitors each year. In 2011, U.S. News & World Report called the Musée Mécanique one of the top three “Things to Do in San Francisco”.  The SF Weekly called it the “Best Old-School Arcade” for 2011.

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August 8, 2012   11 Comments

San Fran – Sunday

I know what some of you must be thinking. “Will these San Francisco posts ever end?” Please continue to indulge me… this is the second to last. And the post tomorrow, the last one, has an extra special treat at the end that I am SO excited about! Hang in there baby!

After Connor so graciously endured the day of shopping, spa time, and Jägermeister, Marissa and I decreed Sunday as “Connor Day.” First order of business on “Connor Day” was breakfast. We chowed down at Park Chow, located in the Sunset District. The food was good, but did not come close to what we had the morning before at Outerlands.

Yesterday, I posted photos of Marissa looking annoyed with me.  This day, apparently, Connor was – what a look!

Aww… sibling love!  After breakfast we took a quick detour from “Connor Day”  (“quick” as what a girl would think of as quick… not so much what a boy would think of as quick) in a cute clothing boutique, where I bought Marissa a beautiful teal dress and nude pumps. And we were again on our way.

First stop, the awe-inspiring Inspiration Point Overlook in the Presidio. Back in the car for the very short drive to The Walt Disney Family Museum.

The 40,000 square foot Museum, located in a historic brick building, once a barracks on the main post of San Francisco’s Presidio, opened on October 1, 2009. Co-founded by Walt’s daughter, Diane Disney Miller, and grandson, Walter E.D. Miller, the Museum is owned and operated by the non-profit Walt Disney Family Foundation.

In the lobby (the only area photos are permitted) you’ll find Walt Disney’s 26 individual Academy Awards, as well as the unique honorary award for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, which consists of one full-sized Oscar alongside seven miniature ones. It was presented to Disney in 1939 by 10-year old child film star, Shirley Temple.

The rear of the museum features a glass wall offering a panoramic view of the nearby Golden Gate Bridge.  If you plan to go, schedule at least 2 to 3 hours, there is a lot to enjoy!  Next stop…. Chinatown.

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August 7, 2012   2 Comments

San Fran, Sat – Part 2

This day was all about spoiling my kids. After our world-class breakfast at Outerlands, we drove downtown for a day of shopping and luxurious spa treatments.

Check out Marissa glaring at me in the rear-view mirror. I guess I was irritating her from the back seat. Hmm, a mother irritating a daughter, now that’s new!

Be sure and stick with me through this rather lengthy post. It was a big day so there is a lot to share, but you have to read the end and check out our spa time and our dinner choice… even if you must scroll down and skip the shopping parts. :-

First we ducked into the Apple store because I wanted Connor to see the awesome theater-style classroom. I know, how much Apple can one person do in a long weekend?! Even our newest store in Scottsdale has nothing like this.

As we walked by we noticed they were demonstrating exactly how to use iMovie. We sat in on the class and learned so much that the rest of the weekend I was taking videos so I that I can test my new found knowledge. And guess what? I’m working on it, and there will be an iMovie on this very blog, very soon.

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August 6, 2012   6 Comments