First: please vote for me in the 2015 Saveur Food Blog Awards! Tomorrow is the last day to vote and I will cry tears of joy if I win. TEARS. I’m nominated in the Most Delicious Food category and I’m option #2. I know that you have to register to vote, but I really appreciate the extra effort that goes into doing so and if I win you’ll see even bigger and better things to come! So. On with it. I never went too into detail on the ~Tot Dog~ crawl some friends and I did a couple of weekends ago. Get it? Hot dogs + tater tots = tot dog. We are quite the wordsmiths, I know. My friend Donny started doing these food and photography crawls last month, when we went around to Roberta’s, for a small bite of breakfast (I had toast, Kramer had a bagel), Dunwell Doughnuts (I got a doughnut and munched on it throughout the day like some kind of actual hiker), The Commodore (where I took it easy and got a cocktail, but then had a bite of Donny’s hash browns), Torst (Kramer and I split the Sunday lunch of short ribs, farro and carrots) and, finally, Dirck the Norseman, where we all had a beer. It was a really fun day filled with food, sun and plenty of photos, so when Donny mentioned he’d like to do a hot dog crawl, I was all ears! Then Molly chimed in and, due to her love of tater tots, insisted we include those, which of course we were more than happy to oblige. Thus, our Tot Dog Crawl was born. We hit up The Kent Ale house first, for chili cheese tots, as well as Dough doughnuts that were generously provided by one of our comrades, and salty licorice, which was…interesting, to say the least (sorry, Hannah). Next, we walked to Crif Dogs, where the real gluttony began. We had cheesy tots, regular tots, spicy redneck dogs, Chihuahua dogs, and my personal favorite: a bacon wrapped hot dog with peanut butter, pickles and potato chips. It was awesome – just trust me. After washing everything down with a beer, we walked over to The Grand National, where more tots were consumed, along with pineapple mojitos, beers and hot dogs with charred pineapple and avocado. We may or may not have also had Jell-O shots, played bingo and spent some quality time in the photobooth. Then, as if we hadn’t already exhausted ourselves, we went next door to my favorite bar, Burnside, for some shared fried cheese curds, shuffleboard and one last drink. My body was NOT pleased the next day, I assure you. But it was worth it. Next month: wings! I trust that our leader, Donny, will concoct another gut busting day of fun for the month of May. Speaking of Donny, I just want to point out that he photographed the Big Gay Ice Cream cookbook and you should all definitely pick up a copy ASAP!
Cheesy tater tots from Crif Dogs.
This may not be your most traditional strudel, and it may not even be what people generally think of when they think of strudel, but it’s definitely what I think of when I think of strudel, so strudel it shall be. It was my friend Danny’s birthday this past week and I wanted to make something awesome to bring to his party. I was going to go with just the classic apple variety, but last minute I threw some rhubarb in there for a seasonal touch. This dough is absolutely lovely and comes to you from Food52 (of course), by way of Flourishing Foodie and Dorie Greenspan. I’m definitely going to try making it into a pie next. I was just so pleased with how smooth the end product was and how easy it was to work with. It wasn’t sticky or fussy. I just let it chill for a bit, rolled it, rerolled it, rerolled it again, folded, folded, folded and boom! The perfect dough with which to make my strudel. I wanted the filling to be nice and thick, alongside the sweet apple and rhubarb combo, so I added a bit of extra flour to make that happen. This is most definitely one of the prettiest, crowd pleasing things that I’ve made. I did make two of these, like a crazy person, so Danny mentioned bringing the leftovers into his office so that he didn’t consume it all himself. Good call, Danny. The wonderfully golden crust, the sweet apples, slightly tart rhubarb and aromatic almond glaze will draw you back for seconds of this strudel, I promise. And don’t be scared of yeast and dough – this is probably one of the easiest, most forgiving yeasted recipes I’ve made, and I’m most certainly going to go back to it again and again.
Molly trying some salty licorice.
Chili cheese tots.
Plain tots (AKA OG tots).
My favorite hot dog of the day: peanut butter, pickle and potato chip. Don’t knock it ’til you try it!
Strike a pose! PS – Donny also shot the Big Gay Ice Cream cookbook and you should all order it!
The bingo winners.
Avocado and charred pineapple dogs.
Hannah focusing on what’s important.
Get the yeast nice and foamy.
Then get ready to add it to your flour mixture.
Then mix everything until it’s just combined.
Then begins the rolling, folding and rolling process.
You want to fold your dough like an envelope.
Then roll it back out again. Do this three more times.
Once ready, cut your dough into two squares, wrap in plastic and chill for at least 2 hours.
I almost didn’t add rhubarb to this, but then I said, hey, what the heck.
When your dough is ready, roll each square out into another 9×13-inch rectangle and place half of your cooked fruit down the middle.
Then cut diagonal strips down the whole thing on either side, stopped at the bottom to cut out two triangles to make a “trunk”.
Then wrap everything up, brush with an egg wash, sprinkle with sugar and bake at 400 degrees F for about 20 minutes. I think that this guy kind of looks like a mummy.
Once slightly cooled, drizzle with your glaze and sprinkled with slivered almonds and sugar.
- ¼ cup warm water (115 degrees F)
- 1 packed dry active yeast (usually about 2¼ teaspoons)
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- ½ cup whole milk, room temperature
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, chilled and cubed
- ½ cup butter, cubed
- 4 apples, peeled and thinly sliced
- 3 stalks of rhubarb, cleaned, trimmed and sliced
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and divided
- 1 egg, beaten + 1 teaspoon water
- granulated or raw sugar, for sprinkling
- 1½ cups powdered sugar
- ¼ tablespoons whole milk (or more, as needed)
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- slivered almonds, for sprinkling (optional)
- more powdered sugar, for dusting
- In a medium sized bowl, combine your warm water, yeast and 1 teaspoon of granulated sugar. Let them sit until the yeast is foaming, about 5 minutes. If your yeast doesn't foam, it's probably old and it's best to start over than to try to make this with old yeast. Better safe than sorry!
- Once the yeast is ready, add in your ½ cup whole milk, ¼ cup granulated sugar, egg and salt. Whisk until combined and set aside. In a large bowl, add in your flour and cubed and chilled butter. Cut the butter into the flour (you can use a pastry cutter, but I find that hands work best) until coarse crumbs form, but you will still have a few pieces of butter in there - that's fine!
- Add the wet mixture into the flour mixture and use a wooden spoon to combine until everything just comes together. Turn the dough out onto a well floured surface and use your hands to pat it into a square. Use a flour rolling pin to roll it into a 9x13-inch rectangle. Fold the dough into thirds, like you're folding a letter to put into an envelope, then roll the dough out again and, again, fold it into your envelope thirds. Roll the dough out a third time, fold it into thirds again, and roll it out again into a 9x13-inch rectangle. Finally, fold the dough into thirds once more, but instead of rolling it out again, cut the dough in half, wrap each square in plastic wrap, and chill for a minimum of 2 hours or as long as overnight (I only chilled mine for 2 hours). You can also freeze this dough for up to 3 months.
- When you're almost ready to bake, make your filling. Peel and slice your apples and clean and slice your rhubarb. Place your ½ cup of butter in a large pot over medium heat until melted, then add in your apples and rhubarb and toss to combine. In a small bowl, whisk together your flour, sugars and cinnamon and add it to the pot. Toss to combine, and cook for 5 minutes or so, until the juices from the fruit start to thicken. Remove the pot from the stove and set aside.
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. On a lightly floured piece of parchment or Silpat (you will need to put it on a surface so that you can lift it onto your baking sheet later), roll out one piece of dough at a time, into a 9x13-inch rectangle.
- Place half of your fruit mixture down the middle of your dough, then cut diagonal strips down each side of the pastry, like you're making a tree (see the photos above). Once you get to the bottom, cut out two small triangles so that you've made a "trunk" for your tree (again, see the photos above). Fold the trunk over the top of your apple mixture, then go back up to the top and start folding each strip of dough carefully over the other, like a braid, until you've reached the bottom (this is the fun part).
- Gently lift your strudel onto your baking sheet and brush with a bit of your beaten egg + water, then sprinkle with raw or granulated sugar. Repeat with your other piece of dough. Bake both strudels in your 400 degree F oven for 20 minutes or so, until golden brown. Remove and allow to cool for 20 minutes or so before icing.
- To make your glaze, simple whisk together the powdered sugar, milk and almond extract (obviously you can sub vanilla in here and forgo the slivered almonds if you're worried about allergies). Spoon the glaze over the strudel, then sprinkle with slivered almonds and powdered sugar. Serve warm or room temperature. This will keep well, covered and at room temperature, for up to 2 days, or frozen for up to 3 months (just warm quickly in the oven or hey, just microwave that sucker).