Pastrami Egg Rolls

We are filming season 2 of Girl Meets Farm right now!! My house is filled with cameras and lighting things and we’re currently on our day off, so I’m catching up on laundry and showing Lily, Alana, and Michelle all around Grand Forks because they are in town to be guests on the show!! I’m introducing them to all of Grand Forks’ greatest hits: cheesy pickles, Darcy’s, and hotdish. Mmmmm. 

The shoot is almost halfway over and it has been so much fun. We’ve been filming so many hearty comforting wintery dishes that are the types of foods that I *live* for (spätzle! goulash! latkes! lefse!) and on the days that we shot the holiday episode, it snowed all of that snow!!! It was perfect. Every few days friends and family come over from near and far to participate in meal scenes, and that’s been the best thing ever, second only to the fact that during shoot weeks Eggboy allows us to have the TV that’s normally in our kitchen set up in our bedroom. Hehe. 

Mark your calendars, the season premieres on 11/11 @ 11!! (10am central :) 

Ok I’ve gotta go take my out of town fronds to meet the town chocolate shop now. But I’m leaving you with pastrami egg rolls because ever since I had pastrami egg rolls years ago at Red Farm in the West Village with my auntie and Eggboy (it was Eggboy’s first time meeting any of my family members!!!), I have been obsessed. Obviously. Because it’s salty smoky meat wrapped in an egg roll wrapper and fried to chewy delicious perfection. And dipped in a good strong mustard, because acid. These have caraway as a nod to the standard pastrami on rye, and they are kind of me as an appetizer?? Chinese, Jewish, and salty 😜. This recipe is loosely based on my friend Nile’s family egg roll recipe because Nile is the best egg roll maker in the North and she has leftover egg rolls cold for breakfast the next day, which is a very strong move. 


Pastrami Egg Rolls

makes 8

Ingredients

1 tb canola oil, plus more for frying

1 small onion, finely chopped

1 stalk celery, finely chopped

A pinch of kosher salt

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp caraway seeds

8 oz pastrami, finely sliced

10 oz coleslaw mix or shredded green cabbage

1 tb soy sauce

1 tb apple cider vinegar

Black pepper

1 tb flour

1 tb water

8 egg roll wrappers

Strong deli mustard or Chinese hot mustard, for serving

Clues

In a large skillet, heat the 1 tablespoon canola oil over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, and pinch of salt and cook until soft, 5-7 minutes. Add the garlic and caraway and cook for another minute. Add the pastrami and cook until heated. Turn off the heat and stir in the shredded cabbage. Season with soy sauce, apple cider vinegar, and black pepper. Taste and adjust as desired. In a small bowl, mix together the water and flour to form a paste (it will act as your glue). Fill egg roll wrappers like the above gif, sealing well with the paste.

Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pot to 360ºf-370ºf. You can either use a lot of oil to fully submerge and deep fry them or do what I do and only heat about 1/2” of oil and turn them while frying to ensure that all sides get crisp. Fry for a few minutes until the outsides are golden brown. Transfer to a paper towel or wire rack, let cool slightly, and serve with mustard.


Vanilla Butter Cake with Marzipan Buttercream

This is the layer cake version of the mega moist/buttery vanilla cupcakes that I posted this summer! I’ve altered the ratios just slightly from the cupcakes here in order to provide the stability in the batter necessary to hold up a full layer, and it took a zillion test runs, but I’m proud to say that it retains the lusciousness that I was so pleased with in those cupcakes. It’s perfectly vanilla-y and just sooo… whatever the opposite is of those wildly airy grocery store sheet cakes. (Not (!) that there isn’t a time and place for those.) But Eggpop and I share a particular love of two important things: rom coms and very dense cake.

And such a hard earned cake is worthy of an equally lush frosting, no?

Marzipan buttercream is not an idea that I can take credit for, even though I’d like to since, as we’ve already established, my body is made up of 1/2 marzipan around the holidays. Alaina, who I met at my very first Molly on the Range book tour event, made the cutest ever cake earlier this year and added the marzipan butter from MOTR (which is essentially your basic ingredients for marzipan, blanched almonds and sugar, blended into oblivion until silky and spreadable) to the frosting. Brilliant!!!!!! Right??? I immediately knew I had to try it with my favorite go-to buttercream and the results were as I expected: otherworldly. Almondy, buttery, sweet, the best. You know I love a good rustic nut butter frosting, but using a blanched nut butter here makes this frosting so smooth and dreamy. I mean, marzipan on its own is obviously the best thing ever, but how do you make the best thing ever even better? Add butter. Duhhh.

And obviously if you are going to bestow the name “marzipan” onto any type of frosting, you are going to use great butter for it. Land O Lakes® European Style Unsalted Butter is what I’m using here and its flavor is so good and pure that if there’s any butter who deserves to be mashed up with marzipan, it is this. And then, rather than making the full marzipan butter recipe (which you can find in Alaina’s post and which also makes a great little gift when put in a cute jar) before adding it to my buttercream, I’ve rearranged the ingredients a bit to make things a little more straightforward and to take it easy on your food processor since it’s already getting quite a workout making the blanched almond butter. 

The decorations here are inspired by embroidery again, just like these cookies! I referenced these awesome trees and then here is a video that goes more in depth with the decorating process:


vanilla butter cake with marzipan buttercream

Makes one 3-layer 8” cake

ingredients

3 1/2 c (450g) all-purpose flour

1 tb baking powder

1 1/2 tsp kosher salt

1 1/4 c (300g) heavy cream, room temperature

1/2 c (120g) sour cream, room temperature

1 c (225g) Land O Lakes® European Style Unsalted Butter, room temperature

1/2 c (100g) refined coconut oil, soft but not melted

2 1/4 c (450g) sugar

4 large eggs, room temperature

1 tb vanilla bean paste or extract

1/2 tsp almond extract, optional

 

Buttercream:

1 c (128g) blanched almonds

1 c (225g) Land O Lakes® European Style Unsalted Butter, room temperature

5 c (600g) powdered sugar

1/8 tsp kosher salt

1 1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste or extract

1 tsp almond extract, optional

3 tb (45g) heavy cream

clues

To make the cake layers: preheat the oven to 350ºf. Grease and line the bottoms of three 8” cake pans with parchment and set aside.

In a large bowl, sift together the flour and baking powder, and then lightly stir in the salt and set aside. in a large measuring cup, whisk together the heavy cream and sour cream and set aside. 

In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together the butter, coconut oil, and sugar on medium high for 3-4 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Add the vanilla and almond extract, if using. Reduce the mixer to medium low and add the dry mixture and cream mixture in 3 alternating additions, mixing until just combined. Distribute the batter evenly between the cake pans and spread it out evenly.

Bake until the  tops of the cakes are thinking about starting to turn brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few crumbs on it; begin checking for doneness at 30 minutes and try your darnedest not to let it overbake. Let cool in the pans for 10 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. 

To make the buttercream: 

First, make the almond butter. In a high powered food processor, blend the almonds, scraping the sides occasionally, until very creamy and spreadable, about 5-10 minutes.

In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat together the butter and almond butter until creamy. Gradually add the powdered sugar, and then mix in the salt, vanilla, almond extract, and heavy cream. Mix until creamy.

To frost the cake, level the top of the layers and then stack them up with a layer of frosting in between. Frost all over and decorate as desired (See video!)! Enjoy!


-yeh!

Thank you so much to Land O’Lakes for providing me with the butter and heavy cream for all of my cake baking adventures and for sponsoring this post. Their European style butter is so gosh darn rich and perfect for buttercream.

Videography by Paul Hoplin!

prime meats

this is what a perfect little lunch after a perfect snowy stroll through adorable carroll gardens looks like. that there pasta is a fancy schmancy version of what a fictional austrian version of me would have housed in lieu of mum's mac & cheese on a regular basis during the great growth spurt of year 11. gruyère + spätzle. hello, thing-that-i-would-normally-feel-guilty-about-eating-but-am-not-because-you-have-a-fancy-name-that-contains-an-umlaut. and the bacon? i hate to break it to you, every slice of bacon that might be reading this, but the bacon at prime meats was *wait for it while i re-consider all the other bacons i've ever had* the best bacon i've ever had. it was so thick and crunchy and crumble/melt-in-your-mouth-y. the calories don't count because they were pre-burned off on the walk there.

meg {wore amazing earrings} and had the burger. i was too taken by my bacon to ask to sneak a bite {!} but, my, did it look good, i may have to get one next time.

also included in my first prime meats experience: great sinus-clearing sweet mustard + great service. 

i am an immediate fan of this place. i will surely need to try it for dinner soon.

-yeh!

prime meats: 465 court street, at luquer street. carroll gardens, brooklyn. 



rucola

on an extremely frigid cold morning {as many of them seem to be these days}, meg and i sat down in our sweaters for eggs and hot coffee and the perfect dilemma called what should we be when we grow up?

we were at rucola, a wonderful little neighborhood restaurant. it's the only storefront on its block of brownstones and i've been wanting to try it since i moved to the borough. oh, was it delightful in exposed brick and natural lighting and pretty bathroom glory! i had the squishiest, doughiest, most comforting breakfast sammie of the egg/mortadella/fontina/pistachios variety, and meg had a risotto cake hidden under a plate of arugula. how she didn't get that arugula stuck in her teeth, i will never know.

-yeh!