Hersey's Candy Cane Bar

by Stoves and Bros


Anyone who knows me, knows that white chocolate peppermint kisses are my drug of choice. Especially, considering that they are released right around finals. Nothing makes me feel better when spending a long cold night in the library than opening a family sized bag of those babies and covering my desk with thousands of balls of foil. So when I went into Duane Reade and saw that Hersey has taken the same concept and made into bar form I almost wept of happiness and then proceeded to buy two. 

For those of you who have never tried the kisses, let me explain what they taste like...  Cheap white chocolate in the best way possible with just the slightest hint of mint that is pleasant and makes you feel like you're ice skating on idyllic lake. I'm not exaggerating. The bar form honestly tastes exactly the same as the kisses but I have to say there was something a little better in terms of texture with the bar. Hundredddd percent worth the 89 cents they are going for right now. 


Bro-foot Contessa's Mulled Wine: Trial and Review

by Stoves and Bros


So my first challenge for my Christmas Extravaganza was to recreate Barefoot Contessa Ina Garten's mulled wine. Two notes on this before we get started... 1) If you ever need to get a cookbook, get hers. All her recipes come out the way they are supposed to, which is not something that can always be said of some other publications. 2) I don't love red wine and never really felt the urge to try mulled wine but this recipe is actually very very tasty. Ina adds the genius ingredient of apple cider which enhances the sweetness of the drink and cuts the bitterness of the wine. I think it just made the drink overall more full and sophisticated. A lot of mulled wine recipes have a huge number of expensive spices which can make this a costly affair but this recipe really simplifies the ingredient list.  I altered the recipe a little bit to make it simpler but it was still so delicious and warm.  I'll be drinking this all through whatever polar vortex we have coming our way.

Ingredients
4 cups apple cider
1 bottle red wine, such as Cabernet Sauvignon
1/4 cup honey or maple syrup
2 cinnamon sticks
4 whole cloves
3 star anise (if you don't have these, I didn't think it made a huge difference)

Big puddle of red wine

Big puddle of red wine

Combine the cider, wine, honey or syrup, cinnamon sticks, cloves and star anise in a large saucepan, bring to a boil and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes. Pour into mugs and serve. 


The link to the original is here: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/mulled-wine-recipe.html



Butternut squash Soba: 30 minutes or less

by Stoves and Bros


I love ramen/udon/soba/pho. Basically any type of Asian noodle soup in any variation. A little background on why I was compelled to start making my own: Netflix has this PBS show Mind of Chef which takes the narration of Anthony Bro-dain and talks about the food journey of David Chang, founder of Momofuku and general badass bro. 70% of the show is comprised of David Chang eating ramen. I had the worst cravings for about a week but wouldn't give in to buying the packet filled with preservatives and more sodium than you should have in a month and going to a local place is barelyyyy better for you. So I began to think about my own and tailored it to some fall flavors that are nutritious and delicious. Note: I used soba because its whole wheat and slightly better for you but ramen would be on point. 

Recipe: Serves 4

Ingredients: 

1/2 onion

4 tbsp olive oil

4 cloves garlic 

1 cup mushrooms (sliced)

2 1/2 cups butternut squash (cubed)

4 cups vegetable broth 

1 cup pumpkin puree 

3 thai chilies 

6 ounces soba or ramen or udon 

Instructions: 

1. Turn the stove to medium high and in a large saucepan, pour the olive oil

2. Chop onions, add to pot, and then garlic

3. Add the sliced mushrooms (make sure these are really clean!)

4. Let this cook for about 2 minutes and then add 2 sliced chilies (these are super spicy so tone down the amount if you don't want too much spice)

5. Add the vegetable stock and pumpkin puree

6. Once the mixture is boiling, add the butternut squash and turn heat down to medium 

7.  Let this simmer for about 7 minutes and then see if the squash is softening up

8. Once the squash is soft enough to cut through with a spoon or another utensil, add the noodles

9. The noodles only take about 3 minutes so once these are soft, the soup is done

10. Garnish with more chilies and potentially a poached egg if you're feeling fancy


Become your own sommelier

by Stoves and Bros


I completely understand that wine and drinks are an integral part of your food/dining experience. However, I cannot say that I know anything about wine. I have found myself in the wine store judging off of how much I like the labels (plain label are a no but cliché landscapes are a hard yes) and how much cash I happen to have in my wallet. This does not always lead to artful pairings when enjoying a meal. When I talk to the sommelier, I usually sound like this: "Erm, I like fruiitttyyyyy wine and maybe nothing red". In the interest of no longer embarrassing myself when navigating a wine list, I decided to buy a groupon-type deal for a "Wine 101" class at New York Vintners and enlisted some friends to do it with me. 

First impressions: The class itself is pretty static- you're sitting with your group in a round table layout. I imagined we'd all be standing and walking around. However, there was a large amount of cheese available so I liked that. 

Buck trying to figure out why no one we know likes chardonnay 

Buck trying to figure out why no one we know likes chardonnay 

They change the tasting menu for every class but we started out with some sparkling rosé (Greet Wine: Flor NV Prosecco Rosé) and then worked our way through whites and then reds. The sommelier leading the class gave great explanations for why every wine is different and what is the appropriate language to describe each one. While my group was slightly rowdier/ younger than the rest of the group, the group itself was equally inexperienced with wine and therefore it was a nice, safe space to ask stupid questions and make stupid comments. The sommelier was really patient too. So when she asked us what notes we were getting from the pinot grigio and my companions responded "alcohol", she was totally cool and guided us to the right answers. 

Overall,  a great experience. The full price of the class was 75$ (without the groupon) but I think it was a nice way to start the night and I certainly did absorb some of the information. While I am still not an expert, I am able to discern names and make some slightly more educated pairings. Thank you New York Vintners for having us!

The notes we were given to try to make sense of the tasting

The notes we were given to try to make sense of the tasting



Ask a Bro: Do I need a cast iron skillet?

by Stoves and Bros


The other day my friend wanted to make a chicken recipe that suggested the use of an iron skillet. He did have one and wanted to know if he really realllllyyyyy needed one. A cast iron skillet is a really durable item that can withstand high high temperatures for very long time. The short answer is no, not for a beginner. If you have limited time, money, and are still building up your skills and kitchen tools. This chicken recipe was pretty labor intensive so if you aren't the type to be sitting down and doing these slow cooked meals often, then just use a regular skillet for these rare occasions. 

One important thing to remember is that you have to treat the skillet right. Its not like your non-stick pan from Walmart (no hate, that's what usually use) where you can leave an egg on there and burn it into the pan but eventually it'll come off. With a skillet you have "season it" which means you have to create the non-stick surface. You can do it by follow these instructions

the Emeril Skillet

the Emeril Skillet

 Eventually, when you do have a set of great kitchen items and want to step your kitchen game especially with old fashioned, labor of love recipes, then maybe throw down the $35 for the skillet. My friend did make the recipe and it was delicious, proving that for a beginner, the skillet isn't necessary if you're an attentive, careful chef. 

Here are some great options for pans and skillets: 

This is the stainless steel pan I use that's a little more fancy but perfect for everything from Williams and Sonoma

This non stick pan is very versatile and the company, EarthPan, promises their product won't poison you. 

Cast Iron Skillet from Emeril for 25$ 


Bro-lumbia Spectator's Feature: Pizza with Stoves and Bros

by Stoves and Bros


Check out my feature from the Columbia Spectator! Recipe for the pizza below: 

I love this recipe. It's so simple and a great meal to make on a date or with friends because it can be very collaborative and you can tailor the pizza the way you want. Don't like arugula? Add spinach! Hate prosciutto? (Impossible!) Sub bacon. 

Recipe: Prosciutto Pizza: 

Serves: 4

Ingredients: 

Store bought pizza dough (this is multigrain from whole foods)

Flour for rolling dough out

2 tablespoons of olive oil

1 cloves of garlic 

1 cup ricotta cheese

1/2 cup mozzarella (more if you want)

6 pieces of prosciutto

1 cup arugula 

Instructions: 

1. Preheat over to 400

2. Roll out the pizza dough with your hands, add a handful of flour to make it easier- you can put the dough on a pizza stone (I don't know anyone who has one of these so a cookie sheet works great too)

3. Add olive oil to the middle of the dough 

4. Spread ricotta on the same area

5. Scatter mozzarella slices

6. Place in oven for 15-20 minutes until crust is golden brown

7. Add slices of prosciutto while the pizza is hot and then spread the arugula over the top

8. Slice and enjoy!  

 

 

 


Bro-oklyn Brewery

by Stoves and Bros


After a long week, I was dying to get out of the city and explore some of Brooklyn and settled on spending the day at the Brooklyn Brewery. I have to say this was the perfect choice for a low-key relaxed date. 

The Brooklyn Brewery is a short walk from the L and you can't really miss the factory with its huge "B" logo mural and the relatively long line. On a Saturday afternoon, it took us about forty minutes to get through the door. There was some sort of VIP line where people were entering the door from the other side- bouncers scare me so I didn't ask how they were doing that (if you know the trick comment and let me know!) We were promptly handed tickets for the tour and moseyed on over to the line to buy the beer tokens. The tokens are either 5$ for 1 or 20$ for 5; obviously my date and I opted for the 5 token options. Then we only had to wait in a really short line to get our beer. TIP: bring singles to tip the bar tenders. 

The brewery had a huge selection on tap and special edition bottled beer for those willing to pay a little extra. I, not being a huge beer fan, went for the lighter option of the Summer Ale, which actually was delicious and tasted a little like summer. 

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The tour started about an hour into our visit and we had a really rambunctious tour guide who's passion for the brewery was contagious. I didn't think the tour was a musttttt but it was interesting to hear the history of the brewery and learn a little bit more about how beer is made. 

The factory itself is fairly small and after you get in the doors, I would suggest maybe setting aside 2 hour-ish to enjoy the different beers available. 

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Williamsburg has a huge amount of reasonably priced food within a very concentrated area so you can't really go wrong finding your post-beer nibbles. TIP: if you go on Saturdays, you can stop by Smorgasburg for a humongous variety of cart food (again, bringing cash is helpful). To be honest, I love the city but this was the perfect, quick escape if you're getting a bit burnt out. 

Smorgasburg- a parking lot of delicacies, with the backdrop of condominiums 

Smorgasburg- a parking lot of delicacies, with the backdrop of condominiums 


Eggplant Bro-lognese Sauce

by Stoves and Bros


So I whipped up some bolognese (meat sauce) with some eggplant the other day, basically making it up as I went along, and wanted to share it because it was really easy, hearty and great to keep in the fridge all week! I added mine to some pasta and plan on bringing it for lunch for the next few days.

Servings:

6-8 (really depends on how much you want to add to your serving of pasta; this is a conservative estimate)

Ingredients: 

2 medium sized eggplants 

TIP: the longer the eggplant, the less bitter it is; however, smaller eggplants are harder to find but if you do, pick out about 4 small ones

2 cloves of garlic (chopped)

Olive oil 

1  Can of diced tomatoes (24 oz.) 

1 1/2 lbs. of ground beef (I used 90% lean, 10% fat)

Salt

Pepper

Instructions: 

1. Peel strips of the eggplant skin off with a knife (I peel it so it looks striped but doesn't have to be perfect), and dice them; be sure to remove the stem on top

2. Set the stove to medium high; add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a large sauté pan (big and shallow; see picture below) and add the garlic

3. When the garlic starts to brown, add the eggplant

4. Regularly stirring (about once every 2 minutes), cook the eggplant until it starts to brown and become tender

5. Add the tomatoes, as well as a dash of salt and pepper

6. Lower the heat to medium, and let the sauce cook the eggplant in it for about 7 minutes

7. When the sauce is boiling and the eggplant is fully tender, remove from heat and set in a sauce pan (deep pan used to boil water)

8. Add 2 more tablespoons of olive oil to the same sauté pan and add the meat

9. With a spoon or spatula, start mixing the meat and stir regularly

10. Cook the meat until it is completely brown (I like to try to drain some of the oil that has collected at the bottom to be healthier but this is optional) 

11. Add the meat to the tomato sauce on the side and its ready! 

I always always top mine with Parmesan but mozzarella is great too! Sometimes when I am on a healthy, low-carb kick I will eat this sauce alone (because its so meaty and substantial) or over raw spinach. When I need pasta, I make a box of pasta to go with it: either regular, whole wheat pasta, or even quinoa pasta. However, you do want to pick out a noodle that is larger and will hold up to the sauce. The sauce will keep in the fridge for about a week. It's really filling and ends up being so so much cheaper than buying lunch every day. 


Bro-secco, anyone?

by Stoves and Bros


This is my first wine review! Well, more like a wine suggestion. I am definitely not a wine connoisseur but I did grow up with one (shout out: Papa Bear Bro Hazday). As a student, when I am looking for something to drink it tends to be on the cheaper side of the spectrum. However, that does not mean it needs to be 2 buck chuck and gross to drink! 

I discovered La Marca prosecco at Whole Foods when they were having a giant sale for sparkling wine and, oh my goodness, I am so glad I found it. Prosecco is essentially champagne but anything not from the region of Champagne in France cannot be called champagne. 

Cost: $15 (tip: if you buy a half case or case at Whole Foods, they will give you 15% percent off; another instance of more wine being better)

Taste: Bubbly deliciousness with hints of apple, grapefruit, and peach, according to my father. For me, I did taste a lot of fruit but it was not overly sweet (dry, as the experts say).

This beverage is great to bring over to a friend's apartment for a party or dinner. People will think you're sophisticated because there's not a footprint on the bottle. Sparkling wine is a particularly good choice because it's one of the few drinks that is tasty and easy to drink without being labeled "girly"; perfect for my guys out there. Also, a lovely bottle to break open on a date before going out to a meal or to sip while cooking. 

Additionally, because my favorite meal is brunch, its always on my mind. Next time, you have friends over, you can make bellinis or mimosas while you and your guests munch on your Sunday bagels.  

Recipes: 

French 75: 

  • 1 lemon
  • 3 tablespoons (1 1/2 ounces) gin
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons (3/4 ounce) fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon (1/2 ounce) simple syrup (or just a little sugar)
  • 1 cup ice cubes
  • 1/4 cup (2 ounces)

Shake it up and pour in a tall glass. 

Bellini: 

Fill a champagne glass with 2/3 prosecco and 1/3 peach juice (Cipriani makes a great mix: http://www.italco.com/index.php/san-benedetto-cipriani-bellini-mix.html)

Mimosa: 

Fill a champagne glass 2/3 prosecco and 1/3 orange juice



Stoves and Bros Baker's Edition: S'mores cake truffles

by Stoves and Bros


Admittedly my last two post have been outside my normal sphere of guy-friendly recipes, but I had an amazing cooking experience and need to share. So in my last post I gave a review of the Milk Bar class. This class got me thinking about all the ways you can eat cake. All you need is cake-soak-white-chocolate-crumb. For instance, you can take yellow cake, soak it with some milk, dip in melted white chocolate, and cover in ground-up fruity pebbles... I made a variation using s'mores ingredients

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Servings: 24 truffles

Ingredients: 

Chocolate cake (if making from scratch I use the cake from this recipe; chocolate box cake also works)

1/4 cup marshmallow fluff

1/2 cup of marshmallow

1 cup of crushed graham cracker

Instructions: 

1. Bake the cake depending on what recipe you went with

2. Take a silicone spatula and mix up all the cake until its evenly in crumbles 

3. Let the cake cool until you're able to handle it

4. Melt the white chocolate in a bowl and add 1/2 cup of oil (canola works) Tip on melting chocolate can be here: http://www.finecooking.com/articles/how-to-melt-chocolate.aspx

5. Once the cake is cooled add the marshmallow fluff and knead mixture into a big ball of dough

6. Use a tablespoon to scoop out and roll the dough into little balls

7. Dip the dough balls into the white chocolate and then toss the graham cracker crust on them

8. Refrigerate for an hour

 These will stay in the fridge for about a week and are so delicious when you just want a bite to eat. 


Bro-mofuku Cooking Class Review

by Stoves and Bros


So maybe this isn't my bro-y-est post, but I definitely wanted to do a review of my experience because its such a great gift/date idea for your significant other or friend! They also give a lot of tips to revamp your usual baking recipes. 

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The class is great for anyone with any level of cooking experience because they give you literally everything you need to assemble their famous birthday cake and walk you through their secrets. The recipes are all in the Milk Book and while the cooking is not that complicated, there are a lot of different parts that go into one cake. Your Milk Instructor provides the soak, the cookie crumbs, sheets of cake, and the icing for you to easily construct your cake. I saw a lot of groups who went together as well as couples. Bonus: They give you Brooklyn Lager. 

Anyone who knows me knows I am a sucker for their cake truffles (Milk's delivery guy definitely knows my name). I finally learned the secret to make my own. 

All you need is:

Some sort of cake

Crumble it up

Add moisture

Mix it up 

Scoop out a ball and dip it in white chocolate

Dunk it in a crumb 

This formula will allow you to make any type cake truffle your heart desires. Check out my s'mores truffles here! Or fancy donut holes as my guy friends called them. I also have an inkling to make savory truffles but I haven't tried it yet. Send me any ideas or recipes you have! 


How to feed your inner wolf of wall street

by Stoves and Bros


A lot of my friends start their first day of work today, so last night we made a power fuel feast of fingerling potatoes + chili rubbed chicken + quinoa. These recipes are great to make for big batches and eat all week after a long day of training. This was an impromptu meal so I didn't make a video, but feel free to email me with questions at stovesandbros@gmail.com

Recipe: Fingerling Potatoes, Chili-rubbed Chicken, Quinoa

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

1 bag of fingerling potatoes

Salt

Pepper

Olive Oil

Rosemary (optional)

Instructions: 

1. Rinse the fingerling potatoes

2. Take a big pot and pour 3 tablespoons of olive oil

3. Add salt and pepper to the olive oil

4. Add potatoes and shake the pot a little so the oil coats them

5. Put stove on medium high, cover potatoes and let sit for 30 minutes

Next we got the quinoa going- quinoa is a great replacement for pasta if you are looking for a no carb, high protein option

Servings: 4

Ingredients: 

1 cup of quinoa

2 cups of water (if you have it you can replace on cup of water with vegetable stock)

Tablespoon of olive oil

Salt, pepper, and any other seasonings you prefer

Instructions: 

1. Add the water and olive oil to a sauce pot (regular pot you would make pasta in) and put stove on medium high

2. Once the water is boiling, add the quinoa and cover for 15 minutes

3. After 15 minutes, take the cover off, stir, and make sure the liquid is absorbed

Finally, (because we only had two functioning burners) we did the chili-rubbed chicken

Servings: 4

Ingredients: 

4 chicken breasts

1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon pepper, tablespoon minced garlic, tablespoon of chili powder

3 tablespoons of olive oil

Instructions: 

1. Wash and clean the chicken (cut off any visible fat)

2. Take the salt, pepper, garlic and chili and mix them together in a small bowl

3. Apply the mix to both sides of chicken (the bro did not have a small bowl in the kitchen so i just rubbed them individually) 

4. Add olive oil to a pan and place stove on medium heat 

5. Take the chicken and place it in the pan, cook for 5 minutes before turning 

6. Turn and cook on other side

7. Take one chicken breast and cut through to make sure there's no pink (if there is pink then place back on stove and cook for two more minutes on each side) 

8. Once you are sure your food is cooked through, take off the stove and serve 

 

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