Monthly Archives: September 2013

Knee Deep Brewing Co. Tanilla Porter

(Always drink responsibly.  Seek help when alcohol affects your life and the lives of those around you.  For readers of a legal drinking age.)

tanilla porter

tanilla porter

This is the second brew I’ve tried from Knee Deep Brewing Co.  The first was as hoppy as this one is mild, so based on the two extremes, my opinions about the Lincoln, CA brewery are favorable.  The Tanilla Porter label lists 6.3% ABV, 30 IBU, and vanilla beans as one of the brewing ingredients.  When I opened the bottle I smelled the super faint essence of true vanilla without any sugary sweetness.  Stronger than the vanilla scent, though, was the unmistakable porter darkness.  Deep and rich like the aroma, the taste was more coffee than vanilla.  If it weren’t for the Tahitian vanilla, I’d think that this was on par with Pipeline Porter, available at many grocery stores; so if vanilla is really your thing, seek this out and you may enjoy that extra hint that sets this porter apart.

Buttermilk Maple Bacon Doughnuts

We couldn’t think of a better Sunday morning brunch with friends than maple bacon doughnuts, but no doughnut shops in our area offer such a delight.  Zach thought a little more, and figured that making them from scratch wouldn’t be so hard.  Because the dough is fried and not baked, there is no need to let the dough proof or rise, so making these is fairly quick.  Of course, you can amend the recipe by not including bacon, but why do that?  The sweet/salty combination is hard to beat!

maple bacon doughnuts

maple bacon doughnuts

Makes 20 doughnuts

• For the doughnuts:

At least 48 oz. of vegetable shortening (or however much you need to fill a skillet or deep fryer enough to submerge the doughnuts; we used 96 oz.)

3 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour

1 cup of buttermilk

1 cup of vanilla’d sugar

2 large eggs

1/4 cup of butter

2 tsp. of baking powder

1 tsp. of cinnamon

1 tsp. of freshly grated nutmeg

1 tsp. of salt

1/2 tsp. of baking soda

• For the toppings:

8-10 oz. of bacon

1 cup of confectioner’s sugar

1/8 cup of whole milk

1 tsp. of pure maple extract

Prep the bacon by dicing it and cooking the bits in a medium to large saute pan over medium-low heat.  Drain and let cool.  In a small sauce pan, melt the butter so that it browns just a little; let cool.  Line one sheet pan with parchment paper, and another sheet pan with two layers of paper towels.  Whisk together the flour, vanilla’d sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and baking soda in a large bowl.  In a medium bowl, whisk and fully combine the buttermilk and eggs.  Add the melted, lightly browned, cooled butter to the buttermilk and eggs, and whisk again to combine.

cut like traditional buttermilk bars

cut like traditional buttermilk bars

Make a well in the middle of the flour mixture, and pour the liquid mix into the well.  Slowly fold the flour into the liquid with a spatula so that a sticky dough is formed.  Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface.  Sprinkle the dough with a little flour and pat out gently until it is about 1/2″ thick.  Cut the dough into approximately 2″x3″ rectangles, and transfer to the parchment-lined sheet pan.  Let chill in the refrigerator until the vegetable shortening is ready for frying.

Heat enough vegetable shortening in a deep-sided skillet or deep fryer so that the doughnuts can be fully submerged.  The temperature should be 365-370 degrees F.  Make the glaze while heating the shortening by whisking together the confectioner’s sugar, whole milk, and maple extract.

scooped with a spider

scooped with a spider

Once the shortening is hot and ready, fry no more than 3 doughnuts at a time, allowing at least 1 minute in between adding each one to the fryer because you don’t want to shock the hot shortening at all.  Flip over when the bottoms have browned, about 2-3 minutes each side.  With a slotted spoon or spider, remove the doughnuts from the fryer and transfer to the towel-lined sheet pan to drain and let cool.  Dip the top side in the maple glaze and sprinkle bacon pieces over the glaze.  *Tip: If you want a thinner glaze, dip when the doughnuts are hot.  If you want a thicker glaze, let cool and then drizzle the glaze.

Bacon Artichoke Dip with Crostini and Truffled Chips

Dips are often one of the first items to disappear at a dinner party or pot luck.  They’re easy and fun to eat, allowing us to scoop just a taste or a whole heaping pile onto something hard and crunchy.  Like a fork, a plate, and dinner itself in one, we can pick up, serve, and eat a bite in one act.  Most people like artichoke dip, and even more might like it if it was made with bacon.

bacon artichoke dip with crostini and truffled chips

bacon artichoke dip with crostini and truffled chips

• For the dip:

2 cans of artichoke hearts

10 oz. of bacon

8 oz. of cream cheese at room temperature

3/4 cup of mayonnaise

3 oz. of shaved Parmesan cheese, divided in 2 oz. and 1 oz.

1/4 cup of sour cream

2 tsp. of dried dill

2 tsp. of garlic powder

2 tsp. of onion powder

1 tsp. of freshly cracked black pepper

bacon II 022

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Prep the bacon by dicing it and cooking the bits in a medium to large saute pan over medium-low heat.  Drain the artichoke hearts of excess liquid by placing them in a towel and lightly squeezing.  If the hearts are whole, dice them in large pieces; if you have quartered artichoke hearts, that’ll do.  Put the cream cheese, mayonnaise, sour cream, and dry spices in a bowl and stir to combine well.  Fold the artichoke hearts, bacon, and 2 oz. of the Parmesan cheese into the spiced cream cheese.

Spread out in an ungreased baking dish and sprinkle the remaining Parmesan over the top.  Bake for 20-25 minutes until the cheese is turning golden brown.

• For the crostini:

1 sweet baguette

1/4 up of extra virgin olive oil

1 tbs. of hickory smoked seasalt



Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.  Slice the baguette into thin rounds, no thicker that 1/4″.  Lay the rounds out, single layer, on a sheet pan.  Brush the tops only of each round.  Sprinkle with seasalt.  Bake for 15-20 minutes until lightly golden brown and crisp.

• If you’re really interested in the truffled chips, check out this previous recipe where we paired them with ceviche.