Sunday, October 17, 2010

Dulce de Leche

Today my daughter came to me at lunch and said she wanted to make something. Something liiiiiike...fried chicken.

Um. No? When I eat fried chicken, you can be pretty damn sure it's not from my kitchen. All I can think of is the mess. Plus why should I make fried chicken when I can eat it at Price's Chicken Coop here in Charlotte, the best fried chicken I ever had?

So she started listing other possibilities and she got to dulce de leche--milk caramel--which is so popular in Latin America AND in South Florida...We've had it spread on things, in things. We've eaten alfajores (say alfa-hore-ace), buttery cookies sandwiching dulce de leche and sometimes dipped in chocolate... Bingo. Both of us had seen Alton Brown make it, so we got to work, and it couldn't have been easier:

4 cups Lakeview Farms whole milk (the stuff that comes to my door in glass bottles)..(okay, you can use milk local to YOUR area)
12 ounces (about 1 1/2 cups) sugar
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise.

That's it. Get to simmer, add sugar, stir til dissolved, add baking soda, stir more. Here's what it looks like at first. None too pretty:
Take bean out after about 45 min., and continue to reduce
until you have about 1 cup of golden, thick homemade dulce de leche. (Click on link for Alton's detailed instructions.)

Eat with spoon.


Unknown said...

Some day, I'm going to be brave enough to use one of your recipes. My cooking is definitely morphed into style I grew up with: whatever's in the cupboard and/or fridge, mix it together. Nothing at all as spectacular as your Dulce de Leche. But I do think I can handle the eggs and toast. Of course, you make that look spectacular, too! And now, I'm hungry.

Amy said...

That does look easy.

Thought of you yesterday when I went to Mill City Market for its last day of the season. Sob. Am already kicking myself for all the stuff I didn't buy. But awfully happy I got a last treat of sweet potato and black bean tacos from the Chef Shack.

Babette said...

Ooh, Amy,just lucky you for getting there. I've been thinking of that soup since you showed up with that big old container of it last week. Any chance you can copycat it and send me the recipe??

Are there any other markets where Chef Shack shows up during the winter (like Midcity Global? We got out there for a walk around while mom went to mass last week)? That would be nice for them...and you, of course. Hard to believe the market is done for the year. I feel lucky we got to see it last weekend.

Amy said...

Hmmm...I don't know if I could duplicate it, since I can't recognize half of the flavors! It's a deceptive broth, with an initial mild flavor and then the heat creeps in, not unbearably, just as an afterthought.

Chef Shack closes for the season soon--get this: the owner and chef go traveling over the winter to get new ideas. Last year they went all over Asia (probably the source of the soup). They're on Twitter (chefshack1), so you can follow their adventures.

Celia said...

Yum! I made this last year - I think it took nearly 3 hours to boil down! It was worth it! :)