Thursday, July 24, 2008

Spoiling Max with homeamde Banana-Carob "Pup"scotti...

Max made sure to let me know bright and early this morning that someone has been without any homemade treats for a couple days! How could one resist this face?

We have done a lot of cut-out treats lately, so this time I wanted to do something a little different and came up with these Banana-Carob "Pup"scotti.

I used a mixture of whole-wheat, rye and oat flour for the dry ingredients - I know that oat flour may not be the easiest ingredient to find, but I stopped looking a long time ago and just make my own. How? Just toss dry oats into a spice grinder and let 'er rip until it is pretty fine in texture - you could also use a blender or food processor. If you wanted to intensify the nutty flavor found in the oats for a recipe you might be making for yourself, you could also toast the oats and let them cool before grinding. To make these a little more tempting, I also chopped up a few peanuts and added them in.

Mashed banana is the main moisture component, however to still give them a decent texture and add a little healthy fat, a couple tablespoons of canola oil is added. If the dough seems a little on the dry side when you combine the wet and dry ingredients, don't be afraid to sprinkle on some water to get it to come together. When you dump it out onto your counter and start working with it, you want it to be just tacky to the touch, but not overly wet or so dry it won't hold together - just add a little more flour or water if needed. Since I didn't want the biscotti too wide or long after slicing, I divided the dough in half.

Before I rolled each piece into logs, I wanted to make one half extra special and reached into a bag of carob chips to toss in about 2 tablespoons worth. You can also add 1/4 cup to the whole batch or just leave them out entirely - just don't substitute real chocolate as that it not safe for dogs. Treat these just like any ordinary biscotti - bake until they are firm to the touch, let them cool slightly and then slice. I usually slice my biscotti on the diagonal, however since I didn't want them to be too large, I sliced the logs crosswise to not increase their length. The time for the second bake will vary as it depends on how thick you slice them - you want them to be golden and just slightly soft in the center as they will continue to crisp up as they cool. I couldn't tell you for sure which one Max enjoyed the most, but I can say that he snarfed both of them down, which means he gives them 2 paws up!

Jeff, unfortunately, isn't the biggest fan of blue cheese, but I'm working on him to try and and change his mind! Don't get me wrong, he doesn't hate it, but he doesn't get nearly excited about it as I do. I picked this Peppered Pork Tenderloin with Blue Cheese Plums to try out tonight because if he didn't end up liking the plums, he would still have plenty of food free of blue cheese on his plate!

Starting a couple hours before I wanted to grill the lean tenderloin, I made a rub of fresh rosemary, licorice-y fennel seeds, coriander seeds along with salt and fresh ground black pepper. If you don't happen to have a spice grinder handy to make this, you could just mash those ingredients together in a mortar and pestle. If you don't have one of those handy, just crack the seeds with the bottom of a heavy skillet, finely chop the rosemary and rub everything together with your fingers. I rubbed this onto the pork, wrapped it up tight in plastic wrap and let it chill out for a bit.

While the meat was resting, we halved the plums, removed their pits and gave them a light bath in olive oil. We then grilled them, cut side down, to caramelize their sugary surface - as soon as they were done, I scattered the tops with the piquant crumbles of blue cheese. The warmth from the plums warms up the cheese, melting it ever-so-slightly, allowing it's flavor to bloom. The pork was tender and juicy with the fragrant rub making itself well present, without making the meat seem too earthy. I liked taking a slice of the of the plum/cheese mixture and eating it with a bite of the pork - the combination of savory, salty and sweet lived up to its expectations. I looked over to check and see how Jeff was making out and much to my surprise, the plums were gone before he finished his slices of tenderloin! Score! I see more blue cheese dishes in our future.


  1. The blue cheese plums look wonderful - what a great idea!

  2. What a recipe! I'm truly ready to leap through the screen here...........

  3. Blue cheese plums? I'm in :) Makes me anxious for figs and goat cheese though! And that face - irresistable.

  4. I'm with Jeff on this one. I can't quite get myself to embrace blue cheese either. Your recipe looks yummy though with substitutions! :-)

    And the doggie is adorable.

  5. Yum those blue cheese plums look wonderful.

  6. What a lucky dog! And if I must say lucky owners as well, look at that cute face!!!

  7. How interesting that in two consecutive blogs that I read I see recipes for doggie treats. Randi of Culinary Adventures made homemade frosty paws with yogurt, banana baby food, agave nectar, and peanut butter. I wish I'd tried homemade doggie treats for our Pepper when she was still alive.

  8. Aw, I really want a dog so I can make him cool treats. Cats are very picky and somewhat rude!

  9. We buy specialty pup treats from a shop called "Three Dog Bakery." Your
    "Pup-scotti" belong in their display case! Lucky puppy!!

  10. Quinn - They were different, but quite enjoyable!

    Katrina - I wish we could of shared some with you!

    Lunch Buckets - Now you've got me excited! Figs and goat cheese... tasty!

    Sue - Thanks! ;-)

    Laura - I'm glad we gave the recipe a try just to show Jeff he can enjoy the cheese!

    CC - I know... he gets anything he wants!

    Cyndi - We made a version of frosty paws when we were living back in Phoenix too. They loved it!

    Christina - Hee hee... I remember how Ms Kitty was.

    Gigi - We've been there before!