Wednesday, April 09, 2008
Recipe: Almond-Crusted Chicken
- 5 lbs. chicken parts, bones in
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup milk
- 12 ounces sliced almonds
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly oil (or use a cooking spray on) a large roasting pan, or two pans that will fit the chicken and your oven at the same time.
- Take three wide containers. Mix flour, salt, and pepper in one. Beat the eggs with milk in the second. Crush almonds with your hands and place into the third.
- Rinse chicken and pat mostly dry. In turn, dredge each piece in flour, coat with egg mixture, and roll in crushed almonds. Place in pan.
- Place pan in oven and bake about 40 minutes, or until almond crust is golden brown and chicken cooked through.
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
Revew and Recipe: St. Peter's English Ale
Beer-Braised Short Ribs
- 1 cup flour
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. pepper
- 2 TBS olive oil
- 4 lbs. short ribs
- 6 ounces beer (I used St. Peter's English Ale)
- 1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
- 1 stalk celery, chopped (optional)
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped fine
- 1 can diced tomatoes
- 2 tsp basil
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tsp cardamom seeds
- Heat oven to 250 degrees F.
- Mix flour, salt, and pepper together. Dredge short ribs in mixture. Heat 12-inch frying pan over high heat, add olive oil, and brown ribs on all sides. Transfer to dutch oven.
- Reduce heat to medium. Add onions and celery, cooking until onions are translucent. Add garlic and continue cooking until onions are browned. Add mixture to dutch oven.
- Add beer to pan and deglaze. After dissolving all solids, add tomatoes, basil, bay leaves, and cardamom. Heat through. Add to dutch oven.
- Add salt and pepper to taste. Cover dutch oven and place in oven. Cook for three hours. Serve with egg noodles.
Thursday, January 31, 2008
Quasi Recipe: Moussaka a la Greque
- Brown about a pound of ground lamb and put to the side. (As in the original recipe, you can leave this out.)
- Make some pilaf using about 1 cup of long-grained rice, 1 1/2 cups of beef stock, and 1 cup of red wine. When the rice and liquid come to a boil, add a handful each of raisins and pine nuts, stir, cover, simmer for 15 minutes, and then take off the heat. I actualy used only 2 cups of liquid, total, which might seem like too little, and the pilaf was a bit toothy, but remember that most everything else in the dish will give off liquid, and you'll want to absorb it.
- Take three medium eggplants and slice about 1/2 inch thick. If, like me, you found yourself with only two eggplants, slice them thinner - it makes them a bit harder to handle, but, hey, you do what you gotta do.
- Chop a medium onion and brown it in olive oil in a pan over high heat. Reserve it but leave the pan hot. Add more oil and brown the eggplant slices on both sides, reserving them as well. Yes, for this meal, reservations are necessary.
- Take a six-inch deep casserole dish (I used a stew pot with cover, about 9 inches across, from Emile Henri, which is great for this type of cooking), rub inside with olive oil, and start layering: first eggplant slices to cover, then some rice pilaf, then some lamb, and then some sauteed onions. Keep doing this for a few layers until you've used up everything and ended with eggplant on top. You really have to do this by eye, as it will depend on the exact size and shape of your dish.
- Tomato sauce goes on top. I used maybe a cup and a half of spaghetti sauce with about 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinamon mixed in. De Groot calls for making a sauce out of 1 cup of beef stock, 1 cup of red wine, 6 ounces of tomato paste, a handful of chopped parsley, and some salt and pepper. (I'm elminating the MSG he suggested - yes, this is an old book.) But it worked well this way and cut the preparation time at least a bit.
- Bake the casserole for about 20 to 25 minutes without a top, or until the sauce gets absorbed. You'll know when it's done by when you're finished with the custard that goes on top. Thoroughly whisk three eggs, 1/2 cup heavy cream, and 1 cup of milk. (You won't need the 1 cup of parmasegan cheese if you don't want it.) Cook in a doube-boiler - or in a pot over a medium flame if you're feeling bold and don't mind watching like a hawk so you don't end up with curdled custard. When the mixture thickens so it will coat the back of a wooden spoon and drawing your finger across that spoon back leaves a trail, you're done.
- Take the casserole out of the over, pour the custard over it, cover, and replace in the over for about 20 to 30 minutes, or until the custard is set.
Thursday, January 03, 2008
Long and Slow in a Winter Mo
A second recipe is one that I first say in a James Villas book - a real potato gratin. Now there are apparently as many recipes for this dish as there are households in France, with each region having an overall approach that, of course, is the "correct" one. Some have cheese; some don't. Some use milk; some, cream. I take a 2 quart casserole dish, cut a clove of garlic open, and rub the inside of the dish with the cut faces. Using about 3 to 5 potatoes, depending on their size, I peel them and then slice each lengthwise to get pieces only 1/16th of an inch thick. I law a lawyer or two of potato slices in the dish, sprinkle them with a bit of salt and pepper, and then add some more layers. About halfway through, I dot the surface with butter, then add more layers. Give yourself at least half an inch at the top.
Now, mix some light cream and milk (or just light cream, if you prefer) in equal proportions, heat in a pot on the stove, and then pour the liquid into the casserole dish. You need just enough to come even with the top of the potatoes. Dot the top with butter, and then bake for at least 2.5 to 3 hours at 250 degrees. You'll know it's done when you have a brown crust on top. The effect is really cheesy, except without any cheese. This is a big favorite not only at our house, but when we're asked to contribute a dish to a supper cooked by people who've had the gratin at our house.
Tuesday, December 25, 2007
Recipe: Breton Buckwheat Galettes
I'm giving the recipe as it appeared, but indicating a couple of small changes I made. For example, I used less salt and it was still enough of that taste so that an egg folded inside needed no more. Also, we were out of buckwheat flour, so I substituted whole wheat. The kids loved them without filling, grabbing a couple to go with regular scrambled eggs. Notice that there are both advoirdopois and metric; I used the latter and would suggest that cooking by weight as often as possible gives greater control and a higher chance for the recipes to come out.
- 1 3/4 cups/225 g buckwheat flour (I used wholewheat, and suspect you could substitute almost any type, as gluten content isn't a big issue)
- 1/3/4 cups/225 g unbleached white flour (I used all purposed)
- 2 tsps salt (I used 1 1/2)
- 2 cups/500 ml milk, more if needed
- 2 cups/500 ml water
- 1/2 cup/110 g butter, clarified
Equipment12-inch/30-cm flat, round griddle pan or 7-inch/18-cm crêpe pan.
Yield12 12-inch/30-cm or 24 7-inch/18-cm galettes to serve 6
- Sift both flours into a bowl and add salt. (NB: I didn't bother to sift, and it seemed to come out well enough.)
- Make a well in the center and pour 1 cup/250 ml of milk into the well. Whisk, forming a smooth paste. Whisk well for 1 minute, then add remaining milk in 2 batches, stirring well after each edition. (The paste was more like cement when I did it, so I added the remaining milk and whisked everything together.) Cover and let rest at room temperature for 30 to 40 minutes. (I've seen a Jacques Pépin recipe that did not require a resting period, but I think it's necessary here. As in baking, the whole grains can absorb water over some minutes. By letting it sit, you can eventually adjust the thickness without a problem.)
- Stir water into batter and then beat again for 1 minute. If necessary, beat in more milk until better is consistency of light cream. Stir in half of the clarified butter
- Warm pan over medium heat at least 5 minutes, or until very hot. (If you are using an electric range, as I did, you might have to start on high and then shift between that and medium high throughout the gallette-making process.)
- Dip a was of paper towel into the remaining butter and rub it over the pan. (I tried a technique that worked far better - pour some of the clarified butter into the pan, swirl it so that it evenly coats the pan, and pour the remaining back in with the rest of the clarified butter - best to put the butter into a glass measuring cup with a spout to facilitate the pouring. This will keep the paper towel from absorbing butter and possibly leaving you to clarify more.)
- Heat the pan 2 minutes longer and test with a few drops of batter; they should set at once. Wipe pan clean with the paper towel wad and then rub it again with butter.
- Ladle batter onto center of pan. Using a palette knife or pastry scraper, spread it with a turn of your wrist so the pan is thinly and completely covered, tipping the pan to discard excess batter into a bowl. (I couldn't get that to work, so used an old-fashioned technique - pour in the batter and then tip, swirl, and jerk the pan about to coat it, which also saves another item to clean.)
- Cook the galette quickly until lightly browned on the bottom, 30 to 60 seconds. (I found it to take at least a minute, and often longer.) Peel the galette off the pan and flip it to color the other side. Note that a galette should not be browned too much, as it will be reheated with the filling. Transfer to a plate.
- If the first galette seems heavy, thin the batter with a little milk. Continue to cook the gtalettes, wiping the pan clean with paper towels and reubbing it with butter as necessary to prevent sticking. Pile the finished galettes on top of one another to keep them warm. They may be tightly wrapped and stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, or frozen for up to 3 months.
FillingsBefore I go inot each, there's a basic pattern here. You heat the pan again at least 5 minutes and coat it with clarified butter. The "dark" (only slightly browned side) of the galette goes down and the filling tops the center of the galette. You let it cook or melt or heat, and then fold the four sides of the galette up, leaving a space that shows the filling. The result is a square package.
Galette à L'Oeuf (egg galette)Break egg into center of galette. For scrambled (brouillé), quickly mix and spread the egg over the galette with a spatula, leaving a border at the edge. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and leave over heat just long enough to cook egg slightly, about 30 seconds. Fold in edges of galette on 4 sides to make square with a gap in the center showing the egg. Slide onto a warmed plate, top with a pat of salted butter, and serve hot. (Good luck with the spatula scrambled egg. I eventually lightly mixed an egg in a mixing cup with a fork and poured it on. Also, you have to keep shoving the egg back into the center so that it doesn't spread everywhere. If someone doesn't like runny eggs, consider cooking them a bit in a separate pan.)
For an unbroken egg (miroir): spread only the egg white on the galette and leave yolk whole. When egg yolk starts to set, fold galette up and around the youlk so it is still visible. Slide onto a warmed plate.
Galette au Fromage (cheese galette)Heat and butter the pan as above. Spread galette on pan, browner side down. Brush lightly with butter and sprinkle with 2 TBS grated Gruyère cheese (or any other type you like). Leave it for a few seconds to heat the galette and melt the cheese, and then fold the galette as with the egg galette, showing the contents. Slide onto a warm plate and serve.
Galette au Jambon (ham galette)Heat and butter pan as above. Spread galette, browner side down, onto the pan. Brush lightly with melted butter (I didn't find that necessary) and spread a thin slice of cooked ham in the center. Leave for a few seconds to heat the galette and the ham, and then fold the galette as above. Top with a pat of butter and then slide onto a warm plate.
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Recipe: Peach French Toast Panino
Peach French Toast PaninoYield: 2 panini
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 7 minutes
Serving size: 1 panino
- 1 peach
2 tsp. milk
1 tsp. sugar
4 slices White Bread (recipe in Chapter 4)
1 TB. maple syrup or honey
- Heat the grill.
- Quarter peach and separate pieces, discarding pit. Slice each quarter into thin slices.
- Lightly beat egg, milk, and sugar in a small bowl. Pour mixture into a wide, shallow container.
- Dip one side of each slice of bread in egg mixture, letting it soak for 10 seconds; these will be the outsides of the sandwich. Place slices wet side down onto a work surface.
- For each sandwich, coat dry side of one of the bread slices with [1/2] tablespoon maple syrup and layer [1/2] of peach slices on the other. Place maple syrup side on top of peach slices. Grill sandwich 7 minutes or until outside is crisp. Serve.
Friday, August 03, 2007
Recipe: Caramel Sauce
IngredientsYield: 4 cups
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
- 3 cups sugar
2/3 cup water
1 cup heavy cream
1 tsp. vanilla extract (optional)
- In a medium saucepan over high heat, add sugar and then water. Do not stir while you let sugar totally dissolve. Periodically dip a pastry brush into cold water and brush the inside of the pan. Do not let any crystals form on the sides of the pan.
- When sugar turns dark amber, put a whisk into the pan and carefully and slowly add cream. Mixture will boil furiously and form a mass. Gently move the whisk and everything will eventually dissolve into a smooth liquid. Add vanilla extract (if using) at this point. Be careful, because it's absurdly easy to overcook this and wind up with a mass of burnt smelling stuff.
- Let caramel cool some and pour into a heat-proof container. (A mason jar has done well by me.)
Tuesday, July 31, 2007
Recipe: Rye Bread
Yield: 2 loaves
Prep time: 3 hours
Cook time: 25 minutes
Serving size: 2 slices
- 2[1/4] cups water, 105ºF to 110ºF water
2 cups rye flour
2[1/4] tsp. dried instant yeast (1 packet)
4 to 5 cups bread flour
2 tsp. ground caraway seed (optional)
2 TB. whole caraway seeds (optional)
1 TB. salt
1 tsp. vegetable oil
- In a small bowl, add 1 cup water to rye flour. Let soak for 20 minutes.
- In a small bowl, add yeast to remaining water, and stir until dissolved.
- In a large bowl, combine 4 cups bread flour, rye flour, ground caraway seed (if using), 1 tablespoon whole caraway seed (if using), and salt, and mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon. Add water and yeast mixture and rye flour and water mixture to the bowl, and mix. Add additional bread flour, 2 tablespoons at a time as necessary, until dough comes away from the sides of the bowl.
- Sprinkle flour on work surface, place dough on surface, and knead dough for 10 minutes until dough is satiny.
- Add vegetable oil to the empty bowl, and swirl the bowl to coat the inside. Don't worry if there's a little oil left in the bottom of the bowl. Return dough to the bowl, and turn dough to coat with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and let dough double in volume.
- When dough has doubled in volume, turn out onto a floured work surface and fold to deflate. Divide dough into 2 parts. Shape each portion of dough into a loaf, and place in 2 greased 8[1/2]-inch loaf pans. Lightly oil two pieces of plastic wrap, each large enough to cover one pan, and loosely cover each pan, oil side in. Allow top of bread to reach top of pan.
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Remove the plastic from the pans, and brush each loaf with water. Sprinkle tops with remaining 1 tablespoon caraway seeds (if using). Bake 25 minutes or until the top is golden brown and the bottom, when removed from the pan, sounds hollow when tapped.
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
Cranberry Recipe Contest
Recipes must be original, use a minimum of 1/2 cup of any Ocean Spray product (beverages 1 1/2 ounces), and fall into one of the following categories: Beverages, Snacks and Appetizers, Salads, Main Dishes, Side Dishes, Desserts and Baked Goods. Recipes will be judged on creativity, use of product, taste, overall appearance and ease of preparation. Entries must be postmarked by August 23, 2007 and received by August 31, 2007.Four semi-finalists head to New York in November for a final judging. Each finalist gets a trip for two to New York and a year's supply of products from Ocean Spray. There's more, and official entry guidelines (are these things ever non-official?)
Thursday, July 19, 2007
Recipe: Sautéed Strawberries with Cracked Black Pepper and Orange Liqueur Marmalade
- 1/2 cup orange liqueur
1 Tbs. plus 1/2 tsp. brown sugar
1/2 Tbs. salted butter
1.5 lb strawberries, cleaned and cut into quarters
1/2 vanilla bean, split
cracked black pepper
1/2 bunch fresh mint, stemmed and roughly chopped
6 Tbs. crème fraiche
- To make the marmalade, in a small saucepan over medium heat, combine orange liqueur and 1 Tbs. brown sugar. Reduce to 1/8 cup. Set aside.
- Heat butter in medium saucepan over high heat. When melted, add 1/2 tsp. brown sugar and cook until lightly caramelized, about three minutes.
- Add strawberries and vanilla bean to saucepan and sauté for 15 seconds. Add 1/4 tsp. black pepper and sauté for 30 more seconds.
- Add mint and immediately split among six serving dishes. Garnish each dish with 1 Tbs. crème fraiche and 1/4 tsp. black pepper. Drizzle with warm marmalade. Serve immediately.
Friday, July 06, 2007
Recipe: Frozen Vanilla Coffee
- 1 1/2 ounces freshly brewed espresso
- 6 ounces milk
- 3 TBS. sugar
- 1/8 tsp. vanilla
- 1 cup ice
Thursday, June 21, 2007
Recipe: Frozen Hot Chocolate
- 1 TBS. Valrhona cocoa
- 3 TBS. sugar
- 3/4 cup milk
- 3/4 cup small ice cubes
Friday, May 04, 2007
Cookbook Review: A Taste of Challah
There was much good I found in the book. The author is a religious Jew and offers a lot of information on the theological and culture links. There is also more information than I've ever seen in one place on how to handle and shape the dough, including variations like a braided round challah that I've never seen. We'll get to some more good points in a moment.
But calling the volume A Comprehensive Guide to Challah and Bread Baking is overblown and inaccurate. For example, the only "regular" recipe for challah dough is called Always Perfect No-Egg Challah. The title alone suggests what anyone familiar with the bread knows: eggs are a normal component. I wondered whether strict kosher food laws might consider eggs as meat, and so something that could not be served with dairy, but a little research showed that eggs are considered pareve - neither meat nor dairy. Nothing wrong with variations, but I don't see how a book can be "comprehensive" without a version of the most traditional approach.
The basic recipe also called for 16 to 17 cups of flour for what it said were 6 large loaves. Three cups of flour are about a pound, adding the weight of oil, sugar, and sugar, I'm guessing that the "large" loaves would be about a pound each - not so large from my view. I didn't bother making this fundamental recipe because that's also far more bread than my family will go through before it goes stale, though under Jewish law you're supposed to eat three meals on Shabbat and start each with two loaves, so I'm guessing that's where the volume came from. However, those who are not religious Jews are likely to be overwhelmed by the amount.
Back to what I liked: I learned a technique of using a rolling pin to make perfect dough ropes which, in turn, helps create the proper braided shape. The only hint that I thought was missing was doing a double egg wash: once, letting that dry, and then a second time to help achieve the perfect color a good bakery can get. There's also an interesting collection of other recipes, ranging from bagels and pita (though either a long-baked or no-pocket type, again not the traditional one) to some Middle Eastern breads and dips that I've never before seen.
The upshot: some people, like me, will find a lot of good in the $35 book - and you can see that more money than usual went into a nicely crafted hardbound with abundant color photography. But if you're new to bread baking and want a traditional loaf of challah, you'd at least need to supplement this volume with a recipe from another source.
Wednesday, May 02, 2007
Recipe: Herbed Hummus
- 1/3 cup packed fresh parsley leaves
- 1/3 cup packed fresh basil leaves
- 1/4 cup grated fresh Parmesean cheese
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 cup tahini (sesame seed paste)
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 1/8 tsp. ground pepper
- 1 (15 ounce) can garbonzo beans (also called chick peas), drained
- 3-4 garlic cloves
- 3/4 cup olive oil
- Put all ingredients other than oil into food processor.
- While processing, pour oil through feed tube. Process until smooth, periodically stopping and scraping down sides.
Tuesday, May 01, 2007
Success in Baking Pita
- Keep the dough the tiniest bit sticky. You want moisture in it to puff up the pita, which should look like little domes when they're done.
- The steps about letting the dough relax are important.
- The book's instructions say to roll the dough out to about 6-inch diameter circles, but the real trick is keeping it about a quarter-inch thick.
- The baking instructions in the book are a bit off - when you put them onto the hot baking stone or tiles, let them sit for about four minutes and then check on their progress (keeping the oven mostly closed to contain the heat).
- They should be pretty pale. If they get to golden brown, they will be crunchy.
Monday, April 30, 2007
Recipe: Potato Blini
- 1 lb. Russet potatoes
- 1/2 cup milk at 100˚F to 105˚F
- 1 envelope (2 1/4 teaspoons) dried yeast
- 1/2 to 1 1/4 cups bread flour
- 1 TB. sugar
- 3/4 tsp. salt
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- sour cream
- Peel potatoes and finely grate. Texture should be of wet potato mush.
- Sprinkle dried yeast onto surface of milk and then stir until yeast dissolves.
- In large bowl, sift 1/2 cup flour, sugar, and salt together. Add milk and grated potato and thoroughly mix.
- Add additional flour and mix until mixture is thick but not stiff, with the consistency of pancake batter.
- Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until doubled in volume, about 45 to 60 minutes. Do not deflate batter.
- Heat oil in 10-inch pan over high heat. Add single tablespoons of batter to pan and fry until golden brown on the first side. Turn blini and brown on other, and then drain on paper towel.
- Continuing adding tablespoons of batter to make additional blini until you've gone through all the batter. Serve hot with sour cream.