Sunday, July 12, 2009
Recipe: Super Fast Vanilla Ice Cream
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 1 cup half and half
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/8 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- In a bowl, mix the heavy cream, half and half, sugar, and salt until the sugar and salt are completely dissolved.
- Stir in the vanilla extract until completely mixed in.
- Freeze using ice cream freezer directions.
Wednesday, July 01, 2009
Recipe: Bicuits and Chorizo Gravy
- 1 pound chorizo sausage
- 4 1/2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
- 3 cups milk, heated until warm but not scalded
- 8 biscuits (I have a buttermilk biscuit recipe here)
- Prepare four plates. For each, split two biscuits and place the halves, split-side up, on the plate.
- Cut the chorizo into 1/4-inch slices. Don't worry if the sausage begins to crumble or the slices start to come apart.
- Over high heat, place to sausage into a 10-inch fry pan. Cook for two minutes.
- Sprinkle flour over sausage slices and cook another three minutes.
- Add milk all at once and stir mixture until flour dissolves. Continue stiring until the mixture comes to a boil and the gravy is thickened.
- Pour gravy over each set of biscuits.
Recipe: Improved Buttermilk Biscuits
- 2 cups all-purpose power
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. baking soda
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 Tbsp. sugar
- 4 Tbsp. Sacco buttermilk powder (note, you can omit this, substituting buttermilk for the water when added in the recipe)
- 5 Tbsp. butter, cold
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Mix all dry ingredients in a large bowl.
- Cut butter into dry ingredients until mixture resembles coarse meal.
- Add water slowly, mixing until all dry ingredients are damp and dough loosely holds together. Dough should be wet.
- Turn dough out onto well-floured board and knead for about 30 seconds. Instead of traditional bread kneading motion, fold dough in half, press flat, and repeat.
- Roll dough out approximately 3/8-inch in thickness, then use biscuit cutter or cup. Take scraps, form into new ball, roll out to 3/8-inch thickness, and cut additional rounds. Place biscuit rounds on ungreased cookie sheet with at least 1-inch separation.
- Bake biscuits for approximately 18 minutes or until golden brown.
Sunday, June 28, 2009
Recipe: Mango Ginger Sorbet
- 1 lemon
- 1-inch piece of ginger root, peeled
- 2 1/4 cups water
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 3 very ripe mangoes (soft to the touch)
- Roughly chop ginger and place into medium saucepan.
- Peel zest from lemon and place into saucepan.
- Juice lemon and reserve juice.
- Put 2 cups water into medium saucepan. Bring to boil and boil for five minutes.
- Add sugar and continue boiling until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool as you perform the next steps.
- Peel mangoes and cut flesh from pit. Place pieces of mango into a blender with 1/4 cup water. Blend until pureed.
- Pour puree into saucepan and mix. Pour half of mixture back into blender and blend again until smooth. Pour blended mix into a 1 1/2 quart container. Repeat with other half of mixture in saucepan.
- Cover container and place in refrigerator for at least four hours.
- Freeze in ice cream freezer according to directions until the resulting sorbet is soft.
Makes about 1.5 quarts.
Thursday, February 05, 2009
Recipe: Roasted Brussel Sprouts
The approach was sparked by a lunch at Hope and Olive, a restaurant in Greenfield, MA that has killer salmon cakes at lunch. Both my wife and I were also impressed with the brussel sprouts. A waitress said that the restaurant first roasts them in a pan until they are halfway cooked, and then finishes them in a deep fryer.
It may sound weird, but it works. However, we wanted a version that didn't require the deep fat. (Who needs the calories or the mess?) So we treated them more or less the way we treat roasted potatoes.
Take the sprouts, trim the bottoms, and then split them lengthwise. Put into a pan, splash some olive oil on them, and toss. Sprinkle with kosher salt or sea salt and some pepper. Roast at about 450ºF for maybe half an hour, or until well caramelized. If you want a variation that I think would be good, saute some garlic in the oil before it goes on the sprouts.
Friday, August 01, 2008
Orwell's British Cookery Article
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Good Pancake Recipe
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 3/4 tsp. salt
- 3 TBS. sugar (reduce to 2 TBS. if using a sweet syrup)
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 2 eggs, separated
- 1 1/8 cup milk
- 2 TBS. butter
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- Put butter and milk into microwave-safe container and heat until butter melts. Heat large pan or griddle over high heat.
- In a large bowl, mix flour, salt, sugar, and baking powder.
- In a medium bowl, beat egg whites until stiff. In another medium bowl, lightly beat egg yolks until mixed.
- Add milk and butter mixture to egg yolks, mixing constantly.
- Add milk and egg yolk mixture to flour mixture and gently mix until completely combined.
- Folk egg whites into batter, taking care not to deflate the whites.
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Presidential Recipe Purloining
When I was writing my pizza book, I developed a dough recipe - and eventually learned (long before going to print) that one of my favorite bread books had the identical recipe. I didn't start with that recipe as a reference. Instead, I just put stuff together until it looked and felt right. But there are only so many ratios of flour to water to salt that will give you a particular result. (However, I did mention the unintended similarity in the book - and also heartily recommended the other title, Secrets of a Jewish Baker, which is definitely worth finding used if you like to bake bread.)
So, my sympathy was with Cindy McCain - until I read about the first time this happened in April. John McCain's campaign web site had a number of "her" recipes posted, when someone noticed that many appeared identical to recipes taken from the Food Network's web site. (Really, how many people come up with a passion fruit mousse?) The campaign eventually blamed an unpaid intern, which raises the question of how this person was sent off to find recipes that would be posted as coming from Cindy McCain. If it was a blunder, didn't any of the McCains notice that something was wrong? Or maybe passion fruit is considered a common ingredient in Arizona. And doesn't your family make ahi tuna with napa cabbage slaw or farfalle pasta with turkey sausage, peas and mushrooms? I thought so.
So much for sympathy. By the way, did I tell you about my new cookie recipe?
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Recipe: Orange Sesame Asparagus
- 1 lb. asparagus
- 1 TBS. sesame oil
- 1 TBS. peanut oil (or neutral-tasting oil)
- 1 TBS. rice vinegar
- juice of 1/2 orange
- julienned zest from 1/2 orange
- If asparagus spears are thicker than 1/4 inch, peel tough skin. Trim bottoms; discard bottoms. Put spears into 10-inch pan with 1/4 inch water and place on high heat. Steam asparagus until turns deep green and is still firm.
- While asparagus is cooking, take all remaining ingredients other than zest and whisk together.
- When asparagus is done, remove from pan and put into non-reactive deep dish. Cover with the mixed ingredients. Garnish with zest. Serve at once or at room temperature.
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
Review: Haas Avocado Web Site
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Some Last Minute Thanksgiving Resources
If you want a moist and tasty turkey, I'd suggest one of two routes. The first is to get a good kosher bird. They really do taste better, and the pan drippings for gravy are unbeatable. If you can't get kosher, then look at brining the bird. You submerge it in a mix of water, kosher salt, and sugar, keeping your dinner from drying out and adding a touch of a salty undertone which improves the overall flavor. The Morton salt people have an online guide, which I had to dig out, as the press release that suggested I go to the main page didn't say where to look for the guide. Clicking on the cookbook link got some weird error, but the link I provide above should work. Or you can skip the suger, brine with salt and water (more traditional, I think), and get some hints from the Food Network and Alton Brown's Good Eats program.
For gravy, I'll provide some tips of my own, as I've often walked into dinners and heard, “Oh, there you are! Great to see you, here, let me take your coat, and could you make the gravy?” Here's a recipe:
- neck, heart, and kidneys from the turkey
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 2 carrots, peeled and diced
- 4 1/2 Tbs. flour
- 4 1/2 Tbs. butter
- Mix the onion, celery, and carrots together and place in the bottom of a roasting pan. Place the turkey on a roasting rack and put into the pan. Move the vegetables out of the way so the rack sits flat. While roasting the turkey, place the neck, heart, and kidneys in a small saucepan, cover with cold water, and bring to a simmer for an hour, making a light broth. Strain the broth and reserve.
- When the turkey is cooked through, remove pan from the oven. Take the turkey and rack from the pan and place to the side. If there is liquid in the pan, remove it from the pan, spoon off the fat, then add enough water to make three cups total liquid.
- Put the pan across two burners on a stove and turn the burners on. When heated, add the liquid and use a wooden spoon to dissolve any crust in the pan and to mix the roasted mirepoix. When all crust is dissolved, strain and reserve.
- In a heavy saucepan over a medium heat, melt the butter, then add the flour. Cook and stir with a whisk until the mixture turns a golden brown and bubbles. Add all the liquid and whisk until smooth. Season to taste, though if you used a brined or kosher turkey, salt may be superfluous. Serve with the meal.
While I'm on the subject of pie, you might pick up a copy of this month's Cooks Illustrated. It had an article on pie crusts and the suggestion of using half cold water, half vodka instead of all water when moistening the flour and fat mixture. As the vodka includes alcohol, the theory is that you reduce the amount of gluten that forms when water hits flour, and so the crust is easy to roll and form, but still stays flaky. They swear by it, though I haven't had a chance to try it myself. They also mix shortening and butter, which should combine flavor and handling ability.
Friday, August 17, 2007
Review: Chef To Go, St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada
You don't actually get to go through every step of the preparation, as, to be fair, that could take hours of work and offer too much room for mistakes. Instead, most of the prep work is done. For example, our menu consisted of the following:
There were two people serving all the food, including the first two appetizers, already prepared, while everyone was working. (There were also several choices of wine to lubricate the physical labor.) Everyone is done about the same time, sits at tables, and enjoys the dinner. Some of the ingredients came out of the chef's backyard garden.
The "restaurant" is acutally the first two floors of his house, and his wife and he live on the top two. Having an eating establishment in a home is actually an old tradition: you can find it in Havana today, and some decades ago there was a well-regarded and famous example in Manhattan, a woman who offered diners whatever she decided to cook that day.
Arniel had an accomplished career as a chef before opening this spot, and the results tell. Not only are the recipes good, but he has enough understanding of the dynamics of cooking to make the diners comfortable and successful in their efforts. As this is geared to groups, it might be difficult to do one of the dinners. But aside from classes that last a few weeks, he also offers intensive Saturday classes. Cooking and eating in a pleasant atmosphere - what else could you ask for? Chef Arniel said I could post a recipe or two from the ones I received, so here is one for the tenderloin dish:
Cabernet Sauvignon Sauce
- 250 ml cabernet sauvignon
- 250 ml light cream
- 125 ml minced shallots
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2.5 ml fresh thyme
- 1 ml sea salt
- 0.5 ml fresh pepper
- Place all ingredients in heavy-bottomed saucepan and bring to a simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, or until reduced by half.
- Pour sauce into blender and puree until smooth.
- Strain through fine strainer and keep warm.
Blue Cheese Crusted Beef Tenderloin
- 250 g Stilton (substitute other blue cheese)
- 100 g butter
- 350 ml coarse fresh bread crumbs
- 10 ml fresh thyme
- 8 beef tenderloin steaks
- clarified butter (substitute olive oil)
- salt and pepper
- Process first cheese and butter in a food processor.
- Add bread crumbs and thyme and process until combined.
- Heat saute pan over high heat, add 1 TBS clarified butter or olive oil, and sear steaks on each side until just browned.
- Let steaks cook and coat each one evenly with blue cheese mixture.
- Finish steaks in 375ºF convection oven (400ºF in normal oven) until medium rare, about 10 minutes.
- Serve with cabernet sauvignon suace.
Friday, June 08, 2007
Site Review: Rouxbe Cooking Instruction Video Site
There are some minor weaknesses in the recipes. For example, the cod one said that the fish goes into an over for five to eight minutes, depending on the thickness of the cod. They eventually do say how to tell that the fish is done, but it would have been smart to tell people to wait and that they'd see it soon. But that is criticism almost reaching quibbling.
Even if you are an experienced cook, you might find that you will learn a few new tricks. For example, in the cod preparation, the cook used the flat of a knife to crush olives, making it easy to remove the pits and then chop. Now there's a handy tip that I had never seen before.
I do think that the price is a bit high for this when currently they only have 83 recipes by my count, not including the various intermediary demonstrations, like how to cut a chiffonade, though if you can choose to watch some ads to get to the content, it's not bad at all. It's also tough to get a real sense of the site, and things aren't necessarily clear in the layout. For example, at first I couldn't find the list of ingredients; someone from the site had to point out that clicking a Print button would have given that.
However, I look at this as a first step to new types of cooking sites that will undoubtedly spring up. In fact, I had already planned a series of videos of how to make dough for my new cookbook's web site. This is giving me additional ideas, particularly in terms of integrating background music and using production to get a more useful result.
Apparently the people who run the site see it as an online cooking school, comparing the price in a favorable way. But, as I wrote back, video and even in-home materials aren’t enough, because there are a thousand and one things that someone won’t correctly get and that the teacher won't know without significant professional experience: short-cuts, ways of recovering from problems, tips about how to handle certain ingredients, someone there to correct when the student is doing something wrong, and so on. While video can be a useful tool, it’s not a replacement. However, overall the site is a worthy attempt.