Saturday, November 22, 2008
Friday, August 15, 2008
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
2 Leeks, green and white parts coarsely chopped
2 Carrots, chunked
1 Onion, chunked
2 Celery Stalks, chunked
3 cloves Garlic, smashed
¼ Cup Brandy
¼ Cup Dry Sherry
4 Cups Seafood Stock
4 sprigs Thyme
2 Bay Leaves
1 tsp Cayenne Pepper
2 lbs Shrimp, peeled and veined
¼ Cup Butter
¼ Cup Flour
2 Cups Half & Half (or Cream, if you want it really rich)
3 Tbs Tomato Paste
Begin by sautéing the leeks, carrots, onion, and celery with some olive oil. After the veggies begin to brown up, add in the garlic, toss around. Add the Brandy, and stir until the alcohol evaporates. Repeat with the sherry, and then add the seafood stock. Add the thyme, bay leaf, and cayenne, and bring to a boil. Allow the soup to cook on a simmer until the vegetables are tender.
Bring the soup up to a full boil, add the shrimp, and then remove from heat. Stir the soup until the shrimp are cooked and pink, about 5 minutes.
Puree the soup in batches in a processor, and store in a separate container from the pot it was cooking in.
In the original soup pot, melt the butter, add the flour, and whisk until the roux comes together. Add the half & half, along with the shrimp soup puree and whisk until it begins to thicken. Whisk in the tomato paste and serve bubbling hot with a few flash seared shrimps!
6 oz Goat Cheese
¼ lb. Procuitto
1 cup French Green Lentils
1 cup Chicken Stock
3 sprigs Thyme
1 cup water
5 oz Arugula
1 Red Onion Sliced
1 clove Garlic minced
3 Tbs Balsamic Vinegar
1 Tbsp Honey
¼ cup Olive Oil
Oven at 375 F
Rinse lentils, and place in small sauce pot. Add chicken stock, water, thyme and season with salt. Bring to boil and cook for 15-20 min. Don’t let them get mushy!
Begin by slicing the sourdough into 1 inch thick slices. Rub with olive oil and crisp in the oven for 2-3 minutes. Remove the toasts and spread the goat cheese even over the toasts. Top with a ribbons of prosciutto and put back in the oven until the prosciutto begins to crisp up. Mix up the balsamic vinaigrette by combing the vinegar and the honey, and then drizzling in the olive oil while whisking.
Sauté the onion and garlic until it begins to caramelize, and then add the vinaigrette.
Pour the warm vinaigrette/onions along with the drained lentils over the arugula in a large mixing bowl, and toss to coat. Serve the toasts with the lentil/arugula salad overtop.
Monday, May 12, 2008
Saturday, May 10, 2008
Or any other time really. But these cookies are made with bacon, which makes them better than normal cookies! As Mike said, "Bacon is the candy of the meats." This started out with Liz sending me a link to a similar recipe. I made some minor modifications like adding rolled oats and such, and then tried it out.
I personally, think they're great. I got a lot of mixed reactions when I started making these. But I've yet to have someone say they didn't like them. The bacon adds a nice salty/smokey depth to the sweet cookies, and the maple-cinnamon glaze reminds me a french toast and the syrupy bacon that usually accompanies it.
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/3 cup finely crushed walnuts
Bake cookies for about 12 minutes, or until the dough starts to turn golden brown. Allow cookies to cool on a cooling rack while you ready the glaze.
Friday, May 2, 2008
Thursday, April 24, 2008
Monday, April 14, 2008
English Breakfast Tea Angel Food Cake by Carole Bloom
1/4 cup loose English breakfast tea leaves (or other black tea)
1/2 cup boiling water
12 extra large egg whites, at room temperature
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
3/4 cups superfine sugar
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons cake flour
3/4 cup superfine sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 325 degrees
Put tea leaves in a bowl.
Pour 1/2 cup boiling water over leaves. Let steep for 10 minutes. Press leaves through a fine mesh sieve and collect all of the tea. Mine came to about 1/4 cup of tea.
Prepare tube pan with parchment on the bottom. Do NOT grease. The cake needs to be able to cling to the sides and climb up the pan. If you grease it the cake will collapse.
Sift together the cake flour and 3/4 cups superfine sugar in a bowl. Add salt and set aside.
Place the egg whites in a grease-free bowl of a standing mixer. Whip on medium speed until frothy and then add the cream of tartar. Once you have soft peaks then slowly add the remaining 3/4 cup superfine sugar. Whip until the eggs are glossy and firm, but not stiff, peaks.
Slowly add the 1/4 cup of tea, and flour mixture in 3 additions.
Transfer to the prepared tube pan. Run a knife through the batter to get any air bubbles out and then gently tap on the counter. Smooth the top out. Bake at 325 degrees for 50 to 1 hour, until cake tester comes out clean.
Invert the pan over a bottle to cool. You do not want to cool bottom down on a cooling rack or the cake will collapse. Cool to room temperature before trying to remove from pan. Run a knife around the edge of the pan. Then around the center tube. Invert the pan over a plate and remove the bottom of the tube pan. Remove the parchment.
3 Tbsp olive oil
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 Tbsp soy sauce
salt & pepper
3 cloves garlic
4 anchovy fillets
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp oil from anchovy tin
1 tsp dry mustard (I used whole mustard and ground it up so it had a little more texture to it than powdered)
1 egg (boiled for 60 seconds if you're averse to Sallmonella or whatever)
8 cups torn Romaine
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
Mash garlic clove and anchovies into 2 Tbsp of olive oil until a smooth paste is formed. Using the tines of a fork for the anchovies can help you get a start.
Stir in 1/4 tsp salt, lemon juice, anchovy oil, and mustard.
Mash/whisk in the egg until smooth.
Rub both sides of chicken breasts with 1 Tbsp olive oil and soy sauce. Season with salt & pepper.
Grill chicken about 8-10 min until no longer pink (about 165 F) <-- that's important! NO HIGHER!! or you get dryness.
Slice chicken just before serving
Toss Romaine with dressing and Parmesan.
Add croutons and sliced chicken breast atop.
Friday, March 21, 2008
However, this past week I was up in Chicago, and had reservations for Alinea. For those of you who don’t know about Alinea, Gourmet Magazine ranked it in 2007 as the #1 restaurant in America. Seeing that I was going to be up in Chicago, I couldn’t pass up the chance to eat at this once in a lifetime place (hopefully twice when my wallet recovers). I made reservations for three, and my two good friends Babicz and Liz accompanied me that evening to the most extravagant and wonderful meal I’ve ever beheld.
Not only was the food amazing, and dare I say revolutionary, but the architecture and ambiance, along with wonderful wait-staff and sommeliers, made the night unforgettable to say the least.
While the wait-staff certainly could have been arrogant if they chose, they were wonderfully attentive and constantly cracked jokes with us, told little anecdotes, and seemed genuinely concerned that we were having a good time, and our needs were met (actually surpassed).
The only drawback is in my wallet. The total experience cost me about $300. That’s $195 for the tour, about $40 for the glasses of wines, some tax here and there, and about $50 for tip. It was totally worth the money, but my walled is indeed lighter than before.
Thanks to Liz’s camera and picture savvy prowess, I have a photo essay of the night’s 24-course tour.
This was one of the neatest things we ate/drank all night. Out waiter asked us reminisce on cracker jacks while this was in front of us. Surprisingly, the liquefied caramel corn tasted EXACTLY like caramel popcorn. Most intriguing.
While the presentation was quaint and pretty, the black truffle in this ravioli was rather over powering. If you’ve never had truffle, this will certainly let you in on the secret as to its taste.
This was another fun and playful dish that combined sweetbreads with cauliflower. The fried cauliflowers adorning the various bits and pieces were conceivably they crunchiest things on the planet. The swimming pool in the middle was made of toasted hay (for horses?) and accompanied by “burnt sauce.” Now hay is rather strange, but burnt sauce? It was quite peculiar, because our waiters warned us that if we tried the black dots by themselves, they would simply taste like burnt (and they did). The magic was their combination with the other elements on the plate, creating complexities akin to toast, and caramelization.
This was one of the most fun dishes of the night. A moving ensemble, raspberry reduction was dusted with dehydrated yogurt powder, and adorned with rose petals. The crispy glass pieces moved back and forth on our table until we couldn’t resist any longer and stopped their pendulum motion to break them into millions of pieces.
Another deliciously fun course, which merged bacon with butterscotch, twisted apply twine, and thyme. These flavors all melt beautifully, and the trapeze afterwards was so much fun to tinker with.
One of the first “desert” or sweet courses, the center focused persimmon, and carrot, with a blob of ginger liquid. Off to the side was a curry with complimented the dish nicely, and cleansed the palate from the sweetness of the persimmon. This dish reminds me of a apple crisp with a persimmon spin. As for the ginger ball, once again, the delicate skin holding the liquid contents burst in mouth, gushing spicy ginger liquid all over the palate. The finishing kick here, was a sailboat looking winter spice “Listerine strip,” which we slipped off its mast and dissolved on the roof our mouth. I wish I could freshen my breath with these everyday.
A truly hands free dining experience, we were asked to lean forward and bite a licorice cake, with orange and hyssop, covered in muscovado spun sugar from a wire. The licorice flavor was deep but not overpowering, while the spun sugar cracked and crunched heavily in our jaws.
This had to be the messiest, and most playful dish all evening. We were persuaded to break the chocolate coated “cake,” which contained a liquefied brioche, and a chocolate covered egg yolk, into a pomelo pool and mix it up with gellified smoke. The flavors were peculiar, and unique. This dish was very original, and pushed the boundaries of what I would consider “desert.”
Finally, we ended the night with some coffee. Colloidal coffee, five ways that is. Each cube of gellied coffee was adorned with different flavors. First, saffron, followed by sassafras, Chinese almond, red chile, and some other I forgot. Maybe lavender? You decide. Or better yet, go to Alinea, and experience it yourself!