2.28.2009

Dinner and a Movie - Chocolat

Three-shredded Salad





Susan from Sticky Gooey Creamy Chewy and Marc from No Recipes have set up a new blog event called Dinner and a movie. Each month a food-related movie is announced and to participate, you have to watch the movie, let yourself be inspired to make a dish somehow related to the movie or its theme and blog about it on the last Saturday of the month. As the inaugural movie Susan and Marc chose "Chocolat", starring Juliette Binoche and Johnny Depp.

To reflect the theme of Lent and the austere dishes which are served to the Comte in his study I made a three-shredded salad from Cecilia Chiangs The Seventh Daughter. This may actually look like a very frugal meal, but for the incredible dressing. Man, this tasted really, really good. I'm not much of a salad guy, but the combination of vinegar, soy sauce and sesame oil had me liking my plate clean. In the picture for the original recipe all three vegetables are julienned, but I thought it would look more interesting to dice the cucumber and to cut half-moon slices from the carrots and full circles from the horseradish.

Three-Shredded Salad (leng ban san si)
Source: The Seventh Daughter by Cecilia Chiang

2 Tblsp premium soy sauce
2 Tblsp Chinkiang black vinegar or balsamic vinegar
2 Tblsp rice vinegar *
1 1/2 Tblsp Asian sesame oil
1 1/4 tsp sugar
2 cups peeled and julienned carrots
2 cups peeled and julienned daikon radish **
2 cups peeled and julienned cucumber

Mix liquid ingredients and sugar in a small bowl.
Toss vegetables with dressing.

* aka mirin in Japanese cuisine, if I'm not mistaken
** I used horseradish, as neither daikon nor ordinary radish were available.

And this could have been the end of this post, but of course, if the movie of the month is a romantic movie actually called Chocolat, you can't just write a short post about some shredded veggies and simply walk away. ;) Let's face it, something chocolaty needed to be put on the table. At first I wanted to make a chocolat soufle, because I had never tasted one and because soufles have aquired something of a reputation for being difficult and fussy to prepare and I wanted to see if I could do it. But due to the hefty amounts of chocolate and eggs involved and with the chocolate-rich DB February Challenge looming ahead, I chickened out at the last moment. Instead I settled for maybe the most French cookies there are, chocolate madeleines, for which I found a recipe by Dorie Greenspan on the web. I will just quote the section about the madeleines here, as i didn't bother to fill and coat them. The madeleines turned out pretty nice. Chocolaty in taste and good for dunking in my morning coffee from the second day on. The dough was a bit difficult to work with. I tried to form single portions for the madeleine moulds with two tea spoons, as you would for Gnocchi. But the little buggers put up quite a fight, sticking alternatively to each of the spoons but not to the moulds. I will get back to making madeleines sometime, maybe with a different recipe.

Chocolate Madeleines

Fluff-Filled Chocolate Madeleines

Adapted from Baking: From My Home to Yours
- makes 12 cookies -

Ingredients

2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

Procedure

To make the madeleines: Sift the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt together. Working with a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the eggs and sugar together until they are pale and slightly thickened, about 3 minutes. Beat in the vanilla extract, switch to a large rubber spatula and gently fold in the sifted dry ingredients, followed by the melted butter. Put a piece of plastic wrap directly against the surface of the batter and refrigerate it for at least 3 hours or for up to 2 days. Chilling the batter gives you a better chance of getting the characteristic bump on the back of the cookies.

Getting ready to bake: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Generously butter 12 full-size madeleine molds, dust the insides with flour and tap out the excess. Butter and flour the pan even if it is nonstick; you can skip this step if you are using silicone pans. Place the pan on a baking sheet. Spoon the batter into the molds. Place the pan in the oven and immediately lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Bake the cookies for 13 to 15 minutes, or until they feel springy to the touch. Remove the pan from the oven and rap one side of the madeleine pan against the counter – the plump little cakes should come tumbling out. Gently pry any reluctant cookies out with your fingers or a butter knife. Cool to room temperature on a rack.


Thank you, Susan and Marc for starting this exciting blog event. I hope there will be many more movies to watch and cook along with. Here's a link to what is (I think) the overall round-up page.





1 comment:

StickyGooeyCreamyChewy said...

I love how you tied your dish in with the whole concept of Lent. What a clever take on this theme! I think you're the only one who didn't make something with chocolate. Very clever! Thanks so much for sharing this with us.