11.23.2009

Book Review

I've written a review of Harmony on the Palate: Matching Simple Recipes to Everyday Wine Styles by Shari Darling. To read it, head over to The Daring Kitchen.

11.22.2009

Apple Turnover

Apple Turnover

I had some computer issues this week during which all my food pictures were lost. Fortunately, I can use the data on blogger as a back-up. Maybe there is something positive to be learned about cloud-based computing. :)
Instead of the eggs and potatoes in mustard sauce, which will have to wait until I make them again and take a new picture, here's just a quick method for apple turnovers I threw together this afternoon. Homemade puff pastry really has a much more rich and buttery taste than store-bought. Those turnovers could definitely use some egg wash, but I didn't want to scramble one large, free-range egg just for about two teaspoons of egg wash.

Apple Turnover

Ingredients & Method:

Source: Puff Pastry recipe by Michel Richard from the cookbook Baking With Julia by Dorie Greenspan

Dice 2 medium apples (I used Fuji, which were quite sweet. No need to add sugar.) Toss with cinnamon and set aside. Using 1/3 of the puff pastry from the Daring Baker September Challenge, roll the dough into a rectangular shape and cut horizontally. (I'm being vague here on purpose. ;) ) Put half the apples on one side of each piece of dough and flip over the top half.
If you are like me and have been watching to many Gary Rhodes re-runs on late night television use a fork to create a pattern around the seam. Bake at about 180°C until nicely brown.

11.17.2009

Washoku Warriors - Sushi

Sushi


As with the macarons from the recent Daring Bakers Challenge, Sushi is the kind of recipe which was bound to come up at some stage of our combined effort of cooking through (most of) Washoku. Incidentally, the Daring Cooks are also experimenting with vinegared rice (and dragons ;) ) this month.

Sushi is a dish I feel confident about, having made them a number of times. However, the inside-out rolls (uramaki) turned out a bit messy and I still prefer the futomaki style.

(It's a bit like a banana. There's probably a good reason for the peel of a banana being on the outside and the flesh on the inside. And to really go off on a tangent, have you seen this video of how to Open a banana like a monkey ? It is SFW, but there are close-ups of boxer-shorts.)

I wanted to arrange the sushi in stacked rows (as in the photo) and then add a neat quarter-circle of soy sauce in the lower right corner, but uh.. reality is not bound to conform to our expectations. ;)

11.11.2009

Brown Butter Ice Cream

Brown Butter Ice Cream

This fall I've been to Alsace, again. Among other things, I brought home a pound of butter from Brittany which was used for this special ice cream, bookmarked since the day I bought Fat. It's a very rich, smooth ice cream tasting mainly of well... butter. The nutty element from browning didn't came out in the finished ice cream but it still was an interesting recipe to try. Next time I would definitely go with the salted caramel topping recommended in the book.


Brown Butter Ice Cream

Source: Fat by Jenifer McLagan

Ingredients:

1 cup / 250ml whole milk
1 cup / 250 ml whipping cream
1/2 cup / 100 g sugar
1/2 cup / 115 g unsalted butter, diced
1/2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 egg yolks
1/8 tsp fine sea salt

Method:

- Combine the milk and cream in a saucepan and add about half the sugar. Place the pan over meium heat and bring to a boil. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.

- In another saucepan, place the butter over low heat. When the butter is melted, increase the heat to medium. Watch the butter carefully, using a spoon to push aside any foam to check the colour of the milk solids. When they turn brown and you smell a sweet, nutty aroma, remove the pan from the heat, add the lemon juice, and transfer the butter to a bowl to cool until it is no longer hot to the touch.

- In a large bowl whisk the egg yolks, the remaining sugar, and the salt until light in colour and thick. Whisk in the cooled browned butter, adding it slowly and whisking vigorously so that the mixture is emulsified. Once all the butter is incorporated, slowly whisk in the cream and milk mixture.

- Pour the mixture into a clean pan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon. Strain the mixture into a bowl and cool quickly by placing it in a larger bowl or sink filled with cold water and ice. Stir the mixture often. When it is cool, cover and refrigerate overnight. The next day, churn the mixture in an ice cream machine following the manufacturer's instructions.

11.05.2009

Sesame Spätzle

Sesame Spätzle

A little while ago, Rachael from La Fuji Mama posted about her Spätzle-making experiences and I developed a craving for this kind of pasta. By chance there was a recipe with a new twist in a current food magazine so I decided to go with that. The dish turned out quite yummy, but next time I would roast the sesame in a dry pan and add it with the parsley at the end. Also go easy on the garlic to avoid it dominating the overall taste.

I'm sending this to Ivonne's Magazine Mondays.

Sesame Spätzle

Source: essen & trinken Für jeden Tag 11/09

Ingredients:

150 g Spätzle
1 clove garlic
1 bunch parsley
3 Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp sesame seeds

Method:

- Cook the Spätzle as per instructions on the package. Drain well.
- Mince garlic and parsley. (separately)
- Heat the butter in a pan, roast the garlic and sesame. Add the Spätzle and fry on medium heat
until golden brown. Fold in parsley prior to serving.

11.01.2009

Green Tea Chocolate-Almond Clusters

Green Tea Chocolate-Almond Clusters

I made these as a dessert to bring along to an informal "roll'n'eat" sushi party. The taste of green tea and white chocolate are a nice combination, even if the colour tended a bit in the sickly-green direction instead of the Emerald-Isle pasture green I was hoping for. The clusters were a success with everyone after a bit of convincing ("What do you mean there is tea in the chocolate?").

Green Tea Chocolate-Almond Clusters

Source: Washoku by Elisabeth Andoh

Ingredients:

- 3 ounces white chocolate
- 2 ounces sliced almonds
- 2 tsp matcha (green tea powder)

Method:

- Melt the cocolate on top of a water bath. When the chocolate has turned into a thin liquid, stir in the matcha. *
- Fold in the almonds. Form little mounts on a sheet of parchment paper and let cool. **

* The original recipe uses a separate bowl and a small amount of melted chocolate to first dissolve the matcha. In my experience this doesn't work, because the second bowl is cold and the chocolate becomes thick again without being able to take up much of the matcha.
** It is better to aim for small clusters here. From one batch I got about 10 clusters, maybe try to mangle about 13-15 clusters from that amount.