Showing posts with label jelly. Show all posts
Showing posts with label jelly. Show all posts

Friday, June 17, 2011

Recettes Secrètes: Prosecco Gelée

On the next episode of my podcast The Table Set, Andy, Greg and I discuss amuse-bouche, apertifs, and how to properly start a party. Since I am a lover of Prosecco and any cocktail you can eat, this recipe immediately came to mind. Conceived by pastry chef Catherine Schimenti and originally printed by the LA Times, here I adapted this a very easy, unique, and festive way to open an elegant meal.

Prosecco Gelée

1 (6-inch) length of a vanilla bean
3/4 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons (2 packets) unflavored gelatin powder
12 ounces Prosecco

Pour sugar into a small jar. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the sugar, add pod, lid jar and shake vigorously to mix thoroughly. Remove pod and add the vanilla sugar to 3/4 cup water in a medium saucepan. Heat over moderately high heat until the sugar dissolves and the syrup almost comes to a boil. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Sprinkle the gelatin over 1/4 cup cold water to soften, 1 to 2 minutes. Fold into the warm simple syrup and stir constantly until the gelatin is dissolved.

Carefully pour the Prosecco into the saucepan, and stir gently but quickly to combine. Pour the gelée mixture into molds or an 8-by-8-inch square cake pan lined with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until completely set, preferably overnight. To serve, carefully remove the gelée from the molds (use the tip of a knife to loosen each shot) or, if using a cake pan, cut the gelée into 1-inch squares. Serve cold. To really make an impression, garnish with edible 24K gold flakes.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Carnish Culture: EATLACMA Public Fruit Jam

Yesterday was a productive day. I may have been up too late the night before (and OK was maybe a little hungover), but by 3:00pm Sunday I was leaving Hancock Park with several jars of delicious still-warm homemade jam from unwanted tree fruit, with a big smile on my face. I attended EATLACMA's Public Fruit Jam, in collaboration with LA art/awareness collective Fallen Fruit (who are no strangers on ChocoMeat). Working with LACMA made this, Fallen Fruit's fifth public fruit jam, the biggest and most successful yet. Throughout the day several hundred Angelenos donated their excess tree fruit & edible herbs and worked off-recipe to make innovative jams that truly represent the taste of their city.
I was amazed by the cross-section of LA represented by the crowd. Every age, color and origin which make our city so diverse were in attendance, sitting side by side like a Utopian vision, chatting while cutting fruit. We approached the fruit table with our offering of grapefruit, and per a volunteer's instruction picked 8-12 pieces of fruit to use for our jam.
Since the stone fruit seemed to be most popular and there was so much citrus left, I decided on a mixed citrus marmalade, with fresh mint.
Peeling, seeding and separating the fruit took longer than I anticipated, but was enjoyable (and thank goodness there was shade - one of many aspects that made this an expertly run event).
Next came the cooking station. Fallen Fruit co-founder Austin Young, above, documents and chats with a participant while our volunteer helper Lisa, below, rocks a hot plate.
We heated the mixture with pectin until it came to a boil, added sugar and continued to stir on lower heat until the fruit broke down and slowly returned to a boil. We then quickly poured the marmalade into mason jars, sealed and set on their tops (to fully seal). Our batch made 7 jars-worth of jam (one of which Lisa snuck in her take-home pile). "It's crazy how easy it is," she said helping us wipe the jars, "and we just keep buying it at the store out of habit."
We left a couple jars of our marmalade at the group sharing table, swapping out for another participants' stone fruit and lavender jam. A tasting table next door had bread, crackers and peanut butter, for those who only have their jelly the way mom used to make it.
Get involved! EATLACMA events continue through November at LACMA. Follow Fallen Fruit to learn more about their numerous community-oriented events.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Recettes Secrètes: Ginger Crème Brûlée

For my friend Ashley's lightly Asian-themed dinner party last week I decided (surprise, surprise) to make a dessert. Passion fruit crème brûlée immediately came to mind, but after 5 markets (from high-end grocery to Mexican produce marts to the dregs of Thai Town) and still no fresh passion fruit, I grabbed a big knob of ginger and called it a night. Arriving at Ashley's the following evening, she was a hummingbird above a stove top filled with sizzling woks while a rice cooker peufed steam from the full counter nearby. On top of that, she said she had various Japanese jellies she found at her neighborhood Asian market chilling in the fridge. A visual treat as much as palatable, the creamy-sweet grey and dark graphite layered black sesame jelly was the clear exotic winner. In the end, all of our Eastern-inspired dishes and desserts tasted wonderful together, especially paired with Nicolette's delicious Kobai Plum Martinis (one part Kobai plum wine, one part vodka, shaken with ice and strained - floated with an orchid blossom!)

Ginger Crème Brûlée

3 cups whipping cream
2 tablespoons (packed) coarsely grated peeled fresh ginger
10 large egg yolks
1 cup plus 4 teaspoons sugar

Preheat oven to 325°F. Combine cream and ginger in heavy medium saucepan. Bring to simmer over medium heat. Remove from heat; let stand 20 minutes. Strain cream into small bowl, pressing on ginger solids in sieve. Seperate eggs. Whisk yolks and 1 cup sugar in medium bowl to blend. Gradually whisk in warm cream. Divide custard among eight 3/4-cup ramekins or custard cups. Place ramekins in large roasting pan. Pour enough warm water into pan to come halfway up sides of ramekins.Bake custards just until set in center when pan is gently shaken, about 45 minutes. Remove custards from water bath; chill uncovered until cold, at least 3 hours. Cover and chill overnight.Sprinkle each custard with 1/2 teaspoon of remaining sugar. If you have a butane kitchen torch, use per manufacturer's instructions. Use a flame-retardant glove or oven mitt to hold the ramekin (or else set on a fire/heat proof surface). Caramelize sugar working tip of the flame from the outside in towards the middle keeping the torch in constant circular motion. Sugar should be golden brown. If burnt, let the sugar layer cool a few minutes than peel it away with a paring knife and begin again. May take a bit of practice, but WARNING: Torch is addictive! Torchless? No matter. Preheat broiler and place custards on baking sheet. Broil until sugar melts and caramelizes, turning sheet for even browning. Serve immediately, or refrigerate custards until topping is cold and brittle, about 1 hour and up to 2 hours. Enjoy!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Carnish Culture: The Jelly Mongers

From a scale jelly airport model (with jelly planes) to glow-in-the-dark jellies to an entire Christmas feast made from jelly, and with clients the likes of Gordon Ramsey, the young Mr. Bompas and Mr. Parr, students of Eton and University College, London are well beyond revolutionizing common Jell-O molds, they're elevating it to Art.
"We know from history that jellies were once considered to be the pinnacle of sophistication,” Mr. Parr said. “They were used as very lavish centerpieces, the way marzipan and sugar were used, but then jelly became corrupted by children’s parties.”
This New York Times article and slide show showcase Bompas & Parr's quick rise to culinary/Art stardom, while their website just plain makes me jellous I didn't think of this stuff sooner! They design three-dimensional models on a computer, eventually producing the custom molds in high-impact polystyrene plastic. But concocting tasty flavor profiles and gorgeous pigments are a bulk of the work, not to mention engineering and chemistry (after successfully making jelly glow blue with quinine, the boys are on to experiments like growing crystals inside the jelly).You may recall my post last year on the rise of chewable cocktails, and Bompas & Parr are no rookies there, since taking private commissions they've made Courvoisier jellies for their Future 500 party and layered Campari and orange jellies for Filippo Tommaso Marinetti’s “Manifesto of Futurism” 100th Anniverasary celebration. The Jelly Boys were gracious to share these Campari and Orange jelly recipes with the NYTimes, which you may layer or simply serve together for wobbly alchoholic delight.But their current project really knocks my socks off, taking the evolving cocktail to a WHOLE new level.. If you find yourself in London this month, be sure to check out Alcoholic Architecture, Bompas & Parr’s walk-in cloud of breathable cocktail ("Step inside a cocktail with gin and tonic mist, giant limes, and massive straws"). Intrigued? You should be!
Have a jelly good time at

In other Jelly news, Image posted an article on "Art Salad: A Retrospective" about an artist (who as you read, must be an April Fool's joke, but OH were she real...):
"Ernestine Heink-Crupsenpeltier's (1913–2001) decades-long exploration of the art salad established her as a progenitor and chief exponent of covered dish minimalism... Featuring over four hundred works, both sacred and secular, the exhibition represents a broad cross-section of twentieth-century Jell-O salad art. The show will include the artist's early series, Icons, as well as her shocking and still powerful Lime Jell-O with Baloney Strips and Roman Soldier... After exhausting the themes introduced in her early works, such as her pained, exulting, and deeply personal interrogation of motherhood, Angel in the House (apricot Jell-O, banana slices, baby teeth, and iron filings), Heink-Crupsenpeltier entered a more purely formal period, one that made her an art-world household name and brought Jell-O works out of the realm of Outsider Art and into the mainstream. Prominent among these mid-career works is the cerebral but quietly devotional Shape #4 (black Jell-O and hard-boiled eggs)... Her late masterpiece, a performance salad entitled Jell-O-rod-E-o, (featuring strawberry Jell-O, cranberry Jell-O, tapioca, gold-leaf see-saw, Cyndi Lauper, and military band) will be presented at the exhibition opening on Saturday, May 2, at 8:00 p.m."
Thanks Mom, for all the Jelly tips!
Photos via the New York Times