Showing posts with label recipes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label recipes. Show all posts

Friday, August 31, 2012

Recettes Secrètes: Peychaud's Bitters Ice Cream


Friends, note: I keep my promises.

On a recent episode of The Table Set, I divulged my obsession with creating an aromatic bitters ice cream. Peychaud's Bitters, to be exact.
These magical Creole bitters are sweet, floral and fruity; the classic invisible touch in a true New Orleans Sazerac. In ice cream, they add a pretty pink hue - Fitting for this grown-up bittersweet bubblegum confection.
Thinking I was on to something pretty brilliant, I then read in the LA Times that Giovanni Martinez of Sadie LA also created a Peychaud's ice cream that he floats in Pellegrino Sanbitter soda. Touché, good sir. But I say up the ante. Sanbitter is essentially a virgin Campari n' soda, let's call a spade a spade, shall we?
I digress. Back to promises. And a perfect nightcap, in or out of your cocktail.

Peychaud's Bitters Ice Cream

2 cups heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup Peychaud's Bitters

If using an automatic ice cream maker, make sure bowl is completely frozen before starting. Whisk the chilled milk and cream with sugar until completely dissolved. Stir in the bitters. Pour mixture into ice cream maker and follow the manufacturer's instructions (should churn for about 25 minutes). Cure in freezer for at least two hours or overnight before serving.

For more classic ice cream social excitement...

Listen to The Table Set: Party Like It's 1899

Friday, February 17, 2012

A City Thought (+Momofuku Milk Bar)


I woke up today thinking about the city.
Maybe it was the winter wind rushing through my coat walking to dinner last night, or the Momofuku Milk Bar cookbook finally arriving on my doorstep earlier this week (long overdue). Perhaps it is because it's almost been one year since my unforgettable trip upstate to the Salvato Mill with a handful of the best friends I could ask for...
By happenstance a Big Chill weekend, quietly somber under the snow clouds of my matriarch grandmother's sudden passing. But the timing was serendipitous.
It's what saved me.


One of the most memorable moments from that trip however was after our return to Brooklyn from the country, rested, warm from each other's company, and reflective in our last visit together before parting ways. We made some tea as it flurried outside, and unwrapped a bag full of Momofuku Milk Bar cookies and cake truffles we somehow neglected the entire weekend. Crumbs from heaven, shared amongst family.


I went to the store last night and bought a bunch of things I never normally purchase: Potato chips, bagged pretzels, dry milk, butterscotch morsels... It was time to break in my new cookbook. Comfort comes in many forms, and if I can't have the Williamsburg Bridge, East River, and New York Breakfast Tea, then damn it I'm having Momofuku's Compost Cookies. And you can too. While I strongly recommend purchasing Christina Tosi's recipe collection, you can sample this delightfully trashy mélange of a cookie recipe via my friend Adam —yes, you know him, New York's own the Amateur Gourmet— here.

I ♥ NY

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Gala Parfait: Yuletide Christmas Punch


On The Table Set, I am referred to as the "punch guy." So for our holiday party I knew I really had to step it up and make something special. In lieu of a default sparkling wine punch with cranberries and lemon wheels I delved further, exploring old English Christmas punches and colonial tea-based punches. I came up with this Yuletide Christmas Punch, borrowing from the best and creating a mellow, dry, spicy and earthy rum punch that warms the soul while it quenches.


Yuletide Christmas Punch

These ingredients should make two healthy batches. Note that the strong black tea and demerara syrup can be made well in advance, and all ingredients chilled until the punch is mixed. (The ice mold is not meant to chill the ingredients as much as retain their cool temperature.)

1 bottle (750ml) dark rum
1 bottle (750ml) spiced rum
1 bottle (750ml) brandy
1 bottle (750ml) dry Lambrusco
2 liters club soda
1 quart strong black tea
1 cup fresh orange juice
1 cup fresh lemon juice
2 cups demerara sugar
3 small oranges or tangerines
cinnamon stick
cloves
star anise
tarragon
nutmeg

One day ahead, fill a bundt pan with water, cover with plastic wrap and freeze overnight.

Prepare strong tea by bringing a quart of water to a near boil. Pour into a heat-proof vessel with 8 black tea bags and cinnamon stick. Set aside to steep and cool.

Return saucepan to stove and begin warming a pint of water over medium heat.

Rub a lemon in a non-reactive dish of sugar until the sugar takes the color from the lemon, absorbing its oils. Add a splash of hot water and stir to make a paste, or 'sherbet'. Set aside.

Add 2 cups demerara sugar to the saucepan and stir until completely dissolved and syrup just comes to a boil. Remove from heat and let cool.


Using the tip of a knife, score and stud oranges with cloves to make pomanders. Wrap in foil and place in the oven at 200 degrees for ten minutes or until fragrant. Remove from the oven.

In a punch bowl combine exactly half the bottles of Lambrusco, rums, brandy, tea and juices. Stir in the sherbet, and demerara syrup to taste, approximately half of the batch.


Remove decorative ice mold from freezer. Place bundt pan into a bowl of warm water to loosen the ice from the mold. Carefully lower ice mold (or block ice) into punch base, and top with one liter chilled club soda. Garnish with pomanders, fresh tarragon sprigs, star anise, and a generous dusting of freshly grated nutmeg.

When the punch requires refreshment, add the remaining ingredients and stir until combined.


Recettes Secrètes: Ensalada de Noche Buena


Though I first experienced this salad a decade or so ago in Tucson when my mother prepared it for Christmas Eve (as she does now every year), its origins are in Santa Fe. Throughout the festivities on Christmas Eve ―Noche Buena, the “Good Night,” as it’s known there― New Mexico's lively and vibrant cuisine is paramount. This colorful and refreshing side dish proudly represents Santa Fe's unique blend of cultures and traditions.

Ensalada de Noche Buena
adapted from Rick Bayless and Homesick Texan

4 large beets, roasted and cut into sticks
3 seedless oranges, supremed
4 Granny Smith apples, cored and cut into sticks
5 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 1/2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 cup olive oil
1 medium (about 1 pound) jícama, peeled and cut into sticks
1 head of romaine lettuce
1/4 cup chopped roasted peanuts
Seeds from 1 pomegranate
1 tablespoon colored candy cake decorations (grajeas in Mexico), for garnish

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Clean the beets and remove any leafy stems. Place the beets on a sheet of foil and toss with the olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and then wrap the beets in the foil. Place foil-wrapped beets on a baking sheet and bake for 40 minutes or until you can easily stick a fork into the beets. Once cool, rub the beets with a paper towel to remove the skin. Slice the beets into sticks and place in a large bowl with the Granny Smith apples.

Finely mince the zest of one orange and mix with the lime juice, orange juice, salt, sugar and olive oil. Drizzle over the beets and apples, stir to incorporate, and let stand 1 hour.

Cut away the rind and all white pith on the oranges. Cut between each white membrane and remove the segments. Reserve.

To serve, lay outer leaves of the romaine on a serving platter. Tear the heart to create a bed of lettuce. Scatter with the jicama sticks. Scoop the beet mixture into the center, then sprinkle with the reserved orange segments, pomegranate seeds, and peanuts. Garnish with orange zest and candies.

Serves 8


I was reminded by my friend Katie (a New Mexico native) at the Table Set holiday party, where I served this, how absolutely delicious Gruet Brut NV (also from New Mexico) is, and how well it pairs with this crisp salad. Trust me, it will make for a noche buena!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Carnish Culture: BabyCakes Gives Birth - Again!

If you've EVER followed my blog for more than like a second then you know that I'm a faithful lover of NYC-native vegan and gluten-free bakery BabyCakes. And Erin McKenna, the sweetheart behind the delicious operation has been keeping mighty busy. She's opened outposts in downtown Los Angeles and Downtown Disney at the Walt Disney World Resort Florida, released an acclaimed cookbook (check out the Sweet Paradise Cake!), and now already a second book, in stores today.
The new edition, dubbed "BabyCakes Covers the Classics: Gluten-Free Vegan Recipes from Donuts to Snickerdoodles" contains 50 dietarily-reinterpreted recipes for favorite treats like Thin Mints, whoopie pies, waffles, pancakes, hamentashen, sugar cookies, German chocolate cake, donuts, Mounds, and madeleines... Finally, sweets for all!

Erin McKenna will be doing baking demos and signing copies of the new cookbook at the following Williams-Sonoma locations, hopefully near you:

Saturday, April 16 at 1:00pm in Short Hills, NJ
Sunday, May 1, at 1:00pm in Santa Monica, CA


BabyCakes Covers the Classics: From Donuts to Snickerdoodles. It's the New Cookbook!!! from BabyCakes NYC on Vimeo.
Preview vid shot & directed by David Mettler, produced by David Mettler and Chris Cechin, and edited by Justin Gallaher.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Gala Parfait: Making Family, and Pie

Thanksgiving. And for the first time since college I decided to branch off on my own for the holiday, take an active role in the kitchen, and cook. A lot.
The plan shaped up, and by day-of the head count had risen to 20 guests. Achievable? You bet!
In fact, I'm certain it will go down as one of the most memorable Turkey days ever. But every success has a starting place. Ours was with these two crucial elements:
1. Some very generous, flexible, and incredible hosts
2. A Table
Two doors and three saw horses snugly filled the living room of Nicolette and Torsten's cozy Silver Lake cabin, creating one long table. Apropos dried flowers, pine cones, leaves, squash, corn, and candles lined the tabletop. We decided that real glassware, silver, dishes and cloth napkins were important - committing ourselves to semi-permanent dish duty. The mismatched napkins and wine glasses honored the makeshift charm that Charlie Brown has forever graced upon the holiday.
The "kids table"... Outside. (Brrr!)
We lit a fire and slowly began preparations for the casual open-house-style arrival of our guests.
Pleased as punch isn't a saying for no reason - 'Tis the season to start mixing up large batch pleasers! This improvised batch went quick, an effervescent concoction of Sofia Blanc de Blancs, Lambrusco, and fresh cranberries.
Always one to astonish, Torsten's bemusing offering of fresh homemade sushi was quite the belle of the appetizer spread.
I took cues from one of my favorite blogs Banana Wonder and gussied up a plain ol' baked brie with pistachios and golden fig preserves.
By dusk, guests began to gather near the warm hearth while finishing touches were put on dinner. [Read: As we scrambled to get everything warmed in the packed oven!]
All of our friends were brilliant in bringing vibrant dishes to add to the feast, melding the newfangled with the classic: truffled mashers, green bean casserole, sweet potatoes with pecan gingersnap praline, Brussels sprouts lardons, sauerkraut with gin and caraway (recipe), minted pea purée, Knedliky (Czech raised bread dumplings, recipe below), an autumn salad with edible flowers...
The real unexpected treat came in a cast iron pot from Nicolette's neighbor - Homemade authentic Hungarian Ghoulash! The paprika spiked stew of beef, root vegetables, and sauerkraut was served with dense hand-made pinched egg noodles and a yogurt cucumber salad. Spicy and satisfying!
Paired with a supple 2007 Koehler Santa Ynez Riesling, the meal was just perfection.
As we sat around the table after dinner, Nicolette delivered a round of espressos, in boots of course.
After a short walk in the crisp evening air, it was pie time.
Pumpkin cupcakes and a non-baked cranberry cheesecake joined the fleet of pies, along with Nicolette's no-fail milk chocolate hazelnut panna cotta (recipe here).
I made two decidedly Southern pies this year - An old timey brown sugar pie (recipe here) and a decadent Texas pecan & chocolate pie (recipe here).
Because pie is best a la mode, I whipped up a batch of my favorite ice cream, a simple recipe I developed following my last trip to New Orleans with a fistful of rum pralines to put to good use.

Rum Praline Ice Cream
makes 1 quart of ice cream

2 cups heavy cream
1 cup milk
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup The Kraken Black Spiced Rum
4 rum pralines, crumbled (from Laura's Candies in New Orleans' French Quarter - they ship!)

If using an automatic ice cream maker, make sure bowl is completely frozen before starting. Whisk the chilled milk and cream with sugars until completely dissolved. Stir in the vanilla and rum. Pour mixture into ice cream maker and follow the manufacturer's instructions (should churn for about 25 minutes). Crumble pralines into the ice cream during the last minute. Set in freezer for at least two hours before serving.
Last but definitely not least, I want to share the recipe for the Knedliky - which have always been my absolute favorite vehicle for gravy. Growing up in a Czech and Bohemian family, these steamed dumplings were served at every holiday meal, usually in place of mashed potatoes. The fluffy, starchy, steamed slices have become the flavor of home. This was my first time preparing the dumplings, and the recipe below that my sister adapted from various Czech recipes (including Czech It! the Prague Blog) made them come out absolutely perfect.
Note: This made 3 medium sized loaves... About 12-15 servings. The cooked loaves freeze beautifully too!

Raised Dumplings (Knedliky)

1 pkg dry yeast
1 cup milk
½ tsp sugar
1 ½ cups Wondra flour (in the blue can)
2 - 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp baking powder
3-4 slices country white bread
1 tbsp butter

Slice the bread into small cubes (removing the crust if desired).
In a dry non-stick pan, sauté the cubes over medium to med-high heat till they get somewhat toasty. Add pat of butter to the pan and toss with the cubes as it melts. Set aside to cool.

Heat the milk just barely to warm (too hot and the yeast will die) and then add the yeast and sugar. Stir gently to dissolve.

Mix together all ingredients except bread cubes, adding flour gradually until you have a heavier dough. Then add the toasted bread cubes and knead gently with floured hands (or in stand mixer) until combined.

Divide into 3 oblong loaves (each loaf must fit across pot of boiling water, with room to expand). Set on a floured surface, cover with plastic wrap and/or a tea towel and allow to rise for 45 min-1 hour.
Have ready one or two large pots of boiling water (dumplings double in size). Cook 8 minutes covered, then turn over and cook 8 minutes more covered.

Take out dumpling loaves and place on cutting board. Pierce with fork or knife to let steam out. Roll over and pierce again. Cool a bit and slice using bread knife - or, as one recipe suggested, with a piano wire!

*If you make ahead: Boil loaves and let cool…then wrap well in plastic wrap and store in fridge. Day of, slice dumplings and steam to re-warm.
Drown with gravy and enjoy!

Happy Thanksgiving!

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.
fallenfruit.org