Braised Iberico Pork with Tomatoes, Chorizo, Thyme & Black OlivesPrint Recipe

I am going through a little chorizo phase, where many of the dishes I have cooked of late contain this wonderfully spicy sausage. From Suzanne Goin’s Lamb stuffed with Chorizo and Olives to Nano Crespo’s Cannelini Bean Stew with Chorizo and Swiss Chard, and then there is this – a little braised pork in a very Spanish influenced combination of tomatoes, chorizo and olives. It is heavenly! and one of the more pleasing & feel good dishes I have cooked throughout the last couple (and a bit more) of cold, cold months.

We have eaten this with Patatas Fritas (as the chef suggested) but it would also work really well served in small portions, as part of a tapas menu. Enjoy!

1 kilo/2.2 pounds boned shoulder of pork, ideally Iberico, cut into 3cm chunks
4 tablespoons olive oil
3/4′s cup/150 mls red wine
2 medium onions, chopped
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
200 grams/7 ounces fresh chorizo, skinned and chopped
2 teaspoons sweet pimento
2 tablespoons tomato puree
400 grams/14 ounces skinned, chopped tomatoes, fresh or canned
300mls/ 1 1/4 cups chicken stock
leaves from 3 large thyme sprigs
2 tablespoons fresh oregano, chopped
4 fresh bay leaves
3 tablespoons sherry vinegar
2 teaspoons caster (superfine) sugar
100 grams/ 3 1/2 ounces good quality pitted black olives
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Season the pork with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large flameproof casserole dish and sear the pork in batches until nicely browned. Set aside in a bowl.

Add the wine to the pan and as the liquid bubbles up, scrape the base of the pan with a wooden spoon to release all the caramelised juices. Pour over the pork.

Add the remaining oil to the pan with the onions, cover and gently fry for 15 minutes, stirring now and then, until they are very soft and lightly browned. Add the garlic and the chorizo and fry for a further 2 – 3 minutes. Stir in the pimenton and cook for 1 minute, then add the tomato puree, tomatoes, chicken stock, thyme leaves, oregano and bay leaves.

Stir in the pork and all the juices, season with salt and pepper, cover and gently simmer for 1 hour until the pork is almost tender.

Put the sherry vinegar and caster sugar into a small pan and boil until reduced to about 1 teaspoon. Stir it into the casserole with the olives and simmer, uncovered for another 20 – 30 minutes until the sauce is nicely reduced and the pork is tender. Adjust the seasoning to taste and serve with patatas fritas.

Source: Jose Pizarro via Cookhouse, the food magazine of Soho House

Notes: if you have trouble finding sweet pimento, you can substitute it with finely diced red capsicum (pepper)

Posted in Mains, Meat | Leave a comment

Green Beans with Brown Butter, Wild Mushrooms and WalnutsPrint Recipe

Thanksgiving has crept up rather quickly this year. Here I was thinking I that I had another two weeks to decide on my Thanksgiving menu but no, the big event is next Thursday – and I haven’t even contemplated how I am going to cook the turkey. Ordinarily I brine a day ahead and then roast but this year I am torn between a recipe I saw in the New York Times for steaming it and Suzanne Goin’s combination of brining and roasting the breast, alongside a turkey leg confit – as you can see, I have some big decisions to make.

So aside from the turkey, there are the sides. My mainstays are a type of potato and a bean – I then do a another vegetable and a salad. I started my bean trial with this recipe – I found it on the Williams Sonoma website and it is simply sublime.

Now, when it comes to bean dishes, I must say I love my beans in miso recipe because it is not only incredibly tasty, it is also healthy. This dish is also full of flavour, just a little more on the decandant side – as anything with eight delicious tablespoons of brown butter would be.

The brown butter and toasted walnuts make a deliciously nutty dressing for green beans, while the wild mushrooms lend an earthy flavour to the dish. And I probably don’t need to say this, but this dish would be perfect with your Thanksgiving bird.

Ingredients
1 teaspoon sea salt plus more to taste
900 grams/2 pounds green beans, trimmed
8 tablespoons unsalted butter
8 shallots, thinly sliced
226 grams/8 ounces wild mushrooms, brushed clean, stemmed and roughly chopped
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 cup toasted walnuts, chopped

Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Generously salt the water, add the green beans and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the beans to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Drain and set aside.

In a large sauté pan over medium heat, melt the butter and cook until the milk solids start to turn golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add the shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring often, until tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the 1 teaspoon salt and season with pepper. Stir in the green beans and walnuts and cook until the beans are warmed through. Taste and adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper. Transfer to a warmed serving bowl and serve immediately.

Yield: Serves 10 to 12

Source: Williams Sonoma

Posted in Sides, Vegetables, Vegetarian | Leave a comment

Fall Sugar CookiesPrint Recipe

There were all sorts of reasons to make these last week, from a Fall themed bake sale to a Halloween celebration – and what is an event without customised sugar cookies.

Although my sugar cookie skills are getting marginally better, these are certainly not my finest. But the kiddies love them and I love making them, so all is good. Aside from all things Fall and Halloween, they may be a good project for those of you who are stuck inside at the moment (with power – for those of you in NYC and surrounding area’s that have just been hit by Hurricane Sandy). They didn’t stop my girls from climbing the walls, but they certainly filled in a couple of hours which was an absolute blessing.

The recipe is here – make sure you look at the tips and tricks because they will make a world of difference to the final product. And remember – practice makes perfect!

Posted in Biscuits/Cookies/Slices/Bars, Childrens Parties, Morning Teas/High Teas | Leave a comment

Chocolate Brownie CookiesPrint Recipe

As far as chocolate cookies are concerned, these contenders are a heavyweight – with the chocolate content in one batch weighing in at just under 2 pounds.

Despite this, they are not overly dense or fudgy in texture, just perfectly crisp and chewy with a rich chocolate flavour.

Not quite the cookie for a school lunch box but perhaps a nice treat after an afternoon full of activity and a big pile of veggies for dinner.

Ingredients
453 grams/1 pound semisweet chocolate, chopped
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
340 grams/12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips

In a large bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water, melt the chopped chocolate with the butter, stirring a few times, until smooth, about 7 minutes.

In another large bowl, using a handheld electric mixer, beat the eggs with the sugar at medium speed until thick and pale, about 5 minutes. Beat in the vanilla and salt. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the melted chocolate, then fold in the flour and baking powder. Stir in the chocolate chips. Scrape the batter into a shallow baking dish, cover and freeze until well chilled and firm, about 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 350° and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Working in batches, scoop 2 tablespoon size mounds of dough onto the prepared baking sheets, about 2 inches apart. Bake for about 10 minutes, until the cookies are dry around the edges and cracked on top. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for 10 minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool completely before serving.

Yield: around 30 cookies

Notes: The texture of these cookies will differ depending on the cocoa content of the chocolate you use – semi sweet is my favourite but feel free to experiment.

Source: Belinda Leong for Food & Wine

Posted in Biscuits/Cookies/Slices/Bars, Childrens Parties, Chocolate, Morning Teas/High Teas, Picnic Food, Recipes | Leave a comment

Pear & Frangipane TartPrint Recipe

A couple of years ago when we went to Paris, we stayed in a little apartment in the Marais that sat very near to a host of excellent patisseries. Every afternoon, Mr Man would go out and shop for our afternoon treat, and it quite quickly became a way of life. Needless to say when we arrived home from our vacation, at around 3 o’clock, I found myself pacing the room, feeling quite distraught and suffering from ‘fabulous pastry’ withdrawals.

I gradually overcame these feelings and eventually forgot about our little decadent ritual – until a couple of weeks ago, when Eric Kayser opened a patisserie at our front door. Now, in even less time than Mr Man took in the heart of Paris, I can get my fix and it is not even a minute away.

So, all this thinking about patisseries and fabulous French pastry got me thinking about some of my favourite treats – and this is one of them. A classic Pear and Frangipane Tart is about as good as it gets when it comes to quintessential French desserts. Slightly adapted from a recipe by Dorie Greenspan, it is relatively quick and easy and can be made in stages over a day – or even two.

The pears are poached in a sugary syrup with just a touch of lemon to scent them. I don’t like to add to much else to the liquid – I prefer the flavour of the pear to be absolute. These are nestled in a bed of frangipane, which is essentially a baked almond cream (a luscious one at that), on top of a buttery base of pâte sablée.

I know I could easily pop next door for one of these but it is nice to know I can also whip one up myself…

Pâte Sablée
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
9 tablespoons butter, very cold, cut into small pieces
1 egg yolk

Poached Pears
2 ripe medium pears
3 cups water
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon salt

Frangipane
6 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
3/4 cup ground blanched almonds
2 teaspoons flour
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 large egg plus 1 egg white
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon dark rum (optional)
1 teaspoon almond extract

Poaching Pears
Combine the water, sugar, lemon juice and salt in a saucepan large enough to hold all the pears and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Meanwhile, cut the pears in half, remove the seed core and fibrous cores at either end, then peel the pears.

Add the pear halves to the simmering syrup and reduce heat to low. Cover, and let pears poach for about 10 minutes. The pears will become slightly translucent, very tender, and easily pierced with a knife or skewer.

Let the pears cool in the liquid until room temperature before using. Or, you can store them in their liquid in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

Tart Shell
Put the flour, confectioner’s sugar, and salt in a food processor and pulse a few times to combine. Add the pieces of cold butter and pulse until the butter is cut into pea-sized pieces. Add the egg yolk and combine in several pulses until the dough starts to turn from dry to clumpy. Ensure you do not overwork the dough – or let it form into a large ball. If the one egg yolk is not enough, then add a fraction of water till you get shaggy clumps.

Butter a 9 inch tart tin with removable bottom. Turn the dough out into the tin and press into the bottom and up the sides with your fingers. You may not need all the dough – save the extra for patching the shell after you bake it.

Freeze the tart shell for at least 1 hour. When you are ready to bake it, preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

To partially bake the tart shell, take a piece of foil and butter the shiny side, then press the buttered side tightly to the shell. Place the tart shell on a baking sheet and bake for about 25 minutes, until the shell is dry and lightly colored. If any places have cracked, repair with the extra dough, then cool on a rack until room temperature.

Frangipane
Combine the butter and sugar in the food processor and combine until smooth. Add the ground almonds and blend together. Add the flour and cornstarch, and then the egg and egg white. Process the mixture until it is very smooth. Add in the vanilla, almond extract and rum just to blend. The frangipane can be used immediately or you can store it in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. If it becomes too firm in the fridge, let it sit at room temperature for a while to soften before using.

Assembly
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread the frangipane evenly into the cooled tart shell.

Take the poached pears out of their liquid and drain them on paper towels and pat dry. Cut each pear half crosswise into 3/8 in thick slices. Do not separate the pear half yet.

Slide a spatula or other flat utensil underneath the pear so you can transfer the entire half onto the tart. Press on the pear to fan the slices toward the top narrow end of the pear. Slide the pear half onto the frangipane carefully.

Repeat with three other pear halves until there are four halves on the tart, evenly spaced.

Place the tart on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for about 45-50 minutes, until the frangipane is puffed, golden brown, and firm to the touch. Cool the tart on a wire rack.

Before serving, you can dust confectioner’s sugar over the tart.

Notes: I usually poach 3 pears, just in case I ruin one or two of the halves in the cutting process.

Source: adapted from Dorie Greenspan

Posted in Desserts, Fruit, Morning Teas/High Teas, Picnic Food, Tarts/Flans/Quiches/Pies | 2 Comments

Ricotta & Sage MeatballsPrint Recipe

I have given up on pre -dinner snacks in our household, usually because dinner is such a big event – as is dessert. So I do not expect people to eat anything, aside from a few olives or spiced nuts, before they make their way through the feast I will inevitabley serve. That being said, there are occasions when nibbles (including meatballs like these) are warranted – and those are ‘casual’ drinks. You know those times you invite the neighbours over for a Saturday afternoon glass of wine or you have someone popping over to discuss a matter and you know (because it has happened so many times before) that conversation will take place with a champagne in hand. Those are the times that these little morsels are very much needed.

So onto the meatballs, I found the original recipe a little overspiced – the sage was doing battle with a heap of toasted fennel seeds and it did not win. So I removed the fennel and made them again and they were just right. Perfect with a little dipping of marinara sauce and perfect for your next lot of casual visitors…

Ingredients
1/3 cup whole-milk ricotta
2 tablespoons vegetable oil plus more for frying
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon dried sage
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
8 ounces ground pork
18 small fresh sage leaves (or large ones cut into small pieces)
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 large egg, beaten to blend
2 cups panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
Marinara sauce, warmed (optional)

Line a baking sheet with parchment. Stir ricotta and 2 tablespoons oil in a medium bowl until smooth. Mix in garlic and next 4 ingredients. Add pork and gently fold until just combined.

Scoop out scant tablespoon-fuls of pork mixture. With dampened hands, roll portions between your palms into 1-inch balls and place on your sheet. Wrap 1 sage leaf (or piece of a sage leaf) around each ball and press gently to adhere.

Place flour, egg, and panko in 3 separate medium bowls. Working with 1 meatball at a time, dredge in flour, rolling between your hands to remove excess flour. Dip in egg, allow excess to drip back into bowl. Roll meatball in panko, pressing gently to coat. Return to sheet.

Attach deep-fry thermometer to side of a large heavy pot. Pour in oil to a depth of 2-inch. Heat over medium heat until thermometer registers 350°. Line another baking sheet with parchment and set a wire rack inside.

Working in batches, fry meatballs, turning often, until light golden and crisp, about 1 minute (they will finish cooking in the oven). Transfer to wire rack and let cool.

Preheat oven to 275°. Bake meatballs in batches on wire rack in baking sheet until cooked through, about 15 minutes. Serve, or keep warm in oven for up to 45 minutes.

Pour some warm marinara into a small bowl and serve alongside for dipping.

Notes: If you would prefer a little less sage then skip the sage leaf stage and just roll into balls, coat and cook as instructed.

Source: adapted from Bon Appetit

Posted in Nibbles & hors d'oeuvres, Picnic Food, Starters | 2 Comments

Summer Squash Gratin with Salsa Verde & GruyerePrint Recipe


Here is another gem from the master of taste sensations; Suzanne Goin. Suzanne has the ability of turning the plainest of ingredients (and squash is certainly one of those) into absolutely mouth watering dishes that people will keep picking at until the very last morsel is gone.

So this is what she does to your humble squash – with help of an excellent salsa verde, some shallots & garlic, breadcrumbs and a fine grating of gruyere. A gratin that is so full of flavour that is could quite easily be served on its own with a fine glass of merlot – which it has been in our house on more occasions than I can remember.

Ingredients
2 pounds of summer squash
kosher salt & pepper
3 tablespoons salted butter
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon of fresh thyme
3/4 cup sliced shallots (scallions for the US)
1/2 cup of salsa verde (recipe below)
1 1/2 cups of fresh breadcrumbs
1 cup of grated Gruyere cheese

Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut the squash into 1/8-inch-thick slices. Toss the slices in a large bowl with 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and let sit for 10 minutes.

Place the breadcrumbs in a bowl. Heat a small saute pan over medium heat for 1 minute. Swirl in the butter and cook for a few minutes, until it browns and smells nutty. Pour the brown butter over the breadcrumbs (being sure to scrape all the brown bits into the bowl with a rubber spatula). Wait a minute or so for the butter to cool, and toss well.

Drain the squash and transfer it to a large mixing bowl. Add the shallots, minced garlic, thyme, 1/2 cup salsa verde, and some pepper. Toss to combine, and add the cheese and half the butter-coated breadcrumbs. Toss again, and taste for seasoning. (The raw garlic will taste strong at this point but will be delicious when cooked.)

Place the squash in a pretty 9-by-9-inch (or similar) gratin dish. Scatter the remaining breadcrumbs over the top, and bake 35 to 40 minutes, until the squash is tender and the top is crisp.

Salsa Verde
1 teaspoon fresh marjoram or oregano leaves (1/2 teaspoon dried)
1/4 cup coarsely chopped mint
1 cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
3/4 cups extra-virgin-olive-oil”>extra-virgin olive oil
1 small clove garlic
1 anchovy
1 tablespoon salted capers, rinsed & drained
1/2 lemon, for juicing
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
Freshly ground black pepper

The authentic way of making salsa verde is to use a mortar and pestle, which you can do – simple ground all the solid ingredients and then mic through the liquids. But I often place all ingredients in a food processor and blend until combined. It does not need to be completely liquified – chunky is fine.

Source: Suzanne Goin

Posted in Sides, Starters, Vegetables, Vegetarian | Leave a comment

Blueberry JamboreePrint Recipe

 

I have committed a cardinal sin in the world of blogging and that is to not update my page for ages – and I mean ages.

It is not like I have thrown my utensils in the air and left the confines of my kitchen, we have been on vacation, enjoying each others company and a glorious Summer – so cooking has not been at the forefront of my mind. We also had farmstand on almost every corner, bulging with Summers produce – cooking perfectly ripe tomatoes was not an option when we could eat them with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of sea salt. Simple salads that required nothing more than a chopping board and a knife, fresh fruit and loads of gelato were our typical holiday fare.

I whipped up this little number a couple of weeks ago when the sun was high in the sky and blueberries were bountiful, it is pretty much cheesecake bar and a very good one at that. The combination of cream cheese and whipped cream is just lush and creates the perfect filling for the compote-like blueberry topping. The base is your standard buttery shortbread biscuit with a peppering of toasted pecans - adding another element of perfection.

So long Summer, the chill in the air today was testament to Fall and along with the weather I am expecting to see a wonderful array of Autumnal produce very soon – apples and pumpkins immediately spring to mind….

I will be back soon – I promise!

Topping
3 1/2 cups fresh blueberries, divided
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/8 cup brown sugar
4 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch, dissolved in 4 1/2 teaspoons water
3/4 tsp lemon zest

Base
3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup toasted pecans, chopped
2 tablespoons confectioners (powdered/icing) sugar

Filling
2 cups heavy cream
16 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
2 cups confectioners sugar

To make the blueberry topping, combine 1 1/2 cups blueberries in a large pot with the sugars. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until sugar is dissolved, blueberries start to pop, and mixture comes to a boil. Add the cornstarch/water mixture and stir until blueberry mixture is slightly thickened. Remove from heat, stir in remaining 2 cups of blueberries and lemon zest. Cool to room temperature and refrigerate until ready to use (can be made a few days ahead of time).

To make the crust, preheat the oven to 325F. Butter a 9 x 13 inch baking dish. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the melted butter, flour, and pecans. Press mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake for 15 minutes, until it begins to brown lightly. Cool to room temperature.

To make the filling, whip the cream with an electric mixture until thick and creamy. Set aside. In a separate bowl, beat cream cheese and confectioners sugar until smooth. Fold whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture, just until combined.

Spread filling evenly over the crust. Top with blueberry mixture. Refrigerate  for one hour, or until set. Cut into slices and serve.

Source: adapted from Magnolia Bakery

Posted in Biscuits/Cookies/Slices/Bars, Desserts, Fruit, Morning Teas/High Teas | Leave a comment

Fruit TartPrint Recipe

I think fruit tarts are mesmerising. They are the item that catches my eye at every bakery counter, the fruit so perfectly (or in my case, not perfectly) arranged, glistening in glaze and so full of gorgeous colour. They are a treat I would label as ‘splendid’ – I have no other world for them and no other word can really describe how visually appealing (and scrumptious) they are.

Having said all that, you think I might make them more often than I do – but pastry and I just don’t spend alot of time together, so it’s maybe only twice a year that I rustle one up, and it’s usually on a whim.

This whim occurred yesterday, when we felt that we had enough of the great outdoors and wanted some time to potter inside. My pastry recipe makes a little more than is required for a 9 or 10″ dish so my daughters were happy to make their own dough creations with the excess.

There is never a bad time to make (or eat) a fruit tart, and even if your appetite is not up for it, just enjoy looking at them - resplendid in all their fruity beauty.

Sweet Tart Dough
1 1/4 sticks (142 grams/5 ounces) unsalted butter (at room temperature)
3/4 cup (75 grams/2.6 ounces) confectioners’ sugar
1/4 cup lightly packed (50 grams /1.76 ounces) finely ground almond powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 large egg, lightly beaten, at room temperature
1 3/4 cups (245 grams /8.6 ounces) all-purpose flour, sifted

Pastry Cream
2 cups whole milk
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and scraped
6 large eggs yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch, sifted
3 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

Topping
3 – 4 cups of fruit, sliced or whole
Apricot or peach jam for glaze (optional)

Pastry
Place the butter in the bowl of a mixer with paddle attachment and beat until creamy, scraping down the edges as needed.

Add the sugar almond powder, salt, vanilla and eggs and still working on low speed, beat to blend the ingredients, scraping sides as needed. (dough may look curdled, that is okay)

With the machine on low, add the flour in three parts and mix until the dough mixture starts to get together. Do not over mix – stop when the dough comes together in a soft ball, just a matter of seconds.

Remove the sweet pastry dough and shape into a ball and flatten it slightly and then wrap in plastic wrap. If using the dough immediately, let it settle in the fridge for at least 2 hours or overnight. To freeze, put the wrapped disks in freezer bag and use within a month. (When starting from the frozen pastry disks, thaw about 45 minutes before the dough is ready for rolling out.)

To roll and bake the tart, butter a 9 or 10 inch tart pan.

Lightly flour a surface and a rolling pin, then roll out the pastry disk, working it in each direction to ease the shape into a circular shape between 1/16 and 1/8 inch thick. Carefully lay the rolled dough over the tart dish. With your fingers, gently ease the dough into the corners and up the sides. If the shell cracks, use scraps to patch.

Use the rolling pin or knife to cut off excess edges. Prick the surface all over with a fork. Line the shell with parchment or foil and fill with dried beans or rice.

Bake the crust at 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes until it is lightly colored. Remove the parchment or foil and beans and bake an additional 2-3 minutes to firm up the bottom.

Cool on a rack.

Pastry Cream
In a small saucepan, bring milk and vanilla bean (pulp and pod) to a boil over medium heat. Cover the pan and turn off heat and let rest to infuse vanilla for 10 minutes.

Fill a large bowl with ice cubes and water. Set aside smaller bowl that can hold the finished cream and be placed in the ice bath.

Whisk the yolks, sugar and cornstarch together in a heavy-bottomed medium saucepan. Remove vanilla bean pod from hot milk. Slowly drizzle some milk into yolks, whisking continuously. Still whisking, pour in all the liquid in a steady stream. Place the pan over medium heat and whisking vigorously without stopping, bring mixture to a boil. Keep at boil while whisking for 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and scrape pastry cream into the small bowl in put it in the ice bath.

Stir the pastry cream continuously as it cools to keep it smooth. When it is about 140 degrees (very warm to the touch but not extremely hot) stir in butter in 3 or 4 additions. Return to ice bath and leave until cooled. Use immediately or cover with plastic wrap and store in the fridge for up to 2 days.

Glaze
Soften the jam over your stovetop and set aside to cool a little.

Assemble Tart
Pour the pastry cream into the cooked tart shell and top with sliced fruit of your choice. If you have decided to glaze the fruit, spoon or brush your glaze over the top.

Source: adapted from Pierre Hermes

Posted in Desserts, Fruit, Morning Teas/High Teas, Picnic Food, Tarts/Flans/Quiches/Pies | Leave a comment

Burrata With Shredded Sugar Snap Pea and Crispy Shiitake SaladPrint Recipe

Here is another perfect salad for nibbling – whether it be lunch, dinner or a late supper. I can see myself crisping the Shiitake’s with a glass of champagne in hand – Mr Man and I may have just got home from a play, or a show on Broadway perhaps – and decided the night should not end so fast…

As with most salads I have made, each ingredient shines in it’s own way, but the true hero of this dish is the lemon infused olive oil - a perfectly simple dressing, which is so basic I just don’t know why I have not thought of it before.

Ingredients
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 lemon
Vegetable oil for pan-frying
5 fresh shiitake mushroom caps, sliced about 1/8-inch thick
Kosher salt
Leaves of frisée, radicchio or other salad greens
1 ball of burrata cheese, about 4 ounces, at room temperature (or use fresh mozzarella)
1/2 cup sugar snap peas, strings removed and thinly sliced lengthwise (to a slaw-like texture)
Maldon salt or other flaky finishing salt
2 teaspoons toasted pine nuts.

Put the olive oil in a small bowl. Using a microplane, zest the lemon directly over the olive oil so that the zest falls in and the essential oils are captured. If possible, do this an hour before serving. You’ll end up with more flavored oil than you need; you can refrigerate it and use for a salad dressing in the next few days. Juice the lemon and reserve the juice separately.

Line a plate with paper towels. Put your largest skillet over medium-high heat and add enough vegetable oil to generously coat the bottom. When the oil is shimmering, add the mushrooms in a single layer. Sprinkle with a pinch of kosher salt. Cook until deep golden brown on one side, then flip and cook the other side. Transfer with a slotted spatula to paper towels and allow to cool.

Strain the lemon zest from the olive oil. Put a few leaves of frisee or radicchio on your serving plate and place the burrata on top. In a small bowl, toss the sugar snap peas with a generous tablespoon of the olive oil, 2 teaspoons of the lemon juice and 1/4 teaspoon of the Maldon salt. Pour the contents of the bowl over the burrata. Scatter the shiitakes over the top, then the pine nuts and a few more flakes of Maldon salt. Serve right away, before the mushrooms lose their crunch.

Yeild: 2 as an appetiser

Source: New York Times

Posted in Lemons, Recipes, Salads, Sides, Starters, Vegetables, Vegetarian | Leave a comment