October 28, 2008

Pumpkin or anything related...

has won over my heart the past month as I desperately search for all sweets related to the Fall gourd. I've tasted multiple jars of pumpkin butters, obsessively hoarded Hershey's pumpkin spice kisses, and attempted my own ghoulish sweet treat.

Now I'm not sure what to call this, but it was goooood--messy, comforting, and ultimately satisfying. Perfect for a rainy, glum night alone. Think roasted marshmallows: crisp and burnt on the outside but gooey on the inside. Think spices: cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. Think melted chocolate, dark chocolate peanut butter, and chewy slices of baguette. Think about a hybrid between peanut butter sandwiches and s'mores. Think pumpkin peanut butter s'morwiches. Yum.

Pumpkin Peanut Butter S'morwiches

2 slices baguette
1 Tbsp pecan pumpkin butter
1 Tbsp dark chocolate peanut butter
1 large marshmallow
1 pumpkin spice kiss

Slather one side of baguette slices with pumpkin butter and peanut butter. Place the kiss in the middle of one baguette slice. Toast marshmallow over a candle until crisp and browned. Sandwich melted marshmallow over chocolate. Eat!

October 16, 2008

I've given the same...

lame excuse--work and school--but it's true. Moving past sauteing, pan-frying, deep-frying, and roasting, class is now focusing on braising. I loved roasting; the smell of lemony, herbed whole chickens and natural pan au jus for the gravy isn't just for Thanksgiving dinners. And seriously, who knew roasting sweet potatoes could be so simple? It requires time, but a little patience never hurt.

Think about Fall and the glory of all these autumn vegetables like pumpkin, patty squash, and cauliflower popping up at the Farmer's Market. I've never been a fan of overindulging on meat, but the black truffle, oyster mushroom cream sauce made every bite of our roasted veal loin worthy. I've also never been an advocate of lamb, especially when it's cooked improperly, but an afternoon of braising lamb shanks in a wonderful, homemade chicken stock took away all the gamey flavor.

I want to give recipes for my favorites though. For a dinner with girl friends, I prepared French Onion Soup, Crab Cakes in a Trio of Sauces (Salsa Verde, Roasted Red Pepper, Avocado Cream), Potato Galette, Pumpkin Ice Cream, and Roasted Banana Ice Cream.

French Onion Soup
From ICE

8 oz unsalted butter
4 quarts onions, sliced
Salt and Pepper
8 oz sherry
5 quarts veal stock
Sachet d'epices (Thyme, Bay Leaf, Peppercorns, Parsley)
Croutons, Pramesan Reggiano, Gruyere

Melt unsalted butter in a large pot over medium high heat. Add in onions and stir to cover in butter. Reduce the heat to low and begin seasoning the onions. Let the onions sweat and caramelize over low heat until a nice golden brown appears. Pour in the sherry and let the alcohol reduce completely. Add in veal stock and tie the sachet to the side of the pot. Let the soup simmer over low heat for a few hours stirring occassionaly and seasoning with salt and pepper. Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F. Slice a few pieces of baguette about 1/4 inch in thickness. Coat in olive oil and season. Place sliced baguette into the oven for about 5 minutes or until they begin to brown. Fill ramekins with onion soup, top with homemade croutons, and cover with slices of Parmesan Reggiano and Gruyere cheese. Place filled ramekins into the oven and let the cheese brown and crisp before serving.

Potato Galette

Clarified butter
2 medium potatoes
Salt and Pepper
1 tsp Basil Oil
1 Tbsp Mayonaisse

Peel potatoes and julienne them with a French Mandolin. Toss them into a bowl with salt and pepper. Heat a sautoir over medium high heat and melt clarified butter into the pan. Place julienned potatoes into the pan forming a circle around the pan. Let the bottom cook over medium heat until it begins to brown and firm. Flip the galette to the other side and let it brown. Combine the basil oil and mayonnaise for a dipping sauce. Remove and potato galette from the heat and serve with the basil mayonnaise.

Pumpkin Ice Cream
(A variation of my condensed milk ice cream).

1.5 cups heavy cream
1 can condensed milk
1/2 can of pumpkin puree
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg, grated
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 Tbsp honey

Beat the heavy cream with an electric mixer on high until a stiff whipped cream forms. Reduce the speed to low and mix in the condensed milk until thoroughly combined. Combine pumpkin puree with spices, extract, and honey in a separate bowl. Gently fold in pumpkin mixture into ice cream base. Freeze in a plastic container for at least four hours. Enjoy with some crushed graham crackers!

Roasted Banana Ice Cream
(A variation of my condensed milk ice cream).

1 very ripe banana, mashed
1 Tbsp brown sugar
2 cups heavy cream
1 can condensed milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp banana extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Mash the banana in a bowl and mix in sugar. Spread banana over a lined baking sheet and roast in the over for about 15 minutes or until fragrant and caramelized. Remove banana and set aside to cool. Beat the heavy cream with an electric mixer on high until a stiff whipped cream forms. Reduce the speed to low and mix in the condensed milk and extracts until thoroughly combined. Fold in mashed bananas lightly. If you don't want the banana chunks, strain the entire mixture through a sieve. Freeze the ice cream in a plastic container for at least four hours before serving.

Trio of sauces for the crab cakes.

Crab Cake with a touch of homemade mayonnaise over salsa verde.

To the people who copy recipes without acknowledging the source: you can't rearrange sentences with a few new punctuation marks, change a ratio, and then dub the recipes as your own. That's just cheating.

October 1, 2008

Seems like a trend…

each blog update takes longer; my apologies. Anyway, after countless trashed medium diced potatoes, the chefs finally gave us a use for them. I’m happy to announce: pomme persillades, similar to pomme frites or french fries with its crispy exterior and tender interior. A faux deep-frying in the sautoir and a generous coating of butter, garlic, parsley, and sea salt makes these snackables an addicting treat as you plow through the kitchen.

Pomme Persillades

I've been bad about keeping track of all the recipes and goodies made, but some of it include: Roasted Corn Red Pepper Salsa, Mango Chutney, Duck Consomme, Cream of Broccoli, French Onion, Gazpacho, Lobster Bisque, Pan Fried Rabbit Chops, NY Strip Steak, Beef Steaks in Red Wine Sauce, Chicken in White Wine Sauce, Seared Scallops with Onion Sauce, Seared Pork Loin in Red Pepper Sauce, and a bunch of other different mother sauces.

Duck Consomme

Rabbit Chop in Tomato Coulis

Rabbit Chop in Tomato Coulis


6 rabbit chops
3 Tbsp herbed butter

Heat a small skillet to medium high heat and add butter to the pan. Quickly sear rabbit chops in pan for about 30 seconds and remove.

Tomato Coulis

1 cup Plum Tomatoes, seeded and quartered
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt and pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup olive oil

Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Drizzle olive oil, salt, pepper, and thyme over tomatoes in a baking pan. Roast tomatoes for about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the tomatoes and let them cool. Place roasted tomatoes in blender with garlic and start puree. Slowly pour in infused olive oil. Reserve and serve with rabbit chop.

Cream of Broccoli with Shaved Parmesan

Cream of Broccoli

My chef instructor's recipe used for our practical exam. It's delicious.

3 oz onions, sliced
1.75 oz butter, weighed
1.25 oz flour, weighed
2.5 cups chicken stock
3 oz heavy cream
10 oz broccoli florets
Sachet d'epices (thyme, bay leaf, parsley, peppercorn)
Salt and pepper

Melt butter, add onions, and season with salt and pepper. Cook onions until translucent with no color. Add flour to make a roux and cook for a few minutes. Add a cup of stock at a time and mix until roux is thoroughly incorporated. Tie sachet d'epices to the side of th pot and add cream to stock mixture. Let cream base come to a boil and reduce to a simmer for 30 minutes until thickened. Cook broccoli in boiling water for a few minutes until the florets turn an intense green. Remove from hot water and shock in an ice bath. Drain water and have it ready for the soup base. Remove sachet d'epices when the soup has thickened. Puree the cream stock in a blender until a smooth puree forms. Combine 2 cups of cream base and cooked broccoli and puree until no chunks remain. Serve in a warmed bowl with bite-sized pieces of cooked broccoli.

Pappardelle with Classic Tomato Sauce

Mac n Cheese

Pan Seared Chicken Breast in White Wine Sauce

Might I add that I love this idea of “sharing” at ICE—it means the pastry and baking ladies pass on over the pretty treats for dessert. Win.