Dreidel, Dreidel, Dreidel (Part VI)

RECIPE: Beignets with Lavender Sugar and Apricot Sauce
Beignets with Lavender Sugar and Apricot Sauce

Beignets with Lavender Sugar and Apricot Sauce

Beignets with Lavender Sugar and Apricot Sauce

Ingredients for Pâte à Choux

  • 1 stick of butter
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup flour
  • 3 eggs
  • Vegetable oil for frying

Ingredients for Lavender Sugar

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried edible lavender blossoms (optional)

Ingredients for Apricot Sauce

  • 1 cup good apricot jam
  • 1 tablespoon water

Procedure

Make the pâte à choux by melting the butter in a saucepan. Add the sugar, salt, and water, and bring to a simmer to melt the sugar and salt.

Take the heat off the pan, and whisk in the flour. Once it is incorporated, bring the pan back to the heat, and stir with a wooden spoon until the dough begins to pull away from the sides of the pot.

Spoon the dough into a bowl, and using an electric hand mixer, beat the dough or a few seconds on medium speed to cool it down. Incorporate the eggs, one at a time, working quickly to incorporate them into the hot dough so they do not scramble. Set the dough aside.

Make the lavender sugar by putting the sugar and the lavender in a food processor, and blitzing it until the lavender is broken up throughout the sugar.

Make the apricot sauce by blending the apricot jam in a food processor to even out the fruity lumps of the preserves. Pour the jam into a pan and heat on low heat with the added tablespoon of water.

To fry the beignets, fill a pot halfway with vegetable oil, and heat over medium low heat. To test the oil, drop a little crumb of choux pastry into the pot. It should sink, and then start to rise, surrounded by little fizzing bubbles. You do not want to fry the beignets too hot; they will become brown on the outside, and will remain raw on the inside. Instead, you want them to gently simmer in the oil, surrounded by bubbles, but not browning intensely. Drop a teaspoon of dough into the oil. It will puff; then appear to crack, and will be cooked to a very light gold in about 8 minutes. The crack that occurs in the dough signifies that the interior dough has cooked and created an air pocket; it is the sign you are looking for. Once the dough has “cracked,” cook for a couple more minutes to ensure the light golden color and crisp exterior. Be careful not to overcrowd the pan with raw beignets.

Drain the beignets on paper towels, and immediately toss them hot into the lavender sugar, and roll them around to coat. Serve with the warm apricot sauce on the side.

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Dreidel, Dreidel, Dreidel (Part VII)

RECIPE: Maneschewitz Granita
Maneschewitz Granita

Maneschewitz Granita

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Maneschewitz Granita

Ingredients

  • 1 750-ml bottle of Maneschewitz Concord Grape Kosher Wine

Procedure

Decant the wine into a square 8 inch by 8 inch glass pan, and place in the freezer. After 2 hours, use a fork to scrape down the ice crystals that form in the wine, creating a snow-cone consistency. Repeat over the course of 6 hours. Serve in chilled wine or martini glasses.

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Categories: Cocktails, Desserts, Drinks, Eat, Frozen, Recipes, Vegetarian
 

Dreidel, Dreidel, Dreidel (Part VIII)

RECIPE: Challah Pain Perdu
Challah Pain Perdu

Challah Pain Perdu

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Challah Pain Perdu

Ingredients

Ingredient list to come

Procedure

Begin by making the crème anglaise. Heat the half and half in a saucepot over medium heat.

Meanwhile, beat the egg yolks and sugar with a hand mixer until they are light and pale in color.

Very slowly stream the hot half and half, while mixing, into the sugar-yolk mixture.

Return the mixture to the saucepot and heat over medium heat. Add the vanilla. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon until the crème anglaise coats is thick and coats the back of the spoons. Pass through a strainer so that any bits of egg that have scrambled will be removed. Allow to cool only slightly while you assemble the pain perdu.

Whisk together the half and half, sugar, honey, and eggs. In a large nonstick sauté pan over medium-low heat, melt 1 tablespoons of butter. Press the challah, one piece at a time, into the custard, flipping once, so the bread has a chance to soak it up, but not to become overly saturated. Sauté the custard-soaked bread about 4-5 minutes per side, or until golden, in batches, using more butter as necessary.

Dust powdered sugar over the top of the pain perdu. Serve with the crème anglaise.

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Santa Baby (Part I)

RECIPE: Baguette Croutes with Brie, Avocado Mousse, and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

I’m not dreaming of a white Christmas–although, I do love Bing Crosby. To me, Christmas is all about the colors of mistletoe: red and green. Christmas is about love, after all, isn’t it?


So this month, for Serious Eats, I put together four turned-out red and green French Revolution recipes: Baguette Croutes with Brie, Avocado Mousse, and Sun-Dried Tomatoes; Green Penne with Spinach Pistou, Roasted Cherry Tomatoes, and Filet; Red and Green Mash made from potatoes, beets, goat cheese, fines herbes, and creme fraiche; and White Chocolate Bark with Almonds, Fresh Mint, and Dried Berries. Click on the recipe names under the photos for the recipes.

So, Santa Baby, I recommend that you hurry down the chimney tonight. I’ll be waiting under the red and green.

Baguette Croutes with Brie, Avocado Mousse, and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Ingredients

  • 1 avocado
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 2/3 baguette, cut on a diagonal into 24 ¼-inch slices
  • Olive oil for drizzling
  • 1/2 pound of brie, cut into 24 pieces
  • 8 sun-dried tomatoes, julienned, or cut into strips

Procedure

Preheat the oven to 325°F.



Prepare the avocado mousse by mashing the ripe avocado with the lemon juice, Dijon mustard, salt, and pepper with a potato masher. Put away the masher, and switch to a hand mixer, whipping the avocado for a minute so that it becomes even more smooth.

In another bowl, whip the heavy cream. Then, using a silicone spatula, fold the cream in batches into the avocado mixture. By the end, you will have avocado mousse.

Arrange the baguette slices on a baking sheet, drizzle lightly with olive oil, and season lightly with salt. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until the croutes are crisp and golden.

Remove the baguette croutes from the oven, and while they are still hot, place one piece of brie on each toast of baguette, so the heat from the bread just begins to melt the brie. Spoon some avocado mousse on the brie, and top with a few slivers of sun-dried tomato.

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Categories: Appetizers & Hors D’Oeuvres, Eat, For a Crowd, Recipes, Vegetarian
 

Santa Baby (Part II)

RECIPE: Green Penne with Basil-Spinach Pistou, Roasted Cherry Tomatoes, and Fillet

Green Penne with Basil-Spinach Pistou, Roasted Cherry Tomatoes, and Fillet

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Green Penne with Basil-Spinach Pistou, Roasted Cherry Tomatoes, and Fillet
serves 4 to 6
Ingredients
  • 1 pint of cherry tomatoes
  • 3/4 pound of beef filet
  • 1 pound of spinach penne rigate
  • 2 cups of baby spinach, plus 1 cup, packed
  • 1 cup of basil, packed
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1/2 cup of toasted pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup of olive oil, plus 2 tablespoons, separated
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • Pecorino Romano to taste

Procedure

Preheat the oven to 425°F and bring a large pot of water to boil.

Toss the tomatoes on a baking sheet with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast for 20 minutes at 425°F.

Season the filet with salt and pepper, liberally, on both sides. Heat a sauté pan on high until it is very hot, quickly add 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and sear the steak, 6 minutes on each side. Put it aside to rest.

When the water is boiling, salt the water, and cook the green penne to al dente.

Meanwhile, make the pesto. Put the 1 cup of basil, 2 cups of spinach, pine nuts, garlic, salt, and pepper into the food processor and pulse to break it down. Run the machine, and stream in 1/2 cup of olive oil.

Slice the steak into 1-inch cubes. Julienne 1 cup of spinach. Put the tomatoes, steak, spinach, pesto, and cream in the bottom of large bowl. Drain the pasta from the water, and toss, adding a couple of spoonfuls of pasta water if the sauce needs thinning.

Grate Pecorino Romano down over the top of the hot pasta.

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Categories: 30 Minutes, Eat, Main Courses, Meat, Recipes
 

Santa Baby (Part III)

RECIPE: Red and Green Mash
Red and Green Mash

Red and Green Mash

Get the whole story at Serious Eats.

Red and Green Mash

Ingredients for Red Mash

  • 6 small-medium boiler potatoes, peeled
  • 1 small beet, peeled, trimmed, and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 milk, plus 1/2 cup, plus more if desired to thin out potatoes
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons goat cheese
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • Salt and pepper

Ingredients for Green Mash

  • 6 small-medium boiler potatoes, peeled
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh chervil
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
  • 1/2 cup crème fraîche
  • 1/4 cup milk, plus more if desired to thin out potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • Salt and pepper

Procedure for the Red and the Green Mash

Put all 12 potatoes in a stock pot, just cover with cold water, and cover the pot with a lid. Bring the water to a boil, season with salt, and cook until the potatoes are tender—about 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, simmer the beet slices in 1/2 cup of milk until the beet is just tender—about 15 minutes. You’ll want to heat the milk on medium until it simmers, and then lower the heat to low for the rest of the cooking process.

Next, begin work on the Green Mash. Place the chervil, parsley, chives, and tarragon with salt and pepper and crème fraîche in a small food processor and blend until completely smooth and green.

When the beet has finished cooking, add the beet and the milk that it cooked in, along with another 1/2 cup of warm milk, into a small food processor, and blend until smooth.

Using a ricer, mash 6 potatoes into one large bowl, and 6 potatoes into another large bowl.

For the Green mash, add 1/4 cup of hot milk, 1 tablespoon of butter, and the herbed crème fraîche to one bowl of potatoes. Mix until thoroughly combined.

For the Red Mash, add the beet mixture, the goat cheese, and the butter, and mix until thoroughly combined.

At this point, season both mashes separately, and assess the consistency of the potatoes. For a thinner mash, add more milk, a little a time, until you are satisfied. The original recipe makes very potato-y mash.

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Santa Baby (Part IV)

RECIPE: White Chocolate Bark with Fresh Mint, Almonds, and Dried Berries
White Chocolate Bark with Mint and Berries

White Chocolate Bark with Mint and Berries

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White Chocolate Bark with Fresh Mint, Almonds, and Dried Berries
Ingredients
  • 8 ounces of good white chocolate, chopped up
  • 15 fresh mint leaves, chiffonade
  • 20 dried raspberries
  • 6 dried strawberries
  • 1/4 cup toasted slivered almonds

Procedure

Set up a double boiler, being sure that the bottom of the bowl does not touch the simmering water in the pot beneath. Add the chopped white chocolate to the bowl.



While the chocolate is melting, chiffonade the mint, and chop the dried berries. You want all the ingredients to be about the same size and shape as the almond slivers.

Pour the melted chocolate onto parchment, and sprinkle the toppings on the chocolate, pressing lightly to set them.

Refrigerate the chocolate for two hours, then invert the hard block onto a cutting board, and peel off the wax paper. Turn it around again so the toppings face up, and use a knife to cut the bark into shards.

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