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Showing posts from 2014

Sticky Toffee Pudding

To follow the roasted goose we served on Christmas (as mentioned in my last post) Jonathan baked sticky toffee pudding, following a recipe I clipped from Bon Appetit. It’s a confusing dish for Americans because it’s not pudding (it’s cake!) and it doesn’t feature toffee (the Brits call caramel toffee). Language barrier notwithstanding, it’s a terrific dessert. Sweet and decadent. Even more so when we plated it atop a generous spoonful of vanilla custard we had leftover from the morning’s pastry breakfast. We also opted to top the pudding with roasted hazelnuts and pecans.

ingredientsPudding:
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan 1 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour plus more for pan 1 1/2 cups chopped pitted dates (about 6 ounces) 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon sea salt 1 cup sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 2 large eggsSauce:1 1/4 cups (packed) light brown sugar 1/2 cup heavy cream 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter 1 …

Goose Liver Pate

This year we decided to roast a goose for Christmas (it turned out really well) which meant I found myself with a goose liver on hand. After a bit of researching I found this wonderful recipe from Jacques Pepin and after making a few modifications, I set about preparing it for tonight’s New Year’s Eve celebration. Like Christmas, tonight’s dinner will be a quiet, low key affair for just the two of us as I’m still feeling down about my mother’s passing in early December. We picked up her ashes yesterday. It’s all a bit surreal. We snuck an advance taste of the pate this afternoon and it is marvelous. Marvelous! I recommend serving it with cherry jam (we’re going to use the homemade jam we canned over the summer) on rich buttery crackers. ingredients3 ounces goose fat 1 large shallot, peeled and coarsely chopped (2 1/2 tablespoons) 1 goose liver (about 3 ounces), chopped 1 teaspoon herbes de Provence (or more, to taste)1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon f…

Asian Chicken and Mushroom Soup

This month's issue of Bon Appetit featured a quick and easy winter soup infused with Asian flavors. I made it for dinner last night with some modifications and it went over very well.  Herbs and spices are paired with poached chicken and mushrooms and the result is a warm and flavorful broth that elevates ordinary chicken soup to a deeper, more soulful, plane. I've adopted the recipe as my own and with how simple and speedy the prep is, I'll be making it frequently. 
Here's my version (serves 3):
Chicken and Mushroom Soup with Chile 
1 T olive oil5 cloves of garlic, peeled2bay leaves1 T allspice
2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts 
1½teaspoonskosher salt, plus more1 T chicken broth base8ounces baby portobello mushrooms, sliced1 serrano chile, thinly sliced11” piece ginger, peeled and grated1 T rice vinegar1 T soy sauce1 T Aji-Mirin sauce Handful of rice vermicelli Freshly ground black pepper

Movies and TV

I've been varying my media diet as of late and ingesting a lot of content that I don't normally favor and it's been GREAT. I want to highlight some of the stand outs.

Movies

1. Hillsborough. This documentary is part of the ESPN 30 for 30 soccer stories that have been produced and are being released in advance of the upcoming world cup. The film draws us into the scene of one of the worst soccer stadium disasters in history during a soccer match between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest at the Hillsborough Stadium in Sheffield, England. It's not so much about sports as it is about crowd behavior, police cover up, politics, and the importance of proper architectural design. Even if you're not a sports fan you'll be riveted. It's airing again on June 6th at 10pm on ESPN. If you don't mind spoilers, the in-depth discussion of the film can be found here: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/espns-30-30-soccer-stories-694728

2. Hoop Dreams. This documentary was…

Book Review: Cowgirl Creamery Cooks

I received a copy of Sue Conley & Peggy Smith’s new cookbook, Cowgirl Creamery cooks, several months ago after great anticipation of it’s publication. There’s a Cowgirl Creamery right here in the Washington, DC metro area, making it easy to source the recipes.Our review team has made a handful of recipes from this beautiful book so far: Parmesan crusted chicken, classic mac and cheese, and pancakes. The chicken dish turned out the best; the recipe was easy to follow and included a helpful and detailed description on how to wet/dry coat the chicken breasts and make clarified butter. A novice cook could follow this recipe with ease. We would have liked to see a picture included but otherwise it was very good and we will make this again. The mac and cheese turned out well also. The directions were easy to follow and we loved the beautiful picture. Note that this recipe uses a béchamel sauce as the basis for the cheese sauce and this can be a tricky sauce to perfect, so it might be sl…