miércoles, 28 de enero de 2009

Butterscotch Panna Cotta

I don't really know where or when I first tasted butterscotch. Being relatively close to the U.S. Border, it's not strange that I had a share of exposure to the American culture. Cable TV and American Schooling helped. Regardless, it was a flavor that had long ago fallen into oblivion in my mind. Until a few years back, when I tried one recipe. Then again it went into oblivion.

It wasn't until Shuna posted her recipe, that butterscotch came back into the scene. Added to that, the constant mention that the Bacon, Apple, Butterscotch and Thyme dish at Alinea has been getting, and I found myself wanting to try the combination.

The first time I tried this idea, It went in a totally different direction, serving a small amount of butterscotch in a glass with crumbled, crispy bacon on top and a skewered sauteed apple sticking out of the glass.

The second time around, I went for a simpler presentation, while also letting the bacon show. Next time I make it, perhaps I'll try David Lebovitz's candied bacon and unmolding the Panna Cotta.

The Panna Cotta recipe:
250ml. Butterscotch
500ml. Heavy Cream
6g Gelatin sheets

Bloom the gelatin sheets in cold water. Mix the Butterscotch and Heavy cream and bring to a boil. Add the gelatin and dissolve. Pour into molds and set.

The apple puree was pretty simple. It was just apples sauteed in bacon fat along with some sugar and thyme.

The panna cotta in itself is rich and good, the bacon goes along marvelously, I just have to find a way to better balance the flavors.

martes, 27 de enero de 2009

Happy Chinese New Year... sort of.

Spaghetti Lunghi
Originally uploaded by cookiejesus
So it was the Chinese New Year yesterday and my wife and I were hungry. We were at the grocery store considering picking up something quick and simple. Then I saw the pack of Spaghetti Lunghi. Without any fact checking, as it seems to be the thing to do these days. We picked it up along with some heavy cream, as we had a few ingredients at home.

We set up a big pot of water and while it was ready I cut and rendered some bacon. I didn't even let it get nice and crispy before I added a generous splash of Marsala. Then cheese was added to the mix: Winsconsin blue, some herbed goat 's and cream cheese for texture. Some heavy cream, salt and pepper. I let that sit while the pasta cooked.

When the pasta was ready, it went into the pan, along with some of its nice water. Heated and stirred the whole thing together and finished with a sprinkling of Parmesan.

Along with a nice Riesling (it's what we had at hand), we toasted our Chinese New Year with our "long noodles".

jueves, 22 de enero de 2009

Polenta Cups with Boston-Style Beans

I made this for a recent cooking meeting. We wanted corn and beans to be involved, since they're staples in Mexican gastronomy. I recalled a recipe from a book I was lent once for polenta cups and decided to fill them up with Boston-style beans, which I've wanted to try for a long time.

Polenta Cups (From Party Bites)
1 stick plus 4 tbsps butter
3/4 cups cream cheese
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons polenta
a pinch of sea salt crystals

Cream butter and cheese together. Combine the flour, polenta and salt. Add gradually to the creamed butter and cream cheese until a dough forms. Break balls and press into mini muffin pans. Bake until golden (about 20 minutes). I made half the recipe and got 24 small cups from this.

I don't really have a recipe for the beans. I used approximately a pound of beans, a quarter of an onion, a couple ounces of bacon and about a quarter of a cup of muscovado (I couldn't find molasses). Ketchup and Worcestershire sauce were added to taste. I also stewed them instead of the traditional baking.

Finally, the candied jalapeños were a much quicker version than what should've been. I just simmered a jalapeño julienne in simple syrup until they were traslucent. Sort of what you'd do for candied orange peel, except that I didn't allow for the repetitive drying and simmering in syrup.

To serve, I just filled the cups with the beans, added a sprinke of sea salt, a dollop of sour cream and finished with the jalapeños.

Pictures will have to wait until I get my bluetooth thingy since I only managed a nasty cellphone pic.

P.S. Incidentally, when I searched the recipe up in the book, it turns out they filled their version with beans as well, a black bean chili that looks quite interesting as well.

martes, 6 de enero de 2009

TGRWT #14 Malt and Soy Sauce

It's on again! This edition of TGRWT is being hosted by Rob at The Curious Blogquat. The ingredients this time are, as previously stated. Malt and Soy Sauce. Any form of malt will do for this so because of the difficulty that some ingredients may present, I'll use beer. A bunch of ideas are coming. I just hope to make the time in order to actually get to cook something.

Deadline's February the 1st. Get cookin'!