May 21, 2013 | From the kitchen of Rose
It had been many years since I last visited my favorite kitchenware shop in Philly and what a joyful homecoming it was! Fante's is located right in the middle of the vast Italian market. Bob Trinque and I drove down together and after finding a rare parking place were tempted by all the produce, sausages, and homemade cheese. But more exciting still was the incredible display of cookware at the store.
It couldn't have been lovelier visiting with old friends, meeting new ones young and older, and showing off the new Rose™ line. And after the demo, Mariella Esposito treated us to the biggest and best Philadelphia cheese steak ever. I can't wait to go back for a longer visit!
May 18, 2013 | From the kitchen of Rose
I've been enjoying 'blackened' string beans since Paul Prudhomme was a little boy and blackened redfish wasn't yet a gleam in his eye! That's because my grandmother once burned the string beans and I found it to be so delicious I always threatened not to eat the string beans unless she burned them.
Some years ago, my dear friend Elizabeth Karmel, renowned grilling author and chef, taught me how to make grilled string beans. She is such a skilled griller only one or two beans ever slipped between the grates but when I tried, I mourned each of several beans that slipped through. I tried a grill pan with holes but had to be very careful as the ones available were all very shallow and didn't have large enough holes to expose enough of the string beans to the flame. This is no longer a problem as Elizabeth has created the ideal grill basket, Elizabeth Karmel's Grill Friends Sizzlin' Skillet Grill Basket. Its curved sides enable you to toss the beans without risk of a single one leaping out. The wire mesh is strong but fine, leaving the maximum open space for 'blackening.'
The grill basket is easy to clean and even dishwasher safe. And it comes with a great-sounding recipe for "firecracker shrimp," which gives new definition to "shrimp in the basket."
I posted the recipe for grilled string beans about three years ago. Here it is again but this time in the basket!
For beans with a little bite, simply toss the washed and trimmed string beans with salt and olive oil and then to toss them in the grill basket and continue tossing them with tongs until they are deliciously browned, partially blackened, and beginning to shrivel.
For a softer texture, par boil the beans in salted water for 3 minutes, drain them, and toss them in the olive oil and salt, though sometimes I use melted bacon fat. Then into the grill basket they go to be browned and blackened as above.
Either way, season with lots of freshly ground pepper.
Note: The handle is easy to remove for grilling and to replace when removing the basket from the grill, but it is not designed for emptying the beans into a serving bowl as the basket will flip over. Use tongs to lift the beans into the bowl.
May 11, 2013 | From the kitchen of Rose
Thomas Keller is one of my top favorite chefs. I've had amazing experiences both at The French Laundry in Nappa, and at Per Se in New York City so it seemed like the perfect place to celebrate my partnership with Gary Fallowes of NewMetro Design and my new Rose™ product line. And it was indeed a glorious dining experience. It was also a celebration of my imminent move from New York to Hope, New Jersey where eating like this will be happening much less frequently.
Per Se is located in the Time Warner building from which we had an excellent view of Central Park, where I grew up.
February does not provide the most vibrant scenery but the floral arrangement offered a promise of spring to come.
We were offered a glass of Jose Dhon blanc de blanc champagne tasting delightfully of apple and accompanied by the classic Per Se tartar of salmon cone, and gougères.
We then proceeded to order the five course tasting menu but what arrived was more like double the number. And each one was superlative blend of balance and finesse. The menu descriptions speak for themselves:
BUTTERNUT SQUASH "VELOUTE" Hearts of Palm, Ginger, and Pine Nuts
Continue reading "Ode to Exquisite Dining Chez Per Se" »
May 08, 2013 | From the kitchen of Rose
I've just been invited to participate on a panel with four of my favorite friends: esteemed authors Madhur Jaffrey and Marion Nestle; director of the Fales Library and Special Collections at NYU, Marvin J. Taylor; and moderator par excellence, host of the Critical Topics in Food Series, Clark Wolf.
The event features the recently published 101 Classic Cookbooks. It will be held at the 92Y Tribeca at 7:30 on Wednesday, May 29. Entrance fee is $15 and books will be available for sale.
Trust me: this is an experience not to be missed!
May 04, 2013 | From the kitchen of Rose
French toast is the perfect indulgence for mom for breakfast in bed. It is easy to make and is best made the day or night ahead. It can be made with many different types of bread from soft white to challah, brioche or even croissants. French toast is at its best when the bread is sliced 1 inch thick but as slices from most commercial loaves are only 1/2 inch here's the way I've worked it out to simulate a 1 inch thick regal slice of french toast. To make it extra special, if your mom likes raisins, use cinnamon raisin bread.
French Toast for One Perfect Mom
1 large egg
2 tablespoons heavy cream
2 tablespoons milk
1/8 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
a grating of nutmeg
2 slices of soft white bread, sliced 1/2-inch thick
1 teaspoon butter, preferably unsalted, frozen
Optional: powdered sugar, cinnamon and or maple syrup
Equipment: a griddle or large heavy frying pan
Place a heatproof dinner plate in the oven and turn the heat to low.
In a medium bowl, combine the egg, cream, milk vanilla and nutmeg and whisk lightly just to blend.
Place the mixture in a pan large enough to hold the 2 slices of bread side-by-side and add the bread. Allow the bread to sit for a minute or so to soak up the mixture and then turn each slice over to absorb all of the remaining mixture on the second side. Move the bread slices around to be sure they pick up all of the egg mixture. (When turning the bread over in the egg mixture, it helps to use two pancake turners.)
Alternatively, dip or brush one slice at a time, using a scant 1/4 cup per slice.
Heat the griddle or frying pan on medium high heat until hot enough to sizzle a drop of water. Impale the frozen butter on a fork or hold it carefully on either side and run it quickly along the surface of the hot griddle or pan to film it lightly with butter.
Set one piece of bread on top of the other. Fry the bread, 2 to 3 minutes a side or until golden brown.
Cut the french toast diagonally in half if desired and arrange on the heated plate. Sprinkle lightly with powdered sugar and cinnamon and drizzle with maple syrup if desired.
May 01, 2013 | From the kitchen of Rose
in Special Stories
Seventy Mays ago, shortly before my father left for Georgia boot camp and ultimately France to fight as a paratrooper in World War II, 11 months before I was born, my parents were married. And, just like children everywhere, I never grew tired of hearing the romantic story of how my parents first met.
It was the summer before at Lake George in upstate New York. My mother and 3 of her female cousins were camping out on an island and none of them knew how to get a fire going to prepare dinner. My father, who had canoed up the Hudson River, was also camping out nearby. Seeing the damsels in distress, he volunteered to light their fire. As my mother used to tell it she was the only single cousin of the group so the rest was destiny. As I like to tell it, my Dad lit the fire and continued to light it until death did them part.
Apr 28, 2013 | From the kitchen of Rose
in Questions and Answers
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Apr 27, 2013 | From the kitchen of Rose
Woody Wolston, with whom those of you who have been reading the blog are very familiar, has now been working with me for eight harmonious years. In his first email to me, Woody told me that his fellow T'ai Chi practitioners and broomball players were my best fans. I had never before heard of either T'ai Chi or broomball but since that time I have learned much about the two activities.
The cake that Woody made the most often was "The Chocolate Oblivion" from The Cake Bible. Woody has come a very long way since those days.
Here in Woody's words is a report of his baking for the recent T'ai Chi Chinese New Year's banquet.
Every year, my T'ai Chi studio, "Twin Cities T'ai Chi Chaun," celebrates the Chinese New Years with a demonstration at its studio followed by a dinner at a Chinese restaurant. For the last several years, I have made recipes for the dinner from the upcoming book, The Baking Bible. (The T'ai Chi students have taste tested virtually every recipe for both Rose's Heavenly Cakes and The Baking Bible. Their comments have been helpful for fine-tuning several of the recipes.
This year, I decided to make three recipes as we had some baking concerns resulting from comments from our wonderful "Beta Bakers" testing over thirty recipes from the upcoming book. One test explored the best temperature for making a plain caramel for flavor without the risk of turning it into black jack. Another involved prebaking pie shells. The last one was a variation for a recipe in Rose's Heavenly Cakes. Using scales, mixers, food processors, and Rose's evaluating eyes via our computers' live video streaming, the cakes and pies were made with great results.
WOODY'S "DINING ROOM" BAKING LAB
ANGEL FOOD CAKES
Just before the demonstration, I transported the three angel food cakes, a sheet cake, and two pies to the Peking Gardens restaurant, with adornments prepped for final assembly during dinner. At the studio, some 200 students, family members, and friends were all waiting for the demonstration to begin to ring in the Year of the Snake Chinese New Year.
One of my fellow students, Todd Nesser, a gifted graphics designer, every year for the past twelve years has designed colorful posters with the Chinese character for the year's animal, with accompanying photos and language, to be the back drop for the demonstration. Grand Master Mark, 85 years old, thoroughly enjoyed the demonstration. He was still actively teaching his art, Praying Mantis, at the age of 84, a testimonial to the health promoting benefits from some of the Chinese martial arts.
MASTER PAUL ABDELLA GRANDMASTER MARK MASTER RAY HAYWARD
The demonstration began with most of the students demonstrating the T'ai Chi solo form, a series of 150 postures, which is the foundation of the T'ai Chi system. Many of the crowd commented on the peaceful and mesmerizing energy generated by the graceful in unison movement of the students.
T'AI-CHI STUDENTS DOING THE BRUSH KNEE POSTURE
Continue reading "Celebration Baking for the Year of the Snake" »
Apr 20, 2013 | From the kitchen of Rose
I love soft-cooked eggs for breakfast or lunch but for adding to salads or bringing on the plane when I travel, hard-cooked eggs are ideal. It's easy to make a perfect hard-cooked egg with fully set yolk and tender white. It is not, however, easy or even possible to peel an egg that is too fresh. Eggs that are pasteurized in the shell do not present this problem.
Perfect Hard-Cooked Eggs
1 to 6 refrigerated eggs, preferably Safest Choice Pasteurized, and a saucepan large enough to hold them in a single layer.
Place the egg(s) in the saucepan and add cold water to cover by about 1 inch.
Bring the water to the boiling point (small bubbles will form around the periphery). Turn off the heat and allow the egg(s) to sit for 10 minutes.
Drain the water and shake the pan to crack the shell so that water can seep in, making it easier to peel. Add ice water to the pan to cover the egg(s) again by about 1 inch and allow the egg(s) to cool until no longer warm to the touch.
Note: hard-cooked eggs are an essential ingredient in chopped liver--a recipe I plan to post in the upcoming months.
Apr 19, 2013 | From the kitchen of Rose
My wonderful cousin, Lois Schenck, has been singing the praises of her favorite Baltimore restaurant Alchemy for two years now since it opened. I hope those of you who live in the area will join us for what promises to be a very special three course luncheon, discussion, Q & A, and book signing.
And what could possibly be a more perfect venue than Alchemy! My husband has long referred to me as an alchemist. I know I'm going to love it.
Follow this link to see the menu and make a reservation.