Category ... Recipes
Dec 24, 2016 | From the kitchen of Rose
in Special for the LA Times Syndicate
first published December 1997, for the Los Angeles Times Syndicate
There are those who truly believe in the cliche that love is blind and indeed they are often right. Life isn't perfect, so we tend to fill in the gaps with our creative imagination, and a certain degree of purposeful lack of vision can go far in keeping things going. But given those rare times when one is hit with the real thing that never disappoints, is lasting, in fact mellows and improves with age, and for which one can actually remove the rose colored glasses so often necessary for enchantment, only a fool would fail to treasure such beneficence. There were few such fools Christmas Eve 1996 when the Gods bestowed the gift of the most perfect conditions to date for making Eiswein to many vineyards throughout the wine growing regions of Germany.
Grapes, other than dessert wine grapes, are normally harvested in October. The advantage of allowing grapes to sit longer on the vine is that more flavor and sweetness can develop. The risk, however, is that they usually start to deteriorate before the temperature drops in mid January. The longer the wait, the higher the risk that it will all be for naught and the entire crop wasted.
When grapes freeze, the watery part freezes solid but the sugary juices containing flavors remain liquid. The grapes must be pressed before thawing so that only the naturally concentrated juices are released and the watery part stays frozen and left behind.
Because it is impossible to predict just how long the temperature will cooperate, it is advisable to pick the grapes immediately. When vintners emerged from mid-night mass on Christmas Eve, to discover that an unprecedented early drop in temperature had frozen the perfectly ripened grapes, they felt as if they had been given a Christmas present. It was the same heart-warming story in many vineyards throughout Germany: Fellow parishioners volunteered to go immediately to the vineyards to help pick the precious harvest before the grapes could defrost and spoil.
Eiswein, was invented in 1965 in Germany, the world's Northern-most wine growing region. It is usually made with either the Riesling, or Scheurebe grape (a cross between Riesling and Muller-Thurgau). It's intensity is at least equal to that of the renowned trockenbeerenauslese, fondly referred to as tba. Eiswein, however, has more purity of flavor because the freezing process does not impart any additional flavors.
The concentration of grapes for tba is caused by botrytis (aka noble rot). Botrytis, which is a fungus, breaks down the skin of the grape, causing the water to evaporate and the grape to shrivel. The botrytis also adds a distinctive burnt sugar-like tartness which masks some of the grape's flavor. The most conscientious growers remove any botrytis affected grapes before making the Eiswein.
The 1996 Eiswein harvest had the advantage not only of an early freeze but also of exceptionally clean botrytis free conditions and, of course, this is reflected in the extraordinary quality of the wine.
We all know that too much sweetness can quickly become cloying, but the beauty of a great German Eiswein is that the natural high acidity of the grape lends a provocative stinging poignancy, much desired balance between sweetness and fruit, and aging potential of as long as 100 years. Though often easy to drink even when very young, it isn't until about 10 years that the sweetness and acidity come into full married balance, with layers of unfolding flavors. It only takes a little glass of this liquid joy to go a long way and once experienced, it is impossible to forget.
Eiswein, retailing from $65 to $150 for 350 ml., is relatively inexpensive if you consider that for every glass you are drinking the equivalent of ten glasses that would have been produced from the same grapes had they not undergone the concentration. Besides, Christmas comes but once a year and Eiswein more seldom still. And once opened, the wine will keep refrigerated to be savored repeatedly over several weeks.
People are always asking what to eat with a wine that fills the mouth with such honeyed ambrosial nectar, it's like eating a glorious liquid dessert. My choice would be the simplest and finest cookie I know: the almond crescent. Crisp, buttery, impossibly fragile, with the faintest whisper of cinnamon, they will prove the point that one perfect thing deserves another. And, this recipe takes very little time to make in a food processor.
1996 Eisweins that I have enjoyed in the various wine regions of Germany which are exported to U.S.A. include: Selbach-Oster (Mosel), Hermann Donnhoff (Nahe), Gunderloch (Rheinhessen), Heyl zu Hernsheim (Rheinhessen), Josef Biffar (Pfalz), Fuhrmann-Eymael (Pfalz), Muller-Catoir (Pfalz),Von Buhl (Pfalz), Dr. Heger (Baden), Salwey (Baden).
Continue reading "For the Love of Eiswein--A Christmas Story" »
Dec 20, 2016 | From the kitchen of Rose
Maya Ferrante, winner of the 2016 Gramercy Tavern In-House Pie Contest, generously sent us her recipe which will be featured on the menu: This is just in time for you to make for the holidays!
Pecan Cookie Crust
Ladyfinger Cookies: 100 grams/3.5 ounces
Granulated Sugar: 25 grams/2 Tablespoons
Kosher Salt: 1/4 teaspoon
Pecans Halves: 125 grams/1-1/4 cups
Unsalted Butter, melted: 57 grams/4 Tablespoons
1. Grind ladyfingers, granulated sugar and kosher salt in food processor until ladyfingers are fine crumbs.
2. Add pecan pieces and pulse until mixture is homogenous.
3. Add melted butter and pulse until incorporated evenly.
4. Pour mixture into 9.5-inch pie pan and press into pan to form even crust.
5. Freeze until solid, about 15 minutes
6. Bake at 375°F for about 12-14 minutes until lightly browned. Cool before filling with custard.
Buttermilk Coconut Custard Filling
Large Eggs (3): 150 grams/3 Tablespoons plus 1/2 teaspoon (47 ml)
Granulated Sugar: 166 grams/2/3 cup
Bleached all-Purpose Flour: 23 grams/3 Tablespoons
Coconut Cream: 190 grams/3/4 cup
Buttermilk: 484 grams/2 cups
Vanilla Extract: 1 teaspoon
Kosher Salt: pinch
Flake Coconut, unsweetened: 170 grams/2 cups
Flake Coconut, sweetened: 64 grams/3/4 cup
1. In a large bowl, whisk eggs, granulated sugar and flour together. Add coconut cream, buttermilk, vanilla extract and salt and mix thoroughly.
2. Stir in both coconut flakes. Allow to rest for 15 minutes.
3. Pour into cooled pie shell.
4. Bake at 350°F until custard is set, about 30-35 minutes.
5. Cool thoroughly before topping with Date Cream
Heavy Cream: 464 grams/2 cups
Medjool Dates, pitted, cut in half: 113 grams/4 ounces/1 cup less 1-1/2 Tablespoons
Coconut Chips, unsweetened: 1-1/2 cups
Whipped Cream Stabilizer: 1 teaspoon
1. Place heavy cream, medjool dates and coconut chips into sauce pan and warm to a slight simmer for about 20 minutes. Cream should have slight notes of coconut and be gently sweetened with coconut.
2. Pass through chinois and chill cream.
3. Once cream is cool, add whipped cream stabilizer and whip to very soft peaks.
Toasted Coconut Chips: 3/4 cup
Nov 27, 2016 | From the kitchen of Rose
in Special for the LA Times Syndicate
first published May 1992, for the Los Angeles Times Syndicate
The Original Movado Museum Watch
The Designer Nathan George Horwitt, a self-portrait
I was moved to retell and post this story when I noticed all the Movado holiday ads featuring their latest permutation of the famed museum watch and, coincidentally, fellow blogger David Brawley posted a photo of the original on Face Book, which reminded me how much more aesthetically pleasing it was. In fact, Uncle Nat mocked the fancier designs. He detested the wider triangular hands and what he referred to as a the "foolish little jeweled nipple" replacing the discretely flat bezel of his design.
Uncle Nat was a great inspiration to me. He made me feel that anything was possible--but I thought this applied uniquely to him. When the first cover for The Cake Bible arrived, shortly before his 90th birthday, I turned it into a birthday card for him. I drew a candle on the cake and wrote the following note below the cake: Happy 90th Birthday dear Uncle Nat. Little did your father the rabbi know that he would have a great granddaughter, named after his wife, who would write a bible.
Two years later, shortly before he died, his last words to me were: Thank you for making the family proud. I felt as though I were given the blessing of Abraham. And I realized that a little of his magic just might have rubbed off on me.
Two years later I wrote this obituary:
Nathan George Horwitt, who died 2 years ago this June at the age of 92, at home, in his beloved Berkshires, was known by many as the designer of the Museum watch, the one with the dot that spawned a revolution of watches without numbers. Horwitt was also known as a witty raconteur, effective idealist, humanitarian and political activist, responsible for helping with the establishment of the state of Israel in the 1940s and for promoting "wave of wheat," designed to provide grain to India during the famine of 1951. I did not learn in detail about Horwitt's many activities and accomplishments until reading his obituaries, because though outspoken, he was innately modest. To me, he was known mainly as the most colorful, entertaining and magical member of our family: Uncle Nat.
I was a child when he completed the design for the Movado watch but remember how he showed me the drawings, describing with pride the elegant simplicity of his design, the dot signifying both sun at high noon and moon at midnight. As an industrial designer, his work was grounded in original, philosophical concepts, though sometimes they were whimsical: On the wall before me is the hilarious self-caricature he drew on a brown paper bag to entertain me one day at lunch over 30 years ago: half man, half dog with a bone in its mouth.
Nat was my grandmother's younger brother; a Peter Pan of a person with dark brown eyes sometimes stern with impatience, sometimes quizzical with irony, other times disarmingly warm with intelligence and love.
Perhaps some saw Horwitt the dogmatist, but I experienced Uncle Nat the teacher. He was so entertaining, I learned from him without ever knowing it was a lesson. Driving along in a car he would suddenly screech to a halt, back up with terrifying speed, leap onto someone's lawn and pluck the mushroom he had spotted out of the corner of his eye. They know me here, he would explain. (One of Horwitt's sidelines was selling morel mushrooms to Lutèce in New York.)
A walk in the forest was full of experiences: Taste this mushroom! Can you feel the pepper on your tongue? That's why it's called the pepper mushroom, or see this mushroom with spots? It's called Amanita Muscaria, the fly mushroom, because it draws flies. Don't eat it, it's poisonous. My favorite lesson was: Do you see anything among those dead leaves? His eagle eyes had spotted a prized morel mushroom and after showing me the first, he pointed out how others always grew nearby and I joyfully scurried to find them.
He taught me not to eat too many wild mushrooms at one sitting by one year sending me 5 pounds of morels with a note: Don't eat them all at once! I thought he was kidding and ended up with the implied stomach ache.
Uncle Nat's final and most important lesson about morels was how to cook them. As simply as possible, he instructed. Here's how:
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, or 1/4 teaspoon table salt
1 pound morel mushrooms
3 tablespoons butter, preferably unsalted
1 large clove garlic, smashed with the broad side of a knife
freshly ground black pepper to taste
In a large bowl, stir together the salt and several cups of cold water. Add the mushrooms and allow them to soak for about 10 minutes. The salt draws out any live insects which may be lurking in the mushroom's cavities. Remove the mushrooms to a colander and rinse well under cold running water to remove any dirt. Cut off the stem bottoms and any of the stem that may be tough. Slice each mushroom into 1/8-inch thick rounds or cut them into pieces, depending on the size of the mushroom.
In a large, heavy frying pan with a lid, heat the butter over medium heat. When bubbling, add the smashed garlic clove and mushrooms. Cover and cook on low heat for about 10 minutes or until the mushrooms soften and become tender. Continue cooking uncovered, over medium heat, for about 5 minutes, stirring often, until all liquid evaporates and the mushrooms begin to glaze lightly. Add the black pepper and taste to adjust the seasonings.
Caveat: do not pick wild mushrooms unless you have had expert training in their identification.
Nov 26, 2016 | From the kitchen of Rose
So pleased that Escali, creator of the Rose Scale, included the line to my my apple pie recipe in this useful and excellent roundup of pies.
Escali Rose Levy Bakeware Digital Scale - Multi-Purpose - Rose
Nov 09, 2016 | From the kitchen of Rose
in Special for the LA Times Syndicate
first published January 1996, for The Los Angeles Times Syndicate
I've been selfish. Every lamb has 12 to 15 pounds of meat and only 1-1/2 to 2 pounds of it are shanks. Frankly, I've been afraid that if I sang their praises too loudly, there wouldn't be enough for me. Just today, I called my local supermarket to ask if there were any lamb shanks, to be told that not one was available before the relenting clerk admitted to possession of two. I reserved them on the spot. Tonight's dinner was so utterly delicious that I am revealing my secret immediately afterwards, while I'm still feeling sated and generous and before I can change my mind. Not only are lamb shanks one of the cheapest cuts of lamb, they also happen to be the most deliciously succulent. Of course you have to like the flavor of lamb. The lamb council told me two years ago that they were breeding lamb with less flavor because Americans don't like lamb that tastes lamby. (Could this be an oxymoron in the making?) If they are successful, lamb may even risk ressembling the way our pork now tastes, which is to say: not at all. If you, like me, don't agree with this catastrophic trend, you will be delighted to learn that it is close to impossible to breed the flavor out of the shanks. (Lamb council: do not take this on as a challenge!)
I have a sort of Newtonian gravitational theory that whatever is closest to the ground, and still edible, seems to acquire the most flavor. That includes lamb shanks, drum sticks of all birds, and even "pieds des cochons" (pigs feet). At the risk of sounding gluttonously carnivorous, the muscles in the lower leg also happen to offer the most moist and luscious texture, and the gelatinous cartilage of the foot is perhaps the most succulent of all.
This preparation for lamb shanks is one of my favorite Winter family dinners. It also is suitable for good friends but perhaps not for formal dining as it's hard to resist the temptation of eating the lamb right from the bone not to mention sucking out the marrow!
The garlic slivers, inserted deeply into the meat, melt into the lamb. The creamy richness of the lamb blends perfectly with the wheaty crunch of the bulgur, which is punctuated with sweet little bursts of current. A simple steamed green vegetable, such as Italian green beans, is the perfect accompaniment as is an assertive red wine such as a Cotes du Rhone or a California syrah.
LAMB SHANKS AND BULGUR
4 lamb shanks, cracked in half
2 large cloves of garlic
1 teaspoon rosemary, preferably fresh
pepper to taste
1 1/3 cups bulgur
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup dried currants
2 cups boiling water
Preheat oven to 350°F.
With the tip of a sharp knife, make small, deep slashes in lamb and insert slivers of garlic and rosemary. Set aside remaining garlic. Sprinkle shanks with freshly ground black pepper and place in a heavy pan which has a tight fitting lid. (A 10" cast iron skillet with glass top is ideal as low sides are preferable.)
Roast shanks uncovered for one hour for 3/4 pound shanks an additional 15 minutes for larger ones.) Meat will have pulled away slightly from bone. Remove skillet from oven; remove lamb, and drain out all the fat. (Enough will remain coating the pan to flavor the bulgur.) Place pan on burner over low heat. Mince reserved garlic and add to pan, stirring for about 1 minute or til cooked but not brown. Add bulgur and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and fry, stirring for about a minute to toast grains. Sprinkle in currants and add the boiling water. Sprinkle lamb on both sides with remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and return lamb to pan. Cover at once and return to oven for 15 minutes or til all water is absorbed. Do not stir.
Remove from oven and allow to sit covered for 5 minutes up to 1/2 hour. Fluff bulgur with fork and serve.
Sep 28, 2016 | From the kitchen of Rose
There is nothing quite like Concord grapes and this is the small window time of the year when they are available here in the North East.
Heidi Legenbauer Williams has written a delightful and informative article for the Daily Gazette, which includes three recipes (one of which is my Concord Grape Pie from The Pie and Pastry Bible).
Check out your local farmers' market. You can stem and freeze the grapes, preferably in Ball jars, for at least a year or until you are ready to make the pie. As I said to Heidi when interviewed on the subject this past August: It's like eating wine.
Jul 09, 2016 | From the kitchen of Rose
Woody is not only a gifted baker, he is also a great cook. My favorite meal he has made for us is what we affectionately refer to as Chimis.
A chimichanga is basically a deep-fried burrito. Homemade flour tortillas rolled paper-thin make the perfect wrap for the chimichangas' filling. We have found that most tortillas bought in stores are too thick and have a cardboard-like texture and taste. Upon deep-frying, these homemade tortilla casings become light, crispy, and flakey. Our favorite filling is braised, shredded pork shoulder with black beans, roasted pablano peppers, sautéed onions, Monterey Jack cheese, and cilantro. Chicken and refried beans with seasonings and cheese is another great filling. We also like to serve the chimis with Pablano Cream Sauce spooned on top.
The tortillas are also excellent for deep-frying for nachos and flautas. You can also roll the tortilla dough slightly thicker for burritos, wraps, or quesadillas, all which are not deep-fried.
Special Equipment: A frying pan or griddle (preferably nonstick) 12 inches or more in diameter across its bottom; A 15 by 12 inch baking sheet; A large Dutch oven (10 inches in diameter); Eight 12 inch lengths of cord for four chimichangas
Makes: Four 12 inch round tortillas : 106 grams each
(Six 9 inch round tortillas : 70 grams each)
Gold Medal or King Arthur bread flour: 260 grams/2 cups (lightly spooned into the cup and leveled off)
Baking powder: 3/4 teaspoon
Salt: 1/2 teaspoon
Shortening or solid clarified butter, room temperature (see Notes): 50 grams/5-1/2 tablespoons
Water, warm (see Notes) : 118 grams/1/2 cup (118 ml)
Make the Tortilla Dough In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the flat beater, mix the flour, baking powder, and salt on low speed for 30 seconds. Detach the flat beater and add the shortening. Use the beater to cut the shortening into the flour mixture. Reattach the beater and mix on low speed until the flour mixture is crumbly.
With the mixer on low speed, gradually drizzle in the warm water, until the dough sticks together and clears the sides of the bowl. There usually will be some water left over (around 1 to 2 teaspoons).
Knead and Shape the Dough Discs On an unfloured countertop, briefly knead the dough to form a smooth ball (no more than 10 kneads and for less than 1 minute). Loosely wrap the dough ball in plastic wrap. Let the dough rest for 2 hours at room temperature (or overnight in the refrigerator). The dough ball should weigh around 424 grams.
Divide the dough into 4 pieces (106 grams each), or 6 pieces for 6 tortillas (70 grams each). Form each piece into a ball. Cup each ball with both of your hands and use your fingers to form a 'mushroom cap' shaped disc, about 4 inches in diameter. Cover each disc with plastic wrap. Let the discs rest for 30 minutes.
Roll the Dough Discs Have ready 5 sheets of plastic wrap at least 12 inches square.
Lightly flour (preferably with Wondra) a countertop or doughmat and place a dough disc on it. (You want your surface to have just enough flour to let the dough roll out, without the disc sliding on the surface.)
The dough needs to be rolled very thin (1/16 inch or less). Roll the dough into a roughly 12 inch or larger disc. At the beginning, roll the dough from the center to the edges and side to side to keep a roughly round shape. Lift the dough from time to time and flip it over, adding just enough flour as necessary to keep it from sticking. To roll the tortilla to its final size, lightly hold down the dough with one hand, while rolling away from your hand with the other. Leave the tortilla untrimmed around the edges. It will be almost translucent.
If the dough softens and is difficult to roll, slip it onto a baking sheet, cover and refrigerate it for a few minutes until it firms.
Place the tortilla on one of the sheets of plastic wrap and cover it with another sheet of plastic wrap.
Repeat with the other dough discs.
Continue reading "Woody's Homemade Flour Tortillas for Chimichangas and Burritos" »
Feb 12, 2016 | From the kitchen of Rose
Photo Credit: Julia Garrtland
Kristen Miglore, of Food52, has just made live an exceptional and detailed posting on my favorite chocolate cake recipe "The Chocolate Oblivion Truffle Torte," from The Cake Bible.
Click here and enjoy!
Jan 24, 2016 | From the kitchen of Rose
Photo by Woody Wolston
Rose Levy Beranbaum's Perfect Pie Plate, 9-Inch, Ceramic, Rose
The pie plate originally came in a hatbox with a small recipe booklet containing 4 recipes. As it is no longer packaged this way, here is a link to purchase a new booklet which contains my top 10 American pie recipes, my favorite pie crust recipe, tips and step-by-step photos. The pages are laminated.
Rose Levy Beranbaum Signature Series Rose's All Original All American Pie Recipe Deck, Multicolor
Jan 09, 2016 | From the kitchen of Rose
Elizabeth Karmel, dear friend, chef/owner of Carolina Cue to Go, and author of Taming the Flame, created this marvelous recipe for Thanksgiving several years ago. She serves it as a side dish and even as a pie.
Elizabeth and I love the garnet yams for their beautiful color. This inspired me to add little flecks of Aleppo pepper which is not only colorful but also mildly spicy and flavorful.
Here is my adaptation:
Chipotle Sweet Potato and Maple Syrup Puree
Serves: 6 to 8
sweet potatoes/yams preferably garnet: 2.2 kg/5 pounds (10 medium or 5
maple syrup: 382 grams/1 cup plus 2 tablespoons
sour cream: 242 grams/1 cup
unsalted butter, softened: 113 grams/1 stick/8 tablespoons
2 to 3 canned chipotles in adobo sauce
ground cinnamon: 2-1/2 teaspoons
Fine sea salt to taste
Optional: Aleppo pepper
Choose medium-size potatoes, about 5 inches long and feeling very heavy for their size. Clean off any dirt and bad spots with a rough brush or veggie cleaner. Dry well. Prick the tops with a fork about three times.
Set the potatoes on a foil-lined baking sheet and turn the oven (unpreheated) to 425°F. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour (1 hour if the potatoes are large and 1-1/4 hours if very large. Turn off the heat and let sit in the oven for 1 hour. The insides will be meltingly soft.
Meanwhile combine maple syrup, sour cream, butter, chipotles in adobo, cinnamon and salt in a small bowl. Scrape the mixture into a blender or food processor and puree until smooth, scraping down the sides as needed.
Cut the potatoes in lengthwise halves. Scoop the hot insides into the blender or food processor. Process until silky smooth, stirring down the sides as needed. Taste for seasoning, adding more salt if needed. If desired, sprinkle with Aleppo pepper.
Jan 07, 2016 | From the kitchen of Rose
Shirl Gard, pastry chef and consultant, recently sent me her version of my Cranberry Scone Toppers from The Baking Bible. This is one of my favorite recipes and she has done an excellent presentation including step by step photos. Check out the posting on her website.
What could be more gratifying than sharing recipes and inspiring other professionals to create one's of their own! Oh wait--I know--their having the graciousness and professionalism to credit the originator of the recipe as did Shirl.!
Dec 07, 2015 | From the kitchen of Rose
in Rose's Products
Harold Import Company European-Grade Silicone Rose Levy Beranbaum's Marvelous Mini Cake Pan, Red
I created this silicone pan, inspired by the French financier pan, to bake mini cakes but most of all for brownies. They pop right out--each with a perfect shape and size and fine crust all around that keeps them from staling. It's far easier getting the batter into the molds than having to cut them afterwards!
This batter can be made ahead and transported as there is no leavening to dissipate.
The brownies are light in texture but get their exceptional moistness from cream cheese and fudginess from the best quality cocoa and chocolate. for extra creaminess optional little plugs of ganache are poured into holes made with a chop stick after baking. It is most gratifying to see people casually pop a brownie in their mouths expecting something ordinary and then watch their eyes widen in glad surprise. chocolate never gets better than this.
Continue reading "My New Marvelous Mini Silicone Cake Pan" »
Nov 28, 2015 | From the kitchen of Rose
This is the terrific recipe I blogged about after visiting Toronto this past summer for the Parapan Olympics and enjoyed it for lunch at The Chef's House. Chef Oliver Li emailed the recipe and I have now tried it with both the fabulous MamaO's kimchi paste and their kimchi. The kimchi paste is faster and coats the rice more evenly but my first choice is the chopped kimchi as it adds a lovely crispness as well as flavor. This is now a permanent recipe in my repertoire.
from The Chef's House, Oliver Li CCC, Chef de Cuisine, Toronto
Serves: 2 to 3 for lunch, 4 to 6 as a side dish
Vegetable oil: 2 tablespoons
4 bacon strips/120 grams, cut cross-wise into 1/4 inch slices
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
183 grams/1 cup chopped kimchi or 1 tablespoon kimchi paste
2 cups cooked the day before rice, I prefer basmati (100 grams/1/2 cup raw)
2 scallions, sliced thin on the diagonal
salt and pepper to taste
Over medium heat, heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a wok, preferably non-stick.
Add the bacon, onion, garlic, and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring often, until the onion begins to soften and just begins to brown--about 5 minutes.
Turn the heat to high if using the chopped kimchi, add the second tablespoon of oil, and stir it for 2 to 3 minutes. If using the paste, leave the heat on medium and stir it in until combined.
Add the rice and cook for about 2 minutes, stirring. Then add the scallions and cook, stirring for 1 minute more.
Note: basmati is the only rice that when cooked grows longer and also increases by 4 times. With other varieties the usual increase is X3.
Nov 20, 2015 | From the kitchen of Rose
My dearest friend, Diane Boate, who lives in San Francisco and writes for the on-line publication Eat, Drink, Films, has just written an utterly charming piece on my pecan pie. She also includes the recipe both for the pie and for the secret ingredient (Lyle's Golden Refiner's Syrup).
Oct 11, 2015 | From the kitchen of Rose
I was deeply saddened to learn of the passing of one of my favorite people in the food world.
I first met Paul Prudhomme over 20 years ago during an International Association of Culinary Professionals regional meeting in New Orleans. I had stood in line for over an hour with some of my colleagues to eat at his famed restaurant K-Paul. During the long wait one of the people in line told us about chef Paul's "Cajun martini." I made sure to order one and it was the first and only time that alcohol cured my sinus headache instead of making it worse! Here's how it is made:
Take a bottle of gin and insert a Jalapeno pepper. Fill the neck with vermouth. Close the bottle and let it sit for several days depending on how much "heat" you desire. The amazing results are ice cold gin with a surrounding blast of hot pepper.
Chef Paul gave a lecture the following day and I was so moved by his sincere eloquence that I stood in line once again but this time to talk to him. After telling him my thoughts about his lecture he put out his arms to hug me. It was the warmest hug I've ever received, not just because of this 500 pounds filling every nook and cranny, but because of the sentiment behind it.
Chef Paul was scheduled to visit New York a few months later to give a demo on making Cajun popcorn shrimp. I made the most delicious dessert in my repertoire to bring to him: a Galette des Rois (King's Cake, made with puff pastry filled with frangipane).
A few weeks later, I was lying in bed reading next to my husband when the phone rang. A beautiful deep voice said: "This is Paul Prudhomme." My New York sarcastic response was "Yeah right! Who is this?" "It's Paul! I'm calling to thank you for that incredible pastry. But please never do that again--I ate the whole thing by myself!"
We were friends ever since. Several years later Paul's weight made it difficult for him to stand or walk so he used an electric scooter. At various food events, he would drive down the aisle to my booth, beaming with the joie de vivre that was so much a part of his being, for another of his incomparable hugs.
Here is the feature that I wrote about him in 1994 for my former column at the LA Times Syndicate, along with the recipe that propelled him into the public eye, which had a stunning effect on our appreciation of Cajun cooking, and the population of redfish.
Continue reading "Tribute to Chef Paul Prudhomme" »
Sep 29, 2015 | From the kitchen of Rose
in Book Review
And what better title could there be for a cookbook!
As co-editor of Dessert Professional Magazine, and author of four other baking books, Tish Boyle is an experienced pastry chef and writer of baking instructions so I knew I was in for a treat. As Tish and I share the same editor (and publisher) and are long-time friends and respected colleagues, I was immediately eager to try out a recipe.
I love that Tish lists weights in addition to volume and the way the book is organized by yes---flavors. And as caramel is my personal favorite flavor it was the Chocolate-Caramel-Almond Tart with Fleur de Sel that called out to me. Described in the head note as "This seductive tart has a deep, butter caramel almond filling topped off with a thin ganache glaze and a sprinkling of crunchy fleur de sel," it certainly seduced me!
As a baker and author myself, it is a challenge to make recipes from another baking author. We each have different approaches so it is difficult to set aside one's own techniques in deference to another's. But the rewards can be learning new ideas and saluting a colleague's expertise as was the case here.
If it is true that "the devil is in the details," then we pastry people sure are devilish. We choose different details to highlight, for example, when making the syrup for the caramel, Tish suggests washing down any sugar crystals that form on the sides of the pan with a wet brush. This is good advice because these crystals can cause the entire syrup to crystallize rather than melt into a smooth caramel. My approach has been to stir the sugar and water carefully to ensure that no crystals land on sides of the pan. But rethinking this, I now realized that not everyone is going to be as careful so I'm going to add this to my own upcoming book.
One detail that I like to add to my tart recipes is to set the tart pan on a baking sheet, because it is all too easy to inadvertently separate the sides of the tart pan from the bottom when moving it. Also, there is always a little butter that leaks out the bottom.
I was intrigued by Tish's pie crust. It is different from any pie crust I've ever made or seen. While my first choice of flour for a flaky crust is pastry flour, Tish calls for unbleached all-purpose flour. If I used this in my crust recipe it would be tough as cardboard but knowing Tish I knew this would not be the case and sure enough, the added 3 tablespoons of sugar was enough to make it perfectly tender and flavorful indeed! On analysis, it is a cross between a flaky pie crust and a cookie pie crust (pâte sucrée)--less flaky than a flaky crust and welcomingly less sweet than a cookie crust. It is even tender enough when eaten cold from the refrigerator (which is how I like to eat this tart as the caramel becomes slightly chewy.) It is easy to make and rolls and transfers beautifully to the tart pan.
The caramel filling glides into the baked crust and the ganache topping floats over the chilled filling. If you work quickly, you can tilt the pan from side to side so that there is no need to spread the ganache with a spatula, keeping it mirror smooth. The tiny touch of fleur de sel is just the right amount to serve as an accent to the caramel.
This is a beautifully conceived and complex recipe made simple and utterly delicious. I'm confident that further exploration will unveil many other treasures in this exciting new book. The recipe is at the bottom of this posting!
Flavorful: 150 Irresistible Desserts in All-Time Favorite Flavors
Continue reading "A Book Called Flavorful: Pub Date Today!" »
Jul 18, 2015 | From the kitchen of Rose
When I saw this extraordinary mind blowing technique on Food 52, replacing egg white with chickpea liquid (they refer to it as watery dregs) we just had to try it! Dan Barber, in a project utilizing parts of ingredients that more often than not get tossed, came up with this genius technique. I can't begin to imagine how anyone could conceptualize and take the daring mental leap that the liquid in which canned chickpeas is packed could possibly support and hold air to create a mousse the way viscous egg white accomplishes so perfectly, but it does! Of course there are differences.
First of all, Food 52 noted that the chickpea flavor completely disappeared on baking and we found this to be true in that no one would ever detect the actual flavor of chickpea but there is a subtle additional flavor. Also it does not hold its shape in baking quite as well so that any ridges or swirls flatten into mushroom cap smoothness.
Here's the recipe as we did it:
1/3 cup/59 grams chickpea liquid
(now dignified in Latin as aquafaba
1/2 cup/100 grams superfine sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 250°F/120°C. Line a baking sheet with parchment.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the chickpea liquid and sugar and use the whisk beater by hand to stir it together. Attach the whisk beater. Starting on low speed, and gradually increasing to high, beat for 15 minutes until fairly stiff peaks form when the beater is raised. They will droop slightly.
Place a dab of meringue underneath the parchment in the center to keep it stationary. Use two large tablespoons or pipe mounds onto the parchment.
Bake 40 to 50 minutes. At 50 minutes, Woody pressed one and they were not yet crisp so we continue baking another 10 minutes. This caused the meringue to begin to brown and become less smooth but still not crisp, however, after removal from the oven and cooled they became perfectly crisp. (We should have taken them out at 50 minutes.)
Thus encouraged we decided to try our praline meringue ice cream sandwich cookie recipe which uses brown sugar. The mixture did not form stiff peaks but tasted absolutely delicious.
The meringues cracked during baking, which they normally do, but looked puffy and promising.
Sadly, on cooling, they deflated and the centers were gooey liquid even on further baking.
We are not vegans but if we were, we would find that the meringues made with aquafaba and superfine sugar, which are delicate and light, are a perfectly acceptable substitute for the egg white variety.
Mar 19, 2015 | From the kitchen of Rose
Spring is in the air, which means it's getting closer to fresh blueberry season! Charlotte Wright has a great blog posting which includes tips and recipes from many bakers, including me, for blueberry muffins. Muffin Paradise
Mar 07, 2015 | From the kitchen of Rose
This is my top favorite bread. It originally appeared in my book The Bread Bible as a torpedo shaped loaf but since I wanted to use it for sandwiches, I've adapted it to be in sandwich loaf shape. In the process I also made several additions and changes to create the ultimate taste and texture of my imagination.
I added some firm sour dough starter that always resides in my freezer, which gives the bread extra flavor and shelf life. I added oil to give it a softer crumb, and in order to faciliate the even incorporation of so many grains, I added the salt, which makes the dough firmer, after the grains were mixed in. I replaced one-third of the bread flour with durum flour, for its delicious flavor, and used the new Platinum Yeast by Red Star. I was told by the company that the dough improvers in this yeast are dough strengthening enzymes derived from the protein in wheat flour and that I would need less vital wheat gluten to strengthen the dough to support the addition of the grains. Vital wheat gluten results in a chewier texture but the enzymes in the Platinum Yeast do not so I surmised that this would yield a more tender crumb.
And, when using the Platinum yeast, and only half the usual vital wheat gluten, I achieved the identical rise but with a slightly more tender crumb and a perfectly smooth exterior with no slight tearing where the dough rises above the top of the pan.
As not everyone has firm sour dough starter on hand, I tried substituting biga, which is essentially the same proportion of ingredients but is at its best when made three days ahead of mixing the dough for the bread. To my delight, there was no difference between the sour dough starter and the biga!
I encourage you to make your own 10 grain mix as the grains are larger and give a better texture to the bread. I usually replace the soy nuggets with equal volume of pumpkin seeds as I love their flavor. Feel free to create your own favorite mix.
Continue reading "Ten Grain Loaf with Step by Step Photos" »
Feb 23, 2015 | From the kitchen of Rose
Click on the image to get a spectacular full-size view!
This past week, the recipe of the week for the Alpha Bakers was The Chocolate Pavarotti with Wicked Good Ganache. This cake was not pictured in The Baking Bible, which made it great fun to see all the different decorating effects.You can check them out by clicking on the Alpha Baker's portal on the left side of the blog home page. The rendition above, however, was just sent to me by Dr. Jamila Javadova-Spitzberg, a professional organist who also, I just discovered, has a great talent as a baker and artist! She made this cake for her husband Blair's birthday. Brava Jamila!
And here is her review: Everyone agreed that the Pavarotti has a very distinct flavor unlike any chocolate cake we ever tried. It was smooth, yet textured. It slices very well, in one piece. Just enough amount of cayenne but not overpowering. Not too sweet and not too heavy either. People wondered if another layer of icing can be added into the middle to enforce the flavor? To me it's texture is reminiscent of Baroque instrumental or vocal music with clear execution and articulation.
It was a successful performance. Thank you Rose!