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Friday, November 21

Hollandaise sauce


Egg yolks
4
Lemon juice, freshly squeezed
1 tablespoon
Butter, unsalted, melted
½ cup
Cayenne
Pinch
Salt
Pinch
Eggs Benedict
Bacon, Canadian
8 slices
Muffins, English
4
Vinegar, white
2 teaspoons
Eggs
8
Salt

Pepper

Parsley, chopped
Garnish
  1. Vigorously whisk the yolks and juice together in top portion of a double boiler pot, until the mixture is thickened and doubled in volume. 
  2. Place the bowl over the saucepan containing barely simmering water; the water should not touch the bottom of the bowl. 
  3. Continue to whisk rapidly; be careful not to let the eggs get too hot or they will scramble. 
  4. Slowly drizzle in the melted butter, and continue to whisk until the sauce is thickened and doubled in volume. 
  5. Remove from heat, whisk in cayenne and salt. 
  6. Cover and place in a warm spot until ready to use. If the sauce gets too thick, add a few drops of warm water before serving. 
Eggs Benedict
  1. Brown the bacon in a skillet. Toast the English muffins, cut sides up, on a baking sheet under the broiler. 
  2. Fill a 10-inch skillet half full with water. Add vinegar. Bring to a slow boil. 
  3. Gently break one of the eggs into the water; repeat with remaining eggs. 
  4. Reduce heat to a gentle simmer. 
  5. Cook 3 ½ minutes, until the egg white is set and the yolk remains soft. 
  6. Remove with a slotted spoon, allowing each egg to drain. 
  7. Lay a slice of bacon on top of each muffin half, followed by a poached egg. 
  8. Season, spoon the sauce over the eggs, and garnish with parsley.

Cranberry compote


Water
1 ½ cups
Sugar
1 ½ cups
Cranberries, fresh, picked clean
12 ounces
Lemon juice
½
Orange zest
1 tablespoon
Applejack brandy
3 tablespoons
  1. In a deep 4-quart saucepan, combine the water and sugar; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. 
  2. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer, and cook for about 10 minutes, until the texture is syrupy. 
  3. Add the cranberries, juice, and zest. 
  4. Adjust the heat so the mixture barely simmers and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes, until the cranberries just begin to pop open and the syrup thickens. 
  5. Remove from heat, and let cool to room temperature. 
  6. Add the brandy. 
  7. Transfer to a bowl, cover, and refrigerate. 
  8. Remove from the refrigerator 1 hour before serving. 
Recipe from The New Thanksgiving Table by Diane Morgan.

Tuesday, November 18

Pâté de canard en croûte


Tools
Mixing bowls, large
Wooden spoon
Trussing needle
Butcher’s string
Skillet, large
Baking sheet
Pastry brush
Canard
Duckling
5 pounds
Salt
½ teaspoon
Pepper
1/8 teaspoon
Allspice
Pinch
Cognac
2 tablespoons
Port
2 tablespoons
Pâté
Onions, finely minced
½ cup
Butter, unsalted
2 tablespoons
Port, Madeira or cognac
½ cup
Pork, lean, ground
¾ pound
Veal, lean, ground
¾ pound
Andouille sausage,
finely chopped
½ pound
Eggs, lightly beaten
2
Salt
1 ½ teaspoons
Pepper
1/8 teaspoon
Allspice
Pinch
Thyme
½ teaspoon
Garlic, minced
5 cloves
Oil, cooking
3 tablespoons
Croûte
Flour, all purpose
6 cups
Shortening
2 ounces
Butter
4 ounces
Salt
1 ½ teaspoons
Sugar
¼ teaspoon
Eggs
2
Water, cold
2/3 cup
Wash
Egg
1
Water, cold
1 teaspoon
Canard
  1. Bone the duck.
    See Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child (page 570), or review a video on YouTube.com for details. 
  2. Lay the boned bird skin-side down on a board. 
  3. Slice off the thickest layers of breast and thigh meat, and cut into cubes about 3/8-inch across. 
  4. Place the cubes back on the duck, season, and sprinkle with cognac and port. 
  5. Roll up the duck, place in a bowl, and refrigerate. 
Pâté
  1. Cook the onions slowly with the butter in a small skillet for 8 to 10 minutes until they are tender and translucent but not browned; scrape them into a mixing bowl. 
  2. Pour the wine into the skillet, and boil it down until reduced by half; scrape into the mixing bowl. 
  3. Combine the meats together, and then mix in the eggs, garlic, and seasonings with a wooden spoon until lightened in texture and thoroughly blended.
  4. Sauté a spoonful, and taste; adjust seasonings accordingly. 
  5. Mix in the cubed duck meat and marinade. 
  6. If not used immediately, cover and refrigerate. 
Stuff
  1. Spread the duck on a board, skin-side down. 
  2. Heap the stuffing in the center, and shape it into a loaf. 
  3. Bring the duck skin up over the loaf to enclose it completely. 
  4. Sew it in place with a trussing needling and thread. 
  5. Make three or four ties around the circumference of the duck to give it a cylindrical shape. 
  6. Heat the oil in the skillet until it is almost smoking. 
  7. Brown the duck slowly on all sides. 
  8. Remove, and allow to cool.
    The trussing strings remain on the duck to hold its shape while baking. 
Croûte
  1. Place flour, salt, sugar, shortening, and butter into a large mixing bowl. 
  2. Rub the flour and butter together rapidly between the tips of your fingers until the butter is broken into pieces the size of oatmeal flakes.
    Do not overdo this step as the butter will be blended more thoroughly later. 
  3. Whisk the eggs and water together.
  4. Add the water, and blend quickly with one hand, fingers held together and slightly cupped, as you rapidly gather the dough into a mass. 
  5. Sprinkle up to 1 tablespoon more water by droplets over any unmassed remains, and add them to the main body of the dough. 
  6. Press the dough firmly into a roughly shaped ball. It should just hold together and be pliable but not sticky. 
  7. Place the dough on a lightly floured pastry board. 
  8. With the heel of one hand, not the palm which is too warm, rapidly press the pastry by two-spoonful bits down on the board away from you in a firm, quick smear of about 6 inches.
    This constitutes the final blending of the fat and flour, or fraisage. 
  9. With a scraper or spatula, gather the dough again into a mass; knead it briefly into a fairly smooth round ball. 
  10. Sprinkle lightly with flour, and wrap in waxed paper. 
  11. Either place the dough in the freezer for 1 hour until it is firm but not congealed, or refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight. 
Bake
  1. Preheat to 400°F; ensure a rack is in the middle. 
  2. Roll two-thirds of the dough into an oval shape that is 1/8-inch thick. 
  3. Lay it on a baking sheet. 
  4. Place the duck on the oval, breast up. 
  5. Bring the pastry up around the duck, patting it into place. 
  6. Roll out the remaining dough 1/8-inch thick, and cut it into an oval to fit over the top of the duck. 
  7. Paint the edges of the bottom pastry oval with a pastry brush dipped in beaten egg, and press the top oval in place. 
  8. Flute or pinch the edges together to seal them. 
  9. Make circles or ovals with a 1 ½-inch cookie cutter any remaining dough, and press fan-shaped lines into them with the back of a knife. 
  10. Paint the top pastry oval with beaten egg, and press the cutouts over it in a decorative design; paint with egg. 
  11. Make an 1/8-inch hole in the center of the pastry, and insert a brown paper or foil funnel; this allows cooking steam to escape. 
  12. Insert a meat thermometer into the hole through the funnel, and down through the duck skin into the pâté. 
  13. Place the duck in the oven, and reduce the heat to 350°F. 
  14. Bake for 2 hours, or to a thermometer reading of 180°F. 
  15. Remove from the oven, and allow to cool for several hours; the crust will soften if the pâté is refrigerated too soon; chill. 
Serve
  1. Cut around the crust just under the seam of the top pastry oval; lift the oval off carefully so as not to break it. 
  2. Remove the circular trussing strings, and then cut and pull out the sewing strings underneath the duck. 
  3. Place the duck back into the pastry and replace the top oval.
Notes
  • In an attempt to impress a gather of friends for Thanksgiving, I decided to challenge myself with deboning a duck for the first time. With a good, sharp knife it's an easy enough task. I thought I hacked up my first duck a little, especially around the leg meat, but it finishes perfectly in the oven.
  • Trim the fat around the neck, tail, and legs to help create the proper shape.
  • I cut into the breast and thigh meat with a crosshatch design, but it would have been better if I removed the meat and mixed it with the pâté per the original recipe.
  • In my first attempt, I ran out of eggs and didn't complete the croûte part. Still taste great but I think the pastry will take it to the next level.
  • Needs a sauce of some sort to pull it all together. Thinking about a cranberry-ornage, of course.
First attempt without the pastry
Recipe from Master the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child.