Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Sun-dried Tomato Pesto Palmiers
Traditionally Palmiers (Palm Leaf) are a puff pastry sugar cookie. Here I used a savory filling of sun-dried tomatoes instead of sugar. They are excellent with a glass of Champagne or a martini.
1 sheet of puff pastry makes about 15 slices, cut about 1/2 to 3/4 inch wide.
1 large bunch of fresh basil
1/2 cup sundried tomatoes
2 garlic cloves
2/3 cup pine nuts
1/2 cup olive oil
2/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
Coarsely chop the basil, tomatoes, garlic,and pine nuts-I used a food processor-could be done by hand
Slowly fold in the oil and cheese
Spread the pesto in a thin layer over the top of sheet of puff pastry
Using the long side of the pastry, begin to roll it up jelly-roll style, when you reach the middle, stop and begin to roll from the opposite side until the two rolls meet in the center
Make 1/2 inch slices and bake on parchment covered baking sheets
I baked them at 375 degrees for about 12 minutes in a convection oven

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Hangtown Fry
This omelet became famous in the gold rush era of Northern California. Legend has it being served to both miners striking it rich in the gold fields as well as a popular request for the last meal for men about to be hung. It is a rich dish, and I don't prepare it too often but it is one of my all time favorite omelets. I fill my omelet with oysters, fried in cornmeal and a little cheese, then top with a little spicy chili-garlic sauce and another fried oyster. A little chopped scallion is also nice. Traditionally bacon is also part of the mix, but that is entirely too rich for me.
For the oysters:
Dust the oysters (3 to 4 per person, depending on the size) with a half and half mixture of corn meal and flour spiced with a bit of salt and cayenne.
Shallow fry the oysters in a saute pan until they are crispy and brown, drain on toweling.
For the omelet:
I use three eggs per person whisked with one tablespoon of water (water makes a fluffier omelet or use milk for a richer omelet), season with a bit salt and pepper.
Prepare your omelet pan and add the eggs, stir the eggs briefly until semi-set. place the fried oysters in the center of the eggs and top with a small amount of cheese. Begin rolling the omelet and flip it onto a serving plate. Garnish with some chopped scallion, a teaspoon of hot chili garlic paste and top with another fried oyster. Really good with a glass of champagne for a celebration brunch.