Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Pots De Creme

I happened on these little pots de crème the other day-I can't resist adding esoteric or eccentric pieces to my "Battery de Cuisine".  I'm sure I'll use them a couple of times and retire them to the china closet with my other "finds".

This chocolate pudding is so easy, so tasty and so satisfying-and now I have the correct little pot to bake them in.

1 1/4 cups half and half
3 1/2 ounces bittersweet chocolate
 1/4 cup sugar
3 large egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon flavored liqueur-Grand Marnier, Frangelica-etc
Pinch of salt

Heat the half and half to the simmering point-don't boil.  Off heat, add the sugar and chocolate-let sit for 5 minutes-whisk until smooth.

In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks, vanilla and other flavoring.

Whisk the half and half mixture into the yolk mixture, and strain into a small pitcher.

Pour the chocolate egg mixture into the pots de crème, bake in a Bain Marie in a preheated 300 degree oven for 30 minutes.

Chill before serving and serve with whipped cream .

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Grilled Red Snapper

Whole Grilled Red Snapper with Nuoc Cham

I got this Red Snapper at Whole Foods, it was about 3 pounds, and took about 20 to 25 minutes on the grill so easy and tasty.  I used a Nuoc Cham (the versatile Vietnamese dipping sauce as both a marinade and dip. 

Nuoc Cham

1/2 cup fish sauce-3 Crabs is best
1/2 cup palm sugar-brown sugar works if you can't find palm
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
1/ teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
2 tablespoons water

Mix all ingredients. 

Make three slit in both sides of the fish and insert a lemon and garlic slice.

Take 1/4 cup of the nuoc cham and add 2 tablespoons of sesame oil and brush the fish (including the cavity with it.  Let sit 1 hour before grilling.

Stuff the cavity with lemons and herbs.

Place the fish on the grill over medium high heat, with the cavity toward the front (this helps when you flip the fish by just rolling it over it dorsal fin).  Grill for 10 to 12 minutes on each side.

Sunday, March 02, 2014

French Apple Tart

Almost everyone know Julia Child's Tart Tatin-the caramelized upside down pie, but she also published a couple of other recipes.  Here is her classic Tart Aux Pommes from "Mastering the Art of French Cooking".

Line a removable bottom tart pan with your favorite pastry recipe and blind bake the shell for 20 minutes.  Remove the foil and weights and return to the oven for 5 more minutes.  Cool the shell before proceeding.

4 pounds crisp cooking apples
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons sugar
1/3 cup apricot preserves
1/4 cup rum or cognac
2/3 cup sugar
3 tablespoons butter
zest of 1 lemon

Peel and core the apples.  thinly slice 3 cups of apples and toss them with the 2 tablespoons of sugar and 1 teaspoon lemon juice, reserve these slices to top the tart.

Cut the remaining apples into rough chunks and put them in a heavy bottomed sauce pan.

Cook them over low heat with the 1/3 cup apricot preserves, rum sugar and butter.  Stir and crush the apples into a thick apple sauce, raising the heat if necessary.

Spread the apple sauce into the tart shell.

Cover the top of the applesauce with the reserved apple slices, arranging them in a neat overlapping pattern.

Bake in the upper part of a pre-heated 375 degree oven until the apple slices are slightly browned and tender.

Glaze the top of the tart with melted apricot preserves.  Julia strained her preserves-I just left mine chunky.

Serve warm or cold with whipped cream.