Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Cream of Spinach Soup

½ cup of chopped onions
2 Tb butter
2 lbs fresh spinach
5 cups chicken stock
½ cup white rice
A big pinch of nutmeg
½ cup heavy cream
2 egg yolks
Lemon juice
Another 4 Tb of soft butter

Cook the onions slowly in butter (sweat them) for around 9 minutes, until tender but not browned.

Wash the spinach thoroughly and blanch in boiling water for about 1-1/2 minutes. Drain and get out as much water as possible using a spinner and squeeze it dry.

Stir the spinach into the onions.

Cover and cook over low heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally to keep the spinach from scorching.

Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil.

Stir in the rice.

Season with nutmeg, salt and pepper.

Simmer partially covered for 25 minutes until the rice is tender.

Using a wire whip, blend the cream and egg yolks in a big bowl.

Puree about 2 cups of the spinach mixture.

Dribble the pureed 2 cups into the cream and egg yolk mixture, beating constantly.

Puree the rest of the spinach mixture and add to the cream/yolk mixture, stirring it in.

Pour into jars and let it rest at least overnight.

Can then reheat, almost to a simmer.

Remove from heat, correct seasoning, add lemon juice and stir in the soft 4 Tb of butter, one tablespoon at a time.

Serve right away!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Corn Crepes


2 Tablespoons olive oil, plus more for greasing pan
½ cup fresh or frozen corn kernels, thawed
¼ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
½ cup small diced, cored and seeded red bell pepper
¼ cup thinly sliced scallions, white and green parts
2 cloves garlic, sliced
½ cup whole milk
2 large eggs
½ cup all-purpose flour, sifted before measuring

Heat the oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add the corn, season with a little salt, and allow to sweat.

Stir in the bell pepper, scallions, and garlic and continue to sweat for 2 to 3 minutes.

Transfer the softened vegetables to the bowl of a food processor. 

Add the milk, eggs, flour, oil, and ¼ teaspoon salt to the food processor and pulse until smooth. 

Let rest for 30 minutes, and if possible, cover and refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours.

Once ready to make the crepes, lightly coat a 7 or 8-inch sauté pan over medium heat with a little bit of oil or duck fat. Ladle in about 2 Tablespoons of batter and swirl to coat the bottom of the pan. Cook it until it's slightly browned. Flip the crepe and continue cooking for another minute until it's just cooked through. Transfer the crepe to a plate and repeat with the remaining batter, stacking them on top of the other. You should have 4 to 6 crepes.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Duck Confit

 8 duck legs and thighs (can find these at an Asian food market)
3 Tablespoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 Tablespoon coriander seeds, toasted and crushed
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon smoked sweet paprika
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 minced shallot
4 bay leaves, crumbled
1 quart (4 cups) duck fat, melted

Rinse the duck legs and thighs and pat dry. Lay them in a marinating tray or into a 2-gallon resealable plastic bag.

Mix together the salt, sugar, coriander, cinnamon, paprika, garlic, shallot, and bay leaves in a small bowl. Add the mixture to the duck pieces and coating them well. Close the bag and refrigerate for 24 to 48 hours, flipping it once or twice a day.

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F.

Remove the legs and thighs from the container/bag, rinse thoroughly, and pat dry.

Put them in a 4-quart Dutch oven or other suitable pot in a single layer, skin side down, and cover them with the fat.

Cover the pot and put the pot in the oven and cook for 8 to 10 hours.

Remove the pot from the oven. Here's the duck after cooking. 

Place duck in suitable container for storage.

Strain fat over duck and ensure that duck is well covered.

Allow the duck to cool in the fat. Refrigerate in the fat until ready to use, at least 1 month.

When ready to use, remove duck piece or the amount of duck you want to use. Heat to melt the fat off and then remove the duck pieces and pat dry with paper towel. Skin may be stripped off and fried crispy for a snack. Reserve the fat to use for next time or to sauté vegetables.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

BBQ Sauce

1 Tablespoon coconut oil
1 yellow onion (small) minced
1 fresh jalapeno, seeds and ribs included, thinly sliced
Kosher salt – a large pinch
1 ½ Tablespoons coriander seeds
½ Tablespoon Chipotle pepper powder
½ cup packed dark brown sugar
½ cup sherry vinegar
1 cup strong coffee (1 cup hot water with 2 teaspoons of instant coffee works!)
1 cup ketchup

First take all the ingredients.

Slice the jalapeno and mince the onion. Also toast the coriander seeds.

Measure out everything.

Add the oil to a small saucepan over medium-high heat.

When the oil is hot, add the minced onion and sliced jalapeno along with the large pinch of salt. Sweat the onion and jalapeno until translucent.

Add the coriander, chipotle powder, brown sugar and stir all that up.

Add the vinegar, coffee and ketchup and stir all of that.

Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat. Simmer for 10 minutes.

Strain and discard the solids.

Let it cool and then store covered in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Crock Pot Beef Stew

3 – 4 pound chuck roast
½ cup flour
Kosher salt and pepper
1 cup red wine
2 – 3 cups beef broth
1 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
3 cloves garlic, minced
2-3 bay leaves
5-6 small potatoes, quartered
2-3 onions, chopped
3-4 celery stalks, sliced
3-4 carrots sliced
Chopped parsley

Trim out the chuck roast, reserving the fat, and cut into 1-inch cubes.

Combine flour with salt and pepper in a bowl and add the meat cubes. Toss to coat the meat.

Heat frying pan and then start cooking up the reserved beef fat to render out the tallow. 

When there is enough tallow to brown the meat, discard the beef fat. Toss the meat cubes into the hot tallow and brown the pieces.

Once the meat cubes are browned, remove from frying pan

and place any remaining flour from the coating of the meat into the frying pan. Cook the flour for a couple of minutes, if need be, add some butter. 

Then, while stirring the cooked flour, dribble in a cup or so of red wine. 

When mixed well, add about a cup of the beef broth and stir until thickened.

Layer everything into the crock pot. Start with the onions.

Then the potatoes.

Then the celery, carrots and parsley.

Then the meat, 

garlic and bay leaves.

Pour the mixture from the frying pan over this and then the Worcestershire sauce followed by the rest of the beef broth.

Cover the crock pot and cook on low for 10 hours.

Once ready, stir it up before serving.