Candied oranges

  (recipe follows) Yes, I really do curl up on the sofa reading “gode” “cookery” books or food histories. Two summers ago I spent two weeks in Provonce retracing Julia Child’s footsteps. So, yeah, I’m kinda single these days, but I can apply what I’ve learned from medieval cookbooks to make some of the best candied fruits you’ll ever eat. Candying fruit was something I taught myself through trial and error by following the directions from 16th century manuscripts. Much later I learned the science behind what I was doing and was… Read More

Raw Apple Pie Your Way — Play with your food!

(recipe follows) When I was younger my credo was to try everything at least twice (in case I got it wrong the first time). Keeping an open mind this way, I learned — and shaped — my preferences. With food, over time, I developed a leaning towards the healthful. Even when cooking with butter, or cream, or sugar, or meat in my mind I work through variations. One fairly new approach I’ve been thinking about is raw food. Interestingly, dehydrating foods under 118 degrees Fahrenheit is still considered raw by many which,… Read More

Play with your food! Stuffed chicken.

(technique) The food industry puts too many chemicals in our food, it’s an idea I wholly concur with, which is part of the reason I do almost everything from scratch. There are enzymes and amino acids which have been lumped into  that idea of chemical which Molecular Gastronomists have embraced and which I use regularly in my kitchen. One of my favorite kitchen toys is Activa, aka transglutaminase. Restaurants and supermarket butchers use it to make uniform cuts of meat. Simply take two small pieces, sprinkle the amino acids, and put them… Read More

Orange days — Orange Tart and Candied Oranges

I enjoy making candy, all kinds of candy. But I’ve been eating more and exercising less — soon I’ll be making a change, but for now instead of making my favorite Candied Oranges Dipped in Chocolate, I made an Orange Tart. (I also made Melon Granita and Chocolate Mousse, but if I don’t write about them, they don’t count.) This was just a test. I zested the oranges and boiled them in a sugar syrup to 230 degrees Fahrenheit, cooled them with white rum and laid them in a sweet tart shell… Read More

pastry

(recipe follows) Pastry is simple, but food stylists, paid professionals, and ideals on what pastry should be have set a high bar on personal expectations zapping creativity and confidence — and the will to try. The only rule for pastry is that everything be cold, but crusts and shells can also be made from hot melted fat, oil, be moulded from ground cracker crumbs or raw dates. For any pastry, flour is mixed with fat and liquid. We add fat to the flour to cover the gluten. Just as water and oil do… Read More

Decadence: Guineafowl

Imagine the greatest joys in your lives. Think of getting married, having a baby, your first kiss — whatever it is, imagine that bliss as taste, flavor, mouthfeel, satiety. That is the best way to describe this dinner: It’s one of the best things I’ve ever made. The recipe was inspired by Careme’s 1836 work. In short, I deboned the guinea fowl, removed the breast, divided it in two, then cut it almost alway through 12 times each and placed slices of foie gras between. I placed them back into the bird,… Read More

Chicken Roulade, a recipe (spinach version)

chicken roulade, steps to make

(recipe follows) We accept the shape of the meat we purchase rarely considering that we can mould it into objects, create designs, even fuse meats together. Here is a chicken breast. Pound it with something heavy into a thin sheet of meat. From there we add color through vegetables, sauce, spices, powders, other meats — and then roll it, securing it in waxed paper and aluminum foil. The easiest way to cook a rolled chicken breast (also called Chicken Roulade) is to bake it in a water bath. Wrap the roulade in… Read More

Broccoli and Cauliflower soup

cauliflower broccoli soup

Goes very well with a quenelle, a filo shell and salad. Find the recipe for the Cauliflower Soup here and for the Broccoli soup here.

Strudel, day one of three

various filo doughs

I have a lot more Play With Your Food! posts coming before I get to the main Apple Strudel Your Way and the Baklava Your Way posts. (I also have a Banoffee Your Way and a few Indian recipes ready for next week.)

Mushrooms in beef stock

A picture is worth a thousand words — and has no calories. Enjoy.

Play with your food! Quenelles with no cream in beef and mushroom soup.

Making soup stock is opera! To those looking onto the stage the whole productions seems a long, boring tragedy, but for those on stage it’s craft and art — it’s one of my favorite things to do. I make stock in 20 liter batches. A couple of months ago I replenished my beef stock, Espagnole, and demi-glace — two full days of work. Today I took out a liter of the beef stock for soup and all is right in the world. The stock is bold, flavorful, and filled with body —… Read More