Recipe - Rhubarb clafoutis

by Mads
January 15, 2007 at 21:55 | categories: food, cooking

Rhubarb clafoutis

I've written about this before in A birthday dinner. I also promised a recipe, but never got around to it.
The recipe is from the book "Fem kokkehuer" in the chapter from Fakkelgården / Christian Bind. The lousy translation to English and the Notes are by me.

200 g rhubarb (peeled NOTE: 1)
0.3 L cream
0.1 L milk
5 egg yolks
100 g sugar
20 g potato flour NOTE: 2
2 vanilla beans NOTE: 3
50 g butter NOTE: 4

Cut the rhubarb in pieces and fry it in the butter. Drip off excess liquid in a sieve.
Bring milk and cream to the boiling point.
Mix egg yolks, sugar, potato flour, vanilla and add the cream/milk mixture.
Put the rhubarb in an oven proof dish, pour the milk mixture over and bake in the oven for 30 - 40 minutes at 180 C.
Eat while warm.

My Notes:
  1. I don't think the peeling is necessary with all types of rhubarb
  2. You could probably use corn flour instead
  3. I'm guessing this is for the smaller vanilla beans and would probably only use one if I got a really large bean
  4. Unsalted butter

As the image above suggests, this clafoutis is a bit temperamental and will fall like a souffle if your timing isn't right (as it wasn't for me when I got around to taking the picture).
The recipe suggests serving a German Ausleese Riesling or an American Late Harvest. Years back, I had it with a very good Austrian Eiswein and that worked absolutely perfectly.

Recipe - Spicy chicken in a pepper sauce

by Mads
December 29, 2006 at 22:41 | categories: food, cooking

Spicy chicken in a pepper sauce

I've written about this before in A birthday dinner. I also promised a recipe, but never got around to it.
The recipe is from The Elements of Taste by Gray Kunz and Peter Kaminsky.
The recipe originally calls for scallops, but I can't find any of reasonable size around here, so I chose chicken instead. The chicken works pretty well from a taste perspective and does have the advantage that you can cook it in two stages, first browning it with the breading and later finishing it off in the oven.

Pink lentil, turmeric and green peppercorn breading (pg. 190)

  • 1 cup pink lentils, ground reasonably fine (about like cornmeal)
  • 2 tablespoons ground turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons green peppercorns, finely chopped
Mix the lentils, turmeric, and salt together. Just before applying the breading, mix in the peppercorns.
My note: I've used dried green peppercorns as well, which has the advantage that you can store the breading for a long time.

Sauce (pg. 36)

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon thyme leaves, chopped
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped red peppers
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground white pepper
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Pinch sugar
  • 2 cups chicken stock or water
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/3 cup celery leaves, roughly chopped

NOTE: It is one of the crimes of many supermarkets that they trim the celery leaves off the stalk before they put it out in the cooler. We find celery leaf to be a fresh, lively herb and we use it often. Warm the oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat and toss in the onion, garlic, and thyme. Mix to coat with the oil, then add the peppers. Season with a little salt, pepper, cayenne, and sugar (you start seasoning now because you will render out water quickly), then add more stock or water. Bring to a simmer, then cover and reduce the heat to low. Cook gently until the peppers are very tender, about 10 minutes. Puree the pepper mixture and strain through a fine sieve. Return the puree to the stove and reduce until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon (or watch the bubbles - when they start to make slow blurps, you're getting there). Swirl in the butter and bring to a froth with an immersion blender (or by whisking vigorously). Correct the seasoning with salt, cayenne, pepper, and sugar and keep the sauce warm over very low heat.

My note: Ideally, you'd want to be able to feel a little bit of heat, but be careful that it does not become overpowering (and even more so if you choose scallops rather than chicken).

Putting it all together

My notes: If you choose boneless chicken breast like I did, then you cover the round side in the breading (there is no need for additional moisture) and fry the chicken in plenty of olive oil until the breading has a nice golden brown color. Either set aside for finishing later in the oven or turn over and fry until done.
Plating it should be simple enough and can be done a lot more elegantly than I did above. If you want something on the side to provide a bit more substance to the dish, I suggest either small new potatoes, herbed couscous as I used or perhaps a slice of bread.

Final notes

So far, this is the first and only recipe I've used from the book, but I very much doubt that it will be the last. The taste combinations in this recipe are so very interesting and well described, that I'll be willing to try some of the other more exotic recipes next time I feel like experimenting in the kitchen.

You Are the Swedish Chef

by Mads
March 30, 2006 at 12:43 | categories: food, soulfood, cooking

You Are the Swedish Chef
"Bork! Bork! Bork!"
Your happy and energetic - with borderline manic tendencies.
No one really gets you. And frankly, you don't even get you.
But, you sure can whip up a great chocolate mousse

Okay, perhaps I cheated a bit to make it say Swedish Chef rather than the original suggestion of Animal or Scooter. I know it is a silly thing to waste time on, but staring at a Solaris install that doesn't get anywhere isn't much fun in itself.

Gold Prag / Den Tatoverede Enke

by Mads
March 20, 2006 at 22:52 | categories: food

I went out last Tuesday with a couple of friends from work to Gold Prag for dinner. It wasn't exactly the best goulash I've had and the "fresh from the freezer" potato rosti it was served with seemed a bit misplaced. No complaints about value for money though - at about EUR15 including a pint of urquell, it was quite reasonable.
After that, we went to Den Tatoverede Enke for some really good beer. I think I've more or less got a new favorite beer after drinking Liefmans Goudenband there. People tell me that Den Tatoverede Enke also serve some very good and rather expensive food. The food is made and served with good Belgian beer and looking at the menu right now has me thinking very hard trying to figure out a good excuse for going back.
Right now I'm drinking "Experimental brew no. 23 a" from Thisted Bryghus. It is a top fermented porter with a good strong taste of licorice and nice enough that I hope they will keep brewing them in the future.

All this talking of food and beer reminds me of a plan I've had a while to make "Carbonade Flamande". I know that I've got at least four different recipes for it and somewhere between my 200 cookbooks there has got to be a few more recipes. The trick is in choosing the right recipe and finding the courage to pour a good beer into the pot. Watch this space for more once I get around to cooking again.

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