Sunday, June 8, 2014

Smoked Salmon Tart





Driscoll's Strawberry Shortcake

This is an elaborate version of the summer favorite, strawberry shortcake. It involves the making of the Genoise (Italian sponge cake), strawberry compote, custard, lemon curd and whipped cream and simple sugar syrup.





Genoise:

Ingredients:
1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp (100 gm)  sifted cake-flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tp cream of tartar
1/4 tsp salt
1 Tbsp of grated lemon zest
3 egg white, room temperature
3 egg yolk, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup (100gm) sugar

Method:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Grease a pullman pan with spam. Set pan aside.
Sift cake flour, salt and baking powder. Set aside.
Beat the yolks with an electric mixer until pale yellow. Gradually add sugar 1 Tbsp at a time and continue beating for about 5 minutes. Stir in the lemon zest and beat for another 1 minute.

In the meantime beat egg white, cream of tartar with the whisk attachment until stiff peaks but not dry.

Stir 1/3 of the beaten egg whites into the sponge cake batter to lighten it. Then gently fold the remainder of the egg whites. Pour into  prepared pan and bake, in the lower third of the oven for about 20 minutes until golden in color. The cake should spring back when center is gently pressed with your finger.

Let cake cool down in the pan for 5 minutes. Unmold and let it dry out overnight on the counter.

Strawberry compote:

Ingredients:
4 cups of strawberry roughly chopped
1 1/2 tsp grated ginger
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar
a pinch of salt
1 Tbsp a fruity liqueur

Method:
Add sugar, strawberry, ginger, lemon juice,salt in a pan on low heat and cook strawberries until disintegrated. This may take about 10 to 15 minutes.
Remove from heat, let cool before adding liqueur.

For the custard:

Ingredients:
3 egg yolks
2 Tbsp cornflour
1 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups milk
1/2 lemon curd, preferably homemade

Method:
Beat the egg yolks, sugar, conflour, all-purposed flour and vanilla until well combined. Bring the milk to boil in a microwave. Add slowly to the egg yolk mixture. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until thickened.
Transfer to a bowl and cover the surface with a piece of cling wrap and let it cool.


To Macerate the strawberry:

In a bowl, add 2 cups of sliced strawberries and 1/4 cup sugar and a pinch of salt. Mix and refrigerate until liquid oozes out.


Make simple syrup:

In a glass bowl, add 1/2 sugar to 1/2 cup of water. Cook for 1 or 2  minutes until sugar dissolves.  Add you favorite liqueur and set aside.

To assemble Short Cake:

Whip 1/2 a cup of heavy cream with a 1/2 tbsp of sugar until stiff peaks form. In order for the cream to hold up longer on the cake, I used a little gelatin to stiffen the whipped cream. Gelatin must be liquid but not warm when adding to the cream while whisking.

In this recipe I am only using 1/2 of the sponge cake. Cut the halved sponge cake horizontally to create 2 layers. Poke with a bamboo skewer and brush the layer with simple syrup.

Turn the brown side of the cake down on a serving plate. Sprinkle some of the juices from the macerated strawberries. Add a thin layer of strawberry compote, followed by a thin layer of custard and lemon curd spread. Spread a layer of whipped cream about 1/2 inch thick. Top layer with macerated strawberries.
Before topping the other sponge layer, sprinkle with strawberry juice, spread some strawberry compote followed by custard and lemon curd. Top this layer on the first filled layer.
Mix a little whipped cream with the custard and lemon curd. Crumb coat the cake by  lightly icing the cake with the whipped cream, lemon curd mixture.
Refrigerate for about 5 to 10 minutes until icing is set.

Take a quarter or less cup of cold custard and add 3 Tbsps of more of the lemon curd. Combine well.

Spread a thin layer of lemon curd and custard mixture on the sponge cake. Decorate the cake to your liking.
Refrigerate and serve cold.



Shortcake using Cream Cheese

A simple and a delicious Strawberry shortcake using cream cheese in the shortcakes.



To Macerate the strawberries:

In a bowl, add 2 cups of sliced Driscoll's strawberries.and 1/4 cup sugar and a pinch of salt. Mix and refrigerate until liquid oozes out.


Strawberry compote:
Ingredients:
4 cups of strawberry roughly chopped
1 1/2 tsp grated ginger
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar
a pinch of salt
1 Tbsp a fruity liqueur

Method:

Add sugar, strawberry, ginger, lemon juice,salt in a pan on low heat and cook strawberries until disintegrated. This may take about 10 to 15 minutes.
Remove from heat, let cool before adding liqueur.

Ingredients:

10 ozs all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
3 ozs cream cheese
1 tsp sugar
3 Tbsp cold butter, cut into cubes
3/4 tsp salt
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup cold milk

Method:

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

In a food processor,  combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar and pulse to mix. Add cream cheese a pulse 2 or 3 times. Then add butter pieces pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and make a well in the center. Using a fork, stir in the milk, just until dough is moist. You may not use the 1/2 cup milk. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Fold the dough over on itself  2 or 3 times.

Gently pat the dough into rectangle about 3/4 inch thick and cut using a 3 inch floured round cutter. Transfer shortcake onto a parchment lined cookie sheet. Brush a little butter, sprinkle tops with some crystal sugar and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until risen and golden brown. Remove to a cooling rack.
When cake is cold, split the layers using a fork and place one layer on serving plate.

Spoon the macerated strawberry mixture with the juices on the bottom shortcake layer. Add a spoonful of whipped cream  mixed with strawberry compote.

Replace the top layer, add more whipped cream, top with more strawberries and juice.








Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Speckled bean dip

Pinto bean or speckle bean is named after its mottled skin.  Since it is an inexpensive form of protein, these beans have become popular in many cultures throughout the world. 
This dip is great alongside Spanish rice or delicious made  into bean burritos.



Ingredients:
2 (15 ounce) can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 serrano pepper, finely chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped onions
1/2 cup carrots, chopped into 1/4 in cube
1/2 cup fresh corn
4 garlic cloves, minced

2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp asafetida
1 cup chopped tomatoes
1 tsp mango powder
2 tsp hot sauce
 cups chicken stock (optional), or water
ground black pepper
salt

Method:

Place the beans in a sauce pan and add the chicken stock and 1 cup water. Cook for about 15 minute on medium heat. Then put it into a blender and puree it coarsely.

In the meantime heat a saute pan. Put about 3 to 4 tablespoon oil. Add the onions followed by the garlic. Saute for about 3 to 5 minutes until onion turn translucent.

Add the cumin powder, asafetida and onions and cook until tomatoes are mushy. Add the carrots, serrano pepper and corn and cook for another 3 minutes .

Now add the pureed beans. Adjust the consistency. Season with salt and pepper and mango powder and hot sauce. Cook for another 3 to 5 minutes and serve warm with a splash of hot sauce and sprinkle of cotija cheese.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Sliced Pork chops in Peanut Butter Sauce

Slightly sweet and tangy, the Asian spices marry perfectly well with the peanut butter. 



Ingredients:
2 pork chops
1  tsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp fish sauce
1 tsp corriander powder
1/2 tsp fennel powder
1/4 tsp cumin powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 to 1 tsp red Thai curry paste
1/2 Tbsp lime juice
2 garlic cloves, minced 
11/2 Tbsp crunchy peanut butter
1/2 tsp palm sugar
1 red Thai chile, minced
1 Tbsp chopped green onions
a little salt

Method:
Remove bone and thinly slice the pork.

In a bowl, add the bones, sliced pork and add soy sauce, fish sauce coriander, fennel, cumin and turmeric powder. Also add the curry paste, 1/4 tsp salt and lime juice and mix very well to combine the spices with the meat.

Let is marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Once ready to cook, add a little oil in a wok. Stir fry the garlic for a 15 seconds then add the bones to cook first. Stir fry for 2 minutes add a little water. This ensures the bones are cooked well before adding the sliced pork which takes a few minutes to cook. Now add the slice pork and stir fry for a minute on high heat. Add a 1/4 cup of water and cook for another 2 or 3 minutes until meat is cooked but not rubbery. 
Add peanut butter, palm sugar,and the minced red Thai chile, if using. Adjust the sauce consistency and seasonings and cook for a minute or so. Serve with Jasmine Broken Fried Rice.