Monday, May 31, 2010

L'entraide selon Fred Pellerin

Je voulais partager cette vidéo, que j’ai trouvée il y a un petit moment déjà : Fred Pellerin nous parle de l’entraide et nous incite à donner. J’aime beaucoup cette histoire!

Chocolate Tweed Angel Food Cake

As the Engineer makes his tarts, he’s using a lot of egg yolks, so we’ve been accumulating an uncanny number of egg whites. In an effort to use them, I decided to risk making an angel food cake again, despite the New Year’s Day fiasco. I decided on a chocolate tweed angel food cake, because I read about that soon after said fiasco and it sounded really good. I also had a pile of chocolate I needed to use (I could eat it straight, but since most of it was baking chocolate, that seemed a little uncouth).

Good news: I’ve figured out what went wrong on New Year’s Day; I overbeat the egg whites. I’ve made two chocolate tweed angel food cakes in the past month (it might be my new favourite cake!), and everything went perfectly, even though I continued measuring the flour by volume. I was even bold enough to do it the proper way and invert the mould over a bottle to cool.

For this recipe, just refer to the angel food cake recipe, but grate about 4 oz of dark chocolate and add it to the batter after the flour has been incorporated (and it’s much easier to grate chocolate if you freeze it first). As you’re making the cake, just be careful not to overbeat the egg whites: you’re looking for soft peaks, NOT stiff ones. You’ll love it!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Jamie Oliver's Chicken in Milk

I first heard about Jamie Oliver’s recipe for chicken in milk via The Kitchn. I wanted to try it, but I’d never cooked a whole chicken before, so the process intimidated me. How do I cut up a chicken carcass? Does it even make sense to roast a whole chicken for just two people? Well, the internet took care of the first problem, and really, whatever servings you don’t use right away will keep perfectly in the fridge (we had about 6 servings total). There was that moment in the beginning where the raw chicken freaked me out, but I rinsed it, removed the odds and ends from inside, and carried on with the recipe. It was definitely worth it: it’s delicious, and quite easy too. And it makes the whole house smell amazing!

You’ll notice that I roasted the chicken face down. That’s because somebody’s bubbie said that roasting chicken breast-side down is preferable, because it makes the breast juicier. Of course, that means that the skin on the breast will not be crisp. I personally don’t eat the skin, so I don’t mind, but you may choose to roast the chicken on its back to preserve crispy skin on the breast if you wish. I roasted it with the lid on for the first hour, but you can remove it after that.

a 1.5 kg (3½ lb) chicken, organic if possible
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
4oz (½ cup or 1 stick) of butter or margarine
olive oil
½ cinnamon stick (omit if you have a cinnamon aversion)
a good handful of fresh sage, leaves picked
zest of 2 lemons
10 cloves of garlic, skin left on
2 cups of milk (lactose-free)

Preheat the oven to 375 °F, and find a snug-fitting pot for the chicken. Season it generously all over, and fry it in the butter and a little olive oil, turning the chicken to get an even colour all over, until golden. Remove from the heat, put the chicken on a plate, and throw away the oil and butter left in the pot. This will leave you with tasty sticky goodness at the bottom of the pan which will give you a lovely caramelly flavour later on.

Put your chicken back in the pot with the rest of the ingredients, and cook in the preheated oven for 1½ hours. Baste with the cooking juice when you remember (I didn’t, and it turned out fine – but I did have the lid on). The lemon zest will sort of split the milk, making a sauce which is absolutely fantastic.

To serve, pull the meat off the bones and divide it on to your plates. Spoon over plenty of juice and the little curds. Serve with greens and some mashed potatoes.

Cherry Orange Poppy Seed Muffins

I happened to have dried cherries on hand, after making these awesome duck breasts. So when my friend Jen posted a recipe for dried cherry muffins on her Facebook page, I knew I had to make them. The recipe also calls for orange zest and poppy seeds, both of which I love. And these muffins were fan-f*cking-tastic. They were a little fluffy and tasty and delicious; the Engineer and I gobbled up the dozen in a little over a day. Add the ingredients to your grocery list this week, you won’t be sorry you did.

2 cups flour
1 Tbsp poppy seeds
1 Tbsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 cup milk (lactose-free)
¼ cup butter or margarine, melted
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 cup dried cherries
3 Tbsp finely grated orange zest (I used 4 oranges)

Preheat oven to 400 °F. Grease a muffin tin.

Combine flour, poppy seeds, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl. In another bowl, combine sugar, milk, melted butter and egg. Add to dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Gently stir in cherries and orange zest. Divide batter into tin.

Bake for 18-22 minutes, or until wooden toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Let cool for 5 minutes.

Remove from pan and serve warm or let cool completely.

Potage de patates douces rôties

Oui, une autre recette de Coup de Pouce qui n’a pas été mise en ligne, allez savoir pourquoi. C’est pourtant la meilleure soupe aux patates douces que j’ai mangée! Le secret, c’est que les patates sont rôties avant d’être ajoutées à la soupe. De plus, le romarin se marie parfaitement avec les autres légumes. Il faut absolument que vous l’essayiez!

2 grosses patates douces, pelées et coupées en cubes (environ 1,75 lb)
2 c. à soupe d’huile d’olive
½ c. à thé de sel
1 oignon, haché
1 branche de céleri, hachée
1 carotte, hachée
2 gousses d’ail, hachées finement
1 c. à thé de romarin frais (ou ¼ c. à thé de romarin séché)
¼ c. à thé de poivre noir ou blanc du moulin
2 tasses de bouillon de légumes (ou de poulet)
4 tasses d’eau

Préchauffer le four à 450 °F. Sur une plaque de cuisson, mélanger les patates douces avec la moitié de l’huile et du sel. Faire rôtir au four, en brassant de temps à autre, pendant environ 20 minutes ou jusqu’à ce que les patates douces commencent à être tendres.

Entre-temps, dans une grande casserole, chauffer le reste de l’huile à feu moyen-vif. Ajouter l’oignon, le céleri, la carotte, l’ail, le romarin, le poivre et le reste du sel et cuire environ 8 minutes ou jusqu’à ce que les légumes aient ramolli.

Ajouter le bouillon, les patates douces et l’eau et porter à ébullition. Réduire le feu, couvrir et laisser mijoter, en brassant de temps à autre, pendant 20 minutes. Laisser refroidir légèrement.

Avec un mixeur-plongeur, réduire la préparation en purée lisse. Servir en garnissant chaque portion d’un brin de romarin frais (s’il vous en reste).

Purée de panais et oignons rôtis à l'érable

J’ai pris cette recette dans le Maison & Demeure du mois de mars 2010, mais je ne trouve pas la recette en ligne. C’est une recette d’hiver, qui tombait bien pendant la tempête de neige surprise du mois dernier. La prochaine fois, par contre, j’ajouterai peut-être des pommes de terre aux panais en purée, parce que je pense que la texture me plairait davantage. Les oignons étaient vraiment parfaits, par contre. Je donne ici la recette d’origine, mais elle sert 8 personnes – j’ai utilisé 1 lb de panais plutôt que 3, et 2 oignons plutôt que 3, pour avoir quelques restes sans être dépassée.

3 oignons blancs, en tranches de 2 cm
huile d’olive
sel et poivre, au goût
1 c. à soupe de sirop d’érable
1 c. à soupe de vinaigre balsamique
3 lb de panais, pelés, en tronçons de 2,5 cm
3 c. à soupe de crème (facultatif, je n’en ai pas utilisé)

Préchauffer le four à 450 °F. Recouvrir une plaque à pâtisserie de papier aluminium. Badigeonner les oignons d’huile d’olive, puis étaler sur la plaque, en une seule couche. Saler et poivrer. Faire cuire de 15 à 20 minutes ou jusqu’à ce que le dessus des oignons soit doré. Retourner les tranches et faire cuire 10 minutes de plus. Mélanger le sirop d’érable et le vinaigre balsamique et badigeonner le dessus des oignons. Faire cuire 5 minutes encore. Réserver.

Entre-temps, mettre les panais dans une casserole, couvrir d’eau et amener à ébullition. Laisser bouillir 15 minutes environ, jusqu’à tendreté. Égoutter et réserver l’eau de cuisson. Au robot, réduire en purée en ajoutant jusqu’à 1 tasse d’eau de cuisson pour allonger la purée, au besoin. Incorporer la crème; saler et poivrer au goût. Servir avec les tranches d’oignons rôties.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Chinatown 2

Most Montrealers probably know about the second Chinatown, i.e. the area west of Concordia full of Chinese restaurants and shops on par with those in the official Chinatown. Just recently, though, a new location of Pâtisserie Harmonie opened right in the Guy-Concordia metro! Look for it one floor down at the De Maisonneuve exit. It took all my willpower not to stop on my way home from a movie last weekend – but I won’t be able to resist for long, especially since this location is so much more convenient for me than the original one!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Zucchini Noodles with Pesto

This is a fresh salad that’s perfect for this heat wave we’re having right now. I found the recipe on Tea & Cookies. I wasn’t sure I’d like the dried tomatoes at first, but it turns out they were really good in this. My only problem was that my mandoline, which isn’t that great, made zucchini “noodles” that were too thick for my taste. But the salad itself was good! I topped it with parmesan, and I’m sure you could fiddle with the dressing a bit or add slivered almonds. I served it here with roasted pork tenderloin, but it would make a good lunch by itself, too.

2 medium-sized zucchini, about four to five cups.
1 large bunch of fresh basil leaves (about 3 cups)
1 or 2 cloves of garlic (start with one, add a second if you find you want more garlic flavour)
salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup dried or fresh tomatoes, sliced (if dried) or cut into chunks

Run the zucchini over a mandoline to create “noodles”.

Put basil and garlic in the bowl of a food processor. Process the herbs while drizzling olive oil in though the feeder tube until you see the consistency change from chopped to smooth, (somewhere between 1 to 2 Tbsp of oil). Add salt and pepper to taste.

Toss all together. Eat immediately.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Spaghetti Cacio e Pepe

Spaghetti with cheese and pepper is a really easy pasta recipe, but surprisingly good given its few ingredients. This great version is from Smitten Kitchen and serves four. For the record, it was so good that even the Engineer liked this spaghetti!

¼ cup olive oil
1 lb dried spaghetti (with or without gluten)
2 Tbsp butter (or lactose-free substitute)
4 oz Pecorino Romano cheese, finely grated
1 ½ tsp finely ground black pepper

Cook the spaghetti in salted water to your tastes in a large, wide-bottomed pot. (You’ll have fewer dishes to wash if you use this pot to assemble the dish as well.) Drain spaghetti, reserving 1 ½ cups of the pasta cooking water.

Dry out your pot, then heat the olive oil over high heat until almost smoking. Add drained spaghetti and 1 cup of reserved pasta water and jump back, this will splatter mightily.

Add butter, 3 oz cheese and ground pepper and toss together with tongs. Taste, adding more pasta water, cheese, pepper or salt (which should not be neccessary, as Romano is very salty) to taste.

Serve immediately, sprinkling with reserved cheese and an extra grind or two of black pepper.

Frittata au saucisson, au bacon et aux oignons verts

Il s’agit ici d’une recette de Coup de Pouce, et je j’ai tellement aimée que je vais l’utiliser comme base pour mes frittatas (en variant le contenu selon ce que j’ai dans le frigo, même si cette version était excellente). C’est une frittata qui remplit bien la poêle, alors je dirais que ça donne 8 portions, du moment qu’on sert autre chose à côté.

6 tranches de bacon, hachées (4 oz/125 g)
4 oz (125 g) de saucisson italien sec ou salami ferme, haché
¾ tasse d’oignons verts hachés
½ tasse de persil frais, haché
10 œufs
1/3 tasse de parmesan râpé
¼ tasse de lait (sans lactose)
½ c. à thé de poudre à pâte

Préchauffer le four à 350 °F.

Dans un poêlon de 10 po (25 cm) de diamètre allant au four, cuire le bacon à feu moyen-vif pendant 6 minutes ou jusqu'à ce qu'il soit croustillant. Retirer le gras du poêlon. Ajouter le saucisson et poursuivre la cuisson, en brassant, pendant 1 minute. Retirer du feu. Parsemer des oignons verts et du persil.

Dans un bol, à l'aide d'un fouet, mélanger les œufs, le parmesan, le lait et la poudre à pâte jusqu'à ce que la préparation soit mousseuse. Verser la préparation dans le poêlon.

Cuire au four de 35 à 40 minutes ou jusqu'à ce que la frittata soit gonflée et dorée.

Déposer le poêlon sur une grille et laisser refroidir pendant 10 minutes. À l'aide d'une spatule, détacher la frittata de la paroi et du fond du poêlon. Retourner le poêlon sur une assiette de service (servir à l’endroit ou à l’envers, selon le côté le plus beau). Couper en pointes.