" /> I taste: October 2005
Curmudgeonalia
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October 29, 2005

Grilling over beer:

Few things done over the grill are any better than a small chicken, or a couple of Cornish hens, "stood-up" over a can of good beer.

Drink half of it, and put the rest in the cavity of the bird and cook as usual. Situated properly it will hold the bird up while keeping the bird moist(which is the idea, afterall.)

And, if you are fortunate enough to be cooking for six, you'll have a good start on a "buzz" before you get far into the cooking part.

But, then, you could share some of the beer . . . wot?

Posted by respeto at 5:44 PM

Grilling:

When grilling birds, roasts and things which take longer, generally you do not want the fire right beneath the meat. Use a covered grill, keep the fire on one side and the meat on the other, or a circular fire at the edges of the grill and the meat in the middle. (Impossible to do with an electric grill, which is why I hate them. Use a real grill with real charcoal!)

Done this way, you can also put your meat on a piece of foil. The foil will not burn if it is not over the fire. This is especially helpful if cooking a whole or a large filet of fish.

It also reduces the number of times you have to turn a roast over, and is as good as, and easier than, a rotisserie. Cheaper, too. If doing a roast, when nearly done remove the foil and “char” the outside a little for “looks.”

Posted by respeto at 5:39 PM

October 27, 2005

Salmon & Mango Napoleon

Ingredients:
1 cup heavy cream
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tbsp. sliced chives
3 - 4x12 inch, thin slices of smoked salmon
2 ripe mangoes, peeled and cut into 1/8 inch slices
extra virgin olive oil
freshly ground sea salt and black pepper

Whip cream into stiff peaks. Add lemon juice and chives and mix well. (If mangoes are very sweet add more lemon juice to cream mixture.) Season with salt and pepper.

On cutting board, place one slice of smoked salmon. Using a spatula, spread a thin layer of lemon cream on salmon, covering it completely. Cover cream with slices of mango.

Place a second course of salmon on the mango and repeat the above process. Top, finally, with a layer of smoked salmon.

Cut into four rectangles of equal size and transfer to four plates. Sprinkle the napoleons with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Serve immediately.

Posted by respeto at 11:48 AM

Mushroom Fritters

Ingredients for Fritters:
1 cup flour
2 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
1 beaten egg
½ cup milk
12 oz. button mushrooms, sliced
cooking oil for deep frying
1 recipe Havarti-Pepper Dip (below)

Stir together in medium bowl the flour, baking powder and salt. In a small bowl combine egg and milk. Pour this mixture, all at once, into flour and stir until just moistened. Fold in mushrooms.

In deep fryer, or skillet with deep oil, fry fritters a few at a time. (Fritters prepared by dropping by tablespoonful into oil.) Fry for 3 - 4 minutes, or ‘til golden brown, retrieving with slotted spoon. Drain on paper towels or paper bags.

If prepared ahead of time, fry and drain fritters till cool. Reheat by baking, uncovered, in 375 degree oven for 10 minutes, till hot and crisp.

Ingredients for Dip:
8 oz. sour cream
¾ cup shredded Havarti cheese
1-2 tbsp. cracked pepper
1/8 tsp. salt

Place all, together, in blender and puree till smooth. Serve at room temp, or chilled, with the fritters.

Posted by respeto at 11:47 AM

October 15, 2005

Crème Senegalese

(Curried Soup)

Ingredients:
1/4 c. sweet butter
1/4 c. flour
2 Tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce (white is best here)
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. curry powder *
1/4 - 1/2 tsp. cayenne
4 c. hot milk
fresh chopped parsley

Melt butter in a 2-3 qt. saucepan, stir in the flour and cook on low for 10 minutes. Stir constantly (a flat whisk works best.). Do not brown.

Add the curry, whisk well to incorporate, and cook for an additional 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
Add the milk slowly, whisking to avoid lumping. Keep it smooth. When complete, add Worcestershire, salt, cayenne and simmer 10 minutes.

Remove from heat. Strain. Serve hot or cold, garnished with parsley.

* If you have not discovered Penzey's spices, you should. They are available on line from penzeys.com. I use them all of the time. There is a huge variety, and they embellish cooking immensely. There is an extensive collection of curries and they are as near fresh as you can get, unless you prepare your own--which is a pain i.t.a. (If your experience with curry is that off the shelf at the grocery store, be prepared to be delighted. If you always prepare your own, G-d bless you. You are a true gourmet.)

P.S. don't buy large quantities unless you use large quantities. You defeat, totally, the concept of "near fresh" curry which was the reason you bought from Penzey's in the first place!

P.S.S. Recipe doubles nicely if you want 2 quarts instead of one.

Posted by respeto at 12:40 PM

Creamy Carrot/Ginger Soup

(serve hot; serves 8)

6 large carrots (about 1 lb) peeled and sliced crosswise
2 celery stalks with leaves, peeled and sliced crosswise
1 cup thinly sliced onion
1/4 cup candied, crystallized ginger, chopped
7 cups defatted chicken broth

1/2 cup cooked white rice
Salt to taste
1/2 cup half-n-half
sprigs of watercress for garnish

Combine the first five ingredients in a large pot and bring to boil; cover and simmer until veges are tender (about 20 min.). Remove from heat and add rice. Season to your satisfaction and let it rest for 15 minutes.

Puree smooth, then strain. Return to pot and stir in half-n-half. Heat thru (do not boil) and serve with watercress (or other) garnish.

Posted by respeto at 12:38 PM