Thursday, February 22, 2007

Sister Dinner Recipes

Butternut Squash Soup

Seared Scallops with Calvados Shallot Cream, Fresh Spinach

- 1 pack of ~ 1 dozen fresh sea scallops (wash and dry before using).
- Calvados (apple brandy)
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 2 medium shallots
- apple juice (use some from the butternut squash soup recipe)
- fresh spinach

  1. Sear scallops on high, ~ 1-2 minutes per side. Flip scallops when top side appears cracked. Don't overcook!
  2. Deglaze pot with apple juice.
  3. Make sauce base of sauteed shallots, cream, Calvados.
  4. Add deglazed juice to sauce base.
  5. Lightly cook spinach.
  6. Add scallops to spinach, top with sauce.

Sirloin Steak with Whiskey Pan Sauce

Not much to this recipe. Sear steaks, deglaze pan with some whiskey, sweet vidalia onions, and add to a cream base. Serve with green beans.

The key to better presentation is to serve smaller chunks of steak, which I did not do. Hence mine looks a bit messy.

Grand Marnier Creme Brulees

Used the recipe from Fine Cooking. I would increase the cream amount slightly.

- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 vanilla bean sliced lengthwise
- 4 large egg yolks
- 1/4 cup sugar
- pinch of salt
- 1-2 Tbsp Grand Marnier

  1. Heat cream in saucepan, scrape vanilla beans into pan. Simmer, and remove from heat. Add in Grand Marnier.
  2. Whisk yolks and sugar together, and pinch of salt.
  3. Add slightly cooled cream mixture to yolks. Temper carefully. Try not to beat too much air into the resulting mix.
  4. Prepare a baking pan by filling it with boiling water.
  5. Pour creme brulee mixture into ramekins, and place into pan with boiling water.
  6. Cover with aluminum foil, and bake in oven at 300 F for 40-55 minutes, or until set on the sides.
  7. Let cool on wire rack.
  8. Refrigerate overnight, or up to 2 days.
  9. Sprinkle with sugar, glaze with chef's torch.
  10. Refrigerate for 10 minutes.
  11. Serve!

The Microtorch from Oggi works great! Feels nice, not too cheap in the hand.

Very tasty too!

Chai Cheesecake with Ginger Spice Crust

I made a pate sucree ginger crust for the cheesecake, but it didn't turn out as well as I was hoping, so I just used gingersnaps for the crust instead. Or ginger powder with graham cracker crust works well too!

From Bon Appetit, Feb. 2007 issue.

- 4 x 8 oz cheesecake bricks
- 1 x 8 oz mascarpone cheese (I added extra creme fraiche)
- 5 large eggs
- 2 large yolks
- 2 cups sugar (increase sugar, b/c mine was not sweet enough)

And for the chai

- 2.5 tsp ground ginger
- 2.5 tsp ground cardamom
- 1 slice vanilla bean
- 1/4 tsp ground all spice
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp ground black pepper

And for the icing:

- 1.5 cups sour cream
- 3 Tbsp sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract

Bake in water bath.

Fruit Tarts with Vanilla Bean Creme Patissiere

This was my best ever pastry cream yet. The vanilla beans made it extra special, and the ginger pate sucree that I had originally used for the cheesecake crust worked well here too.

Basic pastry cream:

- 2.5 cups half and half or light cream
- 1/2 to 1 whole vanilla bean
- 5 egg yolks
- 6 Tbsp sugar
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1/8 cup cornstarch

  1. Combine in the usual manner like all custard bases.
  2. Boil for 1 minute- when heating, heat over a small, even flame, or risk over-cooking the eggs.
  3. Remove, refrigerate overnight.
  4. Prepare tart, glaze with apricot jam.

On a plate...

No plate.


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