Monday, April 01, 2013

Earl Grey Gelato Ensemble Dessert

Part of a dessert I made for potluck, which also included a salted coffee/chocolate soil and an eggless chocolate mousse with candied ginger kumquats.  If only I could make decent quenelles!  Plating was awkward, also too many brown earthy colors in that dish!  Since I served 25 such plates at a party, I'll say it was moderately successful as it was pretty tasty.

Was aiming for a play on breakfast drinks, with the mini-mugs and chocolate-coffee soil versus the Earl Grey gelato. 

Toasted Sesame White Chocolate Triangles
White chocolate
~ 1 tsp sesame oil
Black sesame seeds

I melted white chocolate in a double boiler, then let it cool slightly to room temperature and added ~ 1 tsp of sesame oil.  I also toasted black sesame seeds at 350 degrees F for about 15 minutes, then added them to the white chocolate once they cooled to room temp.

I then poured the melted white chocolate into a pan lined with wax paper and refrigerated the chocolate until hard.  Then cut into triangles.

Chocolate-Coffee Soil
I used Chef Leong's recipe here, but reduced everything by a factor of 5.

Earl Grey Gelato
1 x quart of half & half
1 cup sugar
8 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
2 vanilla bean pods
2 heaping Tbsp loose leaf Earl Grey Tea (ratio is slightly more generous than 1 tsp per 8 oz liquid)

-        I initially made a bouquet garni of the Earl Grey tea leaves using cheesecloth, but I felt this didn’t maximize the wonderful fragrance of the tea leaves.  So I ended up adding the tea wholesale into the half & half mixture and later straining it through a sieve.

Beer braised short rib and Lightly poached Salmon

I hosted a dinner several months ago, but kept putting off updating the website.  The plating was not my best. 

Beer braised short rib with parsnip-celery root puree.  Eh, are those weeds growing on top?

Lightly poached salmon with citrus olive oil, tomato confit.  That salmon needs to be smaller!

Roasted Beet and Feta Easter Salad

Made mini-Easter salads to bring to a church potluck.

Roasted some red beets, although in retrospect, I wished I had used orange beets instead for an improved visual contrast.  Add crumbled feta, walnut pieces, and a mix of baby arugula and baby romaine leaves.  Served with orange balsamic vinaigrette.

I prepped the mini-salads in a Calphalon baking pan, as shown above.
Then I added miniature forks to them.
And voila!  Looks like they shrunk a little by the time the last picture was taken.