Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Nicole's assorted Tasting Table recipe dinner - November 2009

Like many foodies I subscribe to the Tasting Table e-mail newsletter, and the delicious recipes that they send each week had been piling up in my Inbox without ever being tested. I especially wanted to try the dinner menu recipes for Thomas Keller, as I have eaten at Ad Hoc and one day aspire to dine at the French Laundry. This dinner night was an effort to use those recipes, plus one for Ebelskivers so that I could put to use the special pan that Rissa had given me.

Sausage-Stuffed Danish Ebelskivers

Heather took the reins on this recipe, which turned out requiring some skill to flip over the little dough balls in the pan while cooking. We branched out from the recipe's suggested savory filling of sausage, and also cooked some with chocolate or berry jam filling. The possibilities for fillings are endless, both sweet and savory. They were a delicious appetizer, and the extra ones reheated well for my snack the next day.
2 cups buttermilk
2 cups flour
3 eggs, separated
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 pound precooked bulk breakfast sausage
Real maple syrup

1. Separate egg yolks and whites into two bowls. Beat egg yolks. Add sugar, salt and milk; stir. Mix in flour, baking powder and baking soda.
2. In second bowl, beat egg whites until stiff. Fold egg whites into the other mixture.
3. Lightly grease each cavity of the ebelskiver pan. Over medium heat, fill each cavity 2/3 full with batter, and tuck a teaspoon-sized piece of precooked sausage inside, pushing it down so that the batter covers it fully. Cook 2 minutes and then flip the ebelskivers with two wooden skewers... (this method works best, and prevents scratching of the nonstick). Cook for another 2-1/2 minutes or until golden brown and cooked all the way through. Repeat until all the batter is used.
4. Serve immediately, with maple syrup.

Thomas Keller Roast Chicken

This recipe called for a ~2lb. chicken, which was impossible to find at my local supermarket. The only ones that I could find were over 4 pounds, which I shouldn't have been surprised about after recently watching "Food Inc." and seeing how the poultry industry operates. The presentation was not quite as nice as in the picture since we did not have four legs and breasts to plate, but the chicken was still very good.

Serves four

2 - 2¼ to 2½ lb. chickens
2 tbsp. canola oil
2 tsp. chopped thyme leaves
1 c. chicken jus, warmed
Fleur de sel
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

1. Rinse chickens under cold water, then submerge in pot of brine and refrigerate six hours.

2. Preheat oven to 475°.

3. Remove chickens from brine, rinse, and dry with paper towels. Season inside and out with salt and pepper, truss chickens, and let them sit at room temperature for 20-30 minutes.

4. Salt and pepper chickens again. Place two heavy, ovenproof, 10-inch skillets over high heat. When hot, add half the oil to each. Place birds breast side up in skillets, then into the oven, legs first.

5. Roast for 40 minutes, checking every 15 minutes and rotating skillets to brown evenly. When done, temperature should read approximately 155°F. Remove from oven, add thyme leaves to skillets, and baste birds with the juices and thyme. Let sit in a warm spot for about 10 minutes.

6. Carve each bird into 4 serving pieces. Arrange one breast and a leg on each plate, top with ¼ c. chicken jus, and sprinkle with fleur de sel.

Brine for Roast Chicken


1 c. kosher salt
¼ c. plus 2 tbsp. honey
12 bay leaves
½ c. garlic cloves, skin left on, smashed
2 tbsp. black peppercorns
3 large rosemary sprigs
1 large bunch thyme sprigs
1 large bunch Italian parsley sprigs
Grated zest and 2 large lemons

1. Combine all ingredients and 1 gallon of water in a large pot, cover, and bring to a boil.

2. Boil for 1 minute, stirring to dissolve the salt. Remove from the heat and cool completely before using.

Thomas Keller Salade de Laitue

This salad was easy to make and complemented the rest of the meal. The dijon vinaigrette was good and the overall flavor not too powerful, but this was not as much of a standout as some of the other salads we have made.

Serves four

4 heads Bibb lettuce
2 tbsp. minced shallots
2 tbsp. minced chives
¼ c. Italian parsley
¼ c. tarragon leaves
¼ c. chervil leaves
½ c. house vinaigrette
1 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

1. Core the heads of lettuce. Separate leaves but keep each head by itself; discard outer leaves. Head by head, place the leaves in a bowl of cold water to refresh them and remove any dirt, then dry in a salad spinner.

2. Place the leaves from one head in a bowl; sprinkle with a pinch of salt, a few grinds of pepper, 1½ tsp. each shallots and chives; and 1 tbsp. each parsley, tarragon, and chervil.

3. Toss gently with 2 tbsp. vinaigrette and 1 tsp. lemon juice. Repeat with remaining heads.

4. To serve, arrange outer leaves as the base on the plate and rebuild each head of lettuce, ending with the smallest leaves.

House Vinaigrette
Makes about 2½ cups

¼ c. Dijon mustard
½ c. red wine vinegar
1½ c. canola oil

1. In a blender, combine the mustard and vinegar at medium speed for about 15 seconds. With the machine running, slowly drizzle in 1/2 c. canola oil.

2. Transfer to a small bowl and, whisking constantly, slowly stream in the remaining 1 c. oil. Use immediately or refrigerate up to two weeks.

Thomas Keller Lemon Tart (Tarte au Citron)

This tart was just okay. The quantity of pine nuts was a bit too much, and overpowered the taste of the crust in a negative way. I also accidentally slightly burned part of the top of the crust, so that did not help matters. Cooking that part of it properly would have helped, although overall we gave this one a thumbs down.

Serves eight

2 c. pine nuts
1/3 c. sugar
4 c. all-purpose flour, plus extra
1 c. unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus extra
3 eggs, cold
1 tsp. vanilla extract
6 tbsp. unsalted butter, cold, cut into 6 pieces
2 egg yolks, cold
¾ c. sugar
½ c. lemon juice

1. Place pine nuts in food processor and pulse; add the sugar and 4 c. flour and pulse until nuts are finely ground. Transfer mixture to a large bowl.

2. Add room-temperature butter, 1 egg, and vanilla; mix to incorporate. Divide the dough into three equal parts. Wrap each piece in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 10 minutes before using (Because the dough uses only one egg, it’s difficult to make a smaller quantity. Freeze the extra for another time.)

3. Preheat oven to 350°. Butter and flour a 9-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom and refrigerate it while the oven preheats.

4. Remove tart pan from fridge; press 1 ball of chilled pine nut dough evenly over the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Trim off excess.

5. Bake for 10-15 minutes; rotate; bake for another 10-15 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool while you make the filling.

6. Bring about 1½ inches of water to a boil in a pot slightly smaller than the diameter of the bowl you will be using for the sabayon. Meanwhile, in a large metal bowl, whisk remaining eggs, yolks, and sugar for about 1 minute.

7. Set the bowl over the pot and whisk mixture while turning the bowl. When eggs are foamy and have thickened (about 2 minutes), add one third of the lemon juice. Continue whisking while turning, adding remaining lemon juice in thirds, until the mixture is thick, light in color, and the whisk leaves a trail in the bottom of the bowl (about 8-10 minutes). Turn off heat and leave bowl over water, then whisk in butter.

8. Pour the warm sabayon into the tart crust and place the pan on a baking sheet.

9. While sabayon is still warm, put in preheated broiler. Leaving the door open, brown the top of the tart (just a few seconds).

10. Remove the tart from the broiler and let it sit for at least 1 hour before serving. Serve at room temperature or cold.

Andrew's Herb Risotto

This was a good risotto that also packs a healthier and colorful punch with the vegetables in it. Not quite as rich as a typical risotto, but that was a good thing. Overall we liked this recipe.

Prep Time:10

MinCook Time:35

MinReady In: 45 Min

Original Recipe Yield 8 servings


3 tablespoons canola oil

3 tablespoons butter

1 cup trimmed, diced fennel bulb

1 red bell pepper, diced

1 yellow onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint, divided

3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, divided

2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary, divided

2 teaspoons grated lemon zest, divided

1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

1 1/2 cups uncooked Arborio rice

1/2 cup dry white wine

3 1/2 cups chicken stock

salt and pepper to taste

1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese


Heat oil and butter in a medium heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add fennel, bell pepper, onion, garlic, 1 1/2 tablespoons mint, 1 1/2 tablespoons parsley, 1 tablespoon rosemary and 1 teaspoon lemon zest. Saute, stirring, until vegetables are slightly softened (about 2 to 3 minutes).

Stir in coriander and rice and saute, stirring, until rice grains are oil-coated (about 3 minutes). Pour in wine and stock and reduce heat to medium low. Simmer uncovered for 20 to 25 minutes, or until liquid is almost absorbed and rice is tender but firm. (Note: Stir once or twice while simmering.)

Remove pan from heat and season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in remaining mint, parsley, rosemary and lemon zest, then add lemon juice and cheese. Cover saucepan with waxed paper and let stand 8 to 10 minutes before serving.

Nutritional Information

Amount Per Serving Calories: 289 Total Fat: 11.2g Cholesterol: 15mg

1 comment:

Victor Manuel said...

Honestly everything is awesome:)
The best of the Best Rissa