Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Julie Biuso - My fave time of year ... just saying.

Make notes. Make notes. Make notes. It really does help. And there's the satisfaction of crossing things off a list!


My fave time of year ... just saying.
Okay, countdown time … I’m going to squeeze in as many festive recipes or Links to them as possible this week and next.
This week I’m in love with these lamb roasts with a golden crunchy crust and a gorgeous jus with red grapes, almonds and damson jelly. These will be on my table this Christmas day with jersey bennes AND crunchy spuds, just ‘cause we can! I’ve chosen them not just because they are juicy and tender and have great flavour, but because they are fast to prepare and cook in 15 minutes. Yay! More time to enjoy bubbly and yak with the family, which is what Christmas is all about (spending time with family I mean, not just enjoying bubbly!).
Roast Lamb with Lemon & Rosemary Crust

I’ll probably commit to the peas and pancetta as well, so that’s a quick green vege sorted. Whatever you do, don’t make the mistake and buy ready-minted baby peas. They’re revolting! They smell and taste medicinal. Either grow your own – it’s a bit late now to be gardening for the Christmas table – so just buy a mint plant. Easy.
Peas with Pancetta
If you are looking for something a bit more exotic, check out the duck. This is no ordinary duck recipe … there’s quite a bit going on with chilli, lime, pomegranate seeds and hot red chilli … but watermelon and lychee cool things down. The pic is a bit munted – taken on a very old iPhone ­ but it gives you the idea. This is a great recipe for an outdoor lunch. Maybe add some seafood, some salads, and enjoy Christmas a new way. Roast Duck with Lychee, Watermelon & Watercress Salad

I’ve also done a run-down on bacon, the cuts and types of bacon and cures used, and included notes on pancetta. Bacon & Pancetta
And here’s a link to the best way of carving a ham. Carving Ham
I’ve used this method for years and I was confident enough to carve a slice or three for the late, very great, Maestro Luciano Pavarotti when I served him lunch a few years back. There’s nothing worse than feeling inadequate faffing around trying to slice a ham with people watching. Of course you need the correct knife – a long thin bladed one is ideal.

Talking knives, yep, tomorrow will be cut-off day for getting FURI knives ordered and guaranteed out to you in time for Christmas. If you missed the offer last week, I am running a special WHOPPING 20% OFF FURI KNIVES & DIAMOND FINGERS SHARPENERS. They make fab gifts, and are good for wedding gifts, special occasion gifts, or, as many people did last week, gift them to yourself or your partner to make cooking in 2018 a joy.
New season garlic is out in the shops, so get in and scoff it up. There are plenty of reasons to eat your fill. Do you know the 5 As? Read about it …New Season Garlic
Finally, a link through to one of last year’s popular Christmas salads Kumara & Pumpkin Christmas Salad.

And the glorious Pav pictured above? Here's the recipe. It is da bomb and many have imitated it, but this is the real McCoy with all the tips you need to ensure you have great success with a pavlova this summer.
Pavlova Paradise
And another version, and my fave way of serving Pav, filled with cream and yoghurt. It makes it less rich and the tang of yoghurt cuts the overall sweetness. A great result, I think. Lots more tips and pics here too. Pavlova Perfection

Have a great week … don’t rush around like a mad thing and send yourself into a spin …STAY CALM and carry on. A cliché, for sure, but handy to remember in the heat of the moment.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Brown Butter Finaciers


Brown Butter Financiers
David, 07 Dec 10:21 AM

One my favorites, of all French pastries, is the financier. Enriched with nuts, and moistened with butter, almost every bakery you go into has them. They come in different sizes, shapes, and even flavors; almond is the most popular, but you’ll sometimes come across financiers made with ground hazelnuts or pistachios. I like them all. There are a few theories how this mini-gâteau got its curious name.

One is that, traditionally, they’re baked in small, rectangular molds.  Once baked and unmolded, the little cakes resemble bars of gold. Another is that even adults in France are known to indulge in an afternoon sweet stop at their local bakery, for their goûter. Because people who work in the financial industry normally wear nice outfits or suits, something that’s neat to eat is appreciated, so they can stay presentable when heading back to the office.

I don’t have to worry about that, nor has anything come out of my oven turned to gold. (Quelle dommage!) But when I found myself with some leftover brown butter from infusing it in bourbon for Brown Butter Old Fashioneds, since I treat butter like gold, instead of tossing it, it got repurposed as a base for a batch of financiers.
Using browned butter keeps the butter flavor even more in focus. Some people get a little anxious when they see dark specks in pastries and desserts; I once had a waiter ask me what the dark flecks in the vanilla ice cream were. When I told him they were vanilla beans, and asked him (incredulously) what he thought they were, he replied, “I thought they were dirt.”
So after you brown the butter, when pouring it out of the pan, you don’t want to scrape up too much of the dark bits at the bottom of the pan, but I don’t mind a few in my cakes (in fact, I prefer them), so don’t fret too much about having a few in your batter. These cakes are also very forgiving, which is why so many bakeries in France offer them. They’re easy to make, keep well, and are the perfect afternoon snack – or as the French say, un snack.

Browned Butter Financiers
For financiers, I use mini-muffin tins, which are easily available. I'm not a fan of silicone bakeware but know that some people like it. This batter is pretty forgiving so can be baked in madeleine molds or even in larger muffin tins, filling them only about halfway. If you use another size mold, you'll likely need to adjust the baking time; bake them until browned on top, and the feel just set in the center when you touch them. As mentioned, I made these with leftover brown butter from the Brown Butter Old Fashioned recipe. I started with 4 ounces (8 tablespoons/115g) of butter, which yielded the amount called for in the recipe. If starting from scratch, and making your own brown butter, start with that amount of brown butter, then you can measure it out when it's browned and cooled. (If you need a bit more butter, you can simply add a bit of melted butter to it, to reach the 2 1/2 oz/75g amount. There are links at the end of the post with detailed instructions on making brown butter.
Servings24 financiers
§  1cup (140g) almond or hazelnut flour
§  3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (180g) sugar
§  5tablespoons (45g) flour
§  generous pinch salt
§  4large egg whites, at room temperature
§  1/2 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract
§  2 1/2 ounces (75g) brown butter,slightly warm (liquified)
§  1. Preheat the oven to 375ºF/180ºC and butter the insides of 24 mini muffin tins generously with softened, not melted, butter, making sure the butter the upper rims of the indentations.
§  2. In a medium bowl, mix the almond or hazelnut powder, sugar, flour and salt. Stir in the egg whites and vanilla or almond extract, then the browned butter.
§  3. Fill each indentation of the mini muffin tins almost to the top. Rap the tins sharply on the counter to level the tops, then bake for 13 minutes, until nicely browned. Let the financiers cool in the tins, then remove them, using a sharp knife to help release them, if necessary.
Recipe Notes
Storage: The financiers can be stored in an air-tight container for up to one week. They can be frozen for up to two months.
Related Links
How to make brown butter (Serious Eats)



12 Foodie Gift Books

12 Foodie Books For Every Eater (and Reader) On Your Gift List
’Tis the season for giving and eating, and we’ve got the perfect strategy. . . combine the two!  Whether your gift list contains a Francophile, a restaurant lover, a bibliophile, a classic movie buff, or a fan of military history, these 12 food-themed sweet and savory books will satisfy every appetite on your list. Bon appétit, and happy holidays!

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Brown Butter Old Fashioned Cocktail


Brown Butter Old Fashioned Cocktail
David, 04 Dec 

I recently did an event with Deb Perelman for our new books, L’appart and Smitten Kitchen Every Day. We’d both been traveling around, and not one, not two…but three times, we were in the same city at the same time, but didn’t see each other. One night, I was having dinner by myself before an event and after a two-hour slog through traffic, I needed a sip of something. While inching along on the clogged freeway, I’d sent her a text message, asking if she drank anything before events. She said no.
On my last book tour, I kept my coffee consumption to one cup in the morning, and no more than a small sip of wine in the evening, because I was balancing a lot of travel with a lack of sleep, and wanted to stay on an even keel for my events. So I heeded her sage advice.



Monday, December 4, 2017

Kai & Culture - Food stories from Aotearoa

Food tells a story. A story about where it originated, who produced it, the producer’s values and its journey from source to plate. We all share in the experience of food; it connects a diversity of people, places and ideas.  
In this book chefs, writers, academics and producers come together to cook up essays, profiles and recipes that explore Aotearoa’s contemporary food culture and an emerging, evolving New Zealand food identity. From mahinga kai and vegetable self-sufficiency to whole-animal sensibility, Kai and culture is a catalyst for the discussion around the impact food has on our culture. It explores many of the current issues that are involved in the growing, making and eating of food. A cultural cook book, if you will.
Freerange Press - RRP $50.00
Aaron McLean Stone Soup
Alex Davies Gatherings Restaurant
Angela Clifford Eat New Zealand
Dr Ann Brower Lincoln University
Brie Sherow food writer
Dajiang Tai Cheshire Architects
David White film-maker 
Elizabeth Dean Cornell University
Fiona Summerfield food writer
Fleur Sullivan Fleurs Place
Giulio Sturla Roots Restaurant
Henry Hargreaves food photographer
Ivan Donaldson Pegasus Bay Wines
Jonny Schwass chef
Mark Revington Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu
Monique Fiso Hiakai
Nik Mavromatis Greystone Wines
Peter Langlands forager
Rachel Taulelei Kono
Rebekah Graham Massey University
Dr Siouxsie Wiles University of Auckland
Dr Tracy Berno AUT
With: Ahikā Kai, Anteater, Black Estate, Cultivate, Food Innovation Network, Garden to Table, Harris Meats, Kaibosh Food Rescue, Kai Pasifika, Kai Ora Honey, Koanga Institute, Lewis Road Creamery, Milmore Downs, Ōtākaro Orchard, Pomegranate Kitchen, Residential Red Zone Rehabilitation, Stone Soup & Yellow Brick Road.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Supermoon Bakehouse


Supermoon Bakehouse
David, 29 Nov

When I come to the states, with apologies to all who’ve urged me to check out a croissant, Kouign amann, or macaron shop, since I can get all those things pretty easily in France, I tend to stick with local favorites. I don’t think anyone from San Francisco is coming to Paris for a burrito, nor in anyone flying over from Brooklyn in search of the perfect bagel in Bordeaux.
Yet serendipity found me in New York at the same time as British baking pal Edd Kimber, so I decided to break my rule for SuperMoon Bakehouse, which is offering a decidedly different take on classic French pastries. I’m not a huge fan of fussing with tradition, when it’s only done for the sake of being audacious, but some of the pastries sounded intriguing enough to brave rush hour on the packed New York subway, to high tail it over there, early this morning.
Continue Reading Supermoon Bakehouse...

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Prawns, Chilli and Zucchini Pizzette.

Sea change
Embrace the flavours of summer and enjoy the best of easy entertaining with Prawns, Chilli and Zucchini Pizzette.
Read more
Rum ready
It's almost the weekend, so we're kicking off the festivites with Grilled Pineapple with Rum, Orange and Chilli Syrup.
Read more
Hello Graham
With December almost here, we're looking ahead to festive gifting and easy grazing this silly season.

Consider ditching your lengthy shopping list this year and try your hand at our hand-picked selection of
edible gift ideas.

We discover what makes
The Grounds Modern Family Eatery the perfect holiday dining destination and enjoy our favourite seafood alongside this year's Air New Zealand Wine Awards winners.

Happy cooking!
Ashley Signature

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