Friday, March 30, 2012
Thursday, March 29, 2012
Tonight my adventure was not something that I cooked. I just got to be the culinary paparazi, well-fed culinary paparazi. Jake and I went to a pop-up supper club, Edible Monterey Bay magazine's inaugural, for a slightly belated anniversary dinner; Brian and Pia joined us for the fun and food.
Lokal, in the heart of Carmel Valley village, is the soon-to-be-opened brainchild of local boy Chef Brendan Jones. Click here to read the article that appeared in Edible Bay Monterey last August about the hip, elegant, but unfussy new restaurant. Did I mention "soon-to-be-opened"?!? We are the first people to eat in this restaurant that, for sure, will be a hit.
This prix-fixe menu consisted of six surprising courses. By "surprising" I mean innovative and delightful. Surprising.
The first course: Hot and Cold Gin Fizz - lemon, gin, and warmed egg whites. Herby and zesty topped with a frothy mouthful of soft meringue. Wow. I have never had anything like this. The two things that stopped me from downing this apertif in two gulps - I wanted to savor every sip and I was drinking on an empty stomach.
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
2 packages active dry yeast
½ C warm water
1 ¼ cups mashed roasted butternut squash
1 C warm buttermilk
2 eggs , beaten
1⁄3 C olive oil
3 T organic honey
1 t smoked sea salt
4 C brown rice flour
3 C white whole wheat flour
In a mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in water; let stand 5 minutes. Add squash, buttermilk, eggs, olive oil, honey and salt; mix well. Gradually add the brown rice flour and beat until smooth. Add enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.
Turn onto a floured board; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in warm place until doubled, about 1 hour. Punch dough down. Shape into four mini loaves and place into buttered baking dishes. Cover and let rise until doubled about 30 minutes.
Bake at 375 for 25 minutes or until tops are golden. Remove from pans to cool on wire racks. At this point, I rubbed the loaves with butter and sprinkled them with fennel pollen.
I am sharing this recipe with girlichef's Bake-Your-Own-Bread series.
Go check out what others are baking.
Monday, March 26, 2012
2 sweet potatoes, roasted, skinned, and mashed
1 C brown rice flour
1/2 C granulated organic sugar
1/2 C milk
Blend everything together to form a thick batter. Spoon batter into a buttered baking dish. Bake for an hour in a 350 degree oven, until firm to the touch. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes before inverting onto a serving dish. Serve warm with a scoop of papaya jam on top.
Sunday, March 25, 2012
Twelve years ago today I had seven different cheesecakes as my wedding "cake." Each was topped with a tuille cookie that had a different word on it: Passion. Love. Joy. Friendship. Life... You get the idea.
2 C crushed cinnamon graham crackers
1 C ground almonds
Mix all of the ingredients together until moist clumps form. Press crumb mixture onto bottom and up sides of a springform pan that's been wrapped in foil. Chill crust while preparing filling.
3 - 8 oz. packages cream cheese, room temperature
zest from one lemon
juice from one lemon
Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F. Beat cream cheese in large bowl until fluffy. Beat in sugar. Beat in eggs 1 at a time. Mix in sour cream, zest, and juice.
Transfer filling to prepared crust. Place springform pan in large roasting pan. Pour enough boiling water into roasting pan to come halfway up sides of springform pan. Bake until cheesecake puffs around edges, about 1 hour 15 minutes. Turn off oven. Let cake stand in oven 1 hour, leaving oven door ajar.
Transfer cake to rack. Run knife around pan sides to loosen cake. Cool completely. Remove foil from pan sides. Cover cake and chill. Ideally you want to chill the cheesecake overnight. I only had today, so it chilled for about 6 hours. Remove pan sides to serve.
I garnished my slice with bee pollen and candied kumquat.