Friday, March 9, 2012

Cooking Class Gourmet

Strawberry Slush Daiquiri
Baked Fontina
Cherry Balsamic Salad
Pinwheel Steaks
Roasted Asparagus
Crepe Cake

Strawberry Slush Daiquiri

1 box frozen strawberries
4 oz. frozen lemonade concentrate
¼ C. sugar
1 C. Ginger Ale
Blend all ingredients together. If desired, dip rims of glasses in water or lime juice, then into sugar. Add a slice of fresh strawberry on the glass.

Baked Fontina

1 ½ lb. Italian Fontina, rind removed and 1 in. diced
¼ c. good olive oil
6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 tbsp. fresh minced thyme leaves
1 tsp. minced fresh rosemary leaves
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 crusty French baguette

1.Preheat the broiler and position the rack 5in. from the heat.
2.Distribute the cubes of Fontina evenly in a 12-inch cast iron skillet. Drizzle on the olive oil. Combine the garlic, thyme and rosemary and sprinkle over the cheese and olive oil. Sprinkle with the salt and pepper and place the pan under the broiler for 6 minutes, until the cheese is melted and bubbling and starts to brown.
3.Serve the baked Fontina family style—right out of the oven in the cast-iron pan with crusty chunks of bread for everyone to dip.

Cherry Balsamic Salad

1 head Romaine lettuce washed and chopped
1 head Red Leaf lettuce washed and chopped
1 cup Craisins
1 ¼ cup candied almonds
1-2 English cucumbers, seeded and diced
1 pint raspberries
1 pound strawberries
1 small jicama, peeled and diced
1 recipe Dark Cherry Balsamic Vinaigrette

Dark Cherry Balsamic Vinaigrette
½ cup balsamic vinegar
¼ cup sugar
1 clove garlic, minced
½ cup cherry preserves
¼ cup red wine vinegar
1 cup canola oil
Kosher salt
Freshly Ground black pepper

1.In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine balsamic vinegar, sugar, and garlic and bring to a simmer, stirring frequently to dissolve the sugar. Simmer the mixture, uncovered, until reduced by half, about 10 minutes.
2.Add the cherry preserves and cook for 1 minute longer. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
3.Once cooled, whisk in the red wine vinegar followed by the canola oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Will keep in fridge for up to 2 weeks.

Pinwheel Steaks

1 (3-ounce) jar pine nuts, 1/3 cup
2 cups fresh baby spinach leaves
1 cup basil leaves
2 cloves cracked garlic
3/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

6 thin cut New York strip steaks
Coarse salt and black pepper
1 tall jar, 18 to 20 ounces, roasted red peppers, well drained, about 3 peppers
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
Metal skewers

Preheat oven to 500 degrees F.
Toast pine nuts in a small pan over medium heat until golden. Place spinach, arugula, garlic, cheese, 2 pinches salt, a few grinds black pepper, and toasted nuts in a food processor. Pulse grind the filling into a paste. Taste and adjust seasonings. Remove 1/2 cup of filling paste to a bowl and stir in extra-virgin olive oil to loosen it. Reserve remaining filling in processor bowl.
Place steaks between layers of waxed paper several inches apart. Pound steaks with a heavy bottomed pan to 1/2 their thickness. Season each steak with salt and pepper on both sides. Cover each steak with a thin layer of filling and top with roasted red peppers. Roll steaks tightly. Secure pinwheels with a carefully placed skewer and set 6 pinwheels on a baking sheet. Drizzle with extra-virgin oil and roast 12 to 15 minutes. Remove skewers and transfer pinwheels to dinner plates. Top each with a generous portion of reserved sauce made from filling and extra-virgin olive oil, combined.

Roasted Asparagus with Balsamic Vinegar and Parmesan

2 pounds asparagus spears
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup shredded parmesan cheese

1.Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
2.Trim asparagus by breaking off the woody part on at the bottom of the stem.
3.Arrange asparagus spears on baking sheet, and coat with olive oil. Toss the spears with the oil to ensure even coating. Sprinkle asparagus with salt and pepper.
4.Bake asparagus for 12 minutes until tender crisp.
5.Sprinkle asparagus with vinegar and cheese, serve hot.

Crepe Cake

For the crêpes batter:
6 tablespoons butter
3 cups milk
6 eggs
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
7 tbsp. sugar
Pinch salt
vegetable oil

1.The day before serving the cake, make the crepe batter and the pastry cream. For the batter, cook the butter in a small pan until brown like hazelnuts. Set aside.
2.In another small pan, heat the milk until steaming; allow to cool for 10 minutes. In a mixer on medium-low speed, beat together the eggs, flour, sugar and salt.
3.Slowly add the hot milk and browned butter.
4.Pour into a container with a spout, cover and refrigerate overnight.
5.To make the crepes, bring the batter to room temperature.
6.Place a nonstick or seasoned 9-inch crepe pan over medium heat.
7.Swab the surface with the oil, then add about 3 tablespoons batter and swirl to cover the surface.
8.Cook until the bottom just begins to brown, about 1 minute, then carefully lift an edge and flip the crepe with your fingers. Cook on the other side for no longer than 5 seconds. Flip the crepe onto a baking sheet lined with parchment.
9.Repeat until you have 20 perfect crepes.

For the vanilla pastry cream:
2 cups milk
1 tbsp. vanilla extract or 1 vanilla bean, halved and scraped
6 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch, sifted
3 1/2 tbsp. butter

1.Combine milk and vanilla bean in sauce pan and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat and then set aside for 10 minutes.
2.In a medium heavy-bottomed pan, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar and cornstarch. Gradually whisk in the hot milk, then place pan over high heat and bring to a boil, whisking vigorously for 1 to 2 minutes.
3.Press the pastry cream through a fine-meshed sieve into the small bowl.
4.Stir in the butter. When completely cool, cover and refrigerate.

To assemble the cake:
2 cups heavy cream
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
icing sugar (optional)

1.Whip the heavy cream with the tablespoon sugar and the vanilla. It won’t hold stiff peaks but that’s okay. Fold it into the pastry cream.
2.Lay 1 crepe on a cake plate. Using an icing spatula, completely cover with a thin layer of pastry cream (about 1/4 cup).
3.Cover with a crepe and repeat to make a stack of 20, with the best-looking crepe on top.
4.Chill for at least 2 hours. Set out for 30 minutes before serving.
5.If you have a blowtorch for creme brulee, sprinkle the top crepe with 2 tablespoons sugar and caramelize with the torch; otherwise, dust with confectioners’ sugar. Slice like a cake.

Raspberry Sauce

12 ounces frozen raspberries, thawed
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup orange juice

1.In a blender, combine raspberries and sugar. Blend until liquefied.
2.Add orange juice and blend until well combined and smooth.
3.Pour raspberry sauce through a fine mesh sieve; discard seeds.
4.Pour over cake to serve.