French Country Smoked Ham Pot

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1 lb. dried cannellini beans, rinsed and sorted

1 -3lb. shank-end smoked ham

1 bag frozen small boiling onions

2 garlic cloves., chopped

1 tablespoon Dijon Mustard

1 Thyme sprig

1 bay leaf

Black pepper, to taste

sea salt , to taste

6 carrots, peeled and cut into 2inch lengths

1 lb. small red potatoes, peeled but left whole

3 leeks, white and pale green parts only, cut into 2 inch lengths

7 oz. green beans trimmed

1 bunch flat leaf parsley, finely chopped

Soak bean overnight in water. The next day, drain and rinse well.

Place ham in large dutch oven, cover with water and bring to simmer and cook 10 minutes.Drain and discard water. Return the ham to the dutch oven ,add beans , onions, garlic, mustard, thyme, bay leaf and pepper. Barely cover with water, then gently bring to boil, skimming off any residue. Cover and simmer for 1 1/2 hours.

Add carrots, potatoes and leeks to the pot, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.

Check the seasoning. Add green beans and parsley and cook 5 minutes. Lift ham from stock and place on carving board and slice. Serve with stock and vegetables.

Boeuf en Daube

Boeuf en Daube

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1 bottle white wine

2 bay leaves

sea salt, to taste

black pepper, to taste

1- 3 1/2 lb. rump roast

4 tablespoons olive oil

2 onions, sliced

2 garlic cloves, chopped

3 tablespoons flour, plus some for dusting meat

1-14 1/2 oz. chopped tomatoes in juice

1 cup Mediterranean Black olives, pitted

1 tablespoon capers, rinsed and drained

zest of 1 orange

5 oz. cremini mushrooms, stems removed

8 oz. carrots, peeled and chopped into 2 inch pieces

1 bunch flat leaf parsley, chopped

Combine the wine, bay leaves, salt and pepper in non reactive bowl; add rump roast and cover. Refrigerate overnight to marinate, turning from time to time.

Remove roast from marinade and pat dry. Retain marinade.

Heat 2 tablespoon olive oil in large dutch oven over medium low heat. Add onions and garlic and saute gently for 8 minutes. Sprinkle with flour and mix well, then pour in marinade a little at a time, continue stirring until all marinade has been stirred in, add tomatoes, loives, capers and orange zest, bring to simmer.

Heat oven to 275 degrees

Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil in large skillet over high heat. Dust beef lightly with flour and brown on all sides.

Transfer the beef to the dutch oven, ladle some of liquid to skillet to deglaze and pour into dutch oven. Cover and place in oven for 2 hours.

When the 2 hours are up, add carrots and mushrooms and bake covered an additional hour.

To serve , lift beef from dutch oven and slice beef thickly. Stir in parsley and check seasonings. Plate beef and spoon sauce and vegetables over beef.

Gratin Dauphinois

Gratin Dauphinois

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2 1/4 lbs. Russet potatoes

1 clove of garlic, smashed

5 tablespoons butter

2 1/2 cups half and half

sea salt, to taste

fresh ground black pepper, to taste

1 cup shredded Gruyere

Heat oven to 300 degrees

Peel potatoes and slice very thin using a food processor or mandoline. Place potatoes in bowl cover with cold water. Swish potatoes around in bowl to remove excess starch. Drain and place potatoes in salad spinner to remove all excess water or dry with tea towel.

Rub a large shallow baking dish with the garlic clove, set clove a side and then butter dish.

Put the butter in a large pot with half and half and bring just to a boil. Add potatoes, season with salt and pepper, mince the garlic clove set aside from rubbing on baking dish and add to potatoes as well. Gently bring to a simmer and simmer 8 minutes.

Transfer to prepared dish, spread evenly and sprinkle with cheese and season with salt and pepper. Place baking dish on sheet baking to prevent any possible mess in the bottom of your oven.

Bake for 1 1/2 hours. Serve hot.

Provencal Apple-Honey Tart

Provencal Apple-Honey Tart

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Crust:

2 cups flour

1/4 cup sugar

pinch of salt

1/2 cup butter, room temp.

2 eggs, beaten

Filling:

1 lb. Sweet baking apples

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup honey

In a bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade add flour salt and sugar. Pulse 2 times just to combine. Add butter and eggs. Pulse just until dough begins to come together. Remove from bowl and shape into disc and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees . Line a baking sheet with parchment.

On a lightly floured work surface roll out dough to about 1/8 of an inch , roll up edges to form circular tart shell.

Split unpeeled apples lengthwise and slice into about 1/8 inch slices. Arrange around the tart shell in a decorative fashion. Sprinkle sugar evenly over apples.

Bake for about 50 minutes or until apples and crust are golden.

Heat honey to make more liquid and brush onto apples.

Place on serving platter and serve warm.

Flan Grand-Mere Tart

Flan Grand-Mere Tart

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Pate sucree crust or puff pastry for 9-10 inch tart pan

Custard filling:

1/4 cup water

1 quart whole milk

1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise

3/4 cup sugar plus 2 tablespoons sugar

1/4 cup almond meal

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons potato flour

8 eggs

6 egg yolks

1/3 cup powdered sugar, for glaze

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Butter a 9-10 inch tart pan with high sides of 2 inches and butter a 9-10 inch standard tart pan

Roll pastry out and fit into both tart pans . Place lined tart pans in freezer for 15-30 minutes. Remove from freezer and line with parchment and weigh down with pie weights or dry beans. Baking tarts separately , place on parchment lined baking sheets. Bake each tart 15 minutes and then remove pie weights and bake another 5 minutes or until light golden color.

Meanwhile, bring water to a boil over medium high heat in a large heavy saucepan. Add the milk and the vanilla bean and bring to boil. In a large mixing bowl combine sugar, almond flour, potato flour and whisk to remove all lumps. Add the eggs and egg yolks and whisk until smooth. Temper the egg mixture by whisking in  half of the hot milk  into the dry ingredients. Whisk well and then add back to saucepan and bring back up to boil for 1 minutes whisking constantly. Remove from heat, remove vanilla bean and strain custard into bowl. Pour strained custard into tart shell.

Bake tart for about 35-55 minutes until custard puff and just begins to brown. Remove from oven to wire cooling rack and cool 30 minutes before removing tart ring. After removing tart ring , cover loosely and refrigerate until chilled. For glaze, Sprinkle 1/3 cup powdered sugar over top of tart and place under broiler just until lightly brown.

Bouchons (Chocolate Corks)

Bouchons (Chocolate Corks)

They are like bite size brownies

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4 eggs, room temperature

3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar

3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon butter, softened

1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder

1 1/3 cups flour

2/3 cup semisweet mini chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Butter a muffin tin with 12 holes measuring 2 3/4 inch dia.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk eggs and sugar together until blended. Add butter and cocoa and whisk until well blended and smooth. Add flour and whisk until nearly blended. Stir in chocolate chips until blended.

Scoop batter into tin, filling 3/4 full. Bake 15-18 minutes or until cakes are brown and set and a toothpick inserted into center comes out somewhat moist. Cool in pan briefly on wire rack; then gently unmold and cool cakes completely.

Crepe Gateaux

Crepe Gateaux

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Crepe batter

1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons flour

1 tsp salt

6 eggs

2 egg yolks

1 1/2 cups milk

2/3 cup water

2 tablespoons melted butter

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

Cook crepes and set aside.

Pastry Cream

2 1/4 cups milk

1 vanilla bean split

5 egg yolks

6 tablespoons superfine sugar

1/4 cup flour

1/8 cup cornstarch

1 cup heavy cream

2 tablespoons powdered sugar

In a small saucepan place milk and split vanilla bean. Place over medium low heat and heat until it just comes to boil. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly and remove vanilla bean. In a bowl combine egg yolks and sugar and whisk until pale and thick. Stir int the cornstarch and the flour.

Whisk the egg mixture into the milk mixture until combined well. Place on medium low heat and cook until it begins to boil and cook one more minute. Remove from heat and place in a shallow container. Cover with plastic wrap and store in refrigerator.

Whip the heavy cream and powdered sugar until stiff fold into the cooled pastry cream. Set aside.

To assemble the crepe gateaux layer the crepes with a small amount of filling and continue until all crepes are used. Place in refrigerator until ready to serve. Prior to serving sprinkle the top of the cake with sugar and caramelize the sugar with a torch.

Oeufs a la Neige “Floating Islands”

Oeufs a la Neige “Floating Islands”

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Creme Anglaise

1 vanilla bean, split

2 1/4 cups milk

6 egg yolks

5/8 cup superfine sugar

6 tablespoons heavy cream

Split vanilla bean and place in saucepan. Pour in the milk and slowly bring to boil. Beat the egg yolks with the sugar until thick and pale yellow. Remove the vanilla bean from milk. Add a small amount of hot milk to the egg yolks whisking to combine. Whisk in egg yolks back into the remaining hot milk. Stir over low heat until mixture begins to thicken and cats the back of a spoon. Do not over heat or boil or egg will curdle. Remove from heat and stir in cream. Strain the custard and chill.

Meringue and Poaching Syrup

4 egg whites

1/2 cup extra fine sugar

Poaching Syrup

6 cups water

1 1/4 cups sugar

Heat the water and sugar until the sugar dissolves, then bring to boil and reduce the heat.

Whisk the egg white and gradually add the sugar, whisking until smooth and stiff.

Shape meringue into ovals. Place them in the syrup and cook gently for 3-54 minutes. Remove from the syrup with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.

Pour the chilled creme anglaise into serving bowls. Arrange the meringues on top. Garnish with caramel and mint.

Caramel

1 cup sugar

1 cup water

Place all ingredients in saucepan and bring to boil. Simmer until sugar caramelizes and drizzle over desserts.

Espresso Cream Filled Profiteroles with Dark Chocolate Ganache

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Profiteroles

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

1 cup milk

1 stick butter

1 cup flour

pinch of salt

4 eggs

In a saucepan heat milk and butter until butter is melted. Add the salt and flour all at once and stir the mixture together until it comes together as a dough. Stir another 2 minutes and place dough in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Add eggs and blend until the dough in well combined and thick. Place the dough in a piping bag and pipe onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper about 9 puffs. May be made any size. Bake for 20 minutes until golden. Turn off the oven and leave in oven for another 10 minutes. Puff should sound hollow on bottom when tapped. Remove from oven and put a small slice in each puff to release steam . Allow to cool.

Dark Chocolate Ganache

1 cup heavy cream

1 cup, chopped dark chocolate

Heat cream to just boiling. Pour cream over the top of chopped chocolate and stir until smooth and shiney.

Espresso Pastry Cream

6 egg yolks

3/4 cup sugar

3 tablespoons cornstarch

2 cups whole milk

1 tablespoons instant espresso or more to taste

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons heavy cream

1 tsp. vanilla extract

In a bowl whisk together the egg yolks, sugar and cornstarch until well combined and pale yellow. In a saucepan add milk and  espresso and cook to boiling. Whisk in a small amount of hot milk to the egg mixture whisk constantly in order to temper eggs. Whisk back in all the egg mixture into the hot milk on low heat  and continue whisking until mixture becomes thick. Stir in the 2 tablespoons of cream and vanilla.Place the pastry cream in a bowl and cover the top of the cream with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming and refrigerate until ready to use.

1 cup heavy cream

2 tablespoons powdered sugar

Whip cream until stiff and fold in to pastry cream.

Fill the cooled profiteroles with the pastry cream and dip tops in dark chocolate ganache.

Cream Puff Poppers

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My sons love to eat these frozen.

 

Choux Paste:

1 cup milk

1/4 lb. butter

1/4 tsp. salt

1 cup flour

4 eggs

Filling:

Sweetened whipped cream

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Heat the milk,butter and salt in a saucepan over medium heat until milk is scalded and butter is melted. Stir the flour into the milk mixture over the heat with a wooden spoon for about 2 minutes; continue stirring until the flour begins to coat the bottom of the pan. In a bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade, dump the hot mixture into the processor and pulse in the eggs into the hot dough. Process until thick.

Using a small amount of dough, place a small dab of dough in the corners of 2 baking sheets and then stick the parchment paper to the baking sheets.

Using a pastry bag fitted with a plain tip, pipe 1 inch dollops onto 2 parchment lined baking sheets. Makes about 50-55 puffs. Bake for about 15 minutes until golden and puffed, Turn off oven leaving the puffs in the oven for 10 minutes. They should make a hollow sound when thumped on the bottom. Remove from the oven and make a small pierce with a knife on the bottom of each puff to release any steam. Cool completely.

Once cooled,using a pastry bag with small plain tip, fill the puffs from the knife pierce until full. Dust with powdered sugar. Can be frozen filled in airtight containers. They will not be a crisp as they would if eaten right away. If not eating right away, fill just prior to serving.