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CookTeaser

Photos, Recipes & CookTales For Those Who Enjoy Cooking

Daily Archives: November 17, 2011


RECIPE

A CookTale

Back in the early seventies, Helen McCully was House Beautiful’s Food Editor and had a monthly column titled, “How To, Our Beautiful Way”. It featured prominent chefs, like Andre Soltner. She also admired a young and up and coming French chef, Jacques Pepin. His featured recipe for Smoked Salmon Mousse was and still is a favorite of ours and I have been preparing it since.
In our freezer were 6 Diver Scallops. What if I converted Jacques’ recipe? Scallops are rather bland on their own, and benefit from saucing or smoking, and I possess a great stovetop smoker from a Belgium manufacturer, Resto, and still available on Amazon. It took less that 10 minutes of smoking with Cameron’s shredded Apple Wood to achieve the desired light smokiness. And the finished Scallop Mousse exceeded expectations.

INGREDIENTS For the Mousse

6 Diver Scallops
Sea Salt & Black Pepper (generously applied)
3 Large Shallots (crushed & peeled)
1/2 cup of Mayonnaise (prepared is fine)
1/2 cup of Creme Fraiche or Sour Cream
Juice of 1 Lemon (strained)
1/2 cup of Boiling water +2 envelopes of unflavored Knox Gelatin
A Stovetop Smoker
1 TB of Cameron Apple Wood

METHOD

1. Prepare the Smoker according to the products directions. Add the Scallops to the Smokers wire grill, cover & allow about 10 minutes to reach the proper level of smokiness.

2. Cut the Scallops in half, add them & the Shallots to the processor bowl & puree until you have a smooth mixture. Add the Creme Fraiche or Sour Cream & pulse a few times to thoroughly combine.

3. Combine the Lemon Juice & boiling water in a small saucepan. Sprinkle with the Gelatin, place over low heat & stir until dissolved. Stir this into the Scallop mixture.

4. Cover the bottom of a rather small terrine with parchment. Spoon the mixture into the terrine & smooth the surface. Seal with Saran & refrigerate until firm.

INGREDIENTS For the Aspic

1-1/2 cups of Clam Juice +1 Cup of Water
1 cup of Dry White Wine
1 medium Onion (sliced)
6 Parsley stalks
Sea Salt & White Pepper
1-1/2 envelopes of unflavored Knox Gelatin

METHOD

1. Combine all the ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce and simmer for 30 minutes. Strain & return to the heat, cook down to 2 cups. Sprinkle Gelatin over the broth. Stir until dissolved. Taste the Aspic for seasoning.

2. By TB, add the Aspic to the firmed Mousse. Allow the Aspic to set in the fridge & repeat until the proper amount of has been added.

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RECIPE
A CookTale

You’re looking at what is usually one of the most pricey cuts of Beef. But this month we discovered it in a Sam’s Club holiday brochure. A package of two, 1-1/2 LB pieces, priced at about $12.00. When I asked the butcher “how are they?”, he answered “they’re awesome”. A slight exaggeration, but they were quite good. Plated with the Mustard Peppercorn sauce was even better.

INGREDIENTS

A 1-1/2 Pound Fillet of Beef
Kosher Salt & Black Pepper
1 TB of EVOO + 1 TB for the pan

METHOD

1. Heat the oven to 425F degrees.

2. Heat a well-seasoned cast iron grill pan to high heat & add the TB of EVOO. Thoroughly sear the Beef on all sides. To sear it properly might take as long as 20 minutes, but well worth it.

3. Move the grill pan to the oven & roast for 10 minutes, or until an internal instant thermometer registers between 115 & 120 degrees. That is if you like your Beef pink & on the rare side.

$. Allow to rest for 5 to 10 minutes before slicing.
Plate & spoon on any accumulated juices.

RECIPE Mustard Green Peppercorn Sauce

INGREDIENTS

3 Shallots (finely minced)
2 TB of Butter
1/3 cup of dry White Wine
2 TB of dried Green Peppercorns (Hydrate in a small amount of hot water for 1 hour)
1 cup of Heavy Cream
2 TB of Dijon mustard
¼ tsp of Salt (or to taste)

METHOD

1. Cook the Shallots in the Butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until they are soft & translucent, about four minutes. Increase heat to medium-high, add the Wine & Peppercorns (drained). Cook until mixture reduces by half, about five minutes.

2. Stir in the Cream & Dijon Mustard; boil until the mixture reduces slightly, just enough to coat a spoon, about three minutes. Season with Salt.


RECIPE

A CookTale

I would traditionally prepare this sauce with Green Peppercorns in Brine, But none were available. What I did have were dried Green Peppercorns purchased on-line from Penzeys Spices. I adapted a Google recipe for a classic French Peppercorn sauce and made it work.

INGREDIENTS

3 Shallots (finely minced)
2 TB of Butter
1/3 cup of dry White Wine
2 TB of dried Green Peppercorns (Hydrate in a small amount of hot water for 1 hour)
1 cup of Heavy Cream
2 TB of Dijon mustard
¼ tsp of Salt (or to taste)

METHOD

1. Cook the Shallots in the Butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, until they are soft & translucent, about four minutes. Increase heat to medium-high, add the Wine & Peppercorns (drained). Cook until mixture reduces by half, about five minutes.

2. Stir in the Cream & Dijon Mustard; boil until the mixture reduces slightly, just enough to coat a spoon, about three minutes. Season with Salt.

3. Strain the sauce & discard the Peppercorns.


RECIPE

A CookTale

These Brussels and Potatoes are guaranteed delicious, they make every occasion that you serve them a vegetarian delight. The more you allow them to char, the tastier they are. A good douse of EVOO & Salt brings out even more of their character. If this seems to be a redux, you’re right because they have become one of our most favorite and often prepared dishes.

INGREDIENTS

10 oz of Brussels sprouts (ends removed)
12 oz of Yukon Gold Baby Potatoes (halved & parboiled)
4 oz of Pancetta (1/4 dice)
2 TB of EVOO
1 tsp of Kosher Salt & 1/2 tsp of Black Pepper

METHOD

1. Preheat oven to 425F.

2. Cut off the ends of the Brussels Sprouts & remove any discolored outer leaves. Mix them in a bowl with the EVOO & the Salt & Pepper.

3. Add the Potatoes to a pot of steaming water & parboil for 5 minutes.

3. Add the vegetables & the Pancetta to a large sheet pan or a large oven proof casserole in a single layer & roast for 35 to 45 minutes, until crisp & charred on the outside & tender on the inside. Shake the pan from time to time to brown them evenly.

4. Sprinkle with more Kosher Salt (or to taste) & serve immediately.