Friday, February 18, 2011

Penne with truffle oil

I love Nigella Lawson's new cookbook "Kitchen". I don't know if it is because I went to her book signing and had her sign my copy but I love it. There are a few pasta recipes I want to make. All of which seem easy and super tasty. Last night for dinner I made what was supose to be her " Lone linguine with white truffle oil: but ended up more like " Penne for two with mushroom and truffle oil". Now I must be clear when I say that this only happened because I had no linguine, I only had mushroom and truffle oil and I was cooking for two. I tasted amazing! and is so easy to make. Basically when the pasta is cooked it is ready. Also the original recipe calls for white pepper, I didn't have any so I used black pepper.

You will need
Enough pasta to feed 2 people- about 200g
1 egg
3 tablespoons heavy cream
3 tablespoons parmesan cheese grated
a splash of truffle oil
1 tablespoon butter
salt and pepper to taste

1) Boil the pasta until al dente. Remove 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid and drain the pasta.
2) While the pasta is cooking  whisk to combine the egg, cream, cheese, truffle oil and pepper.
3) Place the drained pasta back in the pot and add the butter and 1 tablespoon of the cooking liquid ,stir to allow the butter to melt through out the pasta.
4) Add the egg and cream mixture, stir to coat the pasta. Salt to taste.


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Cheese Souflee (Egg whites only)

This Cheese Souffle is one of many things I made around/after Christmas. Up until I had gotten a copy of Mastering the Art of French Cooking I have never had a souffle. The extent of my souffle knowledge was limited to foodnetwork and The Long Long Trailer ( a amazing Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz movie, you should watch it). But I can happily say that I am a souffle lover. I made Julia's (we are on a first name basis now) egg white only recipe first because I had a bunch of egg whites. Most of which was left over from several days of making Eggs Benedict for breakfast. I have since made a souffle with both white and yokes and I have to admit I prefer the egg white only one. It was soft and creamy in the center and tasted like a cheese cloud.  Now Julia calls for a souffle mold, I don't have one. But I do have a round casserole dish with high sides. So I used that. I also didn't go through the trouble of creating a wall of paper around the dish. This recipe called for Swiss cheese, which I did not have. So I used what I had, and you should do the same. I used Parmesan cheese and Cheddar cheese and it tasted just fine.

You will need:
21/2 tablespoon butter
3 tablespoon butter
3/4 cup warm cream
6 or 7 egg whites
3/4 grated Swiss cheese
3/4 cup Swiss cheese diced
Salt and pepper to taste

1) Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Butter your dish and sprinkle with cheese.
2) Melt the butter, once melted add the flour and cook for 2 minutes do not brown the flour.
3) Take off the heat and add the cream and salt and pepper. Add back to the heat and stir for 1 minute. Remove from heat and set a side.
4) Whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff peaks form.
5) Add 1/4 of the egg whites to the flour and cream mixture. Be careful not to deflate the white to much.
6) Add 2/4 cup of the grated cheese and all the diced cheese. Then fold in the rest of the egg whites.
7) Place the mixture in your dish and place in the oven. Do not open the door for at least 20 minutes. Cook for 25-30 minutes.
8) Serve immediately

If you open the door before the souffle is set it will not rise and sink in the center. It will however shrink once it is removed from the oven.


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Love cake AKA Butter sponge with Limoncello Cream and Strawberries

I made cake...a heart shaped cake. I've wanted a heart shaped cake pan for a while now and I finally bought one last week. They are not expensive, mine was just over 8 dollars with tax. I've made a cake just like it on my blog, kiwi cake. It is slightly different but that basics are the same. I used Julia Child's Butter Sponge...which is amazing! I had a thought a couple weeks ago about making a Limoncello whip cream. So I tried it out with this cake. It was ok but I think I should of added more Limoncello. For those of you who don't know, Limoncello is a lemon liquor.

You will need
4 tablespoons butter melted
4 eggs, the yokes and whites separated
2/3 cup sugar plus 2 tablespoons
3/4 cup flour
2 tsp vanilla extract ( or as much as you want to add)
1/4 cup Limoncello
1 cup whipping cream ( 35% milk fat or more)
1/2lb strawberries washed and slices
pinch of salt

1) Preheat the oven to 350. Place the egg yokes in a bowl and gently whip them. After a minute add the 2/3 cup sugar and the vanilla Whip until silky and light yellow.
2) Whip the egg whites with a pinch or salt and 2 tablespoons sugar.
3) Add 1/4 of the egg whites to the egg yolks and fold in. Be careful not to deflate the egg whites to much
4) Add 1/2 of the remaining egg whites and 1/2 of the flour and fold to incorporate.
5) Fold in 1/2 of the melted butter
6) Add the remaining egg whites, flour and butter.
7) Place in a greased and floured cake pan and bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and a tooth pick comes out clean.
7) Let cool.
8) Add the whipping cream, sugar and Limoncello to a bowl and whip until thick. Do not over mix, you will end of with a sweet Limoncello butter.
9) Cut the cake in half width ways and place a layer of strawberries on the top of the bottom piece. Place 1/2 of the whip cream on top of the strawberries and spread to make a even layer.
10) Place the second half of the cake on top of the first half. Using the remaining whip cream spread it on top in an even layer.
11) Place the reaming strawberries on top


Boiled Lobster

I have once again strayed from my vegetarianism, but oh well. Yesterday was Valentines day and I thought that I would be all fancy and make lobster. I had originally intended to make Julia Child's Lobster Thermodore, but I got lazy. Instead I opted to make boiled lobster with a garlic and thyme butter. Now I have never cooked a lobster before in my life and I have only had it once before (which I might add I was about 10 years old).  Now every Thursday night I read the flyer's for the sales that start Friday. I noticed that Fortinos ( for any non Canadians/gta people it would be like a...Whole Foods maybe) had lobster on sale for 6.99/lb. So I decided to make a trek there and pick up a couple. Only problem was when I showed up yesterday morning they didn't have any. So I went to the Sobey's by my house, where they had it for 11.99/lb. Much to me dismay I bought it and it cost me 38.27, I was not very happy with that but it was love day so I didn't mind. The lady at the seafood counter informed me that my lobsters were not refundable and put them in a box for me to carry home....who returns lobsters? Did you know that lobsters pur? I didn't. When I got home I was taking off my boots and coat, all the while I could hear purring. I opened the box and found that it was my lobsters purring. This made me feel worse about having to kill them. When it did come time for the kill I had Adam do it. We both learned that we are squeamish when it comes to throwing lobsters in a pot of boiling water. I screamed and Adam made a noise kind of like "ewwwahhhh". I think the worst part but at the same time most interesting part was killing them. Before I put the lid on the pot I was looking at them. The turned bright red pretty quickly and one of the was wagging it's tail back and forth. I'm morbid, I know but it was interesting to watch. One more thought before I get to the lobster, you will need tongs! I for some reason don't own a pair of tongs, we ended up using a plastic bag to put the lobsters in the pot. Then when it came time to get them out, we used salad tongs....don't use salad tongs. Anyway on to the lobster.

You will need
2 1-1/4 lb  lobsters (1 per person)
a large pot
boiling salted water
tongs(very important)

1) When the water has come to a boil place the lobster(s) in the pot. Place them in upside down and head first. Cover with a lid and let cook for 10 minutes.
2) After 10 minutes turn the heat off and remove the lobsters from the pot. The lobsters are cooked when the antenna can easily be pulled out.

3) Twist the lobster tail until it pops out and put it in half length ways, removed any innards and roe.If you want you can eat the roe.

4) Remove the legs. Break the legs in two where the joint meets, you can poke out the meat with a seafood fork or a fondue fork.
5) The claw, wiggle and twist the thumb (I have no idea what it is called) of the claw. Using a nut cracker crack open the shell and remove the meat. Do the same to the remaining claw.

I threw away the head, it was full off innards and other gunk.

Garlic and Thyme butter
1/2 cup butter
1-2 cloves garlic minced
3-4 springs thyme

1) Melt the butter over medium heat.
2) Add the minced garlic and thyme.
3) Remove the sprigs of thyme before serving
4) Serve warm


Saturday, February 5, 2011

Chicken with 40 cloves of garlic

SOOO! I'm back. I haven't posted since November for 2 reasons. 1) My sister sent me a virus and my laptop is all funny and I'm being cheap and lazy so I'm using Adam's computer till I fix it. 2) Adam and I didn't know how to upload pictures to his computer, but I have figured it out. So now I'm back with a ton of stuff to share. There is a lot of Christmas foods (plum pudding, fruit cake, cookies!), some more Nigella and some Julia Child. I'm very excited about the Julia Child ones. My sister got me Mastering the Art of French Cooking  for Christmas. I love it! for that matter I loved Christmas this year. I got soooo much cookery. Beside Julia I also got a cast iron pot ( very exciting!) and a blow torch. I think those are the three things that I was most excited about. Oh no I lie, my mom got me the 101 piece Wilton cake decorating set. I haven't made to many cakes yet, but I do have one in mind of Valentines day.

I decided that my first post back should be a Nigella recipe. More specifically a Nigella Kitchen recipe. Mostly because it is quickly becoming my favorite Nigella Lawson cookbook. I know may of you might be thinking " Dana I thought you where a vegetarian" but I am...really. It is just that recently with the addition of Kitchen and now Mastering the Art of French cooking there are so many recipes that I want to try that I may have eaten the odd chicken, duck or pork product. I admit it. I'm awful. I know.

K, so here we go. This is a super yummy recipe and it isn't hard to make. Honestly I think the hardest part is peeling all that garlic. The recipe call for 40 cloves but really if it's 39 or 41 it doesn't really matter, it will taste amazing either way.

You will need:
2 tablespoon olive oil
8 pieces of chicken ( Nigella calls for thighs but use whatever you like)
1 bunch of green onions
small bunch of thyme
40 cloves of garlic ( 3 or 4 bulbs)
2 tablespoon white wine or vermouth
salt and pepper to taste

1) Pre-heat the oven to 325 degrees. In a oven and stove proof pan heat the olive oil
2) When hot, add the chicken skin side down and sear ( about 3-4 minutes)
3) Remove chicken and place in a bowl. Add the spring onions to the pan on the stove and saute for 1 minute, add the thyme.
4) Spread 20 unpeeled cloves of garlic on the bottom of the pan. Place the chicken on top of the garlic. Then cover with the remaining garlic.
5) Add the wine/ vermouth to the chicken. Season with salt and pepper and place in the oven lid on ( or carefully cover with foil) for 1 1/2 hours.


Nigella has a tip for using the leftover chicken juices and leftover chicken. She says to add water or stock to the juices and simmer until hot then add shredded chicken that it is nice to have the day after. Go ahead try it, I also don't see why you couldn't add some of the garlic. I would remove the paper and mash it then add it to the soup.