The rampant holiday eating and cooking continued the day after Christmas. My brother and I hosted a dinner for a few of our friends.
no knead bread, preserved lemon butter
roasted walnuts in the shell
chestnuts in warm sage oil, prosciutto
sweetbread nuggets, honey mustard
roasted cauliflower, coriander, paprika, anchovies
warm peanut butter oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, whipped cream
It’s the holidays! Delicious food, drinks and time with loved ones are the best ways to warm up the chilly hours. I hosted a simple brunch for a few of my friends. The star of the meal was this gloriously tall leek, goat cheese and pancetta quiche. The custard was just perfectly set, silky and jiggly. I used Thomas Keller’s quiche recipe as a blueprint, adopting his call for a two inch tall tart that offers generous bites of luscious custard. The combination of sweet leeks, sharp creamy goat cheese and meaty pancetta was luxurious.
I made dinner for a few friends the past weekend at my friend Ellen’s place which she has renovated with an awesome kitchen. It houses an island over 16 feet long with its own sink, wine fridge, shelves for cookbooks and a microwave, and tons of very organized storage area for all the kitchen tools and tableware. And the best of all a six burner Viking stove and french door Viking fridge. As you can imagine I was super excited to be cooking in this kitchen. Could I possibly have more surface area to work on? I think not.
Here was my summer menu:
These look like typical gougeres but I added a spoonful of vadouvan to the batter. They came out golden, puffed up and with a hint of earthy curry.
Biscuits – another way to use poppy seeds! Fresh from the oven the warm buttermilk biscuit was fluffy, buttery and now also pleasantly crunchy from the black seeds. I paired it with duck confit (also begging to be used up) for a little appetizer. I topped a biscuit half with shredded duck confit and savory cherry compote made with fresh cherries, red wine, orange juice, sugar and spices. The lovely duck confit and cherry compote pairing is straight out of Sunday Suppers at Lucques cookbook. I finished the dish with a quenelle of tangy creme fraiche to contrast with the earthy spices of the duck and compote. A few sprigs of microgreens later and the cute appetizer was ready to be consumed. I saved the skin from the duck leg and made a cracklin out of it. Delicious!
The original inspiration for this dish was the Thanksgiving-themed sandwiches of deli turkey, cranberry sauce and cream cheese that I used get at a sandwich shop during the college days. Duck confit for turkey, cherry compote for cranberry sauce, and creme fraiche for cream cheese. And of course , the touch of poppy seeds.
Often when my parents have relatives or friends visiting they ask me to cook dinner for them. My immediate answer is usually maybe since I would have to give up a chunk of my leisure hours to undertake the project. But then my mind gets churning with ideas and I start thinking of menus. There’s no turning back at that point. Plus since my parents would be paying for the ingredients I have an opportunity to be a bit more extravagant than usual [although trying to convince my parents they must have Champagne and caviar on their menu hasn’t come to fruition]. My great aunt and uncle were visiting recently and here is what I cooked for them and my parents…
Gougere – Lillet Blanc
Romesco Pulled Pork Biscuit with Creamy Slaw
For this third installment of my leftover adventures I made a simple sandwich, a take on pulled pork sandwiches. I made little buttermilk biscuits, 2 inches in diameter to be exact, then topped it with a bit of romesco pulled pork and cole slaw. The buttery flaky biscuit, flavorful pork, and the creaminess of the slaw came together to make a delicious little sandwich. It made for a nice snack and got pretty good reviews from tasters.
I came across Yves Camdeborde’s recipe for savory buckwheat crepes while food surfing the web. Brilliant I thought, this would be a perfect way to use up my romesco pulled pork.
I stuffed my crepes with the shredded pork, parmesan, avocado and arugula. I really wanted to use manchego in the crepes but since I had grated parmesan in my fridge that I’ve had forever I practiced some food shopping restraint this time.