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Archive for September, 2011

Pot Roast

Fall has finally arrived and the temperatures here in Virginia are so much more comfortable. We have gotten quite a bit of rain lately, which I love,  and with the gloomy dark skies comes a desire for comfort food. And Pot Roast is just that. Inhaling the sweet aroma while the roast is cooking and tasting the delicious fall-apart meat and tender veggies…it’s a little piece of heaven!

Ingredients:

4-5 lbs beef chuck roast, tied

Kosher salt and black pepper

Flour

Olive oil

5 carrots, chopped

1 1/2 yellow onions, chopped

4 stalks celery, chopped

1 large leek, white and light green parts chopped

1 large potato, chopped

3-4 garlic cloves, minced

 1 cup white wine

2 cups chicken stock, homemade prefered

28 oz whole plum tomatoes in puree

3 sprigs fresh thyme

2 sprigs fresh rosemary

1 tbsp unsalted butter

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Pat beef dry with a paper towel, Season the roast all over with 1 tbsp salt and 1 1/2 tsp pepper. Dredge the roast in flour and set aside. Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the roast and brown all sides, each side should take about 4-5 minutes. Remove the roast to a large plate.

Add 2 tbsp olive oil to Dutch oven and add carrots, onions, celery, leeks, potatoes, garlic, 1 tbsp Kosher salt and 1 1/2 tsp pepper. Cook over medium heat for 10 – 15 minutes until tender but not browned. Add wine and bring to a simmer, Add chicken stock, 2 tsp Kosher salt, 1 tsp pepper. Break up whole plum tomatoes a little and add the remaining 28 oz can of tomato juices.  Put the roast back into the pot and bring to a simmer. Cut thyme and rosemary into small pieces, place on a small piece of cheese cloth, close cheese cloth ends into a bundle and tie closed with butchers string. Place herb bundle into pot and submerge into liquids. Cover Dutch oven with lid and place into oven. Cook in oven for 2 1/2 hours until meat is tender or about 160 degrees internally. Note: turn the heat in the oven down to 250 degrees after about 1 hour of cooking.

Remove the meat to a cutting board. Remove herb bundle and discard. If needed, skim off fat from the sauce. Place half the sauce into a food processor and puree until smooth. Pour the puree back into the Dutch oven and bring to a simmer on the stove top.

Place 2 tbsp flour and butter in a small dish and work them together using a fork. Stir into sauce and simmer for 2-3 minutes, stirring until thickened. Taste for proper seasoning.

Remove string from roast and slice the meat. Place on serving platter and pour some of sauce over. Serve warm and enjoy!

Source: adapted from Barefoot Contessa

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Almond Coconut Mousse Cake

Almond Coconut Mousse Cake

Friday was my husband Joseph’s birthday and he loves coconut. I have been wanting to make a layered cake and I have been wanting to make mousse, so when I saw this cake I thought it was perfect. And it was! Coconut flavor, a slight crunch from the ground almonds and delicious cold mousse….wonderful! I must say that this cake was a little complicated and I had doubts, serious doubts, that it would turn out good. I feared that the mousse would be a big pile of goop, mainly because I have never worked with powdered gelatin before, but my faith in powdered gelatin has been restored. Yeah. 🙂 Joe and I had a wonderful evening together complete with incidental fireworks (fireworks that should have been shot off on 4th of July but was cancelled due to rain) and a this delicious Almond Coconut Mousse Cake.

Almond Coconut Mousse Cake

Ingredients:

For the Cake:

1 1/4 cups slivered almonds

1 cup cake flour

1/4 tsp kosher salt

8 extra-large eggs, separated

1 1/2 cups sugar, divided

1/4 tsp cream of tartar

4 tbsp unsalted butter, melted

1/4 tsp almond extract

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

For the Mousse:

2 1/4 cups heavy whipping cream, divided

1 tbsp powdered gelatin

2 cups coconut milk

1/2 cup whole milk

6 extra-large egg yolks

3/4 cup sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp coconut extract

Other:

ice cubes and water for ice-bath

For decorating:

1/2 to 1 cup seedless raspberry jam

2 cups sweetened coconut flakes

Directions:

For the cake:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line the bottom of two round 9 inch pans with cut-to-fit parchment paper and lightly spray with cooking spray.

Spread slivered almonds out onto a baking sheet and toast in oven for 8-10 minutes, shaking the pan every couple of minutes to ensure even toasting. Remove almonds from baking sheet and set aside to cool.

In the bowl of a food processor, combine almonds, cake flour and salt. Process until almonds are finely ground. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg yolks and 1 cup of sugar until thick and light in color, about 2 minutes. Transfer egg mixture to a large bowl and set aside. Throughly clean bowl and whisk attachment of stand mixer to ensure they are completely clean and dry, re-attach to stand mixer.

In the clean bowl of stand mixer, beat egg whites at medium speed until frothy. Add cream of tartar and beat on medium-high speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar while beating on high until stiff, glossy meringue peaks form.

In a small saucepan over low heat, melt the butter. Add almond and vanilla extract and set aside.

Using a rubber spatula, gently fold 1/3 of meringue into egg yolk mixture, then fold in 1/3 of dry ingredients. Continue gently folding, alternating ingredients until all meringue and dry ingredients are combined. Now take 1 cup of cake batter and fold into melted butter, then fold this butter mixture back into the remaining batter. Divide batter equally between the two prepared pans and bake for 17-22 minutes until golden brown. Test cakes with a toothpick for doneness, toothpick should come out clean. Cool the cakes on a wire rack for 20 minutes. Invert and unmold cakes onto racks and cool completely.

For the Mousse:

In a microwave safe bowl, pour 1/2 cup of heavy cream. Sprinkle cream with gelatin powder while stirring with a fork. Set aside for 5 minutes.

In a medium saucepan, bring coconut milk and whole milk to a gentle boil. Remove pan from heat.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until blended. In a very thin stream, slowly mix in 1/2 cup of coconut milk mixture. Return the entire egg mixture to coconut milk mixture in the saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it is slightly thickened and covers the back of a spoon. Strain mixture through a sieve set over a medium bowl.

Microwave the cream and gelatin mixture on high for 15 to 30 seconds until the cream is hot. Stir with a small spoon until all cream and gelatin has come back to a liquid state and is smooth. Add gelatin mixture, through a sieve, to the coconut mixture and stir to combine.

In a large bowl add ice cubes and cold water half-way for an ice-bath. Gently set the bowl with the coconut mixture into the ice-bath, careful not to get any water from the ice-bath into the coconut mixture. Stir occasionally until chilled, about 20 minutes. Stir in vanilla and coconut extract.

In a clean medium bowl, whisk the remaining 1 3/4 cup heavy cream to soft peaks. Pour the chilled coconut milk mixture into the whipped cream and mix well until completely combined. Refrigerate the mousse for 30 minutes, but no longer as it may begin to set.

Assembling the Cake:

Using a serrated knife, cut each cake in half horizontally (you will only need three layers for this cake) Place one cake layer into the bottom of a round 9 x 3 inch springform pan. The springform pan must have a tight-fitting bottom so mousse don’t seep out. Spread a thin layer of raspberry jam over the cake and then pour 2 cups of mousse over the cake. Gently spread mousse to ensure it runs down between the edge of pan and cake side. Top with second cake, spread a thin layer of raspberry jam and top with 2 cups of mousse. Top with the third and final cake layer and remaining mousse. Refrigerate the cake for 1-2 hours allowing the mousse to finish setting.

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Spread 2 cups of coconut flakes out onto a baking sheet and toast in oven for 5-15 minutes, making sure to stir coconut every 4-5 minutes for even browning. Remove from baking sheet and allow to cool.

Carefully remove the side of springform pan and pat the golden coconut flakes onto the sides of the cake. Enjoy!

Source: slightly adapted from thegalleygourmet

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Kaja's Corn Salad

My Danish friend Kaja served this wonderful salad for our last get-together, which she in turn got from my other Danish friend Henriette. It is simple, refreshing and good for you. Kaja served it with walnuts which was very delicious but my favorite kinda nut is pine nuts and so I choose pine for this presentation. The raspberry walnut vinaigrette adds a perfect finishing touch.  I hope you enjoy this salad as much as I do.

Kaja's Corn Salad

Ingredients:

1 cup frozen corn

1 cup frozen peas

1 cup red bell pepper, diced

1 cup cucumber, diced

3/4 cup dried cranberries

Pine Nuts for topping

Ken’s Lite Raspberry Walnut Vinaigrette

Directions:

Dice red bell pepper and cucumber to size of corn kernels. Mix together corn, peas, bell pepper, cucumber and cranberries. Drizzle with Raspberry vinaigrette and top with pine nuts. Enjoy!

Source: slightly adapted from Kaja Mosley

Salad in the making

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Øllebrød med Æggesnaps

Øllebrød, an almost forgotten old Danish dish? I have not had Øllebrød since I was a child and it’s a dish that I remember being served on a cold winter morning and a dish that I absolutely love. I think we may also have had it for dinner on rare occasions. It’s a dish that is great for using up the leftover end-pieces of Rye bread, but of course it doesn’t have to be leftover bread. It is high in fiber, low in fat and it has a slightly tart taste. It’s a solid meal which leaves you with a sensation of fullness and you often see it feed to babies. Ideally you want to use Rye bread without kernels but all I could find was Whole Rye bread, so in that case you simply just press the Rye Porridge (Øllebrød) through a sieve to remove the kernels. As for the topping used with this dish, it can range from milk, cream, whipped cream (flødeskum) to creamed egg topping (æggesnaps). My mother either served it with æggesnaps or milk.

Øllebrød and Æggesnaps

Now for the æggesnaps you are supposed to use pasteurized egg yolks, however, the stores around here only sell pasteurized egg whites and egg beaters. You CAN make æggesnaps with egg beaters BUT I feel weird about it because there are egg whites in egg beaters. I tried it out and the taste is different from a real egg yolk, more perfumed if that makes any sense. Why don’t they sell pasteurized egg yolks? If anyone out there has more information on pasteurized egg yolks, please let me know. Anyway, I decided to live dangerously for this one and I used a real egg yolk. I know, you’re not suppose to do that….but I did and it was fabulous. Do as I say, not as I do 🙂

Ingredients:

Øllebrød (Rye Porridge):

4 slices Rye bread, broken into pieces

cold water to cover

2 tbsp sugar

Æggesnaps (Creamed Egg):

1 egg yolk (pasteurized)

2 tbsp sugar

Directions:

To make Rye Porridge:

Break Rye bread into pieces, place in a bowl and add cold water just until covered. Cover with plastic wrap and let soak in refrigerator anywhere from 1 hour till overnight.

Pour rye bread and water into a cooking pot, simmer, stirring occasionally, until it starts to thicken. Remove from pot and place in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth. Note: if you’re using Whole Rye bread you’ll need to strain it through a sieve to remove the kernels that don’t break down. Place back into pot and keep warm until ready to serve. If the porridge gets too thick, simply just add a small amount of water.

To make Creamed Egg topping:

Whip together egg yolk (pasteurized) and sugar until it’s thick and pale yellow (1-2 minutes). Serve Egg topping on top of warm Porridge. Enjoy.

Source: My mother Åse

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