We boiled a quail egg for 2 minutes and 45 seconds in acidulated water. We shocked it in vinegar spiked water as well. The vinegar appeared to ease the peeling of the soft cooked egg. Once the egg was peeled we wrapped it in phyllo dough brushed with butter. We fried the egg for 30 seconds to crisp the phyllo and warm the egg. We seasoned the fried egg with salt and espelette pepper. After frying we grated cheddar cheese over the top and added a slice of country ham. A delicious take on the an original.
Organic leeks were on sale at the store today. They were fat and happy, tender and firm, so I put some in my cart. I have a tendency to buy leeks and then forget about them. This time I made a point of leaving the yellow onions in the store and resolved to use the leeks instead. While they are from the same family, leeks a subtle sweetness and a grassy earthiness that give them a distinctive flavor. They went over beautifully in stir fried noodles but not so well in teriyaki meatloaf. (I'm on a bit of a Asian kick.) Still it's been fun to use them in different ways. Instead of changing my dishes to suit the leeks, I'm simply adding them to what I have in mind. I've learned a lot in the process about their flavor and their presence in a dish. They definitely fare better with savory than sweet and ginger seems to bring out too much funk in the alliums. I've still got a couple left in the fridge and I'm expecting them to be a stellar addition to a rich chicken broth with miso for ramen tomorrow night. We'll see...
Today we made a modification to our banana cream pie doughnut. It took a small move to shift our thoughts. Instead of finishing the doughnut with our cream cheese cookie crumbs I reached for our white chocolate and pretzel crumb. This seemingly thoughtless element exchange has since catalyzed some delicious ideas. The darker toasted notes and the saltiness of the pretzels blended with the vanilla notes of the white chocolate were an amazing compliment to the banana cream pie doughnut: new fashioned doughnut, brown butter-freeze dried banana sugar, betterscotch glaze and cannoli cream.
The doughnut is our canvas, today. But imagine a pretzel pie crust for a banana cream pie. Imagine banana ice cream with betterscotch sauce and pretzel praline. Imagine a banana-betterscotch cheesecake with the white chocolate-pretzel crumb crust.
I've made, eaten and served plenty of hot fudge. I have not had much experience with white hot fudge. Since I hadn't experienced it, I figured I should create my own. I started with hard crack sugar syrup. I added cream to dissolve the sugar mass. I stirred white chocolate and salt into the cream-sugar mixture. The finished hot fudge resembled the traditional dark chocolate version in chew and pourability. The flavor is sweet, vanilla and rich fattiness, molten white chocolate. Time to start topping some frozen custard.
Years ago we made potato chip praline to accompany potato chip ice cream. The praline was a riff off of our pretzel praline. The pralines are deeply flavored and really crunchy. I wanted to revisit the praline for Doughnutland but wanted an element to compliment the doughnuts rather than overpower them. I borrowed the idea of sandy nuts, an approach we have applied to pretzels for the shop. I guess I have a pattern. First pretzels, then potatoes. Thanks to my idiosyncratic nature we now have experienced the wonderfulness of sandy potato chips. I dusted sugar on the potato chips in a hot pan and let the sugar melt and crystalize on the chips. I got a light coating of sugar with some caramelization happening on a few chips. I put the coated chips on parchment lined sheet pan and sprinkled on salt. I needed to compliment the sugar in my search for balance in the world of sweet and salt. With the final salt in place the chips are now ready for our spud-nuts.
Those big, fat, juicy asparagus that are everywhere right now do well with a quick peel (to eliminate dirt under the triangles and tough membranes) and a soak in cold water. There's always a few soft ones in any bunch and a short (or long) soak in fresh cold water will liven them right up. You can prep them first and then just leave them in the water until you're ready to cook them. The soaked asparagus will cook up juicy and tender regardless of whether you roast, grill, steam, braise, or saute them.
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