Category Archives: Sauces

Strawberry Coulis Infused Pancakes

Strawberry Coulis Infused Pancakes

Strawberry Coulis Infused Pancakes (Dairy Free)

These might look like buckwheat pancakes, but the color comes from the strawberry coulis that is in the batter, not from buckwheat flour.

With strawberries still in season and on sale here in California, I couldn’t resist trying something new and a little decadent with them. I’ve been thinking about putting the strawberry goodness right into the pancake rather than just spreading jam or syrup on top. The result? A bright, light pancake with lots of flavor. The strawberry coulis replaces the milk which makes for an interesting twist. Also, instead of baking powder, this version uses the acid from the orange juice mixed with baking soda to get the fluffy rise needed for a good pancake. Also, in this rendition, the eggs are separated. The whites get whipped up into a wet froth and folded into the batter at the end. This helps make the batter smooth and shapely as it goes into the pan and gives a light, bubbly texture to the finished pancake.

Batter with the egg whites folded in

Batter with the egg whites folded in

Strawberry-Coulis Infused Pancakes
Serves 2

Strawberry Coulis

7 large strawberries (CA large), sliced in half
Juice of one small orange
1 tsp orange zest (optional) – gives pancake a little bite
2 Tbsp confectioner’s (powdered) sugar

Purée all ingredients in a blender and push through a sieve (to remove the strawberry seeds). This makes almost one cup of coulis – enough to put coulis in the pancakes and pour some on top. Set aside 1/2 cup for the recipe and chill the rest.

Pancakes

1/2 cup strawberry coulis (see above)
2 eggs, separated
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking soda

Method

1. Start heating your pan under medium heat. Having the pan fully and evenly heated helps make even the first pancake come out just right. Beat the egg yolks with the strawberry coulis and set aside. Mix all of the dry ingredients.

2. Beat the egg whites rapidly with a whisk until the are stiff, but not so stiff that they would stay in the bowl if you inverted it. It takes about 2 minutes of serious whisking.

3. Stir together the dry ingredients and the coulis/egg mixture until completely combined, but not overly mixed. Fold in the egg whites. Again, don’t over mix. You just want to get the egg whites incorporated.

4. Drop a dollop of butter into the pan and allow it to melt, but not brown. Drop one ladle full of batter into the pan. Allow to cook until edges appear less shiny and bubbles appear on the surface of the pancake. Flip and cook for another 2 minutes or so. Transfer to a warm plate. If not eating immediately, keep in an oven heated to 250˚F. Garnish with fresh strawberries and serve with additional strawberry coulis.

CA strawberries are in season

CA strawberries are in season

Creamed Spinach w/ Gruyère

Creamed Spinach

Creamed Spinach

It’s Gruyère week here at StreamingGourmet. I just can’t get enough of the stuff. I guess it’s also heavy cream week. Sorry! But since I bought these items for the Tarragon Chicken dish the other day, I’m determined not to waste them.

I became a fan of creamed spinach while waiting tables at the now defunct Ingleneuk Tea House in Swarthmore, PA. I was a vegetable girl there in 1991. As the main dishes were served, I offered each guest one of the evening’s side dishes from a large bowl I carried from table to table. I regularly ladled out maccaroni and cheese, stewed tomatoes, or creamed spinach. The restaurant served family-style meals from its opening in 1916 until its demise in a fire in 2000. With whom do I share the distinction of having served vegetables at the Ingleneuk? That would be none other than James A. Michener, a 1929 graduate of Swarthmore College. Swarthmore is a dry town, so there never were any restaurants of consequence there. Renato’s pizza and the Ingleneuk were the extent of the culinary scene in the early nineties. Except, come to think of it, for Occasionally Yours, a little café and catering company that served very decent food.

So it was at the Ingleneuk that I first learned about adding fresh grated nutmeg to creamy dishes like macaroni and cheese and creamed spinach, an addition I am quick to include in these dishes today.

Creamed Spinach
2 – 4 servings

Ingredients

2 Tablespoons butter
1 medium yellow onion, diced or 3/4 cup minced shallots
(For more flavor, add garlic too – Emeril does)
2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup whole milk
1 6 oz bag pre-washed baby spinach
pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
1 Tablespoon freshly grated Gruyère cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

The Cream Sauce

The Cream Sauce

Method

1. Heat milk and cream over low heat in a small saucepan. Make sure the milk doesn’t get scalded on start to boil. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large, deep frying pan over medium-high heat. Add diced onion and sautée until the pieces are starting to turn brown, about 6 minutes. (You could cook them more gently until softened, but I like the nutty, sweet flavor that results from browning them in the butter). Reduce the heat to medium and add the flour. Mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon and allow flour, butter and onion mixture to brown for 3 minutes. This is a roux and is the basis for so many cream sauces (including my favorite mac n cheese sauces).

Throw the raw spinach right in the pan

Throw the raw spinach right in the pan

2. Whisk in the heated milk. Reduce heat and stir continuously while incorporating. Add pinch of nutmeg and blend. Simmer gently until sauce thickens. Add Gruyère and stir until completely melted and blended. Add salt and pepper to taste. Pour the raw spinach directly into the pan (this might break some rules, but it sure simplifies things and worked for me). Stir spinach to coat with sauce and watch the spinach wilt. Once spinach is thoroughly wilted but still a vibrant green color, remove pan from heat and serve.

Creamed Spinach w/ Gruyère

Creamed Spinach w/ Gruyère

Chicken w/ Tarragon, Gruyère & Mushroom Cream Sauce

Chicken w/ Tarragon, Mushroom and Gruyère Cream Sauce

Chicken w/ Tarragon, Gruyère & Mushroom Cream Sauce

In the US, when you exit the highway for a rest and a bite to eat, you choose from among several fast food restaurants and maybe an Applebees. In France last month, when we exited the A10 to placate a crying toddler during a drive from Paris to the Loîre Valley, we rolled into a quiet, 12th century stone village named Rochefort-en-Yvelines. It was the kind of village that is shuttered and empty at noon on a Tuesday because everyone is home for lunch. But a brief walk up a cobblestone side street yielded a delightful scene. There, behind a courtyard wall were tables and tables of people enjoying lunch outside. We had stumbled upon the Brigandville Restaurant at the base of L’église Saint-Gilles-et-de-l’Assomption, a church built in the 11th and 12th centuries.

Lunch at the Brigandville - Rochefort-en-Yvelines

Lunch at the Brigandville

Chloe and Gerard

Rochefort-en-Yvelines

At this wonderful little spot (described so well in a blog post by Chocolat et Lavande here), my husband and I both ordered the Steak au Poivre, but it was the dish I ordered for my son that was truly memorable. It was chicken in a creamy tarragon, mushroom and Gruyére sauce served over wild rice pilaf. I’m pretty sure I ate more it than he did, the poor guy. Since returning home, I’ve wanted to recreate this amazing dish. It’s taken me awhile because I have trouble splurging on Gruyère cheese, which is $18/lb at our market, and I forget to buy fresh tarragon. But everything came together this weekend, so here it is.

I used a recipe that I found on the Food & Wine website as the basis for the sauce. Several differences evolved as I tweaked it. They use morels and cremini mushrooms, whereas, I just used regular white mushrooms. I used boneless, skinless thighs instead of chicken breasts. And, the Food & Wine recipe does not call for Gruyère, like mine does.

Ingredients

1 8 oz package of white mushrooms (I used pre-sliced)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
8-10 skinless, boneless chicken thighs
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup chicken stock or low-sodium broth
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon coarsely chopped tarragon
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/4 cup grated Gruyère cheese

Method

1. Heat a large, deep sautée pan over medium high heat. Season chicken thighs with salt and pepper and add them to the pan. They should sizzle right away. Use tongs to open up the thighs and flatten them out. Sautée for about 4 minutes each side. Remove them from pan to a plate.

2. Add butter and mushrooms to the pan and sautée mushrooms until they just start to release their liquid, about 4 minutes.

3. Add white wine and simmer until reduced to just a couple of tablespoons, about 3 minutes.

4. Add chicken stock and simmer until reduced by 2/3, about 6 minutes.

5. Add the heavy cream and the tarragon and simmer until the sauce has thickened, about 4 minutes. Add the lemon juice and lemon zest and blend well. Add the grated Gruyère and stir constantly until melted and blended in. Season with salt and pepper.

6. Return chicken to the pan. (While the chicken was sitting, it sweat out a lot of juices. I did not add these back into the sauce because I felt I had gotten the balance of sauce flavors just right, but I imagine you could add that juice back in to good effect). Stir to coat chicken and simmer until heated through, about 3 minutes.

Serve immediately over rice or pasta.

Okay. Fork it Over.

After

?@#&!

Tyler’s missing a fork. A high school senior prank? or an avid fan decorating his dining room with Tyler memorabilia? Police are still investigating.

You see, Tyler Florence’s logo contains two forks. Not one.

Tyler Florence Logo

Tyler Florence Logo

Word about the missing fork hit the Twitter waves when Tyler tweeted it last night at about 6:30pm.

Tylers 1st Tweet

Tyler's 1st Tweet About the Fork

Sales clerks at the store today were mystified. They speculate that local high school seniors who are graduating this week have perpetuated a prank on the beloved Mill Valley resident who opened the store only one year ago.

Meanwhile, Tyler continues to use Twitter to get the word out and plead for the return of the missing Fork.

Tyler Tweets

Tyler Tweets

Tyler Tweets

Tyler Tweets

He’s even using Twitpic.

Tylers Twitpic Stream

Tyler's Twitpic Stream

Despite the distraction, Tyler’s busy schedule pressed on as he spent the afternoon in his home kitchen preparing food for a book launch party at the store tonight. And tomorrow morning at 9AM his time (noon EDT), he’ll be cooking something for his Twitterlicious Friday cooking class. I don’t know how he manages it all.

Roasted Chicken with Tyler Florence’s Rosemary Pomegranate Glaze

Tyler Florence's Rosemary-Pomegranate Glaze on a Chicken

Tyler Florence: Rosemary-Pomegranate Glaze - On a Chicken

It’s been Pomegranate Week here at StreamingGourmet, and the finale is this Tyler Florence recipe I found at AOL video and posted to StreamingGourmet. You can view the video at the bottom of this post. He roasts a turkey, but since I was serving only 4 people, I decided to roast a chicken. I harvested the rosemary for this recipe from a huge bush in my neighborhood. Go local!

Ingredients

I’m estimating these ingredients because in the video recipe, Tyler is not very specific, but here’s how I did it:

2 Tbsp Olive oil
2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
2-3 large sprig of fresh rosemary
1 cup pomegranate juice
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
2 Tbsp butter
1 6 lb chicken, washed and patted dry
Salt & pepper to taste

1. To make the sauce, add the olive oil, garlic and rosemary to a small saucepan over medium heat. Sautée for a minute to release the aromatics and then add the pomegranate juice, orange juice, brown sugar and honey and bring to a boil. Simmer for about 20 minutes until sauce is thickened. It should cling to the back of a spoon.
Continue reading

The Perfect Ragù alla Bolognese

Spaghetti alla Bolognese

Spaghetti alla Bolognese

Usually for this blog, I document my attempts to make recipes I’ve never tried with ingredients that are new to me. I must confess that I have been working on perfecting a Bolognese sauce for years. I think I’ve finally got it.

This Bolognese sauce has a secret ingredient that you won’t find in most Bolognese sauces. But we’ll get to that later.

First a little background.

For a long time, I was dissatisfied with the results of my Bolognese attempts. The sauces always seemed relatively tasteless and never thick enough. My normal approach was to brown onions and ground beef, add dried herbs (like oregano and such), add a jar of prepared sauce (like Classico) and let it simmer for a long time. I thought that the longer it simmered, the tastier it would be, and that was a little bit true, but not all that much. I tried adding garlic and then adding more and more garlic, to give it flavor. It worked a little, but it seemed that the garlic flavor just disappeared. I tried adding red wine. That worked a little too. I tried adding lots of olive oil once. Again, it enhanced the flavor a bit, but it came at a cost and didn’t give the dramatic flavor I was after.

Continue reading

Pork Chop with Marsala Sauce (Creamy Version)

Pork Marsala with Noodles

Pork Marsala with Noodles

I’m a huge fan of chicken Marsala and veal Marsala, but I’ve got a craving for a pork chop, so I figure “why not try pork Marsala?” At the store, a double thick pork chop catches my eye and once again I think, “Why not?” (read on to find out why not). I’ve never made Marsala sauce before, but I figure it’s a variation on the Fig Sauce I did in September, just with mushrooms and Marsala wine instead of figs and Balsamic vinegar. Let’s see how this one turns out. An ingredients list (of sorts) is at the end of this post.

Continue reading

Pork Tenderloin with Fig Sauce – Will it Be a Success?

The skin is pretty tough and the fig itself is firm

The skin is pretty tough and the fig itself is firm

It’s the day of the party and I have harvested the figs from our backyard. I’m worried. They’re quite firm, so I’m worried that they aren’t ripe enough. Also, they’re green, so they’re automatically not as sweet as black, Mission figs. I’m terrified of putting these figs into the sauce I’m cooking for the pork and ruining the whole dish. The doorbell is ringing and I still haven’t decided whether or not to go forward with this plan of cooking Pork Tenderloin with Balsamic Vinegar and Fig Sauce.

The figs are dryer and firmer than I would have expected. They also smell a bit like grass which makes me think theyre not ripe enough.

The figs are dryer and firmer than I would have expected. They also smell a bit like grass which makes me think they're not ripe enough.

The guests have arrived and they are eyeing the chopped figs suspiciously. We all agree that they don’t smell as enticing as we would like, but they encourage me to press on. I’ve got pizza in the freezer in case of emergency. I set about peeling and slicing about half a dozen of the green figs and I set them aside.

The first step is to sautée the pork tenderloin slices at medium-high heat for 2 minutes on each side.

The first step is to sautée the pork tenderloin slices at medium-high heat for 2 minutes on each side.

Next, on a separate cutting board, I slice about three pounds of pork tenderloin into 3/4 inch slices and sautée the slices in a large frying pan at a medium-high heat. I’ve chosen the largest pan I have so that I can sautée all of the pork tenderloin at once. So far so good.

I remove them from the pan and place the slices on a cookie sheet. They go into an oven that has been preheated to 200˚F. Then I add a couple of tablespoons of unsalted butter to the pan and sautée the shallots until they soften.

The shallots have softened up and I've added the balsamic vinegar. It will simmer until reduced.

The shallots have softened up and I've added the balsamic vinegar. It will simmer until reduced.

Once they’ve softened, I add the balsamic vinegar (about a quarter cup) and let it simmer until almost all of it has evaporated. This is what they mean by “balsamic reduction.” It really intensifies the flavor.

The chicken stock has been added now and it is simmering again

The chicken stock has been added now and it is simmering again

After the balsamic vinegar has evaporated, there are scrumptious brown bits of shallot that I scrape from the sides of the pan before adding the chicken stock. The chicken stock, balsamic vinegar and shallots are all simmering now until reduced by half. I am nearing the point of no return where I will have to add the figs.

Ive added the figs and am about to add the whipping cream too.

I've added the figs and am about to add the whipping cream too.

I take the plunge and add the figs. As soon as they go into the pan I decide everything is going to be okay. Simmering the figs in these great juices will certainly soften them up and they should acquire the flavors around them. We’ll have to wait and see if I’m right. In goes the cream.

I pour in the whipping cream and my hopes for a great sauce are heightened as it starts to thicken nicely and the aroma is already pleasing.

I pour in the whipping cream and my hopes for a great sauce are heightened as it starts to thicken nicely and the aroma is already pleasing.

Adding the whipping cream makes what was just a little something simmering on the stove into a real sauce. I’m thinking now that I need to add whipping cream to everything I’m cooking. The balsamic vinegar smells great and the whipping cream makes it nice and rich. Despite my fears about the figs, the dish is starting to seem promising. Just a few minutes left.

The finishing touch on the sauce. Im ready to plate the dish now.

The finishing touch on the sauce. I'm ready to plate the dish now.

After the sauce has thickened considerably, I add the chopped Italian parsley to give it the fresh kick any creamy sauce needs. I’m ready to assemble the plate with the pork tenderloin, the sauce and the roasted red potatoes I’ve had cooking in the oven.

Pork tenderloin with Balsamic reduction and fig sauce and roasted red potatoes

Pork tenderloin with Balsamic reduction and fig sauce and roasted red potatoes

We are all surprised by how tasty it is. The figs add a little zing to the sauce, but don’t dominate it. My backyard figs have a slight cabbagey flavor, kind of like having brusseles sprouts in the dish. The sweetness of the balsamic vinegar is a nice counterpoint to the nutty, slightly bitter flavor of my figs. I wonder what “real” figs taste like, but then I think, “is there anything more real than food you grew and picked yourself?”

Fig Recipe I’m Going to Use

I’ve scoured the internet for a recipe to use for tonight’s fig adventure. I am surprised at how few recipes there are out there for fresh, green figs. Most of the recipes I found were dessert-oriented or were for dried figs, or were for Mission Figs which are black figs. Mission Figs are sweeter than green figs. People dry green figs because they are not considered sweet enough fresh, but I’ve got a tree full of fresh green figs and I want to use some today, so we’ll just have to see what happens. I’ll put some of my green figs aside for drying and try them out later.

Here’s the recipe I found that I’m going to use:

Pork with Figs and Balsamic Vinegar Recipe
Ingredients:

* 8 (1/3-inch-thick) slices center-cut pork loin
* 1-1/2 Tablespoons olive oil
* .
* 1 Tablespoon butter
* 1/4 cup minced shallots
* 3 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
* 1 cup canned low-salt chicken broth
* 6 fresh ripe figs, quartered
* 1/2 cup whipping cream
* 1 Tablespoon minced parsley

Preparation:
Preheat oven to 200 degrees F.

Sprinkle pork with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 4 pork slices and saute until brown, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer pork to baking sheet. Add remaining 1/2 tablespoon oil to skillet. Repeat with remaining 4 pork slices. Transfer pork to oven to keep warm.

Melt 1 tablespoon butter in same skillet over medium-high heat. Add shallots and saute until tender, about 2 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar. Simmer until vinegar evaporates, scraping up any browned bits on bottom of skillet, about 1 minute. Add chicken broth. Simmer until mixture is reduced by half, about 4 minutes. Add figs and whipping cream. Simmer until sauce thickens slightly, about 4 minutes. Add remaining 1 tablespoon vinegar and any accumulated juices from pork. Simmer until sauce thickens enough to coat spoon, about 2 minutes longer. Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper.

Arrange pork on plates. Spoon sauce over. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.

Yield: 4 servings

Blog Widget by LinkWithin