Saturday, February 6, 2010

Friday Night, Thomas Keller's Roast Chicken

Homemade Black Pepper and Thyme Goats Cheese with Chiabatta toasts and Prosuitto de Parma

I have a recipe for homemade ricotta cheese in an old magazine and I thought I would try to make goat cheese using the same recipe. Of course in place of whole milk just use goat milk, which they sell everywhere. It' works. Basically you heat the milk with a little salt until it starts to simmer and then add lemon juice (1/2 gallon milk, 1 tsp salt and 3 Tbsp lemon juice). The curds with start to form after a few minutes and you skim the curds into a cheese cloth. The ricotta cheese is only strained for a couple minutes but I wanted a consistency for the goat cheese to be thicker than ricotta should be so I tied a string around the cheese cloth and hung it in the frig with a bowl under it for 3-4 hours. I flavored it with fresh thyme and black pepper. I made it twice, the first time I lined the cheesecloth with dried thyme so it was on the exterior when I plated it. This second time I wanted to put the flavors in the center so when you cut into it you get a surprise. I liked it better the first time with the dried thyme on the outside. Both were very good. I made thin slices of Chiabatta bread and cooked them in the oven to get crispy and served that and some nice carefully sliced Prosciutto de Parma from a lady a Whole Foods along side the homemade goat cheese.

Thomas Keller's Roasted Chicken on a Bed of Root Vegetables

Who doesn't love a good roasted chicken? I had just gotten my Thomas Keller cookbook I asked for for Christmas. I was on back order because he was on Martha Stewart's show and so everybody wanted one after seeing the show. "Ad Hoc at Home" is the name of the book. It's pretty basic but an excellent recipe, it came out really nice and the surprise was the roasted veg. I can't believe I haven't been cooking rutabagas and turnips, they were so delicious roasted in those chicken juices. We both loved the vegetables.

Pop Over Casserole

I've made pop overs a couple times lately and they were so good and something different. I thought I would make them again but instead of individual ones I would do a big one and call it a casserole. It was good but we like the individual ones better because you get more of the edges and crunchy top that makes them so good.

Almond Cream and Apple Tart with Vanilla Custard Ice Cream

Years ago we went to Al Forno's, a famous restaurant in Providence RI, and we have been a few more times too but one of the first times we went we ordered the apple tart. It was so good, it's free form shaped and it's just the perfect sweetness, served with creme anglase. We had it the next time and then the last time we got the pear tart (the apple wasn't on the menu that time) made the same way and just about as good. So on that show "The Best Thing I Ever Ate" on food network, it was on The Best Sweet Thing, and someone said ...the apple tart at Al Forno's...So on that show they go into the kitchen and show how it's made. Well I have been making it ever since. It's a sprinkling of sugar on the tart crust that you've rolled out, just the center leaving an inch or two around the edges free from sugar. One layer, overlapping, of thinly sliced Golden Delicious Apples layed out in a decorative fashion leaving the 1-2 inch around the edges and then you fold up the crust to hold all the apples in. A sprinkle of sugar again over the apples and dot with butter, a few tablespoons or so. I don't know if they do it but I have been brushing egg wash on the edge of the crust and sprinkling sugar in the raw on the edge. Baked in the oven about 375 until the crust looks golden and the apples are nicely cooked. It takes about 40 minutes I think. This time I put an almond cream that I made as the base for the apples just to try something different. The Vanilla Custard Ice Cream was a new recipe from my Thomas Keller cookbook. It was good, it's ice cream!!! BUT, I probably won't make it again it has 10 egg yolks in the recipe and I think it's almost too rich. I have another vanilla ice cream recipe that's better with less eggs.

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