Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Friday Night Bites #8

This week was perfect! The prep was easy and came together quickly. The amount of food was perfect, we didn't feel full until the last course. Everything was delicious ( if I do say so myself). I had an appointment in the morning so (because of the timing) I bought the ice cream for dessert instead of making it and also the pound cake. It just turned out that everything else was very simple to bring together.

Reuben Spring Rolls with Russian Dipping Sauce

I don't know where this idea came from...I think I thought of using sauerkraut in something and it started there. However it came, it came, and I'm glad it came. I just used spring roll wrappers from the oriental market, some good corned beef from Whole Foods, sauerkraut, caraway seeds and Swiss cheese. Then you must dip the finished spring roll in something, and what better than Russian dressing. The dressing was a combination of Mayonnaise, ketchup, hot sauce, chives, capers and lemon juice.

Tomato and Onion Salad with Tamarind Dressing

I have been wanting to use Tamarind in something so I found an easy recipe, this salad. There were many other recipes I could have tried (more complicated and probably very good) but I had never had it before and what if I didn't like it? Then I would be waisting all that time only to find out we don't like the flavor. This was simple and light it's cherry tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, green chili and cilantro. The dressing is tamarind puree, brown sugar and water. It was very good but I could only find one kind of Tamarind at Whole Foods and it was a concentrated one. I think there are better choices in the right kind of store. I served the salad in whole Romain lettuce leaves.

Fillet Mignon on a bed of Soft Potatoes with a Shiitake Madeira Cream Sauce

I wanted to use Madeira wine in something. Somebody was talking about Madeira wine and I thought "...I should use Madeira, I have some I haven't use lately..." So I looked on the Food Network.com for ideas, I typed in Madeira and this idea came out. I didn't follow the recipe exactly but I did take the idea. It was from Tyler Florance, one of his old shows "how to boil water". He did the whole beef tenderloin and roasted it in the oven and I just did 2 servings in a pan on the top of the stove and finished them in the oven while I made the sauce. I pretty much followed his recipe for the sauce except I didn't measure anything, just eyeballed it. You add some Shiitake mushrooms slice up into a pan with butter and cook over med-high heat for about 5 minutes, add shallots then salt and pepper and thyme. Add Madeira wine and reduce then add heavy cream and reduce until it thickens. I placed the fillet Mignon over a bed of mashed potatoes and then spooned the sauce over the fillet. I had just picked a tomato from the garden so I placed that on top sprinkled with flaky sea salt for a crunch.

Baked Alaska

I had been dying to make a baked alaska since our trip to NYC a few weeks back, when we had one for dessert at DBGB. I tried to make it look exactly like the one in NYC. I formed the ice cream in a loaf pan lined with plastic wrap for easy removal. First the vanilla ice cream and hollowing out a bit in the center for some raspberry sorbet. I topped it with a layer of chocolate ice cream and then I pressed a 3/4 inch layer of pound cake over that. I wrapped it with plastic wrap and into the freezer for a few hours. I made the meringue by whipping egg whites with cream of tarter and slowly adding sugar until it was stiff peaks but still shiny. I got out my piping bag with a big star tip and filled the bag with the meringue. I removed the ice cream from the loaf pan and put it on a serving platter (so now the pound cake is at the bottom and the vanilla ice cream is at the top). I piped on the meringue as I remember it looking then I took a blow torch and charred the meringue to look as it did at DBGB restaurant. I put it back in the freezer until we were ready for dessert. When I was ready to serve I cut two slices, each about an inch thick out of the center to get a nice pretty piece and placed them onto dishes. I poured over some Grand Marnier and lit it on fire. I loved the flavor the Chartreuse gave it at DBGB but we didn't have any. This came in at a very close second to the masterpiece at DBGB.

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