Avec Eric and he made this Chicken Bouillabaisse. He did include shellfish, but I figured I could still make it and just do the muscles and do them on the side for Tony to incorporate into his dish.
Tony had made some, in-house cured pancetta a couple weeks back (he will have to tell you about that) and so I had to use some in tonight's meal, I knew he would love that. So I came up with this pizzetta idea for the appetizer. Pizzetta is just a thin crusted small pizza, which I tend to make them like that anyway (I usually do grilled pizza). Tonight I decided to just do them in a hot oven instead of out on the grill just because it was cozy inside and cold out. I made the pizza dough and let it rise twice (I think punching it down after an hour and letting it rise again makes an extra fantastic crust). Then formed the dough into casual, thin, little rectangle shapes. I love cream cheese on pizzas so I mixed some softened cream cheese with a little heavy cream and spread it onto the pizzettas. I preheated a sheet pan in a 550 degree oven and dropped on the cream cheese topped pizzettas. When they were browned and the cheese was melted I took them out and topped them with some pancetta, (that I just cooked on the stove top to ensure that they were perfectly browned). I sprinkled on some chopped chives, and some freshly ground pepper. Yummy, crunchy, creamy, salty from the bits of pancetta and the chives gave a perfect fresh kick to these!!
Chicken Bouillabaisse and Aioli topped Baguette Slices
You can find this recipe if you google Avec Eric. It's basically a whole chicken cut into 10 pieces and browned in oil, remove to a plate and add onions and fennel. You add wine and Pernod liquor. Then chicken stock, canned tomatoes and saffron. Then little baby new potatoes towards the end. Just before you serve you add in the shellfish, but like I said for tonight Tony cooked his muscles in a separate pan with some wine and garlic just until the shells opened. I had made some aioli for some toasted baguette slices to accompany this dish. Aioli is basically a mayonnaise that you make with egg yolk, lemon juice, garlic and very slowly drizzled in olive oil as you whisk to make it emulsify, like the consistency of mayonnaise. Serve in soup bowls with the baguette slices and some fresh parsley on top. This was really good, Tony loved it with the muscles too.
German Chocolate Cupcakes
I don't think I ever had German Chocolate Cake so I had to change that. It had to be a chocolate dessert because after all it is Valentine's Day weekend. So I looked on foodnetwork.com and this recipe popped up and it had good reviews so I just followed it. Its by Aliyyah Baylor (who?) well it appears she was on Throw down with Bobby Flay and it was a German Cake Throw down. Very good, I must say! Basically it's a great texture on the cake itself and its topped with a coconut and toasted pecans mixture. The topping is oowey goowey with ingredients like egg yolks, brown sugar, butter and evaporated milk included with the coconut and pecans. You frost the sides with your favorite chocolate frosting recipe. I just did a ganache which is heavy cream that's heated and you add chopped chocolate, let it sit a minute to melt and you mix it until it becomes thick and creamy. It's about 1/4 cup of heavy cream to 1/2 cup bittersweet or semisweet chocolate.