Friday, November 11, 2011

Friday Night Bites #14, November 11, 2011

I have missed a few weeks of blogging. It's been busy but we are back from vacation and I am ready to cook.  I thought it would be nice to do "bites" this time. 

Goat Cheese, Mango Salsa and Sweet Soy Syrup with Flat bread Crisps

This idea came from Tommy Bahama restaurant in Naples Florida.  We order this every time we go and I thought I'd try to recreate it.  So I formed some softened goat cheese in a small bowl I have just to make it look like it does at the restaurant, I did that earlier in the day and just put it in the refrigerator.  I made a mango salsa by combining finely diced mango, lime juice to taste, salt, chopped scallions, diced red bell pepper and fresh cilantro.  The salsa is a no recipe, recipe, it's all about tasting as you go to see if it needs more salt or lime or whatever.  I made a soy syrup by combining 1/2 cup of soy sauce and 1/4 cup of sugar and cooked it over medium heat until it started to thicken and the sugar dissolved.  The "flat bread crackers" they serve at the restaurant looked a lot like the Lavash flat bread wraps, that are cut into rectangles and toasted in the oven, and that's just what I did.  I heated the oven to 375 degrees, cut and sprayed the flat bread with Pam and it took about 6 minutes for them to get lightly browned.  Cool on wire racks and they were perfect.  Tony was very impressed and it tasted like we were back in Naples, so we were very happy with this.

Mung Bean Pancakes with Scallion Dipping Sauce

We were watching a new show called Kimchi Chronicles with husband an wife team Marja and Jean George Vongerichten, and this recipe that Marja was making was so crazy and unusual, I had to try it.  First I needed kimchi which is fermented cabbage.  I planned on buying the kimchi already made but the store I went to didn't have any, so I decided to make it myself and got a head of cabbage.  After coming home and looking for a recipe, I noticed that all the recipes called for Napa cabbage and I got regular green cabbage.  I can imagine the the Napa is better because it's thinner but I didn't want to bother with getting another cabbage, I just used what I had.  I found this fast kimchi recipe (usually it needs to sit for weeks, but this one would be ready in just a few hours) by Tyler Florence.  I made it and allowed it to sit for 2 days.  I soaked the mung beans for 24 hours and here is the recipe for the pancakes.  I was worried as I made it that it would taste too healthy but really with the dipping sauce it was healthy and very delicious.  It reminded me of pot stickers while eating it, mostly because of the soy dipping sauce but the texture too.

Roasted Artichoke Hearts Filled with Chanterelle Duxelles and Served with a Spicy "Pork Sausage Steak"

I got these artichoke hearts packed in water one day at Trader Joe's and I loved how the stem was long and I imagined I would fill them with something, and today was the day.  I made duxelles by sauteing shallots in butter and then adding finely chopped chanterelle's.  Cook until the mushrooms are slightly browned then add a pinch of salt and a spash of Madeira wine.  Cook out the wine and remove from the heat.  I added some fresh parsley chopped fine.  I dried the artichoke hearts well, cut them in half lengthwise and removed some of the center so I would have a place for the duxelles.  Fill each half as much as you can and top with Panko that's been moistened with olive oil.  Bake in a 400 degree oven until toasty and they start to smell good which takes about 10-14 minutes.  For the sausage I first simmered it in water over medium low heat for about 10 minutes just so I can easily cut it in half, remove the skin and sear it like a steak.  I just browned the sausage in a skillet and served it with some watercress, the roasted artichokes, some sauteed chanterelle's and some homemade lemon aioli.  This was very good. 

Fresh Fruit and Berry Sorbet with Balsamic Syrup and Rosemary Shortbread Cookies

I have been looking for fresh passion fruit and I found some the other day.  I wasn't sure what to make for dessert tonight and I figured I would use this passion fruit.  After a few different ideas I realized I would have to remove the seeds because they were too hard and that left me with a juice.  I came up with a sorbet, but I didn't have enough to make a cup of juice, which is what I would need for the recipe.  So I had some blueberries and raspberries in the refrigerator and decided to go with a trio of fruit and berries.  I melted I cup of sugar in 2 cups of water on the stove top then let that cool.  To the cooled sugar syrup add the cup of fruit and berry juice, chill and freeze in an ice cream maker.  What do you serve with sorbet????  I had to have something with it, and I came up with a balsamic syrup (like the chocolate sauce you would have on ice cream).  I didn't measure but I probably poured 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup of balsamic into a small sauce pan and added about 1/8 to 1/4 cup of sugar and cooked it until it starts to thicken.  I chilled the sauce until I was ready to serve.  I also had and idea for a cookie and this rosemary shortbread cookie idea popped into my head.  I remembered Mario Batali talking about this rosemary shortbread cookie one time and I have always been curious.  So I found this recipe on line and made it.  Wow, I wasn't sure all these would be perfect together, I hate to toot my own horn, but it's a match made in heaven!!!

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