Saturday, December 10, 2011

Friday Night, Steak with Mustard Butter, December 9, 2011

So if you noticed last week I started to talk about doing "Jeanne and Julia", that is making all the recipes in the Mastering the Art of French Cooking book.  Well I will still do that, but much slower.  In a week in a half I have made about 20 of her recipes, including the two in this weeks Friday Night menu and I have gone through more butter... and cream... and cheese.... and eggs... than you can imagine.  Like we like to say here at our house "everything in moderation", so I can make it all I just don't want to go as fast as I thought I might. 

Anyway this week I did make two recipes in the book the Cauliflower mold with Sauce Mousseline and the Pear and Almond Tart.  I figured between the duck last weekend, the chicken I roasted during the week and fish and salads the other days, we needed some beef.  I decided to go with a couple good steaks for the grill and I thought I would make one of Julia's sauces, instead I went with a Mustard Compound Butter from her book.

Cream Filled Mozzarella with Roasted Tomatoes and Basil

So the cheese is something we discovered a few years ago and we love it.  It's called Burrata Cheese, if you see it buy it.  We had it at a small restaurant in Boston probably 10 years ago and we couldn't believe how good it was for Mozzarella cheese...something was different but we didn't know what.  In making mozzarella the cheese curd is stretched and kneaded until the desired texture and formed into a ball.  For Burrata they do that but before closing it they fill the center with outstretched mozzarella and cream.  When you cut into it the milky, creamy goodness spills out and it is awesome!  I got these medium sized tomatoes on the vine and roasted them for 20 minutes with olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic cloves.  When they came out I drizzled on some Balsamic vinegar and fresh basil.  I plated it all with some slices of Baguette.

Steak De Deux Maniers with Mustard Butter

Well everything sounds better in French so I googled..."translate Steak Two Ways from English to French"... and Steak De Deux Maniers is what came up.  Basically I stood at the meat counter at Whole Foods and I picked out a nice bone-in rib eye for Tony (looked freshly cut and perfect) and I didn't want a lot of meat so I picked a tenderloin for me because of it's size.  I was looking for something to go along with the steaks as a sauce in Julia's book and I found this section of compound butters.  I have made compound butters before, its softened butter that you add flavorings to like roasted garlic, herbs, capers, etc... this one was made by mixing a stick of softened butter with 2 Tbsp Dijon Mustard and a couple Tbsp of minced parsley.  You combine the ingredients and place the flavored butter on some plastic wrap and roll it and twist the ends like a sausage and chill it.  When you serve the steak cut off a Tbsp or so and let it melt on top of the steak. 

Cauliflower Mold with Sauce Mousseline

So this was a combination of a starch and vegetable to go with the steak.  It almost was like mashed potato but then again it was a whole head of cauliflower too. 

To make this you butter a 6 cup souffle baking dish and coat it with stale bread crumbs.  Pre-heat the oven to 325 degrees and put the rack in the lower third of the oven.  In a covered saucepan cook 1/2 cup of finely chopped onions in 1 Tbsp of butter for 10 minutes; scrape the onions into a 3 quart mixing bowl; add salt, pepper, pinch of nutmeg, 1/2 cup of grated Swiss cheese; 2/3 cup of stale white bread crumbs; beat in 5 eggs; heat 1 cup of milk and 4 Tbsp of butter to a boil and slowly pour this mixture into the egg mixture while beating; fold in 1 head or about 3 cups of pureed cooked cauliflower; pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish and place the baking dish in another baking dish filled half way with boiling water; bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes.  She gives about 5-6 different options for a sauce to pour around the outside of the cauliflower mold after it's inverted onto a serving dish.  I picked this Sauce Mousseline, it's a hollandaise with whipped cream folded into it.  This is the kind of thing that is in her book that is good but if you are trying to keep your arteries clear it's just not necessary. We thought it tasted very good but the cauliflower mold would have been excellent with out the sauce.

Pear and Almond Tart

So this was really good, high end tasting and not too bad with the fat content.  It's a sugar crust from the book.  I made it in the food processor with the blade attachment.  Here is the recipe...

In the bowl of a food processor add 1 1/3 cup of flour, 5 Tbsp sugar, 1/8 tsp baking powder; add 5 tbsp of chilled butter and 2 Tbsp of chilled shortening and pulse about 10 times or until it looks like grated cheese; add 1 egg beaten with 1 tsp of cold water and 1/2 tsp vanilla; pulse until it comes together to form slightly bigger clumps (it will still look crumbly); if you can grad a bit and squeeze it together and it holds it's shape it's good; Form into a disk and chill for at least an hour; roll it out and fit it into a 10 inch tart pan with a removable bottom; place a buttered piece of parchment on it and fill with beans of pie weights and bake in a 375 degree oven for about 5-6 minutes, remove the parchment, prick the bottom of the crust and finish baking for another 8-10 minutes more or until the crust gets lightly browned; remove the tart pan and cool on a rack.

Make the Frangipane ahead so it's ready when you are.  To make this Frangipane or almond custard it goes like this...

In an electric mixer add 1 egg and 1 egg yolk, gradually add 3/4 cup of sugar until a thick pale ribbon is formed; beat in 1/3 cup flour; beat in 1 cup boiling milk; Pour into a saucepan and over moderate heat whisk reaching all over the bottom of the pan; vigorously beat as it starts to coagulate; lower the heat and beat with a wooden spoon for 2 or 3 minutes to get rid of any raw flour taste; off the heat beat in 3 tbsp of butter, 2 tsp vanilla, 1/4 tsp almond extract, 1/2 cup almond flour and 2 Tbsp Kirsch liquor.

For the pears she says to combine 2 cups of Bordeaux wine, 2 Tbsp lemon juice, 3/4 cup sugar and one cinnamon stick to a boil and add 2 lbs of pears that you have peeled and cut in half and removed the core from; cook until the pears are tender when pierced with a knife (she said 8-10 minutes in simmering liquid but my bosc pears took more like 45 minutes covered); remove the pears from the liquid and drain on a rack; reduce the wine to the thread stage which is at 230 degrees or when it begins to look syrupy and add 1/4 cup of the syrup and 1/4 cup of red currant jelly ( I used apricot) together in a small pan and heat together.

To assemble brush the inside of the tart shell with the syrup and spread in the frangipane then top with the pears in a decorative fashion and brush with more syrup; decorate with some toasted almond slices and your done!

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