Friday, January 18, 2013

My own Triple Sec Cake and more...

Jeanne's Triple Sec Cake
(see below)

Brioche French Toast
What do you do when Whole Foods sells "authentic french brioche bread"?  You get some and make french toast with it!  It's so good on it's own that you can't go wrong with this.  I just mixed eggs and milk with a little vanilla; after soaking it for a few minutes browned them in butter and served guessed it ...maple syrup and fresh berries...


This is our weekday breakfast lately.  In my Vitamix I chop up an apple, an orange, a frozen banana, a scant cup of fat free Greek yogurt, about a cup of frozen wild blueberries, sometimes a few frozen peaches, a couple tablespoons of flax seed and a few handfuls of baby spinach or baby kale.  While its blending it needs some liquid to help it get going so I use either almond milk or apple cider.  Surprisingly this doesn't taste "healthy" after it's blended till smooth.  This is plenty for the two of us.

Warm Frisee Salad with Shiitake, Yellow Beets and Shallots

WOW! Yum this was good!  I took a picture of the ingredients that went into this salad (below).  I roasted some yellow beets in aluminum foil until they were tender which takes 50 minutes or so on 400 degrees (depending on the size of course).  Once they cool down a bit remove the skins and set them aside.  Heat some olive oil in a skillet and saute the shiitake mushrooms that you have just torn in half or left whole if they are small.  Cook the mushrooms over medium-high heat for about 4-5 minutes, throw in the shallots that you have sliced thinly and cook with a pinch of salt.  When everything looks perfectly done, toss in wedges of the beets and add 3 or 4 Tablespoons of Sherry vinegar and about the same or slightly more olive oil.  Cook and heat through for another minute and pour over the Frisee lettuce, toss to cover the lettuce with the warm dressing.  Plate and grind some black pepper over.  I think I'll have another...

"Mise en place" for the Frisee salad (above)

Salmon with Capers and Lemons over Quinoa

Eggplant, Caramelized Onion and Goat Cheese Salad

I sliced eggplant and roasted it with olive oil, salt and pepper, 400 degrees for 35 minutes turning over halfway.  Slice one large onion thin and cook over medium low heat with a tablespoon each of oil and butter and a pinch of salt and sugar until caramelized, which takes a good 30-40 minutes.  Make the dressing by mixing together a teaspoon of Dijon mustard, 1 minced garlic clove, about a tablespoon of soy sauce, about a tablespoon of rice wine vinegar, little salt and pepper and whisk in olive oil to emulsify (about 3 Tablespoons or until it tastes good).  When the eggplant is done remove it and plate and while the eggplant is still warm spoon some of the dressing over so it really soaks in. Layer some goat cheese, caramelized onions, baby kale, some more of the eggplant, dressing, fresh basil, baby kale and toasted pine nuts.  Serve it at room temperature.  I like to let it sit for an hour or so to let the flavors meld.  

Lentil Soup with Linguisa 

This was based on a recipe by Laura Calder.  I was watching her show and she made this so I made it too.  She used Churizo, here is her recipe

Charcoal Grilled Beef Fillet with Stilton and Scallion Sauce, Roasted Potatoes and Sauteed Baby Spinach

I made the sauce by just reducing a little heavy cream, maybe 1/2 cup down to 1/4 cup then off the heat melt in some Borough's Market Stilton, or another blue cheese and some chopped scallions.  The potatoes were something I came across on Pintrest.  It was a Martha Stewart recipe that I modified slightly.

Potato Tian

Pre-heat the oven to 375.  Slice about 2 Lb of Yukon Gold potatoes very thin by hand or using a mandolin.  Place the potatoes into a bowl and drizzle about 3 Tbsp of olive oil and a good sprinkling of salt, toss to coat each potato.  Coat a shallow baking dish, just big enough to hold the potatoes standing up with olive oil.  Stand the potatoes up and pack tightly, scatter some fresh thyme around.  Bake for 75-90 minutes until the tops are nicely browned and the potatoes are cooked through.

Cauliflower soup with croutons and parsley

Soften a chopped leek and chopped garlic clove in olive oil for about 5 minutes, remove and discard the core of a whole cauliflower and chop up the rest; add the chopped cauliflower to the leeks and cover with chicken or vegetable stock and season with salt and pepper; bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer; cook until tender then blend using a stick blender or a regular blender until very smooth; add a splash of heavy cream if you like and blend it one more time; season to taste.

Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Fennel, Roasted Pears and Braised Fingerling Potatoes

I sliced the pork tenderloin into medallions about an inch and a half thick. I marinated these in a honey, mustard, fresh rosemary, garlic and apple cider combination for a couple hours.  I roasted slices of fennel in olive oil, salt and pepper at 400 degrees for 40 minutes or so.  I sliced Bosc pears about 1/8 inch and tossed with lemon juice, 1-2 Tbsp of melted butter and a pinch of salt; roast at 375  for 20-30 minutes.  Braise the potatoes by peeling them half way like you see in the picture and gently cook in about an inch of chicken stock and a pat of butter; simmer with the cover on for about 30 minutes or until cooked through; remove the cover and cook to let the liquid evaporate and the butter coat the potatoes.  Stack a pork medallion, the fennel, the pears, the pork, the pears and finally the fennel on top.  Serve the potatoes on the side with a garnish of fresh rosemary.

Arugula salad of Roasted Broccoli and mushrooms topped with a poached egg

Roasted French Green Beans

Roast with olive oil, salt and pepper at 400 degrees until the green beans get slightly charred and you would be surprised how they are like a potato chip.  We snacked on these with drinks.  The salt and crunch is there!!

French Apple Cake

I planned to make a carrot cake for my family, well you need carrots for that (I always have carrots but I had run out)!  So I searched for another option in my kitchen, I had apples so I found this idea on line.  This was a big hit!  I will make this again, yum...

Creme Brulee with Fresh Berries

Jeanne's Triple Sec Cake

I had decided to make up a cake recipe one day.  I started by separating eggs, mixing sugar with the yolks, whipping the whites.. using olive oil for the fat...almond meal with some all purpose flour to make it slightly healthy... well it was pretty good, but it needed more sweetness.  Here is what I did after a little tweaking...

for the cake
4 eggs separated
1/2 C sugar
1/4 C olive oil
1 Tsp vanilla
zest of 1 orange
1/3 C almond flour
1/3 C all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cream of tarter

Triple Sec Syrup
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup Triple Sec (or other orange liqueur)
1/4 cup water

Whisk 4 yolks with the sugar until lightened a bit, add the olive oil, vanilla and the zest; sift the two flours and salt; whisk the egg whits with the tarter until stiff peaks form; fold the dry ingredients into the yolk mixture then fold about 1/3 of the whites in then the rest of the whites; pour into a greased and parchment lined 8 inch baking pan for 30 minutes at 350 degrees; it will be done when the sides separate from the sides of the pan, the center is puffed up a bit and a toothpick inserted comes out clean; let it sit for 5 minutes then using a toothpick, prick the cake about an inch apart all over then spoon with the triple sec syrup slowly, you will have to spoon it over the top in 3 or 4 stages so it has time to drink it all up.

To make the syrup just combine the 3 ingredients in a small saucepan and heat until clear which takes about 5 minutes over medium heat; stir to help it along.

I gave my cake as a gift this holiday season and to make it festive I topped it with orange supreme's, raspberries, whipped cream and a dusting of confectioner's sugar.

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