Thursday, January 27, 2011

Belgian Fondues au Fromage

1/4 cup butter
4 tbspn flour
1 1/2 cup milk
4 oz sharp cheese, grated
4 egg yolks
salt and pepper
1 egg, bread crumbs, and flour for coating
Oil for frying

Heat the butter til bubbly and blend in the flour. Cook over medium heat for a few minutes, whisking til the flour/butter starts to bubble. Do not let it brown.
Heat the milk in a separate pan, then slowly add to butter and flour, whisking constantly.
(These two should be heated somewhat simultaneously so that the butter/flour mixture isn't cooling down while the milk heats.)
Cook until thick and bubbly, whisking frequently, then add cheese and stir until melted.
Cool slightly and stir in egg yolks, one by one.
Taste and add salt and pepper as desired.

Grease a flat dish and pour cheese mixture into it, cover with wax paper or saran wrap, and refrigerate until cold and firm.

Working quickly take spoonfuls of cheese and, with well-floured hands, form into little balls about the size of walnuts. Return to fridge to re-chill as rolling tends to warm the cheese slightly.

Dip each cheese ball in beaten egg, then bread crumbs. The easiest way to do this and minimize the mess is to use one hand for each operation. Dip the ball into the egg with one hand, drop into bread crumbs, push bread crumbs over the ball with your other hand, roll, lift, and shake off excess then place on a wax paper covered tray. Return to fridge and chill thoroughly.

Using a deep fryer or a skillet with at least an inch of oil, heat the oil to 375 degrees, and fry fondue a few pieces at a time. Turn with a spoon until a deep golden brown, then remove and drain on paper towels. (Do not, under any circumstances, pierce them.)

Serve warm.

This is a time consuming but wonderful recipe. The fondues can be frozen after coating with bread crumbs and then just thawed a little and fried when you need them. The recipe comes from Myriam Guidroz' Adventures in French Cooking from 1970. The book is long out of print but I've seen copies on ebay and Amazon if you want one.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Calvin's Seafood au Gratin

1/2 pound scallops
1/2 pound large shrimp or prawns
1/2 pound crab meat (I use imitation, mea culpa)
1 bunch green onions, chopped into 1 inch lengths
olive oil
4 cloves garlic
8 oz soft goat cheese
4 oz fresh mozzarella cheese
1 to 2 oz freshly grated Parmesan
1 egg
2 Tbsp whipping cream
white pepper

12 to 16 oz cheese tortellini, cooked

Heat olive oil and butter.
Smash garlic and saute lightly.
Add scallops and brown lightly.
Add green onions and stir to mix. Saute for about 1 minute.
Remove from heat.

Mix goat cheese, and half Parmesan cheese in bowl.
Beat egg lightly with whipping cream and add to cheese. Stir to mix.
Mix in mozzarella, cooked scallop mixture, and rest of seafood. Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg to taste. Gently stir in cooked tortellini.

Grease four au gratin dishes. (I have four round ones with handles that I really like but you can use any small individual sized casserole dish. You will serve this in the baking dishes.)

Divide into four equal portions and top with the rest of the Parmesan cheese. Bake twenty minutes, then broil for three or four to brown the Parmesan cheese. Serve with some sort of vegetable side dish.

I made this up the other day cause I wanted something different and it was incredible. I left out the pasta because I am not eating carbs right now, and used 1/3 pound of each seafood and it fed my roommate and I with no leftovers (and no vegetables or side dishes).

Monday, January 17, 2011

Mongolian Beef with Broccoli

1 lb flank steak

Meat marinade:
2 egg whites, lightly beaten
1 tblsp cornstarch
2 tsp peanut oil
1 tsp sherry (I use Harvey's Bristol Cream)
1/2 tsp salt
white pepper

5 tbsp soy sauce (or 4 tbsp soy and 1 tbsp dark soy)
1 1/2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp sherry
1 tsp white vinegar
1 tbsp black bean garlic sauce
1 tbsp ground bean sauce
1 tsp dried chili pepper, crushed
4 cloves garlic, minced

1 oz bean thread, broken into two pieces
1 bunch green onions, chopped to about 1 inch

Broccoli florets

2 c oil

Steam broccoli florets until tender.

Cut steak across the grain into 1" x 1 1/2" x 1/8" pieces. I slice the flank steak lengthwise to make two long pieces, then slice each of these across into thin slices.
Mix with meat marinade and set aside.

Combine sauce ingredients.

Heat 1 1/2 c oil to very hot (275º to 300º). Add half bean thread, wait five seconds, flip, wait five seconds, remove. Repeat with second half bean thread and add both pieces to bottom of serving dish.

Add 1/2 c oil to cool to less than 250º. In two batches, fry beef for approximately 30 seconds. Remove beef and set aside. (Do not overcook the beef or it will lose its texture)

Drain off all but 2 tbsp oil and add sauce. Simmer for approximately two minutes to thicken.
Add beef, stir fry for 30 seconds, add green onion. Stir for 15 seconds.

Top bean threads with broccoli, top with steak, and pour cooked sauce over dish.