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Sunday, September 28, 2014

Autumn Risotto with Carmelized Apples and Fennel

Tis the season! I pulled this from the pile because it was delicious.This comes from Food52 and is bright, citrus-y, and full of flavor. Perfect for a cold fall or winter evening.

Caramelized Apples and Fennel
1 large honeycrisp apple (or really any kind), peeled and chopped
1 fennel bulb, trimmed and chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup white wine

1. Get the apples/fennel started before starting the risotto. In a large skillet over medium high heat, melt the butter with oil and add the apples and fennel. Add salt and stir. Cook over medium heat for about 20 mins. Keep an eye on them after about 10 mins so they don't get too brown. When tender and the juices have evaporated, deglaze the pan with the wine, scraping up any bits. When wine is almost evaporated, turn heat off and set aside.

4 pieces of prosciutto (optional) 
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
3 cups apple cider
3 cups chicken broth
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 cup white wine
1/2 cup parmesan, grated
1/4 tsp orange zest
1/4 cup goat cheese, crumbled
1/3 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
2 tbsp parsley, chopped
1tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter

1. Add the broth and cider to a saucepan and bring to a low simmer.

2. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil and add the prosciutto. Cook until just crispy. Remove from pan and set aside. Add the onions and garlic and cook until soft.

3. Add the rice and cook for a couple of minutes to toast it with the onions. Add the wine and cook until liquid is just absorbed.

4. Add a ladle of the broth/cider to the rice and cook until just absorbed. Repeat this process, stirring frequently until all of the broth is used and the rice is just tender.

5. When adding the last ladle of liquid, add the caramelized apples/fennel, orange zest, parmesan, and butter. Stir and season with salt and pepper. Add the prosciutto and serve with goat cheese, walnuts and parsley on top.

Billionaire Bars

These things are a dream come true, especially for a pregnant lady craving anything and everything that includes sugar. Chocolate + caramel + cookie = heaven. I saw a photo of these in Food & Wine and was sold immediately. Made them that day. The only saving grace about these suckers is that they're so rich, you really can only have one, a small one. I cut these up and froze them, they  can be eaten straight from the freezer in less than 5 minutes (thank you very much) and will keep much longer.

1 stick cold, cubed unsalted butter
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornmeal
1/2 tsp kosher salt

1 stick unsalted butter
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 tsp kosher salt.
1 cup sugar
2 tbsp water

Chocolate Ganache:
9 oz 70% dark chocolate, chopped or as chips
3/4 heavy cream
1 cup roughly chopped pecans

1. For the shortbread: Preheat oven to 350. Line an 8" square pan with aluminum foil, allowing 2" to hang over the edges. In a food processor, combine all of the shortbread ingredients and pulse until a dough forms. Press the dough into the baking pan and bake for 25 mins, until firm and edges are golden. Let cool completely.

2. For the caramel: In a small saucepan, melt the butter, cream and salt over moderate heat. In a medium saucepan, combine sugar and water and cook over moderate heat until a golden caramel forms, only swirling pan to mix - DO NOT STIR, you will get crystals. Carefully drizzle the cream into the caramel and cook over moderate heat, stirring constantly until temp reaches 230 on a candy thermometer. Immediately pour over the cooled shortbread and let cool for about 45 minutes.

3. For the ganache: Put the chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl. In a small saucepan, bring the cream to a simmer and immediately pour over the chocolate. Let stand until chocolate starts to melt and then stir until smooth. Pour the ganache over the caramel and spread in an even layer. Sprinkle with pecans. Refrigerate until chilled.

Apple & Honey Cake

It's apple season! Buh-bye strawberries, hello Macs...
My good friends Sara and Kiran are leaving town and heading back to DC (excuse me while I sob a little) and we're off to their house in JP for one last dinner together. Their house is all packed up so we're bringing the goods. I got this recipe from Smitten Kitchen and thought it was beautiful. Topped with some homemade cinnamon ice cream, it's the perfect fall dessert.

4 tiny-to-small apples, halved, peeled and cored
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp granulated sugar

1 stick plus 1 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp granulated sugar
1/4 cup honey
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 large eggs, separated
2 good pinches of salt
2 tsp baking powder
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 cup honey
A good pinch of sea salt

1. Preheat oven to 350. Coat a 9-inch springform with butter.

2. Prepare apples: Place peeled, halved and cored apples cut-side-down on a cutting board. Use a knife to create parallel thin slices, but only cut halfway through each apple so that the apples stay intact. If you cut through, no biggie - you can reassemble the halves on the cake in a few minutes. In a bowl, toss apples with lemon juice and 2 tbsp granulated sugar.

3. Prepare cake base: Beat butter and 1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp granulated sugar together in a bowl until fluffy. Add honey and beat until combined. Add vanilla and egg yolks, beating until just combined. Sprinkle salt and baking powder over cake batter, and mix for just 5 seconds, until they disappear. Add flour, half at a time, mixing only until just combined.

4. In a separate bowl with cleaned beaters, beat egg whites until stiff. Stir 1/4 of them into the cake batter, to lighten it a little. Fold in the rest in three additions. Only fold the last addition of egg whites until it has mostly disappeared (a couple faint streaks of egg white are fine).

5. Spread cake batter in prepared cake pan, smoothing the top. Arrange apple halves facedown over the cake batter.No need to press the apples into the batter.

6. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until a toothpick or skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let rest on a cooling rack for 5 minutes, then cut around the cake to make sure it’s not sticking to the pan at all, and unhinge the sides. Let cake cool completely. Before serving, warm 1/4 cup honey and a good pinch of sea salt until it liquefies to the point where it makes a thin glaze — this will take less than 30 seconds. Brush honey-salt mixture over cooled cake.