Haute Hot Food
Only for the adventurous in eating that want to tantalize their taste-buds and make food dance on their palate.
For I am not afraid of letting the food
For I am not afraid of letting the food
overtake my desires, nor am I afraid of letting my desires be my food. Food is my expression, not just my livelihood. Cooking is my art, not out of responsibility, but purely out of passion.
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Keeping in theme with this wonderful season of Autumn, I now turn my attention to the apple. There are so many types, textures, flavors, and sizes of this wonderful juicy fruit that it is difficult to keep track of them all. A stroll through the produce section in October takes my mind on a maze of possibilities. However, just as everyone has their favorite brand of comfy jeans, the same goes for the individuals' taste in apples. Pink Lady and Granny Smith are my personal favorites, and of course, one dipped in caramel with a drizzle of chocolate is always welcomed.
Mornings are greeted with Hot Skillet Apples, lunches are kissed with crispy slices, and dinners are graced with the occasional chutney with a succulent pork tenderloin. Oh, and then there is dessert! My thoughts immediately go to a steamy hot apple pie layered with mounds of cinnamon and thinly sliced apples all sandwiched in between two perfectly flaky, buttery crusts. (A la mode, I might add) What about richly coated caramel apples, or a gooey cobbler accompanied by a cup of hot cider on a cold winter night. So many ways to enjoy this amazing and beautiful fruit, and so many ways there are yet to explore.
My new journey meets one of my old favorites: crispy gingersnaps dunked in a glass of ice cold milk. This crispy cookie encompasses all the elements my senses are seduced by this time of year. Cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and ginger all wrapped up in one small yet power packed pleasure. Why not combine the smells and childhood favorite with the fresh, hand picked produce that is in abundance this time of year? The smells are amazing, the color is rich, and the flavor will sweep your mind and mouth away. Put your milk glasses in the freezer, turn the oven on, and transform your Autumn day into one amazing culinary delight!
Gingered Apple Snaps
¾ c. Butter at room temperature
1c. Brown Sugar, packed
½ c. Grandmas Molasses
2 ¼ c. Flour
½ tsp Salt
1tsp ground Cinnamon
½ tsp Allspice
1 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
¼ c. Crystallized ginger, finely minced
1 small Granny smith apple, finely minced (about 1c.)
½ c. granulated sugar to roll dough balls in
Preheat oven to 350.
With electric mixer, cream butter, sugar and molasses. Add egg and mix just until combined. In small bowl sift flour, salt, and spices. Slowly incorporate dry into wet ingredients careful not to over mix. Fold in ginger and apples. Chill dough 1 hour. Form into 1” balls and roll into sugar to coat. Bake on slightly buttered cookie sheet 10-12 minutes. Cool on pan 5 minutes then remove to wire rack to cool completely
Friday, October 8, 2010
I must admit, I love fall....no, I ADORE fall! The air gets crisper, the sun sets a little earlier, leaves change into beautiful shades of bronze and yellows, and the array of pumkins and squash are out in full force! The smells from the kitchen are intense and fill the air of cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and molasses. It truly doesn't get much better. My kitchen has been churning out fall flavors in all shades, tastes and cuisines. At the market, the root vegetables have been catching my eye, but I am always a little hesitant. Sure, I love them smothered in brown sugar and butter, or roasted with apples and cranberries, but I was leaning a little more lighter to accompany my rich walnut/goat cheese paninis. Yes, a bisque!! Lighter, creamier, and sure to catch your taste buds slightly off guard, but what a enjoyment of a ride you will take them on. Perfect for a weeknight dinner, game day lunch, or even more perfect for a pre trick-or-treating treat. Let's think oranges, golds, and yellows here as you are shopping this week. Get your stock pot out, grab a crusty loaf of bread and creamy butter, sit by the fire, and let the Autumn season take you by the hand!
Winter Root Bisque with Honey Balsamic Reduction and Crème Fraiche
This recipe makes pletny or a crowd! It's just as easy to hlaf for a family!
2 small Butternut Squash
2 6” Parsnips
1Lrg Sweet Potato
3TBL Olive Oil
1TBL Fresh rosemary, chopped
2 TBLS Fresh Sage, chopped
2 White onions
1TBL Balsamic vinegar
4 garlic pods
1 Cinnamon stick
10c. Vegetable Stock
½ c. White Wine
2c. Whole Milk or half and half
-Preheat oven to 425
-Halve squash and remove seeds
-Cut all other vegetables into 2” cubes
-In a small bowl, combine 3 TBLS Oil, herbs, spices, and vinegar.
-Toss over cut vegetables and halved squash
-Roast on 2 foil lined baking sheets about 30-40 minutes
-Scoop out pulp from squash
-In a separate stockpot, heat 2TBL oil.
-Add garlic, cinnamon stick and cook until fragrant, 4 minutes
-Add roasted vegetables (not pulp)
-Deglaze pan with wine and simmer on med/high 2 minutes or until evaporated
-Add stock and pulp.
-Simmer on medium heat about 30 minutes. Remove cinnamon stick
-With immersion blender (or transfer to a blender in small batches), blend until smooth
-Heat on low and gradually add milk.
-Generously add salt to taste.
-Drizzle with Honey Balsamic Reduction, Crème Fraiche, snipped chives, and sprinkle finely chopped walnuts
Honey Balsamic Reduction
½ c. Aged Balsamic Vinegar
¼ c. Honey
-Place in skillet and heat until reduced by half. It should be thick and almost coat the back of a spoon.
Friday, October 1, 2010
HEY ALL YOU FOOTBALL FANS........Cheddar Pepper Crackers!
Hey all you TEXAS / O.U FANS: (or any crazed football junkies out there)
No matter if your having a college football watching party, NFL party, or tailgating for Dallas's huge college ball event of the season, why not have these rich, tasty treats instead of the tasteless boxed version! These crispy cheesy bites are the perfect game day snack AND the even more perfect accompaniment to beer! Have a safe football weekend and happy cracker making!
Cheddar Pepper Crisps
2c. Extra Sharp Cheddar cheese, finely graded
½ c. Salted Butter at room temp
1- 1/2 tps black pepper
¼ tsp Cayenne pepper
1 ½ c. Flour
I mixing bowl, combine butter and cheese and mix until combined. Add flour and spices. Separate dough into 4 sections. Roll mixture into a log and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill at least 4 hours or freeze up to a month. Slice into 1/8 “ rounds. (Tip: Freeze right before cutting about 30 minutes for an easier slice). Bake in cookie sheet at 350 for 12-14 minutes