Monday, May 08, 2006

The "faith" is being kept...

Last night I made Cocoa Creme Brulee...

I love Creme Brulee. It's one of those ever-so-simple desserts that always seems to impress me. I love the flavor of a vanilla-infused custard and the crackle of carmalized sugar. It's a "sensory" thing with me. Whenever I'm treated to a Creme Brulee -be it at home or in a restaurant- I'm taken back to that first time I tried it and how amazing I thought it was.

Cocoa Creme Brulee (001)
1 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream
3/4 Cup Milk (Your choice)
2 T Creme de Cacoa
5 Egg Yolks, slightly beaten
1/3 Cup Sugar
1 t Vanilla
1/8 t Kosher Salt

1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar

Oven @ 325F

Start by mixing the 1/2 Cup of Gran\Sugar and the 1/2 Cup Brown Sugar together until thoroughly combined. Place in an airtight container and set aside. (This is your "Brulee Sugar" and will be used to top the custards. This makes enough for three or four trips down Brulee Lane...)

In a small sauce pan, heat the heavy whipping cream, the milk and the cacoa over medium heat until it just comes to a simmer.

Meanwhile, beat egg yolks, 1/3 cup sugar, vanilla and salt until just combined. Temper the eggs slowly by adding small portions of the hot cream while whisking vigorously. Once all the cream has been added, pour the cream\egg mix into 4 or 6 ramekins that are resting in a baking dish. Pour enough boiling water into the pan so as to come halfway up the ramekins. (I can't stress enough how important a water bath is here. It's, literally, the difference between creamy and curdled.)

Bake for 35 minutes. Once done baking, allow to cool completely then chill in the refridgerator overnight.

When ready for service, use a Tablespoon of the Brulee Sugar to cover the custard and then torch them sum bitches.

Also, I'm completely convinced that Waiting is one of the most brilliant movies ever made. For as exaggerated as it is, there is NOTHING fake or unbelievable about it. God Bless Rob McKittrick...

De La Soul - Keeping the Faith
Big Star - In the Street
Peter Gabriel - That Voice again
The Misfits - Saturday Night
The Posies - Song of the Baker

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Do you remember that sunny day?

Every once in a great while, I hear a song that absolutely makes me want to be in the kitchen. That one type of song that just makes you focus and unlocks the creative powers of natural talent you may have stored away...

Today when I got home from work I pulled out my vinyl copy of Sid & Nancy and put it on Side A. As I was sitting there checking e-mail, browsing journals and looking at the general collection of food-porn thats out there, I was hit by the song Haunted by the Pogues. I've heard this song a million times, but it just hit me this time how great it is.

I transferred the song to my midi-disc player and got to work...

I started by heating 2 Tablespoons of olive oil in a small saute pan. I went and mixed up 1/3 Cup of breadcrumbs with 1/2 teaspoon of Herbs du Provence, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. I minced 2 cloves of garlic and slid them off my chefs knife into the oil. I lightly sauted them for about 45 seconds then added the crumbs. I mixed it all together and toasted the crumbs a little.

I put the crumbs in a bowl then went and quartered a few red skinned potatoes and threw them in a pot of water. I then de-boned two fat pork loin chops. I fired up another pan and seared the chops for about 4 minutes on both sides. I deglazed the pan with some white wine and threw it in the oven to roast the pork.

While the chops were cooking, I chopped up some mangos and apples and let them macerate in tequila for dessert.

About half way through the pan roasting, I slapped a little Dijon mustard on the top of the pork, then a generous portion of my bread crumbs. More roasting...

Finally I mashed the potatoes, plating them with the pork and a pile of mixed greens. Dinner was good...

That's one of the best things about being with Kerrie, too. She appreciates good cooking. When I sent out those plates, she dug right in. Her face lit up a little. It was, as always, a great feeling to cook and to eat.

"I want to be haunted by the ghost of your precious love..."
- Pogues