Sunday, May 18, 2014

Superfudge Brownies

From Ben and Jerry's
Yields 12 servings (24 brownies)

4 Ounce(wt)s chocolate, baking, unsweetened 
1/2 Cup butter 
4 Each egg, whole room temperature
1/2 tsp salt 
2 Cups sugar, white 
1 tsp extract, vanilla 
1 Cup flour, all-purpose unsifted

Optional Ingredients:
1 Cup walnuts, English chopped
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and lightly flour a 13 x 9-inch glass baking dish. 

Melt chocolate and butter in the microwave or on top of a double boiler. Let cool to room temperature. If you are in a hurry, you can quickly cool the mixture in the refrigerator, but be sure it doesn't get solid again. 

Beat the eggs, sugar and salt in a mixing bowl until very fluffy; add vanilla and mix to combine. Fold in the cooled chocolate mixture. Add the flour and fold just until blended. Carefully stir in the walnuts. (it is important to fold in chocolate, flour and nuts gently to keep the batter as fluffy as possible). 
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes. Let cool in pan completely before cutting. 

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Lemon Blueberry Tiramisu Trifle

Yields 8 servings

1/4 Cup juice, lemon 
1/4 Cup sugar, white 
8 Ounce(wt)s cheese, cream light softened
1 recipe of Lemon curd (below)
2 Cups cream, heavy 
24 Each ladyfingers, crisp 
2 Pints blueberries 

Tools Needed:

Lemon Curd (adapted from Martha Stewart):
3 Large strained egg yolk
1/2 Large lemon, zested
1/4 Cup juice, lemon
6 Tbls sugar, white
4 Tbls cold, cut into pieces butter, unsalted

Lemon Curd Directions:
Combine yolks, lemon zest, lemon juice, and sugar in a small saucepan. Whisk to combine. Set over medium heat, and stir constantly with a wooden spoon, making sure to stir sides and bottom of pan. Cook until mixture is thick enough to coat back of wooden spoon, 5 to 7 minutes. 

Remove saucepan from heat. Add butter, one piece at a time, stirring with the wooden spoon until consistency is smooth. 

Transfer mixture to a medium bowl. Lay a sheet of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the curd to avoid a skin from forming; wrap tightly. Let cool; refrigerate until firm and chilled, at least 1 hour. Store refrigerated in an airtight container up to 2 days.

Trifle Directions: 
In a small measuring cup, mix the lemon juice with the sugar and 1/4 cup water until the sugar is dissolved. Set aside. 

Place the cream cheese, lemon curd and heavy cream in a food processor and process until smooth and a bit fluffy. 

To assemble the tiramisu, place 1/3 the ladyfingers in the bottom of a trifle dish, breaking a few to fit, if needed, and drizzle with 1/3 of the lemon syrup. Top with 1/3 the lemon cream and 1/3 of the berries. Repeat the layers twice, topping with the remaining berries. 

Cover with plastic wrap and chill at least 8 hours or overnight.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Scarpetta Braised Short Ribs

From Scott Conant, Scarpetta, New York, NY
Yields 4 servings

Serve over Farro and Vegetable Risotto

4 Pounds beef, short ribs 
Salt, Kosher 
Pepper, black, ground 
Oil, extra virgin olive 
1 Cup carrot chopped
1 Cup celery chopped
1 Cup onion, yellow chopped
10 Cloves garlic, fresh coarsely chopped
3/4 Cups wine, dry red 
1/2 Cup vinegar, balsamic 
14 Ounce(wt)s tomatoes, diced 
2 Cups stock, chicken reduction* 
4 Sprigs thyme, fresh 
2 Sprigs rosemary, fresh 

Chef's Note: There is a brand you can use (available at Whole Foods) called Glace de Poulet Gold by More Than Gourmet.  Or, you can reduce 4 cups of Chicken Stock on the stove by half. 

Tools Needed:
Le Creuset Signature Enameled Cast-Iron 7-1/4-Quart Round French Oven, Cherry

Heat the oven to 325 degrees (or a convection oven to 300 degrees). 

Season the short ribs all over with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a deep, heavy-based Dutch oven or similar pot over medium-high heat. Add the ribs - in 2 batches if they don't fit in the pot in a single layer - and sear on all sides until well-browned all over. 

Remove the short ribs, wipe out the pan, and add more oil to coat the pan. Add the carrot, celery, onion, and garlic to the pot, and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until nicely browned, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the red wine and the vinegar and cook, stirring and scraping up the bits stuck to the bottom of the pan, until the liquid is reduced by half. 

Add the tomatoes, Chicken Reduction, thyme, and rosemary. Return the short ribs to the pot, bring the liquid to a boil, cover, and transfer to the oven. Cook, turning ribs once, until the ribs are fork-tender and the meat is just barely clinging to the bone, 2 1/2 to 3 hours. 

Remove the ribs from the cooking liquid, then strain and reserve the liquid. 

Use a large spoon or ladle to remove as much of the clear fat floating on top of the cooking liquid as possible. (If you are making the ribs ahead, you can remove the fat more easily once the cooking liquid has cooled. Refrigerate the ribs in their cooking liquid, and then remove the hardened fat from the top.) Cook the defatted sauce over medium-high heat until it has reduced somewhat, becoming thicker and more flavorful. (The ribs can be made 2 days ahead; let cool to room temperature, and then cover and refrigerate the ribs in the braising liquid. Reheat gently to serve.) 

Reheat the ribs in the reduced braising liquid in a 300 degree oven (325 for a conventional oven).

Farro and Vegetable Risotto

From Scott Conant, Scarpetta, New York, NY
Yields 6 servings

Serve with Scarpetta Braised Short Ribs

Salt, Kosher 
3/4 Cups farro 
Oil, extra virgin olive 
1/2 Cup carrot 1/4-inch diced
Pepper, crushed red 
1/2 Cup squash, yellow 1/4-inch diced
1/2 Cup squash, zucchini 1/4-inch diced
1 1/2 Cup stock, chicken, low-sodium warmed
2 Tbls butter, unsalted 
2 Tbls cheese, Parmesan, grated 
Pepper, black, ground 
1 Cup tomatoes, red grape cut in half
1/4 Cup onion, green sliced, optional

Tools Needed:
Cuisinart 622-30G Chef's Classic Nonstick Hard-Anodized 12-Inch Skillet with Glass Cover

Bring a medium saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the farro, lower the heat to a gentle boil, and cook until chewy but no longer hard, about 15 minutes. Drain and spread the farro out on a rimmed baking sheet to cool evenly. 

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a medium sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the carrots and season with salt and a pinch of crushed red pepper. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute, then add the squash and zucchini. Season again and cook, adding additional oil, if needed and stirring, until the vegetables are just tender, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and reserve. 

In a medium saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the farro and 1/2 cup of the stock and bring to a boil, stirring, until the broth is almost completely absorbed, about 4 minutes. (Do not let the pot become completely dry.) Add another 1/2 cup stock, stirring, until the pan is almost dry. Season with a little salt, then add the remaining 1/2 cup stock and the sautéed vegetables. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. 

Take the pan off the heat and stir in the butter. Add the cheese and stir, shaking the pan to help release the starch. Season with salt, a tiny pinch of crushed red pepper, and a few grinds of black pepper. Cover the pot and let sit for 5 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and scallions and season to taste. 

To serve, spoon onto plates, top with short ribs and ladle braising liquid over the top.