Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Bon Appetito, Peppito


Eventually while typing Tuesday I will write Toesday. And I snicker when that beautiful little deviation occurs. Toesday. Imagine!

Today in baking class, we made cakes. Quelle fucking soo-preez. Buttercream and vanilla sponge celebration cakes. I shall take a picture tomorrow for showing off my tasty cakes.

I used to hate it when people randomly inserted french words into their vernacular. Is it a Canadian thing?

My own bed hasnt been slept in by my own self in four nights. Which feels great, cause my bed has all kinds of crap on it. Books and chocolate bar wrappers, that sort of thing. I was off visiting home! I spent the majority of my time in the kitchen cooking away with my mom as my sous chef.

I made all this stuff:

Proscuitto Wrapped Chicken with
Asiago Cheese, Roasted Red Pepper and Baby Spinach

  • 4 large boneles, skinless chicken breasts
    (or 8 small ones, hammered flat and used together)
  • 1 roasted red pepper
  • small bunch of baby spinach
  • 1 cup asiago cheese, grated
  • 8 slices of proscuitto
For the Red Pepper:

Set oven to broil. Quarter the red pepper and place on a tray on the top rack. Remove when the skin has turned black and immediately transfer to a plastic bag. Set aside for 10-15 minutes and then peel off the skin.

For the Chicken:

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Lay down 2 slices of the prosciutto, overlapping them slightly along their long edge, to form a large rectangle.

Place a chicken breast lengthwise at the short end and slit it open along one side to create a wide pocket. Stuff the pocket with spinach leaves, a slice of roasted red pepper and cheese. Roll up tightly with the proscuitto. Repeat with remaining chicken breasts.

Place on a baking sheet, seam side down and bake until golden and cooked through, about 15 minutes.

Cheesy Pea Risotto

  • 8 cups chicken stock
  • 3 onions or shallots, peeled and chopped
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 2 cups Arborio rice
  • 1 cup white wine *optional
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper
Heat chicken stock in a saucepan.

In another medium saucepan, sauté the onions or shallots with the olive oil over medium high heat until softened.

Add garlic and Arborio rice and stir until the grains are well coated with oil and slightly toasted, about 3 minutes.

Add wine if you have any. Stir until the wine has been absorbed by the rice.

Begin adding the heated stock, one ladle-full at a time, allowing it to be absorbed by the rice, before adding more.

Continue adding stock, stirring frequently until the risotto is tender and creamy.

Season with salt and pepper and add peas and cheese. Stir well.

Brown Sugar Angel Food Cake
  • 1 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 1 1/4 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 14 large egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Sift together the flour, brown sugar and salt twice onto a piece of waxed paper or parchment.

In an electric mixer, whip the egg whites on low speed until frothly. Add the cream of tartar, increase the speed , and whip until the whites hold soft peaks. Whip in the vanilla and almond extracts.

Transfer the white to a large mixing bowl. Sift the flour and brown sugar mixture over the whites in three additions, folding them in with a large flat rubber spatula.

Turn the batter into an ungreased 12-cup angel food cake pan. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the cake springs back when touched.

* My gram had a non-stick angel food cake pan so I just lightly greased the pan and coated it in white sugar so the cake would have something to grab on to while it was raising.

Remove from the oven, invert the mold, and let cool in the pan. Run a thin knife around the sides of the pan. Unmold the cake.

"Frenched" Whipped Cream with Hazelnut Praline Dust

  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • 1 cup custard
Whip the whipped cream up to stiff peaks, carefully fold in custard.

Hazelnut Praline
  • 1 cup hazelnuts
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
Line baking tray with aluminum foil, shiny side up. Bake hazelnuts on the tray at 400 degrees until nicely toasted and wonderful smelling.

Boil the sugar and water until it turns a golden caramel colour. Pour out over the hazelnuts, coating every one. Once hardened, pull it off the tray and pulse in a food processor until almost dust.

Add to whipped cream.

Blob generously on angel food cake and make obscene noises.

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