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Quiche is, as Thomas Keller called it, “the sexiest pie.” Photo by Donna Turner Ruhlman. I’ve been in LA on an entertainment project and to see the opening of my friend and collaborator Richard LaGravenese ‘s new movie Beautiful Creatures . I’d never been to an opening before. But quiche has been on my mind, so I’ve been using travel time to work on some variations of this infinitely variable fat custard tart. If I had time I’d head to Bouchon in Beverly Hills , which makes perfect quiche. Bouchon, and working on that book , is where I learned that, while America was taught to make quiche in premade pie shells, this deprives the quiche of its true greatness: depth. In order to achieve that voluptuous texture, it has be about two inches thick. For this, you need to have a ring. When I told this to my partner in tools, Mac Dalton , he said, I can make that! I said great. And so we did. The recipe here is for my favorite quiche, simply bacon and onion enriched with delicious cheese. I made it for Kai Ryssdal when he interviewed me about my book Ratio . Because I found myself writing about quiche on the CLE-to-LAX flight, I thought I’d post on it here, this simple but extraordinary creation, what Thomas Keller described as “the sexiest pie.” I couldn’t agree more. Trimming the crust off the quiche ring. Quiche Lorraine For the crust: 12 ounces flour 8 ounces butter (or lard, shortening, or any combination thereof), cut into small pieces, cold or even frozen 2 to 4 ounces ice water (quantity depends on the fat—whole butter has water in it so you need only a couple ounces; shortening and lard do not contain water) three-finger pinch of salt (about 1/2 teaspoon) For the quiche: 2 large Spanish onions, thinly sliced canola oil as needed 1 3-2-1 savory pie dough (see recipe above) 1 pound slab bacon cut into 1/4-inch lardons* 2 cups milk 1 cup cream 6 eggs 2 teaspoons kosher salt 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper nutmeg to taste (about 5 gratings) 1/2 cup grated Comté or Emmentaler cheese To make the crust: Combine the flour and fat in a mixing bowl and rub the fat between your fingers until you have small beads of fat and plenty of pea-sized chunks. (If you’re making a bigger batch, this can be done in a standing mixer with a paddle attachment, but remember not to paddle too much after you add the water, just enough so that it comes together.) Add the ice water gradually and a good pinch of salt, and mix gently, just until combined—if you work the dough too hard it will become tough. Shape into two equal discs and refrigerate for 15 minutes or until ready to roll. To make the quiche: Sauté the onions over medium heat in a few tablespoons of canola oil. You might cover them for the first 15 minutes to get them steaming and releasing their moisture, then uncover, reduce the heat to medium low, and continue cooking them until they are cooked down but not overly brown, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Set them aside when they’re finished. Preheat your oven to 350°F/177°C. Roll out the dough to a thickness of about 1/4 inch. Place a 2-x-9-inch ring mold or a 9-inch cake pan on a baking sheet (line the baking sheet with parchment if you’re using a ring mold; if you’re using a cake pan, line its bottom with parchment). Lightly oil the inside of your ring mold. Lay the dough into the mold—there should be plenty of dough overhanging the edges to help it maintain its shape. Reserve a small piece of dough to fill any cracks that might open in the dough as it bakes. Line the dough with parchment or foil and fill it with dried beans or pie weights so that the crust bakes flat. After a half hour, remove the weights and parchment or foil. Gently patch any cracks that may have formed with the reserved dough, and continue baking until the bottom of the crust is golden and cooked, about 15 more minutes. Remove it from the oven and patch any cracks that may have opened; this is especially important if you’re using a ring mold, or the batter will leak out. The shell should be anywhere between cold and warm when you add the batter, not piping hot from the oven. Reduce the oven temperature to 325°F/163°C. Sauté the bacon gently until it’s cooked as you like it (crisp on the outside, tender on the inside is best!). Drain the bacon and combine it with the onions. In a six- or eight-cup liquid measuring cup, combine the milk, cream, eggs, salt, pepper, and nutmeg and, using a hand blender, blend until frothy. This can be done in a standing blender as well (though depending on the size of your blender, you may need to do it in batches). Or you could even mix the batter in a large bowl using a whisk—beat the eggs first, then add the rest of the ingredients. The idea is to add the ingredients in two layers, using the froth to help keep the ingredients suspended. Layer half of the onion-bacon mixture into the shell. Pour half of the frothy custard over the mixture. Sprinkle with half of the cheese. Layer with the remaining onion-bacon mixture. Refroth the batter and pour the rest into the shell. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top. You may want to put the tray with the quiche shell into the oven and pour the remaining batter into it there so that you can get every bit of batter into the shell. You can even let it overflow to make sure it’s up to the very top. Bake for about an hour and a half, or until the center is just set (it may take as long as two hours, but don’t overcook it—there should still be some jiggle in the center). Allow the quiche to cool, then refrigerate it until it’s completely chilled, at least 8 hours or up to 3 days. Using a sharp knife, cut the top of the crust off along the rim. Slide the knife along the edge of the ring mold or cake pan to remove the quiche. Slice and serve cold or, to serve hot, slice and reheat for 10 minutes in a 375°F/190°C oven on lightly oiled parchment or foil. * Lardons are batons of bacon and can be as thick as 1/2-inch square. Smaller lardons are best here, but a pound of thick-cut bacon sliced into strips is also acceptable. This is the quiche “money shot”. Other links you may like: My post on making your own English Muffins . Learn about the history of quiche lorraine. Another great treat: try baking your own cinnamon bread . © 2013 Michael Ruhlman. Photo © 2013 Donna Turner Ruhlman. All rights reserved .

Source: ruhlman.com

Tweet #pin-wrapper > a {background-image:none !important;} From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite... I bought lamb chops for our holiday dinner, but because I was unsure of the number I'd be feeding, I ended up with more chops than guests at the table. I decided to grill the remainder of the chops tonight. Those we had for the holiday were delicious and I wanted to serve these with something that would compliment, rather than overpower, their marvelous flavor. I decided to make an endive and watercress salad and a very cheesy orzo pilaf. I can attribute the salad to Thomas Keller, but identifying the parentage of the orzo is next to impossible. Rachael Ray did a version of this recipe at least five years ago and since that time it has appeared in various guises on numerous cooking sites. I lack the wisdom of Solomon and have no easy test to establish paternity, so I'm just going to move along and pretend the orzo is a new version of rice pilaf. It is very easy to do and can be on the table in 15 minutes. Chances are you have all the ingredients you need to make this in your pantry, and, if not, they can all be found in any large grocery store. It is a perfect dish to serve with grilled meat or poultry and I know you'll enjoy it. Here's the recipe. Cheesy Orzo Pilaf ...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite Ingredients: 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth 3/4 pound orzo 5 minced garlic cloves 1 cup grated Parmesan-Reggiano cheese 2 tablespoons finely minced parsley salt to taste freshly ground pepper to taste Directions: 1) Bring broth to a boil in a large heavy saucepan. Add orzo and garlic and reduce heat to medium high. Simmer, uncovered, for about 7-8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is tender, and broth is nearly absorbed. 2) Turn heat off, but leave the pan on stove. Add cheese and parsley and mix well. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve warm. Yield: 6 servings. You might also enjoy these recipes: Yangzhou Fried Rice - One Perfect Bite Warm Asian-Style Rice Salad - One Perfect Bite Sticky Rice - One Perfect Bite

Source: oneperfectbite.blogspot.com

I try to avoid the use of superlatives as much as possible here - if I tell you everything I make is the greatest or the most delicious or my favorite, you're hardly going to believe me. Occasionally though, I can't help myself and today is one of those days. If you only bake one cookie this holiday season, I urge you to make it Thomas Keller's take on Oreos. These chocolate cookies, with their lovely fluted edges, are perfection. If ever there was a time to break out your stash of "good" cocoa, it's this recipe. The cookies pack an intense, dark chocolate flavor - it's what makes them shine, in my opinion. Their texture is crisp and sandy and the chocolate flavor is complemented by the salt in the recipe. As for the filling, it's a simple, smooth white chocolate ganache, a sweet counter to the deep chocolate flavor of the cookies. The best part about the filling is that it sets up to just the right texture to allow you to sandwich it easily between the cookies without any worries about it oozing out the side, an important factor for a perfectionist like me. For such a delicious cookie, the recipe is really simple. Dry ingredients are combined in a mixer, then the room temperature butter is added, a little bit at a time until the dough starts to come together. The dough is rolled immediately (no need to chill it first, in fact the book advises against that) to 1/8-inch thick and the cookies are cut. I did chill the cut cookies briefly (maybe 15 minutes) on my back deck (yes, it was cold enough to act as a fridge yesterday) before baking, out of an overabundance of caution. They spread ever so slightly in the oven, but not so much that they lost the look of the fluted edges. You really do need to let the cookies sit on the baking sheets for several minutes when you remove them from the oven - they'll be soft and fragile at first, but will firm up as they cool, allowing you to transfer them to racks to finish cooling. Finally, I tried to ignore the recipe's advice to pipe the filling onto the cookies - I can be a lazy baker so I attempted to spread the ganache instead. The problem is, crumbs from the cookies were picked up by the filling and they didn't look nearly as nice without the pure white center. In the end, piping wound up moving quickly so I recommend that route. Thomas Keller's Oreos from The Essence of Chocolate , by Robert Steinberg and John Scharffenberger 3/4 cup sugar 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour plus 3 tablespoons 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa plus 1 tablespoon 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1 1/2 teaspoons salt 15 tablespoons (7 1/2 oz) unsalted butter, cut into 3/4-inch cubes, at room temperature Filling 1/2 cup heavy cream 8 oz white chocolate, finely chopped To make the filling: In a small saucepan, bring the cream to a boil over medium heat. Remove the pan from the heat and add the white chocolate, making sure it is all immersed in the cream. Let stand for 1 minute then whisk to completely melt the chocolate and incorporate it. Transfer the filling to a small bowl and let it stand for 6 hours, or until it thickens enough to spread. If the filling hardens too much, it can be rewarmed in the microwave. To make the cookies: Preheat oven to 350 F with racks in the upper and lower thirds. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt on low speed until combined. With the mixer still on low speed, add the butter a few pieces at a time until it is all in the bowl. The dough will be sandy at first, but it will eventually begin to come together. When it does, stop the mixer. Transfer the dough to a work surface and form it into a block about 5 by 7 inches. Cut the block into 2 pieces. Working with one half at a time, roll the dough on a lightly floured work surface (I rolled mine on parchment to make clean-up easier) until it is 1/8-inch thick. Using a 2-inch round cookie cutter, cut rounds from the dough and place them 1/2 to 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheets. You can reroll the scraps of dough once to cut more cookies. Bake for 12-15 minutes, rotating the baking sheets halfway through. (I baked all of my cookies for 12 minutes.) Remove the baking sheets from the oven and let the cookies cool on them for 4-5 minutes. (The cookies will be very soft and fragile when they come out of the oven so you won't be able to remove them successfully unless you wait a few minutes.) Transfer to a wire rack and let the cookies cool completely. To assemble the cookies: Turn half of the cookies over so the side that was down on the baking sheet faces up. Whisk the filling briefly to fluff it up. Transfer the filling to a disposable pastry bag and cut a small hole in the tip of the bag. Pipe about 1 1/2 teaspoons of the filling in the center of each cookie you flipped over. Top with another cookie, and gently press the cookies together until the filling spreads evenly to the edge. The cookies keep in an airtight container for 3 days. Makes about 24 sandwich cookies

Source: traceysculinaryadventures.blogspot.com

From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite... While I'm not usually a contrarian, I decided to make muffins for a Christmas bake sale this week. I was working on the theory that there would be cookies galore and it might be nice to have something less seasonal to sell. I also wanted to test a recipe developed by a chef I truly admire and the sale was a perfect opportunity to do that. I've had Thomas Keller's new book Bouchon Bakery on reserve at the library for a while now and my name finally reached the top of the list. I spent a wonderful evening paging through the book and knew I'd be making these muffins the first chance I got. The bake sale gave me that opportunity. I love recipes like the one I'm featuring tonight. When a recipe calls for 1 cup + 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon of flour, you know you're in the company of genius or dealing with a chef with a borderline obsessive-compulsive disorder. Rest assured, Mr. Keller is a genius. He really wants us to measure ingredients by weight rather than volume, but he's a realist and understands that not everyone has scales, so he uses precise volume measures for equivalency. While pumpkin is an ingredient that we most associate with Thanksgiving, it is available year-round and there is no reason we can't bake with it more often. The Bouchon version of these muffins is baked in Texas-size muffin cups and the frosting is actually piped into, rather than spread over the muffins. That wouldn't work for the bake sale, so I made a couple of small changes to the recipe. I used standard rather than Texas-size muffin cups and that cut baking time in half. I also decided to frost the muffins rather than fill them and that gave me flavor without fuss. I really enjoyed these and I will make them again. They are nicely spiced and the cream cheese icing has a near perfect ratio of cheese to sugar. I hope you will give them a try. Here's the recipe. Pumpkin Muffins ...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite inspired by Thomas Keller Ingredients: Batter 1-1/4 cups + 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 3/4 + 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 1 cup + 2 tablespoons granulated sugar 1/4 cup + 3 tablespoons canola oil 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons pure canned pumpkin puree or fresh pumpkin puree 2 large eggs 1/2 cup + 1/2 tablespoon golden raisins Cream Cheese Frosting 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature 2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar 1/4 vanilla bean, split lengthwise Directions: 1)Place flour in a medium bowl. Sift in baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and allspice. Add salt and whisk to combine. 2) Combine sugar and oil in bowl of a stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment and mix on low speed for about 1 minute. Add pumpkin, increase speed to medium-low, and mix for about 1 minute, until smooth. Reduce speed to low and add eggs in two additions, mixing for about 15 seconds after each, or until just combined. 3) Add dry ingredients in two additions, mixing on low speed for about 15 seconds after each, or until just combined. Remove bowl from mixer stand and scrape bottom of bowl to incorporate any dry ingredients that may have settled there. Fold in raisins, if using. Transfer batter to a covered container and refrigerate overnight, or for up to 36 hours. 4) When ready to proceed, preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a 12-cup standard muffin pan with paper liners and spray the papers with non-stick cooking spray. It is important to spray paper liners. 5) Spoon batter into lined muffin cups, filling each 2/3 full. 6) Put pan in oven, lower oven temperature to 325 degrees F., and bake for 25 to 28 minutes, or until muffins are golden brown and a skewer inserted in center comes out clean. Set pan on a cooling rack and cool completely. 7) Meanwhile, place cream cheese in bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment and mix on low speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. Scrape down sides and bottom of bowl, add sugar, and pulse on lowest speed to combine. Scrape seeds from vanilla bean, add them to mixture, and mix for 2 to 3 minutes, until completely smooth. Frosting can be used at this point or refrigerated for up to 3 days. If it has been refrigerated, let it sit at room temperature until just cool to the touch, then transfer to a mixer fitted with paddle attachment and beat until smooth. 8) When muffins are at room temperature, frost each of them with cream cheese icing and refrigerate briefly to set. Serve at room temperature. Yield: 12 muffins. One Year Ago Today: Anne-Sophie Pic's Homemade Chicken Nuggets Two Years Ago Today: Tomatillo Chicken and Rice - Crock Pot Cooking Three Years Ago Today: Rosettes - One of My Favorite Christmas Cookies

Source: oneperfectbite.blogspot.com

Given the number of scone recipes on this blog, you might be fooled into thinking I'm a huge fan. Not true. Don't get me wrong, I like scones, but if you put out a spread of breakfast pastries before me, scones probably wouldn't be a top three selection. That is, unless these cinnamon honey scones were somewhere on that table. I try to refrain from the hyperbole of labeling recipes the "best ever" but sometimes it just can't be helped and such is the case with these scones. Hands down my favorite scones of all time, no doubt about it! The recipe comes from Thomas Keller's Bouchon Bakery , and though I've had the book since Christmas and even flipped through it a few times, I'd never noticed these scones. Luckily Josie put them on my radar a few months ago and I resolved to make them asap. So, what makes these scones so awesome? Butter, and lots of it, of course :) A cinnamon honey butter is made and then cut into tiny cubes which are incorporated into the dough like any other mix-in (think chocolate chips). It's a genius idea, I want to add tiny butter cubes as mix-ins in all my recipes going forward! They give the scones so much flavor, as well as a really neat marbled appearance. Texturally, the scones are impossibly light and tender, thanks to the inclusion of cake flour in the recipe. And in case they weren't already rich enough on their own, the scones are brushed with a honey butter glaze when they emerge from the oven. They're an occasional indulgence for sure, but worth every single calorie! These cinnamon honey scones would be a perfect weekend project. Though they're easy to make, there are quite a few steps and several require hours of chill time. But once they're assembled you can leave them in the freezer for up to a month, allowing you to pull out and bake a few scones at a time as needed. That's my kind of weekend breakfast! One quick note: this recipe calls for creme fraiche, an ingredient I rarely buy or use but I do recommend splurging for it here. That said, I know there's nothing worse than a half-empty container of creme fraiche sitting in the back of your fridge, so I found another recipe to help you use it up. I'll be sharing it with you next week! Cinnamon Honey Scones just barely adapted from Bouchon Bakery by Thomas Keller and Sebastien Rouxel (originally seen on Pink Parsley ) {Note: The recipes in this book are given in both weight and volume measurements. I made the scones using the weight measurements and would urge you to do the same for the best results.} Cinnamon Honey Cubes 30 g (3 tablespoons) all-purpose flour 30 g (2 1/2 tablespoons) sugar 4 g (1 1/2 teaspoons) ground cinnamon 30 g (about 2 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces 20 g (1 tablespoon) honey Scones 152 g (1 cup + 1 1/2 tablespoons) all-purpose flour 304 g (2 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons) cake flour 12.5 g (2 1/2 teaspoons) baking powder 2.5 g (1/2 teaspoons) baking soda 91 g (1/4 cup + 3 1/2 tablespoons) sugar 227 g (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces 135 g (1/2 cup + 1 1/2 tablespoons) heavy cream 135 g (1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons) creme fraiche Honey Butter Glaze 2 oz (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted 20 g (1 tablespoon) honey To make the cinnamon honey cubes: Add the flour, sugar, and cinnamon to a medium bowl and whisk to combine. Add the butter and toss until the pieces are coated in the dry ingredients. Use a pastry cutter to cut the butter into the dry ingredients until no large visible pieces of butter remain. Stir in the honey with a rubber spatula until the mixture forms a smooth paste. Turn the paste out onto a piece of plastic wrap and shape into a 4-inch square. Wrap the mixture and freeze for at least 2 hours (or up to 1 week). To make the scones: Sift both flours, the baking powder, baking soda, and sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on low speed briefly, just until combined. Add the butter pieces, and mix on low speed until no large visible pieces remain, about 3 minutes. With the mixer on low, gradually pour in the heavy cream, then add the creme fraiche, and continue mixing for about 30 seconds, or until the dry ingredients are evenly moistened. A rough dough should form around the paddle. Remove the cinnamon honey butter from the freezer and cut into 1/4-inch pieces. Add them to the bowl with the dough and use a spoon to incorporate them by hand (it's fine if they start to break up a bit). Turn the dough onto a large piece of plastic wrap and press it together to form a cohesive mass. Place a second piece of plastic wrap on top, and shape the dough into a 7 1/2 by 10-inch rectangle, smoothing the top and sides the best you can (if the dough becomes soft and difficult to work with, just pop it in the fridge for a few minutes). Wrap the dough in the plastic wrap, and refrigerate for about 2 hours, or until firm. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and using a sharp knife, cut it lengthwise into thirds and crosswise into quarters so you end up with 12 equally sized scones. Transfer them to the prepared baking sheet, leaving 1/2 to 1-inch of space between them. Cover the baking sheet with plastic wrap and freeze the scones until they are frozen solid - at least 2 hours, but even better if you can leave them in there overnight (the scones can be frozen for up to 1 month at this point). Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Transfer the scones you want to bake from the freezer to the prepared baking sheet, leaving about 1 inch of space between them. Bake for about 28-30 minutes, or until the scones are golden brown and slightly firm. Meanwhile, make the glaze by whisking the butter and honey together until combined. When you remove the scones from the oven, immediately brush the tops with the glaze. The scones are best the day you make them, but can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 1 day. Makes 12 large scones

Source: traceysculinaryadventures.blogspot.com

Here was the deal: my favorite roast chicken recipe is this one from Thomas Keller. (Sidebar: I’m currently in San Francisco and last night I ate at Zuni, and as I was leaving the bathroom who did I lock eyes with? Thomas Keller. Turns out he goes to the bathroom too; food gods are just like us!) The problem, though, is that the Thomas Keller roast chicken with root vegetables is an event. It requires that you use your roasting pan; it involves a shopping-cart full of turnips, rutabaga, carrots, onions, and potatoes. It’s not really practical for a weeknight. As for my usual weeknight roast chicken, I’d normally wind up putting the chicken in my All-Clad metal skillet so that I could make a sauce in there afterwards (see here), roasting the vegetables separately. That was OK. Then I remembered my trusty friend the cast iron skillet. What if I did the Keller thing in there? What happened next will astound you (how’s that for an UpWorthy paragraph ender?). It was awesome; a new favorite weeknight dinner. You get all of the caramelized, chicken-fatty vegetables you get in the roasting pan version with so much less to clean up. Plus it’s a perfect amount for two. Oh and the cast iron skillet retains its heat so the chicken gets nice and brown. I bought a container of mini Yukon Gold potatoes and I put that in the cast iron skillet along with a few miniature carrots that came in my CSA, plus an onion cut into quarters and a few garlic cloves still in their skin, tossing everything with a little vegetable oil, salt, and pepper. Then I took a 4 pound chicken, patted it dry, rubbed it with vegetable oil, put salt and pepper over everything (and in the cavity), stuffed it with a head of garlic and some rosemary, and then trussed it in that easy method where you wrap the butcher’s twine around the back end of the breast (where the wings are) and then tie the legs together. See? At this point, I remembered what makes Keller’s chicken so exemplary: butter on the breast. (Once Ludo Lefebvre posted a roast chicken he was making at home on Instagram and the whole thing was caked in butter). So I took some softened butter and did the same thing: Butter makes all the difference. Start that at 475, then after 20 minutes lower to 425 and cook for another hour or so until a thermometer placed between the leg and thigh reads 165. Your whole house will smell like the most comforting place on earth; and then you can eat that comfort. Lift the chicken out of the pan and let it rest on a plate for 10 minutes or so. Meanwhile, check out those vegetables: You may have to pour out some of the fat; then, before serving, crank up the heat on a burner and reheat them, scraping up all the brown bits on the bottom of the pan with a metal spatula. That’s the best part. Carve up the chicken–cut off the legs, wings, breast, etc.–and serve with the vegetables on the side. If there’s any liquid left in the pan, drizzle that on top and sprinkle everything with some chopped parsley (or, in my case, chives because that’s what I had). If you’re looking to impress, this dinner does the trick every time. And it’s such an important thing to have in your repertoire; so let this be your inspiration. You got this.

Source: amateurgourmet.com

Let us all acknowledge the truth about roast chicken: it’s not about the chicken, it’s about the vegetables. That truth dawned on me long ago when I used to line a roasting pan with red potatoes sliced in half, all surrounding a well-seasoned chicken; the rendered chicken fat would coat the potatoes, they’d get all crispy, and when it was time to eat, the actual roast chicken was an afterthought. It only got better when I discovered Thomas Keller’s roast chicken: in with the potatoes went leeks, carrots, parsnips, rutabaga, turnips, and suddenly next to that pretty little bird would be vegetables as beautiful as the crown jewels. Now imagine turning those salty, schmaltzy vegetables into soup, a soup that takes about 5 minutes. Riffing on something I saw The Barefoot Contessa do on TV at my gym (trays of roasted vegetables placed in a blender with chicken stock), I looked at this roast chicken that I had made for dinner last week and saw a world of possibility: [Note: Craig’s sister Kristin got me a huge cast iron skillet for Christmas and I’ve been loving it; especially for the Thomas Keller roast chicken. So much easier to deal with than a roasting pan.] From this one meal, two more meals hatched: first, a chicken salad made with the diced chicken breast (skin included), mayonnaise, mustard, preserved lemons, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Second, the aforementioned soup that gives this post its title. Start with as many vegetables as you’re willing to leave behind: Place them in a pot and cover with water. Turn the heat to a simmer and when it gets there, add a big handful of spinach, plus some salt: Make your chicken salad while the spinach wilts. Now take out your hand blender and blend that soup! [Sorry for the blurry pic, but everything was whirrrrrring.] And behold: Chickened Vegetable Soup. You won’t believe how flavorful this is, especially if you add a splash of white wine vinegar. All that salty savoriness of the vegetables is now in the soup; sort of like a reverse-engineered chicken soup, because instead of infusing a broth with slowly rendered chicken fat, you worked that fat into the water via the vegetables. Or something like that, I’m not Harold McGee. I’m just Adam Roberts and this is a very good soup. Go make it.

Source: amateurgourmet.com

I recently wrote an essay for Thomas Keller’s magazine Finesse, for an issue themed evolution. Having worked so closely with Keller over the past twenty years, I asked to write about his evolution, as I’ve always been fascinated by it and wrote about it in Soul of a Chef. He’s still the same, but not the same. He’s evolving. Some things stay the same, some things must change. The salmon tartare in a savory tuile has been on the menu since day one. It was my first bite at the most memorable meal of my life on July 14th, 1997 (I read the scene here if you want to listen to it.) Other dishes vanish to be replaced by new ones. Having written the essay and wanting to return to per se, which took a Read On »

Source: ruhlman.com

Reposting this method because, well, just the name of the dish is inspiring: butter-poached shrimp. Butter-poached shrimp and grits. Mmmm. Butter-poached lobster, not uncommon in French haute cuisine, was popularized in America by Thomas Keller in The French Laundry Cookbook and at that restaurant. “Lobster loves gentle heat,” he told me then. It’s not much of a leap for the thrifty-minded cook to reason that shrimp, too, love gentle heat. That’s why, in the butter chapter of my book Ruhlman’s Twenty, I showed how to use butter as a cooking medium (one of the many amazing ways butter can be used as a tool). This dish is absolutely killer. The shrimp stay very tender, rich and tasty with the butter; the grits are then enriched with the shrimp butter. Leftover butter can be used to saute shrimp Read On »

Source: ruhlman.com

From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite... I came across this recipe years ago. We had been gifted with gorgeous grassfed steaks and I wanted a simple salad to accompany them. I let my fingers do the walking, and while searching I came across The Paupered Chef, a blog that has since become inactive. They were featuring a salad and dressing that was included in Thomas Keller's book Bouchon . With a pedigree like that, I knew my steaks would be in good company, so the salad and dressing became part of our meal. With just 3 ingredients, the dressing is the epitome of simplicity, though I must admit I mix it up a bit and use 2 parts canola oil to 1 part extra virgin olive oil to add some additional flavor. You'll notice that the dressing has no salt, sugar or herbs added to it. That's because Keller adds them to his salads rather than their dressing. This is a creamy sauce that flows easily and coats a spoon. It is not thick, and for that reason it is important to add only a third of the oil to the blender. Adding more at that time would turn the emulsion into a thick mayonnaise that cannot be poured. It's thought that Keller uses canola oil because it is bland and does not interfere with other flavors. I think most of you will enjoy the freshness of this dressing, but do remember it is unseasoned and you are expected to season the greens before tossing the salad. Do give this a try. It will keep for 2-1/2 weeks in the refrigerator, and should it separate, simply give it another whirl in the blender. Here is how the dressing and Keller's Bibb lettuce salad are made. Basic Vinaigrette Ingredients: 1/4 cup Dijon mustard 1/2 cup red wine vinegar 1-1/2 cups canola oil Directions: 1) Combine mustard and vinegar in a blender and blend at medium for 15 seconds to combine. With blender running, add 1/2 cup oil in a slow stream, making sure to add it slowly enough to develop a creamy emulsion. 2) Transfer mixture to a bowl and whisk in the remaining oil. Refrigerate for up to 2 weeks. Yield: 2-1/2 cups salad dressing. Bibb Lettuce Salad Ingredients: 1/2 cup Basic vinaigrette 4 heads Bibb lettuce, or enough lettuce for 4 of another type such as red leaf 2 tablespoons minced shallots 2 tablespoons minced chives 1/4 cup parsley leaves 1/4 cup tarragon leaves 1/4 cup chervil leaves (optional) 1 tablespoon lemon juice salt and pepper to taste Directions: 1) Carefully core each lettuce head and loosen leaves but keep structure of head intact, as it will be reassembled on the plate. If using a leaf lettuce, tear leaves into small pieces. Plunge lettuce into cold water to clean it, then gently spin in a salad spinner until very dry. 2) Transfer lettuce to a large mixing bowl and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Scatter herbs and shallot and drizzle vinaigrette and lemon juice over everything. Toss it gently by hand to dress, and serve. Yield: 4 servings. Older Posts One Year Ago Today: Two Years Ago Today: Cornmeal Cookies Swedish Raspberry and Almond Bars Three Years Ago Today: Four Years Ago Today: Strawberry and Pineapple Jam Picnic Pasta Salad

Source: oneperfectbite.blogspot.com

Want the most golden, most crispy skin on anything from your Sunday roast Chicken to your Thanksgiving turkey? We tested four different methods to find the very best one. Photography Credit: Summer Miller I’ve been wrist deep in the business end of chickens all week. I’m on a quest to determine the best way to achieve perfect deep, golden, crispy skin, both for our everyday roast chickens and also for that bird of all birds — the Thanksgiving turkey. Why? A well-roasted bird makes an undeniably beautiful presentation on your holiday table. Also, of course, the snap of salty, crisp skin with each tender morsel of meat is a little bite of heaven. In the end, we want a bird with tender, flavorful meat, and deeply golden, crispy skin. The goal is to inject the meat with moisture while eliminating it from the skin. DRY SKIN = CRISPY SKIN Ultimately, you want dry skin. The drier your skin to start, the crispier it will be after roasting. Different cooks and chefs have varying techniques for doing this. Some leave the chicken uncovered in the refrigerator (a technique I support), others use salt and or baking powder to draw the moisture out of the skin, and some simply pat the bird dry with paper towels, pop it in the oven and hope for the best. I tested four different techniques to evaluate their effectiveness at creating golden, crispy skin. I tested with chickens rather than turkeys to save time, money, and limit the amount of poultry my family had to eat in a single week. (As it is, they’ve made me promise not to serve chicken for a least a month.) What works for one bird will likely work for another, so you can apply any of the techniques outlined below to any kind of poultry – including, yes, your Thanksgiving turkey. TESTING METHOD I tested four different methods for achieving crispy, golden skin: Dry the bird with paper towels, then roast Rub with baking powder mixture Air-dry for 24 hours Air-dry and baste during roasting To ensure accurate results, I applied a few standards to all the chickens. First, all the chickens were between 5 and 6 pounds. Two were from the supermarket, and two were from a farmer down the street from my house. All chickens were trussed and set on the counter to come up to room temp for 30 minutes before I popped them in the oven. For this test, I was most concerned with the crispness and color of the skin, so I didn’t worry about the flavor of the chicken until the end, adding herbs, or stuffing the cavity. However, I still wanted the chicken to taste good, so except for Chicken No. 2 (see below), I seasoned each one with 2 teaspoons of kosher salt, 1 teaspoon of freshly cracked pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme. All the birds were roasted in on a sheet pan lined with parchment with a wire cooling rack placed on top. This allows air to circulate under and around the chicken, similar to roasting a turkey in a roasting pan with a roasting rack. I roasted the chickens on the second lowest rack in the oven and used Ina Garten’s recommendation for cooking time: 1hr and 30min at 425-degrees Fahrenheit for each bird. THE RUNDOWN Each method produced at least some color and a bit of crispness, so even on your least motivated day in the kitchen, you can make a decently crispy, golden chicken. The exact method you use depends on how much time you have and how loyal you are to crispy skin. Chicken No. 1: The Quick Pat Down This first chicken served as my control. It required the least amount of effort and still provided some level of crisp skin. I simply patted this chicken dry with paper towels, then rubbed it with two tablespoons of olive oil on the outside of the skin, under the skin, and inside the cavity of the bird. I combined the salt, pepper, and thyme together then rubbed the spice blend in all the same places. The result after roasting was lightly golden, slightly crisp skin. Basically, consider this bird the “I don’t have any time, but it’s cool, I can still pull off dinner” bird. You aren’t going to win any awards for this one, but it still gets the job done. Chicken No. 2: Baking Powder Rub This was a technique I pulled from Serious Eats, and the author swears by using baking powder to achieve a super crispy chicken. This chicken was rubbed down in a mixture of 1 tablespoon of salt, 1 teaspoon of baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon of cracked pepper, then left uncovered in the fridge for 18 hours. This chicken definitely had some crackling skin, but some parts looked a bit leathery and the color was actually lighter than the first bird. The meat was tender and flavorful, but there was a very slight, subtle metallic flavor from the baking powder. Chicken No. 3: The 24-Hour Chill I left Bird Number 3 uncovered in the fridge to air-dry for 24 hours, following the technique espoused by Thomas Keller and several other chefs. Then I used the same combination of oil, salt, pepper and thyme I used for Chicken Number 1 to season and assist crisping the skin just before putting it in the oven. This attempt yielded a beautiful golden color and a nice, crispy skin. The flavor of this bird was the best of those I’d tested so far. The meat was tender and not dry, but trying to season the bird under the skin after air drying proved difficult. More on that later. Chicken No. 4: Because I’m All About that Baste, about that Baste. To baste or not to baste, that is the question! My editor and I both read various accounts debating the merits of basting, so we felt it was worth the time to put this method to the test. I prepared Chicken Number 4 exactly as I prepared Chicken Number 3. The only difference was that I basted the chicken during roasting using the pan drippings. I don’t even have a proper baster, I just used a large spoon to scoop up and drizzle that chicken in all the fat it was working so hard to burn off. I didn’t want this one to win because I don’t like things that require more work, but Grandma knew what she was doing. I basted the chicken every 20 minutes during the 1 1/2 hour roasting time, and it was gorgeous. This bird had a deep brown color, and the skin was nice and crisp. It was the obvious winner. Chicken No. 5: Bonus Bird! I now knew that air-drying and basting created a beautiful bird, but trying to season a bird under the skin after drying it for 24 hours wasn’t the easiest. I took the time to test one more chicken, this time seasoning it before air-drying instead of after. For Bird Number 5, I created a paste of salt, pepper, thyme and one tablespoon of olive oil, and rubbed it on top of and underneath the skin. Then I left it uncovered in the fridge to dry for 24 hours. Just before roasting, I rubbed the outside of the skin with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. I then basted it every 20 minutes as it cooked. The result was a chicken that was easy to season, had deep richly colored, crisp skin, and tender flavorful meat. Visually, it looked exactly the same as Bird Number 4, but the flavor was much better. CONCLUSION I’m a big believer in the “less is more” philosophy in the kitchen, so if I could make a perfectly beautiful, and delicious bird without too much fuss, then that’s a win for me. Unfortunately, that’s not exactly how this test turned out. In conclusion, if you want the crispiest, most golden skin on your bird this holiday season, or your next Sunday night chicken, the best way is to rub it with oil and spices under and over the skin, then leave it uncovered in the refrigerator for 24 hours. Rub it down with one more tablespoon of oil just before putting it in the oven, sprinkle with a bit more salt and pepper. Roast and baste the chicken every 20 minutes. Sometimes a little bit of planning and extra effort is well worth the payout. Follow me on Pinterest If you make this recipe, snap a pic and hashtag it #simplyrecipes β€” We love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, & Twitter! Summer Miller Summer Miller is a freelance writer, recipe developer and author based in Nebraska. Her work has appeared in Bon Appetit, Eating Well, Grit, SAVEUR, and Every Day with Rachel Ray, among others. Her first book is New Prairie Kitchen (Agate Publishing, 2015). More from Summer

Source: simplyrecipes.com

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