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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

Tweet #pin-wrapper > a {background-image:none !important;} I need a secretary! I almost missed the deadline for the October Recipes to Rival Challenge . Fortunately, Sara, who selected this months recipe and blogs at imafoodblog , had selected a Thomas Keller recipe for French Onion Soup that, while time consuming, used readily available ingredients, that made participation possible despite a late start. Our standard for French Onion Soup was set 50 years ago at a restaurant in the Cattlemen's Hotel in Kamloops, British Columbia. The town was a terminus for cattle drives and functioned as a stockyards for holding cattle before slaughter. We came into Kamloops after weeks of hiking in the high country and didn't expect much save a bed and warm bath. You didn't have to venture far from the center of town to encounter unpaved streets and sidewalks. We were really surprised at the quality and quantity of food that was served to us. The food was wonderful and the onion soup that was available with all meals was incredible. The stock used to make the soup was packed with beefy goodness. Without a doubt it was the best onion soup I have ever had. To this day, Bob sings "O, Canada" whenever we have onion soup. He is not shy, so this has been known to happen in restaurants as well as at our table. I'm sure that Thomas Keller would be surprised to learn he was bested by a line cook in a cowtown. Kamloops, by the way, is no longer a provincial hamlet and I can guarantee you the streets are now paved. The town wants to host the Olympic games and they have a really good chance of that happening. Kamloops we love you. The Keller recipe for onion soup is terrific. It's just not up to the Kamloops standard. I followed this recipe as it was written. I made the stock for the soup and was able to purchase the cheeses he recommended. If you haven't yet found a recipe for onion soup that you call your own, this could be a contender. I'm including the Keller recipe for you to scan. While it's long, it is not hard and if you make stock the day before you plan to serve the soup, it will be nearly effortless. You could also use canned broth but be sure to select a low-sodium variety. Keller actually recommends that you use only water if you don't make your own stock. Onion Soup - Soupe A L'Oignon Ingredients for Soup: Sachet: 2 bay leaves 12 black peppercorns 6 large sprigs of thyme Soup: 8 pounds (about 8 large) yellow onions 8 tablespoons (4 ounces) unsalted butter Kosher salt 1 1/2 teaspoons all purpose flour 3 1/2 quarts Beef Stock (recipe below) Freshly ground black pepper Sherry wine vinegar Croutons: 1 baguette (about 2 1/2 inches in diameter) Extra Virgin Olive Oil Kosher salt 6 to 12 slices (1/8 inch thick) aged Comte or Emmentaler cheese (at least 4 inches square) 1 1/2 cups grated aged Comte or Emmentaler cheeses, or a combination of the two. The more basic the soup, the more critical the details: Slice the onions uniformly and brown them very slowly and evenly; slice the bread a half inch thick and dry it completely in the oven; and serve the soup in appropriately sized bowls so that the melted cheese extends over the rim. When you hit it right, there's nothing more satisfying to cook or to eat than this soup. It's worth reiterating the importance of cooking the onions slowly so that the natural sugars caramelize rather than brown through high heating sautéing. The onions cook for about five hours and need to be stirred often, but they can be made up to two days ahead. The soup is best if refrigerated for a day or two so that the flavors of the onion and beef broth can deepen. Comte is traditionally the cheese of choice, but Emmentaler works as well. Gruyère is a bit strong. Use an aged cheese; a younger cheese would just melt and wouldn't form a crust. FOR THE SACHET: Cut a piece of cheesecloth about 7 inches square. Place the bay leaves, peppercorns, and thyme in the center, bring up the edges, and tie with kitchen twine to form a sachet. FOR THE SOUP: Cut off the tops and bottoms of the onions, then cut the onions lengthwise in half. Remove the peels and tough outer layers. Cut a V wedge in each one to remove the core and pull out any solid, flat pieces of onion running up from the core. Lay an onion half cut side down on a cutting board with the root end toward you. Note that there are lines on the outside of the onion. Cutting on the lines (with the grain) rather than against them will help the onions soften. Holding the knife on an angle, almost parallel to the board, cut the onion lengthwise into 1/4 inch thick slices. Once you've cut past the center of the onion, the knife angle will become awkward: Flip the onion onto its side, toward the knife, and finish slicing it, again along the grain. Separate the slices of onion, trimming away any root sections that are still attached and holding the slices together. Repeat with the remaining onions. (You should have about 7 quarts of onions) Melt the butter in a large heavy stockpot over medium heat. Add the onions and 1 tablespoon salt, reduce the heat to low. Cook, stirring every 15 minutes and regulating the heat to keep the mixture bubbling gently, for about 1 hour, or until the onions have wilted and released a lot of liquid. At this point, you can turn up the heat slightly to reduce the liquid, but it is important to continue to cook the onions slowly to develop maximum flavor and keep them from scorching. Continue to stir the onions every 15 minutes, being sure to scrape the bottom and get in the corners of the pot, for about 4 hours more, or until the onions are caramelized throughout and a rich deep brown. (my note - like a super deep brown, like way browner than you think they need to be. Think poop. Yes I said it.) Keep a closer eye on the onions toward the end of the cooking when the liquid has evaporated. Remove from the heat. (You will need 1 1/2 cups of onions for the soup; reserve any extra for another use. The onions can be made up to 2 days ahead and refrigerated.) Transfer the caramelized onions to a 5 quart pot (if they've been refrigerated, reheat until hot.) Sift in the flour and cook over medium-high heat, stirring, for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the beef stock and sachet, bring to a simmer, and simmer for about 1 hour, or until the liquid is reduced to 2 1/2 quarts. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and a few drops of vinegar. Remove from the heat. FOR THE CROUTONS: Preheat the broiler. Cut twelve 3/8 inch thick slices from the baguette (reserve the remainder for another use) and place on a baking sheet. Brush the bread lightly on both sides with olive oil and sprinkle lightly with salt. Place under the broiler and toast the first side until golden brown, then turn and brown the second side. Set aside and leave the broiler on. TO COMPLETE: Return the soup to a simmer. Place six flameproof soup tureens, with about 1 1/2 cups capacity on a baking sheet to catch any spills (the soup will bubble up and over the tureens). Add the hot soup to the tureens, filling them within 1/2 inch of the tops. Top each serving with 2 croutons: Lay them on the surface - do not push them into the soup. Lay the slices of cheese over the croutons so that the cheese overlaps the edges of the tureens by about 1/2 inch, Scatter the grated cheese over the sliced cheese, filling in any areas where the sliced cheese is thiner, or it may melt into the soup rather than forming a crust. Place the tureens under the broiler for a few minutes, until the cheese bubbles, browns, and forms a thick crust. Eat carefully, the soup and tureens will be very hot. Okay now if you are feeling like a real challenge, you can make Keller's homemade beef stock as well. I have never made homemade beef stock before, and I think I may try this when I make the soup again, depending on how much time I have. If anyone has their own recipe for beef stock, use that by all means, and please share! Ingredients for Beef Stock: makes 3 1/2 quarts We use this stock for onion soup and to add in combination with veal stock to beef stews. The bones are roasted first to give the stock a roasted flavor, then simmered with caramelized vegetables for a rich brown stock. About 2 tablespoons canola oil 5 pounds meaty beef necks or leg bones, cut into 2-3 inch sections 2 small Spanish onions (about 8 ounces total), peeled 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt 3 ounces (1 large) carrot, peeled and cut into 4 pieces 3 ounces (1 large) leek, roots trimmed, split lengthwise, rinsed well, and cut into 2 inch pieces, or leek tops 1 large sprig of thyme 1 large sprig of Italian parsley 3 bay leaves 1/4 teaspoons black peppercorns 1 head garlic, cut horizontally in half (reserve half for another use) Preheat the oven to 475F. Place a large roasting pan in the oven to preheat for about 10 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon of the oil tot he hot roasting pan and distribute the beef bones in a single layer. Roast the bones for about 45 minutes, or until richly browned, turning each piece only after it is well browned on the bottom side. Meanwhile, cut 1 onion crosswise in half. Heat a small heavy skillet over medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes. Place 1 onion half cut side down to one side of the skillet so that it is not over direct heat and let it brown and char black, about 30 minutes. This will add color to the stock, set aside. Remove the roasting pan of bones from the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 400F. Transfer bones to a large colander set over a baking sheet to drain. Drain the fat from the roasting pan and discard. Add about 1 cup water to the pan, place over medium heat, and use a metal spatula to scrape the bottom of the pan and release the pan juices. Let them simmer until reduced by half. Add the resulting fond to a large deep stockpot. Transfer the bones to the stockpot and add about 5 quarts cold water - just enough to cover the bones. Any fat present in the juices will rose to the top when the cold water is added; use a skimmer to remove and discard the fat. Add the charred onion half and the salt. Place over medium heat and bring to a simmer, skimming as impurities rise to the top of the stockpot. Reduce the heat and simmer gently, skimming often, for 5 hours. If the level of liquid falls below the bones, add additional water. Meanwhile, cut the remaining whole onion into quarters and cut the remaining onion half in half again. Place the onions, carrots, and leeks in a roasting pan that will hold them in a single layer, toss with the remaining 1 tablespoon canola oil, and place in the oven to roast for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and stir, then roast for an additional 20 minutes or until the vegetables are richly caramelized. Set aside. After the stock has simmered for 5 hours, add the caramelized vegetables, herbs, peppercorns, and garlic and simmer for 1 hour longer. Turn off the heat and allow the stock to rest for 10 minutes. Prepare an ice bath. Place a strainer over a large bowl. Removing the bones or pouring out the liquid through the bones would cloud the stock. Instead, carefully ladle the stock out of the pot and pass it through the strainer, tilting the pot as necessary to get all the stock. Strain a second time through a chinois or fine mesh strainer lines with a dampened cheese cloth. Measure the stock. If you have more than 3 1/2 quarts, pour it into a saucepan and reduce to 3 1/2 quarts. Strain the stock into a container and cool in the ice bath, stirring occasionally. (Store the stock in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, or freeze in several containers for longer storage.) NOTE: If the stock will be refrigerated for longer than 3 days, bring it back to a boil after 3 days, cool it, and return it to the refrigerator.

Source: oneperfectbite.blogspot.com

Tweet #pin-wrapper > a {background-image:none !important;} From the Kitchen of One Perfect Bite... This recipe is loosely based on one developed by Thomas Keller about a decade ago. The ingredients are readily available, though the cost of Belgian endive and walnut oil may put the salad into the once-in-awhile category for some. I love the way the ingredients in this salad marry; endive adds crunch and texture while the bitter-sweet flavors of watercress and pear play on the tongue. Candied walnuts replace croutons and add a final fillip to this luscious salad. When you are looking for something special or want to pamper yourself, I'd recommend this elegant and easy to prepare salad. Endive, Pear and Watercress Salad ...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite inspired by Thomas Keller Ingredients: 4 Belgian endives, halved lengthwise, cored, cut crosswise into thirds 2 small, firm, ripe Bartlet pears, peeled, cord, thinly sliced, cut crosswise into thirds 1 large bunch watercress or baby arugula, stems removed Salt and freshly cracked pepper 1/4 to 1/2 cup walnut and sherry salad dressing (see below) 3/4 cup candied walnuts (see below) Directions: 1) Pour 3 to 4 tablespoons walnut and sherry salad dressing into a large salad bowl. Add endives, pears and water cress. 2) Toss just before serving. Sprinkle with salt and pepper; top with candied walnuts. Serve extra salad dressing at the table. Yield: 4 servings. Walnut and Sherry Salad Dressing: Combine 3 tablespoons sherry wine vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, 1/2 teaspoon sugar, 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil and 2 tablespoons walnut oil in a shaker jar with lid. Shake to combine. Chill. Yield: 1/2 cup. Candied Walnuts: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spread 3/4 cup walnuts on a cookie sheet. Toast for 8 minutes, or until fragrant. Transfer to a bowl. Sprinkle with 2 teaspoons water. Add a pinch of cayenne and salt. Add 2 tablespoons brown sugar and toss to coat. Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper. Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes , or until walnuts are brown and crisp. Transfer to a plate and cool in a single layer. Yield 3/4 cup.

Source: oneperfectbite.blogspot.com

I almost can't believe it, but Christmas is only 2 weeks from today! I haven't started my shopping or baking yet, but that's pretty much par for the course. I won't start to panic until we're less than a week out :) How are you guys doing, feeling prepared? I figured today might be a good opportunity to dig into my archives and share some of my favorite holiday recipes from years past in case you're still in need of ideas. There are lots of cookie recipes, a few candies, and even a couple of breakfast treats. Hope you find something you like! Also, I'm really excited to share with you guys that I'll be hosting several giveaways this week to commemorate the holidays and a few blog milestones (more on those later). These giveaway posts will be in addition to my standard food posts, so stay tuned for more holiday recipes as well as some free stuff! I'm so excited!! White Chocolate Gingerbread Blondies - One of the first gingerbread treats I made and really loved. Such a good combination of flavors with the white chocolate too. Thomas Keller's Oreos - Store-bought Oreos can't even begin to compete with this homemade version. I'm pretty sure I could live on these, if chocolate and butter ever become the staples of a healthy diet! Candy Cane Sugar Cookies - How much fun are these? They're simple sugar cookies, but dyed and shaped into candy canes, they couldn't be perfect for the holidays. Chocolate Crinkle Cookies - These cookies were the very first treat I ever posted on this blog (hence the "fun" photo :) ), and to this day, they're still Shane's favorite. I love the contrast of the powdered sugar against the dark cookies. Eggnog Cheesecake Bars - Smooth, creamy cheesecake with a seasonal eggnog twist. And easier to make and share in bar form as opposed to one big cheesecake. Soft and Chewy Molasses Spice Cookies - A combination of classic holiday flavors in a cookie whose texture couldn't be more up my alley - I'm all about soft and chewy cookies! Honey Gingerbread Cookies (or Ornaments) - I saw this idea on tv before Christmas last year and simply had to try it. The cookies made nice, sturdy ornaments, I attached them to packages for our family and friends! Candy Cane Biscotti - I don't think you can ever have enough biscotti recipes in your arsenal, especially at this time of year when you have a million cookies to bake and need a few you can make in advance. Creamy Chocolate Fudge - If you know someone who loves fudge, I highly recommend making and sharing this recipe with them. Shane is our resident fudge fanatic and couldn't get enough of this treat. Cranberry Bread - This quick bread is so moist and delicious and, as you can see, absolutely packed with cranberries. I've brought it to family gatherings, sent it through the mail to friends, and gifted it to my mailman, and in every instance, it's been met with rave reviews. Chocolate Peppermint Bark Cookies - a buttery shortbread cookie topped with two kinds of chocolate and crushed candy canes. They keep well for a week so a good make-ahead option! Chocolate Butter Cookies - I see a lot of vanilla butter cookies this time of year, but I'm all about this deep, dark chocolate version. So unassuming but seriously addictive. Hot Pepper Gingerbread Muffins - Classic gingerbread gets a little bit of extra heat thanks to the addition of cayenne and black pepper in this moist muffin. Pairs nicely with a homemade orange maple butter! Glittering Lemon Sandwich Cookies - Don't you just want to take these sparkly cookies and hang them on your tree? Yeah, me too :) Chewy Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies - Another treat from the early days of this blog, but still a favorite every year. The addition of chocolate seems to make these universally loved, even by folks who don't normally love gingerbread. Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies - A chewy oatmeal cookie studded with vibrant dried cranberries and finished with a drizzle of white chocolate. Hot Chocolate on a Stick - I just think these are the cutest - little blocks of fudge with homemade marshmallows on top that, when stirred into a mug of hot milk, make luscious hot chocolate. A great gift idea! Chocolate Turtle Cookies - Chocolate, pecans and caramel all in one cute little treat. These are undoubtedly my favorite spin on traditional thumbprint cookies. Homemade Peppermint Patties - These taste just like the famous store-bought kind, you won't believe they're not :) You can make them up to a month in advance, so they're great for getting ahead. Cranberry Vanilla Muffins - A light, fluffy breakfast treat with pops of bright red color from fresh cranberries. The tartness of the cranberries is great in contrast to the sweet batter. Peppermint Mocha Cupcakes - With peppermint extract in the cupcakes and the frosting, as well as a peppermint garnish, these are definitely best enjoyed by mint lovers. I love that the colors are just as festive as the flavors! Nutella Biscotti with Chocolate Chunks - Is there anything that's not improved by the addition of Nutella? I love that these biscotti aren't so crunchy that you have to dunk them. Espresso Gingerbread Cake - Who needs a cup of coffee on the side when you can bake it into your cake instead? Even if you're not a coffee fan (I'm not), I think you'll probably agree this bundt is a winner. Double Ginger Crackles - I brought these cookies on a trip last year to meet Dorie Greenspan. Yes, that Dorie Greenspan . Talk about nerve-wracking! This recipe doesn't disappoint though, even for a cookie connoisseur like Dorie. Homemade Croissants - I struggle to think of anything I'd rather eat on Christmas morning than a warm croissant! Feel free to share your favorite holiday recipe below. I firmly believe, the more the merrier around the holidays!

Source: traceysculinaryadventures.blogspot.com

Right before Christmas I added Thomas Keller's newest book, Ad Hoc at Home , to my wish list. Unfortunately, it was backordered until mid-February everywhere so I didn't receive it. A few of my friends already had copies, though, and last weekend when they tweeted about trying the caramel ice cream from the book, I jumped in too! The recipe was available online via the Wall Street Journal, which made it easy to bake along, plus it allowed me to preview at least one of the recipes in the book before I purchased it. I generally try to preview cookbooks before buying them, and my library has been a terrific resource, but there are quite a few holds on this book so it may be awhile before I get my hands on a copy. This recipe forced me to face my fear of making caramel head-on! I'm pretty confident with a lot of things in the kitchen now, but caramel still terrifies me for some reason. It was actually going fairly well until I added the warm cream and milk and my caramel seized. Fortunately, the recipe explicitly stated that it might seize, so I wasn't too freaked out. I also had the benefit of Nancy , Di and Leslie encouraging me, as they had all made theirs just a bit before me. I stirred and stirred over the heat and the caramel did eventually melt. I also knew that the custard would eventually be strained so any of the little caramel rocks that didn't melt wouldn't wind up in my ice cream. Just a few quick notes before the recipe - You do want to take the caramel to a nice, deep amber color when you make it or else the ice cream won't develop much flavor. Don't be scared - if I can successfully do this, you can too! Also, don't be terribly concerned if the ice cream is soft after churning. It will get a bit harder after some time in the freezer, but this is definitely an ice cream with a softer texture than many I've made in the past (which also made photographing it pretty tough). The ice cream has a very intense caramel flavor - it's delicious! I'm not a huge caramel fan so for me this wouldn't be the kind of ice cream I'd eat in a bowl by itself. More likely, I'd serve it on the side of a slice of pie or a piece of cake. Di, Nancy and Leslie all raved about this one so it's a definite winner! Caramel Ice Cream from Ad Hoc at Home by Thomas Keller (via The Wall Street Journal ) 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar 1/2 cup water 2 cups whole milk, warm 2 cups heavy cream, warm 10 large egg yolks 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt Put 1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons of the sugar in a deep heavy saucepan and stir in the water to moisten the sugar and make a mixture that resembles wet sand. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar, then simmer, without stirring, for 15 minutes, or until the sugar melts into a rich amber caramel. If any sugar crystallizes on the sides of the pan, brush with a wet pastry brush. Remove the pan from the heat and slowly (to prevent bubbling up) stir in a dash of the milk and cream. Stir until bubbling subsides and carefully add more, until all is used. Should the caramel seize and harden, return the mixture to the heat and stir to dissolve the caramel, then remove from the heat. Whisk the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar and yolks in a medium bowl until slightly thickened and the whisk leaves a trail. Slowly, while whisking, add about 1/2 cup of the hot liquid to the yolks, then whisk in the remaining liquid. Set a fine-mesh basket strainer over the saucepan and strain the liquid back into the pan. Prepare an ice bath in a large bowl. Set a medium bowl in the ice bath; have a strainer ready. Place the saucepan over medium heat and cook, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom and sides often with a wooden spoon, until steam begins to rise from the surface and the custard thickens enough to coat the spoon (the custard should be about 170 F). Strain into the bowl, add the salt, and let cool, stirring from time to time. Refrigerate the custard until cold or, preferably, overnight. Pour the custard into an ice cream machine and freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions. When the texture is "soft serve," transfer to a storage container and freeze to harden.

Source: traceysculinaryadventures.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

We made it guys, day 5 of Blueberry Week! I've had so much fun putting together this week's posts; hopefully you've discovered some new ideas that have you excited about using your summer bounty. Oh, and I really hope you're not sick of blueberries yet. There were a few recipes that didn't make this week's cut that I'll be sharing later this summer. Today I thought we'd go classic with blueberry muffins, and just in time for you to enjoy them for breakfast this weekend! These aren't just any old blueberry muffins, though, they're from Thomas Keller's Bouchon Bakery cookbook, and they are pretty darn fantastic. When Shane and I were in Vegas a few years ago we stopped by Bouchon Bakery for cupcakes, cookies and croissants, but didn't try the muffins, and judging by the results of this recipe, I now realize that was a big mistake. There are several things that make these some of the best blueberry muffins I've ever had. First, after the batter is made, it is refrigerated at least overnight. This allows the flour to absorb the liquid and results in a seriously moist and tender muffin. And while the rest period might seem like a pain, it's actually kind of perfect because it means you can roll out of bed on Sunday morning, pour the batter into the pan and have freshly baked muffins in no time! The muffins are absolutely packed with blueberries and have the most unique flavor thanks to the inclusion of a little molasses. It not only gives the muffins a darker, more caramel color, but adds that little something that really takes the flavor to the next level. Of course we can't forget about the streusel topping - who doesn't love a streusel topping?? Mine looks kind of sad and lacking, but only because I was gun-shy and didn't top each muffin with enough before baking. Don't be like me, load that streusel topping on! It'll seem like SO much, but some will melt into the muffins and you'll be glad you didn't skimp. Even with the small amount on each of mine, the flavor came through and the slightly crunchy texture was a great complement to the tender muffin. If you don't already have a copy of the Bouchon Bakery cookbook, I can't recommend it highly enough! I've tried a handful of recipes and each one has been better than the last. Totally worthy of a spot on your bookshelf :) Bouchon Bakery Blueberry Muffins slightly adapted from Bouchon Bakery by Thomas Keller and Sebastien Rouxel {Note: The recipes in this book are given in both weight and volume measurements. I made the muffins using the weight measurements and would urge you to do the same for the best results. Also, the recipe makes way more streusel than you'll need - either freeze the rest for another batch of muffins, or scale the recipe back to make only a third of it.} Almond Streusel 120 g (3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons) all-purpose flour 120 g (1 cup plus 1 tablespoon) almond flour/meal 120 g (1/2 cup plus 1 1/2 tablespoons) granulated sugar 0.6 g (1/4 teaspoon) kosher salt 120 g (4.2 oz, just over 8 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces Muffins 180 g (3/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons) frozen wild blueberries 96 g (1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour, divided 109 g (3/4 cup plus 1 1/2 tablespoons) cake flour 2.8 g (1/2 plus 1/8 teaspoon) baking powder 2.8 g (1/2 plus 1/8 teaspoon) baking soda 2.4 g (3/4 teaspoon) salt 96 g (3.4 oz, about 7 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature 96 g (1/2 cup) granulated sugar 40 g (2 tablespoons) molasses 54 g (2 1/2 tablespoons) honey 72 g (1/4 cup plus 1 1/2 teaspoons) eggs 1.2 g (1/4 teaspoon) vanilla extract 57 g (1/4 cup) buttermilk To make the streusel: Whisk the all-purpose flour, almond flour, sugar, and salt together in a medium bowl. Add the butter and toss to coat with the dry ingredients, then cut it into them using a pastry cutter until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before using. The streusel can be made ahead - refrigerate for up to 2 days, or freeze for up to 1 month. To make the muffins: In a small bowl, toss the frozen blueberries and 10 g (1 tablespoon) of the flour until the blueberries are coated. Place the bowl in your freezer. Add the remaining 86 g of flour to a medium bowl. Sift the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into the bowl and whisk to combine. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter on medium-low speed until it has a mayonnaise-like consistency. Mix in the sugar on medium-low speed until the butter-sugar mixture is fluffy. Add the molasses and honey, beating until well combined, and scraping down the bottom and sides of the bowl as necessary. Mix in the eggs and vanilla until just incorporated. Alternately add the dry ingredients and buttermilk in 2 additions each, beginning with the dry ingredients and finishing with the buttermilk. Give the batter a final stir with a rubber spatula to ensure everything is combined, then cover the bowl and refrigerate at least overnight, or up to 36 hours. When you're ready to bake, preheat oven to 425 F. Line muffin pan with paper liners. Take the muffin batter from the refrigerator and allow to sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes so it'll soften slightly. Grab the blueberries from the freezer, and add them to the batter, folding to incorporate. Divide the batter evenly among the prepared liners, filling each about 2/3 to 3/4 full. Top each muffin with about 2 tablespoons of the streusel. Transfer the muffins to the oven, and immediately lower the oven temperature to 325 F. Bake for about 32 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and allow the muffins to cool for about 5-10 minutes, then remove them to the rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for 2-3 days. Makes about 14 muffins

Source: traceysculinaryadventures.blogspot.com

My visit to Bouchon Bakery last year was one to remember and every now and then I think of the delicious treats I had there. However, I never got to taste Thomas Keller’s version of the Oreo cookie – me being me I ended up ordering lemon and raspberry sweets. Days ago I set out to make Keller’s Oreo cookies, a recipe from "Bouchon Bakery" , but wasn’t in the mood for rolling out cookie dough – I get lazy sometimes , you know. :) I thought that the slice and bake chocolate cookies I’d seen on Gourmet Traveller’s website would make great substitutes – and indeed, they did. My Oreos don’t look as pretty as the cookies served at Bouchon Bakery , but I can guarantee that they tasted really good. :) Grown up Oreos from two gorgeous sources: Gourmet Traveller and Bouchon Bakery Cookies: 260g all purpose flour 160g icing sugar, sifted 50g cocoa powder, sifted pinch of salt 225g unsalted butter, cold and cut into 2cm pieces 1 egg yolk 1 teaspoon vanilla extract Filling: 125g white chocolate, finely chopped 1 tablespoon (14g) unsalted butter, room temperature ½ cup (120ml) heavy cream Cookies: process flour, icing sugar, cocoa and salt in a food processor to combine, then add butter and pulse until mixture is sand-textured. Add yolk and vanilla and process until mixture comes together (here I added another egg yolk because the mixture wasn’t coming together at all). Turn out onto a work surface and gently knead to come together. Divide the dough into two equal parts. Place each on a piece of parchment paper; shape dough into logs. Fold parchment over dough; using a ruler, roll and press into a 3.5 cm (1.4in) log – like Martha does here. Wrap in parchment. Chill in the refrigerator until very firm, about 2 hours. Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F; line two large baking sheets with baking paper. Unwrap one log at a time (keep the other in the fridge). Cut into 5mm thick rounds; space 2.5cm (1in) apart onto prepared sheets. Bake one sheet at a time until cookies edges are firm (10-12 minutes). Cool slightly on trays, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Make the filling: in a small bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, melt chocolate and butter together. In the meantime, bring cream to a simmer in a small saucepan. Pour it over the chocolate and butter mixture and whisk to combine. Cool to room temperature, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hour or up to 1 day. Right before assembling the cookies, beat the filling with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy. Transfer to a piping bag with a small tip. Assembling the cookies: arrange half of the cookies on a work surface, bottom side up, and pipe the filling onto each. Sandwich with the remaining cookies, pressing to spread the filling to the edges – I used a small cookie scoop instead of a pastry bag and placed rounded mounds of filling on the center of each cookie, topping with another cookie and pressing down gently to squish the filling. Makes about 30 sandwich cookies

Source: technicolorkitcheninenglish.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?).

Click here to read the rest of this Amateur Gourmet post »

Source: amateurgourmet.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

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