Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Amasea's Kitchen in Sun Valley: Sour summer slaw

Sorry for the absence, folks!
I went off and got married, then unfortunately we had a loss in our family, so I haven't had a lot of time for creative cooking.

I did make a rhubarb pie last week, but it was honestly really, really bad. Not so much that I wouldn't eat it (PIE!) but not good enough for this blog, even to help others learn from my mistakes.

But the summer produce is coming on, and I'm getting excited. I'm going to wait to see what looks awesome and fresh in the next month or two, and start canning again. You'll get the story on that once I get my enormous canning pot out of storage :)

It being summer, it's time for barbecue, slaw and salads, and those last two were on the menu tonight. I had some great fresh fennel -- a whole bulb, feathery top bits (I'm not sure what to do with those) and all, from Idaho's Bounty. I sauteed half the bulb for something else, but the remaining half went into the Cuisinart's shredder attachment, with two small Fuji apples and about a dozen baby carrots (I would have used big carrots, but the babies were getting a little...rooty, so they needed to be used). I didn't have any cabbage, or that would have gone in too.

Mixing that in a bowl and removing the big, improperly shredded pieces, I added about three tablespoons of lime mayonnaise (interestingly, the Hellmann's intended for the Hispanic market has fewer unpronounceable ingredients and preservatives than the American varieties -- thanks, Grocery Outlet!), a tablespoon of lime juice, a tablespoon of grapefruit vinegar, salt, pepper and freshly-ground red pepper flakes. Oh, and a handful of dried cranberries, since I was out of raisins, for that hint of sweet. If I were to make this again, I think I'd use a little less total liquid, but that's just my taste; others might prefer the squishier texture.

I paired it with a simple salad: organic greens from Idaho's Bounty, topped with corn kernels, sliced almonds, a vinaigrette and some grilled Halloumi-style grilled cheese (not pictured). With a glass of red wine for a little mouth weight, delicious!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Sasha's Kitchen: Caramel Souffle

I love making souffles.  Once you get the hang of it (which I admit took a couple of tries in the beginning) they are very easy to make. Most people are familiar with chocolate souffles, which are amazing when done correctly. However, souffles can be done in just about any flavor.  Some of my favorites are the fruity souffles, which are light and wonderful.  I decided to try out a simple caramel souffle using some goat's milk cinnamon caramel that I bought in Vermont from Fat Toad Farm, a local organic Vermont farm that makes their own delicious caramel.  This souffle tastes just like the amazing cinnamon caramel but presents it in a light and airy souffle.

Sasha's Cinnamon Caramel Souffle (makes 4 individual sized souffles)
3 egg yolks
5 egg whites
1/2 cup of Fat Toad Farm's Cinnamon Caramel
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
a couple teaspoons of sugar
a bit of butter or Pam

Preheat the oven to 425 F. The oven must be fully preheated before you put the souffles in. First, spray 4 individual souffle ramekins with butter or Pam and sprinkle with sugar.  Beat together the egg yolks and the caramel to make your souffle base.  Using a stand mixer, beat the egg whites on high for about 3 seconds, using the whisk attachment. Add the cream of tartar and continue beating for about three minutes until the egg whites are puffy and foamy, a bit like a meringue. Gently fold the egg whites into the souffle base, using a spatula.  Fill the four ramekins to the top with the souffle mixture and bake for about 30 minutes until the souffles rise and are golden brown on top. Do not open the oven while the souffles are cooking or they will collapse, but leave the oven light on so you can watch progress on the souffles.
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