Saturday, October 29, 2011
Recently I've been exploring Bobby Flay's cookbook, Bar Americain, the newest addition to my always growing family of cookbooks. A couple weeks ago, I made cabernet-fig glazed veal chops with his green chile spoonbread, which was a great Saturday night meal. The main course and the side dish went together perfectly, and paired nicely with a lovely cabernet sauvignon from St Francis Winery that I had received two bottles of to sample a while back - a fantastic, deep tannic cabernet. I'll write up the side dish soon, but for this post, I will share the main course, which was the perfect pairing for the St. Francis wine. Bobby suggests in his cookbook making the recipe and the glaze for four veal porterhouse chops. Instead, we made two boneless veal chops - and it was amazing.
Bobby Flay's Veal Chops with Fig Cabernet Vinegar Glaze
2 cups cabernet sauvignon
8 dried figs, halved
1 quart store bought veal stock or high quality chicken stock
2 shallots, finely diced
2 T balsamic vinegar
1 T honey
salt and pepper
2 14 oz boneless veal chops of veal porterhouse chops
2 T canola oil
parsley (for garnish)
To make the glaze, bring one cup of the wine to a simmer. Removed from heat and add the chopped figs. Allow to seep while you prepare the rest of the glaze.
Put the stock in a saucepan and bring to a boil. It's important to use high quality chicken or veal stock, or it won't caramelize naturally in the proper way when you reduce it. Cook until reduced to half to two cups, for about 15 minutes. Add the shallots and remaining one cup of wine and continue cooking over high heat until reduced to a sauce consistency, about 25 minutes. Stir in the vinegar and honey and fig mixture. Keep warm and serve over the veal.
Season the veal chops with salt and pepper. Grill on both sides in a grill pan until golden brown and slightly charred, about five minutes. Ladle the glaze overtop. Recipe for the side dish green chile spoonbread is coming soon!
Monday, October 24, 2011
Time for my halloween cupcakes! I had originally planned on making these pumpkin cupcakes with maple buttercream, but was craving something chocolate. I used a recipe in one of my cupcake books, Julie Hasson's 125 Best Cupcakes to make a nice cinnamon spiced cupcake (a mexican chocolate cupcake, I suppose) that's the perfect spicing for fall. It was also a lovely complement to the maple buttercream that I made using my maple extract. I made two batches of the buttercream. I dyed one batch orange using gel food color to spread on the cupcakes. I dyed the second batch black/grey and green, for the faces and the stems. I'm not planning on carving a pumpkin this year, but these jack'o lanterns are just as good for the halloween spirit. Happy Halloween! Note: no eggs are used in the recipe, but the balsamic vinegar activates the baking soda and helps the cupcakes rise. The vinegar evaporates and has no taste.
Chocolate Cinnamon Cupcakes
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch process cocoa powder
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon (I used about 3/4 of a tsp)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup granulated sugar (less than the original recipe calls for)
3/4 cup strong brewed coffee
1/2 cup canola oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
2 T balsamic vinegar
Mix together the dry ingredients (flour, cocoa, salt, baking soda and cinnamon) in a small bowl. In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, coffee, coil, vanilla and almond extract. Mix in the flour mixture until smooth. Mix in the balsamic vinegar. Scoop batter into 12 lined cupcakes in a silicon cupcake tray. Fill 3/4 of the way full. Bake for 25-30 minutes in an oven preheated to 350 until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting.
Maple Buttercream (I made two batches of the recipe below)
1 1/2 stick of unsalted butter
2 cups confectioner's sugar
2 T maple syrup
1 tsp maple extract
Beat the buttercream ingredients until smooth before frosting. Enjoy!