Sunday, August 31, 2008

Crust for Tarts

4 Tbsp. ice water, plus more as needed
¾ tsp. apple cider vinegar
1 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. sugar
¾ tsp. salt
9 Tbsp. (4 ½ oz.) cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes

In a small bowl or measuring cup, combine 4 Tbsp. ice water and the cider vinegar.

In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, sugar, and salt. Pulse to blend. Add the butter, and pulse until the mixture resembles a coarse meal; there should be no pieces of butter bigger than a large pea. With the motor running, slowly add the water-vinegar mixture, processing just until moist clumps form. If you pick up a handful of the dough and squeeze it in your fist, it should hold together. If the dough seems a bit dry, add more ice water by the teaspoon, pulsing to incorporate. I sometimes find that 1 additional teaspoon is perfect.

Turn the dough out onto a wooden board or clean countertop, and gather it, massaging and pressing, until it just holds together. Shape it into a ball, and press it into a disk about 1 ½ inches thick. If the disk cracks a bit at the edges, don’t worry; just pinch the cracks together as well as you can. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap, and then press it a bit more, massaging away any cracks around the edges, allowing the constraint of the plastic wrap to help you form it into a smooth disk. Refrigerate the wrapped dough for at least 2 hours. (Dough can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or frozen for up to 1 month. Thaw it in refrigerator overnight before using.) Before rolling it out, allow the dough to soften slightly at room temperature.

Adapted from: Orangette

Monday, August 25, 2008

Crevettes Sautées à L'ail

Des crevettes #41/50 décortiquées
Huile d'olive
Ail écrasé
Piment de Cayenne broyé
Persil haché finement
Quartiers de citron

Dans une poêle chaude, sauter les crevettes dans l'huile.
Quand les crevettes commencent à colorer, ajouter l'ail et le piment de Cayenne, le sel.
Poursuivre la cuisson jusqu'à coloration des crevettes en secouant la poêle sans arrêt.
Ajouter le persil.
Servir sur une assiette.
Accompagner de quartiers de citron.

Note: Recette préparée par Lucie & Simon, à Comox BC, le 2 août 2008

Source: A la di Stasio

Salade de riz aux artichauts, aux cœurs de palmier et au poulet

• 30 ml (2 c. à soupe) de vinaigre de riz
• 15 ml (1 c. à soupe) de moutarde à l’ancienne
• 60 ml (1/4 tasse) d’huile d’olive
• 375 ml (1 1/2 tasse) de riz étuvé cuit
• 1 boîte de 398 ml (14 oz) d’artichauts, égouttés et coupés en quartiers
• 1 boîte de 398 ml (14 oz) de cœurs de palmier, égouttés et coupés en tronçons
• 250 ml (1 tasse) de poulet cuit émincé
• 2 tomates, coupées en quartiers
• 1 branche de céleri, coupée en cubes
• 1 oignon vert, émincé
• 60 ml (1/4 tasse) de basilic frais émincé
• Sel et poivre

Dans un saladier, mélanger le vinaigre, la moutarde et l’huile. Ajouter le reste des ingrédients et bien mélanger. Saler et poivrer.

Variante : On peut remplacer le poulet par une boîte de légumineuses au choix ou des crevettes cuites. Portions: 4

Source: Ricardo, Printemps 2007, p.79

Blue Cheese and Walnut Salad with Maple Dressing

10 ounces spinach -- baby
1/3 pound blue cheese -- crumbled
6 ounces walnuts -- toasted & halved
1/4 cup maple syrup -- warmed
1 1/2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper

Place spinach on a large platter. Top with blue cheese and walnuts. Warm maple syrup in a small saucepan. Pour vinegar into a small bowl. Whisk oil into vinegar in a slow stream. Whisk maple syrup into dressing in a slow stream. Pour dressing down over the salad platter and serve. Season with salt and pepper, to your taste.

NOTES : Very Good. (A repeater)

Source: Rachael Ray

Sunday, August 17, 2008

NY Times Chocolate Chips Cookies

Adapted from Jacques Torres

Time: 45 minutes (for 1 6-cookie batch), plus at least 24 hours’ chilling

2 cups minus 2 tablespoons (8 1/2 ounces) cake flour
1 2/3 cups (8 1/2 ounces) bread flour (I used All-Purpose flour)
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt (I used 1/2 tsp Fleur de Sel)
2 1/2 sticks (1 1/4 cups) unsalted butter (I used salted)
1 1/4 cups (10 ounces) light brown sugar
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (8 ounces) granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons natural vanilla extract
1 1/4 pounds bittersweet chocolate disks or fèves, at least 60 percent cacao content (see note)(I used 3/4 pound chocolate chips & 1/2 pound President Choice Extra Dark Chocolate 72%)
Sea salt (I used Fleur de Sel)

1. Sift flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Set aside.

2. Using a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars together until very light, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla. Reduce speed to low, add dry ingredients and mix until just combined, 5 to 10 seconds. Drop chocolate pieces in and incorporate them without breaking them. Press plastic wrap against dough and refrigerate for 24 to 36 hours. Dough may be used in batches, and can be refrigerated for up to 72 hours.

3. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat. Set aside.

4. Scoop 6 3 1/2-ounce mounds of dough (the size of generous golf balls) onto baking sheet, making sure to turn horizontally any chocolate pieces that are poking up; it will make for a more attractive cookie. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt and bake until golden brown but still soft, 18 to 20 minutes. Transfer sheet to a wire rack for 10 minutes, then slip cookies onto another rack to cool a bit more. Repeat with remaining dough, or reserve dough, refrigerated, for baking remaining batches the next day. Eat warm, with a big napkin.

Yield: 1 1/2 dozen 5-inch cookies.

Note: Disks are sold at Jacques Torres Chocolate; Valrhona fèves, oval-shaped chocolate pieces, are at Whole Foods.