Tuesday, April 20, 2010
PHOTO BY: clairity
"This EGG DAY was one of the best!" declared David.
I have to agree. All the guests were exceedingly charming and the food was exceptional. I am blessed to have so many good humored people in my world. Many of them can cook up a storm too.
I really do need to take photos of the food and the people or get Mania to do it for me. She's an aspiring photographer who happened with her camera. I need to bug her for some shots, see if I can pepper this post with them. The photo above is from Create Commons on Flickr but it looked like the one I made.
But let me tell you about the soufflé.
I had opportunity a few weeks back to be at a home store where I saw a soufflé dish. I thought I should buy that and make soufflé for Egg Day. I mean soufflé equals eggs and a new dish is always a good idea. But I'd never made one before.
So I read The Madame's Souffle Recipe which is as delightful as it is frightening.
It was originally published in the 1920's and it’s pages and pages long. I delighted in the phrasing and talking about making soufflés to amuse oneself, which truly speaks to me. And I got some important tips, like testing the center. I didn't much need to have a partner work with me to beat the egg whites because I have a stand mixer, but the thought was fun.
Then I read this recipe from Alton Brown for cheese soufflé, which is the one I followed, but I added gruyere cheese to the cheddar.
Aside from having too much batter to fit my pan, (I made 4 mini soufflés in little wide-mouth canning jars with the excess) it was perfect. The flavor, the rise, the color...I was so proud.
Egg Day goers said it tasted pretty good too. That's high praise indeed.
So what are your experiences, good or bad, about cooking an item for the first time for company? Fool hearty or fun?
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
I did it and it's beautiful.
I say that like I'm surprised but I'm not. I'm delighted beyond words though.
Pretty flowers make pretty jelly. It's mostly sugar tasting, but there is a subtle floral taste, which is lovely.
I made lilac jelly and I can't be more pleased. I now need to develop a recipe or two which uses it. I'm thinking a lilac chicken breast with butter and shallots, maybe over polenta. Scroll down. I added that too.
I hear the lids on the jelly jars popping down as I type. I'm freaking giddy.
Here's the recipe for Lilac Jelly
2 cup lilac blossoms, I used dark purple lilacs
2 cups boiling water
the juice of 1 lemon, about .25 cup
4 cups sugar
1 3oz packet of liquid pectin
Pick the blossoms off the stems, removing as much green as you can. Settle in, this is what takes time. Cover it with 2 cups of boiling water, in a non reactive container. Cover and let sit 24 hours. Strain blossoms. Prepare 4.5 cups worth of canning jars.
Add lemon juice and sugar Bring to a boil. Add pectin and boil again for one minute. Skim foam. Pour into prepared jars. Clean the rim, seal them and follow canning instructions, which is basically simmer the jars covered in water 10 minutes.
This hasn't been tried with lilac jelly, but I've done it a million times with current jelly and I bet it will work beautifully.
4 chicken breasts, boneless, skinless
salt and pepper to taste
1 T. olive oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 shallots, chopped
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup lilac jelly
cracked black pepper
2 T. butter
Preheat oven to 350. In a oven safe skillet heat olive oil. Salt and pepper the chicken. Sear on both sides. Move to oven. Bake 15 to 20 minutes.
Remove from oven and set chicken aside. Using the skillet, add garlic and shallots. Cook until fragrant. Add wine. Reduce by half. Add jelly and pepper, stir until smooth. Add butter. Add chicken back to the skillet to coat. Serve with some fantastic tangy/creamy starch like blue cheese polenta.
When was last time you inspired by something beautiful? What did you do?
Sunday, April 11, 2010
PHOTO BY: farlane
On the 18 we will meet again at my house to eat eggs, drink coffee and make general merriment in a low key friendly conversational way.
This past month has brought lots of changes with the weather getting warmer the daffodils are doing their thing and the trees are greening.
There's something quite beautiful about that. Also it's time for lilac jelly. I'll post pics of the process. In the dreary cold months I came across a recipe for lilac jelly and thought wow, that could be impossibly delicious. Or it could be an allergy attach in a jar. The only way to find out is to make it and see.
I have two lilacs in my backyard and they will give up their little florets for my jelly and pectin endeavors. I'll have the jelly and biscuits to sample on Sunday.
So with that I give you invitation to please come if you can. Bring your sunny disposition and a dish to share.