Wednesday, November 10, 2010

NYC Part 2

Le punk du fromage

My first post about my recent trip to NYC was all about the restaurants I visited. I mentioned that some of the best food I had was made by my brother, Ryan, in his own kitchen. He made me several 7 course dinners that absolutely blew me away. Yes, several 7 course dinners. Ryan is absolutely the real deal and I am so proud of the culinary talent that he has become.

Ryan made some amazing stuff. His roasted cauliflower and bone marrow soup and fried sweetbreads with chili sauce were off the charts delicious, but two of my favorite things of the week were his biscuits and chorizo gravy and chocolate chip cookies. The biscuits and gravy maybe the best thing I've ever eaten in my life. For serious. The chocolate chip cookies are exactly what I hope for in a cookie. These are crispy on the outside, slightly chewy in the center and not too sweet. Stay tuned for more recipes from le punk du fromage.

I heart the cheese punk!

Biscuits and chorizo gravy

Adapted from Ratio by Michael Ruhlman , "3-1-2" biscuits

4.5 oz flour
1 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1.5 oz chilled butter
3 oz milk

Measure out ingredients. Dice up butter and squish into flour until pieces are no bigger than pea sized. Add rest of ingredients and mix quickly to incorporate. The ratio is rock solid, and can be doubled easily. Before refrigerating, fold the dough in thirds, then roll it out. Repeat this a few times, and this will ensure a flaky biscuit that will rise well. Refrigerate for at least an hour and bake at 400 for about 25 minutes, turning the pan halfway in the over after about 12 1/2 mins.

Chorizo gravy - Le punk's recipe

2-3 scallions
2-3 garlic cloves
1-2 T butter
1-2 T flour
1 fresh chorizo ( Ask a Latin friend where a gringo can get some fresh chorizo around here.)
creme fraishe or cream or milk
splash of white wine, or water
1 sprig thyme
cilantro for garnish (Do not skip the cilantro unless you really hate it. It adds such a great flavor to the dish.)

Remove the chorizo from the casing, and brown in a small saucepan in some grape seed oil. Don't overcook, just until the outsides start to brown, and there's some good fond in the bottom of the pan. Remove the chorizo and put aside.

 Add butter and flour until a roux is formed. If it is too thin, add some flour, too thick, add some butter. Roux should be the consistency of a loose pancake or tempura batter. The longer you cook the roux, the darker and stronger the gravy will be. I recommend a brown roux for this, so cook for 5-6 minutes over a relatively low heat to achieve this. The smell will start to get nutty, and you'll know you're there.

 Next, add chopped scallion and garlic and cook for a few minutes until the smell of raw garlic goes away. Then, degalze the pan with some wine or water to remove the good brown bits from the bottom of the saucepan. Now you can add the chorizo back to the pan along with the thyme sprig and cover with more water to cover all the sausage. At this point, depending on your gravy preferences, you can add creme fraishe or creme to lighten the gravy to your liking. This will also smooth out the sauce. Slowly reduce to the consistency you are looking for while you pop the biscuits in the oven.

Once the biscuits are done, let them rest for a few minutes, then cut them in half. Place 2 split biscuits in a deep bowl, smother in gravy, and garnish with cilantro and lots of black pepper. Oh Yeeeahh!

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Adapted from The Sweet Life, by Kate Zuckerman (of Chanterelle NYC)

8 T Butter, room temp
3/4 C light brown sugar
1 big egg, room temp
1/2 t baking soda
1/8 t salt
Half of 1 3/4 C flour - this is a half order, so I use half a cup and half of my 3/4 c measuring cup to split this up roughly
4 oz choco (chips or roughly chopped bar)
1/4 t vanilla extract - the shitty kind is the best

Measure out all the ingredients. The most important thing is that the butter and egg are at room temp. In your standard mixer, cream the butter and sugar together at med high speed for about 8 minutes. Stop and scrape the sides a few times with a spatula if necessary for even creaming. This will ensure a delicate and crispy thin cookie. Next, add the egg, and blend slowly to incorporate, about a minute. Next add the dry ingredients, and mix slowly to incorporate, about one minute more. Then finally add the vanilla, and the choco (rough chop from a bar or choc chips) and mix another 30 sec's. Refrigerate, and then cook in a 350 degree oven. Make tablespoon sized cookies and cook for 6 1/2 mins, then turn the pan around half way and cook another 6 1/2 mins. I recommend a silpat for this, but if you don't have one, any roasting pan will do the trick. Easy and rad.