Thursday, August 21, 2008

Cardamom Cookies, Part Deux

The Pleasant kitchen is currently in a state of upheaval to become more pleasant (heh, heh...) so I couldn't find Deborah Madison's cookbook for the cardamom cookie recipe posted a few weeks back. Here, finally is the recipie, thanks too my dear friend miz T of Eating is Art. Can I plug her more? :)

Cardamom Cookies (by Deborah!)

1/4 pound (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
1/2 cup powdered sugar, plus extra for tops
2 tblsp granulated sugar
1 egg yolk
1 tsp ground cardamom
3/8 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups flour

cream to butter and sugars until light and fluffy, then beat in the egg yolk. stir in the cardamom, salt and flour. divide the dough in two, roughly shape each piece into a log about 1 inch thick, then roll in plastic or wax paper. pull each log through your thumb and first finger to make it even and, if you prefer, longer and narrower. refrigerate until firm or freeze until ready to use.

preheat oven to 375 degreees. cut the dough into 1/4 inch rounds or diagonals and set them on cookie sheets at least 1 inch apart. bake until pale golden on top and lightly browned around the edges, 8 to 10 minutes. cool. serve plain or dusted with confectioners sugar.


If you haven't already discovered the awesomeness that is
Pietopia, check it out! Tricia poses the question,

"What does it taste like to be unemployed, starting a new job, just married, divorced, a new homeowner or desperately searching for housing? What kind of pie would describe the way you are feeling right now? Could you imagine your thoughts, concerns or joys transformed into the All-American Pie? If so, take part in the Pietopia Pie Contest!"

See the inspired entries and more at the Pietopia blog, and also on Tricia's food blog, Eating is Art. Believe me, you'll be glad you did :)

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Mr. Pleasant's Cookies and Cream Ice Cream

Mr. Pleasant has been on a roll with the ice creams this summer. Just last week he made a fabulously rich and creamy coffee ice cream, along with a pina colada sherbet. Mmmm. One of my favorites so far this season was his cookies and cream, though. Based off of the basic vanilla ice cream from David Liebovitz's "The Perfect Scoop" , and added in some zing! a la Mr. Pleasant, the people at the party we took this too couldn't get enough!

Mr. Pleasant's Cookie and Cream Ice Cream
adapted from
The Perfect Scoop

1 c whole milk
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups heavy cream
pinch of salt
1 vanilla bean split in half lengthwise (or about 2 tsp. of extract - not quite the same but does fine)
6 large egg yolks
3/4 tsp. almond extract
12 chocolate sandwich cookies, hand crumbled

Warm the milk, sugar, 1 cup of the cream, and salt in a medium sauce pan. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the warm milk and add the bean as well. Cover, remove from heat and let steep at room temperature for 30 minutes. (or without bean, move to the next step).

Pour the remaining 1 c of cream into a large bowl and set a mesh strainer on top. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Slowly pour the warm mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly then scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the sauce pan.

Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a heatproof spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula. Pour the custard through the strainer and stir into the cream. Put the vanilla bean into the custard, add the vanilla and almond extract and stir until cool over an ice bath.

Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator. When ready to churn, remove the vanilla bean, rinsing and reserving it for another use, then freeze the mixture in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions. As the mixture is churning, add half of the cookies. They will be pulverized in the process. when done churning, add the remaining cookies and stir in, reserving a few for the top for garnish if desired.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Poulet Mijote a la Moutarde - Chicken Stew with Mustard

The French name just sounds so much more interesting, doesn't it? This is a simple and delicious dish and served over rice, it's a fabulous and feasible midweek meal.

adapted from Clotilde Dusoulier's "Chocolate and Zucchini"

1 whole head garlic
extra virgin olive oil
fine sea salt and freshly ground pepper
one 3-31/2 lb. whole free-range chicken cut into 8 pieces thawed if frozen
4 medium red onions
one 28 to 32 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 Tbs fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
a good pinch of ground chili powder
1/3 c dry white wine
3 Tbs dijon mustard with whole mustard seeds (I used Meaux mustard).

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F
Peel the outer layers of skin from the head of garlic until you reach the individual cloves. Slice off the top of the head so the flesh of each clove is exposed. Put the head of garlic on a sheet of foil, drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and close the foil into a pouch. bake for 45 minutes, until the flesh of each clove is light brown and very soft when tested with teh tip of a knife.
Once you've slipped the garlic into the oven, heat 1 tsp olive oil over medium heat in a large heavy pot or dutsaston with salt and pepper and cook for 3 minutes on each side until golden.
while the chicken is browning peel and quarter the onions. Set aside on a plate and pour out the excess chicken fat. Put the onions in teh pot and cook for 5 minutes, until softened stirring regularly.
Add the tomatoes, thyme, bay leaves, and ground chile powder, and arrange the chicken over the vegetables. Pour in the wind and bring to a simmer. cover and cook over medium-low heat for 40 minutes stirring from time to time.
Remove the garlic from the oven, open the pouch and let cool. Squeeze the garlic out of each clove into a small bowl and mash with a fork to form a paste. Taste and adjust seasoning. Set aside.
When the chicken is cooked, spoon the mustard in the pot and stir to blend into teh sauce. turn the heat up to medium high and cook uncovered for 10 minutes, stirring regularly. Taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning. Cover and keep over low heat until ready to serve. Serve over rice or pasta.