Archive for the 'Food' CategoryPage 3 of 11

Cherry Gelato w/ Dark Chocolate and Roasted Hazelnuts

 

‘Tis the season… for gelato!! Especially since it’s blazing hot here in port St. Louis. We’ve had ten days of temperatures over 100 degrees F in June/July and the forecast is calling for temperatures over 100 degrees in the upcoming week! I would say it’s time to dust off the ice cream maker and start making freezing cold desserts!! 

One of my favorite fruits is sweet black cherries. They’re now in season and in their honor here’s a tasty gelato recipe. Gelato is also a super delicious treat when the sweltering heat has you craving something cool. Your friends and family will love you that much more when you share this scrumptious seasonal dessert w/ them! 

My taste testers enjoyed this flavor, however next time I make it I’ll make some minor changes. Depending on which ingredient hit your tongue first (i.e., cherry, hazelnut or chocolate), that was the initial predominate taste.  In order for the cherries to be the dominate flavor, I will reduce the amount of chocolate to 2 1/2 ounces, and the hazelnuts to 1/3 cup.

Here’s the original recipe:

Cherry Gelato w/ Dark Chocolate and Roasted Hazelnuts

Ingredients:

1 pound black cherries (pitted)

6 egg yolks

3 1/2 ounces dark chocolate (roughly chopped)

1/2 cup roasted hazelnuts (roughly chopped)

3/4 cup sugar

1 quart half & half

Procedure:

1) In a metal bowl, whisk egg yolks and sugar until mixture becomes smooth and pale yellow

2) Place half & half in a heavy pot and heat until scalded

3) Very slowly whisk half & half into egg/sugar mixture so as not to curdle the mixture

4) Place bowl w/ mixture over a pot of simmering water, stirring continuously w/ a heat resistant spatula until mixture coats the back of a metal spoon (do not let mixture exceed 170 degrees F to prevent curdling), then quickly place bowl in an ice bath to stop the cooking process and promote rapid cooling

5) Cut cherries in half, place in a food processor and puree; stir puree into the gelato mixture, blending well, and chill in fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight

6) Churn mixture in ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions, adding the hazelnuts and chocolate when mixture starts to freeze

7) Pour gelato into a 2 quart plastic container, stir to evenly distribute hazelnuts and chocolate, then place a piece of parchment paper cut to size on the surface of gelato (this will reduce air exposure and prevent ice crystals from forming on the surface of the gelato), seal container and freeze until firm

Yield: Approx. 1 1/2 quarts

 

Celebrating summer… just wish it wasn’t so damn hot here!

Bruno

Leg of Lamb Stuffed w/ Morel Mushrooms, Acorn Squash, Garlic and Rosemary

I recently had a few friends over for a birthday celebration. On the menu was stuffed leg of lamb; Swiss chard and leek gratin; rigatoni pasta w/ pureed acorn squash, roasted pistachios, parmesan and brown butter; and last but not least a delicious strawberry shortcake. Many wines were savored w/ the meal as well as a cognac w/ the dessert. The weather was beautiful, and the company was a lot of fun which made the meal even more of a pleasure!!

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Leg of lamb stuffed w/ morels, acorn squash, garlic and rosemary

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Swiss chard and leek gratin

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The showcase wine of the evening

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Strawberry shortcake

Thanks to Bob for photographing the evening while I cooked, and to Mary for bringing dessert so I didn’t have to provide one!

Here’s to being born… here’s to life!!

Bruno

Bursting Bread Conundrum Solved!

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In a previous post dated Feb. 5th, 2012, I lamented about having a problem w/ my bread bursting at the slash point. Well, the problem has been solved!

The bread in the photos above was made when the ambient temperature in my kitchen was 72 degrees F.

I think it may have been that during the colder months I didn’t proof the bread long enough before popping it in the oven. I did some research and it points to underproofing because in the warmer months I don’t have this problem. Someone suggested it was possibly due to the way I was shaping my loaves, however I shape the bread the same in both cold and warm months so I think not letting the dough proof long enough during the colder months is the culprit. It makes sense because dough takes longer to ferment and proof in lower temperatures and my kitchen was around 64 degrees F when I was baking during the winter.

Celebrating beautiful (and crack free) bread!!

Bruno

Pizza Party!

 

I had a few friends over for a pizza party not long ago. The following photographs of the evening were taken by my friend Bob of Moth Studios (w/ my new camera which does a better job w/ photos in low light than my other camera).

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Pizza #1 – mozzarella, sliced tomato, mushrooms, oregano, garlic and parmesan

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Pizza #1 ready to eat

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Chris’ cucumber salad w/ red bud blossoms

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Salad #2 – baby kale, spinach and Swiss chard

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Rolling out the dough

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Pizza #2 – mozzarella, sliced potato, sage, butternut squash, garlic, parmesan and capocolla

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Enjoying the evening

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Pizza #2 fresh from the oven

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Capocolla

 

Dessert was Mary’s berry cobbler a la mode that was so delicious we forgot to snap a photo!

Happy Cooking…

Bruno

 

Providing Unconditional Love…

That’s the feeling I get from my furry friends and good food… not just on Valentine’s Day, but every day of the year!

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truffles and brie1 feb 5 2012

Cheers…

Bruno

 

Christmas 2011

Greetings! I hope everyone had an enjoyable Christmas. I was invited to a friend’s house for a delicious feast! The menu was tomato/dill soup; beef tenderloin w/ a dijon/balsamic crust; potatoes w/ artichokes and leeks; sauteed corn;  Swiss chard and leek gratin (my contribution); and field greens w/ roasted beets and goat cheese. Dessert was a pecan pie. Here are a few photos of this delicious meal:

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May 2012 be filled w/ great food, great friends and happiness!!

Bruno

 

 

Thanksgiving 2011

I hope everyone had a delicious and relaxing Thanksgiving w/ family and friends. I know I did thanks to my friends Michelle and Byron! Michelle cooked up a feast of turkey, roasted root veggies, green bean casserole, stuffing and gravy. For dessert we had pumpkin pie and my gelato. Michelle made the turkey using a new technique of cooking the turkey the day before, carving it, then placing it back in the roasting pan w/ the cooking juices to be reheated the next day. Not only was it tender and juicy, it saves a ton of time on the day of Thanksgiving!

I snapped a few pics of the feast in between bites…

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Byron, Mackenzie, Michelle  and Dave

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My plate of goodies

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Kaiko waiting for stuff to fall off the table

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After the goodness

 

Thanks again for your hospitality Byron and Michelle!!

Bruno

Pumpkin & Acorn Squash Gelato w/ Roasted Pumpkin Seeds and Candied Bacon

Pumpkin & Acorn Squash Gelato

This is what I’m bringing as my contribution to the Thanksgiving feast that I attend at one of my friends’ house this year (no official invitation yet). I’ll also be taking along a bottle of Beaujolais Nouveau.

I’ve tried dark chocolate w/ bits of bacon in it and really liked the flavor combination. I wasn’t sure about putting bacon in this gelato flavor but figured if I sweetened the salty bacon by candying it, the end result might work. Well, after I finished my photo session I had to sample the product just in case it was a losing recipe. I ate what you see in the photo above and I must say it actually was pretty tasty! I hope my friends think so too!!

Pumpkin & Acorn Squash Gelato w/ Roasted Pumpkin Seeds and Candied Bacon 

Ingredients:

2 cups pumpkin and acorn squash puree (I used 1 cup of each)

1 cup sugar (plus 1/2 cup for candying bacon)

6 egg yolks

1 quart half & half

1/2 cup unsalted pumpkin seeds

6 slices thick cut applewood smoked bacon

Procedure:

** click the following link to a previous post for instructions on how to roast pumpkin/squash and on candying; click here

 1) In a metal bowl, whisk egg yolks and sugar until mixture becomes smooth and pale yellow

2) Place half & half in a heavy pot and heat until scalded

3) Very slowly whisk half & half into egg/sugar mixture so as not to curdle the mixture

4) Place bowl w/ mixture over a pot of simmering water, stirring continuously w/ a heat resistant spatula until mixture coats the back of a metal spoon (do not let mixture exceed 170 degrees F to prevent curdling), then quickly place bowl in an ice bath to stop the cooking process and promote rapid cooling

5) In a food processor, pulse in 3 cups of the gelato mixture to the pumpkin/squash puree to thin, then stir puree into the remaining gelato mixture, blending well, and chill in fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight 

6) Cook bacon (not too crispy), remove excess grease w/ paper towels, cut into 1/2 inch squares, then candy and break into 1/2 inch squares

7) Roast pumpkin seeds and let cool

8) Churn mixture in ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions adding the roasted pumpkin seeds and candied bacon when mixture starts to freeze

9) Pour gelato into a 2 quart plastic container, stir to evenly distribute pumpkin seeds and candied bacon, then place a piece of parchment paper cut to size on the surface of gelato (this will reduce air exposure and prevent ice crystals from forming on the surface of the gelato), seal container and freeze until firm 

Yield: Approx. 1 1/2 quarts 

 

I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving meal w/ great friends and family. Remember, it’s Thanksgiving so eat as much as you want… you can work the extra pounds off later:-)

Bon appetit!!

Bruno

 

Madagascar Vanilla Bean Gelato w/ Candied Pistachios

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I ran this new flavor by my tasting panel (i.e., some  friends) and the consensus was YUM… especially the candied pistachios which were surrounded by a deep caramelized sugar flavor and crunchiness. I must agree, those candied pistachios were so over the top good it was hard for me to stop snacking on them while I was churning up the gelato :-) 

Madagascar Vanilla Bean Gelato w/ Candied Pistachios

Ingredients:

1 cup shelled unsalted pistachios

6 egg yolks

1  Madagascar vanilla bean

1 quart half & half

1 cup sugar, plus 1/2 cup sugar for candying pistachios

Procedure:

1) Candy pistachios and let cool

2) In a metal bowl, whisk egg yolks and sugar until mixture becomes smooth and pale yellow

3) Place half & half in a heavy pot; slit vanilla bean lengthwise, scrape seeds into half  & half  and place bean in too, then  heat until scalded removing bean when done

4) Very slowly whisk half & half into egg/sugar mixture so as not to curdle the mixture

5) Place bowl w/ mixture over a pot of simmering water, stirring continuously w/ a heat resistant spatula until mixture coats the back of a metal spoon (do not let mixture exceed 170 degrees F to prevent curdling), then quickly place bowl in an ice bath to stop the cooking process and promote rapid cooling

6) Once cool, refrigerate mixture for at least 4 hours or overnight

7) Churn mixture in ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions

8) While mixture is churning, coarsely chop candied pistachios

9) Pour gelato into a 2 quart plastic container, stir in candied pistachios (making sure they are distributed evenly throughout the mix) then place a piece of parchment paper cut to size on the surface of gelato (this will reduce air exposure and prevent ice crystals from forming on the surface of the gelato), seal container and freeze until firm 

Yield: Approx. 1 1/2 quarts 

Enjoy!

Bruno

Eight Grain Boule

A delicious bread for the upcoming week!

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eight grain boule 2

Ingredients:

1/2 cup 7 grain blend (I used Bob’s Red Mill brand)

1/2 cup toasted rolled oats 

3 cups all purpose flour

1 cup wheat flour 

1/4 cup olive oil

1/1/4 cups plus 1/4 cup tepid water

2 teaspoons salt

1  tablespoon active dry yeast

cornmeal for dusting pizza peel

Procedure:

1) Place yeast in a large bowl and pour 1/4 cup tepid water over the yeast; let sit until it becomes foamy (about 5 minutes)

2) In a seperate bowl mix together the flours, 7 grain blend, rolled oats and salt

3) Add olive oil and remaining 1 1/4 cups tepid water to the yeast

4) Slowly add the flour mix to the yeast while using your free hand to incorporate the flour and yeast

5) Place the dough on a floured surface and knead for 8 to 10 minutes (add more flour a little bit at a time if dough is too sticky)

6) Form dough into a ball and place back into the large bowl (dust the bottom of the bowl w/ flour before placing dough into it); dust top of dough ball w/ flour and cover bowl w/ plastic wrap (I use a shower cap that I got from a hotel – it fits snugly over the bowl)

7) Let dough ferment (i.e., first rise) for 1 1/2 hours at room temperature (if your kitchen is too cold, place bowl in unlit oven w/ the light on – the temperature is usually 70 degrees F). The dough should have at least doubled in size when ready to shape

8) Remove dough from bowl and form dough into a ball (boule) shape, dust top w/ flour, cover w/ plastic and let rise for 45 minutes (i.e., second rise)

9) Meanwhile,  preheat oven and pizza stone to 450 degrees F

10) When second rise is complete, slash top of boule w/ a serrated knife

11) Slide boule onto pizza stone, then mist sides of oven w/ water (I use a spray bottle) and quickly close oven door; for the first 2 minutes of baking, mist the sides of the oven every 30 seconds – this delays crust formation and allows the bread to rise rapidly and evenly

12) After 20 minutes reduce temperature to 375 degrees F and rotate bread front to back for even baking; bake for another 15 – 20 minutes

13) Remove bread from oven and tap the bottom; if it make a hollow sound it’s ready!

14) Allow bread to cool completely on a cooling rack before slicing

Baker’s notes: I love this bread! The crust is crunchy, the crumb is tight and textured w/ all the extra grains. I slice the entire boule,  seal it in a freezer bag and pop it in the freezer. When I want to toast some up, I just take what I need, reseal the bag and pop it back in the freezer (a great trick my mom showed me to keep bread fresher)!

Happy Cooking!!

Bruno