May 27, 2007

Sunday Dinner

A week ago Sunday, I made the pork chops again for dinner, along with a cauliflower gratin and some glazed baby carrots. For dessert we had a malted milk ice cream. Emily got some great shots of the food, so I figured I'd write up the recipes.

Bourbon Peach Pork Chops
This is southern American classic, found by Carmen on Williams-Sonoma's web site. I've substituted thicker pork chops, and use a thermometer to determine doneness. The pork chops can be glazed and refrigerated a few hours ahead of time, but I'd take them out of the fridge 30 minutes before cooking. I substitute moutarde de meaux pommery for the mustard seeds and some of the lemon juice and make the mayonnaise myself. (Is the mayonnaise necessary? I don't know, but it was a good excuse to try my hand at making it.)
6 pork chops, cut 1" to 1 1/2” thick
3 tbsp mustard seeds
1/3 cup lemon juice
1 cup apricot or peach preserves
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup dijon mustard
1/4 cup Maker's Mark
2 shallots, minced
1 tbsp chopped rosemary
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Combine the mustard seeds and lemon juice and let sit for 30 minutes. Then mix in the rest of the ingredients. Adjust and season to taste.

Put a third of the glaze in the bottom of a baking dish. Add the pork chops and cover with the rest of the glaze. (Optionally sprinkle with some fine bread crumbs.) At this stage, you could refrigerate the pork for a few hours if you're preparing this dish ahead of time.

Cook until it's about 145 degrees in the center. Check the other chops with an instant read thermometer, them cover with foil and let rest for 5-10 minutes.

Cauliflower Gratin
This recipe came from Keller's book, Bouchon. I substituted a wasabi/horseradish powder for the horseradish, and added a tiny pinch of cayenne pepper to the sauce. If you are serving guests that are not big fans of cauliflower, cut the florets in smaller pieces and mix some cheese into the sauce, to taste (some of the Emmentaler, some parmesan or pecorino). If you use pecorino - adjust the salt after adding the cheese.

1 head (about 1-3/4 pounds) cauliflower
Kosher salt
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 tablespoons minced shallots
Freshly ground black pepper
1 bay leaf
1 thyme sprig
1 Italian parsley sprig
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon prepared horseradish
Pinch of curry powder
Freshly grated nutmeg
1/3 cup grated Comté or Emmentaler cheese
1 tablespoon panko (Japanese bread crumbs) or fine dried bread crumbs

Remove the leaves from the cauliflower. Cut the florets from the core. Remove the exterior of the core and throw it away. Dice the rest of the core and put in a food processor. Cut the florets into 1" (or smaller) pieces. Put the stems in with the core. Process the core and stems until they are finely diced. If you don't have 1 cup of processed cauliflower, add some florets to make up the difference and process them.

In two batches, blanch the florets in water season with salt and vinegar for about 2 minutes. Strain and place in a bowl. Season to taste.

Cook the shallots in butter for a couple of minutes, until they are translucent. Add salt, pepper, thyme, and bay leaf. Add the cauliflower stems and 2/3 cup of water. Simmer for 5 minutes or until most of the water is gone. If the cauliflower is not cooked, add a bit more water and cook longer.

Add the cream and simmer for 2 minutes. Remove the whole herbs and put in a blender. After it cools, add the horseradish, curry powder, and nutmeg. Blend until smooth and season to taste.

Mix the cauliflower with the cream mixture and place in a baking dish. Refrigerate for 1-24 hours.

Sprinkle with bread crumbs and cheese and cook in the oven at 450 degrees until warm and bubbling. Use the broiler to brown the top, if necessary. Let rest for 5-10 minutes and serve.

Glazed Baby Carrots
I used Keller's instructions for glazed vegetables, from his book Bouchon.
1/2 tsp sugar
1 tsp butter
1 pinch salt
baby carrots
thyme or parsley leaves (optional)
Trim the carrots and stems. Try to get them a uniform size, if possible.

Put the vegetables in a saucepan, add the water to cover. Add the water, salt, butter, and herbs. Simmer until the vegetables are tender. The sauce should be reduced to a glaze. If not, remove the carrots and continue to reduce to a glaze, replace the carrots and reheat. The results can be held for a few hours. If the carrots vary in size, you'll have to remove the smaller diameter ones earlier.

This can be done with any root vegetable, pearl onions work too, but you should add a little white wine vinegar at the end. Keller's book explains this in much more detail.

Malted Milk Ice Cream

This is from David Lebovitz's Book "Perfect Scoop," reworded by me for copyright reasons. I got the recipe from Ruhlman's blog, but have been directed by Emily to pick up a copy of the book. It was unclear whether the original recipe was calling for actual malt powder or malted milk powder. I went with the latter, since pure malt powder was hard to find. (I think brewing supply places may have it.) The process is a little different from Keller's - the cream and flavoring are added at the end - but I followed it as-is. (But if you choose to use half of a vanilla bean in place of extract, put it in with the half and half, and let it steep for an hour or so.)
1 cup half and half
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 cup malt powder
6 large egg yolks
a handful of malted milk balls, chopped
Mix the cream, malted milk, and vanilla in a bowl and prepare an ice bath. Warm the half and half with the sugar over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Be careful to not let anything stick to the bottom. Lightly whisk the egg yolks in a bowl, then slowly whisk in the warmed milk. Return the milk mixture to the pan and gently cook it over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon and making sure nothing sticks to the bottom, until it coats the back of the spoon, about 5 minutes. Strain into the cream mixture, stirring to combine. Place the bowl over the ice bath and stir occasionally to cool.

Refrigerate for at least 6 hours (preferably overnight) to cool and allow the flavors to meld. Process in your ice cream machine, then freeze for at least 6 hrs (preferably overnight) before serving.