Thursday, 26 January 2012

Salmon Wellington with Dijon Whipped Cream

A while back, I saw an incredibly good looking recipe for beef wellington. I wanted to make it so badly. Unfortunately, it involved meat and dairy being cooked together, meaning that I couldn't cook and eat it. When I was home my mom mentioned that she had found a recipe for salmon wellington that she was interested in trying. Of course, I immediately jumped on that idea. While I may not be able to mix meat and dairy, I can mix fish and dairy!
We enjoyed this recipe so much that we made it multiple times during my short, three-week stay in Houston. The leek and onion mixture just might be the best part. We were worried that the salmon might get overcooked, but it was cooked perfectly and the leek mixture gave it the perfect amount of extra moisture.
This dish also looks so pretty!
I didn't get a picture of the Dijon Whipped Cream, but it was the perfect accompaniment to the salmon

Salmon Wellington
recipe from Food Network

Ingredients for Salmon Wellington:
6 tablespoons of butter
3 leeks, washed and sliced
1 red onion, finely sliced
2 tablespoons dried tarragon
1/2 cup white wine
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 puff pastry sheets, thawed (I used Pepperidge Farm)
flour for dusting a surface
1 egg plus 2 teaspoons of water for egg wash
1 3-lb salmon fillet, skin removed

Ingredients for Dijon Whipped Cream:
1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper (the original recipe suggest using white pepper so that you don't see black flecks in the whipped cream, but it makes no difference in taste if you use black)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat.
Add the leaks, red onion, and tarragon and saute until the onion mix is soft. This should take about 10 minutes.
Add the wine, raise the heat to high, and bring to a boil.
Let the liquid cook off, and then add salt and pepper.
Remove from the heat and set aside. Let this mixture cool before using.
Unfold 1 pastry sheet and lay it on a slightly floured surface.
Brush 1 edge with egg wash and overlap the other pastry sheet by about 2 inches.
Roll this pastry out until it's big enough to fold around the salmon.
Spoon the cooled leek mixture down the middle of the pastry, place the salmon on top of the leeks, and fold the pastry around the salmon.
Egg wash the edges to seal and press the well.
Place the whole thing seam side down on a sheet pan. Brush the top with egg wash and place in the oven for about 30 minutes, or until the pastry is puffed and golden brown.
While the salmon is cooking, prepare the Dijon whipped cream.
Pour cream into a chilled, stainless steel bowl and whisk until soft peaks begin to form.
Add the mustard, salt, and pepper, and continue to whisk until stiff peaks form. Refrigerate until ready to use.
After removing the salmon from the oven, let it sit for 15 minutes before slicing. Slice and serve with Dijon Whipped Cream.

Friday, 20 January 2012

Double Chocolate Cherry Truffle Cookies

I love chocolate. Specifically, I love dark chocolate. At school there's an administrator who has a candy bowl, and the best days are days when the candy bowl contains dark chocolate (and sour punch straws). Over break, my mom and I were trying to come up with some good, new, festive cookie recipes to make for our chanukah brunch. While my mother doesn't like chocolate, the rest of my family does, so I gave this recipe a try and it was a huge success. Considering the ingredients that go into it, I don't see how it could possibly not be a a success.
(mmm...yummy melty chocolate!)
Posting over the next few weeks may prove to be quite difficult. I have grad school auditions in February (scary!), and competitions coming up in June (assuming I get into them). These things will require a lot of practicing. Luckily, the orchestra office gave me a break this semester and gave me almost no orchestra! I shall try to find the time to cook lots of yummy things and share them with you!
These cookies are amazing with a glass of milk!

Double Chocolate Cherry Truffle Cookies
recipe from 17andbaking

1/2 cup and a tablespoon of all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
5 oz bittersweet chocolate
4 oz unsweetened chocolate
8 tablespoons of butter
4 eggs at room temp
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 tablespoon freshly ground coffee
4 oz semisweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup dried cherries, chopped

Whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, and cream of tartar. Set aside.
Melt bittersweet chocolate, unsweetened chocolate, and butter in a metal bowl set over a pot of simmering water.
Stir frequently until melted and then remove from heat. Allow to cool for about ten minutes.
Meanwhile, beat eggs with mixer (fitted with whisk) on medium speed. Add sugar and beat until eggs triple in volume and hold the line of the whisk. This should take about 10 minutes. Add ground coffee and beat for another minute.
Add the melted and cooled chocolate to eggs on low speed.
Beat until incorporated.
Add dry ingredients, chocolate chips, and dried cherries. Beat until just combined, making sure not to overmix.
Finish mixing it all together by hand with a rubber spatula.
Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Scoop batter into fairly large mounds (2 inches apart), then cook for about 12 minutes.
Allow cookies to cool and then enjoy!

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Apple Latkes

Happy belated Chanukah!During my winter break I did a lot of cooking. I also did a lot of practicing, reading, and tv watching. So I didn't quite get around to blogging about my recipes. I'm back to new york now and plan to blog about a few recipes before I get back to real work.
I've never really liked latkes. That's because your traditional latkes are potato latkes and are often made with a store bought mix. Ew. When I saw this apple latke recipe, I couldn't resist giving it a try. My family had a chanukah brunch on christmas day, providing me with the perfect opportunity to make these.
These latkes were delicious and sweet. I finally found a latke that I liked! My dad, who also doesn't usually like latkes, loved these. We did end up also trying a potato latke recipe that I had to (begrudgingly) admit that I liked. These apple latkes are definitely my favourite though!

Apple Latkes
recipe from Smitten Kitchen

1 lb Granny Smith Apples (2 or 3)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 large eggs
butter for frying
crème fraîche for serving

Peel and core the apples and then grate them (I used a cheese grater).
Transfer grated apple to a clean dishtowel and wring out as much juice as you can.
Transfer grated apple to a medium bowl and toss with lemon juice.
In a small bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, cinnamon, and baking powder, then toss with the apple and lemon mixture.
Whisk eggs in another dish until lightly beaten, then mix into apple, flour, lemon mixture.
Heat a large skillet to medium heat and coat with a pat of butter.
Drop tablespoons of apple batter in little piles on the skillet and gently press flat with a spatula.
Fry until nicely browned underneath (4 or 5 minutes) and then flip. Drain briefly on paper towels.
Add a pat of butter to the pan between each batch of latkes.
Serve with crème fraîche!

You can keep latkes warm in a warming drawer or heated oven (200 degrees) for up to an hour!