Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Eggnog Cheesecake with Gingersnap Crust

A dear friend of mine was nice enough to share this delectable Cheesecake with me and it’s most worthy of my blog.  

This recipe is for a 6” cake that is cooked in an Instant Pot 6QT Pressure Cooker. I use a 6”x3” Fat Daddio Adonized Round Cheesecake Pan with Removable bottom. 
By Temperance B.



  

Serves 6

Ingredients

Crust

1 cup Gingersnap Cookies, crushed to fine crumb
3 tsp. granulated sugar
1/8 tsp. cinnamon (or more per your taste)
3 tbsp. butter, melted

Filling

2 (8 oz.) bricks cream cheese, softened to room temp.
2 large eggs, at room temp
3/4 cups eggnog
1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp. granulated sugar
1 1/2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. dark rum
1/2– 1 tsp. cinnamon (to taste)
1/2 tsp. grated nutmeg, preferable fresh (to taste)


Topping

1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup eggnog
Freshly grated nutmeg


Instructions


Crust

1.  Grease your 6” pan and then place a parchment round (the size of the entire bottom of the pan) into the pan.  Grease the parchment round. (If you don’t have parchment, don’t worry. It just might be a little more difficult to separate the cake from the bottom of the pan.)

2.   Add cookies, sugar and cinnamon to the bowl of food processor or blender and pulse until small crumbs form.

3.  Melt butter in microwave or on stove top and add to graham cracker mixture. Pulse until just combined.

4.  Pour cookie mixture into bottom of greased 6-inch cheesecake pan and press the mixture firmly into the bottom of the pan and one inch up along the sides. (I use a small Pyrex glass bowl with a straight side edge to help press crust into the corners of the pan.)

5.  Place pan with crust into freezer for while preparing the filling.

Filling

1.  In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese until very light and fluffy. Then add the eggs, one at a time, mixing after each addition and scraping down the sides as needed.

2.  Next you’ll need to add in the eggnog and mix until smooth. After that, add the sugar, flour, rum extract, and cinnamon. And yes… mix again until smooth and creamy.

3.  Now pour the mixture into your crust and you’re ready to cook it.


Cook (oven baking directions at the bottom of the recipe)


1.  Add 1.5 cups of water to the bottom of your pressure cooker and then place a trivet inside the pot.

2.  Cover the cheesecake first with a paper towel and then with a piece of aluminum foil and loosely secure the foil.

3.  Place cheesecake into pressure cooker using a foil sling. (You can make your own sling by cutting off a two foot piece of aluminum foil and folding it twice, the long way, so that it will be sturdy.) Fold down the sling sides so it doesn’t interfere with the pressure cooker lid.

4.  Lock on lid and close Pressure Valve.

5.  Cook at High Pressure for 37-43 minutes. Allow a 15-minute natural release. (I use the higher cooking time for a denser center.)

6.  After all the pressure has been released, open pressure cooker and gently remove the pan using your sling. Remove the foil and paper towel and dab off any liquid that may have accumulated.

7.  The center will be a bit jiggly, but don't worry. The heat that is trapped inside will continue to cook the center while the cheesecake cools.

8.  Allow cheesecake to cool on wire rack on counter for 1-2 hours.

9.  Place cheesecake on top of a jar or something small enough to help remove the pan’s ring by gently pulling down on the pan. Keep the cake on the pan’s base and chill in refrigerator for a minimum of 6 hours, preferably overnight.


Serving

1.  Remove cheesecake from fridge about 30 minutes prior to serving.

2.  At this point, you should be able to remove the pan’s base from the cheesecake by gently pulling the parchment round from the base and onto your serving platter. You may need to use a tin knife to help with this.

3.  Make the topping: Beat whipping cream at high speed with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form; fold in remaining 1/2 cup eggnog.

4.  Spread about half of the mixture evenly over top of chilled cheesecake, and garnish with freshly grated nutmeg, if desired. (The remaining topping can be served on the side or to top other deserts. Whipped cream topping should hold in refrigerator for about 2 days.)

5.  To slice your cheesecake: Get a pitcher of hot water and a thin knife (carving or filet knife). Place blade of knife into the hot water and let warm up for about 30 seconds. Remove knife, dry with clean paper towel, slice, repeat this knife process. A clean, hot knife will produce clean cuts in your cake.



Oven Baking Method

1.  Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees. 

2.  Bring about 4 quarts water to simmer in stockpot.

3.  Bake above prepared crust until fragrant and browned about the edges, about 9 minutes or so. (I would cake this on a cookie sheet to prevent leaking). Cool on wire rack while making filling.

4. Set pan with cooled crust on 18-inch-square doubled layer heavy-duty foil and wrap bottom and sides with foil; set wrapped pan in roasting pan. Pour filling into pan with the crust; set roasting pan in oven and pour enough boiling water to come about halfway up side of cake pan.

5.  Bake until center of cake is slightly wobbly when pan is shaken, and center of cake registers 145 to 150 degrees on instant-read thermometer, about 1 hour. (Start checking the cakes’ internal temp around 45 minutes and monitor from there.)

6.  Set roasting pan on wire rack and use paring knife to loosen cake from sides of pan. Cool until water is just warm, about 45 minutes. Remove cake pan from water bath, discard foil, and set on wire rack; continue to cool until barely warm, about 3 hours. 

Notes

Any kind of Crispy Cookie Crumbs can be used, such as Nilla Wafers, Shortbread, Ginger Snaps, Chocolate Thins, Biscoff, Oreo, Lorna Dune, etc.

Use extra flour if you want a denser filling and/or add 5 minutes to your cook time.

Only a 6" or 7" pan will fit in a 6 qt. Pressure Cooker. If you want a cheesecake that is not as tall as the recipe for the 6" pan, use the 7" pan and reduce the cooking time to 32 minutes

If you want a taller cheesecake in the 7" pan, increase the original recipe by half and increase the cooking time to 40 minutes, with a 15 minute Natural Pressure Release.

If using the mini 4 inch pans, divide into three mini pans and cook for 12 minutes, with a 15 minute Natural Pressure Release.

For Single Serving Jar Cheesecake
8 oz Wide Mouth Glass Jar - cook 7 minutes
4 oz Wide Mouth Glass Jar - cook 4 minutes
16 oz Glass Jars - DON'T DO IT!
15 minute Natural Pressure Release

This recipe was adapted from the following recipes and adjusted to my tastes: http://thisoldgal.com/pressure-cooker-new-york-cheesecake/, http://rosebakes.com/eggnog-cheesecake-gingersnap-crust/, http://www.southernliving.com/food/entertaining/creamy-cheesecake-recipes/eggnog-c https://www.americastestkitchen.com 

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Blood Orange Paste

I had this idea about serving my Duckcetta as an appetizer but needed an appropriate canvas. When you make something as good as this your want to showcase it in many different ways. I have already made Pasta Carbonara  and a few others but now I needed to serve it as an appetizer. I came up with the idea for Blood Orange Paste because I knew that Orange pairs well with Duck. Oh Blood Orange Paste just sounds cool too. I made this other dish called "Duck a la me" aka Salami Duck à l'orange Fettuccine and it came out so good that I just knew I had to pair my Duckcetta with Orange. 

Ingredients 

3 Blood Oranges
1 cup of Orange Juice (Blood Orange juice is preferred)
1/2 tsp of salt
2 cups of Sugar (or other sweetener such as Agave to taste)
1/2 tsp of Xanthan Gum
Optional- add some red food coloring if you really want this bright red.I did not add any coloring.



Cut into wedges
Squeeze as much juice out into a  sauce pan
Add Orange Juice, salt and simmer for 90 min....on very low flame
Add Sugar
Simmer until sugar is  completely disolved
Using a VitaMix or something equally powerful process with Xanthan Gum until smooth 
Place in Bowl and refrigerate until ready to use
I placed it in a bag for easy spreading

USES

  • As is.....
  • Mix with BBQ sauce for an orange flavor sauce
  • Mix with your favorite hot sauce and butter for hot wings
  • Also great in stir-frys 
  • Great is desserts
DUCK BRUSCHETTA
(make sure to toast bread)
Herb Goat Cheese spread ,Duckcetta, Orange paste, Sliver of Sun-dried Tom with a little sprinkle of Dill.




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Sunday, October 1, 2017

Pasta Carbonara With Duckcetta

Growing up in NYC and eating (PORK) was normal for me. Having a Sicilian Grandfather turned me on too many many different Italians foods which I miss and love. That being said I have not eaten any Treif in almost 18 years. About 8 months ago I saw a recipe being made on T.V. called, yup you guessed it Pasta Carbonara. I remembered eating this many times as a young man. Traditional Carbonara like the one my grandfather cooked was made with Pancetta or Guanciale. So with that I needed a meat that was high in fat and tasted divine. Well we all know that's Duck. Hence my creation of Duckcetta was born. 

Recipe 
2 whole eggs and 7 yolks
35 grams each of Pecorino Romano and Parmesano Reggiano cheese
200 grams of Duckcetta chopped up
28 grams to toasted finely chopped/grounded up pine nuts
50 grams of Pureeed Sundried Tom packs in olive oil
2 tsp of pepper 
1 lb of Spaghetti
6 Tbl or more of Duck fat or Olive oil

Although this is my recipe I decided to use Serious Eats technique for making the Pasta Carbonara. Their technique is far superior and easier than I was doing. Oh and they have a video too. 


Toast the Pinenuts and grind them up too. I forgot to take a picture of this. Ground Pine nuts give this dish a great texture. 






Measure out the Sun-Dried Tomatoes and puree using a sharp knife or a food processor. 



Measure out the cheese too.....Why two different cheeses? Pecorino Romano Cheese is made from sheep's milk and is salty, tangy and has a umami punch. Whereas Parmigiano Reggiano which comes from Cows Milk is nuttier and is a bit milder. Both cheeses together take this dish over the top. 


These are the end Pieces of the Duckcetta. As you can see in the picture to the right I sliced/chopped them up into about 3/8's of an inch.










Get the eggs ready.......







Toss in the pepper...






Toss in the cheese, Ground up Pine Nuts and cheese. Mix thoroughly. 




Add about 3 Tbl. of Duck fat to the pan and saute the Duckcetta on a very low flame. The Goal is render as much fat as possible without over cooking the Duckcetta.




Mean while.... You should have had the pot of salted water boiling already. Cook the pasta right to the point before al-Dente. Toss the al-dente pasta into pan with the Duckcetta and toss until all the pasta is coated with the duck fat. You might need to add some more so have some on hand. 



Almost done.... Reserve about 2 cups of starchy water and set aside. Add about a 1/2 of water to the pasta and toss with tongs. Using the pasta pot you just used as a double boiler (keep it on simmer) place the bowl on top and keep folding the pasta using tongs. The goal is to thicken the sauce ever so gently without breaking the eggs. keep adding water until you achieve the desired sauce consistency. 

REVIEW- AMAZING!!!


Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Thai Red Curry Galangal Soup

The other night I was thinking about new ways to prepare what I think is the most tender and flavorful cut of meat. In my opinion the Bistro Fillet aka Teres Major is an awe-inspiring and needs to be used in many more recipes. Yes awe-inspiring is the word to describe this cut. This cut has both flavor and tenderness. Although I love serving it as is I believe it could be used in other ways to accompany other creative dishes. I've prepared this cut many times over and now it needs to be combined with something else. It's known for its tenderness and flavor so that makes it easy to pair with just about anything. For several days I contemplated many recipes but the one dish that stuck out at me was curry beef. I love curry!!! Now to create a dish around curry and this meat. 


One of my favorite things to do is dream about food. This is where I create some of my best dishes. I can't explain it but when I close my eyes I fall into a relaxed state and dream about food and ingredients. In this relaxed state I find that I can think outside the box and do some great things. That's what I did with this dish. This dish is less of a recipe and more of a inspiration. It's hard to be precise when creating dishes like this.... a pinch of this and a pinch of that is all you need to create an exquisite dish. This dish is mostly about technique. Yes if I wanted to, and if I was willing too I could make this dish several times and meticulously record ingredients and qualities but that would take away from the genius of this dish. keeping with the basics and using good culinary techniques this dish can be turned into several others just by changing the starch, protein and veggies.


While in a dream state I contemplated several ingredients I had on hand. As some of you already know I make a lot of crazy things that require unusual ingredients. I was actually working on some mustards that would have worked well with these odd ingredients but it didn't happen. In the upper left corner I have some whole coriander that I will grind up which goes well in Thai Soups. The other three are just amazing too!!!! I had on hand Whole Dried Galangal, Ground up Galangal and Whole Dried kaffir Lime Leaves. WOW!!! Amazing ingredients to add to this soup. Just click the links to learn more about these wonderful ingredients. Just a quick gee whiz moment for ya.....these ingredients are the same ones used to make a red curry paste. 


Besides those glorious ingredients listed above there are several more I need to to add to this soup to take it over the top.




No dish would be complete without some Shallots.








Ginger and Garlic is a must of course!! I ground them up in a mini-food processor. Remember to peel the ginger.


Gotta have some shitake mushrooms too. If I could have found more exotic ones I would have used them.










Baby Bok Choy. Clean them a bit and slice across the rib line. 




I love these sweet peppers. Cut them anyway you want but I prefer them this way.









Green onions of course. 







Lemon grass is a must. Clean it very well and remove the outer stalk if you see lots of dirt. Cut it into several sections and using the back of your knife smash and bruise the stalks. 




Cut in half or thirds.









Baby Corn or your other favorite veggie will do nicely in this dish.



This is a must. I prefer the cream to the milk. Denser and richer!!!
"Coconut milk: Coconut milk has the liquid consistency of cow's milk and is made from simmering one partshredded coconut in one part water. Coconut milk is the basis of most Thai curries. Coconut cream: Coconut cream is much thicker and richer. It is made from simmering four parts shredded coconut in one part water."












Red Curry Paste and Red Boat Fish Sauce. You will also need beef stock on hand. Yes I could have made my own Red Curry Paste but sourcing fresh galangal is difficult.






PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER!!!

Again this is just one of those inspirational dishes with no specificity. I'll keep it as simple as possible. There's not much to this soup. As long as you have everything in place (mis en place) all ya have to do is dump and stir and you're done.










Toss in the garlic, ginger and red curry paste and saute for a few minutes in coconut oil. 




Toss in the onions and peppers and do the same. Add some salt and pepper.





Toss in mushrooms and saute for at least 5 minutes. The mushrooms need to lose some moisture. Toss in the Lemongrass (note: Lemongrass was cut in 1/3's and bruised with the back of the knife.) Toss in the dried Galangal, powdered Galangal, dried Kaffir leaves and the ground up Coriander.







Note: The Lemongrass, Kaffir leaves and Whole dried Galangal will not be eaten but is there to impart flavor only. An alternate way to impart flavor without having to eat around or fish out these ingredients is to simmer in beef broth for about 90 minutes. Strain broth after 90 minutes and use in soup. If I was serving this soup to guests I would have done exactly that. 






Add the Green Onion and Cilantro. Give it a whirl for about 3-5 minutes. 




Keep stirring and folding until it looks good. Keep adjusting quantities of cilantro and green onion. This picture is not accurate. I added a whole lot more. 







Add the beef broth and a tablespoon if not more of RedBoat Fish sauce. Toss in the Baby Bok Choy Note: I added a lot of Bok Choy. The Fish Sauce will give you that UMAMI kick you need. Add some brown sugar to taste. Keep adjusting!! You might need to add more Red curry paste or Curry all by itself (make your own curry if you can) I never make it the same way twice and I am still learning. I ended up using more Green Onion, Cilantro, Curry and Black Pepper. If it's not hot enough add some cayenne pepper. Simmer for at least 90 minutes.


Preparing the MEAT!!! 




I used my favorite meat for this dish. Teres Major aka Bistro Fillet.  Treat with 1% of RedBoat Fish Salt (dry-brine). Dry-Brine for 36 hours. Dry-Brine in VAC bags. 






Sous-Vide & Warm-Aged at 104 f degrees for 2 hrs and then finished at 128 f for 3 hrs and 45 minutes (15 minutes added to get temp up from 104f to 128f). 



Make sure meat is very cold!!!
Combine Galangal powder, Coriander,  Curry powder and pepper to taste. Do not add any salt. Make sure meat is completely dry. Spray with a some oil and coat with spice mixture.  


Coat with AP flour which will absorb any additional moisture still present. The AP flour will also help with the browning aka Maillard reaction. 


Finish anyway you want. I chose at 750 f degree grill. All we are trying to do is brown the outside. The inside is perfectly cooked. Even though they went on cold the massive heat of the grill warmed the inside. At the bottom I will have extra pictures of the meat.





Have on hand Lime Wedges, Basil (Tai is better) and Bean Sprouts.





Also- Green Onion, Cilantro and Crushed Peanuts.




Make sure you have some of that spice mixture you made earlier. And of course Rice or Rice noodles!!!!






Serve it all UP!!!!!!!











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