Jack is Cooking Pastry # 4

Well Hello Internet!
This past pastry class we made some brioche products (more on that later, i actually made brioche over the weekend, so i will post that separately)  and we also made a delicious orange cinnamon bread loaf. 
So we made a mango coconut tarte out some of the brioche.  this is also really delicious.  i got a little fancy with my arrangements of the mango.

And heres the loaf!  on the inside is a delicious cinnamon swirl, and the bread is slightly orange flavored.

mmm mmm delicious!

Jack is Cooking Tarts

Well Hello Internet!

On this rainy sunday i decided to see if i could recreate some of the tartes we made in school at home.  except with a few of my own twists!

so i made a tarte in same style as a tarte bourdalou, except instead of pears i used peaches.

but i did everything the same, i poached the peaches and made an almond cream.  it was a little more difficult with peaches because they are a bit softer.  and unfortunately one of my peach halves got destroyed when i was trying to get it off of the stone, so i ended up with only 5 peach spokes instead of 6.  oh well, i bet its delicious still!

here it is before baking:

and after:

then i made a tarte aux pommes (apple tart).  for this tarte for the apple compote i used a sweeter apple so i wouldn’t have to use so much sugar.  i cooked it in goslings rum to give it some extra yummy flavor.  then since i had some almond cream left from the peach tarte, i put some of that on the bottom.

on top i used granny smith apples since they are nicely acidic.  i cut them up really thin, and arranged them in such a way that i was able to have three spinning layers instead of two.  it ended up looking pretty cool.

Here it is before baking:

and after:
and both together!:
mmm mmm delicious!

Jack is Cooking Pastry #3

Well Hello Internet!
Tonight in class we made a Linzer Tort.  its pretty delicious looking, but man was it tough.  not because of any particular reason but mostly because the dough is so soft it breaks so easily!  anyways its filled the crust is made from hazelnuts, and its filled with almond cream and raspberries. 
we also made a tarte flambée, but i forgot to take a picture of it.  its basically just a pizza with tons of caramalized onions covered with a custard made from creme fraiche, fromage blanc, and an egg, topped with bacon and cheese.  yup pretty much a pizza heart attack… delicious but yeah… not exactly something i’d make all the time.
but here is the linzer tort! 
p.s. i just tasted this tort, and while its pretty good, we used some kind of premade raspberry filling.  which while is ok i absolutely know that if i ever made this again i would go through the trouble of making the raspberry fillings myself, because i absolutely love raspberries, and this just needs to be more raspberry-y!

Jack is Cooking Quiche

Well Hello Internet!

Over the weekend to practice for my quiche endeavors i made one at home.  in fact tonight i have made another quiche!  this one is better than both the ones i made before!  the first one i made was lacking a certain technique we learned in the class.  the one we made in the class was ok, but was a little plain, and the quality of the cheese was not superb.  but the one tonight combined the best of both!  im on a quiche roll!

anyways quiches are pretty easy to make, and they sure are delicious!

you can make them with pretty much anything but the basics for a quiche lorraine are

eggs
milk
salt
pepper
a pinch of nutmeg
cream
bacon
and gruyere cheese

and of course a crust

i have been making my own pastry crust, but that’s a whole other post.  so to keep things simple i reccoment just buying a frozen pastry crust.  and make sure its not a desert pastry crust because those tend to be sweeter.  if it is not cooked yet bake the crust first.  until it is a little golden.  (a clever trick here is to line the crust with parchment paper and fill the crust with rice, or beans.  this stops the bottom of the crust from bubbling up and breaking!!)

for this quiche that i made i went a little fancier, and i used this:

2 eggs
100 ml of heavy cream
100 ml of milk
salt
pepper
paprika
50 grams of pancetta
leeks
spinach
30 grams of goat cheese
60 grams of gruyere cheese

so first! blind b
cook the bacon and the leeks and the spinach.  after they are cooked set them aside.  grate the gruyere cheese finely.  and slice up the goat cheese.  hold all this on the side

in a bowl, whisk the eggs.  add in the milk and the cream, and whisk them all together.  add the salt and pepper, and paprika, and if you have a little nutmeg put a sprinkling of nutmeg in.  don’t put all that much salt in because the pancetta and the gruyere are naturally salty.  this is the custard

then take your pastry crust, and crumble the goat cheese evenly in it. then sprinkle the gruyere cheese over this.  on top of this spread out the cooked bacon spinach and leeks.

next!  take the custard and using a strainer (if you have one, its not totally essential) slowly pour the custard over the all the other ingredients, careful not to let it spill over the sides of the crust.

then bake it for 25 minutes at 275° or 350° or until the custard is set.  you can tell its set because a knife will come out cleanly, yet it will still be slightly jiggly if you shake it.  like jello!

personally i like it a little brown on the top so i stuck it under the broiler for 1 minute after just to give it a nice browning on top.

and ta-da!  quiche!:

Jack is Cooking the Best Damn Pasta Sauce You Ever Ate

Well Hello Internet!
over the weekend i made this super delicious pasta sauce.  i have to say it is probably the best damn pasta sauce i ever ate.  and i say that because i really don’t like plain tomato sauce all that much.  i don’t know why but i find that people spice it wrong and over cook it.  i don’t know why they do this, because tomatoes are awesome!  why all the spices and all the cooking for hours and hours and hours until there is nothing left but tomato paste?!
first off, i have to say that this is most definitely not my recipe.  i saw this made on Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations the other day in his episode about techniques.  i did some tweaking here and there but the recipe is essentially from Chef Scott Conant from Scarpetta restaurant.

Heres what you’ll need:
5 ripe plum tomatoes
4 cloves of garlic
an onion
a bunch of fresh basil
1 cup of olive oil
pasta
butter
cheese

First i blanched the tomatoes in hot water for like 15 seconds, and removed them immediately.  (i saved the water so i didn’t have to boil more, to cook the pasta in)

after the tomatoes where blanched i skinned them, cut them open and squeezed out the insides into a bowl (save this bowl for if the sauce gets too dry.  then you can add this juicy pulp into the sauce).  i put the remaining part of the tomatoes into a pot with 1 quarter of the olive oil (1/4 cup) and i mashed them with a potato masher until they were pulpy.  i let this simmer for like 30 minutes until it became pretty saucy (mashing from time to time)

in another pot, i put the rest of the olive oil, all the garlic (whole cloves) the onion (chopped up) and maybe 10 fresh leaves of basil, and i let this simmer in the oil for the entire time that the tomato sauce cooked.
when both of these things were done i took a strainer and i strained the oil into the tomato sauce (giving it all the flavor but none of the bits! genius!  this is the most genius part, and what makes it the best damn sauce you ever ate!)  then stir it up real good.
( but wait!  don’t throw out all that delicious onion and garlic and basil!  its good for other stuff!  like a quiche!  which should be in a post very soon!
then in a frying pan i sauteed up some pancetta (this is where i moved on from the scarpetta recipe) 
i spooned some of the sauce into the pan to reduce it in a small amount (instead of letting the sauce sit for like 2 hours:
I then tossed in the pasta  and put a pat of butter in it.  this is the final step in the deliciousness!  it made it all nice and super creamy!  yum!!
I then served it with a grating of gruyere cheese (which is a nice alternative to parmesan), and some more fresh basil on top for colour!
mmmmm mmmmm delicious!!!