Jack is Cooking Endives au Jambon

Well Hello Internet!

I was in the store the other day (the kind that sells food), and although it is not endive season the endives looked particularly delicious.  So i thought i would make Endives Au Jambon, which is a classic french dish (i presume) comprised of Endives wrapped in Ham, bathed in béchamel and topped with cheese baked in an oven.  There are two ways to do this – the quickest way to do it is to just blanche the Endives, before wrapping them in ham and baking them.  The Second way is to butter braise them which takes a little longer but is extra especially delicious – in a buttery Julia Child kind of way.  So i suggest the latter.  It’s very easy to do, and all you need are endives, ham, cheese, flour, milk, and butter.  oh and some lemon juice.  and some salt and pepper.  and some nutmeg…

Heres exactly what you will need:

5 or 6 Endives (2 per person)
5 or 6 slices of ham (1 per endive)

4 tablespoons of butter
juice of one half lemon
3 tablespoons of flour
2 cups of milk
salt and pepper
a pinch of ground nutmeg
1/4 cup water

1/2 pound gruyere cheese (grated)

You will also need 1 heavy bottomed pot, 1 small pot, and a casserole dish.

The First thing to do is to butter braise the Endives.  To do this we can follow Julia Child’s recipe which is this:
(preheat oven to 325°)

Rub 2 tablespoons of butter in the bottom of a heavy pan (like a Creuset).  Take the Endives (which have been washed) and place them in the pan.  I like to rub them around in the pan to get them coated in the butter.  add some salt and pepper, the lemon juice, and the 1/4 cup of water.  Cover the pot and on the stove slowly boil for 10 minutes.

Endives Braising in Butter

After 10 minutes, uncover the pot and turn the heat all the way up and boil for another 10 minutes – until there is only 1 – 2 tablespoons of liquid left in the pot.  At this point take some waxed paper, and put on top of the endives – this will keep them from burning in the oven.  Place them in the oven for 30 minutes.

After about 20 minutes it is time to
make the Bechamel for the next stage.  To make the béchamel place 2 tablespoons of butter in a pan on the stove.  When the butter melts add in 3
tablespoons of flour.  you will have a yellowish paste.  with whisk in hand add the milk in slowly – 1/4 cup at a time – continuously whisking.  You don’t want to have any lumps, so make sure that all the lumps disappear before you add the next 1/4 cup of milk.  (NEVER STOP WHISKING!) once all the milk is in, and it has come to a boil you will have a nice thick sauce.  at this point add the salt and pepper, and a generous pinch of nutmeg.

By this point the Endives will be Ready so take them out of the oven.  Turn the oven up to 450°

After Coming out of the Oven

Get your casserole dish out, and pour some of the béchamel into the bottom of it.  (about half).
Next with some tongs, carefully take each Endive and roll it up in a piece of ham
Ready to Roll

After rolling, place each roll into the casserole dish on top of the béchamel sauce.  once you have all of the rolled up Endives in the dish, pour the rest of the béchamel over them and top with the gruyere cheese.

After Cheesing

Place back in the oven at 450° for 30 minutes and cook until the cheese has gone all bubbly and brown.  If you want you can also place it in the broiler at the very end to give the cheese a nice browning.

Here it is after emerging from the oven:

Nice gooey melted Cheese

Close-up

And that’s about it!  its good served with a green vegetable of your choice!  i used sautéed mustard greens. 

Jack is Cooking Pecan Pie

Well Hello Internet!


Since tomorrow is thanksgiving, tonight i am making pecan pie!  A whole lot of pecan pies!
these ingredients are enough for 3 pies

9 eggs
2 1/4 cup of sugar
2 cups of agave nectar
3 teaspoons of vanilla
3 pinches of salt
4 cups of chopped pecans
1 cup of whole pecans
3 pie crusts (i used gluten free pie crusts)

ok so i mixed everything except the pecans together in a big bowl:


this is what it looked like when everything was mixed.  make sure all the sugar and eggs are mixed in!


then i added the chopped pecans, and really mixed those in too.


you gotta keep mixing!  it will separate!

anyways,
while i was mixing i put the pie crusts in the oven for 5 minutes to precook them.
when i took them out i poured the filling in and then made some patterns with the whole pecans:


i baked it for 45 minutes at 350°
it may take a little longer, or a little less based on your oven, but if you poke it with a fork, it should be pillowy, but firm.  imagine an omelette filled with sugar and pecans!  😀



But wait!  Didn’t I say that I was making three pies?

I decided to get a little creative and I made two more pies with the remaining pie mixture, combining it with pumpkin pie!

I used just a canned pumpkin pie mix and folledthe directions on the can. Luckily both pies cook the same amount of time!

The first pie, I made a ying yang.  I used parchment paper to create the division while pouring.






I baked this one first for 15 minutes at 425. Then I remove the parchment paper. The pie was now firm enough p remove it but not too firm:  then I turned the oven to 350 and baked for another 25 minutes


The second pie was kind of a swirl. I poured the pecan mixture into the pumpkin mixture, and then swirled!  here’s how it came out:

I call it the milky way pumpkin-pecan pie!

Here’s both:

And here’s all the pies!!


Oh man 4 pies!  I think well have to eat one tonight… They are irresistable!


happy thanksgiving!


mmm mmmm delicious!

Jack is Cooking Pasta with Garlic and French Cut Beans

Well Hello Internet!
On this day before the Feast that thanksgiving is, i have a quick pasta dish to share with you!
i’m sure this has a fancy name, but i don’t know what it is.  its delicious though, and really easy to make!
Here’s what you’ll need:
Pasta (any kind will do)
Garlic (2 or 3 cloves)
French Cut Beans (or peas, or any green vegetable.  broccoli is good with this too!)
olive oil
salt and pepper
so i cooked the pasta, and i sauteed the beans with garlic olive oil and salt and pepper
when the pasta was done i tossed it in with the beans and garlic
then i put some cheese on top!
mmm mmm delicious!!

Jack is cooking (Baking) Sourdough Bread 11/02/09

Well Hello Internet!

Tonight i baked a new loaf of bread, and i did it exactly the same way as i did the last loaf, except i baked it a little longer.  I think i seem to have finally got it down!

heres what i did:

this morning (at 9 am)
i took 1.5 cups of starter
mixed it with 3 cups of water
and 4 cups of white flour

i let it sit until 7 pm

this is what it looked like:

i then removed 1.5 cups of this sponge and put it back in the starter

to this i then added
half a cup of olive oil
1.5 tablespoons of salt
1 tablespoon of sugar

after i folded in those ingredients i folded, and then kneaded in
3 cups of flour

i let it sit for 20 minutes:

After that i removed 1/3 of the dough to save to make pizza tomorrow! (follow link!)

I folded the remaining dough into the loaf and let it rise for 2.5 hours (it seems to take longer now that the summer is over).

I baked it in the oven for 15 minutes at 450° and then turned the oven down to 350° and baked it for another 35 minutes.

Here it is:


Jack is (was) Cooking Pastrami – back in july

Well hello internet!

This post is a little unusual, because i am not actually cooking pastrami right now. But i did! this past summer! and man oh man was it delicious!

Heres what made me think about it:
today i decided to bite the bullet and spend 17 dollars on a Reuben Sandwich from Katz’s Deli.

i eat maybe one of these a year.

but they are the most delicious thing probably ever.

so!

it made me remember, that i can actually make this myself! it just takes a month…

Heres how i did it.

Ingredients:
4 tablespoons black peppercorns

2 tablespoon plus 4 teaspoons dried thyme
12 bay leaves, crumbled
4 teaspoons whole cloves
1/2 cup minced garlic
4 teaspoons whole juniper berries, plus 2/3 cup crushed juniper berries
32 cups (or 8 quarts) water
1 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 1/2 cup kosher salt
1 (8 to 10 pound) beef brisket
1 1/3 cup coarsely ground black pepper

In a bowl mix the peppercorns, thyme, bay leaves, cloves, garlic, and the whole juniper berries. in a giant pot – big enough to hold 32 cups of water! Mix the Water, the Sugar, and the Salt, until everything is dissolved. Remove from heat and add in the spice mixture from the bowl. let it steep like tea, for an hour (or until the water is no longer hot! if the water is hot when you put the brisket in, it will start cooking the brisket)

Place the brisket in a glass or plastic container – (like a 5 gallon bucket!) Pour the brine over the brisket until it is covered completely. Cover and refrigerate for 3 weeks (YES 3 WEEKS!), turning the brisket every couple of days.

Get your smoker going.  follow what ever instructions come with it.

Remove the brisket from the brine, and dry it.  At this point you can get rid of the brine!

Next Take 2/3 cup crushed juniper berries and 2/3 cup of ground black pepper and throw it in a bowl.  (i used a coffee grinder to grind both the juniper berries and pepper corns into a nice chunky mixture)
Take this mixture and start rubbing it into the brisket,  like your giving it a massage…  Really get it in there you know?!

anyways, make sure the whole thing is covered in the pepper mixture.

Place the brisket in the smoker and smoke for about 1 hour per pound. so 8 or 9 hours. Remove from the smoker and then place in a steamer, and steam it for another hour.

The steaming is the secret step to make it deliciously juicy.

heres the finished sandwich
on rye bread
with sour kraut,
and swiss cheese
and mustard