Friday, March 27, 2015

Terrine de Foie Gras

Expensive? Yes. Delicious? Yes. Hard to make? Nope. Terrine de Foie Gras is just about the easiest of the old time “haut cuisine” dishes to make. Just duck liver (the foie gras) a little sweet wine, salt and pepper. Here’s how it works:

The Liver

This is by far the hardest part: cutting out the various veins and nerves. And it’s not really hard, just messy and time consuming. Neatness doesn’t really count since we’re going to jam everything into the terrine anyway.

You end up with a pile of liver and a pile of veins and nerves

The liver goes into a bowl with a little salt and some sweet wine. I used the traditional Sauternes, but Bocuse and others call for Port. I suspect that any sweet, deeply flavorful wine will work just as well. Once well mixed the liver goes into the refrigerator for a couple hours.

Then you just jam everything into a small (that’s a 3 cup) terrine lined with plastic wrap.

And into a bain-marie in a 200° F oven until the internal temperature reaches 115° F.

Pour off the tasty duck fat and save it for fried potatoes. Press the contents of the terrine for a couple hours, then back into the ‘fridge for a couple days.

While the terrine is settling in, make the Sauternes Jelly. If, like me, you bought half a bottle of Sauternes you’ll have almost exactly the right amount left over to make Sauternes Jelly.

Two days resting in the 'fridge and there you have it!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Chili Chocolate Bars

This is an incredibly delicious (and easy) recipe for miniature chocolate bars inspired by the ones from elBulli 2005-2011.  It has just 4 ingredients and takes maybe half an hour to make.

Chili Chocolate Bars
Recipe by William Colsher

  • 125 grams Sugar
  • 2 Tbs Water
  • 1-2 grams Aleppo Pepper Flakes
  • 225 grams 74% Chocolate

  • Cooking Directions

    1. Combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan.

    2. Over medium heat bring the mixture to a boil.

    3. Continuing boiling until a golden caramel forms.
    4. Remove the pan from the heat and let it cool slightly.

    5. Carefully stir in the Aleppo Pepper flakes and pour the caramel onto a silpat. One gram of Aleppo Pepper flakes will give the chocolates a pretty subtle heat so adjust the amount of pepper to your tastes.
    6. When it has hardened break it into large pieces and store them in an airtight container.

    7. Temper the chocolate using the water bath method.

    8. While the chocolate is tempering mill the caramel to a coarse powder and return it to the container.
    9. When the chocolate is tempered, open the bag and pour it into the caramel container.
    10. Fold the two together. Be sure to scrape up the caramel powder lurking in the corners of the container.

    11. Pour a blob of the chocolate onto a mini-bar mold and smooth it into the forms with an offset spatula.
    12. Set the filled mold in a cool dry place to set.

    13. Release the bars from the mold, trim, and serve.

One gram of Aleppo Pepper flakes will give the chocolates a pretty subtle heat so adjust the amount of pepper to your tastes.

This recipe makes enough chocolate to fill three of the little mold that I used. If, like me, you only have one mold you can just float the container back in the water bath while each batch sets up. Be sure to dry it carefully before you open it for the next batch.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Thermomix Hummus

Za'atar Spiced Shrimp & Thermomix Hummus
There are about a billion Thermomix hummus recipes floating around the internet. This one is a Thermomix adaptation of Michael Solomonov's well known recipe.

Recipe by Michael Solomonov, Adapted by William Colsher
  • 225 grams Dry Chickpeas
  • 8 grams Baking Soda
  • Half head Garlic, skin on
  • 170 grams Tehini paste
  • 55 grams grape seed oil
  • 28 grams Fresh Lemon Juice
  • To Taste Salt
  • To Taste Cumin
Cooking Directions
  1. Dissolve the baking soda in 1 liter of cold water.

  2. Place the chickpeas in a deep container, pour in the water (the chickpeas should be covered to at least twice their height) cover the container and refrigerate for 18-24 hours.
  3. Drain and rinse the chickpeas. Place them in the Thermomix simmering basket along with the half head of garlic.
  4. Fill the Thermomix bowl with water so the soaked chickpeas are completely submerged.
  5. Cover the Thermomix bowl, bring the water to a boil at Varoma/Stir then reduce the heat to 100°/Stir.
  6. Every 15 minutes or so you might want to skim the water. This is completely optional. 
  7. Cook until the chickpeas are completely tender. Start checking them after about 45 minutes. If they take more than an hour to cook, buy them somewhere else next time.
  8. When they're cooked, lift out the basket and reserve the cooking liquid.
  9. Dump the cooked chickpeas back into the Thermomix. Add the tehini paste, grape seed oil, and lemon juice and about 100 ml of the reserved cooking water.

  10. Not Ready Yet - Add More Cooking Liquid
  11. Replace the cover and begin processing the ingredients at speeds no higher than 3. You'll have to scrape down the sides a couple times until it gets going.
  12. Continue processing the hummus at successively higher speeds, adding additional cooking water as needed.You want to get to the point where the hummus stays on the blades at speed 5.

  13. That's More Like It.

  14. Process on speed 5 for about 2 minutes. The goal is light, smooth paste with virtually no lumps.
  15. Add salt and ground cumin to taste.
  16. Serve with your choice of protein or simply garnished with good olive oil and a squeeze of lemon.


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