Godspeed My Son
Nothing warms my heart more than people cooking for their loved ones…except when people do it using my recipes. Liberty, being the wonderfully brave and adventurous little thing that she is, decided to take on my roast chicken. Im not going to lie, I am always a little bit nervous when it comes to Liberty’s cuisine skills. She may be a wizard with sugar and a piping tip, but she’s practically a walking disaster with a knife set. Despite this fact, she did manage to pull off a delicious dinner for her family, and so can you (seriously). The fact that the chickens were slightly burned and that she spent some time in the ER as a result is not the point. I evaluate on the whole, and I’m very proud of her. Total domestic triumph. I’ll let her get into the details…
Okay, so I am the one who actually went away, but details, details. There ain’t no sunshine and there ain’t no cook. I am in charge of an entire dinner for my family. Me. I am not a cook. I am an artist, a patissiere, a pretty-thing maker, not a cook. So think of sunshine as a metaphor for roast chicken and without Serena, we are still running naked through the barnyard.
But, Serena assured me I can do this (she also told me my fake eyelashes looked real….) Here I go, armed with our last dinner post of roast chicken. I will be the first guinea pig and try to recreate Serena’s masterpiece (and this time I will be sure to buy neckless and footless chickens).
Please view “Don’t have a hernia, but I invited 24 people to dinner”
|I made him stick his hand in the cavity to clean it out. Very helpful.|
|I had a little too much of the background to do a good job on the what is in the foreground|
|Okay a little burned, okay maybe a lot burned (Serenaaaaaaaa). Whatever, the dessert was delicious and probably more importantly, everybody was wasted.|
“Scrape off the floor they’re so good” Carrots, Turnips, Green Beans
Please view “Girls’ Night”
|I had given up at this point.|
Preparing your bruschetta:
-Slice baguette in 1/2 inch slices
-brush the slices with olive oil and let sit for 30 minutes
-put in oven on broil for about 4 minutes (keep an eye on it**) about 15 minutes before you are ready to serve
|Your brush breaks? No problem, you can really “feel” the food.|
–Pretty simple just bread, mozzarella, tomato and then sprinkle with fresh basil. I like to add a bit more olive oil and salt, but you always have to taste a couple to get the seasoning right, ya know?
So here is my overall experience on the cuisine side: Serena is awesome. It is hard to cook delicious food, but at the same time it is ridiculously fun. The disasters were the best part of the whole evening (and were helped along with copious amounts of alcohol). Mine certainly was not as good as Serena’s, no doubt about it, but no one else needs to know that and more importantly, it was better than it could ever have been if I didn’t follow our previous recipes! 😉
And the best part, if I can do it, you can too.
Raspberry Macaroons with Pastry Cream, Raspberry Coulis, and Candied Orange IceCream
1 1/4 cups ground almonds
4 T sugar
6 egg whites
1 tsp cream of tartar
red food coloring
raspberry jam (optional)
Preparing your macarons:
-preheat the oven to 425 degrees fahrenheit and prepare a baking sheet lined with parchment paper
-mix the powdered sugar and ground almonds well in a big mixing bowl (I use a whisk to really incorporate everything well)
-mount the egg whites with the cream of tartar until very stiff (Chef X makes us do it by hand, my right bicep is a rock)
-add the sugar to the egg whites when they are very stiff
-add the food coloring to the egg whites
-add the raspberry jam at this point (it will taste better in my opinion, HOWEVER, macaroons are very tempermental and if you add the jam, they will probably not look as pretty)
-fold the egg whites into the dry ingredients. HERE IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF MACAROON MAKING: fold with a spatula until the mixutre is very shiny, not lumpy, and peaks as it dribbles off the spatula. If you don’t mix it enough, you will have very lumpy macaroons, and if you mix it too much you will have thin, brittle macaroons. Personally, I would err on the side of mixing too little.
-pour the mixture into a pastry bag and pipe away (about the size of a sand dollar)
1/8 cup sugar
vanilla (1 vanilla bean pod scraped out)
4 egg yolks
1/8 cup sugar
2 T custard powder
1T, 1 teaspoon flour
1 gelatin leaf
1 cup whipped cream (optional)
1 T pastis alcohol (anise-flavored)
Preparing your pastry cream:
-Put the milk, vanilla, and 1st quantity of sugar in a sauce pan on medium heat and bring to a boil
-Mix the egg yolks and sugar in a bowl with a whisk well (do not let them sit together without whisking because this will form lumps)
-add the custard powder and flour to the egg mixture
-when the milk boils, add it to the egg mixtures, whisk well, and then put everything back in the sauce pan to boil, whisking constantly
-After the mixture boils, cool it for about one more minute, whisking very well (careful here it can burn on the bottom)
-remove from heat and whisk in the gelatin leaves (I forgot to do this and it helps but is not necessary if the gelatin leaves are too hard to find)
-pour into a large pan to cool with saran wrap on top in direct contact with the pastry cream (this keeps the pastry cream from forming a skin as it cools)
-When the pastry cream is cool, add the pastis alcohol and if you want to, fold in the whipped cream (I personally love the taste of just pastry cream so I skip the whipped cream)
2 T Powdered SugarTo prepare:
-place raspberries and powdered sugar in a sauce pan on medium heat
-whisk constantly until raspberries are liquidy
-Strain into a bowl and set aside to cool
Assembly: I put the icecream in martini glasses and the pastry cream filled macaroons on a little gold paper with strawberries and the raspberry coulis as decoration. With so many elements, the plating is endless. I had drank a lot of wine at this point, so I went for simple.
I gave my mother a job, watch the bread. No such luck. It was burned. Domesticated people know that when enlist your friends, family, whatever for help, things can go really wrong. The bread was black, no scraping off the top would ever save it. Lucky and Louis to the rescue. As Louis said, “we are like the blues brothers, on a mission from God.”. Okay, so there may have been a bit of a language barrier going on because I don’t really understand what that means, but off they went on their bicycles with berets intact (on Easter Sunday at 8pm no less) to find bread. This is St Emillion folks, (teensy tiny village in France)-nothing was open-nothing. How they managed to acquire bread I have no idea, but mission success!!!
As I was browning the chicken legs (ew) I had turned the heat up too high on the skillet. The grease was spitting like crazy and decided to spit right into my eye. Yes, into my eye, not on the corner, not on my cheekbone, into my eye. However, in the vein of true greatness, I triumphed over that grease and served dinner…then I went to the emergency room. It hurt like death, but good news folks, eyes heal 5 times faster than skin, so I only looked like a pirate for a day. No problemo.
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