Monday, July 14, 2008

Pineapple Ginger Punch

1 cup pineapple juice, strained
1 cup ginger syrup
1 cup sparkling water or sparkling wine
1 sprig fresh mint or lavender
1/4 teaspoon sugar

Thoroughly chill liquid ingredients. Remove leaves from stem of herb. Discard stem and muddle leaves with sugar in a chilled serving container. Add cold liquids, stir, and taste. Correct balance according to taste. Adding ice will dilute flavors.

For pineapple juice
Make your own or buy the very best you can afford. Commercially manufactured juice may have additions of water, sugar, preservatives, and grape, apple, pear, or other juices, and will decrease the intensity of the pineapple's flavor.

For ginger syrup
Very thinly slice 4-inches of fresh ginger root. Place in saucepan with 2 cups water and 2 cups sugar. Cover and bring to boil without stirring or removing the cover. Simmer for at least 30 minutes. Without removing cover, take off heat and cool. Strain and chill syrup. After a month, the flavor begins to fade. Recipe may be doubled or halved.

Double Pie Crust

12 oz all-purpose flour (2.5 cups)
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 Tablespoons sugar
8 oz unsalted butter (2 sticks) cut into 1/4-inch dice, cold
1/4 cup frozen vodka
1/4 cup ice water

1. Blend flour, salt, and sugar. Cut in butter until pieces no bigger than split peas remain. With large spatula, quickly fold in both liquids, until fully incorporated. Dough should clean sides of bowl. With floured hands, press slightly more than half of the dough into a ball, then flatten into a 4-inch disc. Lightly flour, wrap in plastic, and chill for at least 4 hours. Repeat with the other half of the dough.

2. Let larger dough disk rest at room temperature for 5 minutes before rolling. Roll to 1/8-inch thickness, a disk about 13 inches in diameter. Roll onto pin and unroll into pie plate. Without pressing, work dough into corner of plate and trim edge to 1/2 inch overhang. Chill. Roll out the second dough disk to 1/8-inch thickness and place on floured, rimless cookie sheet. Chill both doughs for at least 30 minutes.

3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees with rimmed cookie sheet on lowest level. Let both doughs rest at room temperature for 5 minutes before working with them. Fill the pie plate, place second dough disk atop pie and trim with scissors to match bottom edge. With fork, seal top and bottom crusts. Crimp, vent, and bake on pre-heated cookie sheet for 30 minutes. Crust will be just beginning to color. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and continue to bake until crust is nut brown, another 40 minutes. If filling begins to bubble, but crust is not deeply brown, then switch heat source to broil without moving the pie and watch very closely. Crust will begin to color in less than 1 minute. Remove and cool on rack, about 4 hours.

Monday, July 7, 2008

July Cream Puffs

Sunday, July 5
in the kitchen of Sharon Myers, for the 8th year in a row voted Brattleboro's best caterer

Tea-smoked salmon on cucumber and baguette with sesame mayonnaise and scallion

Thai fried rice with grilled salmon
Steamed salmon coconut pudding with red curry in banana-leaf bowl
Pan-Asian coleslaw (1 part sesame oil, 1 part mirin, 1 part rice vinegar, plus cayenne, lime zest, lime juice, salt)
Snap peas and zucchini with red wine and mint

Gateau St.-Honorè

Michael Krasner
John Calvi
Brian Long
Lyn ___
Lynna ___