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Archive for May, 2020

Caramelized Onion Tart with Brûléed Gruyère

KitchenInspirations Original Recipe

Makes one 20 cm (8 inch) tart. Serves 4 as a main course or 6 as an appetizer course.

Ingredients:

  • 240 g sweet onions, thinly skiced
  • 15 g butter
  • 15 mL cognac
  • 2 large eggs
  • 30 mL milk
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • 60 g gruyère cheese, grated
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 single pie crust, blind baked

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375° F.
  2. Heat the butter in a pan until melted, add onions and cook until caramel in colour. Deglaze pan with cognac, set aside.
  3. Whisk to combine eggs, milk, nutmeg and season.
  4. Spread cooked onions into the pie crust evenly, pour in the egg mixture and bake for 10 minutes.
  5. Cover the tart with Gruyère and continue to bake until cheese is melted and somewhat brûléed. Cover crust with foil if getting too dark.
  6. Allow to stand for 5 minutes. Serve hot.

Almond Flour Pie Crust

Makes one 20 cm (8 inch)  pie crust.

Ingredients:

  • 100 g almond flour
  • 8 g psyllium husk, ground
  • 30 g unsalted butter, cold
  • 30 mL egg whites
  • 20 g toasted sesame seeds
  • Salt

Directions:

    1. Preheat the oven to 375° F.
    2. Add everything but the sesame seeds to your food processor and pulse to make a soft dough. Remove and gently kneed in the sesame seeds.
    3. Roll between 2 sheets of parchment paper to fit a 20 cm (8 inch) tart pan. Press into the pan and up the sides evenly. Dock the pastry well.
    4. Blind bake the tart shell for 12-15 minutes, covering the sides if they bake too quickly.

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Stroopwafels

I was introduced to Stroopwafels last summer when I assisted for a Tangerine Bank commercial. These gorgeous, sweet, caramel-filled wafers are served in Belgium and Holland with coffee or tea. They are generally a little hard so they are placed over a hot beverage so the steam could soften them.

I purchased my pizzelle maker in a wonderful little kitchen store in Brussels where I was totally lost for at least an hour; I was fully aware that the pizzelle maker was almost a kilogram (2 pounds) — at least 2 pairs of shoes. These delicious cookies were definitely worth it (but don’t tell JT)!

Stroopwafels

Makes about 50 stroopwaffles (25 filled) various sizes in diameter

Ingredients for the dough:

  • 500 g all-purpose flour
  • 8 g active dry yeast
  • 2 g ground cinnamon 
  • 150 g sugar 
  • 125 g cold unsalted butter, cubbed
  • 100 ml warm milk 
  • 2 large eggs 
  • Pinch of salt

Directions:

  1. In the large bowl of your food processor, pulse the flour, yeast, cinnamon, salt and sugar until well combined.
  2. Add the butter and pulse until the texture resembles small peas.
  3. Whisk the warm milk with the eggs and slowly pour into the flour mixture pulsing until a soft ball is achieved.
  4. Remove the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead by hand a few minutes. Cover in plastic film and allow to rest for 30 minutes.
  5. Roll the dough out to about 1 mm and cut into just slightly smaller than pizzelle-size rounds.
  6. Heat your iron according to instructions. Place one round in the middle, press down the top lid and bake each waffle for approximately 16 seconds, flipping the iron over at 8 seconds.
  7. Carefully remove from the iron and lay flat to cool. Repeat to cook each round.
  8. When cool fill with a dollop caramel sauce (recipe below).

Ingredients for the caramel filling:

  • 260 g light brown sugar 
  • 200 g unsalted butter 
  • 5 g ground cinnamon 
  • 100 mL corn syrup
  • 25 mL vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Combine the sugar and the butter, stirring slowly over a low heat. Add the cinnamon and the corn syrup and continue to stir until the caramel comes together and slowly bubbles (220F, softball stage). Add the vanilla extract and stir it in. Keep the caramel warm.

Notes:

  • I understand that true stroopwafels must be split and filled with the caramel, however, this pizzelle maker flattened them too much and splitting was impossible. Authentic Stroopwaffels are split when hot and filled. If you can make authentic stroopwafels you have to work fast to split each one while the waffle is hot. The moment it cools, it will break so make sure you have all the items you need within reach.
  • To evenly heat your pizzelle mould, place it over the heat and flip every 2 minutes until it has reached around 350°F.

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How are you? It’s a question that has gained more substance than it garnered in the past. We used to ask it in passing, often not even thinking about the answer, which was usually, “fine”. Our answers have become more thoughtful because now we are genuinely asking. Making sure everyone is “fine” is the only way of taking care of one another at this time.

I honestly miss cooking for my friends and family. Oh sure, I’ve baked a few care-packages, but it’s not the same as sharing a meal you’ve laboured over with love. Sharing your home, a meal, or a drink with people you love. This blog also allows me to share, I thank you for kind words and support during this unparalleled time. So how are you?

I’ve been cooking a lot. It makes my day more interesting and we really look forward to the meals which have become more of a focus these days. It also makes me think of all the wonderful times we’ve shared meals with friends and family.

Several years ago we met up with friends in Almeria, we were staying one night and then driving to my cousin’s flat in San José. We stumbled upon Joseba Anorga Taberna quite by accident and had one of many memorable meals that time in Spain. One of the tapas we ordered was a seared scallop in a creamy corn velouté and it was incredibly delicious. The unexpected combination of sweet corn and sweet scallops hit our tastes perfectly. I filed it in my recipe vault in my head and in 2018, I recreated the dish and it did not disappoint.

Scallop wrapped in Iberian bacon bathed in a corn emulsion

Fast forward to our 2020 Spanish adventure to one of our favourite tapas tabernas in Almeria where we had a marvellous creamy rice dish with mushrooms. It was delicious, creamy, cheesy and absolutely more-ish. Upon our return to Toronto, I wanted to recreate the dish but I had scallops and corn on my mind, so I reinvented it.

Creamy Mushroom Risotto from Casa Paquita in Almeria.

I had also filed a wonderful cauliflower risotto recipe that my friend David (Fine Dining at Home) posted in 2012. He recreated a Heston Blumenthal recipe where Heston made a really flavourful stock using the cauliflower end cuts and I wondered if corn-stock would have a similar effect on the risotto. It sure did! Of course, because my dish had scallops in it, I skipped the cheese and used the creamed corn velouté from the stock to add more creaminess to the disk. You could also add a splash of cream or butter.

Creamy Corn Risotto with Bay Scallops

A KitchenInspirations Original Recipe

Serves 2 for a main course or 4 for an appetizer course.

Ingredients:

  • 200 g frozen corn see notes)
  • ~250 mL water
  • Pinch of salt
  • ~250 mL chicken bone broth (or the amount that would yield 500 mL corn broth in total)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 75 g sweet onion, finely minced
  • 10 mL roasted garlic purée
  • 120 g La Bomba Rice
  • 30 g clarified butter
  • 200 g bay scallops

Directions:

  1. To make the corn broth, bring the frozen corn, water and salt to a simmer for 15 minutes. Allow to sit for 20 minutes. Strain and reserve both the corn and broth separately. Reserve 70 g corn kernals, set aside.
  2. Add the chicken bone broth to the corn broth to make 500 mL stock and heat to a simmer.
  3. Purée the cooked corn (minus the 70 g) from the corn broth and press through a fine sieve. Reserve.
  4. Heat the oil in a medium Dutch oven and sauté the onions until translucent. Add the garlic. Add the dry rice and toast, stirring for 2-3 minutes.
  5. Add the warm broth 125 mL at a time, stirring constantly, adding additional broth as the rice absorbs it. The rice should be tender with a small bite to it and it should be creamy but not soupy. This process will take about 25 minutes. Add the puréed corn and stir well. Turn the heat off, cover and set aside.
  6. Dry the bay scallops well. Heat the butter in a cast-iron frying pan, add the scallops to the pan but do not crowd, we want seared scallops not steamed!
  7. When the scallops have cooked fully, add to the risotto and stir. Plate.

Notes:

  • Grilled corn would have been better but we were still on lock-down when I made this dish. Grilled corn cobs would have made excellent stock.
  • Bacon would have been a nice addition, I had actually forgotten I had some in the freezer, next time.

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Liege Waffles

While we were in Spain, we decided to subjected ourselves to a little winter reality-check and travelled to Belgium and Holland. I can hear the gasps but there was good reason and some misplaced trust in our decision:

  1. The first is misplaced trust: the LiePhone weather app said it was 10° C (50° F) more or less. It couldn’t have been further from the truth, it was 2° C to 5° C (35.6° F to 41° C) with heavy winds that made it seem like -5° C (23° F)! And it rained. Like cats and dogs! Unpleasant doesn’t even cut it!
  2. The good reason was that blogger-friend Stefan (of Stefan’s Gourmet blog) lives in Amsterdam and invited us to a gourmet meal in his lovely home. Definitely worth the blistering winds and Arctic temperatures.

There were a few things on our bucket list which included site-seeing and food-eating and we managed some but the weather put a bit of a damper on things. For Amsterdam, Stefan kindly outlined some excellent restaurants (his suggestions were some of the best food in our Northern European adventure) and markets where he focused on ”must-try” delicacies. Unfortunately, we really wimped-out on the open air market delicacies. We managed to walk around the Albert Cuyp Market in teeming rain for 30-minutes but we’re unsuccessful in finding the perfect salted herring sandwich stand (which I still regret). We did buy some lovely cheese to bring home from another market, so that made me happy (although it seriously challenged our carry-on weight restriction).

Since we were going to Amsterdam, we decided to pop into Belgium for a few days because we’ve always wanted to go. First Bruges and lastly Brussels. Of course, there was the Liege Waffle on my bucket list in Belgium. We ate very well, so well in fact, that any time an opportunity arose to sample a Liege Waffle, we were just too full! Deep regret still haunts me. But I was able to further challenge my carry-on weight with the purchase of a bag of Belgium Pearl Sugar!

My history with the Liege Waffle started in June 2016 when I read dear Lorraine’s post (Not Quite Nigella) of Australia’s first Nutella road trip! The recipe was, of course: Liege Waffles! A Liege waffle is made of a brioche dough dotted with Belgian Pearl Sugar; these surprisingly dense, chewy waffles are wrapped in a divinely crunchy, caramelized crust. You had me at chewy and caramelized!

Lorraine’s recipe creates 12 waffles but I really didn’t want such an abundance of temptation in the house, so I cut it to six. Don’t bother making these without Belgian pearl sugar, it’s just not the same. Belgian pearl sugar melts at a very high temperature so it’s perfect for decorating baked goods.

Liege Waffles

Makes 6 waffles

Please click here for the original recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon instant dried yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon white sugar
  • 30 mL milk, warmed to 110F
  • 1 egg at room temperature
  • 56 g butter, melted and cooled for a few minutes
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 150-175 g plain all-purpose flour
  • 95 g Belgian pearl sugar
  • 25 g butter, melted

Directions:

  1. Whisk together the yeast, sugar and milk and allow to sit for about 10 minutes until frothy. Whisk the yeast mixture with the egg, melted butter, honey, vanilla and salt.
  2. Add 150 g flour to the bowl of your stand mixer and add the yeast mixture to it, and knead with the dough hook to combine. Allow the dough to rest for 10 minutes. Then continue to knead for 4-5 minutes adding the remaining flour (if necessary) to make a smooth dough if it’s still shaggy (think brioche dough), mine was fine.
  3. Cover and allow to rest in a warm place until doubled in size (about 1 hour).
  4. Into the dough, knead in 50 g of the Belgian pearl sugar, reserving the remaining sugar to coat the exterior prior to cooking. Divide the dough into six equal pieces, cover and allow to rest for 10 minutes.
  5. To cook, heat your waffle iron when hot brush generously with butter. Slightly flatten each dough ball and dot each round with 1/6th of the remaining pearl sugar. Place flattened dough onto the iron, close and cook for xx minutes or until interior temperature of the waffle is 220° F.
  6. Carefully remove and keep warm. Repeat until you’ve cooked the lot.
  7. To serve, sprinkle icing sugar over the waffles.

Notes:

  • At step 3, you may rest the dough, covered in the refrigerator overnight. Bring to room temperature before proceeding.
  • I cut the Belgian pearl sugar quantity in half and it was pleanty.

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