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Saturday, December 29, 2007

Oeuf Cocotte au Foie Gras - Baked Eggs and Foie Gras on Toast

I think unctuousness must now be my favorite word. On a cold day of rain after snow, curling up with a cocotte fresh from the oven from which I can dip warm eggs, cream and foie gras to spread on toast has to be a pleasant way to appease my hunger.

Recipe: place a slice of foie gras in bottom of cocotte, carefully break 1 or 2 eggs over the foie gras and top with 2 tablespoons of cream and sprinkle with truffle salt. Place cocotte in another oven dish and surround with warm water. Bake for 15 minutes at 350ºF. Serve with toast or brioche. Enjoy.

Recommended: Mire Poix USA fois gras and truffle salt

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Poudin cuit au four - Baked Mincemeat Pudding - SHF#38

Zorra hosts this month's Sugar High Friday, "The Proof is in the Pudding."

Fat around the kidneys [suet] is specifically proscribed from use, as is fat from ox, sheep and goats [Lev 3:3-5], so I use butter in the preparation of my puddings.

Baked Mincemeat Pudding
2 cups mincemeat [I used homemade, brandied mincemeat]
4 eggs
1/2 cup [1 stick] butter
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
Optional: chopped nuts, about 1/2 cup [I did not use]

Cream butter and sugar; beat in one egg at a time. Sift dry ingredients and stir into creamed mixture. Fold in mincemeat and nuts, if using. Butter and sugar a baking dish [charlotte mold works well] and pour batter in. Cover with a piece of greased paper to fit top of dish. Set dish into another larger dish and surround with boiling water [bain marie], place in moderate oven [350ºF] and bake for at least one hour.

Continue to check for doneness by inserting a broom straw in the middle--if it comes out clean, the pudding is done. Remove from water bath and allow to cool before running a knife around the edge and slipping from the pan onto a serving platter.

Can douse with more brandy and flambé or serve with dessert sauce [Sabayon: 1 egg yolk, 1/4 cup sugar, 1/4 cup Marsala. Whip over a boiling water bath (Bain Marie) until thick. Serve over pudding slices.] Pudding texture and taste improves with age.

See also my post on boiled pudding, steamed fig pudding and 18thC French Puddings.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Poudin bouilli - Boiled Pudding SHF#38

Zorra hosts this month's Sugar High Friday, "The Proof is in the Pudding."

Fat around the kidneys [suet] is specifically proscribed from use, as is fat from ox, sheep and goats [Lev 3:3-5], so I use butter in the preparation of my puddings.

Poudin bouilli.
Boiled Pudding
1 cup chopped, candied citrus peel [I used grapefruit, lemon and orange]
1 cup currants [Zantes not Ribes]
2 cups raisins [regular or golden]
2 Tablespoons brandy [I used vin noix]
1 cup butter [2 sticks]
2 cups sugar [either brown or white or mixture]
5 eggs
1 ½ cups flour
1 teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon white pepper
¼ teaspoon galingale
½ teaspoon ginger
3-5 cups day-old bread crumbs, crusts removed

Blanche for 30 seconds in boiling water your dried currants and remove to a bowl and cover with brandy.

Cream butter and sugar and add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Sift dry ingredients together, except crumbs, and stir into creamed mixture. Fold in peels, raisins, currants and 3 ½ cups of crumbs. Let mixture sit for one half hour. If mixture appears to be too moist, fold in more bread crumbs until mixture looks right to your eye.

In the meanwhile, boil your pudding cloth [1 yard cotton muslin] for half an hour to remove soap residue and to sterilize cloth. Wring out cloth and flour heavily in the center, pour your batter onto cloth and tie your pudding up. Suspend inside kettle of boiling water and tie to handles of kettle to keep pudding from settling on the bottom. Keep the kettle filled with boiling water and boil pudding for about 2 hours or until done. Hang pudding in cloth for about 15 minutes, then cut string invert onto serving platter and carefully peel back pudding cloth. Allow to cool before serving. The outside of the pudding will darken with time.

If you wish to keep if for several days, cover with cheesecloth and drizzle with brandy to keep moist and fresh.

See also my posts on baked mincemeat pudding, steamed fig pudding and 18thC French puddings.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Artichauts - Artichokes

How to Eat Artichokes According to La Varenne, artichoke bottoms should be eaten by taking off all the leaves as far as the choke, and then boiling the bottoms in acidulated [lemon juice or vinegar added] water. Then serve them with butter and salt and a sauce made of very fresh butter, vinegar, nutmeg and the yolk of an egg. I believe this is such a waste. I do cook the entire artichoke in acidulated water, anywhere from 35-45 minutes, or until tender all the way through. I make the sauce he suggests but then I remove each leaf, dipping it in the unctuous sauce and cleaning the "meat" of each off with my teeth--I can't bear to waste the tidbits of flesh found on each leaf. Artichokes were such a popular item of food that fabulous faïence [majolica] dishes were created for their service.

The French Cook, François Pierre La Varenne, Englished in 1653, p. 95, recipe #62.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Poudin - Pudding Boiled & Baked

This month's Sugar High Friday focuses on Pudding in all its forms.

PUDDING: type of pastry made of grease, raisins, eggs & sugar.

Boiled Pudding. Do it more or less like the preceding. Butter and flour a towel, put the pudding in, & tie it. Cook it for three hours, with boiling water. Drain & draw it from the towel; sprinkle it with melted butter and with much caster sugar, & serve for dessert.

Baked Pudding. Take four pounds of beef suet, the peels of two candied lemons and chop well with the suet, a pound of currants, and as much Spanish raisins from which you’ve removed the stem ends. Add fifteen raw egg yolks, half a pound of bread crumbs soaked in hot milk, but drained well, half a pound of caster sugar; mix the whole, & put it in a well buttered pan; bake with the furnace for two hours, or with a tart plate with coals above and below. Draw it up and reverse onto a dish; sprinkle it with powdered sugar and serve for dessert.

* * * * *


POUDIN: espece de patisserie faite de graisse, raisins sec, œufs & sucre.

Poudin bouilli. Faites-le comme le precedent plus ou moins fort. Beurrez ou farinez une serviette, mettez dessus le poudin, & le nouez. Faites le cuire pendant trois heures, à l’eau bouillante. Egouttez & le tirez de la serviette; dresses & l’arrosez de beurre fondu avec beaucoup de sucre en poudre, & servez de meme, pour entremets.

Poudin cuit au four. Prenez quatre livres de graisse de bœuf, l’écorce de deux citrons confits que vous hacherez bien avec la graisse, une livre de raisin de Corinthe, autant de raisin d’Espagne. Otez en les pépins, quinze juanes d’œufs cruds, une demi-livre de mie de pain trempée dans du lait chaud, mais bien égouttée, une demi-livre de sucre en poudre; mêlez le tout, & le mettez dans une casserole bien beurrée; faites cuire au four, pendant deux heures, ou avec un couvercle de tourtiere, entre deux feux. Dressez-le, en le renversant sur un plat; poudre de sucre fin, & servez pour entremets.


Dictionnaire Portatif de Cuisine, d'Office, et de Distillation. Chez Vincent, Paris 1767, p. 225-226.
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