Lemon Curd

To me, a curd is lumpy, but not this recipe for traditional lemon curd. This is smooth and lemony without being overly tart. It is great on desserts, cookies, waffles and in hot tea (try it!).  It is quite nice to have on hand and can be added to sauces for a citrus kick or in your salad dressings.  I am a shameless fan of high and low teas, and lemon curds is a must at both on your crumpets and tea cookies. I’m working on an entire section of tea party recipes, this is my introduction offering. It is quick, easy, and will last for the better part is two weeks if you take care not to contaminate the lemon curd while using it.

Ingredients

3 to 4 tablespoons lemon zest (none of the white, it is bitter.)
1/2 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice, strained to remove any solids (roll the lemons under the heel of your hand to release more juice before cutting)
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
6 tablespoons salted butter, cut into pieces
3 eggs

Directions

Wash the lemons to remove any chemicals, dirt or wax then thoroughly dry.  Remove the zest (the yellow part of the rind) from the lemons using a zester or a peeler (be careful to avoid getting any of the white pith, it is bitter  Yes, I know this is the second warning, it is that important).  Juice the lemons after removing the zest.

In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine lemon zest, lemon juice, and sugar. Bring just to a boil; reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 5 minutes. Add butter and stir until it has melted. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.

Beat eggs into cooled lemon mixture until well blended. Return to heat and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, 10 to 15 minutes or until mixture thickens and coats spoon. NOTE: Do not let the lemon curd boil, as it will cause the mixture to curdle and that cannot be fixed.

Remove from heat, allow to reach room temperature. The lemon curd will continue to thicken as it cools.  Once it reaches room temp, you can refrigerate.

Veal Demi Glacé

Every kitchen should have a great Demi glacé on hand.  The depth of flavor cannot be replicated, slow roasting and time are crucial to making a deep brown, clear and shiny finished product.  I make this recipe 2-3 times per year, freezing it in small batches for later use.

25 lbs. Veal Bones

8 onions with skins
6 carrots with skins
2 heads celery
3 6-oz. cans tomato paste

25 peppercorns

3 Bay leaves
2 bunches parsley STEMS ONLY. (The leaves will leave black specks in the demi that looks like burned herbs.)
Water to cover

1. Preheat the oven to 350 and roast the bones for about an hour. Do not burn. Remove from oven and coat with tomato paste. Return to the oven for about 5 minutes until the paste roasts but doesn’t burn. Place the bones at the bottom of a stock pot and form a barrier between the vegetables and the pot. This will prevent a bottom burn.

2. Slice 2 onions in half, with skins on, plaimagece the flat part on a sizzle plate and roast until very dark and extremely light. This adds the deep color and a richness of flavor to the demi.

3. Rough cut the rest of the onions, carrots and celery and roast until browned and softened. About an hour or so.

4. Add the vegetables on top of the bones and cover with water to about 4″ from the top of the pot. Add the bay leaves, peppercorns and parsley stems.

5. Simmer for 3 days. Strain and refrigerate.

6. Remove the fat from the top.

7. Reduce to 1/3 of starting volume.

8. Should make 3 Quarts. Can be frozen. If you make a large batch, portion the demi into ice cube trays and freeze in containers for future use.

Bananas Foster over Cheesecake (gf)

Bananas Foster over Cheesecake (gf)

Bananas Foster over Cheesecake (gf)

Okay, it is Friday and I think we all deserve a little goodness, right? You’ve worked hard all week, a little culinary splurge is in order. Now, this happy dessert can be quick and easy, or it can be the grand finale of a fancy dinner party if you want to also make your cheesecake. For now, I will teach you how to make the Bananas Foster, and in an upcoming post, you will find a cheesecake. Of course, the traditional way to serve Bananas Foster is just over ice cream, and it is fantastic, but I had a little fun with it, and this sort of fun is like a culinary roller-coaster that makes your taste buds scream woooooooo!

Ingredients

Vanilla Bean Ice Cream, best available or make your own (coconut gelato is a good substitute, see the related post)
Rum – a black rum works well – just a splash per serving (as with all ingredients, including alcohol, if you wouldn’t drink it, don’t cook with it. A cheap clear rum will not make you happy, and we are all in this for happiness!)
1/2 c. Light Brown Sugar
4 Tbsp Unsalted butter
candied pecans (or nut of your choice) – to taste (See accompanying recipe)
water
1 or 2 firm bananas, sliced

OPTIONAL: New York Cheesecake

Directions

Melt the butter in a saute pan on medium heat. As the butter finishes melting and is making small bubbles, sprinkle the brown sugar over the butter allowing the sugar to melt into the butter until combined. Add about 1/3 c. tepid water, incorporate and bring to a slow, light boil to thicken slightly. Watch is step carefully, you do not want your sauce to thicken too much. Depending on your heat setting, this will only be 2-3 minutes.

As it thickens, add the bananas and let them soften and warm through, about 30 seconds. Turn softly. Add sugared pecans. To complete the dish, while the pan is still hot, remove from direct heat, let it rest 10 seconds, and add the rum. Be careful, heat can make the rum flame, so be very careful here. Serve over NY Cheesecake and/or ice cream. Enjoy!

Surf & Turf

Surf and Turf
Surf & Truf

Want to impress and still have time to enjoy your dinner party?   Surf and Turf is the way to go!

Many grocery stores stock a nice frozen lobster tail, if you do not want to begin with a live lobster.  I honestly prefer a frozen tail for dinner parties and even just family dinner as guests don’t have to wear a bib or be conscientious about the work, although fun, that goes into dismantling a whole lobster.

Filet.  Sweet, tender filet.  Pictured is a 6-oz filet.