Monday, March 21, 2011

All in due credit!

Sometimes we get sloppy and sometimes we are right on it. It is all very human to err, and so its is that I find my self apologizing in all earnest for my sloppiness.

Robin your Churros Rock!

Here is the link I overlooked to include.

Sunday, March 13, 2011


Flan is a custard base food mostly used for desserts, as of recently there has been a revival of the savory flans as more professional cooks look into alternatives for side dishes. Savory flans used as a base for gourmand presentations on ever towering dishes and overlaid with delicate vegetables or fish the way whipped mashed potatoes have. 

The basic steps of a Flan rely on the perfect proportions of their base ingredients, Eggs, Milk and Cream
3 Eggs to 1/3 Cup Cream to 1+2/3 cups Milk
3 Eggs to One Small can of Condensed Milk and one small can of Evaporated Milk
There are many variations of the formula but if you look closer the rations by volume start to make sense. The trick is to have enough eggs to coagulate the mixture when cooled otherwise you can end up with Egg Nog

The Modern English word "flan" and the earlier "flawn" come from French flan, from Old French flaon, in turn from Medieval Latin fladonem, derived from the Old Castillian flado, a sort of flat cake, probably from an Indo-European root for "flat" or "broad" (Wikipedia)

Image from España

Flavoring ranges from:
Almond, Orange, Cream Cheese, Ricotta,Vanilla, Coffee and Essence of Flowers.
Sweetened with Maple Syrup, Molasses, Cane Sugar, Caramel or Juices.

Variations are Crema Catalana, Creme Caramel, Egg Custard and Bread Puddings

Takes about 1 hr
  • 1 cup and 1/2 cup sugar (double all ingredients for a family of 6)
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 14oz can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 14 oz cans evaporated milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla or any other flavoring extract 
  • For Vanilla Bean extract use half  or 1/4 of the bean (Scrape seeds and cut in small chunks the bean then boil in a mixture of water and Bourbon Whiskey 1/4 cup, let reduce to less than 6 oz) 
Preheat at 325 (F)degrees. 
In a warm saucepan over medium heat melt 1 cup of sugar. Constantly stir until it browns and becomes caramel. Pour approximately several tablespoons of caramel into the mold or molds (Ramekins work best) and coat the bottom of the mold. Keep the caramel warm but be careful not to burn it.
Blend the eggs together with both kinds of milk (condensed and evaporated) then slowly mix in the 1/2 cup of sugar, then the vanilla. Mix ingredients at room temperature or cold!
Pour the custard into caramel lined molds at this stage you can stuff the custard with a dollop of Cream Cheese or an Candied Orange Rind if you want to be fancy. Place molds in a large  baking dish and fill with about 1-2 inches of hot water (I like to use a clean kitchen towel soaked and submerged in the bottom pan to make retrieval easier and to control hot water splashes) (My oven is wall mounted). Bake for 40-45 minutes in the water bath (Banho Maria) Check if the custard is done with a fork not a tooth pick and place close to the center. It should comes out clean when the custard is ready. Mind one thing the custard will remain half set until you refrigerate it so let it cool before cutting or placing inside the refrigerator.  Let each mold cool in the refrigerator for about 1 hour. Then the moment of truth try to invert each ramekin onto a small plate use both hands and secure both the plate and mold over the sink and swiftly turn them upside down, once the custard drops to the small plate the caramel sauce will follow! If the rims of the custard are a little burned or your mold is large cut around the edges with a blunt knife specially if you use silicone molds.

Monday, March 9, 2009


Ok So I stole this recipe from the net shot me!

For Churros Rellenos now that is a different twist.
I am all too familiar with Churros as a delicacy in Mexico and Spain but I was surprise to see them as part of the culinary plethora of southern brazilian celebratory food. Turns out the Gauchos are not only an Argentinean phenomena. Brazilian Gauchos are a culture on their own and have retained many of their european customs originating in the Iberian peninsula. Churros may have originated as a derived of Moorish (Ibero-arabic)  food but the story goes that the invention actually came from shepherds in the regions between Portugal and Spain as a portable and easy to make staple for the long cold mornings at the herding camps. Urugay has a version worth mentioning since traditionally sweet Churros have turned savory for the Uruguayans, often stuffing them with cheese. The Churros that is not the Uruguayans!
Churros are the equivalent of fry dough and doughnuts. Using an extruder to drop a long rope into the hot oil. I recommend a mild to non flavored oil that serves well for flash frying or deep frying. Corn and Canola work well and keep better than with vegetable shortening though Churros should be eaten immediately. Use a pastry bag with a star or flour nozzle the largest opening gauge  the better. In a pinch you may even use 1/2 pancake mix and 1/2 wheat flour batter just make sure is thicker consistency than that usually mixed for pancakes.
Sugar coating your freshly fried Churros is best done after the oil has drained or blotted to a paper towel. I like to mix the 10x Sugar with the Regular sugar and Cinnamon powder in a plastic bag and use that bag for quick easy to clean coating.
Once coated wrap the Churros half-way with parchment paper or waxed paper and stack neatly on shoot glasses. Dipping Churros into hot chocolate is the way to go you may stuff them with ready made Araquipe, Dulce de Leche, Chocolate Ganache or Condensed Milk. To stuff the Churros hold one end upwright while they are still hot and with a second pastry bag or a large marinade syringe with a long narrow nozzle, inject the filler making sure the filler has a consistency that is easy to flow but still holds the shape of a drop for several seconds. Warm fillers tend to do better at that!


  • 1 cup water
  • 2 Tbs brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1 cup white flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp. ground cinnamon, depending on taste

Directions:Preheat 1 1/2 to 2 inches of vegetable oil in a 10 to 12 inch frying pan to 375 degrees F. In a separate dish mix the 1/4 cup sugar and cinnamon and set aside.
In a 3 qt. sauce pan add the water, brown sugar, salt, and butter and heat to a good boil. Remove from the heat and add the flour. Stirring in the flour will take some muscle. Mix it in until well blended.
In a separate bowl, mix the eggs and vanilla together and then add this mixture to the flour mixture. Stir until well blended and all the egg is completely mixed in.
Fill your decorating tool with the churro recipe dough and attach the largest star tip you have.
Test your oil by placing a small amount of dough in it. The dough should bubble up right away or that means the oil is not hot enough and a soggy churro is on the way.
Once the oil is hot enough, squeeze some dough (with decorator) into the oil about 4 inches long. I used my finger to release the dough from the decorator. Careful not to burn yourself.
churros should be able to cook 4 or 5 churros at a time. Cook them about 1 minute and turn them over with a slotted spoon. Cook an additional minute or two. You're looking for that nice golden brown color.Remove the churros with the slotted spoon and place them on a paper towel-covered plate to absorb excess grease.
While still warm, roll each churro into the dish with the sugar and cinnamon until coated.


Friday, March 6, 2009


I am never certain of how I would feel like in Brazil.  Joyfully sad or sadly 
content, perhaps hilariously sad. The fact is I will always have a sad component the to trip. I mean: Brazil is so beautiful there is no way you can be there and not feel sad about the rest of the world. The people of Brazil know this feeling and often express it in their ambivalence for passion and restraint. Regardless of how hard life is for the everyday brazilian, they know how to live. Feel every moment to its fullest, tomorrow may not be there for you! 

I visited Florianopolis (Floripa) as a safe introduction to the brazilian carnival.  Considered the 4th largest "Carnaval" in the country, using national census statistics (yeah the census in Brasil tallies the Carnaval attendance) Floripa's carnaval is none the less the gayest in the world.

Lets put some history in your head for starters. Floripa is actually the Island of Santa Catarina in the souther state by the same name. Florianopolis is actually the main city in the island.   Many gay brasilians prefere to be in Floripa for carnaval mostly to get away from the "general public" in their own cities. Unfortunately they swap tradition  for non-stop circuit parties usually sponsored by "The Week" clubs. Being the hard headed anti-establishment commie that I am, I dragged my friends to all the traditional festivities. Guess what?  They were gay as a goose! 

First night of Carnaval is mostly about the Samba School's Parade. Just at the edge of the bay the city has been building a new Sambodromo "Passarela Nego Quirido" (Beloved Black Man). The sambadrome's name alludes to their pride in the richness of their cultural heritage. Born from the centuries of integration, all the races came together to make the brazilian people some of the most striking (if not most beautiful) people in this planet. 

Our first day was spend at the beach, the second at the malls buying our outfits.  For less than 50$ (in my case 5$ worth of feathers, a thong and a glue gun) you may also part take in the festivities. You may even go to the local mall and buy an official fantasia (costume) sponsored by one of the Samba schools and parade with their posy.  Watching the parade is a spectacle not to be missed tickets are sold way in advance and may be found in the internet at  The initial parade is the most beautiful and last till dawn allowing up to 11 schools of several hundred dancers to showcase their talents and stage magic.

The beaches are the place to mingle but be prepared to not get any sound tourist advice.
Praia Mole and Galheta are the main gay beaches Mole beach is shared with the surfers and a good crowd of young straight couples usually gathered around their favorite tach roofed watering holes. Bar do Deca is located at the left end of the beach just before the awsome nature trails that lead to the nude beach of Galheta.  Nature in the island ranges from subtropical to rain forest thick with vegetation, wild orchids and bromeliads growing perched up in the cliffs. A walk down any one trail is guaranteed to yield gorgeous gardens (as if professionally landscaped) and incredible granite monoliths that litter the island. Geographically the island was formed in the same event that fragmented Pangea. As a result South America and Africa became continents and the same incredible geography that made Rio de Janeiro so sublime made this island the little gem it is.

The second day of Carnaval "Carnival do Roma" is all about the portuguese transvestites:

The island has long been inhabited by Portuguese that came from the Azores. The same people that originally populated most of Provincetown when we gays first arrived. (See were I am going) Much like in Ptown the long (though much milder) winters gave the cod fisherman much to think about. So besides becoming very artistic and musically inclined they also figured out a way to make their own version of Carnaval. Before the excess of the Rio and Sao Paulo's carnavales dazzeled us with half naked bodies covered in glittering outfits, these humble fisherman and their wives figured they would give each other 4 days of license to play in each others clothes. Yah Brazils biggest gay carnaval started and still is to the day a big cross-dressing party.  Word to the wise if it is in drag , cute and kisses you, chances are he is a straight family man having fun with his feminine side. Regardless of this license you may not score much with these men. Oh yeah and that a cute thin masculine guy around the corner may be his wife. The cross dressing event is a family affair and many futbol matches happen impromptu right in the middle of dancing crowds to the beats of some of brazil best musicians and amongst happy children carried atop the shoulders of their proud cross-dressing hot daddies.

The gay beaches are all about the hottest "bods" many times over surgically enhanced. Contrasting that to the athletic more natural beauty of the straight guys balancing precariously on their wives' high heels it is easy to see why I preferred to skip the circuit party that night.

Brazil is one of the Mecca's for medical tourism, buyer beware, search for a good surgeon with a good reputation. Medical facilities are at par if not many times better than here in America.  One prominent surgeon in the community is Dr. Anacletto Bassetto Jr. he is a very sweet and approachable plastic surgeon who treats many celebrities in and out of the island.

 While the succulent lips and firm tight derrières are unforgettable; I still like my gringos, just like my morning eggs: hard boiled and bland. But there is no denying that a hardy breakfast needs always be complimented with a snack or two of salty and sweet. Brazilians are in deed very expressive and yes that is part of being sexual but do not confuse their openness with lasciviousness. Brasilians by culture have a tendency to be romantic if not a bit extremly idealistic but most certainly always very aware of their decorum.  As forward as they are, most will be insulted with sexual aggressiveness.    

I found that out the third night at The Transgender competition "Gay Pop Festival".

The Gay Pop is an outright beauty pageant full of great comedy, dance and live music, seldom will a respectable drag-queen or "trany" show girl lip-synch to a Britney song and most of the music performed is specifically written for these shows. Gay pop usually stats with a fashion show runway at the local mall using the 7 levels of steep escalators as their perilous cat walks. 
Followed that night with the talent show part of the competition, attendance is in the thousands so get there early to get a good spot. This year the venue had to be moved to a new  square left of the huge bus station in order to accommodate the increasing crowds. We showed up in our gogo-boy's carnaval outfit and though respectably covered by Samba chick standards my fuzzy butt cheeks caused a paparazzi frenzy of photographers either in admiration for my courage or in outrage disapproval. Proving my theory that "Men" as an object of desire or physical admiration are still considered a taboo and while woman are to be admired their function has remained that of Eve, the unattainable temptress.   From there and almost by mob control body guards we continued to the third and largest of the circuit parties at the tent in Mole Beach eco-resort. There again to my surprise the thong and body glitter makeup was received with unsettling yet extreme mix reviews or perhaps was my less than surgically perfectly waxed gluteus.

And in the fourth day the lord created the Beach:

I stayed home waiting for my now ex, chewing angry flavored bubble gum and wondering if the rule on missing people reports in Brazil was 20 hours or 24. Word to the wise: keep your children at home were they would not be lead into temptation AMEN!
My other travel companions traveled south to a wonderful little town called Riverao one of the first Azorian settlements on a rich Oyster bed. Riverao is charming quiet and full of romantic corners by the lagoon. They highly recommended a gay-popular restaurant called Ostradamus were oysters and giant prawns are served on skewers by gorgeous young lads in a colonial setting.  I was rescued from my self imposed vigia da misericordia several hours after to attend the last event of the carnival: Campeãs do Carnaval de Florianópolis (The parade of the Champions).

A free entry event, you still need to stand in line early to find tickets as the controls require them for no apparent reason. Perhaps this is the way the census keeps tabs? Once inside the sambodromo find a spot near the railings or free from people sitting in front of you. As soon as the music starts everyone stands up to dance and sing.  The Enredos or theme songs are played live with the aid of speakers mounted on trucks. All the instruments are played by the musicians that belong to that school from children to elderly. The theme songs are played over the radio weeks before the parades. So it seemed to us tourist that the songs were popular tunes repeated, as it turns out all songs are original, unique and will never be played again in another carnaval. But the tunes are so catchy you will soon find your self mouthing the choruses and clapping your hands. Samba Schools are Brazils answer to our ailing non working population, more social clubs than dance schools the Escola do Samba touches the heart of Brazil providing the elderly a gathering place to pass their knowledge and the children a safe haven away from home. Samba schools do have fees and memberships but in a tradition of altruism they sponsor many of their most talented young musicians, dancers, stage managers, choreographers and  fashion designers. Every member of all ages part takes in the construction of their floats, costumes and in the aid of those who can no longer dance their way down the Passarela.  

I am sad to see the discarded floats, costumes and left overs of this the greatest party on earth, all so brilliantly festive just hours ago. King Momo returns the key of the city to the mayor in turn and in an dissonant short speech the president congratulates the nation and wishes them a happy new year. 

Ash wednesday February 25, 2009
Brazil officially starts a year already born.

Photos by: J Andres Rodriguez, Diario Catarinense, Brent Zimmerman and Cyril Gaultier 

Friday, February 20: TOY at The Week Floripa DJs Isaac Escalante, Renato Cecin, Pacheco Saturday, February 21: Nova Pool Party at The Week Floripa at 2pm DJs J. Louis (Matinee Group), Pacheco, Ricardo Gonzales Babylon International Connection at The Week Floripa  DJs Tony Moran, Gra Ferreira Sunday, February 22: Sunrise at Iate Casablanca, leaving at 1pm DJs Ale Bittencourt, Miguel Alanis, and Aless The Week's Angels At The Week Floripa DJs Seamus Haji, Ranato Cecin, Pacheco Monday, February 23: Dancefloor at the Week Floripa DJs Peter Rauhofer, Juanjo Martin, Renato Cecin Tuesday, February 24: Nova Pool Party at The Week Floripa  DJs Chris Cox, Ricardo Gonzalez, Grá Ferreira, Pacheco, Renato Cecin

Monday, July 7, 2008

A Dry Spell

I have been working hard, office and roof deck garden.

my beans are climbing, the corn is still squalid and the dahlias are glorious but my tomatoes have all but banished.
In such wet season as this summer has been I would have expected them to do better but it seams like they have not hardened early enough due to the mild spring and cloudy summer.

I want tomatoes!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Fun-do! fondue! fondant


Swiss...nah, nah nah, scratch that
French....Humm at least by name...
Scandinavian, Austrian... Japan?

Well actually all of the above claim a piece of the melting pot territory.
The basics are comparable to a love affair, innocent fruits, sweeties ,tarts or even beef cakes skewered and dunked into a hot and often thick situation.

Fondues are one of those culinary introductions made famous by the Swiss, and the "House beautiful" magazines of the fifties. Though as usual the Swiss got to officially name these dishes, claiming originality is a whole different ball game. Ever since mankind learned how to boil water, skewing and dunking has happened. Think of how convenient it is not to burn your hands.

Modern Fondues can be divided in two categories, sweet and savory.

The base of these dishes is a silky smooth sauce of a fatty ingredient (Cheese or Chocolate) emulsified, beaten and rendered into submission but not so much as to loose their natural ability to smother....then again just like a perfectly balanced love affair. A little alcohol to keep things flowing and some flour. These hot sauces are served preferably warmed up by a tealight or in a bath of hot water and have a tendency to required constant stirring to avoid forming a thick skin. Nontheless do not stirr too deep into the emotions in gathered in th epot or you may get the burned bitter bits to raise early to the surface. The Fondue is a communal dish, food orgy if you must compare. A race to the bottom were you may find the burned bits of your stirrings, bitter yet increadibly addictive. LIKE WITH ALL LOVE AFFAIRS TIMING IS OF UPMOST IMPORTANCE! Too long in the heating elements and the flavor can be ruined, not enough stirring around and a thick skin may form. A perfect balance of roughness in texture and smothness in flow. Fondue sauces may require a pinch of flour to maintain thickness or a bit of alcohol to keep all ingredients pefectly suspended in the richness of the sauce. But who are we kidding Fondues are just FUN to DO.

Set up a double boiler if you are serving a fondue that may be on the table for a while, or a Kettle Candle to keep warm if serving inmediatly.

Shamelss Plagerism fom Wikepedia:
Boy I love cut and paste!

A recipe for a sauce made from Pramnos wine, grated goat's cheese and white flour appears in Scroll 11 (lines 629-645) of Homer's Iliad and has been cited as the earliest record of a fondue. Swiss communal fondue arose many centuries ago as a result of food preservation methods. The Swiss food staples bread and raclette-like cheese made in summer and fall were meant to last throughout the winter months. The bread aged, dried out and became so tough it was sometimes chopped with an ax. The stored cheese also became very hard, but when mixed with wine and heated it softened into a thick sauce. During Switzerland's long, cold winters some families and extended groups would gather about a large pot of cheese set over the fire and dip wood-hard bits of bread which quickly became edible.

Modern fondue originated during the 18th century in the canton of Neuchatel. As Switzerland industrialized, wine and cheese producers encouraged the dish's popularity. By the 20th century many Swiss cantons and even towns had their own local varieties and recipes based on locally available cheeses, wines and other ingredients. During the 1950s a slowing cheese industry in Switzerland widely promoted fondue since one person could easily eat half a pound of melted cheese in one sitting. In 1955 the first pre-mixed "instant" fondue was brought to market. Fondue became very popular in the United States in the mid fifties during the 1960s after American tourists discovered it in Switzerland.


A full cheese fondue set in Switzerland. Apart from pieces of bread to dip into the melted cheese, there are side servings of kirsch, raw garlic, pickled gherkins and onions, and olives.
There are many kinds of fondue, each made with a different blend of cheeses, wine and seasoning, mostly depending on where it is made. The caquelon is first rubbed with a cut garlic clove, then wine and cheese slowly added until melted. A small amount of potato starch (or corn starch, cornflour or flour) is added to prevent separation and the fondue is almost always further diluted with either kirsch, beer, black tea, and/or white wine. The most common recipe calls for 1 dl (100 ml) of dry white wine per person and a 200 g mix of hard (such as Gruyère) and semi-hard (such as Emmental, Vacherin or raclette) cheeses: The mixture must be stirred continuously as it heats in the caquelon. Crusty bread is cut into cubes which are then speared on a fondue fork and dipped into the melted cheese.

Temperature and la religieuse

A cheese fondue mixture should be held at a temperature warm enough to keep the fondue smooth and liquid but not so hot as to allow any burning. If this temperature is held until the fondue is finished there will be a thin crust of toasted (not burnt) cheese at the bottom of the caquelon. This is called la religieuse (French for the nun, more or less). It has the texture of a thin cracker and is almost always lifted out and eaten.


Neuchâteloise: Gruyère and emmental.
Moitié-moitié (or half 'n half): Gruyère and Fribourg vacherin.
Vaudoise: Gruyère.
Fribourgeoise: Fribourg vacherin wherein potatoes are often dipped instead of bread.
Fondue de Suisse centrale: Gruyère, Emmental and sbrinz.
Appenzeller: Appenzeller cheese with cream added.
Tomato: Gruyère, Emmental, crushed tomatoes and wine.
Spicy: Gruyère, red and green peppers, with chili.
Mushroom: Gruyère, Fribourg vacherin and mushrooms.

Meat fondues

A fondue bourguignonne: At top is a pot of hot oil for quickly cooking the meat, at middle a caquelon for a further cheese fondue and at bottom more sauces for dipping.
Bourguignonne: During the late middle ages as grapes ripened in the vineyards of Burgundy a quick harvest was needed and the noontime meal was often skipped. Johann du Putzxe was a monk who made a kind of fast food by dunking pieces of meat into hot oil. The Swiss later adapted this as a variety of fondue. The pot is filled with oil (or butter) and brought to simmer. Each person spears small cubes of beef or horse meat‎ with a long, narrow fondue fork and fries them in the pot. An assortment of sauces and sometimes a further cheese fondue are provided for dipping.
Bressane: Small cubes of chicken breast are dipped in cream, then in fine bread crumbs and at last deep fried, as with a bourguignonne.
Court Bouillon (or Chinoise): A Swiss traveling in China ate a dish called Chrysanthemum which was dunk-cooked in a pot of bouillon. Fondues based on this became popular when he returned to Switzerland. The diner dips rolled shaved meat (traditionally beef) into a simmering broth. As with a bourguignonne, dipping sauces are served. This dish is still somewhat like a Chinese hot pot (huoguo in Chinese, or steamboat, which is popular across Asia). At meal's end the much flavoured broth may be served to the participants, with or without sherry wine.

French alpine
Savoyarde: Comté savoyard, beaufort, and emmental.
Jurassienne: Mature or mild comté.

Italian alpine
Fonduta: Fontina, milk, eggs and truffles, known as Fonduta valdostana in the Aosta valley and Fonduta piemontese in Piedmont, both in northern Italy.

Refrigerated fondue blends are sold in some Swiss grocery stores and need little more than melting in the caquelon. Individual portions heatable in a microwave oven are also sold.

Dessert fondue recipes began appearing in the 1960s. Slices of fruit or pastry are dipped in a caquelon of melted chocolate. Other dessert fondues can include coconut, honey, caramel and marshmallow.

As with other communal dishes fondue has an etiquette which can be both helpful and fun. Most often, allowing one's tongue or lips to touch the dipping fork will be thought of as rude. With meat fondues one should use a dinner fork to take meat off the dipping fork. A "no double-dipping" rule also has sway: After a dipped morsel has been tasted it should never be returned to the pot. In longstanding Swiss tradition if a nugget of bread is lost in the cheese by a man he buys a bottle of wine and if such a thing happens to befall a woman she kisses the man on her left. Lately, rather more humorous twists on this have shown up in Switzerland such as young diners diving into the snow whilst clad only in underclothing.
Those who succeed in following the etiquette of fondue can share the cheese cracker-like la religieuse left at the bottom of the emptied caquelon.

Fondue Bourguignonne

by Nancy Gerlach

Fondue Bourguignonne refers to a fondue of meats or vegetables cooked in oil. It was created in the vineyards in Burgundy sometime during the middle ages. Here, when these grapes are ready to harvest, they have to be quickly picked, and the workers couldn't take time to leave the fields for a hot lunch. Some hungry soul (many credit a monk named Johann du Putzxe) came up with the idea of quickly cooking pieces of meat in pots of hot oil that were set-up in the vineyards. That way, workers could dunk and cook pieces of meat in spare moments without losing valuable harvesting time. This fondue is most often made with beef, but pork, game, poultry, seafood as well as vegetables can be cooked in this manner. I've fired up the traditional French side sauces with ones based on those found in the Spicy Food Lover's Bible by Dave DeWitt and me.
Assorted Sauces.

1 1/2 pounds trimmed beef tenderloin or sirloin, cut in 3/4-inch cubes
Vegetable oil, peanut or canola preferred

Place the sauces in individual bowls and arrange around the fondue pot and have the beef at room temperature on a serving platter.
Pour the oil into a fondue cooker to no more than 1/3 to 1/2 the capacity or to a depth of 2 inches. Heat the oil over a medium heat to a temperature of 370 degrees F and transfer the cooker to the fondue burner. The meat should bubble when put in hot oil; if it doesn't, return to the heat.
To serve, guests spear the meat with a fondue fork and cook in the hot oil to desired doneness 15 seconds for rare, and about a minute for well-done. Transfer the beef to a dinner fork, dip in a sauce, eat and enjoy.
I personally enjoy bittersweet chocolate fondues specially if you add some chily powder or ancho chile to the recipes. But the boring run of the mill fruit and cake assortment can ruin a great sauce.
Try decorating your cake with fondant (a dough-like sugar product used in wedding cakes)
You can buy it ready made for about 6$ a roll or make your own.
Cut your cake into small bite size cubes
Here is a link top a very simple recipe that creatively short cuts what french masters have been doing with great complcations for the last two centuries.
Buy some funky food coloring dyes and get creative.
Marzipan is also a good alternative, as are nugarts or turrones.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

One dinner too much.

I was out of commission for a little while. Between a back/shoulder injury and planning a dinner too many.
I just got done with a benefit dinner full of good intentions and personality clashes.
We set out to have a German-Puerto Rican Fare.
Diferent cuisines reflect exactly that: diferences.
But after all the work and frustrations there is nothing like looking back at what worked.
Also at what did not work and the reasons why.
I tend to concetrate on the what needed more work, and like an investigator look for the reasons why it did not work.

Pastelillos de Guayava y Chorizo:

10 Goya small (Hojaldre) dough disc
(These are ready made puff pastry dough shells of aproximately 6 inches diameter)
Chop Chorizo sausage (2)
String Cheese (Oaxaca Mexican Mozzarella)
Guava Paste cut in to 2 inch squares
One Poblano Pepper Roasted and cut into strips.

Place a mix of all the ingredients in the center of the disc
about two table spoons
Fold the disc and seal the edges by pinching and crincling the edge.
Do not crincle to much or pinch dough edges too thinly.
They can be baked but they are better fried.
Serve imediatly.

Meat Roladen with Bread Fruit Nuts Stuffing

One large flank steak (strip cut)

List A:
One can of Bread fruit Nuts (Goya)
4 Whole eggs
1/2 cup Bread Crumbs
1/8 Cup of Golden raisins

1 cup of Beef Stock
All beef drippings
1/2 Stick Butter
1 Beef Buillon
1/2 Cup Red Wine
One spring of Majoram

MIx all the Ingredients on list A.
You should have a thick paste

Tenderize the Flank Steak using a tenderizing hammer
I use the dough roll or a Pestel
Sandwich the steak between heavy gauge wax paper or Plastic Wrap
Gently hammer the meat and roll it at the edges
until you roughly double the steak size and trim
Evenly distribute the Mixture on the flatened steak
Using the plastic wrap slowly roll the meat starting at the widest side.
Keep meat wrapped in the fridge overnight.
Roast slowly 3 hrs at 200 degrees.

Serve in one inch cuts over sauce.
may accompany with Rye bread cream cheese rolls.