Thursday, December 10, 2015

Buttery Brioche!

 The Verona¬® / Magic Mill DLX Mixer - The Electrolux Assistent Bread Mixer

Yesterday I got my old friend the Kitchen Assistant off the shelf.  I bought him many years ago after a Brioche Dough I was making started climbing up my dough hook and flopping out of the work bowl. Wild days they were! I did some research and discovered the Electrolux Assistant (it has had many names) and bought it at Metro, a wonderful mecca of kitchen equipment and produce store geared for the professional market in the Paris suburbs.

During my 3 1/2 years of working at the Kitchen Store we would get a nice 40% off of electrics during the holidays. I always toyed with the idea of upgrading my Kitchen Aid Ultra Power stand mixer, this is the smallest stand mixer KA makes. While cooking at the store I would get to use a 6qt beauty! I got to know the sounds of a machine, it was a breeze to use, and I would think how much I needed that 6 qt. size.

There is nothing wrong with my stand mixer, it ran for 20 years during our life in France and came back to the states running like a champ! Just like my little food processor, they just keep on trucking! There is a lot to say about the quality of those old gals!

Back to my 40% discount, during the last days that I could get a discount and was in panic buying mode, I decided that my Swedish Assistant, would work just fine. He won't live on the counter, I'll just have to flex a muscle to bring him out of the pantry.

I plugged him and it really made a beautiful dough. I don't feel bad about not purchasing the 6qt after-all.

The Brioche dough is sticky.....full of buttery love! It needs a night in the fridge and the next day it is a workable dough. I fashioned the dough into a little loaf. Proofed and baked it off.....I wish you could smell the wonderful aroma.

The Holidays have begun!

Tuesday, December 08, 2015

Confit de Canard.....

I'm not a hoarder.....I swear! I like to think that I'm a 'keeper'. A 'protector'. Sometimes, sadly, my precious items expire. I'll get a yen for a little something and remember that I have the precious ingredient stashed somewhere in the dark corner of my pantry only to discover it is out of date. Not by a few months, or even a year.

The Duck Fat that I bought and hauled back in our shipment when we moved to the States was long gone. 5 years out of date. I couldn't even bring myself to open the can and 'just see' if it was ok. I had, in the past, called the FDA and asked them about some cans that were stashed & saved, they said a couple of years as long as the can was not rusty or dented that I could rest assured eat my long forgotten item.

My duck legs were already prepped in the fridge. The 'cuisse' were salted and bay leaves scattered. You really can't leave them in the salty dry brine any longer than 24 hours, like you can with a big fat Turkey. I did remember that I had some Olive Oil and you can 'confit' or poach anything really. Duck Fat is preferred, and my favorite kitchen store keeps it in stock. I even had a customer who buys it for her dog. What a palette her pooch much have!

 Below my legs and thighs are bathing in an olive oil bath...gently bubbling away.

In another 3 hours they will be fork tender and ready for a blast in the broiler to crisp up the skin. Fried potatoes & a crisp green salad will accompany my duck. All I  need are the lights of the Eiffel and a stroll down the Champs!
Well, I still have a good imagination.

 I'll let  you know how the Olive Oil works out!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Next week, I promise!

With a bit more time on my hands, coming soon, I am anxious to start blogging again.
Stay Tuned!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Croissant.....part deux

Boy am I feeling pretty 'chuffed'! My croissant dough has turned out beautiful.
I made some Pain au Chocolate.....and Croissants aux Amandes. Everything turned out....except my Pate Amandes leaked.....back to drawing board.

I used Julia's recipe for the almond cream...but I seem to remember a yolk was added with my french recipes. I will try again. No is pleased with my success and mistakes alike!

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Puff Pastry.....1000 layers!

Back in the kitchen again!

I can't find any fresh cake yeast any I decided to make the next best dough. Puff Pastry.
You know, the mother of all pastry doughs! 
I always thought once you mastered this dough, you could pretty much accomplish anything! (that sounds pretty pompous!)

I dug out my trusty recipe, you remember, the one that started my whole teaching gig. I had some President butter in the fridge this time. My homage to France! I'm always surprised to find little French friends in the grocery. A cool morning and I was prepping my detrempe!

Again, all was well in the baking world and I had some great dough to play with.

Easy to roll out and shape. I had some Serrano ham in the fridge along with feta and thought a little lunch 'braid' would work well.

My next pastry temptation was a cream cheese cherry turnover. I added a little lime zest and it really brought the cream cheese mix to life.

Guess what I found at the grocery today? Yep.....fresh yeast. Got my Croissant recipe out again. I'm on my way to make some dough. I'm thinking Almond Croissant & Pain au Chocolate this time. What do you think??