Flashback Friday – Choco Lot

Flashback Friday

The following originally appeared on 2/25/09 at Exit 51.

Choco Lot

What’s that?  You say that you want more chocolate?

If that Chocolate Souffle didn’t satisfy your dark cravings, try this Molten Chocolate Magic.  Personally, I’m looking for an excuse to make this.  Does Saturday count as a special occasion?

chocolate

Molten Chocolate Magic

Adapted from “Jean-Georges: Cooking at Home with a Four-Star Chef” by Mark Bittman and Jean-Georges Vongerichten

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, plus more to butter the molds
  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons flour, plus more for dusting

In the top of a double boiler set over simmering water, heat the butter and chocolate together until the chocolate is almost completely melted. While that’s heating, beat together the eggs, yolks, and sugar with a whisk or electric beater until light and thick.

Beat together the melted chocolate and butter; it should be quite warm. Pour in the egg mixture, then quickly beat in the flour, just until combined.

Butter and lightly flour four 4-ounce molds, custard cups, or ramekins. Tap out the excess flour, then butter and flour them again. Divide the batter among the molds. (At this point you can refrigerate the desserts until you are ready to eat, for up to several hours; bring them back to room temperature before baking.)

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Bake the molds on a tray for 6 to 7 minutes; the center will still be quite soft, but the sides will be set.

Invert each mold onto a plate and let sit for about 10 seconds. Unmold by lifting up one corner of the mold; the cake will fall out onto the plate. Serve immediately.

Bittman’s Glazed Carrots

As I type this, which has no connection to when it will flash across the interweb as a published post, I am a few short days away from embarking on a week’s vacation away from computers, blog, interwebs, and tweets.  My brain seems to already be in vacation mode, leaving me searching for something interesting to say about glazed carrots.

Frankly, I’ve got nothing.  Not even a picture to tempt you with their glazed deliciousness. All I can say is that in less time than it will take us to pack up our car for the trip, you can be serving up some glazed carrots.

Now that I think about it, these would make a great side to pack for our road picnic.  Great; now in addition to packing, cleaning the house, and finding a swim suit that I will not be embarrassed to wear in public, I need to make a batch of glazed carrots to save me from the temptation of rest stop french fries.

Why didn’t t anyone ever tell me how much work it is to go on vacation?

Bittman’s Glazed Carrots

Adapted from Mark Bittman

BAH Note:  This recipe is quite versatile and adaptable to whatever flavor combinations you prefer.  Prefer savory over sweet?  Substitute balsamic or soy for the orange juice.  Or get edgy and use ginger beer for a sweet and spiced flavor.  You “could” use whole carrots that you have peeled and cut into rounds or sticks.  I choose to use baby carrots straight from the bag.  Mr. Bittman says to use a saucepan 6 inches or less across.  I used a 2 quart saucepan just fine and suspect that I would have even been ok using my 10 inch frying pan.

  • 1 pound carrots, peeled and cut into rounds or 1 pound baby carrots
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup orange juice

Combine all the ingredients in a small saucepan.  Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to a simmer.  Cook for 20 minutes, or until carrots are tender.  Remove the lid and cook the remaining liquid down until it is nearly evaporated.  Serve the carrots with a bit of glaze.

{printable recipe}

Roasted Salmon in Pinot Sauce

Please don’t ask how long it has taken me to share this recipe with you.  If I answer honestly, you may begin to think that I’m holding out on you.  There’s a chance that I have already posted this either on the old blog or here.  But when I did a search for it, it came back with no results.  So I’m going to take that to mean I have not yet introduced you to Roasted Salmon in Pinot Sauce…even though I sincerely meant to.

You can forgive me, right?

Roasted Salmon with Pinot Sauce

Adapted from Mark Bittman

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 cups pinot noir
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 4 salmon steaks or filets
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon butter

Heat the oven to 450 degrees.  While the oven heats, cook the sugar in a nonstick saucepan over medium heat until it liquefies and starts to develop a brown color, approximately 10 minutes.  Remove the saucepan from the heat and carefully add the wine.  Return the saucepan to a high heat and cook until the caramelized sugar melts, stirring carefully.  Add the rosemary and continue to cook over high heat until the sauce reduces down to about 1/2 to 3/4 cup and becomes syrupy, about 15 minutes.

Ten minutes before you’re ready to cook the fish, place a stainless steel frying pan with about 1 tablespoon olive oil in the oven to heat.  Take out the salmon, dry it with paper towels, and season with kosher salt.

Carefully remove the HOT frying pan from the oven and place the salmon in the pan (skin side down if using skin on filets).  Return the pan to the oven and cook for 5 to 10 minutes or until the fish easily flakes with a fork.

While the fish is in the oven, finish the sauce by adding the balsamic vinegar and butter to the saucepan.  Cook over low heat until the butter melts.  Remove the rosemary sprig, taste for seasoning, and add salt as necessary.

Spoon the sauce over the fish and serve.  Leftover sauce can be kept in the refrigerator.

{printable recipe}

Tomato Fennel and Crab Soup

In my post cookbook breakup period, I’ve been looking for new inspiration.  So in addition to trolling the blogs for new recipe ideas, I’ve casually started buying cooking magazines again.  I figure if I can spend $29.99 on a cookbook that I only grab a few recipes from and then neglect on the bookshelf, why not spend $2.99 on a magazine that I can tear the pages from and then recycle?  The math might not add up but the space reclaimed on my bookshelf is priceless.

Tomato Fennel and Crab Soup

Adapted from Mark Bittman, Bon Appetit January 2011

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced
  • 28 ounces diced tomatoes in juice
  • 1 can vegetable broth
  • 8 ounces crab meat

BAH Note: You’ll want to be sure to pick through the crab meat for any small bits of shell or cartilage.  Even in the dead of winter, I was able to find crab at the grocery store.  I think I used Phillip’s lump and it didn’t cost me an arm and a leg.

Heat olive oil in a dutch oven set over medium high heat.  Add onion and fennel and cook until softened.  Add tomatoes and vegetable broth and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer the soup for 10 to 15 minutes.

Working in batches, carefully transfer the soup to a blender and process until smooth.  Return the soup to the pot, taste for seasoning, and add salt and pepper as desired.

Add crab to the soup and simmer for 5 minutes to warm through.  Serve immediately.

{printable recipe}