Ringing in 2011 with a Gourmet Dinner

New Year's Eve 2011 Dinner

New Year’s Eve, Mr BT and I celebrated our anniversary and 2011 with a gourmet romantic dinner. Our anniversary was actually the day before, but I had more time to prepare a lovely meal on Friday, so we had an anniversary/Shabbat/2011 special meal.

Last week, I found two beautiful goose breast fillets and some very large bright yellow quinces. I thought these would be two perfect ingredients for a romantic anniversary dinner. I made goose breast with a quince and red currant sauce, roasted butternut squash, Jerusalem artichokes and potato, and steamed broccoli. For dessert, I made a luscious quince tarte tatin. All washed down with the perfect anniversary wine: Saslove Winery’s Marriage 2009 wine, which is made of three varieties of grapes: Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Syrah.

This year, Mr BT and I will be searching for a home to call our own. Something we have dreamed about for a long time. I hope that 2011 is filled with more foodie adventures that I can share with you. And, I hope that all of your hopes and dreams come true this year.

Mr BT and I wish you all a very happy, healthy, peaceful and delicious 2011.

Goose Breast with Quince and Red Currant Sauce

Caramelised Goose Breast with Quince and Red Currant Sauce

Serving Size: 2

Butternut Squash, Jerusalem Artichokes and Potato

For the vegetables:

180g (1 cup) butternut squash, peeled and cut into cubes

180g (1 cup) Jerusalem artichokes, peeled and cut into cubes

180g (1 cup) roasting potatoes, cubed

2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped

3 tablespoons of olive oil

Salt and pepper

Goose Breast

For the goose:

2 goose breast fillets, about 200g (7oz) each

1 tablespoon honey

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 piece of fresh ginger, about 2 1/2 cm (1 inch), minced

For the sauce:

1 medium poached quince, diced

1 shallot, minced

4 tablespoons port

1 piece of fresh ginger, about 2 1/2 cm (1 inch), minced

100ml (1/2 cup) dry white wine

1 strand of fresh red currants or 1/4 cup of thawed and drained fresh-frozen

1 tablespoon fresh chives, chopped

Preheat the oven to 180C (350F). Place the butternut squash, Jerusalem artichoke and potato on a baking tray in one layer. Sprinkle the fresh thyme and massage in the olive oil until the vegetables are coated evenly with the thyme and the oil. Sprinkle the vegetables with salt and pepper and roast them for 15-25 minutes until the vegetables are tender.

After the vegetables are ready, preheat the oven to 220C (425F).

Season the goose breast with salt and pepper. Heat a dry pan over medium-high heat. Sear the goose, skin-side down, until golden. Turn the breast over and cook for another couple of minutes. Add the honey, mustard and ginger to the pan, and baste the goose a few times. Transfer the goose to a roasting pan with a rack and roast in the oven for 5 minutes. Do not overcook. The goose should be slightly pink in the center.

Meanwhile, add the quince and shallot to the pan in which you seared the goose, keeping the goose fat in the pan to help thicken the sauce. Add the port to deglaze the pan, bring to the boil and simmer until reduced by half. Add the ginger and the white wine, return to the boil and simmer to reduce again. Season with salt and pepper, and add the red currants and chives.

To serve, place the roasted vegetables on the center of the plate, slice the goose breast and place on top and pour the sauce on top of the goose.

http://www.baronesstapuzina.com/2011/01/02/ringing-in-2011-with-a-gourmet-dinner/

Quince Tarte Tatin

Quince Tarte Tatin
by David Lebovitz

The is one of the best tartes Tatin I have ever had and Mr BT thought so too. It is not too sweet and really shows off the quince.

The Cake with the Heart of Gold

Quince season is just about over here and I wanted to make one last quince dish before they left the market. I found an interesting spice cake recipe from a lovely blog called Hungry Cravings. I adapted her recipe slightly. I like more spice flavour so I added more ground ginger and added cardamom. I also substituted yogurt for sour cream and used dark brown sugar instead of light. This is a delicious and moist cake, and would also be nice with pears or plums.

Quince Spice Cake

Serving Size: 8 to 10

Adapted recipe from Hungry Cravings

For the quince:

1 1/2 cups water

1 cup sugar

1 tablespoon vanilla paste

1 cinnamon stick

10 whole cloves

2 quinces

For the cake:

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

3/4 teaspoon salt

113g unsalted butter (1 stick), at room temperature

1/4 cup sugar

3/4 cup dark brown sugar

2 large eggs, at room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup plain yogurt, at room temperature

Combine the water, cinnamon stick, whole cloves, vanilla paste and 1 cup of the sugar in a small pot. Heat until the sugar dissolves. Peel, quarter, and core the quinces. Add the quinces to the pot and drape them with a piece of parchment paper. Bring to a boil and simmer for about half an hour, or until tender. Remove the quinces to a paper towel-lined plate, reserving the poaching syrup for another use, and let cool.

Preheat the oven to 180C (350F). Grease a loaf pan. Sift together the flour, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, allspice, cardamom, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

In a mixer beat together the butter, brown sugar, and sugar on high for 3 to 4 minutes, or until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time until thoroughly combined and then beat in the vanilla extract. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture, then ½ of the yogurt, then 1/3 of the flour mixture, then the remaining ½ of the yogurt, and then the remaining 1/3 of the flour mixture, mixing on low for only a few seconds after each addition until just combined, and stopping the mixer once or twice to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Do not overmix.

Place the batter in the loaf pan. Slice three of the quince halves thinly, but not all the way through, fan out the slices atop the batter, spacing them evenly apart. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until the edges of the cake start to shrink away from the pan and a toothpick inserted into the center of a cake comes out clean. Let the cakes cool in the pan for about 10 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack and finish cooling completely.

http://www.baronesstapuzina.com/2009/11/14/the-cake-and-tart-with-the-heart-of-gold/

Goose Ossobuco with Quince

It is finally quince season here in Israel and I love to make savory autumn meals with this tasty fruit. The supermarket had a special on goose right before Rosh Hashana, so I decided to buy several packs of goose ribs from Hungary. At least that is what they are called on the package in Hebrew.

Goose ribs, you say with a laugh….well, actually they are goose drumsticks that have been trimmed to look like lamb ossobuco. So, I decided to make goose “ossobuco” with quince for Shabbat dinner. I wanted to serve it over polenta, but it is not cold enough to have that hearty a meal. I served it over couscous and with Mr BT’s grilled asparagus as a first course. I would recommend making this a day ahead to enhance all of the wonderful flavours of this dish. The taste actually got richer when I reheated it the next day. Goose can be fairly tough, but the meat absolutely fell off the bone.

This dish should be served with a hearty red wine, such as a Shiraz.

Goose Ossobuco with Quince

Serving Size: 4

2kg (4 1/2lbs) goose drumsticks (skin removed and half of the leg bone has been cut off)

2 quince

Juice of one lemon

8 large shallots, chopped finely

3 cloves of garlic, crushed

4 tablespoons Olive oil

2 tablespoons flour

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1/2 bottle dry red wine

2 liters (4 pints) chicken stock

Few sprigs of thyme

1 large bay leaf

Preheat oven to 180C (350F).

Peel, core, and cut the quince into quarters. Place in a small bowl and squeeze the juice of one lemon on top of the quince. Set aside.

In a dutch oven, heat the olive oil on medium-low heat. Add the shallots and garlic and gently cook them until soft and lightly colored. Add the flour cook the flour mixture for 2-3 minutes. Add the tomato paste and gradually add in the red wine to avoid forming lumps. Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Add the goose drumsticks, quince, thyme, bay leaf, and simmer for 15 minutes. Transfer the dutch oven to the oven, covered, and cook for two hours or until the goose is tender.

Serve over polenta, couscous, quinoa, or pasta.

http://www.baronesstapuzina.com/2009/09/27/goose-ossobuco-with-quince/

Erev Sukkot

Wednesday night was the beginning of the seven day festival of Sukkot. The word Sukkot is the plural of the Hebrew word sukkah, which means booth or hut. During this holiday, Jews are suppose to build a temporary structure in which to eat their meals, entertain guests, relax, and even sleep. The sukkah can be built of any materials, but its roof must be an organic material, such as palm fronds or tree branches, and it must be partially open to the sky.

On each of the seven days of Sukkot, the Torah requires that Jews should take four species of plants and shake them in a specific manner. These species are: the lulav (date palm frond), hadass (bough of a myrtle tree), aravah (willow branch), which are bound together and collectively referred to as the lulav, and the etrog (a citron, a lemon-like citrus fruit). The shaking of the lulav with the etrog is done in the synagogue and in the Sukkah.

There isn’t really any typical dishes for Sukkot. A lot of people make dishes with fruit, such as quince, pomegranates and apples. I decided to try two new recipes for the evening meal. For the main course I prepared Honey-Barbecued Short Ribs with Rosemary-Glazed Corn on the Cob and I prepared a Quince-Bay Leaf Tart with Pistachio Crust for dessert. Both of the dishes were delicious, but we prefer the other short rib recipe I made for Lag B’Omer.

The quince tart recipe called for one large quince, so I used two medium size ones and it was clearly not enough, but too late to do anything about it, so I topped the quince with two sliced apples.

Honey-Barbecued Short Ribs with Rosemary-Glazed Corn on the Cob
(I used thyme instead of rosemary)

Quince Tart with Pistachio Crust

Slice of tart

Quince-Bay Leaf Tart with Pistachio Crust

Serving Size: 6 to 8

Filling:

4 medium quinces

4 large bay leaves

1/4 cup vanilla sugar or 1/4 cup sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla

Crust:

60 g (1/3 cup) pistachio nuts

100 g (7 tablespoons) unsalted butter

1/4 teaspoon salt

75 g (5 tablespoons) sugar

150 g (2/3 cup) flour

Quince and Bay Leaf

Use a mandolin to slice the quince in thin, even slices. Place the quince slices, bay leaves and sugar in a saucepan. Add enough water to cover and simmer until the quince is soft and the water has evaporated. This could take 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Pistachio Crust

Place the pistachios in a Cuisinart and pulse until the nuts are finely ground. Mix together the nuts, butter, sugar, and flour until it forms into a dough. This is a basic butter crust recipe and it will be a little dry.

Press the dough in a lightly greased tart pan and add the quince filling. Bake in a pre-heated oven (175°C/ 347°F) for 25-30 minutes or slightly brown on the top.

http://www.baronesstapuzina.com/2007/09/27/erev-sukkot/

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