Malted and Salted: Milk Chocolate Pots de Creme

Malted and Salted: Milk Chocolate Pots de Creme

Malted & Salted:  Milk Chocolate Pots de Crème

The term “Petits Pots de Crème” refers both to a soft baked custard and to the small ceramic pots, often with lids, that they are baked in. The dainty authentic petits pots pictured above were made in France. They belonged to my grandmother-in-law, Evelyn Dawn. While I only have six porcelain petit pots, and am cooking for a crowd, I supplement my collection with espresso cups.

Pots de Crème are a fabulous dessert to serve at a diner party. They look adorable, are impossibly rich and velvety, and petite enough to be elegant and sophisticated. Adding malted milk powder to a supremely French dessert gives this version an unexpected light-hearted twist. And as a bonus, they are prepared a day ahead. Just add the quick garnish of fleur de sel and/or malted milk balls, and they are ready to go.

Malted milk powder was invented by James Horlicks in 1883. It is a combination of sprouted grain that is quickly dried (barley malt) then ground up and added to powdered milk and wheat flour. It was originally meant as a nutritious non-spoiling supplement for babies’ diets, but gained popularity among explorers who found it portable as well as tasty…and became a hit at soda shops all around the country when added to ice cream to make a “malt” and as a candy marketed as “malted milk balls.”

Pots de Crème Recipe

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“End of Summer Rolls” Caprese-Style

"End of Summer Rolls" Caprese-Style

“End of Summer Rolls” Caprese-Style

Heirloom Tomato, Burrata, Basil, Rice Noodle
Olive Oil & Balsamic Vinegar

Perhaps you’ve heard me bemoan the ubiquitous Caprese Salad and all its incarnations?

Caprese grilled cheese, caprese kabobs, caprese bruschetta, caprese pasta salad, caprese pizza, caprese schmaese. But when I was challenged to come up with a tomato dish by our friendly Creative Cooking Crew, forgive me but I turned to those very Caprese ingredients. After all, there truly is something magical about the classic pairing of tomato and mozzarella and basil. Especially in summer. And what better way to bid farewell to the fabulous Summer of 2014, than with Caprese Summer Rolls – light, fresh, refreshing. These hand-held bites capture summer’s waning days in a tidy rice paper wrapper.

"End of Summer Rolls" Caprese-Style

Caprese Summer Rolls Recipe

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Grilled Corn, Soy-Mirin Glaze, Wasabi Goat Butter

Grilled Corn, Soy Mirin Glaze, Wasabi Goat Butter

Grilled Corn, Soy-Mirin Glaze, Wasabi Goat Butter

Pure white. Very subtle yet intriguing chèvre flavors. Goat butter is produced by churning the fresh, pasteurized goat cream. The composition of goat butter has a lower melting point than cow’s butter, so it is softer than cow’s butter at room temperature. Combined with the clean flavor and subtle heat of wasabi powder, this goat butter is simply sublime paired with grilled corn.

Mirin, soy sauce, and olive oil are combined to make a stellar glaze for grilled corn. Fresh corn is shucked and placed on the hot grill, then liberally brushed with the glaze as the corn is rotated and roasted.

Mirin is a cooking wine brewed from glutinous rice, its complex sweet flavors complement the salty soy sauce. It also adds a glossy sheen to the grilled corn. Be sure to buy high quality mirin, as some brands on the market are made with corn syrup (read the label). Look for mirin made with water, rice, koji (aspergillus oryzae), and sea salt. Or, if possible buy artisanal mirin rather than the commercially produced variety.

With Japanese flavors, wasabi goat butter and soy-mirin glaze take summer’s simple grilled corn on the cob to new umami heights.

Grilled Corn, Soy-Mirin Glaze, Wasabi Goat Butter Recipe

Grilled Corn, Soy Mirin Glaze, Wasabi Goat Butter

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Spicy Rainbow Slaw

Spicy Rainbow Slaw

A Spicy Kaleidoscopic Slaw

Napa Cabbage, Purple Cabbage, Korean Pear, French Breakfast Radish
Pink Carrot, White Carrot, Orange Carrot, Purple Carrot
Red Fresno Chile, Serrano Chile, Cilantro, Scallion
Sesame Oil & Rice Wine Vinegar Dressing

Spicy Rainbow Slaw

A sharp knife and vegetable peeler are all it takes to make this kaleidoscopic summer slaw. As a twist on the ubiquitous Asian Slaw – Korean pear, French breakfast radish, serrano chile, and red Fresno chile are added for additional sweet, spicy, and crunchy notes. The result is a truly irresistible wild salad pleasing to the eye and palate. Add bay shrimp and peanuts to take this slaw from a side dish to a meal.

Spicy Rainbow Slaw Recipe

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Patriotic Grilled Chicken, Savory Blueberry Compote, Strawberry Arugula Salad

Patriotic Grilled Chicken, Blueberry Compote, Strawberry Arugula Salad
Patriotic Grilled Chicken, Savory Blueberry Compote, Strawberry Arugula Salad

Happy Birthday America, Sweet Land of Liberty!

As much as we have a passion for food and cooking – holidays, of course – have significance beyond what we’re eating. In addition to roasting a big beautiful turkey on Thanksgiving, we spend time giving thanks and sharing our gratitude. On Independence Day, while we relish our BBQ chicken and burgers, we celebrate our LIBERTY and FREEDOM!

Patriotic Grilled Chicken, Savory Blueberry Compote, Strawberry Arugula Salad

Patriotic Grilled Chicken Recipe

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Alaskan Cod, Mediterranean Style

Alaskan Cod, Mediterranean Style

Alaskan Cod, Mediterranean Style

Wild-Caught Cod, Cherry Tomatoes, Kalamata Olives
Artichoke Hearts, Onion, Lemon
White Wine, Olive Oil, Oregano

Sitting in a waiting room, flipping through Martha Stewart Living, I came across a recipe for a one-skillet fish dinner. I didn’t have time to read the recipe,  but I quickly took a photo of the description with my camera phone. This dish is my interpretation of that description.

And it just so happens that my friends over at Food Network are featuring “frozen treats” this week. Being a savory kind of gal, I am not really drawn to sweet icy desserts, but this dish, made by cooking frozen Wild-Caught Alaskan Cod is included in the event, because hey, it was frozen, and it is most definitely a treat! Try it with fluffy white rice or crusty French bread for sopping up the juices.

Alaskan Cod, Mediterranean Style Recipe

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Roasted Mushroom Noodle Soup & Roasted Barley-Corn Tea

Roasted Mushroom Noodle Soup
Roasted Mushroom Noodle Soup

Oyster Mushroom, Rice Noodles, Ground Beef, Beef Stock
Zucchini, Egg, Pine Nuts, Scallion, Garlic, Sesame Oil, Chiles

Roasted Mushroom Noodle Soup & Roasted Barley-Corn Tea

Roasted Barley-Corn Tea

It was inspired by a Korean soup casually known as “marketplace noodles.” But here I use rice noodles for my gluten-free friends and roast the oyster mushrooms for added depth and richness. In addition to a homemade beef stock, a wild assortment of garnishes take what could be a simple mushroom noodle soup to another level… I would even serve it to David Chang.

Pair roasted mushroom noodle soup with a roasted barley-corn tea. This intriguing tea is a combination of Korean bori cha (barley tea) and oksusu cha (corn tea). Barley adds nutty, grain-like flavors while the corn flavor is reminiscent of grilled corn on the cob.

Roasted Mushroom Noodle Soup Recipe

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