Friday, April 10, 2009

Pineapple Pavlova

In April's Gourmet this month, they feature a Berry Pavlova (meringue with lemon curd topped with ... you guessed it: berries!). My F. doesn't care overly for berries though, so I made ours with pineapple. Though not as photogenic, this Pineapple Pavlova was really divine.

First comes making the meringue:

3 egg whites
pinch of salt
3 tb. cold water
1 Cup superfine granulated sugar
1 TB cornstarch
1 ts rice wine vinegar

Let the egg whites come to room temperature for a half hour and mix cornstarch and sugar together. Then, add the egg whites to your mixer on medium with a pinch of salt to arrive at soft peaks (about 6 minutes). Add water, and re-arrive at soft peaks (another 3 min. or so).

On medium high speed, gradually add tablespoon by tablespoon of the sugar mixture to the egg whites. Let the mixture go for another minute after incorporating all the sugar mixture. Add the vinegar and continue to mix for another 5 min. or until glossy with stiff peaks.

Spread the mixture onto parchment paper and stick in a 300 degree F oven for 45 min. When the time's up, open the oven door and let the meringue cool undisturbed for an hour.

Meanwhile... make the lemon curd!

1 C sugar
6 TB room temp. butter
2 whole eggs
2 egg yolks
1/2 C fresh lemon juice

Cream sugar and butter together over medium speed in your mixer. Then, add the eggs until incorporated. Finally add the lemon juice. (The mixture may look lumpy)

Put the mixture in a heavy bottomed saucepan. Stir constantly over medium low heat. The butter may separate out a little before it's all warmed. No worries, keep stirring over medium low heat until the mixture reaches 170 degree F. This will take 25 minutes or so, so get comfortable. Once it reaches 170, you're good to go with delicious lemon curd.

Then it's easy as pie to assemble. Remove the meringue onto a dish, spoon lemon curd in the center crater of the meringue and then top with pineapples.

The Pavlova is really fabulous. There's a layer of the meringue that's crisp and brittle, and then the center is luxuriously marshmallow-y. Enjoy!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Potatoes Gribiche

Recently, one of the blogs, The Wednesday Chef , featured a recipe that is also on another blog I read, Chocolate and Zucchini. And since this latest reference to this recipe, I've found myself desiring it: Potatoes Gribiche. Potatoes tossed in a sultry smokey paprika vinaigrette spiked with pickles and salty. The thoughts whirled until I had to make it. At 1am, bien sur.

While the original recipe is much larger - I was only cooking for myself at past midnight. Also, I lacked the shallot & capers the original recipe call for. However, I fancy my recipe was quite tasty in it's own right.

Warm Potato Salad

1. Roast - 2 hand size Yukon gold potatoes cubed & tossed in olive oil, sprinkled with salt and pepper at 425 F for a half an hour.

2. Mix - 1 chopped hard boiled egg, three minced baby dill pickles, 8 manzanilla olives, 1 ts. sherry vinegar, 1/2 ts. Dijon mustard, 1/2 ts. dried onion, 1/4 ts. granulated garlic & 1/4 ts. smoked Spanish paprika

3. Toss them together & Enjoy!