Sunday, October 4, 2009

Special post! Three-in-one! Number 22, Food for thought, and Food adventures

Food for thought: BEST. BOYFRIEND. EVER.

I love my boyfriend who can cook :)

Here's a little food porn for you all - some life-changing dorm curry out of our tiny kitchen, courtesy of Boyfriend.


Why is Boyfriend so awesome? Took me to an asian supermarket today to buy rice and curry stuff and made me food after my mind-numbing magazine meeting. Love.

Number 22: Raspberry mousse tarts

So I made the chocolate strawberry meringue tarts the other day. Super-ghetto college style. Didn't have my electric mixer so softened butter with a hair dryer. Rolled out the dough with a glass bottle covered in plastic wrap. Worked our tiny kitchen into producing some pretty decent tarts, which we shared with the hall.

Then Boyfriend complained about his lack of tarts, so I ventured downtown with the leftover tart crust dough and tried out Tartelette's raspberry mousse. This time I rolled out dough with a jam bottle wrapped with plastic wrap - fun. Worked out well, and super cute. Add some mini chocolate chips (or a layer of chocolate ganache) to the bottom of the tart for a sweet(er) surprise.

Raspberry mousse tartlettes

For the crust:
18 tablespoons butter, unsalted
1 1/8 cup confectioners sugar, sifted
3 3/4 cups cake flour, sifted

a pinch of salt
1 egg

For the mousse:
1 1/2 tspoon gelatin (3 sheets)
1 tablespoon cold water
1 cup whole milk
1/2 vanilla bean (split lengthwise and scraped)

1 egg and 1 egg yolk
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/3 cup raspberry jam
1 cup heavy whipping cream (I used Cool whip?)

To make the crust:
1. Cream the butter and sugar with an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment
2. Mix in the egg
3. Mix in the cake flour and salt
4. Turn out on a lightly floured cling wrap, wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour
5. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees for deeper tarts, 365 degrees for shallow tarts
6. Roll out dough on a floured surface

7. Press into tart tins and bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until brown around the edges and on bottom
8. Remove from tins and let cool

To make the mousse:
1. In a small bowl or ramekin, sprinkle the gelatin over the water.
2. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk sugar, egg and egg yolks
3. Add the cornstarch and mix until it becomes a smooth paste

4. In a saucepan, heat the milk and vanilla beans until it steams
5. Pour gradually into the egg mixture, stirring continuously to prevent curdling
6. Strain the mixture back into the saucepan, cook until it thickens
7. Add the jam and cook for another 30 seconds
8. Remove immediately from heat, add the gelatin and stir until it dissolves
9. Place in a cold water bath and stir until it reaches room temperature
10. Beat whipping cream until stiff and fold into the custard
11. Pipe onto tart shells, top with raspberries if desired.

Food adventures: Wicker Park

So Boyfriend and I cruised Wicker Park Saturday, searching for this design-your own ice cream/sorbet/fro-yo/pudding cafe on Milwaukee, and I must say it is pretty damn amazing. It's called "iCream," as in "iPod," "iMac," and all those other "iThings." But it makes sense. Essentially they give you certain options and you pick and choose to create your own. And then they churn it right in front of you, using liquid nitrogen to speed up the process and make it super smooth.

So you start with this base - ice cream, fro-yo, or pudding. The sorbet has pre-made flavors based on Naked juices (I love Naked orange juice, btw). Then you choose what flavors you want (caramel, burnt sugar, green tea, honey, pear, peach, pomegranate...it goes on!). Then mix-ins, toppings and color (pink! green! purple!). Genius (!).

Boyfriend chose green tea and honey ice cream with sprinkles and I got peach and pear fro-yo with peaches mixed in. Possibly the best fro-yo I've ever had, because normally I'm only semi-partial towards yogurt.

Sorry for the lack of pictures - didn't bring my camera with me. But I shall go again! And I'm thinking caramel and burnt sugar ice cream with chocolate chips mixed in. And I want it purple... just kidding on that last part. Maybe.

After some walking around and browsing, we hit up (pastry) Chef Mindy Segal's Hot Chocolate for dinner and had the best mac and cheese. Ever. I'm serious! Boyfriend never knew mac and cheese could be so good, and although it was a little salty, I had to agree. Beats dining hall mac and cheese at least (although that's not saying very much. Beats my mom's mac and cheese? Meh, she's red-hot at Chinese food. Not American).

Also shared a lamb and krema kasa sandwich with some pickled beets on the side which was very appetizing and finished off with a gorgeous pear dessert called, fittingly, "Pear." Poached pear tatin with some red wine and gingersnap ice cream.

Segal loves playing with salt, from what I've eaten (some with my eyes). Okay, I've eaten there twice, and only once for dinner. The other time was for dessert. But her salted caramel ice cream? Her fleur de sel cookies (pictured below with the pink filling)?

Hello Mindy Segal. I love you. Please teach me everything you know.

Fun fact - Segal is Roomie's drawing prof's cousin. Can I exploit this connection? Probably not. Awkward and weird and manipulative. Not my style.

But picked up some cookies (more food porn!) for Boyfriend's roommates and Roomie.


And with these delectable cookies, I finish off this incredibly long, epic post. Epic? Maybe. Hopefully. No more baking this week, as I have a game of catchup to play with my classes.

1 comment:

herryjuynh said...

ghetto. that's the way, uh huh uh huh, i laiiike it, uh huh, uh huh.

well done jess. i'd righteously scarf down that nonsense.