There is no English language edition yet of Vietnam Exquis, une cuisine entre Ciel et Terre" (Editions de la Martinière- April 3, 2014) by Linh Le with photographs by Isabelle Rozenbaum, yet I could not resist asking Linh to share a couple of recipes from the book.
A drink first, with my English adaptation of French recipe:
After a parade and talks and workshops, DC Emancipation Day (April 16, 2014) concludes with 'Message in the Music', a free concert at Freedom Park...kick off was at 4 pm.
"The official DC Emancipation Day Concert, “Message in the Music” will begin at4pm at Freedom Plaza and feature Brian Lenair (4pm to 5pm), followed by performances by Talib Kweli, Raheem DeVaughn, Arrested Development, MC Lyte, Doug E Fresh and more..."
I got the idea for gluten-free cream puffs from my friend and mentor Laura Russell, who writes the gluten-free column for the Oregonian. She came up with a tapioca-based recipe for Brazilian cheese puffs, and the dough base reminded me of the pâté à choux used for traditional cream puffs, except that it’s much easier to make. The pastry cream can be made up to 5 days in advance: simply keep in an airtight container or wrap well with plastic wrap directly on the cream to keep a skin from forming. The puffs can be baked up to a week ahead and frozen in an airtight container. Make sure you poke the hole in the bottom, sticking your pinky in to clear the way for the filling, before you freeze them. Then, just reheat the puffs at 350°F for 6 to 10 minutes. The assembled puffs can also be frozen in an airtight container, but they will soften quite a bit. Thaw them at room temperature for about 2 hours before you plan to serve them.
2 cups / 454 ml whole milk 1/2 cup / 113 g sugar 4 egg yolks 1/3 cup / 51 g cornstarch 2 tablespoons / 28 g butter 2 teaspoons / 10 g vanilla bean paste or extract
2 cups / 454 ml whole milk 2/3 cup / 147 g canola oil 4 cups / 521 g tapioca starch 6 eggs 1 tablespoon / 14 g vanilla extract Pinch / .5 g salt
1 1/2 cups / 263 g best-quality dark chocolate 1/4 cup / 57 g butter 1/4 cup / 59 g heavy cream
To make the pastry cream, line a baking pan with heatproof plastic wrap and set aside. Place the milk and 1/4 cup of the sugar in a saucepan and scald the milk (heat to the point where it is steaming and the edges look like it is about to boil but is not yet bubbling). Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, cornstarch, and the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar until smooth. Once the milk is scalded, whisk the egg mixture vigorously while very slowly pouring in the milk in a steady stream. Then pour the mixture back into the saucepan and return to medium-high heat. Whisk constantly while heating to ensure that no lumps form. Bring to a boil and, whisking constantly, continue to let boil for 90 seconds.
Remove from the heat and stir in the butter and vanilla bean paste until well blended.
Pour the pastry cream into the plastic wrap–lined pan and cover the entire surface of the cream with additional plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming. Chill 30 to 60 minutes.
To make the puff dough, preheat the oven to 350°F. Set aside two mini muffin pans and leave them ungreased.
Pour the milk and oil into a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Meanwhile, put the tapioca starch in the mixing bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment. When the milk mixture comes to a boil, turn the mixer on medium speed and slowly pour the milk into the tapioca. Turn to high and add the eggs, one at a time, and blend thoroughly, stopping occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Mix in the vanilla and salt.
Evenly fill 36 muffin cups two-thirds full. Bake until puffed and golden brown and hard to the touch, about 25 minutes. Meanwhile, remove the plastic wrap from the pastry cream and place the cream in a bowl. Whisk to soften and smooth the texture. Spoon the cream into a pastry bag fitted with a #802 round piping tip. (Normally, I advocate using a ziplock bag if you don’t have a pastry bag, but in this instance, the ziplock is likely to split along the seam.) Then refrigerate. Once cool to the touch, pop the puffs out of the pan. (If you can’t get the puffs to easily pop out, or if they begin deflating as they cool, put them back in the oven for 5 to 10 minutes so they finish baking and crisp up.) Take a pointed paring knife and carefully cut a small round hole in the bottom of each puff. To fill the cream puffs, insert the piping tip of the bag of pastry cream partway into the bottom of each puff and gently squeeze.
To make the chocolate glaze, melt the chocolate over a double boiler or in a microwave-safe bowl. If using the microwave, heat in 30-second intervals, stirring between each. Stir the butter and cream into the melted chocolate until well blended.
Dip the top of each cream puff in the chocolate glaze, turn right side up, and place directly on a serving platter.
To cut down on preparation time, you can use a gluten-free vanilla pudding mix, cooked according to directions. Please do not use an instant mix: the scalded milk is an important flavor enhancer and tastes so much better!
The flavor of anise features quite heavily in Greek cuisine. Here I’ve used fennel seeds, which have a light anise/licorice flavor and balance perfectly with the zesty orange. The ice cream is delicious served with my Chocolate, Orange, and Anise Tart (page 186).
Serves 4–6 as a dessert, or 12 as an accompaniment to the Chocolate, Orange, and Anise Tart
1 3/4 cups heavy cream zest of 2 oranges 2 teaspoons ground fennel seeds 6 free-range egg yolks 3/4 cup superfine sugar 1 cup whole milk
Heat the cream, orange zest, and fennel seeds in a saucepan until almost boiling. Turn off the heat and let infuse for a minimum of 30 minutes.
Whisk together the egg yolks and sugar in a large bowl until pale and thick. Reheat the infused cream, adding the milk over medium heat until almost boiling. Slowly whisk the cream into the egg mixture until combined.
Return the mixture to the pan and stir continuously over low heat with a wooden spoon until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon.
Strain into a bowl placed over a pan filled with ice and stir occasionally until cool. Churn in an ice-cream machine following the manufacturer’s instructions.
(* Recipe excerpted from Smashing Plates by Maria Elia -Kyle Books USA, April 2014- Photography by Jenny Zarins, all right reserved)
6. Restaurants: The 404 Kitchen, everything Rolf and Daughters, the octopus Lockeland Table, community kitchen and bar, for the chicken liver pate City House, everything, Sunday supper, pizzas Catbird Seat, try to get in, 20 bar seats surround U-shaped kitchen, you meal is prepared as you watch Pinewood Social, the Italian Soda, Pork Belly Sandwich
10. Catch a great game: The Tennessee Titans, football Nashville Predators, hockey Nashville Sounds, baseball
1. Take Taxis: Worst in all of the entire world. You will have a better time on a scooter in Rome, Italy during rush hour than you will in most Nashville cabs. Take Uber Cab!
2. Rent a car: The interstates around Nashville are some of the hardest to figure out. Plus Nashville is home to some of the worst drivers in the world. Stick to Uber Cab. But if you just have to rent a car consider Music City Dream Cars were you can rent the most exotic cars one can think of. Ferrari, Maserati, Rolls Royce, Bently, Lamborghini, etc are all available for your city driving pleasure
3. Think Nashville is all about country music: The Kings of Leon, Jack White, The Black Keys, Shelly Colvin, Courtney Jaye, etc all live, work, and record in Nashville.
8. Pass on touring the country music hall of fame. I know I said that Nashville isn't all about country, and it's not, it just happens to be the home of one of the best halls of fame in the world.
9. Miss fall in Nashville. The weather is perfect, the leaves are beautiful, the food and drinks are flowing, and there's great sporting events and concerts. All around it's the perfect time to be here.
10. Leave with out planning your next trip to Nashville!
Bake Bread this Week-End with No Knead Grain and Seed Loaf from Amazing Grains (Kyle Books, US edition, February 2014) by Ghillie James.
The “No knead” grain and seed loaf
Bar a few good Aussie bakeries dotted around, the bread in Singapore (where I live) is not massively interesting or healthy, so it’s great to have a recipe for a cheat’s loaf up your sleeve. This one is my Swedish friend Anna’s creation, but adapted slightly to suit my family’s likes. It’s quite a dense bread, but certainly less dense and softer than darker pumpernickel-style breads, and uses whole grain spelt and whole meal flour rather than rye flour, which is commonly used in Scandinavian and German breads. It’s the perfect bread to quickly rustle up too, as it takes half the time a normal loaf takes to make, and it’s a great accompaniment to a bowl of soup, a smear of thick-set honey, or some smoked salmon, chopped dill, and lemon.
Makes 2 x 2lb loaves
3 tablespoons light olive or vegetable oil, plus a little for greasing 51/2 cups stoneground whole wheat flour 1 and 1/2 cups wholegrain spelt flour 4 tablespoons pumpkin seeds 3 tablespoons flaxseeds, preferably ground 3 teaspoons sugar 3 teaspoons sea salt flakes 2 and 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
First, grease two large 2lb loaf pans with oil.
Mix the flour, spelt flour, seeds, sugar, salt, and yeast in a large bowl. Make a well in the center and pour in 3½ cups warm water and the oil. Mix well with a spoon or your hand (it will be quite a wet mixture compared to normal bread dough).
Divide between the two greased loaf pans. Cover with a damp kitchen towel or an upturned mixing bowl and then leave in a warm place for 1–1½ hours until it has nearly doubled in size.
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Uncover the loaves and bake for 40 minutes until golden and risen. Tip the bread out of the pans and return to the oven rack for another 10–15 minutes— then test by tapping the base to hear if it sounds hollow. If it doesn’t, return to the oven for a further 5–10 minutes or until done. Leave to cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.
Alternative to spelt flour: instant oatmeal or use all stoneground whole wheat flour.
(* Recipe from 'Amazing Grains'from classic to contemporary, wholesome recipes for every day by Ghillie James -Kyle Books, US edition, March 2014- Photographs by Jonathan Gregson- all rights reserved)
"38 top winemakers from the famed Left and Right Banks of Bordeaux, will treat Sommeliers, Wine Buyers and Wine Journalists to an exclusive unveiling of their most prized possessions, ranging from the 2013 “en primeur” vintage (“wine futures”) to the most widely celebrated 2010 and 2011 varietals."
BORDEAUX SUPERIEUR Château Brande-Bergère Cuvée o’Byrne
FRONSAC Château Dalem Château Moulin Haut Laroque Château Les Trois Croix Château La Vieille Cure
POMEROL Château Vray Croix de Gay
LALANDE DE POMEROL Château Siaurac
SAINT-EMILION GRAND CRU Château Croix Cardinale Château Godeau Château Magrez Fombrauge Château Mondorion Château du Parc Château Pindefleurs Château Trianon
SAINT-EMILION GRAND CRU CLASSE Château Fleur Cardinale Château Fombrauge Château de Pressac Château Le Prieuré Château Yon-Figeac
MONTAGNE SAINT-EMILION Château Faizeau
MEDOC Château La Cardonne Château Greysac Château Grivière Château Haut Condissas Château Patache d’Aux Château Ramafort Château Rollan de By Château Tour Séran
HAUT-MEDOC Château Liversan Château Malescasse The Winemaker’s collection
LISTRAC Château Cap Léon Veyrin
MARGAUX Château d’Arsac
GRAVES Grand Enclos du Château de Cérons
PESSAC LEOGNAN Château Haut Bacalan Château Haut Lagrange
SAUTERNES Château de Myrat Château Raymond Lafon
"The Grand Cercle des Vins de Bordeaux came into existence thanks to the aim of Alain Raynaud, its president and founder, to bring together in one entity the wines of the Right and Left Banks.
With almost 200 wines, the Grand Cercle des Vins de Bordeaux presents, during its trips abroad, a showcase of Bordeaux wines selected for their high quality. Its vocation is to prove that in Bordeaux there are superb, top-of-the-range and reasonably priced wines!"