ONLINE EXTRA — FESTIVELY FRENCH: Buche de Noel . . . Fresh Oysters on the Half Shell . . . Turkey Stuffed with Chestnuts, etc.
By: Herald Staff Report,
Buche de Noel
4 eggs separated
1 2/3 cups sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla
1 cup sifted cake flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons rum (dark, if possible)
2/3 cup water
4 egg yolks
1 cup butter, softened (you can use margarine, but it’s not the same)
1½ squares unsweetened chocolate, melted
1 teaspoon instant coffee powder
Beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually add ½ cup sugar beating until egg whites stand in stiff peaks. In separate bowl beat 4 egg yolks until thick and lemon-colored. Gradually add 1/2 cup sugar beating constantly (this should be creamy, not grainy). Stir in vanilla. Gently fold egg-yolk mixture into whites (like making a souffli). Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Sift over top of egg mixture and fold in gently. Spread mixture evenly in greased and floured 15-by-10-by-1-inch jelly roll pan. Bake at 375 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes, or until top springs back when lightly touched. Loosen edges of cake. Immediately turn out on kitchen towel that has been liberally sprinkled with confectioners’ sugar. Sprinkle cake evenly with 2 tablespoons rum. Roll up cake, starting at long side. Cool
Meanwhile in a small saucepan combine remaining 2/3 cup sugar and water. Bring to a boil and cook to 240 degrees on a candy thermometer (soft-ball stage). Beat 4 egg yolks until thick and lemon colored. Very gradually add hot syrup, beating constantly. Continue beating until mixture is completely cool. Beat in the softened butter 1 tablespoon at a time. Add chocolate, instant coffee powder and remaining rum. Continue beating until thick.
Unroll cake. Spread evenly with half of the filling. Roll up starting at the long side. Cut a 4-inch piece from end of roll, cutting on the diagonal. On a serving platter place 4-inch piece along side of large roll at an angle to resemble a log. Frost with remaining filling. Mark frosting with tines of fork to resemble tree bark. Decorate with colored tubes of icing for vines and berries. If wanted add marzipan mushrooms for extra effect.
Fresh Oysters on the Half Shell
36 fresh oysters
6 shallots, peeled and sliced
¾ cup red wine vinegar
2 lemons, cut into thin wedges
In a blender or food processor, puree shallots with the red wine vinegar until smooth. Set aside.
To shuck the oysters, rinse the outside of oysters well, but do not scrub.
Hold a short, pointed oyster knife in one hand. Cover the other hand with a thick glove or cloth, and safely grip the shell in your palm. Insert the point of the blade next to the hinge and twist the knife to pry the shell open. Cut the muscle of the oyster from the top half and discard the top shell. Loosen the muscle from the lower shell with the knife.
To serve, arrange the oysters on a bed of crushed ice. Spoon about a teaspoon of the shallot and vinegar mixture over each oyster to cover with a thin layer of the tasty sauce.
Serve immediately with lemon wedges on the side.
Note: Shucked oysters may be kept, covered with a wet towel, in the refrigerator for up to an hour.
Yield: Serves 10.
Turkey Stuffed with Chestnuts
2 pounds chestnuts
2 cups butter
2 cups minced onion
2 cups minced celery
10 cups dried bread crumbs
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried marjoram
1 teaspoon dried savory
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
12 pounds whole turkey, neck and giblets removed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
With a sharp knife, cut a cross on the flat side of each chestnut. Simmer, covered with water, in a saucepan for 5 minutes. Drain. While hot, remove the shells and inner brown skins. Cover with fresh water. Boil for 20 to 30 minutes until tender. Drain. Chop coarsely.
To prepare the stuffing, melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in onions and celery, and cook until tender. Thoroughly mix in bread crumbs and chestnuts. Season with thyme, marjoram, savory, and rosemary.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Wash turkey with cold water, and pat dry. Rub salt and pepper into body cavities. Loosely spoon stuffing into body cavities. Close skin with skewers or kitchen twine, and tie drumsticks together. Place turkey on a rack in a medium roasting pan.
Roast turkey 3½ to 4½ hours in the preheated oven, until internal temperature of thigh reaches 180 degrees and stuffing reaches 165 degrees. A foil tent may be placed over the turkey during the last half of roasting time to avoid over browning. Remove from oven, place on platter, and allow the turkey to stand for 20 minutes before carving.
Yield: Serves 16.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 1,103 calories, 51.2 grams fat, 262 milligrams cholesterol, 838 milligrams sodium, 76.3 grams carbohydrates, 3.7 grams dietary fiber, 79.4 grams protein.
Basic Whole Wheat French Crepes
2/3 cup milk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter or margarine
¼ teaspoon salt
1/3 cup whole wheat flour
In a small bowl, beat the eggs, milk, butter and salt until well combined, about 20 seconds.
Sift the flour into a medium size bowl or a 2-quart measuring cup, then add the liquid mixture, beating until well combined, about 1 minute.
Or blend the eggs, milk, butter and salt in an electric blender or food processor for 15 seconds; sprinkle in the flour and blend until smooth, about 30 seconds.
Cover loosely with plastic wrap; let stand for at least 1 hour refrigerated or at room temperature. (The flour will swell to make a softer batter.) Will keep, refrigerated, for up to 4 hours.
Brush butter on the bottom of a crepe pan or heavy 7-inch skillet.
Set over moderate heat for about 30 seconds or until a drop of batter sizzles.
Stir the batter well, pour 2 tablespoonfuls into the skillet, and quickly tip it back and forth so that the batter evenly coats the bottom.
Cook until the crepe edges are golden brown-about 1 minute.
Slide a spatula under the crepe, flip it over, and cook for about 30 seconds.
Transfer to a warm plate.
Repeat with the remaining batter, rebuttering the skillet when necessary.
At this point the crepes can be cooled to room temperature, separated by sheets of wax paper, and stored.
Refrigerate, wrapped tightly with plastic wrap, for up to 24 hours.
Freeze, wrapped with aluminum foil and labeled, for up to 1 month at zero degrees.
Serve with your own favorite crepe filling.
Note: If you want to make regular crepes, not using whole wheat flour, use ¾ cup milk, 2 tablespoons cold water and substitute ¾ cup white flour.
Mousse de Saumon Fumé
12 ounces smoked salmon
¼ cup heavy cream
2 egg yolks
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon minced fresh sorrel or dill
Blend all ingredients to form a smooth puree in a blender or food processor. Arrange on a serving dish, forming mousse into an attractive shape.
Refrigerate at least 30 minutes and remove from refrigerator just before serving.
Yield: About 1½ cups.
Note: Because this recipe calls for uncooked egg yolks, you will want to use very fresh eggs (less than five days old) and make sure the mousse is eaten quickly after removing it from the refrigerator.
1/3 cup golden raisins
1/3 cup warm whole milk (105 to 115 degrees)
1½ teaspoons active dry yeast
12/3 cups all purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
3 tablespoons sugar
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch cubes, room temperature
Place raisins in small microwave-safe bowl. Cover with water. Microwave on high 1 minute. Let stand until cool.
Stir milk and yeast in large bowl of heavy-duty mixer to blend. Let stand until yeast dissolves, about 8 minutes. Attach dough hook. Add flour and salt to bowl; beat on low speed until blended, scraping sides of bowl often. Whisk eggs and yolk in small bowl to blend. Gradually add eggs to dough, beating on low speed until just blended. Add 3 tablespoons sugar, increase speed to medium, and beat until dough is smooth, scraping sides and bottom of bowl often, about 5 minutes. Reduce speed to medium-low. Add butter, 1 cube at a time, beating to incorporate each (dough will be very soft). Scrape dough off sides of bowl and dough hook. Beat dough until well-blended and pulling away from sides of bowl, about 8 minutes.
Remove bowl from mixer. Drain raisins. Stir raisins into dough. Scrape dough into medium bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in warm area until doubled in volume, about 1 hour 30 minutes. Using rubber spatula, turn dough over several times in bowl to deflate. Cover again and chill 2 hours, turning to deflate if dough rises. Cover tightly and keep refrigerated overnight.
Generously butter 8- to 9-cup kouglof mold. Roll chilled dough between palms and work surface to 12- to 15-inch rope and place around center post in prepared mold. Cover mold with plastic wrap and let dough rise until almost level with top edge, about 3 hours.
Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 375 degrees. Bake kouglof uncovered until golden brown on top and tester inserted near center comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Cool in pan 2 minutes. Turn out onto rack and cool.
Sift powdered sugar over kouglof. Cut into wedges and serve.
Yield: Serves 8.
Note: This lightly sweet brioche is the coffee cake of Alsace (where it is also known by its German name, kugelhopf).
Berauwecka (Alsatian Fruit Cake)
18 ounces dried pears
18 ounces dried apple
18 ounces dried figs
4 ounces candied orange peel
4 ounces candied lemon peel
4 ounces hazelnuts or walnuts, chopped or ground
4 ounces almonds, chopped or ground
18 ounces sultanas
1 or 2 bananas (optional)
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground star anise
½ teaspoon ground cloves
Pinch of grated nutmeg
Pinch of pepper
1 pound, 12 ounces sugar
6 tablespoons kirsch
18 ounces rye or wheat flour
2 ounces fresh yeast
¾ to 1 cup macerating liquid from the apples and pears
Decoration and syrup
4 ounces unblanched almonds, halved lengthwise
9 ounces sugar
6 tablespoons water (just enough to cover the sugar and make a heavy syrup)
The night before, soak the pears and apples in water. The next day, drain them, reserving 200 ¾ cup of the soaking liquid for the dough; place the flour on a work surface or in a large bowl and make a well in the center; crumble the yeast into this hollow, add the macerating liquid from the apples and pears (warmed to approximately 95 degrees. Mix gradually until the dough is smooth and fairly firm. Form it into a ball, cover with a cloth and leave to rise for an hour.
Meanwhile, cut the pears and the other fruit into strips. Add the kirsch, sugar, spices, almonds and hazelnuts (or walnuts), chopped or ground, as well as the candied orange and lemon peel, cut into small dice. Let rest until the dough has risen.
Mix all of these ingredients into the dough until smooth and well-combined. Moisten your hands and form the dough into oval, slightly flat loaves weighing 4 to 8 ounces. Place onto a buttered baking sheet. Decorate with the halved almonds, arranging a row of almonds (white part showing) along the length of each loaf. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes in a preheated 350-degree oven. Check the bottom of each Berauwecka for doneness: if it is nicely browned, the loaves are properly cooked. Remove from the oven and brush with the syrup (made with 6 tablespoons water and 1 cup sugar, simply brought to a boil and cooled.) Let cool before eating.
Yield: 6 to 8 little cakes.
Tarte Au Sucre (French-Canadian Sugar Pie)
1½ cups firmly packed dark brown sugar or maple sugar
1 cup evaporated milk
¼ cup cream
1 egg yolk
½ cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 dash salt
1 unbaked 8-inch pie shell
1 cup whipping cream, whipped with
1 tablespoon powdered sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350 degrees.
Whisk all ingredients until smooth and pour into shell.
Bake about 25 to 30 minutes, until filling is set.
Pie is best served slightly warm or at room temperature.
Serve with Chantilly Cream.
Yield: Serves 6 to 8.
Cretons à L’ancienne (Pork Scrap-Pork Guton)
1½ pounds ground pork
1½ cups breadcrumbs or panko
1½ cups milk
1¼ teaspoons salt
1¼ tablespoons pepper
1¼ tablespoons cinnamon
¾ tablespoon ground cloves
1 medium onion, peeled and finely minced
Cook pork until no longer pink, do not drain.
Add remaining ingredients; cook slowly for 1 to 1½ hours.
Refrigerate until serving (preferably overnight).
Pate Brisee or store-bought pastry dough for a double crust
1 tablespoon light olive or canola oil
½ pound ground pork
½ pound ground beef
¾ cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, crushed and finely chopped
1/3 cup shredded carrots
¼ cup finely chopped celery
2/3 cup beef stock
2 teaspoons cognac
1 teaspoon dried parsley
¾ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon dried sage
¼ teaspoon dried thyme
1/16 teaspoon ground cloves
1/16 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/16 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1 tablespoon dry bread crumbs
Preheat an oven to 400 degrees. Roll the pastry dough into 2 equal-sized circles to fit a 9-inch pie pan. Line the bottom of the pie pan with 1 circle and set aside the prepared pie pan and remaining pastry for later.
Using a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat and sauté the pork, beef, onion, garlic, carrots, and celery until the vegetables are tender and the meat is cooked through. Drain any excess fat from the pan. Add the beef stock, Cognac, herbs, and spices to the meat and vegetables; simmer the mixture over low-medium heat, covered, for about 15 to 20 minutes.
Remove the skillet from the heat and stir the dry breadcrumbs into the mixture. Allow the meat filling to sit for 3 minutes. Spoon the filling into the prepared pie pan and top with the remaining pastry dough. Crimp the dough shut, flute the edges, cut vents in the top, and bake the pie for 12 minutes. Reduce the oven heat to 350 degrees and continue baking the pie for 25 to 30 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown.
Yield: Serves 6 to 8.