It is that time of year again for panettone. I always like to make mine into a french toast. That is pretty much it. The bread is sweater than most so don’t add things that are too sweet to it. I would suggest maybe steaming some apple slices and putting them on top, not red apples, something tangy, honey crisps or pink ladies. Once a year I like to impress my lady friends with this little treat. Panettone isn’t like fruit cake, it is like a croissant with fruit baked into it. Light, flakey, buttery. Yummers, have fun!
Let me know how it turns out! 🙂
This is a salad I made last night. I wanted to show you how flavor is about layers and contrast. You need the flavors to clash a little. You have to be a little irrational and creative as you do your jazz cooking fusion and deconstruction.
- THE BED: finely chopped romaine lettuce with slivered carrots, drizzled with Newman’s creamy Caesar dressing (I am picky with my Caesar dressing).
- THE STEAK: I scrambled some ham with some eggs.
- THE COUP DE GRAS: Onions sauteed with white wine, soy sauce, and Worcestershire sauce.
Remember the flavors should mix in your mouth, not in the pot and
Alchemy started in the kitchen.
The dipping sauce is a great opportunity to infuse some theater into a meal and so many people miss out on it. It amazes me how with a few simple high quality ingredients you can have an excellent eating experience. I get frustrated because so few people do the dipping sauce correctly, imho.
With grand sweeping gestures, spouting Italian blessings and curses, approach the table with the balsamic and olive oil. Now chattering happily select a large flat plate. Like a Shinto priest painting a zen circle, make a circle with the olive oil in one fell swoop.
The their should be enough olive oil to make an unbroken flat surface. The olive oil will now trap the balsamic that you drizzle onto it. Now just calm the fuck down Jackson Pollock, you don’t need as much as you think. Try doing 3 drops or something and telling them about the 3 drops of Percivals blood that he saw in the snow before his enlightenment or some such mind boggling obscure sophistry. Remember that the olive oil is your palate, The beauty of the plate can also aid in the presentation. If you are among trusted friends have fewer plates so people have to share.
You can add some herbs, such as herbs de Provence, I would avoid Rosemary because it is too chewy the texture detracts, also if you are going to use black pepper it can get stuck in the throat and burn. Try African sumac, and Parisian, and remember there are flavored balsamics you might want to experiment with like fig, and there are infused olive oils such as garlic, basil, habanero, and my favorite and the one I strongly recommend everyone to use, Blood Orange….
Have fun experimenting and remember,
Alchemy started in the kitchen.
I prefer a nice red wine, it is pretty hard to screw up a syrah or a Shiraz so they are a safe bet. What I like to do is get a mouthful of flavors and let them marry in my mouth with the wine. There is this supernova of flavor that explodes in your mouth and the combination is more than the some of its parts. In each mouthful there should be 4 distinct flavors.
and you can arrive at this combination with combinations of the following…
- Fruit, membrillo, fig, I would avoid grapes because it is redundant. Their are some suitable jams one could experiment with, and chocolate. (CHOCOLATE IS A MORAL IMPERATIVE!) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dulce_de_membrillo
- Pate de fois gras, salami, cheese, (I like goat cheese it is softer and richer)
- Bread or crackers, crunchy crackers or chewy bread add the dimension of texture to the pairing. ( I recommend melba toasts because their flavor won’t overpower the other flavors. Avoid whole wheat crackers and sweetened crackers, the bread should be relatively bland, it’s about the texture.)
- I would avoid mustards since they are vinegar heavy which has acetic acid and the flavor is associated with spoiled wine.
One of the mistakes novices makes is putting the same flavor in everything, Their should be contrast so that the chemical reaction happens in your mouth when you are eating and not in the pot when you are cooking. I have found that spicy things don’t particularly add to the experience but won’t detract from it if they don’t overpower the other flavors.
This is all you should need for a fabulous wine pairing, Bon Apetit!