Monthly Archives: July 2008

Hearty American Classics

In the summer, I get the hankering to pretend its cold outside. I lock myself in the house, crank the air conditioning and eat fall comfort foods.

Roast Chicken with Dijon Broccoli Gratin

1 roasting chicken
olive oil
1 lemon
salt and pepper
garlic powder
Cajun seasoning

1 small onion, chopped
4 tablespoons butter
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups bread crumbs
½ cup Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon dried mustard
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
salt and pepper

½ cup light cream
½ cup parmesan cheese
2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
3 pounds broccoli florets
Salt and pepper

Pre head the oven to 350 degrees. Wash the chicken and pat dry with a paper towel. Place the chicken on a rack inside a roasting pan. Drizzle the chicken, in and out, with olive oil. Rub the oil in. Cut the lemon in half and squeeze the juice over the outside of the chicken. Sprinkle the skin and cavity with the salt, pepper, garlic powder, seasoning and parsley. Stuff the cavity with the lemon. Place a thermometer in the chicken, set the temperate and cook until done.

While the chicken is cooking prepare the broccoli. Heat a large pot of salted water. Melt the butter in a frying pan on medium head. Add the onion and garlic and sauté the vegetables until the onions caramelize and turn brown. Turn off the heat and add in the crumbs, cheese, dried mustard, Dijon mustard and season with salt and pepper. Stir to combine and set aside.

Once the water is boiling, add in the broccoli. Blanch the broccoli for about 5 minutes then drain. In a large casserole dish, mix the cream, cheese, mustard and salt and pepper. Add in the broccoli and toss to coat. Cover the broccoli with the breadcrumb mixture. Set aside until the chicken is finished cooking.

Remove the chicken from the oven and let it rest on the counter. Put the broccoli in the oven and cook for 20 minutes. The broccoli will be heated through and the topping will brown.

Crowd Favorite

I think celebrations must be toasted with sweets. And for my special occasions, I don’t leave anything to chance. (I like to make my own birthday cake.) For my graduation from Stern I made sure that I made the celebration cake. My family was in town and I know what they like: rich and intense fruit mousse cakes. This makes a giant cake and is best when you serve it all at once. There was plenty to give away to the neighbors.

Raspberry and White Chocolate Mousse Celebration Cake

1 bag frozen raspberries
zest of one lime
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons water

8 ounces white chocolate, finely chopped
3 large eggs, separated
½ teaspoon cream of tartar
¼ cup sugar
½ cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt

1/2 pound fresh savoiardi or pound cake slices
1/3 cup water
½ cup sugar
½ cup framboise, raspberry liquor

¼ cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons sugar
1 pint raspberries

In a saucepan on medium head, cook the frozen raspberries, zest and sugar until bubbling. Mix the cornstarch and water into a slurry. Quickly stir the slurry into the raspberries, stirring until it turns clear and thick. Set aside to cool.

Beat the egg yolks until they are thick and turn a light lemon color, set aside. Melt the chocolate in a pan over another plan filled with one inch of water (or a double boiler). Beat it with a wire whisk while cooking to make sure it is thoroughly melted. Let it sit at room temperature, stirring occasionally to make sure it doesn’t turn back to a solid block. Mix the yolks into the cooler chocolate, making sure that the yolks are not scrambling.

Wisk the egg whites, sugar and cream of tartar in a stand mixer. Mix until the whites form stiff peaks. Slowly fold in the chocolate mixture. Whip the cream, vanilla and salt until stiff peaks form. Fold it into the chocolate and egg mixture. Cover and refrigerate while you finish making the other parts of the cake.

Heat the water and sugar in a saucepan until the sugar is dissolved. Mix in the liquor and pop in the refrigerator to cool.

Dip the cake in the sugar and liquor mixture. Line the sides and bottom of a 10-inch spring form pan with the cake. Add in half of the raspberry mixture and smooth. Layer it with one half of the mousse. Dip the rest of the cake in the sugar and liquor and layer on top of the mousse. Continue to layer with the raspberries and then the rest of the mousse. Refrigerate over night, covered.

Just before serving wash and drain the raspberries. Then whip the cream and sugar until stiff peaks form. Put the whipped cream into a plastic bag. Remove the collar on the cake. Pipe the whipped cream into patterns on the top of the cake and fill in the rest of the area with fresh raspberries. Serve immediately.