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Monthly Archives: December 2011

French Fridays with Dorie: Cauliflower-Bacon Gratin

Mmm…this was a really good, savoury vegetable dish! Cauliflower, bacon, cheese, eggs, milk and cream. It makes a lot as you can see so it’s a good dish for a casual dinner party.

Dorie Greenspan gives her recipe here.

Visit the French Fridays with Dorie’s website for more cauliflower-bacon gratin.

 
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Posted by on December 30, 2011 in Cooking, Food, French Fridays with Dorie

 

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Christmas Ham

There was a Christmas potluck in my house and I said I will make a baked ham. It was going to be my first time and I spent some time looking up recipes and also comparing supermarket ham and ham from a butcher. I decided on buying a smoked bone-in ham from a meat shop in town. “Good ham comes from good pork,” the butcher said. It feels good to buy and eat locally too.

Next was the glaze. I decided to make one with ingredients on hand. Based on a Martha Stewart recipe, pure orange marmalade was blended with Dijon mustard and brown sugar for a sweet, slightly bitter and spicy taste. The ham turned out wonderful and the best thing is, it’s so simple to make as the ham is already cooked. No fears of serving undercooked meat to the guests!

The ham smelled so good when it was out of the oven. In the eagerness to slice and serve it, I forgot about taking pictures! There’s only a picture of me putting the cloves on after the first hour of baking, and the picture of the sliced ham above.

 

Orange-Mustard Glazed Baked Ham

3.5 kg (7-8 lb) bone-in smoked ham
1/2 cup Seville orange marmalade
1/4 cup tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons light brown sugar (optional, to offset the bitterness of the marmalade)
1 tablespoons lemon juice
Cloves

Take the ham out of the refrigerator 1 hour before baking to let it come to room temperature. Rinse the ham, pat it dry and wrap tightly in parchment paper-lined aluminium foil. Place on a baking tray and bake on the lowest rack in a 325 degrees F oven for 1.5 hours.

Meanwhile, make the glaze. Bring the marmalade to a simmer in a saucepan and pour into a heatproof bowl. Add in the mustard, sugar (if using) and lemon juice. Puree the mixture you want a smooth sauce. (The sauce can be made ahead and kept covered in the refrigerator. Microwave till hot before using.)

After 1.5 hours, remove the ham from the oven and increase the oven temperature to 425 degrees F.

Unwrap the ham and score the fat in a diamond pattern. Place a clove in the centre of each diamond and brush half the glaze over the ham. Return the ham to the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the ham and brush the remaining glaze over the ham and return it to bake till the glaze’s dark and caramelised, about 10 minutes. Remove to a cutting board and tent with foil for 10 minutes before slicing.

 
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Posted by on December 26, 2011 in Cooking, Food

 

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French Fridays with Dorie: Crème Brûlée

Blew the dust off my Around My French Table cookbook and joined the club again with this Creme Brulee. I checked the French Fridays with Dorie website on Tuesday and knew I could make this week’s recipe as there’ll be three egg yolks left over from the cupcakes I was baking for my son’s school. It’s also about time that I wrote a new post since my last post was back in October! I had been busy and was neglecting the blogging world for a bit but will be back next year with more regular reading and posting. I do missed visiting all the wonderful food blogs!

Anyway, back to the Creme Brulee, the custard was cooked on Wednesday and then all of a sudden….. it’s Friday! Where did the time go?? I baked the custard on Friday and served it on Saturday. I baked the custard for 50 minutes and left them in the oven to cool as they were still too jiggly in the middle. Dorie could fill 6 ramekins with 1/2 cup of custard each but I only have slightly more than 2 cups of custard and filled 5 ramekins.

The Christmas busyness got me distracted when I made the creme brulee and I forgot about the jam at the bottom of the ramekins although I remembered it earlier in the day! So no jam surprise, just regular creme brulee for me.

I sprinkled the one on the right with white sugar just to see the difference in effect and it doesn’t look as good as using brown sugar.

The taste? Well, I could have under-baked it or maybe it’s meant to be this way but it was too soft for me. While the taste was good it felt like ice-cream that has been sitting out for too long.

Take a look at other Creme Brulee here.

I would like to end this post by wishing everyone a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year!

 
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Posted by on December 25, 2011 in Baking, Food, French Fridays with Dorie

 

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