2012 November 21

Haute Holiday Eats, Vol. 1: Chris Benz, Lela Rose, and Catherine Malandrino

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Chris Benz, Lela Rose, and Catherine Malandrino Chris Benz, Lela Rose, and Catherine Malandrino
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Straight from the latest Chic Report! Just because designers and editors aren’t bona-fide food professionals doesn’t mean they don’t have a trove of delish recipes they’re game to share. Who says fashion people don’t eat? First up, Chris Benz, Lela Rose, and Catherine Malandrino!

Julia Child’s Île Flottante [via Chris Benz] 
Benz says...“As I have never attempted cooking anything in my apartment (who has time!?) I relegate cookbooks to countertop props only. One of the keystones of my kitchen counter tableau is Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Given my deference to all things pastoral, I sometimes find myself milling through the cookbook just for material to reference. One holiday dish I find fascinating is the Île Flottante, a floating cake island in a custard moat. Holiday flair, indeed!”

A heavily-buttered, 2-quart baking dish or charlotte mold 3.5 to 4 inches deep
2 to 3 tablespoons sugar
8 egg whites at room temperature
1/8 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 cup instant or very finely granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup caramelized almonds; 2 additional tablespoons for serving
Preheat oven to 250°F. Roll sugar in the buttered mold, knock out excess, and set mold aside. Beat egg whites at moderate speed until they are frothy, then beat in the salt and cream of tartar. Gradually increase speed to fast, and when egg whites form soft peaks, start beating in the sugar, 2 tablespoons at a time. Continue beating until egg whites form stiff peaks. Beat in the vanilla. Remove bowl from stand and fold in the caramelized almonds 1/4 cup at a time with a rubber spatula. Spread lightly in dish, which will overfill by 1/4 inch or so; smooth exposed sides and top with spatula. Bake in lower third of preheated oven for about 25 minutes, until meringue has colored slightly and risen about 1/2 inch. It should be cooked enough so that meringue can hold its shape for unmolding; its rise indicates this. Let cool for 30 minutes, then refrigerate for at least an hour so that it will settle. Set cover or plate askew over mold and drain accumulated caramel liquid into a small bowl. Unmold dessert onto serving plate. Sprinkle top with remaining almonds, and pour the caramel around. Pass optional custard sauce separately. 

Lela Rose's Jalapeno Pepper Jam

Rose says...“This is perfect with Thanksgiving turkey, as well as on leftover turkey sandwiches!”

5 cups jalapeño peppers, halved and cored
2 green apples (or 2 quinces)
2 cups white vinegar
4 cups sugar
3 tablespoons red chili flakes (fewer if you don’t want this too spicy)

This recipe yields five 6 oz. jars. Prepare the jars for canning by boiling them in water at least one inch above the jars rim for 30 minutes. Allow them to dry on a towel. Put the lids and rings into a metal bowl and ladle boiling water until covered; let sit. Cut stems off the jalapenos (you may want to wear gloves and do NOT rub your eyes!). Cut them in half; remove the seeds and white membrane. Core the apples and cut into quarters—green and just-ripe ones work best. Pulse the jalapenos and apples finely in a food processor. Put them (liquid included) into a large saucepan; add the vinegar, sugar, and chili flakes. Bring to a boil, and let cook for 20 minutes or until the jelly is thickened and starts to look like a jam.  Assemble jars and fill with jam. Wipe the rims. Dry the lids and rings and seal the jars. Put the sealed jars back in a large pot and fill with water, covering the lids an inch. Bring to a boil; let boil for 25 minutes. Remove the jars and put on a dry towel; avoid touching or disturbing for 12 hours. Check the seal after 12 hours (pushing down the center of the lid).  Store in pantry and refrigerate after opening. 

Catherine Malandrino's Oysters with Champagne Sauce
Malandrino says...“It is truly a holiday dish!”
4 1/4 oz. champagne1 French shallot, finely chopped4 1/4 oz. thickened creamFreshly ground white pepperRock salt1 dozen natural oysters (ie. Sydney rock oysters) on the half shellChopped fresh chives to serve

Place champagne and shallots in a saucepan over medium heat; bring to boil.  Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 3-5 minutes or until reduced by half. Add cream and season with white pepper. Simmer for 3-4 minutes; sauce should be thick and creamy. Preheat grill on high. Scatter rock salt over the base of two heatproof serving dishes. Arrange oysters on the rock salt; pour cream mixture on them evenly. Cook under grill for about 2 minutes, or until golden. Set aside for 2 minutes to cool slightly. Sprinkle with chives to serve.

For more Chic Report click HERE

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