Spicy Sichuan-Style Soup with Pork, Lettuce, and Soft Tofu

 

spicy-pork-soup

Ingredients

300 gm coarsely minced pork
80 ml (1/3 cup) each
Shaoxing wine and soy sauce, combined
1 tbsppeanut oil
20 gmginger, finely chopped
garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tspcoarsely ground Sichuan peppercorns
1 tbspchilli bean paste
1 litre (4 cups)chicken stock
2 tspcornflour mixed with 1 tsp water
1 bunchChinese chives, finely chopped
500 gmsoft tofu, cut into large cubes
small lettuce (baby cos or butter), leaves separated

Method

  • Combine pork and half the Shaoxing and soy mixture and set aside.
  • Heat oil in a wok or large saucepan over high heat, add ginger and garlic and stir-fry until fragrant. Add Sichuan pepper and pork and cook until pork is starting to brown (5-10 minutes). Add chilli bean sauce and chicken stock, remaining Shaoxing and soy, and bring to the boil. Stir in cornflour mixture to thicken the soup, then bring back to the boil.
  • Add chives and tofu to soup and stir gently until tofu is just warmed through (1 minute). Divide lettuce among bowls, then pour in soup and serve.

Original recipe from Gourmet Traveler.

Client Review: St. Bernard’s School

“On behalf of the St. Bernard’s Great Skate Team, boys and families) thank you from the bottom of our hearts for an amazing evening for our school, children and their families. Your team really knows how to go the extra mile and flawlessly execute a party! We are so grateful to work with such an amazing crew! Thank you, thank you! We hope you have a great winter and will look forward to 2018!

Great Skate 2017 Co-Chairs”
st bernard

Client Review: Capital One

“I wanted to let you know how happy I am with how my event went. My event point of contact was absolutely wonderful. Everything from the set up through dessert was flawless. Your catering staff was unbelievably diligent, catering to my guests’ every need. They were courteous, helpful and a total joy to work with. I had numerous compliments on all of the food- but especially the fig and goat cheese salad!! I will without a doubt recommend Relish to any of my administrative partners looking for a caterer in the city. You took a big part of the stress away from running this event today. Thank you so much for helping me make this day superb!!
Erin
Capital One”
captial-one

Strawberry and Apricot Crisp with Pine-Nut Crumble

strawberry and apricot crisp

Check out Martha Stewart‘s recipe for this Strawberry and Apricot Crisp with Pine-Nut Crumble.

INGREDIENTS

CRUMBLE

  • 1/2 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, plus more for baking dish
  • 1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 2 ounces pine nuts, toasted (1/3 cup)

FILLING

  • 4 apricots, pitted and cut into sixths (about 2 cups)
  • 12 ounces strawberries (about 15), hulled and halved, or quartered if large (about 2 1/2 cups)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • Pinch of salt

SERVING

  • 1 pint strawberry ice cream

DIRECTIONS

  1. Combine all crumble ingredients in a medium bowl and massage together with your fingers until butter is incorporated and mixture forms small clumps. Refrigerate until mixture is cold, at least 30 minutes and up to overnight.

  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9 1/2-inch shallow round baking dish or pie plate. Combine all filling ingredients in another medium bowl. Transfer to baking dish and top with crumble. Bake until bubbling in center and crumble is browned, about 40 minutes. Let cool at least 20 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature with ice cream.

Martha Stewart’s Fluffy Eggnog

ms-eggnog

Try Martha Stewart‘s recipe for fluffy eggnog!

INGREDIENTS

  • 6 large egg yolks, plus 2 large whites
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • Large pinch of coarse salt
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 ounces bourbon, such as Michter’s or Maker’s Mark
  • 2 ounces dark rum, such as Appleton Estate
  • 1 ounce cognac
  • Unsweetened freshly whipped cream, for serving
  • Freshly grated nutmeg, for serving

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a medium heatproof bowl, whisk egg yolks and 1/2 cup sugar until pale yellow and thick, about 2 minutes. In a medium saucepan, bring milk and salt to a bare simmer. Whisking constantly, slowly pour hot milk mixture into yolk mixture.

  2. Pour yolk mixture back into saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until mixture is just thick enough to coat back of spoon and hold a line drawn by your finger, 3 to 5 minutes.

  3. Pour mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl; discard solids. Let cool, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. Add cream, bourbon, rum, and cognac; cover and refrigerate overnight.

  4. Whisk remaining 1/4 cup sugar and egg whites in a heatproof mixer bowl set over (not in) a pan of simmering water. Whisk until sugar is dissolved and mixture is warm (it should feel smooth between your fingers), 2 to 3 minutes. (For fully cooked eggs, a thermometer inserted into meringue should register 160 degrees.) Remove from heat. With a mixer on high speed, beat until stiff peaks form, about 5 minutes. Fold into eggnog.

  5. Pour into glasses (or a punch bowl); top with a dollop of whipped cream and sprinkle with nutmeg.

Gingerbread House Tips

Matthew Lodes, the executive chef at the stylish Rose Bakery in New York City, does not mess around when it comes to gingerbread. Lodes, who is also a classically trained pastry chef, spends each Christmas season building towering gingerbread houses that take months of sketching, test runs and long hours in the kitchen. These are not the cardboard-like gingerbread houses that you find in your local supermarket: Most of the candy is made from scratch, the gingerbread is fresh and aromatic, and the houses are incredibly sturdy. Here, the gingerbread master himself tells Food & Wine how it’s done and shares his essential tips to help you make your most impressive, centerpiece-worthy house yet.

gingerbread-house

When it comes to the gingerbread: to buy or not to buy?
It’s absolutely important to make your own gingerbread. I know it sounds like a lot of work, but it gives your house a unique, personalized touch. Unless, of course, you want to buy one from me!*

How do you prevent your homemade gingerbread from baking into a giant blob?
When you roll out your gingerbread, let it rest for a few hours—ideally, overnight. Then bake it at a low temperature, say 300°. This way your gingerbread won’t rise and will keep its shape. If the gingerbread does become misshapen, you can pull it out of the oven halfway through baking to trim the edges with a serrated knife. Then return it to the oven to finish baking.

The day after decorating, my gingerbread house is always a big, naked cookie surrounded by a pile of candy. Tips for making it stick?
Absolutely. I always add a bit of distilled white vinegar to the royal icing—it aids in hardening. A lot of people skip this step.

What about candy—any favorite decorations?
In the past, I’ve made a lot of the candy myself, but in all honesty, it’s a pain. Candy-making is dangerous; coming into contact with cooked sugar is painful and the pain can last for hours. Not to mention, the scar it will leave!

My suggestion? Just buy it. The key to picking your candy is in the size. I like small candy so that you can fit more details onto the house, such as Skittles and Tic-tacs. They adhere nicely to the icing and the small size shows how much work you put into it. I also enjoy sticking with the traditional seasonal colors for candy and I’ll occasionally dye my royal icing, as well. Another favorite ingredient: nuts. Whole hazelnuts, almonds and pecans add nice texture and walnut halves make for great mini-wreaths!

What is the most extreme gingerbread house you’ve ever made?
The biggest one I’ve ever made was four feet wide and three feet tall; however, it had to go in a narrow space, so it was only nine inches deep. It was tricky because I had to carry it up two flights of stairs. My only tip for transporting a gingerbread house is to hold tight!

Food & Wine: Rose Bakery Gingerbread House
© Matthew Lodes

So we all want to know: Any gingerbread house epic fails?
Luckily, I’ve never had a major disaster, but one time I was doing an all-day demo at Williams-Sonoma and my tempered chocolate roof didn’t want to cooperate—chocolate and hot lights do not mix well. To make matters worse, a chocolatier friend of mine from Spain, Ruben Alvarez, was there to watch me. He understood the situation, but that didn’t stop my roof from almost collapsing in front of the whole audience!

 

Article published in Food&Wine.

Holiday Cocktail: Reindeer Tracks

 

reindeer-tracks

Ingredients:

2 oz Van Gogh Dutch Chocolate Vodka
1 oz Hazelnut Liqueur
1/2 oz Crème de Cacao
Splash of Cream

2 Chocolate cookie wafers

Directions:

Rim a martini glass with crushed up chocolate cookie crumbs and set aside. Shake Van Gogh Dutch Chocolate Vodka, hazelnut liqueur, Crème de Cacao and cream over ice and pour into the martini glass. Dust top with more chocolate cookie crumbs.