Jessie Prawlucki's Peanut Brittle
Makes 24 servings
18 ounces whole peanuts (unsalted)
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup glucose syrup (or substitute corn syrup)
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon baking soda,
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter, cold, cut into a few pieces
1. Prepare your work surface by laying an 18x24" silicon sheet (or a couple overlapping smaller ones) onto a clean heat-proof table, and have a couple clean metal sheet pans ready for the finished product to cool and set. Have a bowl with ice water nearby in case any caramel hits and sticks to your skin.
2. Set an oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit and place peanuts on a parchment paper-lined sheet pan to warm inside (about 15 minutes so that they are hot when added to the caramel.)
3. In a medium saucepan combine sugar, glucose syrup and water and stir to dissolve sugar over medium heat, and do not stir again until sugar begins to caramelize. If grains of sugar remain on the sides of the pan, use a wet pastry brush to dissolve and stir back into pan.
4. In a small bowl, combine, and set aside baking soda, salt and butter.
5. When sugar mixture begins to turn golden, start stirring gently with a clean wooden spoon or silicon spatula. Continue to stir until a honey golden color is achieved throughout, and turn heat to low. Using parchment paper as a funnel (wear oven mitts for safety, if uncertain), pour peanuts into caramel and stir for 2-3 minutes to coat evenly. Add remaining ingredients, and stir just until butter is melted. Be aware that mixture will bubble up and nearly double in volume when soda is added! Pour out onto silicon sheet, and smooth out. Caramel is very hot, so handle with caution!
6. As edges cool and begin to be manageable (but still hot and pliable!), pull pieces off with clean, dry hands and place onto sheet pans in a single layer for a light and thin brittle. A quick and gentle touch is best. Or use a metal spatula (inserting it underneath to help stretch it, if needed.) Continue until all is pulled and thin. Alternatively, it can be left thicker. Let cool until brittle.
7. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a month.
Per serving: 228 calories; 6 grams protein; 30 grams carbohydrates; 21 grams sugar; 11 grams fat; 3 milligrams cholesterol; 210 milligrams sodium; 2 grams dietary fiber.
Joncarl Lachman's Mustard Soup
Makes 6 servings, with leftovers
1/2 pound unsalted butter
8 large carrots, peeled and rough chopped
2 large onions, rough chopped
Caraway, heaping tablespoon
Chicken or vegetable stock, half gallon
2 cups whole-grain mustard
Heavy cream, 1 cup
White pepper and kosher salt, to taste
6 U-10 diver scallops
1 tablespoon fresh tarragon
1 cup canola oil
1. Over medium heat, melt the butter in a large sauce pan. Add the carrots, onion, and caraway, and lightly season. Sweat, stirring for 10 minutes. Add the stock and mustard, and bring to a boil. After 15 minutes (when carrots are soft), remove from the flame. Using an immersion blender, puree the soup until smooth. Add the cream and salt and pepper. Pour into a large nonreactive container and chill. The soup is best on the second day.
2. Serve with a seared diver scallop, topped with caviar ... add a bit of tarragon oil.
3. For the scallop ... buy the freshest scallops possible. U-10 (10 to a pound) works best for this recipe. In a fry pan, heat a tablespoon of vegetable oil until just smoking. Season the scallops generously, and place in the pan. A nice golden crust will form after about one minute. Turn the scallops over, and turn off the heat. They are ready!
4. For the tarragon oil ... In a blender place one tablespoon of chopped fresh tarragon and one cup of canola oil. Blend quickly, and add a bit of salt and pepper. Drizzle with a spoon across the top of the soup.
Per Serving: 609 calories; 6 grams protein; 16 grams carbohydrates; 6 grams sugar; 58 grams fat; 89 milligrams cholesterol; 1,236 milligrams sodium; 3 grams dietary fiber.
Marinating and Cooking Bistecca Fiorentina
Makes 2 main course servings
1 32-ounce Bistecca Fiorentina (porterhouse steak)
2 tablespoons salt rub mix (see below)
3 tablespoons steak marinade (see below)
For serving: Bartolini Tuscan extra virgin olive oil (at DiBruno's)
Flaked sea salt
1. Sprinkle salt rub mix all over steak, and rub steak with hands.
2. Pour steak marinade over steak, and rub into meat.
3. Let steak marinate at least 24 hours. I prefer 2 to 3 days.
4. Grill steak over hot wood or charcoal fire to desired temperature. Let steak rest 5 minutes.
5. Follow the "T-bone" shape, and carve meat off of bone. Cut into thick slices, and distribute on a platter resembling original shape
of steak with T bone standing up proudly.
6. Sprinkle flaked sea salt over carved meat, and liberally douse with the Tuscan oil.
For Luke Palladino's secret salt, combine 500 grams (17 ounces) fine Sicilian sea salt, 2 tablespoons black pepper, 2 tablespoons smoked paprika, 1 tablespoon espelette pepper, 3 tablespoons fennel pollen (this makes 200 servings)
For L.P.'s salt rub mix: Mix together 1 cup L.P. secret salt, and 1/2 cup sugar, and keep in a sealed container at room temperature.
For L.P.'s steak marinade: Thoroughly combine in a bowl 1 sprig of thyme, chopped; 2 sprigs rosemary, chopped; 2 tablespoons garlic, finely chopped; 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil.
Per Serving: 1,031 calories; 164 grams protein; 2 grams carbohydrates; no sugar; 37 grams fat; 408 milligrams cholesterol; 2,817 milligrams sodium; trace dietary fiber.
Nicholas Elmi's Fresh Ricotta Gnocchi with Pancetta, Garlic, and Sour Dough
Makes 20 servings of gnocchi
For the ricotta gnocchi:
2 pounds of fresh hand dipped ricotta
1/2 cup All Purpose flour
7 egg yolks
1/2 bunch of minced chives
For the pancetta, garlic, and sour dough garnish (4 servings):
6 ounces of small diced pancetta
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 ounce lemon juice
2 tablespoon chiffonade parsley
4 tablespoon butter
1 cup chicken stock or water
4 tablespoons grated Parmesan or Grana Padano
4 tablespoons sour dough bread crumbs cooked in butter until crisp
4 portions of gnocchi (about a cup)
1. In a stand mixer, paddle together the ricotta and flour on medium until the flour is hydrated. Slowly add in the egg yolks and salt. Fold in the chives. Bag the dough in a pastry bag (or zip-lock bag), and rest dough in the refrigerator for 2 hours.
2. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Season with salt. Cut the tip from the pastry bag to desired size. Pipe the dough into the water using a pair of kitchen sheers to cut the dough. Let the gnocchi simmer for 2 minutes.
3. Remove, toss in olive oil, and cool. This makes about 20 portions of gnocchi, which can remain in the refrigerator up to three days.
4. For the garnish, slowly render the pancetta until it begins to brown and crisp, add the garlic, and sweat until translucent. Deglaze with the stock, and add enough gnocchi for 4 servings. Bring to a boil, and reduce by half. Add the butter, and toss until coated and thick. Add the lemon juice and parsley, and toss.
5. Spoon into wide bowl, and top with bread crumbs and Grana Padano.
Per Serving: 795 calories; 51 grams protein; 32 grams carbohydrates; 2 grams sugar; 60 grams fat; 527 milligrams cholesterol; 1,692 milligrams sodium; 1 gram dietary fiber.