Thursday, July 14, 2011

Pavlova: the Recipe

A rare visitor to my blog asked for this recipe, so here it is. Wish I'd photographed one I made a week or so ago; the top was covered with strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries. A thing of beauty for Fourth of July week.

New Zealand Pavlova

Unsalted butter for pie plate
Whites of 6 very large eggs, room temperature
1 cup plus 1 teaspoon sugar, sifted if necessary to remove any lumps
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon malt vinegar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup whipping cream
1 pint strawberries, washed, halved, and thoroughly drained, or fresh peaches, peeled, sliced, and drained, or raspberries

Butter the bottom and sides of a 10-inch springform pan. Dust lightly with sugar. In a large mixing bowl, beat egg whites with an electric mixer to soft peaks, about 1 minute. Gradually beat in sugar, sprinkling in 1/2 teaspoon at a time, beating thoroughly after each addition, especially while adding the first 1/2 cup of sugar. The second 1/2 cup can be added a teaspoon at a time. The batter should be thick and heavy, like a cake batter. Beating could take up to 10 minutes. Mix in 1 teaspoon of vanilla and the vinegar, then sprinkle cornstarch over all and beat until thoroughly mixed. Heap the mixture into the pan, heaping it high in the center and spreading to the edge. Bake 1-1/2 hours at 250 degrees. When done, It will puff slightly and be the pale beige color of old ivory. Remove to a rack and cool at room temperature. It will fall slightly. Before serving, whip cream until very stiff peaks form, and mix in 1 teaspoon sugar and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. When ready to serve, mix fruit with whipped cream, reserving some for garnish. Spoon into the meringue. Present at the table and slice into wedges. Or, plate before serving, drizzling raspberry coulis over it.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Not so ho-hum hominy

Last night I wanted to use up a couple of ears of corn that were a little too old to just steam, and I had a craving for hominy, so I devised this dish to serve with a Costco rotisseried chicken. When I was growing up, my mother would sometimes simply heat up a can of hominy as a side dish. And I still like it so much right out of the can that I have to hold back so there’s enough of it left for dinner. There’s a lot of flexibility in the ingredients: for heat, you can use whatever pepper you prefer or have handy; you could even use grated Romano cheese – or pepperjack and leave out the peppers; and you could add some ground cumin or maybe some ground chipotle pepper. But here's how I made it:

Hominy ‘n Corn

1 can hominy, rinsed and drained
2 ears fresh corn, cut off the cob
2 tablespoons butter
½ large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 or 2 scallions, sliced
¼ cup Italian parsley or cilantro, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh oregano, chopped 1 or 2 tablespoons fresh jarred, minced jalapenos, rinsed and drained – or, 1 or 2 fresh jalapenos, seeded and minced, or a roasted, peeled poblano, chopped
2 or 3 tablespoons vegetable broth
2 or 3 tablespoons heavy cream
Dollop of Boursin or cream cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

Saute onion in butter until soft; add garlic for another minute and cook without browning. Add hominy, corn, scallions, parsley, and peppers. Cook for a minute or two; add broth and cream; cook on medium high to reduce to about half. Stir in cheese to thicken. Cook, uncovered, for 3 to 5 minutes, on medium heat, stirring frequently.