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Authors: Dorie Greenspan

Around My French Table (92 page)

BOOK: Around My French Table
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Olive Oil Ice Cream

I
CAN REMEMBER EXACTLY WHEN I FIRST
had olive oil ice cream—it was in 1997 at the small husband-and-wife Parisian bistro L'Avant-Gout. The whole dessert was winning: a warm individual apple tart made with crisp pastry, a scoop of the ice cream, and a smattering of caramelized black olives. It was startling, memorable, and worth learning to do at home.

The ice cream is made just as you would a custard-based vanilla ice cream, but you replace some of the cream with a fruity olive oil. You want an oil with flavor, but not one with a peppery finish, so taste before you pour.

BE PREPARED:
The ice cream must be frozen for at least 2 hours.

2
cups whole milk
1
cup heavy cream
5
large egg yolks
½
cup sugar
Pinch of salt, preferably fleur de sel
½
cup fruity extra-virgin olive oil
2
teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Have a heatproof bowl with a strainer set over it ready for the cooked custard.

Bring the milk and cream to a boil in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk the yolks and sugar together until very well blended and just slightly thickened. Whisking without stop, drizzle in about one third of the hot liquid—adding it slowly will temper the eggs and keep them from cooking. Once the eggs are acclimatized to the heat, you can whisk in the remaining liquid a little more quickly. Add the salt and pour the custard back into the pan.

Cook the custard over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon or silicone spatula and making sure to get into the edges of the pan, until the custard thickens slightly and coats the back of the spoon; if you run your finger down the bowl of the spoon, the custard should not run into the track. The custard should reach at least 170 degrees F, but no more than 180 degrees F, on an instant-read thermometer.

Immediately remove the pan from the heat and pour the custard through the strainer into the bowl; discard whatever remains in the strainer. Add the olive oil and whisk energetically; stir in the vanilla extract.

The custard needs to chill before you churn it, and while you can put it directly into the fridge, the quickest and easiest way to bring down the temperature is to set the bowl into a larger bowl filled with ice cubes and cold water and stir the custard from time to time as it cools. It's ready to use when it's cold.

Scrape the chilled custard into the bowl of an ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer's instructions. Pack the ice cream into a container and freeze for at least 2 hours, or until it is firm enough to scoop.

 

MAKES ABOUT 1 QUART

 

SERVING
If the ice cream is very firm, allow it to sit on the counter for a few minutes before scooping. I like to serve it with Crispy, Crackly Apple-Almond Tart (
[>]
), which is very much in the style of L'Avant-Goût's tart (or see Bonne Idée,
[>]
, for a version of its tart). The ice cream is also extremely good with Sablé Breton Cookies (see Bonne Idée,
[>]
) or as part of an old-fashioned American hot fudge sundae (the ice cream is spectacularly good with chocolate). Or follow the lead of trendy chefs in Paris these days and serve it with just a drizzle of olive oil and a few grains of fleur de sel or flaky Maldon sea salt.

 

STORING
Packed tightly in a covered container, the ice cream will keep in the freezer for about 2 weeks.

FUNDAMENTALS AND FLOURISHES

 

Fundamentals and Flourishes

Everyday Vinaigrette
[>]

Tapenade Vinaigrette
[>]

Anchoiade
[>]

Black Olive Tapenade
[>]

Basil Pesto
[>]

Mango Chatini
[>]

Mayonnaise
[>]

Crème Fraîche
[>]

Poached Eggs
[>]

Ruffly Poached Eggs
[>]

Brioche Dough
[>]

Bubble-Top Brioches
[>]

Tart Dough
[>]

Sweet Tart Dough
[>]

Cream Puff Dough
[>]

Crème Anglaise
[>]

Vanilla Pastry Cream
[>]

Chocolate Pastry Cream
[>]

Lemon Curd
[>]

Bittersweet Chocolate Sauce
[>]

Hot Fudge Sauce
[>]

Warm Caramel Sauce
[>]

Vanilla Ice Cream
[>]

Dark Chocolate Ice Cream
[>]

Everyday Vinaigrette

A
T ITS CORE, VINAIGRETTE
, the basic salad dressing of France and so many other countries, is nothing more than oil and vinegar. But how much of each? And what kind? And should there be a soupçon of mustard as well? These are the questions that used to encourage partisanship and create the great salad divide. But nowadays, in the age of liberated cuisine, vinaigrette is a season-to-taste affair, with each salad maker free to play with the proportions.

Whatever you decide, always use the best-quality oils and vinegars and always match the acidity of the vinaigrette to the type of greens you're dressing. When you've got fragile greens, you might even want to use milder lemon juice in place of the vinegar, or forgo the vinegar completely and just drizzle them with oil, since vinegar is not only a strong flavor but a powerful wilter. And no matter how you prepare the vinaigrette, always toss it with your greens at the very last minute. If you want to get everything together ahead of time, you can prepare the vinaigrette in the salad bowl, top it with the salad, and toss everything together when you get to the table.

Vinaigrettes can be mixed with a fork or a whisk, shaken in a jar (my preferred method), or whirred together in a blender or food processor. If you're mixing by hand, mix the vinegar, salt, and pepper together first (if you're using mustard, it goes in with this combo), so that the vinegar can dissolve the salt, then add the oil little by little, mixing all the while. If you don't add garlic or shallots or fresh herbs to the vinaigrette, you can make a large quantity (it multiplies almost ad infinitum) and keep it tightly covered in the refrigerator for a week or more—just shake before serving.

Unless you add a spot of mustard to a vinaigrette, you're likely to have a vinaigrette that separates—it's that old thing of oil and water, it's only natural, and there are a lot of chefs these days who think a broken vinaigrette is appealing. If it disturbs you, try adding just the teensiest drop of hot water to the vinaigrette to bring it together.

1
tablespoon wine vinegar (red or white)
¼
teaspoon Dijon mustard, or more to taste (optional)
3
tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Put all the ingredients in a small jar, cover, and shake vigorously until blended.

 

lemon vinaigrette
Omit the vinegar and mustard and use 1½ to 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice. You can also use other citrus juice—just adjust the quantity of oil as you go.

 

garlic or shallot vinaigrette
Add a finely minced small garlic clove or a spoonful of rinsed minced shallot to the dressing—you can let the garlic or shallot rest in the vinaigrette for about I hour to intensify the flavor, but you shouldn't store this dressing for more than a day in the refrigerator, or the flavor will be too strong and the dressing may taste off. For a milder flavor, steep for about 15 minutes, then strain.

 

herb vinaigrette
Add finely chopped fresh herbs to the vinaigrette at the last minute or add a pinch of dried herbs—I like herbes de Provence in dressings—and give them a little time to meld with the dressing.

 

nut oil vinaigrette
Replace 1 to 2 tablespoons of the olive oil with walnut or hazelnut oil, and choose a mild vinegar, such as sherry or Champagne. I think vinaigrettes made with nut oils are nice with a dab of mustard and very good when a rinsed minced shallot is added too.

 

MAKES ABOUT ¼ CUP

 

SERVING
Although vinaigrette with salad is the classic match, you can also think of it as a sauce (and, in fact, the French refer to a vinaigrette as a sauce)—a pick-me-up for warm steamed vegetables or simply cooked fish.

 

STORING
Kept in a tightly closed jar, the vinaigrette can be stored in the refrigerator for at least a week; shake before serving.

Tapenade Vinaigrette

T
HIS VINAIGRETTE IS GOOD
over salad greens, steamed vegetables (particularly cauliflower and potatoes), poached fish, and eggs.

1
tablespoon tapenade, home made (
[>]
) or store-bought
1
tablespoon sherry vinegar
Pinch of minced garlic (optional)
Pinch of grated lemon zest
Salt and freshly ground pepper
¼
cup extra-virgin olive oil

Whisk together the tapenade, vinegar, garlic (if you're using it), and lemon zest in a bowl. Season sparingly with salt and moderately with pepper, then whisk in the olive oil. This is not the kind of vinaigrette that will blend and hold together, but do whisk it before serving. Alternatively, you can make the vinaigrette in a mini processor or a blender.

 

MAKES ABOUT ⅓ CUP

 

STORING
Kept refrigerated, the vinaigrette will hold for about 1 week. Bring it to room temperature and whisk before using.

Anchoiade

A
NCHOIADE IS A PROVENÇAL SAUCE
made from anchovies, garlic, a splash of vinegar, and olive oil. It's by no means a wallflower sauce, and it almost goes without saying, it's not a sauce for anyone who's on the fence about anchovies. It is, however, a sauce that can sharpen the flavor profile of just about any raw vegetable, many steamed vegetables (it's particularly good with potatoes and cauliflower), just as many mild fish (try it with cod), and every salad green. It's also good with hard-boiled eggs. Use it as a drizzle, the way you would balsamic vinegar, a dressing, or a dip.

If you've got a mortar and pestle, make your anchoiade with it; grinding is a good way to get the best texture from the anchovies.

1
2-ounce tin anchovies packed in olive oil (about 8 fillets), drained
1-2
small garlic cloves, split and germ removed
½
cup olive oil
1
teaspoon red wine vinegar
Salt (yes, even with anchovies) and freshly ground pepper

IF USING A FOOD PROCESSOR OR BLENDER:
Chop or mash the anchovies before putting them in the work bowl. Add the garlic and a little of the olive oil and process to blend. Add the wine vinegar, pulse, and then, with the machine running, gradually add the remaining olive oil, processing until the sauce is smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

IF USING A MORTAR AND PESTLE:
Put the anchovies in the mortar and grind them to a paste with the pestle, moistening them with a little olive oil if needed to keep things moving. Add the garlic and a little more oil and grind until the garlic is reduced to a paste. Stir in the wine vinegar, then gradually add the remaining olive oil, working it into the anchoiade with the pestle. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

 

MAKES ABOUT ½ CUP

 

SERVING
Shake the sauce in a covered jar or beat it with a fork before using—it has a tendency to separate. If you're serving the sauce over cooked vegetables or fish, you can warm it very gently in a saucepan over low heat or in a microwave oven.

 

STORING
Stored in a covered jar, the sauce will keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Black Olive Tapenade

F
RANCE DOESN'T HAVE A LOCK ON TAPENADE,
the chunky olive spread, but it's a staple in many French homes, particularly those in Provence and the Côte d'Azur, where olive trees are abundant and their fruit is a part of so many dishes. I call tapenade a spread, but while it's spreadable, it's probably more correctly dubbed a condiment, since you use it to enliven at least 101 things, from pasta, hard-boiled eggs, tomatoes, and cheese (look at the recipe for tomato tartlets with mozzarella or goat cheese,
[>]
) to salads (Niçoise, of course,
[>]
), salmon (you can stuff the salmon with tapenade; see
[>]
), and chicken—a little tapenade smoothed under the skin provides a lot of pizzazz (
[>]
).

BOOK: Around My French Table
12.45Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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