Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Earl Grey Infused Tanqueray Gin

I discovered Earl Grey infused gin after visiting the Pegu Club in New York where they make Audrey Saunders' Earl Grey MarTEAni. It's a lovely, subtle concoction, so I decided to make the infusion at home. This is really easy; I have made numerous vodka infusions that took far longer than this one.

I used Tanqueray Gin, but you can use whatever you have on hand - I always like Plymouth Gin for its clean, classic flavors. Pour 1 liter of gin over 1/4 cup of Earl Grey tea leaves in a glass jug and allow to steep at room temperature for 2 hours. Strain the resulting dark tea colored infusion and you have a delightful infused gin. If you like less of a gin flavor, use less tea leaves and steep for less time.

My first drink made with the infused gin was with tonic, a spritz of lemon, and garnished with a slice of lemon. This will be my calming, relaxing, delicious drink of the summer - what a wonderful change of pace from the classic.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Chicken with Wild Mushrooms and Potatoes

I was looking for a simple, tasty dish to pair with a bottle of Lopez de Heredia 1998 Vina Gravonia (a fantastically delicious white Rioja from an ultra traditional producer). I found a ritzy roasted chicken recipe on Epicurious.com from Le Cirque in Las Vegas that I tailored to my more simple desires and finances.

Ingredients (makes 3 servings):
- Chicken pieces (I used 2 chicken legs, 1 chicken breast both with skin on)
- 2 large Yukon Gold potatoes
- 1 small/medium yellow onion
- Large handful of shiitake mushrooms
- Large handful of cremini mushrooms
- 1 cup of frozen peas
- About 4 sprigs of Thyme
- Olive oil
- Salt and Pepper

Preparation:
- Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees
- Clean and slice mushrooms into 1/3 inch slices
- Clean and slice potatoes in 1/4 inch slices
- Quarter the onion and remove the outer layer
- In a bowl mix the mushrooms, potatoes, and onions with olive oil, salt, and pepper
- Wash and pat dry the chicken; coat with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper
- In a large heavy roasting pan, coat with olive oil, add the chicken pieces, distribute the vegetables around the chicken pieces, and add the Thyme sprigs on top
- Roast until the chicken juices run clear (about 30 to 45 minutes) and remove the chicken from the pan
- Check the doneness of the potatoes and add the frozen peas to the pan, returning the pan to the oven for 5 to 10 minutes until the peas are hot, but still crispy

I served this with the white Rioja, which was a wonderful combination - the richness of the white wine paired perfectly with the rustic flavors of the chicken, mushrooms, and potatoes.



Perfect Chocolate Mousse

I found this chocolate mousse recipe which is an updated version of a Julia Child's recipe and I have to agree with the title - it is a perfect Chocolate Mousse and not difficult to make at all. This recipe is by David Lebowitz and can be found here.

The result is a chocolate mousse that is the perfect combination of chocolate, sweetness, airiness, and depth of flavor. A couple of changes I may make is to use espresso instead of brewed coffee and to use scotch instead of rum. I'll let you know how it works out the next time around.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Baked Potato Chips With White Truffle Salt

I received some white truffle salt from Oliviers & Co. for Christmas and thought I would use it on some homemade baked potato chips. It was delicious and so easy. What a wonderful snack.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Slice a potato into thin slices - you could use a mandolin, but since I don't own one, I just used a knife. In a bowl, coat the potato slices with olive oil and then lay the potato slices on a baking sheet. Baked the potato slices until golden brown and crispy. As they brown remove them from the baking sheet and onto a couple of paper towels. While they are hot out of the oven sprinkle some white truffle salt on the chips.

I ate them pretty much right away and they were very, very tasty.