Saturday, September 24, 2011

Iyer n'chef wannabe meets an Iron chef (in real life!)



Some days, you wake up to the regular routines & chores in life (& beating ones head over the kitchen table about this weeks food  inspiration) without a clue how the day will turn out..  & 12 hrs later you're clueless about how delightfully surprising the day turned out to be (and you're back to smacking your head about which one of the myriad inspirations you want to tackle first!)
Tuesday Sept. 20, Took off impulsively to  Bobby Flay's book signing event at Williams Sonoma in Short Hills NJ. These book signings in general, require a lot of pre planning:  pre-ordering the book via phone, getting there 3 hours in advance & wait in a long serpentine queue. This time I struck it lucky, it definitely was well worth it. The scrumptious samples, highlighting recipes from the book, that the store prepares fresh & brings around.. ah well, scroll thru the pics & see for yourself before I hit you with this weeks recipe, adapted from Bobby Flay's new book The Bar Americain Cookbook.

Hot potato chips with blue cheese sauce
Pumpkin Soup with cranberry-maple creme fraiche and toasted pumpkin seeds
Deep dish chocolate cream pie
& the water that they  kept serving everyone frequently, very thoughtful!
 Unlike Ina Gartens book which I've yet to open & even look through (maybe it had something to do with the impersonal signing session, (no personalization, no 30 second 'one on one' with the customer ) of the author, this is a book I've browsed through at least thrice, in as many days, and there is PLENTY of inspiration for an ovo-lacto vegetarian like moi!, & despite the high end, and possibly intimidating reputation of a revered dining establishment such as Bar Americain, the recipes are quite feasible for the average home cook. I guess the elegance lies in its simplicity! The photographs by Ben Fink are a feast for the eyes!

I had a tough time deciding on which recipe to pick on to 'Panfusine' with a basic level of respectability and the final choice was based on whatever I had on hand at home. It had to have chili peppers of course, in a nod to Bobby Flay's celebration of this spice. A 'to die for' recipe for Black pepper buttermilk biscuits, with a generous dollop of traditional South Indian Tomato chutney. The recipe for the tomato relish can be found here. I had to halve the recipe, since there is no way I would let such a large amount go to waste (guess where it would go?.. yep, the waist! )


Tomato Buttermilk Biscuits (Adapted from Bobby Flay's Bar Americain cookbook)


 Ingredients:

2 cups All purpose flour (maida) plus extra for flouring
1/2 tablespoon + 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon table salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter (cut into cubes & chilled) + 2 tablespoons melted for brushing over the biscuits
1/2 cup + 3 tablespoons chilled buttermilk
Heavy cream for brushing
1/2 cup Tomato relish with smoked jalapeno and arbol chile



Preheat the oven to 450 F and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda & baking powder  and sift to combine. Add the chilled cubes of butter & rub into the flour or cut using a pastry cutter, till the mixture  resembles coarse bread crumbs.


Combine the 1/2 cup of butter milk and the relish & mix well together to get a runny paste like consistency.

Add the tomato buttermilk mixture to the flour and mix enough to get all the ingredients to just come together. (if the mix is too dry, add the remaining buttermilk 1/2 tablespoon at a time)

The white blobs?? Thats butter baby!

Remove the dough onto a floured surface, using your hands pat the dough into a sheet about 3/4 of an inch thick. Using a 2 inch diameter cookie cutter, cut circles into the dough and place these on the baking sheet. Re form the remaining dough into a smaller sheet and repeat once more. ( the remaining scraps, just shape it up into the last misshapen piece & add it to any remaining space on the baking sheet, it tastes just as good!).


Brush the tops of the biscuits with the heavy cream.


slide into the oven to bake for about 12-15 minutes till the top is a nice golden brown (accommodating for the  color of the tomatoes of course).



Brush with the melted butter and remove onto a wire rack to cool.


Serve warm with a pat of butter! (it tastes great even without any extra stuff on it!)


Bon appetit!




2 comments:

  1. I would have tagged along to Short Hills if I had known you earlier. Sigh. But I am glad that now we know each other :D

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'll keep you posted if I get word of any more interesting book signings.

    ReplyDelete

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