From Chef John Besh, Besh Restaurant Group
Yields 1 nine inch round loaf
The key to this dish is to not look at the fat content and focus on an oven that's been preheated along with making sure both the pan and the fat are hot enough so that it actually fries the bread as you pour the batter into the pan, yielding the most wonderful crust in the world.
3 tablespoons rendered bacon fat
1 cup white corn meal
1 cup all purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 dash cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons baking powder
11/4 cups milk
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1. Put the bacon fat into a 9-inch cast-iron skillet. Preheat oven to 425° and place the skillet into the oven.
2. Combine all dry ingredients together in a mixing bowl.
3. In a separate bowl combine the eggs, milk and butter and mix until well combined.
4. Add the egg and milk mixture to the dry ingredients and mix so that it is just combined but not over worked.
5. Remove the pan from the hot oven and pour the batter into the pan, return the pan to the oven and bake for 15 - 20 minutes.
6. Once the corn bread is a deep golden brown color, remove it from the oven and serve immediately.
Sugar and Spiced Duckling with Duck Foie Gras
From My New Orleans: The Cookbook by John Besh/Andrews McMeel Publishing, LLC
This restaurant-style duck preparation may seem complicated, but it's actually rather basic: roast duck breast (pekin, not wild), seared duck foie gras, grits, and mayhaw sauce. It's as simple as grinding the spices ahead to season the duck, making a small pot of grits, and, while that's cooking, preparing the sauce with whichever fruits jelly you prefer. Our native mayhaws, the little red fruit of the hawthorn tree, make a distinctively tart jelly that's wonderful with duck.
For the Sauce:
1 tablespoon butter
1 onion, diced
¼ cup mayhaw or apple jelly
¼ cup rice wine vinegar
3 cups Basic Veal Stock
2 cups Basick Chicken Stock
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
1 sprig fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
For the Duckling:
6 boneless pekin duck breast halves
2 teaspoons ground star anise
2 teaspoons sugar
Freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
6 2-ounce slices fois gras
1 shallot, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ pound Tuscan kale or spinach, blanched
For the Grits:
½ cup white corn grits, preferable organic
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons mascarpone cheese
1. For the mayhaw sauce, melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and mahogany in color, about 20 minutes. Add the jelly and rice wine vinegar and simmer for several minutes. Add the Veal Stock, Chicken Stock, peppercorns, thyme, and bay leaf, then increase the heat to medium-high. Cook the sauce until it has reduced by half, about 30 minutes. Season sauce with salt, then strain into a small saucepan and set aside.
2. For the grits, bring 2 cups water to a boil in a medium pot over high heat. Gradually add the grits, stirring constantly. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover the pot, and cook the grits for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the pot from the heat, fold both the butter and the mascarpone into the grits, and season them with salt. Cover the pot to keep the grits warm.
3. For the duckling, preheat the oven to 350°. Using a sharp knife, score the skin of each breast, taking care not to cut through to the flesh, by making 3 evenly spaced cuts on the diagonal in one direction, then making 3 more cuts in the other direction to make a diamond pattern. Lightly season the duck breasts with salt.
4. Combine the star anise, sugar, 1 teaspoon ground pepper, cardamom, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Coat each breast with some of the spice mixture.
5. Heat a large ovenproof skillet over moderate heat, then sauté the duck breasts, skin side down, until golden, about 7 minutes. Turn breasts over and cook for 2 minutes more. Transfer the skillet to the over and cook the breasts for an additional 5 minutes. Put the duck breasts on a cutting board to let rest for 10 minutes and return the hot skillet to the top of the stove over moderate heat.
6. Lightly season the foie gras with salt. Sauté the foie gras in the hot skillet on one side only until it is browned and caramelized and warmed all the way through, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spatula, transfer the foie gras to the cutting board with the duck and set aside.
7. Return the skillet to medium-low heat, add the shallots, garlic, and blanched kale, and cook, turning the kale in the pan fat, until heated through. Season with salt and pepper.
8. For each serving, thickly slice each duck breast and arrange the slices on a plate. Place a piece of foie gras next to the duck, browned side up. Put a spoonful of the grits and a spoonful of the kale on each plate and spoon some warm mayhaw sauce over all.
Aromas D'amour, Chocolate, Coffee and Chicory
From Chef John Besh, Besh Restaurant Group
1 1/2 cups cream
1/2 cup coffee grinds
1 pound brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 sticks butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Steep coffee in cream in small saucepan, strain out grinds and discard. Return cream to saucepan and add sugar, cook on medium heat until sugar dissolves. Add salt, butter, and vanilla, bring to a simmer on medium heat, stir until all ingredients are mixed.
Chocolate Chiffon Sponge:
1 3/4 cups flour
2 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 cup whole egg
1 cup water
1 cup canola oil
2 cups egg whites
1 1/3 cups sugar
Mix together flour, 2 1/4 cups sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder and baking soda in bowl of mixer. Add in eggs and water to dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Mix in oil until just combined. Scrape mixture out into another bowl. Whip whites in mixer bowl until soft peak, slowly stream in remaining sugar to form a medium peak. Fold whites into chocolate mixture. Spread evenly onto greased 13x9 pan and bake at 350° for 8 minutes total. Rotate pan half way between baking.
1/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 egg yolks
2 cups cream
3 cups 70% Valrhona Chocolate, chopped
6 cups cream
Put sugar in flat bottom saucepan. On medium heat, let sugar caramelize, moving dry sugar around in pot to mix with caramelized sugar until all the sugar is even color caramelized. The color should be dark brown. Slowly pour in two cups of cream. Temper into yolks, return to pot and whisk over medium heat until nappe. Pour caramel mix through a chinoise onto chopped chocolate. Let sit for 1 minute, stir to emulsify. Whip remaining 6 cups of cream, fold into chocolate mixture. Spread into mold, freeze.
3/4 cups sugar
1/4 cup flour
2 Tablespoons cocoa powder
1/3 cup butter
3/4 cup cornsyrup
Pinch Fleur de Sel
Mix half of sugar with rest of dry ingredients. Combine butter, cornsyrup, and other half of sugar in saucepan and heat until all melted. Pour over the dry ingredients and mix. Mix in salt. Spread into desired shape on a silpat and bake at 350° for approximately 6 minutes, until all is evenly bubbly.
Salty Toffee Ice Cream:
1 cup milk
1 cup cream
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 whole vanilla bean
8 egg yolks
Scald milk and cream with scraped vanilla bean and pods. Whisk together sugars and yolks. Temper hot cream mixture into yolk mixture. Return all liquid to pot and cook until nappe. Immediately pour base through chinoise into bain marie onto ice water bath to stop the cooking process. Add salt while mixture is still hot. Let chill over night and spin in an ice cream machine.
Dip a spoon in the sauce and put a dollop of the sauce on the bottom your plate, with the spoon on the plate drag it in a half circular motion to the top of the plate, making a backwards crescent. Place a rectangular cut piece of cake at an angle in the crescent of sauce. Next stack a cut piece of nougatine on top of the cake. Cut the same size piece of bavarian as the chiffon cake, place the bavarian rectangle on the first nougatine piece and then top it with the second piece of nougatine. Put a scoop of ice cream on top of the second piece of nougatine.
See the wines that compliment these dishes.