Saturday, February 18, 2006

Nite of Tom Douglas

I was craving Tom Douglas' Coconut Cream Pie. So, I opened up his cookbook and started to think what I should have with my pie. Eventhough I've had Seattle Kitchen on my shelf for a couple years, I've never cooked from it. Curling up in bed with Tom made me realize how much I loved the format of his book. At the end of each recipe he has three additional sections "On the Plate", how he would plate the dish, "A Step Ahead", what you can prepare ahead of time and how to reheat it properly, and 'In the Glass", what he recommends you drink with it. So, I decided to dedicate myself to him this weekend and see how good his recipes were.

I started off with his "Long-Bone Short Ribs with Merlot Gravy and Rosemary White Beans" . And ended the meal with his Triple Coconut Cream Pie that I ordered with Cath at Dahlia restaurant when she lived in Seattle. I'm having brunch at a friends house so I decided to make some cinnamon rolls.

The Short Ribs were fall off the bone delicious. For the coldest day of the winter here in Chicago, this was the perfect dish to keep us warm. I also sweated some mixed mushrooms without adding any oil or liquids...just added a little salt.

The Long-Bone Short Ribs with Merlot Gravy and Rosemary White Beans
Serves 6
1 1/2 c. flour
1 T. kosher salt
1 t. pepper
6 long-bone short ribs (1.5 lbs each)
1/4 c. olive oil
2 onions, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1 T. garlic, chopped
2 t. fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
1 t. black peppercorns
2 c. Merlot or other dry red wine
3 c. chicken stock
salt and pepper to taste
Gremolata of parsley and lemon zest
Rosemary White Beans sauteed with bacon, onion, garlic and chicken stock
Day Before:
Preheat oven to 325F/162C. Put flour, salt and pepper in plastic bag. Throw short ribs in the bag to coat. Shake off excess. Heat oil and brown ribs in dutch oven on all sides. Set ribs aside.
To the same pan, add onions and carrots until softened. Then add garlic, thyme, bay leaves, and peppercorns. Return short ribs to pan, bone side up. Pour wine and chicken stock and bring to simmer. Cover and braise in oven for 2.5 hrs. Place ribs in container and refrigerate. Strain veggies out of braising liquid. Discard veggies. Refrigerate liquid separately from ribs.
Day of:
Preheat oven to 400F/200C. Place ribs in pan with 1 c. hot chicken stock. Cover and place in oven for 25 min. Skim fat off refrigerated liquid. Reduce the liquid for 15 min.

The "Triple" in the Triple Coconut Cream Pie refers to the Coconut Pie Crust, the Coconut pastry cream and the toasted Coconut sprinkled on top of the whipped cream. My favorite part was the pie shell. I do wish the coconut in the pastry cream was a little softer. But overall, a great dessert to try.

Coconut Pie Shell
1 c. + 2 T. flour
1/2 c. sweetened shredded coconut
1/2 c. cold unsalted butter, diced
2 t. sugar
1/4 t. kosher salt
1/3 ice water, or more/less as needed
In food processor, combine flour, coconut, butter, sugar, and salt. Pulse to form crumbs. Add water, a tablespoon at a time just until the dough can form a ball with your hands. Form a disk, wrap, and chill for 30 min to 1 hr.Roll out dough and place into pie dish. Chill. Preheat oven to 400F/200C Place parchment over dough. Fill with dried beans. Bake until pastry rim is golden, about 20 min.Remove the beans and parchment. Return to oven to bake another 10-12 min or until golden brown patches. Remove and cool before filling.
Coconut Pastry Cream
2 c. milk
2 c. sweetened shredded coconut
1 vanilla bean
2 large eggs
1/2 c + 2 T sugar
3 T. flour
1/4 c. unsalted butter, softened
Combine milk and coconut. Scrape seeds from vanilla bean and add both seeds and pod to milk mixture. Stir until it comes to a boil.
In a bowl, whisk eggs, sugar and flour. Add egg mixture into saucepan of milk and coconut. Whisk over med-hi until pastry cream thickens and begins to bubble. Keep whisking until mixture is very thick. Remove from heat. Add butter. Discard vanilla pod. Transfer pastry cream to bowl and place over ice water. Stir until completely cooled. Cover surface with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Fill prebaked pie shell with pastry cream. Whisk up some whip cream until firm enough to hold shape. Pipe whipped creamover surface of pastry cream. Toast shredded coconut in microwave for a couple min until brown. Cool and sprinkle on top.

Lastly, a great treat to take over to a friends house unbaked...Douglas' version of Cinnamon Rolls. I've prepared the rolls. All I have to do is refrigerate tonite. Set it in a warm place tomorrow for 1 hr. I'll bring them over to my friends' house unbaked. Pop them in the oven for 35-40 min. And we can enjoy them straight out of the oven.

Sugar pecan topping with a cinnamon sugar filling. I was disappointed with how these cinnamon buns turned out. Not as gooey as I was hoping. Kinda too soggy. But looking forward to trying Tom's Cherry Almond Scones.
Thank you Tom Douglas!


Blogger Kate said...

This all looks amazing E.

19 February, 2006 05:52  
Blogger Cath said...

Wow! You've been busy! I would kill for a piece of that coconut cream pie! YUM! The ribs look terrific too. Go Elaine! I better get crackin'!

19 February, 2006 12:15  
Blogger Ashley said...

The cocunut pie looks so yummy.....I'll have to try that since I'm headed to Seattle!

19 February, 2006 21:44  
Blogger Jer said...

oh my, this looks so incredible. i don't know how you do it with sammy and charlie. just amazing. i need to try this coconut pie, it is so pretty.

21 February, 2006 21:28  
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