grub club: summer ’13

by isaac black

I wanted a good, rich summer meal, so I made this slop. The first dish was a burnt eggplant tahini salad, garnished with cucumber and pomegranate seeds. As usual, I got this from Plenty, and in the interest of not plagiarizing the source, I won’t include the recipe here. I do have pictures though:

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It’s blurry, but that’s the best you’re going to get.

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That’s the main dish, a garlic fennel flatbread with alfredo sauce and fried potatoes and shallots and mint.

Alfredo sauce (for 12, though there was plenty of sauce left over):

2 tsp mustard seed

12 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 or 3 shallot, minced

2 cup heavy cream

2 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

1 teaspoon salt

Lightly toast the mustard seeds in a dry pan over medium heat. When they start to pop, remove from heat and crush in a mortar. Brown the butter in a saucepan. Add the shallots and mustard seed powder and saute. Deglaze with a splash of white cooking wine. Add cream and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and add cheese. Salt to taste.

Shallots and potatoes:

3 or 4 shallots

3 medium potatoes (I used a variety: red, yukon gold, and purple)

1 tbsp olive oil

Heat olive oil in a cast iron skillet (feel free to use this same one for the flatbreads later). Saute shallots until brown and remove. Fry potatoes until crispy. Remove from heat.

Flatbread:

3 1/2 cup flour

1 1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking powder

12 tbsp butter

2 cloves minced garlic

1 1/2 tsp fennel seeds

1 cup hot water

Combine the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. Add the butter, garlic, and fennel and work into the flour until it resembles coarse crumbs. Pour in the water and stir. Put mixture on a lightly floured surface and knead into a smooth, soft dough. Put back in bowl, cover with a damp towel and let rest for 20 minutes. Divide the dough into 12 balls and roll them into a circle or oval shape. Heat a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the flatbread for a couple minutes or until small air bubbles appear (like a pancake). Flip over and cook for another couple of minutes.

I kept the flatbread warm in an oven while I plated them. Top the bread with alfredo and the shallots and potatoes, and then add fresh mint, 6 – 8 leaves per bread. I actually wanted a stronger mint taste, but not everyone is as adventurous. Try it out.

Dessert: lavender gelato

This turned out amazingly well. I doubled this recipe, except for the heavy cream I added about 2 tbsp of dried lavender flowers, brought it to a boil then reduced the temperature. I let that infuse until it just started to turn bitter. I added that to the custard, put it into the ice cream maker, and it had just the right amount of lavender flavor. It was delicious, and didn’t last long enough for me to take a picture.

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