Imperial IPA beer jelly (or vanilla) infused yogurt pudding with tomato compote

In the French Caribbean islands, we are making vanilla tomato jam. And yes, tomato is a fruit and not a vegetable!

I have always loved the idea to use tomatoes in sweet recipes. I started with jam a few years ago. This is one of my favorite jam here in Toronto. We have so much tomatoes during the summer. But this summer, I wanted to be a little more adventurous and I have decided to develop a dessert with tomatoes that also includes one of my beer jellies.

Imperial IPA beer jelly is the perfect choice because hops and tomatoes work really well together. But don’t worry, if you don’t have any Imperial IPA beer jelly, you can use vanilla for both the tomato compote and the yogurt pudding. It is going to be delicious too.
Inspired by Indian cuisine, this is an aromatic, crunchy, creamy and refreshing sweet treat (adapted from Ragini Dey’s recipe (Spice Kitchen)). It remind me one of my grand mother Adele recipe. Hope you will like it!

I think it is time to cook, this is my recipe:

Prep Time: 15 min        Cook Time: 30 to 45 min         Yield: 4 servings

 Ingredients

4 ripe tomatoes, chopped

1 vanilla bean

4 curry leafs (or 1 small bay leaf)

4 pods of green cardamom (opened, seeds removed and ground)

180 grams (7/8 cup) sugar

250 grams (1 cup) plain yoghurt

140 grams (0.6 cup) sweetened condensed milk

80 grams (0.3 cup) cream fraîche

4 teaspoons of Imperial IPA Beer Jelly (or 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract as an alternative)

1 egg, lightly beaten

Preparation

Preheat the oven to 320°F (160°C).

Cut lengthwise down the vanilla bean into two halves and scrape the pod halves to collect the seeds.

Mix together the tomato, vanilla pod and seeds, curry leafs, cardamom and sugar in a medium saucepan over a medium heat and cook for about 8–10 minutes.

Do not overcook the tomatoes, it is really important to keep intact the crunchiness and the freshness of this fruit.

Remove the tomatoes, and distribute them equitably between 4 X 250 ml glass Masson jars.

Reduce the tomato syrup half or until it forms a syrup. Remove the vanilla bean and curry leafs, and pour the syrup into the jars over the tomatoes.

Warm up the Imperial IPA Beer Jelly using a microwave or using a water bath.

Mix together the yoghurt, condensed milk, cream, beer jelly and egg in a medium bowl.

Pour the yoghurt mixture over the tomato mixture and bake in the oven for 20–35 minutes, or until the pudding is just set. It seems that 25 minutes is enough but it will all depend of your stove.

When the pudding is cooked, it will look smooth like a panna cotta and still a little wobbly. Do not cook it for any longer once it reaches this stage, because overcooking will make it curdle and the water will separate.

Chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour, then serve. The pudding will become firmer and lose its wobbliness when chilled.

You can keep this dessert for at least 48 hours in the fridge. It is a really refreshing sweet delicacy!

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Pickeld Black Cherry

Each year during the summer season, I try new recipes for jam and pickle or I rediscover something I was making with my grandmother Adele in Burgundy. This year, because of my cooking class, I have decided to make pickled black cherry. Never made it, never eat it! This is a premiere.

Easy to prepare – less than 30 minutes. You can choose the spices and aromatics that you would like to infuse your cherries with. However, you need to be patient , at least one month (better two months) before to open the jar and enjoy this treat with pâté, cured meat and local artisan cheese, or mix into stuffing and pie fillings, or add to a rich sauce made with wine or beer, or in a salad like us (recipe will come next in my blog). It needs some time to be able to develop its full potential of flavours and be ready to tickle your taste buds.

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This is also the perfect gift for Christmas or when you go visiting friends… add a nice cheese, a bottle of wine or a pack of craft beers, a nice artisan bread or some crackers. The perfect combination for an impromptu culinary experience.

I think it is time to pickle, this is my recipe:

Adapted from Epicurious.

Yield: Makes 3 X 250 ml jars

Preparation time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

200 ml (1 cup) distilled white vinegar

200 ml (1 cup) water

30 grams (1/4 cup) sugar

1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns

1 teaspoon Szechuan peppercorns

1 teaspoon coriander seeds

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

2 to 3 cloves

2 to 3 cardamom pods

3 curry leaves or 1 bay leaf

450 grams (1 pound) fresh rip cherries

3 small rosemary sprigs

Preparation

Wash the cherries as described previously (20 to 30 minutes in 10% white vinegar solution) and pat dry. Cut the stems to keep 1 inch, and don’t remove the stones as these add flavour to your finished product, just remember to warn guests about the pits.

Wash the seals (or lids) and jars in hot soapy water and rinse well. Set the seal aside in simmer hot water and place the jar in the oven on a moderate temperature (about 200 F degrees) for 10 minutes.

Bring the first 10 ingredients to a boil in a medium stainless-steel saucepan, stirring to dissolve sugar. Reduce heat to medium; simmer 5 minutes.

Add cherries and rosemary to saucepan. Simmer until cherries are tender, it will take 3-5 minutes.

Transfer cherries and rosemary to 250 ml jars. Pour in enough pickling liquid to cover cherries.

Seal the jar straight away and chill, and leave for 2 months before eating.

Will keep in a cool, dry place for up to 1 year. Once opened store in the fridge and eat within 3 weeks.

Strain before serving.

Bon Appetite!

 

 

Beer Infused Rice Pilaf…. Made with American Pale

I know, it is a little clumsy to start my blog with the sentence … I love rice! But this is true.

Despite the fact that I am a Frenchy (with some Canadian influences now) and bread is my motto, my brother Jean Michel and me have grew up eating and enjoying one kind of rice: Le Riz Taureau Aile or more specifically the rice from Camargue (the south region of France). This rice is similar to the Italian Arborio rice. it is flavorful, creamy and sticky. It made the most amazing rice pudding, and it is the best side dish for our creamy sauces like the famous blanquette de veau (veal stew). If truth be told, our childhood culinary experience has left a indelible mark on us. We cannot stand bad quality rice at all!

The result, I have a passion for rice… any kinds, and I love cooking dishes with it. In fact, my favorite comfort food when I am tired, a little depressed and I really need to reconnect with my childhood is a bowl of rice with butter. I love the taste of rice with butter… it reminds me my grandmother rice.

Rice with beer, why not?

The idea came to me when I was reading a series of articles about the use of wine in French and Italian cooking. Generally, wine goes into stew and sauce (as well as dessert) in France. In Italy, wine is also used to bring flavors into pasta sauce and risotto. That was it! Italian cooking practices gave me the idea to try to infuse rice with beer. I could go with risotto, but I have decided to try rice pilaf for a change. It is a more easy going preparation and everyday dish. But don’t take me wrong, it can be complex and subtle and more importantly, yummy.

What is rice pilaf?

When you start to read about rice pilaf, you are discovering that there is an interesting and opulent story behind this simple dish.

It is an integral part of formal and informal meal in Asian and Middle East cuisine. Pilaf was known to have been served to Alexander the Great at a royal banquet following his capture of the Sogdian capital of Marakanda (modern Samarkand). And it was first documented by the celebrated Persian scholar Abu Ali Ibn Sina in tenth century, who in his books on medical sciences has dedicated a whole section to preparing various meals, including several types of pilaf. After that, it has spread all over the world and is nowadays an important component of our worldwide culinary practice.

Pilaf is made of a good quality rice like Basmati or Jasmine rice, cooked in a broth seasoned with different ingredients like onion, tomatoes, ginger, garlic, coriander seeds, nuts, dry fruit, saffron as well as meat, fish, lentils, beans, pasta, vegetables… The grains remain separate and in some recipes, you can obtain a fluffy and soft rice, but neither soupy nor sticky.

I think it is time to cook, this is my recipe:

4 to 6 servings                                 Preparation 15 min                            Cooking time 25 minutes

Ingredients

1 onion (or 4 shallots), finely chopped

1 tablespoon (15 grams) olive oil

1 tablespoon (30 ml) butter

2 cups (370 grams) Basmati rice

1 1/2 cups (355 ml) water

1 1/2 cups (355 ml) American Pale Ale beer

For this recipe I have chosen to use an American Pale Ale from Black oak. The taste of this beer is sweet initially with a lightly toasted cereal grain, more biscuit-like than bready as well as slight notes of tart citrus, pine, and herbal hops that can work quite well with sweet onion in this rice dish.

Fresh curry leaves (facultative)

Curry leaves are an herb native to South Asia, unrelated to the ground spice mix called curry powder. They’re an essential component of South Indian cooking, adding a subtle aroma to simple dishes or complexity to highly spicy dishes. It has a peppery flavor and it releases a deliciously nutty aroma when fried in hot oil. Curry leaves can be used in the same way as bay leaves are used in the West. You can find them in Indian grocery shops.

I love to use curry leaves because we are not using a lot of (or not at all) salt in our cooking at home. We cook rice without salt… the nice fragrances come from the rice itself the saffron and the curry leaves

Salt and Pepper

Preparation

In a saucepan, lightly brown the onion in olive oil/butter over medium heat, add the curry leaves and cook for 30 seconds

I am not doing this normally but I am going to do this next for maximum fragrances. Normally, I add the curry leaves with the water when cooking rice.

Season with salt (facultative) and pepper.

Add the rice. Cook, stirring, until the grains are well-coated and some look translucent and the whole mixture smells toasty, about 3 minutes.

Toasting the grains in oil until they start to look translucent helps them separate so they won’t clump. It adds flavor, too.

Add the beer and the water and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for about 18 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed.

Remove from heat and fluff the rice with a fork. Then cover the pot with a clean dish towel and seal with the lid for 10 minutes.

The towel absorbs steam, so the rice stays fluffy.

I have served this rice pilaf with sauté spinach for our dinner. It was really good, very flavourful.

I think it will work perfectly also with barbecue or sweet spicy tomato sauce because this rice pilaf has some tanginess flavors with some after taste bitterness. With the left over, I have made a tuna salad with parsley, tomatoes, cucumber and avocado. It was delicious!

Bonne Appetite!