Last Day Off Cooking

Posted on June 8, 2011. Filed under: Appitizers, Deserts | Tags: , , , |

So, today is my last day off before I start rehearsals, and I’ve been aching to make my pretzals again (ok, Alton Brown’s pretzals) and some beer mustard to go with it. And, I had bought an extra pint of strawberries so I decided to make something out of them. The pretzals are of course delisious. I tried a little bit of the mustard, it’s a little bitter, but I think that was from the beer I used, New Belgium’s Mighty Arrow, which is a bit hoppy. The strawberries got made into some danish like bars with pastry cream. I tried to braid it like the recipe I used said, but they came apart in the oven. Everything looks good, can’t wait for the roomies to get home!

Brewhouse Beer Mustard
(from http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/rachael-rays-tasty-travels/brewhouse-beer-mustard-recipe/index.html )

1 cup mustard seeds
2 cups lager beer
1 1/3 cups malt vinegar
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons salt1 1/4 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon dry mustard
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 tablespoonshorseradish

  1. In a small bowl combine the mustard seeds, lager, and malt vinegar. Cover and soak overnight.
  2. Strain the liquid and reserve in a separate container. Place the soaked seeds in a food processor and pulse 7 to 8 times. In a double boiler, place the cracked seeds and add the strained liquid,allspice, pepper, salt, sugar, dry mustard, garlic, and horseradish. Cook about 90 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and let cool, then refrigerate.

Strawberry Danish
(from http://whiteonricecouple.com/recipes/berry-puff-pastry/)

1 lb (455 g) Puff Pastry, if dough is frozen allow to thaw to a workable
1 lb (455 g) Fresh Berries, cut into 1/2″ pieces
1 c Pastry Cream (recipe follows)
Egg Wash (1 egg white mixed w/ 1 tbsp. water)
Powdered Sugar (optional)

3/4″ dowel needed for cutting strips for crossovers

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F
  2.  Keeping the puff pastry dough lightly dusted with flour, roll out to 1/8″ thick,  a bit over 7″ wide and how ever long you have room to roll (roll separate chunks of dough if needed, keeping the second dough in the fridge until ready to roll). Trim the edges of the dough to form straight edges.
  3.  Cut the dough into  approx. 4″ lengths.  Fold a piece of dough around the dowel so that the 4″ length runs down the dowel and the 7″ width wraps around it. Make sure top flap of dough tucks in close to the dowel and is laying flat on top of the bottom section of dough.
  4. Cut strips 1/4 – 1/2″ wide along the length of the dough. Wider strips are easier to handle, but the strip width is mostly a visual choice. Be sure to slice all the way through the bottom layer.
  5. Using the dowel, transfer the dough to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silpat. Lay out flat and continue slicing strips for the rest of the pastry sections.
  6.  Put pastry cream in a pastry bag with a 1/2″ plain tip, or put pastry cream in a plastic sandwich bag and cut one corner to pipe out of. Pipe a line of pastry cream down the center, the length of each section of dough. Spread it a little to flatten the pastry cream. Place a hearty layer of berries on top of pastry cream.
  7.  With the right hand, bring the right strip closest to you across the berries.  With the left hand cross the left-hand strip across the first strip.  Continue this alternating left and right, making sure each strip is overlapping the previous opposite side to help lock it in. Do this down the length of each pastry and for all of the pastries.
  8.  With the dowel, press down a little going the length of each pastry to help seal and lock the strips together. Brush with egg wash.
  9.  Double pan your baking pan then bake for 35 min. or until golden.  If necessary a sheet of parchment paper can be draped over the top of the crossovers if the tops are cooking faster than the rest of pastry.
  10. Allow to cool, dust with powdered sugar if desired and enjoy.

Pastry Cream

1c (240 ml) Milk
2 T (15 g) Cornstarch
4 T (60 g) Granulated Sugar
pinch of Sea Salt
1 lrg Egg
1/4 t (1 ml) Vanilla Extract

  1. Put milk in a thick bottomed saucepan. Bring up to a boil, stirring frequently to keep the milk from burning to the bottom of the pan.
  2.  While the milk heats, combine cornstarch, sugar, and salt in a bowl.  Whisk together then add egg and mix until smooth.
  3.  Add about 1/3 of the hot milk to the egg mix, whisking rapidly, then pour the tempered mix back into the saucepan with the rest of the milk.
  4.  Return to the stovetop and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture begins to boil and thickens.  Stir in vanilla extract.
  5. Pour and work the pastry cream through a fine mesh sieve and into a bowl to catch any lumps.  Cover with a piece of wax or baking paper to keep a skin from forming. Store in the refrigerator until needed. Can be kept in fridge for 3-4 days when used for baking.
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