This week I will be sending off my first official food contest entry to Jeanne, Johanna and Andrews', "Waiter there's something in my...." or WTSIM food blog contest. I seriously am not sure how they judge it (if it's on photos alone I may be screwed). The category for this month's contest is berries - any way, any type. I decided on two: My Raspberry Chipotle Zinfandel marinade/sauce for beef or portobellos (my first shot posted on Sunday - a definite do over!) and a fresh Raspberry Peach Gallette with orange cardamom ice cream. Both are pretty easy to make and sound like you put way more work into them than you did.
For the Raspberry Chipotle Zinfandel marinade and sauce the heat combined with the sweetness of the berries is what I love. Did you know that there is a heat scale for peppers? I mean, I was kind of like once you get to a certain level of heat it's all the same, right? Wilbur Scoville invented a Heat Scale in 1912 that measures the pungency of the each pepper. Measuring heat doesn't sound like something done in a labratory, more a backyard adventure! I could see some old southern guy saying, "Jalepeno, oh yeah, dat's hot, Scotch Bonnet, oooohhh-weeee that's real hot, Habanero, damn Gina, get me a glass of milk!" And in reality, he's probably never eaten the world's hottest chili, a capsaicin. If you want to, add about 1/2 c more sugar and once it's cooled, drizzle it over a block of cream cheese (yes, you can use cookie cutters to make cute cream cheese shapes), garnish with cilantro, and serve as an appetizer.
For the galette, I can't say that there is any dessert, other than creme brulee that I like more. Flour, butter, sugar, yum. The key to this foolproof recipe is to use the secret ingredient of excellent quality VODKA in the crust! (Oh, it all comes back to booze, doesn't it?) It's a chemical thing that I learned from Cook's Illustrated. The gluten from the flour does not form as quickly in the ethanol from the vodka as it does in water. When the gluten expands quickly, the crust gets tough. The moisture from the vodka makes it easier to roll out. I'll never use another crust recipe! If you've never cooked with cardamom, here is your chance. It's like grown up cinnamon. I love it.
Raspberry-Chipoltle Zinfandel Marinade
This is a multi-purpose marinade and sauce. The more you reduce it, the thicker it gets as a sauce. For the marinade, reduce less. Chipolte's are essentially smoked, dried jalepenos (sorry not to have the proper ~ over my n!). This recipe marries both the chipolte with the jalepeno and a little habenero for the heat. My second photo shows a marinated portobello, which makes a great appetizer.
4 cups frozen or fresh raspberries
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. finely chopped cilantro, divided
2 seeded, finely diced jalepenos
3 TBSP chilpolte/habanero chili sauce
1/2 c. zinfandel wine
3 TBSP cider vinegar
3 TBSP salt
In saucepan, combine all ingredients except the salt and half of the cilantro. Bring to a boil and reduce to thicken, about 20 minutes. Take half of marinade and strain. Mash the raspberries until all of the liquid has been removed. Add back half of the raspberries. To the strained raspberries, add the salt. Use as marinade and marinate meat overnight if possible. For the reserve, add 1 tsp salt and cilantro just before serving (room temperature unless you wish to reheat). Spoon sauce over sliced meat.
Raspberry Peach Galette
For the Crust:
(from Cook's Illustrated)
makes 2 galettes or one double crust pie
2 1/2 c. unbleached all-purpose flour (divided)
1 tsp. table salt
2 TBSP sugar
12 TBSP unsalted butter, cut into 1/4 inch slices
1/2 c. chilled vegetable shortening, cut into 4 pieces
1/4 c. Grey Goose or Belvedere Vodka
1/4 c. water
For Filling (double the fruit for 2. Yeah, duh, but you will have 2 crusts :-)):
3 ripe peaches, pitted, peeled and thinly sliced
1 half pint fresh raspberries
1/3 c. sugar
1/3 c. brown sugar
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. cardamom
1 TBSP lemon juice
butter to dot on top
raw or sprinkling sugar
In food proccessor, combine 1 1/2 c. flour, sugar and salt. Pulse a couple of times. Add butter and shortening and pulse until cottage cheese like balls form. Once all the butter and shortening coats the flour, add remaining flour and pulse until evenly distributed. Sprinkle vodka and water over top and scrape down and over the flour/butter mixture, mix a couple of times. Turn onto floured board and shape into two 4 inch discs. Cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 45 minutes and up to 2 days.
For the filling, mix together sugars and spices and gently toss over fruit. Sprinkle juice over top of fruit.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Roll out one disc. Sprinkle with flour. Move dough to pizza stone or cookie sheet to assemble. Leaving a 1 1/2 inch border around the edge, add fruit in a pleasing design (I like very symmetrical shapes, but you may prefer the toss, perfectly fine!). Gently fold up the edges. Wash with egg wash and sprinkle raw sugar around dough edge.
Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with Orange Cardamom Ice Cream. Serves 6-8.