Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Salted Peanut Butter Caramel "Sauce"

My friends have asked me, well, practically begged me  for the recipe for this Salted Peanut Butter Caramel "sauce".  I use it in many ways.  The favorite application so far is to layer it in Belgium chocolate cups with caramelized peanuts.  Here you are Juanita.

Peanut Butter Caramel Sauce

1 Cup sugar
1 Tbsp corn syrup (this can be omitted)
1/4 cup water
1 Cup heavy cream
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 teaspoon sea salt (more to taste)

Place the sugar and corn syrup in a large heavy bottomed sauce pan,  Pour the water in evenly around the sides of the pan.  Cook over medium-high heat until it comes to a boil and place the lid on the saucepan for 2 minutes (the steam should develop and drip down the insides of the pan).  At this point do not stir - it will cause granulation in your caramel sauce.

Remove the lid and boil until it the sugar becomes a dark amber color, gently swirling occasionally.  Warm the cream in a saucepan, do not boil (or your stove will be a giant mess).  Remove the pan from the heat and, while stirring, gently pour in the cream (it will bubbly vigorously and the caramel may solidify).  Place back over the heat and gently stir until the caramel is simmering and melted together with the cream.  Reduce heat to medium and add the vanilla, lemon juice peanut butter and salt and stir just until it comes back to a simmer.

At this point I normally take a very small 1/2 teaspoonful and put it in a glass ramekin so it cools quickly.  Then I can taste the caramel and decide if it needs more salt.  I use a very fine grained sea salt.  If you use table salt you may need to increase the amount.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Pork ala Zurich

This is an incredibly aromatic and delicious dish.  My husband is Swiss.  This is my version of his daughter's recipe (thanks Corinne!).   I prefer to make this in a heavy bottom oven-proof pan

The traditional "Zurcher Geschneteltes" is made with well seared cubed veal.  I have to admit when we visit Switzerland I willl eat this three times a week at The Baeren in Roggwil.  This is traditionally served with Rosti or Spaetzle.  It is equally good with noodles, rice, anything with the sauce is amazing.

Also, this lends well to chicken.  I should try it someday with leftover turkey and white wine... ummm.

Pork ala Zurich
Heat oven to 325 degrees F.

1 Pork Tenderloin - silver skin removed, sliced very thinly (easiest if partially frozen)
1 pound sliced mushrooms (your choice, this was 8 oz button mushrooms and 8 ounce crimini)
1 onion, medium diced finely
3 cloves garlic, chopped finely
4 Tbsp butter
1 cup cream or and milk of your choice (the sauce will just be thinner, but every bit as tasty)*
1 cup red or white wine (or a mix this was 1/2 each, anything you would drink)
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice (1 medium lemon)
1 Tbsp Sherry
Knorr Chicken Stock Gel
1 tsp Aromat (if not using Aromat use 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp Paprika)
1/4 tsp celery seeds (crushed or 1 tsp celery salt)
1 tsp Italian seasoning (I used Penzey's Pasta Sprinkle)
Fresh Ground Pepper

Melt 3 Tbsp butter in your skillet over medium-high heat.  Sear your pork slices in 2 batches and remove to a plate.  Sear the mushrooms in 2 batches.  (Add the other Tbsp butter if you need to.)  Saute the onions until tender, add the garlic and stir until fragrant.  Add the Pork and first batch of mushrooms back into the pan and stir in the remaining ingredients.  Bring to a simmer then cover and place in center of oven.  I normally cook this for about an hour and a half, but it can be left in the oven for several hours with no detriment.

*  If you use non-fat or 2 % milk you may want to thicken the sauce.   To do this make a Beurre Manie, using   1 1/2 Tbsp butter and 1 1/2 Tbsp Flour.  About 10 minutes before you are ready to serve place the pan on the burner over medium-high heat and stir in the Beurre Manie.  It is important to simmer so that the flour is cooked.