Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Betty Chen cooks with Toki Flameclay

Betty Chen lives in Houston Texas with her husband Jen-Hwa. Chen grew up in Taiwan, in a family with nine siblings. So, as a result of being part of a large family, there was always something cooking in the kitchen. Chen says, “I learned how to cook by observing and helping my mother cook for the family.” Over the years Chen has become an avid cook testing out her recipes on her willing husband, Jen-Hwa. Recently, Chen received a Leslie Ceramic Flameclay vessel and has been cooking up a storm in Texas. Here, Betty Chen shares two recipes for the Leslie’s Newsletter audience. Enjoy! 

Betty Chen’s: Braised Red Snapper & Tofu 

Fresh Red Snapper fillet, about 1 pound.
6 stalks green onion, cut in 2-inch pieces
1/2 cup finely shredded ginger root
2 cloves garlic
A few whole red peppers (optional)
4 dry shitake mushrooms, soak in hot water to hydrate until soft, drain & trim off any hard stems
10 ounces soft tofu, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
Cilantro springs for garnish

Seasoning mixture:
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons cooking wine, (preferably Shao-Xin)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon black vinegar (Balsamic is fine)
1 cup water

Cooking Instructions: Score 2-3 cuts on the skin side of the fillet, and pat dry with a paper towel. Heat 3 tablespoons of cooking oil over a medium high heat, in the Flameware dish. When the oil is very hot, carefully place the fish into the vessel, skin side down.  Pan fry without moving the fish until the skin side is browned. Carefully flip the fish and continue frying. Add garlic, green onion, ginger, peppers, and mushrooms at this time.  Over medium heat, use chopsticks to stir fry everything, but do not touch the fish.
When the green onions start to brown & soften, add the seasoning mixture and tofu, and bring to a boil.  Simmer without cover in low heat for about 20 minutes.  Then, turn off the heat & garnish with strings of cilantro. Carefully transfer the dish onto the table & serve with steamed rice. At this point, the dish may seem somewhat soupy, but the tofu will continue to absorb the liquid and its flavor. The Flameware dish will keep the food warm while it is being consumed. Enjoy!

Betty Chen’s Tarte Tatin:

Flaky pastry:
1 1/3 cups unbleached flour
1/4 cup confectioner's sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 stick unsalted very cold butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
1 large egg, beaten
Caramelized apples: 
1 stick unsalted butter
3/4 cup sugar
6 large Granny Smith apples, peeled, quartered, and cored
For the pastry: Combine all dry ingredients, and mix well. Add butter pieces: Use a pastry cutter to cut the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles course meal. Add the egg and stir with a fork until little balls form. Gather the dough by hand and shape into a ball, and wrap in plastic, then flatten it into a 4” round disk. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes. Unwrap & turn the dough out onto a large piece of parchment paper, lay another piece of parchment paper the same size on top of the dough. Then, roll the dough into a 14-inch round shape. Carefully transfer the dough with the parchment paper onto a cookie sheet, and refrigerate while preparing the apple filling.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
For the filling:  Set Flameware dish on the stovetop over low heat. Add the butter and heat until melted.  Stir in the sugar & cook for 5 minutes, until the sugar has dissolved, but not browned. Move the dish away from the heat – caution!: it will be very hot.  Arrange the apple quarters into the dish in a circle, standing them upright with the cut-side down & with an end touching the wall of the dish. Fill the middle with the remaining quarters, cut-side down. Return the dish to the stove, cook about 12 minutes on high heat until the juice turn from a butterscotch to a rich amber color.  Remove the dish from the stove, then, using a fork, carefully flip the apples onto their un-caramelized sides.  Return to the stove & cook on high heat for another 8 to 10 minutes.
Remove the dish from the heat. Carefully peer away the parchment paper (both sides) from the prepared dough, and with the help of a rolling pin, position the dough onto the apple filling, and tuck in the edge using a spoon. 
Cooking Instructions:
Bake in oven about 30 minutes, or until the pastry is golden brown & cooked throughout. Let cool on a rack for about 15 minutes.  
Carefully invert the tart onto a platter. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream. Enjoy!

No comments:

Post a Comment