Cobblestone Cooking Music XXX – ’tis That Time of Year

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Tarte Tatin

Note: Those three Xs in the title? It’s just a number!😉

And before you go all “We don’t want to hear *beeeep* about Christmas before Halloween” – the season I refer to is the apple season. And MAN, do we have apples this year…!

So, with friends of the house coming for dinner, the theme was “apples”…

  • Madeleine Peyroux, Dance Me To The End Of Love
  • Sanne Salomonsen, Never Dreamed You’d Leave In Summer

Starter: A simple salad – finely cut pointy cabbage, finely cubed apple, very finely cubed ginger. Add some dried cranberries and some hazelnuts, toss with a vinaigrette on apple cider vinegar.

Main course: Roast beef. Ahhh, these cuts in English? Probably sirloin-ish, done as a whole piece and not as steaks. Looks like this.

There is an art to do this. First, salt and sear all over on a pan at full blast. The, put it into a cast iron pot or skillet, add water, onion, whole black pepper corn, a few juniper berries. Use a thermometer! Cook until the center temperature is 55°C – take up, cover lightly and let rest. It’ll easily be half an hour before you’re ready to eat. Fine!

  • Diana Krall, Crazy
  • Rufus Wainwright, Halleluja

Pour the stock from the skillet through a sieve, before serving add some cream and let it get to boiling. Adjust taste to your liking.

Sides? An apple “risotto” – in “” as it was done with bulgur. Boil as instructed and in the mean time cube two apples, slice up an onion, fry these two thing together. Add some white wine and then a bit of chicken stock. Mix in the bulgur and mix in grated Grana Padano and toss in some thinly sliced red onion and some mange tout is you have (I didn’t).

  • Sinne Eeg, Down on West Fuxing Lu
  • Sanne Salomonsen, New York Minute

And pickled apples: split a courgettes (squash / zucchini) and take out the seeds and cube it. Cube a large apple, too. Also cube to red onions and fry them without browning in oil along with some curry (I used green curry). Add the courgette & apple, fry for a few minutes and add a bit of water, white wine vinegar, sugar and salt. Serve rather quickly.

  • Shirley Bassey, Goldfinger
  • Sinne Eeg, Don’t Be So Blue

Now here is where the test comes as to whether you read it all before diving into the kitchen… The day before (at least), make a vanilla parfait with a touch of calvados: Whisk egg yolks with sugar and vanilla to a light frothy mass. In the meantime, bring a 50:50 mix of milk and cream to a boil with the rest of the vanilla pods. Whisk into the egg stuff and let it go back on the heat – but do not let it come to a boil again! (Max 83°C for those in on the details).

  • Larry Carlton, Blues For TJ
  • Elton John, Candle In The Wind

Drop into the ice machine and when it’s properly cold and mixed, transfer to a container and let it freeze until the next day.

Dessert, then. Make a sweet shortcrust pastry dough (if my translation tools serves me well – here’s an example). Peel, decore and cut 3-5 apples into about 8 wedges each, and mix them with some cane sugar. Butter on the pan, arrange the apple wedges there and let them fry for some time until apple juice and sugar starts to become thicker and caramelise a bit.

  • ABBA, Take A Chance On Me
  • Dinah Washington, What A Difference A Day Made

Roll out the pastry, cover the apples and tuck it nicely down along the edges. I poked a few holes in the dough with a sharp knife to let steam get out. Put the pan in the oven at 200°C and bake until done and golden. Take out – remember that that pan is warm! – and turn out on a suitable platter (put the platter on top and flip around then remove the pan). Et voila – tarte tatin.

  • Rickie Lee Jones, Chuck E’s In Love
  • Robbie Williams (feat. Nicole Kidman), Somethin’ Stupid

The whose thing – all of the above – was done from something after five in the afternoon until just after seven. Basically, a three course dinner in a little less than two hours, maybe actually nearer one and a half. (Note: not everything happened in the order written here – you have to optimise your time spending -the tarte tatin, for instance, went in rather early so I could do a lot of the other stuff while that was in the oven…) Not too bad – and came out well, according to the guests🙂

And as to apples – these dishes were all done with Belle de Boskoop. A very good apple for cooking, baking and doing desserts!

Happy cooking!

Photo by me.
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