Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The Tuesday report: Candied bacon and kumquats

Baby Girl and I walked downtown on Tuesday to do a little shopping and stop in for a quickie at SAM. (That's the best thing about having a museum membership; you can break visits into little bites. So much easier to digest.)

Of course, post-SAM, we hit Taste for some of Elise Fineberg's wonderful goodies. I am a sucker for the warm cookies sidled up to a shot of milk. But I was so tempted to go for the apple pie with caramel sauce and candied bacon. Sweet! And salty, too. Still, after heated negotiations, Claire went way savory and ordered the mini burger and frites and I chose cookies. Oh, maybe next time there will be a candied bacon shortbread cookie?!

When we got home, there was a gray bin sitting by the gate, a delivery from Pioneer Organics. I've just started getting organic fruits and veggies delivered every other week and I love it so much. The quality has been outstanding and I've been experimenting with new raw ingredients. But, hey, I do not remember checking the box for kumquats. I have no clue what to do with these itty-bitty oranges. HELP!


Kristie said...

You're in luck! I just got a recipe for kumquats in my daily recipes the other day.

"Spring rolls are the quintessential Asian appetizer, but I have adapted the concept to dessert. When cooked, these rolls are like cylindrical molten cakes with warm chocolate oozing out of an impossibly thin and crisp "pastry" shell. The kumquats not only cut through the richness with their distinct citrus tartness, but also are a symbol of good fortune, as kum is a homonym for "gold" in Chinese.

CHEF'S TIP: Make sure you use thin spring roll wrappers, which can be found in Asian markets, not egg roll wrappers.

Servings: Makes 3 dozen spring rolls, about 10 servings.


5 kumquats, cut into 1/4-inch slices and seeded, juices reserved
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon ( 4 1/2 ounces/127 grams) heavy whipping cream
1/8 teaspoon of salt
8 1/4 ounces (233 grams) bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 large egg yolk
1 tablespoon Grand Marnier
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
Thirty-six 5-inch square spring roll wrappers
1 large egg, lightly beaten
Canola, vegetable, or other neutral oil for deep-frying

1. Put the kumquat slices and their juices into a small saucepan, add the cream and salt, and warm over medium heat just until bubbles form around the edges of the pan. Remove from the heat.

2. Put the chocolate into the bowl of a food processor and pour the hot kumquat cream over it. Let sit for 2 minutes, then process until the mixture becomes smooth and shiny. Add the egg yolk, Grand Marnier, and butter and process to combine.

3. Line an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch loaf pan with plastic wrap. Pour the chocolate mixture into the pan and transfer to the freezer. Freeze, uncovered, until completely hard.

4. Unmold the chocolate bar and peel off the plastic wrap. Cut the bar lengthwise in half, then cut each half crosswise into 1/2-inch slices. You should have 36 chocolate bars.

5. Lightly brush the entire surface of a spring roll wrapper with a bit of the beaten egg. Turn the wrapper so that you see a diamond, and lay a chocolate bar across the end closest to you so that the ends of the bar meet the edges of the wrapper to form a triangle. Take the corner of the wrapper closest to you and wrap it around the chocolate, then roll the chocolate away from you one full rotation. Tightly fold the sides in toward the center, then continue to roll up to the end of the wrapper, making sure the end is tightly sealed. Set on a baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining wrappers and chocolate. Freeze the spring rolls for at least 10 minutes or up to 2 days; take them out only when you are ready to fry them.

6. Fill a saucepan with oil to a depth of 2 inches and heat to 350°F. When the oil is ready (a tiny pinch of flour will sizzle), add a few spring rolls, taking care to not crowd the pan, and cook, turning occasionally and adjusting the heat as necessary to maintain 350°F, until golden brown, about 4 minutes. Drain on paper towels and cook the remaining rolls. Serve warm."

Caroline said...

My uncle has a kumquat tree in his backyard and he uses the fruit to make tea. Cut a couple of kumquats in half, put them in a mug with hot water, and sprinkle a little sour dried plum powder on top. Makes a comforting drink for a chilly day.

Whining and Dining said...

Kristie and Caroline:
Thanks for saving the day!
Can't wait to try both these recipes... will report back!