Tag Archives: doughnuts

United Kingdom of F’in’ Delicious

Yes, I’ve been terribly delinquent in posting.  BUT! (and isn’t there always a “but”?) I do have a good excuse.  Mr. Kitchen and I are finally legally a Mr. & Mrs.! We were wed in a beautiful ceremony in upstate New York, and afterwards, we whisked ourselves away for a truly amazing honeymoon in London and Scotland. What’s this got to do with food (other than providing an excuse for not posting)?  While on our honeymoon, we had two of the best meals we’ve ever had.   You know that cliche that food in the U.K. is boring and bland? Don’t you believe it.

One was a gift from our darling bridesmaids — dinner for two at Ramsay’s at Claridge’s in London.  I wish that we had had the opportunity to take photos of our dishes, cause let me tell you — nobody plates like Gordon Ramsay.  The dining room, surprisingly, wasn’t overly stuffy, despite being located in the veritable institution of class that is Claridge’s.  We  ate ourselves silly through three courses that had us tasting roasted loin of rabbit, thai-spiced lobster ravioli, a delectable roast loin of pork, a light and delicate john dorry and desserts that knocked our socks off — a dark chocolate, raspberry and praline sphere, and a gingerbread souffle with a blackcurrant sorbet for my hubby.  I can’t even begin to describe how beautifully blended each dish was — flavors were in turns surprising and comforting, but always balanced.   Fine dining in London is no joke.  Watching our servers was like watching the ballet – everyone flowing together, mostly in groups, in what I swear were synchronized steps.

Mr. Kitchen and I are sightseeing types — we’re not prone to lying on beaches.  We love history and exploring a new city is a past-time that we both have really enjoyed. (Except driving in said new cities.  That one nearly ended our marriage before it really got started.)  We had run ourselves pretty ragged running around London and then Scotland, until we got to Skye, which is the. most. beautiful. place. on. earth.  Yes. Each word needed its own punctuation.  It’s that damn gorgeous.  And the seafood!  If you like seafood, I’m convinced you’ll never find better than on that island.

Some of the island looks like this.

And where we were staying? It looked like this.

View from Carter's Rest, Skye

View from Carter's Rest, Skye

We spent two nights there, relaxing and taking in the beautiful countryside.  Little did we know, one of the top 35 restaurants in the world was just down the road in the middle of nowhere.  The Three Chimneys is completely unassuming.  You’d never know it was there and you’d definitely never expect a fine dining experience that is equal parts sophisticated and warm and welcoming.  Everyone there was incredibly friendly, but the restaurant itself offers truly superb service.  When the chef, Michael Smith, found out we were traveling from New York on our honeymoon, he invited us to come chat with him in the kitchen at the end of the night.  I almost keeled over! I immediately bought two of his cookbooks, and he signed them both and then gave us copies of the night’s menu.  We did manage to sneak some photos with our phones of our dishes — Sadly, they don’t do the meal justice.   We did the seven course tasting menu, which is not for the faint of heart.  All of the food is locally sourced and really, it’s worth the trip to Skye alone for a meal here.  At one point, halfway through dessert, I turned to Mr. Kitchen and said, “I don’t think I can do it.  I just don’t think I can finish.”  Mr. Kitchen, who was well into a fine Talisker, said, “Oh you’re gonna man up and finish that dessert because that’s a Drambuie dipping sauce.  I said Drambuieeee!”  When our server came to ask if we had finished, I gave him a pitiful look and said, “My husband said I need to man up and finish this.  I’m gonna need another minute.”  He returned a few minutes later with a plate of mini desserts.  He was evil.  In the best way possible.

I present below, the menu and photos of most of our courses, from The Three Chimneys.  Next up — I try my hand at jelly doughnuts and I discover the beauty of a nutella mousse!

An Amouse Bouche Terrine of Seafood (this wasn’t on the menu, it was a surprise first course)

Terrine Three Chimneys

Terrine Three Chimneys

Armadale Mackarel Tartare with Tattie Scones, Glendale Mesculun & Apple

Tartare Three Chimneys

Tartare Three Chimneys

Crab Risotto with Shellfish Essence and Truckle Wafer

Crab Risotto Three Chimneys

Crab Risotto Three Chimneys

A Selection of Broadford Cold & Hot Smoked with Farm Quail Egg

Smoked Fish Three Chimneys

Smoked Fish Three Chimneys

 Sconser King Scallop with Hazlenut Crust, Split Pea  & Ham Hough Purry

(Sadly, no photo – we were too busy eating to take the photo)

Three Loch Harport Oysters with Cucumber & Mint Jelly, Homemade Creme Fraiche & Loch Etive Trout Caviar

(served with ice cold vodka)

Oysters Three Chimneys

Oysters Three Chimneys

Roast Fillet & Shredded Shin of Lochlash Beef with Pearl Barley and Totaig Vegetable Broth, Horseradish 

Beef Three Chimneys

Beef Three Chimneys

 Dessert — Hot Marmalade Pudding Souffle with Drambuie Syrup and Mealie Ice Cream

Marmalade Souffle Three Chimneys

Marmalade Souffle Three Chimneys

Advertisements

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Pumpkin Delicious

With Thanksgiving coming up, I have been all about the pumpkins.   Completely versatile, pumpkins can go savory or sweet and can be used in ravioli, risotto, pies, cakes, lattes — the list goes on and on.   Last year, for a “Pre-Thanksgiving” dinner with friends, I made a bourbon pumpkin cheesecake that was actually really easy and a fantastic addition to the fabulous spread of desserts we had.   I may make it again this year, perhaps with a salted caramel twist.  (I’ll admit, I’m easy prey for some of the food trends, but salted caramel is really just awesome.)  For our recent winery trip, I thought we might want sweet treats to go with the Empanadas so I made Spiced Pumpkin Doughnuts with a Maple Icing Glaze.  The confectioner sugar-based icing is the perfect complement to a well spiced pumpkin dough.  I’d never made doughnuts before and was pleasantly surprised by how easy they were to make.  The one tricky part was making sure that the shortening remained the right temperature.  Too hot and you burn the doughnuts — too cool and they become soggy and oily.  If you don’t have one, it’s best to invest in a candy/oil thermometer before trying to make the doughnuts.

Mr. Kitchen was my sous-chef on this one — we had a great time trying to make sure neither of us got third degree burns from splattering oil.   As Mr. Kitchen found out — it’s best to gently place the dough in the oil — dropping it in = nasty blisters.  There were the obligatory Dunkin Donuts “Time to make the donuts” references and lots of expletives as I grew impatient and tried rolling out the dough before it had totally chilled.  Don’t try that — it’s an exercise in futility.  Of course we just had to try the doughnuts out — you know, to make sure they were edible.  (I think we probably “tasted” half a dozen each.)  If this keeps up I’ll never fit in my wedding dress.

 

Pumpkin spice doughnuts with maple icing

Pumpkin spice doughnuts with maple icing

Pumpkin Spice Doughnuts With Maple Icing

Doughnuts  (Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens)

*This recipe makes over 20 small doughnuts (if you’re re-rolling out the doughnut holes)

2 tablespoons butter (softened)

1/2 cup sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 cup pure pumpkin (canned is fine)

1/3 cup buttermilk

1 egg

1 egg yolk

2 tsp vanilla extract

2 cups all-purpose flour

Shortening for deep frying  (I think I probably used nearly half a container — you will want your shortening/oil to be at least an inch deep)

You will need a candy/oil thermometer for this for best results.

Maple Icing

2 2/3 cup confectioner’s sugar

4 tablespoons milk

1/4 teaspoon maple extract

The Doughnuts: In  a large bowl, beat butter with mixer on medium for about 1 minute.  Add the sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, ginger, nutmeg and cloves.  Beat until combined.  Beat in pumpkin, buttermilk, egg and egg yolk, and vanilla until combined.  Using a wooden spoon or a spatula, stir in flour until well combined.  Cover and chill for about 2-3 hours.  After the dough has chilled, roll it out to about 1/8″ thickness (if you want thicker, bigger doughnuts, roll out the dough to 1/4″ thickness).  Cut with a floured doughnut cutter.  Definitely dip the cutter in flour in between cuts.  Re-roll out the dough as necessary (or reserve the centers for doughnut holes).

Keep a slotted spoon handy.  Clip the thermometer to the side of a deep pan and add shortening and heat until the temperature reaches 365-370º.  Very very carefully place the dough into the hot shortening.  With the slotted spoon, turn over the doughnuts after about 45 seconds to 1 minute and cook for another 45 seconds or so.  With the slotted spoon, remove the doughnuts and let drain on paper towels.  Repeat with remaining doughnuts.

The Icing: As the doughnuts cool, prepare the icing by beating together the confectioner’s sugar, milk and maple extract.  Drizzle over the doughnuts.  Best served warm or at room temperature.

Incorporating the flour into the pumpkin mixture

Incorporating the flour into the pumpkin mixture

Rolling out and cutting the spiced pumpkin doughnuts

Rolling out and cutting the spiced pumpkin doughnuts

Frying the pumpkin spice doughnuts

Frying the pumpkin spice doughnuts

Pumpkin spice doughnuts with maple icing

Pumpkin spice doughnuts with maple icing

1 Comment

Filed under Baking, Desserts, Party Food, Recipes, Tidbits