Mr. Alpenglow’s day job entails a healthy dose of rejection:
in person, by e-mail, on paper, and over the phone. Here is a
menu that functions unabashedly as a crutch in hard times.
SHRIMP & GRITS
(4 servings, adapted recipe)
4.5 cups of water
1 cup of stone-ground white grits
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 ounces shredded white cheddar
1 cup chopped yellow onion
1 cup chopped green bell pepper
2 garlic cloves, sliced
about 1/2 pound of Andouille sausage
(sliced, or 6 slices of thick-cut bacon)
1 to 1.5 pounds of shrimp, peeled & deveined
1 cup of low-sodium chicken stock
4 green onions, thinly sliced
Half a lemon
kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
Bring the water to a boil. Add a pinch of salt, then the grits. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring continuously. Add the cheese and butter. Set the grits aside (covered) and keep warm. Fry the sausage or bacon in a skillet. Set the meat aside, reserving the fat. Saute the onions on low flame until caramelized, about 20 minutes. Add the peppers, garlic, and black pepper. Saute for 5 minutes. Add the shrimp and saute for 2 minutes. Add the chicken stock and simmer for 4-5 minutes. To serve, spoon grits into a bowl. Spoon the shrimp and sauce on top. Add some lemon juice. Garnish with green onions.
BANANA CREAM TARTS
(makes 6 individual tarts)
for the tart dough:
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
Combine the butter, sugar, and salt until smooth. Add the egg and mix. Gradually add the flour and mix until incorporated. Shape the dough into a ball and chill for about an hour. Preheat the oven to 350. Roll the dough on a lightly floured surface to 1/8 inch thickness. Cut circles about 6 inches in diameter and transfer to individual tart molds, pressing into place and trimming the edges off. Bake for about 20 minutes until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.
for the pastry cream:
2 cups of whole milk
1/2 teaspoon of salt
4 ounces of granulated sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 ounces unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Bring the milk to a boil, then set aside. In a bowl, mix the sugar, salt, and cornstarch. Add the eggs and whisk until smooth. Add some of the hot milk to the mixture and whisk quickly. Then pour the egg mixture back into the hot milk. Return the custard to the stove and whisk until thickened. Allow the mixture to boil to cook off the cornstarch. Remove from heat and add the butter and vanilla. Allow the mixture to cool and then chill until ready to serve.
for the caramel:
1/3 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons water
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/3 cup heavy cream
Heat the sugar and water in a saucepan on medium-high until the sugar dissolves and the mixture turns a light golden color. Remove from heat and whisk the butter in. Carefully add the cream and whisk until smooth. Set aside.
To serve, spoon caramel onto the bottom of the tart. Spoon pastry cream on top. Add whipped cream. Spoon more caramel. Then arrange sliced bananas on the very top.
(adapted from The Crunkleton)
2 ounces bourbon
1 ounce heavy cream
1 ounce fresh lemon juice
1/2 ounce honey
1 fresh egg white
2 dashes of chocolate bitters
Shake all the ingredients vigorously. Add ice
and shake again. Strain into a chilled coupe.