Recipes for “A Season for Cinnamon”
The challenge ingredient was Cinnamon. Try to use Ceylon Cinnamon when at all possible for the best and purest flavor. The focus of the following recipes and menu was to investigate cultures and food societies that utilize Cinnamon predominately in their cuisines. Thus the headings for each recipe. Eight courses were considered. The following recipes were created Nov. 11 from 4:05 p.m. to 7:35 p.m., and prepared and served Nov. 12. They are all unique to Chef Corey and The French Manner and are reproduced here for Yellow Scene Magazine. Where salt is mentioned, use Italian Sea Salt (unless Kosher is called for). For pepper, use Tellicherry Pepper, freshly ground. Common and traditional methods and techniques are utilized.
For the Cinnamon-Garlic Oil
(to be used for flavoring throughout the menus):
• 8 ea. Sticks of Ceylon Cinnamon
• 12 cloves Garlic
• 1 qt. Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
• Italian Sea Salt & Fresh Ground Tellicherry Pepper
Infuse cinnamon and garlic into extra virgin olive oil, 130-150 degrees oil temperature. Let mixture stand overnight. Reserve Garlic cloves for use in Chimmi-Churri (recipe follows).
Chips & Dips
Spice-Roasted Pumpkin Puree, Raspberry and Brie Cheese Fondue, Roasted Pepper and Chimmi-Churri Pesto with Cinnamon-Garlic Oil-Fried Naan
Spice-Roasted Pumpkin Puree:
• 1 ea. Any seasonal hard pumpkin or squash
• Cinnamon-Garlic Oil (see recipe later)
• Kosher Salt and Freshly Cracked Black Pepper
Cut rind off squash. Remove seeds from large round end of squash or pumpkin. Boil seeds to remove the membrane surrounding them and to soften seeds. Dry seeds and roasted with some of the Cinnamon-Garlic Oil and salt and pepper until deep golden brown, approx. 20 minutes. Reserve seeds for Quail with Mole (2nd Course). Cut pumpkin into ½ -inch dice and roast on silpat and baking sheet with Cinnamon-Garlic Oil and bake until soft. When soft, puree in blender with Cinnamon-Garlic Oil until soft puree. Push puree through tamis until ultra-sexy. Reheat in microwave for service.
Raspberry & Brie Cheese Fondue:
• 1# Triple Cream Brie
• 1 cup Heavy Cream
• ½ cup Fresh Raspberries
Remove rind from brie. Discard rind. Gently melt brie in double boiler, whipping with a spoon, often. Heat cream with raspberries in another pot and slowly whisk hot raspberry cream into the brie. Serve warm and fluid, like fondue.
Roasted Pepper & Chimmi-Churri Pesto:
• 1# Sweet Peppers
• Cinnamon-Garlic Oil
• Salt and Pepper
• ½ bunch Italian Parsley
• 12 cloves Garlic (use garlic cloves from the Cinnamon-Garlic Oil – see recipe later)
Sauté peppers in Cinnamon-Garlic Oil and salt and pepper and then finish peppers in 375-degree oven until soft. Remove seeds and stems from peppers. Puree peppers with parsley garlic and Cinnamon-Garlic Oil. Season with salt and pepper. Reheat in microwave at service.
For the Cinnamon-Garlic Oil-Fried Naan:
• Cinnamon-Garlic Oil
• Pre-made Naan
Heat a cast-iron pan VERY hot. Brush Naan with Cinnamon-Garlic Oil. Fry Naan until hot, sprinkle with Kosher Salt and serve with above dips.
First Course: Oriental
Cinnamon, Cardamom & Basmati Rice Smoked Duck Breast with Tamarind Glaze, Spicy Soy, Garlic & Galangal Duck Broth, Braised Bok Choy, Roasted Mushroom and Cinnamon-Infused Roasted Sticky Pineapple
Cinnamon, Cardamom & Basmati Rice Smoked Duck Breast:
Cure duck breast(s) in a cure of equal parts sugar and salt in four times water with cinnamon sticks, mint and star anise. Boil cure until clear and then cool, marinating the cinnamon, mint and star anise in it. Cure duck for at least 6 hours. Let duck sit uncovered in refrigerator to dry and cool. Season duck with salt and pepper and smoke duck over Basmati Rice, crushed Cardamom Pods, White Peppercorns and Cinnamon Sticks until aromatic, approx 10 minutes. Brush with Cinnamon-garlic Oil and refrigerate until cool. When cold, score the skin, without cutting into the meat, in cross-hatched pattern.
Tamarind Glaze, Spicy Soy, Garlic & Galangal Duck Broth:
Peel two Tamarind Pods from their brown husks. Boil pods in lemon water until soft and rub paste off of seeds. Reduce paste in lemon water until syrupy. Season with Salt and Pepper and reserve.
• 1 qt. Duck Stock
• 12 cloves Garlic, peeled
• 1 T. Red Chili Flakes
• 1 T. Dark Sesame Oil
• 2 T. Soy Sauce
• 1 t. Rice Wine Vinegar
• 4 oz. Galangal and Ginger, pureed
• 6 sticks toasted Cinnamon Sticks
• Reserved Mushroom juices, from method below.
Bring Duck Stock to near boil with all ingredients. Turn stock down to low simmer and marinate/infuse for 1 hour. Season with salt and pepper. Reserve.
Braised Bok Choy and Roasted Cremini Mushroom:
Blanch Bok Choy and shock in ice water. Braise with Spicy Soy Duck Broth, butter and salt and pepper. Brush mushrooms clean and “squeal” in hot, dry pan. When mushrooms exude their moisture, add several trimmed scallions to the pan, drizzle with Cinnamon-Garlic Oil and salt and pepper, and roast in hot oven until done. Set aside on warm plate. When juices collect on plate, add to Spicy Duck Broth. Reserve scallions and mushrooms on a warm plate for presentation.
Cinnamon-Infused Roasted Sticky Pineapple:
Cut pineapple into ½ inch dice, brush with Cinnamon-Garlic Oil and sprinkle with 1 t. ground cinnamon, salt and pepper and roast in oven on silpat. Brush every 5 minutes with oil and roast until sweet and sticky. Reserve.
Second Course: Mexican:
Cinnamon-Smoked Grilled Quail with Zucchini, Corn & Poblano Succotash, a Smoked-Cinnamon, Apple Cider, Tomato & Chocolate Mole with Roasted Yam Puree and Green Onion Sour Cream, topped with Cinnamon-Fried Pumpkin Seeds
Cinnamon-Smoked Grilled Quail:
Lay several Cinnamon sticks onto a grate over coals or flames on a gas grill. When smoking, lay quail (partially boned, brushed with Cinnamon-Garlic Oil and salt and pepper) onto hot grill and brown well—not fully cooked. Reserve on warm plate.
Zucchini, Corn & Poblano Succotash:
Char corn-on-the-cob over flames on gas grill. Take kernels off cob. Char poblano peppers, same way as corn. Peel skins. Char baby zucchini and dice all vegetables ¼ inch.
Sauté onions and garlic and toss with charred vegetables. Drizzle with Cinnamon-garlic Oil, season with Ground Cinnamon and salt and pepper. Reserve.
Smoked-Cinnamon, Apple Cider, Tomato & Chocolate Mole:
• 6 ea. Roma Tomatoes, roasted & drizzled with Cinnamon-garlic Oil and salt and pepper.
• 1 ea. Tomatillo, roasted as the Romas above.
• 1 qt. Apple Cider, reduced to 2 cups.
• 1 ea. Onion, large dice, roasted with Cinnamon-Garlic Oil until Caramelized
• 4 cloves Garlic, roasted with Cinnamon-Garlic Oil until Caramelized
Puree the above ingredients. Add:
• 4 ea. Cinnamon Sticks, smoked over hot grill
• 1# Chocolate, melted
Reduce and strain until sauce consistency. Reserve.
Roasted Yam Puree:
Smash several Cinnamon sticks into raw, unpeeled Yams and brush with Cinnamon-Garlic Oil and salt and pepper. Roast in 375 degree oven until soft (1 ½ hours). Peel off skin (remove the Cinnamon sticks…) and rough chop meat. Puree in blender with cinnamon-Garlic oil until smooth. Push through a tamis until very silky. Reserve.
Green Onion Sour Cream:
Wilt 24 green onions in Cinnamon-Garlic Oil. Puree with 8 ounces of Sour Cream and salt and pepper. Season with lemon zest and lemon juice and ground Cinnamon, to taste.
Cinnamon-Fried Pumpkin Seeds:
See method above, under Roasted Spicy Pumpkin. Use as garnish with oregano leaves, individual leaves.
Third Course: Intermezzo
Toasted Cinnamon & Carrot Sorbet in Test Tubes
with Vanilla-Brandied Citrus Supremes and Skewered Frozen Cantaloupe Balls
Toasted Cinnamon & Carrot Sorbet:
Juice 12 carrots in juicer. Toast 6 Cinnamon sticks in hot oven. Infuse cinnamon sticks in juice overnight. Freeze in ice cream maker as per machine’s instructions.
Vanilla-Brandied Citrus Supremes:
Infuse 1 split vanilla bean in 4 oz. good brandy overnight. Segment one grapefruit and 1 orange. Squeeze juice of each citrus fruit over the segments. At service, place the segments on a plate and drizzle with citrus juice and vanilla brandy.
Skewered Frozen Cantaloupe Balls:
Peel cantaloupe and make ½ inch balls with parisienne scoop. Drizzle with Cinnamon-Garlic Oil and salt and pepper. Freeze on skewers. Serve in Test Tubes with tempered (partially thawed) sorbet.
Fourth Course: Fall-in-New England
Cinnamon-Infused Lobster Risotto with “Just-Warm” Shaved Scallops, Raw Pear and Apple Parisiennes, Cinnamon-Blanched Brussels Sprout Leaves, and a drizzle of Cinnamon-Garlic extra virgin olive oil.
Cinnamon-Infused Lobster Risotto with “Just-Warm” Shaved Scallops:
• 1 T. Cinnamon-Garlic oil
• 2 T. Shallots
• 4 cloves Garlic, minced
• 4 ea. Cinnamon Sticks
• ¼ C. Brandy
• 1 ½ C. Arborio rice
• 3 C. Chicken Stock
• 2 C. Lobster Bisque
•1 C. Fumet
• Grated Parmingiano-Reggiano
• 3 tails Lobster, cut into medallions
• 4 ea. Scallops, U-8, sliced thinly along equator• Room-temperature butter, in cubes
• Minced Chives
• Cinnamon-Garlic Oil
• Salt and pepper
Heat large saucepan (or sautoir) with Cinnamon-garlic oil. Sweat shallots and garlic. Add rice and toast in fond. Add brandy and ignite. Flambé. Add fumet and bisque together. Reserve. Add chicken stock by cups to rice and stir with wooden spoon, over low heat. Cook until almost dry, adding more liquid. When rice is nearly cooked, switch cooking liquid to bisque and fumet. When rice is nearly al dente (“to the tooth”), remove risotto from heat. Add lobster meat to rice and let the residual heat warm and cook the lobster, very slowly. Adjust consistency of risotto with hot lobster bisque/fumet liquid. When risotto is done and ready for service, add fresh grated parmigaino-reggiano cheese and butter cubes (off the heat) for shine and flavor. Season accordingly. Spoon risotto into small bowl with the lobster tail medallions. Lay very thin slices of scallop over the risotto and top with more rice. Drizzle with Cinnamon-Garlic Oil, more parm cheese, chives, warmed Brussels sprouts leaves, pear and apple balls, and fresh cracked pepper.
Raw Pear and Apple Parisiennes:
•1 ea. Bosc Pear
•1 ea. Braeburn Apple
Using a ½ -inch parisienne scoop, make full round orbs of the fruit. Reserve in cold water with parsley stems. Use as topping and crunch for risotto, above.
Cinnamon-Blanched Brussels Sprout Leaves:
• 8 ea. Brussels Sprouts
Remove stem end from sprouts. Peel of 2-3 outer leaves from sprout and blanch. Shock leaves and dry. Drizzle with cinnamon-garlic oil. Reserve until needed.
Cinnamon-Garlic Extra Virgin Olive Oil:
• 8 ea. Sticks of Ceylon Cinnamon
• 12 cloves Garlic
• 1 qt. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
• Kosher Salt amd Fresh Ground Tellicherry Pepper
Infuse cinnamon and garlic into extra virgin olive oil
Fifth Course: Italian
Red Banana, Butternut Squash, Turkish Apricot, Fig & Date Crostata with Toasted Anise & Polenta Crust and Lemon & Cinnamon Yoghurt Sorbet topped with Cinnamon Tuile “Cinnamon Sticks”
Red Banana, Butternut Squash, Turkish Apricot & Date Crostata and Toasted Anise and Polenta Crust:
For the Topping
• 1-1/2 cups pastry flour (1/2 pound)
• Scant 3/4 cup polenta (1/4 pound)
• 1/2 cup granulated sugar (3-1/2 ounces)
• Large pinch salt
• 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
• 1 teaspoon aniseeds, toasted
• 1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
• 1 large egg, lightly beaten
For the filling:
• 1 pound butternut squash, cut into 1-inch pieces
• 1 pint mixed dates, apricots, raisins, and figs
• 2 large, ripe red bananas, cut into 1-inch pieces
• 2/3 cup granulated sugar
• 2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
• 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
• 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 teaspoon aniseeds, toasted
• Freshly grated zest of 1/2 orange
• Freshly grated zest of 1 lemon
• Juice of 1/2 lemon
• Vanilla gelato or sweetened whipped cream (optional)
Preheat the oven to 375°F.
To make the topping, measure the flour, polenta, sugar, salt, baking powder, and aniseeds into a food processor or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the butter and pulse or mix on medium/low speed until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and make a well in the center. Pour the egg into the well and toss the egg and flour together lightly and thoroughly with your fingers until evenly mixed. The mixture will not adhere in the manner of a dough but will clump together if pressed in your palm. Set aside until needed.
To make the filling, combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and toss until well mixed. Turn into a 2-quart shallow baking dish. Sprinkle the topping over the filling in an even layer. Do not press down. Place the dish on a baking sheet to catch the drips and place in the oven. Bake until the juices are bubbling up around the topping and the top is crisp and golden brown, about 1 hour.
Note: Red bananas have a red-brown skin and are fairly soft when ripe. They are more aromatic and have a more yellow color and a more custardy texture than yellow-skinned bananas. Give bananas a discreet pinch before you buy. Unripe bananas will not soften during baking, but remain fibrous. If you choose to bake the dessert in individual dishes, cut the baking time by about half.
Lemon & Cinnamon Yogurt Sorbet:
• ½ C. Sugar
• 1 C. Water
• 4 ea. Cinnamon Sticks
• 2 C. Plain Yogurt
• ¼ C. Lemon Juice
•Grated zest of 2 lemons
Cook sugar and water and cinnamon sticks. Infuse the simple syrup with the cinnamon overnight. Add the syrup with the yogurt and lemon juice and freeze in an ice cream machine.
Cinnamon Tuile “Cinnamon Sticks”:
• 3 oz. Butter (room temperature)
• 3 oz. Powdered Sugar
• 3 oz. Egg Whites
• 3 oz. Pastry Flour
• 2 T. Ground Ceylon Cinnamon
Cream sugar and butter. Add egg whites in small amounts until smooth. Mix flour and cinnamon together and add to batter by tablespoons. Make a template of an unrolled cinnamon stick, 4-inches by 2 ½ -inches, out of a manila folder. Spread the batter into the template onto a silpat mat and bake until brown in a 350 degree oven. Roll into the shape of a cinnamon stick and cool.