A Short Story with Salted Radishes

I found these images among so many others I had forgotten about the other day. They are from our last trip to Amsterdam to visit Wouter’s mother together.  Soon after this visit Elizabeth died. but I saw these photos and remembered going to the market and returning to her house overlooking a beautiful canal right in the city with a bag of  great cheeses, bread and these fresh, crisp radishes.

The three of us ate them as they are best eaten….very cold with a dusting of sea salt. Biting into a salted radish is a delight to the palate. Crunchy, a bit peppery and salty, they are the perfect, simple appetizer to serve on a warm early summer day with a glass of cold wine or beer. A good aged Gouda and bread round it all out.

It is funny how food can be such a memorable part of our personal histories.  Recalling what you eat, with whom, where you enjoyed it and when is a fine thing indeed. So these salted radish images reminded me of this and what a fine early summer afternoon Wouter, Elizabeth and I had just sitting and talking, sipping our drinks and enjoying each others company laughing and telling stories while every so often biting into a radish.

Bon Appetit.

“My G7 Chocolate-Black Peppercorn-Orange Madeleine”

madeleines

In my little kitchen here on 5th Avenue I do not have “Night Watch” as a background, nor do I look out over a restful, flowing canal. I am not meeting with heads of state, but I did to manage to have my very own culinary “G7” meeting this week.

 A French Madeleine tin, Chocolate from Ghana given to me as a gift from dear friends (see photo below) of Wouter’s who live in Amsterdam, marketed as “Tony’s Chocolonely”…..

Case & Annemieke
Kees & Annemieke…good friends…good company…good people. Annemieke is a fantastic illustrator…take a look.

….Kerrygold Butter from Ireland, Madagascar Vanilla Extract,  Black Peppercorns from India and eggs hatched right here in Tennessee..a Food on Fifth G7!

Since finding a Madeleine Tin (made in France stamped underneath) at a Thrift store last year I have intended to try it out. I adore Madeleines…whenever I go to a bakery that sells them I will choose these little seashell shaped tea cakes every time. The crispy edges…the slight aroma of vanilla…not overly sweet…delicate in all ways is the Madeleine. They always remind me of the teacakes my Mother would make for us as children in West Tennessee, but way better…and French.  Why not add some really good chocolate? No?….oui!

Ingredients for “G7 Madeleines”

1/2 cup melted butter, 2/3 cup sugar, 2 tsp vanilla extract, 4 ounces good quality 70% pure chocolate melted, 3 eggs room temp, 1 cup all-purpose flour mixed with 1 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp freshly ground black peppercorns, 1 tbsp fresh orange zest + extra butter to grease the Madeleine tin

Chocolate from GhanaTony's...Chocolate Bar

Madeleine Ingredients

Directions: 2 hours before baking make the batter

1. Cream butter & sugar together until light & fluffy using a stand or hand mixer. Add in vanilla extract & melted chocolate while mixer is running. Turn mixer to low.

2. Add in eggs one at a time until well blended.  Mixture should be light in color and very fluffy.

3.  Fold the flour mixture, the ground black pepper & the orange zest into the butter-chocolate mixture very gently. Cover batter with plastic & chill 1 to 2 hours.

DSC_6786Batter for Madeleines with Freshly ground black pepper from IndiaOrange Zest

4. When ready to bake preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter the Madeleine tin well using softened butter. Remove batter from the refrigerator.

Batter and Madeleine pan

5. Use a spoon to fill each “shell” with batter. When batter is baking it will melt and fill in the shape of the tin. (Another method is to put the batter in a piping bag and pipe batter into the shells.)

Chocolate Madeleine batter

6. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Remove tin from oven and turn Madeleines out onto a kitchen towel to cool. If you have extra batter (I did) then let tin cool, re-butter and repeat baking process. This recipe made about 16 Madeleines.

baked Madeleines

Chocolate Madeleines

Soft and pillowy with crispy thin edges…chocolate with just a hint of orange & black pepper..international & local…a culinary G7!

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“Night Watch” (The Shooting Company of Frans Banning Cocq) by Rembrandt van Rijn 1642

Bon Appetit Y’all