CHILLED SPANISH WHITE GAZPACHO
Serves 4 to 6
We’ve had customers from all over, even from Spain, proclaim this gazpacho the best.
2 pounds seedless
green grapes, stemmed
½ cup whole blanched almonds
2 garlic cloves
6 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
3 tablespoons good-quality sherry vinegar
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
1¼ teaspoons kosher salt
2 English cucumbers, cut crosswise into
1- to 2-inch pieces
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus
1½ to 2 tablespoons for finishing
Working in batches, combine the grapes, almonds, garlic, cilantro, vinegar, lime juice, and salt in a blender and pulse until the almonds and garlic are chopped but not too finely. Add the cucumbers and pulse again until the cucumbers are blended. Do not overblend; you want the soup to have some texture. Using a spatula or wooden spoon, stir in the 3 tablespoons of oil.
Refrigerate for at least 1 hour to chill the soup and to allow the flavors to blend. Taste and add salt, if necessary. Ladle into bowls and drizzle each with about 1 teaspoon oil before serving. The soup will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
SLOW-BAKED ATLANTIC SALMON
This is the absolute best way to cook salmon. It’s a technique that Chef Aniceto Sousa of our Central Square location taught me after his years at a four-star French restaurant.
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1½ pounds salmon fillet with skin intact, cut into 4 equal pieces
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon pepper
With a rack in the middle position, preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Smear a baking sheet with 1 to 2 teaspoons of oil and place the salmon, skin side down, on the baking sheet.
Drizzle about half of the remaining oil over the salmon and sprinkle evenly with the salt and pepper. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the fish turns opaque and feels firm when you press the thickest part. The baking time will depend on the thickness of the fillet. Keep in mind that even after the fish comes out of the oven, it will continue to cook because of carry-over cooking (retained heat).
Remove the salmon from the oven and baste it with the remaining oil. Squeeze the lemon half over the salmon pieces and let the fish rest on the baking sheet for 5 to 8 minutes before serving.
BITTERSWEET CHOCOLATE-ESPRESSO TERRINE
Serves 8 to 10
Nonstick cooking spray or butter, for the pan
¾ cup plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
2½ ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate (68 percent cacao), chopped
½ cup brewed espresso
3 large eggs
3 egg yolks
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ cup confectioners’ sugar, for finishing
Lightly sweetened whipped cream, for serving
With a rack in the center of the oven, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cut a parchment-paper circle to fit the bottom of an 8-inch cake pan. Coat the pan bottom with nonstick cooking spray or butter the bottom, then line pan with the parchment circle.
Put the butter and the unsweetened and bittersweet chocolates in a medium metal or heatproof glass bowl and place the bowl over (not touching) barely simmering water in a medium saucepan. Heat, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth. Remove the bowl from the heat and whisk in the espresso. Let cool for about 20 minutes.
In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the whole eggs, yolks, granulated sugar, and salt until combined. Pour the chocolate mixture into the egg mixture and fold together until thoroughly combined. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
Place the cake pan in a larger roasting pan and pour hot water into the roasting pan to reach about halfway up the sides of the cake pan. (The water bath helps the cake to bake slowly and gently, which leads to a smoother-textured cake.) Carefully transfer the nested pans to the oven and bake for 40 to 50 minutes, or until the cake is mostly set when you jiggle it. Remove the pans from the oven and leave the cake pan in the water bath for about 1 hour, or until the cake has cooled. Remove the cake pan from the water, cover the pan with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours to firm up.
Remove the cake from the refrigerator. Invert a flat serving plate on top of the pan and flip the pan and plate together. Rap the pan on the counter to pop out the cake and carefully peel off the parchment. Using a sieve, dust the top of the cake with the confectioners’ sugar. Use a thin knife dipped in hot water and wiped dry to slice the cake; serve cold with the whipped cream. The cake can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
Excerpted from Flour, Too: Indispensable Recipes for the Cafe’s Most Loved Sweets & Savories, by Joanne Chang, Chronicle Books (2013). Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.