EPISODE 4: Chicago Desserts — Something Old, Something Bold and Something Rock'n'roll!
- History of Elvis’ love of peanut butter, banana and bacon sandwiches — Elvis was known for having interesting cravings, the most famous of which was the peanut butter and banana sandwich. Some reports say that bacon was also a favorite addition to this sandwich. He would eat the sandwich often on Hawaiian bread, with the bacon crisped and the peanut butter lathered on. The Fool’s Gold Loaf is a spin on this classic, but no banana and with the addition of grape jelly. It is a hollowed out loaf of bread, filled with one jar of peanut butter, one jar of grape jelly and 1 pound of bacon. As the story goes, Elvis heard of this Fool’s Gold Loaf from a few men visiting his home, Graceland. This sandwich was actually created at the Colorado Mine Company in Denver, so Elvis and the men hopped on his jet that night to try the sandwich in person.
- Slurry — A slurry is a combination of a liquid, sometimes water, and a starch, usually flour or cornstarch, which is added to a hot mixture as a thickening agent. Combining the thickener with liquid ensures a smooth texture in the new mixture. When adding a slurry you want to stir it in and cook any raw flavors of starch out before serving.
- Tempering Eggs — Tempering eggs is a culinary process essential to the success of making puddings and custards. This process keeps eggs from being scrambled when added to a hot liquid. Start by whisking the eggs to combine the yolks and whites, then add a little bit of the hot liquid to the eggs while whisking. This “tempers” the heat slowly and warms the eggs. The mixture can then be added back to the original hot liquid and fully combined. When properly incorporated, eggs have thickening properties that will help bring a custard to the appropriate consistency.
- Capillary Action (when using a slurry with apples for strudel filling) – Capillary action is the ability of a liquid to flow against gravity where liquid spontaneously rises in a narrow space such as in porous materials.
- Phyllo (or Filo) Dough — Directly translated, the Greek word means “leaf.” It is paper-thin sheets of unleavened pastry dough used for both sweet and savory preparations in Greek and Middle Eastern cuisine. It is most known for being the dough in baklava and spanakopita.
- Worcestershire Sauce — Worcestershire sauce was originally bottled in Worcester, England, hence the name. It is a dark, thin liquid used to season meats, soups, stews and gravies; it is also used as a condiment. While there is no one formula for the sauce, it usually includes garlic, soy sauce, anchovies, molasses, onions, vinegar and various seasonings. It is pronounced WOOS-tuhr-shuhr or WOOS-tuhr-sheer.
- Demi-Glace — A rich brown sauce in French cuisine used by itself or as a base for other sauces. The term comes from the French word "glace," which, used in reference to a sauce, means icing or glaze. It is traditionally made by combining equal parts of veal stock and sauce espagnole, the latter being one of the five mother sauces of classical French cuisine, and the mixture is then simmered and reduced by half.