Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Around The World In 80 Days?

Procrastination, my long lost friend, it has been a while; 3 months if I'm correct? Ah how I miss putting off essays, projects, Spanish translations; till late at night with frustration leaking through my ears, mustering up the energy and attitude to complete my work. Oh how I appreciate our love-hate relationship; almost about to push me over the edge, but then pulling me back up with a 'B' or better after our late night flings. These warm summer months cooled the chemistry between us, but now as the school year approaches I feel the intensity of our old flame amplify each day. As I stare at The Kite Runner, knowing I'll have to finish annotating the remaining 217 pages that i dread to read, I find myself coyly flirty with you. I wonder if you remember those brisk autumn nights, or "Snowmagedon" the foot of snow causing you to come closer and to keep me from doing my AP World History till the snow had melted enough to return to school.

Today is yet another day that my you thwarted my efforts to read more than 3 pages of that wretched book. However you have caused me to search for an enjoyable project for me to spend future days on when we have our little dates. I've chosen to cook myself around the world, through 80 countries. A new recipe from a different location; everyday.Tomorrow I shall embark on my quest; starting with Algeria. O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!

Merry meet, and merry part, I bid you farewell.

Monday, August 30, 2010

A Bird In The Hand Is Worth Two In The Bush

Tonight, i was graced with the honor of feeding my best friend Maggie, after she had a long day of managing football. Someone got sent to the hospital and being the kinda girl she is she got nervous and wanted to do anything to help and stressed out. She deserved a nice meal at my house to take the edge off. I cut up some cherry tomatoes, grabbed some fresh basil from the garden, diced some onion and garlic and whipped up a sauce to put a-top perfect aldente fetticine.

Mags came in and said, "I'm so glad i have a foodie friend." We dined together in my living room enjoying family guy and then after we ate we enjoyed peppermint patties.

Thats Amore Tomato Sauce:

-3 tbs unsalted butter

-1/4 large onion, finely chopped

-2 cloves of garlic, minced

-1 c. cherry tomatoes, halved lengthwise

-1/2 tsp. nutmeg

-1 tsp. paprika

-1/2 tsp. ground black pepper

-1 tsp. salt

-1 handful fresh basil, about 1/2 cup of leaves

In a large skillet heat butter on medium-high heat. Add onions and garlic and cook for 5 mins. Toss in the tomatoes and sprinkle on the nutmeg and paprika; stir. Saute for about 10 mins, or until the tomatoes are slightly squishy. Stir in the salt, pepper, and basil, cook for an additional minute.
Viola, pour on top of some yummy pasta and enjoy with a friend !

Saturday, August 28, 2010

La Roux

While listening to some pre-workout jams consisting of Blink-182, Lady Gaga, and La Roux, I got to think about well, roux. You know, the thingy that makes soups and sauces thicken up? The basic formula for a roux is to heat butter, lard, alien fat, zombie, or other fat in a saucepan and slowly add an equal weight of flour. Then you have to gently stir until the flour granules evenly absorb the fat and the end result should be an even textured smooth paste. Then to add to the stock to make the sauce, you must slowly and gradually add the hot stock to the roux and whisk continually.

There are 3 types of roux; white,blond, and brown.
White roux is used to thicken white sauces, and you need to heat for a minute or two, only until bubbles devlop on the surface.
Blond roux is best for lighter sauces with chicken or fish entrees. To make just heat 3-4 mins till it reaches a pale blondish color.
Brown Roux is used for thickening brown sauces such as Bordelaise. Down in the good ol' South we like to use pan drippings instead of butter.

There are 5 mother sauces and, Marie-Antoine CarĂªme, is considered the founder of french cuisine. He made the mother sauces, and then created daughter sauces by adding spices, herbs, wine, etc. Here's the family tree [I would die without "Paint"] Oh BTW you gotta click on it to actually view the size where you can read it.


The Four Mother sauces are Bechamel [cream] sauce, Veloute [white] sauce, Hollandaise [butter] sauce, and Espagnole [brown] sauce.

Milk+White Roux= Bechamel sauce

White Stock+Blond Roux= Veloute sauce

Brown Stock+Brown Roux= Espagnole sauce

Clarified Butter+ Egg Yolk+ Lemon Juice= Hollandaise sauce

Now I like making a combination of mustard, butter, and flour to make a roux for my favorite mac n' cheese, then i take that roux and add milk, that makes it a Bechamel type sauce except then i melted various types of cheeses in it.

This post is kinda pointless because the only reson i'm posting this is because i was reading 101 Things I Learned in Culinary School last night like a toon.


Friday, August 27, 2010

What's The Secret?

I just don't understand...I followed the recipe to the dot, but it just doesn't taste right. I am talking about my great grandma Lucy's recipe for "Perfect Bread Pudding." I have no idea what i did, but its just wrong. Maybe The recipe I've tasted is a changed version of the original. Is Lucy like me and doesn't really use measurements usually and just wrote that recipe down as a guessitimation. Maybe i have to use a certain brand of bread, maybe i need more brown sugar or less vanilla? UGH. I'm ripping at my newly dyed hair, dying to figure this out [no pun intended]! The texture is spot on, so the milk to bread ration was fine, but why does my attempt at this taste so different from my Grandma's!? The flavor is good but its just not how its supposed to taste... Maybe I'm just not ready to learn this great family recipe, I'll probably attempt it in the next few days with a better plan of attack.
Well, here's the recipe to my Great Grandma Lucy's "Perfect Bread Pudding":

Perfect Bread Pudding:
-1 1/4 c. milk
-2 slightly beaten eggs
-2 c. day old bread, 1" cubes
-1/2 c. brown sugar
-1 tsp. vanilla
-1 tsp. cinnamon
-1/2 c. dark or golden raisins

preheat hotbox to 350

Combine milk, eggs and bread. Add sugar vanilla and cinnamon. Stir. Fold in raisins. Spread into a greased 8x8x2 pan. Place that pan in a shallow pan with an inch of water. Slide into the oven and cook for 30 to 40 mins; until a fork comes out clean when stuck in the middle.

Have with ice cream [I like having it with Ben and Jerry's Americone Dream designed by Stephen Colbert], whipped cream, or a brown sugar glaze.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Egg Rolls, Say What?

My day was an adventure with Mama, we hit the road to pay a day visit with my older brother, Lee, at his apartment up at school. We watch The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, and i cooked everyone dinner. Now at first i wasnt sure what to make, Lee suggested stir fry, so me and mama ran to the store to get the fixings. While we were there i came across these egg roll wraps; my mind smiled. I wanted to make egg rolls. I grabbed cabbage, carrots, green onions and radishes and plopped them in the cart.

Now I was thinking that this could go either way since I've never made egg rolls before, but I'm ballsy so I quite frankly didn't give a damn.

Once we got back i julliened the carrots, ciffonaded the cabbage, thinly sliced the raddishes, and chopped up the green onions. I then procceded to figure out how the hell you're supposed to wrap an egg roll.

First you place the egg roll wrap like a diamond and place the filling across the middle horozontally. Next you snugly fold the bottom flap of the wrap over top the filling. Then brush the sides with egg wash and fold the two sides in. Finally brush on some more eggwash on the edges and fold the top flap over and make sure the egg roll is sealled on all edges.

Egg Rolls To The Max:

-1 package of egg roll wraps

-1 head of cabbage

-2 long carrots

-1 small bunch of radishes

-5 green onions

-enough vegetable oil to cover the rolls during frying

Heat a large pot of oil on medium-high heat, ideally you want to get it to around 350 degrees F

Meanwhile take the head of cabbage and tear off the leaves, place them atop of one another and roll them into a cylinder shape, and slice. This is called a ciffonade, it will create ribbons of the cabbage. Juliene the carrots into thin match sticks, or buy them already precut into match sticks if you can. Slice the raddishes as thin as possible, use a mandoline if you have one. Cut off the green tops of the onions;discard. Slice the white and light green parts to use in the filling.

add the filling to the wraps and fold as instucted above ^

Now test the oil with a wooden spoon. Stick the end of a wooden spoon into the oil, if it bubbles all around it, then the oil is ready, if it doesnt, it needs to be hotter.

Fry until they're a light golden brown. Take out, brush with egg wash; put back into the oil and continue to fry until they are the crispness of your desire.

BTW they're called egg rolls because the wraps you use to make them are egg based.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Sweet Jesus, I Love My Great Grandma Lucy.

Today, i was at my Grandmas taking care of my Great Grandma Lucy, playing wii bowling, eating ravioli making her, her Jack Daniel's and Pepsi. I went to the fridge, and to my delight i found BREAD PUDDING. This is no ordinary bread pudding, this is my great grandmas bread pudding and I've tried so hard to replicate it but I've always failed. Well that all changed today, after I got home I started to snoop through collections of recipes Lucy gave to my Mama.

An hour later, I found the recipe card, in Lucy's crazy chicken scratch hand writing, for her "Perfect Bread Pudding." My heart smiled, my face brimmed with excitement, and i scream out in joy, "FUCKIN' A! I GOT THE RECIPE! VICTORY SAUCE!" A little inappropriate but hey, this has been one of the most delicious things I've ever eaten, and I now have the opportunity to master it like Lucy, and my Grandma, Sweetiepie. Unfortunately i don't have some of the things i need for the recipe today so i just decided to make some fresh bread to allow to become "day old" to use for the recipe.

Crusty Honey White Bread:
-2 eggs
-1 egg yolk
-enough lukewarm water
-5 3/4 c. white bread flour
-2 tsp. sugar
-2 tsp. salt
-2 tsp. active dry yeast
-4 tbs. butter, diced
-2 tbs. honey, i prefer either amber, or wildflower honey for this recipe

In a liquid measuring cup, lightly whisk the eggs and egg yolk together, then add enough lukewarm water to have 2 1/4 c. Now in a large bowl combine the flour, sugar, salt, and yeast. Add in the butter and combine with fingertips until it reaches the consistency of breadcrumbs. Next form a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in the egg mixture, stir until a dough forms. Toss onto a well floured surface, and knead for 10 mins. Place in a large, oiled bowl; cover with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm place for an hour.

Having a warm place for the dough to rise is essential for good bread. It allows the yeast to produce CO2 faster and make the bread rise better; but that's another story for another post.
To create a good space, place a bowl of piping hot water at the bottom rack of your oven, then place your bowl of dough on the top rack. The heat of the water creates an ideal environment for proper rising action.

Now that the dough has risen, knead for a minute. Form the dough so it's just as long as the pan, but three times as wide. Fold the dough in three length wise, place in a greased bread pan, and let rise covered in a warm place for an extra 30 mins, or until the dough rises above the pan. like so:

Meanwhile preheat the hot box to 425

After the dough has risen for the second time, brush the top with melted butter and sprinkle with a tsp of sugar and 1/2 tsp of salt. Slip into the oven and bake for 30 mins, or until the bread sounds hollow when it is tapped.

Ta da!, in a day or two, this bread will be transformed into the "Perfect Bread Pudding." Goodnight !

Monday, August 23, 2010

"Grub First, Then Ethics"

When I got back to my Mama's today, I found her doing a million different things, painting the living room, cooking, talking on the phone, giving my sister directions to her classes. It was pretty intense, I walked into the kitchen to find chicken stock boiling on the stove nothing in it, but it had the aroma of cinnamon. Confusion at its finest, I decided not to question and let my Mama do her thing. When i waltzed down later after an intense session of Dig Dug II, and The Legend of Zelda: A Link To The Past, I came across this Rigatoni in a cream sauce with spinach and sweet peas. I took a bite expecting it to be Alfredo or something, but it was this tangy, creamy, spiced, cream sauce. A perplexed expression arose on my face, and i called for Mama and asked what she made this out of. She was just like," I don't really know, Chicken stock, cinnamon, flour, sour cream, salt, pepper, spinach, peas, Parmesan." The two of us talked in the living room about it and finally figured out a general recipe for her creation.

Mama's Rigatoni With Sour Cream Sauce? :

-1 lb. Rigatoni, cooked al dente [means "to the teeth"]

-1 c. water

-3 c. chicken stock

-1/2 c. spinach

-1/2 c. sweet peas

-1 tsp. cinnamon

-1 tsp vanilla

-2 bay leaves

-2 tsp. each of salt, pepper, and paprika

-1 tsp garlic powder

-1/2 c. flour [May need more/less to thicken, this recipe is a guesstimation]

-16 oz. sour cream

- 2/3 cup grated Parmesan-Reggiano

In a large saucepan, pour in the chicken stock and water with the cinnamon, vanilla, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, simmer for 20 mins. Turn down the heat, and throw in the salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder, and flour. Whisk Vigorously till the flour dissolves. Add in the sour cream and Parmesan-Regiano, and Whisk until well combined. Remove from heat and let thicken, whisking occasionally.

Meanwhile, in a small pot, add in the spinach and peas, with just enough water to cook with, around 1/4 c. cook until the spinach is wilted and the peas are tender.

Add the vegetables to the sauce. Stir the sauce into the cooked Rigatoni. Serve; enjoy.

[Bertolt Brecht Quote For Title]

Sunday, August 22, 2010

"There Beneath The Blue Suburban Skies"

While i was downtown walking with my Papa, we walked by "The Penny Lane Pub" and decided to go in. This has to be one of the coolest places i have ever been. I am straight up in love with the Beatles, and this is a Beatles/British inspired pub, so i instantly fell in love. We sat at the bar and in front of us was a plaid wall with many many liquor bottles and Beatles memorabilia. They had the same yellow submarine figurines as i do in my room which was sweet. They also had a john Lennon figurine with angel wings, not to mention almost every song was a Beatles tune! They had extremely decent menu, Fish 'n' Chips, Cottage Pie, Beef Brisket Sandwich, Lamb Shank, Brie with Apricot-Cranberry Chutney, and my dad enjoyed the beer.


[The Beatles, Penny Lane Lyrics For Title]

Tri Harder

Had the Pink Power Triathlon today with my Mama, we tore it up. 1:15:11 for me and 1:23:26 for her. I got 3rd in my age group out of 10 other 16 to 19 year old girls. Had half a bagel with almond butter and my spiced plum jam for fuel. Going to restock my body with carbs later. Powered by pasta!

25% swim; 25% bike; 25% run; 25% tri; 100% heart.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Pesto is my homeboy

Fresh tomatoes and basil from the garden. They're like ice cold milk and an Oreo cookie, the perfect combination. I love using fresh basil to make pesto that i put on sandwiches, flat breads, eggs, and pasta.

Rachel's Pesto:

-1/2 c. olive oil
-2 c. fresh basil
-1 tbs fresh crushed rosemary
-1tsp salt

-3/4 c. shelled pistachios
-3 cloves of garlic, minced
-1/2 c. Parmesan-Reggiano, grated

Pulse the basil, rosemary, garlic, and salt five times in a food processor. Add in the pistachios, and Parmesan-Reggiano, blend until nuts are crushed and combined with the basil mixture. Drizzle in the olive oil and blend until emulsified. Pepper to taste.

Enjoy the tasty paste.

Friday, August 20, 2010

"Hello, Is Mercedes Here?"

Today was a busy, busy day, i spent a many hours with my best friend Mary at an amusement park riding roller coasters. Unfortunately we got lost on the way there...but we got there none the less. Who cares if we went 53 miles out of our way, we still had a great time. Well aside from how now we have no money because amusement parks are expensive.

When i got home the first thing i did was crash on the futon while listening to my Papa play Pink Floyd and Beatles tunes. however after a while i remembered that i wanted to make a strawberry goat cheese tart. So i made some pastry dough, hulled and quartered some strawberries, cut up a bit of goat cheese, formed my tart, and popped it in the hotbox. During the baking process some one knocked on my dads door, after i opened the door he gave me a sheepishly puzzled look and said, "Hello, is Mercedes here?" Obviously he had the wrong address, it was adorable, he appeared anxious to see her. After he left it was time to take my tart out! The cheese was ozing and lightly golden a top the perfectly seasoned starwberries all craddled in a tender crust.

I Goat Some Strawberries Tart:
-1 1/4 c. and 2 tbs. A.P flour
-5 tbs. butter or 1/3 c. vegetable shortening
-5 tbs. cold water.
-1 tsp. honey
-1/4 c. and 2 tbs. sugar
-1 c. strawberries, hulled and sliced into fourths
-1/4 tsp ground clove
-1/2 tsp crushed thyme
-a pinch of salt
-1-2 oz. goat cheese, crumbly chunks

Preheat hotbox to 375

Sift 1 1/4 cup flour into a medium bowl a. Drop the butter or shortening, honey, and 2 tbs. of sugar into the flour, then cut it with two table knives. To use knives, hold one in each hand; cut crosswise [that's in opposite directions] through mixture until the flour coated particles are the size of peas.Sprinkle 1 tbs of water over a small portion of the flour mixture, lightly pressing moistened particles together with a fork. Toss this dough aside in the bowl. Repeat until all flour is moistened, being careful to add water each time to undampened spot. Use only enough of the water to make the dough stick together when gently pressed. now lightly form one pastry ball, wrap in waked paper and chill for 30 mins.

Meanwhile, coat the strawberries in remaining sugar, flour, clove, thyme, and salt.

roll out the dough on a floured surfaced, form a circle till the dough is about 1/4 inch thick. Place on a buttered sheet pan and put the strawberries in the center and fold the sides over to keep the filling in place. Brush on some more honey on the dough. Cook for 30 mins. In the last 15 mins of cooking put the cheese on top of the tart, or if you want the cheese extra golden and caramalized put it on at the very begining of cooking.

Take out of the oven; transfer to a plate; slice; eat; enjoy.

I loves it!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

This Is My Happy Dance.

I'm a very cheerful kiddo right now, i finally have bagels and bread in my dads house! I've gone over 3 days without bread; it shouldn't have been legal. I mean all of this could have been avoided if my brother didn't take all my bagels and my yummies back to college with him. jerk. [i actually love my brother tons though.] My plum jam was amazing with cream cheese on my bagel. There was much rejoicing and i did my "Happy Dance."

Aside from the joy of baked goods, i cooked a roast chicken. I've actually never roasted a whole chicken myself before, i usually just help my dad since he likes to cook too. However i flew solo tonight and i indulged in my scrumptious results.

Roast Chicken and What-Not:
-1 roasting chicken
-2 tsp salt
-1 tsp black pepper
-2 tsp dried basil
-1 tsp cumin
-1 tsp coriander
-2 tsp paprika
-5 cloves of garlic chopped
-1/4 cup chicken broth + additional for keeping it moist later on in cooking

Preheat the hotbox to 375

First de-gut the bird then place the chicken in a roasting pan and smother that bird in them herbs! Next pour the broth over the chicken then pop into the oven. Cook for 20 mins per lb plus an extra 10 mins. While its roasting keep an eye on it and add additional

Viola yummy roast chicken!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

"Jam; And Jelly; And Bread; Are The Best of Food For Me!"

Today i was given the task of using these plums i had at my dads that had to be used today or tossed tomorrow. These are nice ripe, juicy tastey red plums, so guess what i made. Thats right, plum jam . Red plums are my personal fav. Itallian plums are nice too but there is something about the sweet yet tart flavor of red plums that really floats my fancy. I Gave a jar of trhe finished product to one of my best friends Maggie, so i hope she enjoys it!

Pectin Free Spiced Plum Jam:
-3 c. Plums, chopped and peeled
-2 tbs. lemon juice
-1 1/2 c. granulated sugar
-1/4 tsp. cinnamon
-1/4 tsp. ground clove
[if you don't want "spiced jam" then omit the spices ya Bimbo!]
To peel the plum get a large pot of boiling water and a bowl of ice water. Submerge each plum one at a time for 10 seconds or less in the boiling water then place in the ice water for a few seconds. Next just easily slid off the skins with your fingertips.

Now chop into small cubes and place in a medium saucepan with the lemon juice and cook for 5 mins on medium heat. Add in the sugar, spice, and everything nice, and try not to spill any chemical X in there. Continue to simmer on medium heat for 20 mins, stirring occasionally .

Now remove from heat and skim off the surface foam. For the final step pour into a jar and cool.

mmmm one of my favorite jams! Hope you like it as much as i do. Sorry the picture qaulity is lacking, my Dad doesnt have nice cannon cameras like my Mama. Goodnight.
[Edward Lear quote for title]

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Ode to Bacon

I don't feel to good today so no cooking for me, but here's a poem i wrote about bacon last year in English class.

Sizzling, savory bacon tantalizes my tongue.
It's like Christmas morning when you're young.
I hear it crackle and pop in the frying pan;
I will always be a fan,
Of bacon.
Bacon sings to me,
A melody of deliciosity.
It's like a siren which lures me to the kitchen.
I will always have an itchin',
For bacon.
If eating bacon was a crime,
I'd go to jail a thousand time.

A+ material right there for you.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Pepper Party

I'm at my Dad's for the week and our garden has flourished this summer. We have an overload of peppers. Cowhorns, Mexibells,Habeneros, and another kind who's name fleets from my memory. As a result of these bunches of peppers i was enlisted by my Papa to make salsa, and lots of it! I made 3 batches; hot, medium, and mild. All three delicious. First I roasted a multitude of peppers and garlic cloves, drizzled with olive oil at 350 degrees for about 10 mins or less. Each salsa started with a base of tomato paste, fresh cilantro, vinegar, salt, sage, rosemary, and ancho chili powder. The results were incredibly enjoyable. Fresh homemade salsa to the max!

I made the labels on photobucket :)

Medium Cowhorn-Mexibell Salsa:
-6 oz. tomato paste
-A handful of fresh cilantro
-3 tbs. dried cranberries
-4 tbs. white distilled vinegar
-1 1/2 tsp salt
-1 tsp. rubbed sage
-1 tsp. dried crushed rosemary
-1 tsp. cinnamon
- 2 tsp. chipotle chile powder
-2 tsp. Cayenne pepper
-3 roasted cowhorns
-2 roasted mexibells
-5 cloves roasted garlic
-half of a red onion [roughly chopped]
-2 medium fresh tomatoes [quartered]
-16 oz. can diced tomatoes [drained]

Put the tomato paste, cranberries, vinegar, and seasonings into the food processor, and combine until roughly smooth. Add in the roasted peppers and garlic and puree until the peppers and garlic are combined smoothly into the tomato paste mixture. Put in the red onion and fresh tomato quarters and pulse about 10 times. Finally add in the diced tomatoes and pulse another 10 times. Season to taste with chile powders, salt, herbs and/or pepper. Now you have yourself some fine and dandy salsa.

I bid you a fond farewell.

I'm not voracious; only peckish.

I'm at a loss of things t do before my Dad comes to pick me up, so I've decided to make of a list of things i want in my kitchen.These are all adorable things from www.fredflare.com

Russian Doll Measuring Cups:

Cute Tatter Herb Planter:

Panda Skillet:

BBQ Sword:

[Miguel De Cervantes Quote for Title]

Sunday, August 15, 2010

A Day At The Drag.

It was a lovely Sunday morning, i slowly crept out of bed, had some peppermint tea, listened to Vivaldi, and got ready to go to Godfrey's. Godfrey's is a gay club that has a drag brunch every Sunday, and today was the day I lost my "Godfrey's virginity." For those of you who are unaware of what a drag brunch is, its when you eat brunch while watching a fabulous Drag Queen [Transvestite] performance.

When you first get to Godfrey's, you must wait outside the doors and wait for your reservation to be called by a fabulous drag beauty. Once you're inside you go to your table and a waiter takes your drink order. They had a selection of Bloody Marys and Mimosas, which my Mama enjoyed, but I had iced tea while my best friend Mary sipped on coffee. Their brunch menu is quite delectable, Quiche, Salmon, French Toast, Mushroom Quesadilla, Eggs Benedict, and a few more things which escape me at the moment. I had the Eggs Benedict. The two poached eggs were cooked exquisitely, the perfect texture and runny-ness, and the hollandaise sauce was delicious. The Toasted Cuban bread was perfect for sopping up the run over yolk, and the country ham balanced the flavor together.

After the orders are taken The Divas start the show! Preforming to a multitude of songs with a variety of different styles and outfits. These divas are damn pretty, prettier than lots of girls. Not to mention the man running the show was hilarious, making the perfect toasts such as "Here's to you and here's to me. Friends may we always be. But, if by chance we disagree, Up yours! Here's to me!" He also made a point to rag on the men who got brought there by their wives or girlfriends. It was a great experience, and my mother and I are planning to make it a tradition to go there.

So If you're looking for a damn good time on a Sunday instead of going to church, head over to a drag brunch and have yourself a damn good time with your friends.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

"I love chicken. I would eat chicken fingers on Thanksgiving if it were socially acceptable."

I was browsing through my fridge tonight figuring out how i wanted to prepare these chicken breasts i had. I looked to the top shelf, and a large container of plump ripe blueberries was staring me in the face. Then it hit me a mustard rosemary blueberry roast chicken. Yeah i know not the most common thing, but my thought process is odd therefore i create odd dishes. so i created a mustard based marinade slathered it on the chicken topped it with blueberries, slid it in the oven for 30 minutes, let some shredded asiago melt on it, and viola! It was moist, delicious and the contrasting flavor of the mustard and blueberries perplexed me in the best of delicious ways.

Roasted Mustard Blueberry Chicken:
-2 chicken breasts
-2 tsp. olive oil
-2 tbs. Dijon mustard
-2 cloves garlic, crushed
-1/2 tsp. cinnamon
-2 tsp. fresh rosemary, finely chopped.
-A handful of fresh blueberries
-Grated Asiago cheese

Preheat the hotbox [oven] to 375 degrees

Using a fork poke holes in the top and bottom of the chicken breast. Rub a teaspoon of olive oil on each breast then salt and pepper to your liking. In a small bowl combine the mustard, garlic, cinnamon, rosemary, and a pinch of salt. coat each side of the breasts with mustard mixture. Place on a rimmed baking sheet and top with blueberries. Roast in the oven for 30 mins or until the thickest part reaches around 160 degrees. top with grated cheese and put back in the hotbox until it melts nicely atop your scrumptious chicken.

Enjoy with a salad or rice. Good night.

[Todd Barry quote for title]

Monday, August 9, 2010

Ohio Grows Their Corn In Love

Ohio was most excellent, fabulous weather,farmers market produces, Boeuf Bourguignon, Cherry Pie, Laning's Restaurant, Shopping, Family, and the most delicious plump sweet corn i have ever devoured.

This simple vegetable picked up from the farmers market, was so juicy, sweet, delectable, tantalizing, scrumptious, taste bud rapping deliciousity. By Far the best corn i have ever had off the cob, no butter or salt needed, and that's saying something. I also think it has to do with how my Grammy cooks it, she adds a tablespoon or so of sugar into the boiling water when she adds the corn and it makes the flavor explode.

Aside from that mind blowing corn, I enjoyedBoeuf Bourguignon i made using the new cookbook i got in Ohio called The Cook's Bible: the definitive cook's guide [recipe follow]. It was entirely incredible, My mother, brother, Grammy, && Grandpa Joe all loved it. My Grandpa even did the dishes, which he only does after an exceptionable meal.

Boeuf Bourguignon:
-2 tbs. olive oil
-6 oz. unsmoked bacon or fatback, sliced into thin strips
-3 lbs. stewing beef, cut into 2-inch pieces
-2 large carrots, sliced
-1 onion, chopped
-2 cloves minced garlic
-3 tbs. flour
-4 c. red wine
-1 c. beef stock
- 1 bouquet garni sachet
-2 tsp. salt
-1 tsp. pepper
-1 tsp. marjom
-pinch of cinnamon
-12 oz. pearl onions
-12 oz. white mushrooms

Heat the oil in a large, oven proof casserole dish or dutch oven, over medium heat. Add and brown bacon for 2-3 mins. Remove with slotted spoon, and set aside. Add the beef in batches to cook until browned, then remove and keep warm with bacon. Add the carrots and chopped onions to casserole and cook for 5 mins. Add the garlic and cooki until just colored. Return the meat and bacon to the casserole . Sprinkle on the flour and stir, while cooking, for 1 min. Add the wine, enough stock to cover, the boquet garni, and the salt, pepper, and marjom. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer gently for 3 hours on a low heat.

Heat half the butter in a skillet. Add pearl onions, cover, and cook until softened. Remove with a slotted spoon and keep warm. Heat the remaining butter in the skillet. Add the mushrooms and cook briefly. Remove and keep warm.

Strain the casserole liquid into a clean pan. Remove the surface fat from the coking liquid, simmer for 1 to 2 mins. to reduce, then pour over the meat and vegetables. Serve in a big bowl with scalloped or roasted potatoes as a side.

Enjoy with a nice big piece of crusty bread!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

"There's Something About Ohio That I Can't Help But Love"

Tomorrow Mama and I are heading past the Mason-Dixon line to go to Ohio! I love going up there. I get to see family, and there's just something enchanting about it, the smell, the look, the air (so much less humid than VA.) I cant remember the last time went up in the summer, i usually go up for thanksgiving, so Ive only seen it in the cold and snowy weather, but i feel its gonna be even more awe inspiring since its summer.

Here are a few things I'm going to do:

-Go to epic diners and dives with Mama on are way there and back.
-Hug My Gramy Jane and Grandpa Joe,and Gramps, Aunts, Uncles, 1st cousins, 2nd cousins, and 3rd cousins.
- make a strawberry goat cheese tart
- make boeuf bourguignon
-Try and find a chef coat or two for Tech Center this year.
-play football and what not
-paint a new picture
-take lots of photos
- Run and then run some more

I'm hitting the road bright and early tomorrow at 6am, so i bid you goodnight.

[Chase Coy lyrics for title]