Wednesday, August 29, 2007
"Apple and celery root bring subtle sweetness to these potato pancakes. Since potatoes will discolor soon after they are grated (from exposure to oxygen); onions are added to mix their juices and prevent the discoloration. The key to great potato-pancake texture is squeezing out as much moisture as possible from the grated potatoes. Wrap them in a dish towel and squeeze hard, then do it again. The drier the potatoes, the crispier the potato pancakes. When frying the pancakes, press down a bit; that will help them brown and fry. [Serve these as a side dish, or turn them into an elegant appetizer by topping them with creme fraiche, smoked salmon, and chives.] Makes about 16.
1 pound russet potatoes, peeled, cut into 1 /2-inch pieces
1 medium onion, peeled, quartered
1 2-inch cube peeled celery root (celeriac)
1 medium unpeeled Granny Smith apple, quartered, cored
1 large egg
1 green onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh marjoram
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 cup all purpose flour
Vegetable oil (for frying)
Preheat oven to 325°F. Place baking sheet in oven. Place colander in large bowl. Line colander with kitchen towel. Using processor fitted with grating disk, coarsely grate potatoes, onion, celery root, and apple together. Transfer potato mixture to towel. Gather towel tightly around potato mixture and squeeze out as much liquid as possible into bowl; discard liquid. Place potato mixture, egg, green onion, marjoram, salt, and pepper in same bowl; toss to combine. Mix in flour.
Pour enough vegetable oil into heavy large skillet to cover bottom, and heat over medium-high heat. Working in batches, drop 1/4 cup pancake mixture into skillet for each pancake. Using bottom of metal spatula, flatten each mound to 3-inch round. Fry until cooked through and crisp, about 3 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels, then transfer pancakes to baking sheet in oven to keep warm. Repeat with remaining pancake mixture, leaving behind any liquid that collects in bottom of bowl."
My interpretation of Bon Appetite's recipe is pictured above along with some Mott's apple sauce, a dollop of sour cream, and a wedge of fresh Michigan melon wrapped in Prosciutto (Costco's, of course).
pasta with leeks and prosciutto
-8 oz spaghetti
-4 tbsp butter
-2 med leeks (about a pound), white and light green parts only, quartered lengthwise and cut into 2" strips, cleaned vigorously
-2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
-2 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto (either from the deli or prepackaged) cut into thin strips or further cut into little flat squares of happiness for easier integration into the pasta
when i say cleaned vigorously i mean it, leeks are notoriously sandy. i like to fill my whole sink with cold water, toss the chopped leeks in there, swirl them around, then let the grit settle. then i remove them and let them drain on a paper towel. please buy me a salad spinner.
i like to break the pasta at least in 1/2 before boiling to make mixing all the ingredients easier. while the pasta is cooking, cook the leeks (seasoned with S&P) in 1 tbsp of the butter in a pan large enough to mix all the ingredients. when the pasta is done, drain and reserve 1/2 cup of the water. add pasta, lemon juice, and prosciutto to the leeks with the remaining 3 tbsp of butter, mixing well and seasoning with S&P. slowly add the hot pasta water back until a thin sauce coats the pasta. you won't need all the water.
this doesn't reheat well, the leeks get all boiled cabbage-y. also, if you heat the pasta too long when the prosciutto is in there it will turn into cooked ham. this doesn't taste bad or anything, but if you really want that prosciutto taste you may want to add it after you've set the sauce until you get your timing/heat level all figured out.
Monday, August 27, 2007
Chilled asparagus soup with timbale of caviar, crab and avocado
Bon Appétit September 2000
A star starter from Hubert Keller at Fleur de Lys in San Francisco. A good mold for the timbale is a six-ounce tomato-paste can that has the top and bottom removed.
Servings: Makes 6 servings.
3 tablespoons butter
2 small leeks (white and pale green parts only), halved lengthwise, thickly sliced (about 3 cups)
1 1/2 pounds asparagus, ends trimmed, spears coarsely chopped
4 cups chicken stock or canned low-salt chicken broth
3 cups chopped spinach leaves (about 31/2 ounces)
6 tablespoons flaked fresh crabmeat
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon minced shallot
3/4 cup diced peeled pitted avocado
6 teaspoons good-quality black caviar (such as osetra)
Melt butter in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add leeks and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Add asparagus and stock; bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium, cover and simmer until asparagus is tender, about 8 minutes. Add spinach, cover and simmer until wilted, about 4 minutes. Working in batches, puree soup in blender until smooth. Transfer soup to large bowl; season to taste with salt and pepper. Cool, then cover and chill until cold, at least 2 hours and up to 1 day.
Mix crabmeat, 1 tablespoon lemon juice and shallot in small bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Mix avocado and remaining 1 tablespoon lemon juice in another small bowl; mash coarsely. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Place tomato can or biscuit cutter in center of 1 soup bowl. Spoon in 1 tablespoon avocado mixture; smooth top. Spoon in 1 tablespoon crab mixture; press lightly to compact. Spoon in 1 tablespoon avocado mixture. Top with 1 teaspoon caviar. Carefully lift off can. Repeat in remaining soup bowls with remaining timbale ingredients. Ladle soup around each timbale. Serve immediately.
Makes 6 servings.
I made a variation of Eggs Benedict. I added tomato, spinach and artichoke hearts to an English muffin with Canadian bacon and poached egg. Each bite was washed down with a sip of Veuve.
My mother gave me Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking Volume 1 and 2 for Christmas two years ago. Her Hollandaise recipe is full-proof and so easy "an 8 year old" can make it.
3 egg yolks
2 tb lemon juice
4 oz butter
Salt and pepper
Step 1: Put in the electric blender the egg yolks, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, salt and pepper.
Step 2: Melt the butter in a saucepan. Blend it manually and VERY slowly
Step 3: Add the hot butter to the hollandaise sauce in the blender. Blend at full speed until the sauce get thick.
Step 4: Serve immediately.
Saturday, August 25, 2007
Last night, Eric and I dined at Pescheria - a lively and warm restaurant in the cute Noe Valley neighborhood of San Francisco. Although right when we walked in, Eric said "It smells like a port-a-poddy in here," we quickly adjusted to the aroma (I think it was just a bit seafoody, not as bad as a port-a-let though) and had a lovely dinner. The menu focused on seafood prepared in Californian/Italian style. We started with a heirloom tomato and burrata salad and then had bocconcini di tonno al limone - little cubes of lemon marinated ahi tuna and yellow and red Chioggo beets. Both our starters were excellent - although the burrata was not homemade, it had a nicely creamy consistency and you can't go wrong with tomatoes this time of year. The tuna and beets were a unique combination but paired well together and some toasted pinenuts added a subtly nutty flavor. For our main course, we had scallops with roasted corn risotto and a lemon vinaigrette. I'm a sucker for risotto and this did not disappoint; additionally, the scallops were huge and perfectly cooked - quite a treat since we love, but rarely cook, scallops for ourselves. We also had a side of fagiolini - skinny greens beans that must have been sauteed in beef broth or something because they were flavorful and delish. We had a few glasses of Barbera with dinner and were very satisfied at the end of the night.
For those who live in SF and want to venture out to Noe Valley for an evening, I'd recommend this neighborhood spot. This restaurant is not to be confused with Pesce in Russian Hill; although both restaurants are similar, I think the quality and consistency of the food is better at Pescheria.
Here's the website - the outside of the restaurant is a bit misleading - it looks much cuter at night:
Friday, August 24, 2007
Wednesday 08-22-2007, 7PM - 9:30PM
Instructor: Carolyn Maniaci
Seats available: 8
The name says it all, we'll teach you a menu with bacon in every bite! Bacon and Cheese Fondue; Spinach Salad with Soy Ginger Vinaigrette and Bacon Tempura; Bacon Wrapped Pork Tenderloin with Bacon Sweet Potato Gratin; Bacon and Strawberry Cobbler. 2 week cancellation policy.
Everything Tastes Better with Bacon: 70 Fabulous Recipes for Every Meal of the Day
Tailgating and football go hand-in-hand. No one will argue with you on that one. My tailgating experience has mostly been at Indy 500 and at A-Basin Moutain after long ski days. But we keep it simple. Just some burgers and brats. Nothing crazy. So, I did a little research this morning to find a recipe that I thought may be worth trying out at your next tailgater. This is what I found:
southwestern-style baby back ribs
The Tailgating Cookbook 2005
By Bob Sloan
I once considered making more authentic smoked ribs for a tailgate party and, in the planning, realized that not only would I need to be at the parking lot hours before everyone else, but my grill was not large enough to smoke enough ribs for everyone in my party. And to try to pass off just "a taste" of barbecued ribs is like trying to arm-tackle Priest Holmes. So it was a choice between shelling out for another grill or devising another method of cooking the ribs. Baking them first in a slow oven produced moist, flavorful meat I then had only to finish on the grill.
Makes 4 servings.
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon granulated garlic
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
3 racks baby back ribs, about 5 pounds
3 cups barbecue sauce
In a small bowl, mix together the thyme, garlic, onion powder, brown sugar, paprika, chili powder, rosemary, salt, and black pepper. Rub the spice mixture over both sides of the ribs. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate overnight or up to 24 hours.
Preheat the oven to 325°F. Unwrap the ribs and place them on a baking sheet. Cover completely with foil. Bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes. Remove the foil and let the ribs cool. Refrigerate them, wrapped in plastic, until you are ready to pack, up to 24 hours.
Just before leaving, cut the racks into individual ribs and place them in a large, sealable plastic container. Add 1 cup of the barbecue sauce and stir so all the ribs are coated.
At the tailgate
Prepare coals for a medium fire. When the coals are hot, grill the ribs for 10 minutes, until they are lightly charred and heated through, turning them several times and applying several more moppings of sauce.
Serve the ribs hot, accompanied by more sauce.
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 small diced onion
2 or 3 cloves of garlic, pressed or really really smashed and diced tiny
12 oz (3/4 of a 1lb package) spaghetti
4 tbsp fresh grated parmesan
8 strips of thickly cut bacon, cut into thin strips or diced
-beat eggs, add parm and heavy cream, season with salt and copious amounts of black pepper, set aside. this needs to be room temp when you add it to the pasta.
-cook bacon until nearly done in a skillet (large enough to add all the ingredients and mix vigorously at the end).
-heat water to boiling while bacon is cooking.
-add onion to skillet, begin to boil spaghetti. the spaghetti should finish cooking as the onion finishes cooking, so adjust your heat accordingly.
-add garlic to the bacon mixture a minute before completion.
-turn off heat under bacon mixture, drain spaghetti.
-add spaghetti to pan, mixing well with bacon mixture.
-add the egg mixture, yes it is raw. the heat from the pasta and pan will cook the egg. mix vigorously so the egg doesn't scramble, you will be left with a lovely sauce coating the pasta. serve warm.
this pasta reheats well as there is no roux to break during reheating.
let me take this opportunity to discourage people from ordering carbonara at restaurants that don't mention egg in the menu description. a lot of places like to serve fettuccine alfredo with bacon or pancetta and call it carbonara. this is a load of hooey. i assume they're concerned about accidentally serving raw egg, but i wish they would just leave it off if they're not going to make it right. technically even adding that 1/2 cup of cream is a no-no, but if you've never made it before the cream gives a little room for error at the end. anyway i've gone to plenty of places that even put peas in their "carbonara," which, c'mon folks, is fettuccine with ham and peas. which is a delicious dish in it's own right so they should stop making it feel inferior by calling it carbonara.
Thursday, August 23, 2007
After trying for 30 min's at peak time to get 2 stools at the bar, we decided to have a more civilized meal at a table. Our waitress was rude, but in the charming sort of way. I drank cheap red wine, and my guest drank a more appropriate drink (bass & guinnes - a dark & stormy?). Both drinks were shoved at us & we quickly were required to order. 2 burges, one massive mound of shoestring onion rings.
The burgers were perfect - greasy in that bar sort of way, but made with quality ingredients that made them juicy & flavorful. The onion rings were piled high, and left substantial traces of grease on everything. One Key Lime Pie to split.
It was amazing, as always.
4 oz cream cheese
1 oz chihuahua cheese
thick cut bacon
-cut a 1/3 or 1/2 of the pepper away and discard. how much you cut away depends on the shape of the pepper, you want a little boat to put the cheese in. the cheese will steer the boat into the bacon and directly into your mouth. cheese is good like that.
-remove seeds and ribs if you are married to dash or live with jamie as they are wusses.
-mix cheeses, put 1/4 of mixture in each shell. i salt this as chihuahua isn't inherently salty but that's up to you. i am inherently salty.
-wrap with bacon, securing with toothpicks.
-broil until done, this took like 2 glasses of wine, i think. ask missy. try not to burn yourself or create a bacon grease skating rink in the kitchen. let them cool down a lot. they're actually good at room temp because the cheese won't get all blocky and congealy.
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
I've really made my rounds this week to my restaurant staples and Shaw's Crab House is certainly one of them. This restaurant is special to me for many reasons but last night it was all about the sandwich. The bartender, Carlos, suggested that I try the imperial crab sandwich. Our conversation went a little something like this:
"What's on it?"
"Jumbo lump crab meat..."
"I like mayonnaise"
"Now we are talking"
"...on texas toast"
The name "imperial crab sandwich" does this thing no justice. I told the manager, Steve, to rename it as melt, which would imply cheese, which we all know that cheese is good. By now, you are picturing this crab meat mixed with mayo and celery, lemon juice and stone mustard stuffed in a toasted texas toast bun with melted cheese. You want it, don't you? Told you it was cravable.
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
I like to think that everyone has two or three restaurants that they hold near and dear to their hearts. These restaurants are probably consistent in food and service. They probably know you. You probably go there for special occasions. You may even live across the street. Regardless, they are your go-to spot. One of my go-tos in Chicago is the French bistro Mon Ami Gabi.
I've been to Mon Ami Gabi more times than I can remember but something about my dinner last night made me feel like I bistro dined like a professional. Kelsey and I opted to sit at the bar instead of the leather banquettes that look over the patio and Lincoln Park. We had a wonderful bartender that took attentive (but not too attentive) care of us and sat next to two ladies that were easily recognizable as regulars. They knew every one's name and ordered all the specials.
Kelsey and I kicked off our meal with an order of a half dozen oysters and a glass of sancerre wine. The oysters were served with cocktail sauce with horseradish and clarified butter. Next, I ordered the frisee salad with a poached egg and bacon (the lady next to me ordered an extra poached egg on hers). Kelsey ordered the Salad Mason with a goat cheese and olive crouton and herb vinaigrette. We had wonderful conversation, all the time in the world and took our time between courses.
For round three, Kelsey ordered the gazpacho soup with avocado and crab and I ordered the traditional onion soup au gratin. Kelsey finished her gazpacho soup in under 3 minutes. No joke. She said it was the best gazpacho she had ever tasted. As for me, I don't think you can ever go wrong ordering anything with melted cheese on it, especially if it is gruyere.
2 and a 1/2 hours later, Kelsey and I were pleasantly full. The manager gave us a taste of a special house dessert and then we said our goodbyes to our bartender and the two ladies next to us.
I think that memorable dinners are a combination of company, food, service and ambiance. Last night's dinner was no exception. We ordered like pros. Conversed like sisters. And made plans to do it all over again.
Monday, August 20, 2007
Scrambled Eggs by Michel Roux
With my mild diet these days, some of my favorite meals have included eggs (From Costco of Course). My guide has been Eggs by Michel Roux (John Wiley & Sons), the Chef at Waterside Inn near Windsor, England. He has earned three Michelin Stars for the past 23 years. The book has lots of egg recipes (With pictures thank goodness) including those that depend on eggs such as pastas, desserts, and pastries. His scrambled eggs recipe is very tasty. Chef Roux states that chefs judge each other on their scrambled eggs. The only problem with making them this way is that you can never go back to Denny's.
"Allow two medium eggs per person for an appetizer or light snack, or three eggs per person for a main course.
Melt 3 tbsp butter in shallow, heavy pan set on a heat diffuser over low heat, or in a bain-marie. Break 4-6 eggs into a bowl and beat very lightly with a fork. Tip into the pan with the hot melted butter and stir.
Cook over low heat, stirring gently more or less constantly with a wooden spoon.
It will take 3 to 4 minutes for the eggs to become just set, but very creamy. (If you use a bain-marie, allow about 6 minutes.) If you prefer firmer dryer eggs, cook for another two minutes.
When the eggs are scrambled to your liking, add 2 tbsp light or heavy cream or a little bit of butter, and season with salt and pepper. Scrambled eggs are best served immediately. "
Note: My breakfast this morning after returning from Clark's wedding.
First I made a recipe that I found in the Sun-Times actually for a knock off of those ridiculously delicious Red Lobster Cheddar Bay biscuits, and they turned out perfect!! They're probably Red Lobster's only redeeming quality, and now I can make them at home so I'll never have to set foot in one again. They're really quick and easy, too. Take 2 1/2 cups of Bisquick, mix 4 Tablespoons of cold butter in it up with a fork until the butter's kinda pea-sized. Then mix in 1 and 3/4 cups whole milk, one heaping cup of grated cheddar, and 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder. I just used my hands cause the Bisquick gets all sticky and it's pointless to try to use a fork. Don't over mix them. Then put golf-ball sized dollops on an ungreased cookie sheet at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. When they come out, melt 2 Tablespoons butter with 1/2 tsp. garlic powder and some parsley, and brush it on top of the biscuits. I made 10 of them, and the five of us ate all of them, they were so good.
Next, I made a sweet potato hash. The only downside to this was that the chopping took forever, but so it goes. It was also supposed to have twice as much bacon in it as it did, but since unattended bacon always disappears, Jamie ate half the bacon before I finished cooking the potatoes. Anyhoo. Cook up about 10 strips of bacon and set aside. Cook 1 diced red onion,
1 diced red bell pepper and 1 diced green bell pepper with a couple of cloves minced garlic in the bacon fat (you only need about half of it, so pour it off before you put the veggies in. Come to think of it, I poured it into a coke can so it didn't screw up my sink and then I set the can outside on the porch cause it was making all sorts of crazy noises and i kinda thought it was going to explode, and I just realized it's still sitting out there. I'll have to dispose of that when I get home. Oops!). I digress. When veggies are a little wilty, add 4 large, peeled and diced white potatoes, and 2 large peeeled and diced sweet potatoes. I imagine you could mix up that ratio however you like, but this worked out pretty well for me. Now cook, cook, cook till the potatoes are browned and mushy and everything is soft, hashy goodness. Mine took about 30 minutes or so in a big wok-like saute pan, stirring occasionally throughout so nothing burned. Salt and pepper to taste. Yum!
And for the requisite egg portion of the brunch I made baked eggs in their own little edible cups, an idea I got from 101 cookbooks. I made mine with a goat cheese, parsley and rosemary base, but you could get all sorts of creative with the filling. So what you do is quarter a pita pocket (i used whole wheat) and open it up and shove it into a small ramekin. It's okay if it breaks, you're just making a little cup to put the rest of the stuff in. Mix up goat cheese and herbs, put into the pita, then crack an egg or two over it all, salt and pepper, slide it into the oven at 350 for about 15 minutes, top with some creme fraiche, and voila! Tasty baked eggs. Almost no work at all.
And of course, top it all off with several mimosas. :)
1 3/4 c. flour
Instead of the arugula, I made pancetta crisps (10 minutes at 450 degrees on a cookie sheet) and caramelized onions (saute red onions in butter on low, low heat for an hour). This turned out to be a delicious idea.
Sunday, August 19, 2007
Tonight, we stumbled upon a Turkish restaurant called Troya. We weren't too surprised to find that the menu was heavily influenced by Greek cuisine but it definitely has its own approach. They told us that Turkish food is really a fusion of Turkish, Armenia, Arabic, Greek and Persian cuisines. They also said it was Turkish tradition to marinate all meat for a minimum of 10 hours.
The best dish we had tonight was their Mousakka. The Greek version, traditionally consists of layers of ground (minced) lamb or red meat, sliced eggplant and tomatoes topped with a cheese sauce and baked. Turkish Mousakka, unlike the Greek version, is not layered. Instead, it is prepared with sautéed and fried eggplants, green peppers, tomatoes, onions, and minced meat. This would be a great main course to serve after your try Missy's delicious looking Tzatziki recipe. Epicurious has a few recipes for this meal - check it out!
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
I love chocolate. Chocolate covered raisins, almonds, espresso beans, just about anything that can have chocolate on it, I’ve eaten. I was looking to make a chocolate cake that would be a cool break from the hot summer sun. I originally found the recipe online, but I’ve tweaked it so much that I think of it as my own:
Mouth Watering French Silk Pie
(I’ve made the crust before- it adds a lot of extra time- so I prefer using… GASP!... Pillsbury’s pastry dough- which works just as well (sometimes better) and is lickety spilt fast)
1 c. flour
½ t salt
1/3 c.+ 1 T. shortening
2-3 T COLD water (depending)
Mix the flour and salt- cut in the shortening using a pastry blender until the mixture is little balls (about the size of peas). Sprinkle the cold water on top- one tablespoon at a time- make sure all the floor is moistened.
Gather all the dough into a ball- then flatten it a little- wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until the dough is firm and cold, but still shapeable (about 45 minutes).
Heat oven to 475°F. With floured rolling pin, roll pastry into round 2 inches larger than upside-down 9-inch glass pie plate. Fold pastry into fourths; place in pie plate. Unfold and ease into plate, pressing firmly against bottom and side. Trim overhanging edge of pastry 1 inch from rim of pie plate. Fold and roll pastry under, even with plate; flute as desired. Prick bottom and side of pastry thoroughly with fork. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until light brown; cool.
See why I like the Pillsbury dough?
1 c. granulated sugar
¾ c. softened BUTTER
1 ½ t. vanilla
3 oz unsweetened baking chocolate (melted)
¾ c. egg beaters (you don’t cook the pie, so egg beaters are much safer than raw eggs)
Melt the chocolate.
Beat the sugar and butter together until light and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla and chocolate. Slowly add the egg product (beat on high)- make sure mixture is light and fluffy- about 3 minutes. Pour into the pie crust and refrigerate (2-4 hours).
Topping (my favorite part!):
1 c. chilled whipping cream
3 T granulated sugar
1 ½ t. vanilla
In a chilled bowl, beat the whip cream, sugar and vanilla until stiff. Refrigerate for 20 minutes. Pour mixture over the cooled pie. Shave chocolate over the whipped topping.
Not everyone has my obsession with chocolate, so to be the people pleaser- I alternate with my key lime pie.This is the easiest thing you could ever make.
Key Lime Magic
1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs from 9 (2 1/4-inch by 4 3/4-inch) crackers2 tablespoons sugar5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
The filling1 (14-oz) can sweetened condensed milk
4 large egg yolks
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons key lime juice
Look to whipped topping from French Silk Pie (above) Depending on your time limit- the crust can be store bought (regular graham cracker crust)- otherwise:
Use your food processor to make graham cracker crumbs- add the sugar while still in the processor (one less thing to mix in). Then poor the butter over the crumbs and mix until all of it sticks together. Press into your 9 inch pie pan and bake for about 10 minutes at 350.
Whisk together the s.c.milk and yolks. Add in the key lime juice. Poor filling into crust. Bake at 350 for 15 more minutes. Cool pie 15 minutes. Refrigerate for 4-8 hours.
Make whipped topping. Serve with pie. Eat.
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
Unfortunately, I'm already a journalist, and it doesn't pay jack, so I'll stick with the Assoc. Art Director gig here in Chicago. But I think I know of a certain couple who's planning on moving to San Fran soon.... hmmmm.....
Because I am a marketer by day, I am tracking the site with Google Analytics. In the last week, the blog has had over 296 visits in over 10 countries! Each visit on the blog averages 10.44 minutes. These are REALLY incredible numbers.
Thank you to everyone for checking out the site, contributing and forwarding to friends.
P.S. Congrats to Chuck Shaw. His pulled pork recipe received the most comments and emails last week! I think a lot of people ate pork this weekend, Dad!
Monday, August 13, 2007
Gordon Ramsey. He has always bugged me, but then I read an article on him in some cooking magazine and loved him and his wife and 4 kids. Sorry no recipes to contribute right now. I am still rice cakes and salads for all meals.
Drew and I had a couple friends on the boat Saturday night to check out a concert on the water and watch the fireworks. We grilled chicken kabobs, burgers and Italian sausages with peppers. Our friends brought this delicious couscous from Whole Foods that had cranberries and pecans in it.
Anybody else grill this weekend?
Friday, August 10, 2007
1 pound (1 pint) plain yogurt
1 hothouse cucumber, peeled and seeded
1 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon Champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar (I prefer Champagne, I think it tastes crisper)
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (1 lemon)
1 tablespoon good olive oil (see Liz's post below!)
1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh dill
Pinch freshly ground black pepper
Place the yogurt in a cheesecloth or paper towel-lined sieve and set it over a bowl. Roughly grate the cucumber and toss it with 1 tablespoon of kosher salt; place it in another sieve, and set it over another bowl. Place both bowls in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 hours so the yogurt and cucumber can drain.
Transfer the thickened yogurt to a large bowl. Squeeze as much liquid from the cucumber as you can and add the cucumber to the yogurt. Mix in the sour cream, vinegar, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, dill, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper. You can serve it immediately, but I prefer to allow the tzatziki to sit in the refrigerator for a few hours for the flavors to blend. Serve chilled or at room temperature.
Photo by my fabulous staffer, Steve Serio. *Missy works for Crain's Communications in Chicago*
Thursday, August 9, 2007
Makes 6 servings
The Little Owl, New York
6-8 yellow peaches (these are from Flora's tree at Flora Springs*)
2 yellow nectarines
1 cup flour
13 cup sugar
1 tsp backing soda
1/4 tsp salt
4 tbsp butter or half a stick
peal and slice fruit wisk together dry ingredients mix softened butter and sugar wisk egg with butter and sugar, slowly add 3/4 cub buttermilk or whole milk slowly add to dry ingredients soon over fruit and bake!
350 till golden brown
The batter is a Moose favorite :) *Flora Spings is a a family/Garvey owned winery in Napa Valley **Recipe from Lindsay, Sean and Moose Garvey**
Wednesday, August 8, 2007
Here are four reasons why you should introduce yourself to your meat department:
1) Butchers are good cooks
Believe it or not, the bulk to my short ribs recipe is from my man Chuck at Big Apple Finer Foods on Fullerton and Clark.
2) Butchers have got your back
Some fashionistas have Neiman's call when the new Marc Jacobs line hits the racks. I get a call from my butcher when they get tiger prawns in.
3) Butchers are passionate
Most butchers don't 'fall into' their line of work. These (typically) guys are usually avid outdoors men, decently traveled, have a history of the business in their family and are extremely knowledgeable about their meats and products.
4) Everyone loves feeling like a VIP
And I mean EVERYONE. People like to feel special and people like to be recognized. I know almost everyone in my grocery store and they always make me feel special and are always so helpful. There are perks to being a regular.
So, I encourage you all to start up a conversation with your butcher (I met mine by asking what the hell Osso Buco was...)
**Did you know that Wild West Outlaw Butch Cassidy was originally a butcher? That's how he got his name...**
Tuesday, August 7, 2007
This weekend I was given a bag of pluots as a gift. They are so addicting and delicious. So here is a little educational blurb on a yummy summer fruit.
The fruit's exterior fairly closely resembles a plum's. Pluots are noted for their sweetness (due to a very high sugar content) and for their intense flavor. They are also very, very juicy and their skin is less bitter than plum skin. Pluots are also rich in vitamin A. The season for California pluots extends from May through October, with the peak in July and August.Mr. Zaiger is currently trying to develop a Peacotum, a peach, apricot, plum hybrid. It's like a smoothie in a fruit! I wonder how it would taste with bacon?
A few months ago I went up to Michigan to do a massive cooking-and-freezing bonanza for my grandma, who's 97 and therefore not all that active in the kitchen anymore. While everything turned out great and warmed up well, I totally could have IQF'd everything and had it even better.
That's all for now.
p.s. I heart Moose.
p.p.s. Hi everyone!
Monday, August 6, 2007
Everyone seemed to enjoy this dinner at our family gathering in Northern Michigan after an active day on the beach, wake boarding, golfing, or spending the day visiting Mackinac Island. In other words, everyone was hungry and appreciated the generous family style presentation. The menu was billed as a NASCAR Special of Oven Baked Pulled Pork with two BBQ sauces on the side, Garlic Cheese Jalapeno Grits, and Arugula Salad with Mango and Creamy Chive Vinaigrette. The meal was enhanced by the fresh baby arugula and chives from Bill's Farm Market in Harbor Springs and an outstanding Shoulder Roast from Tannery Creek Meat Market in Petoskey.
Oven Baked Pulled Pork
The 7 to 9 pound Pork Shoulder Roast was baked fat side down for four to five hours at 325 degrees covered in two layers of heavy duty aluminum foil and placed in a roasting pan. Before wrapping in the foil, the roast was rubbed with three crushed garlic cloves and generously sprinkled with Lawry's Seasoning Salt and cracked pepper and then a large Vidalia onion was sliced and placed on the top. A baking dish filled with water was also placed in the oven to provide a moist baking environment.
You can tell if the pork is ready to fall apart and pull into shreds when you are able to easily remove the bone from the cooked roast. There were about two cups of hot pork fat in the foil wrapped roast that had to be removed. After the pork was pulled apart, it was kept warm on the stove top and a little water was added for moisture. The pork was left unseasoned by sauce because two styles of BBQ sauce (North Carolina and Memphis Style) were served with the pork, so everyone could select one or both with their meat. I think the crock pot and BBQ versions of cooking the Pork Shoulder Roast sound great too, but this method was sure successful in producing succulent, tender and moist pulled pork. Fresh buns and a crusty country bread along with dill and bread and butter pickle chips were also served with the pork in case anyone wanted to make sandwiches.
Easy North Carolina Barbecue Sauce (From Cooks.com)
1 stick butter
1 c. cider vinegar
1 lg. sour pickle, minced
1 tbsp. onion, minced
2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tbsp. molasses
Salt and pepper
Combine all ingredients in small saucepan. Heat over low heat just long enough to melt butter, stirring frequently; add salt and pepper to taste.
Another BBQ Sauce was served that was a store bought tomato based sauce (I used "Sweet Baby Ray's") with molasses, sauteed finely chopped Vidalia Onions, and vinegar added. Both sauces were served from the stove along with the pulled pork that was warming on the stove top.
Garlic Cheese Jalapeno Grits
Saute one-half of a small finely chopped Vidalia onion on the stove top with a half stick of butter until translucent. Add three or four minced garlic cloves along the way and set the mixture aside to be added to the grits.
Cook the grits according to the recipe on the box. I used two cups of grits to serve twenty people and they were gone at the end of the meal. Generally you combine water and salt; bring to a boil. Stir in grits; cook until done, following package directions.
After the grits are ready, stir in the butter and sauteed onions and garlic. Add twelve ounces of sharp Cheddar cheese cut into small cubes so they melt into the grits. I added one chopped up roasted fresh jalapeno pepper and that was plenty. (More Pickled Jalapeno Peppers and Gardiner were served separately for those heat freaks). Four fresh eggs were then beaten and folded into the grits.
Pour the grits mixture into a lightly buttered 2 1/2 to 3 quart baking dish; sprinkle with some Paprika and Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour .
Arugula and Mango Salad with Creamy Chive Vinaigrette (This Bon Appetit, August 2007 recipe called for Peaches and I substituted a fresh Mango and no one seemed to mind)
2 large ripe peaches
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice,
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons whipping cream
1/3 cup finely chopped fresh chives
12 cups (loosely packed) arugula (about 6 ounces)
Wash peaches, rubbing to remove fuzz. Cut in half; remove pits. Thinly slice peaches. Place peach slices in large bowl. Add 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice; toss. Whisk 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice and olive oil in small bowl. Whisk in cream, then chives. Season with salt and pepper. Add arugula to bowl with peaches. Add dressing and toss. Season with more salt and pepper, if desired, and serve.
Bon Appétit, August
A rich, creamy, fresh cheese, also known as Crescenza Stracchino , that's widely made in Italy's regions of Lombardy, Piedmont and Veneto. Its texture and flavor are similiar to that of a mild CREAM CHEESE, and it becomes very soft and spreadable at room temperature. Crescenza is made from uncooked cow's milk and is sometimes blended with herbs. It doesn't age well and, although not widely imported, can be found in some specialty cheese shops.
I have decided to (try to) build a casual spot where everyone can unleash their inner chef with no fuss.
This idea came to me several weeks ago when I realized that I:
1) Had a lot of extra time on my hands
2) Knew I had a long list of friends and family that loved food and/or to cook
3) My cooking obsession was going from mild to spicy!
I really hope you will visit, participate and have fun.
Thanks for checking out my pet project. xoxoxo Lizzie
It's time to unveil our first ever recipe of the week (drum roll please)...
Beet Bruschetta with Goat Cheese and Pistachio Nuts!
I am really proud of this recipe because I made it up myself after a trip to the farmer's market with Lydia in Napa several weeks ago. This is a really colorful hors dourve that impresses guests and is very flavorful and textural. It doesn't require a lot of ingredients but the prep work between the nuts and the beets can be a drag. I would suggest purchasing nuts that already have the shell removed to cut prep time. They are more expensive but worth it.
1 French baguette
1 bunch of golden and red beets
10oz of goat cheese
Handful of pistachio nuts
Remove stems from beets and boil in water for 45 minutes to an hour depending on size and tenderness. Cut the baguette into small rounds. Brush each with olive oil. Cut fresh garlic clove and rub on each round. Drain beets once they are done and set aside. Heat oven and toast rounds. Slip off the skins of beets under running water (beets dye skin so don't freak. Soap and water usually does the trick.) Slice beets and then cut into a fine dice. Make sure to keep the red and yellow beets in their own batches so they don't bleed. Remove toasted rounds from oven and spread goat cheese on top of each. Mix beets and add to top of rounds and drizzle with olive oil. Take handful of nuts and put in zip lock bag. Put another bag around the first one. Pound it with a hammer/meat tenderizer/baking pin. Add nuts on top of beets and ta-da!