Monday, September 27, 2010

Apple Fennel Salad

I think I saw this recipe on Giada. Or Top Chef. Wherever I stole it from, it was tasty.



Ingredients:
A Granny Smith Apple
A Fennel Bulb
A Lemon
Olive Oil
Salt

Juice the Lemon and whisk in 2 times as much Olive Oil. Salt (and pepper if you're fancy like that) to taste. Cut up the Apple and Fennel into vaguely similar shapes, toss in the vinaigrette, and nom.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Rat's Restaurant

I went to Rat's in honor of Kevin winning Top Chef. In case you don't live in Jersey, here's what went down.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Clementine Curd

I've been missing. Just call me dumb and get it over with.

Anyhoo, as most of you know, I am earning my Certificate in Cooking. I had a baking class this week, and one of my assignments was to make Lemon Curd... and I messed it up twice before class was over. This is my revenge! Clementine Curd. Jenny Style.



Ingredients:
2 Oz Clementine Juice (or any fruit you want)
1 Tsp Zest
3.25 Oz Sugar (Split into 1.5 and 1.75)
1 Egg
3 Oz Butter

Bring the Juice, Zest, and half of the Sugar to a boil in a non reactive pot. In a separate bowl, combine the Egg and the rest of the Sugar. Temper the Eggs and combine. Put back on the heat and bring to a boil, again (I have no idea the science behind the multiple boilings.)

Bring the mixture down to 120 degrees and mix in the Butter in little chunks until combined. Strain out the yucky eggy bits, zest, and whatever other non-curd-like objects remain in the pot. Consume.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Apple Tartlets with Caramel Saucey Squeezy Bottle Thing

I'm so exhausted from cooking (and fighting Caramel off of two pots), I barely have the energy to write this post. But write I must! I had no recipe for this, partly inspired by the book Ratio, partly inspired by a not-so-nice message I got from a "friend" on Youtube. So, here you go, guy who's screen name I don't remember! My cooking without a recipe.



Ingredients for Dough:
6 Oz Flour
4 Oz Buttah
2 Oz Water
1 Tb Sugar
Pinch of Salt

Ingredients for Apple Filling: (AKA Whatever tastes good.)
2 Apples, brunoise
Some Sugar
Some Cinnamon
Some Nutmeg
Some Vanilla
Some Lemon Juice

Do not make the caramel. I will not give you the recipe.

Make your pie crust (you know how. If you don't, look at the Quiche or Apple Tart Tatine posts.) Let cool in the fridge.

Brunoise your Apples and combine all Appley ingredients in a bowl. Let sit for a while to let the juices exude from the apples.

Fill your tart cups with dough, poke holes in them, and let cool again. After getting too impatient to let them cool, par-bake your tarts for 10 minutes in a 400 degree oven.

Saute the Apple mixture in a little Buttah until halfway cooked, or al dente, or whatever relative and arbitrary term you'd like to use. Don't let them get mushy, just give them a head start in cooking and let them soak up the buttery goodness.

Fill your tarts with Appley stuff and bake for 20 minutes. Delicious!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Beurre Blanc

Here's another Julia recipe. There's actually a very adorable scene in Julie and Julia where she's describing this sauce to her sister, and her husband describes it as "Tangy," thoroughly insulting Julia. Well, in general, the movie is adorable.

And apparently I'm on a not-so-official quest to cook every recipe that appeared in the movie. So far I have made:

Bruschetta (Julie makes it before starting the blog)
Sole Meurniere
Boef Bourginnon
Beurre Blanc
Artichokes and Hollandaise... have I missed anything?
I don't know that I will ever bone a duck.



Ingredients:
2 1/2 Tb White Wine Vinegar
2 1/2 Tb White Wine
1 Tb Minced Shallot
Salt and Pepper
2 Sticks of Buttah (oh lordie.)
Lemon Juice

Combine Vinegar, Wine, Shallots, Salt, and Pepper and boil until "syrupy." Take off heat and throw in two chunks of butter. When the butter is almost completely creamed into the sauce, add another chunk and put back on LOW heat. Add in one chunk at a time until your heart is mentally prepared to handle what is about to come. Take off the heat and add Lemon Juice to taste. Easy peezy japaneezy.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Quiche

This recipe is purely based on a kitchen toy purchase. I bought a quiche pan because it was lovely and convenient and I was weak and I am unworthy. But nevertheless, Steve and I gobbled this up with no problem whatsoever. The great thing about Quiche - you can eat it for any meal of the day... and we might have.



Ingredients for Crust:
1 1/4 Cups Flour
1 Tb Sugar
1 Tsp Salt
4 Tb Shortening
5 Tb Buttah

Ingredients for Insides:
7 Eggs
1 1/2 Cup Half and Half
1/2 Lbs Bacon
3 Red Potatoes
2 Cups Cheddar Cheese

Hardware: The most beautiful pie pan in existence.

Combine dry ingredients of crust. Add Shortening and mix until it looks like course crumbs. Add Buttah until it looks like bigger, pearly, delicious, artery clogging crumbs. Clump into a ball, wrap, and freeze for at least a half hour.

Fry some Bacon, set aside. Peel your Potatoes (unless you like peels, then by all means, ignore me.) and microwave on High for about three minutes or until they're just a little squishy. Cut Potatoes into little cubes and fry in the bacon grease. Set aside. Exercise for a few hours. When the bacon is cool and crispy, smash it up into little pieces.

Pre heat oven to 400F.

Roll out your dough (neater than I did) and get it into the pan (more efficiently than I did). Poke it around with a fork so that bubbles don't form, and put it back in the fridge to firm up.

Combine all filling ingredients.

Blind bake your crust for about 10 minutes, put in your filling, and bake for an hour or until the smell of bacon is too intense and you pounce on the oven like a rabid wolf.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Red Wine Risotto

I'VE REACHED A HUNDRED SUBSCRIBERS ON YOUTUBE!!!!

Now back to your regularly scheduled blog.

This recipe is kind of a "pantry cleaner," as people like to call it on the blogosphere. I had red wine from making Coq aux Vin, I had carrots from... something, I don't remember, and I had asparagus because asparagus is delicious and I eat it more than any other vegetable ever. Ever. So here's Red Wine Risotto with Carrots and Asparagus.



Ingredients:
Olive Oil
1/2 Shallot
Asparagus and Carrots to taste (I used 3 huge Asparagus spears and a humongo Carrot)
1/2 Cup Arborio Rice
Red Wine
Chicken Broth
Juice of 1 Lemon
Parmesan Cheese
Parsley

Heat up some olive oil in a beautiful new Carribean Le Creuset Dutch Oven... or you know, a small pot. Sweat the Shallot for a few minutes, then throw in your veggies and let soften. Don't cook all the way, as they will continue to stew in the rice liquid.

Throw in the rice and let toast for a moment. Add enough Red Wine to cover, and let the rice absorb. When you can see the bottom of the pan as you stir, add Chicken Broth to cover and let absorb. Repeat until rice is almost done.

On the last addition of liquid, add Lemon Juice and Parmesan to taste, and sprinkle with Parsley because that's what impressive type people do. Eat immediately before it turns to cheesy library paste.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Matzo Brei

This is my daddy's recipe... It's the only really "passed down from generation to generation" recipe I can think of. Really easy, really delicious... not terribly good for you. But what "really easy, really delicious" thing ever is?



This is the recipe for making 2 Matzos- a really big breakfast for me. But the formula is easy to make any number you want - just one matzo to one egg and a bigger sploosh of milk.

Ingredients:
2 Pieces Egg and Onion Matzo
2 Eggs
A sploosh of milk
1 Tb Buttah
Salt

Break up the Matzo into pieces and soak in very warm water until bendable. Dump into a colander. In the same bowl, whisk together the eggs and milk. Add the Matzo back into the bowl and let soak for a few minutes.

Pre-heat a non-stick skillet to a pretty high heat. Melt Buttah and swirl it around to cover the whole pan, including the upturned edges. When Buttah begins to brown, dump in your Matzo mixture and spread around the pan.

When the Matzo mixture is slightly solid, cut it into fourths and flip. Salt, let cook a few moments and hack at it with your spatula. Put on a plate and enjoy. Mazel tov!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Orange Maple Glazed Pork Chops

Here's a new fact about me - I have never eaten pork chops before. In fact, the only way I think I have eaten pork is in Pork Fried Rice or Pork Lo Mein. Odd, right? Anyhoozles, I went surfin' on the internet (again... that's what you do when your job ends in June.) and found a delectable recipe for Pork Chops that sounded very nommable.



Fo' shizzle, they wuz hawt. Ok, shake it off, J-Ho. I'm so excited to have found pork chops - they're like three bucks a package and taste like steak. Holy moly.

Ingredients:
2 Thick Cut Pork Chops
1 Cup Orange Juice
1/2 Cup Maple Syrup
(The second time I made this, I also grated in some Ginger)
Salt and Pepper
Olive Oil and Buttah

Preheat oven to 400 Degrees.

Salt and Pepper your Pork Chops liberally on both sides. Heat up a cast iron skillet (or any oven safe pan) and drop in your Olive Oil and Buttah. Put in your chops and sear on one side for a few minutes until brown and mouthwateringly gorgeous. Flip over, stick in a thermometer, and put in the oven until the chops reach 150 degrees.

Remove chops to a plate to rest and tent with foil. (Don't touch the thermometer - it is HOT. I learned that the hard way.) Put skillet back on the heat and deglaze with Orange Juice and Maple Syrup (and whatever else you think would be tasty - I added Ginger the second time I made this... maybe cinnamon?) Let reduce by half and pour over your choppies.

Visit The Humble Gourmand for the original recipe.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Chicken with Mushrooms

Cooking has been consuming my life. If I'm not cooking, I'm reading cookbooks. If I'm not reading cookbooks, I'm watching Food Network. If nothing good is on Food Network, I'm watching other peoples' food blogs. One of my favorites is called Economy Bites. It's hosted by a chick named Allie, who, like me, cannot cook very well. She invited me to blog one of her recipes - so here it is! Chicken with Mushrooms a la Jenny a la Allie.



Again, this is not exactly Allie's recipe - it's a mixture of Allie, Julia Child, and whatever was on my spice shelf. To see her version of this dish, Click Here!

Ingredients:
4 Chicken Cutlets (Or two breasts, pounded and halved)
1/2 Cup Flour
4 Oz Mushrooms, sliced
A small Shallot, minced
1/2 Cup White Wine
1 Cup Chicken Broth
1-2 Tb Cream
1 Tsp Dried Rosemary
Olive Oil and Butter for sautee-ing
Salt and Pepper to taste
Parsley and Parmisan Cheese for garnish


Put Flour on a small plate and season with salt and pepper. Dredge the chicken cutlet lightly. Heat up a large sautee pan and drizzle in Olive Oil and Butter. When the butter has stopped foaming, put in chicken.

Let chicken sit until it turns white halfway up its side, then flip. Let sit again until entire side of chicken is white; it will not be cooking all the way, but they will simmer later in the sauce. Remove chicken to another plate.

Put Mushrooms in the pan and salt, then sautee until browned. Throw in the shallot and let soften for a minute.

Deglaze the pan with Wine. Scrape browned bits of chickeny goodness off of the pan. Add Chicken Broth, Cream, Salt, Pepper, and Rosemary. Mixy mix. Put the chicken back in - they should be almost covered; if not, add more broth. Let this sit for a few minutes until the sauce is reduced so it covers the back of a spoon and the chicken is cooked through. Garnish with Cheese and Parsley, tuck a napkin into your shirt, and eat.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Tomalito

I had been meaning to do this recipe for a while. Whenever I go to Chevys, I HAVE to order something that comes with Tomalito - or Corn Pudding. I always eat it last and in teeny, tiny fork fulls because it's torturously fantastic, but they give you about a tablespoon of it. Meanies. So now I have a pan full!



Ingredients:
5 Tb Buttah, softened
1/4 Cup Masarepa or Harina Masa or Masa Harina... if anyone knows the actual name, please share.
1/3 Cup Sugar
1/2 Cup Water
1 Cup Corn, buzzed to mush
1/2 Cup Corn, let to live another day.
1/2 Cup Corn Meal
1 Tsp Baking Powder
1/2 Tsp Salt
2 Tb plus 1 tsp Milk. Stupid amount. Just do it.

Preheat oven to 250.

Smoosh the butter, masarepa, and sugar together until it's fluffy. Blend the water and mushy corn together, add to the mixture. Add everything else, stir together and pour into a small baking dish.

Create a water bath by filling a large roasting pan with about an inch of water. Cover the smaller baking dish with aluminum foil, put it in the bath, and put the whole thing in the oven. Rubber ducky optional. Cook for 1 1/2 hours, or until a toothpick is inserted and comes out clean. Gobble it up.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Father's Day Coconut Macaroons

My dad is insane over anything to do with nuts (grow up.) When we get ice cream, he has to cover his in wet walnuts. If we get chocolate anything, his has to be cashew bark. Going with this theme, I crossed my fingers, and ventured into the world of Coconut Macaroons.



And an update on how he liked it - he loved them. *breath out*

Can I say one more thing? These things are FRIGGIN EXPENSIVE around Passover. But seriously folks? An egg, some sugar, some flavorings... nothing in there is expensive. Stop being so lazy, people! Buy a bag of coconut make it yourself. Ok, off my soap box.

INGREDIENTS: (for one batch. I tripled this, those numbers will be in parenthesis.)
3/4 Cup Sweetened Coconut (2 1/4 Cup)
1 Egg White (3)
1 Tb Sugar (3 Tb)
1/4 Tsp Vanilla Extract (3/4 Tsp)
1/8 Tsp Almond Extract (1/4 Tsp)
A pinch of salt (3... pinches... of salt...)

Preheat oven to 300.

Mix everything but the coconut together. Then mix in the coconut. (Seriously, how easy?) Form into ballies in whatever fashion you wish - I'm sure there is a neater way to do it than I chose. Bake for 35 minutes, or until edges are light brown and the macaroons keep their shape when poked, but they will be a little jiggly. Let cool for 20 minutes before prying off the baking sheet.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Successful! Leek and Potato Soup

Forget the last one happened. Call it intelligence, call it talent, or call it my new Le Creuset Dutch Oven, but I figured out Leek and Potato soup. It's actually a really simple formula, and kinda makes me feel dumb for not figuring it out the first time.



Ingredients:
Leeks
Potatoes
Heavy Cream
Salt to taste

The formula is:
1 cup solids to 1 cup liquid to 1 Tb Heavy Cream

Therefor, if you have like a potato and a leek, you would do 1/2 cup Potato, 1/2 cup Leek, 1 cup water, 1 Tb Heavy Cream.

Or, if you're feeding a huge Italian family, you would use 50 cups Potato, 50 cups Leek, 100 cups Water, and 100 Tb Heavy Cream. Or just go to a restaurant because no one has a pot that big.

Cut up and clean veggies, put them in a pot with water. Boil until mushy gushy in your tushy. Buzz it with an emersion blender or in a food processer or a food mill or between your teeth if you're EXTREME. Add cream and salt to taste.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Leek and Potato Soup

According to Julie Powell, this is the "simplest" recipe to make in Julia's book, but "simple" isn't the same as "easy." Now, when I first read this, I thought she was just trying to sound philosophical. But she was right. Witness me mess up a three ingredient soup.



Now to my credit, her directions say "2 quarts of water." Who thinks in quarts? I then ran to Barnes and Noble and read another of her books that fixes that measurement and calls it 6 cups. Uhm. Thanks Julia. There will be a retry on this one.

Ingredients:
2 Lbs Potatoes
2 Lbs Leeks
6 Cups Water
6 Tb Cream
Salt to taste... or the salt from my disappointed tears.

Peel and cut up potatoes, cut up and clean leeks. Throw everything in a pot and boil until soft. Buzz it with an immersion blender, or in a food processor or food mill. Add some cream, season with salt. Hopefully enjoy it more than I did.

Or if you're Steve, suggest adding bacon and cheddar cheese and make Jenny cry.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Arepas

This is by far the easiest and most rewarding recipe ever. And it comes free on the back of the bag!

PS - After venturing down the Hispanic Foods aisle at Shoprite, I was feeling dangerous and bought some cayenne pepper. I then proceeded to make the spiciest Arroz con Pollo in the history of... well, my mouth at least. And this is bad considering up until now, I had lived on bland Jew food, and black pepper out of a grinder was the devil. But I ate it. I will like spicy food, someday!



Ingredients:
1 Cup Masarepa (I used white, they also have yellow. I don't know the difference.)
1 Cup (ish) Water
1/2 Cup Mozzerella Cheese (or whatever you want. The Masarepa is a pretty plain palette to play with)
1 Tsp (ish) Salt

Mix everything together and fry it in a nifty pan until goldeny brown and the cheese is melty.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Coq au Vin

I asked Jessica what she wanted to make this week, and she said "Coq au Vin." But I thought it would be too expensive because there are two kinds of booze in it. I suggested a few more things - some French, some German, some American - and it always came back to Coq au Vin. So, we went to the liquor store, bought the crappiest six dollar jug of Burgundy we could find, and proceeded to light my dutch oven on fire. Enjoy.



Ingredients:
3-4 Pounds Chicken (we used boobies, you can use whatever you want.)
4 oz Bacon (about 5 strips.)
A shallot (in place of Pearl Onions... read Julia's recipe if you're confused.)
1/4 Cup Cognac
3 Cups Burgundy
Chicken Stock to cover
A bay Leaf
2 Cloves Garlic, mashed
1 Tb Tomato Paste (the recipe says 1/2 Tb, but Jessica made me put more. Peer pressure.)
3 Tb Flour
8-10 Oz Mushrooms (we used baby bellas)
A shit ton of butter... I think we finished off a stick by the end of it.
Salt and Pepper

Boil the bacon for 10 minutes to get rid of the smokey flavor. Saute in a dutch oven with butter until crispy. Remove. Try not to eat too much of it.

Salt and pepper your chicken and sear both sides in the bacon fat. Add bacon back in, throw in a diced shallot. Cover and cook for five minutes. Turn the chicken to its other side and cook for five more minutes.

Grab a lighter and your Cognac, laugh maniacally, and set the chicken aflame. Then freak out and shake the pan around until the flames are gone. Add your wine and chicken stock, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes.

Saute up some mushrooms, fo' shizzle. You can probably do whatever vegetable you want, but Julia said mushrooms. So it has been written, so it will be done. Make a paste of butter and flour.

Take chicken out of the pot and reduce the sauce to about 2 cups or until you're sick of waiting. Throw in paste and whisk vigorously. It'll be thick and saucey now.

Add everything in - chicken, mushrooms, whatever else - and let stand for a few minutes to baste in its majesty. Eat.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Biscuit Battle Concludes! "Joy" Biscuits

I still have more buttermilk left, and I swear I will USE IT ALL!!!

This biscuit recipe is from "The Joy of Cooking." You'd think Irma would be the authority on Biscuits. I actually do not own the book (shame on me), and found this recipe at Hilah Cooking. She gets drunk in the episode. Too hilarious. Here's my shot at Irma's biscuits.



ALTON'S THE WINNER! Of course a Southern boy would win out the biscuit battle. And I still have buttermilk left... now what?

In case you like your biscuits on the drier, cloudier side, here's...

Irma's Biscuits - Ingredients:
1 3/4 Cup Flour
1 Tb Baking Powder
A sprinkle of salt
5 Tb Buttah
3/4 Cup Buttahmilk

Mix it together. Cut it. Bake it at 450 for 12 minutes. Eat.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Pork Dumplings and Chicken Fried Rice

When I was in high school, we had a German exchange student for a year. We were sitting in choir, and the teacher asked if she understood something, and said something to the effect of "not really," and the teacher asked me to translate for her. And now we're buds. In honor of my friend coming halfway around the world to visit us Jerseyans, we're making... Chinese food. Whatever.

Again, this video is a little wonky... we chose the recipe in the car on the way to Shoprite, so neither of us had much time to mentally prepare ourselves for the undertaking we... undertook. But, nevertheless, here are Pork Dumplings.



Ingredients:
Frozen Wonton Wrappers (Don't make the mistake we did. Please. Don't do it. The angels will cry.)

1 lb Ground Pork
1 lb Napa Cabbage
1 Tb Ginger, grated
2 Scallions
4 Tb Soy Sauce
2 Tsp Sesame Oil
Salt

Put on a pot of water to boil.

Grate the ginger into a tiny bowl and cover with water, let steep like tea while you're doing everything else.

Blanch the Cabbage for a second until wilted - not cooked. You kind of want to feel a little crunch in the dumpling. Unless you're into soggy dumplings, but that's completely your business. Put the cabbage in a colander set over a bowl and smoosh all of the liquid out of the cabbage. Keep for later. Dice up the cabbage into whatever size you want.

In a bowl (we used my Dutch Oven because I had run out of bowls.), throw in the Pork, chuck in the diced Cabbage, minced the Scallions and juggle them in, glug in the Soy Sauce, squirt in the Sesame Oil, sploosh in the Cabbage water, drizzle in the Ginger "tea," and plop in half the grated Ginger for good measure. (Or pick neater ways to do each of those things. Generally you want the ingredients in a bowl.) Mix.

Wrap up in your wrappers and put in boiling water. They will immediately ploop to the bottom of the pot. You know they are done with they float back to the top like they found their swimmies.

Eat with soy sauce or hoisin sauce or make a fancy schmancy sauce of your own.

REALLY QUICK! Explanation of fried rice... I may make a video some day. But here's the gist.

Chicken Fried Rice

Ingredients:
Whatever vegetables you want. I used carrots and celery. Cut into little cubes.
2 Cloves Garlic, minced
4 Chicken Strips (or like a breast), cubed
2 Cups Rice, cooked (obvi.)
Eggs
Vegetable Oil
Soy Sauce
Sesame Oil
Sesame Seeds

Heat up a pan (I used a Cast Iron Skillet... I've read that's the best for stir fries because it doesn't cool down every time you add an ingredient.) and put in some Vegetable Oil. Sear the chicken for about a minute on each side. Yes, they will be raw, but they'll be done by the time everything else has joined the party. Move to the edges of the pan.

In the center of the pan, add in whatever Vegetables you chose and the Garlic. Stir it around until it's lovely and brown. I don't like to overcook the veggies - I want the centers still with a bite. Can you use the term "al dente" with vegetables? Move to the edges of the pan.

Throw in the rice. I've heard it's actually better to use day old rice because it's less sticky, or the stuff you get in a box from a take out place, but I never think that far ahead. Mix everything around.

Make a well in the middle of the pan and crack two eggs in. Scramble the eggs about 3/4 of the way done, then mix everything together so there's a mixture of egg clumps and other ingredients coated in egg.

Sploosh in Soy Sauce, Sesame Oil, and Sesame Seeds to taste. I've never measured it before. I'd say about a tablespoon of Sesame Oil, and just keep adding Soy Sauce until its the color you like your fried rice to be.

Food Jammers Review

The Cooking Channel is here... and so far it doesn't look that great. I've only watched a few episodes, but so far it looks like they were attempting to look indie and thrown together and failed dismally.

Food Jammers
This is where the "indie" theme fails dismally. The set up is simple: three (totally not gay) college guys sit around in their eclectic mish mash of an apartment, and cook things in their oh-so-chillaxed way. The problem is that it's completely contrived, lacking energy, and there is absolutely NO chemistry between the three roommates. They literally look like they're annoyed by each other. And one of them keeps looking at the camera to update us after commercial breaks, but his eyes are unfocused... it's more painful than watching kindergardeners on stage dressed as vegetables.

The episode opened with "We're out of beer." You can almost hear the echoes of the writers brainstorming -

Brainstormer 1: Ok, so we have three hip dudes in a totally chickless room, but they're totally not gay. What would they be thinking about?
Brainstormer 2: Boobs.
Brainstormer 1: No, not food related...
Brainstormer 2: Sorry. Breasts. Legs. Boston butt?
Brainstormer 1: Enh...
Brainstormer 2: Alcohol.
Brainstormer 1: Brilliant!

The totally-not-gay-but-really-thirsty roommates then decide they're going to make "pop" because beer isn't sweet enough. They start pondering the problem of thinking up a recipe, all while using a guitar amp as a metaphor for flavor components - volume of flavor, fade of flavor, blah blah blah, I get it, "Food Jammers" is a play on words. For the rest of the episode, they play mad scientists trying to make "pop." (It's Soda, people. Not pop.)

My question - if these three guys are so poor that they're rooming together, own a foosball table, and talk about food in musical metaphors, why do they have so much scientific knowledge? Did they watch too much Mythbusters?

My final verdict - even their friendship wasn't forced and contrived, the hosts are boring. They're not even eye candy. And that's just a sin.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Drop Biscuits

As I mentioned in my Buttermilk Biscuit post, I had to buy about a half gallon of buttermilk. That's all they had. And I only needed a cup for Alton's recipe. The only thing that can remedy this? Have a Biscuit-off. I'm going to try to find as many Biscuit recipes as I can and try to make them all before the buttermilk goes bad. Or I die of a heart attack and diabetic coma.

This recipe is from the book "The Complete America's Test Kitchen Cookbook." Huge title, huge book... I'm addicted to it. I've been reading it like a novel. It's a problem.



While I was filming I couldn't decide which one I liked best, but afterwards Steve brought up a good point. These biscuits are great by themselves - they have so much butter in them that you don't need to top them with anything. But if you want to spread things on them, the others are better. These also are more like dumplings than biscuits, and I feel like for something to be a "biscuit" and not just a "roll," it has to have horizontal flakes that kinda peel into one another. So Alton, I apologize for ever doubting you.

1st Place: Alton's Recipe
2nd Place: America's Test Kitchen's Recipe
1489082349809809857489th Place: Those crappy ass biscuits I made the first time.

Ingredients:
2 Cups Flour
2 Tsp Baking Powder
1 Tsp Sugar
3/4 Ts Salt
1/2 Tsp Baking Soda
1 Cup Buttahmilk, cold
1 Stick of Buttah, melted, plus more to paint on later.

Preheat oven to 475.

Sift dry ingredients together. In a separate bowl, cold Buttahmilk and hot Buttah until little clumpies form - I think it's just the butter re-cooling and solidifying. Whatever it is, it's good. Mix wet and dry ingredients together, but don't overmix.

"Drop" the biscuits onto a cookie sheet with an ice cream scoop (The recipe actually says with a quarter cup, but that seems unnecessarily difficult.) Bake for 14 minutes, paint on some butter, and let cool for five more minutes. Try not to stuff more than three in your mouth at a time.

Photobucket

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Recipe Rewrite - Tomato Pan Sauce

Thanks to Jessica, I now know how to make a successful plate of Gnocchi with Tomato Sauce, but I felt like fiddling about with the recipe. As I was eating it, I noticed that because we used Grape Tomatoes, the sauce was mostly water and skins. I wanted more meat to my sauce, so I chose to use a meatier tomato. Because of their size and shape, they are both easy to peel and easy to seed.

Ingredients (serves 2):
8 Plumb (Roman?) Tomatoes
Olive Oil to coat the pan
3 Cloves Garlic, minced
Red Pepper Flake to Taste
Salt and Pepper
A handful of Basil, chiffonaded... is that how you spell it? Cut into strips.

A pot of boiling water
A bowl of ice water

With a paring knife, cut a verrryyyy shallow X in the top of each tomatoes. You don't want to get into the flesh, just pierce the skin to give it a head start to curl. Drop the tomatoes in the boiling water, and as soon as the skins start to curl, pull them out and drop them in the ice water. When they're cool enough to handle, peel the skin off. Cut the tomatoes in half and squish out the seeds and juices. Chop up the tomatoes some more.

In a saute pan (or skillet... or pot... whatever you've got around.) heat up some olive oil and shake in some Red Pepper Flake. (I hear when you cook Red Pepper Flake a little the flavor is rounder or something.) Fling in the tomatoes, sprinkle salt and pepper, toss in the garlic. Now that you've made a mess by throwing ingredients, clean the stove and let the sauce cook for about 10 minutes. You can actually cook it for however long you want - the longer you cook it, the less "fresh" or acidic it'll taste. So it's all up to you "old fashioned" you'd like your sauce to taste. Throw in the Basil RIGHT before you serve. If you put it in too soon, it'll wilt and lose flavor. If you want to "mount the sauce," (I'm going quotes crazy today, sorry), toss in some buttah and discuss how Rhode Island is neither a road nor and island.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Buttermilk Biscuits

The last biscuits sucked. Do not believe what I said at the end of the video, they were bad. Dry, yellow, bluch, yucky, and pheh. Distraught and lost with not a friend in the world, I turned to my savior, Alton Brown. And he saved me. Oh, dear, did he save me.



Ingredients:
2 Cups Flour
4 Teaspoons Baking Powder
1/4 Baking Soda
3/4 Teaspoons Salt
2 Tb Buttah
2 Tb Shortenin'
1 Cup Buttahmilk

Preheat oven to 450 degrees, mix stuff together, roll it out, cut it into rounds, cook for 15 minutes, thank the heavens that Alton Brown was put on this earth.

---

Now I have a jug of buttermilk in the fridge, so I think another Biscuit recipe is in order. Again, this was delicious. The outside was crispy, the inside was a pillowy cloud of delicious... but I have no idea what to do with my jug of buttermilk. So, soon (before June 7th, as that's when the milk expires...) I'm going to try America's Test Kitchen's version. And it'll be a battle to the death. Or to the pain. Five points to anyone who gets that reference.

If anyone has another recipe for me to try, gimme gimme!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Seitan Teriyaki

Warning: This is, by far, the least organized video I have made. I was completely unprepared. Usually when I cook (even for myself, not just on blogs), I read the recipe enough times that its semi-memorized and I can focus on cooking instead of reading the recipe. But alas, alack, this time I did not.

So, without further ado, here is Seitan Teriyaki, with my guest hippie, Cheryl! (Yes, there are two vegetarian hippies in my life. More cow for me.)



For those who could not follow that (which is probably everyone except for Cheryl and I) here is the recipe.

Sauce:
1/2 Cup Soy Sauce
1/3 Cup Brown Sugar
1/4 Cup plus 1 Tb Rice Vinegar
1/4 Cup Water
1 inch Ginger, grated
Zest and Juice of 1/2 Orange

Other stuff:
8 Oz Seitan
10 ish stalks Broccolini
2 Cloves Garlic, minced
Sesame Oil (to cook in)

Combine saucey things and put on the stove to boil for about 20 minutes. Stir fry the Seitan in Sesame Oil and set aside. Stir fry the Broccolini and Garlic. Put everything back together and TADA! Seitan Teriyaki. Serve with rice, if that tickles you. It tickled me.

See? Not so hard. Most stir fries are like that - cook things, add sauce, eat.

PS - Original recipe was found at Vegan Yum Yum

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Queens Correspondent - Pea Guac

So, I’ve been asked by the illustrious Jenny to be her Queens correspondent, and I, of course, agreed, because who wouldn’t want to be a part of her brand of fabulousness? No one.

Today, I was on a Mexican kick for some reason, and decided to make myself some guacamole, but alas, I had only half of an avocado. Not nearly enough food for my ginormous appetite. How did I rectify this? Peas. Sounds crazy, no? But seriously, best idea EVER.

What happened next was pure magic: I took a box of frozen peas, which I had chillin’ in my freezer, and warmed them in the microwave, just to defrost them, not enough to cook them all the way through. I then took my avocado half and two limes and put the flesh and juice of each, respectively, into a bowl. I zested the limes first, of course, because it’s just easier that way. I then chopped half of a small yellow onion, and threw that in there, along with half of the box of peas (save the rest for later…you really should eat your veggies, ya know). Next, I added salt and pepper to taste. [Note: all of these amounts can be altered to suit your tastes…it’s just cooking, not rocket science. Right, Emeril?]

Finally, due to my ghetto kitchen, I was forced to mash the mixture with a fork, but I enjoy the texture of whole peas, so it wasn’t a huge loss. However, for those who are more texturally sensitive, throw the mixture in the blender, and it will produce a much smoother guac.

At this point, you are free to grab a fork and have at it as is, or as Jenny would say: “nom.” I suggest serving with tortilla chips, your favorite salsa, and sour cream (or fat free greek yogurt makes a nice substitute for those who are trying to watch their fat intake but don’t feel like they deserve to punish themselves by eating the grainy, watery abomination that is fat free sour cream).

The result was bliss.

Ingredients: (makes enough for 2 people or one me)
1/2 a hass avacado
1/2 a box of frozen peas
1/2 a small yellow onion
the zest and juice of two limes
salt and pepper to taste

The benefits of this recipe are as follows:

-Low in fat and calories, and higher in nutritional substance than regular guac
-Cheap as hell
-Easy and quick to make
-Can be easily augmented or downsized based on how many you will be serving
-A nice change from regular guac (not that there’s anything wrong with that)
-A use for those frozen peas you inexplicably bought and have no desire to eat or use on their own

Hope you enjoyed my first sub-blog, y’all!
More to come - JJ

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Recipe Rewrite - Arroz Con Pollo

So if you're a loyal follower, you'll know that I recently made Arroz con Pollo for Cinco de Mayo. I followed the recipe word for word (Minus saffron. Freakin' expensive.), and came out at the end with something delicious - or so I thought. As the excitement, and my plate, cooled down, I realized there were a few things I didn't like about the dish. Time to experiment!

First problem - When I reheated the meal for lunch the next day, the chicken was incredibly dry and chewy and all around yuck. I fixed this by using chicken tenders instead of full breasts, and just BARELY searing them at the beginning of cooking. Then they would later finish cooking by boiling in the rice liquid. Also, because the tenders have more surface area, more of it touched the paprika-y water and got deliciouser.

Second problem - I don't like olives. At least in here. I love olive oil and enjoy tapenade, but can't eat olives naked. And the way the recipe said to add them at the end after everything else had cooked, they hadn't melded their flavor in with the dish. I'd be eating my delicious chickeny rice and all of a sudden be slammed in the face by an olive. Yuck.

Third problem - Wine is expensive, and I don't keep it in the house all the time. Easy fix. Rice cooks at a 1:2 ratio with water (or whatever liquid), so I knew that I needed 4 cups of total liquid to 2 cups of rice. I estimated that the can of tomatoes had 1 cup, so replaced the rest of the liquid with chicken broth.

Fourth problem - or not really a problem, I just played with the spices. The original recipe called for 2 tsp of Paprika. Pshhh, that's for wusses. I upped it to nearly 1 1/2 Tablespoons, and a generous heaping of red pepper flake. I don't really do spicy, and this was enough for me to enjoy the meal with the occasional "Oh God, where is my water?!" But in an enjoyable way. Of course.

So, the new recipe, a la Jenny, who is not Mexican in any sense of the word and therefor should not be listened to but makes a mean Chicken and Rice.

1 1/2 lbs Chicken Tenders
2 Cups White Rice
1 Onion, chopped into squares (or whatever shape you want)
1 Red Bell Pepper, chopped into squares (Or stars.)
2 Cloves Garlic, minced
1 Can Chopped Tomatoes
3 Cups Chicken Broth
1 1/2 Tb Paprika
A few vigorous shakes of Red Pepper Flake
Some olive oil to make things slick
Salt and Pepper

Cover a dutch oven in olive oil, salt and pepper the chicken tenders, and quickly sear. Don't try to cook them all the way through, you actually want them pretty raw because they'll be cooking for about 20 minutes later. Remove to a plate.

Add Red Bell Pepper, Onion, and Garlic and some Salt to help the onions sweat. Let cook and brown for a while. (You know what would be really delicious? Roasting the Peppers before adding. But alas.) Then add the Rice, Paprika, and Red Pepper Flake. Stir around to make the rice delicious looking, but do not eat. Add Tomatoes and Chicken Broth. Cover and let lightly boil for 15 minutes.

It'll look kinda sticky at this point. Remove the chicken, but leave the rest on the heat to finish cooking. Shred up the chicken with two forks and return to the pot. The rice should be finished cooking. Stir everything around, remove from the heat, cover and let rest for a few minutes before attacking.

And you get this!
Photobucket

Feel free to subscribe, comment, and salivate.

Sorry, have to do this for Technorati - GVAB22FCB9VG

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Roast Chicken

Every food blog has to have this post. I think it's in the rule book. This is Roast Chicken with Lemon, Rosemary, and Garlic. It's as basic and delectable. And I made it up as I went along, but the recipe is under the video... so we can pretend I knew what I was doing before hand. I promise, it was delicious.



Ingredients:
A Chicken (I used like a four pounder)
3 Cloves Garlic (minced)
3 Cloves Garlic (whole)
A Lemon
2 Tb Buttah
3 Sprigs Rosemary
Salt and Peppah

Hardware:
Cast iron skillet, mortar and pestle (or the back of your knife), kitchen twine.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees

Make a compound butter out of 3 cloves of garlic, one sprig of rosemary, the butter, and salt. (I did this in a mortar and pestle because I'm Sur la Table's bitch, but you can smoosh the garlic with your knife, cut the rosemary really small, and smash it all together with a spoon violently, wishing you had a mortar and pestle.) Rub half under the skin of the bird's breasts and the rest anywhere else. Salt and pepper all over the place. Massaging the bird's back is not required, but she'll appreciate it. Tie the legs together. Insert probe thermometer at the biggest part of the boobie.

Cook for 20 minutes, then lower the oven to 350. When the thermometer reads 165, take the birdie out of the oven and let rest for 10 ish minutes under a little foil house. Create foil bed and couch, if you see fit. Carve and nom.

Also - check out Hilah Cooking. She rocks. Hilah Cooking

Friday, May 21, 2010

Chocolate Lava Cake

This thing is the worst food for your health ever. Ever. EVAR. I think at the end of this, each person has consumed about 700 calories. But forget that. It's the most delicious cake you will ever eat in your life. Dare I say it - this cake will get you laid.



Ingredients:
4-6 Oz. Dark Chocolate
3/4 Cup Sugar
3/4 Cup Butter
1/4 Cup Flour
4 Eggs

Hardware:
Bowl, pot/bowl double boiler contraption (or another bowl and a microwave), whisk, four ramekins.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Biscuits

Ok, so I'm trying a new format, and here's my master plan - I'm actually going to TELL YOU what I'm doing. Yea, I guess I was just lazy before or surprised when recipes came out well, so didn't bother to tell you what I was doing out of embarrassment. So here is me making Biscuits!



Recipe:
2 Cups Flour (plus more for the table)
2 tsp Baking Soda (supposed to be Powder. Woops.)
1/2 tsp Salt
4 Tb Shortening
3/4 Cup Milk (plus more for painting)

Hardware: A bowl, a sifter, a spoon, a silpat, a baking sheet, your grubby little paws.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Gnocchi and Tomato Sauce, Attempt #3

Ok, bringing in the big guns. Jessica came from Queens to teach those potatoes what happens when you mess with me. I, finally, after three attempts, get to eat a dinner of Gnocchi and Tomato Sauce.



Ingredients for Gnocchi:
2 Russet potatoes
1 ish cup of flour
1 egg
Some olive oil

Ingredients for Sauce:
Tomatoes
Olive Oil
Salt
Pepper
Red Pepper Flake
Basil

Hoorah! And happy mother's day, Mommy.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Arroz con Pollo

Yesterday was Cinco de Mayo!!!!... which I completely forgot about (until a rather inebriated call from a friend.) To celebrate, one day late, I'm making Arroz con Pollo. Also because I'm getting a little tired of French cooking. This is the recipe from the epicurious app on my iphone.



So yea, 30 bucks for a tablespoon of Saffron? Does it taste like powdered orgasm or something?

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Apple Tarte Tatin

So I'm completely obsessed with Julie and Julia. I've read the book twice, read the sequel (which kind of ruined the first, but whatever.), read "My Life in France," and watch the movie an embarassing amount of times. In honor of my obsession, I decided to make ANOTHER recipe that was featured in the movie - Apple Tarte Tatin. To give myself credit, I've wanted to do this long before the movie came out - Gordon Ramsay made it on one of his shows and made it looks simple at 30 seconds long. Oh, was he wrong.



Yea, my pan was too big so my tart turned into something resembling baked apples on a cracker. But whatevs.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Sole Meurniere

Tonight I made Sole Meurniere... I hope that's spelled right. It's a very fancy sounding dinner that maybe costs ten bucks for two people. PS - I do not like fish. At least cooked. Sushi is great, but I've never liked the "fishy" taste of fish. Let's see how this turns out.

Ingredients:
3 Sole Filets
Zest and Juice of a lemon
Parsley
2 ish Tb Butter
Salt, Pepper
Flour
Asparagus



Retrospective thoughts: I am in need of a better lemon zester or microplane and a fish turner if I'm going to keep trying to make fish. And a potato ricer. But that's just because Grandpa says you need one to make gnocchi.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Gnocchi and Tomato Sauce, Attempt #2

So I was really confident with this one. I had picked out the recipes, studied them, engrained them into my brain... and then didn't buy enough tomatoes. And then tried to halve the gnocchi recipe. Et cetera, chaos ensues. Watch for the moment of total destruction!



Stay tuned for Gnocchi and Tomato Sauce, attempt #3. Not any time soon, mind you. I'm a little gnocchied out.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Bruschetta and Garlic Bread

I was feeling all hippie-healthy, and decided Bruschetta would make a fine dinner. Here is my recipe for not-too-greasy-that-Mom-can't-eat-it Bruschetta and sinfully garlic-y bread.

Recipe: Some tomatoes, some basil, some olive oil, some salt (like the exact measurements?), crusty bread, more olive oil, a clove of garlic.



Later, I was bored and made chocolate molten cakes. They. Were. Godly. Steve and I moaned around the apartment for a while and are fighting the urge to eat more. It is made of everything that is sin. Melting. In chocolate.

Recipe: 3/4 cup butter, 3/4 cup sugar, 6oz dark chocolate, 1/4 cup flour, 4 eggs, garnished with the devil.

Melt the butter and chocolate together, mix all other ingredients in another bowl. Combine and cook in 4 ramekins for about 14 minutes. Eat. Orgasm.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Cheese Souffle

This is, by far, the most difficult thing I think I've tried to do. A cheese souffle, for one.



One thing I've been thinking about: All of these fancy, schmancy French dishes are probably stupid expensive in restaurants, but let's look at what it actually took me to make a cheese souffle.

A tablespoon of butter.
A tablespoon of flour.
Some scraps of cheese.
Two eggs.
A splash of milk.
A stick of wood.
A piece of cloth.

Oh... woops, I left the last two in Anatevka. But you get the point - why so expensive, Restaurants? I made this at home for about 3 bucks. Make it yourself, people.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Boeuf Bourguignon

After buying "Mastering the Art of French Cooking," it's almost silly not to make Boeuf Bourguignon. So, here's my attempt.



Recipe ideas for later - Molten chocolate cake, cheese souffle, apple tart tatin... any ideas?

((EDIT: Apparently, it's pronounced "key-aunti," not "shee-auntie." Thank you, Harrison.))

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Rolled Omelette

Wooo!!!!! That's all I have to say.



Afterwards, I tried to recreate the experience for Steve, and ended up breaking his omelette in half. Oh well. It was Diner worthy nonetheless.

Ingredients - 2 eggs, salt, pepper, 1 Tb butter, lots of arm muscles.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Recipes!

As requested by Jessica (red haired one, not cooking expert one), here are the recipes for things that turned out well so far. If you really want my recipe for gnocchi, ask and I'll laugh at you then give it to you.

Steak, Potatoes, Etc:
-Steak - A steak. Olive oil, salt, pepper.
-Potatoes (for one or two if you're not addicted to mashed potatoes as I am) - 3 Red potatoes, 1 Tb butter, splash of milk, salt if needed.
-Asparagus - 10 Asparagus stalks, salt, pepper, olive oil, 1 clove garlic.

Asparagus Risotto: (for one)
3/4 Cup Arborio or Risotto Rice, 6-10 Stalks Asparagus, Chicken or Veggie Broth (amount alters, just buy a box and go with it), White Wine, Parmasan Cheese.

Matzo Ball Soup:
-Balls - 4 egg yolks, 4 egg whites stiffly beaten, 1 cup matzo meal, 1 Tb veggie oil or schmaltz, salt
-Soup - 1 Cut Up Chicken (about 5 pounds), Radish, Turnip, Carrots, Onion, Dill, Rosemary, 1 can broth, Water to cover the rest, any other veggies you like.

Hopefully that's all right... Tonight, I make dinner for my parents for the first time. Don't think I can video tape with all the stuff going down. The Menu is Bruschetta on Garlic Bread, Roast Beef, Mashed Potatoes, and Asparagus. And if all else fails, Mom's bring seven layer cake.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Artichokes with Hollandaise Sauce

So I started setting up to videotape myself making Artichokes with Hollandaise Sauce, and got very angry at my day, so threw the laptop back at the couch. But, things that happened:

I discovered I LOVE artichokes. Where have they been all my life?

However, Alton lied when he said that the stem of the artichoke tastes as good as the heart. Lies. It tastes like wood. Unless I didn't peel it far enough.

I made a perfect hollandaise. Perfection. Too bad I, apparently, do not like hollandaise. But I am very proud of how it turned out.

I got my first cooking-related injury. I was cutting the fuzzies (actually called the "choke," but it just looks like hair.) off of the artichoke heart, and my finger got in the way. I now cannot do dishes because putting water on my finger stings hardcore.

Overall, a nice turn to an otherwise rather frustrating day.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Matzo Ball Soup

At last, some success. In honor of Passover, the end of winter, and being diagnosed with strep throat, I made chicken soup with matzo balls, to great acclaim from Steve.



Also in this video: The first appearance of my wonderful, fabulous, beautiful, new cast iron dutch oven, care of Mom.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Asparagus Risotto

So, after the last fiasco that was my Gnocchi (French Fries) and Stewed Tomatoes (Ketchup), I decided to cook something I actually have in the past. Asparagus Risotto with Parmesan. ((EDIT: Thank you, Jessica, for correcting me. I did not cover my risotto in sauce and cheese and bake it a la parmigiana.))



Soon to come: Matzo Ball Soup.

And vegan cookies. I didn't forget.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Gnocchi with Stewed Tomatoes

In this video, I attempt some potato gnocchi with stewed tomatoes. Underline attempt. A few times.



After eating a few of my fries or latkes or whatever my not-gnocchi were, I went to Mom's house for dinner. And forgot to ask for a masher.

Soon to come: Vegan cookies for my hippie brother.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Steak, Brussel Sprouts, and Potatoes

Hi, I'm Jenny. And I cannot cook. Yet.

I'm an absolute addict when it comes to cooking shows. Food Network, Top Chef, No Reservations... if someone's cooking, I'm watching. But I had never tried to cook anything (though I am a wiz at scrambling an egg.)

So for my first adventure, I tried cooking a steak for the first time, with a side of brussel sprouts and mashed potatoes. Here we go.

((PS - Just so you know, there was about an hour of footage before I got this down to the ten minute Youtube limit. Thank god for that limit, or this video would have been painful to watch.))