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.

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.

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!

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.

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

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.

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

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

Thursday, May 20, 2010


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!

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:
Olive Oil
Red Pepper Flake

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.