Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Friday, December 25, 2009
Saturday, December 19, 2009
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
I picked up a bottle of wine on chili day that I have not seen in quite a while. This puppy is pretty hard to find especially in a retail outlet. It is so top secret Seghesio doesn't even have it on its web site. It is the "Venom."
Sunday, October 11, 2009
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts.
2 boxes of preferred cous cous
flat leaf Italian parsley
2 minced garlic cloves
1/2 bulb or shallot minced
1 tsp of olive oil
1/2 tsp of salt
I prefer to pound out the chicken breasts paillard style in a large ziploc bag to a uniform thickness. This promotes quick and even cooking and keeps it from drying out. Add salt and pepper and grill our sautee over med high heat for about 3 mins per side. I really like using my George Foreman grill for this since it cuts the time in half and you loose some of the fat. Remove and let rest. Cook your couscous and let sit for a bit.
Quarter the cucumbers length wise and cut out the majority of the seeds. Cut into 1/4 in pieces. Quarter the tomatoes and remove the seeds. Cut into 1/4 inch pieces. Chop up a cup of parsley.
Fluff the cous cous and transfer to a large serving bowl. Add the tomatoes, cucumbers, parsley, garlic and parsley. Add the zest of half of the lemon and the juice from the whole lemon. Add the olive oil and toss together. Salt and pepper to taste. This is good warm or as a chilled salad. My other recommendation for this would be to add a 1/2 cup of plain yogurt and some dill to make it a little richer.
4-7 lb boneless pork shoulder (Boston Butt)
6 dried chiles. I prefer a mix of Ancho, New Mexico, and Pasillla
Canola, olive (not extra virgin), or grapeseed oil.
2 cloves of garlic smashed and diced
1 onion chopped
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp paprika
a dozen fennel seeds
1 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp honey
2 cups of white wine
salt and pepper
Bring a medium size sauce pan or water to a boil and then remove from the heat. Add the dried chiles and submerge with a plate, steamer basket, or what ever you can find that will fit in the pan and keep them under the water. Let them steep for 15 minutes. I recommend leaving your pork out for an hour or two to get close to room temperature. Please don't freak out about this since a.) most pork is raised and slaughtered in environments that are cleaner than the average hospital and b.) you will be cooking this long and thoroughly enough to kill and cooties that may be present. Trim the larger portions of fat off of the shoulder but do not go completely crazy and try and perform full liposuction on it. After all the flavor is in the fat. Add enough oil to just cover the bottom or a dutch oven or large stock pot on Med high heat. If you do not have an enameled cast iron dutch oven please let me suggest this one. It is $100 less that that fancy pants french brand and performs just as well. You will get miles and miles out of this piece of equipment. Liberally salt and pepper the shoulder and brown on all sides. Remove the meat and place on a platter. Add the onion and garlic to the pot and sautee until the onion is translucent about 6-8 minutes. Add one cup of the wine to deglaze and turn the heat to low for a few minutes. Make sure and scape the bottom of the pot to remove any yummy brown bits that may still be stuck there. Pour the contents into your food processor or blender.
Remove the chiles from the water and remove stems. Rinse them under cool water to wash out the seeds. You don't have to be too OCD about this since any remaining seed will only add a little pop. Add the chiles and remaining ingredients to you food processor and hit the go button. Slowly drizzle in approx 1/2 cup of oil until you have a smooth consistency.
Cut a few random 1/2 inch slits in the shoulder and then coat the outside or the pork with the puree. Put the meat back in the pot and add any remaining puree and the other cup of wine. Make sure the liquid is about an inch deep around the meat. Put the lid on and pop into a 275 degree oven for at least 3 hrs. Grab a couple of beers and watch some TV, hit Facebook, or fold those stacks of laundry that have been there all week.
After three hours you should be able to pull the meat apart with a fork. Remove the meat and let is rest on a platter covered with foil for 15 mins. You can skim the fat off the top of the remaining liquid and reduce down to make a kick ass sauce. Slice the like a roast or shred it with a couple of forks and serve with some beans, rice, and tortillas.
You can always add a 1/2 tsp of Cayenne or chipolte powder to get some more BAM! if you like. As always please let me know if you have any questions or if the were any omissions or confusion.
Monday, April 6, 2009
2lbs of Beef Chuck or Lamb leg/shoulder
2 cans of coconut milk
1 cup of white wine
Regular plain yogurt
1 yellow onion
Red and yellow bell peppers
Punjab curry powder
Rub your meat with salt and pepper and drop it into a gallon size Ziploc storage bag. Add one can of coconut milk, a cup of yogurt, the zest of one lemon, a table spoon of the curry powder and a couple of table spoons of olive oil. Seal it and shake to combine. Allow this to marinate in the fridge for at least six hours but better if it is over night.
Take out the meat and let is rest for an hour or so to come up to room temp. Save the marinade liquid. Brown the meat in a heavy pot or dutch oven with olive oil over medium heat. Be careful not to get it to hot and watch carefully because the sugar in the coconut milk and yogurt will blacken and get bitter. Remove the meat and set aside. Chop your onion , peppers, shallot, and garlic and add to the pot till the veggies are soft. Add salt and pepper to taste as they cook. Toss in some roughly chopped or torn mint at the end. Deglaze the pan with the white wine and scrape all the yummy bits off the bottom of the pan.
Transfer the veggies to the clay pot. Set the meat on top of them and add the bay leaf, some whole pepper corns, ground mustard, and the marinade liquid and the juice of a lemon. Add more coconut milk so that the meat is covered about half way up. Put the clay pot in a COLD (do not pre-heat your over if using caly ware lest you want it to crack and spill your goods all over the bottom) and turn it to 350. Spend the next 4 hours napping, checking facebook updates, or watching a sporting event. Remove and fork test the meat. It should fall apart wit a stern look or light poke. Enjoy.
If you don't have a clay pot you can do it in a dutch oven at 350 for the same ammount of time or stove top in a heavy pot over low heat for 2-3 hours. Keep an eye on the stove pot method and make sure you don't lose too much liquid through reduction.
As always let me know if i left anything out or if you have questions. Such is the madness of cooking from the hip and not having/using recipes.
Sunday, April 5, 2009
Wine Guy: Hey there, whats going on?
Me: Aww, not much. Having the grandparents over for dinner so I came to pick up some burgers and chips.
Wine Guy: Don't do burgers?
Me: *eyebrow raised* Really? Why? (how dare he question my dinner plan)
Wine Guy: They have T-bones on sale for $1.99/lb.
Me: No way! (Pavlovian tail wagging begins)
Wine Guy: But they are out. *sly smile*
Me: Huh? (roughly translated to "Asshole...don't play me like that!")
Wine Guy: So instead they switched to NY Strips.
Me: Ok. I can deal with that. (Not my favorite cut but still worth the price and I can grind the rest)
Wine Guy: But they ran out of those too.
Me: Seriously? (restraining myself from kicking him in the Jimmy)
Wine Guy: But I heard they sent a guy to the store in McKinney to pick up some Ribeyes.
Me: Ohhh... (almost sharting myself because Ribeye is on my "last meal" menu) I can deal with that.
So I quickly plowed through a family of four and knocked over an end cap of peanuts and preperation H to get to the coffin fridges. There were three packs of beautifully marbled six packs of steaks none of which exceeded $18. Glory be! I was a happy man. I had to back track through the produce section for spinach and taters and of course revisit the Wine Guy to let him schlep some of his spirits to me. Either way Beck and I managed quick and successful shopping trip and returned to surprise the family with a gorgeous upgrade from the expected dinner of sliders and crisps.
Thursday, March 26, 2009
- 1 large egg
- 5 large egg yolks
- 1/2 cup sugar + 1/4 cup for the berries.
- 3 cups heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
- 1 tablespoon orange liqueur (Grand Marnier or Bouchant
- Juice of one lemon
Add the berries, sugar and lemon juice to a bowl and toss to combine. Let sit for at least 2 hours.
Slowly combine the egg, yolks, and sugar in your mixer with the paddle attachment on low speed. You can do this by hand with a whisk just to be too aggressive. After the yolks lighten in color a bit slowly add the cream in a slow steady stream. Add the vanilla and almond. Add berries to ramekins or stoneware dish and pour the custard over them.
Place the ramekins in a baking pan and carefully pour boiling water into the pan to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes at 325, until the custards are set when gently shaken. Remove the custards from the water bath, cool to room temperature, and refrigerate until firm.
To serve, spread 1 tablespoon of sugar evenly on the top of each ramekin and heat with a kitchen blowtorch or benz0matic (my favorite) until the sugar caramelizes evenly. Allow to sit at room temperature for a minute until the caramelized sugar hardens.
and peppers done in a clay pot.
Shitake mushroom and fig quinoa with sage and thyme
with lardons and a warm bacon shallot vinaigrette
A macerated berry creme brulee with vanilla
and spinach and some cookie brownie bars.
I am hoping it gets rave reviews. There is nothing I enjoy more than spending a day in the kitchen cooking for others. Some of these were new recipes. This was also my first attempt at making a dessert without assistance from Mr. Heins or Ms. Crocker.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
We really enjoyed our time there. Since the weather was nice we took the parents to Iguana Grill to enjoy the view and some more margaritas. We got some great pics of the family. Next time we are going to head back ot Cafe Blue. This is the location but not the original incarnation of a place built and opened by a buddy named Jeff Currington and his buddy Van. It is built on the lake below the flood plane. The used cocnrete, stainless steel, and teak for the construction and sealed the electrical system so then when it flodded they could take all the equipment out. and then come back and hose it down and reopen.
Tomorrow I get the privilidge of cooking for a good friend who's dad is in the hospital. I am planning a nice clay pot roast with curry and coconut, mushroom and fig quinoa, a dandelion and radish salad with a warm bacon shallot vinagrette, and a macerated berry brulee. I am also doing a nice baked ziti for the kiddos. I will let you know how it turns out.
Sunday, March 15, 2009
Thursday, March 12, 2009
My mom picked up a pack of Tuldy's chili seasoning and enjoyed it. She was kind enough to bring some up to me and I was an instant convert. The combine the perfect level of spice, smoke, and richness. The recipe is simple and you can customize it how you like. Their tortilla soup mix is kick ass as well. I have not found a retailer in the DFW area yet so I stock up on our trips to Austin. They also sell online.
Rehydrated 4 or 5 dried chiles in water just off the boil. I used Pasilla and New Mexico for this one but you could use Arbol, Cascabel, or even Chipolte if you like. Once they have softened remove the stems and split them and discard the seeds. I bought and ground whole Annatto seeds for the achiote. I recommend buying your achiote already ground because this was a heck of an ordeal. They do not give it up easily.
Combine the chiles and achiote powder in a food processor with some vegetable oil, apple cider vinegar, salt, pepper, cumin, minced garlic, lemon zest and honey. Blend it until completely incorporated. Set aside.
Butterfly boneless skinless breasts and pound out with a mallet until they are about 1/8th of an inch thick. I usually do this in a large ziploc storage bag with a little oil in it to contain the mess. The oil helps prevent the chicken from tearing apart when pounding.
Put the breasts in a bowl or ziploc bag with the marinade and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
After allowing the chicken to rest don some latex gloves and lay it out on a work surface covered with plastic wrap. Achiote is commonly used as a food dye and for makeup. It will stain your skin and surfaces if exposed for a period of time. Lay down slices of Manchego, thinly sliced panchetta or seranno ham that has been browned in a saute pan (put this pan aside and don't discard the rendered fat from the ham), and sage leaves on one side of the breast. roll the breasts up and remember to tuck the ends into contain the cheese. Secure with toothpicks. Set aside.
Roasted Corn Salsa-
Soak 4-5 whole ears of corn for 10-15 minutes. Toss on the grill for 12-15 minutes turning occasionally. The outsides will char but don't worry. Remove the husks and silk. Cut off the end where the husk is and stand on end. Run your knife down the sides and remove the kernels.
Peel and grate one bulb of Jicima. Dice a red and green bell pepper, 1/2 onion, shallot, and garlic. Add this to a large bowl with the corn and toss with the juice of one lime, one blood or regular orange, some chopped cilantro and a couple table spoons of olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside
Peel some white or creamer potatoes and boil in salted water until soft. Strain and set aside. Saute one diced onion, shallot and garlic in the pan previously used for browning the ham. Add a little oil if needed and salt and pepper. Cook this down for 5-7 minutes until the onions are soft. Increase the heat and add 1/2 cup of Bouchant, Cointreau, or Grand Marnier. Hold a lit match over the pan to ignite and burn off the vapors. If you cook on gas just tilt the pan and it should flare up. If you get nervous about the flames keep a lid close and simply cover the pan to put it out. Make sure all your friends are around for the show of course. After the liquid has reduced add this to the potatoes with 1/2 stick of butter, 1 cup of sour cream, 1 cup of heavy cream 1 tsp of ground mustard and 3 table spoons of horseradish. Mash this all together and a salt to taste.
Split and scoop out 5-6 avocados. Roughly chop or smash them up. Add to a saute pan with 3 gloves of minced garlic, 1 cup of cream, 1/2 stick of butter. Heat until just warmed through and transfer to a blender. Add a few sprigs of cilantro and some salt. Turn on and puree slowly adding 1/2 cup of olive oil and salt. If the sauce is still a little tight slowly add warm water to get the desired consistency.
Grill the chicken and remove when cooked through. Remove the tootpicks and slice into medalions. Put a spoonful of potatoes in the center of the plate and ladle the sauce around the rest of the plate. Place the chicken on top of the potatoes and drop some corn salsa on top. Enjoy!
Let me know if you have any questions or suggestions.
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Every cook has his workhorses. You 10 inch sautee pan, your bag o' magic spices, and of course your knife. I received my first Global for Christmas 9 years ago. I dropped it on my bare foot the first time I used it and almost severed the tendon to my big toe. Since then it has served me well and cut me very rarely. It is lighter and less fatiguing than my heavier Henckels and Wusthoffs and the balance is great. The handle provides great grip even though it is all metal. And the 5 degree blade angle makes a real difference.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Below is a snapshot of one of my menus with the "recipes." It is more a list of ingredients to keep my on track and keep me from accidentally omitting something in the event I have a couple of glasses of wine during preparation.
Monday, March 9, 2009
Kissing the cook is always appreciated, but spanking him. Now that's what I'm talking about!
Achiote and Chilie Pasilla marinated chicken roulade with panchetta, sage, and Manchego cheese over horseradish and Bouchant mashers and an avacado cream sauce. Topped with a roasted corn and Jicama salsa.