Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Cheese Diary: Robiola Crosta

I was at the cheese shop today and this wash rind was purported to be good with Bartlett pears. I happened to have some Bartletts sitting around at home. This seemed like a run of the mill wash rind, more nutty than buttery, strong salty flavor, smells like feet when left out at room temp for a while. Excellent when paired with Bartletts as the flavor of both seem to be enhanced. This is a great way to enjoy seasonal pears. I suppose the earthy flavor can be compared to mushrooms after they've been sitting in the fridge a while, and they're slimy but extremely strong smelling - that's the good stuff.

The morning after: Post Thanksgiving Breakfast

I call this my Thanksgiving Benedict.

Two herb potato rolls cut in half with a piece of turkey meat, a poached egg laid on top with giblet gravy poured over and served with a side of butternut squash. I learned how to poach eggs from Jamie Oliver's site tutorial.

The variety we had for Thanksgiving didn't really lend itself to us getting bored of the food. I was looking forward to breakfast. Mushroom stuffing with a fried egg and gravy was a nice breakfast too.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Thanksgiving Review: The Great Dictator

This was my first year as Thanksgiving dictator.

- Turkey
- Giblet Gravy*
- Apple Stuffing*
- Wild Mushroom Stuffing*
- Deep fried Cornish Hens*
- Sweet Potato Triple Medley*
- Roasted Vegetable Quartet*
- Roasted Cauliflower*
- Glazed Butternut Squash*
- Butternut Squash Soup
- Green Bean Casserole
- Deviled Eggs
- Brocolli & Cheese Casserole
- Herb Potato Rolls*
- Pumpkin Pie*
- Sampler Pie

Needless to say, I'm assuming a life long term.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Kitchen-Sinking: Sardine Chowder

"Kitchen Sinking" is taken from the phrase "everything but the kitchen sink" it's the general phrase I use when I have vegetables that I NEED to use.

The hoard:
a single potato
and a giant leek

solution: Sardine chowder!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Obsessive Egg Foo Young

I do exercise videos off of youtube and one day, a suggested video was this:

How to make egg  foo young. I figured, why not watch it? I know how to make Korean steamed eggs, omelets, I thought the process would be somewhere in between.

It turns out, egg foo young is an easy way to use up left overs. I had some left over Beijing duck from my birthday and what manifested was a duck-shitake,-mushroom-green onion egg foo young. Save a few chewy parts, it was really good. The biggest revelation from this was what mystery Chinese-American "brown sauce" was. It's so simple: chicken stock, soy sauce, and corn starch?

What I have learned recently is that kimchi is not a good mix in ingredient for egg foo young, but mushrooms and any protein are pretty dynamite! I'm a little ambivalent on the seafood as I don't think it would go with brown sauce, but I do remember shrimp egg foo young being a favorite back in the day. I suppose nothing too strong, so maybe no salmon egg foo young.

Mushrooms, always

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Kitchen MacGyver: Lobster Claws

I got a lobster recently. For a long time, as in my life prior to last Thursday, I've been turned off my the idea of getting a lobster because of the outrageous $24/lb price tag I've had in my head. Thinking those lobsters are dense and thick, each one could probably be anywhere between 2-5 lbs, right?

Despite considering myself a logical person, my ability to apply it escapes me when it comes to lobsters and estimating medical costs.

Turns out, lobsters at the grocery store are all about 1 - 1.5lbs, and they're only $13/lb.

I've also been obsessed with the dish Lobster Newberg ever since it was mentioned in the Stepford Wives. Yes, I'm one of those types that can get obsessed easily. Anyway, after concluding that I was going to get an A in my class, I decided to celebrate by making Lobster Newberg. If I didn't make it then, I'd still always have the thought lingering.

My main issue came about while I was removing the meat from the lobster. I've de-meated blue crabs before, no biggie, but one thing lobster has that crab doesn't is really large front claws. It's only happen once before that I run into the dilemma of not having a claw cracker and this time, I really had issues trying to crack the claws by hand.


Giant 4 cup Pyrex glass measuring cup.

- wrap the claws in butcher paper
- pound the claws with enough force to crack them, obviously without damaging the measuring cup.

And I still don't have to buy a claw cracker. :)

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Texas Summer Readiness: Thai Iced Tea and Cold Brew Coffee

Getting ready for Texas Summer generally means that prepping access to cold drinks and plan things you can do inside since 100 degree weather isn't exactly the best play weather.

I've found that I thoroughly enjoy iced toddy coffee. The beauty of the brewing process is that it is impossible to burn the coffee and burnt coffee is really a flavor that no one should get used to. It also keeps in the refrigerator well. I can wake up in the morning, warm my coffee, add half & half and be out the door with a cup better than anything I've paid for. I got the recipe off of Thug Kitchen: Cold Brew Coffee

Another thing I've been working on is my Thai iced tea. I like it. My boyfriend likes it. I happen to have some of the tea in my closet, so I may as well make it so I have some nice variety in my cold caffeinated drinks. One thing I've been having issues with is the separation. It's what my boyfriend looks for. It's the mark of a good Thai ice tea - at least in restaurants. It's pretty hard to achieve. It is also the point where it causes me a great deal of confusion.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Cheese Diary: Caveman

"I'm looking for a blue that is less sharp than the Roquefort and creamier."

That request describes the Caveman. The Roquefort was so strong that I couldn't eat excessive quantities at once so I toned down the cheese and settled on the Caveman which is currently my favorite blue cheese. It has just the right amount of saltiness, fewer veins of mold, but what also sticks out to me is how it has a kind of fruity aftertaste - a lot like strawberries. I hope they get it back in stock.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Chinese Dumplings for Dummies

I know that dumplings are time consuming, but I feel I've made dumplings enough to where I find the process mildly therapeutic. It's really relaxing and a good activity for when I don't feel like thinking.

Here's the recipe I've gotten good at: Fu Qing Sweet Potato Dumplings

(UPDATE: The blog of the OP for the recipe is messing up - I copied the recipe after having to disable JS and reposted. Sorry for the lack of pretty pictures :(  )

The first time I made them...I think only about 12-15 survived the dumpling formation process. The second time, I made so many I was able to perfect my dumpling making process. 3rd time I made them, they came out really good, but the 4th time I made them I perfected my steaming technique. The key to getting the dough right is making sure you have a good sweet potato, the flesh under the skin is really bright orange and after you boil the sweet potato, the flesh is really sweet on it's own.

Most of the recipes I've seen for dumplings involve flattening the dough wrapper and forming it in your hands. I have to say, that's what causes my casualties when forming the dumplings. I do use the dusting flour, but it doesn't help me too much. The flour sticks to my hands and the dumpling rips apart. So here are my deviations from the recipe above.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Soybean Paste Chicken

I made this recipe a long time ago. I posted it on a blog that was suppose to be an effort between all of my sisters, but no, they suck and I was the main contributor for a while before I just stopped caring. I was about to delete the blog, but my sister told me not to. Good thing too or else I wouldn't have remembered the recipe. Now I can add my edits.

Paste Recipe:

2 medium sized garlic cloves (pressed - as in garlic press, you can chop it finely or crush it in a mortar, that works too. )
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 teaspoons red miso paste
1 teaspoon water (as needed to thin out paste)
1 teaspoon canola oil

Prior to seeing my original recipe, I was adding soy sauce and now I see why it came out saltier than usual. Anyway, the red miso provides adequate saltiness and flavor compared to the shiro miso I use to use. 

This is a good amount of paste for two (2) palm sized chicken thighs. Given that my palms are not like everyone elses, we'll just go with the deck of cards descriptor sizing. After an adequate coating of bean paste, I placed my chicken thighs on a griddle like pan. I slathered a little bit of bacon fat from this morning on the pan (can't let it go to waste you know.) The garlic still will burn to some degree, but I turned the thighs frequently enough to avoid too much charring on one side. When one of the thighs looks done (cooked all around), I'd place it on a chopping board and cut through to ensure doneness because the thighs are not the same width throughout, place any undercooked pieces on the griddle until done. 

While I was grilling the chicken, I had broccoli and asparagus steaming on top of the rice cooker where the rice was cooking. That's some good efficiency there. 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Cheese Diary: Roquefort

Have you ever seen mold look this good?

I read about Roquefort in a book about microbes that help us in our daily lives. At that point I decided I had to try this cheese. The first hit was a flavor bomb. For me, it was like a concentrated bleu cheese flavor that had a musty, salty after taste. It crumbles nicely. It's good in small doses, but I can't eat too much of it. This is definitely worth a try if you like bleu cheese on the strong side.