Monday, November 11, 2013
Deli cooked corn beef chopped with potato, carrots, and onion. Throw second part(s) in a hot skillet, cook until potatoes and carrots are soft, and onions are browned (remember mirepoix lesson in culinary class?- all even sizes for even cooking). Then add beef, just to heat through.
Do not salt, the corn beef is salty! It's a hell of a lot better than the canned stuff (or is it?), less salt, at least I hope.
Oh and I've been told the Jewish deli corn beef works better than Italian, so we gave it a try.
Ahhh the things my son does in our pretend test kitchen to make his mom happy on a busy weekend morning publishing books- yes, we (hubs and I) started a new business this summer. Red Dashboard LLC
Wednesday, November 6, 2013
I am deeply saddened by the death of one of my culinarian gods, Charlie Trotter.
Death hits me extra hard since my daughter and parents passed away, years ago.
The last time Robert and I saw Charlie, he was happier than I had ever seen him (while working- Trotters). He introduced me to his mother that day. He was bouncy, smiling, and kissed me on the cheek with a good over the shoulder hug. Normally, he never did this; he was driven, a yeller (which I never liked in the kitchen), but people respected him. He never let you drink hard alcohol before a taste and a good meal to boot, because it would desensitize your taste buds to flavor.
It was a privilege to have known and worked with him. In the early 2000's, before moving to NJ, in Dallas while working for the culinary school I often helped other chef friends do charity events, The La Toque (Epilepsy Foundation), Cook-offs (BBQ and Chili), and anything we could get the students involved in for experience. It was just after my oldest child passed away from heart disease, and I needed distractions.
Charlie was at a distance from me while we all were setting up in the afternoon in downtown, and I was put in charge of the wait staff for a 700 seated dinner. He came over next to me to get something, I was slicing paté and he suggested I go in closer with my finger to get a more precise cut (lots to feed that night). He stood there (making me nervous) watching as I worked, but patted me on the back once everyone was done that night. All the top chefs that night opened champagne and insisted we all toast to pulling off a great night. It was fun, because I was around many big names that night and expedited a lot of food off to the wait staff. Volunteering is a great way to learn the trade.
Each time I saw him afterwards he said hello (which I know is silly, but it meant something to me as a fellow chef), but still always so serious. He saw me and recognized me in Austin, and offered to sign books during a busy night, two my husband and I carried with us just in case we got a moment with him. I even had the privilege of him getting upset with me, which he was known for. I shook it off, because the next time I saw him in Chicago he more than made up for it.
I did feel, do feel, that often people are so driven they forget to enjoy life, then it is too late.
I only wanted Charlie, I want you all to be happy while doing what you are passionate about.
Someone, I forget whom was quoted, said "Heaven will eat better now that he is up there."
Monday, October 21, 2013
After returning from Colombia, South America my son announced he couldn't get enough of this dish. He described it as being different in varied cities around Colombia (mainly indigenous to Bogota), but he wasn't sure what the ingredients were.
"Possibly potato soup of some kind with chicken" he described.
I found various recipes, even one site I was familiar My Colombian Recipes.
We had to order the seasoning- guascas an aromatic herb that looks like basil in its natural form.
A chef friend joined us in making this dish, as she herself has been to south America and loves the culture, food and language. It consists of three types of potatoes, chicken, guascas, and alternative garnishes- sour cream or creme fraiche, capers, avocado, corn on the cob, and other.
The flavor was distinctive and good.
We did not have all of the ingredients but will be making other variations of this recipe!
Here is the recipe I followed- Serious Eats, minus the aji (cilantro based sauce) because it can dominate the taste buds, and the chef in me wanted to let the guascas come through. We held off on the capers as well, same reason, to get a handle on the flavor of a dried herb, reconstituted through boiling.
Thursday, September 19, 2013
Yes, this is really a dish. Why? Because my husband goes away on business and one night he told me the most amazing story on the phone. A co-worker was cooking food for them on the dashboard of his car. I would not have believed him, but they were in the desert and temps can get really high during the day.
His co-worker took a skillet, placed prime rib and on one occasion filet mignon with potatoes and onions; then places it inside his car on the dashboard facing the sun (it is already hot in the desert location, so we know cars can reach even higher temps). I ask him other details (I would not recommend this at home or any other location) about temps and so on. I was told the meat was fine, but the potatoes on the first try were undercooked, but the the meat and onions tasted better than something they had for a meal the night before.
Hubs said there was a thermometer involved and he is still living to tell the tale.
As I warned any food has to reach a certain temp in order to be safe to eat according to FDA recommendations. Cook on dashboard at your own risk; it's not something I would try. Below is a chart with proper temps:
|Category||Food||Temperature (°F)||Rest Time|
|Ground Meat & Meat Mixtures||Beef, Pork, Veal, Lamb||160||None|
|Fresh Beef, Veal, Lamb||Steaks, roasts, chops||145||3 minutes|
|Poultry||Chicken & Turkey, whole||165||None|
|Poultry breasts, roasts||165||None|
|Poultry thighs, legs, wings||165||None|
|Duck & Goose||165||None|
|Stuffing (cooked alone or in bird)||165||None|
|Pork and Ham||Fresh pork||145||3 minutes|
|Fresh ham (raw)||145||3 minutes|
|Precooked ham (to reheat)||140||None|
|Eggs & Egg Dishes||Eggs||Cook until yolk and white are firm||None|
|Leftovers & Casseroles||Leftovers||165||None|
|Seafood||Fin Fish||145 or cook until flesh is opaque and separates easily with a fork.||None|
|Shrimp, lobster, and crabs||Cook until flesh is pearly and opaque.||None|
|Clams, oysters, and mussels||Cook until shells open during cooking.||None|
|Scallops||Cook until flesh is milky white or opaque and firm.||None|
Thursday, September 5, 2013
You can also can grill them! The peak season for peaches are July and August, so in September they are really ripe and sweet. Of course peaches are around the whole summer, but if they are not local and even from various states- California and Georgia, they can be uneventful in flavor, so why bother. My opinion, to eat local and in season.
If you are not a fan of warm fruit dishes, as I am, you still must try this. It will not totally change your mind, but adding spicy with sweet does give it a zing. In my cafe I would make quesadilla with them, adding in chicken or pork if they wanted more meat. Add a touch of spice with either seasonings of chili powder, pepper, salt, and other herbs. Also homemade salsa on the side works.
Prepare them in a hot skillet, not to ripe, not to hard- slice them in 1 inch or half more pieces and leaving the skin is not problem, just clean them well before hand. If they are organic there is no need to worry, they do not wax or spray them with chemicals. Let them cool before storing them in a container or they will continue to cook, making them soggy.
Use them in quesadillas with chicken, with pork tenderloin and rice, in salads, and in a recipe I will be making soon- Curry Chicken and Peaches.
Monday, August 12, 2013
Summer pickings from the local fish and farmers market. Hubs came home (I should've gone with him) with a very large bag of very big summer squash. What was I going to do with all of this. I chopped and froze most of it, but saved two large ones to make an old favorite- as a teenager we ate at a restaurant which served southern home cooking, Black-eyed Peas. One of my favs was squash casserole. There was something about it, because my mom never made it. We ate mostly corn, potatoes, peas, green beans and green toppers.
I will share it next, but have altered the restaurants recipe, very little sugar and brown. The fish market had day boat scallops and swordfish. While hubs and I were Cape Cod for my poetry fellow we picked up a jar of roasted garlic and onion jelly. I had been wanting to use it and decided to season the seafood with pepper, salt, and and a smoky paprika.
I heated some butter and olive oil in a hot pan and stirred some of the jelly in and then placed the scallops in for three minutes and then flipped them over. In a separate pan I did the same with the swordfish, a bit longer thought, since it was much denser.
I served it with the squash and an Asian slaw- carrots, cabbage, red bell pepper, and a wasabi mayo (1/3 wasabi paste mixed with 2/3s mayo). The sweetness and bite of the two went well.
Friday, August 2, 2013
A bacherlor poet friend as me about any quick and easy ground beef recipes and here is what I came up with-- t's a good man's meal, you should try it.
Brown 80 lean ground beef with red onion and seasoning: garlic powder, salt and black pepper, paprika (don't over brown). Pour into a baking dish, spread some grated cheese, any will do, I use mexican blend, and spread tator tots on top, as thick as you want on all, but equal.
Pour one half jar of Alfredo sauce, or can of cream of mushroom (original recipe calls for this, and I would thin it out with a few T of beef broth first) over tator tots; sprinkle more cheese, and bake 375 degree oven for 40 mins or less. Should be bubbly and brown on top.
This was a fav of my daughters over her 1st choice ground beef pasta and red sauce. I only had Alfredo, barely a 1/4 jar and added beef broth, shook jar well, and added 1/4 cup almond milk with a bit of flour to thicken.
As you can see it was perfect.