Tag Archives: recipe

If I Should Die Before I Wake

1 Apr

I’d be super pissed because I have just turned 22 and I wouldn’t be able to have my favorite breakfast food — quiche. Also I made this quiche to one of my favorite Biggie songs. First and foremost, my hat goes off to all pastry chefs and anyone skilled in the mysteries of dough. It’s the toughest food obstacle I have strived to overcome and so far, it is just not happening for me. That said, I made a decent quiche dough with the aid of a gratuitous amount of swearing. I started with M. Stewart’s standard recipe for both the quiche tart shell and the insides but added whatever else I wanted. Thankfully, the insides of the quiche were far more impressive than its shell: lots of eggs, heavy whipping cream, milk, flour, shallots, garlic, BACON, leeks and a healthy dose of grueyere cheese. The consistency is something like custard instead of the dense egg cake you usually find in the stores or restaurants. It’s lovely hot out of the oven but call me crazy, I actually prefer my quiche cold the next day. Quiche is often relegated to brunch menus but as a breakfast start to the day it’s pretty perfect — it doesn’t make you want to pass out, a nice protein source and quick (once it’s cooked).

Advertisements

DarkWing Duck

24 Mar

I spent some time over spring break in West Side Market up in Cleveland where I got my hot little hands on quail eggs and duck breasts.  These two ingredients were key to a recipe I’d been concocting in my dreams and of which I was terrified.  Sadly pomegranates are not in season and so couldn’t be the color, crunch and sweetness to this dish – which I believe was part of its downfall.  Not that the dish wasn’t yummy, it just wasn’t there yet and needs some tweaking.  Also there is nothing in this world cuter than a little quail egg or even a dozen.

It’s very simple: place duck breast skin down in a skillet after scoring the skin and let the fats of the bird cook it to perfection while you prepare some stock (either duck or chicken), throw in leeks and shallots in the pan with the duck, serve over pappardelle with fried quail egg on top.  I cut the shallots length wise and peeled away the little cups of shallot to create a nest for the quail yolk which formed the center of a flower of sliced duck breast over the pasta, then poured the stock over top.  Next time I’d love to use rag cut noodles.  It’s more a winter than spring dish and is very comforting but could use some more work.  I consoled myself by pairing it with Southern Tier’s Gemini whose sweet hoppy notes complimented the rich game nature of the duck and its buddies.

Hot Chip Din

13 Mar

To be a whizz kid at creating homemade pasta is a blessing, one I sadly lack so far.  To compensate, I used Bertagni porcini mushroom tortellini — only my favorite style/shape of pasta ever.  The sauce was on a whim and happily turned out AWESOME.  The usual shallots and garlic with olive oil and butter browned in a pan but with the added bonus of a tablespoon of red curry paste, about the same amount of balsamic vinegar, quick squeeze of a lemon and heavy whipping cream.  Once the tortellini  were ready they joined the sauce in the pan for a quick coating and then topped with a pinch of shredded gruyere.  The curry isn’t overwhelming but mellow, interesting and gives the dish nice color.  I paired this with a Southern Tier Gemini — kind of a sweeter, less hoppy version of most IPAs, what they call a “blended unfiltered ale”, which played nicely off the bite of the shallots and sweet spice of the red curry.  I think it took 15 minutes max, to the beats of Hot Chip and La Roux (hipster version of Tilda Swinton?).

Posh Shepherd’s Pie

11 Mar

Thought this very simple dish up last night before bed because I was hungry and feeling like a child.  As a kid, and to this day, I like to make a mash-up of the food on my plate — not like a nasty soup but almost alla Violet Beauregard in Willy Wonka and the amazing 3 course dinner gum.  Oh also there was no bread to go along with it and given that the bleu cheese semi-fondue mashed potatoes made me snoozy 10 minutes after ingesting them, a biscuit topping would have been suicide.

So I grilled a strip steak, sliced it like flank steak and layered the pieces with bleu cheese mashed potatoes topped with the steak juices and snow peas.  The mashed potatoes require browning a small shallot and one garlic clove (diced) in a sauté pan with butter and olive oil, then adding some heavy whipping cream and as much bleu cheese as you like.  That becomes the cream that will make the potatoes heavenly.

Chicken Skin

21 Jan

Chicken skin is a beautiful, beautiful thing. It starts off slimy and with goosebumps, can turn chewy if sauteed a bit and then golden brown crunchy. To utilize about half a dozen chicken breasts (obviously not skinless), I decided to make a curry the other night. I removed the skin and left it to use later on in the curry. Grab a wok, toss in chopped up chicken breast to brown up with garlic, shallots and onion. Over top pour coconut milk and peas (even if they start off frozen they’ll thaw and cook perfectly within the heat of the curry), then as much mace, turmeric, yellow curry, cayenne pepper as you want. I would have loved to throw in some cherry peppers too but my mother’s palate is a little more sensitive to heat than mine. Cherry peppers are possibly the cutest hot pepper I’ve run into and they have a much sweeter and slightly less spicy quality than jalapenos. They would also give the curry another vibrant color to play off the yellow of the curry powder and the bright green orbs of peas.

While the curry is simmering and melding the spices, start some white rice in another pan. Then while both of those are going, get a small sauté pan, some butter, white wine vinegar and the chicken skins from before. Melt a good amount of butter in the pan, then toss in the skins and pour maybe 3 tablespoons of vinegar over them. The vinegar gives the skin a nice tanginess that plays nicely with the spice and sweetness of the curry. Once the skins shrivel up a bit and brown, drain the liquid from the pan and dump the skins on a cutting board and slice length wise. Then serve the rice in each diner’s dish (preferably a pasta bowl), spoon curry over top and then sprinkle the skin over top. You get a combination of textures: chewy, crunchy, tender and the snap of the peas make this a more interesting variation on the traditional curry.

I felt like it Chili

20 Jan

If there’s one thing I’m head over heals for, it’s chili and cornbread.  I’m a good sharer of food and drink unless it’s taken from me without permission and I’ve been known to get viciously protective of my cornbread and chili.  My last few days at home I found myself overcome by the craving for the aforementioned foods.

Chili:

Can of whole peeled tomatoes

Large bunch of chopped fresh cilantro

Ground beef or “chili meat” as my grocery store labeled it, second time ’round I used bison to AWESOME effect – highly recommended

As much of the following spices as you want = mace, Cajun Seasoning (whatever that is, I just found it in the spice cabinet and seemed like a good idea), cayenne pepper, black pepper

Lemon juice

2 cans of kidney beans and 1 of black beans

3 cloves of garlic and 1 large shallot, maybe one large yellow or red onion

Start it like you start any stew by cooking down the garlic, shallots and onion then browning the meat over it, then layering all the other goodies and let simmer for an hour.  The cilantro should go in at the last moment!  Another golden rule: it’s always the better the next day.

Now for the cornbread.

1 cup flour + 1 cup yellow cornmeal

1/4 cup honey

2 large eggs

1 cup heavy whipping cream (or milk if you prefer)

1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 cup melted butter

Combine wet ingredients with dry, preheat oven to 400ºF.  I baked mine in a muffin tin for 15 minutes and they came out beautifully.  A nice slab of Kerry Gold doesn’t hurt them either.  In any case, it’s now my favorite chili and favorite cornbread so I guess take my word for it that these dishes are delicious, because they are.

Winner Winner

3 Jan

Tonight I finally made a little concoction that had been keeping me up at night.  Because yes, there are many nights when I don’t sleep all that well because I’m thinking up different recipes I want to try.  Down to the details.  I stuck a smallish pork tenderloin in a pan on the stove to brown up with a little butter.  After I had flipped it once and I felt the meat was half-way done cooking on that side, I threw in some endive spears with a small slice of gouda to melt.  When the meat was finished and the cheese melted, I removed it all, cut thin slices of the tenderloin (which my mom suggested I butterfly next time) to stick on top of the cheese, then some black pepper and a healthy squeeze of lime juice.

The flavors and textures worked really well together:  the crunch of the endive coupled nicely with the juicy tenderloin and the lime complemented the funk of the gouda unbelievably well.  Great small plate item for parties.  When they’re back in season, I’m taking my original idea and slipping a slice of persimmon in between the tenderloin and the gouda.  It’s a more fun way to eat tenderloin than the traditional sit-down full-on dinner.  I’ve dubbed them tendive boats — aren’t they cute?!

%d bloggers like this: