Sunday, October 31, 2010

Crevettes L'Orange

I actually managed to get off my lazy butt and make some tasty food today!

Almond Gorgonzola Salad

This turned out to be a pretty tasty salad. I used Romaine lettuce, toasted sliced almonds, gorgonzola, and a vinaigrette of fresh OJ, red wine vinegar, extra virgin olive oil and S&P. I garnished it with orange supremes. It was light, crunchy and refreshing!

Crevettes L'Orange

This was delicious and I will make it again for sure, with some tweaks. The idea came from Miss Jane (formerly of Sanitation, currently of Wine). I sautéed some shrimp (a little more than 1/2 way cooked), removed them, and deglazed the pan with Bauchant orange liqueur (originally I was going to use sherry, but ridiculous Texas liquor laws prevent the sale of fortified wine on Sundays). It reduced very quickly. I then added heavy cream and let that reduce just a bit. The shrimp went back in. By then, the fresh linguini (from Central Market) was done (about 3 minutes to cook). I tossed that in with the shrimp and sauce to finish the shrimp. The "tweaks" I referred to include actually using sherry as originally planned, more sauce, and maybe a little red pepper flake.

So there ya go, two blogs in one day. Hopefully that can somewhat make up for my laziness over the last couple weeks. Stay tuned!

Those Tacos Were......Aaaasian!

Honestly, I just haven't really eaten or learned or cooked enough interesting stuff to write about over the last couple weeks. Until yesterday. We were unsure about the number of tailgaters we would have, so I decided to go with tacos. Tacos can be stuffed or packed lightly to stretch for more people. However, I didn't want to just do the same ol same ol fajita tacos so I decided to go Asian.

Korean-style Beef Tacos

I used a beef top round roast and sliced it in about 1.5" "steaks" and marinated it in soy sauce, sugar, ginger, garlic and scallions (like bulgogi) for a few hours and grilled it. These were served with grilled scallions and red bell peppers, lettuce and sriracha mayo. I had corn and flour tortillas available and they were killer.

Vietnamese-style Pork Tacos

In a similar fashion, I used a pork loin roast and sliced it into "steaks" and marinated it in soy sauce, lime juice, lemongrass, garlic, and brown sugar and grilled it. These were served with sriracha mayo, cilantro and carrots, daikon, jalapeño, and red onion that I had pickled the day before (see the shrimp salad recipe I made a few weeks ago for pickling technique). These were even better than the beef tacos. Really good.

I'm planning to make something real tasty for dinner tonight, so hopefully I can write about that. This week I have finals in Cost Control and Wine and then next week starts the Baking Block. I should be back on blogging on the reg for that (even though I'm not looking too forward to that block).

Monday, October 11, 2010

Ensalada de Camarones

Decided to do a little cookin this evenin'.

Cilantro lime shrimp. Fried corn tortilla strips. Jicama. Tomato. Queso fresco. Jalapeño-lime vinaigrette. And house pickled red onion. All served on escarole. This salad was killer.

I marinated the shrimp for a good hour and a half then sauteed them. The vinaigrette was the juice of two limes, twice as much canola oil, jalapeño, garlic, s&p and a scoatch of honey and I just shook it up in a container. I used escarole because it's a slightly bitter green - my thought was that the sweetness of tomato, shrimp, jicama and pickled red onion would counter the bitterness - (SPOILER ALERT!) I was right. "Hold on there! Did you say pickled red onion?" Why yes I did, thanks for asking! I simmered toasted spices (bay leaf, coriander seed, fennel seed, whole allspice, whole clove, cumin seed, black peppercorns) in equal parts white vinegar and water with sugar and a touch of salt. I poured that over sliced red onion and tossed in some smashed garlic and jalapeño just for grins. You're my faithful readers and I don't want to lie to you. These are great. I think I will forever now have something pickled hanging out in my fridge. I know this is a "quick" pickle and that is because I don't want to spend 1/4 of my life sterilizing jars and waiting for stuff to get tangy.

Overall a real learning experience, and a winner. See ya next time.

Monday, October 4, 2010

It's All Gravy!

As explained in the video, my cousin Julie asked for a video on how to make gravy. Good ol Southern-style, white cream gravy. I was happy to oblige (and only 1 week later!). Sorry it's so tiny, I had to turn the camera vertically to get the shot. Please to enjoy!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Fried Goodness

We hit up The State Fair this weekend for the game (I don't want to talk about it) and to taste it's many tasty, fried wares. Let me begin with saying that there were four of us, we only purchased one of each of these to taste. I didn't eat all of these by myself. Plus, they'll be graded on a scale of 1-10. Let the games begin:

Fried P.B.J.&B's (Fried Elvis)

Yep. It's a peanut butter and banana sandwich that's been battered, fried, topped with jelly and powdered sugar. Amazing! 8

Fried Oreos

Batter-dipped and fried Oreos topped with powdered sugar. What more do I need to say? 9

Fried Margarita

Yep. You read that right. They toss some margarita mix into funnel cake mix and fry it up. Then they pour some actual margarita on that and top it with whipped cream. The rim of the glass is salted and served with a lime wedge. 9

Fried Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

I know right? Why did we have to wait until 2010 for this to happen? Tasty, but I really needed some milk for this one. 7 (could've been a 9 with milk)

Fried Butter

God Bless Texas! Fried. Butter. I guess they freeze butter pats to be able to batter them and fry em. They topped it with cinnamon-sugar and honey. It ends up tasting like a sopapilla. Great. 8

Fried Beer

No question, I was most excited about this item. I mean, come on, it's fried beer! What's not to love? Well it turns out that fried beer is what's not to love. This was truly awful. Just really, really bad. 1

Corny Dog

You can't go to The Fair and NOT get a Corny Dog, right? Honestly, I've had better. The batter was a little thick, so the cornmeal was gritty, but still, it was a Corny Dog. 7

Fried Frito Pie

They took Frito's Scoops and filled them with chili and cheese. They battered those Frito's Scoops filled with chili and cheese. They fried those battered Frito's Scoops filled with chili and cheese. We ate those fried, battered Frito's Scoops filled with chili and cheese! And they were delicious! 9

Chicken Fried Bacon

10. That's it. Just "10".
I've got a video on "How to Make Gravy" just about finished and will post it tomorrow, hopefully. Also, I started Cost Control and Wine classes last week, so I will hopefully have some interesting factoids to share. Furthermore, with the knowledge now of two kitchen labs and 6 months of staging, I should start coming up with some fun stuff at home. Stay tuned.