Sunday, February 28, 2010

Getting better at stuffing things

Two weekends in a row I've made something stuffed. A week ago it was Braciole -- and I wish I had pics to post. Tyler Florence's Ultimate episode on the subject was the inspiration, but the ingredients were mine: spinach, mushrooms, pieces of mozzerella, carmelized onions, panko. Pretty basic and classic. It really came out amazing. Though I'd probably turn down the heat and let it cook longer for more of that "melt in your mouth" result.

Last nite, it was Goat Cheese and Spinach Stuffed Chicken Breasts. I don't know if I'm destined to be a bad stuffer, or if it's a lack of practice. Hopefully just the latter. They tasted good -- especially with a Dijon-inspired gravy made from the braising liquid. They just don't look that pretty. I think i'll keep practicing.

What DID look pretty, but could have used some help, was the Scalloped Potatoes. Resistant to measure as I am, I made the cheese sauce off the top of my head. Tasted great, just a little runny. And the potatoes could have cooked another 15 minutes or so (even thin sliced, an hour wasn't enough).

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Louziana Saturday Night

My grandfather and great grandfather were bakers. I bake VERY infrequently because of all the precision involved. (While I LOVE the science approach folks like America's Test Kitchen and Alton Brown take to cooking, I guess I just hate to measure). In tribute to Mardi Gras and the World Champion New Orleans Saints, here's a King Cake my mother and I made a few weeks ago. Thanks to Queenie Ross for the recipe.

Ya gotta start somewhere

Cooking doesn't just feed me. It fuels me. It's my tension release and my creative outlet. I'm blessed to have a job where I work with chefs and other foodies nearly all day long. And it's still not enough.

I'm starting this blog mostly to help organize my thoughts and efforts in the kitchen. I figure I've got hundreds of recipes in my "recipe box" at sites across the world wide web, and dozens more clippings of things I'd like to try stuffed in folders everywhere in my house. And the piles of magazines. You get the picture.

This is my attempt to create one inspirational clearinghouse. If you get some great ideas and make connections along the way, so much the better. That's what food is all about, after all. Bringing people together.

So here's where I begin. With some shrimp and asparagus pasta I quickly made for a special lunch at my house. You can see I had eaten most of it before I remembered to take a picture.