29 Jul 2014
in Eggs, Fish & Seafood, Lunch, Main Course, Recipes, Salads, Sandwiches
Tags: avocado, egg salad, eggs, food, foodie, foodporn, French, Haas, hard boiled, lunch, mayonnaise, nomnom, recipes, red onion, sandwich, sandwiches, tarragon, vegetables, yum
Haas Avocados Offer the Fullest Buttery Flavor
This humble sandwich is delicatessen worthy, hands down. The simple pairing of the two basic main, but essential ingredients is a sandwich shoppe match made in heaven. The soft buttery texture and flavor of avocados blends perfectly with the creaminess of the eggs and mayo. The remainder of the ingredients compliment, simply. This undemanding spread is destined to become a permanent fixture in your frig; enjoyed for quick lunches, for light, but satisfying dinners, the base for appetizers or a swift late night snack.
Eggs, 6 hard boiled; chopped
Avocado 2 large; peeled & chopped
Mayonnaise 1/2 cup
Capers 1 tsp chopped
Green olives 1/4 cup, chopped
Tarragon, 1 tsp fresh chopped (2 tsp of fresh parsley may be substituted)
Salt & Pepper to taste
Spread amount desired on fresh baked bread, toasted or not. Baguettes, croissants, fresh baked rolls…you get the picture. I used a fresh-baked loaf of my Pan de Mie offered in a prior post. Please use the search option for details and recipe. Top with chopped or sliced red onions, tomatoes and lettuce leaves. Simple heaven between bread :-)
28 Jul 2014
in Fun Facts, Tips & Tricks, Vegetables
Tags: 2014, corn, corn stripper, food, foodie, foodporn, fun facts, gadgets, Ideas, kitchen, nomnom, oxo, picnic, popular, rated, recipes, summertime, tips, top, tricks, vegetables, yum
Oxo’s Corn Stripper
“Knee high by the fourth of July” are my first thoughts when I think of corn’s sweet crunchy and crispy goodness. It is now growing season across the Corn Belt of the United States and with the right mixture of sunshine and rain their majestic, giant stalks, with ears ripe for picking, will be ready by late August.
Sprinkle the gold right into your favorite dish or onto your plate
Get ready for chucking and stripping! This nifty gadget by Oxo will at least make one of your tasks easier! It may well make our beloved, yellow, picnic ears easier to maneuver in the kitchen when making our favorite salsa, casseroles or simply easier for baby to eat.
Easy to open & clean
Oxo’s Good Grip Corn Stripper is #2 on my list of favorite kitchen gadgets—it’s sort of genius! No more intimidating knives, no more half-cut, wasted kernels!
Holds 1/2 cup
Strips kernels off cobs with stainless-steel blade and soft, non-slip grips
Convenient top opening for emptying kernels
Container separates for easy cleaning; dishwasher-safe
Measures 4-3/4 by 2-3/4 by 2-1/2 inches
This nifty little gadget can be found on Amazon for $13.99 (minus shipping) and ebay for as little as $14.97 shipped. 2 thumbs up!!
27 Jul 2014
in Fun Facts, Tips & Tricks
Tags: 2014, carrots, Cooking, entrees, food, foodie, foodporn, fun facts, gadgets, Gogogu, highest-rated, Ideas, kitchen, nomnom, pasta, slicer, slicers, tips, top 10, top-rated, tricks, vegetables, veggies, zucchini
I’ve recently done some homework about 2014’s most requested and highest- rated kitchen gadgets and some are genius while others pale in comparison; much like the ones offered by old kitchen gadget guru Ronco’s Ron Popeil—remember his revelations? Over the next few weeks, in between recipes, I will be unveiling some of not only my personal favorites but those of the culinary world’s as well. This nifty gadget, offered by the Gogogu company out of the UK is really a great idea! This is a new twist on the words “veggie pasta.”
Here is what Gogogu claims and ascertains about their “Vegetable Spiral Slicer.” “It is the perfect tool to make healthy garnishes for dinners, parties, special event and any other expensive models. Works great for veggies like carrots, zucchinis, turnips, rutabagas, cucumbers, large radishes and healthy vegetable meals.”
Top Quality Spiral Slicer kitchen Tool with Super Sharp Stainless Steel Japanese Blades and Two Julienne Cutter
Requires no Assembly Fully Assembled and Ready to use At a Moment’s Notice. Easy and quick to operate, small enough to fit into your kitchen drawer, and works better than expensive spiral cutter products. Best Vegetable Spiral Slicer for making Veggies, Zucchini and Carrots etc…Dishwasher safe. 100% Satisfaction Money Back Guarantee and will only set you back about $11! Kitchen worthy? In my opinion, yes!
26 Jul 2014
in Appetizers & Beverages, Recipes
Tags: breakfast, cocktails, drinks, fizz, flavored ice cubes, flavored water, foodie, foodporn, fruit, juice, juices, kiwi, lemon, nomnom, non-alcoholic, pineapple, recipes, refreshing, sparkling, strawberry, sugar, summer, summertime, tropical, yum
This cool, refreshing summertime drink gets better and better as the ice cubes melt and impart more of their strawberry goodness. This is non-alcoholic, but you can add your favorite spirits to give an extra kick. I rubbed lemon juice along the rim and dipped in sparkling sugar to make it sparkly and to add a bit more sweetness. How about watermelon lime? Sweet tea? Fresh squeezed fruit juices? Lemon blueberry? The list is left only to your imaginations. Also, don’t stop at strawberry cubes—use mixed berries, citrus juices or fresh peaches too. The list is endless!
1 lb strawberries, halved (3 cups)
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup sugar
Juice of 1 lemon or to taste
Puree in blender 1 cup pineapple juice, 1 peeled kiwi and the juice of 1 lemon. Pour equally into 2 glasses, top off with sparkling soda (flavor of choice) I used raspberry and a few strawberry ice cubes. Serves 2
Purée all ingredients in a blender until smooth. Freeze in ice-cube trays until solid, at least 4 hours. Makes 1 to 2 trays
Other Suggestions: Add 1 or 2 cubes to a glass of sparkling wine; 2 or 3 cubes for a glass of lemonade with a sprig of mint and lemon slice on the rim. Also, don’t go “neat” with your spirits and add a few cubes to cocktails!
25 Jul 2014
in Fun Facts, Pizza
Tags: baguette, bloody mary, Caesar salad, cashew chicken, chicken parmesan, chicken tikka masala, Chimichangas, chop suey, cocktails, French toast, garlic bread, General Tsaos Chicken, greece, greek, Italian, Italy, macaroni and cheese, mai tai, meatballs, melba toast, origins, peach melba, pina colada, pizza, spaghetti
Chop Suey–the San Francisco Treat?
“The Source of the Sauce”
We have all heard the one about Chop Suey being invented in San Francisco, and an equally famous story from the UK is that the nation’s most beloved dish is not fish and chips, but Chicken Tikka Masala, invented in Glasgow, Scotland, not India. Which makes you wonder where do famous foods originate.
There are a lot of disagreements, nationalistically as well as factually, of who invented what. Of course the idea that only one person or one country can invent a simple dish is unlikely. There were many variations as there were chefs. With initially limited ingredients how many variations can there be?
Pizza: Italian, Greek or Welsh?
First off, let’s go to Italy. Some historians reckon that the Pizza was a Greek invention, modified in nearby Italy. Hundreds of years later and hundreds of miles to the north the Welsh used to put a concoction of onion, cheese and beer on bread to make Rarebit, not quite a Pizza, but a nearly.
Still in Italy, Garlic Bread was said to be invented in the USA, along with Pasta Primavera. Spaghetti and those massive Meatballs, a combo from North and South Italy that originated in the USA too. Chicken Parmesan was an offspring of immigrants in NY and Mac and Cheese was said to have been invented in France. Caesar Salad was invented by Italians, though over the border in Tijuana, Mexico.
Into China, and the well known one invented in the USA is, as mentioned, Chop Suey, along with Fortune Cookies, plus we have Chicken Cashew by a Chinese chef in Missouri and, the famous standby, General Tsao’s Chicken also invented in the USA.
From France Austria takes the invention of the Baguette and French Toast was Italian in origin.
Australia gets a mention with Peach Melba and Melba Toast both invented in the Savoy hotel in London by French genius Escoffier. Though the Pavlova was invented for the dancer of the same name, and in Perth. The Mexicans don’t get away since Chimichangas came out of Tuscon.
And finally, in the drinks department we have the Bloody Mary invented in the St. Regis, NY. That infamous drink Pina Colada that seems to have come from Brazil or anywhere exotic, was invented in Puerto Rico. Then we have Mai Tai, which is not Asian in origin but Californian.
There are undoubtedly lots more. So, the next time you decide on using up all the leftovers in the fridge look for inspiration and think Italian, or Chinese and invent away. Their country needs you.
24 Jul 2014
in Dessert, Desserts, Pies, Recipes
Tags: dessert, desserts, food, foodie, foodporn, French, fruit, galette, nomnom, Peach, pie, pies, plum, recipes, summertime, tart, tarts, yum
Fresh Plum & Peach Galette–Tart
Sweet & luscious summertime Galette pronounced Ga-let, is a French name for “tart.” An open-faced pie of sorts which offers the full experience of pie, but in delicate delicious bites filled with rich flavors. This tart is a favorite summertime dessert at our house. You can make it with any seasonal fruit, such as rhubarb, peaches, cherries, apricots or apples. The dough is buttery, flaky and very forgiving and comes together in 10 seconds in a food processor.
Serve with a dollop of whipped cream, fresh fruit slices & a sprig of mint
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup ice water
1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup plus 1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup ground almonds
1/4 cop all-purpose flour
2 1/2 pounds large plums & peaches—halved, pitted and cut into 1/2-inch wedges I used 2 large black plums and 2 medium sized peaches—do not peel
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small bits
1/2 cup good-quality plum, apricot or raspberry preserves, strained if chunky or seedy
Make the Pate Brisee:
Add flour, butter and salt in a food processor; process for 5 seconds; the butter should still be in pieces. Mix vinegar in ice water, add just enough water until the dough forms a ball and process for 5 seconds longer, just until dough comes together; the butter should still be visible.
Remove dough from the processor and gather it into a ball. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough into a 16-by-18-inch oval 1/16 to 1/8 inch thick. Drape the dough over the rolling pin and transfer it to a large, heavy baking sheet. Chill dough until firm, about 20 minutes. Preheat the oven to 400°.
Make the Filling:
In a small bowl, combine 1/4 cup of the sugar with the ground almonds and flour. Spread this mixture evenly over the dough to within 2 inches of the edge. Arrange the plum & peach wedges on top and dot with the butter. Sprinkle all but 1 teaspoon of the remaining 1/3 cup sugar over the fruit. Fold the edge of the dough up over the plums to create a 2-inch border. (If the dough feels cold and firm, wait for a few minutes until it softens to prevent it from cracking.) Sprinkle the border with the reserved 1 teaspoon of sugar.
Bake the galette in the middle of the oven for about 1 hour, until the fruit is very soft and the crust is richly browned. If any juices have leaked onto the baking sheet, slide a knife under the galette to release it from the sheet. Evenly brush the preserves over the hot fruit; brush some up onto the crust. Incredible, light, buttery and very satisfying!
23 Jul 2014
in Chicken, Entrees, Fish & Seafood, Uncategorized
Tags: andouille, cajun, Caribbean, chicken, food, foodie, foodporn, French, French Quarter, Jambalaya, Louisiana, main dishes, nomnom, Paella, recipes, sausage, Seafood, shrimp, Spanish, yum
Today, staying in the Creole theme, we are offering Bret Clark’s Incredible Jambalaya! I simply love the personal touches of a wonderful Chef! Read on…
For those of you not aware, Jambalaya was originally created in Louisiana and its origin is actually Spanish paella. Jambalaya is traditionally made in three parts; with meat, seafood and vegetables and is finished by adding stock and rice.
There are typically 2 types of Jambalaya; Creole, Bret’s offering, which includes tomatoes and Louisiana style that does not. It’s been said “the idea is the farther away from New Orleans one gets, the less common tomatoes are in dishes.” However, both styles include the “trinity” of vegetables offered in most savory Cajun dishes; 50% onions, 25% celery, and 25% green or red bell pepper—a wonderful marriage of flavors from the get go.
Thanks again for another amazing dish, Bret! Now, get the rice simmering and bread ready and you’ll soon be singing just like a Cajun….Whoooo wee!!
¼ cup Olive oil
2 Boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces
12-16 oz Andouille sausage, sliced into bite size pieces
¾ Lb Peeled and deveined shrimp
1 large Onion – diced
1 large Green pepper – diced
3 ribs Celery – diced
4-5 cloves Garlic – sliced or minced
2 15 oz cans Diced tomatoes (I use roasted tomatoes for extra flavor)
¾ cups Long grain rice
3 cups Chicken broth
Cajun seasoning (I use Emeril’s Essence or “Bayou Blast”) to taste
3-4 Green onions – chopped, including green part
¼ cup chopped Parsley
Season chicken and shrimp (separate bowls) with desired amount of Cajun seasoning, allow to marinate while chopping vegetables.
Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium high heat. When hot, add chicken and sauté until browned. Add sausage and continue to sauté until browned. Add onion, green pepper, celery, garlic and more Cajun seasoning, if desired, and cook until vegetables are wilted. Add tomatoes and broth and heat to a simmer, then cover the pot and let this cook for at least 20 minutes. I cook mine at least an hour, allowing all of the flavors to blend together nicely.
Add rice to pot, stir well and return to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover pot, and cook until rice is just beyond al dente (20-30 minutes). Add shrimp, mixing carefully, and continue to cook, covered, for another 10 minutes, or until shrimp are just pink. Remove from heat and let sit 10 minutes before serving
22 Jul 2014
in Entrees, Main Course, Meats, Recipes
Tags: andouille, cajun, creole, food, foodie, foodporn, kidney beans, long grain rice, Louisiana, nomnom, recipes, red beans and rice, sausage, tomatoes, vegetables, white rice, yum
All Pretty in the Plate
While I didn’t grow up in Louisiana I simply love Cajun fare especially red beans and rice. I remember watching Creole Chef Justin Wilson as a teen—‘memba him?? He was a wonderful cooking inspiration and I looked forward to each of his programs with great anticipation. Justin’s Deep- South Cajun style and mannerisms made him one amusing cooking entertainer.
Recently, I had the opportunity to serve this dish to a good Cajun friend of mine. I asked for his honest opinion and critique and his exact words to me were, “Oooo wee dis give me frissons (goose bumps) they’re just like I remember!” I passed the test with flying colors—coulda been beans instead ;-)
This simple Cajun dish is easy to prepare, slightly spicy, very filling and brimming with Creole flavors. Made with Cajun seasonings and andouille sausage. This is a great Sunday dinner served with buttered, long grain rice and crusty bread.”
2 15 ounce cans red kidney beans
1/4 cup olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 bell pepper; red, green, yellow or orange or a combination, chopped
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 15 ounce can chopped tomatoes with juice
2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon dried SAGE
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
1 pound andouille sausage, sliced
1 lb ground sweet Italian sausage
In a skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Saute onion, bell pepper, garlic, and celery in olive oil for 3 to 4 minutes. Rinse beans, Stir cooked vegetables into beans and add tomatoes. Season with bay leaves, cayenne pepper, thyme, sage, parsley, and Cajun seasoning. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for 10-15 minutes. Stir sausage into beans, and continue to simmer for 15-20 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare the rice. Serve beans over steamed white rice.
20 Jul 2014
This stunning display of “art meets food” was created as a commercial for Schwartz Flavour Shots, a pre-packaged soup and meal company out of the United Kingdom, who boasts “Flavour Shots—the little pots with big flavour.” This slow-motion video dubbed “The Sound of Taste” is a stunning arrangement of cinematography and pyrotechnics that creates what filmmaker Chris Cairns calls “an audiovisual feast.” To this day, when I see spices overflowing in canvas bags, this video always makes its way into the forefront of my mind. Breathtakingly tasty!
To create this ‘feast,’ Cairns was joined by musician MJ Cole and pyrotechnician Paul Mann. Together, the launching of this brainchild was deciding how to best put together a half-visual, half-auditory symphony that would entirely capture what it is like to truly experience “taste.”
What they settled on was a commercial that would show billows of spices exploding into the air in slow-motion, flawlessly synchronized to the music Cole had written.
“What does flavour look like? How does it sound? These are the questions that inspired herb and spice experts, Schwartz, to create what they describe as a ‘Sonic Flavourscape’.
Several tons of black peppercorns, cardamom, turmeric, paprika, cumin seeds, ginger, chilli and coriander were rigged to explode in perfect sync with a bespoke musical composition. Each explosion represents an individual piano note or chord, which when filmed at high-speed, creates a surreal three-dimensional sound scape.
It’s been said “if ever a video deserved the title ‘mesmerizing,’ Adam Magyar’s Stainless videos are it.”
At the end of the BTS video, musician MJ Cole is heard saying, “I hope people just find it a satisfying, vibrant, colorful, exciting thing to watch.” If we’re anything to judge by, Mr. Cole’s wish came true with (pun forthcoming) flying colors.