Poached pears make a great dessert, its simple to make and a great way to use leftover wine.
Recipe is from Cooking with Vegetables and Fruits In Season by Sarah Raven
6 firm pears
2 1/2 cups port (or wine, see below) ( I used a strawberry fruit wine, DELISH!)
1/4 cups sugar
1 star anise
Peel of 1 lemon, cut into strips
1 cinnamon stick
3/4 cup water
Choose a saucepan that will hold the pears snugly. Peel pears wit a potato peeler, leaving the stems on the fruit, and cut a thin slice off the bottom so that the pears will stand upright.
Put the port into a saucepan with water, the sugar, star anise, lemon peel, and cinnamon, and stir to dissolve the sugar.
Add the pears and simmer, covered until the pears are tender. (10 - 20 minutes)
Remove the pears to a bowl and retun liquid to the heat. Reduce by simmering, until the mixture is slightly thicker and the taste is intense.
Pour the syrup over the pears and leave for several hours, turning the pears occasionally, until they have taken on the rich color of the syrup.
Chill and Enjoy!
I get a text at 8:09am from Suzzette “Almost there”, I'm thinking “What, oh no, wait shes almost an hour early”. Lucky I was up since 7am, I threw on a t-shirt, jeans and my Janeen St. Louis earings ready to go.
I met Suzzette Turnbull (SOM '03) when she was the associate director of the MBA Program at Simmons School of Management in Boston. In addition to her duties as the associate director, she also was an advisor for the Women of Color Club, where I was the co-chair of the student group.
Suzzette and I became reacquainted after she moved to Florida over Facebook. I learned that she had the entrepreneurial bug and started Valentine Consulting of South Florida,LLC (www.solutionsmavens.net). Valentine Consulting provides business solutions for small business. One of her areas of specialty that resonated with me was social media design (ie how to integrate, twitter, facebook, myspace,YouTube,etc). I took one of her classes and was able to see the benefit of “tweeting”. Follow me at(www.twitter.com/thegourmetdiva)
I learned about twitter and facebook from Suzzette, so it was only fair that I teach her something. Today we made crème brulee french toast. (Recipe below)
Work, Life and Cooking Balance...
At first I was upset that Amare interrupted the Kitchen Coaching session. Thinking to myself, I'm trying to make this video as professional as possible and then you hear the loud “Bam, Mommy, Mommy, Mommy can you help me”. I realized this is my life, this is a lot of peoples lives, its reality.
On traditional cooking shows they film in a controlled environment. Does Rachel Ray help kids do homework in her 30 min show (humm maybe thats why she can get her meals done in 30 minutes) , Does Bobby Flay have to answer his Blackberry while doing a throwdown? Have someone on the Food Network create a show called “Real Life Cooking Challenges”, I'll gladly host it.
Gourmet Diva Tips for dealing with Real life challenges:
Kids: Have them help you out in the kitchen to keep them occupied. It helps them be comfortable in the kitchen as well. If they don't like to cook, then tough, you like to eat right?!
Work: If you can turn the phone off, there is nothing like getting caught up in a conversation and your meal goes array.
Do you have any tips to help deal with “Real life”?
Crème Brulee French Toast (recipe courtesy of Epicurious.com)
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons corn syrup
an 8- to 9-inch round loaf country-style bread ( I used Challah bread, you can find at Shaw's or Stop and Shop)
5 large eggs
1 1/2 cups half-and-half
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon Grand Marnier
1/4 teaspoon salt
In a small heavy saucepan melt butter with brown sugar and corn syrup over moderate heat, stirring, until smooth and pour into a 13- by 9- by 2-inch baking dish. Cut six 1-inch thick slices from center portion of bread, reserving ends for another use, and trim crusts. Arrange bread slices in one layer in baking dish, squeezing them slightly to fit.
In a bowl whisk together eggs, half-and-half, vanilla, Grand Marnier, and salt until combined well and pour evenly over bread. Chill bread mixture, covered, at least 8 hours and up to 1 day.
Preheat oven to 350° F. and bring bread to room temperature.
Bake bread mixture, uncovered, in middle of oven until puffed and edges are pale golden, 35 to 40 minutes.
Serve hot French toast immediately.
Gourmet Diva Tips to Perfection:
1. Make sure you whisk the eggs, half and half, etc throughly, you dont want to see clumps of egg yolk
2. Its a very sweet french toast, you do not have to add syrup to it.
3. Dont have Grand Marnier – use orange juice
4. This recipe works great with any type of loaf bread (I heard croissants don't work though)
Dj Whutevva is a great example of an entrepreneur, doing what he loves for a living. DJ Whutevva Aka "The Young Lion" has been requested at concerts for artist such as Wyclef, Mary J Blige, Good Charlotte and Mobb Deep.
We met last year at a cookout in Boston and bumped into each other recently at an event in Toms River, NJ of all places. Now a year later we are back at the annual “Best D*$M Cookout Ever” in Roxbury, MA, hosted by A.T.L.
This is the first time it took more than two takes to make the video. I hope you all enjoy the bloopers.
Make sure you catch him NYC Power 105.1 on Fridays from 2am – 4am (I need to call someone to get him an earlier slot in the day – I'm a morning person). If your out of town you can listen on http://www.power1051fm.com. Also make sure you download his new mixtape right here for free. http://www.facebook.com/l/;limelinx.com/files/170b9dc0ddb1d9766f11a664da3ee144"
“It's like love on a stick!” That was an interesting way they described the grilled shrimp. If you need a personal chef, feel free to call!
2 pounds of shrimp(Peeled and devained)
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon of fish or oyster sauce
2 teaspoons honey
¼ cup minced scallions
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
few drops of Tabasco sauce
1) Rinse shrimp and pat them dry with paper towels
2) Mix the marinade ingredients together in a small bowl
3) Place the shrimp in a shallow dish or plastic container and pu the marinade over them
4) Cover and marinade for 1 to 2 hours in the refrigetaor turning once
5) Prepare grill (or you can put in oven to broil)
6) Remove the shrimp from the marinade
7) Soak skewers in water to prevent burning
8) Skewer shrimp and peppers
9) Grill them about 4 to 6 inches away from the heaat for 2 minutes on each side or until pink and cooked through.
People come in to your life for various reasons. Veronica Chapman's name was brought to my attention by two totally different people. “She's doing things in Boston”, “You should link up with her she's business minded like you, she may be able to help you out”. I reached out to Veronica to tell her about the concept of “Gourmet Diva”. She wrote back a very thoughtful response:
“...You know how people have lingerie/Tupperware/etc type parties? - I'm thinking you can host events where people can come and learn how to prepare desserts or dishes for their significant other, etc.. since everyone seems to be on the grind these days and a home cooked meal is a novelty.... They bring the main groceries, you provide the spices, and they pay for your guidance... It's a bit out there but I would pay for something like that if I were trying to impress someone and had no skills.
Even if I had skills in the kitchen I would still come since your value proposition is that you "never make the same dish twice." Most people only know how to make baked chicken and spaghetti, poorly! - LOL!” **
She doesn't know me from a whole in the wall and was able to be on the same wavelength I was on..innovative, out of the box thinking. I like her!
A month later I end up in Veronica's kitchen. She wanted to experiment with a fried rice recipe. She knocked it out the boxx (get it!) .
Most of the meals I cook are an experiment, I call my kitchen the lab.
Here are a few tips on how to make experiments “Go right”:
1.Read the recipe before you start to cook! You want to look for areas where you may have difficulty. There is a difference between tsp and tbs!
2.Line up all the ingredients before you cook. Its hard to run around your kitchen looking for something and then your food burns
3.Don't be afraid to change the recipe a little, Veronica added carrots to the rice
4.Eat and see what you may want to change in the future.
5.Relax have fun
Behind the sceens:
1.Her shoe broke just before taping.
2.Soyaki from Trader Joes is a must have in your kitchen
** Don't worry I'm working on the “How to woo your boo with food” Class.
Yang Chow Vegetarian Fried Rice
Here is a vegetarian version of the classic Chinese dish that traditionally includes shrimp and ham. If you have cooked rice in the fridge, this meal is ready in minutes; the rice needs to be cold so the grains won't stick together when stir-fried. Once you've tried this, you'll make it a habit to cook extra rice to have leftovers to use in this recipe.
6 servings (serving size: about 1 cup)
2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
4 large eggs, lightly beaten and divided
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
Dash of salt
1 3/4 cups thinly sliced green onions, divided
2 teaspoons grated peeled fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves, minced
5 cups cooked short-grain rice, chilled
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 (10-ounce) package frozen green peas, thawed
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add half of eggs; swirl to coat bottom of pan evenly. Sprinkle with 1/8 teaspoon pepper and dash of salt; cook 3 minutes or until egg is done. Remove egg from pan; thinly slice, and set aside.
Wipe pan clean with a paper towel. Heat remaining 4 teaspoons oil in pan over medium-high heat. Add 1 cup onions, ginger, and garlic; stir-fry 30 seconds. Add remaining eggs and rice; stir-fry 3 minutes. Stir in half of egg strips, remaining 3/4 cup onions, remaining 1/8 teaspoon pepper, soy sauce, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and peas; cook 30 seconds, stirring well to combine. Top with remaining egg strips and cilantro.
I hope you all enjoy this weeks session. I didn't realize how hard it is to cook and talk at the same time. Getting better with time. My friend Al made this dish