Thinking out loud... Maybe I should open my own test kitchen? I just love to experiment and keep it moving. I would DIE if I had to make the same thing over and over, yet that is how someone becomes a master of something. Any-who, tonight's dinner request was lamb chops and a soup. I decided on a butternut soup and couscous on the side item for the lamb chops.
We had a bottle of Chardonnay and Shiraz left over from the weekend, I used the white wine for the butternut squash and the red for the lamb chops. They came out pretty good and the plates were empty.
Lamb Chops Marinated in Red Wine
Courtesy of Country Living
1/2 cup red wine (I used an 06 Shiraz)
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoon red-wine vinegar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 lemon, peel only, cut into strips
3 large cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons fresh thyme
2 teaspoons fresh mint
3/4 teaspoons fresh-ground pepper
8 (about 2 pounds) lamb rib chops
1. Make the marinade: Combine red wine, olive oil vinegar, lemon juice, lemon peel, garlic, thyme, mint, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a baking dish. Add lamb chops to the marinade, cover, and refrigerate for 4 hours, turning meat over halfway through to be sure it is thoroughly marinated.
2. Grill the chops: Heat grill or grill pan over high heat until very hot. Remove chops from the marinade, pat dry, and set aside. Grill or place under the broiler the chops -- about 4 minutes per side for medium rare.
Simple Fruity Couscous Salad
1 1/3 cups dry couscous
2/3 cup slivered almonds
1/2 cup packed dried apricots, chopped,
2/3 cup sweetened, dried cranberries or raisins, microwaved in 1 cup water for 1 minute
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 scallions, thinly sliced with greens
1 pinch Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Prepare couscous according to package directions. (Ratio is one cup of couscous , 1 cup water) Combine all ingredients; toss. Serve at room temperature or chilled.
*Note - I cooked my couscous in freshly squeezed orange juice to give it some extra flavor
A common question people ask me is "How long does it take to do your hair?" On average It takes about 3 hrs. every 6 weeks. During that time I get to catch up on Law and Order, news and of course the topic of food ALWAYS comes up between my loctican and I. This time around we started swapping tofu recipes.
Don't turn your nose up at the mention to tofu. I wouldn't share these recipes if it wasn't good. And for those who may be yelling at me "Don't you know soy is linked to cancer!?", for every bad thing that is said about soy there is another doctor saying to total opposite. For me, moderation.
To get rid of excess water 'press' your tofu - Place tofu on paper towles and putting a plate on top. Then place a heavy object or bowl on top. Let sit for 5 - 10 minutes.
Jerk Tofu (Serves 4)
1 Tbs of Jerk Seasoning
2 Tbs peanut or olive oil
1 lb FIRM tofu, cubed
1 onion quartered
2 cloves garlic, chopped,
Vegetables, 2 lbs of any mixture of carrots, zucchini, cauliflower, green cabbage, bok choy, sweet peppers and broccoli.
oil to fry
1. Mix jerk and oil add tofu and marinate for about 30 mins
2. Heat oil and fry tofu for 5 minutes and put aside
3. Saute onion and garlic and add vegetables tossing until just tender.
4. Add tofu and stir in gently and serve with brown rice or noodles
(Recipe courtesy of Natural Gourmet Institute)
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup shoyu
1 cup cooked millet OR rice OR bread crumbs
1 lbs SOFT tofu
2 tablespoons arame (its a sea vegetable)
1 cup filtered water
2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil or sesame oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup onion, minced
1 teaspoon curry powder OR other spice blend
1/4 cup carrot, finely minced
1 stalk celery, finely minced
1 1/2 tablespoon umeboshi paste
2 Tbs tahini
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1. Mix seeds and shoyu together. Roast on parchment paper until dried
2. Cook rice or millet
3. Press tofu to release excess water
4. Soak arame in water 10 - 15 minutes. Drain and chop finely
5. Grind sunflower seeds halfway. Mash tofu, add sauteed vegetables, grain, seeds, arame, umeboshi paste, tahini, and salt and pepper to taste. Adjust salt if needed. Mix well.
6. Form 1/2" thick burgers with about 1/2 cup mixture
Thermostat in class room 95 degrees
Today is the offical one month mark in the Natural Gourmet Institutes Chefs Training Program. This morning I decided to get to class early to beat the morning locker room rush and sit back and enjoy a cup of coffee (yes in the 100 degree weather). As I entered the classroom I felt a gush of hot air, "OMG its hotter in here than outside". I no longer had the desire to drink my coffee.
Our instructor for the day was filling up pitcher with water and lemon to keep us cool. I joking said " I see today is a simulation on working in a hot kitchen". According to the thermo stat is was a schorhing 95 degrees! Later to find out that the AC broke last night.
We hung in there, we learned more about sauces and infusions. Lucky were weren't on the stoves too much. I'm even luckier that I chose ot make an Almond Sauce that did not require me to be on the stove for too long.
Makes 2 cups
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 small shallots, minced (about 6 tablespoons)
1 head of garlic, roasted*
1/4 cup vegetable stock (if you can make your own BOUNUS YUMMY)
1/3 cup blanched almonds, soaked 10 minutes in warm water and strained
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup olive oil
sea salt to taste
1. In a small saute pan, reduce white wine with shallots until almost dry.
2. In blender combine shallots, roasted garlic paste, almonds and vegetable stock. Blend until creamy. Slowly add in the oils. Season to taste.
Try putting it over rice or a mild white fish, tilapia, flounder ect, with a glass of white wine.
To roast garlic: Peel off outer layers, cutt of top horizontally, rub with olive oil, cover with tin
foil and bake at 350 degrees for 30 mins.
Blanch Almonds: Boil water place almonds in for about 1 minute, remove and place in a bowl with cold water and ice. AKA Blanch and shock
Reduce: Simmer liquid until it reaches a smaller volume
Don't let the sauce sit for too long, it will start to thicken, if it does thin out with some water.
If you need help send an email, but I may have to charge for personal visits :)
1st month check in - summary
It's going by so fast! It's a great experience, and overall 'good food' can taste good.
I still eat meat, but making the switch to organic/farm rasied, eating poorly treated animals doesn't appeal to me.
I don't think I'm cut out to work in a restaurant still, I think I'm at the point I can ask my instructors for some feedback on how I'm doing.
How does one mix, learning about good food, travel,and fun together? And also making our communites a better place to be!
We will see what happens.
After yesterday's radio show, tribute to Woman's History and National Nutrition Month I mentioned that we should "Go Green". Urging listners that they should be more adventerous when it comes to eating vegetables. Here are the few recpies that I had mentioned on the show
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
6 -8 cups chopd fresh kale, hard stems removed
2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp. kosher salt or sea salt
Place a rack on the lowest shelf of your oven. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Spread kale out on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and apple cider vinegar. Toss to coat.
Place on the lowest rack of the oven and bake for 10 minutes.
Remove from oven and stir so that kale can get crispy all over.
Bake another 8 - 12 minutes or until kale is crispy. It shold be just lightly browed and crispy to the touch.
Continue cooking until crispy.
Remove from oven and sprinkle with sea salt and serve immediately.
Kale on Toasted Bread - Cavolo Nero con le Fette (Italian)
Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 25 minutes Ingredients:
Anti Cancer Food Shopping List
In this audio clip I explain the term 'cream' and how to use it in the following recipe below.
Hot Buttered Rum Cocktail Recipe courtesy Emeril Lagasse, 2002
Prep Time: 10 min Inactive Prep Time: 1 min Cook Time: 10 min Level: Easy Serves: 10 to 12 servings Ingredients
1) In a bowl, cream together the butter, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt.
2) Refrigerate until almost firm.
3) Spoon about 2 tablespoons of the butter mixture into 12 small mugs.
4) Pour about 3 ounces of rum into each mug (filling about halfway).
5) Top with boiling water (to fill the remaining half), stir well, and serve immediately.
© 2010 Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved
I was very excited to try this Sweet Potato gratin recipe from the "Today's Kitchen" cookbook that I recently picked up. How can I go wrong with sweet potatoes, ginger and pineapples. Well.... the recipe didn't produce enough pineapple mixture for the amount of sweet potatoes. Lucky I'm here to make these mistakes to save you time. I tweeked the measurements and added some notes so you can get it right the first time around.
Baked Sweet Potato Gratin with ginger and pineapples
3 lbs 4 lbs of, sweet potatoes, peeled, sliced thin into 1/8 inch pieces
1 tablespoon butter, plus 6 tablespoons, chilled
1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1 (12 – ounce) can crushed pineapples in its own juice
½ cup minced fresh ginger
Pinch of nutmeg
½ cup light brown sugar
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees and use a 9 by 13 baking dish or a gratin dish
2) Use one tablespoon of butter to grease baking dish
3) In a bowl mix together orange juice, pineapple,nutmeg, and ginger; set aside.
4) In the baking dish, make one layer of overlapping sliced of sweet potatoes.
5) Sprinkle with pineapple mixture, dot with butter, and then make another layer of potatoes and continue until potatoes are finished. End with pineapple mixture and butter on top.
6) Bake in oven for 40 to 45 minutes until sweet potatoes are tender when a pairing knife is inserted. Baste gratin with excess juices every 10 minutes. The top should be bubbly and brown. If the top gets too brown or starts to burn, cover with aluminum foil and continue cooking until sweet potatoes are done.
Tip for perfection:
* Be sure to slice your potatoes as thin as possible. They get all melty and creamy. Slice them too thick and you'll have trouble cooking them through.
1 cup sweet potatoe puree = 1 lbs sweet potato
I always love looking for new appitizers to try out. I saw this "Spinach and Feta Cheese Purses", they look so CUTE! And easy to make! Give it a try, what else can we put in our purses? Guava and Cheese?
"Do you make Red Velvet Cheesecakes?" M. Ansel
"Nope - but I will put it on my todo list on things to figure out" - Gourmet Diva
"It's always a hit at parties"
She was right!!! This is the first time that I didn't get any pictures of the cake, everyone ate the cake before I got to it
To illustrate how to make this cake, I'm borrowing pictures from the Domestic Goddess's blog. (giving credit where credit is due).
The Red Velvet Cheesecake that I heard about was from the Cheesecake Factory. I never had one so I was imagining how it would taste. Looking at a picture the Red Velvet cake it was a multi layers cake with cheesecake in between. I could have simply made a red velvet cake and put a regular cheesecake in between, but I could imagine its probably more to it than that.
I looked up recipes for a red velvet cheesecake and it was not what I was looking for. They had a red velvet cake at the bottom and a cheesecake on top with some sour cream looking frosting.
I finally came across this recipe for a "Red Velvet Cheesecake, it was made with a Red Velvet cake and a White Chocolate Cheesecake. I think we found a winner.
After reading her blog I had the same concerns about making the cake, all the parts had to talk to each other I didn't want it to be overly sweet or the cream cheese frosting to dominate the cake.
I brought the cake to a family gathering and everyone enjoyed it, even those who didn't like red velvet cakes or cheesecakes.
Give it a try! If not don't worry, this one will be on the Gourmet Diva menu
Original Post from:
Red Velvet White Chocolate Cheesecake
Judy In Her Natural Habitat: The Kitchen
Red Velvet Cake
Adapted from Martha Stewart's Cupcakes
2 1/2 cups cake flour, sifted
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
2 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 tsp red gel-paste food color (or 1 oz. liquid red food coloring)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp distilled white vinegar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Whisk together cake flour, cocoa, and salt.
With an electric mixer on med-high speed, whisk together sugar and oil until combined. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl. Mix in food color and vanilla.
Reduce speed to low. add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of buttermilk, and whisk well after each. Stir together the baking soda and vinegar in a small bowl (it will foam), add mixture to the batter and mix on medium speed for 10 seconds.
Line two 9 inch spring form pans with parchment paper. Divide the batter equally between the two pans. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a knife comes out clean. Transfer pans to a wire rack. Allow to cool before removing the cake from the pan. Allow to cool completely before assembling with the cheesecake.
White Chocolate Cheesecake
Adapted from the Williams Sonoma Baking Cookbook
2 oz white chocolate, chopped
16 oz cream cheese, at room temperature ( 2 packages)
1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp sugar
1 tbsp flour
2 eggs at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp heavy cream
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Melt the white chocolate and set aside to cool slightly.
In a large bowl, using an electronic mixer, mix the cream cheese on low speed until creamy. add the sugar and mix slowly until smooth. on low speed, mix in the flour. turn off the mixer and scrape down the bowl and beater with a rubber spatula. Add one egg at a time and mix until smooth. scrape down again. mix in the vanilla and cream until the mixture is smooth. Using a large spoon, stir in the melted white chocolate until incorporated.
Pour the batter into a parchment paper lined 9 inch spring form pan. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the center is set when you shake the pan slightly. Allow to cool before removing from the spring form pan. Allow to cool completely before assembling with the red velvet cake.
Cream Cheese Frosting
24 oz cream cheese (3 packages), at room temperature
3 sticks of butter, at room temperature
3 tsp vanilla
3 cups of powdered sugar, plus more to taste
Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and beat with an electronic mixer until well combined. Add more powdered sugar to taste, if a more sweet frosting is preferred. Use immediately to frost the cake.
Assembling the Cake:
Level the two red velvet cakes. If you don't have a cake levler you can use a long serrated knife.
Frost the bottom layer of the cake, place cheesecak on top, frost again, place top layer. Frost entire cake.
After assembling the cake, allow it to rest in the fridge over night, before serving. Serve immediately after taking it out of the fridge.
Points to perfection:
Red Velvet cake - do not over cook your cake, you want to make sure it
stays moist and not dried out.
Frosting - taste the frosting while your making it, feel free to add more sugar if you like
Frosting the cake - Make a 'crumb coat' with a small amount of frosting thinned with a tiny bit of milk.
Spread the thinned frosting over the cake to trap the crumbs.
Chill the cake for 30 minutes or so after crumb-coating then frost with the remaining frosting.
This should give you a very smooth finished cake. If it still isn't as smooth as you would like, chill it again after frosting with the second coat for about 30 minutes. Then smooth the frosting with a 'hot and dry' frosting spatula (first dipped in very hot water then dried off). Apply the hot dry spatula to the cold frosting and it will smooth out nicely.
Dear Gourmet Diva
Can I make a meal for under 20 dollars?
Help me out in NYC,
Yes you can make a meal for under $20 (thank you for the gracious budget). This is one of my go to recipes when I need some thing economical and tasty. The spinach is mixed into the rice. Using frozen vegetables also cuts down on time, so you can prepare this in less then an hour.
I take a bottle of Kikkoman Teriyaki sauce and add freshly grated ginger, garlic and brown sugar. You can also have broccolli and julienned (matchstick shaped) carrots.
Add a few extra bucks in and you can have some ice cream for dessert – put it in a martini glass if you are having guest for an extra flair.
Salmon Teriyaki (Rosemary Black – Daily News March 13, 2005)
1/3 cup bottle teriyaki Sauce
4 salmon fillets (6 to 8 ounces each)
1 (10 – ounce) box frozen spinach
1 ½ cups instant brown rice (or white rice)
Salt and pepper to taste
Fresh dill springs for garnish (I use toasted sesame seeds)
Preheat the oven to 475 degrees and line the bottom of a large shallow baking pan (with edges) with foil. Pour all but 3 tablespoons of the glaze into the baking pan. Add the salmon and turn to coat with glaze. Bake 10 minutes or until done.
Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, bring 1 ½ cups of water and the frozen spinach to a boil over high heat . Stir in the rice and salt and pepper to taste. Cook, covered for about 10 minutes until the rice is done.
In a 1 – cup measure, stir remaining teriyaki sauce with ¼ cup water. Stir into hot rice. Serve with salmon with the rice.
Martha Stewart has a radio station on Sirius/XM radio "Martha Stewart Living Radio". Lucky for me I got a copy of this guide and I decided to share it with everyone.
It has recipes from acclaimed chefs, such as Emeril Lagasse, Nigella Lawson, and Mario Batali. Honestly I don't think these chefs have anything on the people I have encountered.
This holiday season they are having a "Helpline" All 30 chefs in the book will be on call to answer your questions on Martha Stewart Living Radio’s Thanksgiving Hotline. Nice idea I may have to do that next holiday season, anyone game?
The hotline is live from Monday, November 23 to Wednesday, November 25. See schedule for the full list of celebrity chefs and exact times at www.sirius.com/martha.
From this list of recipes I'm tempted to try the Sweet Potato Burbon Mash and the Chocolate Pecan Pie. Speaking of dessert don't forget to take a look of what the What about you, did anything pique your interest?