Sunday, August 09, 2009

That Freshly Baked Bread Smell

Here's my once every 5 months blog entry. It's not very exciting. Sorry.

I could never give up bread. No way, man. I've been trying to cut down on bread intake over the last couple years, telling myself, "OK, I'll have to MAKE it if I crave it." Of course, as we all know, bread isn't one of those in the mood foods you can whip up in 15 minutes. Try more like, 15 hours. Especially if you make a sponge. Now we're talking 2 DAYS.

So, I had one of those cravings, and since it's been hot in Los Angeles lately, I decided to heat things up another 500 degrees. If I'm gonna spend all this time making bread, might as well make 2 loaves, right?

Just try to let the bread cool down for 2 hours before you cut into it...

Wish you could have a bite,

Monday, March 30, 2009

Salt Makes EVERYTHING better...

Even caramels. And chocolate. And men. Especially men...hmm I take that back. Men are salty enough.

Fleur de sel on caramels. There are so many recipes out there, just experiment. I put a little salt INTO the caramel mixture, and then some on top before cutting. Can't go wrong.

Even covered some in dark chocolate.


Wish you could have a bite,

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Lovely Leeks

I've talked about burrata a lot. And I won't stop talking about it, and you can't stop me. YOU are! Hmph!

Last night I prepared the ol' burrata and prosciutto drizzled in olive oil and sprinkled with sea salt and black pepper blah blah blah, but to spruce it up I made a leeks vinaigrette. Not the fancy French vinaigrette with capers and egg and whatnot, just a little bit of red wine vinegar (because I'm out of champagne vinegar), S&P, some olive oil, and that's it.

Yum. SO EASY. Clean leeks. Boil for 10-15 minutes in salted water, and give them the shocker...I mean, shock them in ice water? Add your oil and vinegar and you've got yourself an antipasto that'll ruin your main course which you slaved over for hours and hours. Serves you right. DAMN YOU leeks over prosciutto and burrata. Damn you for being so sexy and delicious.

Wish you could have a bite,

Monday, March 02, 2009

Wascaly Wabbits

I was at the poultry shop the other day and decided to make some rabbit, since I hadn't prepared it in a long time. I definitely was not in the mood for frog's legs and I didn't want to fuss with squab, so rabbit it was!

I prepared it in much the same way I would coq au vin...I seared all the rabbit, removed the meat and cooked a mirepoix with the brown bits, made a wine reduction, added some stock and slow cooked the rabbit in the oven at a very low temperature.

OK, so it's pretty fussy, probably much fussier than the squab would've been, but it was well worth it. Mmm...rabbit on a bed of creamy polenta with spinach and a nice glass of vino nobile. Can't go wrong...

Wish you could have a bite,

Monday, January 26, 2009

The Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie

Here's a link to a New York Times article about the perfect chocolate cookie. I made this recipe, but altered a couple things...

I used almost a quarter cup LESS white sugar than they called for.

I chopped my own Valrhona 71% dark chocolate.

I melted half of the butter and didn't whip it as much. I think fluffing it (in the baking sense) makes cookies more "cake-like" so I compromised.

And presto, the perfect chocolate chip cookie. Time to go running now.

Go make yourself a bite,

Monday, January 12, 2009

Top Scallops

I don't know if anyone else watches Top Chef, but there's a chick on it who makes scallops any chance she gets. So, I decided to make scallops after watching an episode and laughing when the Italian chef exclaimed, "This is Top Chef, not Top Scallops!"

Scallops are so so so easy to make, and yet, they seem to impress people. All you need is a f-cking hot preheated pan and like, 5 minutes. Depending on the size, you can sear them between 1-3 minutes per side until JUST cooked through. It might take a couple tries, but you'll get it. The key is to not move them in the pan so you get a nice sear, but how many times have I said that before?

This time, after searing them, I deglazed the pan with shallots, white wine, added a little pat of butter off the heat, then some torn tarragon and orange zest. I roasted asparagus and brussel sprouts with olive oil in the oven at 400 (for 8 and 20 minutes respectively) and had a complete meal in 25 minutes. Eat it Rachel Ray.

Wish you could have a bite,

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Pasta Belly

So, it's been a while, Mr. Bloggie, but I'll make it up to you I promise! My belly is full of all sorts of goodies these days, and since my trip to Italy back in October I've been trying to perfect my pasta fresca.

Using the well method is perhaps the most satisfying technique I've ever employed, and poking properly rested dough can make even the toughest dude giggle. I love to poke. Poke poke poke.

I've found that just over 3 cups of flour to every 4 eggs and a teaspoon of olive oil makes a very tender pasta. If I'm feeling up to it, I'll knead it by hand for 10 minutes, but after a couple minutes of doing it by hand I cheat and throw it into the Kitchen Aid with the dough hook and then finish it by hand. Letting it rest is the most important part, however, and I find the longer the better, but at least 30 minutes.

Mmm...I love my pasta belly.

Wish you could have a bite,

PS In honor of NYT's Top 11 Foods, I've been making a SWISS CHARD and sausage sauce to go with the pasta fresca, although anything simple is better, since the pasta is the highlight of the dish!