Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Group intervention is about the most complex dance you could ever do. Doing it by yourself requires an even greater knowledge of the steps. Remember, everybody's watching.
Posted by Christo Gonzales at 11:30 PM
My computer was infected with 12 virus and 16 trojans totally halting my ability to do anything until I fixed it - fixing it took 3 days. While I was on this mission to fix it I was on a ration of bread and water and only one shower and one hour of exercise in the yard - supervised. As you can imagine I am glad to be done with that.
To welcome me back I thought a caprese salad was in order.
The age old stuff the basil and the bufala in the the whole tomato presentation but I will be darned if it doesnt look as good as it tastes.
Whenever I want to get back to reality I eat chile. Red chile with blue corn tortillas makes an enchilada my grandfather would be proud of.
Why have one egg when you can have two!
Posted by Christo Gonzales at 12:04 PM
Sunday, July 26, 2009
Friday, July 24, 2009
Avocado ice cream is pretty darn good. I'm not just saying that because I made it I am saying that because I keep on wanting to eat it.
Forget that I made my own malted waffle cones, forget that it is all natural, forget that I can make it again anytime I want.
What you should remember is what Sam I am said when you start making fun of this like some of you did with the cheesecake (snugs). Sam ended up liking it EVERYWHERE! Look its a fancy cone because its in a cognac glass!
Basic ice cream recipe except with the addition of two small avocados and the juice of half a lime- its mean-its green and its delicious. I could blindfold anyone (as long as they are not allergic) and you would notice a richness that you could not identify but you would not go "ick is this green, is there avocado in this?"
Avocado ice cream is a grown-up flavor but a grown up flavor that even a kid could love.
Posted by Christo Gonzales at 2:29 PM
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Since there is no such place as Bombay anymore I dont feel bad using the word anytime I want. I might have mentioned how much I like the flavors of India and if I didnt then - I like the flavors of India!
Before I get started let me first address the avocado cheesecake. You would have to have the taste buds of a butterfly to even notice the avocado so to want to make it savory does not seem right. You could make an avocado quiche, maybe, and that would be nice and tasty with a spicy salsa but this is a cheesecake that happens to be green and have avocado in it so sweet all the way. I will be posting a picture of it with a tropical fruit 'salsa' that paired perfectly. On to the spinach and the green theme I wasnt even aware of. (speaking of green and avocado - there is some avocado ice cream in the freezer doing its bad boy thing right now)
Here is how I make Saag Paneer (the oh so rare recipe post)
1 large onion
6 cloves garlic
1 oz fresh ginger
1 lb of cooked spinach drained (you can use fresh or frozen)
1 large carrot diced
1 cup plain yogurt
4 oz buttermilk
2 teaspoon red chili powder
2 teaspoon garam masala (my garam masala is a blend of cinnamon, cardamon, clove, black pepper, nutmeg, mace, ginger, garlic, white pepper, star anise, all spice, tumeric, cumin coriander and mustard seed)
1 cup half and half
6 oz paneer, use the homemade cheese from a couple posts ago
- salt to taste
Grind the onion, garlic, and ginger into a fine paste.
In a medium saucepan, combine the paste,(onion garlic and ginger) spinach, carrot (I like to add the carrot for color mostly you can omit it for a more authentic look) yogurt, buttermilk, chili powder, and garam masala. Simmer at medium heat for 20 to 30 minutes. Add the half and half. Simmer until the mixture has a creamy consistency, 10 to 15 minutes. (you can mash it more if you like a more creamy texture but I like mine a little 'rough') Add the cheese, simmer 5 minutes. Season with salt. Makes 4 to 6 servings.
So there you go - one of my favorite lunches, or serve as a side dish, that both nourishes and satisfies with heartiness and flavor. Serve it with rice or bread - these are mini pitas, and guess what? Its even better the next day!
Posted by Christo Gonzales at 7:25 PM
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
There aint' no typo there, I said 'avocado cheesecake' and thats what I meant! When you can get avocados for a buck each and they are big avocados then you tend to buy five avocados and you end up with way too many avocados, at least I do - anyway.
Avocado cheesecake makes sense, its creamy, its a fruit and it likes to play along with others. (not like me in any way)
Anyway how many ways can I say 'any' and 'way' and 'anyway' and still get away with it-anyway?
Posted by Christo Gonzales at 6:19 PM
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Poutine sounds like a bad word in Spanish but it tastes oh so good. I was channeling my inner Canadian after I made some fresh curds and nothing sounded more comforting than a plate of french fried potatoes, cheese curds and gravy. Keep in mind that I have neither seen, tasted nor heard of this dish prior to last year and keep further in mind that I have neither tasted nor seen this dish in person anywhere at any time. It seems easy enough - french fries, squeaky cheese curds and some kind of velouté - I can do that so I did. Looking up recipes was senseless because for some reason people treat this like it is some kind of gold leaf apliqué that only a seasoned professional can accomplish after having gone through years of training and that may be true but for my unjaded poutine palate a straight forward approach seems enough.
Fries, cheese and gravy and being the guy that I am I need garnish so a little green onion - et voilà its poutine and it is damn good. I wish I was drunk and it was 3:00 am because I can see the value of this dish. I dont know if I should appologize to Canada or offer to help - they make this stuff seem more than it is and less than it could be. Pretty much its damn good and I cant wait to fine tune my recipe. Oh, and stay tuned for some Indian spice inspired paneer dishes my favorite being Sag Paneer - I might even make some naan bread.
Posted by Christo Gonzales at 8:10 PM
Ricotta is step one to making paneer. You can stop right there and enjoy it in its fluffy creamy state or you can press it and the result is a farmer cheese or a paneer, or you can take it one step further and inoculate it with mold and attempt a blue cheese or cook the curds again and make a mozzarella or heat it really really slow and you have a cream cheese. Whatever cheese you choose it isnt that hard.(officially ricotta, which means cooked again, is the cheese made from the leftover whey making it a whey cheese and not technically a cheese - thus this style of ricotta is technically not a ricotta) If you want to make a 'cheese' just to get the hang of it then get the large tub of plain yoghurt, low fat, no fat, all fat - your choice and come cheese cloth - put the yoghurt in the cheese cloth and let drain until a nice smooth cream cheese is left. Depending on how much you drain it will determine its consistency - if you need greek yoghurt for a recipe but you dont have any then drain regular for a bit until its thick - get the idea?
Heat the milk past 90F, add rennet or lime or vinegar to make the curds, the more acid the harder the curd, lime is the weakest vinegar is stronger and rennet is the best.
Let sit a moment then strain with cheese cloth and let drain a good long while. See the whey? This whey is what is used to make real ricotta.
This was 2% milk so you see you can even make it lowfat! You can eat it like this and enjoy the fresh ricotta you made in minutes or you can put it in a press if you want a firmer cheese.
I would then fluff up the curds and add salt -it is at this state that you would add the mold inoculate for blue cheese but this one I am leaving plain - then press it to firm it up.
This is it.
Posted by Christo Gonzales at 2:59 PM
Bifrost Blacksmithing in Ketchikan, Alaska had to have been one of the most pleasant and simple highlights of the trip. I know I said I was finished talking about Alaska but the whole knife thing reminded me.
Jake Beimier is a blacksmith like the old days. He loves his craft and he is such a pleasure to talk to. Get him going on his Viking club and you will learn things you never thought possible, anyway he was making knives out of railroad spikes and jewelry out of old silverware. We have all seen the spoon or fork handle ring but he took the scoop part of the spoon and fashioned them into leaves for a necklace - very cool.
The knives are rustic but razor sharp.
This 'skinner' design is his own creation. The knife is designed to hang from your pinky finger while you skin the animal rather than having to put the knife down and then pick it back up - makes sense to me.
Speaking of handmade here is a cheese update.
We are a month into it and we have a month to go. I have been shamelessly nibbling on the smaller one.
They taste great! I can not wait to cut into the big guy!
Posted by Christo Gonzales at 11:19 AM
Monday, July 20, 2009
Are you as glad as I am to be done posting about the cruise? I didnt think I would ever wrap it up and I gave you the sweetened and condensed version. Problem here now is I need material, I hear the culinary gears churnin' but nothing is moving down the assembly line. We have way too much of everything right now and it is staggering. Way too many cherries, peaches that I cant keep up with, avocados coming out of our ears, salmon, and halibut and dungeness crab and crawfish all impregnating my fridge and freezer - time to take charge.
There were barbecue ribs that were so dang good I dont even want to tell you about them.
Smoothies of every berry and fruit variety that will have to remain a secret.
Southwestern chile foods that you wouldnt know what they were even if I told you.
Eggs so simple even a 'chef' could make them.
The never ending knife purchase - another bread knife, now I have 3 - I have way too many knives.
Let me get my merde together and I will post more substance as the week progresses.
Posted by Christo Gonzales at 6:04 PM
Sunday, July 19, 2009
Saturday, July 18, 2009
Sprinkle it with blue wrap it up in blah blah and you tickle it with whooooo - the candy man can! Oh, the candy man can. The candy man can cause he mixes it with love and makes the world taste good.
Am I the only one totally freaked by every single word in the lyrics to that song? This song is a Dateline episode waiting to happen. Its not Sammys fault its this guys fault.....
See what sugar can do to you?! Its brutal. Grab and go.
I dont eat much myself but I sure do traffic in it.
Strictly instructed to not interact I get him to nod his head.
No one ever talked about the strawberries!
Posted by Christo Gonzales at 10:16 PM