Tuesday, June 30, 2009

magic brownies

hese magic brownies have a secret ingredient, an ingredient that is good for you- Okara. I have mentioned okara before - it is the pulp left over after you have made soy milk and it is oh so good for you.

I put all the regular things you put into making a cake - eggs, oil, baking powder/soda a bit of salt some sugar, soy milk and chocolate to make a batter and I put this batter into my nifty new pan that makes mini cakes.

Nutrition never tasted so good.

I know I said I was going to start posting recipes and I have yet to do it - I dont know if its a mental block or a rebellion, I cant decide. If there is any recipe that you want I am more than happy to e mail it out and hopefully I will get over my 'issue' and start posting them soon. In the interim - enjoy these vitality cakes.

Monday, June 29, 2009

bust my chops

ork chops are so tasty it isnt even funny. I cook these babies hot and fast to get a nice crust on the outside and a tender middle all while keeping them juicy, juicy, juicy.

These chops met somewhere between delicious and attractive and in this case delicious made a bigger case - I think it was the chopped garlic and olive oil that pushed them over the edge.

Team this up with a nice baked potato and you are in hog heaven! Dont forget to make your taters!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

spudly speaking of course

hen Reeni asked me to host the upcoming BSI (blogger secret ingredient) naturally I was flattered as all get out but I had to play it cool and aloof so as not to come off over excited. Well since no one really saw me 'playing it cool' it looks like the cool was spent only on me and naturally the over excitement has passed so now its time to get down to the business at hand and that is picking an ingredient. I am in wonderful company and the previous ingredients were nothing less than excellent, I wish I could get the easy way out and duplicate one but I wont. Did you check out the blueberry extravaganza? All the links are here so go and see and a big CONGRATULATIONS to Katherine at Smoky Mountan Cafe - she walks away with the blueberry bragging rights!

Can you believe, to my amazement, that no one has picked one of the most well liked ingredients this world has to offer.

Here is the little problem: I will be flying (the whole fam damily) from New York City to Anchorage, Alaska at 8:00 am Sunday morning - I would like to wrap this particular BSI up on Saturday if it is at all possible...normally the secret ingredient is announced on Monday so I am giving a head start as well.

I made a little gratin of some eastern potatoes (skin on - I like it rustic) and sliced onion with shrimp. The beauty of the potato is its versatility - the sky is the limit. Good luck and have fun with Potatoes.

Week 37: ChezWhat- Potatoes

Week 36: Cinnamon, Spice & Everything Nice - Blueberries

Week 35: Girlichef - Greens

Week 34: The Ungourmet - Watermelon

Week 33: Bread + Butter - Bell Pepper

Week 32: Burp and Slurp - Corn

Week 31: Say Yes to Salad – Kabocha

Week 30: Thinspired – Bananas

Week 29: To Be The Whole Package – Almonds

Week 28: Kristas Kravings – Lemon

Week 27: From French Fries To Flax Seeds – Coconut

Week 26: Plentiful Plants – Avocado

Week 25: Training Fuel – Eggs

Week 24: Dinner at Christina’s – Cabbage

Week 23: Hey What’s for Dinner, Mom? – Strawberries

Week 22: One Bite at a Time – Basil

Week 21: Just Sweet Enough – Black Beans

Week 20: What I Ate Yesterday – Kale

Week 19: What’s for Dinner – Orange

Week 18: BranAppetit! – Spinach

Week 17: Tales of Expansion – Dates

Week 16: Biggest Diabetic Loser – Zucchini

Week 15: Sweet & NaturalPeppermint

Week 14: bella eats [and runs] – Ginger

Week 13: Coffee Talk – Walnuts

Week 12: For the Love of Oats – Pumpkin

Week 11: Trying to Heal – Sweet Potatoes

Week 10: The Inner Workings of a College Graduate – Eggplant

Week 9: Itzy’s Kitchen – Pears

Week 8: The Fitnessista – Cranberries

Week 7: Tri to Cook – Lentils

Week 6: Rhodey Girl Tests – Polenta

Week 5: Eating Bender – Butternut Squash

Week 4: Care to Eat – Apples

Week 3: On a Lobster Placemat – Mushrooms

Week 2: Hangry Pants – Tomatoes

Week 1: Sportsnutritionliving – Quinoa

Saturday, June 27, 2009

touché soufflé

I have been busting my brain this week to come up with some kind of blueberry thing for this weeks BSI (blogger secret ingredient) hosted by Reeni over at Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice. I made blueberry fruit leather that I made into some kind of cone and filled with ice cream but the leather was, well leathery and it was a nice cone but a difficult thing to eat. I made a blueberry balsamic vinegar that I served with pork chops but it was so incidental in the blueberry department I scarfed it down with out even photographing it. Then it hit me and it hit me like a fluffy brick.

Blueberry soufflé with blueberry sauce is what I came up with and if you have never worked with a soufflé before your window of opportunity is very slim. What do I mean? The soufflé starts to collapse within seconds of coming out of the oven so to set it up and photograph it is like playing a symphony all by yourself.

The blueberry soufflé came out great and the flavor was so sweet and light and blueberryesque it is definitely something I would make again.

Just in case there are any doubting thomas's out there I actually do have a photo of the chop and sauce and it was really good but the soufflé was better.

Friday, June 26, 2009

simply complex

ometimes the simplest things can be the most difficult and I like it that way. The perfect omelete or the ideal milkshake all fall under this header for me. Anyone can fry up some bacon and slap it between two slices of bread but the one that can create a perfect BLT is the one for me.

Spaghetti and meatballs falls into this realm. Super simple to make and super simple to make bad. I have had so much over cooked pasta and dried out meatballs in my life it is hard to imagine. The one that scares me most is when someone tells me this is their grandmothers recipe, hello it was a depression and ingredients were scarce how good can these meatballs possibly be?

So grab a fork and grab a spoon (if thats how you twirl) and tuck into a bowl of goodness, not how anyones grandmother used to make but how I make it - al dente pasta lightly sprinkled with olive oil and juicy, I mean juicy braised meatballs.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

a symbol of my generation has passed

Rest in peace -

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

bombay express

he title of this post is wrong in so many ways and the least of which is the non-existence of Bombay. It isnt like Bombay disappeared or anything its that it underwent a name change and it is now Mumbai. Dont ask me how this stuff happens and I can tell you we have a little of that going on right here in NYC, every now and again an avenue gets a 'token' name for awhile but it is never a permanent name change like the Bombay-Mumbai thing and I am not even going to begin to try and understand it.

What I will try and understand is the cuisine and I have been trying to understand it for many years now and I feel confident in telling you that I have barely scratched the surface. I dont know the names of all the language dialects. I dont know the breakdown of the caste system. I dont know diddly squat really but I do like to make curries and masalas.

I heat up the spice mixture until it is aromatic. I get all of my spices from a Pakistani grocery store on 1st and sixth here in Manhattan, I have been shopping at this same location for years and years. This store has big bags of nuts and legumes and masalas and curries and jars and jars of ghee and coconut and tandoori mixes and chutney and on and on and on. Sometimes when I am feeling particularly 'local' I order a couple of handmade paans, the guy wraps them on the spot as you order. The paan thing is like an insider trading deal - not everyone knows about it.

After the spices are perfect I add ghee and the poached chicken and the stock that I poached the chicken in. I let this simmer a bit then I add coconut milk and a little cream right before serving with some fluffy basmati rice. I dont know how authentic the recipe or process is but the flavor is spot on.

I made the 'graduate' a special cake - the older he gets the more 'free form' the decoration gets. A couple years ago his birthday cake looked like this and before that it looked like this. So, while this was not a birthday cake it was very relaxed in its decor. This is a flourless chocolate cake with chocolate sauce.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

curry in a hurry

here are many ways to spell spicy and curry is one of them. We eat spicy around here most every day in some way or another. Just like a bad dye job, my New Mexico roots keep on showing and they show up anytime chile or spicy is mentioned. After making some roast chicken, mashed potatoes with gravy and some sauteed string beans to satisfy a comfort itch there was a little left over chicken. Left over chicken with mayonnaise and and some nice hot curry powder can turn an ordinary chicken salad into a chicken salad that I want to eat.

Cut off a decent size hunk of a bastone loaf or whatever bread you have around and fill it up with delicious and chunky curried chicken; stuff a few mixed greens and some sprouts and you have a sandwich fit for an Earl of Sandwich - kind of sandwich, sandwich - whew I felt like I was trapped in the revolving door of having to keep on saying sandwich-sandwich. You can also try this with some fried tofu that has been tossed together with an aioli and the curry powder too if meat aint your thang!

Monday, June 22, 2009

rockin' tacos

an you keep up with me because I know I cant. Lately I have had the good fortune of having to cook a lot and nothing makes me happier than making people happy and nothing makes me happier than that than rising up to the varied requests that get thrown at me. Now after all that I present to you food I could make with my eyes closed.

Tacos are fun, tacos are easy and tacos make people happy.

These mixed seafood tacos came together way too easy. I grilled a mix of scallops, calamari and shrimp that had been seasoned with a blend of secret spices along with some onions that I let turn to a caramel goo. Generous slices of tomato as well as jalapeno and cilantro made these tacos so tasty with only a squeeze or two of lime.

If this wasnt enough I decided it was time to go to crazy town for some dessert.

Apple bananas with peanut butter and chocolate zapped in the nuker for a few seconds and then I hit them with a little whipped cream but it was an after thought and didnt make it for the photo session. I think next time I will sprinkle some little bacon pieces all around and call the whole thing 'The Elvis' -

Sunday, June 21, 2009

the egg man

his is the first time I have ever made eggs benedict and I was a little concerned about the results. Yeah right! I make these so often they should be called 'eggs me' or something like that.

This particular version is a mix of some of my favorite things - it is fathers day after all. I made the hollandaise with a little gorgonzola mixed in for some extra oompf.

The poached eggs are sitting on top of some thin slices of salmon filet that was seared quickly and rests gently on a lightly toasted english muffin. The potatoes are a mix of potato, haricot vert and kabocha squash, toss a few lentil sprouts around and the whole dish flies right together like magic. This was my fathers day brunch and it was all I needed. Happy fathers day to all those dads out there and also to the single moms who fill those shoes too!


hat would you call a pasta sauce that has bacon, cream, garlic, onions, cheese and anchovies - well besides 'a mess'?

I didnt know what to call it so I ended up naming her 'velvet' since this combination was so smooth yet full bodied, not crisp like a tulle or bumpy like a chenille just soft and plush like a velvet. I still had a little left over carrot pasta and it was lunch time so you put two and two together with me and you end up with a threesome.

While I plowed through this the pup had himself a cheesesteak with salt and vinegar chips, but I sneak in flavors on him all the time and this time I had put in a little of the pickle juice from some pickled jalapenos I had made. He couldnt figure out how 'it was a little spicy but really good!' Shhh, secrets are secrets ok?

On another note my tomatoes are making little 'maters.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

spin me right round baby

inwheels are probably the easiest and coolest thing to make. You hook these up and it looks like you went to oven class. I made savory ones a little while back but since the trees are fat with Juneberries it seemed like some Juneberry pinwheels were in order. Plus I only tasted the other ones since they had to go to work. I have been making these around here for abut two weeks now - in fact this is probably my third or fourth batch.

A little cream cheese, a little vanilla, a little vanilla sugar and roll em up in the puff pastry and bake.

Tasty never tasted so good.

Go for a spin

green genie

reen, I heard there was a green thing going on so I wanted in on it. I was so confused as to how I was going to make my green thing not 'so' and terribly 'so' all at the same time.

I had beet greens but they lost their green after cooking so I had to scramble something up.

I went for fresh made carrot pasta with a green bean pesto and a splash of alfredo. Who knows where this came from but side by side with a piece of grilled swordfish the flavors were able to do their rambunctious thing with out stepping on any toes.

I am submiting this to Girlichef for the BSI going on with green.

Friday, June 19, 2009

all up in the rangoli or is it just a hill of beans?

Lately I have become obsessed with patterns, whether they be in nature or through rote behaviour, patterns have been standing out to me. While this pattern awareness is nothing new it is somehow heightened lately and then along comes Rangoli, a word I had never heard before (there are many) but a word relating to patterns which is intriguing to me.

I have talked about Fibonacci before or at least I thought I did (I have many, many draft posts that never get fully fleshed out - maybe this was one of them) then suddenly the Rangoli is doing the same thing. The Fibonacci concept is so brilliant I would be ill advised to try and break it down for you and now Rangoli is right in there. Yet it all seems to go back to Fibonacci in one way or another.

Francis Bacon
at the Met. One of my most favorite painters.

Mermaid Parade at Coney Island.
Looks like a busy weekend and its not even here yet!

Rangoli can only come from these influences and that is where it came from. I dont know how to properly credit these 6 blogs. I can make an award I guess.







If I say its one then I say its all - I have been influenced by these wonderful blogs, and probably others - the presentation - the 'clicks' it is all so magnificent and thoughtful. Thanks to blogs we see more - dont you think?

Francis Bacon looks like a Rangoli pattern...sort of.
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