Wednesday, June 30, 2010

meet my meat

I cant remember ever not liking my steak rare.

In fact I like it raw, but that isnt always the best idea, so a little brown on the outside and pink in the middle is the safest way to go as unsafe as it is.

Porterhouse steak with truffle butter a jacket potato, and some mixed veggies make this a meal with a side salad that includes fresh sliced red onion.

This steak was so tender and aged perfectly that you literally did not need a knife to cut it. Have a safe and happy 4th of July my fellow Americans.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Blueberry cream cheese ice cream recipe

lueberry cream
cheese ice cream with blackberies, blueberries and a papaya coulis. This is the creamiest ice cream I have ever tasted. Try it for yourself. When I posted this on Facebook a few days ago I was overwhelmed with recipe requests but only one person, that I am aware of, actually made it and posted it Annie - The Chocolate Goddess, scroll around a bit you will find the ice cream, that is if you dont fall into a chocolate trance along the way. Thanks Annmarie for trying the recipe! In fact she tightened up the recipe wording and now I am using her version.
Blueberry Cream Cheese Ice Cream (recipe by Christo)


1 quart heavy cream
3 egg yolks
1 tablespoon cornstarch (adds a nice mouth feel to the finished ice cream)
1 vanilla bean, scraped
1-2 cups sugar, to taste
1 basket fresh blueberries, washed and dried thoroughly
1- 8 ounce package cream cheese


Scald the milk and eggs and vanilla being careful not to let it curdle. Take a small amount of this mixture and add the cornstarch whisking out any lumps. Remove from heat. Mix in blueberries and blend with an immersion blender to break up the berries.

Strain the mixture into a large mixing bowl. Add sugar and cream cheese. Whip until frothy. Add to ice cream maker as per instructions or place in metal bowl in freezer and remove every 15 minutes and stir. When frozen to desired consistency serve and enjoy and put whatever you dont gobble down in a freezer safe container, let sit out to soften slightly before serving again, if you do end up saving some.

Try it - tell me what you think.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Morely speaking

Tired of morel mushroom posts yet? I am almost finished showcasing these lovely little fungi. This is short sweet and simple. I made morel "ravioli" with brown sage butter and garlic.

The "ravioli" are simply two layers of pasta dough with morel mushroom slices sandwiched in between. This style of pasta is exceptionally good with a nice clear broth as well, place some basil leaves between the pasta sheets for a nice green leafy presentation -pasta en brodo.

This is some traditional cheese ravioli with morel pasta, I rolled the mushrooms into the dough infusing it with the earthy richness of the morel mushrooms, these were good with a simple cream sauce. So if you are not completely bored with morels stay tuned only a couple more ideas to go.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

I have sole and morels - I must be going through a life change

Not having my own camera has been a blessing in disguise. I still do everything I used to do when I posted about it constantly the only difference now is since I dont have a camera at the ready I dont feel the 'obligation' to document it. Dont get me wrong five years of blogging has been great and I have noticed the surge of blogs in the last couple of years which is also great but having this break has been the greatest. I still read hundreds of blogs on my reader and I am still inspired and annoyed in equal measure but having this self imposed distance has enabled me to get a good perspective on things. What will all of this mean? Nothing. Once I get a camera I will be back in black, nine lives, cats eyes the whole works. We eat a lot of corn on the cob made in all kinds of ways, grilled, boiled - you name it, for about a two or three week window - this one has mexican mayonnaise, cotija cheese, red chile, a squeeze of lime and salt - tasty on a stick! How do you like your corn?

With the abundance of fruits, melons and berries we have been making the best of the season enjoying this bounty in any way we can think. This is a lightly sauteed sole filet that was sauteed in butter with some morel mushrooms then it was served on top of some cucumber 'slaw' with a few blackberries scattered around for sweet/tartness and a little dollop of masago for color and fishy richness.

This was one lunch dish that made it through the rotation twice it was so good, the first time I made it to rave reviews I was asked to make it again only a couple days later, this is one redundancy I can deal with.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Plenty of Morels to this Story

Morel mushrooms are in abundance on the west coast and that bounty has spilled all the way to New York City care of Justin at MarxFoods. If you have not entered to win 2 pounds of these beauties then you must need a lobotomy! I have procured some of these plump little plumpies and I have distributed them to a few other bloggers to see what they can do - and what ever they do I will be doing my very best to do better. I am competitive and I wont deny it.

I took a little fish paste (sometimes its called surimi and its various bits of assorted fish, scallions and starch that is mixed and sold in chinatown typically used in dumplings) and stuffed some morels. The fish paste injected mushrooms were then poached in a little butter until tender and aromatic.

Fresh watercress adds the right bite to this salad along with a little squeeze of lime and the poaching butter for a nice oily richness. This salad is so full of umami I am embarrassed to even mention it. Plump and juicy mushrooms with rich and mild fish paste balancing ever so perfectly on the watercress. Yup, its good.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

never no never no never not me

Natural food comes - well - naturally to me. I grew up on a small farm in southern New Mexico and we did it all. My brother used to make extra money selling the various produce from our large garden. I could never do it - I always wanted to either give it away for free or invite them over to eat it. Whatever. I still like food and so does he. Point? Eating right. Eating right, thats my point. I wish I could say that we are over weight and have dietary problems but, well, we dont. We are a happy healthy bunch that always and only eats right. In 12 years I can safely say that my son has only had junk food no more than 6 times, yup thats once every other year. Thats how we roll, thats how my mom rolled. Thats how I roll. I grew up in a rural setting - there was no junk food. This is my little story on eating right and eating whole and real foods for two for tuesdays.

Monday, June 14, 2010

look into my christo ball

Very few people can boast a lack of vanity. In fact the need to look good often transcends the need to feel good with popular sayings like "too look good is to feel good" supporting peoples love of vanity. I know that I like to be happy with what I see when I look into a mirror often overlooking the age and the flaws that come with age. I recognize myself but to be honest I do not look like I did when I was younger, most of us dont, a little wrinkle here a bit of pudge there some gray hair to top it all off and voila its the "new" you. I am more than happy with the new me.

How do I keep my vanity sanity? Continually learning new things is what keeps me going. I am forever on a quest for knowledge be it culinary, historical or just plain trivia I revel in getting the facts and the information processed so that I can use it in my everyday. I will be reviewing one of the wonderful items available through CSN Stores in the coming days and if you havent had a chance to peruse the many, many items available I urge you to have a look. In case you are wondering I am going to choose something cookware related since it is my passion. One new thing I have learned recently is how to make a pithivier savoyarde (process pictured above). In this case its a lovely potato gratin with a little extra gruyère cheese and prosciutto all wrapped in a nice puff pastry and baked until golden. One of these and a salad is the perfect lunch. Served warm they are excellent but even cold on a picnic this delicate yet hardy pastry holds its own.

Another favorite picnic item is the frittata. This is a potato spinach frittata, one more dish that is also good warm or cold and I like mine with a spicy brown mustard.

My favortite place to have a picnic is anywhere in New Mexico, and nothing keeps my vain more sane than trips out west, but for now I will settle for just a patch of grass. I am submitting this to Smackdown "picnic basket".

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Where have I been all my life?

Those of you that are jumping for joy that I may have stopped blogging you can stop jumping and thank me for all the exercise you had for these last couple of weeks, in fact I am proud to take credit for your new found fitness. For the rest of you I dont even know where to begin explaining. You know I dont have a camera lately but in the process of not having a camera my hot water heater leaked all over shineola so the entire kitchen sink and counter had to be ripped out. Why, you ask, because the hot water heater lived comfortably under the sink for the last 12 years and this is the second one to give out (yup I am old) so a new sink area was in order. The new sink area is still under construction but at least we have hot water again, and thats a story in itself.
We thought we would join the future and install one of these. A tankless - it should be called thankless, hot water heater that supplies endless hot water. After ordering and receiving it and getting all the necessary bells and whistles to go with it and not having hot water for 10 days it becomes determined that I do not have enough AMPS coming into my apartment to power this bad boy. So everything gets returned and restocking fees are paid and frustrations only mount.
Common sense brought us back to what works. It is not this one but I couldnt find the "shorty" that we use under our sink. I had the whole thing purchased and installed myself in 6 hours total. 10 days wasted re-inventing the wheel - one day to fix it. Anyway thats where we are now.

Now to make things even worse I thought it would be a good idea to add puree of asparagus to a hollandaise sauce, and while that may sound good it only tasted "grassy" and it was a bad combination. The shrimp was good the potatoes too and even the asparagus spears were good and since I toot my own horn (no one else will) the eggs were poached perfectly.

I thought that the pretty greeness would be interesting and by golly it was if you like interesting green sauces on your breakfast. Oh well. We did have some tasty mussels and french bread and some pacific oyster po-boys but all I got a picture of was the mussels. Life is giving me lemons but between you and me, I am getting a little tired of lemonade.
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