Sunday, August 29, 2010

Still in New Mexico

Enjoy some local bull riding because I know we did....

You can also enjoy some Eggs Southwestern that I prepared for a documentary that I cant wait to tell you about.

...Oh and did I forget to mention that Hatch green chile is roasting all over the state and the smell fills the air?

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Culinary Smackdown -Battle Sandwich - Entries and Winner

There were a lot of sandwiches to chew through because everyone wanted the Hundred Bucks. I would like to thank CSN Stores for giving me this gift certificate to give to a lucky winner and I hope each and every one of you check out their site. I will post the entries as they came in so there is no real order other than the randomness of the submission. To start off I will show you a classic BLT by little ol' me, and at the very very end or somewhere in between or linked to something I will tell you the winner - just to make sure you look at everyones sandwich!

First to roll in was tomatoes on the vine with this substantial beauty. Look at that lovely kraut on that big fat brat!

A newbie to my blog Platanos Mangoes and Me dug into their archives a little bit to showcase this powerhouse of goodness - Chicken Tapenade.

Girlichef went ahead and did everything but cure the prosciutto for this stunning entry-kale prosciutto and yogurt cheese.

Well looky here - Joan Nova from Foodalogue sent in this lovely No bake eggplant parm sandwich - looks impressive.

Heather at He cooks... She cooks made a nice combo with apples and bacon and brie, this is kicked up.

Greg at Sippity Sup threw his hat in the ring with this Roasted Pork Banh Mi - I expect this is the tip of the iceberg.

Girlichef is taking this seriously with another delicious entry. Olde Baggs Roast Pork

When I said Girlichef was taking this seriously I meant SERIOUSLY - here is another entry and this time its got a little mexican flair. Torta con Chile Colorado

Looks like Cooking Gallery is definitely playing with a full deck with this entry - Giant Prawn Tempura Wraps with Spicy Yoghurt Dressing.

Heffs Bar and Grill decided to enter into the fray with Buffalo Hot Wing Turkey Burgers - in honor of The Buffalo.

Kates Kitchen reached into the archives to pull out this gem of an entry - an over stuffed Grilled Pastrami sandwich.

Described as a "gastrointestinal time bomb" Karls Korner proudly submits a Dagwood.

FloridaCracker at Pure Florda Food went ahead and used a nice lean bison to create a bison steak sandwich with chimichurri.

LaDiva Cucina decided to go all "down under" with her Portuguese Chicken sandwich - otherwise known as a bondi burger.

Marjie at Modern day Ozzie and Harriet, who has to cook an entire chicken coop to feed her mob, must have snuck away to post this Chicken Sandwich - it even has olive bread.

Krakilette submitted a "star" of a sandwich with liver pate, dark rye, tomato and leek.

Lee Ann at Mangos Chili and Z went south of the border with her entry and came up with a black bean and chorizo torta.

Eggy at Intuitive Eggplant really had her thinking cap on and off and the on again with this fusion entry - Mexican street corn, shrimp salad sandwich.

Grumpy Granny stepped up to the plate with a fried green tomato sandwich.....

but thats not all Grumpy Granny also submitted what I want to call a Sloppy Jose.

After much deliberation and considering this has a little more on the line with the prize and all I opted to go with to do the picking for me that way it is as fair as fair can be. Like my good old buddy Buffalo Dick used to say "your food may look good but my food tastes good" and as much as he was insulting me I let it go (plus I knew better) so since I didnt get a chance to taste any of these lovely creations this seemed like the best way to pick a winner and that winner is............

Congratulations! Krakilette you are the Star in more ways than one -Take your badge - lets figure out how I can get the certificate to you - and dont forget that as the winner you are also the host for the next SmackDown, you pick the theme and you get all the prestige that goes along with this honor.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

runner bean blossom and squash blossom risotto

Very few words are needed to describe this risotto - it was stunning, full of mysterious flavors, great tooth feel from the al dente rice, not too creamy but creamy enough, it was a hit!

The rice was toasted a little this time to give it more of a nutty flavor and to help keep its structure throughout all the stirring, risotto is nothing without the stirring, the stirring releases all the starches that create the creaminess. I tossed in the blossoms and some percorino romano for the last few minutes to melt the cheese and bring the flowers up to temperature.

Subtle, potent and delicious is the only way I can describe it, subtle because of the sweet underlying flavors of the flowers but potent due to their releasing their perfumes into the dish and well delicious because it is. Put some flowers in your food and take stopping to smell the roses to a whole new level.

Friday, August 20, 2010

I like Risotto - it should be my middle name.

I think the one thing that I eat as much of as I eat eggs would have to be rice. I like rice. I have liked rice since I was a kid and as a kid I liked it simple with butter, salt and pepper - the fluffier the better, even as a kid I was very particular that the rice was not blown out or mushy. Then I got into brown rice and the wild rices and as time went on I eventually moved into risottos. Now to be honest risottos had all the mushy qualities I didnt like in rice so I had to learn to like risottos and learn I did. Now I make them all the time, for me or for anyone that asks.

I was fortunate to do a mushroom trade with my friend Addison from the lovely small town of Pojoaque, in the great state of New Mexico recently. I sent him a little dried mix of what I have (heavy on the winecaps) and he sent me a little dried mix of what he had (heavy on the king boletes) and can I tell you that I totally scored! See those bad boys - those are fresh - he sent me some of those all sliced up and dried just for me - I cant wait to be there next week and get some fresh ones of my own.

I rehydrated a nice handful and ended up with a couple of cups of broth so naturally a risotto was in order and not any risotto I might add, this risotto has my new passion and my seemingly never ending supply of squash blossoms and king bolete mushrooms and to max it out just a teeny tiny bit more - a little drizzle of truffle oil - yup I upped the ante. The mushrooms are so earthy and flavorful, the blossoms are so delicate and light, and the unctuousness of the truffle oil smoothed out all the rough edges. In case you are wondering, sometimes I make the risotto a little loose and sometimes I make it a little tight - this one is tight.

I am also making another risotto for a party tonight. This risotto will have some of my signature squash blossoms and it will also have some scarlet runner bean blossoms, see the cute little red flowers, those are going to go into a stunning risotto that I will have to show you later. Dont forget Battle Sandwich - the stakes are high entries are due no later than August 23rd.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The dog days of summer

Summer is coming to an end and that means only one thing - bring in the patio furniture and dust off the dining room furniture - no, it means - Battle Sandwich deadline is looming on the horizon. Look, I dont care if you dont want a hundred bucks, I'll keep it, its just that simple, but if you do want this gift certificate you need to enter your best sandwich creation by midnight August 23rd. See that image above? Its NOT a sandwich - it is a pork chop with garlic and a baked potato - it would not qualify in the Smackdown.

Do you see this piece of sushi with spicy salmon and quail egg? It too WOULD not qualify.

Where as this little morsel would qualify - a little lobster salad sandwiched between lobster macarons - part of my entry for Battle Lobster in a previous smackdown. Good luck people - entries have been coming in and the competition looks tough!

Oh and to my overseas friends we might be able to figure something out if you win - where I use the certificate for you and then we figure out shipping to get the item from me to you, if it seems economical. Any thoughts on this?

Since my links are getting lost in the excitement I will post what you could read if you followed the link:

Battle Sandwich-

You heard me right the lowly sandwich but believe you me there is nothing and I mean nothing lowly about a sandwich. Look -here's a sandwich now. I dont need to go into the whole Earl of Sandwich sales pitch to enlighten you in any way. You eat sandwiches or you know someone that does. What is a sandwich, a sandwich is any filling between two pieces of bread - that is the only real consideration here, the sandwich must contain some kind of a bread and some kind of a filling so for all you witty ones out there this means that lettuce wraps are out and to further clarify any vegetable or fruit wrap would be out as well - it needs bread - any kind of bread - some kind of bread - BREAD makes it a sandwich - clear?

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

This is one kicked up Parmesan

Fried eggplant, fried zucchini, fried zucchini blossoms made this a dish to die for, not to mention the fresh sauce with extra basil. Less was not more in this case, more was more and more is better.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Battle Sandwich winner gets a prize

You heard that right - the winner of this Culinary Smackdown is going to win $100 - (one hundred bucks) so you better get out the tarps and plastic and cover up your dining room furniture because things are going to get sloppy. CSN Stores is providing a $100 gift certificate that one lucky winner will walk away with - use it to make a purchase or use it to add to an even larger purchase it is entirely up to you, but whatever you do dont forget to show a little love back to the sponsor by doing a little review, they have all kinds of cool stuff. As a suggestion you dont need to be like me and only look around the kitchen stuff - I am maniacal like that. The bar has been raised for Battle Sandwich!

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Ozzy Osbourne - Crazy Train

Disclaimer: I like certain styles of music because I do - in no way am I endorsing fringe or 70's rock hair by posting this video, and if you want to put your name on your clothes its your call, dont let Ozzy influence you. Oh yeah and I often receive things to use and review for free, I am not paid for this. (insert standard disclaimer here) This disclaimer shall remain in effect both retro active and pro active for the life of my blog. This disclaimer covers it all - indefinitely.

Orange soda and vanilla ice cream, dont knock it till you've tried it - this is a dream in a glass!
Fo show danguh I forgot to show you where I got the idea from.....its Marjie!

Dont forget about Battle Sandwich. Steak sandwich - Crunchy, fresh baguette filled with oven roasted beef tenderloin drizzled with the coup de gras - white truffle oil, roma grape tomatoes, julienned spring peas, white irish cheddar then melt it under the broiler.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

New Mexico Bound

We are heading to New Mexico for a few days but that doesnt mean the blog can rest - oh no! Hopefully I will get some much needed inspiration plus there are a few cool things happening that I can maybe tell you about in the next couple of weeks or so, I know, I hate when people do that too but sometimes you cant let the cat out of the bag.

Enjoy some more squash blossoms, I want to declare 2010 the summer of the flower!

Ajvar (roasted eggplant, roasted red peppers, roasted garlic) pesto and baby squash fried to perfection makes this summer on a plate. Oh and it case it slipped your mind - Mew Mexico is where my family has lived for over 350 years - its my "pais" my "homeland" its where I "hail from" - I LOVE going home.

UPDATE: We have standby tickets (dont ask, but if free helps answer any questions) so we didnt get on a flight starting at 6:00 am yesterday morning and every subsequent flight after that - so we will try again after the 23 when my schedule opens up again - we want to be able to stay more than 4 days. Argghhhhhhh! Yesterday Sucked!
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