Tuesday, November 6, 2012

a bad case of the mondays- Jamie Oliver Spinach & Feta Filo Pie

Well everyone, it was a cold (because our apartment is a cold, dark dungeon) Monday night (two weeks ago when I began this post...) and there was nary an excuse not to cook.  So, we did what all reasonable people would do, watched a TV chef and then went to Whole Foods and got ingredients to make the episode's signature dish.  And without further ado, Jamie Oliver's Spinach and Feta Filo Pie appeared before us.

Photo credit: Jamie Oliver's 30 Minute Meals

Sunday, October 7, 2012

the one in which i express my undying love for Jamie Oliver

Hey Kids & Kittens,

I know, it's been a LONG time since we've blogged.  Well you know life just got in the way.  Here's a quick rundown of life since our last post.... on 4/23/2012 (I don't count the message about writing more posts and then not doing it as a post):

  • we adopted another amazing little man, Bender Bending Rodriguez, the adorable hell raising kitten found in the gate area of our last apartment.
photo credit: Benders Aunt Linda :)
  • we moved out on our own, into an apartment that is shaded on all sides at all times and perpetually 40 degrees colder than outside.
  • we got the mac-daddy of VitaMix blenders, and use it almost everyday!!
  • oh yeah, we got engaged too :)
    Photo credit: Eric Nguyen's Creeper Photography
  • and we went to Cancun!!
oh yeah, work it out, sexy beast :-P

And finally, our good friend Emily started an awesome (and much more frequently updated) food/lifestyle blog over at the http://thepigandquill.com/.  You should absolutely check it out.... now.... then come back here and read on!!
And now on to the food!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

busy life = no posts

so, life has been crazy the past few months.
-we adopted a new kitten
-we're moving both home and work
-we got engaged

but, I few recipes I came up with that I plan to share in the coming weeks, so stay tuned :)


Monday, April 23, 2012

there are ants in our kitchen!!! - S14E22

So, we've been a bit lax on blogging lately, but I wanted to bring you this delicious dish from Good Eats, called "Ants in Trees".  Sounds appetizing, right?  Despite the quirky name, this recipe turned out a fantastic meal.  The name comes from the way the ground meat sticks to the noodles, looking like Ants climbing tree branches.

Since we chose to halve the recipe for our first go round, there were no leftovers at all, which means we'll have to make it again soon!! This recipe uses ingredients available either at the local Asian market (hello Ranch 99) or at larger specialty grocers (Whole Foods and the like).  It was a bit more labor intensive than simple baking or roasting dishes, but no more so than a Pad Thai.  Without further a do, let's get cooking!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

i swoon for macaroons!!!

Well kids, it's that time of year.  The birds are out, the sun is shining through the rain, the damned flowers everywhere are making me sneeze and Easter is just around the corner.  Now, my family doesn't do the whole Easter dinner shebang, but I love this time of year because the blogs are abuzz with yummy spring dessert recipes!!  One such recipe I spied recently was on FitSugar.com for Almond & Coconut Macaroons, yum!  I tested out this recipe last week and loved the results, so I made it again last night and had Mr. Photographer snap some shots to share.  The best things about this recipe: you probably already have half of the ingredients in your pantry and it takes 30 minutes from start to finish (15-20 of that in the oven).

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Oh My, Meat Pie - S12E6

Anddddddd we're back!  Sorry for the absense, but we were both too busy (too lazy?) to post anything.  But never fear, we are still cooking up a storm.  For our welcome back meal, Jesse decided to keep it going with the lamb, so we will be making Shephard's Pie.  Also known as "cottage pie", shephard's pie is basically a poor man's pie with a lamb/mutton stew as its base and mashed potatoes as its crust.  Looks and sounds pretty simple, so let's dive in.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Doin' it and Doin' it and Doin' it Rice - S1E19

I'm a simple gal... ok, that's a lie, I wish I were simple but I have fancy tastes.  I like my coffee brewed just for me, my food organic and my chocolate dark.  So, making something as elegant as risotto was both exciting and scary.  I mean chefs have nightmares about making this stuff, so it's a daunting idea but wo does't like a challenge.  Also, Naris hadn't ever had risotto before so his expectations were low.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Sacre Bleu, It's Crepe Time! - S1E9

Picture this: You are strolling along the Champs-Elysee hand in hand with your love when you are struck suddenly by a smell... no it's an aroma, much classier than a smell. It is sweet, but not too sweet; doughy but not yeasty; buttery but not like a bad diner. You follow your nose, not able to concentrate until you find the source of this intoxicating aroma. You look left and see a bunch of tourists taking photos, right and see a swanky eatery whose prix-fix menu is more than your weekly salary, and finally you look straight ahead and the crowd parts to expose a street vendor peddling his delicious wares. You are mesmerized, you walk zombie like up to the man and ask in your broken high-school French: "Qu'est-ce que c'est? (What is that?)".  "Why a crepe my dear!" the kind man reply's, "would you like one?"  You ponder the list of possible filling he presents you with: butter/lemon/sugar, banana, nutella, whipped cream, preserves, ham & brie, the options continue...  You decide on a simple, decidedly French filling of butter/lemon/sugar, as they say "when in Rome."  As you continue your stroll, ignoring the hoards of people, the endless loop of cars and even the magnificent Arc De Triomphe, you realize the magic that can be brought forth with a bit of flour, sugar, butter, eggs and water.

Today ladies and gentlemen, we will attempt to bring this little bit of heavenly French cuisine stateside.  Please note that these crepes were not created by professionals and are smaller and thicker than their French counterparts.  If you'd like to bring a true little bit of France to your party, please contact a professional (I can gladly offer recommendations).

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Flat is Beautiful - S8E3

Privyet (pree-vyet)!  That's "hello" in Russian.  Today's meal, chicken kiev is a popular Russian dish, though not originally Russian.  Chicken kiev, was invented by a Frenchman since the Empress of Russia at the time preferred French foods.  But the name "kiev" was actually coined by New York restaurant owners that were trying to please the many Russian immigrants.  It's very similar to chicken cordon bleu, but instead of ham and cheese wrapped inside chicken, it is compound butter on the inside.  Let's get started!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

My Big Fat Greek Sandwich - S8E20

Hi Internet!  It's been a week since our last post, but don't worry, we've been busy cooking!

Here's a dish that I love to eat but would have never thought that I would be making it at home.  Plus, it was very easy to make and can serve all your friends or just yourselves for dinner and left overs for lunch.  It's the gyro (pronounced YEER-OH). The gyro is traditionally known to us Americans as roasted meat, generally lamb, wrapped in pita bread and garnished with tzatziki sauce and feta cheese.  Good Eats uses this same formula to create our gyro.

So lets get cooking!  Please note, the following ingredients list provided is suppose to serve 8 people.  We didn't want to create too much for fear of not liking it, so we only used a 1/2 pound of meat rather than the requested 2 lbs.  Along the same lines, we scaled the seasonings accordingly.  One last note, when we to purchase the ground lamb meat, the butcher had already started cleaning to close for the day and didn't want to put lamb stew meat in his just cleaned meat grinder.  Instead, he recommended ground goat which had already been ground and ready to go.  So this is our first time trying goat as well!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The F Word is here...

Hey y'all, don't worry the F Word I', talking about is FOOD!

So, in addition to watching Good Eats, Naris and I have been following a British show hosted by Chef Gordon Ramsay called "The F Word".  In the show Chef Ramsay cooks for a restaurant of 60 people using local and seasonal ingredients to make dishes you can replicate in your own kitchen.  During the course of the meal, there are vignettes featuring Chef Ramsay and his associates, one of the most controversial is a bit where Chef Ramsay encourages women Britons to get back in the kitchen!  To facilitate this, he visits the home of one woman each episode and helps her cook a meal for her family or friends.  While Chef Ramsay is often course in his demeanor and has been criticized heavily for his movement to get women back in the kitchen, I think that the tips, tricks and recipes he provides are useful to time crunch mean and women both.

The recipe for Crab Pasta was one of the recipes from series 1 of the show that really resonated with me as a quick and delicious dinner idea.  If you are a member of Amazon Prime, you can watch the episode online for free, otherwise it costs $1.99 to stream (or set your Tivo for BBC America and see if you can catch it).  You can catch the instructional for the recipe at 27 minutes.  Since there aren't many measurements quoted in the show and the recipe is no longer on the Channel 4 (UK) website,  here is the best approximation I could make.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Que hay para la cena?- S10E11

Hola and welcome to "What's for dinner?"

Today we're going to address a growing problem here in American kitchens... leftovers.  That's right, those darned leftovers, never as good as the first time, always sitting in your fridge, waiting for the trash bin.  Well today's Good Eats recipe deals with this issue and may I say it's been a long time coming.

After our so-so experience a few nights ago with a roasted chicken, we were left with, you guessed it, leftover chicken.  Now we could eat this by itself or alongside some vegetables, but where's the excitement in that?

So, Naris began trolling the interwebs, looking for a bit of guidance to help take care of our little issue and he stumbled upon a Good Eats episode all about leftovers!  The episode is titled "Tortillas Again" and sees Alton Brown (AB) faced with a striking crew, picketers outside his kitchen and an enormous stack of leftover tortillas.  When Naris spotted the recipe for Enchilada Lasagna, he knew it was the right vessel for our leftover chicken (we also had many of the other ingredients on hand).

So, the adventure began...

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

A Bird in the Pan - S1E5

Whenever poultry needs to be pan fried, sauteed, seared or anything else that requires the stove top, that's my specialty.  Whenever a whole bird needs to go in the oven, that's Jesse's specialty.  But tonight is my turn to change that: I'm going to attempt AB's Broiled, Butterflied Chicken.
<Jesse: Yes, I touch the raw meat but once per year, the Thanksgiving Turkey is mine, the rest is all his.>

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Salmon Fillet en Papillote - S7E8

Ever wanted that quick healthy, home cooked dinner within 30 minutes? Are you always having trouble finding recipes to serve one?  Well look no further, for I have found it: Salmon Fillet en Papillote (French for "in pouch") from Good Eats Season 7 Episode 8, The Pouch Principle.

This simple recipe takes just 5 minutes to cook in the microwave (if you feel uneasy about cooking fish in the microwave, you may do so in the oven instead as well) and introduced me to some new vegetables I've never had.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Essential Knife Skills

Hi Internet,

Today Jesse and I took the fundamental knife skills class offered at Sur La Table.  The course description stated that they would be teaching and allow the practicing of fundamental cuts for vegetables--mince, dice brunoise, batonnet and julienne--as well as some advanced techniques.

Just like our date night class, this one was set up for 16 people.  Again it was a bit tight and cramped, but at least we all recieved out own equipment to use.  Each student was presented with an 8 inch chef's knife, a paring knife, a composite cutting board, a bar mop, a bench scraper and an apron.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

But what's a meal without dessert :)

Since it was Valentine's Day yesterday, I wanted to make a special dessert for Naris, so I busted out the old favorite, Chocolate Dipped Strawberries!!  I use a few tricks to get stellar results each time, so read on for my secrets.

Your Pad (Thai) or Mine - S9E20

One of my favorite things about Good Eats was the exposure to recipes I would never imagine cooking at home. Case in point, Pad Thai. When we go out to eat at Thai restaurants Pad Thai is almost always on the table, with Panang Curry (Kaeng phanaeng), Three-Flavors Fish (Pla sam rot) and Crab Fried Rice (Khao phat pu). And what better to top off a spicy Thai feast than some sweet and creamy Thai Iced Tea (Cha yen), Thai Iced Coffee (Oliang) or an ice cold bottle of Chang Beer, but we'll cover making those another time.

So, what better for our first culinary experiment than Good Eats Pad Thai (Season 9, Episode 20).  Our resident Thai* pointed out that this was a very Americanized version of Pad Thai, but you've got to start somewhere!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Date Night: Valentine's Dinner for Two

Before the idea of Good Eat Revisited came up, I was interested in taking some cooking classes.  I scoured the internets and found cooking courses offered at the community college, Whole Foods, and Sur La Table.  The community college courses required I apply, Whole Food's classes were just demos where you sat and watch,while Sur La Table offered hands on learning, so we went with the later.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Our Mission

My girlfriend, Jesse, and I have decided to take on culinary education and experimentation via television cooking shows. We have chosen Chef Alton Brown from "Good Eats" as our guide and mentor.

"Good Eats" started airing in 1999 and ended its last show in 2011 after 14 seasons with 249 episodes on The Food Network. The show explores the science and technique behind the cooking, the history of different foods, and the advantages of different kinds of cooking equipment.  Focus is done on familiar dishes that can easily be made at home, and also features segments on choosing the right appliances, and getting the most out of inexpensive, multi-purpose tools.  I like to think of it as Bill Nye the Science Guy teaches cooking!

Our mission is to cook 3-5 meals each week, be it breakfast, lunch, dinner or desert, from one of the recipies shown on either Good Eats. Think "Julie and Julia" but with modern day chefs and I don't plan on having a change of career.