Friday, September 25, 2009

Fix-It-Fridays: How to Boil an Egg

There's more than one way to skin a cat (is that an inappropriate reference for a foodish blog?) and there's more than one way to hard boil an egg.

Some people claim a very specific method to boiling eggs. They even make a very specific little uni-tasker for this purpose - the egg timer! Yet there's no method to my madness. Sometimes I bring the water to a boil first. Sometimes I throw the eggs in before it boils. I don't set any timers so I just boil them until I remember to go back and turn the stove off. Usually this is before all the water has evaporated from the pan. Is it possible to boil eggs for to long?

I've always wondered if there's a correct technique and yet I rarely have problems.

So, fix it! What's your version of the proper way to boil an egg? Do you add anything to the water? Submerge in cold water? Peel while still hot or wait until they cool down?

Monday, September 21, 2009

Gordon Ramsay's Escalopes of Chicken

For those of you who pay attention, this was originally posted on ShowMyFace on July 21. But I've made it several times since then, including last night, and it seemed worth reposting to this site.

On Friday, I took a mental health day from work. It was kinda necessary and I made great use of it but doing a lot of nothing.

Part of the nothing involved watching a couple of shows on the DVR. That is when I saw this:

If you can't watch the YouTube video because your employer makes you ask permission to pee blocks YT or if you choose to be disagreeable by not watching it because you want me to punch you in the face, here's what you're missing: Gordon Ramsay making an absolutely mouth-watering chicken dish complete with basil, tomato and fresh mozzarella.

Now, basil, tomato and fresh mozzarella are one of my favorite flavor combinations. Joe's also a fan so when I showed him the video, he agreed - we must make this!

Sunday night was the night. The video gave enough information that I could make it straight from that but I managed to find the exact recipe online. After a bit of translating (the only important bit is that 200°C is roughly 400°F), we were underway. I made sure to swear adequately at Joe while I was cooking - I don't think Gordon Ramsay recipes work any other way.

It was a quick dish, a simple dish, and an amazing dish. The only thing we did differently is that I used fresh basil from our garden even where the recipe called for dried and I used about half a cup of dry white wine when we were cooking up the tomato/sauce mixture. Oh, and I skipped his sides. Because it's my kitchen, you $%^@ing donut, and I wanted too!

The results? See for yourself:

Beautiful and delicious. Even Joe agreed that it was worth being called a stupid donkey if it meant he could eat this for dinner!

Now, $%@& off, all of ya!

Programming Note: Gordon's back on tv starting tonight - it's a new season of Hell's Kitchen. I'll be there!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Fix-It-Fridays: Grilled Cheese

As the weather begins to turn towards Fall, I start to think of comfort foods. On a crisp afternoon, I'm not sure anything is better than a nice bowl of tomato soup with a grilled cheese available for dipping. So today's "Fix-It" is grilled cheese. Because as much as everybody loves it unless they are weirdos, there are a million different ways to make it. From the bread to the cheese to other additives (tomatoes or peppers?) to the cooking method, the variations are endless.

Our favorite cheese is probably Jarlsberg, as inspired by the movie The Devil Wears Prada. It's a very mild cheese with a delightful amount of melt. If that's not available (but we usually have it on hand), we'll use Velveeta. Velveeta may be unnatural but there is something about the melty gooeyness of Velveeta "cheese product" that makes a lovely grilled cheese.

I'll admit to using whatever bread we have around - usually plain old sandwich bread - slathered in a lot of butter. Most often my cooking method is either a frying pan on the stove or our beloved Cuisinart Griddler. It's a much more squishy sandwich but still very yummy.

If we plan ahead, we're much more likely to experiment with other cheeses and breads. I haven't done much as far as adding things to the cheese other than occasionally some ham but I imagine tomatoes would be very yummy.

So, fix it! Tell me about your grilled cheese sandwich. Inspire our comfort food so we can be prepared for the falling leaves and frosty afternoons.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

2007 Altos R Tempranillo

2007 Altos R Tempranillo
La Rioja region of Spain

This bottle of wine was included in our most recent Wall Street Journal Wine Club shipment.

The Altos R Tempranillo was a very smooth dry red and we paired it with spicy tacos. I'd like to try it with some lamb or bison. Though it was aged in French oak, the taste was not oaky at all. I'm finding I'm not a huge fan of heavy oak taste so that was a positive for me.

Honestly, I have no idea what I'm doing trying to review wines but I liked this one. It is listed around $15/bottle which seems like a very fair price for the bottle. I'd totally buy it again.

Lots of wine posts to come, by the way. We visited Napa and Sonoma recently and I have much to report! And so we begin "Winey Wednesday" - I have enough wines in the house to keep the posts coming for at least 3 months at this point.