It's snowing outside.
Well...'Northerners' would laugh at us down here in Atlanta. We got a couple of centimeters of snow and it seems like every business in town shut down for the weekend. I don't know what we would do if we ever actually got some real snow!
But it's beautiful to look at.
Unfortunately, it's disappearing just as soon as it arrives. So I decided to take pictures while I had the chance.
I had a peaceful weekend. I decided to try a recipe from Smitten Kitchen for Sweet Corn Spoon Bread.
It was delicious. An instant hit with the family. I made some slight changes to the recipe because I didn't have certain ingredients. I used heavy cream, instead of milk, and I didn't completely blend the corn. Instead, I left chunks of corn for texture.
I loved it. Check out her website for the recipe.
Thursday, December 16, 2010
You know, I hated fish when I was a child. Yup, the only thing you could get me to eat were fish sticks, and that's only because those things aren't even made from real fish. Fish just always tasted too.....fishy for me. You know what I mean?
The funny thing is, when I got older and started to watch the Food Network, and eventually went to culinary school, I learned that fish shouldn't smell, or taste, fishy. Hmmm...who would've guessed?! I knew I was on to something all those years as a child.
Fresh fish should not have a strong smell at all, and if it does have a smell, it should smell like the ocean. I guess that's where we went wrong back then.
We used frozen fish.
And the REALLY bad thing is that we lived in Hawaii for 5 years. WTH?!? There really is no excuse to not have fresh fish when you live on an island completely surrounded by.....what...you guessed it.... Fresh Fish.
But, in my parents defense, they worked a lot, and both of them were in school, so they didn't have too much time to drive to the fish markets every week. I've made up for it since then because I go to the farmers market as much as possible now, and I try to never leave without getting some fresh fish to cook for dinner.
Here is a wonderful fish recipe.
Note ***Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with frozen fish, and it can be used in any of my recipes, but I just try to get fresh whenever I can***
Monday, December 13, 2010
Saturday, December 11, 2010
Winter's here, winter's here.....and I'm not afraid anymore!
For those of you who know me, you know that I spent a great deal of my life living in Hawaii, and before that, it was Texas. In Hawaii, we would go crazy if the temperature got below 70 degrees. So imagine my sheer horror when I moved to Atlanta, Ga and experienced my first winter.
I can't think of a better way to put it....other than, it sucked. I absolutely despised cold weather, and developed a new hate for snow. Yes. I know this sounds a bit harsh, but hey...it is what it is!
It took me a while to get used to this new season. For a long time, I refused to buy winter clothes. I did not like the way sweaters looked, I hated closed-toe shoes, and big bulky jackets were just too uncomfortable. There would be snow on the ground and I would wear a tank-top with 2 thin jackets, some jeans, and flip flops.
No people....I am not exaggerating. I thought of myself as some kind of winter-rebel!
But after about 8 years of living here, I am finally warming up to cold weather. Especially the warm cozy food you get to eat during the winter season.
In my opinion, Butternut Squash Soup is officially THE soup of the winter season. I have a friend who works in a restaurant that sells this soup every day, starting from Thanksgiving until about a week after new years.
I've worked in many restaurants that would always make this soup the second there was a slight chill in the air. Ah yes....the first signs of winter. But I must confess, I have never made this soup at home, until a few days ago.
This recipe is wonderful. All of the flavors meld wonderfully well together, and the addition of the roasted brussels sprouts with the drizzle of balsamic vinaigrette puts it over the top.
STEP 1: Cut the top and bottom of the squash and cut in half
STEP 2: Scoop out the pulp
STEP 3: Roast in the oven with garlic and shallot
STEP 4: Remove squash from oven and peel off skin.
STEP 5: Add to pot with garlic, shallot, and other ingredients
STEP 6: Strain Soup (No need for a "fancy shmancy" strainer. I used a simple colander)!
STEP 7: Season to taste and serve with brussels sprouts and vinaigrette
Friday, December 3, 2010
Have you ever tried to do something (oh I don't know, knit a sweater, write a song, cook a meal), but accidentally mess it up, and the end result is even better than what you originally had planned for?!? Well this happened to me not too long ago.
I accidentally made a delicious recipe the other day. The deliciousness wasn't the accident....just the recipe.
I wanted to test a new dish. It was boneless chicken cut up into bite-size pieces, cooked with garlic and ginger (like I would cook something without those two ingredients!), soy sauce, scallions, and some other things. It sounded delicious and I was quite excited to cook it.
When I got ready to take out the boneless chicken, I realized we didn't have any. So I thawed out some chicken wings and legs instead. "Okay", I said to myself. "Not a big deal, I can still use the recipe". Since I couldn't chop the chicken and cook it in the sauce, I decided to cook them separately, and add the sauce to the chicken when plating the dish.
I smashed some garlic, ginger, serrano peppers, and cilantro in my brand-spanking-new Mortar & Pestle! You don't have to use a mortar & pestle for this step, you can chop it with a knife, or use a food processor. I just love using my new kitchen tool.
I marinated the chicken and got started on the sauce.
Next thing you know, I started adding allspice, curry powder, and even peanut butter to the sauce...deviating completely from the original recipe!
I added a little too much of my slurry (cornstarch + liquid) to the sauce, and it thickened much more than I originally wanted it to, but no worries. It looked a lot like an Asian-style barbecue sauce....so I decided to glaze the chicken in the "barbecue sauce" and bake it in the oven.
Nice and Brown
I served it with my new favorite green vegetable.....KALE....asian-style (recipe coming soon).
So yea....the end result was kind of an accident.....nothing like the original recipe, but still, very delicious. It was the best kind of accident, you know?! Don't you just love when that happens?