Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Saute Week

This week was all about sauteing...

We made Chicken Chardonnay with sauteed roasted red peppers and brussels sprouts. Sauteed beef tenderloin with maitre d' hotel butter, mashed potatoes and sauteed spinach.
The following day we made pan fried chicken, creamed corn & twice baked potatoes.

The chicken chardonnay came out great! You lightly dredge a fabricated chicken breast in flour and then place it on the saute pan browning both sides. Place the chicken into a 350 degree oven and bake till done. In the mean time roast the peppers until black, place them into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Par cook the brussels sprouts, remove the skin & seeds from the cooled peppers, slice the peppers into strips and slice the sprouts in half; then saute the sprouts and the roasted red pepper slivers. Saute the veggies in the rendered diced bacon, shallots & clarified butter.

In the pan where the chicken was sauteed add the mushrooms and saute them for 3-5 minutes and add shallots.
Deglaze the pan with the white wine and reduce by half, add some chicken stock and reduce by half again. Optionally heavy cream can be added and reduce the sauce until thickened, season with salt and pepper to taste.
To serve, coat the chicken breast with the sauce and garnish...

The next day we made twice baked potatoes that were phenomenal and pan fried chicken. Pan fried chicken are the other pieces chicken we dredged in buttermilk and seasoned flour. Then we fried them in the pan with fry oil; placed the browned pieces on top of a wax paper lined sheet pan and placed in the oven until done.

Meanwhile we roasted ears of corn in their husks and then cut the corn off the husks. We simmered the corn in a pot with hot simmering cream and sauteed onions. Added salt and pepper and served hot with the pan fried chicken and twice baked potatoes.

We made Filet Mignon!
Pan fried beef tenderloin seared in a saute pan and then removed to make steak diane sauce. The sauce has brandy, red wine, mushrooms, shallots, clarified butter, and heavy cream. As the sauce was reducing we sauteed some fresh spinach with sauteed onions; we then plated the steak and spinach. Drizzled the steak diane sauce over the steak and viola!

For Thanksgiving I made a feast...

I trussed a 22 pound fabricated turkey and stuffed it with oranges, lemons, garlic cloves, rosemary, thyme, sage, salt, pepper and paprika. Then rubbed the bird down with the same spices and oil blend. Placed the turkey on a roasting rack/pan and started roasting it at 400 degrees for 20 minutes...I then reduced the heat to 325 degrees and basted the turkey every 30 minutes for another 3 1/2 hours.

The bones that were removed, the neck and gizzards (minus the liver) were placed in a pot of cold water, mirepoix and sachet. This was simmered to create a turkey stock and was used in the prep of many other dishes.
I also roasted a chicken with the same seasonings and mirepoix for my mother who is allergic to turkey.

Later on I created an awesome turkey gravy and chicken gravy with the drippings from the roasts; while they rested to be carved.

Cranberry relish was made with a supreme orange, raw sugar and cinnamon stick. Creamy mashed potatoes, my roasted red pepper soup, glazed carrots, pumpkin pie, chocolate mousse, and TINGA...a Mexican dish. Tinga is a Mexican dish made with chipotle peppers, shredded chicken, sauteed onions and spices; served on a corn tortilla.

This was a feast! People also brought green bean casserole, sweet potato casserole, stuffing, bread and drinks...fifteen people had a great time minus the leak in the awesome night to give thanks!


Two weeks ago was roasting week...

Perfect timing before Thanksgiving time and I learned a lot. The trussing of the chicken seems so HARD; but it's so easy! We trussed and fabricated a chicken (Maria & I) and stuffed it with garlic cloves, herbs & lemon. We placed the bird breast facing up on top of the wing tips and roasted it in a saute pan within a 350 degree oven. With 30 minutes left in the cooking we tossed the medium diced mirepoix into the saute pan and continued roasting the bird.
After we pulled the chicken (temp read 180 degrees behind the thigh/leg area) and let it rest off to the side. We created a pan gravy in the saute pan adding flour to the mixture and then straining the gravy.
Within the two days we made 6 different sides one of which was make your own potato. Yea...I screwed that one up...I made this awesome mashed potato that I piped into these awesome swirls. I then (stupidly) placed them in a hot oven and forgot about them...they were actually really good but looked terrible.
As for the other sides we made glazed carrots, acron squash soup, sauteed green beans, stuffed tomato duxelles and steamed broccoli.
The glazed carrots were made the same way in a pan with water, butter, salt, pepper and sugar. The acorn squash was roasted in the oven scooped out and simmered with onions, carrots, celery, and chicken stock.
The tomato duxelles is a mushroom mush that is reduced to a paste and stuffed inside of a tomato. Then baked in the oven for 5 minutes with parmesean cheese to warm it up...kind of bland if you ask me.
The twice baked potatoes I made the following day were awesome! They had chives, bacon, parmasean cheese, creme fresh, salt and pepper. As for the roasted sirloin...WOW!
Rubbed down with only coarse salt, black pepper and white pepper; we roasted the sirloin in the oven (trussed) for about 45 min and then as the meat rested we made the sauce (au jus lie) to go on top of it.
Overall awesome week and learned alot about roasting...

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Good Grains...

This past week we made a lot of carbohydrates...!
I also cooked for my Step-Mom's 50th bday party (Mike High)...

During class we made alot of potatoes, rice and corn. We made polenta, risotto, potatoes au gratin, garlic smashed potatoes, twice baked potatoes, styrofoam potatoes, potato gnocchi, potato croquettes, rice pilaf, homemade pasta & ravioli...

The rice pilaf was of course very easy...we used parboiled Uncle Ben's rice and sauteed it in sweated onions in a sauce pot. Then covered it with 2/3 liquid and simmered until it was almost all absorbed.

As for the risotto; Maria and I made a smooth cheesy risotto while standing by it making sure it wouldn't burn. We used about 7 (4oz) ladles of chicken stock and 1 cup of risotto...alot of Parmesan cheese and drizzled truffle oil over the top. As for the didn't think I could finish a whole plat of risotto...of course I did!

On to potatoes...we baked some russets in the oven for a while and then split them in half dug out the potato and mixed it with some creme fresh, salt, white pepper, cheese, and piped it back into the shell. Then topped them with Parmesan cheese and baked them once more for twice baked. The extra skins were fried and baked with topped cheese and bacon for potato skins.

We boiled red bliss potatoes and garlic cloves next...mashed the softened mix with salt, pepper, olive oil and made smashed garlic potatoes.

The potato gnocchi was awesome...almost same recipe as the potato croquettes. I made the gnocchi and Maria made the croquettes. The gnocchi came out great and I topped it with a quick sauce I whipped up. The sauce was sauteed shallots, garlic and clarified butter/olive oil mix with white wine. Then I add diced tomatoes and cook them with chiffon basil and drizzle over the gnocchi...of course season the sauce with salt & pepper to taste.

The polenta was very easy...saute some shallots with butter or oil...then add in the milk to boil...after the milk boils and the corn meal and stir in. We made the firm type so we poured it out onto a sheet pan, smoothed it out and then pan fried them into shapes...topped it with Queso Blanco and my quick red sauce.

The fresh pasta was FUN! We made the dough first and let it rest before anything else. We then rolled it out through the pasta roller and made raviolis with Chef Bills ravioli shells. The filling was from James (It was Killer!)...and we made a quick garlic red sauce for the pasta. All Together it was an awesome CARB week...

As for the party Mike & I made our own menu of small meals featuring the following:
Canapes: Smoked Salmon/Manouri Cream Cheese; Red Wine Cream cheese pom; Greek Yogurt/Goat Cheese & Chive...
Roasted Eggplant Turin
Endive Boats (topped with diced pear, pom seeds & Gorgonzola)
Hen Pops (Cornish hen drumsticks with sugar, red wine & salt...topped with manouri)
Thunder Thighs (Cornish hen thighs with coarse sea salt, cayenne, black & white pepper...roasted in the oven)
Meatballs in Gravy (family recipe...shhhh)
Corny Beef (mushroom/cheese polenta topped with a piece of filet, drizzled with mushroom sauce & drop of truffle oil)
Roasted Stuffed Umami Hen (Cornish hen breast filled with cornbread/sage stuffing, spinach, onion, garlic, with pate and white truffle oil)

The night was an overall success and a lot of people left happy! Especially the birthday girl!
Thanks for all the awesome comments keeps us cooking great food!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Attack of the Giant Eggplant!

It was a humid evening in South Florida and the AI campus was buzzing with students eager to get to the next class; and of course the overly crowded parking garage doesn't help the situation...

Down stairs in the Fundamentals kitchen the groups of infantile chefs await their fate for the next two days...

Chef Bill saunters across the room and opens his attendance book; as he begins to call everyones name out and they flash their recipe cards...Bill selectively finds his next victim...!

Bill says today & tomorrow you will swim in vegetables...we will make Cauliflower Au Gratin, Grilled vegetables, tempura vegetables...
Vegetables! yes folks not shrimp or lobster but VEGETABLES!
Bill continues...we'll make Rata-ta-ta-ta-ta-touille (not the movie folks; no rats in this recipe), steamed broccoli & green beans, glazed carrots and (lightning/thunder sound) glazed beets...

Little did we know we'd be making one more thing...
THE GIANT EGGPLANT...(lightning/thunder sound)! muahahahahah ahahahha hahaha!

Ok enough of the scary crazy sound effect although they were a great change of direction. This week was all about veggies...and yes the Eggplants we used for the eggplant parm were HUGE!

We made all the above dishes...the cauliflower au gratin was basically blanched cauliflower with bechamel sauce, topped with parmesean cheese. The tempura batter was ice water, egg yolk and flour mixed's light (internal joke of a video on our eclassonline).

Grilling the vegetables were awesome...I helped make the marinade which consisted of minced garlic, minced ginger, soy sauce, olive oil, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, red pepper flakes and (shhhh) honey...we tossed cherry tomatoes, summer squash, zuchinni, onion, and mushrooms in the marinade and Delmig made perfect grill marks. I of course practiced this at home last Thursday and grilled them up the same way...but I added green onion and Eggplant.

Steaming the broccoli and green beans were easy...blanch them in boiling salted water and then shock them in ice case any of you wanted to make perfect steamed veggies...

As for the Rata ta ta tat at at at ta touille it was yummy! We basically let some yummy veggetables meld together with some tomato and added herbs...a slow cooking process but yummy none the less.

I almost forgot...I made AWESOME collard mother thought I bought them from a soul food
In a pot a made the "liquor" by simmering a ham hock with red pepper flakes...added the sliced collard greens into the liquor and added onion, brown sugar...the collards simmered until very soft and I added salt, white pepper to taste...

The Eggplant parm was not intimidating at Eggplants were big...we filled a whole sheet pan (lined with paper towels) with them and sprinkled salt on them to drain the water.
We then did standard breading procedure and pan fried them. Served them with some Rata ta ta ta ta ta touille and of course I can't forget we made tostones too (twice fried green plantains).

Good week overall and the next week we are working with grains, potatoes and STARCHES...muhahahahahh ahaha hhahahaha...!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Egg-celent Week...

This week we prepared eggs over easy, sunny side up, scrambled, rolled , hard, soft, boiled, poached and frittata'd!

I also had my practical exam (midterm)...this included knife cuts, sauces & soups.

It was definitely not my cup of tea; but I stuck through the egg day. Most of you know I hate eggs...but I will tell you this: the scrambled eggs I made in the puff pastry with burnoise tomatoes, chives & parsley...drizzled with truffle oil is awesome!

I was able to make a perfect sunny side up egg and flipped it perfectly to make over easy. The key with this egg is using clarified butter it won't burn the egg white like oil or whole butter will.

We also made Hard & Soft boiled eggs...the soft ones were gooey and runny like an over easy egg with a hard white. Timing these eggs is what makes them perfect....the only egg I really ate was the hard boiled egg that wasn't like golden yellow.

The poached eggs were always so hard to make at home but now I know what I've been doing wrong.

When you poach and egg you need to make sure you do not have too much water; not boiling (simmer) and vinegar to help cook the egg whites faster (protein). Then you have to slide the egg into the water (at water level) with either a tea cup or ramekin. Sliding in the egg will literally let the white wrap around the yolk and make a pocket. Then of course make sure you don't over cook these bad boys. Shock them in cool water to stop the cooking and BAM poached eggs...!

The rolled omelet is gooey! You have to make it that's 2 eggs whipped with a little cream and then placed in the pan sliding back and forth to set the sides...then you roll it up towards the edge of the pan and fill in what you want as a filling. Underhand the pan and roll the sucker onto a plate; fix it with a clean paper towel and top with garnish...after you shine it up with a little glaze (melted butter).

The frittata was easy...placed whipped eggs into a mix of onions, peppers, etc that was sauteed in oil ready to go...lift it to get all the egg cooked...brown slightly and then slide onto a plate. Place the pan over the top of the plate and flip it back into the pan on the opposite side. Brown this side and top with garnish.

The scrambled eggs in puff pastry...mmmmmm....the key is scrambled eggs with 2/3 egg 1/3 cream...then salt and pepper. Must break up all the lumps in the egg mixture on the pan and don't let it overcook...let the carry over heat finish it off and place inside a puff pastry bowl which is easy to make. You need a square of puff pastry and cook till done...then punch in the middle and fill. Add the garnish on top and the cou de ta was the truffle oil...BAM!

As for the practical man that was was like running your kitchen...

We had a pot of Bechamel going; while our Espagnole was simmering and we whipped mayonnaise into shape. Together with Maria we created a roasted red pepper soup for our chef's choice soup...and of course my damn knife cuts...

Overall I got an 89...missed the A by one point because we screwed up on the Espagnole sauce. We didn't brown the mirepoix long enough or add enough tomato paste to pince. The part where I need to practice more is in the julienne carrots and 1/4 dice...

The Roasted Red Pepper soup recipe was posted last week and I urge you all to try it's awesome!

The next update will be veggie week...!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Cream of Roasted Red Pepper

Last night Maria and I teamed up as part of our practical and created a Cream of Roasted Red Pepper soup...

Following the classic (idea) recipe of cream of mushroom soup; we browned 1 tbsp of diced bacon in a hot ban with clarified butter...we then added approx 8 oz (weight) of small diced mirepoix, with green leek and minced garlic.
After we glazed the veggies and made them nice and brown we added 1 tbsp of tomato paste, and 4 oz of diced tomato. We added 2 -3 oz of burgundy wine to deglaze the pan and then pinced the tomato products (1 tbsp of tomato paste & 4 oz diced tomato/concosse).
We then added approx 4 oz of flour to the mix and created a brown roux...after the mix was thick and brown we added 1 qt of cold veal stock to the mix and deglazed the pan. We then added one whole unseeded and diced roasted red pepper (which I roasted over an open flame with olive oil and salt) to the mix. I also dropped in a sachet we made of white & black peppercorns and bay leaf. We brought the soup to a boil and then simmered for approx 20 -30 min...

Maria and I then created some easy to make croutons (like popcorn) and some extra diced roasted red pepper for garnish.

When the soup was ready we pureed the soup with a blender (submersion blender was We poured the finished soup through a strainer into a large bowl; where we seasoned with salt & white pepper to taste. We then began to ladel out the goodness into individual bowls. We drizzled approx 1 tbsp of warm cream into the soup and added the croutons and roasted red pepper garnish...

WOW...this soup was awesome! I would totally make this fact put it on the menu...!!!!
We got so caught up in making this soup (chef's choice on practical exam) along with the bechamel, espagnole (which we screwed up), fresh mayonnaise and all the knife cuts we had to do...that we forgot to take pictures...LOL...oops!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Week 3 Fundamentals

This was SOUP week!

We made French Onion, Split Pea Soup, Mushroom Soup, Chicken Consomme and Minestrone.

I loved making the split pea and french onion...ok I liked the mushroom soup too...!

Chef thought all of our soups were good except some needed more SALT...and I can't stand a lot of

The french onion soup was such a hit for me that I took the recipe home and as you might have seen in my earlier post.

Tomorrow night I'm making grilled sirloin and portabello mushroom soup...mmmmmm

To make the pea soup you needed to sweat the vegetables (onion, garlic, celery, leek -green, etc...) and fry the bacon in the grease. Then add the ham hock and chicken stock. After all of this you add the peas and let it simmer. After the peas are soft you are ready to need to make sure you make the croutons though...WOW...we made croutons in class and they were awesome! Take some bread and cut into small cubes...then toast them in clarified butter in a skillet...they will blow your mind.

Included in this post you will see some pics from week 3 of our Consomme, Pea Soup, Mushroom soup and OHHHHHH...I almost forgot our chicken pot pie...I mean Chicken Water will post the recipe for this tomorrow...

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Tonight's dinner...

So for dinner tonight I'm going to cheat a little and use store bought kielbasa. I'm using it to make my sausage and kraut dinner...but here is the awesome part- I'm going to make homemade french onion soup to go with it. 
A yummy bowl of fresh french onion soup topped with a crispy french bread crouton and melted guyere cheese...
depending if there's time I may make a roasted pear salad with candied pecans...The one thing I will do with the sausage; leech out as much salt as I can by simmering it in a nice brown ale...

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Week 2 Fundamentals

This week we were involved with sauces!
Yes I know what most of you are thinking why not just buy a bag from Publix pour into some liquid and make a sauce. Obviously that is not what I am going to school
We went over & were quizzed on the five "mutha" sauces (Espagnole, Veloute, Bechamel, Hollandaise, Tomato Sauce) and of course made all of them; including the un-official "mutha" sauce - Mayonnaise.
Our Espagnole (KFC Gravy) started out a little on the greasy side, but the end result was awesome! Although it tasted like a base sauce not a yummy demi glace. Which we did as well...
The demi glace; equal parts Espagnole Sauce and Veal (brown) Stock then reduced by half; was extremely tasty! Very yummy on a nice piece of Rib Eye can also make other sauces out of the demi glace too...
Our Veloute was very boring but then again so is Veloute; however on a nice roasted chicken probably amazing...
Veloute is Chicken (White) stock and White Roux combined...mmmmmm good...
Bechamel is pretty easy to make; it's milk simmered with an onion pique (pricked onion with bay leaf and cloves) and then combined with white roux.
Our Bechamel tasted very good and when we added the cheddar cheese it took it to a whole new level! Talk about MAC & CHEESE...all of the class' bechamels were combined with cheddar cheese, poured into a big bowl of pasta elbows (al dente) and smeared into a hotel pan. We then added bread crumbs and shredded cheddar to make a baked Mac & Cheese!!!!!!!!! YUMMMMM!
Jamal & I whipped up Mayonnaise and Hollandaise...they were AWESOME!
Mayonnaise, mix of dijon mustard, red wine vinegar, white pepper, salt, egg yolks, vegetable/canola was definitely tiring but the taste was great!
Now...our Hollandaise was KILLER! We made a reduction of white wine & vinegar with peppercorns; added it to whipped tempered egg yolks (and water) and emulsified the mixture with clarified butter.....HEART CLOGGER ALERT! Let me tell you after we added the white pepper, salt and cayenne the taste was KILLER! I HATE hollandaise and this sauce was amazing...thanks Jamal. I will say this I made it at home this past weekend for the family and they loved it...!
Of course excelling at making Fresh Tomato Sauce is my thing; but it's not as need to make sure the vegetables in the sauce cook through and become soft. For some reason my small diced vegetables stayed crunchy. I guess things happen sometimes...

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Shrimp Fried Rice

Shrimp (Seafood) Fried Rice...came out awesome...I added my own homemade seafood egg rolls too...below is the recipe for the rice.

1 cup cooked rice, al dente
1/2 lb of lg/xl shrimp (peeled completely)
2 oz red pepper small dice
4 cloves of garlic minced
1 tbsp minced ginger
4 oz onion small diced
4 oz chives chopped
8 oz imitation crab meat
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1/3 cup (low sodium) soy sauce
1 tsp white pepper
2 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp olive oil (can substitute canola or veg)
salt & pepper to taste
*1 egg optional

cook rice separately
In a large pan/wok combine onions, peppers, ginger, olive oil, vinegar, white pepper...sweat onions until translucent. Add 1/2 of garlic and mix together.
In another pan combine shrimp, crab, 1 tbsp sesame oil, rest of garlic and a little soy sauce...heat over medium-low heat cover for 2 min.
While the shrimp mix is covered add other tbsp of sesame oil and mix in rice with the onions and peppers over HIGH heat. Get rice nice and crispy addins remainder of soy sauce a little at a time until rice soaks up soy sauce.
Uncover shrimp (no more than 2 minutes) they should all be nice and pink...add to the rice mix and saute the end add salt/pepper to taste and all the chives...

*add beaten egg to the oil with onions after they get translucent if egg was used in my recipe.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Fundamentals (lab) Week 1

This week was an ode to stocks...the building blocks of all classic/modern cuisine. We glazed/deglazed pans; sliced and diced mirepoix; and supreme an orange.

The cuts learned this week were: julienne, brunoise, small dice, large dice, batonnet, chop an onion, chop parsley, chop garlic and create garlic paste. We also learned how to Supreme an orange and peel/core & dice a tomato to make concasse.

All of us created the Mirepoix...we then used the cut mirepoix to deglaze pans that were roasting veal bones for brown stock. We roasted our own bones for brown stock; pulled chicken and brown stock, chilled, labeled and stored the stock.

I thought I did an awesome job with my knife skills and I continue to practice at home all the time. As for the stock; I actually took what I learned and made my own version of pot roast with short ribs and ossu buco...mmmmm good stuff!
The pictures above are from this knife cuts and deglazing a veal bone pan...and Chef Bill tourne cut a potato...

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Macy's Come Together...

I'm thinking about doing this...who is in????

Butternut Squash

So, I have this nice butternut squash and since it's September I am going to make a dish with it. I know I want to make butternut squash ravioli but what type of sauce should I make?
What do you all think...?

I was thinking about a Veloute...or a mushroom duxelle...maybe even a mornay...or an almond butter sauce?

Give me your thoughts...ideas...


Friday, September 4, 2009

My daughter (Avy) just put water in a hot tea cup (at chinese restaurant) added chinese noddles and shrimp...stirred it up and then ate it...ewww right? Think about it she just made soup...just like dada...

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Picking the Right Wine to Complement Your Dinner
Selecting the perfect wine to complement your dinner can be a daunting task. Here are a few suggestions to help you select a bottle of wine for dinner that beautifully brings out the flavor in your wine and your food.


You know you've done a great job as an artist/cook/chef; when your 21 month old daughter loves to eat your food!

I have to say she is by far my toughest critic and the one I aim to please (other than Christina) in the palette.

I remember when I was really little tasting some pretty yummy stuff and some gnarly things too...Dad's Korean celery soup of some sort...and it reminds me that we create our palettes at a very young age. I thank them for all the things I was given to eat growing up; because I wouldn't have the palette I have now if it wasn't for the celery soups :) have to make celery soups in order to get better. I know I mentioned the soup dad made...but I will say this he definitely taught me how to learn from you mistakes. After that day he has made some pretty incredible dishes...making up for the celery soup.....................

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Al's Margarita Lime Shrimp Recipe - Calorie Count

Here is the recipe for my Margarita Lime Shrimp...
These go great with an Ice Cold Landshark or Corona :)

Al's Margarita Lime Shrimp Recipe - Calorie Count


Man that was tough...!

Trussing a chicken after boning it without a trussing needle is not easy!

I boned the rib cage and spine from a fryer chicken. Then I cut the wing tips off and stuffed it with sauteed spinach, shitake mushrooms, onion, garlic, fresh ginger and cilantro.

After seasoning the chicken and finally tying the dang thing up...I roasted it in the oven on a bed of chopped parsnips for 1.5 hours...

While it was cooking I made whipped yuca...with chicken stock, butter, cayenne pepper, salt, pepper, garlic powder and cilantro. MMMMMMMMMmmmmmmm!!!!!

I plated the chicken...let mom cut it then I deglazed the the roaster pot with cooking wine...poured into a saute pan through a chinois. Added tbsp of butter and flour...whisked it until awesome pan gravy was created...then I poured it over the plated chicken.

The fresh asian ginger slaw was good but not neccessary...all I needed was a bed of fresh whipped yuca and then the chicken on top...

It came out VERY time I will use some sort of bread product in the stuffing so that there is less water....

Otherwise good learning experience and it still tasted GREAT!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Next Culinary meal (with Chicken)

My next culinary meal is going to be with a Roaster Chicken, shitake mushrooms, spinach, shallots, ginger, garlic, cilantro...

With a cabbage/slaw salad underneath...and whipped yucca...

Wait till you see the pictures of this thing...I have been very fortunate to be able to taste and envision a meal before I even cook it. These things just pop up in my mind and I go to


Friday, August 28, 2009

Culinary Student Recipe Contest - Chilean Avocado Importers Association

I am going to enter this contest... It was posted at my school...

Time to start thinking about all the Avocado recipes I can come up with...!!

Culinary Student Recipe Contest - Chilean Avocado Importers Association

The Chilean Avocado Importers Association is sponsoring an avocado recipe contest for all eligible culinary students. Students will create a recipe for fall and/or winter menus featuring Chilean Hass Avocados and be eligible to win cash prizes. First prize is $1,000, second prize is $500 and two runners up each will win $250.

•Competition is open only to students enrolled in professional culinary programs during the course of the contest.
•Recipes can be for any type of menu, from breakfast to dinner or any other.
•Recipes must be for 12 portions and must use at least 3 Chilean Hass Avocados.
•Recipes must include all ingredients in order of use, quantity of ingredients with weight and/or measure, complete directions for preparation, yield and portion size.
•Students can submit as many entries as they like; prizes will be limited to one per student.
•All entries become the property of the Chilean Avocado Importers Association. Winning recipes may be featured in future issues of foodservice magazines.
•Entries will be judged on creativity, flavor, appearance and appropriateness to foodservice operations.
•All decisions made by the Chilean Avocado Importers Association are final.
•Winners will be notified on February 1, 2010.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Under $10 Wine

There are a lot of people whom are intimidated by wine; or someone introduced them to what was supposed to be an incredible RED! The red they introduced them too was dry, highly acidic and also $80...WOW! Then you wonder to yourself why you drank and $80 bottle of wine and it tasted like wet dust. Although many things could have happened to that wine; for instance improper storage over time or temperature. However; you can drink a Red without wanting to hurl...just look for reds under $10...YES under $10! I have the luxury of having Publix nearby every corner of my neighborhood; and they always have amazing deals on wine. In fact you can check out their wine guide/discounts etc... this is their link.

I myself like mellow reds with full red in particular that can be found at a great price is Smoking Loon Pinot Noir. It's currently $7.49 at Publix...
In fact you are supposed to chill your reds...not at the same temperature as whites but the storing wine standard is 55 degrees F.
The whole idea is you must be able to feel the wine in the back of your palette while your nose envelopes the bouquet of the wine. It should make you smile!
If Red is not your thing a good thing to do is to try them out little by little...the mellow reds will garnish your attention first and maybe just maybe you will get up too that Full Body Cabernet.
Wines from the "new world"; such as South Africa, New Zealand, Australia, California, Chile, Argentina, Portugal, Spain...are all very GOOD!!!! And they are usually at a very low price right now. They want you to try something different and get hooked.
The best place to do your taste testing as at a Wine bar/store where you can try flights OR at a carousel style wine taster. They give you a glass and you fill up your taster card with cash...then you go to these carousels with many different wines from all over the world. Put in your card and select the wine you want to taste, Viola!

The Perfect Magarita

This is in response to a lot of you who either ask me for my Margarita recipe; and because Glen made a good point about accompanying my risotto and marg grilled shrimp...

Ok here we go...!

Get out a shaker, ice, glassware (margarita glass, tumbler,, orange juice, limeade (preferrably frozen), tequila, triple sec, gran marnier (or gran gala, cointreau, etc...), limes, strainer...salt optional!

Make Margarita mix...
Can of Limeade
1 cup of orange juice (pulp or no pulp if you don't have a strainer)
3 cups of water
3 to 4 fresh limes cut/squeezed
STIR and chill if not using right away...

Per Glass:
(In a shaker)
1.25 oz tequila (gold tequila is the best...any good gold tequila)
.25 oz triple sec
.50 oz cointreau, gran marnier or gran gala
3.5 oz margarita mix

SHAKE Vigurously with ice in shaker...strain over ice in your glass of with lime wedge or wheel...BEFORE you pour in the ice and strain the drink...make sure you salt the rim if you so desire...!!!

MMMMMMMmmmmm...I want one now!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


So I have been experimenting with many different types of Risotto. I like to be unique and I've never seen a Mexican Risotto. So I decided this world needed one.

In order to create something most people wouldn't/didn't understand I needed some Arobio Rice...or what we know as Risotto.

I sauteed half of a yellow onion, garlic and jalapeno in a tbsp of canola oil and lime juice. I then added 2 cups of Risotto (dry) to the Rondeau (dutch oven, pot). As I sauteed the Risotto with the current ingredients I then began to add diced tomatoes and cilantro. Then slowly began to add the 4 cups of chicken broth.
As I stirred I thought about black beans, avocado, and many other flavors that would go with a Mexican dish.
I then added the black beans strained, drained and dried; to the mixture...I notice still need more liquid so I added 1/4 cup of white wine; tbsp of lime juice and tbsp of tequila.
As this was coming together I began to season to taste; added 2 tbsp of butter melting it in the Risotto while stirring. Then I added 1/2 cup shredded low fat Mexican cheese blend...

After this wonderful concoction of Mexican flavors came together I realized I just crossed the border!


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