Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Summered Creamed Corn, Tart Tatin, Vanilla Ice Cream and Creme Carmel

Ok so I know that it has been a little while but several weeks ago but I have been busy with work and school so I have not have been able to have time to post these blogs. So let me tell you I did buy the new Thomas Keller cook book Ad Hoc at Home and I love it. I have cooked the Creamed Corn from the book and it is wonderful, even for being in the fall and a little side joke "corn in the winter". It has a little kick at the end of it from the spice and it is very sweet from the corn juices that are cooked down and it has a fruity nice from the lime which brings everything all together. I will definitely try this one again in the summer.

Music: Grandaddy: The Group Who Couldn't Say

For the Tart Tatin I messed up the first time. The dough when folded kind of looks silly so that is just a personal thing for me and then the big thing is when I flipped it out of the pan it was still stuck because the sauce had stuck to the the bottom of my pan and made a little mess of things so the next day I made this again and it turned out perfect as you can see. It tasted great and it is actually the first apple pastry that I actually like. I don't like apple pie. This was so good that I want to make it again almost every week but I am restraining myself. It is not hard to make at all and is perfect to make for a party because it can sit out all day until you are ready to serve.

Music: Coldplay: God Put A Smile On My Face

The Vanilla Ice Cream is just a simple ice cream but it is something that I always have on hand. It is great to just have when I get home from a long day of work. It is simple to make and It is just 1000 times better then store bought Ice Cream and I have to say I have not had store bought Ice Cream for at least 2 years because of this book.

Music: Beuhla: Hey Brother

Creme Carmel is one of the best recipes ever. It is so simple to make and it has the best texture ever. Most people have had this but dont know it by this name they know it a flan and I hate that. I think that this dish needs to be made more often in the home kitchen because it is simple to make and can be kept for a couple of days in the fridge with the flavor only getting better.

Music: Louise Armstrog: La Vie en Rose

Up next will be Carmel Ice Cream

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Soup and Salad

So over the last week I have been a little busy. I left my Job at Anisette. Got the Job at Bouchon, meet Thomas Keller and cooked some more recipes out of the books. This time I made some soups and a salad. The First soup I made is something that I have made time and time again, Onion Soup. It is great. The sweet taste of the richly caramelized onions with the light beef stock and the melted cheese and slices of bread to soak up some of the soup. Everything is great about this soup. Usually when I make this soup I store the soup in containers and freeze them for later use. It is great to have on hand for when those cold days come and you want a little pick me up.

Music: Space Oddity David Bowie

Next was the Butternut Squash Soup. This soup I have wanted to do for the longest time. The picture in the book looks great. I looks to have a very clean flavor of just butternut squash but it doesn't. There is a depth of flavor In this soup. The best thing that I can say about this soup is the smell of the squash roasting in the oven. It almost smells like roasted sugar. I recommend making this soup for guests at a party because it is filling and cheap to make and fast to assemble.

Music: Elevation U2

Bibb Lettuce Salad
Now for this salad it is very simple. Nothing is over complicated or over done. The salad is washed to get all the dirt off the leaves and then spin dry. I stacked the leaves in a container the way the would be assembled with just a damp paper towel over it. The vinaigrette only has 3 ingredients and the salad has fine herbs in it to give it a little more flavor. This salad is perfect for a quick meal and takes seconds to assemble. Perfect for any time of the day.

Music: The Beatles You Never Give Me Your Money

Keep on cooking. You can also take a look at all my videos on Youtube.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Ad Hoc

So i just got the new Thomas Keller book Ad Hoc. The recipes are fun and exiting. something the home cook. Helpful tips and ideas for the family to use while cooking dinner. Simple recipes that are great to eat and satisfying without the long prep time. Hamburger recipes, beet and potato salad, cobb salad, "ranch" (mmmmmm), soups, fish, desserts, and great cooking tips.

Also I am going for an interview at Bouchon Beverly Hills. Wish me luck.

Friday, October 16, 2009

"Surf And Turf"

When making this all ways remember that you should never ever leave the house and always cover the meat with water and keep an eye on the heat if your oven is off by a few degrees. So in other words I had to make this twice. Just the meat not the fish. I couldn't find fresh cepes or salsify so i just used another mushroom instead. The Meat was great and the fish was good but for me it was laking a little something the fish was meaty and the oxtail was meaty but there was no balance no real contrast i know it was the texture that I was missing if i only had the salsify I think this dish would have been a lot better. I am not saying this is bad I am just saying it isn't the best because it is good. I could see my self making this dish for a group of people.

This dish did take a lot of time to make so unless you have a lot of time on your hand then I recommend that you stay away from this recipe. Also what I realized while making this was that I don't have the budget to do a lot of these dishes. So I am going to change my game plan. I am not quitting I am going to cook out of the Bouchon book and Ad Hoc when it comes out (Nov 6). I will finish making all the recipes just not in the next year but I will continue to cook these recipes and film them. So why stop well money and also I just learned last week that Bouchon is opening in Beverly Hills soon and I am trying to get a job there. If I do get the job then that will take up a lot of my time but also I will be able to work for the man, and also I will be in school and when I finish school I will be working on my days off at another restaurant.

Next to be done I think will be Onion Soup, Creme Carmel, Beet Salad, Frisee Salad with Lardon and Egg, Quiche Lorraine or Beef Bourguignon

But for now here is "Surf And Turf" and Brunoise

Music is Grandaddy: Now It's On

Music is The Beatles: Here Comes The Sun

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Red Wine Marinade

This is the normal marinade in the book. It can work with white wine or red wine. In this recipe I am following the red wine because I am making the "Surf and Turf." This smells really good even when there is only 6 things in it. Always remember when marinading food that you always cook off the alcohol that you are using because it does not cook or tenderize meat, cooking does (i.e. heat). If you have ever tried meat like tri-tip that has been marinaded with red wine (without cooking the alcohol off) only you can taste the harshness of the alcohol which is overwhelming. So you learn something new everyday.

Music is Beck: Girl

Chicken Stock

When making chicken stock most recipes are very forward about the flavor profile for ingredients in the stock, i.e. thyme, lots of bones, bay, peppercorns, long simmering times and small yield. In The French Laundry Cookbook you don't get that. You get a light stock, the bones are simmered with aromatics for only 45 minutes and there is a high yield because there is no final reduction. The stock is very clear (when done correctly) and has a light flavor. This was one of the easier stocks to make in the book because of the short cooking time and the prep. Just one problem that I see with people trying to make this stock is getting all the bones for it. It is 5 pounds of bones so unless people are breaking down their own chickens at home then I see this as being a hard recipe to make.

Music is Grandaddy: O.K. With My Decay

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Veal Stock and White Veal Stock

So on my first day I have to tell you that I did burn my stock. I know what you are thinking, How? Well the White Veal Stock needed to be reduced down to 3 quarts and I had 6 so I put it back in a pot and turned it on. This was about 7 pm and I was going to go to Knott's Scary Farm and i thought I could just leave it on simmer and come back home at 2 am and it would be fine. As soon as I walked into my house I knew what had happened. I could smell burnt stock. I walked into the kitchen to face my fears and there it was a pot covered in black. I cleaned the pot out and decided to go to bed kicking my self. Next morning I got up and went back to the market to get more bones for the stock, I got 20 pounds because I also had to make Veal Stock. So hint hint, don't leave the house if you have stock going.

I blanched both pots of bones and finished the White Veal first and it was really nice and clear. It went threw the cheesecloth with no problem what so ever. For the Veal Stock in the book it says to strain the stock several times to get out all the impurities so before i did the final reduction of the stock I strained it threw cheesecloth because I know if I didnt then all the little particals in the stock would absorb the liquid and I would have a smaller yield. Both stocks smelled great and they both had nice body to them. In both of these stocks I did add a calf's foot to add more body to them so that helped.

Up next is Chicken Stock.

Music is Pink Floyd: Pigs On The Wing (Part Two)

Music is Coldplay: Clocks