Friday, November 12, 2010

Signed - mission accomplished

Food Network's Bobby Flay book signing today

Today I will launch out into The Hunt Valley Towne Centre in Cockysville, MD (36 miles) to get Bobby Flay's new book "Throwdown" signed.  Of course, I will check his website one more time before going just to make sure it is still on. 

Friday, October 29, 2010

Southwestern Pumpkin Soup

1.  Onion - (one, this is the only thing that needs chopped - the rest are in cans, hurray!)
2.  Extra-virgin Olive oil - (just enough to saute the onions with)
3.  Stock - (3 cups of stock - either vegetable, chicken, or beef - your choice)
4.  2 (15 oz) cans of pumpkin puree
5.  2 cans of diced tomatoes
6.  1 can of black beans (drain the water in it)
7.  Curry (a palm full - or about two tablespoons)
8.  Cumin (a half a palm full - or one tablespoon)
9.  Cayenne (optional for heat - a pinch, or a half or whole teaspoon - to taste) or fresh cilantro (rough chopped).
10.  2 cups of cream (added at the end to lighten up everything).

Get a dutch oven or a stock pot ready and heated on medium heat.  Pour in a little bit of extra-virgin olive oil and saute the minced onion (enjoy the smell).  Pour in your stock, after the onion is semi-cooked or sorta translucent.  Add the pumpkin puree (watch out for the splatter, get the puree as close to the stock when you scoop it out).  Add the diced tomatoes, and the black beans.  Mix the "mixture."  Flavor it with the spices.  Finally add the cream.  Lower the heat to allow everything in the pot to marry.  Addendum:  Ms. Karen Sweitzer added garlic to this recipe and it was perfect!  SO don't forget to add some fresh garlic for that edge!

Eat with:
1.  You can eat this on its own, like you would any other soup.
2.  Grilled Cheese Sandwich.
3.  Semi-home-made flour tortilla chips on the side (recipe forthcoming).

Monday, August 23, 2010

Cream Cheese Biscuits

1.  Bisquick (2 cups).
2.  Cream Cheese (3oz.).
3.  Milk (enough to just lightly coat the mixture).
4.  Flour (a palm full just for coating).

Combine the bisquick and cream cheese in a large bowl by using a pastry cutter.  If you don't have a pastry cutter you can use a couple of forks.  You want to make sure that the bisquick and cream cheese is melded together really well, to the point where it almost resembles something like cornmeal.  Then, pour in a little bit of milk (be sure not to over do the milk pour - you just want to lightly coat the mixture - didn't I say that already?) while tossing and folding the mixture.  Continue this until your mixture resembles dough.  On a wooden cutting board (a good size one) - coat it with a palm full of flour (this will be the work station for the dough, the flour will prevent the mixture from sticking to the board).  Also hit the top of the mixture with a little bit of flour. Now you are ready to lightly knead and roll the dough.  Use a pastry cutter (or a the tip of a drinking glass) and place the "pre-biscuits" onto a slightly greased cookie sheet (they also have those fancy non-stick trays, but this will do).  Bake it in the oven at 375 degrees for about 10 to 15 min.  Be sure to keep an eye on them so you don't turn bread into stone.

Eat with:
1. Stuff you would normally eat with when consuming buttermilk biscuits.
2. Of course, nothing beats the taste and texture of real buttermilk biscuits, but this recipe comes awfully close and is a whole lot easier to do.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Buttermilk Biscuits

1. Flour (all purpose) (4 cups)
2. Baking powder (4 tsp.)
3. Baking soda (1 tsp.)
4. Salt (1.5 tsp.)
5. Sugar (1.5 tsp.)
6. Butter (unsalted, and make sure it is cold) (2 sticks)
7. Buttermilk (cold) (2 cups)

Combine your dry ingredients first. Flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar; whisk them in a bowl. Divide the butter into pats and toss them into the mixture. Take a pastry cutter, or two forks, and crush the butter into the mixture (you may use your hands, and work the butter all throughout the mixture). Prep a cutting board where you are going to knead your dough, by sprinkling the surface with some flour. Carefully pour into the mixture the buttermilk, and with a spatula make sure that the buttermilk is getting evenly spread out and touching as much of the mixture as possible. Place the moist mixture onto the prepared cutting board. Fold the mixture like a letter, turn it over and knead it, this turns your mixture into dough. Roll your dough and take a 2 inch biscuit cutter (if you do not have a cutter you can use the tip of a drinking glass), and cut out the raw biscuits, place them in a cookie sheet, or pan. You should get 12 biscuits out of this. Brush a little bit of buttermilk on the raw biscuits. Place them in the over at 375 degrees for 20 min. or until the surface turns golden brown.

Eat with:
1. Butter.
2. Cheese. (You can add some shredded cheddar cheese, or a little dill, before you pour the buttermilk in the mixture.)
3. Sausage and gravy. (Recipe forthcoming.)
4. Honey and sugar. (You can sprinkle sugar on the biscuits after you brush the surface with buttermilk.) Brush a little honey on the biscuits.
5. Grape Jelly.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Fresh Avocado Salsa

1. Avocado (a ripe one of course, i.e. soft to the touch).
2. Vine ripe tomatoes (one will do if it is big).
3. Sweet onion (a big one).
4. Lemon (one will do).
5. Fresh Cilantro.
6. Jalapeno pepper (one will do).
7. Salt (course, of course).
8. Black pepper (optional).
9. Extra-Virgin Olive Oil.

Split, score, and spoon the avocado (throw that nutty and buttery goodness in a bowl, along with the rest of the other ingredients). Slice, seed, and dice the tomatoes. Cut, peel, and dice the onion. Bunch-up and chop a handful of fresh cilantro. Roll the lemon (to release its juice), slice, and juice the mixture (you don't want the seeds to get into the mixture, so juice it with the peel facing the mixtures). The lemon juice will prevent the avocado from oxidizing, besides giving the salsa an added zing. Split, seed, and thinly dice the jalapeno pepper. Remember: the heat of the jalapeno resides in the seed and ribs of the pepper. Do not scratch your eye afterwards, or you will pay dearly (ha!). Pour a little extra-virgin Olive Oil (just enough to lightly coat the mixture). Extra-Virgin (you may wonder) means that the oil wasn't filtered after it was pressed, and so it is much more fragrant and colorful than regular olive oil. Toss gently, and sprinkle some course salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

Eat with:
1. Yellow corn tortilla chips. (I prefer this over white, but white will do).
2. Bruschetta (lit. "charred bread") - slice some Italian bread, broil it in the oven, take a fresh clove of garlic, peel it, pound it a little, and rub it against the charred bread, for an added hint of garlic flavor.
3. You can top a chili-taco bowl with this salsa. (Chili-taco bowl recipe forthcoming).