Stonewall Kitchen, LLC

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Today is National Corn Chip Day!

Today is National Corn Chip Day! I love corn chips, really one of my few snack food weakness, and they are fantastic on top of nearly any kind of casserole (especially to make that said casserole more "kid friendly"!). I also love them on top of salads for some crunch, chili, soups, etc. A very versatile topping! But...not terribly low in fat, or calories, or sodium.

(image from www.foodmayhem.com)

Here is a recipe from Epicurious to make your own Corn Chips from home that are low-fat and you can control sodium levels by using other spices to give them some flavor and "kick"!

Low-Fat Chili Corn Chips
Bon Appétit July 2003

Ingredients:

6 5- to 6-inch corn tortillas
Canola oil
Salt, cumin, and chili powder, to taste

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly brush tortillas with canola oil. Stack tortillas and cut into 6 wedges. Spread wedges in single layer on baking sheet. Sprinkle chips with salt, cumin, and chili powder. Bake until crisp, about 12 minutes.

Then, you can use these, or store bought corn chips to make one of my favorite recipes (and entirely kid-friendly): Tamale Pie!

Tamale Pie
Epicurious January 1999
by Gail Glickman Horwood

Ingredients:

2 pounds of ground chuck
2 cans of Mexicorn (sold at most supermarkets)
1 small can of cream-style corn
1/2 package of Cinch (or Jiffy) brand cornbread mix
1 1/2 cups grated Cheddar
2 8 oz cans of tomato sauce
1 large onion
1 green pepper
1 tablespoon of chili powder
1 medium package of Frito corn chips
8 oz red wine
salt, pepper, garlic
sliced black olives for garnish

Preparation:

Brown the onions, green pepper, and garlic. Add the meat and brown. Add the Mexicorn, tomato sauce, wine, chili powder, salt, pepper and simmer for 15 or 20 minutes. Place mixture in a casserole dish.

Make the topping with the cornbread mix, 1 cup of cream-style corn, 1/2 cup cheese, and milk to make runny. (Sometimes I add an egg.) Pour over the casserole and bake at 400°F for 35-45 minutes.

10 minutes before serving, sprinkle top with crushed Fritos and add the remaining cup of cheddar cheese. Garnish with sliced black olives.


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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Today is National Blueberry Pancake Day!

Today is National Blueberry Pancake Day! This is a perfect day for me, I am definitely a breakfast kind of gal. This is one great excuse to have breakfast all day long, in fact!

(image from www.prevention.com)

Here are two versions of Blueberry Pancakes, including a vegan recipe, both from Epicurious. Enjoy!

Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes
Bon Appétit July 2007
Elizabeth Horton de Meza

Yield: Makes about 12 pancakes
Active time: 30 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes

Elizabeth likes to serve these with bacon. For the ultimate breakfast, she cooks the bacon first, pours off a bit of the grease, and cooks the pancakes in the same skillet.

Ingredients:

1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted, plus more for cooking
2 cups fresh blueberries
Pure maple syrup

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 250°F. Place baking sheet in oven. Whisk first 4 ingredients in large bowl. Whisk buttermilk, eggs, and 2 tablespoons butter in medium bowl; stir into dry ingredients. Fold in berries.

Heat large nonstick griddle or skillet over medium heat; brush with butter. Drop batter by 1/3 cupfuls onto griddle. Cook pancakes until brown, brushing griddle with more butter as needed, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to sheet in oven to keep warm. Serve pancakes with maple syrup.

Moby's Vegan Blueberry Pancakes
Epicurious March 2008
Moby

Moby has been a practicing vegan for 20 years. He makes these vegan pancakes with organic ingredients, including lots of fresh berries, and serves vegan sausage alongside.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups whole-grain spelt flour
1/2 cup oat bran
1/2 cup wheat bran
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 cups plain full-fat soy milk or rice and soy milk blend*
Vegetable oil for cooking
1 cup (1/2 pint) fresh blueberries or frozen, unthawed, plus 1/2 cup fresh blueberries or raspberries for serving
Maple syrup for serving

*Moby prefers EdenBlend, an organic rice and soy milk blend, because it has a neutral, not too sweet flavor. It's available in natural food stores and from edenfoods.com.

Preparation:

In medium bowl, stir together spelt flour, oat bran, wheat bran, baking soda, and salt. Add soy milk and stir until thoroughly combined.

Brush large nonstick or cast-iron griddle or skillet with oil and heat over moderate heat until hot but not smoking. Working in 3 to 4 batches, pour 1/4 cup batter per pancake onto griddle and press 12 to 15 blueberries into each pancake. Cook until bubbles appear and pop on surface and undersides are golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Flip pancakes, then turn off heat and let pancakes continue to cook in pan until undersides are firm and light golden brown, about 3 minutes more. Transfer to plate, berry side up, and keep warm.

Repeat to cook remaining pancakes, oiling and reheating griddle between each batch. Serve pancakes warm with additional berries and maple syrup.


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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

National Chocolate Cake Day

Today is National Chocolate Cake Day. Shhhhh....I just don't want anyone to tell my kids, or it will be a chocolate cake extravaganza in order to properly celebrate this special day!

(image from www.bbcgoodfood.com)

I always get the most comments from readers anytime I blog about chocolate, chocolate desserts, you name it! So, I hope to make many more readers happy with the following recipe for the "World's Easiest Chocolate Cake" from Epicurious:

World's Easiest Chocolate Cake (Mud Cake)
Gourmet December 1999
by Ashely-George Menger, New Vernon, NJ

Yield: Makes 2 small cakes (serves 12)
Active time: 20 minutes
Total time: 2 1/2 hours

"I adapted this recipe from The Fannie Farmer Baking Book," says Ashley-George Menger of New Vernon, New Jersey. "It's the easiest chocolate cake I've ever made—you don't even need a bowl. I love to serve it around the holidays, and with friends and family around, it disappears fast!" You can also make this cake in 2 (8 1/2- by 4 1/2- by 2 1/2-inch) loaf pans.

Ingredients:

4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
3 ounces fine-quality bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 1/2 cups strong brewed coffee
5 tablespoons bourbon (preferably 80 proof)
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups cake flour (not self-rising)
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

Special equipment: 2 (7- or 8-inch) springform pans

Accompaniment: sweetened whipped cream and fresh berries

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 275°F. Butter springform pans and line bottom of each with a round of wax paper. Butter paper and dust pans with flour, knocking out excess. Wrap bottom and 1 inch up side on outside of each springform pan with foil (to catch drips).

Melt chocolates and butter with coffee in a 4-quart saucepan over moderately low heat, stirring constantly until smooth. Remove from heat and cool 10 minutes. Beat in bourbon, eggs, and vanilla. Sift in flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt and stir until batter is smooth (batter will be thin).

Divide batter between springform pans (about 3 cups batter in each). Bake cakes in middle of oven 1 to 1 1/4 hours, or until a tester inserted in centers comes out with crumbs adhering. Remove from oven and cool in pans on racks 20 minutes. Run a thin knife around edge of each pan, then remove sides. When cool, remove pan bottoms and wax paper.


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Monday, January 26, 2009

Today is National Pistachio Day!

Today is National Pistachio Day! I feel proud to be a Californian, as 98% of American pistachios are grown in California! However, interestingly, typically the number one producer of Pistachios world-wide is Iran, number two is California.

(image from www.californiasungold.com)

We are huge consumers of pistachios, and I find myself chopping them up and adding them to salads and even to vanilla ice cream to add an interesting flavor and texture. I have even experimented with using pistachios as a crunchy coating for chicken.

My experiments led me to find this recipe from www.Epicurious.com for Pistachio Sea Bass with Crab Salad. I cannot wait to try this one!

(image from www.epicurious.com, photo by: Richard Gerhard Jung)

Pistachio Sea Bass with Crab Salad

Gourmet October 2003
Adapted from chef Laurent Gras

Yield: Makes 6 servings

Cooking the sea bass in parchment paper is a great technique — it keeps the pistachio topping in place and allows you to brown both the fish and the topping in the skillet (the parchment becomes translucent so you can see the browning. Since Gras is on the West Coast, he likes to use Dungeness crab when he makes this dish. We've substituted jumbo lump crabmeat because it's available year round nationwide.

Ingredients:

For crab salad
1/2 pound sea beans (salicornia), tips (tiny branches along stem) reserved and stems discarded (3/4 cup)
3/4 pound cooked jumbo lump crabmeat, picked over and broken into small pieces
4 scallions, finely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/4 teaspoon curry powder, or to taste

For fish
6 (5-ounce) pieces skinless sea bass fillet (3/4 inch thick), bones removed with tweezers
1 large egg white, lightly beaten
3/4 cup finely chopped unsalted shelled pistachios (not dyed red; 3 ounces)
1 to 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons pistachio oil
Fleur de sel to taste
Coconut sauce

Special equipment: 6 large (24- by 14-inch) sheets white parchment paper; 6 small metal paper clips; an 18- by 12-inch baking sheet

Preparation:

Make crab salad:
Blanch sea bean tips in a small saucepan of boiling salted water 30 seconds, then drain in a sieve and pat dry.

Reserve 1/4 cup sea bean tips for garnish, then stir together remaining tips with crab and scallions. Stir together lime juice and curry powder in a small bowl, then pour over crab and toss well. Add salt and pepper to taste and toss to combine.

Prepare and cook fish:
Cut 1 sea bass fillet in half crosswise (each piece should measure about 4 by 3 inches). Season skinned sides of both halves lightly with salt, then stack pieces, skinned sides together, to form a "steak." Brush top generously with egg white and top evenly with about 2 tablespoons pistachios, pressing to adhere. Assemble 5 more servings in same manner.

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F.

Fold 1 sheet of parchment in half crosswise and, starting at 1 end of crease, cut out a half heart shape, keeping vertical crease as long as possible. Unfold heart and arrange on a work surface with point nearest you, then place a fish steak just to 1 side of crease. Fold other half of heart over fish to enclose and, starting at top of crease, turn in edges of parchment in overlapping folds, about 1 inch apart, pressing each fold firmly as you go, to form a tight seal. Tuck last fold under packet and secure with a paper clip. Make 5 more packets in same manner.

Heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then sear 2 fish packets, starting with nut sides down, until nuts are pale golden, about 30 seconds (watch closely, as nuts burn easily). Carefully turn packets over with a slotted metal spatula and sear until fish is golden, about 2 minutes. Transfer seared packets, nut sides up, with spatula to baking sheet. Sear remaining packets in same manner, adding more oil to skillet as needed.

Bake packets until fish is just cooked through, about 13 minutes.

While fish bakes, divide crab salad among 6 plates, arranging in center as a bed for fish.

Cut open each packet and lightly brush top (nut side) with 1 teaspoon pistachio oil, then sprinkle with fleur de sel. Carefully transfer fish with spatula to crab salad, discarding parchment, and pour coconut sauce around fish. Sprinkle each with reserved sea bean tips.

Cooks' note:
·Fish packets can be assembled 3 hours ahead and chilled. Let stand at room temperature 45 minutes before cooking.


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Sunday, January 25, 2009

Today is National Irish Coffee Day!

Today is National Irish Coffee Day! Here is a fun fact about the origins of Irish Coffee, courtesy of Wikipedia, "The original Irish coffee was invented by Joseph Sheridan, a head chef at Foynes, County Limerick. Foynes' port was the precursor to Shannon International Airport in the west of Ireland; the coffee was conceived after a group of American passengers disembarked from a Pan Am flying boat on a miserable winter evening in the 1940s. Sheridan added whiskey to the coffee to warm the passengers. After the passengers asked if they were being served Brazilian coffee, Sheridan told them it was Irish coffee." Lucky passengers!

(image from www.juraworld.com)

Then, "Stanton Delaplane, a travel writer for the San Francisco Chronicle, brought Irish coffee to the United States after drinking it at Shannon Airport, when he worked with the Buena Vista Cafe in San Francisco to start serving it on November 10, 1952,[3][4] and worked with the bar owners Jack Koeppler and George Freeberg to recreate the Irish method for floating the cream on top of the coffee, sampling the drink one night until he nearly passed out". Anyone want to help me sample some Irish Coffees?!

Here is a video tutorial on making Irish Coffee:



And here is a recipe from CookingResources.com, courtesy of Bushmills Irish Whiksey!

Bushmills Irish Coffee

Ingredients:

Serves 1

1 measure of Bushmills Original Irish Whiskey
2 teaspoons demerara sugar
strong black coffee
Extra Thick Whipping cream
Warm Glass

Method:

To warm the glass - place teaspoon in glass and add boiling water.

Empty out hot water.

Add measure of Bushmills Irish Whiskey.

Add sugar & stir

Add strong black coffee - til about ¾ full

Pour the whipping cream over the back of a warm teaspoon (teaspoon should be just above the level of the coffee)

This ensures that the cream floats on the coffee!

To gain the best enjoyment from your Bushmills Irish Coffee the cream should not be stirred into the coffee but should be suspended on the top of it.

The coffee should then be sipped through the creamy head! Slainte to you and yours!

As always, Jet-Chef.com urges moderation (no sampling these Irish Coffees like that travel writer!) and that if you have Irish Coffee while out on the town, please select a designated driver!


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Saturday, January 24, 2009

Today is National Lobster Thermidor Day!

Today is National Lobster Thermidor Day! I love lobster, and Lobster Thermidor is a truly special dish. It is a French dish that is creamy and cheesy, stuffed in a lobster shell and served with a baked cheese crust on top. Are you drooling yet?!



I found this recipe on www.Allrecipes.com that makes this dish surprising simple to make at home. Enjoy!

Lobster Thermidor

INGREDIENTS:

1 medium (1 1/2 pound) cooked lobster
2 tablespoons butter
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 3/8 cups fresh fish stock
1/4 cup white wine
1/4 cup double cream
1/2 teaspoon hot English mustard
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

DIRECTIONS:

Cut the lobster in half lengthwise, and remove the meat from the claws and tail. Leave to one side. Remove any meat from the head and set aside. Cut the meat up into pieces and place back into the shell.
Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the shallot; cook and stir until tender. Mix in the fish stock, white wine and double cream. Bring to a boil, and cook until reduced by half. Mix in the mustard, lemon juice, parsley, salt and pepper.
Preheat your oven's broiler.
Place the lobster halves on a broiling pan or baking sheet, and spoon the sauce over the lobster meat in the shell. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over the top.
Broil for 3 to 4 minutes, just until golden brown. Serve immediately.


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Friday, January 23, 2009

Today is National Rhubarb Pie Day

Today is National Rhubarb Pie Day! For me, this day has a lot of very special childhood memories. I can remember growing rhubarb in our backyard as a kid and making fresh rhubarb pie with my mom, strawberry (also from our garden) rhubarb pie and other yummy rhubarb baked goods! I can taste and smell that rhubarb just thinking of those carefree childhood days!

(image from myrecipes.com)

I love the following recipe from www.Epicurious.com as I truly savor the contrast that the tart rhubarb mixed with a sweet berry brings to the palate. Would love to hear your favorite rhubarb recipes (and memories!), too!

Rhubarb Raspberry Pie
Gourmet April 1999

Ingredients:

frozen-butter pastry dough
1 1/2 pounds trimmed rhubarb
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3 tablespoons cornstarch
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 cups raspberries
1 large egg
1 tablespoon milk

Accompaniment: vanilla ice cream

Preparation:

Divide dough into 2 pieces (1 piece should be slightly smaller than the other). Chill larger dough piece, wrapped in plastic wrap. On a lightly floured surface with a lightly floured rolling pin roll out smaller piece of dough into a 10-inch round (about 1/8 inch thick).

Transfer round to a large baking sheet and chill, covered. Roll out remaining dough into an 11-inch round (about 1/8 inch thick) and stack it on top of first round. Chill pastry rounds, loosely covered with plastic wrap, at least 1 hour, or until firm. Cut enough rhubarb crosswise into 1/2-inch slices to measure 4 cups. In a 3-quart kettle stir together 3 cups rhubarb, 1 cup sugar, and cinnamon and cook over moderate heat, stirring constantly, until sugar is melted, about 6 minutes. In a small bowl stir together cornstarch and lemon juice. Add cornstarch mixture to rhubarb mixture and boil, stirring constantly, until rhubarb is thickened, about 5 minutes, and transfer mixture to a bowl. Cool mixture to room temperature, about 30 minutes.

Fold raspberries and remaining cup rhubarb into mixture until just combined. Chill rhubarb filling, covered, at least 30 minutes, or until cold.

Preheat oven to 425°F.

In a small bowl whisk together egg and milk to make an egg wash. Fit 11-inch round of dough into a 9-inch (1-quart) glass pie plate and trim with scissors, leaving a 1/2-inch overhang. Spoon rhubarb filling into shell, smoothing top, and brush edge of crust with egg wash. Drape remaining pastry round over filling and trim, leaving a 1/2-inch overhang. Crimp edge decoratively. With a sharp small knife score a decorative pattern on crust and brush crust evenly with some egg wash. Sprinkle crust with remaining 2 tablespoons sugar.

Bake pie on a baking sheet in middle of oven 35 minutes, or until crust is golden brown and cooked through. (If pastry gets too brown too quickly, tent pie with foil.) Transfer pie to a rack. Cool pie at least 1 hour to set filling.

Serve pie with ice cream.


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Thursday, January 22, 2009

Today is National Blonde Brownie Day

Today is National Blonde Brownie Day! What a perfect way to enjoy a cold, wintry day...a mug of hot cocoa and some warm, gooey Blonde Brownies! Or, really go for it and drizzle with caramel or another syrup and top with some delicious ice cream!

(image from indayskitchen.com)

Here is an easy Blonde Brownie recipe to enjoy from www.About.com:

Mom's Blonde Brownies

Delicious bars with chocolate chips and brown sugar.

Ingredients:

1 stick butter or margarine (4 ounces), room temperature
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 egg
1 cup flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp baking soda
pinch salt
1/2 to 1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup (about 8 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips

Preparation:

Cream together the butter and brown sugar; beat in egg. Stir in flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir in nuts and chocolate chips. Spread batter in a greased and floured 7- X 11-inch pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes. These brown very quickly, so be sure to start checking at the 20 minute mark.


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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Today is New England Clam Chowder Day!

Today is New England Clam Chowder Day, or as my favorite Boston native would remind me, "New England Chah-dah Day". Love that Boston accident!

(image from www.widgetbox.com)

I have never tried my hand at making New England Clam Chowder (I usually order mine in a Sourdough bread bowl, thank you!) but would love to try this recipe from www.Epicurious.com. This recipe calls for canned clams, which certainly makes this recipe more accessible for many who do not have access to fresh clams!

New England Clam Chowder

Bon Appétit November 2000

Yield: Makes 8 (first-course) or 4 (main-course) servings

"I've been to Boston many times over the past few years. During those trips, my mission was to find the best clam chowder in the city," writes Debra Doyle of Avon Lake, Ohio. "I think I found it at Skipjack's restaurant. Theirs is rich and creamy, with just the right amount of potatoes." Skipjack's calls for shucked fresh clams in their chowder; we've substituted canned clams, which are easier to use. Serve with oyster crackers, if desired.

Ingredients:

3 8-ounce bottles clam juice
1 pound russet potatoes, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
3 slices bacon, finely chopped
2 cups chopped onions
1 1/4 cups chopped celery with leaves (about 2 large stalks)
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 bay leaf
1/4 cup all purpose flour
6 6 1/2-ounce cans chopped clams, drained, juices reserved
1 1/4 cups half and half
1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce

Preparation:

Bring bottled clam juice and potatoes to boil in heavy large saucepan over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 10minutes. Remove from heat.

Melt butter in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add bacon and cook until bacon begins to brown, about 8 minutes. Add onions, celery, garlic and bay leaf and sauté until vegetables soften, about 6 minutes. Stir in flour and cook 2 minutes (do not allow flour to brown). Gradually whisk in reserved juices from clams. Add potato mixture, clams, half and half and hot pepper sauce. Simmer chowder 5 minutes to blend flavors, stirring frequently. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Refrigerate uncovered until cold, then cover and keep refrigerated. Bring to simmer before serving.)


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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Today is National Granola Bar Day!

Today is National Granola Bar Day! Granola bars are a true staple in my household, as they make for easy, portable snacks. I typically always have a few in the car, saving many a grumbling stomach!

(image from www.joythebaker.com)

I have experimented with making my own, however, they are often of the harder granola bar variety. We like them chewy around here! This recipe, from www.allrecipes.com, sounds wonderful...and easily adapted with ingredients that you prefer!

Easy Granola Bars
SUBMITTED BY: Aliceyn Fokuhl

"Fantastic bars that have a lot of flexibility. You can adapt the recipe to your liking. Great for hikes, long road trips and camping as they store well and keep fairly long - unless you eat them all! Use any combination of chocolate chips, dried fruit, coconut, pecans, almond slices, or any other tidbits you'd like in a granola bar."

INGREDIENTS:

3 cups quick-cooking oats
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup flaked coconut
1 cup sliced almonds
1 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup sweetened dried cranberries

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9x13 inch pan.
In a large bowl, mix together the oats, sweetened condensed milk, butter, coconut, almonds, chocolate chips and cranberries with your hands until well blended. Press flat into the prepared pan.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, depending on how crunchy you want them. Lightly browned just around the edges will give you moist, chewy bars. Let cool for 5 minutes, cut into squares then let cool completely before serving.


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Today is National Cheese Lover's Day!

Today is indeed National Cheese Lover's Day, definitely a special day for me! I love cheese, especially those that my niece has dubbed "stinky cheeses". Somehow, the stinkier the better!

(image from www.channel4.com)

On this day, it only seems fitting to share a cheese fondue recipe. I conjure up an image of a cold winter evening, a fire glowing in the fireplace and dipping crusty bread into a warm and silky fondue. In the mood now, too? Here is my favorite cheese fondue recipe, courtesy of www.Epicurious.com.

Three-Cheese Fondue with Champagne
Bon Appétit February 2001

Yield: Makes 2 servings

Ingredients:

4 teaspoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 1/4 cups dry (brut) Champagne
1 large shallot, chopped
2 cups coarsely grated Gruyère cheese (about 7 ounces)
1 1/3 cups coarsely grated Emmenthal cheese (about 5 ounces)
1/2 cup diced rindless Brie or Camembert cheese (about 3 ounces)
Generous pinch of ground nutmeg
Pinch of ground white pepper
1 French-bread baguette, crust left on, bread cut into 1-inch cubes

Preparation:

Stir cornstarch and lemon juice in small bowl until cornstarch dissolves; set aside. Combine Champagne and shallot in fondue pot or heavy medium saucepan; simmer over medium heat 2 minutes. Remove pot from heat. Add all cheeses and stir to combine. Stir in cornstarch mixture. Return fondue pot to medium heat and stir until cheeses are melted and smooth and fondue thickens and boils, about 12 minutes. Season fondue with nutmeg and white pepper. Place over candle or canned heat burner to keep warm. Serve with bread cubes.


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Today is National Buttercrunch Day!

Today is National Buttercrunch (Butter Crunch) Day! My first thought...what are we celebrating here? The the sweet treat, or the lettuce? I decided I would opt to believe that this is an homage to the Butter Crunch candy. My sincere apologies to those who had wished it was National Buttercrunch Lettuce Day!

(image courtesy of candyaddict.com)

Here is a yummy recipe to make Buttercrunch at home from www.Cooks.com.

BUTTERCRUNCH

Ingredients:

1 c. butter
1 1/3 c. sugar
3 tbsp. water
1 tbsp. light corn syrup
1/3 c. chopped toasted blanched almonds
1/2 c. semi-sweet chocolate pieces
1/4 c. finely chopped blanched almonds

Preparation:

In a 2 quart non-stick saucepan, melt butter. Add sugar and stir until dissolved. Stir in water and corn syrup. Cook over medium low heat, stirring occasionally until candy thermometer reaches 300 degrees. Remove from heat. Stir in toasted almonds. Quickly pour mixture onto a lightly buttered non-stick baking sheet. Spread mixture edges of sheet. Let cool slightly. When candy begins to set, sprinkle with chocolate chips. When chocolate softens, spread in a thin layer. Sprinkle with untoasted almonds. Cool completely before breaking up.

I also thought it might be nice to celebrate two special days in one, National Popcorn Day AND National Buttercrunch Day with this recipe from www.FoodNetwork.com!

Macadamia Butter Crunch Popcorn
Recipe courtesy Popcorn Palace

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Ingredients:

12 cups popped popcorn
3 cups whole macadamia nuts
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F.

Divide the popcorn and nuts between 2 ungreased 13 by 9-inch rectangular pans. Make sure the popcorn and nuts are evenly mixed.

In a medium saucepan, cook the brown sugar, butter, corn syrup, and salt over medium heat, stirring constantly until bubbly around the edges. Continue cooking for 5 more minutes, and then remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the baking soda until foamy. Pour the mixture over the popcorn and nuts, stirring until the corn is well coated. Bake, uncovered, for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes.


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Are you a caterer, personal chef or restaurant and want to be part of the Jet-Chef.com success? Log on to Jet-Chef.com and start your listing today with a FREE, NO OBLIGATION 6-month membership! Contact us via email at info@imaiusa.com or call us toll-free at 1-877-774-1255.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Today is National Popcorn Day!

Get your microwaves ready...Today is National Popcorn Day! I am a HUGE fan of microwave popcorn, especially those little single serve packs that make for a great snack. I also love to doctor up microwave popcorn, adding Parmesan cheese, Taco seasonings and more.

(image from www.peoriadefense.com)

Even better than microwave popcorn, however, is a childhood favorite of mine...Jiffy Pop Popcorn! Here is a walk down memory lane for some of us, courtesy of YouTube:



One serious weakness for me is the sweet/salty combination of Caramel Corn. Here is my favorite recipe for Caramel Corn, from www.Epicurious.com:

Caramel Corn Clusters
Gourmet September 2004

Yield: Makes about 12 cups
Active time: 20 min
Total time: 1 hr

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/3 cup popcorn kernels
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
11/2 cups packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup salted peanuts (5 oz)

Special equipment: a candy thermometer

Preparation:

Heat oil with 3 kernels in a 3-quart heavy saucepan, covered, over moderate heat until 1 or 2 kernels pop. Remove lid and quickly add remaining kernels, then cook, covered, shaking pan frequently, until kernels stop popping, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and uncover.

Line bottom of a large shallow baking pan with foil. Lightly oil foil. Melt butter in a 6-quart heavy pot over moderate heat. Add brown sugar and corn syrup and bring to a boil over moderate heat, stirring, then boil, without stirring, until syrup registers 300°F on thermometer, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove pot from heat.

Using a wooden spoon or a heatproof spatula, stir salt and baking soda into syrup, then quickly stir in peanuts and popcorn to coat. Immediately spread mixture in baking pan as thinly and evenly as possible. Cool completely, then break into bite-size pieces.


Visit Jet-Chef.com to find a caterer, personal chef or restaurant for your special meal or occasion!

Are you a caterer, personal chef or restaurant and want to be part of the Jet-Chef.com success? Log on to Jet-Chef.com and start your listing today with a FREE, NO OBLIGATION 6-month membership! Contact us via email at info@imaiusa.com or call us toll-free at 1-877-774-1255.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Today is Peking Duck Day!

Today is Peking Duck Day! According to Wikipedia, "Peking Duck, or Peking Roast Duck is a famous duck dish from Beijing that has been prepared since the imperial era, and is now considered one of China's national foods". I have to admit, my favorite part is always that perfect, crispy skin! Yum!

(image from www.hawaiimagazine.com)

I always imagined that it would be quite a complex recipe and process to prepare Peking Duck, however, I found this recipe on About.com that sounds deliciously easy to prepare Peking Duck at home! Enjoy!

Peking Duck
By Rhonda Parkinson, About.com

Prep Time: 6 hours, 00 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hours, 10 minutes

Ingredients:

One 5 to 6 pound duck
8 cups water
1 slice ginger
1 scallion, cut into halves
3 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 tablespoon sherry
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch, dissolved in 3 tablespoons water
Scallions for garnish

Preparation:

Clean duck. Wipe dry and tie string around neck.
Hang duck in cool, windy place 4 hours.
Fill large wok with water. Bring to boil. Add ginger, scallion, honey, vinegar, and sherry. Bring to boil. Pour in dissolved cornstarch. Stir constantly.
Place duck in large strainer above larger bowl. Scoop boiling mixture all over duck for about 10 minutes.
Hang duck again in cool, windy place for 6 hours until thoroughly dry.
Place duck breast side up on a greased rack in oven preheated to 350 degrees. Set a pan filled with 2 inches of water in bottom of oven.
(This is for drippings). Roast 30 minutes.
Turn duck and roast 30 minutes more. Turn breast side up again. Roast 10 minutes more.
Use sharp knife to cut off crispy skin. Serve meat and skin immediately on a prewarmed dish.
The duck is eaten hot with hoisin sauce rolled in Mandarin Crepes (also known as "Chinese Pancakes"). Garnish with scallion flowerets.
Serves 4 to 6.


Visit Jet-Chef.com to find a caterer, personal chef or restaurant for your special meal or occasion!

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Saturday, January 17, 2009

Today is Hot Buttered Rum Day!

Today is officially Hot Buttered Rum Day! This sounds like a wonderful drink to sip by a warm, crackling fire on a cold, blustery winter day. Now, only if this Southern California weather would cooperate so I could savor one in that manner!

(image from www.cocktailatlas.com)

Here is a classic recipe for Hot Buttered Rum from www.Epicurious.com that sounds fantastic! As with any alcoholic drink, Jet-Chef urges moderation and that if you enjoy this out with friends, please select a designated driver!

Hot Buttered Rum
House & Garden Drink Guide November 1973

Yield: Serves 1

Ingredients:

2 or 3 ounces dark rum
Twist lemon peel
Stick cinnamon
2 cloves
Sweet cider or water
1 tablespoon sweet butter
Nutmeg

Preparation:

Put the rum, lemon peel, cinnamon and cloves in a pewter tankard or any heavy 12-ounce mug that has been rinsed in very hot water to warm it. Heat the cider or water to the boiling point and pour into the spiced rum. Add the pat of butter and stir well. Grate a little nutmeg on top. A cube of sugar may be added as well.


Visit Jet-Chef.com to find a caterer, personal chef or restaurant for your special meal or occasion!

Are you a caterer, personal chef or restaurant and want to be part of the Jet-Chef.com success? Log on to Jet-Chef.com and start your listing today with a FREE, NO OBLIGATION 6-month membership! Contact us via email at info@imaiusa.com or call us toll-free at 1-877-774-1255.

Jet-Chef.com Member Spotlight: Quince

Traveling to beautiful Vancouver, British Columbia? Visit Quince, the Jet-Chef.com Spotlight Member!


Quince offers a vast array of services and products for your every culinary passion and desire:


Quince Express: Quince Express offers restaurant quality food at home, without the cost or hassle of going out. Pick-up Quince Express vacuum packed meals for your special dinner events or weekend get aways. Quince is always responding to the seasons and the best of what is available; Quince has an ever changing menu which is cooked to perfection. Designed for the busy home cook, the one step dinner can be purchased or in addition there are many à la carte items to select from, including hors d’oeuvre and dessert. Here are just a few specialties you can savor:


Soups: Organic Chicken Noodle Soup, Hot & Sour Duck Soup, Garam Marsala, just to name a few.
Comfort Foods: Try our Beef Bourguignon or Red Wine Braised Lamb Shanks, with Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Roasted Root Vegetables - vacuum packed, ready to heat and serve.
Dessert: Pick up our Single Malt Scotch Dark Chocolate Pudding or Dark Chocolate Mousse, and add some Griottes a la Liqueur (cherries in Kirsch).
Quince
Bread & Baked Goods: Go to our weekly schedule of baked goods. Our killer baguettes and Habanero Bread Sticks are always available, as is our Country Rye. And don't forget to look in our freezer for our U-Bake Croissants and Pain au Chocolat, great for lazy Sunday mornings at home.
Quince Jelly: This versatile condiment is locally grown and made, and a comfort in hot and cold weather. True to her much loved grandmother's recipe, Chef Andrea makes her jelly using the organic quinces she grows in her own garden. Delicious on scones, croissants, as part of a marinade, or as an accompaniment for roast pork, goose or turkey, Quince Jelly makes a great gift.


Quince Cafe: Come in and warm yourself with a soup and panini, or try their hot lunch special. Pop in for a cappuccino or delicious hot chocolate made with pure dark couverture french cocolate pestels and full cream milk.


Catering by Quince: Quince also offer a full range of catering options for your corporate or private events. From platters for pick up to full service catering, they offer the same beautiful hand made cuisine, using only the freshest and most natural ingredients. Consider the following:

Food and Wine Pairing Evenings
Special Brunches
Summer Wine Dinners
Holiday Cocktail Parties
Memorable Birthday Parties
Glorious Weddings
Romantic Anniversaries


Furthermore, Quince's front gallery is a perfect venue for your:

Private & Corporate Events
Food and Wine Pairing Events
Cocktail Functions and Dinners



Quince Studio: Cooking Classes: Quince is committed to celebrating the bounty of nature through our various scheduled and private cooking classes. The classes are headed by some of this city's finest chefs, and held in the Studio - the spacious, state-of-the-art kitchen.

Whether you choose to come to one class, join the 9 Day Basics program, or book a private class with friends, family or colleagues, Quince's goal is to empower you to create delicious and beautiful dishes while having a great time. And just for good measure, you'll enjoy the fruits of your labour at our beautiful harvest table in Quince's front gallery.

Quince's Vancouver Restaurant series continues with Pasta Making with Chef Adam Pegg from La Quercia on January 26, and a still to be scheduled class by Vikram Vij from Vij's, described by the New York Times as "easily among the finest Indian restaurants in the world.

The chef behind Quince is Andrea Jefferson. Andrea is the Chef, Sommelier and Instructor at Quince. Andrea taught professional and serious amateur cooking at Dubrulle Culinary Institute for 6 years. Prior to teaching she was the sous-chef at The Metropolitan Hotel.


Visit Jet-Chef.com to find a caterer, personal chef or restaurant for your special meal or occasion!

Are you a caterer, personal chef or restaurant and want to be part of the Jet-Chef.com success? Log on to Jet-Chef.com and start your listing today with a FREE, NO OBLIGATION 6-month membership! Contact us via email at info@imaiusa.com or call us toll-free at 1-877-774-1255.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Today is National Fig Newton Day!

Today is National Fig Newton Day! Here are some interesting facts about Fig Newtons, courtesy of www.About.com:



* Charles M. Roser won fame for creating the Fig Newton recipe before selling it to the Kennedy Biscuit Works (later called Nabisco).

* A Fig Newton is a soft cookie filled with fig jam. A machine invented in 1891 made the mass production of Fig Newtons possible.

* James Henry Mitchell invented a machine which worked like a funnel within a funnel; the inside funnel supplied jam, while the outside funnel pumped out the dough. The Kennedy Biscuit Works used Mitchell's invention to mass-produce the first Fig Newton Cookies in 1891.

* Originally, the Fig Newton was just called the Newton. There is an old rumor that James Henry Mitchell, the funnel machine's inventor, named the cookies after that great physicist, Sir Isaac Newton, but that was just a rumor. The cookies were named after the Massachusetts town of Newton.

Here is a recipe from www.RecipeZaar.com to make your very own Fig Newtons at home!

Fig Newtons (Homemade)
By: Spyder-man
Aug 23, 2005

Yield: 1 dozen

Ingredients:

1 lb dried fig or 2 lbs fresh figs
1 cup sugar
1 cup water (1 c. for dried figs, 1/2 c. for fresh)
1/2 cup butter, room temp
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 tablespoon cream or milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 3/4 cups flour

Directions:

Dice figs, soak in water 1 hour.

Add sugar & cook on medium heat until of thin jam consistency.

Beat sugar, butter, egg, milk & vanilla until well blended.

Add dry ingredients.

Mix well and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Place 1/2 on well floured dough cloth; knead about 6 times.

Roll out to 1/4" thick. Line 13 x 9" glass baking dish; cover with figs.

Roll remaining dough, cover figs. Cook at 350° for 30 minutes.

Let cool and cut into squares. Depending on the size you cut you can get a couple dozen cookies.



Visit Jet-Chef.com to find a caterer, personal chef or restaurant for your special meal or occasion!

Are you a caterer, personal chef or restaurant and want to be part of the Jet-Chef.com success? Log on to Jet-Chef.com and start your listing today with a FREE, NO OBLIGATION 6-month membership! Contact us via email at info@imaiusa.com or call us toll-free at 1-877-774-1255.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Today is Strawberry Ice Cream Day!

Today is Strawberry Ice Cream Day! While many readers are dealing with some seriously cold weather and might not have a craving for Strawberry Ice Cream, I hope that the following recipe from www.Epicurious.com inspires you to celebrate this day, regardless of the temperature outside!

(image from www.epicurious.com, photo by: Mark Thomas)

Triple-Chocolate Cookie and Strawberry Ice Cream Sandwiches

Bon Appétit, July 2005
by chef Tom Douglas

Yield: Makes 8

Bake and freeze the Triple-Chocolate Cookies a day before filling them with ice cream. For convenience, you can make the homemade ice cream up to three days in advance. Purchased strawberry ice cream (softened slightly at room temperature until spreadable) also works in these sandwiches.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups chopped fresh strawberries
1/3 cup plus 1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup

1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup whole milk
4 large egg yolks
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

16 frozen Triple-Chocolate Cookies (recipes follows!)

Preparation:

Combine strawberries, 1/3 cup sugar, and corn syrup in medium bowl. Using potato masher, mash until puree forms; let stand 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring cream, milk, and remaining 1/4 cup sugar to simmer in heavy medium saucepan, stirring until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat. Using electric mixer, beat yolks in medium bowl until thick and pale yellow, about 3 minutes. Gradually beat in hot cream mixture. Return mixture to saucepan. Stir over medium heat until custard thickens and forms path on back of spoon when finger is drawn across, about 4 minutes (do not boil). Strain custard into large bowl. Cool. Stir in strawberry mixture and vanilla. Cover and refrigerate custard until cold, at least 3 hours and up to 1 day.

Process custard in ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions. Transfer ice cream to container; cover and freeze until firm, at least 6 hours. (Can be prepared 3 days ahead. Keep frozen.)

Place 1 frozen Triple-Chocolate Cookie flat side up on work surface. Place 1/2 cup ice cream atop cookie. Using offset spatula or butter knife, gently spread ice cream to cover cookie; top with another cookie, flat side down, and press gently to adhere. Repeat with remaining ice cream and cookies, making 8 ice cream sandwiches total. Wrap and freeze until firm, at least 4 hours or overnight. Let ice cream sandwiches stand at room temperature 5 minutes before serving.

Triple-Chocolate Cookies

Bon Appétit, July 2005
by chef Tom Douglas

Yield: Makes about 16

Ingredients:

10 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup plus 2 teaspoons all purpose flour
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
3 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
6 ounces (1 cup) semisweet chocolate chips

Preparation:

Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F. Line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Stir chopped chocolate in top of double boiler set over simmering water until melted and smooth; remove from over water. Cool melted chocolate 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, sift flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt into medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat sugar and butter in another medium bowl until crumbly. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Continue to beat until mixture is light, pale, and creamy, about 5 minutes. Add lukewarm melted chocolate and vanilla and beat just until blended. Fold in dry ingredients, then chocolate chips.

Drop chocolate cookie batter by 1/4 cupfuls onto prepared baking sheets, spacing 2 inches apart. Bake cookies, 1 baking sheet at a time, until tops are evenly cracked but cookies are not yet firm to touch, about 16 minutes. Cool cookies completely on baking sheets. Using metal spatula, carefully transfer 4 cookies to each of 4 large resealable plastic bags, arranging in single layer. Freeze cookies overnight. (Can be made 3 days ahead. Keep frozen.)



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Are you a caterer, personal chef or restaurant and want to be part of the Jet-Chef.com success? Log on to Jet-Chef.com and start your listing today with a FREE, NO OBLIGATION 6-month membership! Contact us via email at info@imaiusa.com or call us toll-free at 1-877-774-1255.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Jet-Chef.com Spotlight Member: Meals on Heels

Jet-Chef.com shines their spotlight on one of its members: Meals on Heels!



Meals on Heels is the Premier Personal Chef Delivery Service on the Main Line in Philadelphia Pennsylvania!

Meals on Heels caters to the needs of those on ‘special diets’. Whether you are on Weight Watchers or another commercial diet, are a Vegetarian/Vegan, or have a dietary issue such as Celiac Disease, or Diabetes, Meals on Heels will make the food that’s right for you.

With Meals on Heels as your personal chef:

· They will create an individualized menu based on your personal tastes and needs

· You choose the entrées you would like to have delivered to you

· All entrées are packaged in microwave safe containers and labeled with all of the nutrition information and heating instructions

· Everything is prepared right in their own commercial kitchen

· Entrées will be delivered conveniently right to your home or office!

Catering menus and options are also available including fantastic hors d'oeuvres, handcrafted soups, pasta, sandwiches, wraps, specialty salads, and so much more. Meals on Heels would be happy to honor any special requests for items that you do not already see on their catering menu.

The chef behind Meals on Heels, Lila Jai, grew up in her grandmother’s kitchen and was immersed at a very young age in the art of cooking. She apprenticed with her uncle, who was a locally renowned chef and owned a successful gourmet catering business. She took her love and passion for cooking with her when she went off to college. Even though she was studying to become a behavioral therapist, she fantasized about attending culinary school and would cook for her whole floor of dorm-mates. She eventually combined her love of cooking with her humanitarian spirit and began volunteering in the kitchen at Project Home, an organization in Philadelphia that assists individuals suffering from homelessness. After 5 years of experience working with special needs children as a Behavioral Therapist, Lila decided to resign from the human services field and once again began to dream about what it might be like to become a chef.

Chef Lila Jai is now working on her Master’s Degree in Holistic Nutrition and is attending classes at the Restaurant School. She is finally manifesting her dreams into a passionate culinary reality and has started her own personal chef business. Her creative and health conscious meals are enjoyed by many, especially catering to the needs of clients on special diets (including Weight Watchers, Specific Carbohydrate Diet, and those with Celiac Disease).

Contact Meals on Heels today for your Personal Chef and Catering Services in the Philadelphia area!



Visit Jet-Chef.com to find a caterer, personal chef or restaurant for your special meal or occasion!

Are you a caterer, personal chef or restaurant and want to be part of the Jet-Chef.com success? Log on to Jet-Chef.com and start your listing today with a FREE, NO OBLIGATION 6-month membership! Contact us via email at info@imaiusa.com or call us toll-free at 1-877-774-1255.

Today is National Hot Pastrami Sandwich Day!

Today is National Hot Pastrami Sandwich Day! Not that I need a national food holiday as an excuse to savor one of my favorite sandwiches, as I do love me a great hot pastrami sandwich!

(image from www.countryliving.com)

Here is an easy way to make a fantastic hot pastrami sandwich, courtesy of Emeril Lagasse and www.FoodNetwork.com!

Emeril's Favorite Pastrami Sandwich

Ingredients
6 ounces sliced pastrami
2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
4 ounces beer
3 slices onion, rings intact
1 tablespoon oil
Salt and pepper
2 slices rye bread or thick crusty brown bread

Directions
Preheat a grill. Season onions with salt and pepper and brush with oil. In a small saucepan combine beer and mustard and bring to a boil. Add pastrami and simmer for 3 minutes. Grill onions on both sides and toast bread on a cooler part of the grill. When all ingredients are heated, prepare sandwich.

Feeling like you want to make your own pastrami as well? Here is a recipe from www.CountryLiving.com to make Hot Steamed Pastrami, which you could certainly use in the above recipe, or to design your own sandwich creation!

Hot Steamed Pastrami

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon(s) whole coriander seeds, toasted
2 teaspoon(s) whole allspice
2 bay leaves
1/4 teaspoon(s) caraway seed
1 tablespoon(s) yellow mustard seeds
2 tablespoon(s) cracked black pepper
1/2 teaspoon(s) ground ginger
1 teaspoon(s) garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon(s) salt
3 1/2 pound(s) whole corned beef, rinsed and patted dry

Preparation:

Fill a large stockpot, fitted with a steam basket, with water to about 1 inch below the level of the steam basket. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium. Coarsely grind the coriander seed, allspice, bay leaves, caraway, and mustard seeds using an electric spice grinder or a mortar and pestle, and mix with the cracked black pepper, ginger, garlic powder, and salt. Press onto the entire surface of the corned beef. Set the beef in the steam basket, cover, and steam over medium-low heat until fork tender -- 3 1/2 to 4 hours. Carefully add water as needed to maintain level. Transfer the pastrami from the pot to a cutting board. Let the meat rest for 30 minutes before slicing thinly. Serve in sandwiches or alone with vegetables.



Visit Jet-Chef.com to find a caterer, personal chef or restaurant for your special meal or occasion!

Are you a caterer, personal chef or restaurant and want to be part of the Jet-Chef.com success? Log on to Jet-Chef.com and start your listing today with a FREE, NO OBLIGATION 6-month membership! Contact us via email at info@imaiusa.com or call us toll-free at 1-877-774-1255.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Today is National Peach Melba Day!

Today is National Peach Melba Day! Yummmm...what a sweet day to celebrate!

(image from www.bbcgoodfood.com)

According to Wikipedia, "The Peach Melba is a classic dessert, invented in 1892 or 1893 by the French chef Auguste Escoffier at the Savoy Hotel, London to honor the Australian soprano, Dame Nellie Melba (1861 - 1931). It combines two favorite summer fruits: peaches and raspberry sauce accompanying vanilla ice cream." Definitely a few of my favorite things!

Here is my favorite recipe for Peach Melba from www.Epicurious.com. Enjoy!

Peches Melba
Gourmet, September 2005

Yield: Makes 6 servings
Active time: 30 min
Total time: 2 hr (includes cooling)

The leftover peach-poaching liquid makes a delicious sweetener for iced tea.

Ingredients:

For peaches
6 medium firm-ripe peaches (2 1/4 lb)
1 1/3 cups sugar
2 cups water
1 (1-inch) piece vanilla bean

For raspberry sauce
1 (12-oz) package frozen raspberries (not in syrup), thawed
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

Accompaniment: 2 pt superpremium vanilla ice cream

Preparation:

Poach peaches:
Cut a shallow X in bottom of each peach with a sharp paring knife and immerse fruit in a 4-quart heavy pot (preferably wide) of boiling water 30 seconds, then transfer with a slotted spoon to a bowl of ice and cold water to stop cooking. Transfer peaches to a cutting board and peel, starting with cut end, then cut in half, discarding pits.

Combine sugar and water in cleaned pot. Halve vanilla bean lengthwise with a paring knife and scrape seeds into pot, then add pod and bring mixture to a boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Add peaches, pitted sides down, to sugar syrup, then reduce heat and poach, covered, at a bare simmer 6 minutes. Turn peaches over and continue to poach, covered, until tender, 5 to 6 minutes more.

Cool peaches in poaching liquid in pot, uncovered, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Make raspberry sauce while peaches cool:
Force raspberries through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl, pressing hard on solids.

Combine sugar and water in a small heavy saucepan. Cover pan (so condensation will wash any sugar crystals down side of pan) and bring to a boil, then remove lid and boil 2 minutes.

Immediately stir sugar syrup into raspberry purée and cool to room temperature, about 1 hour. Stir in lemon juice. 3Serve peaches over ice cream and drizzled with sauce.

Cooks' note:
Peaches can be poached and cooled 1 day ahead, then chilled, covered.



Visit Jet-Chef.com to find a caterer, personal chef or restaurant for your special meal or occasion!

Are you a caterer, personal chef or restaurant and want to be part of the Jet-Chef.com success? Log on to Jet-Chef.com and start your listing today with a FREE, NO OBLIGATION 6-month membership! Contact us via email at info@imaiusa.com or call us toll-free at 1-877-774-1255.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Today is Curried Chicken Day!

Today is Curried Chicken Day! I recently blogged about curry on Jet-Chef, in a spotlight masala, one of the flavor trends for 2009. You can reference that blog post here:

http://jet-chef.blogspot.com/2008/12/flavor-trends-for-2009-masala.html

(image from www.azcentral.com)

Here is a great video tutorial on how to make Curried Chicken from YouTube. I really enjoy video cooking tutorials, as it is such a great visual reference when trying a new recipe or cuisine!



One of my favorite ways to enjoy Curried Chicken is as a salad. This recipe from www.Epicurious.com can also be used to make amazing Curried Chicken sandwiches using pita bread or any other bread to your liking!

Curried Chicken Salad
Gourmet June 2002

Yield: Makes 6 servings
Active time: 25 minutes
Total time: 35 minutes

Ingredients:

1 3/4 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 lb skinless boneless chicken breast
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup plain yogurt
5 teaspoons curry powder
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon honey
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 medium red onion, chopped (1 cup)
1 firm-ripe mango (3/4 pound), peeled, pitted, and chopped
1 cup red seedless grapes (5 ounces), halved
1/2 cup salted roasted cashews, coarsely chopped

Preparation:

Bring 4 cups water to a simmer with chicken broth in a 2- to 3-quart saucepan. Add chicken and simmer, uncovered, 6 minutes. Remove pan from heat and cover, then let stand until chicken is cooked through, about 15 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate and cool 10 minutes. Chop into 1/2-inch pieces.

While chicken is cooling, whisk together mayonnaise, yogurt, curry, lime juice, honey, ginger, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Add chicken, onion, mango, grapes, and cashews and stir gently to combine.



Visit Jet-Chef.com to find a caterer, personal chef or restaurant for your special meal or occasion!

Are you a caterer, personal chef or restaurant and want to be part of the Jet-Chef.com success? Log on to Jet-Chef.com and start your listing today with a FREE, NO OBLIGATION 6-month membership! Contact us via email at info@imaiusa.com or call us toll-free at 1-877-774-1255.