Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Buying and storing tips:Quality mussels are easy to recognize. Fresh mussels smell clean, like the ocean, and the shells of live mussels are tightly closed. If the mussel is slightly open (no more than 1/4-inch), tap the shell, and a healthy mussel will close it within 30 seconds. Refrigerate mussels in a bowl, and cover with a damp towel. Never store mussels in water or in an airtight container—either method will kill them. Mussels should be cooked as soon as possible, but keep for up to a week. To thaw, place mussels in refrigerator overnight. To thaw more quickly, wrap mussels in waterproof plastic and place in a sink with cool running water, allowing about 30 minutes per pound.
Additional Recipe I use more often than not:
2 cloves garlic
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for the bread
2 shallots, coarsely chopped
2 cups white wine
2 pounds cultivated mussels, scrubbed
2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon leaves
1 baguette, halved lengthwises
Saturday, July 10, 2010
It starts in the backyard in our Veggie and Herb gardens. this year we decided to grow LOTS of lettuce, Spinach, and Arugula. Together in a salad they come combine nicely. I would suggest not to overkill with the Arugula, because they can be bitter and overwhelming. the following is the general amounts I recommend when making the salad.
1 part lettuce
1 part spinach
1/4 part Arugula
Vola!!! Home Grown Salad!
Now, I would like to admit i cook my ribs from scratch but i don't. the Kids and us love Lloyd BBQ Ribs that we get from our local store. They are good and simple to cook. The kids eat them up and leave the hot dogs on the plate. These ribs are pre-cooked and packages with there own BBQ sauce. The meat just falls of the bone and if your carefull not to overcook them as you bring them up to temperature, the meat stay wonderfully moist.
Here are a few pictures after I have pulled them off the grill and then cut them up for the kids.
and of course no dinner would be complete without some fresh corn on the cob
So, as you can see, simple. The kids love this meal and it give Mom and Dad a break from the kid foods the sometimes dominate the kitchen table at our house.
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
simply season scallops with Kosher Salt
Step 2 Prepping the Pan
Heat a nonstick saute pan over a high heat, and add a tablespoon of clarified butter (or raw, unsalted butter) and a tablespoon of vegetable oil. The oil/butter mixture needs to be very hot before you add the scallops — you should actually see just the tiniest bit of smoke
Step 3 Applying the Heat
Place the scallops flat-side down in the hot pan. Don't overcrowd the pan, or you'll lower the pan temperature, causing the scallops to be steamed rather than seared.
Another important tip: Once you've placed the scallops in the pan, DON'T TOUCH THEM! If you give in to the temptation to move the scallops around the pan, all you'll be doing is preventing them from forming the nice brown crust that you want. Be strong! Resist the URGE!Because of variation in scallop thickness, pan temperatures and so on, it's not easy to pinpoint an exact cooking time. But after a couple of minutes, it's OK to peek underneath. If you see a nice, caramel-colored crust on the underside, they're ready to flip.
One of the easiest things in the world to do is to overcook scallops, so be very careful here. The scallops should be removed from the pan and served while their centers are still slightly translucent (you can check this by viewing them from the side), because they'll continue to cook after you take them off the heat.
They should still be quite springy if you press them with your thumb. If they are very firm or stiff, they're already overcooked.
Step 5 Service
If you like, you can melt a bit more butter in the pan and drizzle it across the scallops right before service
There are a few simple things you can do to add flavor. For instance on Step 1 wrap the scallops in Pancetta before going to step 2. I usually tuck the ends of the pancetta into the fold to make them stay during cooking, but if you would rather not you can pin them "very gently" with a toothpick or Sprig of thyme.
There are simply thousands of things you can do with this basic recipe.
lets start with the coffee. After all, it is the base of your delight. Coffee isn't cheap, but if you buy cheap coffee, you get the same result. So, rule of thumb, you get what you pay for. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not a coffee snob and we tend to try and buy coffee that's on sale. We try to stear clear of the common Coffee's that we jokingly refer to as "Smokers Coffee" i.e Folgers, Maxwell House etc. Since Starbucks is readily in most stores we shoot for that as our coffee of choice when on sale. I have liked Starbucks for some years and of all the hundred of roasts I have tried, I enjoy "Caffe Verona" as and overall choice.
So with that choice in mind, just a choice of Mug is next. I prefer a large mug but my mug of choice are the Starbucks City mugs that I collect. They are About 18 - 20 fluid oz. I like it to be Porcelain, which is pretty standard, since Porcelain holds heat fairly well. I also like it to have an over sized handle. nothing is more annoying than those little finger hole handles that you sometimes get your finger stuck in or snagged when setting down your cup, then spilling you coffee . That just ruins the moment!
Sugar. This should always complement, never overpower, your coffee. NEVER EVER use Substitute sugars. You might as well just lick a cactus if you plan to use those, in my humble opinion. Shoot for your sugar of choice. Like Salt, Sugar is meant to be used as and enhancer, not a flavor for your coffee. My sugar of choice is Hawaiian Pure Cain.