Sunday, April 7, 2013
My family made a ham for Easter. After a couple days of fried ham and ham sandwiches we were about done. My mother kept telling me to make fried rice, so I did. Then she asked why I was making fried rice.
So I decided to make a batch to share with friends. It's a great dish to use up leftover meat and vegetables. I searched the food sites for a few recipes but wound up doing my own thing. Partially inspired by Jean George's ginger fried rice, I took what should be a quick dinner and broke it down into multiple steps, first crisping up finely diced ginger and garlic in oil, then browning the leftover chopped up ham with a small diced onion and frozen peas, and setting them all aside before adding back to the rice and scrambled eggs.
Not having a full time job at the moment, I have the luxury of time to cook a dish that takes all day, and even it doesn't, it has been therapeutic to take a simple dish and focus on preparing each ingredient to bring out as much flavor as possible. Browning any of the ingredients definitely helps. I'd like to think that's sort of French of me.
Monday, April 1, 2013
The packaging for the pan had a recipe on the back for the little cakes, but I was skeptical. Who tested it? I found a few recipes on the Food Network site, and was tempted to choose the easiest one. But felt for my first time (and Valentine's Day), I should make them right. So Julia Child it is. I used the recipe as it was posted from the blog hungry sofia.
I liked not having to use a mixer (too many pieces to wash). A wooden spoon will do. And it's good exercise. There are a few more steps than just tossing everything into a bowl and stirring, but it wouldn't be French if it was haphazard like that. Browning the butter and adding lemon zest are two things I think are necessary to make them extra special. They baked with their signature little "hump" on top, and the edges browned nicely. Not bad, for my first try.
Tuesday, February 5, 2013
Come on. Just read the title and you know this has to be good. Unless you have some bizarre hatred of eggs. Or can't eat bacon. I'm not a big mayo fan - I've seen too many gloppy mayo-laden potato salads or this newish trend at Chinese banquets - fruit salad with lobster and mayo. Like really. Why would you do that? But you can't make deviled eggs without mayo. And this recipe from Bon Apetit doesn't go overboard. I made these for Christmas and the past weekend for the Superbowl, and didn't get any complaints. The dijon mustard gives them a tangy sweetness, the bacon fat a smooth richness and I added some cayenne or hot paprika for heat. Not your everyday bacon and eggs.
Thursday, January 24, 2013
Of course, the healthy eating resolution went right out the window the next day when we wanted burgers. I've made fancy asian-style chicken burgers and italian-style turkey burgers, but never really perfected the classic beef burger. For a dish that is seemingly so simple, it was always something I'd order outside. I think, besides good ingredients, it's much more about the technique than the crazy toppings all these new places are advertising. It feels like every other week there's a new burger joint opening in my neighborhood - all claiming to be the best and "most famous." But I think the best may be this one from Julia Child.
The key is sautéing shallots in a little butter and mixing that into the ground beef. For condiments, we kept it simple with American cheese (2 slices), pickles and some more of that whole grain mustard I'm growing very fond of. And I mustn't forget to mention the potato rolls. YUM.
Monday, January 21, 2013
The salmon was almost ridiculously easy. For two, I bought 3/4lb fresh salmon. Season with salt and pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice. Then make small cuts throughout the fish and insert thin slices of garlic. Spread a good whole grain mustard over the top and drizzle with olive oil. Bake in a preheated oven at 375 degrees for about 15-20 minutes until the center is opaque.
3/4 lb salmon
salt and pepper to taste
2 cloves or garlic
whole grain mustard