Saturday, February 26, 2011

Valentine's Day Feast 2: Bellinis, Lobster, Garlic Herb Lemon Butter and Baby Potatoes

I've made lobster once before but only the tail and it was previously frozen. Still really delicious but not quite the same as fresh live lobster, right? Right. So since I now know that Crowfoot has that seafood place, North Sea Fish Market, I figured it'd be better to buy lobster over there than at Superstore. So just as I remembered, $20 per 1.2 lb lobster. Yeah, expensive, but it's lobster, what did you expect. We don't live close enough to the shore to get fresh lobster for cheap. The guy at the Fish Market place, BTW - again, super nice and helpful, even gave us an ice-pack to go with the lobsters.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Valentine's Day Feast 1: French Onion Soup

A little preview of my Valentine's day menu:

Home made bellinis and a large ramekin of French onion soup to start
Boiled whole lobster with garlic herb lemon butter and baby potatoes,
Vanilla cheese cake topped with fresh fruit with cinnamon blueberry and mango honey cayenne coulis

What's better than French onion soup? You just can't go wrong with a piece of buttery toast with amazing melted Gruyère on top of a rich broth with caramelized onions. I've made French onion soup once before and it was, well, forgettable. This time, I think I found a keeper on Food Network!

Let me start by saying that Swiss Gruyère is mofuggin expensive. You may be tempted to buy smoked Gruyère instead, but don't do it - it's just not gonna be the same. I also discovered that I LOVE Swiss Gruyère. If you're tight on cash and Gruyère just seems like a luxury, use mozzarella or buy a smaller piece of Gruyère and mix with some mozzarella - I did that when I was running out the second $15 piece of Gruyère... Emmenthal should work nicely too.

This recipe is pretty simple to follow. Just be sure not to burn the onions, or you'll ruin the whole thing.

French Onion Soup
At LEAST 6 decent sized servings

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Super Bowl Line Up Part 2: Awesome Banana Split Brownies

Everybody loves brownies. Everybody loves banana bread. This is kind of in the middle. While there's only 1/2 cup banana in the batter, it keeps the brownies extremely moist. These were delicious! Especially with the ganache and marshmallows on top. Totally awesome. I didn't think the steeping of banana in the milk added any flavor to the ganache, maybe it needed more time than it said in the recipe.

Awesome Banana Split Brownies
Makes a 9x9 inch pan

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Super Bowl Line Up Part 1: Wings, Fries, Stuffed Jalapenos

FINALLY! After I took a ton of pictures with my old digital camera, I realized that I couldn't find the USB cord for it. Just bought a card reader today and was able to transfer the photos. I got a bunch of stuff piled up, so expect lots of posts!

Starting with the Super Bowl. We had a few friends come over to watch the game, so I figure I make some stuff. I recently (unintentionally) watched that cooking show with Buddy from Cake Boss. That dude is extremely annoying but the food actually looked pretty good! I looked up the wings recipe on the TLC website - horrible to navigate BTW! Anyways, I found it. I never usually marinade anything, so I tried it. Yeah, it's pretty worth it. Turned out pretty good! Okay so here are the recipes and pictures.

[Marinated Chicken Wings]+[Chipotle Sweet Potato Fries]
Bacon Wrapped Stuffed Jalapenos]

Marinated Chicken Wings
Makes LOTS

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Coming up!

I KNOW! I haven't posted in a while. BUT I do have a bunch of things in store, I just need to get my shizzen together and create the posts. I have...

1. Baked Rainbow Trout

2. Marinated Chicken Wings

3. Chipotle Sweet Potato Fries

4. Stuffed Jalapenos Wrapped in Bacon

5. ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS Banana Split Brownies

Things have piled up... In my defense, the last 4 were from the Super Bowl get-together so it was a lot at once. Also, I started using my other digital camera on my awesome sweet-ass tripod to take better pictures. We'll see how they turned out I guess!!

Now I'm in the works of creating a Valentine's Day menu. I asked Nick what he wanted me to make, and he said "Not biscotti." I've never made biscotti. I'm pretty sure he's never had biscotti. So... biscotti it is! Just kidding. I'm thinkin... Lobster and cheese cake. Can't wait! I don't have much experience with either of those - I made lobster tails once for last year's Valentine's day, I think, and they were broiled so, totally different. Cheese cake I've never made. Should be fun! What sides usually go with lobster? No clue. Will search around.

Take care!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Coconut Date Bread

Maybe if I remembered to use my oven correctly, I wouldn't mess up my end results!!!!! Grrrrr!!! I baked this on "Broil" instead of "Bake" and only realized it after the 1 hour of baking was up and it was sill raw inside. PISSED! It turned out a little drier and denser than it should.

The original recipe was actually just a coconut bread, but I decided to add dates to it, thanks to "The Flavor Bible" :D. I'm actually getting some use out of the books I bought! Dates went beautifully with the coconut bread, I'm just sad I only added 1/2 cup.

I'm gonna start making more "breads" like this - it's super easy and turns out delish. I can make a mean banana bread! But more about that later.

I finally bought an oven thermometer, and guess what? When my oven indicated that it was preheated to 400F, it was at around 200F... And then afterwards, it was only as high as 350F, according to the oven thermometer. This is BS! I can't believe I didn't buy one ages ago. Anyways, totally recommended, the one I bought was $5 at Canadian Tire - I would have gotten a nicer one but that was the only one I found and I was desperate.

Coconut Date Bread
Makes a regular 8x4 inch loaf pan

Russian Style Aspic

Yes, I did it. AND it tastes pretty much like how my grandma made it, just a bit more jiggly. I suspect that's because I didn't reduce the broth enough. Now I have a 9x13 pan full of aspic, and Nick is weirded out by the concept of jellied broth... Once again, I'm left eating the large amount of my creation, even if it's a success. Oh well. I figure, since it's pretty much broth with meat pieces in it, I can make soup out of it or just freeze it.

Russian Style Aspic
I filled a 9x13 inch pan with this, so it's lots

1 600 g pork knuckle
600 g pork meat with bones (I think it was ribs of some kind)
5 bay leaves
8-10 whole black peppers
1 large white onions, quatered
5-6 garlic cloves, finely shopped
2 carrots