Eating the Essence Being.

Random thoughts about food floating out of my head into words.

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Pasta Sauce.

Pasta Sauce can be comprised of almost anything.  I usually associate it with a tomato base.   In my quest to make the perfect pasta sauce, I have tried using can or bottled sauces, tomato paste, and fresh tomatoes.  Yet, my pasta sauce doesn't turn out quite right.  It's either bland or too liquidy.  Today, I chopped up fresh mushrooms, onion, zucchini, and carrots.  The vegetables were cooked with garlic in olive oil and finished with Merlot.  Next, I cooked the diced tomatoes until they wilted, then added parsley,  salt, chili pepper, and fresh basil.  Finally, I mixed in the vegetables.  The sauce topped cheese and spinach ravioli.

Either the pasta or the tomatoes produced water, but my sauce had too much water.  I drained the water from the cooked vegetables, before I cooked the tomatoes, and after I topped the pasta.  The taste was a bit bland.  I believed the chili pepper over powered other flavors.   

Back to the drawing board.  Is there a fool proof pasta recipe?  Can someone please share it?

Sunday, July 25, 2004

Potstickers

Potstickers.  Gyoza.  Dumplings.   Whatever they are called, they are good.  The come in all shapes and sized.  Chinese potstickers are separated into Northern and Southern style.  Northern style has them shaped elongated with meat packed solidly together.  Southern style has them short and plump with a mix of pork and vegetables to leave the meat tender and moist.   My dad makes my favorite kind, the Southern style types.   He uses store bought wrappers then uses a rolling pin to thin them out.  His filling is a mix of pork, green onions, napa, large bak-choy, and eggs.  He seasons it with salt, pepper and a bit of sugar.  Once they are shaped he places them in a pan coated with oil and top with enough water so it covers the potstickers half way.  The water steams them and the oil makes the outside crisp. 

The hot potstickers are delicious eaten by themselves or dipped in the condiment of choice:  chili sauce, Worcester sauce, vinegar, vinegar/soy sauce/chili, or vinegar/soy sauce.

There is no picture because I ate them all before I remembered to take a snapshot.  :(

Saturday, July 24, 2004

Breakfast


Blueberry Muffins Posted by Hello are Mmm...good.  I love the smell of bread baking in the morning so much I woke up early to make muffins.   I used the recipe found in my Le Cordon Bleu Complete Cook.

3 cups self-rising flour
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup fresh or fozen blueberries
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted

1.  Preheat the oven to 425F.  Brush a 12-cup muffin pan with melted buter.  Sift the flours into a large mixing bowl, stir in the sugar and blueberries, and make a well.   Since I used fresh blueberries the muffins did not come out as sweet as the store bought ones.  I added a bit more brown sugar to make it a bit sweeter.   Also, I would sift the brown sugar next time because it came out in huges chunks that I had a hard time blending into the flower.

2.  Wisk the eggs, milk and vanilla together and add to the well in the dry ingredients.  Add the butter, and stir with a metal spoon until just combined.  Do not overmix- the mixture should be lumpy.  I used jumbo eggs because thats all I had, the muffins were light and fluffy.  I would not use eggs smaller than large sized.

3.  Spoon the mixture into the muffin pan, filling each cup to the top.  Though the recipe calls to bake for 30 minutes, mine were done in 20.  Bake until a skewer comes out clean when instered into the center comes out clean.

I enjoyed them with a cup of hot coffee with lots of milk and a bit of sugar.  A wonderful way to spend a Saturday morning.

Thursday, July 22, 2004

Lunch.

Blame a lack of creativity, I couldn't think of a good title for my post.   I made myself a sandwich consisting of cilantro and jalapeno hummus, mild Cheddar, roma tomatoes, and English cucumbers between two slices of three seed sourdough bread.  It went into my stomach before I remembered to take a picture.  It was good, especially the hummus, which I purchased from Trader Joe's.  That store rocks with interesting treats and frozen food.  Here's the recipe:

2 slices of bread
1 slice of cheddar cheese
1/2 roma tomato sliced
2 inches of cucumber sliced
cilantro and jalapeno hummus

Piece the sandwich together in any order then take a huge bite.  It tastes great with a cold lemonade. 



Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Fried chicken.

  
 Posted by Hello

For some reason I was craving fried chicken and I remembered my roommate from college made it for dinner once.  I don't really remember her recipe, so I called her.   While we chatted briefly, I could hear one of her little twin girls crying for her.  My mind started recalling the the number of times I encountered pregnant women or women with small children today.  In the morning, I saw my co-worker who is expecting.  During lunch I went for a walk and saw the same pregnant woman twice.  When I went to the gym (something I don't do often enough), I watched two back to back episodes of Friends with either Rachel or Phoebe in the delivery room.  It seemed to be an omen of sorts when my old college roommate and I talked about people having kids.  Wow.  I was a bit weird for me or my brain was a little to empty so I decided to indulge in a little omen theory.  How it applies to me, eludes me.  The only way I would be expecting a bundle of joy is through immaculate conception for now.   

Away from babies to the main course of fried chicken.  The recipe calls for dried parsley flakes and garlic salt to be mixed into some all-purpose flour.  Set the mixture aside and scramble an egg.  Chop chicken wings into three pieces.  Discard the tips if desired.  Dip the chicken pieces into the egg then coat with the flour mixture.  Fry the chicken into oil.

Because I forgot the proportions, my chicken needed salt.  After a bit of salt and champagne, all tasted good.  Yup, I had champagne with my chicken.  I had the stuff in the fridge so I decided to open the bottle and enjoy my dinner.





Friday, July 16, 2004

Three Herb Pesto

I remembered this recipe when a friend asked for it.  Though I haven't made pesto in a while, I remember the taste.  It was light and bit different from the usual.  The only modification I made to the recipe was to add more salt after mixing the sauce with angel hair pasta.
 
THREE-HERB PESTO

This recipe was created to accompany Sliced Tomatoes and Mozzarella with Three Herb Pesto.

Can be prepared in 45 minutes or less.
 
2/3 cup firmly packed fresh basil leaves
2/3 cup firmly packed fresh mint leaves
2/3 cup firmly packed fresh parsley leaves
1/3 cup pine nuts
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 large garlic cloves, minced and mashed to a paste with 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, or to taste
 
In a blender or food processor purée all ingredients with salt and pepper to taste until smooth.Pesto keeps in a jar with a tight-fitting lid, chilled, up to 1 week.

Let pesto come to room temperature before using. Makes about 1 cup.

Serves 6. 

Gourmet

May 1994
 

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Culinary adventurer travels to a Parisian bistro in Santa Clara.

Santa Clara isn't exotic or far away but it felt like Paris for a moment. Brigitte's Restaurant (http://www.brigittescuisine.com/) has pictures of Paris and bottles of French mineral water. The tables are small and the service is friendly and personal. The menu changes regularly and the wine list was longer and more extensive than the food choices. Needless to say, I spent a long time choosing between the food and wine. I choose the $29.99 Prix-fix menu with a glass of the house red wine.

Here are the pictures of my food.


Three types of bread (clockwise): country white bread, crusty bread with olives, and sourdough rye with walnuts. Posted by Hello


Spinach salad with a lightly salted vinaigrette, topped with cheese, ham, radish, pear, orange, and grape halves. Posted by Hello


Steak au Roquefort: flank steak cooked medium rare topped with Roquefort butter, sitting on top of crunchy string beans, decorated with potato slices. Posted by Hello


Chocolate moelleux with creme Anglaise: Chocolate cake with warm chocolate sauce in the center.
 Posted by Hello

Friday, July 09, 2004

There's something about Friday nights....

...I don't know what about it makes me itchy to say "Hi Hi Hi"

I thought I should come up with a more creative greeting than "Hi" "How are you?"

I'm doing well. I go to work and come home and play with the computer. That's a very boring synopsis. Let's see if I can spice things up a bit.

Story: A harmless bit of flirtation has turned me into a stalker at work. I was flirting with a guy then suddenly he gives me the cold shoulder. What gives? I always find a way to approach him and engage into a conversation or lure him into a torrid affair. He walks away. The nerve.

Truth: I goof off with my co-workers by cracking bad jokes. Work and time to leave ends our chats. :D

Story: I went to Nola's, a New Orleans style restaurant, and got some beads the Marti Gras way.

Truth: I found some beaded necklace in my glove compartment when I was looking for a map.

Story: I'm planning a big change in my life. It's time for me to pack up my stuff and move to a different place. I haven't decieded where I want to go. SF? Seattle? Paris? Sunnyvale? I've been checking Craiglist for help.

Truth: I've applied for jobs within the company and next month I'm going to extend my search to outside of the company.

After the first story everything sounds blah blah blah!

What did the Wolf say to Red Ridding Hood's Grandmother?

Knock. Knock.
Anyone home?
*silence*

Thursday, July 08, 2004

Still full from dinner...

It's time for a change. To what? Or for what? I don't know. I feel restless. I have this nagging feeling that time is passing and I'm stuck in the mud.

My friends and family want me to get married a pop out a few kids. I receive the usual lecture your getting older. It will be hard to find a guy. Act quickly. It sounds like there is a hidden sale for guys and I haven't found the department store. Or guys resemble produce and don't last too long. Which ever it is, isn't what I'm looking for.

My friend is seriously involved with a guy. It should motivate me but it isn't. I'm motivated to flirt and laugh but not breach the line, of conversation. I know if I find someone I can talk to, flirt with and laugh with, I'm sunk. Luckily or unluckily, I haven't found that combination.

What I have found is the motivation to try new things. Starting a web log is new and different. I have signed up for cooking classes later in the year. Or more recently, I made reservations for 1 for dinner. I've never dined alone at a restaurant. Eating alone for lunch has been done quite often but it usually occurs in front of a computer. It will be a new experience. I'm either trying to be more independent or preparing myself for my future. I vote for independent. In the future, I see company for most dinners.

What the company will be remains a mystery? What isn't a mystery any more, is I can be perfectly quiet for a good 5 to 10 minutes. That's an achievement for me. I'm usually very talkative. Today, I remained perfectly silent listening to my friend, (a one different than the one above). When I'm quiet she usually suspects, I'm in a bad mood. Not true, for today. I guess I want to change.

I've been told to move up the corporate ladder, I need to be more dignified and politically savvy. I don't know if I'm capable of that. I prefer laughing like a hyena and running around the office as if it were my playground. Some things never change....I'm nostalgic for the carefree days of childhood and I refuse to grow up. I wonder how that will effect me when I try to interview for a new job.

Dinner.

Basil Chicken

2 pieces of chicken
10 basil leaves
salt
pepper flakes
sugar
cooking sherry
olive oil

1. Chop chicken into bite size pieces, Add 1/2 teaspoon of sugar, Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt, Add 1 teaspoon of cooking sherry, and a bit of pepper flakes to taste.
2. Mix together.
3. Chop up the basil leaves and mix into the chicken.
4. Marinade for 1 hour.
5. Pour a bit of olive oil in a pan and cook the chicken until its ready.

That was my dinner. It was yummy.

Venturing out of my shell...

If I was a turtle I would be sticking my head out right now and keeping my feet securely in. This blog is one of the steps I'm taking to try something new. It's different from my usual boring activities of watching tv, eating, reading, driving, and working.