Thursday, November 4, 2010

From the UK and New Jersey

This inspired by UK breakfasts and recently brought to you all courtesy of Michael Pisano.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Day 45: Made burgers but didnt eat em - was HARD

MY food… seared ahi tuna with poach egg, capers, roasted red peppers and anchovies; tossed greens w/balsamic dressing, buffalo mozzarella and tomatoes; seared scallops wrapped in bacon.

OTHER’s food… Hamburger, aged cheddar, grilled onions, Semifreddi's bun.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Day 39: Breakfast then day, socks then shoes, pants then coffee

Today we had raspberries, a hardboiled egg, oatmeal with blueberries, tea and coffee for papa with an Ultrameal shake and vitamins, which gets our energy level up and good to go for the day.

Tonight we finally dig into the pulled pork. I’m thinking of serving it on a choice of 1) soft roll, 2) toasted light rye, 3) atop garlic and truffle mash and with some leafy greens to help balance it off.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Tamalyparo - the Mexican spice pack in many of my slow cookers

As it so happens when I translated Tamal y Paro it comes out to "Tamale and Unemployment". Not sure if that is what was meant by the name or if I'm missing somthing - more like.

Day 38: Black Bean Salad

Inspired by what I often eat for lunch when out at work, I decided to create my own version to have around the house. The one ingredient I didn’t find in the panty was canned sweet corn which would have been nice but I compensated by pouring in a glob of an extraordinarily molasses like balsamic vinegar which leans on the sweet side of tangy. A good choice.

2 cans low fat black beans minus the juice, ½ Jicama (if you’re not from California its pronounced Hic-a-ma), 1 carrot, 1 small red onion, 1 shallot (both minced THEN rinsed), 6 pepperchinies, juice of 1/2 lime, 2 table spoons of olive oil, 2 table spoon of rice wine vinegar, 2 table spoon of sweet balsamic vinegar, parsley, salt & pepper and chill.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Day 37: The Pork Picnic – episode one

Once again, it was the preponderance of celery that started it all after my first Farmers market trip this morning. After getting home with the spoils and sorting the fresh from the not so fresh celery, I tossed the later in a tall pot with carrots, cilantro and a white onion. If you have followed my last several posts you might know where this is going and you’re not far off if you think it means something wonderful is about to happen. The stock was on.

Clearly the next step was more coffee so I headed down to Blue Bottle. If you haven’t ever been there, just go. Answering to a friends need of coffee, I got an extra cup and headed to deliver it, picking up an order of pork spare ribs for the friend on the way, if you haven’t been to Avedanos Meats, just go.

Then the strangest thing, I ordered ribs for my friend, then I THOUGHT what came out of my mouth was “do you have any pork shoulder?” but it must have been “do you have a pork’s shoulder” because my GOD the thing was HUGE! The butcher climbed back out of the meat locker with a pigs leg and shoulder still attached and about the size of my left side waste down. It had to weigh at least 50 lbs.

“About here is right for the cut, or you can just have the picnic, which is about here”. Waving his hand around the top most portion of the slab he just smacked on the wooden table. At this point a couple walked through the door and asked the owner if she had any pork shoulder while my butcher waited for my confirmation on his cut. I nodded decisively at my butcher. The owner who witnessed this said “I’m sorry but this guy just got the last one.” I watched the customer’s eyes widen as he looked to the wooden table where my butcher had begun sawing the leg from the shoulder with a 24 inch hack saw. The guy was clearly about to make the same mistake (a pork shoulder verses some pork shoulder) and seemed a bit confused “do you have anything smaller?” he said to the owner while his lady friend turned to me; “are you going to use all of that… how are you going to cook it?” At this point I was committed but really had no idea so I lied and explained I was part of a very exclusive pork shoulder cook-off competition where there were no losers because everyone got to eat pork. She smiled nervously. Eventually my butcher with the owner’s help wrapped and taped my pork picnic (*see section 5 in diagram below) and was on my way, walking out the door with +20 lbs of pork.

I delivered the coffee and ribs and told my friends the story. “I’ll take half of it from you” said Dan and we attempted to make the cut. But no hack saw so, no luck. “I’m just going to have to cook all of it” I said and I left. They promised to come by for leftovers this week. I arrived home to the smell of wonderfully clean and soul warming vegetable broth at a simmer and the rest came naturally. The pork went fat-side down in a huge cast iron Dutch oven, with bay leaves, dried chili peppers, Mexican oregano, and cyan pepper to brown (both sides) for 5 minutes, then I added my beautiful stock and shoveled it in the oven at 280 for 5 hours. Then I prepared a totally separate dinner for the evening which I’ll elaborate on later as it was also pretty darn good.

To be continued…

Friday, February 5, 2010

Day 36: Cooking with James The Skinny Chef -- an interactive Social/Mobile game towards healthier living through fine dining.

Recognizing that I’m a bit adrift, it’s sometimes difficult to separate our work and home life and as mine blurs, I will share it with you. If nothing else, it should be clear that I have a pretty cool day job.

Here is the high concept – I’d like to know your thoughts… You are cooking with James the Skinny Chef and together you must choose from a list of ingredients to cook a meal. You are awarded scores in three categories that deliver you combined overall score. James will offer suggestions, teaching you through the process as you create your meal.

Scoring categories:
1) Taste (adding salt increasing this score but lowers the Healthiness)
2) Healthiness (using water to deglaze over wine lowers calorie count but lowers Taste)
3) Timing and Presentation (if you let veggies cook too long they wilt and lose their color, letting meat cook too long makes it tough and burnt)

Advanced scoring categories:
1) Food you pick also changes the point spread (brown rice is higher Health than mashed potatoes, but lower Taste)
2) Cooking is seasonal and cooking with fresh Kale in winter delivers more anti-oxidants, choosing the right foods seasonally gives higher overall score
3) Cooking is chemistry and mixing taste is like mixing colors on a color wheel, creating unique creations awards points (sweet & sour is yummy)

Social component
1) Turn your actual menus in the game into menus you actually cook and eat
2) Submit the menus on your Facebook page, email to friends, tweet, etc…
3) Submit your best dishes for a virtual cooking contest (or real one at a Sur La table location)