Souffle

Eggs.  They have been called the perfect food.  I really do agree with that.  There are so many things that you can do with them.  They can be dessert, they can be savory, they can be a snack or an entire meal.  They really are versatile.

A souffle is really just a combination of a bechamel sauce that is flavored, and eggs.  The eggs are separated.  The whites are beat to a stiff peak and the yolks are incorporated into the sauce.  It is placed into a high sided dish into a high oven and backed to a puffy, golden crust.

The whites need to be at the stiff peak stage to be able to hold up to the sauce that will give the flavor to the souffle.

When you put the two sauces together you, voila you have a Souffle.

Delish!

Cheese Souffle

  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 ¼ cups of stock
  • 4 large eggs, separated, plus 3 large egg whites
  • 6 ounces Gruyère cheese, shredded (2 packed cups)
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar

Preheat the oven to 375°. Butter a 1 1/2-quart soufflé dish and coat it with 2 tablespoons of the Parmigiano.
In a medium saucepan, melt the butter. Stir in the flour to make a paste. Bring to a boil over moderate heat, whisking. Reduce the heat to low and cook, whisking, until very thick, 3 minutes. Transfer the base to a large bowl; let cool. Stir in the egg yolks,Gruyère, salt, and the remaining 1/4 cup of Parmigiano. Put the 7 egg whites in a large stainless steel bowl. In an electric mixer, beat the whites and the cream of tartar until firm peaks form. Fold one-third of the whites into the soufflé base to lighten it, then fold in the remaining whites until no streaks remain.
Scrape the mixture into the prepared dish. Bake for about 35 minutes, until the soufflé is golden brown and puffed. Serve right away.

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Swedish Meatballs

My sister is the keeper of this recipe from our mother.  It is a family favorite and she is the one who is asked to make it.  She has perfected it and the tradition continues…..

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Food is Love

I have posted in the past about my friend Chef Jimmy.  He has Mojo!  And he sells it too!  It is a really great blend of spices that is very healthy and tasty.

It can be found at Amazon under the food section.  You should give it a try.  It’s great on any kind of protein, and it is really good on peanuts.
He made us dinner the other night and it was delish!
The strawberries were so fresh, and juicy so he decided to incorporate it into a salad:
The candies pecans were a nice addition.  Hey, do you suppose he put some of his Mojo on them?
And it had a super yummy dressing:
It was an overcast day, so some comfort food was the order of the day.
Braised Chicken over fresh pasta.  Yummm.
So check him out at Amazon.com. And chefjimmy.com
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Calamandins/ Calamondin

The calamandin is a small sour orange citrus that is not very well know.  My mother had two gorgeous trees that gave fruit year round.  She used them in drinks, and as marmalade and chutney.  It became a very favorite family fruit.

I now have two trees and I have been able to experiment a bit.

I decided to see if it would go well with some salmon.

CALAMANDIN AND MAPLE  SALMON

I took a beautiful fresh fillet of wild king salmon.  Salted and peppered it.  Then I put it in a oven proof dish with calamandins and poured  a little bit of maple syrup over it.  The calamandins are quite sour so it needed some sweetness and I thought that the whole east meets west, Vancouver type of action would be good.  I sprinkled some herbs de provance over it all and ran it in the broiler  until the salmon was just warm in the middle.  The top of the salmon got a nice browning and it ended up being delish!  I plated it over sauteed spinach. And I sprinkled some sesame seeds over the top of it all.  Even my non fish loving husband liked it.  I think it is a nice use of the calamandins.

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The “21” Burger

The “21” Club in New York City makes these burgers and although they are good….Crisco?…..seriously?

The ‘21’ Burger

Ingredients:
2 pounds ground sirloin or beef
2 tablespoons Crisco or 4 tablespoons duck fat
1 teaspoon ground fennel seed
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon fresh rosemary
1 whole egg
4 tablespoons minced onion
Method:
1. In a mixing bowl add the beef, Crisco or duck fat, fennel, cayenne pepper, ground pepper,
thyme, rosemary, egg and onion. Mix until all ingredients are incorporated evenly.
2. Divide the beef mixture into four, 8‐ounce burgers. Pack and shape them tightly.
3. On a hot grill place the burger and cook for approximately 4 1/2 minutes on each side for a
medium rare temperature (cook longer for a more well‐done burger if desired.)
4. Serve on a bun.
Yield:
4 burgers

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Béchamel

Béchamel or white sauce is one of the Master sauces.  It is the cornerstone of French cooking.  It is also the basis of many different sauces.

It is said that this sauce was named after Louis de Béchameil who became majordomo to Louis XIV.  It is unlikely that he was the creator, instead it was probably a variation on a recipe by one of the King’s cooks.

It is a sauce that is made by combining warm milk to a flour, butter mixture.  It is best to make this with a whisk to avoid lumps, and having the milk warm and the pan not so hot seems to help also.

The basic ratio is 3 Tablespoons butter, 6 Tablespoons flour and 2 cups milk.

Melt the butter and add the flour, in a heavy saucepan.  This is the roux.  For a white sauce, it should cook enough to get rid of the raw flour taste but not brown.  Other sauces may require a browned roux.

Begin to add the milk slowly, whisking all the time.  You can add seasoning to the milk while you warm it or afterwards.  The easiest way to do it is to add nutmeg and salt and pepper once all the milk has been incorporated.  Other seasoning you can add to the warming milk would be bay leaves, garlic or onions.  Let the sauce simmer until it thickens.  Check for seasoning.

Practice makes perfect.  I now don’t even measure now.  This was the first sauce I learned as a young girl.  It is also the first sauce I taught my children.  If you learn how to make this, you can make many, many dishes.

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Stuffed Red Peppers

I found the most wonderful bright red peppers.  I had to do something that was going to maintain the integrity of the vegetable. My idea was to stuff it!

I took 1/2 of and onion and  sauteed it.  I added 1 Lb. of ground sirloin.  I  brown this well.  I add some homemade tomato sauce and check for seasoning.  I chopped some fresh parsley and mixed it all together.  I added about 1/2 of a cup of cooked Quinoa to give it some texture.  I stuffed the peppers and placed them in an oven proof dish.  Add some hot chicken stock a quarter of the way up the peppers.  Place in a 350 degree oven for about 20 mins.

This was a perfect supper for a sunset picnic.

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Short Ribs

Short Ribs are not a cut of meat that I use often.  I have always have been afraid of the fat content. But when they are braised, they literally fall apart and there is very little fat on the meat.

3Tbs olive oil

4 Lbs short ribs

1 large tomato

1 onion

4 celery sticks

3 garlic cloves

thyme and  oregano sprigs

2 cups red wine

Salt and Pepper

Brown the ribs on all sides in a heavy pan that has a lid.  Season with salt and pepper.  Set aside.  Take all vegetables (no herbs) and puree them in a processor.  Saute the puree and add the wine and the herbs.  Cook for about 5 min. then place the browned ribs in a single layer.  Cover and place in a preheated oven at 350 until the meat is tender.  That should take about 3 hours. Serve.

 

Chef Jimmy’s dinner party

The other night we had dinner at my friend Chef Jimmy’s house.  He has been working everyday that week and still wanted to cook for us.  Now that’s true dedication!

Chef Jimmy is a personal chef who also has a line of spices.  Check out his website..   www.foodislove.com

Our first course was a shrimp cocktail.

The main course was rack of lamb.  He cooked them in a smoker.  There was tons of smoke…

Chef Jimmy also created a “Bibb and Blue” salad.  It was beautiful and delicious.

The finished plate was really wonderful.  A very good time was had by all.  Thank you Chef Jimmy and Food is Love!

www.foodislove.com

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Oil Poaching

Poaching in oil is very popular now.  Don’t be afraid of it.  It does not taste oily or greasy.  This works extremely well with fish.  The key is to use good simple seasonings.  And to make sure that the oil is at the proper temperature.

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You should use a saucepan that can hold the fish fillet submerged completely in the oil.  You should heat a good olive oil to about 325 degrees.   Season the fish (in this case I used Salmon) with salt and pepper.  You can even use slices of lemon.  Carefully place the fish in the oil and maintain the temperature of the oil.  Poach the fish for 10 minutes depending on the thickness of the fillet and serve.

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