Updates (especially about the party) are coming soon. I’m migrating this stuff to my own host, which allows for more control. Those of you who know me from my LJ days should also be happy, as I’ll be doing personal blogging stuff there too, behind a privacy login (I will provide you with details on how to obtain one). Currently it’s all at ugly subdomains like foo.webhostingcompany.com, so I’m working on getting actual domains… which I think puts me at about 1998 in internet time.

Comfort foods: show me them


omething I enjoy doing (mostly thinking about, finances being what they are these days, though that is slowly changing) is what most chefs enjoy: take something classic or well-known, and make it my own. Recently I’ve been thinking about comfort foods, and how interesting it would be to take comfort foods and reimagine them.

Therefore… my question: let me ask you it. To my readers (all three of you), what are your favourite comfort foods? Please be sure to let me know why they are comforting to you, especially in terms of physical sensation and aroma.


fantasy menu

For a recent class assignment, I had to come up with a banquet menu. Being a complete nerd about a certain lady with a predilection for metal hats, and given the proximity of our scheduled presentation date to a rather important anniversary, I decided to play with the menu from 1953.

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Like many people, I love caramel corn. Like some people, I find it cloyingly sweet, and came up with an earthier, less overly-sweet version.

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Cooking for my sister

So my sister is having a housewarming next week, and I’m catering it. Menu after the jump.

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Caesar salad amuse-bouche

So I was thinking the other day about how we construct Caesar salad, and how neat it would be to turn it into a flavour-packed amuse-bouche instead of a course or side dish unto itself.

Here’s how I would do it:

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Cooking for Mrs Robinson

Mrs Robinson is a lovely lady in my classes who I have become fast friends with. She’s a bit older than me, and knows her stuff when it comes to food.

Just spent the weekend at her place cooking a wide variety of fabulous things. Friday night I got to be in charge (and she’s awesome, but she freely admits she has control issues, so there had to be some bullying to keep her sitting down and not interfering), and since she was buying the ingredients I said ‘Pick a protein and a couple other ingredients, and I’ll come up with something.’

So I made:

Bullet Roasted quail stuffed with a duxelle
Bullet Strigoli (scroll down a bit) dressed with parsley oilive oil and parsley
Bullet Plain green salad (your standard spring mix) with a balsamic vinaigrette

Recipes, as the kids say, after the jump.

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For Those Who Live to Eat

Communities of and for foodies. Foodbuzz is about dining out, cooking at home, discovering a new flavour, drooling over a food blog, or swapping recipes. Check out Today’s Top 9, a daily feature. Chowhound is the community for Chow.com. Dozens of boards enable you to drill down to local favourites, like this request for live crawfish in Virginia. Both communities have very active memberships.

via MetaFilter.


working with flavours

Tthis is taken from a post I made elsewhere online, somewhat edited & expanded.

Someone else said: An example is a sandwich that is made with roast beef, boursin cheese and caramelized onions.

Well.. that’s a fairly classic combination.

Here’s why, roughly.

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this is sort of food-related

kitteh goes omnomnomnom.

drink: gin & sin

3/4oz each of gin (something not too botanical), orange juice (fresh squeezed is best, but strain out the pulp), lemon juice.

scant splash of grenadine.

Shake over ice, strain into a chilled martini glass, garnish with an orange or lemon twist.

These can be made by the bucketload without much trouble– so long as the buckets are kept brass monkey cold.

drink: orange chocolate sundae

1.5 oz vanilla vodka (experiment to find out which one you like; I find Stoli almost medicinal, e.g. Alternatively, use regular vodka, and a few drops of good vanilla.)

1/2 oz white creme de cacao
1/2 oz triple sec (or Cointreau)
hefty splash of orange juice

Shake everything over ice. Decorate the bowl of a very well-chilled martini glass with chocolate syrup (my favourite method is to squeeze a small dollop up near the rim of the glass, and slowly twirl it as I’m shaking, to create a simple spiral– looks good, and there’s not so much chocolate that it overpowers the drink). Alternatively, garnish with an orange Ovation stick.

variant: omit the creme de cacao, increase vodka and triple sec to compensate, omit chocolate sauce. Tastes just like a Creamsicle.


Arancini are basically rice balls stuffed with things, mostly originating from Sicily. Here’s my favourite way to do them.

First, you need to make some mushroom risotto (how convenient, a recipe). You will have leftovers. Chill the leftover risotto overnight in the fridge.

The next day, form the risotto into approx 1.5-2inch balls around — well around whatever you like, really. My favourite is using small chunks of proper mozzarella, but you could do a compound butter (like Chicken Kiev), or a tomato sauce (which is one of the traditional ways), or a duxelle to max out the mushroominess, or pretty much whatever you like.

Fry the balls in relatively deep oil until golden and delicious. You’re not deep frying, but you’re not just sauteeing either. Think about the amount of oil you’d use for making fried chicken on the stovetop.

Season aggressively with salt when you take them out of the pan. Consume.

One of the best devilled eggs I ever had was arranged with a (surprise) piece of smoked salmon under the egg yolk mixture (which was yolk, vodka, sour cream, fresh cracked black pepper), which was then topped with a little caviar. Utterly sinful and very, very good.
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steak (simple)

one of my favourite (simple) ways to do steak:

Cut some large garlic cloves in half. Rub the garlic all over the steak. Discard garlic.

Shake some Worcestershire (Lea & Perrins only, please) over the steaks. Rub in. Don’t use too much.

Your hands will smell delicious by this point. You may wish to lick them.

Allow steaks to sit for about 1/2 an hour. Resist the urge to go caveman and eat the raw steaks, if you can. This is a really good time to:

1) Open that bottle of wine you’ll be drinking with dinner.
2) Make the Caesar dressing & prep the salad ingredients.

Sprinkle steak extremely liberally with fresh coarsely ground pepper, and  (in order of preference) sea salt, fleur de sel, or Kosher salt.

As soon as you take them off the grill, throw a teaspoon of chilled herbed butter on top of each steak.

Grill to rare or blue-rare. Consume. Preferably with a knife and fork.