Friday, May 13, 2011

Why can't I post - FRUSTRATING!!!

will this post? Need I change hosts? - Yum Photo but you dont get to read about it because I cant post!!!!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

I m baaaack...

5 months is a long time to take a beak from a blog but, ive still got a few months to complete my goal of fifty two dishes in a year and damnit, thats just what im gonna do, heres the kicker the rest are my recipes. A much larger challenge - Gourmet is now defined as not what anaverage household dinner might experience, i am creating a menu now, this projct now launches a new path, stay tuned! There are big things on the hoizon!

~Happy cooking

Follow me on twitter @ChefJeffB

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Dont step in front of a moving bus, unless you plan on getting hit!

The title of this blog sums up my feelings the best - what started out as a weekly cullinary challenge has become a lifestyle. When I first started this blog, I was a lover of food, now I feel as if I have become a creator of meals - I cant count the various meals I have attempted - most well received, yet some required a call to Pizza Hut, however the over all experience only 9 weeks in has opened my eyes.

On an average of 4+ days per week my family eats something new and very health conscious - I am cooking with raw ingredients, not processed food - finding that the farmers market and local butcher can provide one with everything they need to make a savory and healthy dish - I used to have major high blood pressure, stage 2 at times - I am now below pre-hypertension - I've dropped 10lbs and still love my beer...

While I may not continue to maintain this blog, I can say I will continue it's idea -
I dont find as much time to sit behind my computer anymore as now I'm prepping, perfecting knife skills, learning at what temp to cook, how to make a reduction sauce, trying my hand at sushi and sashimi. The world of food is limitless...

I am no longer the cook in my house, I am the Executive Chef - my clientelle are the pickiest and most demanding any chef has ever prepared a meal for and I am satisfying them!!!

I sign off for now, not knowing when I'll post again but if I can recommend one thing, it is to try to go from a fast food addict, start a 52 week challenge and see if it wont change your life!

Happy Cooking!


Thursday, October 28, 2010

Week 9 - Clam Linguini & I'm blowin it!!!

So week 7 has far passed, I still have yet to type week 6's recipe and I truly should be on week 9 now I think... Thank God for pre-dating and free-will - I can post whenever I want and unless you check daily (stalker!) you'll never notice how much of a slacker I am... I'm fudging here and posting 9 prior to 7 and 8 - sue me!

Week 9 - Clam Linguine - this recipe comes straight from my Dad's new wife, (my 2nd step mom, damn Cancer!!! She's very cool!) I have tasted many seafood pasta recipes in my life, I love seafood and while not a full pescetarian, I'd say it overwhelms my red meat consumption by over 75%. Bottom Line, this recipe was BAR NON the BEST clam linguine I've ever tasted - I'd pay top dollar for it in a upscale coastal restaurant and not even bat an eyelash... It's not creamy, not fatty and doesn't leave that traditional film in your mouth and throat I'd typically experience after a hearty seafood pasta dish like this - the trick here is there are no creams, very little fat and lots of flavor that comes from the clams themselves.

I find posting the recipe on AR (All Recipes) first then posting a link or copying the format here is far easier - so that said, I'll detail the Mediterranean Dish and this one there and re-post here by mid next week - I also have yet another Shrimp dish I might use as a filler to catch up that I've already posted there...

Hope you all enjoy your Halloween and were able to get creative on a few "Spooktacular" dishes!

Happy Cooking!


Sunday, October 3, 2010

Week 6: Mediterranean Dinner

So as I look in the stores for something that pops, from time to time I find myself flipping a frozen meal over that looks good only to find it's packed full of stuff that probably didnt even exist when I was born. I hate to say it but I am now begining to realize how much "chemistry" is going into our food to make it last longer, colors brighter or save some flavor that would be lost in the processing - today I took on an entire meal - made fresh with only the ingredients I needed - this is the first week I can honestly say there were no processed foods involved - even the herbs were fresh, my sore wrist can prove how much mincing, dicing and slicing went on today. This is not a quick dinner you can throw together on a week night after work - I created approximately 4 servings and spent about 5 hours doing so, but, boy was it worth it!!!

Tonights dinner was "Mediterranean Inspired" from marinated Lamb and Beef Kabobs to Curried Beef Couscous finished off with a phenominal salad dressing with crumbled feta and kalamata olives, dinner started at about 10:00am this morning...

My inspiration, a vaccum sealed referated package of beef and lamb kabobs that had so many ingredients it was close to two paragraphs - the kicker said "May contain tree nuts" What?!?!? I quickly pulled out the Blackberry and began to review the similar dishes google presented me - not one really sang loud but some if the ingredients sounded good and so I began my 1.5 hour stay in the market. A few spice lables later I found even they are being processed - there should only be "Oregano" in my "Oregano", but there were like 4 ingredients, except for the curry powder, it simply said "Curry powder" so I went over to the produce aisle - there stood before me fresh, single ingredient herbs - I knew it would be a lot more work but I grabbed my oregano, parsley, mint, garlic, green onions and lemons as well as a fresh lettuce box that only had the lettuce I wanted in it, to the butcher and got angus beef cubes ($3.50 for 3/4 lb) and fresh lamb cubes ($4.75 for 3/4 lb) - found an extra virgin olive oil with only olive oil in it and stumbled upon a boxed couscous with only ingredients I recognized in it - even some bamboo skewers that said, Ingredients: Bamboo

So the recipes are coming soon, I am still hashing them and I am really running behind on this project - this for sure could have been served in a fine dining establishment, was much healthier and was a lot of fun to create... I promise to get the recipe up soon!

Happy Eating!


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Week 5 - Rasperry/Mustard glazed porkchops over a bed of sauteed spinach

So, my now 7 year old Peanut chef claimed this was the end all be all of our main dishes - I did not serve enough...

It is every chef's desire to take on a recipe and make it their own - but one who can start from scratch, make it 100% fresh and home made, is in a realm not traditionally created by a home cook - today I bring you a recipe that can reside on a plate in a working persons home and yet also on a working gourmet kitchen...

this all starts with picking rasperries 2 weekends past - we picked much more than we could eat raw so I learned how to make jam - Once the Jam was prepared I followed a recipe, yet not really - I have posted my rendition on All Recipes - I pan seared the pork chops until they were golden brown on each side, then simmered them in a Rasperry/mustard sauce that was to die for - served over a bed of tender yet crisp sauteed spinach. this was one of my favorites, thus far!!!

Happy Cooking!


Here is the recipe:

Week Day Porkchops (Modified)

Ingredients 4 bone-in pork loin chops
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 cup Rasperry Jam (preferably home made!)
4 tablespoons white vinegar
2 tablespoons Colemans Mustard Powder
2 tablespoons Cold Water

1.In a large skillet, brown pork chops in oil over medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes on each side.
2.Meanwhile, In a med microwave-safe bowl, combine the jam, vinegar and mustard. Cover and microwave on high for 25-35 seconds or until heated through, this will render a thinner sauce and will tame the mustard a bit. (Taste it before and after, it's a pretty big difference)
3.Reserve some of the sauce (about 1/4 to 1/3).
4.Reduce heat of the pan to medium; baste on sauce and flip chop, baste other side and cook, uncovered, for 5-7 minutes flip chop again and continue for another 5-7 min or until juices run clear.
5.Drizzle some of the reserved sauce over the chops, serve and enjoy!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Week 4: Beets and Apples??? Oh My....

So after the labor day holiday I realized I ate wayyyy more than normal, I'm pretty sure I'm still full from Monday's dinner so I wanted to go a little lighter on my trial dish today... I went over to my local market and right in front of me were bunch atop of bunch of raw, fresh Beets... I knew I could consume all of the beet and figured I'd give it a go, $2 later i was on my way home...

the bunch I chose had 3 good sized bulbs and some crisp greens... I trimmed some off to let Shawn and Chef Bailey try some, Brycen was having no part of it... There went one bulb as the 3 of us loved the flavor of the raw beet... Now, I said I was gonna make each dish, "my own" - but just like "Who Wants to be a Millionaire" has help, I should get some too, so I "Polled the Audience" - in this case the Internet, as you are my audience...

I found what sounded like a fun recipe for Beets with Green Apples so I made a go at it...

First off, my beets were fresh, not in a can with a liquid so there was no sauce to reserve... I realized I had 2 Apples and 2 Beet bulbs left, coincidence?!? So I pull out the juicer and toss in the spare green apple and the beet bulb - I love to taste everything but probably could have passed on the Beet/Green Apple juice - I peeled and cored the remaining apple and sliced it into triangles, I did the same with the remaining beet, yet made the slices a little thinner as I figured they'd take longer to soften...

In my pan I mixed the ingredients the recipe called for (Brown Sugar, Corn Starch, Salt and Lemon juice) with my beet and apple juice blend (1/2 a cup)I knew the sauce would thicken up quickly so I added my apples and beets just when it started to simmer, I kept it on med heat and realized quickly the sauce was going to be too thick so I lowered the heat and covered my pan with a clear lid - while that was very gently simmering I took the Beet Greens and tossed them in a pan that had 1 TBSP olive oil, 1/2 tsp minced garlic and 1tsp lemon juice, I sauteed the greens until they wilted and were tender and quickly removed them from the heat, seasoned to taste w/ salt and pepper and laid them out as a base for the apple/beet mixture.

At this point I tasted the beet/apple sauce and found it a little bitter still so I stirred in a tsp of confectioner sugar - the next taste made me smile...

So, I tried this plate 3 different ways, warm, room temp and cold, in my opinion,
warm is the absolute way to go!!!

I could see this being served as an appetizer, not as a desert, though the sauce might lend itself to a protein well, I may experiment further, but for now, this was a fun dish to make...

Happy Eating,