Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Jack is Cooking Thai curried Mussels

Well Hello Internet!

The other night i made some mussels.  This time instead of steaming them in wine (like i did before) i steamed them in some delicious coconut milk that i infused with all sorts of delicious flavours.

heres what i did!

first you will need these things:
lemongrass (2 6 inch pieces)
ginger (2-3 inches)
garlic (1 whole head)
kaffir lime leaves (8-10)
tamarind (4-5 fresh seeds or paste)
thai chillies (4 or 5 depending on how spicy you want it)
an onion
coconut milk (2 cans)
one lime

So first i cut up the lemongrass into manageable pieces, and also the ginger.  they don't have to be super fine, nor do you have to peel the garlic or ginger, as the skin will give extra flavour to the infusion.

take everything (except the onion, lime, cilantro, coconut milk, and mussels) and put it in a food processor.  or if you have a mortar and pestle thats good too.  grind it all up until you have a pulp of delicious smelling stuff that you can't eat:

next take the onion which has been chopped up (you can even keep the skin on it if you desire) and sauté in some olive oil for a few minutes.

then add in the mixture from the blender, as well as the coconut milk

stew this for about 20-30 minutes, and then strain it so that all the solids come out.

put about 1/3 of the liquid back in the pan (save the rest!), and add the mussels.  steam the mussels in the liquid until the mussels open (about 5 minutes)  as soon as they open they are done!

serve with bread, and some of the liquid.  sprinkle some lime juice over, and garnish with cilantro

the rest of the coconut milk that you didn't use, you can use in other dishes to flavor!  like fried rice

mmmm mmmm delicious!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Jack is Cooking Kale and Tofu with Tahini Sauce

Well Hello Internet!

on thursday night i made a delicious quick stir fry!  a nice relief after eating so many pastries and BBQ!  

this ones pretty easy and super delicious to make.  
heres what you need:

tofu (cut up into small cubes)
olive oil
hot sesame oil
soy sauce
brown rice vinegar
sriracha sauce
sesame seeds

so first!  i heated up some 4 tablespoons of olive oil with 1 tablespoon of hot sesame oil added to it.  when it was real nice and hot i added in the tofu

The trick here is to get the tofu really nice and krispy.  this is attainable but it really takes some patience.  also i have found that while yes it will stick a little bit, if you wait long enough it unsticks!
after the tofu becomes nice and brown and krispy- add in the garlic and the kale

once the kale has cooked down just a little bit (you don't want to over cook it!  just cook it just enough)
its time to add in the sauces.  so i put in 2 tablespoons of soy sauce, 1 tablespoon of tahini, 1 tablespoon of brown rice vinegar, and 1 teaspoon of sriracha and then sprinkled a bunch of sesame seeds on top!

and there you have it!

i ate it plain, but you could cook some rice, or some quinoa, or some millet to go along with it!

mmmm mmmm delicious!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Jack is Cooking Tarts and BBQ for july 4th

Well Hello Internet!

what a july 4th!  we had our annual BBQ up on the farm.  This year i went with an old classic: Pulled Pork.  I (and Also Roland!) slow smoked 2 9 pound pork butts to pulling perfection!  and it was delicious.

we dry rubbed the pork and then coated it in our secret Raspberry - Chipotle BBQ sauce, and YES! its a SECRET! so i can't tell you how to make it!  ;-)

but the pork heres the trick:  you need a smoker.  you need it to be at around 225°.  after that its roughly 1.5 hours per pound.

Pork is generally cooked when it reaches 165° at its internal temperature.  however to pull it you want it to be at around 190° at its internal temperature.  this took us roughly 15 hours or so to smoke. 

after it reaches 190° it needs to rest for an hour or so.  and then in the final touch we put it back on the grill to warm it up just a little bit before the pulling.  and then a couple of forks and the whole thing should just fall apart into a delicious heap of stringy melty meat. mmmmmmmmmm

to go along with this, Julie made her Delicious Kale Salad recipe, which i hope she will post up here one day.  also she made a delicious Thai Peanut Noodle Salad.  Cooper made his Excellent Potato Salad, and his Awesome Cole Slaw to put inside of the pulled pork sandwiches.

Heres the plate! (photo courtesy of Rockin Moe...)

but wait.... thats not all!  i also made a super abundance of tartes!  freshly learned from my recent stint at pastry school!  All in the style of a Mandala!  This one has a lime curd base, and has raspberries surrounding blueberries and oranges spiraling towards the kiwi center crossed by strawberries

these smaller ones also have lime curd in them and have stawberries, blueberries, kiwi and orange

This tarte i poached some peaches, and put them over an almond cream filling with blackberries in the center

This next one, i made in the style of a Tarte Bourdalou, but didn't have any sliced almonds so i used blackberries instead!  a nice fresh summer touch.  it has poached pears over almond cream

and a linzer torte.  this one has a raspberry filling inside of a hazelnut crust

more fresh fruit!  this one has pastry cream in the filling, and has strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, golden raspberries, orange, and a kiwi

This tarte has the same fruits as the before mentioned, and the same filling, but was designed by OTO

a close-up

and then i made two tarte aux pommes- however with a twist of my own.  i love the almond cream so much that i put the almond cream inside under the apple compote and then topped them with apples in a nice design

and then!  we loaded them all into the car along with some other tartes, and come cakes, and FIREWORKS! for an awesome finale of tartes and fireworks! 

i can't believe that i didn't take a picture of the beautiful Old Glory Fruit Tarte that julie made!  but you can see it in there in the car on the bottom right!

mmmm mmmm delicious!

Jack is Cooking Pea Souffle

Well Hello Internet!

the other day (actually a couple of weeks ago... this post got lost somehow) i made a pea souffle with my newly learned knowledge of making souffle.  

apparently souffle's are very easy to make!

all you need is to make a bechamel, and egg whites, with whatever filling you want!

heres what you will need:

flour 1 tablespoon
butter 2 tablespoons
milk 3/4 cup
salt and pepper
a little nutmeg

frozen peas
an onion (chopped up)
salt and pepper
olive oil

6 egg whites
a pinch of salt

pepper jack cheese (grated)  you could use cheddar, or any other cheese of your own fancy.

preheat the oven to 450°

So First!  i sauteed the peas, garlic, and peas, in a little olive oil and flavored them with some salt and pepper and some paprika.  when they were all done i put them in my blender and blended it until it was a fine mush.  or one might say a purée...

Next!  i made my béchamel.  that's pretty easy.  first you melt the butter.  then you add the flour to the butter, and mix it together.  then you add the milk stirring constantly.  when it comes to a boil it should be a pretty thick mixture.  yum yum!  this is an important base to lots of different recipes.  i like to add a little nutmeg for flavor.  after it was done i mixed the pea purée into the béchamel.

then i took my egg whites and whipped them up until they were nice and stiff.  after that i took the egg whites and folded the béchamel purée mixture together.  really really fold these!  no mixing!  you must keep the fluffiness of the egg whites or it won't work!

after that i filled some ramequins half way, then put a nice little bit of cheese into each one, and filled them up to the top with more of the mixture.  and then a nice coating of cheese on top!

into the oven, and cook them until they have puffed up and gone nice and golden brown on top!

mmmmm mmmmm delicious!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Jack is Cooking Braised Burdock

Well Hello Internet!

a bunch of days probably weeks ago now i made some braised burdock, and man was it delicious! a relief from all the pastries!  

heres what you'll need:

1 burdock root
2 carrots
sesame seeds
what i thought was bok choy - or maybe spinach - but actually was collard greens - hahaha
hot sesame oil
olive oil
soy sauce
brown rice vinegar
rice syrup

so first!
slice everything up! 
heres a trick with burdock.  it oxidizes super fast!  like super super fast.  the fastest anything will ever oxidize.  so when you are cutting it i find the best way to cut it is to pretend you are sharpening a pencil with a knife - slicing bits off of the root.  do this over a bowl of water, so that the slices land in the water.  this way it won't oxidize.

then heat the oilive oil and sesame oil in a pan.  add the ginger and the garlic.  cook for maybe 30 seconds, and then add in the burdock and the carrots. until they are tender.  at this point you can add in the mysterious green vegetables!  hahaha, the thing was, i had a green leafy vegetable in my fridge, but i actually had no idea what it was!  at first i thought it was spinach, but then i thought to myself, no that's not spinach.  it must be bok choy.  only when julie returned from mexico did she inform me that she had in fact bought collard greens!  so that's what it was.  either way it was delicious, and all of the above would have been delicious also...

so, yeah cook those green things until they are cooked down a bit and then add in all the sauces, and stir fry a little longer.  sprinkle with sesame seeds when done!

mmm mmm delicious

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Jack is Cooking Pastry # 6

Well Hello Internet!

i made a fruit tart pastry school.  this is my favorite thing ever ever ever, and now i know how to make one!  not that its too complicated!  once i knew how to make pastry cream i suppose it would be pretty easy to figure out.  after all all it is is cut up fruit!

i can't wait to make lots of these

mmmm mmmm delicious!

Jack is Cooking Pastry # 5

Well Hello Internet!

During this class we made a Queen of Sheeba Cake.  its a "flourless" cake but not totally gluten free.  although it could be modified pretty easy to make it so, because it only had about 30 grams of flour in it.  that could easily be replaced with GF flour.  the cake part basically has almond flour and lots of meringue.  the decoration as lots of fun!  I actually haven't eaten it yet because its so pretty looking im scared to cut into it!

Oh yeah, we also made a butt-load of croissants.  we made the dough the other day and made them during this class.  we made 4 types - plain, almond, chocolate (pain au chocolat), and chocolate almond (pain au chocolat avec amande)  that one i made up!  but it probably exists somewhere!!!

here they all are!

mmmm mmmmm delicious!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Jack is Cooking Pastry # 4

Well Hello Internet!

This past pastry class we made some brioche products (more on that later, i actually made brioche over the weekend, so i will post that separately)  and we also made a delicious orange cinnamon bread loaf. 

So we made a mango coconut tarte out some of the brioche.  this is also really delicious.  i got a little fancy with my arrangements of the mango.

And heres the loaf!  on the inside is a delicious cinnamon swirl, and the bread is slightly orange flavored.

mmm mmm delicious!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Jack is Cooking Tarts

Well Hello Internet!

On this rainy sunday i decided to see if i could recreate some of the tartes we made in school at home.  except with a few of my own twists!

so i made a tarte in same style as a tarte bourdalou, except instead of pears i used peaches.

but i did everything the same, i poached the peaches and made an almond cream.  it was a little more difficult with peaches because they are a bit softer.  and unfortunately one of my peach halves got destroyed when i was trying to get it off of the stone, so i ended up with only 5 peach spokes instead of 6.  oh well, i bet its delicious still!

here it is before baking:

and after:

then i made a tarte aux pommes (apple tart).  for this tarte for the apple compote i used a sweeter apple so i wouldn't have to use so much sugar.  i cooked it in goslings rum to give it some extra yummy flavor.  then since i had some almond cream left from the peach tarte, i put some of that on the bottom.

on top i used granny smith apples since they are nicely acidic.  i cut them up really thin, and arranged them in such a way that i was able to have three spinning layers instead of two.  it ended up looking pretty cool.

Here it is before baking:

and after:

and both together!:

mmm mmm delicious!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Jack is Cooking Pastry #3

Well Hello Internet!

Tonight in class we made a Linzer Tort.  its pretty delicious looking, but man was it tough.  not because of any particular reason but mostly because the dough is so soft it breaks so easily!  anyways its filled the crust is made from hazelnuts, and its filled with almond cream and raspberries. 

we also made a tarte flambée, but i forgot to take a picture of it.  its basically just a pizza with tons of caramalized onions covered with a custard made from creme fraiche, fromage blanc, and an egg, topped with bacon and cheese.  yup pretty much a pizza heart attack... delicious but yeah... not exactly something i'd make all the time.

but here is the linzer tort! 

p.s. i just tasted this tort, and while its pretty good, we used some kind of premade raspberry filling.  which while is ok i absolutely know that if i ever made this again i would go through the trouble of making the raspberry fillings myself, because i absolutely love raspberries, and this just needs to be more raspberry-y!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Jack is Cooking Quiche

Well Hello Internet!

Over the weekend to practice for my quiche endeavors i made one at home.  in fact tonight i have made another quiche!  this one is better than both the ones i made before!  the first one i made was lacking a certain technique we learned in the class.  the one we made in the class was ok, but was a little plain, and the quality of the cheese was not superb.  but the one tonight combined the best of both!  im on a quiche roll!

anyways quiches are pretty easy to make, and they sure are delicious!

you can make them with pretty much anything but the basics for a quiche lorraine are

a pinch of nutmeg
and gruyere cheese

and of course a crust

i have been making my own pastry crust, but that's a whole other post.  so to keep things simple i reccoment just buying a frozen pastry crust.  and make sure its not a desert pastry crust because those tend to be sweeter.  if it is not cooked yet bake the crust first.  until it is a little golden.  (a clever trick here is to line the crust with parchment paper and fill the crust with rice, or beans.  this stops the bottom of the crust from bubbling up and breaking!!)

for this quiche that i made i went a little fancier, and i used this:

2 eggs
100 ml of heavy cream
100 ml of milk
50 grams of pancetta
30 grams of goat cheese
60 grams of gruyere cheese

so first! blind b
cook the bacon and the leeks and the spinach.  after they are cooked set them aside.  grate the gruyere cheese finely.  and slice up the goat cheese.  hold all this on the side

in a bowl, whisk the eggs.  add in the milk and the cream, and whisk them all together.  add the salt and pepper, and paprika, and if you have a little nutmeg put a sprinkling of nutmeg in.  don't put all that much salt in because the pancetta and the gruyere are naturally salty.  this is the custard

then take your pastry crust, and crumble the goat cheese evenly in it. then sprinkle the gruyere cheese over this.  on top of this spread out the cooked bacon spinach and leeks.

next!  take the custard and using a strainer (if you have one, its not totally essential) slowly pour the custard over the all the other ingredients, careful not to let it spill over the sides of the crust.

then bake it for 25 minutes at 275° or 350° or until the custard is set.  you can tell its set because a knife will come out cleanly, yet it will still be slightly jiggly if you shake it.  like jello!

personally i like it a little brown on the top so i stuck it under the broiler for 1 minute after just to give it a nice browning on top.

and ta-da!  quiche!:

Jack is Cooking the Best Damn Pasta Sauce You Ever Ate

Well Hello Internet!

over the weekend i made this super delicious pasta sauce.  i have to say it is probably the best damn pasta sauce i ever ate.  and i say that because i really don't like plain tomato sauce all that much.  i don't know why but i find that people spice it wrong and over cook it.  i don't know why they do this, because tomatoes are awesome!  why all the spices and all the cooking for hours and hours and hours until there is nothing left but tomato paste?!

first off, i have to say that this is most definitely not my recipe.  i saw this made on Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations the other day in his episode about techniques.  i did some tweaking here and there but the recipe is essentially from Chef Scott Conant from Scarpetta restaurant.

Heres what you'll need:
5 ripe plum tomatoes
4 cloves of garlic
an onion
a bunch of fresh basil
1 cup of olive oil

First i blanched the tomatoes in hot water for like 15 seconds, and removed them immediately.  (i saved the water so i didn't have to boil more, to cook the pasta in)

after the tomatoes where blanched i skinned them, cut them open and squeezed out the insides into a bowl (save this bowl for if the sauce gets too dry.  then you can add this juicy pulp into the sauce).  i put the remaining part of the tomatoes into a pot with 1 quarter of the olive oil (1/4 cup) and i mashed them with a potato masher until they were pulpy.  i let this simmer for like 30 minutes until it became pretty saucy (mashing from time to time)

in another pot, i put the rest of the olive oil, all the garlic (whole cloves) the onion (chopped up) and maybe 10 fresh leaves of basil, and i let this simmer in the oil for the entire time that the tomato sauce cooked.

when both of these things were done i took a strainer and i strained the oil into the tomato sauce (giving it all the flavor but none of the bits! genius!  this is the most genius part, and what makes it the best damn sauce you ever ate!)  then stir it up real good.

( but wait!  don't throw out all that delicious onion and garlic and basil!  its good for other stuff!  like a quiche!  which should be in a post very soon!

then in a frying pan i sauteed up some pancetta (this is where i moved on from the scarpetta recipe) 
i spooned some of the sauce into the pan to reduce it in a small amount (instead of letting the sauce sit for like 2 hours:

I then tossed in the pasta  and put a pat of butter in it.  this is the final step in the deliciousness!  it made it all nice and super creamy!  yum!!

I then served it with a grating of gruyere cheese (which is a nice alternative to parmesan), and some more fresh basil on top for colour!

mmmmm mmmmm delicious!!!

Jack is Cooking Pastry #2

Well Hello Internet!

Just a quick post tonight, before some more substantial posts in the next couple of days.  i've got a whole lot of things that i've made sitting, and waiting for me to put them up i just have to type up the recipes.  

anyhow tonight i had more pastry school and we made a quiche!  here is the quiche that we made.  it is a classic quiche lorraine.

over the weekend i made another quiche, and that will be posted in full, so check that out soon.

We also made pate a choux - which is the basic dough for eclairs.  we didn't finish making the eclairs, but we did get to make some super awesome looking lovers swans!  and we had to fully plate them!!  anyhow this ones for Julie! :-)

in case you can't see how super awesome those are from just that photo heres a close up

hopefully the eclairs will be done on thursday and i can post em, but these swans are pretty darned impressive!!!   (if i do say so myself)
 mmmm mmm delicious

Friday, April 16, 2010

Jack is Cooking Pastries #1

Well Hello Internet!

so i have started at pastry school (at the French Culinary Institute in NY)  to learn how to professionally make all sorts delicious pastries!  after i learn how to make them awesomely i am going to attempt to make these all gluten free.  which so far, should be fairly east to do!  

anyways here are the first two things we made!
since this is the first time i am making these, and the recipes are most definitely not mine or altered in any way i won't be posting the recipes until i play with them a bit, but i will be posting my progress throughout the course!!

The First is a Tarte Aux Pommes

this is a delicious tart with a pâte sucrée, apple compote, and sliced apples on top finished with an apricot glaze.   super delicious!  

The Second is a Tarte Bourdaloue

this tarte also has a pâte sucrée, filled with almond cream (super delicious) and topped with poached pears and sliced almonds, and finished with an apricot glaze.  

This might be the most delicious thing i have ever made.

oh man.  it makes me drool just looking at this picture.  stay tuned for more pastries!  i have class twice a week so i will be posing delicious pastries at least once a week for the next three months! 

mmmm mmmmm delicious!!!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Jack is Cooking Dandelion Salad

Well Hello Internet!

Last night as part of my dinner i made a dandelion salad.  Dandelions you say??  YES!!! indeed dandelions.  what everybody thinks is normally just a weed is actually pretty delicious as long as its the spring time and they haven't grown to gargantuan proportions.  (when they get very big they get very bitter)

This delicious recipe was introduced to me by Nicole - Julie's Mom.  i am ever so grateful she introduced me to this, i wish i could eat it all the time, as it is super super delicious!

now then, dandelions grow everywhere.  but you should be careful that they are not in a cow field or something as the cows will probably have pooped on them, if there are any left... cows know all about how delicious dandelions are and so eat them all up!!  also, since they are technically a weed, you need to get them from a place that hasn't put poison all over them... cuz that's just gross...

Heres what you will need:

boiled eggs
an onion
balsamic vinegar
an oil (a not very strong olive oil, or grapeseed oil, or other light oil)

so the first thing to do is to pick yourself a whole lot of dandelions.  the next thing is to not pick the flowers, you just want the leaves.  about 4-5 inches in length.  bigger than that and they are too big.  i have seen dandelion in the supermarket, but they are normally really really big, and when they are that big they really are way too bitter.

so after you pick yourself a nice basket of dandelions, take them home and start washing them.  wash them good, and pick out all the grass and flower buds and anything else that may have found its way into your basket:

After you have cleaned everything very well, take a knife and chop everything up real well:

Then take your hard boiled eggs and slice them nicely and put them in the salad:

add a splash of balsamic vinegar, and some of your choice of oil.  give it a toss!

take the bacon and chop it up all nice and small, and also take an onion and chop it all up nice and small.  if you want you can serve this on the side, or you can mix it in.  this adds a nice bit of extra flavor!

and serve away!!  

mmm mmm delicious! 

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Jack is Cooking Huevos Rancheros Breakfast Tacos for Dinner

Well Hello Internet!

Here is a great easy recipe for some breakfast Taco's that I made one day.  i made this out of leftovers in my fridge.

here's what you will need:
corn tortillas (i got mine from Tortilleria Mexicano Tres Hermanos - they sell tortillas for $1 at their restaurant in Brooklyn.  also it is probably the best tacos and tortas i've ever had.  i am completely obsessed with this place and wish that it wasn't so far away from where i live in the city.  you can stuff yourself with real authentic mexican food for under $10, and then buy some tortillas to make more of your own!!!)  
for the salsa:
1 or half an onion
1 or half a tomato
half a red pepper
clove of garlic
a small can of sweet corn
some cumin
salt and pepper
some paprika.

first, i made the salsa.  i cooked this salsa so that all the flavours were really nice and melty.  (that's the best way i can describe it!)  

i sauteed the onions and garlic, until they were translucent.  mean while in the oven i turned on my broiler, and i roasted the tomato, the red pepper,  and the corn until they got a nice charring on the skin. then i chopped them all up finely and added them to the onions, and cooked for 5-10 minutes.  i added some salt and pepper, some cumin and some paprika for flavoring.  voila!  corn salsa!  

Next, i scrambled some eggs.  i hope that everybody knows at least how to scramble an egg.  its hard to screw that up.  but if you don't here are the instructions:  

crack 2-3 eggs in a bowl.  and salt and pepper.  stir well with a fork.
heat pan on med - low heat.  melt butter in a pan.  pour eggs in.  stir them while they cook, until they are almost done.  turn off the stove.  they will keep cooking, so turn off the stove right before they look done.  serve immediately!  now you know!!  

so anyways, heat up the tortillas.  if you put them in a paper towel and microwave for 20 seconds they will be nice and warm.  or else you can warm them in a pan.  

put some eggs on each tortilla:

next!  put some of that delicious Salsa on top of the eggs, and top with your favorite cheese.  at the time the only cheese i had was feta.  not exactly mexican but it was still delicious!
Serve up these soft tacos with a napkin!  they are a little messy!!

mmm mmmm delicious!