Wednesday, March 28, 2012

BBQ Salad No. 2 | Spinach & Feta Sausages, Thyme & Maple Syrup Smoked Onions & Peppers, Dragonfruit & Arugula tossed with a Chipotle & Mustard Vinaigrette.

After the last success with a BBQ salad, I decided to try another. I'm still on my odd diet, but Tyler has taken to eating less carbs, and more green things. So when this year's St. Patty's day rolled around, neither of us were in a place to enjoy a cold beer or a generous helping of corned beef. So instead, I managed to come up with something both green and involving beer, without the consequences of larger pants or a headache the next day. 

Monday, March 26, 2012

Bahn Mi with Avacado and Homemade Do Chua

Bahn Mi with Avacado and Homemade Do Chua
A few weeks (errrr....months) ago I had a craving for Bahn Mi - those yummy sandwiches that everyone west of Atwater freaked out over last year after they'd had their fill of fro-yo and creme puffs. Typically, Bahn Mi is made with a very light and flaky Vietnamese baguette made with rice flour, but I was curious how the no-knead baguettes Tyler makes would hold up. So we tried it out - and it worked rather nicely. This sandwich became a lot more substantial than the ones you can get from Mr. Baguette and the like - but I didn't mind that at all. 

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

BBQ Salad No. 1 | Sesame, Honey & Thyme Smoked Pears; Mango, Avocado & Blue Cheese on Smoked Arugula with Prime Rib & Lemon Pepper Shrimp

A few Sundays ago Tyler and I decided to BBQ. It had been awhile. I always forget how easy and painless BBQ'ing can be. I've been on a non-fat protein based diet - so life has been somewhat dismal (thank GOD for tapatio). But, when I can, I get some of my creative juices out via the occasional meals that I make for Tyler. This one was a big gamble. But it worked beautifully! It's great the next day too!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Rye On The Palate  & Cranberry Basted Pork Loin with Crispy Black Kale, Roasted Potatoes and a "Froached" Egg

This dish is somewhat loosely based on my idea of a pot roast. My husband came home with a growler of Golden Road's Rye on the Palate and it had gone slightly flat. All the flavor was still there, so I figured that I should cook with it. I had been wanting to cook a pork loin in my pressure cooker for awhile, so I took this opportunity to try it out. The rest of the recipe grew out of what was in my pantry and fridge at the time. This meal can be a little daunting to make, but it's well worth the effort.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Cheese Plate with Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout

Cheese Plate: (from left to right) Pecorino with Walnut Leaf, Reblechon Prefere Fromi, Roaring 40's Blue, Tomme Crayeuse with KBS.
"A bit of backwoods pleasure without the banjo. This strong stout is brewed with a hint of coffee and vanilla then aged in oak bourbon barrels. Our process ensures that strong bourbon undertones come through in the finish in every batch we brew. We recommend decanting at room temperature and best enjoyed in a brandy snifter." - KBS Bottle
KBS is a beer that Tyler and I never thought we'd find in California, and we never did. But when we visited New York, Tyler had a whirlwind afternoon wherein he found a botte of Cantillon Geuze and a four pack of KBS. I had never heard of this beer before Tyler came back to the apartment in Harlem glowing with sheen of a recent beergasm. I haven't had a lot of bourbon aged stouts, but honestly - bourbon aged beers aren't something that usually peak my interest. In my limited experiences, the flavor profiles have existed within a rather narrow bracket and the bourbon and barrel flavors really take over a beer that may not be that interesting in the first place. But I trust Tyler and that last line about "decanting at room temp" really peaked my interest, so I decided to pair it with a cheese plate.

Here's what really worked: 
Pecorino with Walnut Leaf
This Pecorino took a slightly nutty taste and isn't at all salty like you may expect. It's earthiness brought out the sweetness of the vanilla in the beer. 
Tomme Crayeuse
This cheese had a mushroomy earthiness as well as a sharp lactic like bite.

Here's what didn't:
Reblechon Prefere Fromi
This cheese was great on it's own. It tasted like butter - literally, like cultured butter or mascarpone cheese without the sweetness. It has a ever so slight funk - and I enjoyed eating it on it's own - but it offered nothing to the beer and the beer really overpowered the cheese and wiped it clean off the palate.  
Roaring 40's Blue
Sigh. This cheese would probably have been the best pairing of the bunch, but unfortunately it had gone bad. This would be the 3rd time I've bought a cheese that had gone bad before i bought it. Such a bummer, lesson learned. Always try the cheese you are going to buy. If a cheese has gone bad it will have a somewhat gritty texture, usually it turns brownish and the biggest giveaway is that it has an overwhelming ammonia flavor and smell.

All in all it was a pretty successful cheese plate, and the KBS was an outstanding beer. 

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Molly Ringwalds Chicken Chow

I've been told many a time that I resemble Molly Ringwald. I used to get annoyed by this when I was in high school because I figured that it was only because of my hair. As I've gotten older I look less and less like her, but after watching this recent video from CHOW I sorta miss those days. I'd be ok with being compared to this lady - she seems pretty cool. Enjoy!

Watch it here.
From Chow: In My Go-To Dish, meticulously trained chefs, hardworking food-industry folks, and even, sometimes, famous actors show us their delicious, reliable, and easy meals. It's how they get dinner on the table quickly after a long day. Remember: They're just like us.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Recipe: Trofie with Wild Mushrooms

Trofie Pasta with Wild Mushrooms and Garlic
This has now become a Kemp family staple. Trofie is a Ligurian style of pasta that I first had in Riomaggiore in Cinque Terre, Italy. I was happy to find it in Pasadena, but I certainly paid out the nose for it. The traditional way to serve trofie is with pesto, but I decided to make it with sautéed mushrooms in butter. Seriosuly, one of my favorite things I've had this year...simpler really is always better. 
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