Aphorisms from the Professor: Brillat-Savarin

Friday, January 21, 2011

fishy (in the good way!) crepe

These crepes - which seem to be what you would get if my last two posts mated - were meant to be an appetizer. But as you can see, they turned out quite big. After eating them, making more food (nonsensically intended to be even more fish!), was completely unnecessary.

In photography news, we have finally implemented a system that allows me to use the tripod, which is especially critical when I'm using my fancy macro lens without the help of fancy lights.

Home-made crepe with trout spread (leftover rainbow trout, mayonnaise, horseradish, anchovies, taramosalata), arugula and tomato

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

our new kitchen comes with so many perks!

My mom was visiting over the weekend, and although it was quite cold yesterday, I felt I had to show her a bit more of our new neighborhood. On our walk, we discovered a fantastic little seafood store that sells fresh fish and random Asian sauces and condiments. (For those Nashville-ites checking the blog: it reminds me of a much smaller and less sketchy K&S). We decided to try some of their fish, and man was it good. We will definitely be going back.

Maybe it's because we haven't cooked in so long, but tonight's dinner smelled out of control incredible while my boyfriend was cooking. We also discovered some awesome perks of our new kitchen: 1) our kitchen is set up so that I can pull up a chair and hang with my man while he's cooking (even if he refuses to let me help), and 2) in my boyfriend's words: "The set-up of this kitchen makes it easier to clean up as I'm cooking".

Seriously, does it get any better?!?!?!

Pan-fried rainbow trout served over white rice (cooked with beef bouillon for added flavor) and spinach, with sauteed shallots, carrots and radishes

Friday, January 14, 2011

first home-cooked meal in brooklyn!

See, I told you we'd be back. And after eating out for almost 2 weeks straight, my boyfriend and I are just itching to get back to our kitchen and home-cooked meals (not to mention vegetables, which we never seem to get enough of when we eat out). Not that we can really complain: if you have to constantly eat out, New York is the place to be. Everything we have put in our mouths (running the full gamut from street food to fancy food) has been The Best.

We finally got our first big grocery shop out of the way this morning, and almost immediately my boyfriend got to it. I was thinking it would just be nice to have eggs and toast. But my boyfriend clearly had some creative energy stocked up, and we ended up with beautiful crepes.

The photo set-up still needs some sorting out because, as you can probably imagine, in New York we do not have the space for a permanent photo studio with fancy lights and a tripod like I had in Nashville - thank goodness for autolevels in Photoshop! But, our kitchen is amazing, which is clearly more important...for now...

Crepe with plum tomatoes, spinach, prosciutto, Spanish cheese (can't remember the name, just know that it is NOT Manchego.....) and a perfectly poached egg

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

official (but temporary) hiatus

Due to an upcoming long-distance move, the blog is on hold until we've moved and settled in. But don't worry, we are still eating deliciousness, and we *will* be back!

Monday, November 29, 2010

it's cold and its rainy - give me soup!

Hearty Lentil Soup (from The New Best Recipe): lentils (duh!) bacon, onion, carrots, garlic, diced tomato, bay leaf, thyme, salt, pepper, white wine, chicken broth, balsamic vinegar, spinach and parsley

Unexpected New Best Recipe Tip: to achieve a creamier base, toward the end of cooking, puree 3 cups of the soup and then return it to the pot.

Friday, November 26, 2010

secrets to perfect oven-baked potato wedges

Earlier this year, we patted ourselves on the back for mastering french fries. Tonight, with a little help from The New Best Recipe, the potato was conquered again.

As with french fries, a perfect potato wedge is soft and fluffy on the inside, but crispy on the outside. This brings us to Wedge Secret #1: for the first 5 minutes of baking, cover the pan with aluminum foil. This effectively steams the potatoes, ensuring that the inside is moist and fluffy even after the outside has been crisped. This also ensures that the outside doesn't get burnt in an attempt to get the insides cooked. Everyone wins.

Wedge Secret #2 is less about the final product, more about practicality. The most frustrating part about oven-baked wedges (or fries, for that matter) is that they have a horribly annoying tendency to stick to the pan. The solution? Salt the pan, not the potatoes. The best way to understand why this works is to imagine zooming in to your baking pan with salt and then potatoes on top - the potatoes are literally sitting on top of the salt...so they can't stick to the pan! Seriously, isn't that genius?!?! And it works!

On a completely unrelated note, I need to mention my slaw (were it not for the clever plating you would be able to tell that this was my doing based on the wildly uneven and inconsistent cutting).  At some point, the tv (top chef? iron chef?) said to me "Pork chop, apple, fennel. This is something you must do". Sure enough, this is a magical combination. The slaw was tasty on its own, but when eaten with a piece of the pork chop...unbelievable.

Seared pork chop on a cabbage, apple & fennel slaw (dressing: olive oil, apple cider vinegar & whole grain mustard), served with perfect baked potato wedges and wasabi mayo for dipping

Monday, November 22, 2010

back with new inspiration!

I'm not going to bore you with a list of excuses for the blogging hiatus. Needless to say, we've been eating, it's been delicious, we just haven't been particularly inspired to plate beautifully or blog. These things happen.

To try and reinvigorate our creative juices (and, fine, so that we could qualify for free super-saver shipping on a mattress cover from Amazon), I bought my boyfriend The New Best Recipe, a cook book from the geniuses behind Cooks Illustrated. For those of you unfamiliar with this wonderful publication, it goes a little something like this:

Oh hey, so you want to roast a chicken? 
Well, we tried to roast chicken 57 different ways. 
This is the way that works best.

It is basically awesome. The book obviously contains some of their best recipes, but also lots of tips and interesting information. So far my boyfriend has enjoyed just sitting around reading it with no real cooking goals in mind. In fact, although he didn't get that many pasta-tips from the book (besides that supermarket pasta lies about cooking time), he kept it with him in the kitchen to casually browse through while various delicious items simmered in the pan to make the pasta sauce. My boyfriend always says he "loves the process" of making tomato sauces; I take this to mean he likes standing in the kitchen as amazing smells develop...

Penne with Italian sausage, olives, artichoke hearts, sun dried tomatoes and homemade tomato sauce (tomatoes, garlic, shallots, red wine, fresh basil), finished with more fresh basil and grated parmesean cheese

Saturday, November 6, 2010

hellloooooo colour!

 Cooking with beets is scary: everything is at risk for being permanently dyed red, and when you turn on the food processor there is a moment where you need to check that you have all your fingers because of the dark red splatter. But in the end, isn't that magenta just beautiful on the plate? (And the little bit that was left in the food processor helped us achieve this crazy neon orange butternut squash!)

Beet & horseradish rosti

Butternut squash & goat cheese puree

Chimichuri chicken

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

home made pumpkin ravioli in minutes

Okay, so maybe my post title is a bit misleading. But one of the great thing about making ravioli is that they freeze very well. So you can go through the trials and tribulations of making your own pasta dough, filling, and assembling the ravioli, once, but enjoy the fruits of your labors again and again with only a fraction of the effort.

Pumpkin ravioli with a pumpkin butter, white wine and cream cheese sauce, topped with sauteed icicle radishes and chopped Granny smith apple

Monday, November 1, 2010

looks basic? I promise there is a flavor combination in there that will shock you

Looks like a simple meal, right? There's a beautiful piece of lamb, some sauteed brussel sprouts with garlic and bacon, nothing too earth-shattering...

But wait.

What is that orange blob in the distance?

Are you sitting down? I am going to list the ingredients for this dinner-sandwich-side (I hope your interest is already piqued by the side item I don't even know how to name):

Butternut squash puree 

(so far so good)

chive and onion cream cheese

(okay, that still kind of makes sense).


(because...why not?)


(Yes. Nutella.)

And now for the biggest surprise of all: this was delicious. You would think that the bacon would steal the show, as bacon is wont to do. But surprisingly I didn't even realize the bacon was in there until my boyfriend told me, and even then it took a back seat to the chives, that went so well with the nutella I was amazed. Yet more proof that nutella is the best thing since (and with!) sliced bread.