quelle est une doorknob?

the joke is. a girl is like a doorknob. at one point or another in her life, everybody gets a turn at her.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Challenge: Soul Food

By soul food I do not mean collards, fried chicken, and grape soda. Show us your comfort foods, what makes you feel better after a rough day, but give it a unique twist.

Deadline: July 31

Good luck fellow knobs!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Bringing the yellows of summer.

So, I started thinking about this challenge a few weeks ago and earlier this week (sorry for the delayed post, but it's still on the deadline!) and came up with a plethora of ideas for Yellow recipes ... alas I decided on one that would help ring in the warm weather and tastes of summer.

I decided to make Chilled Yellow Tomatoe Soup with Garlic Brioche and Grilled Shrimp. It's quite easy, as long as you've got all the ingredients prep'd ahead of time.

First, make a simple cilantro vinaigrette (pepper, honey, mustard, oil, white vinegar, cilantro) and marinate the shrimp, set aside.

While the shrimp are marinating, grill up some corn, follow Kelcy's recipe below, or just as simple, take some ears of corn, wrap in foil and throw on the grill for 15 mins, remember to turn.

You can set the corn aside as you prep the rest of the dish. Take (3) medium (to large) yellow tomatoes along with (3 or 1.5 regular cukes) pickling cukes (peel and remove all seeds of the cukes) and place into a blender, cut cukes and tomatoes into small pieces to make the blending process easier. To this blended mixture, you will add: 1.5 tbsp white vinegar, 1 tbsp garlic chili sauce, 2 tsp worcestershire sauce, 2 tsp salt, cracked black pepper. Blend to combine.

Take a piece of crusty bread (rustic italian, sourdough, etc) and make a garlic brioche by sprinkling some olive oil, garlic powder, pepper, & paprika and then grilling/toasting under a broiler.

Take the marinated shrimp and grill for 1-min on each side.

To complete the assembly, ladle the tomato puree into a soup bowl, place the brioche in the center, top with grilled shrimp and corn and garnish with finely chopped cilantro, jalapeno, and a small amount of red-tomato.

Challenge Yellow

I chose to do three items for our first showdown. I did this b/c my items were very simple so I had the time.

The first is corn on the cob. Easy? Yes. However, my method of cooking the cob was not the traditional boiling pot of water. I cooked my ears on the grill. We were already grilling out so I thought, what the heck? To do this you simply peel back (but not off) the husks, remove the silt and soak the corn for about thirty minutes in water. This helps to steam and prevent the ears from burning. Pull the husks around the corn tightly. Put them on the grill for about 30 minutes and you're done. No aluminum foil needed.

To add a kick I softened one stick of butter and added two crushed cloves of garlic and a hunk of gorgonzola cheese. I loved it, however, I think Matt could have done without the gorgonzola part in the butter.

My next item was lemonade. Again, easy. I did not use a powder mix. Mine was fresh squeezed. I started with simple syrup of one cup of water and one cup of sugar. It was a tad sweet so I would suggest using a smaller amount of sugar. I juiced 5 large lemons through a sieve (b/c I hate pulp), added the simple syrup, and 4 cups of water. omg. SO good! Just for giggles, I added a shot of Southern Comfort to our glasses. You have an instant Soco-laide. It takes a little bit of time to squeeze the lemons, but it's sooo worth it.

Last but not least....dessert. I chose a panna cotta recipe that Lan and I did before and altered the ingredients. Espresso Panna Cotta

Instead of the espresso I went with a vanilla flavor dish with lemon whipped topping. For the whipped topping I added lemon zest and a bit of the juice along with a little bit of sugar. Delicious!

This was a fun challenge. Although I went tres simple I thoroughly enjoyed my dishes. Until we meet again, fellow doorknobs, keep those buns and ovens hot!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Angry Asian's Yellow Fever

i made two dishes. because i felt like it.

the first dish was polenta. i'd never made it before, nor had i ever tasted it so i figured i'd learn something in the process. furthermore, i knew it was a soft food which we all know i'm a big fan of right now due to the grill.

i used instant polenta mix, just followed the package directions, only i added a cup of heavy cream to thicken the mixture a bit and make it smoother. i quickly spread the polenta onto a greased rimmed baking dish, evenly distributing it. then i set it aside to cool. i had a few items in the fridge i wanted to get rid of. i made a simple roasted red pepper jam, basil pesto chicken salad and regular chicken salad. once the polenta was cool enough to handle, i used a flower cookie cutter to shape little appetizer sized portions and added a dollop of whatever topping on top. it tasted ok, i don't have anything to compare it to but i thought it was pretty to look at.

the second dish was citrus semifreddo that i saw Giada make on her show Everyday Italian. Naturally, i had to change a few things in the recipe. rather than using amaretti cookies, i used molasses cookies (i'd never even heard of amaretti cookies and i couldn't find it in any of the stores i went to.) plus, i like molasses cookies. i also did not use limoncello, rather i used a mojito mix.

it came out ok. it melted the instant i took it out of the freezer so i had to move fast. jab taste tested it first, he said it was very lemon-y. he liked it but i know it's definitely not something he would normally eat. he said it reminded him of sorbet. he really liked the molasses topping.

i thought it was a nice snack to have, it's been hot all week. it's creamier than sorbet, a tad bit citrus-y. my roommate tasted it too, and noted the topping. (take that Amaretti cookies!) i don't think i'll be doing this recipe again, i did come across a mocha semifreddo that i'd like to give a whirl. i wish it didn't melt so quickly cus i'd take the rest of what i have leftover into work for my coworkers to devour. now i gotta eat it.

Citrus Semifreddo:

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 4 ounces purchased amaretti cookies crushed (about 20 small cookies) plus more for sprinkling
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup sugar, plus 1/4 cup
  • 8 large egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons limoncello
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 lemon, zested 1 lime, zested
  • 1 cup whipping cream

Spray a 9 by 5 by 3-inch metal loaf pan with nonstick spray. Line the pan with plastic wrap, allowing the excess to hang over the ends and sides. Combine the crushed amaretti cookies and the melted butter. Put in the lined pan and press down to firm and form a crust.

Whisk 1/2 cup of the sugar, the egg yolks, lemon juice, lime juice, limoncello, and salt in a large metal bowl to blend. Set the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (do not allow the bottom of the bowl to touch the water). Whisk the egg mixture until it is thick and creamy, and a thermometer inserted into the mixture registers 160 degrees F, about 5 minutes. Set the bowl of custard into another bowl of ice water to cool completely. Stir in the zest.

Using an electric mixer, beat the cream and remaining 1/4 cup sugar in another large bowl until firm peaks form. Using a large rubber spatula, gently fold the whipped cream into the custard. Spoon the mixture onto the prepared crust. Fold the overhanging plastic wrap over the custard and freeze until frozen, at least 8 hours or up to 3 days.

Unfold the plastic wrap. Invert the semifreddo onto a platter and peel off the plastic wrap. Cut the semifreddo into 1-inch slices and sprinkle with crushed amaretti cookies and serve.

recipe courtesy of Giada de Laurentiis.

Happy Kitchen Doorknobbin'!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

yellow for Brie

This is an appeal on behalf of a group of food bloggers who are friends of Briana Brownlow @ Figs With Bri.

Bri was diagnosed with breast cancer two and half years ago. A mastectomy, chemotherapy and two years of relatively good health later, the cancer is back. It has metastasized to other parts of her body. At the age of 15, Bri lost her 41-year old mother to the disease. Now, she’s waging her own war against breast cancer. More about it here.

She is going through intensive chemo and other treatments and needs to focus single-mindedly on healing and finding what treatment works best for her. Her health insurance, unfortunately, does not cover holistic alternatives which she would like to try. Bri and her husband Marc have enough on their plates right now in addition to worrying about her medical bills.

The team organising the JUNE edition of CLICK at Jugalbandi has organised a fundraiser to help Bri and her family meet her out-of-pocket medical costs for ONE YEAR.

CLICK is a monthly theme-based photography contest hosted by Jugalbandi. This month’s theme is: YELLOW for Bri

Yellow is the colour of hope. Through the work of the LiveStrong Foundation, it has also come to signify the fight against cancer.

The entries can be viewed HERE. The deadline for entries is June 30, 2008. The fundraiser will extend until July 15, 2008.

The target amount is 12,000 U.S. dollars. We appeal to our fellow bloggers and readers to help us achieve this. Bri deserves a chance to explore all options, even if her insurance company thinks otherwise.

There’s a raffle with exciting prizes on offer. After viewing the list, you may make your donation HERE or at the Chip-In button on any participating site.

Your donation can be made securely through credit card or Pay Pal and goes directly to Bri’s account.

This month’s photo contest also has some prizes. Details HERE.

You can support this campaign by donating to the fundraiser, by participating in CLICK: the photo event, and by publicising this campaign.