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, September 28, 2008

Hello Autumn!!

Monday marked the first official day of Fall. Much to Lan's dismay this means crisp air, falling leaves, and football. But it also means soup! One of my favorite places to get a quick bowl of soup is McAlister's Deli. It's your average sandwich/salad, etc chain place, but they're not too bad! My friend Sallee and I looove to get the soup on a chilly day and have it served in a breadbowl. So, that's what I've chosen for this month's challenge: broccoli cheddar soup in a breadbowl. Naturally, the day I chose to make the soup it was 80 degrees.
Ingredient list:
1 bag frozen broccoli
3 or so cups of vegetable stock
2 cloves of garlic
1 sm yellow onion
salt and pepper
dash of nutmeg
sprinkle of thyme leaves
shredded cheddar cheese
couple pats of butter
round loaf of bread
The onion and garlic were chopped and dropped into a large stock pot with melted butter. I sauteed those for about 10 minutes. The onions and garlic were pushed to the side while I made a roux in the pot with butter and flour. after that cooked for a sec i mixed the onions in and then added the veggie stock. i let that simmer for a bit until it thickened. add stock as you see necessary. i like my soup thicker so i didn't add too much more. after the mixture thickened i added the broccoli, thyme and nutmet and let it simmer for 30 minutes. Why 30 minutes? i don't know. Just sounded good. Afterwards I transferred the mixture into the food processor to blend until smooth. Put it back in the pan, add about a 1/2 cup of milk, cream, whatever. I used half and half to save a few calories (plus i can use that for my mix drinks later on). Throw in some cheddar cheese and stir until it melts.
I took the round bread loaf and hollowed it out saving the torn bread for dunking. Ladle the soup and enjoy!
Until next time fellow doorknobs, keep those buns and ovens hot!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Bringing my favorites home ...

I've been insanely busy lately and when I get insanely busy, I always end up at my local favorite stand-by. Papa Razzi. Papa Razzi is part of a group of Boston restaurants run by the Back Bay Restaurant Group that includes italian, seafood, american bistro, steak, and (my most favorite after Papa Razzi) french bistro.

I've tried a number of things on the menu and have thoroughly enjoyed them all but my favorite meal typically begins with a caprese salad, followed up by mozzarella fritta, completed by penne con pollo.

For this month's challenge, I decided to recreate those dishes, nix the caprese (fresh mozzarella + heirloom tomatoes + basil)

Mozzarella fritta:

  • fresh mozzarella, sliced and patted to remove excess water
  • flour
  • eggs
  • milk
  • panko bread crumbs
  • parmesan cheese
  • salt, pepper
  • olive oil (or canola for frying)

Create a dredging station, first dredging plate should be flour, second should be (1) large egg + small bit of milk whisked, third plate should be panko breadcrumbs combined with 1/3 cup parmesan cheese + salt + pepper.

Dredge the sliced mozzarella and then bring (1) cup of oil to temperature. Fry on medium high heat until golden brown. I typically serve with some marinara sauce (always have some in the fridge) and maybe some fresh basil.

I also made penne con pollo. This is a delicious, simple recipe of penne (or ziti) sauteed with juicy delicious chicken, asparagus, plum tomatoes, garlic white wine & butter sauce.

Penne con pollo:
  • 1-lb chicken breast (or tenders)
  • Asparagus
  • (4) plum tomatoes
  • (3) cloves garlic, sliced
  • Penne or ziti
  • Salt + pepper
  • Crushed dried red pepper
  • (3) tbsp butter
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 1 tsp paprika

Cut chicken into 1" pieces, combine with some olive oil, pepper, paprika. Boil ziti/penne. In a saute pan, saute the pieces of chicken until seared/slightly brown. Add in garlic and saute for one-minute. Add in cut asparagus, tomatoes and continue to saute for 2 minutes. Add in wine, butter, salt + pepper. Tomatoes will break down, sauce will thicken, add in sprinkle of dried red pepper before serving.

I'm glad I took the time to participate this month given my insane schedule, the dishes turned out terrific and it was mentally relaxing.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

my take on a My Thai appetizer

i remember as a child thinking it was rather normal for peter or my mother to go out to the garage and do the frying out there. the times that they had to do quick stir fries in the house, it was also very normal for one of them to yell out for me to haul ass upstairs to shut all the bedroom doors to keep the food fumes out. i found myself doing the same thing today. the hauling ass to shut all the bedroom doors. also, this month's challenge taught me a lesson. it taught me that i am not a fryer. the splatter of the oil and working fast bit, not fun. however, the end product was worth it.


my thai is a thai/sushi restaurant in mt. vernon. i've been there a number of times. and each time i've had their Crispy Green Beans. sometimes i think about it. i think about how crispy and hot that first bite is. i also think about the fact that the green beans are always still green and moist on the inside, but the outter layer is golden brown. and from the moment i tasted this appetizer i knew i had to re-create it.

and that is why i made it this month's theme.

My My Thai Crispy Green Beans
green beans, probably 1/2 lb
tempura batter, follow package instructions
oil for deep frying
2 tbls oyster sauce
1/2 tsp garlic chili

deep fry the green beans til golden brown, it's ok if they stick together. be sure to place on towels to drain excess oil. (i kept it warm in the oven while i finished off the batch.) once all fried up and dried up, place in serving dish, drizzle with the oyster sauce and chili. how simple is that? how incredibly awful for your hips is that???


with a dish like this, doorknobbin is a tad bit more challenging but i'm totally up for it! :)

Happy Doorknobbin' Hookers!