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.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Hey Ya'll!

This month's challenge was just that....a challenge. I only eat two kinds of seafood and I'm usually scared to cook it myself b/c I'm scared that I'll not do it right and end up ill. Anyway, I thought and I thunked and came up with Shrimp-N-Grits. I had to represent the south...yee haw!

I purchased 1 lb of shrimp, 1 lb of sausage, and the ingredients to make grits. I did not buy instant grits. If you've seen "my cousin vinny" you'd know that no self respecting southerner eats instants grits (like i'm a big grit eater, but whatevs).

My picture is my serving which is why there is just a tad. However, Matt's bowl was filled and he went in for seconds. Those TN boys like some food.

I started with the grits. They were cooked in chicken stock until tender, then I removed them from the heat and added 1/2 cup cream, salt, pepper, and a little butter. Not very figure friendly, but creamy and delish.

Next for the shrimp part of it....

I sauteed an onion and garlic for 2 minutes and eventually adding the sausage to it. I let that cook for a while until enough fat developed in the pan to make a roux. Next came the chicken stock and a bay leaf. I didn't buy hot sausage so I added some red pepper flakes for kicks. After the sausage was nearly cooked I threw in the shrimp and let that cook until pink (peeled/deveined of course). Once everything was cooked through I ladled the grits into a bowl and topped with the shrimp mixture.

Results: Matt says he would like this again. Me, well. I liked it, but don't know that I LOVED it. I will admit though....the grits were my favorite part b/c they were creamy. I think if I made them for breakfast I would use water instead of stock, and add some sweetener along with the milk. Anyway, the dish was filling and comforting on a cold night. I'm glad to say that I can mark this dish off of my "to try" list.

Until next time fellow doorknobs, keep those buns and ovens HOT!

Friday, January 30, 2009

scallops: 2 ways

without fail when i go to a fancy restaurant, i usually get one of two things: lamb or scallops. for this month's challenge i wanted to tackle my fear of cooking scallops at home. i made it two ways, seared, topped with lychee onion salsa and baked, topped with a sesame soy ginger sauce. both turned out really well, i mean, i liked both a lot.

handling scallops isn't as difficult as i thought. i just had to make sure it was fresh and dried completely. i seasoned with just kosher salt and pepper.

Lychee Onion Salsa:
a few lychees, chopped (i used canned)
small onion diced (red onions or scallions can be used too)
dash of lime juice
green onions, sliced (i only threw this in for the color)

mix all ingredients in bowl and refridgerate til ready to use.

Sesame Soy Ginger Sauce
few slices of candied ginger, julienned (fresh is fine too, i just wanted to use up some of the candied stuff)
splash of soy sauce
splash of sesame oil
red chile, sliced tiny (for color and some bite)
green onions, sliced (again, for color)

mix all together. i know i'm not giving any measurements, it's all about taste. i also heated it up in the microwave for about 20 seconds before topping on the scallops.

preheat oven to 400F. place 4 seasoned scallops on baking sheet. bake in oven for about 8 minutes. (i think it's entirely up to you on how well you want it done, as well as the size of the scallops. just do it til it's about opaque.)


for the remaining 4 scallops to be seared. in a pan, add a drizzle of olive oil and heat til hot. carefully place the scallops in pan, being sure to keep them apart from each other to prevent steaming. sear fro about 2-3 minutes on one side and about 1-2 minutes on flip side.

plate respective scallops seperately. for the seared scallops, i topped with the fruit. it came out sweet and tender. for the baked scallops, i topped with the sesame soy ginger sauce. it was really good too.

scallops 2

i'm really pleased with how well these came out. what i liked most was that it was all done quickly, under 30 minutes. great party food!

so until next time, may your kitchen bring forth much love to your tummy!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

I wish it were warmer ...

It's been snowing, it won't stop snowing up here in Boston, it's awful! This doesn't warm you up, but it at least reminds you of sitting on outside on a warm day and enjoying a refreshing [deconstructed] salad.

Lump crab napoleon with pesto vinaigrette and herb goat cheese:

- handful of grape tomatoes (or vine ripe/heirloom if you can find some)
- basil, lots of basil
- lump crab (maryland blue crab is best, again if you can find some)
- your favorite herb goat cheese
- 1/2 ripe avocado
- extra virgin olive oil
- white vinegar
- 1 tbsp maille mustard
- parmesan cheese
- salt & pepper
- honey

Coarsely chop a handful of grape tomatoes with 3 basil leaves, add a bit of salt, put into a round form and pop into the fridge while preparing the rest. Add about 20-25 basil leaves into a blender, add in olive oil, vinegar, honey, 1 tbsp parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, mustard and about 3 grape tomatoes. Blend well. Remove the tomato form from fridge, place onto a plate, top with lump crap and sliced avocado. Add as much pesto vinaigrette surrounding the tomatoes as you prefer, crumble goat cheese.

Friday, January 2, 2009

i <3 New York

i'm headed to NYC this month. jab bought me a weekend in NYC, complete with dinner at Tao and a broadway show. we're going to see the Little Mermaid.
personally, i prefer the original storyline, and the japanese came out with an anime version that stays true to it. however, how can one NOT like the disney version with the likeable songs and sidekicks??? in 8th grade, while living in Africa, i think i watched the movie every night with Cilla, we memorized the lines together. dorky, i know!
this months challenge: make something from under the sea.
you know you totally got that! :)
due date: January 31st, 2008