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Posts Tagged ‘Update’

Renovation Update

September 28th, 2009

The past few weeks have been productive.  We gutted the kitchen completely and have begun to put things back together.  The electrical and plumbing have both been redone and the walls are being put back up.  Pretty soon the room will have walls, a ceiling, and a floor.  With any luck at all we’ll be done around two weeks from now.  I know I’m really looking forward to cooking something good.  The Girl has already requested duck confit for my first meal.

Author: Josh Categories: Story Tags: , ,

Crab Cake Update

May 27th, 2009

Recently I had some difficulty making crab cakes. I decided to use the long weekend (Memorial Day) to try again. We didn’t have any other plans, so this would be a good no pressure time.

The main trouble I had last time was the fact that I just couldn’t get the crab out of the shell. I was able to get around that this time by using Bumble Bee brand canned crab meat. This one change took cooking time from 4 hours to about forty-five minutes. The only problem with this is that the crab cakes didn’t really taste like crabs. They tasted good, but more like fish than crab. I didn’t look at the cans too closely, but there is a chance that I got imitation crab meat. If you wanted to be really fancy with your crab cakes, then I would recommend using real crabs but the imitation crab meat is a good substitute.

Instead of the crusty French baguette I used to make bread crumbs last time, I used two slices of white bread. They were much easier on the food processor, and when (again) I wound up without enough, I was able to toss another slice in and get more bread crumbs in seconds. The moisture in the bread also added a nice touch to the texture of the cakes. They were definitely better than the store bought dry bread crumbs.  I also used a single egg to keep the mixture together.

The last major change was instead of using white wine while frying up my carrots (which I diced very small this time) and onions, I used vermouth. I was surprised at how spicy it was and how it negatively affected the flavor. Mentioning this to my father-in-law he pointed out that I was using sweet vermouth instead of dry. Now I have a bottle of sweet vermouth to find a use for. Suggestions?

The cakes were served with some tartar sauce. A table spoon each of relish and mayo with salt, pepper, celery salt, and Chipotle Tobacco to taste.

What did the wife have to say this time? She thought they were they were much better than the previous batch and that I should make them again. I should add that her cake disappeared from her plate in a matter of seconds. Second chance: success!

Author: Josh Categories: Update Tags: , ,

Herb to Stay

May 20th, 2009

It’s been a few weeks now and the herbs are still going strong. The sage, basil, and rosemary are all growing noticeably with big tasty leaves. The chives kind of look like they just got out of bed, hair going every which way. At this point they have all found themselves in meals. The rosemary was a nice accent to a bowl of rice I made the other day. The basil and sage find themselves cut into a chiffonade and sprinkled on various plates.

Author: Josh Categories: Story Tags: ,

We Did the Mash

May 19th, 2009

Mother’s day was last week and what better way to treat your moms than by cooking them a delicious dinner? The Mother’s Day menu consisted of shrimp scampi (a perennially favorite with both mothers) and bacon wrapped scallops as appetizers with a rib-eye roast, mashed potatoes, corn on the cob, and a garden salad as the main course. Desert would be some pastries from Fortunato Brothers and a simple fruit salad with melon, strawberries, and mangos.

It was a fairly straight forward meal to accomplish, so I decided to try a quick experiment. Instead of peeling potatoes, I thawed and removed the skins from my frozen mashed potato sausages. While reheating them on the stove, I added some cream and salt. They started off soupy and unappetizing, but by the time they were ready to serve, they were the right consistency.

As I mentioned before, they didn’t make for good sausages, so how would they be as mashed? Both mom’s enjoyed them, going back for seconds and thirds. My mother knew the history of these dubious spuds, while my mother-in-law did not. So, when my mother-in-law asked what was in them, Mom pointed out that turning the question around would be more appropriate: “What were they in?”

It was a Mother’s Day Smash.

Author: Josh Categories: Story Tags: , ,