Mad Scientist at Work…

Japanese BeefEveryone has that friend – the one who might be just a little bit crazy? Well for me, that friend is James. And he’s commonly referred to as the Mad Scientist of the group, for his random thoughts that he puts into action. This time around, he was sent a photo from a friend of his of some delicious looking concoction, and he said, let’s make that! Well, the deliciousness you see above is what the result was! At the top, is a mix of baby bell peppers, onions and garlic with spice and a little bit of apple cider vinegar. The middle is a chuck roast, cut thin, seared and broiled after being marinated with spices, garlic, red wine and a spicy pepper oil. A simple coleslaw is at the bottom and at the bottom on the right is a shitake onion blend that was tangy and delicious. I would offer the recipe, but to be honest – I was more of a sous chef than having anything to do with the actual preparation. In the end – this didn’t really look like the dish that was the inspiration, but it was still ridiculously delicious! 

On a side note, have you ever seen those infomercials where they so very much over react that you just look at them and shake your head in disbelief? I saw one of those today, for this new bag that “bakes” potatoes in your microwave in just four minutes! Because 45 minutes in the oven is just too much. This is not the first mini infomercial that I’ve seen that drove me nuts. What are your thoughts?


Food I’ve Eaten with a New Foodie Friend

My blog posts have been lacking lately, but it’s not because I haven’t been eating fantastic food! A lot of it has been with my new foodie friend (continuing with the non-naming trend on this blog), who helps keep me sane, and introduces me to new flavors in the kitchen. We’ve done the from-scratch chicken and andouille Gumbo – his mama’s Louisiana recipe, chicken and tangy kale, fantastic wine with awesome labels, chicken cordon bleu, sushi that is almost too fancy to eat and a big fajita spread. There is also the three pepper salsa that he made for the superbowl, and the fig and brie en croute. My tummy has been supremely happy as of late. Since I keep forgetting to write about this fabulousness – here is a photo montage for you to drool over.


Spaghetti alle Vongole

I made a resolution this year that I wanted to blog more. But that means I have to cook more – and not just stuff that I make all the time. Well, here’s one that I’ve never made, but every time that we go to our favorite Italian restaurant, this is what I order. The fact that I made my favorite pasta dish from a restaurant and it came out super tasty is super satisfying!

When I was thinking about the taste of this dish, I kept thinking it had cream. I was wrong! The “sauce” for this (it’s not really sauce-y it’s more just flavor) is actually white wine based with a lot of garlic. No wonder I like it so much. But everything I’ve ever heard about cooking with wine says two  things – always cook with a wine that you’ll drink; and make sure when adding wine to a pan that you take it off direct heat first, unless you don’t like your eyebrows.

You can find the recipe for it here. And that glass of wine next to the bowl in the picture? Moscato d’Asti. It’s a sweet dessert wine, and one of my the only types of wine that I can drink without cringing. I’m not the type of person that has to match the wine to the dish. I know what I like and that’s what I’ll drink!

If you travel on over to my bibliography page, you’ll find my reference to Bella Online – where I found the recipe.

Kitchen Guest Star’s Chicken Dish

The chicken in its final state

Our house guest was graciously “allowed” to make dinner in my kitchen, and I’m glad that I let him. This turned out amazing. The chicken breasts were sauted in olive oil and white wine – which tastes good for drinking with the meal too – with rosemary, salt and pepper, as well as some minced garlic.

He let me help him out in the kitchen making the rice. We added oregano, thyme, rosemary and parsley. The parsley was fresh, so it brought out the flavors of the other spices.

The chicken as it was cooking, right after adding a smidge more wine.

Once the chicken got done with its crispy glazing process, he sauted spinach in the pan with the drippings until it was just wilted and slightly crispy on the thin pieces. Not enough to be crunchy, just enough for a change in texture. He told me I could feel free to experiment with his recipe, but I really don’t feel the need to. The only thing that I might have added (not changed) is some balsamic vinegar to the bottom of the chicken pan prior to adding the spinach for some mild sweetness/tanginess.

All in all, incredibly tasty 🙂