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Fresh Fruit Salad Recipes: Melon Ball Madness Bowl

Fresh Fruit Salad Recipes: Melon Ball Madness Bowl

Who says melon balls are out? I’m counting them back in! How cool do they look? And so easy to pop in your mouth for a quick refreshing bite. It’s been so long since I used my melon baller that I somehow (uh, haven’t used […]

Easy Asian Slaw Dressing: Cilantro and Carrots and Green Onions Oh My!

Easy Asian Slaw Dressing: Cilantro and Carrots and Green Onions Oh My!

Want a delicious slaw that everyone will be raving about for weeks after that barbecue? Look no further my friend…it has arrived. I came up with this recipe when thinking of sides for that awesome Bourdain pork sando that I made in my last post. […]

Anthony Bourdain Cookbook: “Appetites~ A Cookbook” Recipe “Macau-Style Pork Chop Sandwich”

Anthony Bourdain Cookbook: “Appetites~ A Cookbook” Recipe “Macau-Style Pork Chop Sandwich”

My obsession with the Food Network was getting a little out of hand. Friends that frequented my house would make jabs about “the only station I watched.” I didn’t care. I loved it. The descriptions. The different hosts. Learning about new food. It was the first thing I watched and the last thing I saw before drifting off at night. It took me awhile to realize that “that” was my path. Food. Somehow, someway, we were meant to be, and I would make my mark.

That way came a few years later when I moved back home while my husband (ex now…thankfully) was on deployment in Afghanistan. I finally decided to make those day dreams of mine a reality. So, I enrolled in Culinary School. There, I learned the ins and outs of a professional kitchen. Proper sanitation. What pans to use for what. How to bake even. I loved every single friggin’ minute of it. I became very close with my band of culinary outlaws and learned from a few of them even more insight into what it’s like to work in a kitchen. Many of the students already had restaurant jobs and so we spoke shop as often as we could between classes. I learned of chefs I’d never heard of. Alice Waters of Chez Panisse, who basically made the term “farm to table” what it is today by championing local sustainable agriculture ( I adored her).  Auguste Escoffier, the Father of French Cuisine. Paul Bocuse, Alain Ducasse, Joel Robuchon, Daniel Boulud. The list goes on and on, and so do the books on my shelf(s). I’d heard of Bourdain before that point but didn’t know too much about him. A friend suggested I read Kitchen Confidential. If I didn’t know him before I knew him after that book.

He was rugged, good looking. A culinary genius. And so, so clever. His “quip-isms” made me simply adore him.

His tragic passing this past June, this past MONTH actually, has left me a bit empty in a way. I never met him. I never spoke with him. But he moved me along with so many others. There really are no words. How can someone you don’t even know affect you so much? Speaking for myself, it’s the emotion(s) toward food that he evoked in me. The realistic talks about life-in and out of the kitchen. The camaraderie that I felt with this famous chef because he was just a cook.. just like me. This has really been a mourning period for me and I have found comfort reading up on him again and flipping through his books. I also purchased his 2016 cook book, “Appetitites- A Cookbook,” when it became available again (that’s so weird that happens when someone passes). The recipe below is from that book. Follow his directions to a T because it is perfect. What else would you expect from Bourdain?

asian market ingredients lilchefchic

The Following is Directly from the book (page 90) “Appetites~ A Cookbook” written by Anthony Bourdain.

Ingredients: 

4 boneless pork rib chops or cutlets (about 6 ounces each)porkchop sandwich lilchefchic

¼ cup soy sauce

¼ cup Chinese rice wine

¼ cup black vinegar

1 tablespoon sesame oil

4 garlic cloves, peeled and coarsely chopped

1 tablespoon five-spice powder 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar, packed

1 large egg

½ cup all-purpose flour

1½ cups panko bread crumbs Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 cups peanut oil, for frying, plus more as needed

8 slices white sandwich bread Chili paste, for garnish

Special equipment: 

Meat mallet or heavy-duty rolling pin

Sheet pan or platter lined with newspaper

This sandwich, loosely inspired by a pork chop bun served to me for television in Macau, is possibly the most delicious thing in the book. We had a hard time shooting it, because everyone in the room kept eating the models.

Pound the pork to ¼-inch thickness, using the meat mallet. If using a rolling pin, be sure to wrap the meat in plastic before whacking it (and consider getting yourself a meat mallet).pounded porkchop lilchefchic

In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, rice wine, vinegar, sesame oil, garlic, five-spice powder, and sugar. Place the pork in a zip-seal plastic bag or nonreactive container and pour the marinade mixture over, turning the chops to ensure that they’re evenly coated with liquid. Seal the bag and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 12 hours.

Remove the chops from the marinade and brush off the garlic. Beat the egg in a shallow bowl and place the flour and bread crumbs in separate shallow bowls. Season the flour with salt and pepper. You may need to add a tablespoon of water to the beaten egg, to loosen its texture so that it adheres evenly to the meat.marinated pork lilchefchic

To a large, heavy-bottom frying pan, add the peanut oil and heat over medium-high.

While the oil heats, dredge the chops in the flour, batting off any extra, then in the egg, then in the bread crumbs.

 

Test the oil with a pinch of bread crumbs. If they immediately sizzle, carefully slide the chops into the hot oil, working in batches if necessary to avoid overcrowding the pan and bringing down the temperature of the oil. Cook for about 5 minutes per side, or until golden brown. Remove the cooked chops from the oil and let drain on the lined sheet pan. Season lightly with salt.

3 station fry lilchefchic

Toast the bread until golden brown.

Assemble the sandwiches and serve with the chili paste alongside.

Here’s a lil vid I threw together for ya’ to kinda help you see what you’re looking for in each step of the process. Enjoy! 🙂

~fin~

My next post will be the recipe for the above mentioned Creamy Asian Slaw. F.Y.I….my bro said it was the best slaw he’s ever had! So, uhh..yeah…get some!:p

What are some things you remember about Anthony Bourdain? What was perhaps one of the most memorable episodes you watched with him on “No Reservations”? I’d love to hear your thoughts or comments about Anthony and how he impacted your food world below.

 

Easy Healthy Meal Prep: Quick Lunches (or Dinners) To Grab N’ Go For Work

Easy Healthy Meal Prep: Quick Lunches (or Dinners) To Grab N’ Go For Work

I’ve been wanting to do this whole meal prep thing for awhile now. Even though I’m surrounded by food all day at work I don’t really have a lot of options to choose from. If I’m taking a quick lunch and just want a quick […]

What Is A Hand Pie? King Arthur Flour Recipe With Blueberries (again:) ) and Strawberries

What Is A Hand Pie? King Arthur Flour Recipe With Blueberries (again:) ) and Strawberries

Hand pies. Delicious flaky pie crust encapsulates freshly cooked fruit. They can be baked like in the following recipe or fried. They have endless possibilities for fillings and… they fit in your hand. They can be topped with a drizzle of icing or a dusting […]

Best Blueberry Scones: King Arthur Flour Recipe with Fresh Berries and Lemon Zest

Best Blueberry Scones: King Arthur Flour Recipe with Fresh Berries and Lemon Zest

In my last post I did grilled chicken thighs enrobed in blueberry barbecue sauce, so now-it’s time for dessert.  Blueberry Dessert! Well, sort of:)

But first, let’s talk about ALL of the awesomeness contained inside this little berry.  Blueberries are high in antioxidants which help fight against heart disease, cancer and chronic disease. These same antioxidants protect the brain from free radicals and help promote a healthy brain. These little gems are low in calories and high in fiber which helps you feel fuller and aids in proper digestion. Besides being high in fiber, they are also a great source of Vitamins C, K, and Manganese.

As with all berries, if you can find organic blueberries use them! Any berry or thin skinned fruit or vegetable should be organic whenever possible due to the fact that the conventionally grown berries are at the top of the list for being the most contaminated with pesticides. You can find a full list of foods you should buy organic at eatingwell.com

joshua harris blueberries
Scones are actually more like biscuits-sweet biscuits (or savory if you prefer), that is. Here, in the states they include everything from nuts and dried fruit to savory things like cheese and fresh herbs. As scone legend has it, the original scone was born in Scotland. The European version is usually served plain (sometimes found with a scattering of dried currants) and is not as sweet as it’s American cousin. Scones regained popularity here in the states around the same time that coffee shops started popping up on every street corner. They are considered a quick bread, which means they are mixed with a leavening ingredient (such the baking powder used here) and handled as little as possible as to avoid a tough dough. As with the name “quick” they are just that. Everything’s mixed together pretty quickly and then baked off without having to let the dough rise as you would with a yeast dough.

For my research, I scoured the internet looking for only the bestestest and most highly reviewed basic scone recipe. I knew that if I found that ONE basic gem, I could pretty much do whatever variations I wanted to.

I happened across the scone recipe from King Arthur Flour’s website. It was actually the top rated (5 stars and 244 comments) recipe I found and I dove into the comments. What I really liked about the recipe was at the bottom of the instructions it actually gave sweet and savory variations. Another plus to the plus I stumbled upon? There were tips from the bakers at the company such as how to convert the recipe to gluten free and even a Baker’s Hotline. I found that pretty impressive.

Below, I’ve included the video I did for this particular recipe which was a piece of cake..err scone that is. Excuse the “skinny screen.” It’s one of my first goes at cooking and shooting at the same time. :)I’d recommend staying indoors, unless your a glutton for punishment such as myself when I did this video. I will definitely make this recipe again and will certainly use the suggested variations and measurements called for on the King Arthur website. Make sure you check them out!

Here is the recipe verbatim from the King Arthur Flour website with the blueberry and lemon zest measurements added in.

Blueberry Lemon Scones:

DOUGH

  • 2 3/4 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour or Gluten-Free Measure for Measure Flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup cold butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract or the flavoring of your choice
  • 1/2 cup to 2/3 cup half and half or milk
  • 2 cups fresh (or frozen) blueberries
  • 1 Tablespoon Lemon Zest
    *See “tips,” below.

TOPPING

  • 2 teaspoons milk
  • 2 tablespoons sparkling white sugar or cinnamon sugar, optional

INSTRUCTIONS

  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder.

  • Work in the butter just until the mixture is unevenly crumbly; it’s OK for some larger chunks of butter to remain unincorporated.

  • In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, vanilla or other flavor, and half and half or milk, and lemon zest.

  • Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until all is moistened and holds together. Gently fold in blueberries (as per video).

  • Line a baking sheet with parchment; if you don’t have parchment, just use it without greasing it. Sprinkle a bit of flour atop the parchment or pan.

  • Scrape the dough onto the floured parchment or pan, and divide it in half. Round each half into a 5″ circle (if you haven’t incorporated any add-ins); or a 6″ circle (if you’ve added fruit, nuts, etc.). The circles should be about 3/4″ thick.

  • Brush each circle with milk, and sprinkle with coarse white sparkling sugar or cinnamon sugar, if desired.

  • Using a knife or bench knife that you’ve run under cold water, slice each circle into 6 wedges.

  • Carefully pull the wedges away from the center to separate them just a bit; there should be about 1/2″ space between them, at their outer edges.

  • For best texture and highest rise, place the pan of scones in the freezer for 30 minutes, uncovered. Chilling the scones relaxes the gluten in the flour, which makes the scones more tender and allows them to rise higher. It also chills the fat, which will make the scones a bit flakier. While the scones are chilling, preheat the oven to 425°F.

  • Bake the scones for 20 to 25 minutes, or until they’re golden brown. When you pull one away from the others, it should look baked all the way through; the edge shouldn’t look wet or unbaked.

  • Remove the scones from the oven, and cool briefly on the pan. Serve warm. They’re delicious as is, but add butter and/or jam, if you like.

  • When the scones are completely cool, wrap them in plastic and store at room temperature for up to several days. To reheat room-temperature scones, place on a baking sheet, tent lightly with foil, and warm in a preheated 350°F oven for about 10 minutes.

What’s been your scone experience? Besides maybe picking one of from your local coffee shop, have you tried giving them a whirl in your kitchen?

Fresh Blueberry Recipes:  Blueberry Season Is in Session!

Fresh Blueberry Recipes: Blueberry Season Is in Session!

It’s berry time again and with my neighbors front yard full of fresh wild blueberries I’m ready to do some recipe testing and tasting from books I’ve been scratching to try. Last week I was experimenting with a blueberry energy bar idea. Blueberry and banana […]

Best Rhubarb Cake Recipe: Bon Appetit’s Rhubarb Custard Cake

Best Rhubarb Cake Recipe: Bon Appetit’s Rhubarb Custard Cake

Rhubarb. Probably one of the least talked about vegetables. And yes, it actually is a vegetable. Originating from China, where it was used for medicinal purposes, rhubarb looks like pink/red celery and tastes…..not like celery at all! It’s many times thought of as a fruit […]

Breakfast Calzone Recipe: Bon Appetit Magazines Travel Issue 2018

Breakfast Calzone Recipe: Bon Appetit Magazines Travel Issue 2018

One of the best parts of any given weekday is opening my mailbox to find a bright glossy magazine staring back at me. I love ripping the plastic cover off and delving into the material that is covered within, each shiny page flipping through my fingers. Two days ago I received the new issue of Bon Appetits Travel Issue. I especially loved that it was covering Italy. I quickly turned through each page and my eyes focused in on the breakfast calzone recipe. It seemed pretty no fuss and something that even my picky parents may enjoy. The following day I headed to my local Publix supermarket where I know they make fresh pizza dough daily and grabbed a pound of dough from the bakery.

calzone lilchefchic salami

I followed the recipe as stated and did the ol’ switcheroo with the nduja that’s called for in the recipe and instead used salami as well as some sliced ham. Rosemary is my least favorite herb so I used thyme but made no changes to the bones of this bread breakfast. As far as rolling out your pizza dough, make sure to flop it on a lightly floured work surface to prevent sticking. Use a rolling pin to stretch out, rolling from the center out. If you feel like being a jazzy pizza prep person you can stretch the dough in your hands like what is done in this super informative video I found on youtube.

 

The recipe did say you can cook your calzones on a griddle set over a grill or in a cast iron pan. I chose the latter in this case as I halved the recipe and made only 4 calzones. I also cooked them a couple of minutes longer on each side to ensure the pizza dough was cooked through.  It is important to make sure that the entire surface area of the dough is touching the hot skillet so press down lightly on the dough with a spatula to ensure even cooking. It does call for oiling and salting the tops and bottoms of the ‘zones but I honestly would just salt the tops after oiling both sides. With the salami and cheese it can become a salt lick very quickly.

cooked calzone lilchefchic

My family loved the calzones and I made some potato hash on the side to round out the meal. I was even able to save a half ‘zone for breakfast this morning that I threw in the microwave for a few seconds wrapped in a paper towel. It was killer with my cup of coffee this morning. Next up to try in this issue is the Rhubard custard cake on page 48. I’m verrrry excited! Having a subscription to this amazing magazine is the best option for anyone that loves food (or likes to to look at pretty pictures:) )

Here’s the recipe (verbatim) from the mag:):


INGREDIENTS:

2 1-lb. 6-oz. balls of pizza dough, room temperature
All-purpose flour (for surface)
6 oz. Fontina cheese, grated (about 2 cups)
1 cup whole-milk fresh ricotta
4 oz. nduja
8 large egg yolks
1 Tbsp. finely chopped rosemary
Extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt

Prepare a grill for medium-low heat. Set cast-iron griddle on grill. (Alternatively, heat on stovetop over medium-low. And if you don’t have a cast-iron griddle, use a cast-iron skillet instead and cook in batches.) Cut each piece of dough into quarters for 8 pieces total. Roll out 1 piece of dough to an 8×6″ oval. Spoon a heaping ¼ cup Fontina over half of dough and form a well in the center. Dab 2 Tbsp. ricotta and 1 Tbsp. nduja over Fontina, leaving well empty; slip a yolk into the well. Sprinkle with a bit of rosemary and drizzle with oil; season with salt. Moisten edges of dough with water, fold empty side of dough over filling and press together edges to seal. Brush with oil; sprinkle with salt. Repeat with remaining ingredients to make 7 more calzones.

Place calzones, oiled side down, on griddle and cook until deeply browned, pressing gently with a spatula to create contact with griddle, about 5 minutes. Brush oil on the other sides and sprinkle with salt; turn calzones over. Cook until other sides are deeply browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and let sit 1 minute before cutting in half.

 

 

bonappetit lilfchefchic calzone

What’s been your experience with Bon Appetit and the stories/recipes? What are your favorites?

Best Key Lime Cheesecake: Samplin’ of Genius Kitchen’s Recipe

Best Key Lime Cheesecake: Samplin’ of Genius Kitchen’s Recipe

For Easter Sunday my mom and I sat down together to plan our menu. Ham, mac n’cheese, turkey breast (requested by my dad), green beans, cherry salad (I’ll save that for another post/day), brown n serve rolls, and sweet tea. Dessert? Well, that was left […]