Friday, November 27, 2009

Post Turkey Day.

I have good news, remember here where I attempted my first turkey and ruined it? And I cried and cried over burnt green beans? Well, suffice to say, I have redeemed myself in the turkey department and the green bean department. My dad was a little weary of me taking over the turkey reins, but I pleaded my case. Meet Gary (depicted above), our organic fresh turkey, this was right before he was electrically carved by my dad. All in all, the turkey turned out great, moist and flavorful.
I have to say the gravy ROCKED! With the neck and giblets, veggies and herbs, I made a turkey broth, which was the base for the homemade gravy. A little white wine, some butter, flour and BAM (can you hear Emeril?), a killer gravy. It was rich and there's leftovers which I believe I will pour everything that comes my way the next few days!!
Kudos to my dad for making his chorizo stuffing (he should've made more) and sweet potatoes with bourbon. Again, tasty, tasty, tasty. That chorizo stuffing and the gravy together were a match made in heaven. These two dishes have become staples for my dad, I don't he can go without them during the holiday season.
I made green beans with toasted walnuts in a lemon dijon vinagrette from the November issue of Bon Appetit. The viniagrette (minced shallots, lemon zest, lemon juice, dijon mustard and olive oil) is a great combination with crisp, warm green beans. This dressing is a great compliment to any variety of green veggies. My brother, Benjamin, enjoys cranberry sauce (I can do without it) and so I tried a new recipe this year from my Martha Stewart Christmas Cookbook, a cranberry sauce with driend cherries recipe. It also featured orange zest, orange juice, minced shallots, and grated ginger. Sweet, but let's face it anything beats a can of cranberry. I mean, we go to all the trouble of making a nice turkey, pies, stuffing, the works and then someone yells out, "Pass me the can opener??" So wrong, but that's another topic of discussion.
Don't shoot me, I'm not a huge pumpkin pie eater either, but I referred back to the November issue of Bon Appetit for this year's pumpkin pie with walnut brown sugar topping. Served with some fresh whipped cream, it was a great ending to a great feast. Of course, the company couldn't be beat and neither was the wine. I hope you and yours had a memorable Thanksgiving this year. To many more!!!!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Results Are In.....

Since I've been staying with family in LA, I haven't exactly lived up to my reputation as a gourmet cook. In fact, I have hardly cooked much at all since I've been back. Several reasons, I suppose, but alas with the holiday season upon us, this is one of my favorite times of year to "strut" my culinary stuff, so to speak.

This Sweet Potato Pound Cake perfumed the kitchen last night, and when my dad came home, I got the "ooos" and "aahhhhs", in fact, my dad told me to "hide" it! I mentioned this recipe here, and when I found out the law firm I work at decided to have a potluck the day before Thankgiving I knew exactly what I wanted to make, or I should say, bake. The drum roll began at 12 noon and the consensus was overwhelminly positive. The pound cake is moist and dense, not overly sweet, which was not expected. Topped with a dollop of fresh whipped cream or maybe a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream would do the trick. And for all you coffee lovers out there, it's a perfect match too.
Tomorrow I will post our Thanksgiving menu,with a blow-by-blow description of the feast!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Run, Don't Walk

Run, don't walk to see this film. It's not in the theaters anymore, but it was just released on DVD this week. I've been patiently awaiting its release (it didn't come to Fort Wayne before I left) and last night I received it in the mail from Netflix. Food, Inc. is genius, pure and simple. We could sit around the fire and debate political issues all night long, but the fact of the matter is that the government is not looking out for our interests when it comes to food production. There's not an argument you can formulate to argue otherwise, and we can make all the excuses in the world for making certain decisions. There are many important lessons transmitted by this film, one of which confirms that our voice often is connected to our wallets. How we spend our money speaks volume. And it's not all about money, it's also about life and longevity, something this country is not known for, yet we still remain a powerhouse globally on the economic scale. It doesn't make sense and I think this film brilliantly displays that very fact. For more information on the film and getting involved on a "deeper" level, check out . I am definitely stirred up to make better choices and do some research on the issues presented in this film, I'm choosing to vote with my wallet.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Tibet Nepal House

Last night, I met an old friend for dinner in Pasadena, it was Tibetan food, a first for me. We dined at the Tibet Nepal House, located on Holly Street in the heart of downtown Pasadena. If I were to compare it to other ethnic cuisine, I would say there's a distinct connection to Indian food, minus the heat and intensity of flavor palettes. My experience with Tibetan food is very primitive obviously, but I enjoyed trying something new.

The Himalayan Chicken consisted of leg and thigh pieces roasted in a clay oven with a mixture of different spices. It sizzled to our table on a bed of onions begging us to dig in and devour. Squeeze a lemon segment over it and it brought out all the flavor from the chicken. It was moist and delicious. Masala Kukhura reminded me a Chicken Tikka Masala with its rich creamy sauce, however, it was slightly nutty and sweet. Again, the chicken was cooked to perfection. And the sauce poured on top of some rice really did the trick! A side of Aloo Phulkopi Tarkaari starred potatoes and cauliflower in a delicate sauce, cooked with onions and tomatoes. The only "downers" of the meal were the garlic naan and the rice. What can I say, I've been spoiled by Electric Lotus' garlic naan! And I could tell the rice had been sitting around, it was dry. They do feature lamb dishes, goat and yak, which is apparently what they are known for.

The restaurant offers a lunch buffet throughout the week ($8.99 during the week and $9.99 on the weekends). It may be worth trying another time for more variety, but I'd have to say this restaurant definitely "peaked" my curiosity further when it comes to Tibet and its cuisine. I will have to do some further investigation when it comes to Tibetan food in Los Angeles.