A Brit, a Yank and a Kitchen

Wednesday, February 28

Frogs Legs in White Wine

Ahhh... yet another reason that I love my Silver Spoon cookbook. What other cookbook offers and ENTIRE SECTION dedicated to our little Kermit friends?

Its been quite a while since I had frog legs... the last time being at a French restaurant as an appetizer.. and I really wanted to recapture the lemony garlic flavor that they created, they were so wonderfully light and delicate.

In the end I opted for the Silver Spoons "Frogs in White Wine"... and modified it a tiny bit.

Unfortunately I think the legs might have been thawed and refrozen.. or just frozen way too long.. as they turned out more chewy than I had hoped. I've decided next time I will try to get them fresh from Claytons... or else slow cook them in a Gumbo or somesuch.

I will also confess I took some sick pleasure in making the legs dance around a bit in a little froggie chorus line before tossing them in the pan. I couldnt resist.

Bring 1 c white wine and 1 c chicken broth to a boil in a large pan. Add onions, salt pepper and freshly chopped parsley. Add frog legs and cook for about 10 mins. Remove legs. Strain the cooking liquid and bring back to a boil. From 1 T flour and 1 T butter create a roux. Add this to the cooking liquids. Return legs for about 5 more minutes. Remove from heat and add 2 beaten egg yolks combined with the juice of 1 lemon. Stir til encorporated and serve.

I suppose you could do this with shrimp... but then youd miss out on the fun of the chorus line now wouldnt you?

Saturday, February 24

Corned Beef & Crepes

Strange combination I know... but it worked! Really!

I decided to have a go at making crepes for the first time.. and the night before we had them with nutella and bananas... unfortunately, they were eaten before any photographic evidence could be made.

The following morning I decided to make use of the crepes that were leftover.... but the only breakfast-type thing I had was eggs... and a little packet of hollandaise (yes... we cheat in this household!). But it needed meat. Hmm... I kept poking my head into the fridge.... churizo... too overpowering..... balogna.. hehe nooooo... hmm... leftover corned beaf? At first I ignored it and continued my mission on through the cupboards and then on to the freezer. Nada. Well I though... people eat corned beef hash for breakfast... this wont be hash... but its corned beef! :P So I threw it in there while scrambling my eggs with a bit of diced onion. Wrapped it all up in a crepe, drizzled some hollandaise on that bad boy... garnished with a coupla tomatoes for prettiness.... and VOILA!

It was actually pretty damn good! Note to self.... corned beef goes really well with some eggs and hollandaise! :)

Julia Childs Crepes Fines Sucrees

3/4 cup cold milk
3/4 cup cold water
3 egg yolks
1tbsp granulated sugar
3 tbsp orange liqueur, rum, or brandy
1 cup flour (scooped and leveled)
5 tbsp melted butter
An electric blender
A rubber scraper An iron skillet or a crêpe pan with a 6 1/2- to 7-inch bottom diameter
2 to 3 tbsp cooking oil and a pastry brush
A ladle or measure to hold 3 to 4 tbsp or 1/4 cup

Place the ingredients in the blender jar in the order in which they are listed. Cover and blend at top speed for 1 minute. If bits of flour adhere to sides of jar, dislodge with a rubber scraper and blend 3 seconds more. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hour or overnight.

Brush the skillet lightly with oil. Set over moderately high heat until the pan is just beginning to smoke.

Immediately remove from heat and, holding handle of pan in your right hand, pour with your left hand a scant 1/4 cup of batter into the middle of the pan. Quickly tilt the pan in all directions to run the batter all over the bottom of the pan in a thin film. (Pour any batter that does not adhere back into your bowl; judge the amount of your next crêpe accordingly.) This whole operation takes but 2 or 3 seconds.

Return the pan to heat for 60 to 80 seconds. Then jerk and toss the pan sharply back and forth and up and down to loosen the crêpe. Lift its edges with a spatula and if the under side is a nice light brown, the crêpe is ready for turning.

Turn the crêpe by using 2 spatulas; or grasp the edges nearest you in your fingers and sweep it up toward you and over again into the pan in a reverse circle; or toss it over by a flip of the pan.

Brown lightly for about 1/2 minute on the other side. This second side is rarely more than a spotty brown, and is always kept as the underneath or nonpublic aspect of the crêpe. As they are done, slide the crêpes onto a rack and let cool several minutes before stacking on a plate. Grease the skillet again, heat to just smoking, and proceed with the rest of the crêpes. Crêpes may be kept warm by covering them with a dish and setting them over simmering water or in a slow oven. Or they may be made several hours in advance and reheated when needed. (Crêpes freeze perfectly.)

As soon as you are used to the procedure, you can keep 2 pans going at once, and make 24 crêpes in less than half an hour.

Adapted from Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume One
October 2001
by Julia Child

Wednesday, February 21

Soft Chicken Tacos

So lately we've been eating a LOT of roast chicken. Its cheap... its easy.. and it means leftovers. Although the leftovers usually end up in the form of a chicken salad sandwich... tonight I decided to use it up for chicken tacos.

Good news by the way! We sold the old house... so after we recoup and catch back up, we should be able to eat "normal" again! Yay!

Anyhoo... I whipped these up tonight from what was sitting round in the fridge, quite yummy I must say! :)

2 shredded cooked chicken breasts
half a small Mexican Churizo sausage
1 small yellow onion, diced
1 can diced fire roasted tomatoes
1 chopped jalepeno
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon dried cilantro
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin

heat oil over med-high heat. Once hot, add the churizo until it begins to brown, smooshing it up. Add onions and sautee until they are transluscent. Add spices. Add tomatoes and simmer for 5 mins. Reduce to low, add chicken, cover and leave for about 10 minutes, or until the chicken is heated through.

Serve in warm corn tortillas, with guac, lettuce sour cream, shredded cheese and several generous drops of Cholula.

Wednesday, February 14

Nothing like a Good Poke on Valentines Day

Thats right. A good fresh, spicey, RAW poke. What are you looking at me like that for? Eh? What? Its pronounced "po-kay"!! Perv!

We decided to do Valentines at home tonight... since my lame ass car decided to dash away any chances of going out by deciding to have a near blow-out the day before Valentines, causing us to need to buy 2 new (low profile! ><) tires. Gah. But all was not lost. I decided we'd have Dave's favorite, poke. If there is anything I "cook" more often than anything else... this is it. Easy. Reasonably priced (thankfully we have a fish market nearby that sells sushi grade tuna at an excellent price).. and always tastey. We paired this up with the regular Japanese sticky rice, and some simply presented tofu garnished with chopped green onion and ponzu.

Of course I had to get all fancy and doodle a little heart on the plate... to make it a bit more special than usual.

I hope you all had a pleasant Valentines!!!

Saturday, February 3

Cavolo Verza in Padella

This was another one from Silver Spoon! I'm telling you there are some incredibly convenient recipes in this book. Lots of, put all the ingredients together- walk away- recipes. And this is another... another I questioned! Oh Silver Spoon, I shall question you no more!

If you like cabbage this one will be right up your alley... really nice and comforting for a cold evening... not that we have many of those down here in Florida!

1/4 cup butter
3 potatoes, thinly sliced
1/2 Savoy Cabbage, cored and cut into strips
1 T Parmesan, grated
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
salt & pepper

Melt half the butter in a large skillet and make a layer of half the potato slices on the base, then top with the cabbage and parmesan.

Beat the eggs with the milk and a pinch of salt and pour into the pan. Make a layer of the reaming potato slices on top, season with salt and pepper, and dot with the remaining butter. Cover the pan with a tight fitting lid and cook over low heat for 1 hour.