Monday, 27 June 2011

More Cooking at Home: an Italian-Inspired Lunch

Well, it's official. The ten-hour countdown finally arrived this evening and if you've been following my blog lately, you'll see I've been a bit behind in the posting. I had of course hoped to finish these up before my departure, but at least I'll have some work to occupy my time before I meet the students at the airport in New York. This evening (Sunday), my sister and I cooked chicken tenders (utilizing the remaining tenderloins mentioned in the rest of this post) and corn on the cob as part of my last "American" meal before leaving for France in the morning. That said, let's get to the focus of this post: a brief departure from my French cuisine and a side trip to another familiar culinary point of view, Italian. Over the past few years, I've certainly cooked quite a bit but haven't done as much guided instruction; this changed this past weekend as my sister joined me in the kitchen as we worked on handmade pasta (which, depending on how we cut the dough, came out somewhere between tagliatelle and linguine), breading and frying up chicken cubes, and serving this all baked under a mozzarella crust and with Italian bread toasts.

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Continuing Televisual Inspiration: Homemade Ravioli and Steak au Poivre

Taking a cue from Wednesday's episode of MasterChef, I tried my hand at homemade ravioli--stuffed with goat cheese and spinach and served in a parmesan brown butter sauce--and carried on with my French fare by accompanying that with a clear French dish, steak au poivre, with a spicy red wine au jus.

Friday, 24 June 2011

Un Petit Festin Français

As the countdown clock continues to click toward my departure to France on Monday, my desire to cook continues to increase; and of the different "genres" of food, none makes more sense to me now than that of French cuisine. From it's recent attention in such shows as MasterChef (click here for a description of the show) to the technique and time often associated with its preparation, creating French dishes in Midwest America is but an example of the creolization of culinary perspectives that continues to interest me. All of that said, the countdown became even more evident two days ago when I cooked a French-inspired meal for my colleagues at the high school: ratatouille and toasted baguette, chicken cordon bleu alongside Parisian style vegetables, chocolate chip Hershey cake with dark chocolate ganâche and raspberry coulis. Though the menu may sound complicated, I promise you each dish utilises simple ingredients and is both simply delicious and doable... for about $3.50 a person!

Monday, 20 June 2011

One Week to Go, Many Photos of Food

Well, it is official: in less than a week's time, I'll be on a plane heading to the much beloved country of France. While this is certainly great news in my book, I continue to find myself behind in the blog posts, and the photos I have been taking as of late continue to remind me of this. Before I get to last week's cooking adventure, I do want to make sure I link you all to an album from a string of food stops two weeks ago, which included an Asian fusion restaurant (Little Tree Sushi Bar) and a chillaxed post-dinner dining experience (Vinotecca), both in Royal Oak, MI, as well as a budget-friendly sushi locale (Sagano Japanese Bistro in Flint, MI). For photos of these meals, and of one from a dinner during my PST Leader Orientation in Vermont, click here. This now aside, continue reading for durum wheat pasta and summer squash salad with pan-fried Italian-marinated chicken, red grape granita, and my third attempt at leche flan.

Friday, 10 June 2011

My Second "Triple D" Visit: Joe's Gizzard City

Joe's Gizzard City on Urbanspoon

Eish, it has been quite a while since I've last posted, eh? To be fair, it is summer break... That said, I have continued to eat (no surprise there) and cook (no surprise here?). And in this recent interim, I am undergoing leadership training for this summer's France program. My mouth continues to water as I read about my soon-to-be encounters with French culture, language, and of course cuisine! But before I leave the country, I better get writing and play some continue catch-up. This particular post focuses on the next addition to my list (of one) of visits to locations featured on the Food Network's "Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives," hosted by Guy Fieri: Joe's Gizzard City in Potterville, MI.

Monday, 6 June 2011

Heading Off-Campus: My Last Dish to Close out the Academic Year

I don't know if I've elsewhere mentioned this on my blog yet, but... I'm heading to France in a few weeks! Needless to say, the food journey will be a plentiful one and one that I hope will be one of many connecting strands throughout the group I'll be traversing with. Of course, there is much more to say on this experience in subsequent posts but, so I can finally catch up and mark an official close to my past semester of posts, let me at least jot down my take on an otherwise (surprisingly) standard recipe: chocolate pudding brownies. Intrigued yet? After reading through a multitude of recipes (and by multitude, I mean about nearly a dozen), I've decided that either every other website is paying homage to one person's recipe or that recipe's been granted the eternal seal of approval. All of this is to say there's a general trend of ingredients and quantities out there in cyber space for homemade brownies, yet if you've read other posts throughout this blog you'll know my approach is anything but "general."