Metal clamps for meat

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The Never Ending Quest for Knowledge

One of the best parts of teaching classes at Sur La Table, other than getting to teach people and use lot of fun tools, is the fact that I get asked some really great questions and this is why I must continue to learn my craft.

Yoda meme

Every time I teach a class I am always surprised and excited by the questions I get asked. People are so creative with the thoughts they have. They are not always good ideas but to me it is really exciting that people are thinking about different ways of doing things. Then comes the fun part of trying to put those ideas to the test to see if they can work. Not only do they come up with some great ideas but I always have fun showing them things they never knew. Such as during the class I teach on cooking sous vide, showing them that you can make the most amazing creme brulee. It shocks people when you show them how simple it is but at the same time how delicious and amazing it is. Continue reading

Seared Pork Loin Ready to Slice

Pork Loin Experiment

I decided this week that I was going to play around with a pork loin. My original Idea with this was to finally bust out my mooglue and butterfly and stuff the loin then “glue” it before I rolled it up. However I realized that I needed a little consulting with someone that had used it before I just went crazy. So instead I just butterflied my loin and stuffed it with some andouille sausage.

Now since I am trying to expand my knowledge with ingredients I decided that I also wanted to put some mushrooms in it as well. And if you know me at all you know how big of a deal this is. I have never been a big fan of mushrooms. But when I went to school I decided that I would taste and try everything that I could. So I went to my local grocery and picked up some mushrooms. The only ones they had were plain white mushrooms and oyster mushrooms. I have never used or tried oyster mushrooms so I went with them. When I got home with them I cleaned them up and then rough chopped them. I left one whole and fried it up with a little butter and salt and pepper. Just so I could taste it and see what it was like. I was pleasantly surprised by the really great flavor it had. I decided to then fry them up the same way.

Pork Loin Sealed Up and Ready to Cook

Sealed Pork Loin

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Vegan Chorizo Burrito

Vegan Chorizo Burritos

Today I am taking you all on a slightly healthier version of a meal. Since I am no expert I am pleased to have a guest post from a friend that knows her way around veggies!

Vegan Chorizo Burritos:

Vegan Chorizo Burrito

Today: Let yourself indulge in a flavorful, spicy, Spanish favorite – without the calories!

One of the first things I desperately missed after going vegan was a nice hearty burrito. I’ve tried other vegan versions and I just didn’t feel quite satisfied. I am a strong believer that if you’re going to do it, do it right. It is with heavy heart that I say sometimes just beans won’t cut it. Feel free to try and season your own imitation meat if you would like, but I find trying some from your local grocery should suffice. There are so many delectable vegan options out there that if you know where to look you should never be bored in any culinary endeavors.

 

  1. Getting heated up. Start off by putting your favorite high heat oil in a pan and warming that up to medium high heat. Once that is pretty and glistening put in your garlic, mushrooms and onions to get those nice and sauteed. It will take about 10 minutes for those to start to caramelize. You’re just going to want to get these brown around the edges and let your mushrooms turn translucent, so stir that goodness every couple of minutes.

 

  1. Sear with no fear. Let those onions do their thing and meanwhile you can dice up some tomatoes. I like to squeeze some fresh lime juice on them before I put them in the pan. Once your onions are goldish-brown go ahead and dump in your diced tomatoes. Just let your tomatoes sit in the pan undisturbed for about 5 minutes. This will give them a nice sear on one side – which is all we need because we don’t want them mushy.

 

  1. Simmer down now. After your tomatoes have been properly seared dump in your can of black beans and your package of chorizo. Make sure everything is mixed well so that your flavors can fully combine. Usually at this point I will drop in some sea salt and black pepper then let that simmer on the stove for about 10 minutes with the heat turned down to medium.

 

  1. Some like it hot. While your chorizo is marinating you can then slice up some avocado, and chop your olives into halves (or your can just buy them that way). Once that is done sizzling scoop a nice heap onto a tortilla, add a couple slices of avocado, a few olives, hemp hearts (FYI – these seeds have 10 grams of vegan protein per 2 tablespoons), and some hot sauce if you like it spicy.

 

  1. Oh, the choices.These burritos are amazing any time of year and you can always keep it interesting with any type of veggies you would like. Try adding in some bell pepper instead of mushroom or jalapeno if you’re really adventurous.

 

What you will need:                                                                             Spices:

  • ⅓ of an onion (any kind)                                                           black pepper (optional)
  • 2 small tomatoes                                                                        sea salt (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon of garlic                                                                 hot sauce (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons of high heat oil
  • 2 large mushrooms
  • 1 can of black beans
  • 1 package of imitation chorizo
  • 1 avocado
  • 2 tablespoons of hemp hearts
  • 1 can of black olives
  • 1 package of tortillas or taco shells
  • 1 lime (optional)

About the author: Trisha is from Boise, ID. She is passionate about healthy living, fighting for animal rights, vegan blogging and video games.

Cookbook in its Cover

My New Cookbook

I recently received a cookbook that I have always wanted. About a year ago I ordered a book called “Historic Heston” by Heston Blumenthal. I thought it was a really cool book and I didn’t think there was a more intense book out there. I was wrong, enter “The Big Fat Duck Cookbook”. Oh man, This book is super intense. First off it weighs about 20 pounds. It is a really thick cover and back. It has a sleeve made out of the same material as the cover. It by itself is a really impressive book.

Fact Duck Cookbook Outside Cover

Fat Duck Cookbook Outside Cover

This book is really cool. It opens up with a huge section on History. It is going to be a great section to read and a lot of fun full of learning. Continue reading

A Cooks View

Gluten-Free

Gluten Free Flour Power. How powerful is it?

So as you know, from my post last week, I received the new cookbook from the people behind the Ideas in Food blog. It is called Gluten-Free Flour Power, and it is amazing. This book has blown my mind. As I have mentioned in the past my Mom is gluten intolerant, and she has found some good recipes for baking and it has not been to hard adjusting regular dishes. Especially when you find great products like Little Soya. But this book has opened a whole new realm of cooking and baking. The best part of this book is that they use 1 simple recipe for a flour mix. There is nothing fancy and expensive about what they are doing.

A Cooks View

Gluten-Free Flour Power

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Weekend Reading

It’s funny how priorities in life change. If you would have told me a couple of years ago that on one of my few days off that I would be sitting at home relaxing, I would have told you that meant I had an Xbox controller in my hand. Instead today I find myself sitting here watching “Chef” and doing some weekend reading recipes from a Cuban cookbook. Now that is not to say that I don’t enjoy getting an Xbox controller in my hand and shooting some computer A.I. up, but in all reality I would rather read some cooking related materials.

Old Cuba Cookbook

Old Cuba Cookbook

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Beef Tongue: My favorite meat for tacos

I decided since I now have a sealer that I can make all kinds of fun things that would have been to tough to do with my FoodSaver. So I picked up one of my favorite meats for tacos, beef tongue! This is something that I have been wanting to do ever since I got my immersion circulator. I reached out to the awesome community at Chefsteps to see if anybody had any good recipes or tips. One person suggested the recipe that I am using for this preparation. It can be found here as well as at the bottom of this post.

First thing was going to my favorite butcher and pick up a beef tongue. And they never let me down when I go to Greenfield’s. I picked up a couple of beautiful tongues. Next up was to gather the rest of the ingredients that I needed.

Beef Tongue

Beef Tongue

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Chamber Sealer|The Un-Boxing

To day is a super exciting day for me. I received by far my most coveted piece of kitchen equipment. I just got home to find a huge box on my front porch, and inside of it a beautiful new Polyscience Chamber sealer. I never thought this day would come! So after opening the box there is a huge layer of form fitted foam and after pulling that off the next thing you see is the beauty of the machine itself.

Once you get it out of the box I was amazed at how slick it looked on its own. It is going to be one of those things that if you have on your kitchen counter everybody is going to be asking about it.

 

Sealer and Box Contents

Sealer and Box Contents

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Pork Belly

This week I was fortunate to get my hands on a healthy supply of pork belly. Now the question is what to do with all of it. Now this might be kind of a daunting task for a lot of people, but as for me, I just get excited about the endless possibilities of what I can make from it.

Pork Belly

Pork Belly

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Superbowl Meal

So I have been super excited for this day to come. Not so much for the game, although I hope it is a good one, but more for the cooking. What is on the menu for the big game? I’m glad you asked! I am making some nacho cheese and putting together some pulled pork nacho’s. As I have talked about in the past I am a big fan of a web site called Chef Steps. I found this page a while back and it is one of the coolest communities for cooks. They have a recipe I have been wanting to try for a long time and as of Christmas I now have everything needed to make some, nacho cheese, that is.

Polyscience Discovery

Polyscience Discovery

 

First step is to get my Polyscience immersion circulator fired up the water up to the right temperature. For this cheese sauce we want our water at 167 F/ 75 C. Now lets get our cheese and stuff ready while we wait for the water to get warm. Continue reading