...*a glimse into the daily life of a chef*...

...this blog is a place for me to record and reflect the passion that i put into my everyday life.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010



...thought that i would try something a little different ice cream. this is more of a custard style ice cream, fairly easy and tremendously delicious! You really don't get much better than this, but you will just have to try it and become a believer all one your own. do it once, and you will fall inlove if you make it right, its a little tricky but practice makes PURRRRfect, so try and then try again until you love it!

this is a basic custard style ice cream recipe, add whatever flavor you want...

this recipe is meant to also get 2 c. of caramel, so add whatever sweetness you need at it will not get OVER sweet.

1c. Sugar
1 qt. cream
1 qt. milk
lemon peel
18 yolks (no whites)

bring sugar, lemon peel, cream & milk to a boil, then turn off heat and  whisk in yolks, then put back on heat and whisk until thick....do not stop stirring, or it will burn!


ps. if you don't understand, ASK! I love to help!

Happy CooKinG!!!

just a few ideas:
pretzel & guiness
peanut butter cup
cinnamon & apple
peach cobbler
the list goes on and on
give me your ideas and i will tell you how to

Monday, October 18, 2010

SoUp of ThE WeeK***

....after weeks & months of being gone soup of the week is back, so with no further ado

this is done my way. after eating some french onion soup I thought to myself that there are a few things i really don't like about french onion soup so i set out to change it. I will tell you how to make it the old fashioned & traditional way and then I will give you my additions....either way, it will be lip smacking good, i have no doubt.....READY?!?!?!

In your soup pot:
4 T olive oil 
5 yellow onions, julienne
(if you see a sign that says sweet or videlia onions, get those, for this the sweeter the better)
  keep your flame at medium
when the onions start to turn from white to a more clear color
add 2 T salt & 2 T sugar
(for the sugar I use just plain white sugar, but you can use brown or even agave nectar if you are trying to avoid the sugar all together, you could even use honey if you so desire)
this will take a while but you want to sweat out the onions 
and start to caramelize them
stir the onions every couple of minutes
the salt will help to release the natural sugars of the onions
and the sugar will aid in the caramelizing.
3 T minced garlic
When the onions are clear-ish and a rich brown color,
but BEFORE they burn
deglaze with 2 c. of sherry
and 2 c. red wine
add 4 springs of thyme 
(fresh is best, but if you must use dry, 1 T will do)
2 bay leaves
reduce by 1/2
then add 2 qts beef stock
(or enough stock to fill your soup pot)
my  first revision/addition
in my perfect world 
(the one I only know in my head)
i could braise say a rump roast, or pot roast, even a short rib or 2
shred the meat and use the meat and braising liquid 
as part of the base for the soup
i think that the lack of stuff in FRENCH ONION SOUP 
is what leaves me a little lack luster
so for my additions, i add stuff, heartiness 
and the first one is shredded beef
 (in case you have never made a pot roast or
at a loss when I say braise, I will put the recipe below! :o) )
after adding the stock let the soup simmer for no less then a 1/2 hour
this will give time for all of the flavors to come together
second addition:
add all these things when you add the stock, 
before simmering--->
carrots, chop them up in nice a small dice
so them will go along with the soft onions and beef 
and not take too long to cook
not only do the carrots add texture but also flavor and sweetness
1 can chopped green chiles
i just like the flavor, its different and good...
its my things and this is my recipe!
1 can dice tomatoes, juice & all
after it simmers this is when you want to adjust for seasoning
i like to add salt and FRESH ground black pepper
at this time also try to fish out the thmye stems & bay leaves

now this is another place where i like to stray, I don't care for the slice of bread on top, i like croutons.
I don't want to have to cut up the soggy bread in my nice hot soup at the risk of burning myself 
when the risk of burning the inside of my mouth is HIGH enough!

I prefer nice homemade herb & garlic croutons
take french bread or old buns or hoagie rolls
and dice them up about 1/2" pieces
then toss them in oil, thyme, garlic powder Or fresh of you prefer, & salt
then bake at 350 
for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown and crispy

so top your bowl of soup with a small handful of croutons and 
cover with swiss cheese of greyere cheese
and place under the broiler to get the cheese all melty

when removing the bowl if will be VERY HOT!
place on a plate and ENJOY!

this is how i like to start,
take whatever meat you want to use,
(pot roast, rump roast, short ribs)
and season it well with salt and pepper
you can also coat it with flour if you want to create a nice thick sauce,
but personally I prefer to leave the flour out.
Get you pan nice and hot add oil to the bottom,
enough to coat.
then place your roast in the pan.
You are trying to caramelize the meat so DO NOT TOUCH
just let it be fore maybe 5 minutes before turning, then rotate the meat 
until all sides are nice and brown.
turn down the heat and add 3 c. red wine
(buy cheap red wine 2 buck chuck works fine
or keep bottom parts old bottles)

then add 1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
and 4 stalks of celery, chopped
4 garlic gloves
2 T peppercorns
2 bay leaves
4 springs fresh thyme
then cover with beef stock 

place in your oven covered at 350
for 3-5 hours depending on size of meat
just check randomly you can't over cook it, only under cook
when you can pull the meat apart with a fork, its done

let cook to room temp, strain liquid and reserve the liquid for your soup, then shred meat....

and it also makes your house small great and feel nice and warm & cozy!
such a great fall dish!


Sunday, October 17, 2010


...i know you are asking yourself; self, what could aly-nitas be, well let me tell you, that is CARNITAS aLy-stLye- Now I hear the second question (unless you are someone lucky enough to have experienced carnitas) WHAT ARE CARNITAS? well let me tell you-

in the words of the GREAT wikipedia:

Carnitas, literally "little meats", is a type of braised or roasted (often after first being simmered) pork in Mexican cuisine.
Pork carnitas is traditionally made using the heavily marbled, rich 'boston butt' or 'picnic ham' cuts of pork. Contrary to their misleading names, these are neither rump or ham areas, but rather the upper and lower sections of the front shoulder of the hog. The 6–16 lb (3–7 kg) sections are usually cut down to a workable (6–10 lb) size and seasoned heavily before slow braising or slow roasting, generally in the range of 160 to 180 °F for 8 to 12 hours. At this stage the collagen in the meat has broken down sufficiently to allow it to be pulled apart by hand or fork or chopped with a cleaver.
Prior to serving, the pork, along with some of the rendered liquid, is placed in fairly shallow pans to maximize surface area, then roasted at high (375 to 425 °F or 190 to 220 °C) heat for a few minutes to produce the desired alternating texture of succulent softness and caramelized crispness. 

so that is what they say, but this is what i say:

here is goes-


take about a 5# pork shoulder

and rub it with the seasoning below and let sit for 2-12 hours
(the longer it sits, the more flavor it has...its up to you, its AWESOME either way!)

1/4 c. salt
1/2 c. sugar
1 T Mexican Oregano
1 T black pepper
1 T cumin
1 T ancho power
1 T minced garlic

mix it up and rub it on!

After you have marinated your meat, 
put the pot you plan to braise it in on the stove 
and turn the heat up high
let the pan get hot w/ 3 T oil, then place the meat in the pan GENTLY
let it sit and get nice and golden brown
then flip it over

then add:
1 bottle of light beer 
1 bottle of dark beer (like Guiness)
1 can diced tomatoes w/ liquid
1 bunch of cilantro, chopped
1 onion chopped
2 oranges cut in half, squeeze then add rind too
2 T salt

then carefully put in your oven at 400 degrees
let cook for 1 hour, then flip meat
cook for another hour, flip
then let go for one more hour
when the meat is falling apart its ready to be Enjoyed!

its best if you let it sit in its juices over night and serve the next day, 
but if you are like me, you can't wait that long!!!

but before you eat it all try this, take the picked pieces and put it in a pan with hot oil and crisp it up a bit, it get crispy and SO SO so yummy...
I like to serve this just with corn tortillas, sour cream, chopped onion, & cilantro...
maybe come pinto beans...

but the options are limitless really...

you could put it on a homemade pizza, serve with rice and beans, put in fried rice, use in a pasta, top nachos with it, make a torta aka a Mexican sandwich...


take a bolillo 
(really awesome savory mexican bread, kind of like the most KICKASS hamburger bun EVER!)
cut in 1/2
on the bottom put re-fried beans
then lettuce
the the meat of your choice
and on the top, mayo

then put it in a hot pan with a little oil and weight the top down
(i like to use a brick covered in aluminum foil, 
or you can use an other saute pan, or cast iron sandwich weight)

then cut in 1/2 and ENJOY! yum yum!


Thursday, October 14, 2010

CoLd air, WaRm your house, with a CRISP***

...i have returned, married, happy, and ready to write again. To share my journeys and triumphs over food and little bits of knowledge about life. I'm sorry I have been away but i guess I need a bit of a hOLiDay from EVERYTHING that wasn't wedding related, so that i could make clear choices and go forth in my life with unclouded vision of what lay ahead. Well its all over now, and I miss is already, but now i must FoCuS on the things at hand...I have been meaning to come back to blogging several times, but until now I felt like I was LACKING inside what I need to share with you all....well the wait is over, in a warm, gooey, delicious smelling goodness from my oven I found what i needed to speak again...i found my voice again inside a PEAR CRISP and I'm dying to tell you ALL about it!

**FrUiT CriSp**

The best thing about crisp is that the options are nearly limitless....
My first venture into crisp this year was 
#1)PEAR & APPLE, that was deligtfull
#2) APPLE & MaNgo, even better
#3) MaNgo, PeaCh & APPLE, yum yum

What you need to start:
9x9 baking dish
(or whatever you have you can easily scale the recipe to what you need because no measurement is exact!!)
Apple, mango, peach. cherry, strawberry, pear, sweet potato, 
pumpkin, blueberry, banana, rhubarb & the list goes on...
(just stay away from anything like citrus, you can use the zest for flavor, 
but the fruit itself will not hold up!)

cut your fruit up into bite size pieces or slices
(you will need about 4 - 5 cups of fruit)
and put them into a baking dish leaving at least 2" at the top
sprinkle in sugar to sweeten
(**with the mango & peach crisp I put a can of dolce do leche milk, it was AWESOME! you just have to be careful how long you bake it, or it will look weird, but it will continue to taste great! For your second attempt, try it, its YUMMMMMY!**)

in a bowl:
2 c Oatmeal (not steel ground)
3/4 c. flour 
1 c. sugar (I prefer dark brown sugar)
and 1 t of seasoning
this is what I use:
MEXICAN cinnamon 
(you can use whatever kind you have, but i prefer the MEXICAN kind)
anise seed
***I put all those things in my spice grinder mix up a big batch and use it for all kings of sweet things, like pancakes, french toast, even in my coffee filter for a little extra ZIP in my coffee***
and 1 stick of butter, melted

mix all together and pack on top of fruit
then place in a 400 degree oven 
(put a sheet pan underneath just incase it bubbles over, so you don't have to clean to oven!:o) )
bake for about 30 minutes
or until top is golden and insides are BUBBLY! 

remove from the oven, let cool slightly before enjoying so you do NOT burn your mouth!

I love to serve this will vanilla or cinnamon ice cream
or just a nice homemade whipped cream
or greek yogurt!

Try it, you will LOVE IT!


1 c. heavy whipping cream
in the bowl of a mixer
or in a nice big bowl and with an extra arm around when your gets tired :0)
1/2 c. powdered sugar

if you are whipping by hand use a figure 8 motion for maximum results
when if looks delicious, stop!

if you over whip it will look like butter, but still taste good
its good practice to screw it up first, because the next time you will stop before you get there!

HAPPY COOKING, and welcome back!