This past week I committed the cardinal sin of food shopping, the very thing I urge all of my "Cooking Matters" students to avoid.
I went shopping while hungry. Starving actually, if I'm to be totally honest with you all.
While racing from point A to point B last Thursday, I zipped into my farmer's market (with my stomach at full growl) to grab some fresh produce to tide me over for a few days. A sample of a fresh from the tree local peach sent me into full craving mode and rather than buy a single 3 pound box for eating fresh, I decided to pick up two. Like I said, NEVER shop hungry!
When the dust had settled on the July 4th weekend a few weeks back and people had packed their bags and left town, I took a few moments to peruse my fridge and various coolers for left-overs that had to be put to use. It turns out that I did pretty well packing up goodies for everyone to take with so that I wasn't left with too much to plow through here. Big slabs of cake, containers of carnitas, and various cheeses, dips and spreads all got wrapped up for road trips. One thing we missed however, was a single crisper drawer just loaded with fresh fruit.
As I was with Sarabeth's "Chocolate Chubbies" that I posted here some time ago, I am grateful for the quirky name that Flour Bakery adopted for these cookies. Having the word chunky in the name helps me to keep my intake of these dandies in-check as it is a constant reminder of the risks inherent in letting yourself go with a tin full of these on the counter. Enough said.
A brookie....what the hell is a "brookie", I can hear you asking?
Well, in my parlance, a brookie is a cookie with the texture of a brownie.
I decided to whip these up the other day because I needed a BUNCH of cookies in a hurry for an event I was hosting at my home. Rather than cook up multiple batches of much larger cookies, I decided to pull out my #70 portion scoop (about 1/2 ounce, 1 tablespoon) and cranked out about 4 dozen of these gorgeous little "brookies" in no time.
Not to be confused with the dainty and ever popular French Macarons, these delightful flavor bombs are big and bold, jammed with sweetened coconut (and in this case mini semi-sweet chocolate chips), and made luxuriant with a mix of egg whites and pastry cream.
The base recipe is one from a favorite local chef of mine, and a HUGE supporter of Share Our Strength, Joanne Chang. Joanne is a wonderful gal, super dedicated to ending childhood hunger in the US, and a very successful chef and restaurateur. She is an owner (along with her husband Christopher) of the wildly popular Boston restaurant Myers and Chang, and also runs a growing empire of Flour Bakery and Cafe locations (currently 4 and counting) in and around the city.
Please don't click past this recipe because of it's less than appealing name....you'll be VERY sorry if you do, I can promise you that. These delightful little nuggets are from the Bantam Bread Bakery in Bantam, CT and come to us courtesy of the R.S.V.P. feature in the May 2014 issue of Bon Appetit magazine. R.S.V.P is where reader's write in to request that the magazine ferret out the recipes from their favorite restaurant meals.
I can't believe I'm about to say this, but there is just too much good food in the world.
Every day I seem to add to my list of recipes to try - some pulled from magazines, others clipped from favorite websites. There are some recipes that I've had in my "to cook" queue for years now and I am starting to wonder "will I ever get to them?"
I'm always looking for creative and delicious nibbles to serve up at a cocktail party or as a pre-dinner nosh with drinks. Like most folks I have a few go-to dips and spreads, and love crafting an interesting cheese and charcuterie board. Sometimes though I like to step away from the expected and whip up something that most folks have never tried before.
For those of you unfamiliar with Nixon, she is a young culinary phenom who parlayed a self-produced video cooking show she created while still a college student into a star-making break as a contestant on the show "The Next Food Network Star". These days she is the host of her own show on The Cooking Channel called "Kelsey's Essentials", and has just published her first cookbook entitled Kitchen Confidence. I've just discovered her myself, and while I've only managed to catch a few episodes of her show I have to say that I'm a fan. I love her un-pretentious approach to food and find her energy and enthusiasm contagious. See for yourself in the video I've embedded below. Have pen and paper ready so you can jot down the super simple recipe for these bad boys.
This is the first recipe of hers that I've cooked, but given how rock-star awesome these fried olives are, you can bet it won't be the last. Stuffed with a mixture of cream cheese, spicy chorizo sausage, and smoky almonds, these olives pack a punch and are perfectly addictive! I threw down about a dozen of these salty-crispy treats with an ice cold IPA and loved the pairing, but a nice dry white wine should do the trick nicely as well. Stay tuned, I'm sure to discover more tasty treats from Kelsey to share with you down the road.
Cheers - Steve
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I came across this recipe a few weeks back as I was looking for a kid-friendly treat to bring to a holiday party. The recipe is by Sally Sampson, a friend of mine, and the founder and President of Chop Chop Magazine which aims to inspire and teach kids to cook and eat real food with their families. If anyone knows what appeals to a kid's palate, its Sally!
The recipe for this unbelievably good cornbread was originally found in Southern Living Magazine, but I came to know of it through my friends over at Leite's Culinaria. The first time I made this it was to accompany Michael Symon's Black-Eyed Pea - Pork Shoulder Chili, and I loved it so much that I made it again recently as a side to a double batch of Sweet Potato and Turkey Chili that I cooked up to deliver to a local church to feed about 20 homeless men who were taking shelter there for the night.
"Oui, Chef" exists as an extension of my efforts to teach my kids a few things about cooking, and how their food choices over time effect not only their own health, but that of our local food communities and our planet at large. By sharing some of our cooking experiences, I hope to inspire other families to start spending more time together in the kitchen, passing on established familial food traditions, and starting some new ones. Read more...