I don’t watch TV very often, at least compared to the “average” person, but there are a few shows that I am addicted to. One of these shows is Top Chef on Bravo, because it not only gives me great ideas for food combinations it also gives an hour long escape. While the vast majority of the recipes on the show are unusable as is (they have a strange affiliation for pork that I don’t get) watching the season finale for Top Chef Master got me thinking. Part of the challenge is to create a recipe based on your earliest food memory, which for me was simple. One of the earliest memories I have is of my paternal Grandma cooking Cabbage and Polenta in our old house. I remember her cutting up the cabbage and tossing into this HUGE pot along with anything else she could find: carrots, tomatoes, onions, and some type of meat. She would then move on to the Polenta and would occasionally let us help her stir the polenta and attempt to show us how to tell if it was ready. She would then place it in the bottom of our bowls and start ladeling in the deliciousness of the cabbage dish. While my sibling normally didn’t touch this meal I had great fondness for it, and can also remember picking out the “icky” pepperonnis that occasionally made their way in to the dish. So I decided to recreate her polenta and top it with a variation of a mushroom “sauce” I saw on the Food Network courtesy of Mr. Guy Fieri. I’m not sure what restaurant he was visiting but they served this over rice and it was also more like a cream of mushroom soup while I did mine thinner to go better with the Polenta. I tried recreating it based on what they threw in during the demo but since they were doing a mass batch for the first part of the dinner rush I’m 90% positive that my ratios were off, however this was still AMAZING and will be a repeat dish due to the ease in which it was made and the amazing flavor combination!
Every now and then I hear something, either on TV or the radio, where I have to stop and ask myself if I heard that correctly. This would frequently happen when watching House or Glee or while listening to one of the various local “shock jocks.” However it has rarely happened as the result of a commercial yet the other day while driving to work I heard a Subway commercial that really made me pause and wonder if I heard them correctly. Now I’m not saying I agree with them but the “summer tips from Officer Jim (?) are some of the funnier things I had heard on radio in awhile. I’m not going to give details about this very un-PC commercial but I’m sure that it can easily be found online by googling Subway and “keep our beaches beautiful.”
This dish was a good stepping point for me. I had three things going at once while cooking this one up. Of course the last step of the recipe caught me off guard considering I had just started sauteing when I read it: “serve over cooked egg noodles.” I knew there was a new bag of noodles out for a reason… I managed fine enough though. Starting the noodles right as I finished sauteing timed well. I guess I’m just developing a natural touch for this art. There were two things I learned from this dish.
Good evening! This past weekend was totally insane, between seeing CATS on Friday night and having my brother’s graduation party on Sunday every moment was packed with something. I mentioned before that I love ethnic food, and of all of them Italian is by far my favorite. I know that when it’s 90 some degrees outside the last thing I should want to do is spend the evening cooking risotto but apparently I am a glutton for punishment. I made a pea and mushroom risotto a few weeks ago but I still couldn’t resist doing another mushroom risotto after seeing how delicious the mushrooms looked at the store the other day. I wound up getting three types: white button, baby bella, and portabello with the plan to do something with all of them. So I decided to use the first two types in my dish, with the plan of leaving the portabellos for Joe to do something with. That plan didn’t exactly happen but that’s a story for another entry.
I wonder if they offer rehab for True Blood addiction, if so I need to consider signing up. “hello my name is Amanda and I am addicted to True Blood.” The latest DVD arrived from Netflix the other day and in honor of the marathon that was to come I decided to make a vegetarian (actually wound up Vegan) Jambalaya. I have been fortunate enough to have true Jambalaya thanks to a dorm-mate in college who was from just outside of Baton Rouge, and this recipe is the closest non-meat version I have ever found with one exception that I’ll mention later. This is also a recipe that can easily be tailored based on how spicey people prefer their jambalaya as well as those who like it “juicier.” This is considered a Creole Jambalaya since it does have tomatoes in it however I did omit celery due to personal preference, something that would never be done in a true Jambalaya. For those of you who want to keep the traditional ingredient it should be added with the peppers and in an amount proportional to the peppers. The combination of Onion, Pepper, and Celery is referred to as the “Holy Trinity” of Creole/Cajun cooking and is normally done in a 2:1:1 ratio. If you are looking for more of a Cajun Jambalaya skip the tomatoes. This recipe can also be easily adapted for a slow cooker, or tossed in a slow cooker towards the end and kept on low heat for a stronger taste.