Monday, March 13, 2006

An orgy of food this weekend

How much cooking did I do this weekend? SOOOOO much cooking. Actually, I did most of the cooking earlier in the week. I had a fundraising event I was cooking for along with a post event dinner. Lot’s o’ food. It’s a good thing I LIKE cooking. Also, J made quite a bit of food himself including the spinach balls (taking the great advice of DC Rebecca on some improvements) and quite possibly the best mac ‘n cheese ever produced. I know I love to cook and I cook A LOT but J is really the unsung hero of our cooking twosome. There’s a lot he makes better than me but he doesn’t get the mad amounts of praise I do. Probably because I am an attention whore. For the dinner with did a gourmet Southern theme with spinach balls as appetizers, an a main course pf Paula Deen’s shrimp croquettes (with some flaked salmon added in for good measure), gits ‘n gravy and sautéed green beans for good measure.

Anyway for the event I got more creative. First of all, god help me, I made my own mayonnaise. At another event, I had the most divine cream puffs filled with chicken salad and was determined to make it. Of course I forgot to buy mayonnaise for the chicken salad and decided to make my own. This is getting back to my roots because for holidays, my mother made a chicken that she deboned, ground up the meat with ground pork, and added garbanzo beans and shitake mushrooms to and stuff back into the deflated chicken skin. With that, she served homemade mayonnaise that she whisked by hand while one of us would pour a little stream of oil into.

Kylie Kwong did this on her show and it looked so simple. It looked easy on tv and guess what? It IS easy. My mother used lemon pepper and regular cooking oil on her mayo. I used a mixture of olive oil and canola oil and fresh lemon. In a large bowl, drop one egg yolk, a pinch of salt, a clove of garlic, minced, a tablespoon of lemon juice and a pinch of pepper. Whisk vigorously. In a small steady stream, slowly pour in the olive oil (probably 1/3 of a cup or so). Once it gets the consistency of a bechamel sauce, switch to the canola oil. Add another 1/3 of a cup or so. It’s really a matter of taste how thick you want it. Add more salt and pepper to taste. It’s that easy.

For those of you making cream puff or profiteroles or choux or whatever a country calls them, use your oldest nastiest pans. New fangled, insulated pans will not allow the dough to puff up in the oven. It’s the extreme heat of an old cookie sheet that creates the requisite “puffiness.”

Also, I made chocolate cupcakes with the Barefoot Contessa recipe that uses Hershey’s chocolate syrup. AMAZING. They stay moist even after I left them out for three days. I glazed them with a glaze I made with chocolate chips, butter, and vanilla and sprinkled with chopped hazelnuts.

1 comment:

Barbara (Biscuit Girl) said...

My were you busy! The cupcakes sound scrumptious.