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Archive for December, 2007|Monthly archive page

Catfish Sandwiches and Hushpuppies…too good to count cals!

In Apartment Cooking on December 17, 2007 at 2:58 pm

Last week Sunday, NF and I decided Catfish and Hushpuppies was the way to go. I don’t have too much time to write too much about this, but I will say this:

The Catfish Sandwiches…with white bread, hot sauce, and mayo (the only way to go), was amazing. This Catfish sandwich is so traditional in the South at church fish-fries and whatnot, where they slap the freshly fried fish on a white piece of bread and you fend for yourself with hotsauce and the greasy bread. Ours seemed just as epic.

Hushpuppies!? Well they are pretty much my favorite southern side ever (okay top 5). I made them from scratch…yes with baking soda and cornmeal and all that. They were heavenly, better than the kinds I’d tried at the two different restaurants I’ve had them from. Probably because mine were light and fluffy, while the others were hard and dense. All taste amazing tho…especially with that honey for dipping. It’s interesting how I formed them. After mixing all the ingredients, I pretty much blobbed each pup into the deep-frying oil, and as the mix continued to drip in the same area as the mixture already blobbed in…it formed a ball sort of thing that stuck together. Pretty cool!

Make a Calzone tonight?!…okay!

In Apartment Cooking on December 6, 2007 at 9:22 pm

I was pretty shocked when NF said for dinner he wanted us to make calzones. Calzones?! Like those enclosed pizzas? The things I never order but am well aware they are probably really good?¬† Well, alright…he seemed to think we could do it, and I’m always down for a challenge. But I did insist we use Pilsbury Pizza Dough instead of making our own…that was just too much for me to handle.

We picked out and prepared our favorite ingredients to be stuffed into the dough: caramelized onions and mushrooms, sauteed garlic, spicy italian sausage, pepperoni, pizza sauce, and mozzarella cheese. Then you pile it on top of half a 12-inch piece of dough, fold the other part over, and then seal the edges down with a fork. Finish it off by brushing it with an egg wash. Bake for about 20min on 400-degrees. Super easy, obviously you can fill it with whatever you like (let the experimentation begin!)

Happiness is sharing my passion with loved ones…

 Sausage & Pepperoni Calzone

 

 

beauty in food

In Apartment Cooking on December 2, 2007 at 5:36 pm

Do you know what the pic below is? Looks like a beautiful rose bud…

But it’s actually a celery heart at the base of a celery stalk…where the ends of the lighter colored sprigs meet…in my opinion, it’s the area with the best taste.

I wanted to take a moment to just reflect on the beauty of most, if not all foods. In my kitchen, on my cupboards, I have an artistic photo on each that captures the beauty of a few of my favorite vegetables: onion, garlic, pea, artichoke heart, and a mushroom. I love food art, not still life painting necessarily, but artistic food photography that reaches beyond just the “here’s the dish” pix (that I take haha!)

I would have to make an exception with meat and fish…because aside from actual seafood and sushi…I don’t find meat and fish, especially the pre-cooked stages, to be at all beautiful.

But with fruits, veggies…the beauty of food really is a journey from start to finish. The beauty starts with the way it looks in a garden hanging off a vine, or with just green sticking out of the earth, hanging from a tree…

Then you see them in the market, piled with more of its kind. Each variety has it’s own shape and color, almost it’s own personality. Lemons are tart, but cheerful…apples seem royal, yams are not as lovely on the outside as they are on the inside…and so sweet, proving that what’s inside really counts. But some produce really is beautiful on the outside too…artichokes, avacados, citrus fruits all come in a gorgeous package. And many fruits and veggies don’t hide what’s inside…the berries look as good as they taste…and curly and spiky herbs warn of intense flavors–what you see is what you get.

After you take your fruits and veggies home, there is beauty found in the prep process…where you peel, chop…looking at the insides of the veggie…the tree-like rings on a carrot, the spongy unique insides within the dark shiny skin of the eggplant. Seeing the fruit or veggie in a new shape or angle is refreshing. Sometimes we puree, steam, bake, fry and the produce takes on a new form, a new consistency, and many times, a new color.

Cooking, for those who see this beauty, is more than just the creative process, the working with the hands, the tastes, smells, and sounds…it’s also like viewing a gallery of fine art each time–cooking is one of the most multi-dimensional passions I’ve had…it continuously occupies my need for change, variety, and stimulation.