Monday, August 03, 2015

MasterChef...the great catchup

Catching up on this seasons MasterChef today. Well, catching up might not be the phrase....all 12 episodes as I have not watched more than a few clips this season. I have a little over 11 hours to get my viewing in...Fox Network has a thing where you can get a temporary pass online if your TV provider doesn't offer a subscription. There is always something to be learned from Gordon Ramsay regarding cooking...the man heads up 25 restaurants and has built a mult-billion dollar empire out of his passion.
---I always appreciate the enthusiasm from America's youngest 4-star chef, Graham Elliott.

The new judge is a James Beard Award winner in the often difficult area of cooking pastry. I have never heard of Christina Tosi. She owns 7 bakeries and is just in her early 30s. I will have to look around and see if she has any, hopefully simple, recipes posted online.
---I will definitely have to see if the library has Christina Tosi's cookbooks. :-)
Found some Christina Tosi recipes:
Momofuku Milk Bar's Birthday Layer Cake
Christina Tosi's Crockpot Cake

-----Maple Syrup and Bourbon Apple Pie
-----Stephen Lee, urban gardener. I am particularly interested in seeing how well he does.
-----"I'm going to put couture on a plate." Tommy Walton. Let us see how that works. Could be beautiful.
-----Derrick, 28, Drummer. Fort Myers. And his choice is lamb.
-----Christopher Lu.
-----Amanda, from as strict Lebanese family.
-----Jill hasn't had the opportunity to go to culinary school but cooking is her passion. I can identify with that!
-----Danish ebleskiver with a peach compote and a raspberry coulis. An ebelskiver pan has long been on my wishlist.
-----Puff pastry cup filled with apple, toasted pecans and cardamom whipped cream. For me, this just wasn't very exciting.
-----"Chicago's the best food city in America." So this world cuisine means that Nate Love thinks he has "no borders" to what he puts on a plate.
-----Moniza Masud from a Pakastani household where lamb was as common as chicken or beef. (Moniza...what a beautiful name.)
-----Claudia Sandoval vs. Andrew Woods(@woodscooks). Each has a signature dish involving shrimp. Latino vs. Southern. California vs. South Carolina. Hmmm. Normally, I would go for most anything Latino but only light cooking from the East coast.
-----Rajas con queso. A staple in Mexican cuisine...one I have not heard of.
-----Camarones Barbarones al Mojo de Ajo. Head-on shrimp sautéed in garlic butter sauce served on top of a "grape pico" as well as a white Mexican rice. It took me a bit to figure out grape pico...I think that means grape tomato pico de gallo.Cooking shrimp with the shells on...that's challenging. Shortening Spanish to the point where it sounds impressive but isn't on a cooking show...like grape pico...that is annoying to me.
-----Another thing that I have not made, let alone tried, is shrimp and grits. Apparently, they normally take more than the half hour chefs are given. Seasoning is crucial with grits.
-----Lowcountry Shrimp and Grits with a tomato and bacon scallion sauce deglazed with a bit of white vermouth. Mushrooms in there, too.
-----Mazatlán Mexican rice. Served with a lot of Mexican seafood dishes.
-----Overcooked, rubbery shrimp
-----Pork. Now that would be a challenge as a signature dish to me.
-----Pork Ballotine stuffed with fennel, zucchini and Granny Smith apple with fennel fronds.
-----Stuffed Pork Loin wrapped in bacon with steamed vegetables and couscous.Stuffed with apples, raisins and walnuts.
-----Overstuffing a pork tenderloin loses the texture in slicing.
-----When cooking veggies quickly, one needs to watch for rawness. Opting for roasting instead of steaming is probably a good idea.
-----What does raw beetroot taste like. Is that even edible?
-----Katrina and Taylor...the battle of who can cook the best salmon dish.
-----Blackened salmon plated with a pineapple salsa and a bit of tangy lemon vinaigrette. Cooked in a cast-iron skillet
-----Pan-seared Salmon with Panang Curry Sauce, rice and peas and a slaw. Curry with salmon...that's different.
-----Our next battle features lamb. :-)
-----Battle of the fruit dessert...something about that just sounds humorous.
-----Porcini Mushroom-Crusted Rack of Lamb with a pureed cauliflower, tomato relish and a herb vinaigrette. Seasoning of shallot, salt, pepper and red wine vinegar.
-----Pistachio-crusted Rack of Lamb over parsnip puree and quinoa with a coconut curry sauce.
-----Taking off the rice from the direct heat and then putting a damp cloth over....steams and stays fluffy.
----(Grandmother's) Lamb Kofta with a jalapeño-dusted potato and a sumac aoli. Lamb is one of Gordon's favorite proteins and he loves kofta.
-----Beef and Lamb Kabob with pine nuts and parsley upon a sauce with ghee. Tahini mixture with lemon and garlic. I wish I could smell that cooking.
-----If rack of lamb is too rare, it will be tough. It is the best cut of lamb and should be "melting in your mouth."
-----Middle Eastern fusion food



Shelly's "Third World Fusion." Come now let's be accurate...that's more like a nickname for a style...from a low income person but still THIRD WORLD? Let us be more respectful of the obstacles that third world peoples actually face!  #firstworldproblems  The 2nd episode goes on to have Shelly state that she is first-generation American from a large Jamaican family. I thought well...maybe I am wrong and Jamaica is a third world country....in every way of indexing Jamaica is not a third world country.  All that being said, as it needed to be, I feel for Shelly with the plight of being a first-generation American...so much is riding on the immigrants and the first generation and that can shape lives people are born into for a long time.



-----Escovitch Chicken with a sweet plantain mofongo. Plantains (I highly applaud).
-----Chicken Scallopini with a strawberry agrodolce and rosemary parsnips. Sweet and sour.
-----Chicken Thigh stuffed with Mushroom D'uxelles over a puree of creamed kale and heirloom carrot mash. Finished with tomato salad with bacon vinaigrette. The d'uxelles has mushrooms, shallots, thyme, a little parsley, bit of garlic. Arguably, three purees on this plate though a d'uxelle is a fine dice of mushrooms.
-----Blueberry Barbecued Chicken with a (heirloom)carrot and potato scallop(Gratin.Heavy cream,milk, rosemary). Kale Salad with Apple Cider Vinaigrette.
-----Chicken Roulade with Sauteed Potatoes and Mole Sauce. The chicken was stuffed with kale, bacon, shallots and mushrooms. Umm, aesthetically this was not a very appealing dish and that was AFTER the chef made some slight changes to her plan.
-----Tomato gravy :-)
-----Knife skills. Salsa is something that can show off knife skills according to Graham Elliott.
-----"Get it sauced, get it wiped, get it garnished."
-----"Put everything on the plate for a reason."

-----Mmmm. Garlic butter. I love garlic butter....it's my new thing.
I recommend Lemon Garlic Chicken with Buttered Parmesan Noodles which I found on the "South Your Mouth" blog. I substituted Italian Seasoning from a grinder for the parsley. Essenhaus Extra Wide Homestyle noodles (Amish). Sea salt, of course. Freshly grated Parmesan, of course. We all liked this.

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