Thursday, January 13, 2011

Curried Carrot Bisque

Curried Carrot Bisque


2 #                   Carrots
½                     Sweet onion
1 Tb                 Garlic, chopped
1 Tsp               Red Curry paste
1 Tsp               Yellow curry powder
2 cp                 Heavy Cream
                        S/P to taste

  1. Peel and rough chop carrots.  Set aside
  2. medium dice the sweet onion.  Sauté with some oil
  3. Add the garlic, red curry pasted and yellow curry powder
  4. Cook for another minute.  Add the carrots and cook for a minute
  5. Add enough water or chicken stock to cover the carrots by about a ½ in.
  6. cook carrots until soft.
  7. puree carrots with a burr mixer or food processor with all the water or stock.
  8. add heavy cream until the right consistency.
  9. salt and pepper to taste may need to add more yellow curry powder also.

This is one of my favorite recipes, delicious and aromatic and fairly easy to make.  In my continued effort to spread the food love here it is for you!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Anecdotes from a working cookbook ...

Here’s a funny anecdote and conversation that happened recently when we were purchasing fresh Heirloom Tomatoes from our local purveyor …Why do we love food?  Because an Heirloom Tomato is not like any other Tomato … that’s why!

Darnel (the vegetable delivery guy)
“Well I don’t know chef...these tomatoes they sent look so bad I’m not even going to bring’em in, and they charged you $59 a box, that’s crazy. Let me call the office and see what the deal is.”
Chef: “Bring them in and let me take a look at them before you call”
(Brings in tomatoes)
Chef: “Darnel, these are Heirloom Tomatoes and they look like that on purpose.  Do you know what an Heirloom Tomato is?”
Darnel: “No Chef”
Chef: “It’s an ugly, knobby, misshapen, variegated tomato. A tomato that only a tomato mother could love, but it tastes like no tomato you have ever tasted before. It’s what a tomato aspires to be. They are grown from seed stock that has been un-fiddled with, non-GMO if you know what I mea. Here, taste it.”
Darnel: “Mmmmm... yeah...I see what you mean!”
Chef: “What you thought was bad is really good.  As far as the price is concerned... they need to drop $1 per pound and I won’t make you bring em’ back.”(Darnel Calls)
Darnel: “Okay Chef...the office said that’s fine. Thanks for the lesson.”

Sometimes when you want something that is a little unusual or special, you may need to educate even the grocery or produce manager about the products you want; ask, investigate, ask again and if all else fails try pleading with them to procure the freshest products available.  You must be willing to uphold your quality standards, even if it means changing to something else. We do …and we know better … we got what we wanted.

Thoughts from a working cook about ... Moderation. Applying that to parties and everyday life!

Moderation and balance is the key to happiness.

 Too much of anything is usually bad and causes unbalance … well all know this.  More to the point with regard to food and cooking … sometime the simplest things are in fact the best.  If you are able to get Wild line caught King Salmon don’t mess with it.  Just cook it.  Moreover, don’t buy 10 lbs. because you will not think it is that awesome the fifth time you prepare it.

There is a story there, about over indulging in Salmon.  Many years ago at the Breakers Hotel in Palm Beach I had an opportunity to eat fresh, line caught, King Salmon everyday for pennies … and guess what I did?  That’s right!  I ate it nearly every meal for a month.  The specialty and beauty of it soon wore off and to this day, I hardly ever get a desire for wild Salmon.  This isn’t entirely what we mean about moderation with cooking, although it is a good point.  Specifically what we mean is that cooking takes patients and moderation is the best beginning for that learned journey.  Moderation in cooking is like moderation in life.  While we don’t want to get existential or ‘fussy”, we do want to impart to you that moderation is a key ingredient in cooking.  We think, when you are deciding on what to prepare, you need to consider all the variables.  What type of event, dinner party, who the guests are, what they mean to you, what their experiences are, what their expectations are … and also your ability to create and pull off the feat.  Have you ever been to a party, or hosted one, where the host is stuck in kitchen for most of the evening?  Sure you have, we all have.  Now, if you have guests who like to cook then invite them in and cook for them, or even with them.  If you have “non-foodies” then just make really good simple dishes that can be prepared ahead of time.  What we mean is Moderation can also mean making good decisions prior to the party but always through the cooking process.  An example of this is; if you are working all day and do not have much time to prepare a meal for family or friends think about your menu in more simple terms … in moderation of your time.  Another example is; you have planned a dinner party for several friends who can cook, then get them involved in the the experience of cooking together, which is  wonderful because usually everyone ends up in the kitchen anyway.  This example is even more stated with the regular family meal for ... Tuesday.

What is a recipe?

Anecdotes from a cookbook in progress ....
“Will you share that recipe?
      No, make your own recipe!  Or, okay, sure, I will email it to you.  But when I give in almost always I get a return email or conversations that goes something like this; “I made that recipe but it didn’t turn out right. Did you leave something out?”  Yeah, I gave you a recipe that did not have all the ingredients in it, or better, I changed the quantities of the ingredients so yours would turn out bad! 
      If you’re not insane or confused by the craziness of what’s being sold to you day in and day out by the self proclaimed marketing geniuses then you might, I say, might be able to get this!  And actually I know some very insane people who live by another set of rules and senses but they still get it.  Even the DIY channel can attest.  It isn’t about the recipe!  What’s a recipe anyway?  Isn’t it just a template, a beginning, the origin from which things are created?  A recipe is a place, a starting point for idea forming or a spot that allows an idea to develop in a form to create a certain flavor … or characteristic.  I have been cooking forever, it seems all my life.  Cooking food, cooking up love, cooking something!  Why’s this important?  Because it is!  And the quicker you get it the easier your life cooking will be, and perhaps your life in general.  This isn’t a self help book, okay well maybe it is, but really … I mean really, it is about you and what you want things to be, to taste like, to develop into.  We are all so afraid, it’s breed into us that failing is bad.  Failing is not bad ... if you get over that then you will progress happily in cooking and I bet life!