"It IS all about the TASTE"
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  • Pasta Carbonara

    This is why I will die of chronic cholesterol. It is also why I will die happy…. For those of you who have read my post about hedonism, this is quite indulgent, and ooohhh so simple. There are many rewards to using only the freshest cream and butter, the finest of cheese, and the best of pasta. Truly, a RogueChef classic.

    Carbonara is an Italian pasta dish from Latium, and more specifically to Rome, based on eggs, cheese (Pecorino Romano or Parmigiano-Reggiano), bacon (guanciale or pancetta), and black pepper. Spaghetti is usually used as the pasta, however, fettuccine, rigatoni or bucatini can also be used. The dish was created in the middle of the 20th century.

    The pork is cooked in fat, which may be olive oil, lard, or less frequently butter. The hot pasta is combined with a mixture of raw eggs, cheese, and a fat (butter, olive oil, or cream) away from additional direct heat to avoid coagulating the egg, either in the pasta pot or in a serving dish. The eggs should create a creamy sauce, and not curdle. Guanciale is the most commonly used meat, but pancetta and local bacon are also used. Versions of this recipe may differ in how the egg is added: some people use the whole egg, while other people use only the yolk; intermediate versions with some whole eggs and some yolk are also possible.

    Cream is not common in Italian recipes, but is often used elsewhere. Garlic is similarly found mostly outside Italy.

    Other variations on carbonara outside Italy may include peas, broccoli, mushrooms, or other vegetables. Many of these preparations have more sauce than the Italian versions. As with many other dishes, ersatz versions are made with commercial bottled sauces.

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  • Baked Cheese

    On my way back from a client in Brooklyn I passed a new establishment in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, where I found a very nice little appetizer of baked cheese.

    The restaurant / lounge was less than packed so the owner / chef had a few minutes to chat. Of course, we all know who wheedled the recipe from him, and chatted about some possible addins..

    Consider the well seasoned 12″ cast iron skillet, black, heavy and with it’s own baked on non stick surface. Now add cubed cheese, some olive oil, (my first add / change, bacon drippings or bacon cubes browned off in the skillet), thin sliced garlic, seasonings, and of course herbage. This is then baked until the cheese melts, bubbles, and browns.

    This is then served bubbling hot, with a selection of thin slices of crusty french baguette, (Toasted and not toasted) and maybe the chunks of browned bacon on the side.

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  • Malt

    malt-mike

    Since I am getting nostalgic, perhaps another taste from my past..

    It may be I am still a Central Texas boy at heart, or it maybe the heart burn that makes me crave any form of cold dairy, but the Triple French Vanilla Ice Cream I made last year, literally has me fantasizing, (about the ice cream!)..

    And since I have made a fair batch of ice cream, (which immediately disappeared in to a number of culinary black holes), so I made another (DOUBLE) batch. I can now experiment with other things…. Like Ice Cream Malted’s…

    Background
    A soda-fountain drink, also called malted, that is a thick, rich mixture of malted-milk powder, milk, ice cream, and a flavoring such as chocolate or vanilla.

    A milk shake is a blended combination of milk, ice cream, and flavored syrup, or fruit.

    Now a malt is what I want, a rich buttery, creamy, ice cold glass of goodness and love..

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  • Cream of Butternut Squash

    It is lab night and I need a good and fast meal, looking about the kitchen I find a butternut squash, a marvelous source of food value, and it has such wonderful rich and round tastes. The real issue is getting to all that flavor, it being so tightly locked into the husk. One way to do this is a long slow simmer into a wonderful thick, rich soup.

    Bisque is a thick, creamy, highly-seasoned soup of French origin, classically made from lobster, crab, shrimp or crayfish. Also, creamy soups made from vegetables instead of seafood are sometimes called bisques. Bisque is a method of extracting every bit of flavor from imperfect crustaceans not good enough to send to market. In an authentic bisque, the shells are ground to a fine paste and added to thicken the soup.

    Julia Child even remarked, “Do not wash anything off until the soup is done because you will be using the same utensils repeatedly and you don’t want any marvelous tidbits of flavor losing themselves down the drain.” Bisque are often thickened with rice, which can either be strained out, leaving behind the starch, or pureed upon the final stages.

    Bisque is also sometimes used to refer to cream-based soups that do not contain seafood, in which the ingredients are pureed or processed in a food processor or a food mill. Common varieties include tomato, mushroom, and squash bisque

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  • Meatless Monday – Grilled Cheese

    The grilled cheese is true comfort food. Then again not just “normal” grilled cheese, I hate “white bread” and loth “spreadable cheeses”.

    Considering the construction of a perfect grilled cheese, I turn to my trusty chill box, where I found Sourdough, Irish Cheddar cheese, pickles, various herbs, and of course butter… This looks like heart attack ala grilled cheese…

    Uncooked cheese sandwiches simply require assembly of the cheese slices on the bread, along with any additions and condiments.

    A grilled cheese sandwich is assembled and then heated until the bread crisps and the cheese melts, sometimes combined with an additional ingredient such as peppers, tomatoes or onions. Several different methods of heating the sandwich are used, depending on the region and personal preference. Common methods include being cooked on a griddle, grilled, fried in a pan or made in a panini grill or sandwich toaster (this method is more common in the United Kingdom where the sandwiches are normally called “toasted sandwiches” or “toasties”).

    When making grilled cheese on an open griddle or pan, one side is cooked first, then the sandwich is flipped and cooked on the other side.[11] The sandwich is finished when both sides are toasted and the cheese has melted. Butter, oil, or mayonnaise may first be spread on either the bread or the cooking surface in the case of butter and oil. An alternative technique is to toast or grill each half of the sandwich separately, then combine them.

    When using butter best results are achieved at a medium heat. This prevents the milk solids in butter from burning and allows sufficient time for heat to thoroughly penetrate the sandwich and melt the cheese without burning the bread. A crispy golden-brown crust with a melted cheese center is a commonly preferred level of preparedness. Cooking times can vary depending on pan dimensions, ability to control the intensity of the heat source, bread type, cheese variety and overall thickness of pre-cooked sandwich.

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  • Angel’s Kiss

    IMG_2041

    So another Christmas has passed. I have returned to the lair and am preparing for the short week to come.

    I am soo not ready for that to happen, I just regained my holiday spirit, and now it’s pretty much over.

    Looking around I have a small selection of good chocolates, and I am looking for a light aperitif to go with them, something coffeeish, but creamy and with a kick. Rummageing around the bar I find some Kahlua, and in the fridge is some cream…

    Sounds like an Angle’s Kiss, or at least a wolf slobber …

    A layered (or “stacked”) drink, sometimes called a pousse-cafĂ©, is a kind of cocktail in which the slightly different densities of various liqueurs are used to create an array of colored layers, typically three to seven. The specific gravity of the liquid ingredients increases from top to bottom. Liqueurs with the most dissolved sugar and the least alcohol are densest and are put at the bottom. These include fruit juices and cream liqueurs. Those with the least water and the most alcohol, such as rum with 75% alcohol by volume, are floated on top.

    These drinks are made primarily for visual enjoyment rather than taste. They are sipped, sometimes through a silver straw, one liqueur at a time. The drink must be made and handled carefully to avoid mixing; however, some layered drinks, such as shooters, are generally drunk quickly.

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