"It IS all about the TASTE"
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  • Shirred (Baked) Eggs

    In search of a set of ramekins to do pot pies in, I happened upon a set of plates similar to a gratin, but called shirrer’s. Of course, I needed to find out just exactly what these were for..

    Shirred eggs (also known as baked eggs) is a dish in which eggs have been baked in a flat-bottomed dish; the name originates from the type of dish in which it was traditionally baked. It is considered a simple and reliable dish that can be easily varied and expanded upon. An alternative way of cooking is to crack the eggs into individual ramekins and cook them in a water bath, creating the French dish eggs en cocotte.

    Shirred eggs is an egg dish where eggs have been baked in a gratin dish with a flat bottom. Traditionally they have been cooked in a dish called a shirrer, from which the dish gets its name, but the name now applies regardless of the type of dish they are baked in. They differ from eggs en cocotte, which are baked in a ramekin sitting in a Bain-marie, or water bath. Shirred eggs can be served at breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner. (I’ll NOT go into the various names and the origins of such meal names.) They are typically baked simply with butter until the whites have set and the yolks are thickened, and are usually served in the dish in which they were baked.

    Variations on the recipe include adding breadcrumbs or cheese to the top of the eggs to create a crust, or garnishing with herbs such as tarragon. Adding a protein such as fish to the dish has also been suggested by chefs to round it out sufficiently to make it suitable as a dinner-time option.

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  • Fajitas

    As spoken Prior:

    And as we all know, bright, shiny, sharp things really catch my eye. While speaking to a cutlery salesman, I was asked, “Are you a chef?, Is Bad Wolf your restaurant?”. My reply was something to the order of, “I only play a chef on the internet, and my restaurant is only open 6-10 days a year”. As the discussion progressed and I sliced and diced through most of the demo veggies on the board, it was revealed that I ran a food blog, and was hosting a large BBQ in the near future. The offer was, take this slicer, use it, If you like it, blog about it, if you don’t like it send it back.

    I was already impressed with the edge and handling, and considering the purchase of a chef’s knife, so I accepted the offer, and stated that I WOULD run the knife through it’s paces.

    The knife is a keeper, and I’ll be acquiring a few more items from the company. After the preparations for two posts and one meal I feel safe to use the name Gunter Wilhelm. And for those who know me, I DO NOT use brands lightly. (But look for the knife in many upcoming posts)

    One of the true tastes for fajitas is the use of less than prime meat, in this case a brisket, cut wafa-thin, across the grain as only a very sharp good quality knife can, cooked hot and fast, to sear and cook, but not so much as to toughen the meat.

    A Classic, Steak Fajitas, with Pico de gallo, Guacamole, saute’d peppers and onions. Served with Tortillas, Tortilla chips, salsa and a good cervesa. This is a meal to be shared.

    Notes / Comments on Fajitas ….
    Texas (my home state) would love to be able to lay claim to having originated fajitas, but (regrettably) the ownership goes to the south-of-the-border vaqueros who learned to make use of a tough cut of beef known as skirt steak. Before fajitas became popular throughout the US, skirt steak was a cheap cut scorned by all but the most dedicated beef eaters, since then the price of skirt steak has more than doubled.

    Fajitas are a wonderful entree for an informal dinner party. There is something festive about them and their side dishes. Or perhaps it’s the margaritas and Mexican beer that so often go with this Tex-Mex treat. Whatever. Don’t settle for some watered-down, cable TV, chicken version of fajitas. Enjoy the experience make your own fajitas. Read the rest of this entry »

  • Meatless Monday – French Vanilla Ice Cream

    It is hot and miserable, I am sooo uncomfortable…. Time for some real summer comfort food. Ice Cream. A intense french vanilla ine cream experience. COLD, sweet, creamy and soothing.

    Now, let me see, what would make this a truly rogue chef dish…

    This Ice cream is a custard based “french style”, and those like it tend to be sooo rich and smooth, I don’t think I can improve with the base recipe…

    Maybe a fold in of something to extend the luxury, perhaps an add in of really good bourbon, or perhaps some way to intensify the vanilla taste….

    Background

    Ice cream can be made with just cream, sugar, and a flavoring (usually fruit) is sometimes referred to as “Philadelphia style” ice cream. Ice creams made with eggs, in the form of a cooked custard, are “French” ice creams. This mixture is stirred while cooling to prevent large ice crystals from forming; the result is a smoothly textured ice cream.

    An overview of this operation:

    1. Prepare Vanilla Sugar
    2. Make Custard
    3. Turn Ice Cream
    4. Prepare Mix in’s
    5. Fold Mixin’s into Ice cream
    6. Harden Ice Cream in freezer for an hour
    7. Eat, and die of pleasure

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  • Salt Cured Steak

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