"It IS all about the TASTE"
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  • Shaken, Not Stirred..

    I am on assignment traveling. Currently in London, a stones’ throw from Buckingham Palace, At a glorious hotel / club call St. James. It is truly the James Bond experience, at least from the books, nothing in real life resembles the movies. How true to the “Bond” thing is it. To quote from their information ”

    During the 2nd World War the Club has briefly the home of Ian Flemming, the creator of James Bond. …..

    In 1981 the St. James Club opened by Peter de Savary, in partnership with Sir Sean Connery and Sir Michael Cane.

    With all that history, and the jet lag I can only post a method for the Bond Martini…

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  • Repost – Knife Care

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    Again I am traveling, so do enjoy a classic ..

    Myth-busting…

    “Knife sharpening is hard.”
    “Sharpening is too difficult and time consuming to do at home.”
    “Send your knives to a professional sharpener once a year and you will be fine.”

    This well-intentioned advice is repeated in cooking schools, Food Network television programs, (we all KNOW, what I think of them), professional manuals and cookbooks. And it is just plain wrong.
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  • Repost – Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

    As I am traveling today, please enjoy a vintage post from our archives.

    A chocolate chip cookie is a drop cookie that originated in the United States and features chocolate chips as its distinguishing ingredient. The traditional recipe combines a dough composed of butter and both brown and white sugar with semi-sweet chocolate chips. Variations include recipes with other types of chocolate or additional ingredients, such as nuts or oatmeal.

    The chocolate chip cookie was accidentally developed by Ruth Wakefield in 1933. She owned the Toll House Inn, in Whitman, Massachusetts, a very popular restaurant that featured home cooking in the 1930s. The restaurant’s popularity was not just due to its home-cooked style meals; her policy was to give diners a whole extra helping of their entrees to take home with them and a serving of her homemade cookies for dessert.

    Chocolate chip cookies are commonly made with white sugar; brown sugar; flour; a small portion of salt; eggs; a leavening agent such as baking powder; a fat, typically butter or shortening; vanilla extract; and semi-sweet chocolate pieces. Some recipes also include milk or nuts (such as chopped walnuts) in the dough.

    Depending on the ratio of ingredients, mixing and cooking times, some recipes are optimized to produce a softer, chewy style cookie while others will produce a crunchy/crispy style.

    Regardless of ingredients, the procedure for making the cookie is fairly consistent in all recipes: First, the sugars and fat are creamed, usually with a wooden spoon or an electric mixer. The eggs and vanilla extract are added next followed by the flour and the leavener. Depending on the additional flavoring, its addition to the mix will be determined by the type used: peanut butter will be added with the wet ingredients while cocoa powder would be added with the dry ingredients.

    The titular ingredient, chocolate chips, as well as nuts are typically mixed in towards the end of the process to minimize breakage, just before the cookies are scooped and positioned on a cookie sheet.

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  • Meatless Monday – Basic Marinara sauce

    Think of a luscious, sensual, marinara sauce, slowly simmered, and ladled over a bed of al-denti pasta, perhaps with some mushrooms, bell peppers, and celery chunks to provide a taste and texture contrast. One may also go whole hog wild adding broccoli, zucchini chunks, minced carrots, and peas to make a Primavera sauce.

    The bottom line is with a good tomato, garlic, and herb pasta sauce, the limits are in your imagination, not in the kitchen….

    Wikipedia says:

    Marinara sauce is an Italian red sauce usually made with tomatoes, garlic, herbs (such as basil), and onion. However, there are many variations. Some of these include the addition of capers, olives and spices.

    Traditional Italian cuisine utilizes this sauce to add flavor to pasta, rice and seafood. However, in recent years, Americans have found use for it as a dipping sauce for other foods as well. Italians refer to marinara only in association with other recipes. For instance, spaghetti alla marinara literally translates to mariner’s spaghetti.

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  • Butter Chicken (or murgh makhani)

    Every so often I have a taste to eat something with lots of sauce for sopping.

    Butter Chicken is one of my favorite Indian dishes. It is a full flavored dish that complements the chicken well. It can be made as mild or spicy as you wish by adjusting the cayenne. Serve with basmati rice and naan bread

    Dressed chicken is marinated overnight in a yogurt and spice mixture usually including garam masala, ginger, garlic paste, lemon or lime, pepper, coriander, cumin, turmeric, and chili. The chicken is then grilled, roasted or pan fried, depending on convenience or the chef’s preference.

    Makhani, the sauce, is made by heating and mixing butter, tomato puree, and various spices, often including cumin, cloves, cinnamon, coriander, pepper, fenugreek and fresh cream. Cashew paste can also be added, and will make the gravy thicker.

    Once the sauce is prepared, the prepared chicken is chopped and cooked till the gravy and chicken have blended. Garnish it with white butter, fresh cream, sliced green chillies and crushed fenugreek leaves.

    Butter chicken is usually served with naan, roti, parathas or steamed rice. It is also confused with Chicken tikka masala.

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  • Spicy Orange Chicken

    As I am known to be a good bit of a hot-head, and I’m in the mood for spicy. Looking at my larder I suppose I should use some of the citrus there, and I have some chicken breast that is not enough to feed everyone, but is too much for a single serving. Maybe I can stretch the chicken with some veggies, in a citrus based stir fry. Sounds like Orange Flavor Chicken.

    Hunan cuisine and in fact most Asian cuisine is hall marked by thorough preparation, and intense cooking. This recipe breaks down into three sections, the meat, the sauce, and the veggies.

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