Geek Chef

I cook, I talk, I geek

Classic Comfort June 24, 2010

Filed under: Food — geekchef @ 9:11 pm
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Tonight I made an American classic,  meatloaf and mashed potatoes. I made the meatloaf with ground turkey, a lighter and healthier option and added a little brown gravy mix to keep the meaty flavor.

Turkey Meatloaf

1 pound ground turkey
1 cup breadcrumbs
1 cup sliced mushrooms, baby bella or shitake
3 tablespoons brown gravy mix
1 egg
1/4 cup ketchup
1 teaspoon paprika
dash of cayenne
salt and pepper

Mix turkey, breadcrumbs, mushrooms, gravy and egg until blended, but as lightly as possible. Fit into a baking dish or loaf pan. Mix ketchup, paprika, cayenne, salt and pepper. Spread on top of the meatloaf and bake for 40 minutes.

Mashed Red Potatoes

1 pound large red potatoes
1/3 milk
1/4 butter
garlic salt and pepper to taste

Peel and dice the potatoes and boil in salted water until tender. Drain potatoes and return to the pot. In a smaller pot, heat milk and butter until melted. Smash the potatoes and fold in the milk and butter, season to taste.

 

Feeding the Masses, First Course February 11, 2010

Filed under: Food — geekchef @ 12:55 am
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I had a birthday feast last weekend. I was hoping for pictures, but none have surfaced yet. I promise to post as soon as they are passed on to me.

I will post each course separately.

Roasted Squash Soup

6 cups butternut squash, peeled and diced
3 cups vegetable broth or chicken
1 cup white wine
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon grated ginger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 450 degrees, toss diced squash with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Pour squash into a large baking dish and spread into an even layer. Roast squash until it starts to brown, turn oven to broil for a few minutes to brown further. Remove from oven and add wine, scrape the bottom of the pan to loosen juices.

Transfer contents to a large pot, add stock and set to a low temperature. Use a hand blender to purée the contents, adding more stock if necessary. If you do not have a hand blender, you can use a regular blender in batches. Add nutmeg and ginger, raise heat to medium and let soup cook until just starting to boil. Reduce back to low and carefully add cream. Add more salt and pepper to taste.

 

Adaptation February 3, 2010

Filed under: Food — geekchef @ 3:12 pm
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I had a joint birthday lunch with my mom at the De Young Museum in San Francisco. She had the seafood pot pie and really enjoyed it, so I figured I’d work up a recipe for her – and you.

Seafood Pot Pie

1/2 pound shrimp, shelled and cleaned
1 filet of salmon, cut into chunks
10 large sea scallops
6 ounces of crab meat
1 cup dry white wine
10 baby red potatoes
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1 finely chopped leek (white and pale green parts only)
1 diced fennel bulb
1 8-ounce bottle clam juice
2 tablespoons fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
1 cup heavy cream
2 large egg yolks

Crust:
2 cup sifted flour
pinch of salt
1/2 cup butter or shortening
4-6 teaspoon ice water

Sift flour and salt, cut in butter or shortening with knives or dough blender until dough is in chunks,  like small peas, not too small or the crust will be crumbly. Sprinkle in cold water a little at a time while tossing lightly with a fork to form a ball. Chill until ready to roll.

Boil potatoes in water for about 15 min, potatoes should be slightly tender but not completely done. Cut potatoes into quarters, sprinkle with salt and pepper and sauté in a large saucepan with olive oil. When potatoes are slightly golden on the edges, add leeks and fennel, adding more oil if necessary. When fennel and leeks are soft add wine and clam juice and lightly scrape the pan to loosen any bits on the bottom.  Add bay leaf and thyme and let fluids cook down.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix cream and egg yolks. When liquid has cooked down a bit, add the seafood and cream mixture. Lower heat to low and let sit while rolling out the dough.

Take dough from fridge and roll out into a large circle about 1/4 inch thick. I recommend rolling out onto a piece of parchment paper, it makes it easier to transfer to the pie.

Pour seafood stew into a large ramekin, casserole or oven safe container and place dough on top. Push edges of the dough against the dish to seal and place in oven. Bake until the dough begins to turn golden, about 20 min, you can brush it with an egg wash for a glossier coat.

I used the leftover dough and rolled it out, brushed it with olive oil and  topped it with grated cheese and then cut it into strips for crackers to dip, very yummy.

 

Dream Meal January 12, 2010

Filed under: Food — geekchef @ 1:52 pm
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This might sound odd, but I had a dream that I was on Master Chef (a show I am planning to audition for later this month), Jason Mraz and the owners of Cafe Gratitude were the guest judges and the task was to create a vegan meal.

I was really excited to cook for Mr. A-Z, even though I am not a big fan of the vegans… I don’t like people who limit their food enjoyment. So I made vegan tamales and chocomole for dessert. The dream was so detailed that when I woke I felt the need to start cooking. Here is the tamale recipe I dreamed up, forgive the funky photo – my camera died and I’m using my iphone.

Sweet Corn Tamales with Soyrizo & Cactus

(Tamales de Elote con Soyrizo y Nopales)

Dough

1 cup masa harina
1/2 cup canned cream corn
1 cup vegetable shortening
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons sugar
pinch of salt

Filling

1/2 package of Soyrizo
1/2 cup of nopales, chopped

Other filling options:

slices of soy pepperjack cheese
chopped mild chiles

Tomatillo Sauce

1/2 lb. fresh tomatillos, husked
1 jalapeño, split and seeded (pulled from nopalitos jar)
1 clove garlic
1/4 cup vegetable broth
2 tablespoons vinegar (rice or white wine)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 cup cilantro, stems removed
2 teaspoon lime juice

In a medium bowl, mix filling and set aside. In another bowl, mix all dough ingredients together until the consistency of soft play dough. Spread a thin layer of dough on corn husks soaked overnight, leaving about an inch uncovered on the narrow part of the husk. Spoon some of the filling down the middle – careful not to overfill, fold the sides in and then fold the narrow bit down. Place tamales into a steamer basket and cook for about an hour or until firm.

While tamales are steaming, broil the tomatillos until the skin is lightly burned. Throw all the ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.

 

Black-Eyed Peas November 17, 2009

Filed under: Food — geekchef @ 2:02 pm
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My humps, my humps… Oh wait, the other kind of black-eyed peas.

Last night I made b.e.p. with kale. A simple, healthy  and very tasty meal. I threw in some leftover steak, but this would also be very tasty with chicken. It stands up fine without meat, for the vegetarians out there not appalled by my excessive use of bacon.

Black-Eyed Peas and Kale

1/2 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tomato, diced
1 bunch kale
1 cup dried black eyed peas
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon paprika
2 tablespoon vinegar
2-3 bay leaves
1 tablespoon salt

Optional:
1/2 lbs boneless chicken breast or lean steak, cubed

Rinse beans and remove any funky looking beans or stones. Place in a bowl or pot and fill with water, about an inch above the beans. Add 1 tablespoon of salt and a couple bay leaves and let sit for 4 hours or more. The beans are ready when you can cut one in half easily with your fingernail.

Rinse and chop kale, removing the hard stems and set aside to drain.

Start beans cooking on a medium heat, once boiling reduce to low and simmer while cooking the kale.

Sautee onions in a large pan with olive oil until soft and transparent, add garlic and sautee for another few minutes.

If you are adding meat, toss this in now. Sauteing for another few minutes.

Add kale and toss carefully. You might need to add kale in batches to prevent spillage. Add sprinkle with cumin and paprika and cover pan with a lid for a few minutes. The kale will cook down and release liquid into the pan, add the rest of the kale (if necessary).

Drain some of the liquid from the beans, but not all, and add to the kale. Add vinegar, tomatoes and parsley and toss well.

Add salt and pepper to taste and serve by itself or over rice.

 

 

Crock Pot Beef Stew November 4, 2009

Filed under: Food — geekchef @ 2:46 pm
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Today a friend asked for a recipe for Beef Bourguignon using a crock pot.

This is a slightly altered version of Julia Child’s, the big differences being this doesn’t include bacon and I replaced butter for olive oil.  Sorry Julia.

Beef Stew

2 pounds lean stewing beef, cut into cubes
2 tablespoons flour
3 cups red wine, full-bodied
2 to 3 cups brown beef stock
1 tablespoon ketchup
4 cloves smashed garlic
1 large onion, in large chunks
carrots, peeled, in large chunks
4 celery stalks, in large chunks
1 1/2 pounds red-skinned potatoes, quartered
1/2 pound mushrooms
1 teaspoon of each: thyme, parsley, rosemary, sage
3 bay leaves

*Instead of cooking the whole thing in a large pot, sauté the beef in a pan and deglaze the pan with wine after transferring everything to the crock pot. *

Place flour in large bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Add olive oil to a heavy Dutch oven over high heat. Working in batches, add beef to pot and sauté until brown on all sides, about 5 minutes per batch. Remove beef and toss in flour. Return all meat to pot. Add wine, garlic, broth, ketchup and herbs. Cover; simmer for about 1/2 hour. Add the rest of the ingredients and cook on a low temp for 2 hours or longer.

 

Mangez comme le Français September 29, 2009

Filed under: Food — geekchef @ 3:40 pm
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Since I haven’t posted enough recipes lately, I figured I’d post a fancy one for you today. Now it sounds fancy and you should sell it that way, but it’s not that hard to make.

The version I’m posting is vegetarian. But the original recipe has ground meat, feel free to add if you like.

eggplant

Aubergine au Gratin

1 large eggplant
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1/2 can of chopped tomatoes  or one large tomato chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/4 cup white wine
3 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon Herbs du Provence (or a mix of Thyme, Rosemary, Oregano, Sage and Basil – or what you have on hand)
1 cup grated Swiss cheese

Slice eggplant into cubes or 1/4″ rounds. Heat a large skillet and cover the bottom with olive oil, add eggplant slices once the oil is hot, if you do it before it will suck up all the oil. Cook for about 10 min on each side. Do not crowd the pan too much, do a few rounds at a time if necessary. Remove eggplant and set aside.

In the same pan, add a little more oil and the mirepox (onion, carrot and celery) and cook until onions are translucent. Add crushed tomatoes, white wine, garlic and herbs. Cook for another 10 min then add cream and stir until incorporated.

Place half of the eggplant pieces into a greased baking dish, then place half of the sauce on top, add second layer of eggplant and remainder of sauce. Cover with grated cheese and bake at 350 for about a 30 min or until the cheese is brown and bubbly.