Sunday, October 28, 2007

Once you go Asian...

Now that the temperatures are falling bit by bit, week after week, my tastes in cooking are shifting more from grilled items and Mexican inspired dishes to Stir Fry's, Soups, and braised dishes.

Just last week I made an amazing Tortilla soup, and before that an equally amazing Sausage and White Bean Minestrone - Thus kicking off my "one new soup per week" thing. On Friday though, I decided to do my first Asian inspired meal for the Fall season.

Seared Tenderloin w/ Red Miso Demi Glace, Fried Lotus Root, Coconut rice with julienned Red Pepper & Snow Peas

Personally, I would love to live somewhere warm - Like San Diego. On the other hand I would love to live somewhere cold - Like Mackinac Island. All in all, one of the great things about living in SW Ohio is that I've got the perfect seasonal changes here and access to all the exotic and flavorful items I've never seen anywhere else. So yeah, I'm actually getting psyched for the impending chilly weather. (Of course, ask me how I feel after that first morning where I have to be to work by 6:30am and it's fuck-cold outside...)

PS - Edwards, good luck to you and Tracey out in SD. Hope you guys are alright.
PSS - What was it Lewis Black said about living in California?
PSSS - Here's a little Halloween humor for ya'll:

Thursday, October 18, 2007

According to the late John Gotti, everybody needs to score once in a while...

Such was my luck this past weekend with my Dessert Margarita.

Now, I know that the name of this dessert must sound a tad cliche, but I assure you - this thing was phenomenal. The main idea was to make a dessert to go with a fajita dinner, and to incorporate different flavors and textures.

Enter the Dessert Margarita: a luscious combination of three separate dessert items infused into one little glass. I started with a Tequila Lime Gelee, then added homemade Strawberry ice cream, and topped it with a light vanilla Mousse and a light sprinkle of smoked salt.

The beauty was in the three distinct textures: Firm and Smooth, Creamy and hard, light and airy, and a crunch to end it all. The three flavors, predictably, did not stray away from sweet. I know there is a current trend in desserts to work with quirky and weird flavors, but I wanted to create an experience that people could actually appreciate as something they understand - and crave over and over again.

All in all, this was a win for me. Not at all pretentious, utterly decadent and perfectly pleasing.

"La Di Dadi! Free John Gotti!"
- Fun Lovin' Criminals

Sunday, October 14, 2007

It's been a little while since I've posted, but things have been a bit hectic. (If I had a nickel for every time I've wrote that, I'd have a shitload of nickels!)

Nonetheless, this time of year always gets crazy. It starts with our anniversary, followed by Kerrie's birthday. (Oct 16'th!) We then jump into the Holiday/Catering gauntlet which just about rips out my very soul and dances on it with Castanets.

A few things seem certain at this point, the changing season being one of them. I do like the fall\winter transition as it gives me a chance to do some great cold-weather cooking. My new goal, although not extremely ambitious, is to make one ass-kickingly-amazing soup per week.

This week, even though the temperatures are still in the 70's, I'm planning on making Minestrone. Gathering the ingredients today (Italian sausage, kale, fresh parsley) was a wonderful experience. Although our weekly grocery run was not that different from any other week in the past, there was a heightened sense of awareness when it came to what I was specifically looking for. The parsley smelled slightly sweet and full of the life, while the Kale was crisp and vibrant. The sausage was extremely enticing also, speckled with bits of herbs and Romano cheese.

My interest in soup goes back almost 13 years when during my first semester in College a professor told my Prep001 class that soup is the cheapest thing you can make. Even then I was thinking: I call bullshit on that!

Making soup requires very little, it's true. Making good soup? Eh, not so much. Just today, Kerrie and I were watching The Food Network and saw three guys making Cioppino - or as I like to call it: Fuck Expensive.

Not to be deterred, though, my Fall/Winter goal is to make good soups without paying Filet-prices. I'm SO on it...

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Yesterday, Kerrie and I celebrated a third wonderful year together.

Just last week I was speaking with Kerrie about how I was amazed that she Beat the Spread on this one, but that I'm happier than I could have imagined knowing she did.

So last night, 3'rd year running, we went to the Grand Finale for dinner. The Grand Finale is very possibly one of the best finds in all of Cincinnasty. Technically it's in the city of Glendale, along with the ever-and-ever-cool Friendly Stop.

As always, I got the Steak with Cognac & Peppercorn Sauce. Not many places offer the au poiver option for steaks, so this place is already ahead in my book. Kerrie ordered the equally amazing Filet Mignon Brochette.

We ended the meal with a cappuccino and the Cheesecake, Cheesecake, Cheesecake dessert plate. This thing came with three MASSIVE slices of the Grand Finale's specialty cheesecakes and a pile of fresh strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries. Our waitress asked, with a little hesitation, if we wanted a second fork and plate when we ordered C3. I cannot figure out why because the thing was mammoth and WAY more than one person could ever hope to devour.

All in all, with another year under our belts, things are really nice. The food is still good and the love is still there. Suck it nay-sayers!

Rare Earth - Celebrate
Faith No More - A Small Victory
Soul Asylum - Can't Even Tell
Jay Z - 99 Problems