“CHEF” El Jefe!!

11 Comments

“the Chief” or “the Boss”

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When I first heard about this movie and saw the trailer I thought this looks like a really cute funny movie.

Here is the wiki if you want to read about it http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chef_(film)

As I sat in the movie theater as the credits rolled, my mind was reeling, I was like what did I just see!!

The trailer

 

Feeling of inspiration  was so overwhelming, I just wanted to leave the theater and go and COOK!!!

There was so much about this movie that I could relate too, the passion in cooking  and sharing it with other people!!

Whether you are a Chef or Foodie you will love and understand this Movie, you will walk away with the same feeling of joy and inspiration that I did…if you are not…you will walk away and say oh that was a cute and funny movie.

There were so many scenes that I just loved…I think the big one (well all food scenes really) was the making “Grilled Cheese” scene, really the part when he starts to eat it 😛

The crunch…the CRUNCH!! was out of control, the sound of that Crunchy bread and the gooey cheese hanging from the bread, it was like I was there eating it myself.  I could smell it, I could feel the crunch and I could taste it!!!

Here is that scene

 

The food scenes have been described as ‘Food Porn”  and have all been “designed” just like the set is designed, the food cooking scenes were designed by Chef Roy Choi, he worked as an technical adviser.  Chef Roy Choi is a Genius in my mind!!

He also sent actor Jon Favreau who directed, co-produced, written and starred in, to French culinary school and then had him train in several of Choi’s kitchens.
Here is a behind the scenes clip with Chef Choi and Jon Favreau

 

I just loved every minute of this film and have already gone back and to see it again with my best foodie friend Danny, he got the movie just like I did 🙂

I have made my takes on some of the food that was made in the movie here are couple, of course the “Grilled Cheese” and the “Pasta” scene.

For the “The Cuban” sandwich, I search the Cincinnati area for the best, some good some not so good, but I found a place “Paula’s Cafe” downtown.  I heard that the owner Paula was from Miami and the sandwich was pretty authentic, so I finally got down there and had it…it was the best i had yet.  Pork could have been a little more and spread out on the bun, but everything else was perfect!!!   If you are in the area I recommend the Cafe, it is only open M-F 10:30 am to 2:30 pm and its crowded!!!  Its small so getting it to go is popular if there are no seats, I went at 1:15 pm and it was starting to clear out, by 1:30 pm only a few people.  But the “To Go” line was really non-stop, soup of the day (cream of chicken with wild rice) and the Tuna Salad seemed to be the most popular for the “To Go” customers.  Also the friendliest  waitresses around town!!!!!  I will be going back for sure!!

Enjoy my pictures and it the Movie “Chef” is playing still near you go see it!!

Grilled Cheese

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Pasta 🙂

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The Cuban from Paula’s Cafe

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So if have a passion for food, then please go see this movie, you will not be disappointed, I can’t wait till I can get it on DVD 🙂

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Brown Bread!!

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No I don’t mean like Whole Wheat bread…I mean Brown Bread, this is a sweet or quick bread and bake in a CAN!!  

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Yes I said a can…you know a can that veggies come in or soup 

I grew up having brown bread in our house my Mom would make this as well as my Grandma…I don’t think I ever thought it was odd baking it in a can…I was a kid it was a cool thing 🙂

Wikipedia says – 

New England or Boston brown bread is a type of dark, slightly sweet steamed bread (usually a quick bread) popular in New England. It is cooked by steam in a can, or cylindrical pan.
Brown bread’s color comes from a mixture of flours, usually a mix of several of the following: cornmeal, wheat, whole wheat, graham flour, or rye, and from the addition of sweeteners like molasses and maple syrup. Leavening most often comes from baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) though a few recipes use yeast. Raisins are often added. The batter is poured into a can, and steamed in a kettle. While most variations are quick breads, and can be made in less than an hour, several commercial brands are available. Brown bread is somewhat seasonal, being served mostly in fall and winter, and is frequently served with baked beans.

I really had forgotten about this Brown Bread until I read this blog “A Small Insight” http://asmallinsight.wordpress.com/2013/04/09/mammas-fruit-loaf/
Lucy call it “Mamma’s Fruit Loaf and when I read this post and saw what it was, I immediately thought of Brown Bread 🙂 

So go to her blog and check her out and her recipe for her Mamma’s Fruit Loaf 🙂

All  know is that I really was not a big fan growing up, but now this stuff if great and I like mine with butter, now my Mom likes her’s with cream cheese.  So its up to you on which way you eat it, its also good heated in the microwave 🙂

My recipe here is is made with a couple of can, I also used small paper loaf pan, easy to give as gifts and I made some today for our office and I used a Bundt pan and it just came out so nice…perfect with you were having people over for coffee or tea, it’s perfect.

Now I did compare my brown bread to the ‘Can” kind you find in the store and let me say, I thought the store bought one was very dense, dry, very little raisins compared to mine.  And the flavor well I am sorry to say it was just plan awful…sorry if you like it, I just didn’t care for it 🙂

Store bought

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Ingredients

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Raisins and water in a small sauce pan

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add flour, salt, baking soda and bran/bran buds to bowl 

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Mix together
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cream butter and sugar

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stir in egg and vanilla

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add dry mixture and stir a little

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add raisin mixture

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Fold to combine

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pour batter into your containers

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bake

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this is the can

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this looks so good

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this is store on left and mine on right

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You can see that mine has so many more raisins

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Both buttered and ready to eat

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Out come, like I said did not care for the store bought, took one bite 😦

Mine oh it looks so good!!!!

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Brown Bread Recipe

1 1/2 -2 cups raisins
2 cups water
1 cup Bran or Bran Buds Cereal
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tbsp. butter, softened
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla

4 – 16oz. cans (fill 2/3 full)- bake for 35-55 minutes, small loaf pans (fill half full) – bake 30 minutes, large loaf pan (fill half full to 2/3’s) – bake 40 – 50 minutes, bundt pan (whole recipe) – bake 45 minutes.  With any of these just keep an eye on it, when you stick a toothpick or skewer in bread it should come out clean, it then is done.   Cool upside down on a cooling rack.

Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees

In a small to med sauce pan add water and raisins, bring to a boil over med-high heat, once it boils, remove from heat and set aside for 10 minutes.

In a small bowl add flour, bran/bran buds, salt and baking soda, stir to mix…set aside
In a large bowl cream together butter and sugar for 1 minute, then stir in egg and vanilla, then add dry mixture, stir it a little and raisin mixture, fold to fully combine.

Pour into your WELL greased or spray baking container, and bake.  Let cool enough to handle and then you can dig in 🙂

The Bundt pictures

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Banana Bread!!!!

8 Comments

Okay who doesn’t like Banana Bread 🙂

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I love Banana anything…cakes, muffins, cookies, bread, ice cream, yogurt, candy!!!  

Oh and have you seen the **NEW** Dole Dippers, slices of bananas dipped in dark chocolate and FROZEN can you say

YUMMMMMMMMYYYY!!!!!!   download

I can, I have had them and they are addicting, they even have them with chopped almonds sprinkled on top too 🙂  They come 6 packages in the box, 100 calories a package, so well worth it 😛

So have a pack of those so when you have a slice of this Banana Bread you will not feel so guilty 🙂

So we’ve all had the few bananas sitting on the counter that are slightly or way past their prime…right 😛

I think what most people think of when that happens to the bananas is….BANANA BREAD TIME!!

So here’s my Banana Bread recipe 🙂  Hope you enjoy it!!

Ingredients

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whisk together, four, salt and baking soda

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add bananas to bowl and mash

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then add sour cream and vanilla to bananas

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mix together

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cream butter and sugar

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for about 3 minutes

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add egg yolks

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beat to combine

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fold in half flour mixture

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then add banana mixture and rest of dry

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beat egg whites just until frothy

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fold into batter, but don’t over work it

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I used mini loaf pans, you can also find paper baking loaf size too, for easy gift giving

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Then bake and done

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This recipe is so moist you will never use another 🙂

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Recipe

1 stick of butter, softened
1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs, yolks and whites separated
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
4 tbsp. sour cream
3 overripe bananas, mashed
1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 325 degrees

pans – 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 2 1/2 loaf pan, or mini loaf pans or small bundt pan.

In a small bowl add mashed banana, sour cream and vanilla, mix to combine.

In another small bowl add flour, salt and baking soda, whisk to combine, set aside.

Cream butter and sugar together in a large bowl for about 3 minutes, then add egg yolks and beat until combined.
Fold in 1/2 of dry mixture, then add banana mixture and the rest of the dry.

In a clean dry bowl add egg whites and beat for about 30 – 45 seconds just until frothy, then fold egg whites into the batter.

Just until combined, try not to over work the batter.

Bake for regular size loaf pan 45 minutes to 1 hour, mini loaf pans about 30 minutes, check by inserting a toothpick in the center and comes out clean.

Enjoy!!!!

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Summer Grilling Recipe #1

4 Comments

Well as summer is here and the grills start to get cleaned and great smells permeate the air 😛
I do love me something grilled, so as the summer goes on I will be posting some easy grilling recipes.

This one is just dang simple…who doesn’t like potatoes and onions on the grill 🙂

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I’ve been wanting to do a little grilled so called potato salad…

And I picked up some Colman’s Original English Mustard…it has a kick and I like that!!

I’ve been wondering what to do with it so I came up with this…

Ingredients

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Chopped my potatoes and onions

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In a large bowl add, vinegar, mustard, brown sugar & oil

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Whisk it

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add potatoes and onions

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stir to coat and let set for a least an hour

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Put into a grill basket, keep the access dressing for later

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Done

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add a little more dressing just to coat once finished, then serve

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Recipe

4 potatoes, cubed in 1 inch pieces
1-2 large sweet onions, 1/2 inch slices, then in half again

you don’t want them to small but not too big either, remember your onions will shrink up so keep 1/2 inch strips about 3 inches long.

Marinade 
5 tsp. Colman’s Original English Mustard*
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
3 tbsp. brown sugar

In a large bowl add all ingredients for marinade and whisk together, add potatoes and onions and toss to fully coat, set aside for a least one hour, stir to coat every 10-15 minutes.

Add potatoes and onions to grill basket, reserving the marinade.  Grill on low stirring mixture everything few minutes.  As potatoes and onions cook drizzle the extra marinade over top each time until potatoes are tender and cooked through. 

Extra Dressing

3 tsp. Colman’s Original English Mustard*
2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp. brown sugar
add  the mustard, vinegar and sugar all to a small bowl and whisk together, toss with grilled potatoes and onions and serve.

I hope you will try this next time you grill out…Enjoy!!!

*Note – If you cannot find the Colman’s in a “Mustard” form and can only find it in dry form, just take the amount in the recipe in dry and add just a little water until you make mustard 🙂

Strawberry Bruschetta

1 Comment

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A friend of mine was coming over because we were going to go see Theresa Caputo – The Long Island Medium.  She was in town doing a show, and if you know who she is or watch her show then you know who I’m talking about, no we did not get read.
But the show was much more then that, it was great experience and I’m happy for the people who came and might have gotten a glimmer of hope and peace.

And since we were not going to be having dinner, I thought maybe a little appetizer and a glass a wine before hand would be nice.

I had been thinking of this recipe and how I wanted to make it a little different then other recipes…well it came to me…maple syrup 🙂

(you can see from the pictures I cut the recipe in half, the recipe below is the full recipe)

Ingredients

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Dice the strawberries

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add balsamic vinegar and maple syrup

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add a pinch of salt and stir, let set for 1 hour

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add maple syrup to ricotta and a pinch of salt, stir

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Slice your baguette, brush with olive oil, bake to brown

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till light brown

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stack your basil leaves on top of one another, and roll like a cigar

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Chiffonade

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Ready to assemble 

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spread ricotta, then top with strawberries

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then basil….One done 🙂

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The rest done 🙂

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Recipe – makes 18 – 20 pieces

14 strawberries, diced (1 1/4 cup)
2 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. maple syrup
2 tbsp. good balsamic vinegar
 couple pinches of salt (I used Kosher)
1 cup ricotta cheese 
18 – 20 slices of a baguette
olive oil
Fresh Basil, chopped

In a small bowl add diced strawberries, vinegar, 2 tbsp. maple syrup and a pinch of salt, stir to fully coat all the strawberries, set aside for for 1 hour, stirring about every 20 minutes. You can leave longer, the strawberries will start to release their juices, this is a good thing since we will be using all the left over juice.

In another small bowl add ricotta and remaining maple syrup, along with a pinch of salt, stir to fully combine, keep in refrigerator until ready to use.

Take slices of baguette and brush with olive oil and bake on a baking sheet at 400 degrees until lightly brown.   Let cool.

Putting them together, divide ricotta among the slices of bread and spread over top, top ricotta with strawberries, but try not to get too much of the juice, you can drain, but reserve the juice for a tip later in this post.

Take you basil leaves and stack them on top of one another and roll like a cigar, take your knife and slice roll (like in photo above), this is called Chiffonade.

Top the strawberries with a few pieces of the basil and serve with the beverage of your choice…ours was some Sweet Strawberry Wine 😛

These were so delicious, what great appetizer for a party or a great dessert after a summer meal.  It’s light and it really it the spot 🙂

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Okay now I told you to keep the juice from the strawberries…which is now Strawberry Maple Balsamic Vinegar
Which you can put on a salad like I did, or you can whisk in a 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil as well and toss with your lettuce or mixed greens.
This would be great on a salad with sliced strawberries and candied pecans too!!

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Pork Saltimbocca

7 Comments

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Saltimbocca is a dish (popular in southern Switzerland, Italy, Spain and Greece) made of veal lined or topped with prosciutto and sage.

Again I use pork, from my recent purchase of a pork tenderloin, I also had Saltimbocca at a local Italian restaurant and it was so good, that I thought I would make it with my pork.
There are many, many recipes out there, but this is one I came up with, hope you will like 🙂

Ingredients

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Place cutlet between wax paper or plastic wrap and pound thin

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Place sage leaves on pork, then top with prosciutto

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Place paper back on top of prosciutto, and lightly pound a couple of times

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Dredge cutlets in flour, add oil and butter to skillet of medium high heat

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prosciutto side down first, browning on both sides

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Place on baking sheet top with sliced Mozzarella, set aside

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drain most of the oil/butter from the skillet, add wine

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let reduce to about 1/2 cup, while scraping the brown bits from the skillet

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once reduced add a couple pinches of sugar & remaining butter to finish

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place cutlets under the broiler until cheese is melted & browned

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Then serve, I serve mine with polenta

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Recipe

1 Pork tenderloin, slice in half lengthwise, then each half cut into 3 pieces, so you have 6 pieces in total
Fresh Sage leaves, 4 to 6 leaves per cutlet
1/2 cup flour
4 tbsp. olive oil
3 tbsp. butter, divided
8 oz. mozzarella, thinly sliced, 2-3 per cutlet
6 oz. white wine
Prosciutto – 1-3 pieces per cutlet, depends on how much you want
a couple pinches of sugar

Place each cutlet between wax paper or plastic wrap, pound thin to about 1/4 inch thick.  Place sage leaves on top of pork, then lay prosciutto over pork and leaves, allowing it not to hang over the sides.
Place flour in a shallow dish, dredge cutlets in flour, in a skillet add oil and 2 tbsp. butter and saute cutlets prosciutto side first, flipping and browning on both sides.  When cutlets are done browning place on baking sheet top with sliced mozzarella, set aside, 6 minutes before you are ready to serve, place baking sheet with pork under the broil, just until cheese is melted and brown.

For sauce

Once you cook the last of the cutlets, drain most of the oil/butter, add the wine and with a wooden spoon scrape up the brown bits from the bottom of the skillet.  Once the liquid has reduced to a about 1/2 cup add a couple pinches of sugar and the remaining butter and serve over the Saltimbocca.

Serve with the side of your choice, this time I made some polenta.

Enjoy!!

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Mint Julep’s for the 139th Running of the Kentucky Derby!

1 Comment

Yes we have Mint Julep’s in the house!!

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How can you have a Kentucky Derby Party with out Pie…I covered that in my last post 😉

Or without Mint Julep’s!!!!

HAPPY DERBY DAY EVERYONE!!!!

So cheers to the Kentucky Derby that will run tonight at
6:24 pm est.

It’s just simple all you need is some Kentucky Bourbon!!!

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And the official sliver mug…okay I don’t have that but if you
would go to the Derby your’s would be served in them 🙂

Mint Julep Cup

Ingredients

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sugar and water in a pan to make a simple syrup

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I use about a 1/4 cup of mint, then I muddled it with the end of a wooden spoon

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Done muddling 🙂

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Then I add ice, bourbon, simple syrup, cap it

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Shake it, pour over crushed ice

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Then serve with a garnish of mint

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Recipe

Kentucky Bourbon 1 – 1 1/2 oz each glass
Mint – lots of mint, to muddle in glass
simple Syrup – 2 – 4 tbsp. its up to you
2-4 tbsp. water, club soda, 7up etc.
Crushed ice

Simple Syrup is equal parts water and sugar (mine is dark because I use pure cane sugar) heat in a sauce pan stirring to melt then let cook for a couple of minutes then let cool before using.

Okay as I was out last week look what I found

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Yes this is a Mint Julep Soda

Plantation Style Mint Julep Soda

The soda was pretty good, it was like Sprite or 7up with Mint, I enjoyed it, it was rather refreshing if I do say so myself 🙂

I also poured a little into my “Real Mint Julep” 🙂

So now I’m ready for the Kentucky Derby, I one for each hand 🙂

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Cheers everyone!!!

HAPPY DERBY DAY!!!!

Oh and don’t forget your hat!!!

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