Monthly Archives: October 2010

Wabbit season!…Duck season!…Wabbit season!…Pumpkin season?!?

It’s the time of year for pumpkin! Aside from pumpkin pie, pumpkin bars, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin donuts, pumpkin ice cream/milkshakes, etc, it’s also the time of year I bust out the Pumpkin/butternut squash soup.

This pureed soup contains all the good stuff…roasted fresh pumpkins, roasted butternut squash, mirepoix (onions, carrots, celery), usually BACON (or not for vegetarians), thyme, good broth, a little cream, butter, and cinnamon/nutmeg (but not too much to make it taste like a dessert). It’s savory, sweet, and rich all at once. So good! When it comes time to make it next month, I’ll try to post the recipe (approximated of course, since I don’t cook using recipes typically)

Another great pumpkin recipe this time of year is pumpkin cheesecake, which I’ll be making as well at some point!

Happy eating!

– Anthony

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Cooking Fail!

So I know I said I would post about cooking failures as well. I had my most recent one last night!

As I placed flank steak into a pot to make Vaca Frita, I didn’t notice that I slid the steak in bottom side down. On the bottom was the plastic thing that soaks up meat juices, etc (a tasty image, right? Lol). I didn’t see one and thought there wasn’t one.

So only after boiling for over an hour did I notice pieces of plastic and paper floating in the pot. Say it together now…NOT EDIBLE! So needless to say, dinner was somewhat ruined.

At least I had some onions sauteing at the same time, so I caramelized those, threw in some mushrooms, and cracked some eggs on top and had them with toast. Breakfast for dinner after the colossal fail.

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Bubble Tea!

Smoothie or Iced Tea? Check.

Tapioca Pearls? Check.

Bubble tea is amazing! Bubble smoothies are even better! I acquired the taste for the beverage with the chewy bits at the bottom when I was younger, while visiting my family in Northern California during the summer.

There are many variations, including straight up tea, iced tea and milk (Thai style), and flavored teas. Another option is to have a smoothie with the tapioca (bubbles, boba, pearls, etc) in it.

Being in South Florida, these places are scarce. Thanks to friends, I have discovered M&H Cafe. They have two locations in Davie and Boca Raton.

Here is a pic of one of my favorite flavors that M&H offers (Green tea & Honeydew)! This one has the pearls in it, though they can’t be seen in the picture. If you don’t like tapioca, or chewy textures in your drinks, then the drinks are spectacular on their own without them.

M&H Cafe

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Milk Shake Part 2

When I began to tell people about the milkshake I saw and wanted to try, people kept giving me dirty looks and you could sense the doubt in their minds.

So the milk shake was tested with some friends and it was a success. Chocolate chips were used instead of the shavings…..stay with the shavings. The chocolate chips, even after being blended, still sank to the bottom of the cup. Also, we used 2% milk instead of whole milk.

Overall it was crazy easy to make and a huge success.

All the best,

Justin

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Milk Shakes

Who doesn’t like milk shakes?!

I was watching food networks this morning and they had this coffee doughnut milk..it was crazy easy to make and looked amazing…it is definitely a must try.

This is how it was made….

Put coffee ice cream and half the amount of milk that you did ice cream in a blender.  After initial blend add semi-chocoalate shavings and crumbled up old fashioned glazed doughnuts.  Blend one more time. After blending is complete add to cup and put some doughnut on the cup as garnish.

Will follow up after testing!

All the best,

Justin

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Thrill of the Grill: Mojo Marinated Pork Tenderloin (Monday, October 18th, 2010)

The weather here in Florida has been great the past few days. What better way to take advantage of the cooler weather than to throw something on the grill? I grilled up some marinated pork tenderloin and served it with some freshly made tostones.

I marinated the pork tenderloin overnight in a homemade version of a Mojo sauce, which I had to doctor using what I had in the fridge.

Marinade:

  • 3-4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups Orange Juice
  • Juice of 1 lemon (I didn’t have any limes!)
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 Tbsp Ground Cumin
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste
  1. Put the olive oil in a saucepan and heat over medium heat. When hot, add garlic and cook until soft
  2. Add Orange juice, lemon juice, lemon zest, Cumin, salt and pepper
  3. Bring to boil
  4. Reduce by half
  5. Let cool

 

Pork Tenderloin and Tostones

  • 1 package pork tenderloin (contains 2 tenderloin sections)
  • salt, pepper, and garlic powder
  • 2-3 Green plantains (Makes 12-16 tostones)
  1. When Marinade is cooled, butterfly the pork tenderloin by cutting (not all the way through) along the length of the tenderloin. Place in Plastic ziplock bag and pour half of the mojo over it. Press out the air and seal the bag. Make sure all of the pork is coated with the mojo. Marinate in the refrigerator at least 4 hours, or overnight.
  2. When ready to cook, remove the meat and let it warm up for a few minutes while the grill heats up.
  3. While you wait, you can also peel and slice the plantains into 1 1/2 inch pieces.
  4. For each tenderloin piece, season both sides liberally with salt (I prefer kosher), pepper, and garlic powder, or whatever other spices you like.

Place on a hot grill to sear one side, approximately 5-7 minutes, and then turn over to grill the other side until the pork registers at least 160 (medium), or 165, probably another 7 minutes with the lid closed. 

Take off the grill and cover with foil tent, the pork will continue to cook and gain another 5-10 degrees.

For the Tostones, heat about 2 inches of oil in a pot to 350 degrees. Fry the plantain pieces for about 5-6 minutes, until they are brown and have some give to them. Drain on paper towels and let cool for a few minutes.

When they are somewhat cool, take some plastic wrap or parchment paper and place a piece of plantain on one side. Fold the other half of the wrap/paper over and using a skillet or other flat object, press the plantain down into a flat round. Fry these rounds at 350 degrees until brown and crispy on each side, about 4 minutes total. Drain, and season with salt and garlic powder.

Then…TIME TO EAT! Serve with extra mojo sauce!

– Anthony

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Quick Food Fan Rant!

How many of you are fans of TV cooking shows? Especially the competition shows. Well, I pretty much have watched everything Top Chef related, including all of the holiday or “all-star” episodes. It’s always fun to have a little drama to keep viewers interested, and a couple seasons have been more boring (not because of a lack of culinary talent, mind you) because people mostly got along well.

That being said, while drama is fun, Top Chef: Just Desserts is full of drama-inducing, whiny babies. I like the pastry chef aspect of the foodie world, I do, but these contestants are CRAZY, dramatic, and extra-good at backstabbing or talking trash about people.

It’s still a fun show to watch, and it shows viewers how detailed the profession (and chefs) must be. It’s less realistic than traditional Top Chef because pastry chefs often require much more controlled environments and timeframes, but interesting to see how these chefs pull it off. Still, the show would be more fun if the people weren’t so ridiculous. Gail Simmons is still awesome though, and I think she’s doing pretty well as a full-time host rather than sitting behind the judges table most of the time.

Rant over!

– Anthony

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