Thursday, March 29, 2012

Another Fried Chicken Class
I'm back at the marvelous Kitchen Conservatory again this week with more fried chicken.

These classes continualy amaze me-frying chicken is an art, not a recipe.  It takes lots of practice to fry really great chicken.  Some of my students have never fried a bird before and some have been frying them for years.  There are always some really good rersults and of course some not so much.  But I do know that everyone leaves with a certian confidence and that they will master that elusive perfectly fried chicken.

Other little parts of my chicken class include hand creaming the corn for corn pudding, and ricing the potatoes make the fluffiest mashed potatoes.  I didn't get a shot of the cream gravy, and the strawberry bread turned out beautifully-which often it does not.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Joy and Jackie

Joy owns the Monogram and gift shop at General Grant's Center in Crestwood.  She has been monograming our dress shirts for years and we've struck up a friendship over that time.  She's such a meticulous artist with her monograming and needle craft.  She came across my blog recently and began to read it and found the post from a couple of yeaers ago that I made from the cookbook "In the Kennedy Style", a book on some of the Kennedy white house dinners of the early 60's.  Joy is a true Jackie fan and has quite a collection of cookbooks relating to her life.  She has lent them to me to read.

The first thing that caught my eye was a spinach and ricotta tart form the Hammersmith Farm cookbook.  Hammersmith Farm is the Auchincloss family estate in Newport.  Hugh D Auchincloss Jr. was Jackie's stepfather.  Hammersmith Farm was the site for the Kennedy wedding reception in September of 1953.  I had alot of spinach from farmer's market from one of my favorite farmers.  It was his first weekend back since last fall.  His spinach was so sweet and tasty.

1 pie crust
1 pound ricotta
3 beaten eggs
small onion
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup grated shaarp cheese
dash pepper
1/2 tsp basil
3 tbs flour
dash nutmeg
package frozen spinach (thawed and drained) I used fresh

Saute in butter spinach, onion, pepper, salt, and basil.  Mix well.  Add eggs to ricotta and sharp cheese, nutmeg and flour.  Mix all ingredients into one bowl until smooth, and then spread into pie shell.  Top with 1 cup sour cream.  Be sure to spread it to edge of pie crust.  Bake 40-45 minutes.  This combination is great as a filling for lasagna.

The pie sort of got eaten before I could get a good picture, this is the day old picture, when I reheated it for lunch-tender, fresh Spring spinach, cheese, and sour cream-what could be more delicious?

Monday, March 19, 2012


In a place named Gallagher's-you just know St Patrick's day is going to be a blast-and it was.

Corned Beef, Cabbage and Parsley Potatoes
Corned Beef Sandwich with Swiss cheese, pickle and horseradish
Guinnes Beef Stew with Mashed potatoes
Irish Soda Bread
Pistacio cake

And  lots of Irish beers, whiskey, and the always popular "Carish I Bombs"

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


February's issue of Food and Wine magazine contained a recipe from Rick Bayless for this marvelous dish.  I never heard of it before.  It is sort of like our Southern pulled pork, but with a tomato-chipotle sauce that also includes Chorizo.  Rick Uses pork shoulder in his recipe, but we St Louisans love our "pork steak"-a shoulder steak cut that includes the bone and is not seen in alot of other places. 

I served the steaks with grilled tortillas and chopped avocado, sliced onion, tomato, and cilantro.

My recipe calls for 4 eight ounce pork steaks, Rick's calls for 1 1/2 pounds cubed pork shoulder, and I changed some of his instructions and ingredients, but for the most part I followed his lovely recipe-it can be found online or in the magazine, or you can just use my recipe-it tunred out so wonderful that I'm going to approach my bosses about putting it on our special events menus.  It would be a beautiful party buffet entree with all the colorful garnishes.

4 eight ounce pork steaks-alternatively 1 1/2# cubed pork shoulder
1/4 teaspoon dried marjoram
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano (My addition, not in Ricks original recipe)
3 bay leaves
3/4 # fingerling potatoes-Rick used quartered red potatoes
2 tablespoons oil
1 large fresh chorizo
1 medium onion, diced
1 clove of garlic, minced
one 28-ounce can peeled Italian tomatoes-I accidentally picked up puree
2 chipotles chiles in adobo, minced plus 4 tablespoons adobo
Salt, pepper, and sugar to taste

Brown the steaks in a large skillet with a tight fitting lid.  Add the chorizo and brown.

Add onions and cook 1 minute, add the garlic, add the herbs and potatoes, add the tomatoes, adobo, and chipotle.  Bring the mixture to the boil and reduce the flame to barely a simmer, cover and simmer the stew for two hours until the meat is falling off the bones.

The sauce was gettting a bit too thick, so I added some chicken stock while the steaks were cooking in order to get the correct sauce consistency.

serve with tortillas and the garnishes.