Friday, March 30, 2007

Osso Bucco

I made Osso Bucco last night. It was my first time to make but it came just like restaurant's meal. What is Osso Bucco? Italian said Ossobucco alla milanese which is Braised veal shank from Milano in Italy. It usually comes with gremolata which is a mixture of garlic, Italian parsley and citrus zest.

I got 4 Osso Bucco from the meat shop. A shop guy asked me to him to cut those shanks into half but I said NO THANKS. That made a bad decision for me and I had a hard time to crack bones into half. Unfortunately, I gave up to cut so I cooked the whole shanks damp into my big Le Creuset pot.

Process for making Osso Bucco is very simple. It just needs a time for braising about 2hours.
I used recipe from my favorite recipe site and followed her recipe. I saw making Osso Bucco at my present work and former works. They used red wine for braising but her recipe was used white wine instead of red wine. Wine is different, taste is different! Taste more light and color was different but meat are tender and it was big success! Also gremolata made a nice refreshing flavor for braising meat.

In the restaurant, they serve Osso Bucco with creamy polenta so I wanted to make. But I couldn't get polenta from several stores in my neighborhood so I used corn meal and made corn mash. (I thought both are pretty similar. )I was bit confused about corn mash and grits.... Oh, my god! It got lumps everywhere and didn't go away even I used whisk. I was realized using grits process which is boil water first then add grits. I saw package and it showed water and corn meal together in beginning! It was a big mistake but my husband didn't care about it and ate it all. Thanks!

I learned several things from this cooking, specially bone and corn mash things. It was a hearty delicious dinner both of us and I definitely make it again!

Monday, March 26, 2007

Pizza at home

We don't go out or deliver pizza often but we love homemade pizza. Why? Because pizza shop's pizza has too much cheese on and crust is thick I mean too much bread.
I usually make pizza dough by myself but I found the great pizza dough from Trader Joe's in last year. It's only a buck and so easy to use. They have plain, garlic herb and wheat but I recommend garlic herb one. Anyway you just need to roll out that soft dough.

Of course, I always make pizza sauce from scratch. I use canned whole tomato, tomato paste, garlic and dried Italian herb mix. Just sautee garlic with olive oil and add other ingredients. Cook until thick sauce. Simple and easy!

I made salami and mushrooms pizza with Mozzarella and Cheddar cheese on the top today. I love Colombus salami which is the meat company in San Francisco. They make the great salami and meat products. I like their products since I worked for restaurant in CA.

About cheese, lightly top on my pizza is my way. No too much cheese on because we both have a bad stomach problem after the giant cheesy pizza when we eat. And Mozzarella and Cheddar is my favorite combination always.

I always create something different or something new for my pizza so I tried Thai Chicken Pizza this time. I just remembered about me and my husband had date long time ago and we ate Thai Chicken Pizza at the California Pizza Kitchen. Great memories and great foods for casual lunch♪
So I tried. I don't have that kind of sauce so I just spread hot & sweet chili sauce (I usually use for dipping sauce for coconut shrimps....) on the rolled pizza dough and sprinkle green onion, cooked asparagus, cooked chicken and mushrooms. Lightly sprinkle Mozzarella cheese and bake for 15minutes. Topped with lots of chopped cilantro makes great Asian flavor.
Hey, it was delicious! My husband said better than California Pizza Kitchen. Compliment!
For us, eat pizza with organic garden salad is better solution than buffalo wings!

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Australian Wine Makers Dinner

I've been working as a pastry chef at the private country club since last month. I'm still new and need to figure out their events and occasions. We have the banquet events every weekend so many people come to the club. Everyone is expecting the great dinner and dessert.
Here they are! We served a delicious dinner for our wine makers dinner last Wednesday.
I made Apricot Souffle with Almond Ice Cream for their final. They were pairing with Australian Sparkling wine. I got this souffle recipe from Sou Chef's cook book. It takes time to process because we used dried apricots and make them soft and puree. But it's very easy after that process. Here is a recipe!

Individual Apricot Souffle
10 servings

1 1/2c water
1c dried apricot
1/2c sugar

Bring a gentle simmer, cover tightly cook for 20minutes.
Let cool for 30minutes and make puree in a blender with 1TBS lemon juice until smooth and creamy puree.

Beat 5 egg whites ( room temp), add 1/4tsp creme of tartar until soft peak.
Gradually beat in 1/4c sugar and make stiff meringue.

Add meringue into apricot puree and pour into buttered and sugar ramekins.
bake at 325 for 10min.
Serve immediately!