Sauté safely & try not to get splattered with hot oil!

Happy Labor Day weekend! For those of you who have Monday off, I hope everyone is relaxing and enjoying the long weekend, while keeping safe from this nutty pandemic.

We learned about sautéing this week. First, heat the pan with a thin film of oil. Recommended oils to use to create that “smoke point” in the pan before sautéing your ingredient to the pan are vegetable, canola, grapeseed, and avocado. It is not recommended to use olive oil because it has a low smoke point. The goal of sautéing is to get the food you are cooking to become golden brown. Our chef instructors spoke about an acronym called “GBD,” which equates to “golden brown delicious.” I love that! Our assignment was to sauté chicken breast and zucchini.

I have to admit, sautéing is not my favorite style of cooking. I tried to avoid getting splattered with hot oil once I added my chicken and zucchini (cut bâtonette style) into the oiled pan. Nope! I still got hit- ouch! Splat splat! Perhaps I should’ve worn gloves, haha. Luckily, my arms were protected, as my chef’s coat uniform has long sleeves. Phew!

On the flip side, even though this wasn’t my preferred cooking method, the chicken and zucchini were fabulously ‘onolicious! Holy cow! It was so amazing! The best chicken and zucchini I’ve ever tasted! It’s remarkable how canola oil, salt, and pepper makes a dish so incredibly tasty. Those simple ingredients are so significant.

I made a pan sauce with the remnants of the chicken. It was a bit similar to the beurre blanc sauce I made last week. The three common ingredients for the pan sauce were shallots (cut brunoise style), white wine, and cold butter. This sauce needed chicken stock, instead of white wine vinegar (buerre blanc). This made the pan sauce a lot less acidic compared to the buerre blanc. It paired very well with the chicken.

Before sautéing the chicken, I tenderized it to about 1/2-inch. The purpose of tenderizing is so the protein cooks evenly, is easier to chew, and is more juicy when eaten. Check, check, check! I dredged the tenderized meat in all-purpose flour before putting it in the hot oiled pan. I love that sizzling sound as it enters the pan. It’s so satisfying! Sautéing the chicken took way less time to cook, compared to poaching it last week. It was GDB perfection!

Have a great holiday and new week ahead. Stay safe!

FS x

A day of Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving, All! I wish you and your loved ones a blessed day to celebrate amongst yourselves, with food, joy, and laughter!

Just a preview of tonight’s menu… I was busy in the kitchen last night, cookin’ up some creamy mashed potatoes, blueberry/cranberry sauce, and prepping ingredients for the stuffing (which I will make tonight). My dad’s cooking the rest of the entrées: the big bird, ham, and yam. Mmm! This is the usual Thanksgiving dinner for my family and I. Not to mention the sides: dinner rolls, poke (raw fish), edamame (soy beans)…

I was inspired by The Pioneer Woman herself, Ree Drummond, to attempt making a different style of mashed potatoes this year. I added these three ingredients to make it extra rich, creamy, and special: half-and-half, whipping cream, and cream cheese. I don’t think I’m ever going back to making mashed potatoes like I used to. These three ingredients changed the texture of the dish! So good!

Here is the recipe! It’s so simple, and you can add more of these ingredients if you please! I never follow recipes to-the-tee!

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Boiled a bunch of potatoes. I bought a 20lb bag from Costco last weekend. I’m down to a few potatoes left- haha!

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The ingredients to add to the mashed potatoes!

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And of course, you need to have seasoning!!

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Bam! There ya go! Creamy and rich! You can’t even taste the cream cheese (for those who don’t care for it).

Next, I made my blueberry/cranberry sauce. When I was growing up, I was always curious to know how fresh, homemade cranberry sauce is made. In the past, we had family friends make a container for us, or we would buy the canned sauce. NEVER AGAIN with the canned sauce- haha! It’s got to be fresh! A couple years ago, I finally decided to start the tradition in making my own sauce for the season. My family loved it; even those who didn’t like cranberry sauce.

I was inspired by two different recipes, but I stuck with this one: as simple as can be! All you need is cranberries, blueberries, sugar, and good ol’ OJ!

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There ya go! So simple, yet so good!

Maybe next year, I’ll try spiking it??? Hehe! We’ll see. I should make two batches, in case the experimental one doesn’t turn out, haha!

Another post to come after the complete meal is prepared, which will include my stuffing.

Happy Thanksgiving, y’all! Eat lots of turkey!!!!

Shanks, shanks, baby!

The other weekend, I was at the grocery store and saw some lamb shanks on sale. I love lamb, especially shanks. I hadn’t had it in a long time and decided to cook them for dinner. There’s so much meat and it’s so tender. This was a meal to savor!!!!

The shanks were very easy to cook. I drizzled them with extra virgin olive oil and lemon olive oil, and seasoned it with: lemon juice, Chardonnay white wine, Italian seasoning, thyme, Hawaiian salt, garlic salt, and pepper. I sliced some garlic cloves and threw them into the dish as well. Baked it in a casserole dish, covered with foil, at 400º for about an 80 minutes or so. The baking time varies, due to how rare you want the meat to be. I turned down the temperature and let the dish sit in the oven until it was ready to grindz!

I made a pasta dish to go alongside this delicious entrée. Got to have pasta! My all-time comfort food.

 

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I used a mix of collard greens and spinach. I’ve never cooked with collard greens before and have been curious to finally try it. It’s very similar to spinach. It shrinks when cooked. Haha! Best to add it in last, as it cooks quickly.

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I boiled egg noodles (love them to death!). The sauce included: Chardonnay white wine, lemon juice, and extra virgin olive oil. A very simple, and healthy sauce. Sprinkled with chili flakes and shaven Parmesan cheese. Yummy!

Oooh whee, I am getting hungry for lamb again! Is it time to eat?

~FS

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