Showing posts from March, 2012

Calzones with scratch dough and homemade ricotta

I cashed in one of my christmas gifts, cooking classes at Sur La Table. I chose cheese making and knife skills.  Today was the cheese class, mozzarella and ricotta. The class was very fun, and I learned a lot. Armed with my new knowledge, the ideas were swimming in my head  on the ride home. Lasagna and calzone were at the top of the list. Calzone won!

I started off by making a batch of ricotta, which is surprisingly easy.  Milk, buttermilk and salt is basically all that is involved. Here is what a half gallon of whole milk yields  in ricotta (re-coat-a)  or (re-goat - as my old italian boss at Perrellis would say)

I pulled out J-livers (Jamie Oliver) pizza dough recipe.  For the first time I used part semolina flour in the dough.  It made quite a difference.

After the dough doubled in size, I used my new french rolling pin, and created 2 medium sized pizza doughs. I simply used chopped ham, ricotta and to one of them  I added baby kale leaves. I brushed the top with olive oil, and s…

Dijon Glazed Pork Chops with Au Gratin Potatoes

This meal was rich, decadent and extremely delicious.  I tried to only eat a small portion, but I failed.  Never was I so happy to fail!

Dutchie and I were out shopping for our son's birthday presents. He made out like a bandit, we spoil him too much, but we can't help it. Luckily, he's a pretty good kid so far (he's only 6).
While driving back, I asked what she wanted for dinner, and she hit the internet to scour for ideas.  She came up with several, but I was knocking them down left and right, for one reason or another.
Then she said Dijonaisse Glazed Pork Chops. Shut the front door, that sounds good.
We headed to Kroger to get the ingredients and along the way I got the idea to pair this with au gratin potatoes.   Ended up being two rich dishes, and we should have stuck with one.   But I'm glad we didn't.
I had some russet potatoes, but I knew I wanted to have at least 2 different kinds of maters. So I got a sweet tater.  I came up with the recipe from memo…

BBQ Grill Fried Chicken, Mexican Style Corn and Jalapeno Cornbread

I was going to make chicken tortilla soup tonight, but Zachary complained about the soup he had at school for lunch.  There went that idea.
I already had some chicken thighs thawing, so at the grocery store, I spontaneously came up with this meal.  I'm not sure what made me think of this,  cause I'm not sure I've ever seen it before. The plan was originally to oven bake the chicken, but when corn was introduced, and I love grilled mexican style corn, I thought that if I had a pan that could stand the heat...I would get out of the kitchen. My cast iron fit the bill, so off I went.
I marinated the thighs in milk, sriracha sauce and garlic for a few hours. Using the wetness from the marinade, I dredged it in a mixture of panko, flour and  seasoning salt.  I started the grill, then put a few glugs in the cast iron, and set it in to get  it hot.  In the meantime, I got the corn ready to go.  Mayonaise, s/p and wrapped it in foil. I grated some parmesan and added it to some cho…

Elizabeth's BDay Cocktail Party

We surprised Dutchie's BFF last weekend by showing up at her bday party  in Houston.  Her husband Marty had planned the whole thing.  The party wasn't a true surprise party, but there were a few surprise elements, and we were happy to be a part of it.
Now you may be asking yourself.... "Why is FFF posting about a cocktail party on his foodblog?" Easy...There was food there!!! Marty and Liz are former restaurant owners, and he asked me to  be his sous chef as he prepared some "heavy hor d'oeuvres". He created and served some pretty great food that was a hit all around, and hired a pair of professional bartenders. I am proud to have provided a small amount of help, and follow the prep timeline and schematic.
I did the most work on these 2 items.  Crostini with Proscuitto, Lemon, Fennel and Parsley. Endive with Shrimp, Mango, Red Onion and Lime juice.

The Bacon Wrapped Dried Apricots with Sage was all Marty. Bryan "Wheels" Neely called this Dessert B…

Cabo Resort Food - An International FatherFeedsFlock

My lovely wife and I recently took a, much needed, vacation without our little bundle of 6 year old energy.  After agonizing on where to go, we decided to go all out to an all inclusive  resort on a beach somewhere.  Dutchie did a lot of research and we picked  Barcelo Los Cabos Palace. So we headed to Cabo for some R&R. Now FFF is a foodblog, so I'm not going to detail anything other than our major meals while relaxing with Bahama Mama's and Pina Coladas.

There are MANY choices to eat here, but we decided on French, Spanish and Japanese, for  our dinner experiences.  Here is what we got. Please forgive the poor quality photos, as we all know, the iPhone is NOT  good in low light.  I tried to fix a bit in photoshop, but they still aren't the best.
French - Bon Vivant
Bon Vivant Salad-Endive, candied walnuts, pear, roquefort and lime vinaigrette. We both had this and it was awesome.
How can you go to a French restaurant and NOT get onion soup??? Answer...when it tasted l…

Steak and Guinness pie!!! WOW this was good!

This is a Jamie Oliver recipe and can be readily found online.   Have I mentioned that I like Ja-liver? This meal was a build up in my mind.  We saw a show on Cooking Channel about savory pies.  This one wasn't showcased, but things like cottage pie and escargot pie got me thinking about Ja-liver's gorgeous S&G pie. Then as fate would have it the next day Jamie Oliver At Home featured this meal in his Pastry show.  OK, I give!  I'll make it.
I've done a simple version of this earlier, that although good, wasn't at the level that this rose to.
First thing is to slice 3 onions and saute until slightly brown.   I used 3 different types, yellow, white and red, for a variety and slightly sweeter flavor.  Zachary doesn't like onions, so I wasn't confident he would eat this, and had a backup plan ready, but more about that later.

Ja-liver uses brisket, but I thought that a nice chuck roast would work  just fine.  I found one with some good fat marbling.  Cut …