Monday, April 18, 2011

Hot and Saucy...?

I like to add a little zing to my food with some hot sauce on occasion. 

Jerome on the other hand, likes to douse his food with it. 

It doesn't seem to matter how spicy I've already tried to make dinner. 

Since we use so much, we like to try different varieties.

When I was making tacos the other day I took them all out so we could have our pick. 

Seems like we've managed to get quite the collection going!! 

Friday, April 15, 2011

St. Patty's Day Guiness Cheddar Pie

I think I made this recipe two or three years ago randomly, and liked it. So last year for St. Patrick's day I dug out the recipe and fully intended to make it, and then at 6 pm when Jerome said he was on his way home, I read the actual directions which involve several 1 hour simmering steps, and put it off until the weekend, and then used the beef for something else, and then we drank all the Guinness I had bought for the occasion. And so it was forgotten. 

This year, I was more prepared and actually remembered ahead of time, so planned to have it on the weekend afterwards. I even made sure I hid two of the bottles of Guinness, to ensure we'd have enough to make it. I'm drinking the last of the 6 pack as I write this which is why I remembered I should write about it. That and it was darn tasty. 

The recipe is a Jamie Oliver one and can be found online here. Aside from the stewing and simmering for several hours it's super easy: 

 Once you get everything chopped, you just let it cook, 
Stir a few times if you think of it.

Roll out some puff pastry into a casserole dish,
then pour in the steaming stew.

(I failed to take a picture of the extra sharp cheddar that gets sprinkled on in between these two pictures)

Cover it with the rest of the pastry and cook some more

And you end up with this!! 
My puff pastry shrank a bit and looked funny, (or perhaps it was "Rustic" like Jamie said it should be)
but mixed with the cheesy, stout-y, beefy goodness, it was divine! 

Try it sometime!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Meatloaf: A Choose your own Cooking Adventure

Back in January, we received our latest issue of Fine Cooking Magazine, and on the cover was a great picture (as always) of a tasty looking meatloaf. Jerome snapped it up and read the article which was for a choose your own ingredient meatloaf recipe which gave suggestions for various combinations of meats, spices, vegetables, and a general structure for making great meatloaf. This seemed fun, so we got cooking that weekend as we had some guests coming for dinner. We opted for a southwest style meatloaf with a chipotle glaze. A variation on this recipe they had given as a suggestion

 Jerome wearing one of the chefs hats we got for Christmas to make sure I knew he was head chef and I was just the sous chef. 

 For our meat selection we chose beef. The Sirloin steak we got was on sale and actually cheaper than buying ground beef, who knew! 

 We began with the meat. And just to add to the fun, we decided to try out the meat grinding attachment for our KitchenAid Stand Mixer which we had yet to try. 

 We ground the beef once and then added chorizo to it and ground it a second time. 

 The vegetables cut and waiting to be added: onion, green pepper, jalepenos. 

 We also got a digital scale for Christmas and used it to ensure we had exactly 4 ounces of bread. 

 The vegetables then got cooked and the milk soaked bread was added.

 Then the meat, and cheese were combined while trying to keep as much air into the mixture as possible. 

 The suggestions for forming the loaf said that you should actually try and pack it as loosely as possible so that it stays light and fluffy which made it turn out really nicely. The chipotle glaze was then applied. 

The final loaf when cooked. Delicious!

It was so good, that the next day we tried it again, but with meatballs and using a different set of spices and veggies.