cooking: mayonnaise (w/ photo) & buffalo chicken salad

Ahh, it’s good to be back (blogging that is). I apologize for my absence and I’ll try harder to post more. So tonight I decided to prepare lunch for tomorrow. Since I made some chicken caesar wraps for dinner, I had leftover poached chicken breasts. Ultimately, I decided buffalo chicken salad would be perfect.

I started out making some mayonnaise. It’s the same recipe I used last time. It’s nice and simple. Definitely try making this on your own before reaching out for that container of Hellman’s. Trust me…it’s so much better tasting…and “kinda” fun. Here’s a link to Aida Mollenkamp’s mayo recipe, which is very helpful in giving you a starting point. The neat thing about making mayo is that you can really add whatever flavors you want to it. Ex. Sesame oil instead of veg/canola to give it a nutty flavor, roasted garlic, wasabi, and the list goes on. I have yet to try anything that interesting, but I definitely see myself giving a new flavor a shot in the future.


After the mayo was set, I created the buffalo chicken salad kinda off the top of my head…the estimated recipe is as follows.

Just wanted to say that I eyeballed pretty much everything in the following recipe. Don’t take the measurements to heart and use your best judgement…I’m sure you guys will do fine.

Buffalo Chicken Salad (yields about 4-5 cups…I think…haha)


-about 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (poached, diced into cubes/shredded, etc.)
-1/2 – 1 cup mayo
-1/4 cup or less of ranch dressing
-1 celery rib (chopped)
-1/4 cup gorgonzola cubes
-hot sauce (to taste, I used Frank’s Red Hot)
-kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper (to taste)

Start by placing the chicken cubes/shreds in a fairly large mixing bowl. Next, toss the mayo in and work the chicken/mayo mixture around so the mayo gets incorporated well as the chicken breaks apart from it’s cube form (if you want to get rid of the cubes). Proceed by adding the ranch dressing followed by the chopped celery and gorgonzola. Once well mixed, add enough hot sauce to turn the salad a light tinge of orange/red. Obviously, based on your preferences, you may opt to add a lot, or maybe just a couple drops. I definitely used close to maybe an 1/8 of a cup? Lastly, toss in a small pinch of kosher salt and grind some black pepper. Stir till well mixed. Give it a final taste test, and adjust seasonings as required. Serve on toasted bread, crackers, or just eat it on it’s own!

It tasted good, but I’m sure I could do better. I’m pretty happy with the turnout. We’ll find out tomorrow how good it really is! I’m going to serve it on toasted whole wheat bread.

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cooking: mayonnaise

I made some homemade mayo tonight for my BLT lunch tomorrow. Shoulda taken a photo for you guys…oh well, there’s always next time.

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cooking: turkey stock

I’ve never made a stock in fear of messing up and wasting the long hours used to make one. It has definitely started to get on my nerves buying boxes/cans of “broth” at the supermarket for my culinary use. How can I not do something so simple (just time consuming)?

pre-mirepoix

Having a fresh turkey carcass and wings, I took out the stock pot, put the turkey parts in, diced my mirepoix, and put together a bouquet garni. I started at approximately 1:30pm…and finished around 8:30pm.

mirepoix & bouquet garni

I must say it took a while, but it was totally worth it. The stock looks great, and I definitely have about 20 cups worth of stock now!

simmering


ice bath in cooler to bring it down past “danger zone”


tons of stock for future use


These are the two references which have helped me in making my stock…

Good Eats – Season 7, Episode 5 – True Brew IV: Take Stock
The Professional Chef, 8th Edition – Culinary Institute of America

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cooking: thanksgiving 2009

Previously I was expecting the entire family (including aunts, uncles, cousins, etc.) to come over but this was not the case. This actually made my job much easier, as I did not have to make as much food. I was in the kitchen pretty much all day yesterday, but it was totally worth it.

The menu for last night was..

Green Beans and Walnuts with Lemon Vinagrette

Brown Bread Stuffing with Fruit

no picture taken…

Simple Pan Gravy (for extra gravy…just in case!)


Roast Turkey with Creamy Herbed Gravy

Pumpkin Cheesecake

I was able to tackle all of these meals, but my sister wanted to do the Pumpkin Cheesecake, so credit is all her’s for that one.

Let’s just say that this was the best Thanksgiving (food wise) that I have ever had. Everything turned out well and on time. Thanksgiving is a holiday where people are known for overindulging in all the good food we have…lucky for me…I did not (though it was damn hard not to get another slice of that cheesecake)!

My favorites of the night were the stuffing, turkey w/ the herb gravy, and the pumpkin cheesecake. My least favorite of the night was the green beans w/ lemon vinagrette. I dunno what it was, it just felt like it was missing something…and it was just a tad too tart for my liking. The turkey was a million times more successful than last year. Only bummer was that the dark meat was cooked a little too long….but the white meat was perfect!

Now if you’ll excuse me…I’ve gotta go snack on some leftovers…

P.S. Print out that pumpkin cheesecake recipe and make it…it’s so ridiculously good…

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happy thanksgiving!

I woke up a little bit later than I would like today…dinner should still be ready at a normal time.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Thanksgiving dinner post to follow…

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