Friday, July 13, 2012

First week in Texas

So for our first week of cooking at our new home in Texas, we had some good Southern and Texmex food, and they were mostly winners I must say. Here's some pictures of our beautiful kitchen below along with the recipes:
Kitchen central
Fried Chicken with Barbequed Okra, Tomato and Corn Salad and Biscuits
The fried chicken done this way is solid - it's Leah Chase's version who I've given praise to before:
- soak chicken in 1/2 cup evaporated milk, 1/2 cup water and 1 egg (can increase volume as necessary) for about 15 mins while prepping everything else
- put 2 cups flour, 2 tablespoons thyme, 1 tablespoon cayenne/paprika mix, 1 tablespoon salt and pepper into a paper bag (another option is to use half cornmeal and half flour)
- heat oil to 350 or so (really hot)
- put soaked chicken into bag 1-2 pieces at a time and shake about, putting the coated chicken on a dry plate to sit for at least 15 minutes before going in the oil - this is key for getting a good crust
- cook for 10-15 mins usually (outside should be good marker of inner doneness)

The okra, tomato and corn recipe I came up with and people seemed to like (worth making again):
- 1 lb okra sliced lengthwise with ends trimmed and grilled for 15 mins
- 3-4 ears BBQ'd corn
- 3-4 tomatoes sliced in half and grilled for 10-15mins
- you can do all the above basically at the same time, then take the corn off the cob, cut up the tomatoes to more bite size and toss it all with about 1 lime worth of juice, a handful of chopped cilantro and salt/pepper to taste
Corner dining area
Scallops with Fennel, Bacon and Mascarpone with Braised Broccoli and Rice
 The scallops for this were the diver kind - big, juicy and expensive as all can be. But worth it. This recipe is actually fairly simple and delicious:
- slice fennel lengthwise discarding fronds, parboil for 5 mins
- broil fennel with mascarpone over the top until mascarpone melted and fennel browned
- cook 4-5 slices of thick-cut bacon and chop bacon into smaller chunks
- cook scallops 2 mins a side in the bacon grease
- put together using browned mascarpone fennel as a base with scallop on top with chunks of bacon around and on scallop - basically each bite is unique and awesome

Tomatillo Enchiladas with Squash, Corn and Carrot
Not much to comment on here other than the tomatillo enchilada sauce that I made up:
- 1 lb tomatillos boiled for 10 mins with 6-7 cloves garlic (can roast garlic too for different taste but if in a rush, boiling is easier)
- blend tomatillos with 1 cup or so of chicken or vegetable stock along with garlic, 1/2 bunch picked cilantro, cumin and jalapeno to taste and boom you have an excellent green sauce for enchiladas!

Avocado Soup with Apple, Blue Cheese and Walnut Salad
Erin made this and it was delicious. The soup had more character than I thought it would for sure!

Out to: Koi Kawa - sushi, pretty decent especially given my expectations for sushi in Texas!

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