Jul 30 2011

shrimp burgers with homemade roasted garlic-orange aioli

Shrimp Burgers with Roasted Garlic-Orange Aioli

This is another one of those recipes that I passed on to Joseph and helpfully suggested that he could make it for me if he wanted. Actually, I found this recipe through the same Food 52 e-mail as those killer ribs, so I’m clearly onto something, because these shrimp burgers were pretty amazing too.

While Joseph was in the kitchen working on the shrimp burgers, I was sitting on the couch resting my knee (recuperating after knee surgery) and perusing David Lebovitz’s blog. On a recent post he talks about how he’s learned that the French don’t really eat a lot of garlic, but he likes it so he was grating raw garlic into his salad vinaigrette. One of the readers yelled in ALL CAPS  in the comments about how she couldn’t believe that Lebovitz was putting two whole cloves of garlic in the vinaigrette. All I could think was Lady, it’s a good thing you’re not coming over to our place for dinner. If you are similarly inclined, you may just want to skip this post and read about how I met Chef Jonathan Waxman last weekend instead. If you love garlic as much as I do, then stay tuned because we are bringing it.

Head of Garlic

Well, I hope we didn’t lose too many people there, because it’s not like these shrimp burgers are obnoxiously garlicky, they’re just garlicky enough. And while you do roast an entire head of garlic, you don’t actually use all of it in the recipe. We weren’t going to let that leftover freshly roasted garlic go to waste, however, and ate it straight up. Sure, we could have slathered it on some bread or something, but who am I kidding? I like obnoxiously garlicky food. It’s just a good thing I was working from home the next day because I’m sure I was still exuding garlic from every pore.

Caramelized shallots and fennel, bell pepper, chives, and orange zest

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Jul 27 2011

celebrity chef showdown: chef waxman vs. chef santos

 Tomatoes and Chef at the Cadillac Culinary Challenge

It’s been almost exactly a year since I started this blog and if you had told me then that I would get to meet Chef Jonathan Waxman of Barbuto because of Pixelated Crumb, I never would have believed you. When I first heard about the opportunity to be a judge at the Cadillac Culinary Challenge in Dedham, MA I was certainly excited about the idea, but was somewhat reluctant to do it. I have so much respect and admiration for this culinary great who is not only one of the country’s best chefs, but a totally laid back and just generally great guy (I deduced these personality traits from watching Top Chef Masters Seasons 1 and 2 and you know that reality TV never lies). I was hesitant to judge the event because I was convinced that such a job should be left only to the heavy hitters such as Ruth Reichl or Brad Johnson. Joseph talked some sense into me and pointed out that I was over-thinking things and that this would be a fun, laid back event. Besides, when in my life would I ever get to taste and judge Chef Waxman’s food? The next day I was talking to the Cadillac PR rep and signing up to get my critique on.

Tomatoes and Chef at the Cadillac Culinary Challenge

By now you must be wondering who Chef Waxman was up against since clearly he wasn’t competing against himself! Cadillac is doing a series of these challenges in 14 cities pairing a celebrity chef with a local well known, highly regarded chef. Chef Jason Santos, who became a bit of a celebrity chef himself by making it to the finals of Hell’s Kitchen last year, was more than up to the challenge to compete against Chef Waxman. Chef Santos, formally of Gargoyles on the Square, just opened Blue Inc. (named for his blue hair) in the financial district less than two weeks ago and has already gotten rave reviews (actually, I haven’t seen any official reviews yet, but Yelpers sure like it!).

Chef Jonathan Waxman and Thai Eggplants

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Jul 21 2011

raspberry swirl and brownie ice cream

Raspberry Swirl Brownie Ice Cream

I hope that everyone had a wonderful National Ice Cream Day last Sunday! If you missed it and didn’t have any ice cream (shame on you!), don’t panic, July is National Ice Cream Month. You’ve got the rest of the month fulfill your duty to dig your spoon into that bowl or get your fingers sticky with an ice cream cone. If you’re inclined to make your own (and I believe everyone should give it a shot!) I strongly suggest you celebrate with this raspberry swirl and brownie ice cream.

Bowl of Raspberries

Chewy Dense Brownies

About a week and a half after my knee surgery, my boss e-mailed me and, knowing we don’t have air conditioning in this sweltering heat, said she hoped I was making lots of ice cream. Eating it, sure, but making it? No. I was pretty darn lucky that Joseph had made that strawberry basil sorbet (which is so wonderful and so easy!) but making sweets isn’t really his domain and I was confined to the couch. But the more I thought about it, it just seemed critical that we make our own ice cream for National Ice Cream Day because anything less would be a downright disrespect to this oh so important day (yes, this is how my mind works). Luckily Joseph was game, so we plunked a chair for me in the kitchen and got to work armed with crutches (me) and a great attitude (Joseph). Continue reading

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Jul 17 2011

lemon bundt cake

Lemon Bundt Cake

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I love lemon. I know that some people think that you’re either a chocolate kind of person or a lemon kind of person and I think that’s ridiculous because I don’t think I could survive with one and not the other. OK, that might be mildly overstated. But I just really feel like both chocolate cakes and lemon cakes have their time and place. This heat wave currently hitting the East Coast would be the time and place for lemon.

lots of lemons

Growing up, one of my favorite cakes was a lemon bundt cake that my mom made that’s drenched in a lemony glaze. The bottom of the cake was always the best part because all that lemon syrup welled up down there, creating the most delicious, gooey bites of lemony goodness. Unfortunately, that cake calls for both lemon cake mix and lemon jello mix and the thought of using either kind of makes me cringe a little bit now (sorry, Mom!). To each their own, but personally, I’d be much happier making a cake from scratch.

Lemons and Lemon Zest

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