Saturday, May 29, 2010

Barramundi in herb butter and lemon

We tried a new fish, well, new to us... Barramundi from Australia.   Decided it was best to cook individually in gratin dishes and it was incredible...served a side of fingerling potatoes with scallions!

Barramundi in herb butter and lemon with roasted fingerlings and scallions

  • 4 Barramundi fillets, washed and dried
  • 4 T butter
  • fresh herbs of your choice (I used thyme and basil)
  • 4 t. fresh lemon juice
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 pkg fingerling potatoes, washed and dried
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 bunch scallions, sliced
Directions:   Preheat your over to 425 degrees F and place your fingerling potatoes into a baking dish. Add olive oil, salt and pepper and bake in the oven for 30 minutes or until fork tender.

Place each Barramundi fillet in an individual gratin dish. Top each piece of fish with 1 T butter, broken into pieces, 1 t. lemon juice and sprinkler with assorted fresh herbs, salt and pepper.   Bake in the same oven as the fingerlings for 20 minutes.

Take everything out of the oven and while the fish is cooling slightly, add sliced scallions to the fingerlings and toss to coat with olive oil.   Serve!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Iced Coffee - refreshing for the summertime!

It is so humid in Texas and the Steiner Ranch weekend outlook is hot, hot, HOT!   So Iced Coffee is a must for me right now.   I have a super easy and delicious way to make it - use sweetened creamer.   I take a cocktail shaker, fill with crushed ice, add cold coffee and my favorite creamer, Coffee-mate Italian Sweet Creme, then shake into a frothy, cold and delicious cocktail.   I serve mine over more crushed ice and walk outside to our pool (which is in the background) to relax.   Now, where's the pool boy?

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Sweet Popovers with Peaches

I love traditional pop-overs and my friend and guest Chef Gary Miller added to my love with his bread pudding rendition.   Here is a sweeter version that becomes the perfect vehicle for fresh peaches dusted with powder sugar.   Makes for a great weekend breakfast!

Sweet Popovers with Fresh Peaches

  • 3 large eggs at room temperature
  • 1 T brown sugar
  • 1 t orange zest
  • 1 1/4 C whole milk
  • 4 T butter, melted
  • 1 1/4 C all purpose flour
  • 1/2 t baking powder
  • 1/2 t salt
Directions:   Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. In a large bowl whisk the eggs with the sugar and orange zest. Add the milk and 3 T of melted butter. In a smaller bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt.   Mix the dry ingredients with the wet until only small lumps remain.

Brush the inside of a 12 cup muffin or popover tin with the remaining melted butter and place into the preheated oven for about 5 minutes until the butter browns slightly but does not burn. Carefully ladle the batter into each cup, filling about 1/2 full. Bake the popovers for 30 minutes or until they have risen and browned. I pull mine open and top with fresh sliced peaches and dust with powder sugar. Strawberries, raspberries or any other kind of fruit would work just as well.

Sara Moulton Cooking Demo and Book Signing Austin Style

Faraday's Kitchen Store will play host to a cooking demonstration and book signing by Sara Moulton, celebrity chef, food editor and television personality. She is promoting her new cookbook "Sara Moutlon's Everyday Family Dinners" (Simon and Schuster; April 6, 2010) on Saturday, June 12, 2010 at 11:00 a.m. The event is FREE to the public and Sara Moulton’s Everyday Family Dinners book is available for purchase at Faraday's Kitchen Store.

For more information or to register for this once in a lifetime event, head over to Faraday's Kitchen Store

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Scrumptious Summer Salad with Strawberries

I love to add fruit to my salads - it adds a level of sweetness, texture and depth to the standard salad we eat every day.   I made this salad tonight for dinner with a red wine vinegar and Major Gray Chutney vinaigrette.   I could NOT stop eating it... enjoy!

Summer Salad with Strawberries

  • Bib lettuce, washed and dried and torn into bite sized pieces
  • Baby Spinach, washed and dried
  • 8 Strawberries, washed and sliced thin
  • 1 Avocado, diced
  • 1/3 C Walnut pieces
  • Parmesan shavings
  • Pepper

Directions:   After washing and drying lettuce, tear it up into bite sized pieces and add to salad bowl.   Slice strawberries and avocado and add to bowl.   I like my walnuts in smaller pieces so I rough chop them and add to the bowl.   Add Parmesan shavings and pepper to taste.

  • 1/3 C red wine vinegar
  • 4 T Major Grays Chutney
  • 3 T olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
Whisk your ingredients together and toss into your salad and serve!!!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Fluffiest Mashed Potatoes

In 2004 my family was chosen to host an episode of a Food Network cooking show called Food 911 with Chef Tyler Florence. From 6 a.m. until 8:30 p.m. that evening, my home was transformed into a gourmet kitchen studio with cameras, lighting, a crew, producers, stagers and Chef Florence. I had a blast cooking side by side with Tyler and we presented a great menu. One of the techniques I still use today are the mashed potatoes recipe. We made them last night as a side dish to grilled rosemary lamb chops and I knew I'd have to share!

Fluffiest Mashed Potatoes

  • 1 head garlic, top sliced off
  • 3 sprigs Thyme
  • 6 to 8 Yukon Gold Potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 1 T salt
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 C milk
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • pepper


In a small sauce pan, combine milk, butter, head of garlic, thyme, bay leaf and salt. Heat over low heat until butter melts and milk warms.  The longer you warm it, the more garlic taste it has! Meanwhile, put potatoes in large pot covered with cold water. Bring to a boil and simmer until they are fork tender, about 20 - 30 minutes. Drain the potatoes well and while still warm, press them through a potato ricer or food mill into a mixing bowl. Slowly add the warm milk mixture, leaving the garlic, thyme and bay leaf in the pan. Stir to incorporate, adding a little milk mixture at a time until fluffy. Season with pepper and serve immediately.

NOTE: I added some chopped fresh thyme to my potatoes as well as fresh chives! YUMMY!

Fluffy Mashed Potatoes with rosemary grilled Lamb Chops and artichokes.

Myself, Tyler Florence, Caitlin, my Mom, Emma as a baby and Lindsey - Feb 2004

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Guest Recipe from Christchurch, New Zealand

Facebook is a great networking tool - and it's given me the opportunity to re-connect with many classmates from England. One of those classmate, Gary Miller, is a Chef living in New Zealand. He has graciously sent me one of his recipes to share on my blog - thanks Gary!!!

Chef Gary Miller's Savory Goats Cheese Bread Pudding

  • 1 1/2 Baguettes cubes into pieces
  • 1/2 red onion, minced
  • 1 T Thyme, fresh and chopped
  • 1 1/2 C. Goats Cheese
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 1/4 C. milk
  • 1 C heavy cream
  • salt and pepper to taste
Directions: Preheat your oven to 395 degrees.  In a bowl, combine the eggs, milk and cream and whisk together. In a separate large bowl, combine your bread cubes, onion, thyme, goats cheese together. Add the egg mixture and using your hands, mix together until all the liquid is absorbed (it should resemble sloppy paste). Salt and pepper to taste.  Scoop into suitable containers that have been sprayed with cooking spray for baking. Gary uses mini loaf tins and I used a Yorkshire Pudding cup style tin. Bake for 12 minutes or until a skewer comes clean when inserted into loaf. Allow to cool slightly before removing.

Gary states that this goes really well with Duck Breast or any red game meat.   His image below is currently on his menu... Seared Canterbury Duck Breast served with warm Goats Cheese Pudding, Petite Citrus Salad, Pinot Noir reduction and Citrus butter sauce.

Gary Miller has worked as a chef in Five Star and Michelin Star restaurants and hotels in London and held the post of Executive Chef of New Zealand's Christchurch Casino from its opening in 1994 through early 2008. He is currently the Vice President of The New Zealand Chefs Association,  The Business Manager for the New Zealand Culinary Team who over the last nine years has won many awards and accolades to international worked ranking culinary competitions.

Gary is also Consultant Chef for Silver Fern Farms, New Zealand's premiere meat processing and export company. Gary can be seen demonstrating how to cook New Zealand's finest lamb at this link:

Gary says "food is all about enjoyment, enjoyment of the meal, enjoyment of sharing with family and friends and the enjoyment of knowing that your work brings pleasure to others."

He currently works at Octagon Live Restaurant in Christchurch, New Zealand where music, entertainment and food are brought together to create a complete dining and entertainment package.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Do you LOVE Apple Pie?

Do you really LOVE Apple Pie?   Who doesn't... it's all American.  However, it used to be All English as it was made in England over 600 years ago.   Known as Dumplings, it was a ball of dough filled with fruit.   Since sugar was scares and expensive, sweet fruits were added such as figs.   The English settlers brought apple pie making to America and now it's as American as ever.

Delicious Apple Pie

  • 6 Granny Smith apples, cored, peeled and sliced
  • 4 cups water
  • 1/4 C organic raw apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 C butter
  • 1/2 C sugar
  • 1/2 C brown sugar
  • 3 T flour
  • 1 T organic raw apple cider vinegar
  • 1 T cinnamon
  • 1 t freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 t ground cloves
  • 1/2 t salt
  • Double Pie Crust (pre-bought)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 T cream
  • finishing sugar

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.   Core, peel and slice 6 Granny Smith apples.   In a bowl, add the apple cider vinegar and toss your apple slices as you slice them to prevent from turning brown.

In a saute pan, melt butter then combine both sugars, flour, apple cider vinegar, cinnamon, and salt.   Cook over low heat for about 4 minutes until the butter melts and everything is incorporated.

Drain the apple slices then add the butter/sugar mixture... toss to coat.

Put the bottom pie dough into a deep dish pie pan (I use a great Royal Worcester oven to tableware pie dish I picked up in England years ago).   Pack all the apples into the dough and top with any remaining butter/sugar mixture... use it all.   Top with 2nd piece of dough (I did a lattice top method).   Mix egg and cream until incorporated and brush top of pie until coated and glistening.   Finish with sugar and place on baking sheet to catch run-over! 

Bake for 50 - 55 minutes or until apples are tender and the top is browned and delicious. 

 We always serve with Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Artichokes - Amazingly easy and delicious!

Artichokes are great!   They're easy to prepare, easy to cook and look fantastic served.   We eat them all the time when they're in season.  We always serve with a side of our homemade dipping sauce which I've included in this post but you can use your imagination and create something just as delicious.

Steamed Artichokes with dipping sauce

  • 2 fresh artichokes, prepped 
  • water
  • salt and pepper
  • lime juice
Directions:   In a large pot with liner, add enough salted water to give the artichokes a good steam, but not covered.   To prep the artichokes, remove any bottom leaves that are damaged and then trim the stem.   With scissors, snip the tip of each leaf off, as much as you want, removing the sharp tip.   Additionally, trim the top of each artichoke about 1/2 inch.   Place in pot, salt and pepper and give then give them a squeeze of lime juice and steam until tender, 15-20 minutes.

While the artichokes are steaming, prepare your sauce...

  • 1 T butter, melted
  • 2 T lime juice
  • 1/2 C prepared Mayonnaise
  • 1 t. Cavendar's Seasoning
  • 1 T Parmesan cheese
Melt butter and let cool for a minute or two then add the remaining ingredients and whisk until blended together.

Once artichokes are steamed, plate with the sauce on the side and what your family devour them!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

I'm on a mission...

I am going to make homemade Croissants!

I've been gathering recipes and looking at accompanying images and I'm just going to dive in today!

My dream would be to open the cutest little bakery called Le Croissant - sunny and bright,  french music playing in the background with an incredible array of sweet and savory croissants.   Wrought iron cafe table and chairs would adorn the front so patrons could dive right in and eat their purchases!

Waking up now... task at hand... jumping in... here I go...

Can't wait to show you the fruits of my labor!   More to come (this is not my image, thank you istock).

Monday, May 3, 2010

In the garden...

I love this time of year and wanted to share the beautiful pictures of my Meyer Lemon Tree.   While not a recipe, the lemons are a key ingredient I love to use often.   I tried to count and so far seem to have about 30 lemons the size of cough drops.  So this fall I will be able to make some truly inspiring recipes!   Enjoy!