Saturday, August 27, 2011

Smoked Gouda Potato Cakes

So I still had some frozen hash browns left over even after making those Peas and Cream Cheese Potato Cakes below lol! So I decided to make more potato cakes. We still had some smoked gouda cheese left over so I decided to grate some of that in with the hash browns. Added a handful of chopped chives and salt and pepper. This time I did use egg and flour to bind the potato cakes. It sure made the potato cakes stand up better. Took a handful of the mixture and shaped it into a ball, then flattened it to form a potato cake. Heated some butter in a skillet over medium high heat and cooked the cakes until a nice golden brown crust set. The smoky flavor of the gouda was very good. And the chives really came out in the potato cakes too.
Which of the two potato cakes did we like more? I liked the one with the peas more and Matt liked this one more. I really loved the texture the peas gave; and Matt really liked the smokiness the gouda gave. We enjoyed both regardless. Potato cakes can be kinda addicting...they're so easy and yummy!

Peas and Cream Cheese Potato Cakes

I had some frozen hash browns and frozen peas still sitting in my freezer. I thought it was about time to get rid of it. Saw we also had some whipped cream cheese left in the fridge and thought potato cakes! Instead of adding egg and flour to bind the cake, I wondered if cream cheese could act as a substitute. Only one way to find out. I mixed the hash browns, peas, cream cheese, onion powder, salt and pepper together. Took a handful and formed it in a ball, then pressed it flat to form a potato cake. The cream cheese wasn't a very strong binder for the potato cakes. But it was do-able. Heated some butter in a skillet over medium high heat and cooked the potato cakes until a nice golden brown crust set. Be careful flipping them over though. Even though the cream cheese wasn't a strong binder compared to eggs and flour, it sure was yummy though. I loved the cream cheese in it and the burst from the peas added a fun texture.

A Food Network Fan's Travel to NYC - Centrico

Chef Aaron Sanchez (Chopped)

Centrico would be a great place to go out to on a Friday night. We actually ate dinner there Friday night and it was filled with laughter, good food and drinks. The Centrico Margarita and Granada were both very good drinks...we kept them coming all night. To start, we had the Tres Salsas and Chips. Matt loves chips and salsa so whenever we go to a Mexican restaurant, I don't even need to ask if he's planning on ordering an appetizer. All 3 salsas were spicy. So of course I wasn't crazy about the salsa. Matt had the Enchiladas de Res. The braised beef short ribs in the enchilada was very good and tender. I wished there was more of it though. I ordered the Bistec con Chiles Verdes which was basically grilled adobo sirloin steak. It was cooked really good, and wasn't spicy at all actually. I wished it came with more of that delicious sauce on it though. It came with steak fries, which is my least favorite cut of fries, but I liked them. The best part for me was the dessert. (Matt's favorite meal there was his enchilada.) We had the Pastel de Chocolate Mexicano aka a molten mexican chocolate cake with a choco-chile sauce and corn ice cream. Corn ice cream! It was so good! I had never had corn ice cream and would like to try making some now.

Bistec con Chiles Verdes - grillede adobo sirloin steak, cactus, rajas
 Tres Salsas and Chips
Enchiladas de Res - braised beef short ribs, chile colorado sauce

 Pastel  de Chocolate Mexicano - molten mexican chocolate cake, choco-chile sauce, corn ice cream

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Glazed Carrots

Picture of Glazed Carrots Recipe
Glazed Carrots
So I am lucky to have a husband who not only helps clean around the house but also likes to cook for me. He usually likes to cook one or two meals a wk. This week he made these glazed carrots from Alton Brown's Good Eats Volume II cookbook. At first I wasn't sure about it. The ingredients included ginger ale and chili powder. But man did it turn out to be the best carrots we've ever had. We usually don't like carrots or care to cook them either, but these carrots might become a regular in our meals now.


  • 1 pound carrots, approximately 7 medium, peeled and cut on the bias 1/4-inch thick
  • 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) unsalted butter
  • Heavy pinch kosher salt
  • 1 cup good-quality ginger ale
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley leaves


In a 12-inch saute pan over medium heat, combine the carrots, butter, salt and ginger ale. Cover and bring to a simmer. Once simmering, remove the lid, stir, and reduce the heat to low. Cover again and cook for 5 minutes. Remove the lid, add the chili powder and increase the heat to high. Cook, tossing occasionally, until the ginger ale is reduced to a glaze, approximately 4 to 5 minutes. Pour into a serving dish and sprinkle with the parsley. Serve immediately.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Gravy frites

On Food Network's The Best Thing I Ever Ate, they showcased gravy frites once aka this pile of fries smothered in gravy and cheese. It looked delicious and such a good idea in my eyes. I finally made some one day and loved it! I fried up a batch of french fries. I prefer to make my own. It's cheaper and doesn't take that long to make. This time I used canola oil for frying, which I must say is better than my past experience with vegetable oil. The oil doesn't get dirty quite as fast. Then I made my own gravy. I've never made gravy before so just threw some things together. I threw some butter and minced garlic in the pan along with 1 tbsp of flour. Stirred until the flour was incorporated. Then added 1/4 c of red wine and a small can of beef stock. I also whisked in 1 tbsp of cornstarch. If your cornstarch clumped in the gravy you can always strain your gravy. Brought it to a boil and then let it simmer until thickened. I piled the fries I made earlier in a baking pan, poured the gravy over them, along with some smoked gouda cheese I had grated. Baked it at 350 degrees F until the cheese melted. Yumminess. Especially if you love fries and cheese - my weakness...

Sunday, August 14, 2011

A Food Network Fan's Travel to NYC - Eataly

Chef Mario Batali  (Iron Chef America)

If I lived in NY, I can see myself going to Eataly quite often. Eataly is this really neat specialty market co-owned by Mario Batali. You can find truffle, caviar, fresh pasta, beautiful veal chops, and unique produce there. Nestled inside the market are a bunch of restaurants too. Everything from sandwiches to pizza or pasta. We sat in the La Pizza/La Pasta side. Their pizza looked really good. It's cooked in their wood fire oven brought over from Naples. But I was already set on trying some Batali-style pasta. I ordered the Spaghettone  Cacio e Pepe. It was cooked very al dente. Coming from someone who likes their pasta overcooked at home, I have to say al dente is quite nice. The pasta was tossed in cheese from Lazio and black pepper. That's it. But I kept trying to figure out if there was some secret sauce in it. The pasta was so creamy. So good. Matt ordered the veal ravioli special. It was very good and tender. There was also some bread for us to snack on before our meal came out. I didn't really like was too yeasty.
But if you go to Eataly you have to stop by the Gelateria. The best gelato I've ever had. I had a scoop of the pistachio and scoop of the chocolate. So good! The pistachio is very pistachio-y, but pairs so good with the chocolate. Matt had the chocolate and raspberry. I'm not big on raspberry but he loved it. Seriously best gelato. We also tried some gelato at the Little Italy town near Chinatown at this place called La Ferrara. Horrible place. Bad service and the gelato wasn't like gelato. It was just ice cream. We wished we had trekked over to Eataly again for their gelato.

Spaghettone  Cacio e Pepe
Veal Ravioli 

Chocolate and Pistachio Gelato 

You might even run into Mario Batali like we did!! It made my day when I saw him - thanks to my husband who is very observant :)

Sunday, August 7, 2011

A Food Network Fan's Travel to NYC - Landmarc

Chef Marc Murphy (Chopped)

Okay, the best thing at Landmarc are the desserts. We couldn't decide between 3 and decided to get all 3 lol, but so glad we did! The portions were actually smaller than expected, especially for the price (about $6 a dessert). But it was SO yummy. We got the nutella eclair, chocolate mousse, and blueberry crumble. I love eclairs, absolutely love them. Probably because you don't see them in many restaurants, and they're so good. Stuff it with nutella and you didn't have to talk me twice into ordering it. But I also love chocolate mousse. So you can see I was actually the one who couldn't decide between the two desserts to order for myself. :)
For my entree I had the Pan-seared Salmon which was accompanied with a corn, green olive, and caper relish type sauce. It was also served with some pesto on top. It was good. I really liked the tangy caper and olive bite combined with the sweet corn. It went well with the salmon. It was a nice different twist compared to the usual lemon and fish pairing. Matt had the porkchops which was huge! And cooked perfectly. I forgot to take a picture of it..

Nutella eclair
Chocolate mousse
Blueberry crumble 

 Pan-seared Salmon - corn, green olives, capers and pesto