Friday, March 28, 2008

A Little Road Trip.

Mr. Hawthorne and I will be out of town for a few days. Dixie and Youngest Hawthorne will be guarding the house and Dixie can be quite ferocious when pressed, as can YH for that matter. Hopefully, I'll be able to scrounge up some blog fodder while away. In the meantime, everyone have a lovely weekend. Back on Monday.

My Jonquils.

Just a wee bit o' spring.

Lovely, Delicious, Creamy Creme Brulees.

Before I start with my Creme Brulees, let's just check out the situation in my little cul de sac.
I think there's a law about vehicles just parking willy-nilly on the street.
Oh golly, would you just look at that. A van. Parked partially on my lot and blocking access to said lot. And do I see extra parking space on FranktheFuck's parking pad? I believe I do. So why do FranktheFuck'sFriends park on MY property? Have I mentioned that I hate my neighbor? May the fleas of a thousand camels inhabit his armpits and groin.
OK, now that I've gotten that off my chest, on to the creme brulee.
Here's my mise en place. It's just 6 egg yolks, 2 cups heavy cream, 1/2 cup sugar, and some vanilla extract.
Combine the sugar and cream in a heavy sauce pan.
Add in the vanilla.
Cook until boiling.
Add the hot mixture gradually to temper the beaten egg yolks while whisking the whole time.
Pour into individual ramekins in a bain-marie. That means put the ramekins in a baking dish and pour some water halfway up.
Place in a pre-heated 350-degree oven for 40 minutes. Then turn the baking dish around and bake for 20 more minutes.
After cooling the creme brulees for at least 3 hours, then chilling in the fridge, pour a bit of sugar on top.
Take your trusty blowtorch and scorch the sugar on top.
Ramekin by ramekin.
By ramekin.
Here are the lovely creme brulees.
Crunchy sugary topping. Creamy interior. Absolutely delicious. Mr. Hawthorne's comment: "This is so good I'm trying to figure out a way how to have sex with it." I guess that would be the culinary equivalent of a standing ovation.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Mahi Mahi and Szechuan Shrimp For Dinner Tonight.

Tonight's dinner was quite good. I fixed Szechuan Shrimp with Cashews for a bit of a spicy flavor and Pistachio Encrusted Mahi Mahi.

I'll start off with the shrimp.

Here's my mise en place for my Szechuan shrimp.

From top left clockwise, Low Sodium Soy Sauce, Rice Vinegar, Shrimp, Garlic/Chili Sauce,
Roasted Red Peppers, toasted sesame seeds, green onions, garlic, onion,
red pepper flakes, orange, and cashews.

I chopped the green onions, roasted red peppers, onion, and garlic.

I heated up some sesame oil and threw the peeled and deveined shrimp in.

Toss the shrimp around.

Just about 3 minutes, take the shrimp out and set aside.

I added a bit of butter to my sesame oil and put the cashews in for about 1 minute.

Next, I poured in the juice of one orange, about 1/3 cup.

Then I added soy sauce, about 1/4 cup.

Garlic goes in.

Along with the onions.

And the smoked red peppers.

Deglaze the pan with rice wine vinegar
and reduce for about 5 minutes.

Next, add in about 3 TB of chili/garlic sauce.

Add the shrimp back to the sauce.

Next, add in the scallions.

Finally, top with toasted sesame seeds.

Now, on to the Mahi Mahi.

First, dip the fillet in beaten egg.

Then press the fillet in the ground pistachios.

Saute in a bit of olive oil and butter.

Saute about 2 minutes on each side, until lightly browned.

Add white wine to the pan and put in a 450 degree pre-heated oven for about 8 minutes.

And ... Wallah!

I served the shrimp over rice
and topped the mahi mahi with a softened butter,
cilantro, roasted red pepper, and lime mixture.

This was some good eats.

Greens 'n Taters.

Remember the other day when I needed 5 or 6 leaves of collards for the chili?
You can't buy them by the leaf.
You buy a whole bunch.
So I had the whole bunch left, minus 5 or 6 leaves.
Mr. Hawthorne puts them in a bit of water to cook down.

The pan is full and I still have this to put in.

Collard greens.
I love 'em.
Mr. H. filled up the pot.

Mr. Hawthorne added some diced Easter ham bits.

Cook down greens and add some potatoes.

Dixie is watching carefully.
She loves our cooking.

Collard greens and taters cooking down.

After maybe 2 hours cooking time, collards and taters are ready.

My plate of collards and taters.
Absolutely delish.

You Yankees just don't know what you're missing.