When you mix an athlete, a nerd, beer, and good ingredients this is what you get.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Arancini

Arancini - an Italian staple that I'd never even eaten before, never mind made. I felt it was my Italian duty to at least see what all the fuss is about and I'm seriously glad I did. What could be better than little deep fried balls of risotto stuffed with melted cheese? They come out crispy on the outside and gooey on the inside and taste like nothing I've ever had before. They're truly something special. The first thing you need is a risotto. Most recipes call for leftover risotto so it has time to chill which makes it easier to form into balls, but I didn't have any leftover so I had to make some. I made up something similar to this except I didn't add the corn and I added a little red pepper and tomato sauce along with the chopped tomatoes. I was in a rush so I had to throw that in the freezer, stirring every half hour to get it chilled out.

The risotto is really the hardest part. Once the risotto is cold, you have to prepare the balls for breading and frying. I formed 2-3 inch balls and stuffed a fat chunk of smoked mozzarella in the middle of each. The smoked mozz was key and added a ton of flavor in the final product. Once the balls are formed, I dredged in flour, egg, and panko (a type of breadcrumb) and deep fried in veg oil until golden brown.
One key thing is to serve them immediately to ensure the cheese is still gooey in the center. Serve with your favorite marinara - I didn't have time to make one so I bought one that ended up being terrible so I had to throw together a quick garlic tomato cream sauce instead. If you can, use a good marinara, the cream sauce was too heavy for the arancini. Katie put together a light arugula/asiago/tomato salad and we had a nice little Wednesday night dinner. And then got to watch the Red Sox miss the playoffs - Let's Go Yankees!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Dining Hall Lunch Inspired by Nolan



Our dining hall recently introduced "Multi-grain deli slims" to the bread area (though they've been labeled every thing from "white slims" to "wheat thins" - when people first started talking about them I didn't know whether I was going to get a slice of bread, Eminem, or a cracker). They are basically English muffins without all the nooks and crannies, just completely flat. Nolan's been using them to make pizzas so he inspired me to do the same.

I toasted the multi-grain thins/slim shadys/crackers and added some onion & sausage sauce that was on the line today. I got lucky and found a huge chunk of sausage so I cut that up for a topping. We had shredded mozz on the salad bar so I topped the mini-pizzas with that then followed up with the sausage, bell peppers, oregano, basil, and parm. A quick hit in the microwave melted the cheese though softened my crispy crust. Next time I'll be patient and throw them in the panini press with the lid slightly ajar to melt the cheese while keeping the crust the way it should be.

Making dinner tonight, excited but have no direction, my brain is going in a thousand different directions. I want to do something difficult. I think I'm just itching for some epic 4 hour deal like the Pesto Carbosagna, it won't be tonight but soon I'll get into something crazy.

Also, finally got a new phone: Droid 3. Not only does it work, unlike my old phone, but it also has a dual core 1ghz processor, 512mb ram, and an 8mp camera capable of shooting 1080p video! The picture above was taken with my phone!

Massive Meal for 40 Men: A (semi) Liveblog

I'm liveblogging a massive meal I'm making today.
It's 5 courses.
The blogging will be mostly images because I'll be busy cooking but try and see if you can figure out where I'm going with everything.

Sorry for image quality, just the phone today.


This is what 30lbs of steak tips looks like


homemade fig preserves
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10lb of chicken marinating in my dirty buffalo sauce


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Fig preserves done. Chicken cooking. Bourbon maple garlic marinade over the beef.  I know I told some people teriyaki but, hey, I changed my mind


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Just chopped 20 potatoes. Now on to 20 onions. Does anyone have a slap chop?? No, seriously, it would save me about a lot of time and a lot of tears. Threw some acid on the potatoes to keep em from oxidizing bc I don't need em yet. I went with vinegar, don't want any lemon flavor in what they're going in


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Dessert in the works. What you're looking at is a massive blackberry/strawberry/cheese danish. The filling was so good that I started scraping the bowl like an 8 year old after mom makes brownies...


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Dessert's done!


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I just finished kneading the largest batch of pizza dough I've ever made. Now all I knead is a beer. Can't... stop... sweating...


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Think it's rising? I think so


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Start of the corn chowder...


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Spicy cheddar corn chowder done. Hope these guys are in for some heat. Fiiiiahh


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Massive buffalo chicken pizza one of two. Both finished for apps. Other surprise pizza in the oven


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Mmmm gruyere fig preserves carmelized onion prosciutto. Apps done!


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That's just me tossing some (semi-invisible) pizza dough.

It got a little crazy as the meal started getting close so I didn't get to take any more pictures. Got some help last minute which was clutch, thanks babe!

The final menu was as follows:

Apps:
Buffalo chicken pizzas on homemade dough with bacon, onion, cheddar, mozz, bleu cheese
Prosciutto and gruyere pizza over a homemade fig spread with caramelized onions

Soup:
Corn Chowder with bacon, potatoes, cheddar, cherry peppers, and onion
(I don't even like soup and I enjoyed this one, will definitely make again)

Salad:
Cobb Salad with egg, bacon, tomatoes, grilled chicken, ranch dressing and I'm probably forgetting something

Entree:
Bourbon marinated steak tips
Tomato/basil/parm risotto

Dessert:
Cheese/Blackberry/Strawberry Danish
(quote from last night "Rotio, what's in this? Wait, is this crack? It's gotta be crack, I just want more." - Oh the things that good food and lots of beer will make you say hah)

If you want recipes for anything shoot me a message or leave a comment. It was a pretty epic day, over 50lbs of meat were in this meal and I had a pitcher by my side all day while I was cooking. My kind of party

Monday, September 19, 2011

Chicken Picatta



Katie and I had a long day today and were in the mood to cook to let off some steam so we decided on Chicken Picatta, one of her childhood favorites. It was a lot easier than I thought it would be and tasted a lot better than the dining hall rendition of it I've been eating for the past 4-- wait, 5 years. I drank a few Narragansetts while Katie started some spaghetti and green beans. Oh wait, sorry, "hericot vert." I guess they were French, I won't hold it against them though, they were still pretty cheap and delicious. By the time we started beating the chicken to tenderize it, we were out of 'gansetts so I switched to High Life (which also had arguably the best Super Bowl commercial I've ever seen).

Once the chicken was tender and nice and thin, we dredged it in some flour and threw it in a pan on medium with 1:1 butter and olive oil (butter=flavor,oil=no fire and no burnt butter taste - the flash point of butter is pretty low). We pan fried the chicken until it was done and the crust was golden brown. Then deglazed with white wine, added lemon juice, capers, garlic, salt and pepper, a pat of butter, and a little flour to thicken. After a few minutes, we (Katie) plated the pasta and chicken and poured the sauce over, then added the beans, a lemon wedge, and chopped fresh parsley.

I scarfed mine and washed it down with another couple high lifes, a glance at my Comp Sci 121 problem set that I'll put off for another day, and what looks to be a solid Giants victory. It's looking like a good night after a long day...

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

You guys are the best

This started out as something fun for me - a way to be to able to record the things I cook, take some pictures of food, index them for future reference. I'm glad you guys took to it the way you did. As of now, we have surpassed 4,000 hits. Given the small amount of content that I've put out that is a testament to your dedication to checking out what's going on here. I really appreciate it. If anyone wants to see my attempt at a favorite recipe or something that you just love to eat leave a comment here and I'll do my best to accommodate. First one came from Nolan, vodka sauce. That will be coming soon. The suggestions can be literally anything, I'd love to hear what you guys want to see, and I love the idea of letting you all have some input on the content. Comment below and let me know! Thanks again. - Anthony

Dining Hall Lunch

Our Dining hall is great. I usually can't complain but everyone has that day where they walk in and go straight for the grill, the pb&j, or the cereal. Today was that day for me: Veggie Quesadillas and Chicken Tikka Masala just don't do it for me. I decided to make something and blog about it, maybe inspire some other dining hall chefs. I grabbed a burger with no bun from the grill along with a fried egg. I buttered the outside of two pieces of white bread, then flipped them and spread one with Russian and one with ranch. I put down some banana peppers on one half along with a slice of Provolone and put a slice of American on the other half. I added the burger, egg, and some greens and put it together like a grilled cheese. After a few minutes on the panini press, it looked like this and tasted a hell of a lot better than what was on the line.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Tomato Overload - Salsa and Bisque



It's the end of summer. There I said it. One good thing about it is that everyone with a garden has way too many vegetables to use so you end up getting some from friends and family. This weekend we got a ton of fresh tomatoes from one such family member's garden so we decided to have a tomato night last night after a long day of class and work. We realized it was already 9 when we got started but there was no turning back.

Since it was that late already we threw together something small to appease our hunger while we tried a bigger and badder beast. The beast was actually a bisque so I guess I'm subconsciously in a bit of an alliterative mood. But anyway. First things first: Salsa:


Tomatoes
Onion
Lots of garlic
Jalapeno
Fresh Cilantro
Black Beans
Corn
Lime Juice

The perfect fresh snack to go with the 90+ Malbec we were drinking and to fuel us for the recipe ahead.


When we were designing the recipe for the bisque (because, ya know, to believe it or not, sometimes I think about these things before I just go in the kitchen - but only sometimes) we decided to put a crouton on top of the soup with melted mozzarella to which I got the response:
"It can be like French Onion Soup, except it'll be Italian.. Tomato.. Soup..." yuppp

Since I just got finished with a problem set for Computer Aided Machine Design, I'm still in the mindset that I need to provide a couple different perspectives so here's my last nerdy move of the day before the beer starts flowing!

Top:


Front Isometric:


Back Isometric (except only not):



The bisque was awesome. I now like two soups I've made (this and the corn chowder) along with my mom's broccoli cheddar. I'm up to THREE soups. Who woulda thought?

Prep:
Boil tomatoes a few minutes to loosen the skins, ice them and peel them and seed them (save the juice!).
Roughly chop some onion and garlic.
In a saucepan simmer the tomatoes onion and garlic in the juice with a teaspoon of olive oil for about 15 minutes.

Meanwhiiiiiile:
Start a bechamel. (if you've been following the blog this should be cake by now, if not look back to one of the thirty-thousand hundred-million pasta posts on here)
Add asiago and parm. The asiago is CLUTCH and adds a good amount of the unique flavor at the end.
Once this is looking melted and starting to thicken up, cut the heat to low.

Process:
The tomato/onion/garlic mixture in the food processor with lots of fresh basil.

Add:
The pureed mixture to the cream sauce SLOWLY while whisking to prevent the hot puree from curdling the cream. (If you want to be fancy you can temper the puree with some cold cream but you don't need to if you're careful)

Heat:
The bisque until it's hot to your liking and add a pat more of butter just because you can.

Finally, ladle the soup into large oven proof crocks or mugs, top with a thick toasted slice of bread or two and smother with a few slices of mozzarella. Throw it under the broiler until the cheese bubbles and you have one of the cheapest most delicious tasting soups you can get your hands on. Total cost was about $25 for the soup and the salsa and there were plenty of leftovers. This is a little step up from the keystone/pasta posts but don't worry, I know some of us are back in school (some of us for a fifth or sixth year) and don't have access to a kitchen. Drunken dining hall recipes are coming in hottttt. Stay tuned

Friday, September 2, 2011

Wrap up of last night's dinner


That's just me tossing some (semi-invisible) pizza dough.

It got a little crazy as the meal started getting close so I didn't get to take any more pictures. Got some help last minute which was clutch, thanks babe!

The final menu was as follows:

Apps:
Buffalo chicken pizzas on homemade dough with bacon, onion, cheddar, mozz, bleu cheese
Prosciutto and gruyere pizza over a homemade fig spread with caramelized onions

Soup:
Corn Chowder with bacon, potatoes, cheddar, cherry peppers, and onion
(I don't even like soup and I enjoyed this one, will definitely make again)

Salad:
Cobb Salad with egg, bacon, tomatoes, grilled chicken, ranch dressing and I'm probably forgetting something

Entree:
Bourbon marinated steak tips
Tomato/basil/parm risotto

Dessert:
Cheese/Blackberry/Strawberry Danish
(quote from last night "Rotio, what's in this? Wait, is this crack? It's gotta be crack, I just want more." - Oh the things that good food and lots of beer will make you say hah)

If you want recipes for anything shoot me a message or leave a comment. It was a pretty epic day, over 50lbs of meat were in this meal and I had a pitcher by my side all day while I was cooking. My kind of party