Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Walking Dead S3E6 - A Mini Thanksgiving (with Chicken)

Thanksgiving is upon us tomorrow! I tried to tell Boyfriend that I made him a baby turkey, which is why the (chicken) was so small. But he wasn't fooled. Apparently he can just tell the difference between the taste of chicken and turkey! Strange.

I followed the same Thomas Keller Roast Chicken recipe as I had done in the past, but I changed the veggies underneath, as they were a bit undercooked last time. This time, I cut the carrots smaller and in half, quartered an onion and quartered four yellow Dutch potatoes. Also, I cut the butter to rub onto the breast by half. The skin still turken out nice and crispy though. Score!

I made brussel sprouts for the first time, which was awesomely easy to make with the chicken since they both roast at 400degrees F. Then when I took out the chicken and it was resting, I lowered the oven temp to 350degrees F and popped the stuffing in. By the time the chicken finished resting and I carved it, the stuffing was ready! All of this was basically a test on timing for the T-Day showdown.

Yay for mini-Thanksgiving! What did everyone think of The Walking Dead this week? Why is Andrea so weaksauce and slutty? So many questions. This week wasn't as good as two weeks ago, but I think its a lot of setup for the future. Hopefully a huge Rick-Governor showdown ... to say nothing of a Merryl-Rick showdown as well.

On another note, I used the cups that Boyfriend gave me for our three-year anniversary! Don't they look super fancy and golden? I always naturally drink with my pinky up (yea, sorry I'm weird) but I made sure the pinky was super-up when I used this cup! I drank some ginger peach tea that Vanessa gave me and the experience was exquisite.

Roast Brussel Sprouts

1 lb brussel sprouts
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Preheat oven to 400degrees F. Wash and trim brussel sprouts, removing any withered or yellow outer leaves. Half the large sprouts, or leave them whole if they're small.

Toss brussel sprouts with the remaining ingredients and pour onto a foil-lined baking sheet. Roast for 35-40 minutes, shaking the baking sheet about every 10 minutes, until the sprouts are tender.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Walking Dead S3E5 - Italian Pork Chops

I have no idea how to name this recipe. It's just pork chops. Literally. Pork, salt and lemon. I was reading The Wednesday Chef and she raved about this recipe so much that I had to prepare it for Boyfriend. He liked it but I think it was a bit too simple for him ... he had to use Tapatio. But he uses Tapatio on practically everything so I don't know if that's a good baseline to judge.

This week's The Walking Dead was definitely not as intense as last week, which is really good. I cried last week ... it was crazy. The amount of intensity in that episode was too much to handle. Boyfriend is not liking Michonne's character at all, and I agree at him. Why you so angry, Michonne? Why you so suspicious? Why do you just keep glowering at the camera and at everyone else?

Based on what Boyfriend has told me happens in the comics, I'm waiting for the Govenor to show his evil side but I don't think that's really happened yet. He's actually supposed to be very molest-y but I don't think AMC would umm, show scenes like that on the channel.

Anyways, back to the pork chops. I think if they were a bit fattier, it would have been better. Served with garlic rosemary roast potatoes, sauteed spinach and tomato/avocado/onion salad.

Italian Pork Chops
from The Wednesday Chef

Good-quality pork chops, around 1/2 an inch thick
Coarse sea salt (do not use fine)

Take a heavy frying pan and put it over medium-high heat. Coat one side of each pork chop evenly with one or two teaspoons of coarse salt, depending on the size of the chop. That's PER CHOP.

Lay the pork chops, unsalted side down, in the hot pan. No need to add oil. Let the chops fry until, the salt on top starts to go clear, meaning they've absorbed the liquid from the meat (a little less than ten minutes). Flip the chops to the salted side

Fry thie unsalted side for just a few minutes, until the salt sticks to the pan. Remove the chops to the serving plates and, using a spoon, scrape off the coarse salt and discard. Flip the chop again, so that the nicely browned side is facing up. Squeeze a good amount of lemon juice over each one and serve with more lemon on the side.

Ate a slice of Vanessa's birthday cake from dessert and it was wonderful. Happy early birthday, Vanessa!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

The Walking Dead S3E4 - Pot Roast with Vegetables

I made pot roast. It tasted ... well to be quite honets, it tasted a bit like Campbell soup out of the can. But not just any Campbell's soup ... the thick n' chunky line, to be exact. I have no idea why it tasted that way, but at least now I know that I can make big batches of this and sell knockoff versions. Bampbell Soup, it'll be called. Nobody steal my idea!

The pot roast braised for three hours, which made the meat tender, but not as falling apart as I would like. Extra veggies were also added, so the meal wouldn't just be one big hunk of meat.

It looks very pretty though, when I had all the ingredients assembled. Also, let's talk for a minute about the Rachel Ray "garbage bowl" ... do you know that you can go to Target and buy a big ceramic bowl that says "garbage bowl" on it? First of all, it's such a waste because at the end of everything you have to wash yet another bowl. Second of all, you're spending probably $20 (I don't know how much it is) to buy a bowl that you basically can't use for anything else besides garbage ... who wants to eat salad out of that bowl? I have a much better idea ... behold the AZN GARBAGE BOWL.

Although now that I think about it, plastic trash bags may start becoming a bit harder to come by now that we're supposed to be bringing our own tote bags to the markets and stuff. Hmm ... maybe I will end up buying the garbage bowl after all!

Pot Roast with Vegetables
adapted from Tyler Florence

1 (3-4 lbpound) piece beef chuck roast, trimmed of excess fat
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 14.5 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 14.5 oz can beef broth
Splash of cognac (optional)
2 yellow onions, quartered
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 bunch baby carrots
2 celery stalks, sliced
2 cartons button mushrooms, sliced in half
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
4 sprigs fresh thyme
2 bay leaves

Season all sides of the beef with a fair amount of salt and pepper.

In a large Dutch oven or other heavy pot that has a tight cover; heat 2 tablespoons of the oil over moderately high heat. Brown the meat on all sides, taking the time to get a nice crust on the outside. Pour in the tomatoes, beef broth and cognac. Scatter the vegetables and herbs around the pot roast, season with additional salt and pepper. Cover the pot and reduce the heat to low. Braise for about 3 hours, basting every 30 minutes with the pan juices, until the beef is fork tender.

Taste and season with more salt to taste. Slice the pot roast and arrnage on  platter surrounded by the vegetables. Serve with the pot juices.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012


Do you live in Los Angeles County ... or for that matter, do you live in Southern California? If so, please hurry and drive to Pasadena and go to Euro Pane. Order the egg salad sandwich. They recommend it on rosemary current bread but I prefer it on olive bread. All of their bread is baked fresh every day and if you like it, you can order it and take it home by the whole, unsliced loaf (if you want to be rustic) or you can ask them to slice it for you (if having unsliced bread is one of your #firstworldproblems or one of your #99problems).

You'll receive the egg salad with just the right amount of mayonnaise, with the yolks still moist and golden, garnished with chives and fresh pepper. There will be a red pepper pesto underneath and some field greens and arugula. Eating will be messy but oh so worth it. Afterwards, indulge in their baked goods ... namely macarons. They are huge, about 2.5 inches across. The salted caramel is the favorite here and is very good, though I had to admit that I do still prefer 'lette or Jin Patisserie.

I may have gone a little overboard in ordering macarons in the above picture but I enjoyed every bite of them. Also, their pear spice cake is amazing and I order it every time they have it. Come to think of it, I've never had anything bad from there or even mediocre. Once I ordered a roast beef sandwich and it was also awesome. Am I gushing too much? I love this place.

There are now two locations ... both on Colorado Blvd. The original one is near Lake Ave in a small two-story strip mall and that's the one I like better. For some reason, the egg salad tasted different at the other location. Also, the egg salad isn't ready until about 10am so you can't pick one up on the way to work and save it for lunch. Which makes me sad.

Euro Pane Bakery
950 E Colorado Blvd, #107, Pasadena, CA 91106

Thursday, November 1, 2012

The Walking Dead S3E3 - Italian Meatballs (Part 1)

I knew it would be an uphill battle/trek because Boyfriend is Italian but this week for The Walking Dead Sunday supper, I decided to try to make meatballs. Some part of my mind had a beautiful amazing image that consisted of him taking one bite of the meatballs (which I've never made before; this was a first attempt) and proclaiming that they were the absolute best meatballs in the whole entire world, even better than his Grandma's meatballs. Umm that didn't happen.

Not to say that they turned out badly. Actually, he admitted that they were quite good for a first attempt but the recipe just needed some tweaking because there was still "some distance" between mine and his Italian grandmother's meatballs. After all, his Grandma had been making them for 70 years and this was my first try. Sadness.

I mixed the meats with fresh made Hawaiian breadcrumbs, spices and parsley by hand and formed them into uniformed sized balls. Then dropped them into sauce (without frying or baking them first) and simmered for three hours, stirring occasionally. Served with crusty Italian bread and a bell pepper, tomato, onion and avocado salad.

Next time I think I'm going tp substitute panko breadcrumbs for the fresh Hawaiian bread and up the amount of milk. Also, I'm going to use some fattier meat cuts. Maybe a hint of red wine vingear as tenderizer. Totally determined now to make some perfect meatballs!! Who wants to come over for dinner and help me eat them?

Authentic Italian Meatballs (Part 1)
adapted from
makes about 20 meatballs

2 28-oz cans crushed tomato with basil
1 28-oz can peeled plum tomatoes
cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, diced
1/2 tsp dried basil
1 tspn kosher salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
2 Tbsp granulated sugar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

In a large pot (dutch oven) over medium heat, sautee onion and garlic until fragrant and soft, about 7 minutes. Pour the plum tomatoes into a bowl and squash by hand. Add the tomatoes and the rest of the imgredients into the pot and bring to a simmer.


1 lb ground beef
1 lb ground pork
2 large eggs
1/2 cup milk
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
1 tsp salt
tsp oregano
2 Tbsp fresh parsley
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp fresh ground pepper
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix together by hand. Don't overmix but make sure everything is blended nicely. Score into four equal sections; make each section into 5 slightly-larger-than-golfball sized meatballs. Drop raw meatballs into sauce and simmer for three hours.