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Beef Stew Santoku Knife Incident
Mar 26th, 2009 by Foodie

Tonight as I was preparing Gordon Ramsay’s Beef Stew which was featured on the F Word a few weeks ago and I had an unfortunate mishap. Running late, and in a rush, while using a new knife lead to my incident. I’m accustomed to my Calphalon Katana Series Chef’s Knife which has quite a long handle, yet tonight I was trying out a new Forschner Santoku which I had full intention on reviewing here this evening. The Forschner has a shorter handle, as I’ve painfully learned.

As mentioned before, I was in a rush and not really paying much attention. I reached behind me to grab the knife and felt the handle. As my hand wrapped around the unfamiliar grip, I tightened my thumb flat against the blade and cut myself to the bone! Feeling a slicing sensation I haven’t felt for many years sent me into a panic. I immediately raised my hand into the air, away from the pain. It was only after lifting my hand that I realized how deeply this new knife had cut me; it actually traveled up with my hand, deeply embedded into the flesh of my thumb. “Oh F**K, I yelled as I shook the knife free of my skin!

I can’t review the knife now as it’s severely dulled from falling blade first onto my ceramic kitchen tile, but I can tell you that it was razor sharp!

What I can review is Gordon Ramsay’s Beef Stew! I quickly bandaged my hand and resumed my prep work with my trusty Katana Series knife, making the stew according to the directions here on my blog. I could not believe how easy and tasty this meal is to prepare! You absolutely must forget my knife incident and go cook some of Gordon Ramsay’s Beef Stew! If you haven’t tried it yet, you’re in for a real treat! It is absolutely fantastic and a cinch to make. Don’t forget the French Bread.

I’m probably going to need some stiches soon, so I better stop writing and take a closer look at my tightly bandaged wound. Peace out.

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Cooking Essentials – Bounteous Pantry
Mar 24th, 2009 by Foodie

An essential part of cooking on the fly, or being able to throw a meal together, is a well stocked pantry. Having essential ingredients on hand can make the difference between preparing a fresh, tasty, homemade meal, or ordering a pizza. If you have what you need to put a quick meal together, you’re more likely to prepare something, and less likely to order that disgusting pizza (OK, I admit they’re good during football season, with a beer). Below are some essentials which should always be found in your pantry or kitchen cupboards.

Oils:

Pure olive oil for cooking and extra virgin olive oil for toppings and dressings. You should also keep sesame oil around for dressings and delicious Asian sauces.

Vinegar:

Always have the essential standby vinegars on hand. These include white and red wine vinegar, aged balsamic, malt, and cider. It’s also a good idea to have some inexpensive sherry.

Sauces and Flavorings:

Ketchup, Tabasco, worcestershire sauce, and yellow, Dijon, and whole grain mustard.

Asian Ingredients:

Canned coconut milk, light and dark soy sauce, oyster sauce, sweet chili sauce, fish sauce and rice wine.

Baking Ingredients:

All Pupose, as well as some self rising flour. Sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla extract, baking soda, and corn starch.

Preserved Vegetables:

I always keep artichoke hearts in the fridge, as well as some sun-dried tomatoes and pickles.

Pasta, Grains, and Noodles:

Keep a wide selection of pasta on hand such as spaghetti, fettuccine, penne, and fusilli. Rice is easy to store and should always be accessible in your kitchen. Couscous, bulgur wheat, and rice noodles are also easy to throw together to complete a meal.

Conclusion:

Although the above list is not conclusive, it’s a solid start to a well stocked pantry. Consider the above info a shopping list if you don’t already have the items on hand. It will be quite expensive to properly stock your pantry the first time, but once it’s done, you’ll never have to spend quite so much again. Most of these ingredients last for months and when you run out of something, it’s only a few bucks to replace that one item.

You can now look forward to a brighter cooking future!

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Gordon Ramsay’s Baked Pork Chops
Mar 23rd, 2009 by Foodie

These Pork Chops are tasty and go well with bread. Easy to cook and ready in under 30 minutes if you know your way around the kitchen.

This recipe comes from Gordon Ramsay’s Fast Food and can also be seen on youtube. I’ve added the youtube video to the end of the article for your convenience. Thanks to TheTimesOnline for posting the video!

Ingredients for pork chops:

  • 4 pork chops, about 9oz each
  • a little olive oil
  • few thyme sprigs
  • few rosemary sprigs (leaves only)
  • 1/2 head of garlic separated into cloves (unpeeled)
  • sea salt and black pepper

Ingredients for Sauce:

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion (peeled and minced)
  • 1 red bell pepper (seeded and minced)
  • 1 red chili (seeded and minced)
  • 7oz cremini mushrooms (trimmed and finely sliced)
  • 14oz can chopped tomatoes
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • 1 tsp sugar

Directions:

Chops:

Heat your oven to 400 F. Place the pork chops in a large, lightly oiled baking dish and scatter the thyme sprigs, rosemary leaves, garlic cloves, and salt over the top. Drizzle with a little olive oil and bake for 20 minutes or until pork chops are cooked through. Make the sauce while your waiting.

Sauce:

Heat the olive oil in a wide pan and add the onion, red bell pepper, chile, and mushrooms. Stir over high heat for 3-4 minutes until the vegetables begin to soften. Tip in the tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper and add the sugar and a splash of water. Simmer for 10-12 minutes until the onions are tender and the tomato sauce has thickened. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

Putting it all together:

Take the pork chops out of the oven and let rest in a warm place for 5 minutes. Pour any pan juices into the sauce and reheat. Ladle a generous amount of sauce over the chops to serve.

Done and done! Under 30 minutes? Only if you’re fast.

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