Recently on The F Word Gordon Ramsay said not to be afraid of making your own mayonnaise, so come out from behind the kitchen table and let’s get to cooking.
Mayonnaise is basically just raw egg yolk, oil and mustard (mmm, healthy)!
You can whisk this by hand, but it will take quite an effort, use a food processor if you have one.
Put the egg yolks in a food processor with the dijon mustard. and turn the food processor on. The first 30 seconds of making mayonnaise is the most crucial, so be careful during this period and go slow with the oil. SLOWLY begin pouring the oil into the food processor while it’s on. After 30 seconds or so you can start pouring faster. Turn off the food processor when you’ve added all the oil.
Add the salt and pepper, then cut the lemon in half and squeeze the juice into the mayonnaise mixture. Give the mix a quick burst with the food processor and done!
Store the mayonnaise in the fridge.]]>
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.
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.
Canned coconut milk, light and dark soy sauce, oyster sauce, sweet chili sauce, fish sauce and rice wine.
All Pupose, as well as some self rising flour. Sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla extract, baking soda, and corn starch.
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.
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!]]>
Like so many things in life, cooking requires not only skill but bravery and daring. One must not rely on strict measurements and instructions, but be willing to make the dish theirs. We see this very often in F Word recipes. There is no exact measurement. Pork IN! Salt, pepper, herbs! Pork off! Plate done!
So, does Gordon give his instructions out of laziness or out of understanding? I would say that all of his instructions are perfectly clear! Do not make Gordon’s Beef Wellington, make your own. Any great artist is more than happy to give you advice on how to be great. Only a hack will actually give you a paint by numbers canvas. Painting by numbers limits you to the extent of each numbers outline.
Each and every dish we make starts with a blank canvas. Should you limit yourself to the recipes you read here? Can you break free of recipes you find elsewhere? Dare to estimate the measurements to your taste. Do not use measuring spoons or cups (unless you’re baking cookies). Break free of all the fear you hold in your heart and have a glass of wine while doing so! I hope you find this advice not only improves your cooking and kitchen experiences, but your life as well.
Until the next post…
If you have trout in the freezer left over from this summer, now is the time to smoke them for a future feast – don’t let them go bad.
All you need is a Little Chief or similar electric smoker and a little know-how, and you can turn fish and meats into tantalizing gourmet fare.
This is how to do it:
Little Chief: The Little Chief, an electric smoker with three trays, measures 2 feet high, 12 inches wide and 11 inches deep. At cabelas.com, a Little Chief costs $75. A Big Chief costs $95.
Preparing trout: If the trout are fresh caught, gut them and remove gills, entrails and blood line along the backbone. If frozen, thaw the fish slowly in a refrigerator. When thawed, cut off the trout’s head (and if quite large, the tail as well). Then, with a cutting board, hold the fish on its back so its open cavity is facing you. With a sharp knife, starting at the neck, make a clean cut through the ribs and along the backbone to the skin, and continue the cut all the way down to the tail. Then open the fish so it lies flat, skin down. This is called “butterflying” a trout.
Seasoning: Sprinkle Lawry’s Seasoned Salt or my personal favorite, Lawry’s Black Pepper Seasoned Salt, heavily across the open skin of the butterflied trout. Some people soak the fish in a salt brine, and I’ve tried many concoctions (brown sugar, sea salt, honey, ground pepper, etc.), but I think trout and salmon are far better smoked with no brine to avoid the salty taste and enhance the smoky flavor.
Preparing smoker: Remove the three trays from the smoker and spray them with Pam. Place hickory chips in a metal pan at the bottom of the smoker, which sits over the heating element. Plug the cord into a grounded outlet.
Getting started: Place each tray into the smoker and then place the door over the front of the smoker, sealing the smoker.
The process: After 60 to 90 minutes, open the smoker and switch the top tray with the bottom tray. The bottom tray cooks hotter so this evens out the cooking process.
The result: After about 3 to 4 hours, the length of a football game, the trout will be done. So even if the quarterback is a dud, you still have something to look forward to. Eat immediately or freeze for a fall or winter feast.