Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Chocolate Brioche

I like cooking things that take time, things that really allow you to get involved in the cooking process. Rather than just searing off a steak, things like braising, making pasta, or baking bread allow you to transform ingredients into a creation greater than the sum of its parts. That is the reason I baked brioche a week or two ago and that is the reason I decided to bake a new and improved brioche a few days ago.

Behold you mere mortals, chocolate brioche, what I've confidently declared the king of bread, the big bambino, the sultan of succulence. Simply regular brioche with a layer of chocolate chips down the middle. Try some yourself, and you'll see why I'm giving it all these weird Babe Ruth based nicknames.

Whole Foods Salad Bar

Though the NYSun has claimed that the salad bar at whole foods is unhealthy in excess (what isn't) I still love myself some quinoa with grilled tofu and brown rice.

That disgusting looking pile of tofu, chicken, egg salad, bleu cheese, roasted red peppers, quinoa and lo mein was actually quite tasty. Though this is probably what the NYSun means about the salad bar not being healthy in excess, it never hurts to take one for the team, or in this case, the blog.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Michael Phelps Breakfast

What don't we know about Michael Phelps. We know what music he listens to, we know how he trains, some of you even know the layout of his stomach by heart. And of course, everyone knows about his legendary 12,000 calorie diet. Now before you say you've heard about Michael Phelps' breakfast 100 times on every news station, read on.

I am currently on the cross country team for my school. We have morning practices every day, and as a result of much running, I can eat pretty well too. After a recent practice, I felt famished. I needed sustenance. I went home, had a banana-nutella sandwich on cinnamon bread, and then a yogurt. I didn't stop there however. I went out to breakfast soon after at a local diner and rewarded my tummy with a three egg omelet, two slices of whole wheat toast with butter, a side of home fries, and I washed it down with two large, walnut, banana, chocolate chip, coconut pancakes with maple syrup. My tummy quickly responded with a grumble that I interpreted as "thank you." Afterwards I felt satisfied, but not overly full. Though my meal comes in at about 1,650 calories according to fitday, that's nothing compared with Michael Phelps' 4,000 breakfast feast. Maybe I'll start swimming.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Late Night Eats

It was 10:30 at night, and I had no intentions of waking up early the next day. I thought about reading my summer books, but quickly dismissed that. I thought about going online and reading food blogs till 1 in the morning, but dismissed that thought as well, as I had done the same each night of the week. Then something caught my eye. It was big, juicy, hairy, sweet and hailed from Georgia. I took a glance, and noticed many of these wonderful fruits. A great big pile of peaches was on my countertop, ready to be used. There was no way my family was going to consume all of these before they went bad, so I set out to put them to good use.

I quickly checked EggBeater and found an all-butter pie dough recipe, which you can use right away!!! I divided the dough in two pieces and rolled them out to fit my pie pan. I then cut up my peaches into small pieces and tossed them with lemon juice, sugar, brown sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon, some melted butter and a little flour, before dumping them in the pie sheet. I covered this with the other piece of rolled out pie dough and set the whole big thang in a 350 degree oven until the filling bubbled.
This has got to be the best pie I've ever baked (pies with grandma are in a different category). It was just incredible. Not much more I can say. I'm not gonna go on and find a bunch of adjectives right now, so just be satisfied with incredible. The crust was the perfect texture, not too flaky, very soft and buttery, and the filling really put Georgia on my mind.

I will now take you to part deux. It was slightly later this night; about 10:45. Though I doubt I'm pregnant, the cravings started to come on. I longed for scones from my local bakery. I quickly reminded myself that I'm a cook, and began to search the web for some scone recipes. I turned sour cream (substituted for buttermilk), flour, sugar, butter and some other junk into these beautiful coffehouse scones. They were ready for my family the following morning and the old man called them the best he's had.
Foodie at Fifteen- Helping you find better, and more rewarding ways to procrastinate from work.

Miracle Berry Update

I was supposed to get Miracle Berries a long time ago, however demand outstripped supply from the small company that I ordered from (read more about that here on Grub Street) and I am now getting a refund. Sad Face :(

Sunday, August 10, 2008


It was the weekend. I had time. What's a better way to spend time than baking bread? Picture it, gently kneading the dough while watching tv or listening to music, letting out stress and frustration when you get to punch it down, filling your house with the wonderful aroma of baking bread, and of course, don't forget eating it.

Once I had decided that I would be making bread, I was faced with the toughest question of them all; What type to bake! Images filled my head. To ease my decision I freestyled.

Ciabatta, Focaccia or Jewish Rye,
Which type of bread will I try?
Baguette, whole wheat or brioche,
Which type of bread do I love the most?

No Snoop Dogg, I do not want to be a part of your record label, thanks anyway. To make my decision, I resorted to my inner foodie spirituality. When there are tough decisions like this to be made, I do not ask WWJD, I ask WWKD (what would Keller do, Keller being Thomas Keller). Seeing as his only bread recipe in the French Laundry Cookbook is for brioche, brioche it would be.

Brioche is a rich buttery french bread, which is usually my bread of choice in restaurants. I had made it once before from the same cookbook with terrific results.

I mixed some yeast, flour, sugar, salt and eggs with my kitchenaid before slowly adding a very large amount of butter. It's okay though. As one famous, old, probably portly French chef said, "butter, butter, give me more butter!"
I let my KitchenAid do its thang then I proofed the bread for 3 hours. As soon as it had doubled in size, I took out my anger at my mom for making me do the dishes, by punching down my bread. I then set it in the fridge over night. I divvied up my dough then baked it in two loaf pans at 350 for about 40 minutes.
And Voila!

Wow! Baking bread at home is so easy, yet it produces fantastic results. I would even bake this just for the smell filling my house, not to say this bread didn't taste good though. This bread was really delicious. Light yet, rich and buttery at the same time. This is the ultimate grilled cheese bread.

I immediately froze one loaf, and dug into the other just as quickly, helplessly devouring half a loaf before my family could get in on the action.

Why buy Febreeze when you can bake bread instead?

Oh yea, and if you want a more detailed post about the same brioche, check out this link at French Laundry at Home.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Katz Deli; Heavenly Corned Beef

Yes of course I have THOSE friends. The friends that think they know everything about food. The friends who still bet against me in food related disagreements. The friends who now owe me a slice and a soda because they thought bruschetta was pronounced brushetta. And then there's that one guy, who thinks that whenever something is added to a dish he doesn't like, it "takes away the integrity," and this guy, as a matter of fact, thinks he knows where to get the best corned beef. "Hymie's Deli" he says, "has the best corned beef anywhere." Now Hymie's is certainly a respectable place, and it's been around for quite some time, but best corned beef anywhere? We'll have to see.
We arrived in New York around 6, and I knew exactly where I wanted to go. Take me to the corned beef capital of the world! I proclaimed (more like I begged my parents to go). We arrived at this corned beef and pastrami palace and I immediately glanced past the security guard at the door, past the menu up on the wall, and past the pretty girl a few seats ahead. I was here for one reason, and one reason only; the corned beef on rye with mustard.

(There I am, cleanly shaven, sampling a piece)

I gazed longingly at others who were there for the same reason. Finally my turn arrived, and I rapidly took my sandwich, piled high with blood red, marbled meat, back to my table, anxious to taste. First bite, yummmmmmmm. The beef was incredible delicious and flavorful, and unlike many a corned beef, it melted in my mouth. The flavors from the pickling spice were there, yet they complimented, rather than dominated the meat. A thin layer of mustard only added to the greatness that is the Katz Corned beef sandwich. My corned beef is tough and pails in comparison to this. I started of eating it slowly, savoring every bite, but I soon gave into temptation and devoured my sandwich shamelessly.

I will miss you Katz, and I'm sorry Hymie's, but I don't think I can eat your beef anymore.

Friday, August 1, 2008


If you are like me, and want to own a restaurant one day, you must read this story from Eggbeater. If you love a great short kitchen story, check that out as well.

It's stories, writings, blog posts, etc. like that that make me crave the Lacroix kitchen. Last week I was in New York, at Daniel, and was unable to go. I hoped to make it in on Monday instead, yet those plans did not work out, and I am stuck waiting for Saturday to come again.

My weekdays are filled with limp lettuce salads, pasta at both extremes of doneness, and gummy cheesecake brownies from the local diner. Lacroix is an escape from the commonplace cuisine of Corner Bakery, and an entrance into opulence. Tuna Carpaccio is adorned "simply" with olive oil, fleur de sel, chinese barbecue powder, tangerine segments, fingerling potato chips, and chive blossoms, while tender halibut is smothered with a blood red romesco sauce. Pasta with Marinara is unheard of. I often dreamily gaze at the plates going out, thinking of how I might recreate or re-interpret a Lacroix favorite. I snap back to reality as there is a call for an Amuse Bouche, and suddenly a line of aged balsalmic is on the plate, followed by quenelle-shaped tuna tartar and micro basil to garnish.

More important than the food is the atmosphere. I am surrounded by experienced professionals who share the mindset of improving through hard work and dedication. Though occasionally intimidating, working along side these people is more inspirational than daunting. I have learnt more interacting with the workers, than I ever will watching food go out.

I may be fifteen, but I know what I want to do.

Goodnight now, it's 3:00 in the morning and my eyes are closing themselves.