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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Recipe Software - MacGourmet Deluxe

It's intuitive, easy to use, and otherwise a great solution for maintaining recipes. But here's the problem, it takes time. Like anything else, you need to type. You need to organize photos, you need to organize your thoughts. Do I recommend it? Absolutely. MacGourmet Deluxe is awesome.

Here's a screenshot of my start page. As you can see, I've only added a few recipes, but it's nice having so much information in a single screen.

And another screenshot once you click on a recipe. It comes up with all the information about your dish. A couple of strange things - my image is sideways. I don't see a fix for that in the program itself, so you probably need to edit it before it goes in. Also, it has plenty of defaults like Tablespoon and ounces, but then there are other basic things missing in the list. Oh well.

So, I'm not a pro reviewer, and that's all I have for you. Try it out.


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Corn Blinis with Papaya and Roasted Serrano and Garlic Salsa

I've been on a corn kick for a while. I think it's a pretty versatile ingredient, and compliments or champions just about any style or genre of cooking.

For this dish, I wanted something simple to travel. My wife's parents were up at their local house, and I wanted to make a snack for them before dinner. I did most of the prep before I left home (made the blini mix, roasted everything for the salsa, etc.). Having a picnic basket on hand was the perfect travel partner, so I iced it, packed it, and took it there.

Corn Blinis:

1 cup drained corn, processed and in a large mixing bowl.
add 1/2 cup flour
Pinch of salt
1 cup heavy cream

Mix well. If it's too wet, add flour. If it's too dry, add more corn and a bit of water. Think about pancake batter and that's the consistency you're shooting for. In fact, you'll cook them like pancakes, except you want a slightly lower heat because they take a bit longer than pancakes to cook.

Roasted Serrano and Garlic Salsa:

1 pound vine ripe tomatoes
1 head garlic
6 Serrano chilis

On a baking sheet slathered in olive oil, roast garlic, tomato and chilis (sprinkle some salt and pepper over) for about 45 - 60 minutes. If the chilis or garlic start to burn up, remove them before the tomatoes. You want the skin on the chilis and tomatoes to blacken. The garlic will mostly look browned and pale.

Pop the garlic out of its wrappers, take off the stems from the chilis and tomatoes, and blend all of it in a large processor. Squeeze juice from 2 limes, add some kosher salt, and a table spoon of vinegar. Blend again and cool for use.

Chop Papaya into pea size chunks.

Take the blinis and stack them with papaya and salsa. It's good stuff!


~ Brock

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Italian and Asian Crostini

It's been a long while since I've written a recipe. Not because I haven't wanted to. Not because I haven't cooked. In fact, I've been cooking a ton. So much so, the backlog is too much for me. Hopefully I'll catch up at some point, but it's doubtful. I read recipes all the time, but haven't followed one in years. Actually, that's not true. I follow the recipe for my crepes because I can never remember the proportions. But other than that, I don't. The problem is, I can't remember how to make things I cook. Truth be told, I often forget by the time I sit down to eat. Now that sucks.

But this is a simple one. A handful of ingredients and you can pretty much see them in the picture, so it's easy to remember.

Funny thing about this recipe is it's the midnight snack, although it's only 9:30p and that's been my cutoff for eating for the past three years. For a midnight snack, you need to make things with things you have on hand. Nothing serious, not too much prep. But you can't need anything you don't have. You must use as much of what you have on hand and be creative. That's the ticket.

Asian Crostini:

1 bunch of spinach, blanched 30 seconds in heavily salted water, roughly chopped
Thinly sliced watermelon, pan seared with olive oil
Ginger-Garlic Vinaigrette: small amount of fresh ginger, minced; 1 clove garlic, minced; dashes of chili oil, couple tablespoons of brown rice vinegar, tablespoon or so of Ponzu. Mix well.
Toasted crusty bread with olive oil. I lather both sides of the bread with olive oil and broil on high until browned.

Lay the breads out, arrange watermelon on top, pinch some spinach on top, and give it a dose of vinaigrette.

Italian Crostini:

Blackened corn: drained can corn, 1/2 small onion, chopped, 1 clove garlic. Add some olive oil to a pan and heat til smoking. Add the corn and onion, and let it turn black before a quick stir. Blacken the other side. Add the garlic and stir for 30 seconds, remove to a bowl.
Sun-Dried Tomato: If they're in oil, drain and chop. If they're dry, put in some hot water for 10 minutes, drain and chop.
Stock corn and tomato on crostini and top with a bit of olive oil and finishing salt. I had some truffle salt on hand, and that was good.
Oh yeah, I shaved a little pecorino over.

I think the Italian version would have been much better with a small amount of meat. Maybe fried pancetta or regular bacon.


~ Brock