For much of this weekend, I was alone at home trying to keep sane and pass time. I'm not going to lie. I like school. I like learning about disease states, how to diagnose (even though I'll probably never have to know any of the diagnoses), what drugs do to you and most of all making the people I care about happy.
On Saturday, I made dumplings with my mom and it was my first time at forming them into their famous shapes. Maybe it's because it was my first time but lets just say they didn't look too pretty. I think I got the hang of it now though...we'll have round 2 sometime in the near future.
For dinner tonight, I had to get creative because there was absolutely nothing to eat...or was there? Stuffed Chicken w/ Marsala Sauce
2) Mix bread crumbs, 1 egg, parsley, thyme (I used dry but use fresh if possible), sausage meat. The amount you use will vary but use a 1:1 ratio of bread crumbs to sausage meat. It's hard to determine how much parsley I used...maybe about 1/4 cup or so. I used a teaspoon of dry thyme but use more if you're using fresh.
3) Place the stuffing mixture in the center of the butterflied chicken breast and roll/fold the chicken breast to cover the stuffing mixture.
4) Get an aluminum foil and season w/ salt, pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Lay bacon strips over the seasoning, enough to cover the length of the stuffed chicken.
5) Roll the aluminum foil causing the bacon to cover the stuffed chicken breast and squeeze in the ends to prevent water from getting in.
6) In a hot pot w/ boiling water, poach the stuffed chicken for 25 - 30 minutes.
7) Remove from poaching and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
8) Take the stuffed chicken out of the fridge and in a hot pan, crisp up the bacon nicely rolling it from side to side. Now here's the kicker, you'll probably need a little olive oil to get things going but do not over oil the pan. Some of the fat on the bacon will render off when cooking and you don't want too much oil the pan because we'll be making our sauce in the same pan later.
9) When nice and crispy on all sides, remove chicken breast from the pan and let it rest. Get out some Sherry wine and deglaze the pan. After the Sherry has deglazed, add Marsala wine and deglaze once more.
10) Add in chicken stock (eh...3/4 to 1 cup) and reduce until desired consistency.
Escalope of chicken - this is one of my absolute favorite dishes to make. It's quick, easy and besides the extra dishes you have to wash afterwards, it is a definite keeper. I had to improvise a little bit because I forgot to run to the grocery store Christmas Eve so I was low on ingredients. I usually serve this on a bed of mashed potatoes with cherry tomatoes for garnish but I had neither/sufficient ingredients at my disposal.
I used some sweet potatoes laying around in my house for the mash and made a quick caramel syrup to add extra sweetness. Surprisingly, the impromptu sweet potatoes turned out pretty well.
1) Trim off any excess fat and split the chicken breast into two pieces so you end up with two thin pieces of chicken breast. Take care and don't cut your hand in the process. With a rolling pin (or any type of basher for that matter) roll/beat the chicken until it's nice and even.
2) Set up your stations with flour, beaten eggs and breadcrumbs. Season the flour with salt and pepper and season the bread crumbs with grated Parmesan and a little bit of freshly ground pepper.
3) Season both sides of the chicken breasts well with salt and pepper and place the chicken breast into the flour and shake off any excess flour. Next, put it into the egg wash. Finally, coat the chicken in breadcrumbs and make sure all of the chicken is nicely covered. Repeat for all the remaining chicken breasts.
**PREHEAT TO 400 DEGREES F**
4) Add olive oil to a hot pan and get a nice golden color on each chicken breast. About 1 - 2 minutes per side. We will finish cooking the chicken in the oven so don't worry that it's not cooked :-)
5) While the chicken breasts are resting, it's time to make the sauce. Finely chop the shallot and garlic (you can crush the garlic if you want) and split the cherry tomatoes into halves. In a hot pan, add the garlic and then the shallots. Don't overcook the garlic or it will turn bitter! Give them a few good tosses and in goes the cherry tomatoes. Toss a bit more and cook until the cherry tomatoes start to give off their juices and start to lose their firmness.
6) On a baking sheet, place the chicken breast and top off with the sauce. On top of the sauce, place slice(s) of fresh mozzarella and sprinkle grated Parmesan over the mozzarella. The Parmesan will help give it a nice golden color in the oven. Finally, drizzle some olive oil over the chicken to keep it nice and moist in the oven.
7) Place the chicken into the oven for 8 - 10 minutes. (If you have thicker chicken breasts, the cooking time may be longer...maybe 12 - 14 minutes. Mine were about 1/2 inch thick)
8) Place on a bed of whatever mash you have and serve.
First of all...Merry Christmas and happy holidays to all! I haven't been able to update recently because of work but I did manage to sneak in a few recipes here and there during that time span. This time, a classic Italian dessert: Tiramisu.
It is pretty much impossible to find lady fingers around here unless you go down to the Marietta farmer's market but I somehow managed to find half-decent lady fingers at my local Publix. I really like this recipe for tiramisu because it's simple, delicious and can be made hours in advance before serving.
Tiramisu By Gordon Ramsay, Serves 4-6
Ingredients: - Mascarpone cheese 1 container - Icing sugar 4 - 6 tablespoons - Marsala wine (or any other sweet wine) 3 tablespoons - Vanilla extract 1 teaspoon - Heavy whipping cream 150mL (~2/3 cup) - Cold espresso 200mL - Lady fingers (quantity will vary depending on the size of lady fingers) - Cocoa powder and frozen chocolate for garnish
1) Mix together the icing sugar, marsala wine, mascarpone, and vanilla extract until nice and creamy. Add a little espresso to the mixture...about 25mL or so (I just kind of eyeball it). You don't want the mixture too thin.
2) In another bowl, whip the heavy cream until at a soft peak stage.
3) Mix the cream and mascarpone mixture together and refrigerate if possible. This step isn't required but it tends to deepen the flavor.
4) Dip each lady finger briefly in the remaining cold espresso and place in the serving glass.
5) Scoop in the mascarpone/cream mixture generously.
6) Sift some cocoa powder and grate some frozen chocolate to garnish. (I didn't have any frozen chocolate for garnish *tears*)
For some reason, I always forget to take a picture of the crumb in my bread. These are the ciabattas I made for my friend Whitney's dinner party some time ago. I failed miserably the first time I tried to make a ciabatta. No open holes, tasteless and straight up disgusting. I think I've finally nailed it though using an adapted recipe from Peter R's Bread Baker's Apprentice. It's a great purchase for anybody that's interested in baking fresh bread, inexperienced or experienced.
Although I forgot to take a picture of the crumb, this Ciabattaturned out really well and I think the secret in achieving the large irregular holes associated w/ ciabattas is in the hydration of the dough as well as being gentle when degassing. Like any bread, the primary fermentation is the most important (I think) and I was able to achieve a good amount of volume to the bread.
Ciabatta Adapted from Bread Baker's Apprentice
Ingredients (Poolish): - Bread flour 11.25 oz - Water 1 1/2 cup - Instant yeast 1/2 tea
1) Stir together the flour, water, and yeast until mixed. The mixture should look like a thick pancake batter. Cover the bowl w/ plastic wrap and leave out at room temperature for 3 - 4 hours or until bubbly and foamy. Immediately refrigerate (will keep for up to 3 days in fridge).
Ingredients (Ciabatta): - Poolish - Bread Flour 13.5 oz - Salt 1 3/4 tea - Olive oil 1/2 cup - Water 1/4 cup*
2) Remove the poolish from the fridge and let it chill off for at least 1 hour.
3) Mix everything together and form a rough dough. Start kneading by hand for about 8 - 10 minutes until the windowpane test is cleared. You can add more water (or milk/buttermilk) if you feel comfortable w/ handling a higher hydration. I added the * next to the water because I usually end up adding more water if I feel that the dough could get a little more hydrated. It gives the bread a nice rustic flavor at the end.
4) Sprinkle some flour onto the working surface and make a rectangle. Use the stretch and fold method to give volume to the dough and lightly oil the bowl/container and the top of the dough. Let the dough rest for 30 minutes.
5) Stretch and fold the dough again and spray the top of the dough w/ oil and dust w/ flour. Cover the container/bowl and let it ferment for 1.5 - 2 hours or until almost doubled in size.
6) Cut the dough into the desired number of pieces and shape into either the traditional slippers or whichever shape you prefer. Proof at room temperature for 45 - 60 minutes.
7) Preheat that oven to 500°F and prepare for hearth baking.
8) Dust the back of a sheet pan (or baking stone) w/ corn meal or seminola flour and place into the oven. (If using a baking stone, it should be preheated w/ the oven! In this case, dust the peel)
9) Have a pan or cast-iron pan preheating w/ the oven and when the bread goes in, pour in hot water to create a moist, humid environment for the bread. Also, using a sprayer, spray some water to the sides of the oven to create more steam. Close the oven door and after 30 seconds repeat the spraying process. Do this one more time (total of 3 spray periods). This will help form a nice crust on the bread.
10) After the final spray, lower the temperature to 450°F and bake for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, rotate if necessary and bake for another 5 - 10 minutes until you achieve the desired color.
Working when you're supposed to be relaxing/recharging for next semester sucks. What sucks even more is not having time to cook and especially bake. This one is from sometime last semester when I was studying for one of my crazy tests. Pan de Leche is a sweet Filipino bread. It's savory, subtly sweet and it's pretty good. It's a relatively quick bread so the flavor isn't as deepened or developed but it's still an above average bread. It's odd because I've heard of pan de sel but never leche (I asked 3 of my Filipino friends and they didn't know of it either). Anyways, it's a great substitute for a dinner roll and very simple to make!
1) Activate the yeast if needed (add 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon of sugar if it needs to be activated). If not skip this step.
2) Mix in the dry goods and then add in the milk and lightly beaten eggs. I added half of my butter in then and half later when the gluten was about half developed but I think you can just add all the butter in now if you want. See my melonpan post about adding fats into dough...
3) Knead for 10 - 12 minutes (by hand) until the windowpane test is cleared.
4) Primary fermentation in a warm place for 2 hours in a lightly oiled container or bowl.
5) Divide into equal pieces and let the gluten rest for 15 minutes.
6) Shape into boules.
7) Proof UNCOVERED for 60 - 90 minutes until doubled in size. Proofing while uncovered lets the bread form a nice, hard crust.
8) Preheat that oven to 375°F (190°C).
9) Glaze each bread w/ the egg wash mixture. Score the bread. The design doesn't really matter but I suggest scoring to make it look cool and let the air out while baking.
10) Bake for 18 - 22 minutes and rotate the pan halfway if necessary.
11) Resist the temptation to eat freshly baked bread and cool for at least 15 minutes. Trust me, you will burn your tongue and it's not fun.
Aside from minestrone, broccoli soup is definitely up there on my top 3 list for soups. Broccoli is one of nature's super foods and it's packed with vitamin C, fiber, vitamin K and is low in calories. It's a shame that broccoli soup you see nowadays is ruined by heavy cream, processed cheese and other ingredients that ruin the health benefit of this amazing vegetable.
This Broccoli Soup is simple, quick, flavorful and takes literally minutes to make. It only contains 2 ingredients: broccoli and water. Broccoli Soup By Gordon Ramsay, Serves 4
- Broccoli florets
- Salt and pepper to taste - Walnuts/Pecans for garnish* - Goat cheese*
* - Optional
1) Go around the broccoli head and trim the florets off. You can steam the edible parts of the stem and add them to salads or sauté them in to your stir fry. Nothing should be wasted during this credit crunch.
2) Add salt to a boiling pot of water and put in your broccoli florets.
3) Add some more salt on top of the broccoli so it's seasoned at the bottom and top of the pot. Cover and cook for 4 - 4.5 minutes.
4) To see if cooked, get a butter knife and try to cut a piece of the stem off the floret in the pot. If it cuts quite easily, it's ready to be drained. Drain the broccoli and save the water from the pot. The broccoli should be darker green in color and the water should be slightly green, almost like a broccoli stock.
5) Add the broccoli to a mixer and add a little bit of the reserved broccoli water (amount will vary depending on how much broccolis you're using). Blitz until the mixture is well incorporated. You want to get a nice creamy, almost purée like consistency. Add more water PRN (as needed) to achieve desired consistency.
6) Season w/ salt and pepper to taste. Serve.
The soup itself is great by itself but if you want to get a little more creative with it, you can add goat cheese (bleu, or anything strong and robust) and nuts. I put walnuts at the bottom of my plate and topped it off with goat cheese and pecans. Drizzle w/ olive oil to add gloss and serve warm.
I'll admit it. I'm completely obsessed with bread and everything related to its starchy goodness. Another reason I love bread is because I can study while it rises for 1 - 2 hours and study some more while it proofs. It's pretty much the ultimate study break, period. (You can see the hematocrit/left shift in the distance there...)
Melonpanis a sweet bread that's covered by a thin layer of cookie dough. Does it taste like melons? No, (although if you use melon extract you probably could...) and it's named so because of its appearance rather than taste. It's quite similar to Hong Kong's pineapple bun but the cookie dough on the melonpan is crispier and the dough itself is less buttery.
I am a firm believer that it is absolutely necessary to weigh out ingredients vs. volume measuring when it comes to bread making. My 1 cup of flour isn't going to equal your 1 cup of flour but a scale never lies. Bread making is science and the end result is art.
- Bread flour 200g
- Salt 1/2 tea
- Sugar 20g
- Dry yeast 4g
- Lukewarm water 100g
- Egg 20g (beaten)
- Butter 20g (softened, you can't knead in rock, solid butter...)
Ingredients (Cookie Dough): - Butter 40g - Sugar 40g - Egg 40g - Lemon zest 1/2 - 1 tea (depending on how lemony you want it) - Drop of lemon essence (you can use the juice from your zested lemon) - Cake flour 120g (you can use all-purpose) - Baking powder 1/2 tea
1) Activate the yeast (if needed) by mixing it into the water w/ a little bit of sugar. Like... 1/4 teaspoon. This is just to give the yeast something to chew on until it gets to go in. Leave until activated.
2) In a mixing bowl add the bread flour, salt, sugar, egg and the yeast water mixture. Get a rough dough going and knead for about 5 minutes or so.
3) When the gluten has developed about halfway, add in your butter. Why do we add in the butter now? If you add fats too early on in the kneading process, the fat will coat the flour granules and prevent gluten development. This leads to a failure in the windowpane test. Speaking of the windowpane test, continue to knead until you pass the test. About 5 more minutes.
**Okay, technically if the overall dough uses less than 10% fat you can add in your fat at the start but to form good habits just add it in later. It's really hard to overknead if kneading by hand but with the breadmachine, that's a different story. I'm not sure how long you need to knead it in a breadmachine but if you'd like to send me one I'd be more than happy to "test" it for you...**
4) Once the dough is smooth and elastic, lightly oil a container/bowl and let it rise in a warm place for 1 hour, or until double its size.
5) Time to make the cookie dough. Cream the butter with sugar and once creamed, add in your egg and lemon essence.
6) Add in half of the cake flour, baking powder and lemon zest into the wet works and fold that over. Add the other half in and keep folding until you have a nice consistency. Chill in the refrigerator until needed.
7) Bread done rising? Good. Lightly degas the dough(please don't beat the crap out of it)and stretch it out into a rough rectangle. Fold it over once and cut into 8 pieces.
8) Form a boule (ball) with each dough and rest the boules for about 10 minutes. Get that cookie dough out of the fridge.
9) Flatten a piece of the cookie dough into a round shape with a rolling pin and cover the bread dough with the cookie dough. Sprinkle a little sugar over each cookie dough and make the classic melonpan pattern.
10) Put the prepared doughs on parchment paper or a baking sheet and let it rise again for 1 more hour or until doubled.
11) Preheat the oven to 340°F (170°C) and bake for 13-15 minutes. You don't want the outside crust to be completely brown and burnt. Bake it just enough until the cookie dough is nice and firm.
12) Resist the temptation to eat and cool at least 15 minutes.
Once you get comfortable with the recipe, you can do a lot of variations with it. I added a little matcha to the cookie dough here to get a nice green tea flavor.
I've always wanted to make one of these blogs for the longest time now but I never got around to making one with school consuming my life. With school on hiatus for the next month and 3 years + 1 semester until I can start practice, this is probably a good time to stop procrastinating and debut this food blog.
To start things off, I present to you one of the easiest and most flavorful dishes I've ever come across: Gordon Ramsay'sSticky Lemon Chicken(~5 minute prep time, ~25 minute cooking time)
Sticky Lemon Chicken By Gordon Ramsay, Serves 4
Ingredients: - 1 large chicken (I used drumsticks here but any cut of chicken will do) - Olive oil - 1 clove of garlic, halved horizontally - Salt and pepper for seasoning - Few sprigs of fresh thyme - Splash of Sherry (Like...2 tbsp?, just make sure it fully deglazes the pan) - 2 tbsp soy sauce - Ladle of water - 1 - 2 tbsp honey - 1 lemon, finely sliced - Bunch of flat leaf parsley, chopped
1) Season the chicken with salt and pepper and brown the chicken in a hot pan with olive oil and garlic. Make sure you get a really nice, golden color on the chicken, about 2 - 3 minutes per side
2) Add the soy sauce and Sherry. After the alcohol has cooked out add in your lemon slices and add in the ladle of water. The point of the water is to keep the sauce from charring but you don't want to add so much water in that you boil the chicken. I'd say about 1/4 to 1/2 cup of water depending on # of chicken and the size of the pan.
3) Season the chicken with thyme. Cut the thyme finely from the sprig with scissors.
4) Drizzle honey over the chicken and cook for about 5 - 6 more minutes or until the chicken is done.
5) Roll the parsley into a roll and chop once. Don't bruise the parsley by going over it 4 different times. You want to retain the oils to keep all that flavor in. Add into the pan and keep cooking until the 5 - 6 minutes is up or until the chicken is cooked.
You should have an amazing, dark color to the chicken and the sauce should be a tad thicker than au jus. The honey gives the chicken a nice stickiness and balances out the acidic flavor of the lemon. It's quick, easy and absolutely delicious.
My name is Sean and thank you for visiting my little food blog. I started this blog in December, 2008 near the end of my first pharmacy school semester to further my culinary knowledge and to connect with others passionate about food.
Growing up, I was surrounded by family who loved to eat, cook and talk about food. In time, I too became obsessed with food -- not only as a source of nourishment -- but as an art and source of happiness.
The takethou in the blog name comes from RX (rho chi), which many of you may know as a "prescription". Being a pharmacy/medical nerd and a food enthusiast, I combined my two interests into the title. takethoufood is a food blog run solely by me which combines both cooking and dining experiences.
Thanks again for visiting and happy eating!
Feel free to contact me with any questions or inquiries at... tkthoufood [at] gmail [dot] com