Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Buffalo-Chicken Sammies

Good Morning my fellow food lovers, today's special is.....Buffalo Chicken Sammies with Pimento Stuffed Green Olives.....
I think I'll show you a picture, give you the recipe and let you decide for yourself:

2 Chicken Breasts, Shliced*
1 Tablespoon Oil, olive or peanut - your preference
2 or 3 - 6" Hoagie buns, I used baguettes**
1/4 cup Mayo
1 Heaping Tablespoon of Sour Cream
1/4 cup Franks Hot Wing Sauce
2 or 3 Tablespoons Bleu Cheese Crumbles
5 Pimento Stuffed Green Olives, sliced thin

Heat your pan on med-low, once hot - add about a
Tablespoon of oil
Add your Shliced Chicken and Sautee til slightly browned
(Season your chicken, salt and pepper will do)
In a separate bowl for the sauce, combine: Mayo, Sour Cream, Hot Wing Sauce and Bleu Cheese Crumbles, mix it with a spoon
Slice Green Olives thin, set aside
Toast your roll slightly

Assembly - Slice your roll on the side, stuff it full with Shliced Chicken, spoon a liberal amount of sauce over the chicken, top with sliced Green Olives.
Serves 2

*Shliced: This is the word I've come up with for slice-shaving, much like how chicken is prepared asian style. Ready.....Cutting board, damp squeezed-out kitchen towel flat underneath (so the board won't skirt around on ya). The following is from a "righty" perspective, so if you are a lefty, reverse.

Lay the Chicken Breast, shiny plump side up, on your board. Looking down at the breast, you want the thick side on your right, and the skinny-pointed end on your left. Warning, my next statement involves touching raw chicken.....I TOUCH my food. Grab a hold with your left hand, turn your Chef's knife (the big one) at an angle, angling away from you... and Shlice on the bias, starting with the thick end. What you are going for? This should look much like old-timey shaving with a blade, the part where they sharpen the blade on a leather strap. The strap representing the Chicken breast, and the blade of course representing your chef's knife. Your chicken will end up thin and shaved. It will A, cook faster, B have more surface area to season, C the texture is much nicer. I'm a huge texture person, I want my food to taste good and feel good in my mouth.

**Note on Baguettes, buy them when you go to the grocery store - cut them into 6" pieces, shove'em in freezer bags and keep them on hand. When you need some bread, pull a couple out of the freezer and throw it in the toaster oven, or oven @ about 200 degrees for a couple minutes until defrosted. (It's like pretend fresh baked bread) I use them for toast with breakfast, garlic bread with dinner, sandwiches...whatever you need bread for. No waste, single serving, on hand, hot bread.


Monday, June 15, 2009

Reuben Sundays

Good Morning Sunshine! Finally the sun has decided to make an appearance, and will be sticking around at least until midweek. Nice change from "London".

For some reason, I really enjoy a Reuben on Sundays. I thought I might devote this mornings Blog to the "Reuben Sandwich".

Courtesy of Wiki..."The origins of the Reuben are from Germany. One account holds that Reuben Kulakofsky a grocer from Omaha, Nebraska, was the inventor, perhaps as part of a group effort by members of Kulakofsky's weekly poker game held in the Blackstone Hotel from around 1920 through 1935. The participants, who nicknamed themselves "the committee," included the hotel's owner, Charles Schimmel. The sandwich first gained local fame when Schimmel put it on the Blackstone's lunch menu.

Other accounts hold that its creator was Arthur Reuben, owner of the once famous but now no longer existing Reuben's Delicatessen in New York, who, according to an interview with Craig Claiborne, invented the sandwich around 1914. A version of the story is related by Bernard Sobel in his book Broadway Heartbeat: Memoirs of a Press Agent and claims that the sandwich was an extemporaneous creation for Marjorie Rambeau inaugurated when the famed Broadway actress visited the Delicatessen one night when the cupboards were particularly bare."

Either way you spin it, it's a WICKED GOOD sandwich. Your typical Reuben consists of Corned beef, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese, Russian dressing or Thousand Island dressing and rye bread. I particularly LOVE pumpernickel bread, so if possible I try to get my Reuben on pump.

Around town, my favorite Reubens are from: Bluegrass Kitchen, First Watch and Penn Station (not in any particular order). Side note: First Watchs' website has some really 'feel good' audio. Back to the moment at hand.....Slim and I had an easy Sunday morning this past Sunday. We woke up fairly early, considering we were on 'the porch' until about 4 am whoop-n-it-up with the friends. We spent most of the day working on the house, however, we started the afternoon with a Reuben....excellent choice. This particular Sunday, we chose Penn Station for our Reuben location.

We ordered a 13" Reuben to split with Thousand Island and their fresh cut fries, complete with Malt Vinegar and Ranch for dipping.

By the way, I didn't know this B.C.S. (Before Culinary School) Thousand Island is: Mayo, Ketchup, Vinegar and Relish. I swear it tasted different before I knew that.

Anyhow....Penn Station has an AWESOME Reuben. Quite different from Bluegrass and Firstwatch (specifically because it's on a hoagie roll instead of Rye Bread).

Oh WOW, was it good....and messy, but oh so worth it. It was thoroughly enjoyed by both of us. Another successful Reuben Sunday!


Saturday, June 13, 2009

Greek Orzo Salad

Hello Folks! Welcome to my blog....thought I might try my hand at this. To be honest, I think I just need a place to post other than facebook. I like the idea of having "my stuff" in one place, rather than mish-mashed along with all of the other stuff.

I will use this blog as a place to show you what I'm up to, Chef-wise...which is my life and my love.

Without further adieu.....

Yesterday I made Orzo Salad. It's actually the second time I've made it, but this time I tweaked it. It was for my Sister-in-law's baby shower, and it was a HIT! In fact, the old church ladies made me write the recipe down, they made copies of it and passed it around the room. I felt very honored when one of them said, "I'm going to make this for church tomorrow." You know as well as I do, old ladies are funny about food. Not funny ha ha, more like funny - picky.

Here's the recipe:
1 lb of Orzo (cooked al dente')
1 Cucumber, diced
1 pint Cherry Tomatoes, sliced
3 Green Onions, sliced thin
1 8oz package of Feta Cheese, crumbled
1 package of Pine Nuts
3 T. Grey Poupon Dijon Mustard
1/4 c. White Wine Vinegar
1/4 c. Fresh Dill, Minced
1/2 c. Olive Oil

Combine: Cucumber, Tomatoes, Green Onions, Feta, Pine Nuts. Add Cooled Orzo and Fold. In a separate bowl, whisk the dijon, dill and vinegar together completely.
Drizzle the olive oil slowly while continuing to whisk. Pour over the Salad and mix, chill.

And since I am a Student Chef, thought I might use this blog to lay some knowledge.

The term for what happens when you drizzle that Olive Oil into the Vinegar/Mustard/Dill mixture is EMULSION. Emulsion, as you may recall from Chemistry, is defined as a mixture of two liquids that would not normally mix or a mixture of two immiscible liquids. An emulsion contains tiny particles of one liquid suspended in another.

A classic example of an emulsion is oil and water when mixed slowly (by drizzling) under vigorous stirring. However, when the agitation is stopped, the two liquids separate and the emulsion breaks down. This is an example of an "unstable emulsion".

Stable emulsions can be formed from two immiscible liquids when an emulsifier or an emulsifying agent is used. In this case, the emulsifying agent is the Dijon Mustard. Other examples of emulsifying agents are egg yolks and honey. Both Mayonnaise and Hollandaise Sauce are oil-in-water emulsions that are stabilized with egg yolk.

That's all for my first blog, I hope you enjoy!