When I was a little girl, my mother had the entire collection of The Woman’s Day Encyclopedia of Cooking, and there was a recipe in for Hungarian Porkchops, which I have been making for many years. Today, I decided to change the recipe a bit, and came up with Pork Chops Paprikash.
In Glendale, California, which has a large Armenian population, we have Red Pepper Sauce. It’s basically paprika peppers, and I use it quite often, in sauces, eggs, and other dishes. There are many brands and you can probably find it in ethnic European stores. I highly recommend it.
Paprikash dishes call for sour cream. I have probably talked about this before, and I will say it again. When you buy sour cream, please only get the kind that has cultured cream. The other stuff has gelatin and other ingredients as fillers, and they just are not real sour cream. The Alta Dena brand has a wonderful saying on the top of the tub, “Those cravings you feel are totally natural”. I love that because it’s true – there is nothing in that sour cream except cultured cream, the way sour cream should be.
Mis en Place – Sour Cream, Red Pepper Sauce and Beef Base
When I was a little girl, and I had been very, very good, my mother would make my favorite dessert, Cherries Jubilee. Okay, so now you know how old I am because that was a popular dessert in the 1960’s. Maybe that’s one of the reasons that dark chocolate covered cherries are my favorite candy.
At some point, a can of dark cherries found their way into my pantry, and I decided to make them into Cherries Jubilee. But, I didn’t want them ordinary, I wanted mine to sing the praises of chocolate!
Considering the recent birth of the British royal baby, George, I wanted to make something “English”, even though the chef who created the dish was French.
The dessert was created by Auguste Escoffier, who prepared the dish for Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations. Originally, the dish consisted of pitted cherries which were flambéed with Kirschwasser. Someone decided later to serve that over ice cream. Because the dessert was impressive it became very popular, and everyone was doing it. Of course, that set its death knell. Well, it’s back, probably because of the popularity of Mad Men, a television show set in the 1960’s.
And now, The Good Plate’s version of Cherries Jubilee with Chocolate Cherry Sauce….
I used to make bread every week when I was Chef Farion‘s roommate, simply because he liked to have bread with his meal. I’m not that much of a bread person, seeing that at the time of this writing, I had to make a new category for bread. Well, today that is going to change.
My wonderful neighbor gave me some Lemon Basil this morning, I looked at it and said to myself, “Yes, you are going to put this in bread!” Then I thought that tomato goes so well with basil, and I have tube of tomato paste in the refrigerator. I am going to make three doughs, one with basil, one with tomato paste, and one with roasted garlic. Then I am going to braid them together, sprinkle sesame seeds on top, and throw it in the oven. I think it will be good. We will see!
I like making bread for a few reasons:
I know what’s going into it.
Kneading is a good way to relieve stress. Take out your aggression on the dough!
The wonderful smell of bread baking is second to none.
Finished bread gives you the feeling of a job well done.
Spane examining “Caesar” the tomato paste dough ball
Bread is a great science project for kids. Kids can learn about yeast, and how the yeast is alive and how it makes the bread. If you are lucky, like I was, your child may volunteer to do some of the kneading for you. Spane was so happy to do it that he even named the tomato dough, “Caesar”.
So, this morning, Spane was hungry, and breakfast food was in short supply. Usually, I have everything I need to make pancakes, but this time, I had left over apples from making Apple Stuffed Wontons, and I knew they would be really good in pancakes. The problem was they were a little large, and Spane didn’t want to wait. So I made two giant pancakes, one for him, and one for me. They were delicious!
I have always been crêpe challenged. Flipping a giant pancake just seemed impossible to me, so I have stuck with the dollar size variety. But, armed with the right kind of pan, a forgiving batter, and the willingness to try, I was actually able to make a pretty good-looking, although thick, crêpe.
Every year, Glendale, California closes off its main street, the Brand Boulevard of Cars. Beautifully kept antique cars park up and down the street, some with their hoods up, so everyone can enjoy them. Spane and I have been going to Cruise Night since before he was born – I say that because I even went when I was pregnant with him. As usual I like to cook something special for Cruise Night dinner, mainly because even though there are hamburgers and hot dogs available, I would rather have my own fresh food, and save money for a treat for Spane.
I love beets, I mean I really, really love beets. So does Spane. We like them plain, pickled, cold, hot, red beets, orange beets, any beets! Beets are very good for you, and studies have shown it can prevent liver, heart and muscle diseases. This is not the same thing as a Sugar Beet, which although is in the same family, almost all sugar beets are genetically modified, and used to make sugar.
A little while ago, I posted about the wonderful Android app, Out of Milk, which is really helping me tame the beast that is my kitchen.
I am always looking for new, more efficient ways of organizing my kitchen, and whilst perusing Pinterest this morning, I found a picture of a hanging shoe rack with cleaning bottles in it. I immediately jumped up and hollered “Eureka!” I have one of those shoe thingies, and I have a pantry door, and I have duct tape.
Spane helped me hang it, and then I filled it with foil, wax paper, and other things that used to take up valuable room in drawer. Happiness as one of the monsters has been tamed.
I will be talking about other organizing methods in the future, so stay tuned!