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I love Food. Cooking it. Eating it. Experiencing it. As a result, that's what this blog has evolved into: A journal of my gastronomical journeys abroad, as well as my culinary creativity at home. I hope you enjoy what I have to say, and I'd love to hear your comments... Cheers!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Main-Lining Italian Food

Had a memorable food find this evening in West Chester, PA, in advance of my adventures @ QVC...

Teca is a wine bar first, for sure, but I discovered the food to be more than serviceable. Instead of dinner, I let the wine serve as the star, with a terrific Edna Valley Cab (Paso Robles) for starters. To compliment it, I sampled an assortment of Teca's charcuterie and cheeses: Prosciutto, Genoa Salami, and Coppa, paired with Parmigiano-Reggiano, Blue Cheese, Goat Cheese, Gorgonzola, Pecorino, Brie, and Taleggio. A fun and filling way to indulge in a decadent, yet responsible way, the way Italians do, far more frequently than us overindulgent Americans! There is something so simple and rustic, yet no less satisfying, about eating this way: meats, cheeses, crusty, toasty bread... it's a welcome break from the typical Italian resto experiences I can too easily find myself spiraling down into.

Don't get me wrong, I was tempted to gorge myself on any # of their entree items... but I held back, and feel all the better for it.

Kudos to Teca for showing me another quality stop on Main Line dining circuit...

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Dutch Baby...GQ-Style

No sooner do I return from the ATL extolling the blissful virtues of the Dutch Baby, then my most recent edition of GQ shows up with a feature on said delicacy...

Mine came courtesy of the Original Pancake House, but now, thanks to Adam Rapoport et al, we can all indulge in one of life's simplest, yet most satisfying creations. With apologies to Gentlemen's Quarterly, I cannot for the life of me find this feature on your web site, so I will recount the recipe forthwith. It is ridiculously easy to replicate, if not duplicate, what you've devoured in a restaurant:

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  • Melt 3 tbsp. butter in a 9 or 10 inch pie plate or ovenproof skillet...in the oven. Remove when melted.
  • Mix together 2 beaten eggs, 1/2c flour, 1/2c milk, 1 tsp. sugar, 1/4tsp. salt, pinch of nutmeg (optional).
  • Whisk and pour into hot skillet. Return to oven and bake 18-20 min. till puffy and evenly browned.
  • Remove and sprinkle with lemon juice and powdered sugar.

While on the topic, here is a link to Alan Richman's latest on what he considers the best burger in America. I, for one, must find an excuse/reason to get out to LA more often...

GQ's Burger of the Year

Friday, December 10, 2010

Easy Entertaining

Can't wait to make this...so simple, yet you just know you'll get raves like you slaved in the kitchen for this one. Found it in the wife's Coastal Living mag, and thought how great this would be for holiday parties, etc...

Cheese Puffs

  • Combine 1/2 cup milk, 6 tbsp. unsalted butter, 1/4c water, 1/2 tsp. sea salt, dash of white pepper, dash of red pepper in a heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring until butter melts.

  • Add 3/4c all-purpose flour and 1/4 tsp. baking powder, stirring briskly until dough pulls away from sides of pan. Reduce heat to low; cook, stirring constantly, 2 minutes. Remove pan from heat; let cool 5 minutes.

  • Stir 3 large eggs into dough, 1 at a time, beating vigorously until fully incorporated. Set aside 2 tablespoons shredded Gruyere cheese for tops of puffs. Stir 3/4c cheese into dough.

  • Spoon dough by level tablespoonfuls onto parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Brush tops of puffs with 1 tablespoon milk, and sprinkle evenly with reserved 2 tablespoons cheese.

  • Bake at 400° for 18 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven; pierce the side of each puff with the tip of a sharp knife to allow steam to escape. Serve hot or warm.