Hollandaise Sauce

So I’ve tried to make a Hollandaise sauce in the past and haven’t been too successful, and haven’t tried too hard at it again, because seriously, how often can you have the sauce?!
Well, i tried it again last night and it was a HIT! I finally nailed it and it was the easiest thing to make!
I used the sauce to pour over crab cakes that I attempted to make for the first time… it was a flop, but the taste was good. I just couldn’t make them look like the picture, OR any other crab cakes i’ve ordered, so needless to say, I’m still working on that.

The recipe for the sauce:

2.5 sticks of buter
1 lemon
1 egg yolk

Melt the butter in a pan until it’s foaming. In the blender, add the egg yolk, and 2 tbsp of lemon juice. For this I just used one whole lemon and squeezed into the blender, it was perfect. I added a little kosher salt and pepper. Blend it up and when it foams up a little take the lid off the top and slowly pour in the butter.
I actually made the sauce early so it sat in the blender, after it was done, for a bit so when I was ready to pour it into the container to serve, I added a little boiling hot water into the blender and blended up again – this also thinned it out a little, which was good as it was a little thicker in the beginning than I wanted.

it really is the easiest to make and used it to pour over my crabcakes and of course I had to pour it over my roasted potatoes in the meal – It was SO good, but something I can only make every now and again as i have yet to find the “skinny’ version of hollandaise.

Recipe courtesy of Bon Appetite Italian May 2011 version magazine.


Yummy Shrimp Taco’s

 The other night I made shrimp tacos – having never made this, I really wasn’t sure how to go about making, what sounded simple but yet how does one begin this.
I had a bag of frozen deveined, detailed shrimp that I used and followed Rick Bayless’ recipe for Shrimp tacos. He actually fries the tacos, which I opted not to do. All in all turned out SO good and something that I think I’ll incorporate in my dinner menus.
I used Rick Bayless, the master of Mexican food, cookbook “Fiesta at Ricks” Like I mentioned, he fried his tacos so the recipe is titled “Crispy Shrimp Tacos”
All you need is:
Olive oil
Jalapeños (optional)
12 oz of diced tomatoes
Fresh corn tortillas
Cajun seasoning – this is my little addition
Simply heat the olive oil in the pan, add the diced tomatoes, jalapeno’s and then chopped garlic. Cook down so that the tomatoes create more of a paste (like ketchup) I also added 1-2 tsp of tomato paste, just because I had it. Once that’s all thickened up, I added the bag of shrimp and cooked that thru – approx 7ish minutes. In the last few minutes, I add the Cajun seasoning – to taste, salt and cilantro.
I heated up the corn tortillas – you have to get the original corn tortillas, not the “Aztec” kind. Place the tortillas on a plate serve the shrimp in a bowl and it’s a self serve style. As a side, I also provided chips and queso – I can’t live without my tortilla chips!
It was a light but filling dinner!

Opening jitters

So I’m beginning a new adventure with blogging one of my new passions, cooking. Really, it’s more about eating, but to eat you must cook (someone has to do it) and I love to cook, find new recipes and make them my own. In this little corner, I hope to challenge myself as well as get other tips and ideas from everyone else! I truly do enjoy cooking, I find it therapeutic as I stand in my little kitchen with all my fascinating cookbooks, cooking gadgets  and try to follow the directions as well as adding little twists here and there to define them as my own.  At the risk of sounding too “Julia and Julia” I own three versions of “The Joy of Cooking” cookbooks in versions of Italian, French and English. Each are fascinatingly different in many ways and I would love to gradually cook my way thru these books… ok well this may take longer as I have other great books that I keep getting sucked into. 

My boyfriend, Ed, is my guinea pig, which I think sometimes he’s happy to be and at other times, not so much! It’s a learning experience and I always say the dish will only get better in time!
I live in the heart of Chicago, 4 blocks from Wrigley Field with my boyfriend, Ed and our 3 four-legged “kids” Max; a black lab, Zeto; a Shih Tzu and our baby girl, Stella; a Beagle-Cavalier King Spaniel mix, who is actually ALL beagle with that nose of hers.

I obsessively watch the Food network channel and any other cooking shows but most of all, love Top Chef… it amazes me how they can execute, or even come up with such an elegant dish in a matter of seconds in those quickfire challenges.

My library consists of many great cookbooks that I try to take advantage of but  haven’t fully had the time to devote to trying all the new creations I have at my fingertips.
I don’t have a favorite cuisine, anything that is simple and good, I’m all about. I do enjoy the more “complex” meals, but do try to make most of our meals economical.

My goal is to share my recipes and experiences as I stumble across them!

Beef Wellington- G Ramsey style

So recently I set out to make a beef wellington, Gordon Ramsey style.  I liked his take on it which really isn’t that different, other than that he calls for a mushroom pâté versus a liver pâté. 

I have to say, it is deliciouso! However, my presentation skills lacked, which is why you do not see a photo of my Beef Wellington.  One of these days (soon) I will perfect it and make it beautiful and that is when you will all see a picture posted.

In this same menu I also created a cheese soufflé. It was my second attempt at this and I LOVE cheese soufflé.  I mean, if you love cheese (and who doesn’t) you’ll love this! It’s a little cheese cloud that melts in your mouth. It’s not as difficult as one would think, but it is detailed oriented. The key ingredient is of course, the cheese. It’s not just any ole cheese, its gruyere cheese, the way it oozes off the ramekin makes this soufflé come together. I still have to perfect the issue of it falling shortly after I take it out of the oven, but I’m almost there. Next time I create another journey with this much loved cheese soufflé, I will have to take a picture and share with all.