As you know, I've been cooking for a while, quite a long while. My standard everyday knives have been Forschners (now under Vitorinox). They are getting up there in age. Since I moved into the land of fine dining, that means fine knife work, and that means new knives. I have secretly coveted Japanese knives, and though not trained in their usage, nor mentored by a chef who gave me permission to purchase them, I stepped out and bought new knives last week.
In order to bring you the Food knowledge and History section of this blog, I have had to become part food anthropologist, part researcher, and part historian. Not to mention a bit of a botanist to keep track of all the genus of plant life I am reading about.
It boils down to this: the world is only so big, there’s only so many plant foods humans can consume without being poisoned. However, at least in America, our palates were watered down, and left bland, until the Food Revolution of the late 1980’s through the mid-1990’s. Food was brought back to life by the discovery that cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and allspice weren’t just for desserts. We found out there’s more grain than just wheat, and there is more fruit out there besides bananas and oranges. read more
Lavender adds a perfume taste and scent to rice. Use a delicate grain like Jasmine for this infusion. Serve on a special occasion like Mother's Day. And the smell of lavender will permeate through out your house.
One of the main ingredients I cook with is chili peppers. Jalapenos, Serranos, Anaheims, New Mexico Reds, Poblanos, Pasillas, Cayenne, all these chilis and more have a home in my kitchen.
There are approximately 25-30 kinds of chili peppers, and in that family there are multiple varieties. Chilis give flavor to dishes, and some great health benefits as well. A hot chili pepper has more vitamin C in it than an orange.
Good cooking is built on basic techniques. And I've chosen to include the basics on this blog. You'll be able to access information without stepping outside of this website.
How to cook potatoes or rice, make seasoning mixes, vinaigrettes, how to cook tofu or roast a squash, how to chop food with the basic cuts, as well as basic recipes and then recipes that include the basics. Along the way there will be stories about how I became adept at culinary skills (much pain was involved), how I became so passionate about food, and why I love to cook.
There is a large variety of legumes (beans) in the world, over 4,000 have been categorized. To further complicate matters, there are fresh beans, classified as vegetables, and then there are pulses (legumes). I’ll leave it to wikepedia, and other sources to sort this all out for you, while we continue on to how to process legumes, the dried bean.
In my kitchen, I’ve learned to appreciate more then just the pinto bean, which is one of the most highly consumed beans in the southwest. There are black or turtle beans, fava or broad beans, chickpeas and garbanzos. I’m working on incorporating anasazi beans, and white beans. These form the basis of our protein diet, since my partner is gluten-free and cannot consume wheat for protein. read more
Some days are just meant for great culinary adventures. Today I started out at the Market. I spotted fresh Fava beans (which I am still trying to figure out), and thought, what would go good with these? There was good looking swiss chard. I like sexy food, and swiss chard is one of my favorites. I grabbed some staples, and what was on my list, then spotted the Hawaiian Papayas. Expensive, but I love these papayas. They are smaller then their cousins the Mexican papaya, and typically sweeter. I figured I was just going to eat it. Uh-uh. read more
Wow! I didn’t realize it had been almost 6 months since my last post. Work got really, really busy. We had a bit of a break during the Holidays, and then came back full force!
I have found time to start up gardening. I am tired of high produce prices and low quality, gassed and hot house tomatoes, and having to spend almost $3.00 for herbs that cost that much for the seed.
This year I am growing Anaheim chili’s, cilantro, and basil. Being a Sonoran Cuisine Chef, the more chili’s I can grow, the better my salsa! read more
A few weeks ago, my partner and I were preparing to move. I was pushing, not carrying, boxes down the hallway, and one slipped off the other, and I fell. My thumb was extended from my hand and the result is a severely damaged ligament in my thumb on my dominant hand.
I’ve been in a cast/removeable splint since the accident on 6/20. Consequently, I have not been working. (It’s a good thing, it is off-season for Southern Arizona!) I’ve had three sets of x-rays, and a session in the MRI tube. (now dubbed the wooba-wooba machine).
What’s any of this got to do with cooking? Well, I can’t work, and I can’t really cook at home. Since we just moved and I’m injured, the new kitchen took over a week to put together, and I’m still not sure I like the way I’ve got it set up. read more