28 August 2010

Coq au vin. The chicken version of Beuf Bourguignon.

Ever since the movie "Julie & Julia" came out, everyone seems to be crazy about Julia Child's version of Beuf Bourguignon. I know, Beuf Bourguignon is a great dish, but sometimes you just can't find the right beef in the supermarket or at your butcher's. Or you just don't want to spend the money. On the other hand, 4 chicken thighs only cost around 2 Euro. Seemed like a deal to me.

Oh, and there's a simple rule about cooking with wine: don't use anything that you wouldn't drink. But you don't have to use the most expensive one; a simple wine in a real bottle will do fine. Real French gourmet food for a couple of bucks. Perfect.

21 August 2010

Picadillo. With cinnamon and raisins.

Picadillo is one of the most versatile ragús in South American cooking. You can simply eat it with rice, preferably accompanied by a fried banana. Or use it as a filling for empanadas or pastel de papas - which is best described as the Argentine version of Shepard's Pie. But more on that in another post, first we are going to make the Picadillo.

14 August 2010

Jalapeño poppers. Some like it hot.

Funny how people react to different kinds of hot. Some people don't mind hotness at all, even search the kick of new levels of hotness. Others flinch at even the slightest amount - I once knew someone who broke into tears and sweat because of a couple of drops of Tabasco someone sneaked into his burger. I guess I'm in the middle: liking the hotness of chilies, unless it totally overwhelms the taste of your food.

This recipe is a work of genius. So incredibly simple, you don't even think about measuring the ingredients. Delicious beyond description. The chilies are reasonably hot, the cream cheese will even that out a bit. And bacon can never be a bad thing, can it?

07 August 2010

Steak au poivre. Even purists will love it.

When it comes to steak, I'm a purist. Salt, pepper, maybe a tad of herb butter and I'm happy. No crazy marinades, no BBQ sauce, no oysters, thank you. Oh, and medium rare, please.

But sometimes you may need a tiny bit more, maybe a little sauce to make the fries go down easier. And this is where Alton Brown comes in. In his show "Good Eats" he did not only present how to manage to get steaks out of a whole fillet, he also made a very minimalistic sauce. Just cream, cognac and pepper. It's a dream, it goes perfectly well with a steak without totally smothering its taste. Just what I like.