Saturday, February 28, 2009

A few nights with........Phil

I feel like I've been invited to a secret society! He is a local cult figure! You open a newspaper and his name pops up, you read a local magazine and there his name is again. Phil is his name! I fortunately, was added to his eMail list and got to come to some classes. They are held in a lovely 'home' that has been turned into a fantastic showroom. He cooks on an AGA that has been produced for the American market. A roaring gas stove-top is at his command. Then he bakes in a dreamy Wolf oven. Yes, one can dream!

One of the things I really enjoy about Phil's classes are that you come away learning a lot! Yep, I've been to quite a few classes in my years, but his recipes are delicious and pretty easy to other words, they are perfect weeknight fare! BUT, also perfect for stress free entertaining!

I've been to his Egg class, he had so many tricks and tips. A Casserole class netted some real keepers, I even sent that batch of recipes up to 'the bearded baby' when he cooks for his Frat House! We have had a Tapas night and I brought 'the old man' along for this latest class of Brisket (2 ways)!
I did bring my son along to a class during his holiday break and Phil could not have been more generous! The 'bearded baby' mentioned that he cooks for his Frat House from time to time and Phil promised some recipes to cook for a crowd!

You pretty much can't walk away from the class, you are rolling down I-75 towards home! The food and drink flow and you usually get a take-home plate for the loved one who had to stay home!

Phil is a joy to watch and you can tell that he has run his own kitchen! His knife skills are awesome......and the guy can muli-task like no one else! He is a pro. He is also very down to earth. I have learned where to shop here in Lexington for good products! You'll be surprised to learn where he frequents and even where he purchases some of his equipment.

I really shouldn't brag too much about him or his next session of classes could be full!

Thursday, February 12, 2009


Did I ever tell you the story about my Thanksgiving Popovers? No?
Let me make this short and sweet. I usually like to do a 'fresh' bread or roll along side of my 'bird'. Got to thinking about Popovers and thought I could make a batch and bake them off in a muffin tin. Well, those babies did NOT 'pop'! They could have been used as lethal weapons to get rid of any Kentucky critter or evil doer that was passing by. They didn't even make good bird food and our birds eat everything! The birdies turned up their beaks at my offering!

A recent trip to Williams Sonoma, I came home with yet another new baking pan. The mighty popover pan! There are some times when I like living back in the U.S.
Searching through the internet, the worlds biggest cookbook,......I found a recipe that looked pretty good. Sometimes tho, when I look for a recipe I have to find one that fits the ingredients that I have on hand. This recipe called for 2 eggs and I had 3! There ya' go! It also called for some Gruyère cheese, had it in the fridge, I can find a decent one in my Kroger store. Everything was looking good so far.

Looking at the photos above, you can see they rose mighty high and were darned tasty! I'm happy with my purchase and just need to find a place to stash my new piece of cooking equipment!

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Lamb Sliders

Well, Super Bowl Sunday came and went, and to be honest, we went to a movie! I'm just not a big fan of Football. I do, however, enjoy the food that seems to be on the menu during those games!
While we were snowed in, watching the Early Show, I caught a great snippet on Super Bowl food and Sliders!
Still in comfort food mode, I needed some meat and potatoes! Inspired by the cool way of fashioning a burger I was ready to give it a try. Not only did the guy come up with cutting the burger into
a square, a la White Castle's.......he put cheese in the mixture as well.

Let's get to the point. Ground Lamb, green onions, Worcestershire Sauce, Tahini Paste and cilantro. (I could have put some cheese in, but didn't with the lamb) It didn't get any better than that and the result was a very juicy burger. I seared them in my cast iron, then finished them off (not too long) in the oven. Served with roasted sweet potatoes with 'our' special dipping sauce and we had a easy weeknight meal.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

The Great Winter Storm!

I'm back.....
And we survived the Great Storm of '09! We didn't lose power, only Internet and Cable. Compared to many, many others, this just wasn't bad. We had a local Starbucks to log in and enjoyed a coffee or a dinner at the bookstore cafe' called Bronte' Bistro . You can log in, eat a nice little meal and buy books, all centered around a lovely fireplace!

This brings us to the build up for the storm. It has been a while since I faced a full-on Winter Storm. The warnings were out, we had the kerosene heater filled and ready. I had a freezer filled with items just in case we couldn't get out. It did snow, but it was just a preview of coming attractions, so we headed out to the local WalMart whle we could still get out. I wanted to lay-in some real comfort food items. I made a soup last year and it was pretty good. I wanted to make it again, with changes!

This soup can make you feel like you can handle any storm (plus leftovers!). Healthy swiss chard and kale, a bit of beef broth mixed with the chicken (just had both on hand!). A can of fire-roasted tomatoes and a rind of Parmesan cheese. I served it with cornbread and we felt cozy. The changes in the recipe were noted and I wonder what I'll add next year. But for now, I dream of spring! Next project will be saving some of our trees that were savaged by the ice.
Heartbreaking. Again, I think we didn't have it too bad, really!