Chocolate+ginger+brown butter=heaven

I recently “discovered” brown butter and all its glory.  It’s so versatile and can be used in savory and/or sweet dishes.  I can’t decide which I love more, though.  I’ve made brown butter strawberry pasta with a balsamic glaze and grilled herbed chicken; I’ve made chocolate chip cookies with brown butter; I’ve even made scallops in brown butter.  The combination of sweet nuttiness and that distinct butter flavor pairing so nicely with pretty much anything — oh, I absolutely love it.

The other day I told my partner I was going to make dessert for her.  She’s a chocoholic.  I’m a chocoholic.  So of course it was going to be something chocolatey.  For some reason, candied ginger came to mind — something I bought a few months ago with the intention of using with something chocolatey.  So I looked up some recipes in the cookbooks I have (specifically, I found a recipe for chocolate ginger shortbread cookies in my copy of Ming Tsai’s “Simply Ming”), but they all seemed either too involved or included ingredients I didn’t have on hand at home.  So I resorted to the internet and found an amazing recipe for chocolate cookies with candied ginger.  It was in Jamestown, ND’s newspaper, The Jamestown Sun back in September 2010.   Gimme More…

Feeling saucy

*This is my second journal entry. I will be posting subsequent journal entries with photos from my Culinary Arts class (please excuse the crappy photos taken with my phone).

Day 2: Sauces

Whenever you start anything, you should always start with the basics.  Establish a foundation, if you will.  That way, you can improve your skills and expand your abilities by building on that foundation.  The same goes for cooking, especially with French techniques.  And the French love their sauces.  So today’s lesson was on the five leading or mother sauces – béchamel, velouté, espagnole (brown sauce), hollandaise, and tomato.  In class, we only covered the first four, as we will cover tomato sauce on Italian food day.  However, the espagnole was a demonstration, as it is a bit more involved and takes much longer.  We did, however, make béchamel, velouté, hollandaise, and cream beurre blanc (white butter sauce with cream).

Gimme more…

A long time coming

Day 1: Soups and Stocks

When I decided to switch my educational focus from biology to nursing and then, finally, to food six years ago, I intended to go to culinary school.  However, life, money, and a move from Hawaii to San Diego, California, forced me to put it off indefinitely.  Until Tuesday.  Tuesday, July 5, 2011, was the first day of culinary arts class as part of the Gastronomy program at BU.  This particular round of the course is a first in a lot of ways — it is the first time it is offered during the summer, and it is the first time it consists of 12 Gastronomy students (as opposed to 6 Gastronomy students and 6 students from the community).  On the schedule for this first day was knife skills, soups and stocks.   One of the assignments for class is to journal every day we have class.  Gimme more…

Fancy meeting you here.

So, when I start things, it tends to take me a long time to finish them — that is, assuming there is an end to what has begun.   It took me seven and a half years to finally get my bachelor’s degree (from the time I started college to the time I walked).  The reason it took so long is because I changed my major about 3 times and took a year and a half off in between to figure out what exactly it was that I wanted to do.  In that break, I worked in high-volume concessions kitchen.  Gimme more…