Philly Beer Week starts today and runs through June 9th. During this time you will be able to sample all types of beers at different venues throughout the city and surrounding suburbs. You can find the full schedule for Philly Beer Week Here. I have only lightly glanced over the calender of events but there are a few that I am trying to make. On June 6th at Issac Newton’s in Newtown, PA the is a Founders tap takeover. Founders makes some great brews, two of my favorite are their all day IPA and their Kentucky breakfast stout. As I attend Philly Beer Week events I will write posts about the beers and the breweries. This should be a fun week and I can’t wait to try some new beers.
Tonight I will be participating in the live online cooking event put on by Chef Robert Irvine. The show will be broadcasted on stageit.com. There are two shows scheduled for 6:30 EDT and 9:30 EDT. The tickets cost $10 and the show is supposed to last around an hour. I will post pictures of the dinner and my thoughts on how this event goes. To find out more about the event click the link below. I look forward to seeing what we are making!
In light of the devastating tornado that hit Oklahoma yesterday I just wanted to post some links to where you can go and donate to help with the relief effort. Thoughts and prayers go out to all those affected by yesterday’s storm.
Visit the American Red Cross or Text REDCROSS to 90999 to give $10 to American Red Cross Disaster Relief
Be generous these people can really use the help right now.
Week 6 was bar far the toughest week of the cooking classes. I had always wanted to attempt to make a souffle but was always intimidated by the process. Our chef broke down each step from the creation of the base, the whipping of the egg white, and the folding over of the two. After the class I was very excited to try to make a souffle for Easter.
I chose to make a basic ham and cheese souffle in the class. Unfortunately I was unable to take pictures throughout the cooking process but I will give a few of the tips I learned. On Sunday I will post step by step pictures for the next souffle I make. The hardest part of making the souffle was whipping the egg whites. It is quite exhausting and as delicate as souffles are they are rough on the cook. An important tip before you whip the egg whites, add a pich of salt and 1 tsp cream of tartar for every 8 egg whites. These ingredients will help the eggs fluff up and not become too bubbly. It is also important to line your ramekins with something to allow the souffle to grip something as it climbs up the wall. For this souffles I used butter and Parmesan cheese. If I were making a sweet souffle I would have used sugar. The final tip came when we were mixing the base with the egg whites. During this step you want to keep folding the base over the whites until the mixture looks faintly streaky, do not stir the two together.
You will probably be seeing a few souffle attempts in the coming weeks because they are fun, challenging, and rewarding to make. Keep checking the blog out to see how it goes.
Our first night in Toronto we stopped for a late dinner at the York Street location of The Keg Steakhouse and Bar. The Keg was your typical higher end steak house and the food was on the same level as a Ruth’s Chris or KC Prime. I ordered the baseball ribeye, my choice was highly influenced by the World Baseball Classic being on one of the televisions. The steak was cooked to perfection and tasted great. What really set The Keg apart for me was the service. We told our server Lisa that this was our first time in Toronto and had just arrived in the city earlier that evening. We asked her to recommend a few places for us to visit and at the end of our dinner she brought out a list of bars, clubs, and other restaurants that she felt we should visit. We made use of this list throughout our stay in Toronto. If you ever find yourself in Toronto and are looking for a good dinner with great service I would highly recommend going to any of The Keg’s locations.
Last weekend my friends and I took a road trip to Toronto Canada. On the drive up we stopped at the Anchor Bar in Buffalo, birthplace of Buffalo wings. The atmosphere of the bar is incredible. The bar is decorated with old license plates and other Americana that gives the bar a home town feel. The waitstaff was very friendly and the service was great. Because buffalo wings were invented here we ordered a bucket of their classic hot wings. The wings were delicious. They were cooked perfectly and the sauce had great flavor and just the right amount of heat. I have wanted to go to this place for a while now and was glad we went out of our way to stop at the Anchor Bar, the birthplace of Buffalo Wings
Tonight’s class focused on shellfish. I finally learned how to properly shuck an oyster. It took a few attempts but by the end I was able to pick up the technique. To shuck an oyster you hold it in a towel in your hand, cup of the oyster facing down. You then take the oyster knife and push it through the heel of the oyster. Once the knife gets through the heel you twist the knife to pop the shell. You then move the knife across the top shell to separate it from the oyster. Then after taking the top shell off you cut the oyster free from the bottom shell. I chose to cook Oysters Florentine tonight in order to practice the shucking technique.
The chef also taught us a few simple recipes for shrimp, clams, and crab that I will highlight in future posts
I’m headed up to Toronto, Canada for the weekend so there will be no posts over the next few days. However Toronto is an incredible food city so I will be doing a recap of all the bars and restaurants I go to once I get back. I am also looking to find some inspiration for some new dishes too. Enjoy your weekend and have a Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
Inspired by St. Patrick’s Day I worked on perfecting the Guinness pan sauce that I made a few weeks ago. Before cooking the steaks I took 4 cups of beef stock, carrots, celery, garlic, and onions and placed them in a saucepan; I then reduced the broth by half to build more flavor in the stock. After fortifying the stock I cooked the steaks in the pan. I sauteed half a shallot then deglazed the pan with 1/2 cup of Guinness. I reduced the Guinness by 2/3 then added the fortified beef broth. I simmered the sauce for ~2 min then added 1tsp dijon mustard, 1 tbs soy sauce, salt, and chopped fresh parsley. I let the sauce simmer for another 2 min then added 1 tbs unsalted butter and 1/2 tsp truffle butter. I then did a final taste to get the salt level right. I then served the sauce over the steak.
To cook the shrimp I took a cast iron skillet and cooked 4 pieces of bacon. I then added the shrimp, which I seasoned with Old Bay and cooked them in the bacon grease.
Week 4 has been my favorite class so far. First we were taught how to scale and skin a fish. Then, instead of following a recipe from the book the chef taught us a few techniques how to cook fish; grilling, sauteing, and butter roasting. After going over these techniques we were able to experiment with seasonings and sauces to pair with the fish.
I chose to butter roast snapper fillets. I seasoned the snapper with white pepper, salt, cayenne pepper, dill, and Spanish paprika. I then preheated the pan. As the pan was heating I lightly coated the fish with canola oil, then when the pan was hot I placed a tablespoon of oil in the pan. I then placed the fish in the pan, turning the heat down after 30 seconds. When the fish turned white halfway through I flipped the fish and added 4-5 tablespoons of butter to the pan and turned down the heat. As the butter melted I basted the fish with the butter for 1-2 min until the fish was done, squeezing lemon juice over the fish at the very end.
After removing the fish from the pan I drained out most of the butter and added a chopped shallot and garlic. I then deglazed the pan with white wine and reduced it by 3/4. After reducing the wine I added spinach and sauteed the spinach. I served the fish over the spinach.