Archive for July, 2012

Pickled Red Onions

July 25, 2012 6 comments

Pickled Onions

I hate raw onions. I am very sensitive to their smell–I can tell when I get home at the end of the day if Joel had any for lunch and I can’t kiss him. However, I like onions if they’re not raw–caramelized, french onion soup, pickled…

Pickled red onions are great on lobster rolls, crab rolls, any other sandwich or on salads. They add a sweet crunch without the bite of raw onion and are now a standard pickle in our fridge. Of course, we always have more than 10-15 pickled thingies in the fridge at any given time. What can I say? We like pickles around these parts. Read more…

Categories: food, pickles Tags: , ,

Ruhlman’s Fried Chicken

July 18, 2012 1 comment


Growing up, my mom and grandma cooked mostly Vietnamese food. We never ate out because we didn’t have the money. On special occasions (or more likely when grandma didn’t feel like cooking), she would hand one of my older cousins a $20 bill and send us out for a bucket of KFC. Those were always special days.

I haven’t had KFC in a really long time but fried chicken is still a special treat. All week, I’d planned on making fried chicken from the ad hoc at home cookbook. While I was researching methods, I read a post by Michael Ruhlman (who co-wrote all of Thomas Keller’s cookbooks) in which he proclaimed his fried chicken better than TK’s. The recipes are fairly similar though the seasonings are different. Ruhlman isn’t a cocky guy, so I decided to believe it and go with his recipe instead. I also reviewed the batter seasoning and Ruhlman’s sounded better.

Now, if I’m going to spend 3 days prepping fried chicken (1 day each to brine, air dry and cook), I’m going to make a bunch, invite my family over to share, and make sure I have enough for leftovers during the week (2 whole chickens for 6 adults). The result was a unanimous thumbs up. I had never deep-fried anything before (invest in a candy thermometer to maintain your temps) but it wasn’t that difficult. The meat was juicy but not greasy at all (like KFC usually is). The skin was crispy and flavorful and the leftovers made for great salads during the week. We served it with asiago/chive buttermilk biscuits (need to find a better recipe), fresh corn, and for dessert–apricot/peach pie. I strained the leftover oil and have it stored in a canning jar for future use. Supposedly the oil gets better after a few fries.

Fried chicken isn’t something I can eat every Sunday, but we’ve agreed every 3-4 months it will be good for the soul…assuming we keep running on all of the other days. Read more…

Categories: food, meat, Southern Tags: ,

Meatballs w/Oven-Roasted Tomato Sauce & Pappardelle

July 15, 2012 1 comment

Ad Hoc Meatballs w/Oven Roasted Tomato Sauce & Papperdelle

The weekend he proposed, we cooked a lot. On Friday, he made lobster rolls and discovered his abilities in the kitchen. He had originally planned on serving  meatballs from the ad hoc at home cookbook on Friday night as an appetizer but ran out of time. So on Saturday, we made the meatballs together with oven-roasted tomato sauce and homemade pappardelle. On Sunday, I had coincidentally planned on making the ad hoc fried chicken (before I even knew he planned on attacking the cookbook himself) but ended up making Ruhlman’s fried chicken instead.

Thomas Keller’s recipes are pretty fussy but these meatballs were surprisingly simple. We ground the meat ourselves, stuffed each ball with some mozzarella and roasted them in the oven until they were done. The most time-consuming items were the oven-roasted tomato sauce, which I found a little sweet and won’t make again, and the homemade pappardelle. I didn’t use Keller’s recipe for the pasta but I probably should have. I found a random food processor-friendly version online which didn’t have enough egg for my tastes. I will definitely make the meatballs again but next time I’ll simplify significantly with a simple marinara and pre-made pasta. Read more…

Categories: appetizers, food, Italian, meat, pasta Tags: ,

Ad Hoc Lobster Rolls w/Pickled Onions

July 10, 2012 3 comments

Ad Hoc Lobster Rolls w/Pickled Onions

I came home from work and discovered that he’d made us lobster rolls for dinner. Not just any lobster rolls, but Thomas Keller’s version from the Ad Hoc cookbook…complete with house pickled red onions. Five lobsters poached in a court bouillon that involved herbs wrapped in a cheesecloth sachet! Best lobster rolls ever! Read more…