Wednesday, April 28, 2010

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Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Getting Back to Basics

I've been trying to make this year all about increasing my cooking knowledge and have been reading a lot of different books, and one that is giving me some "aha!" moment is "James Beards Theory and Practice of Good Cooking."

I got one of the original versions (signed) from my Dad for Christmas and was reading this morning about making Chicken Stock. Something fairly easy to do - take a chichen carcass, add some veggies, herbs, water, simmer for a few hours, strain, and there you go, stock. But want if you want to take it to the next level and make some uber-rich stock? His recommendation is to make Poule au Pot (Chicken in a Pot), which you usually do by poaching a whole chicken in water with vegetables, by poaching the chicken in chicken stock. At the end you get a beautiful poached chicken that you can serve right then or shred and use for something else, as well as "double" rich chicken stock. Simple and good - what do you think?

* photo from MLA 2.0

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

fish baked in salt from jamie oliver

sometimes its the simplest meals, like this fish baked in salt recipe from Jamie Oliver. I've always had mixed emotions about Jamie Oliver - on the one hand i can never really tell if he is for real, but on the other hand, he puts out some great recipes with simple flavors that pack a punch and are easy for the home chef to prepare. i do love the entire concept of cooking in salt - so easy, yet so good.

Friday, July 17, 2009

how to make a bacon explosion

i've been a very, very bad blogger. even though i still cook a lot, eat out, stay up on the latest food news, and love love love food, i have been extremely bad about keeping up with sharing it all on codcheeks. i am hoping to change all that and i figured if i was going to have a grand re-opening, i needed to do something big.

this brings us to the bacon explosion, a culinary delight i read about in the ny times and found more information about at the bbq addicts website. my dad and i did a lot of prep work over the last six months to get ourselves mentally ready to perform this task, and it call came together this past 4th of july. of course we taped the entire process, and even after some serious editing, it still comes out to about 20 minutes of video, albeit one that is all about bacon, sausage, bbq sauce, and bloody marys. if you have the time, and love pork in all its forms, you can check the video out here.

if you don't have the 20 minutes to spare, below are a before and after picture of the bacony goodness. we ate this well after the rest of the meal was done, so it really qualified as dessert, and it was pretty much the best dessert ever.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

thanksgiving 2008 menu

i haven't been cooking as much as i would like the past few months and what little cooking i have been doing, i haven't been writing about. thanksgiving has me pretty motivated though, so the goal is to try to catalog my thanksgiving kitchen escapades and get codcheeks back on track!

i spent the last few days deciding on a menu for thanksgiving and completed it, as well as my shopping list, a few minutes ago. any thoughts or suggestions are appreciated! i can't wait to hit whole foods tomorrow at get started.

the jacksons thanksgiving 2008 menu:

  • roast turkey
  • bread and sausage stuffing
  • black truffle butter and white wine gravy
  • cranberry tangerine conserve
  • cider glazed carrots
  • haricots vert with herb butter
  • olive oil mashed potatoes
  • roasted sweet potato rounds with garlic oil and fried sage
  • apple-gruy√®re pie
  • classic pumpkin pie

how am i going to sleep tonight??

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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Farmers' Markets in Louisville, Kentucky

Since Brendan is taking a break from food blogging, I decided to step-in with an update. We are now entering summer-time in Louisville. It has been lovely so far, not too humid or hot (except for a couple of weeks in late May).

We discovered that Louisville has a few farmers markets during the growing season. Great guide to local farmers market locations can be found here. The first couple visits to the Highlands market were disappointing in terms of produce, as there was only one vendor there selling green vegetables. The situation is improving now as more and more fruits and vegetables are ripening. What a different experience it is to be in a state with four seasons, where one has to wait for the fresh veggies rather then expect them all year round like we did in San Francisco. I have to say, it makes waiting for the spring that much more exciting!

The market had several meat and dairy vendors. We loved to see that, especially that the meat farmers were willing to take special orders for hanger steaks (oh, how we miss the Golden Gate Meats...).

Yesterday, I took advantage of the farmers market chicken and leaks and made a vegetable/leak infused soup. It came out fantastic. First, I made chicken stock. Once that was complete, I melted some butter at the bottom of a stock pan and added chopped up leaks, onion, carrots, baby buck-choy (pretty much whatever vegetable I could find in the fridge). I let the veggies get nice and buttery and soft. Added salt, pepper and some paprika to make things spicy. Then I added some of the chicken stock and let the whole thing cook for a while. After about an hour, I put the veggies and some stock in a food processor only to pulse for a bit (so it wouldn't become baby food). Then I poured back into the pan with remaining stock. I let the whole thing simmer for a bit longer, added additional spice to taste and voila! We had a wonderful spring/summer soup with chicken and toast for dinner. I just ate some tonight and have to say it was even better the second day!

Friday, March 21, 2008

now with more salt!

i could list a dozen excuses for why this site for all things food has floundered and then come to a grinding halt over the past few months, but who cares really?! it's time to move forward and start writing about food again!

i'm been thinking about getting back on the horse for a few months, and then yesterday my friend alex linked to this site from his site (check it out at - i can attest to the fact that he is french and hungry!), and i was embarrassed about how long it had been since i had posted. so here we are. . . .

for those of you who don't know, i am no longer in san francisco. . . but it's ok. we moved to louisville, kentucky, and so far, so good! so now that i am situated and settled, and spring is upon us, and the farmers markets are ready to open, its time to start cooking, sampling, dining, and writing again. i've discovered some great southern cooking items and recipes that i'll start to share as well as anything interesting happening in kitchens around town, or the kitchen in my house (ye, when you move to kentucky you get to buy a house!).

i think my first dispatch from the bluegrass state will be about country ham. . .stay tuned.