I live to eat and love to cook. Welcome to my life!

June 29, 2010

I added extra bacon

I am pretty sure you know where I work and what I do....what I don't think you know is that I am lucky to have a freaking awesome culinary staff at my fingertips. I am not just talking simply good cooks or creative chefs...which they are both. But they are also nice.

Seriously nice.

As in, when you walk in to the kitchen you don't get berated by an jerk in a chef coat & toque until you cry. Or when you ask for a custom menu, you actually get one with no wanking, bitching, complaining or up charging just because the menu is "custom". Or when I get a last minute request for a cake for the next day from a clueless client, the pastry chef looks pained, but then turns around and whips up a beauty in the midst of a day that we are serving 800 people at the resort. It is a "can do" and "like to do" attitude I can totally live with and appreciate so much.

Don't get me wrong, I have some friends out there that have been chefs that have been awesome to work with and very talented...but there are always one or two who are jackasses that spoil the vibe and need to just move on. And fortunately for me and the rest of the staff, those people are now gone. :)

I have wanted to make this recipe since it was requested and printed in the LA times in April 2009 as it appeals to me in so many ways. My mouth truly waters when I think of it and just now with a full belly I can still smile and taste it and want seconds. But I am cool with leftovers for lunch.

Bacon and Egg Risotto
(yeah, you read right!)
Adapted from Chef Jamie West, Executive Chef at Ojai Valley Inn & Spa
Serves 2

1 Large Shallot, chopped
1 T Butter
2 Cloves Smoked Garlic (Ojai Farmers Market), chopped
5 Strips Thick Cut Bacon (applewood smoked is preferred), chopped in 1/4 inch dice
3/4 C Arborio Rice
3 C Chicken Stock, heated
3 T Chopped Chives
1/4 C Grated Parmesan Reggiano Cheese
2 Egg Yolks (from really fresh eggs)

Saute the shallot in butter until soft, add bacon and saute 5 minutes. Add rice and stir until bacon is slightly crisped and rice is toasty. Add garlic and stir a few minutes.

Start adding stock/broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring frequently while it is simmering (not boiling). Cook until rice is creamy and tender, you may have some stock/broth leftover. Test for salt and season if needed with salt & pepper. Add in chopped chives and grated Parmesan.

Divide in to 2 portions, making a well in the center. Drop in egg yolk and take a picture if you want.

Then stir it all together, dig in and lick the bowl if you wish. I wouldn't blame you if you did.

And yes, the original recipe called for 5 strips of bacon to serve 4....I halved everything in the recipe except that because I have an addiction. So sue me, I'll eat raw veggies again tomorrow before I have to squeeze my butt in a bathing suit this weekend.

It was worth it.

June 24, 2010

Coming up for air....

Between the beginning of the month to today I have had 12 separate groups and weddings to take care of at work.....I broke up with my boyfriend and he moved out of my house, underwent multiple other day to day stresses that stretched me to the breaking point. I've cried several time....sometimes at length...by myself and on others shoulders. I have not cooked for weeks on end with the exception of sporadic mad dash thrown together meals only fit to satiate my hunger. I have obviously not blogged for some time and I miss both like crazy.

But I have made it.

And now I am rising to the surface....ready to take in a deep breath....and move on.

One thing I have found in the past few weeks is that cooking for one person just sucks. There are very few recipes designed to fit one person, so I end up making more than I need and eating for leftovers. The problem is that I have been so busy that there has been no time to go to the store so I am making do with whatever I have handy and praying that it turns out halfway decent.

I have also been cleaning out the fridge & freezer, getting rid of the stuff I don't use, rotating frozen goods in the freezer to make room for new things. Tonight was the first time I made something worth sharing with you...so here it is. :) Bear in mind that this was made with random goodies from my fridge so there is room for substitutions should you feel the need.

Poulet Provencal

4 Chicken Thighs, trimmed
1 pint Cherry Tomatoes, halved
2 Shallots, medium dice
2 Cloves Garlic, sliced thin
1/2 Cup Green Olives, sliced in 1/4
2 T Olive Oil
1 tsp Fennel Seed
1 T Herbs d' Provence

Saute shallots in a sauce pan in olive oil until soft, add tomatoes, garlic & olives. Saute until tomatoes let out their juices. Add in chicken and spices with a little salt and pepper, cover and simmer until chicken is tender and falls apart. Adjust seasoning as needed.

Serve over pasta with a little Parmesan cheese.

I've missed me....welcome back. :)