Saturday, September 29, 2012

Veal Loin Chops with Tarragon and White Wine Reduction Sauce


Veal is one of those rich, delicious delicacies that PETA would have you believe is morally reprehensible to consume. And you know what? Maybe it is, but I’ll be damned if that’s going to stop me. So with some thick and succulent veal loin chops on hand, I decided to go with a relatively simple recipe that produces some pretty complex and interesting flavors, mostly due to the use of tarragon. On the side, I steamed some broccoli and made a simple risotto to round out this delicious gourmet meal. The risotto recipe is the same one I used for my seafood risotto, and you can make whichever sides you like, so I’ll only be detailing the process for cooking the veal below.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Apple Crumbles


Crumble desserts are great for any occasion. They’re quick and easy to make, and you can use pretty much any fruit you want. I chose granny smith apples for my crumbles because, well, I haven’t done a lot of baking with apples – my baked goods tend to deal in bread, chocolate, or berries. These turned out to be the perfect dessert for a recent family dinner, and I’m looking forward to trying them again with other fruit in the future.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Braised Chicken Breast (Or Chicken Stew)


I know what you’re thinking – “Braised chicken breast? What kind of sense does that make?” Admittedly, not a whole lot, at least not until you try it. If you think of it as a chicken stew instead, the concept becomes a little easier to grasp. It’s a technique I recently learned in class and I’ve been waiting for an opportunity to make some at home. That opportunity finally arrived in the form of a family gathering, and I’m pleased to report that this flavorful dish was a big hit!

It’s got a decent handful of steps to it, but in general it’s not all that difficult, so check out the recipe and give it a try!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Dauphinoise Potatoes

I've been cooking with potatoes quite a bit these days. That's no accident - potatoes are what we've all been using in class to practice our knife skills. Rather than tossing away perfectly good potato, why not put it to good use? And speaking of class, that's where I learned about dauphinoise potatoes, the delicious dish you see here. It's similar to scalloped or au gratin potatoes, but a bit richer and made specifically using Gruyere cheese. It's fairly simple, doesn't use a ton of ingredients, and is incredibly tasty, so give it a shot!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


It's been a few weeks since I did any hardcore baking. Between school and work, I just don't have the necessary prep time anymore most days. This past weekend, however, I decided it was time to bake something blog-worthy - something extravagant and complex. As you can see, I opted to bake profiteroles, a challenge in an of themselves, and something I've never attempted before.

Those of you who have been following SYD might have noticed I'm generally not content doing just one thing - and to that end, I also made the ice cream myself, even without an ice cream maker. It's a chocolate chip and Nutella swirled vanilla ice cream, and it was well worth the effort. You can find the recipes for the profiteroles themselves, as well as the ice cream, and the chocolate ganache topping below. Obviously, you don't have to make your own ice cream for this, as doing so extends the prep time considerably. I'll leave that up to you.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Honey Soy Sauce Chicken

Boneless chicken breasts kind of stress me out. They're so versatile, and there are so many different ways they can be prepared that I always have a very difficult time just figuring out which way to cook them. This time, I ultimately chose to adapt a recipe I'd used previously but never posted here on SYD. It uses a sweet and spicy honey soy sauce marinade, only the original recipe called for drumsticks, whereas I chose to cube some breasts instead and make a simple, delicious Asian-style dinner. Serve it with sticky rice and a vegetable of your choosing for a complete dinner that will blow your mind!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Cornbread Muffins

This past weekend was my cousin's birthday party, and a good opportunity for me to cater to a group of 20 or so people. Most of what I provided is straight from this blog already - Smokin' Scovilles chili, dulce de leche brownies, and homemade pickles are among them. I also made a big batch of buttery and delicious cornbread muffins, because chili is never truly complete without cornbread. And these were, indeed, the perfect compliment to a steaming hot bowl of Smokin' Scovilles, so try them out!

As a quick side note before we get to the recipe, I made a double batch for the purposes of a decent sized crowd, but I'll be posting the recipe for a single batch since that will likely be more practical for most of you.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Homemade Pickles

As someone who grew up in a Jewish family, the 83% of my blood that should be water is actually pickle juice. I've loved pickles since I was very young, and a jar of them never lasts very long in my presence. Ever since I discovered my love of cooking, I've wanted to make my own pickles, but could never find a good time to start them.

I was finally inspired to make my own pickles by a very dear friend of mine named Jessie, from whom I also acquired this recipe. If you like your pickles crunchy, tart, and garlicy, this is the recipe for you!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Shrimp and Lobster Risotto

If there's one thing I am sure of in life these days, it's the fact that I'm making good use of the education I've been receiving at Le Cordon Bleu for the past 2 weeks. After witnessing a demonstration in class on how to make perfect risotto, I knew it was something I'd have to try on my own time. Not only had I never tried making risotto myself, but I was already quite fond of risotto's particular texture and creaminess.

Of course, this wouldn't be Screw Your Diet if I didn't add some extra flair to the dish. To that end, I added half a pound of grilled shrimp, lobster tail, and broccoli into the mix. The result was as delicious and rich as you might expect. One thing to note, however, is that exact measurement were not used, so many of them will be approximate measurements rather than being more precise. Savory cooking is mostly done "to taste", so the exact proportions for spices and the like will pretty much be left to your own discretion.