Just a nerd who likes to cook

Main menu:


Categories +/-

Archive +/-

Links +/-

Meta +/-


Watch Morgan on ifood.tv!

Happy Turkey Day! Three Staples Of Thanksgiving (And An Update)

Hello Little Chefs!

It’s been quite some time since I updated this blog, and even longer since I’ve filmed a Cooking With Awesome. For that, I apologize – I’ve been quite busy! More on that in a moment, because Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and I know a lot of you would like to have a few recipes for the occasion. I filmed the following clips quite a while back in preparation for Thanksgiving back in 2008. I hope you enjoy!

Basic Roast Turkey

If any of you are a fan of Good Eats, you’ll recognize this recipe from the episode Romancing The Bird. The full recipe can be found on the Food Network website.

Basic Thanksgiving Dressing

This is a very good basic stuffing recipe that I’ve made over the years, and it’s sure to please your guests.

Prep time: 5 mins

Cook time: 35-40 mins

Serves: 8-10 people

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole yellow onion, diced
  • 4-5 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 2 sticks of salted butter
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 8-10 sage leaves, chopped
  • 16 oz of packaged traditional herb stuffing mix
  • 1 – 1 1/2 chicken broth
  • 1 cup milk
  • 4 eggs, beaten

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Melt the 2 sticks of butter in a large stock pot over medium heat. Dice the onion and it to the pot along with 1 teaspoon of salt to draw. After about 2 minutes add the celery. Let the vegetables cook down for 6-8 minutes until the celery is soft and the onion is translucent. Add the sage and stir for another minute. Add the stuffing mix and stir to coat the bread in the butter. Add the milk and 1 cup of the chicken stock and stir together. If the mixture is still a little dry add an additional 1/2 cup of chicken stock. Turn off the heat and stir in the beaten eggs.

Pour the stuffing into a large  well greased casserole and cover with aluminum foil. Set in the oven for 30 minutes. Remove foil and cook for another 5 – 10 minutes until the top is brown and crisp. Let stand at least 5 minutes before serving.

Homemade Pumpkin Pie

In my opinion, this is one of the best pumpkin pie recipes I’ve tried to date, especially if you choose to make your own pumpkin puree and crust. Below is the recipe for the pie filling, and for those with the time I’ve also included the steps to make your own puree and pie crust.

Ingredients for filling:

  • 16oz pumpkin puree (organic if possible, homemade is prefered)
  • 2 tablespoons soft unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup of fine sugar
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons dry ginger
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg

Pie Filling

Pre-heat oven to 350. Mix together 16oz of pumpkin puree with the butter and salt. Beat the eggs, sugar and milk to combine. Sift flour and spices together then add to the pumpkin mixture. Pour into pie shell and paint edges with an egg wash and top sides with a bit of sugar. Bake pie for 1 – 1 1/2 hours until edges are set and the center is slightly underdone. Let cool completely before serving with either whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Homemade Pumpkin Puree

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium Sugar Pie Pumpkin

To make your own puree, pre-heat oven to 425 degrees. Saw pumpkin in half and remove seeds. Place pumpkin face down on greased cookie sheets and bake for 1 hour (or until outer flesh is tender). Remove from oven and let cool until safe to handle. Scoop out pumpkin and mash together with a fork or hand blender. Wrap in cheese cloth and let drain for at least 2 hours (overnight preferred). Use drained pumpkin as you would canned.

Homemade Pie Crust

Ingredients for crust:

  • 2 cups All Purpose Flour
  • 5 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 12 tablespoons very cold unsalted butter
  • 3-8 tablespoons ice cold water

Combine the flour, sugar and a pinch of salt in a large bowl. Mix in the cold butter with a pastry blender or your hands until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Work in 3 tablespoons ice water until the dough holds together without being too sticky. If it’s still crumbly, add more ice water, 1 teaspoon at a time. Form into a ball, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

On a floured surface, roll out the dough into an 11- to 12-inch circle with a floured rolling pin. Ease into a 9-inch pie pan; press firmly into the bottom and sides. Trim the excess dough, then pinch the edges. Refrigerate until ready to fill.

With these three dishes, you’ll have a good base for starting your Thanksgiving off right!

Read more »

Cooking with Awesome: Tartine’s fudgy brownies

I absolutely adore Tartine. Ever since I got their cookbook the flaky pie crust has become a standard in my house hold – I even went out and got a food processor JUST to make pie crust. I’m insane, but you knew that.

What were we talking about? Oh! BROWNIES. I blame Jeannette for the recent craving. So, I started flipping through my cookbook and found what has to be the most intense chocolate experience ever. I’m dead serious. Make sure you eat these warmed up topped with ice cream or a big glass of milk. INSTENSE LIKE WHOA.

Ingredients:

  • 6 oz unsalted butter
  • 1 pound bittersweet chocolate
  • 5 eggs
  • 2c brown sugar
  • 1/2tsp salt
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 1/2 oz of sifted AP flour
  • 3/4c of chocolate chips or nuts (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  2. Melt butter over low heat
  3. Remove from heat and add chocolate, stir to coat all the chocolate in the melted butter. Let sit for 5 minutes then stir until all the chunks of chocolate have melted.
  4. Place eggs, brown sugar, salt, and vanilla extract into a stand mixer or a medium mixing bowl and mix on high for 5 minutes so that the sugar dissolves and the eggs become aerated.
  5. Gently fold in the chocolate butter mixture with a spatula
  6. Fold in the flour in 3 batches
  7. If you’d like to add nuts or chocolate chips, do so at this time
  8. Pour the brownie mix into a greased 9×13 baking dish
  9. Bake for 25 minutes. Move to a cooling rack and once they’ve cooled significantly, cut and serve

Eat your way through San Francisco this weekend at the SF Street Food Festival

One of the most interesting things I’ve witnessed while living here is how Food Trucks have taken on serving delicious, creative food right on the street. My first exposure to food trucks made me pretty wary. Back in high school I remember that there was a food truck that came by in the afternoons that we dubbed the “Roach Coach” – it wasn’t particularly appetizing. So that first Friday night a few years back where I sauntered up to Spencer on the GoChez Spencer‘s food truck that parks just up the street from where I live – I was simply blown away.


And Saturday marks the third annual SF Street Food Fest - an event that SF Weekly is calling the biggest culinary event of the year. Over 50 vendors will line up and down Folsom Street between 22th and 26th and close to 50,000 people are expected to show up. Susie and I will be there (filming, of course!) Follow me at @flawedartist if you’d like to meet up and share a bite.

Cooking with Awesome: Chocolate Mousse

If you’ve got a date you’re looking to impress, make this dish. Few things are as romantic as chocolate mousse! It’s easy and fast to make, and the texture is incredible. It’s also incredibly versatile – you can serve it alone, toss it into a pie crust for chocolate cream pie, line a mold with ladyfingers and use it as filling, or fill small pots and top with whipped cream for petits Pots de Crème. You could even put it between two cookies and make a cookie sandwich – let your imagination be your guide!

Ingredients:

  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 2 egg whites
  • 3/4c bakers sugar
  • 1/4c Grand Marnier
  • 6oz chocolate, chopped
  • 3 tbsp strong coffee
  • 1 1/2 stick of butter
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp sugar

Directions:

  1. Separated the eggs yolks and the egg whites. Be sure to separated the white from the yolk in a small bowl first and if you’re sure there’s absolutely no yolk in the white, transfer the white to a large mixing bowl and set aside.
  2. Place the egg yolks in a small mixing bowl and add the bakers sugar. Beat with a whisk for 4-5 minutes or until the mixture falls into ribbons on itself.
  3. Add in the Grand Marnier and beat for another minute.
  4. Place the yolk and sugar mixture over a large pot of simmering water. Beat constantly for 4 minutes or until the mixture is hot to the touch. It will have the consistency of mayonnaise.
  5. Immediately place over a large bowl with ice and water and beat for another 4 minutes. Set aside.
  6. In a small sauce pan, add the coffee to the chocolate and mix for about a minute
  7. Turn the burner onto very low heat and start to add the butter 1tbsp at a time. Be sure to periodically remove the chocolate from the burner to allow the heat from the pan to melt the butter. This will ensure that the chocolate doesn’t burn.
  8. Add the chocolate to the egg yolk mixture in three batches. Add the orange zest. Set aside.
  9. In a large mixing bowl, add a pinch of salt to the 6 egg whites and beat until soft peaks form.
  10. Add the tablespoon of sugar and beat for another 30 seconds until stiff peaks form.
  11. Add 1/3 of the egg whites to the chocolate yolk mixture and beat with a whisk. Incorporate the remaining 2/3 in two installments, folding them in with a spatula. Be careful not to over mix.
  12. Chill for 2 hours then serve.

Cooking with Awesome: Sautéed Onions and Mushroom Alfredo over Fresh Fettuccine

I love making this dish. It’s just so good. It’s actually been dubbed “crack pasta” by some of my friends because once you start eating it it’s hard to stop! I made a variation of this for the Real Women of Philadelphia challenge, and that sauce turned out really well too – the cream cheese made the alfredo rich and thick.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound fresh fettuccini (if you use dried pasta for this… the dish will suffer greatly)
  • 1 large sweet onion, julienned
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • pinch of kosher salt
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 cups Shitake mushrooms, washed and sliced
  • 1 tbsp minced fresh sage
  • 1/4 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 cup of grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup half and half
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • pepper to taste
  • White truffle oil (optional)

Directions:

  1. Melt butter in a large sauce pan over medium-low heat and add onions and salt to sweat.
  2. Caramelize onions by stirring once every 10 minutes for 40 minutes
  3. Add the garlic and sauté for 3 minute.
  4. Add mushrooms, sage and cumin. Cook until mushrooms become tender, about 5 minutes.
  5. Pour cheese over the veggies until it’s melted, then add the half and half to create the sauce. Add pepper to taste.
  6. Pour olive oil over freshly boiled fettuccine and toss. Plate noodles and add alfredo sauce. Top with white truffle oil and some grated parmesan. Enjoy with a good white wine.