Hollandaise.  Celebrate.  If we took some hollandaise, took some time to celebrate.  Just one day out of life, it would be so nice.  Sorry, Madonna circa 1983 just temporarily possessed me.  When I make hollandaise sauce, I have a tendency to put on too much jewelry and sing my rendition of her Holiday song. Hollandaise is one of the infamous Mother Sauces.  Like Madonna, it is also has a bad reputation.  Maybe bad reputation is too harsh; let’s just say it isn’t easy….to make. I’ve made hollandaise many times.  In my early days of cooking, I will admit that my sauce got clumpy because IRead More →

There are foods out in the world that I had convinced myself that I would never eat due to my past years of being a picky eater.  The beet had the distinction of being one of those foods. I had only really seen them on a salad bar glistening like slices of overcooked Jell-O.  I knew that in this form they were pickled but I still was never convinced to put that gelatinous looking muck in my mouth. In one of my cooking classes, I was urged to try a piece of roasted beet.  I was guaranteed that this would taste so unique that IRead More →

Of all the Mother Sauces, Tomato sauce is the one people are most familiar with eating or cooking.  I could even dare to say it is the mother of all Mother Sauces.  I have never met a person who doesn’t like tomato sauce. The tomato sauce is probably the only mother sauce that can be made with a minimum of 3 ingredients.  You can cook a tomato (skinned and seeded) in some olive oil and add some salt, and create the most basic of tomato sauces!  It is almost like the tomato is magic! A good tomato is juicy and has a rich flavor makingRead More →

To continue my discussion about sauces, I thought that I should talk about emulsified sauces.  There is debate if mayonnaise is an official mother sauce or is it a Sister Sauce. A Sister Sauce you ask? Yep, it is like a Mother Sauce but cuter and wittier.  (I just made that up to annoy my siblings).  Seriously, mayonnaise is made in a similar manner as the Mother Sauce Hollandaise but it never got recognition from the French to be considered a Mother Sauce. I’m really not sure why it wasn’t recognized because it really is the essence of what a Mother sauce is all about. Read More →

I hope everyone has had a wonderful and safe Memorial Day.  I had the joy of attending my brother’s annual “Big A** Barbeque” this year.  (He actually calls it Big A** BBQ, I am not making fun of people with big bottoms.) I was a bit concerned about showing up given that my smaller hinny may not qualify.  Luckily they didn’t have one of those amusement park measuring tools that said, “Your fanny must be at least this big to attend the party.”  I was quite relieved. My only requirement for my attendance was to bring a “dish”.  I love parties that want me toRead More →

Why were the Mother Sauces developed? Funny you should ask.  In the 19th century, Mother Sauces were prepared as a cost saving measure.  Huge quantities were produced and then divided into smaller portions.  From there, different ingredients were added to add variety to the meals. Béchamel (or white sauce for people who don’t like fancy French words) is one of the most versatile of the Mother Sauces. A béchamel sauce is a simple sauce that is made from cooking a roux (equal parts flour and butter) with milk. You can add mustard for a mustard sauce.  Add cream instead of milk for a cream sauce. Read More →

In classic French cooking there are five “building block” sauces or the Mother Sauces.   I will make an attempt to talk about all of them over the next few weeks but today I want to concentrate on one, Espagnole Sauce. Sounds like it should be something with Spanish flavors, right?  WRONG!  I thought that too but I learned that the French just called it after some Spanish chefs improved on their basic brown sauce.   (There are actually quite a few disputes over this topic but I imagine that the French King said, “Zis is good sauce, Chef Spaniard.  I will name zis after you.”) TheRead More →

I really wasn’t sure if I was going to post this recipe or not.  It includes a subject that some people consider “wrong” or “shameful”.  I am not one to hide from controversy so I am going to just toss it out there Seinfeld-style.  Yes, you guessed it.  I want to talk about maceration.  (It’s a food blog, People! What did you think I was talking about?) Do you macerate?  Maybe you do and you just didn’t know the term.  Maceration is the process of softening a food by soaking it in a liquid.  It allows the soaked foods flavors to shine and absorb someRead More →

I think you may need to sit down before you read the next sentence.  I’m not sure if I have admitted this before but there are nights that I don’t feel like cooking.  (GASP!)  It may happen because I am overtired or under inspired.  Either way, I still have to figure out how to put a decent meal on the table. It is at this time I play freezer lottery.  It is an easy game that you can play at home.  All you have to do is close your eyes and open the freezer door.  Dig around with your hands until they are numb andRead More →

Living in a small town in the Midwest, there is a challenge finding fresh, quality seafood.  Our markets carry a lot of fish but it is usually “thawed” out from frozen.  I actually prefer to purchase the flash frozen fish because then I know exactly how long it has thawed and the source of the fish is usually listed on the package.  (Don’t trust a package that says the products origin is “the water”.  It is usually a good indication that you are about to get food poisoning) I rarely can find sea scallops that don’t look suspicious so I frequently buy dry-packed frozen scallops. Read More →