A Quick Hello - I always wanted to be a gastronomer Blog at Allrecipes.com - 291073

I always wanted to be a gastronomer

A quick hello 
Dec. 2, 2012 7:09 am 
Updated: Dec. 15, 2012 10:47 am
Gosh, yes, it has been awhile since I wrote anything. This is what happens when your commute involves either A. 12 hours of driving or B. Airline tickets. Sigh. So today I find myself exercising option A again, seeing as how option B (which already demands that I be both patient, servile and free of humility) costs a frickin arm and a leg when flying at Christmas. Sheesh.

So living afield is not conductive to cooking up a storm but when I have had occasion, I've been experimenting! I ended up having a day and a half free midway through my last encamp, so I cooked up a dinner for my daughter and stepson. I made a Morrocan Carrot Soup which is just plain to die for. Then I did an experiment. These are kids, meat eaters all, and they like voluminous amounts of meat and potatoes, so I made individual shepherds pies but I set out to make them into something a little spectacular. I used ground sirloin and cooked that up in a reduction of beef broth, red wine, onions and leeks, with rosemary and seasoning. I skipped the veggies over top and went directly to the mashed potato topping. I made up a small version of my normal garlic cream mashed. spread a thin layer of that over the meat mixture, then I added took the remainder and folded in 2 beaten egg whites with a half cup of parmagiano reggiano making a meringue mashed potato topper.

And?  The sirloin was a bad choice, needed more fat. It got kinda tough and my ramp up of the broth flavour was a wee bit too much. My meringue idea will work, but only when I add a litle more cream to the mashed to loosen it up a little. Folding in the beaten egg whites to mashed potato just kinda flattened it all, almost pointless. The kids gobbled it and I just sighed.

For the main, I tried a seafood dish from here which failed to be the taste sensation I was hoping for. I reviewed it appropriately. For dessert, I made a Banoffee Pie, from the original recipe of course. I figured I better make something so memorable for dessert to gain some possible forgiveness for the earlier missteps if and when they occured (and they did!). Forgiven I was.

Another experiment, back home this time, found me layering guacamole in my beef tacos, along with all that other stuff. Get outa Dodge, I'll bet this is old hat and I've only JUST discovered it, omg is it good.

So thats my cooking for the past 3 months. Everything else I've made has been pretty stock, some strip loins, a borscht, a brunswick stew. Up in the north where I'm working, I cook virtually nothing. Working 12-14 hours a day leaves very little time for anything. Just an aside, I've been reading a few blogs here where some of you are going oh brrrrrrrrr, its cold, 20 above or so. Makes me giggle but only for a tiny second because while it is amusing to think, oh thats not cold, 20 below is cold, I then quickly realize that yeah, its bloody cold and I have to go back to it today...takes all the fun right out of it!

I hope this note finds you all hale and well. I KNOW you all had marvelous Thanksgivings, got the memo. Merry Christmas!
Dec. 2, 2012 12:49 pm
Just to clarify something, and to balm my wounded ego as well, I was making fun of my having been sissified by the east coast to even consider that the mid-twenties are cold. I agree that real cold starts somewhere south of minus 15 or so. Your cooking spree sounds like fun, and pretty tasty as well. I'll never forget my first taste of Banoffee Pie. I think it took a week to get the look of ecstasy off of my face. Scared the daylights out of my wife when she woke up that first morning. She probably thought I have something up my sleeve. Anyway, have a wonderful Christmas!
Dec. 2, 2012 12:54 pm
I classify really cold as to when my nose hair freezes on the first inhale without a muffler :) Glad to see you blogging!
Dec. 3, 2012 5:42 am
Raedwulf-nice to see you blogging again. Guac in tacos one of my favorite way to top a taco.
Dec. 4, 2012 5:44 pm
Welcome back, Randy! I've been kicking over rocks, looking behind trees, looking over the crowds and never did find where you were hiding. I must not have been far enough north.
Dec. 11, 2012 6:45 am
Randy This comes to me just in time to add the Morrocan carrot stew to my meal on the day Iwas going to try the Morrocan pork with grapes I discovered watching a chef podcast from a culinary school. Thanks. And what's this ecstasy pie dessert thing? Need that recipe. Also thanks for appreciating my Willys story on my blog here. So Merry Christmas to you too! BTW, what takes you north 12 hours? You don't say what the job is. My hubbie's department seems to be commuting to Poland. So I may be discovering cold. Blessings, Marjorie
Dec. 15, 2012 10:46 am
Thanks all, sorry I have been getting back on here so infrequently. Marjorie, the 'ecstacy' pie is the one I've linked to in my blog, Banoffee Pie. One thing I've just discovered is that Eagle Brand is now offering pre-boiled tins of there sweetened condensed milk! Calling it appropriately, Dulce De Leche. In the original pie recipe, they'll have you boiling your tins of condensed milk for 3 hours. Now youu don't have to! Regarding my northern position, it's work. There was little where I live, and lots here, thusly I did go.
Dec. 15, 2012 10:47 am
egads, their, not there.
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About Me
Let's see, in keeping it to a subject, at age 22 I had a filet doused in Bernaise sauce aboard a train. That was it, I was hooked on fine food. Living in a small town necessitates learning to cook well to maintain that stellar menu.
My favorite things to cook
Oh man, only a thousand characters? My favorite things to cook are items that make YOU happy. I'll try anything and thus far it would be far easier to list those things I don't like than those I do. So far, I hate Cilantro and I'm allergic to green chiles. It's a short list.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Christmas. I like everything about that meal and every single year I aim to improve.
My cooking triumphs
Every smile, every gasp of delight, every accolade, such sweet victory!
My cooking tragedies
A Cioppino recipe I found here. I served it as part of one of those Christmas dinners and the cod was a poor choice. It was terrible, ghastly fishy taste. I've since learned a thing or two about freshness in fish. Prior to that, hmm perhaps when I was 10, I made a spice cake that called for whole cloves....hey, that's what it said on the outside of the bottle, whole cloves....
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