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Wednesday, July 27, 2011


I know I have gotten behind on my posts, but I have excuses. Last week I was moving into my new abode called Rammed Earth (it is made of mud, that is right mud), and this week am in Salt Lake City for training until Saturday. While sitting in my hotel room, since I cannot be at home in my new dream of a kitchen, I wanted to post this incredible foodie site for all of you who are dying to work in the food industry. This site has food jobs in all prongs of the industry including policy, education, agriculture, and design. And even if you are not looking for a new career or to continue your current one, it is a great spot to research organizations that are focusing on food issues and creating innovative solutions. Who knows, maybe you will find something amazing. See you back in my kitchen next week, I promise! 

Check it out... 

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Southern Caviar

Pimiento Cheese

In the 1900s during the Great Depression, the pimiento pepper grew in abundance in Southern states. The state of Georgia was even known as the 'Pimiento Capital of the World'. It was the abundance of the pimiento peppers that sealed the deal for pimiento cheese to become a Southern staple. The basic recipe is extremely inexpensive using only grated sharp cheddar, mayo and pimiento peppers, which is why it was so utilized during those tough Depression years. But now the spread is so popular that restaurants all over the country have come up with gourmet versions to put on burgers, use as fritters, in grits and stuff into a great summer tomato. They even serve pimiento cheese sandwiches wrapped in green wax paper at the Master's Golf Tournament in Augusta, GA each year. However you choose to serve your pimiento cheese, it is sure to be a crowd pleaser. 

Pimiento Cheese Recipe

Makes: A lot 
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: None

1 jalapeno, seeded and deveined
1 clove of garlic, peeled
8 ounces sharp cheddar, grated (I like Kraft Crackel Barrel)
8 ounces gouda, grated
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup sour cream
1 small jar chopped pimientos (including liquid)
1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire
Splash of Tabasco Sauce
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
Fresh black pepper to taste

In a food processor, grate sharp cheddar and Gouda. Remove cheese from food processor and set aside.

Replace food processor grater with chopping blade, process the jalapeno and garlic until a paste. Once processed add mayo, sour cream, lemon juice, Worcestershire,Tabasco, both grated cheeses and pepper. Process until mixture begins to resemble a spread. May have to scrape down the sides to make sure everything is combined well. Toss in the pimientos and parsley. Pulse to combine.

Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to 3 days.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Summer Brain Freeze

Watermelon-Lemon Granita

I have always desired to have an ice cream maker in my repertoire of kitchen gadgets, but have not  found the time to purchase one. Since I do not possess the coveted summer time sweet maker, I have decided to supplement my sweet tooth with granitas instead. The granita is a semi-frozen dessert originating in Sicily. It is made from sugar, water and whatever flavor your palate desires, from fresh fruit to coffee. In Italy, the desired texture of a granita varies from city to city, but my version has the consistency, without the overwhelming faux flavors, of shaved ice.Whatever the texture or flavor you choose, granita is a fresh, light summer dessert that is sure to impress.

Watermelon-Lemon Granita Recipe

Makes: 4 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Freezing Time: A few hours

4 cups of watermelon
1 large lemon, juiced
1/2 tsp. lemon zest
1/3 cup sugar
Fresh mint (garnish)

In a food processor or blender, add lemon juice and watermelon. Pulse until mixture is in liquid form. Pour mixture through a sieve into a large bowl. Press down on the watermelon while in the strainer to make sure you get all the juice out.

To the bowl, add the sugar and lemon zest. Stir until sugar has dissolved.

Pour mixture into a shallow square pan and place in freezer. Freeze for one hour. Remove and scrape with a fork to break up the crystals. Continue to do this each hour on the hour until you have the perfect crystallization.

Serve immediately with a sprig of fresh mint.