Showing posts from January, 2005

Kitchen tips

Used Toothbrush

This is a very useful tool to have in the kitchen. Basically, it functions like a test-tube brush in a lab. I use it most often to clean my garlic press. I don't really know where to place the "hole cleaner" that came with my garlic press. It hinders the use of the press, and it is UGLY! And finally, it doesn't even work that well. Like Alton Brown says, it's best to have one tool that does many things. So I like to use a toothbrush to clean out the little holes of the garlic press.

It is also very good at cleaning out a fine sieve. A sieve can easily be clogged by fibers -- meat fibers from straining a gravy; veggie fibers from strainging a soup or veggie puree. A toothbrush just cleans the these little holes so easily.

Also, if you want your pot super clean, don't you want to really scrub around those rounded screw heads that keep the pot handles in place? The crevices around the screw is hard to reach even with a the rough side of the sponge.…

Albertitto's everyday food

Balsamic Pork and Roasted Zucchini

We've all got lives outside our kitchens. Who can afford to cook elaborate multi-course meals after coming home from work on a weekday? Well, maybe only those who can afford butlers. It is no surprise that the market is now saturated with books on quick cooking. I even heard that Jacque Pepin joined in the quick-but-good food crusade.
I often run into this kind of situation – I havent planned out things to make, and it's already 6:30pm, and I have a random collection of food items in my fridge and freezer. What do I do? My empty stomach is starting to influence my brain activity, so I'd better act fast!
I normally go grocery shopping on the weekend. I stop by Shaw's (your typical American supermarket) and Super88 (a popular asian market chain) and buy an assortment of meats, poultry, and veggies. I actually don't know what I'm going to make yet. So it's not ideal. Also everything is better fresh, and thawing can take a while.…

New year's eve dinner

The dinner turned out pretty well. The salsa was good, especially the beet salsa. The ginger flavor and beets were very interesting. The apple (granny smith) provided much needed tartness. Soup was a bit grainy -- which probably just means I need to buy a real blender instead of using my tiny miniprep food processor. But the toasted fennel seed fragrance, helped by the soup heat, was wafting into the nose while we drank it. Turkey thigh wasn't that good. I think turkey in general is just not very interesting, no matter what you do to it. The parsnips got high praises. My favorite, however, was the spinach. Taking out the stems took a long time, but it was well worth the effort to taste the really creamy and tender spinach leaves. Fresh pearl onions were so much better than frozen ones and gave good crunch to the dish. The smoky bacon really gave the dish its interesting salty taste. This was a very yummy side. The dessert sauces were good, but the puffs were kind of leathery. I mi…
Kevin brought the Cosecha 1999 Valdubon wine (left). Mike bought the 1999 Chateauneuf Du Pape.
Dessert -- cream puffs filled with raspberry jam and chantilly cream, plated with creme anglaise and raspberry sauce
Turkey gravy (with tawny port) and cranberry sauce
creamed spinach with pearl onions and slab bacon (YUM!!!!)
Stuffed turkey thighs and maple glazed parsnips
buffet table
Buttercup squash and celery root soup, garnished with toasted fennel seeds
Chips with mixed tomatoes salsa (left) and beets, apple, and ginger salsa (right)