that's forking good

adventures in a culinary neophyte's kitchen

Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

dust off, rust off

Posted by culinaryneophyte on May 3, 2017

I don’t even want to do the math for how long it’s been since my last post; the amount of cringing that would elicit would leave me in severe physical pain. There have been so many times over the last few [busy] years when I would say, “Once I get through X, I’ll have more time, and I’ll start writing and posting again.” And, of course, I would get through that X, and another X would be on the horizon. For so long, writing and food were at the top of my priority list, and while I’m still cooking up a storm (and sharing my adventures on Instagram, @thejerc), the writing — my first love — stopped being a priority. The sadness over that causes me more pain than that aforementioned cringing.

Two of the biggest Xs on the horizon over the last 18 months were my wedding and my honeymoon. When the wedding ended, I thought, “What did I do with my life before I planned my wedding?” But, fortunately, we had delayed our honeymoon until the Christmas craziness subsided, giving me the opportunity to pour myself into my next project: planning the trip of a lifetime to Italy. Now, after the perfect winter wedding and a gourmand’s dream tour through Venice, Florence/Tuscany and Rome, I’m left thinking, “Now what?”

I’m a lifelong over committer, so it’s not like I actually have loads of free time (or any, really), but I think it’s time I elevate writing back to its rightful place on my priority list. When I worked for the newspaper, artful writing was built into every day. Now? Not so much, and that makes me sadder than arriving at Newark International Airport after 10 days of drinking espresso and eating gelato on a daily basis. But even just writing this post has been a surprisingly cathartic experience, and I finally feel like I’m ready to say “I’m back, baby!” and actually mean it this time.

…And at least if I fall flat on this promise, you’ll have this beautiful picture of salted caramel gelato to look at for the next 12-18 months.

Florence Gelato 2017

 

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I love it when a plan[tain] comes together

Posted by culinaryneophyte on October 5, 2014

chipotle turkey burger plantainSometimes I’m so excited about my food, I refuse to accept it is unphotogenic. That’s pretty much what happened with this creation: a chipotle turkey burger with bacon, caramelized onions and fresh guac on a plantain bun. It’s like when you’re defending a girl you’re dating to your friends who are judgingly flipping through her Facebook pictures — trust me when I say it was way better looking in person.

For such a seemingly complex dish, the most difficult part was not burning the shiz out of my onions like I always seem to do whilst caramelizing. Some people might say I’m not the most patient person… and that also applies to caramelizing onions. For the sake of the dish, I curbed my impatience best I could and focused on the other elements, like this newfound plantain bun.

One of my friends at the gym told me she used jicama to make a burger bun, but I couldn’t find that on a late-night ShopRite run (I’m sure I’ve mentioned my local ShopRite is the worst one on the planet), so I went searching for some other novel sort of something. Enter: the plantain. I remembered seeing something like this before on Instagram (my favorite #foodporn spot), and it was brilliant. (And no, It doesn’t taste much like eating a smushed banana around your burger.)

makes four slider-sized burgers
♦1 ripe plantain
♦1/2 lb. ground turkey
♦Dashes (I didn’t measure — sorry!) of chili powder, sea salt, cumin and chipotle seasoning
♦1/2 red onion, cut into slices
♦1 tbs. coconut oil or butter + 1 tbs. coconut oil
♦4 slices of bacon, cooked
♦avocado slices

Mash up plantain, split into two separate ramekins and place in the fridge for 10 minutes.

In the meantime, heat frying pan over medium heat and add coconut oil (or butter). Once melted, add sliced onions and cook and stir to caramelize over the next 15-20 minutes. Be patient (unlike me)!

Also in the meantime, combine spices and turkey, then form into mini patties for a slider-sized burger.

Remove plantain ramekins from fridge. Loosen plantain mash from sides of ramekins and pop out whole. Heat coconut oil over medium heat. Once melted, place plantain in pan and sear for three minutes per side. Once removed and slightly cooled, slice longways to create two “buns” from one mold. (You could use each mold as a side of the bun, but I initially found that was too thick and too much to put in my mouth [get the “that’s what she said” out now — go ahead], so I sliced it in half. [Yow!])

While aforementioned plantain patties are cooling (pre-slice), add turkey burgers to pan and cook eight minutes per side or until cooked all the way through.

Add turkey patty to sliced plantain bun, top with avocado, bacon, onions and/or whatever your heart desires.

Total time? 25 minutes
Cost? $4 meat, $1.50 avocado, $3.99 bacon, $1 plantain, $5.99 coconut oil
Overall success relative to expectations? Obviously, these are not as “real burger-y” as a bread bun, but they present a very palatable paleo option. The burgers held together really well, which I found surprising considering there’s no egg to use as a binder, and kept well as leftovers. She may not be a looker, but she’s definitely a keeper.

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on Sunday morning

Posted by culinaryneophyte on September 29, 2014

chocolate coconut pancakesThis weekend, we held a surprise retirement party for my dad, who’s retiring early and moving to NC to play golf all day, erryday. In catching up with family friends whom I have not seen in years, I got a lot of questions about whether or not I’m still writing — for work (barely) or in my blog (embarrassingly little). It is one of those things I think about almost on a daily basis, but life has been flying by — more so this year than ever before — and so many things have been pushed aside if they are not of the utmost priority.

(And yes, pretty much every post I publish here now is some sort of apology and/or promise to write more. This is no exception.)

To be honest, Instagram has taken the place of my blog because it’s “Twitter for people who can’t read,” and I can post from my phone while I’m laying in bed worrying about all the things I didn’t get done today and all the things on the horizon for tomorrow. If you are interested in checking out my latest creations, please follow me on IG, @thejerc. I will also try to make a better effort to post them here to at least keep you drooling.

In other news, these are the pancakes I made yesterday morning using AboutTime chocolate coconut protein as part of the sauce and these fancy new little brownie thins from Mrs. Thinsters. I tried them at a festival in Philly this weekend, and they’re delicious. I can’t wait to use them on top of my “protein ice cream” and other assorted goodies. (Also, big thanks to them for the recent shout out on social media!)

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this is why I don’t have my own cooking show

Posted by culinaryneophyte on May 27, 2014

Realizing it’s been 10 years since I last posted, I thought I would give you an extra special treat and post a video. Please enjoy “Jess v. The Lobster.”

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POM Coconut

Posted by culinaryneophyte on June 23, 2013

POM Coconut

POM Wonderful’s new juice blends caught my eye in the market the other day, and because I am obsessed with POM, I didn’t think twice about paying $3 for a tiny bottle.

At this point, I’ve tried all three, and would highly recommend the POM Coconut (“the sporty one” as they call it, I’m assuming for its hydrating powers). The POM Hula (pineapple) and Mango (mango, duh) are good, but a little too sweet for my liking.

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cookies & cupcakes combined

Posted by culinaryneophyte on May 24, 2013

cookies & cupcakes combined

Some food porn for your Friday: special birthday cupcakes for my good friend!

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