Jimmy's Test Kitchen

Posted by Jimmy | | Posted on 9:42 PM

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I scream, you scream we all scream for ice cream!  It was a good time for ice cream as the weather turned close to the 80's this week.  So, I figured let's try to make some homemade ice cream and since it's been almost 3 weeks since my last post. I just had one small problem.  I don't own an ice cream maker.  I did however just pick up a manual food processor from The Pampered Chef and i figured let's put it to work!



I didn't want to go through all the work of making a custard and then I remembered that I saw a recipe on Good eats where Alton used banana's so the cream mixture would be thicker. 

So, here are my ingredients:
1 Frozen banana (half thawed)
1 cup Frozen Strawberries
1/2 cup of Honey
1 1/2 cup of cream.





I start by pulsing the frozen banana  in the food processor.  Then I mix the honey in the cream and pour the mixture in.  You can see that my honey had crystallized which is a problem.  To solve this, I put it in the microwave for 45 second pulses for about 4 minutes and it became liquid enough to use.  I then added the cream mixture and strawberries until it becomes more or less a smothiee and we were done!




I had thought that I could start freezing the mixture inside the food processor taking it out every 5-10 minutes and pulsing it a few times.  But it was soon apparent that the lid would freeze shut and the sides of the processor would freeze first and not get blended in.   After about 30 minutes, I transferred the mixture into a zipper plastic bag.   Every 10 minutes I would check on the mixture, mix it around and put it back.   This took a lot of attention. (Thank God for the timer on my Iphone). 

When the mixture became thicker I transferred it to a metal bowl.  The mixture should look like the picture to the right. It kind of looks like thousand island dressing in the picture.  When the ice cream became thicker, I only had to check on it every 30 minutes to whip with a spoon until it set into a firmer consistency to leave it in the freezer overnight. 

Overall, it came out fairly decent.  A lot of work when I could have gone and bought a quart of Ben and Jerry's at the market, but what would be the fun in that?  I was in an experimenting mood and if i had some liquid nitrogen, I would have used some!

The ice cream turned out pretty good.  It had a few ice chunks in it.  Definitely edible.  Refined?  Not quite. But the ice chunks felt like bits and pieces of strawberries so it wasn't so bad. 


Verdict, I need to get me an ice cream maker.


Thanks for reading!

-Jimmy

Eggs Benedict

Posted by Jimmy | | Posted on 7:34 PM

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When I go out to get breakfast, one of the ways I measure if the restaurant is good is how well they make their eggs benedict.  If they don't have eggs benedict?  Well then they're not even my radar!  Any restaurant can scramble an egg and slap some bacon on and toast some bread. 

I've made poached eggs before and I've made hollandaise sauce before.  Why have I never put them together to make eggs benedict? Today, I make my own eggs benedict.

I begin by making a classic hollandaise sauce.   I found a sauce by Tyler Florence online and just altered it slightly by adding more lemon.  I love lemon.  The original can be found here.

I start with a double boiler and:
  4 Egg Yolks
  1/2 Cup of Melted unsalted Butter
  Pinch of salt
  Pinch of Cayenne Pepper
                                                            Juice of one small lemon (about 2 tbsp)

First I add the eggs, salt and cayenne pepper into a metal bowl.  I whisked them together over a double boiler.  When dealing with eggs on a double boiler, you never want the water to actually come to a boil.  You want the water to look like seltzer water. 

Once the egg mixture starts to thicken, I added the melted butter.  Keep whisking over the hot water until the orange of the egg yolks become a light yellow and thicken even more.   Add in lemon juice and taste.  Add any seasonings you feel are lacking.

Next I worked on my poached eggs.

When poaching eggs it's important to use fresh eggs and never let the water come to a rolling boil.  As with the double boiler, seltzer water is how the water should look when adding your eggs.

In the pan is 4 cups of water and 1/4 cup of Vinegar.  The vinegar helps the eggs coagulate quickly as it hits the water.  After the egg has been cooking for a little bit, move the egg slightly to make sure the bottom does not stick to the pan.  Cook for 3-5 minutes depending on how well you like your eggs done.




Start with some lightly toasted
English muffins

Add the Canadian Bacon and
Poached Egg
 
Let's add some sauce and
sprinkle some paprika!


Finish with a fruit garnish and you have a delicious meal any time of the day!  I just had them for dinner!

Tip:  Since you're using just the egg yolk for the sauce, you can save the egg white in the freezer for many different applications.





The Pampered Chef

Posted by Jimmy | | Posted on 10:29 PM

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TPC, The Players Championship.  O.k. a little off topic but it almost made me think it was fate. Anyways!

As some of you may know I joined up to be a consultant for The Pampered Chef™.  I went to my first training meeting today and I will say it was quite interesting.  The team that went consisted of 15% males and the rest female.   Not that there's anything wrong with that!  The meeting consisted of learning techniques and tips other consultants have done.  Networking and talking with other experienced people. 

If you don't know what The Pampered Chef™ is.  It is a company that sells their own line cooking products to households and they rely on "consultants" to do the sales for them.  How they go about it is they host shows or demonstrations about the product in their own home, other people's homes or wherever and people can either buy any product they want from the catalogue or what was demonstrated from the consultant. 

What it also does is give the host a discount on many items or they can even earn free items for hosting one of these cooking shows.  A host can be a friend, relative, co-worker or even just someone you met at the street.  It doesn't matter.  What it does for the consultant is it creates networking opportunities for more shows to be hosted by others and therefor broadens the sphere of influence of the consultant.  It also creates an environment for recruiting as there are many people who will think, "Hey, I can do this in my free time".  A pretty good concept because recruiting = $$ for you.

So far the products I have seen are fairly well made and durable.  Some products even come with a 5 year warranty.  While some items may be Gimmicky, most products are solid and I look forward to testing out some of them and letting you guys know what to look for.  I had wanted to jump right in and start selling online to people, but I found out that you have to meet a certain sales criteria before you can do that.  BUT, I can take orders and fulfill them during my shows and get them sent to you.  So the most someone would probably have to wait is a week.  (hopefully). 

I'd like to know, of everyone out there reading this blog.  Have you had any experience either buying their product, hosting a show or even being a consultant with The Pampered Chef ™?  What was your experience like?  And if you never had any experience with them.  Check them out at http://www.pamperedchef.com also if you'd like to host a cooking/product demonstration you can e-mail me at jhuang916@aol.com

It is well with my soul.

Posted by Jimmy | | Posted on 7:40 PM

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One of my goals recently has been to try to be a little more transparent person.  Not necessarily show more emotion even though, if you know me, I pretty much wear my emotions on my sleeve.  Basically I'm try not to be a jerk and to be more friendly.  I am a conservative christian and was raised as such by my parents but recently haven't made much effort to go to church on Sunday mornings as the golf course would always find it's way between the church and myself.

Today was a rainy day and I actually found myself at Oak Park Christian Center for the morning service.  I had no illusions on how the day would go having grown up in a church setting for quite a while I am used to church services and their format.  I was greeted with a surprise today.  Of all the songs that were and could have been sung, there was one verse and chorus that caught my ear.  A hymn by Horatio G Spafford.  I could help but feel a few tears form under my eye.

  1. My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
    My sin, not in part but the whole,
    Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
    Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!
          It is well, with my soul
          It is well, It is well, with my soul

It was my mother's favorite hymn and I found myself being very nostalgic 11 years after she passed away. 

Here is the backdrop of the hymn taken from Wikipedia:
   This hymn was written after several traumatic events in Spafford’s life. The first
   was the death of his only son in 1871 at the age of four, shortly followed by
   the great Chicago Fire which ruined him financially (he had been a successful
   lawyer). Then in 1873, he had planned to travel to Europe with his family on
   the SS Ville du Havre, but sent the family ahead while he was delayed on
   business concerning zoning problems following the Great Chicago Fire. While
   crossing the Atlantic, the ship sank rapidly after a collision with a sailing ship,
   the Loch Earn, and all four of Spafford's daughters died. His wife Anna survived
   and sent him the now famous telegram "Saved alone." Shortly afterwards, as
   Spafford traveled to meet his grieving wife, he was inspired to write these
   words as his ship passed near where his daughters had died.

How many people this song has touched?  How many lives has this song changed?  It reminds me of how God can create something beautiful out of what we perceive as great tragedy.  I can't begin to imagine how Spafford felt then.  What he went through dwarfs anything that I've ever gone through but it only took one verse and one chorus to remind me of it.



Practice Makes Perfect.

Posted by Jimmy | | Posted on 4:58 PM

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It was gorgeous weather in the morning at Boundary Oak For our Tee time.  70 degrees with the sun shining high in the sky.  Unfortunately my golf game didn't start off as good as the weather did.  My day of golf started as I predicted,  I scored triple bogey (Three over par) on the first hole.  OUCH!  I had a case of the rights for the first 6 holes coupled by a few unlucky bounces.  I even got a birdie (one shot under par) on the 7th but still ended up with a 47 on the front nine.

Now I've been trying to go to the range during my lunch break to hit balls.  And my tendancy, as of late, has been shanking the ball to the right.  Especially on my short game but I'm not about to let a few bad holes ruin my day of golf!  On the back nine I turned around and got 2 birdies and a par for a 41.  My total for the day was 88 my best round this year as I've been struggling in the high 90's .  Keeping in mind all the practicing i've been doing, I hit the ball straighter on most the holes and I even chipped in for a birdie on the last hole!  What a way to finish the day!  Check out my scorecard  here.

Last thing.  I found a great golf giveaway from Srixon.  Buy a pack of balls and enter your UPC code at this website.  If Graeme McDowell wins the masters, you will win golf balls from Srixon for a year.   If he doesn't win, 10 winners will be randomly selected for a years worth of balls anyways.  What do you have to lose?  Good luck to all who enter and happy golfing!

Golf Tomorrow.

Posted by Jimmy | | Posted on 9:20 PM

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Tomorrow we head out to Boundary Oak at 10:30 to go golfing.  I've been there plenty of times and I believe my best score there was an 83.  Par being 72. The championship tees makes the course a whopping 7100 yards.  Of course, I play the white tees (only 6372 yards) as I've been hacking up alot of grass all over the golf courses this year. Tomorrow, I hope to conquer the course a little better.

It's a beautiful championship golf course nestled in the middle of Walnut Creek, CA.  The signature hole being the par 4 first hole tee over water that drains hard left so it makes it difficult to keep your ball on the fairway.  When you step up to first tee you can see why.   As you look down the fairway on the first tee you can't help but say to yourself, "What a beautiful day for golf!"















http://www.playboundaryoak.com/

First post

Posted by Jimmy | | Posted on 8:17 PM

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And we're Live!