Monday, February 28, 2011

Cookbook & Chemistry Adventures: Homemade Fresh Bacon

I ordered some transglutaminase (aka Meat Glue) a few weeks back, and started to play with it recently. My first experiment with meat glue was the most boring thing you can imagine: gluing two pieces of meat together to make one (bigger) piece of meat. Nonetheless, it was kind of awesome, and prompted me to make my first ever batch of home-cured bacon.

Mmmm... Scallops...

I have long maintained that scallops are my favorite "luxury" food item. (Lobster runs a close second, but it's so affordable and easy to find around here that I am spoiled enough to not really think of it as a "luxury" item anymore... Yay, New England!) I grew up on frozen scallops from Costco and thought I loved scallops then. My first fresh diver scallop (from the mussels lady at the Santa Barbara Farmers Market, sold fresh in the shell) made me realize what a fool I'd been. Since that day, I've been obsessed with high-quality dry-packed diver scallops... and I finally found a great way to always have them on hand and the perfect way to cook them.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Chemistry Adventures: Make-Ahead Eggs Benedict

As I've probably mentioned countless times before, a well-made Eggs Benedict is one of my favorite meals... Breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner... Any time of day is a good time for Eggs Benedict. The drawback of making this dish is all of the work that has to be done last-minute. The eggs must be perfectly poached. The hollandaise must be made and carefully kept warm (without breaking the sauce and ruining everything...). It's a hassle, and usually leaves the kitchen a mess from all of the last-minute chaos. I thought this was a necessary evil, until I was flipping through one of my new favorite cookbooks and discovered that there is, in fact, a better way...

Monday, February 21, 2011

Everyday Yumminess: Lemon Pudding Cake

I bought this bag of lemons at Costco a while back, and then a change in menu plans left me with 5 pounds of lemons in the fridge and no plans to use them. Luckily, lemons make me think of one of my all-time favorite (and healthy, too!) desserts: Lemon Pudding Cake.