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PlatedThis week’s challenge was knifework, so I decided to make something that would involve a lot of chopping things into tiny pieces. Part of my problem, though, is that I can’t do a lot of intricate chopping for too long before my hands get all screwed up, so a lot of things tend to end up bigger than they really should. This post is going to be really photo heavy due to actually taking pictures of cutting things, rather than just having pictures of the cut things.

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Final platingThis weeks’ challenge was Belgian food. As I had no idea what even remotely constituted food traditional to Belgium, I took to the Internet to find that apparently mussels are a big deal in Belgium. With that in mind, I decided to do a take on the traditional moules frites, or steamed mussels served with fries.

This particular post will be a little low on the photos partially because this is actually a relatively simple dish, but also because I was really hungry and forgot to take photos of most of the steps. Oops.

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Plated hash brownsThere are two things that I judge a diner that serves “traditional American” food on: country gravy and hash browns. Both are relatively simple and as such can be used as a good guidepost for whether the diner is any good or not. If they screw up the basics, how can anything else be good?

This week’s challenge was potatoes, and I figured I should take a shot at updating a simple classic to something a bit more flavorful.

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WrappedThis week’s challenge was street food. With the recent explosion in popularity in gourmet food trucks, this particular challenge was a little weird to try to tackle. I decided I would go for something a bit more basic, but still in keeping with the more modern twists that have come about. Tofu isn’t a traditional ingredient in burritos, but it’s difficult to actually find a taco truck around here that doesn’t have one on the menu.

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Final platingI’m going to start this one off by saying that out of all the challenges so far, this is the one I was least looking forward to. This week was “molecular”, following the ideas of the “Modernist Cuisine” style of cooking which involves a lot of science. Given that my style of cooking is very informal, having to follow specific weights, times, and methods was not very appealing. However, I did learn a bit, but I’m not sure I can apply what I learned to my every day cooking. I followed this recipe, so I will not be posting instructions in the blog post, as per usual if I follow someone else’s recipe.

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This week’s challenge on the 52 weeks of cooking was Jamaican. Being completely unfamiliar with Jamaican cooking, I had to rely on a recipe for a jerk chicken marinade. I did, however, substitute the scotch bonnets for jalapeños as I couldn’t ignore the part of my brain that told me that anything that requires gloves while preparing and has huge warnings about pain if your rub your eyes probably shouldn’t be consumed.

As such I am not including a recipe for this, as it’s not really all that interesting.

Final presentation

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