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Don't let Gordon Ramsay near our kitchens, or simply: Our knives stink!
February 6, 2009 - Taste Buds
Chef Gordon Ramsay would stroke out for sure if he saw the knives in our kitchens!
If a chef is only as good as his knives that would totally explain why we are well known for things other than our culinary conquests.
Our collection of knives are a mishmash of things we pilfered from our parents’ homes, taken from college cafeterias, were given as wedding gifts eons ago and snapped up at yard sales.
And while their numbers are large, they - in a word - stink!
They have bent tips from being thrown into crocks on the counters. They have dull blades because we can’t figure out how to use the sharpening tool we got from the mall. Oh, if only our dads would stop by with a whetstone in hand and sharpen everything we own!
But there is a bright spot as one member of the Buds’ family who does have a decent set of knives - Bud Tricia’s son Kies.
This 12-year-old was given the exact same Christmas gift as his 40-something aunt - a set of Rachael Ray knives. Now, while some 12 year old boys may not be exactly thrilled by this gift of a set of knives, this one was over the moon!
As a true foodie and possibly a future chef, Kies takes his knives very seriously and by that we mean no one - not even his mother - is allowed within 10 feet of them. He keeps them in pristine condition not only by hiding them from the world but also by using them only for the purposes for which they were intended.
He doesn’t use them to open boxes or scrape crud off of baking dishes. He doesn’t use them to hack ice out of the freezer or as screwdrivers to fix small household appliances.
He doesn’t use the bread knife to cut meat and knows a steak knife is for cutting steak and not for trimming caulking from the bath tub.
He is a knife-weilding genius!
And because he knows his knives and how to use them, his friends and family reap the rewards as he cooks up tasty treats for all! What really gets our goat is that not only are his knives better than ours, but ALL his kitchen gear is superior. So not fair! Bud Em still uses the electric mixer that her parents got for their wedding...like a billion years ago! She fears it is not long for this world - so sad. As a remedy for this predicament, we are in the process of trying to start a new custom. Its name is: "After Every 10 Years of Marriage, You Should Get Another Bridal Shower." Can we get an Amen?!
The following is a recipe made by Bud Tricia’s son Kies using his brand spanking new knives. This recipe did not come from a cookbook. It actually came out of that 12-year-old kid’s head! He calls it Mama’s E because his mother is the only one in the family who actually eats eggplant!
We love a kid who knows how to suck up!
1 carrot, chopped
1 sweet red bell pepper, chopped
3 green onions, chopped
3 stalks of celery, chopped
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 cloves of garlic
Salt and pepper to taste
Pasta Pasta sauce of your choice
Slice the eggplant into rounds, brush with olive oil or butter and pan fry for a few minutes. (He tried it first lengthwise but decided rounds would cook better! Hey, he’s 12! Give him a break!) Remove eggplant from pan and bake in oven with grape tomatoes at 350 degrees until tender. This really brings out the flavor of the grape tomatoes.
Meanwhile, in a pan saute the rest of the vegetables (You can adjust the amount and types of veggies to your tastes) in a bit of the olive oil along with the fresh garlic and salt and pepper to taste.
You can also be making the pasta and sauce during this time.
Assemble the dish by placing slices of eggplant on a plate. Some of the sauteed vegetables on top and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Garnish with a sliced tomato if you wish. Add a side of pasta with sauce on the side and serve.
This dish served a family of six with some left for lunch the next day. It got his siblings to try new veggies and was a hit overall.
He’s always making up recipes and we’ll be featuring them from time to time on this blog. Give it a shot! Add your own twists! See how you like it! And, feel free to send it your own creations to share with our readers!
And while we’re in recipe mode ...
As a new feature, we will be showcasing recipes used in previous editions of The Time Leader’s Taste of the Times cookbook. This yummy appetizer appeared in the 2008 edition and was sent in by Donna Bartrug of Adena. We bet she used knives to cut up those ‘shrooms! We don’t know if they were from a famous chef or the run of the mill ones but we’ll bet they were sharper than anything we own.
1 8-ounce package Philadelphia Cream Cheese
1 1/2 cup flour
1 large onion minced
1/2 pound mushrooms
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sour cream
Cut pastry in round circles. Put mushroom mixture in middle and fold over and seal. Bake at 350 degrees until brown.
If you’d like more recipes, visit www.timesleaderonline.com, click on the Recipe Spotlight category under the Lifestyles section!
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Here is our sorry heap o' knives. Notice that no two are alike. Also notice the highlighted circle - clearly this one was picked up at a yard sale as it still bears its price of 25 cents. After using it, we're pretty sure we got ripped-off. (Shoulda been a dime TOPS!)