Saturday, June 21, 2008

What's in a Name?

Ever craved a Spotted Dick? Wanted to sink your teeth into some Chelsea Buns? Had your heart set on a Fat Rascal? Well now you can indulge....

No no, get your mind out of the gutter! We are talking about our favorite English recipes brought to us by BegYourPardon Greeting Cards and Pam Clinkard!

Yes, some of the titles are a bit absurd, but they're English, what do you expect?!

What better way to give a gift for the Kitchen then with a fun card with a hilariously wonderful  recipe in it! New cards in stock!

So come on, get your cock-a-leekie today....


Friday, June 13, 2008

Grilled Sweet Potato Spears

When I first moved here last summer, Sean and Gregory were kind enough to let me move in for a few months....boy was I lucky!

Summertime for them means lots of grilling and well, I was spoiled!

I thought I'd share one of my favorites... something that is unusual, but goes great with anything!

Sean cooked this up for me one night and I was hooked! Between his killer Turkey Burgers (recipe to come) and these Sweet Potatoes it's a wonder I moved out...

Grilled Sweet Potato Spears:

Cut Sweet Potato into 4 long shaped spears
Soak in Friankies 457 Olive Oil (my absolute favorite)
Sprinkle liberally with Salt and Pepper
Add a dash of cayenne pepper to each spear
A bit of paprika

Lay Sweet Potatoes skin side down on the grill 8-10 minutes
Flip and grill for 3-5 minutes until crispy on the outside and soft inside (test with a fork)

Serve with your favorite meat or fish or just eat as a snack....

Quick, easy, healthy, and delicious to boot!!


Father's Day

It's that time of year again when we all celebrate the amazing man in our lives, Dad (or as I call mine Papa Bear, haha). 

What do you get the man that has everything?? Well since summer is here in full force why not think about spending some family time? No, we don't just mean this sunday 'cause it's a "holiday"! I mean on nice days/nights by the grill! Nothing tastes better than a grilled steak or salmon.... or try something new, like cooking on cedar planks. Yum!

Some of my best summer days were by the grill with my family. So what better way to thank Dad this year than to grill up his favorites for him.

Visit the shop for all of your Outset gear. From Tongs to tablecloths, they aren't just for the Kitchen anymore! My favorite outdoor item is the Electric Bug Zapper!

To all the Dads out there...Thanks for being you! 

See you at the grill...


Thursday, June 12, 2008

The Power of Dessert

Last night we had a wonderful dinner at The Bear Cafe in Woodstock with, the always fun Diane O'Donnell from Alessi. Dinner was fantastic and well our waiter (hey Jeffrey!) was fun and totally fit in with our crazy crew!

Although I could go on and on about the Filet, Salmon, or the amazing Thai Halibut, it is the dessert that has proven to be most memorable....

Imagine this, stuffed from the salads, apps, and entrees, barely able to breathe and yet a peek at the dessert menu and somehow the 4 of us found more room! Now, The Bear Cafe has one of the most amazing Creme Brulee that I have ever had know what I was having with my coffee! Diane went for something different, a dessert I had never heard of, the name didn't have chocolate or creme in it so it didn't interest me! Boy, am I glad she picked it....the Almond Trajapani, although not up my alley, was delicious! It Reminded me of my Auntie Evy's Mun Cookies (although now that I look at the recipe they are completely different things all together!). As I was trying to explain to Sean and Gregory what a Mun Cookie was, Jeffrey,our spunky waiter, jumped in and exclaimed..."It's like a Tishpishti!" Now, I don't know if you are like us at all, but when someone shouts a word like Tishpishti....WOW! We lost it. I mean Tishpishti, it sounds silly and well, a little dirty to me! So, as we sat at our table repeating 'Tishpishti,Tishpishti,Tishpishti' like some kind of mantra, I thought to myself, this is how dinner should be....Good food, Good friends, and a whole lot of Tishpishti!


La Cocina Cubana: Authentic Black Bean Recipe by: Gregory

2 - 1 lb.  bags of Goya Black Beans ( I like the size and texture of their beans when cooked)
2 - Medium to Large Spanish Onions, Red Onions work as well (To be used at different times)
2 - Medium to Large Green Peppers (To be used at different times)
8 - Large Garlic Cloves (To be used at different times)
6 - Dried Bay Leaves (To be used at Different times)
Coarse Salt (Use as you cook, you must taste as you go, add accordingly)
Fresh Pepper (Ground Black Pepper, save a touch for later)
Olive Oil (Either Goya Spanish Olive Oil or Sicilian Olive Oil, it's hearty and cloudy and great for beans)
1 Teaspoon of Apple Vinegar
Ground Cumin

1- 8 qt. Slow Cooker with Lid, cast iron & enamel is best,I recommend STAUB, unconditonally!
1 - 9.5 Stainless Steel Fry Pan, 7 ply preferably, I recommend a Viking fry pan!
Chef's Knife or Santoku to chop/dice and prep vegetables
Paring Knife
Measuring Spoons
Food Mill
Medium Size Bowl
Oh yes...a nice piece of soft/textured French Bread cut into slices for tasting as you go...Yummy!

Preparation (the soaking of the beans):
Clean/rinse the beans very carefully, several times. They may contain little pebbles.
Once cleaned place the beans in the pot
Cut 1 - Spanish Onion into quarters - place in the pot
Cut 1 - Green Pepper, remove seeds, cut into quarters - place in the pot
1 Teaspoon of ground cumin - place in the pot
1 Teaspoon of coarse salt - place in the pot
1 Teaspoon black pepper - place in the pot
1 1/2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil - place in the pot
4 - Large Peeled Garlic Cloves - Use your paring knife and cut a slit into them - place in the pot
3- Dried Bay Leaves - place in the pot
I like to use my hands, but spoons work as well, mix all together. The aroma is great!
Fill the pot with water about 1 inch above the bean line, cover and soak overnight for at least 12 hours....

In The Morning (The Fun Begins):
Check the bean water line - if water has been absorbed, add more keeping it at least 1 inch above the bean line
Bring to a highboil for about 5 minutes, stir and reduce to low heat
Cook uncovered for about 2 1/2 hours
Skim occasionally and stir - check the water line, never let it dry out, check bean tenderness
If you need to add more water, it must be warm/hot
After 2 1/2 hours the vegetables (onion, green peppers, cloves etc.) have basically dissolved
Transfer them into a food mill - if you leave a few veggies behind that's fine
Add some liquid of the beans to your food mill with the veggies and create a nice paste - add back to the pot...
Taste the beans and check for tenderness. Most should have cracked and should be tender, not MUSH, not hard.
Continue to cook on low heat...add your 3 remaining bay leaves
Add some fresh cracked pepper - to taste ( Less is more, you can always add more)

Final Step...Making the Sofrito!:
Grab your Fry Pan
Finely dice/cube your remaining onion - set aside
Finely dice/cube your remaining green pepper, remove seeds - set aside
Mince your remaining garlic cloves - set aside
Add about 1/4 cup of olive oil to the fry pan and heat on love until not smoke it!
Add the garlic, stir, do not let brown
Add the onion, continue to stir until opaque and tender about 8-10 minutes
Add the cumin - 1 teaspoon
Stir - mix well making sure all the flavors combine
Remove from heat and add all the contents to the beans that are still cooking at low temp
Continue to cook your beans about another 1 1/2 hours on low heat - COVERED!
You're basically done...the beans should be tender, the broth a bit thick.
Set aside serve and eat or store in the fridge - only in glass containers.

Black beans should always be served with long grain white rice - but we sometimes use kashi rice or brown, but never, never yellow!

I find the beans taste exceptional the next this a dish you can pre-make or store until you are ready. Feel free to serve solo or puree into a soup by adding a bit of vegetable stock and blend. Serve with a dollop of creme fraiche and perhaps with one seared scallop or shrimp.

I am a "fish-atarian", I eat only select fish...but if you are a meat eater and your guests are too feel free to add a ham-hock into your beans during soaking period...then remove...this is sufficient flavor.

Buen Aprovecho!

Monday, June 9, 2008

All You Need is Bread

Look out Rhinebeck! One of our favorite bakeries, Bread Alone, has just opened another location. Whether you are just looking for their traditional, hearth-baked bread, a yummy soup, a delicious panini, or a place for breakfast, Bread Alone has it.  Stop on by and relax on the deck! 
45 East Market Street

Tuesday, June 3, 2008


Phew! After a year of cooking on high temps, bluecashew Kitchen Pharmacy is finally up and running on the Web!

Our blog is where you will find recipes, funny stories, featured items, events, and much more all posted by our Master Chefs Gregory, Sean, and "g"(Geordarna). 

So...Let the cooking begin!