Month: June 2012

Red Delicious Kiss ~ Getting Fresh in the Northwest


Refresh me with apples for I am faint with love…

On my first full day back in the Emerald City after a year-long sojourn I was embraced with clear blue skies.  I woke up early to scout out where my appointments were lined up for the week.  Up 5th Avenue to Union Street I pin point the Logan Building where I’ll meet a recruiter who specializes in placing executive assistants with executives.  I then locate the law firm Pepple Cantu Schmidt where I’ll meet with its business director regarding legal secretary opportunities in the city.  Located at the Pike Place market.   Afterwards I decided to walk around the market, I got a few cherries, a white peach that I sampled and a pink lady apple.  I enjoyed the cherries on the end of the market where Western Avenue and Virginia Street meet.  The view of the Puget Sound and Olympic Mountains is refreshing.  Around 1 o’clock, Kandi, my dear friend, comes to take me out for lunch.  Thai Tom’s, the City’s best Thai food.  The master chef is the attraction.  One feels transcended to another state of existence at Thai Tom’s.  There are more than just mouthwatering combinations of lemon grass, coconut milk and peanut sauce being served.  I’ll post a dedicated review about Thai Tom’s next week.  Kandi proceeded to spoil me.  Later we had house special daiquiris in extra-large, poolside sized cups and enjoyed a light fare afternoon.  While browsing the Internet on the iPad for events that I want to attend this summer, the Bite of Seattle among them, I learned that the Bite is hosting a home chef video competition this year.  I got excited,  especially after seeing that there was still time to enter.  “I’m in transition right now and don’t have access to my own kitchen for recording, but I do have video clips of some of my prior food demonstrations that I can use to put something together and make this work”, I thought to myself.  The theme is Northwest Fresh.  The first thing I think of is apples.  The state of Washington is renowned for its apples, producing 9 well-known varieties, Red Delicious ranking #1.  Secondly, I have history with these natural breath fresheners.  They are the symbol of my grand amour experience.    The next day after meeting with the recruiter about the executive assistant job, I went back down to Pike’s Place Market to record the introduction for my competition submission called, “Red Delicious Kiss ~ Northwest Fresh”.  I had to sweet talk the fruit producer at Choice Produce and Peppers into 1.) allowing me to use their fruit stand and fruit to record my introduction and 2.) to video recording me.  Troy was gracious and took several takes of me.  The other producers at the stand heckled me.  But that’s ok, I got it done.  I did the video editing to the best of my limited videography ability and submitted “Red Delicious Kiss ~ Getting Fresh in the Northwest” in the 2012 Bite of Seattle home chef competition.  You can view it on the Amorous Cooking YouTube channel at:  www.youtube.com/watch?v=rek2zBPrvM8&feature=plcp

Deliciously yours,

Honey L’Amour

Bite of Seattle 2012 Information: www.comcastbiteofseattle.com

Choice Produce & Pepper: www.choicepeppers.com

More about Washington State apples: www.bestapples.com

Honey L’Amour’s Test Kitchen: Red Snapper with Gingered Apple and Cabbage from Washington State’s best apple website.

Red Delicious Kiss ~ Northwest Fresh Recipes (serving size, 2)

Adam’s Apple Chops

Apples

3 Red Delicious Apples

1 teaspoon cinnamon powder

1 cup brown sugar

½ cup apple juice [use Fresh Apple Squeeze recipe]thyme

¼ stick butter

Chops

4 pork or turkey chops

1 onion julienned

4 minced garlic cloves

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon onion powder

4 teaspoons thyme

1 teaspoon creole/Cajun blend or Tony Chachere’s Original Creole Seasoning

1 tablespoon olive oil

¼ cup chicken broth

Brussels sprouts

2 cups Brussels sprouts – fresh or frozen

¼ lemon

Season both sides of the chops with the dry powder seasonings, repeat the dry seasoning on all each chop.  In your cast iron skillet, heat olive oil, add minced garlic, you are flavoring your oil by coaxing out the garlic essential oils and flavor.  Shear chops in heated garlic oil over high heat. Reduce heat add julienned onions and chicken broth, scrape bottom of skillet, cover and let cook for 15 to 20 minutes.  Meanwhile, prepare apples.  Heat none stick skillet on medium heat, melt butter, add brown sugar, apple juice and cinnamon, reduce to a slow pouring liquid.  Add apple slices, steam apples, maintain light crunch.  Remove apples from sauce.  Add apple sauce to the skillet of simmering chops.  You are making a sauce with all of the juices.  Sprinkle in thyme.  For Brussels sprouts, steam with a squeeze of lemon

To Serve: smother one chop with a ladle of skillet gravy including onions julienne, layer with apples, and top with a sprig of thyme.  Place several Brussels sprouts artfully around the chop

Sweet Seduction

1 Pink Lady Apple sliced

¼ cup Honey

Slice apple, fan apple slices on serving plate, drizzle with honey.  Use honey as a dipping sauce as well.

Fresh Apple Squeeze

1 Red Delicious

1 Honeycrisp

1 Pink Lady

1 Granny Smith

1 Fuji

1 inch piece ginger root

Juice the medley of apples in a juice extracter, pour into a pitcher.  Juice the ginger root, add to the pitcher of fresh apple juice.   Swirl pitcher around to blend flavors.

Granny Smith’s Cinnamon Shot Gun

(adapted from the Temptations: Igniting the Power and Pleasure of Aphrodisiacs cookbook)

2 Granny Smith apples cored and quartered

4 cinnamon sticks

16 ounces vodka [I like Stoli]

2 jiggers cinnamon liquor [I like Goldschlager]

Infuse quartered Granny Smith apples and 2 cinnamon sticks in vodka for 3 days, room temperature, afterwards, put the infusion in the freezer or refrigerate.

To Serve: In a martini glass, pour one jigger cinnamon liquor, topped off with ice cold, apple infused vodka.  Add a cinnamon stick to glass, place a thin Granny Smith apple slice on rim of glass

PB&U – The PB&J Reinvented


PB & U Infused Menu

The creative engine from last Saturday’s (June 2, 2012) jazz and food festival didn’t stop at the Main Line. That train kept right on truckin’ down Lancaster Avenue where I met “Peanut Butter Creations” by PB and U.  This darling sandwich shop specializes in combining peanut butter sandwich spread with innumerable and untold pairings.  It’s true, not every PB&J is created equal.  I can attest to this from when my son was a toddler.  He would only eat PB&J prepared by his childcare provider.  I don’t know if it was how she spread the peanut butter over the bread or what bewitched my son, but what I do know, is that her peanut butter sandwich was a far cry from the creatively infused menu twisted by Mercury Amodio, the proprietor of PB and U.  Not even George Washington Carver, who discovered three hundred uses for peanuts, can compete with the unique combination of ingredients used to make sandwiches at this “PBologist” shop.

 I had the PB & Honey, Cinnamon Sugar, Raisins, and Cream Cheese melange.  I chose it because of the honey and the assumed ‘Philadelphia’ brand cream cheese.  These are two of my favorite foods, together and separately, but never have I had them combined with peanut butter. I thought the two creamy bases would compete, but they worked surprisingly well together, especially with the honey.  You can have your sandwich with creamy, chunky or chocolate peanut butter.  You can have peanut butter in a smoothie, a milkshake, with pickles, bacon, Fluff (marshmallow), cheddar cheese, carrots, potato chips or even pound cake.  Dr. Seuss flash backs invade me as I read over the choices, Mercury reminds me of Sam I Am.  “Could you, would you?”  I dare you.

Deliciously yours,

Honey L’Amour

Honey L’Amour Seal of Approval:

PB and honey, cinnamon sugar, raisins and cream cheese

Related postings:

An Artiste Family Affair: A review of Christopher’s, a contributor of the 2012 Main Line Jazz & Food Festival and supporter of local artists.  This month featuring Dora Todd.

Outstanding Pancakes!: A review of Green Eggs Café in Northern Liberties

Learn more about PB and U at www.pbandu.com

An Artiste Family Affair – Christopher’s A Neighborhood Place


On the Main Line of the historic Pennsylvania Railroad, unbeknownst to me, I was in the company of Philadelphia’s high society elite.  Dora Todd, my colleague and artist, invited me to her art showing at her son’s restaurant, Christopher’s, “A Neighborhood Place”.  It was a big event for the city of Wayne, her artwork was on display during the Main Line Jazz & Food Festival.  Dora’s husband, who is an educator, shared the history of the area as we headed out for an afternoon of artiste affair.  Mr. William Penn, for whom the state of Pennsylvania is named, sold a piece of land to the Welsh who built the main train line to connect them to Center City Philadelphia and to transport them and their goods across Pennsylvania.  The Welsh also brought with them a grandeur lifestyle.  As a result, the wealthy Wayne County is known for its multimillion-dollar stone Colonial homes, exclusivity and upscale living.  As I reflect back on learning about Philadelphia before I moved here from the West Coast, I remember the grand display of the area as shown in the setting of the classic 1940s “The Philadelphia Story” motion picture with Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant and James Stewart.  At the time, I was more interested in the love triangle storyline than the exact neighborhood of filming considering that my relocation was motivated by “love”.  It’s peculiar how a love interest journey translates into a life experience of art.

The affair was a celebration, the 2012 Main Line Jazz and Food Festival brought lively Latin music, salsa dancing, artwork, and fine cuisine to the affluent.  The brick walls in the open space dining area at Christopher’s were lined with his mother’s beautifully framed paintings.  She showcased “light-filled and vibrant” paintings of her hometown landscape which gives her inspiration.  Reflections of the Schuylkill Valley, Madaket Beach, sunsets, wheat fields and city streets graced us all as seen through Dora’s eyes.  Before she could settle into her seat, she was approached by admirers and got busy signing artwork.  We all raised a glass to her first sale of the day.  Christopher, equally creative, had much from which to choose on his menu.  I targeted his signature dishes to match the Christopher signature wine glass that I swirled about Chardonnay

Chorizo Relleno and Fried Avocado
Honey L’Amour Seal

while contemplating so many wonderful sounding entrees.  We dined family style, my select items however, were the Chorizo Relleno and the Fried Avocado.  Clearly a white dinner plate is to Christopher what a blank canvas is to Dora.  The chorizo stuffed poblano pepper with queso, Spanish rice, white corn and green chili sauce had my taste buds doing the tango.  When paired with a slice of the fried avocado, an “Ole’ to the chef was in order!  We also shared fried calamari and a veggie garden cream based pizza that made for a wonderful tasting of the variety of food choices at the Neighborhood Place.The wealth of good taste permeates this artiste family affair.  Dora and Christopher’s colorful artistry is signed across my heart, and I have the tee-shirt to show it!

Deliciously yours, Honey L’Amour

Christopher – Proprietor and Head Chef
Honey L’Amour – Food Blogger

Honey L’Amour Seal of Approval:

Chorizo Relleno and Fried Avocado

For a video showing, visit my You Tube channel, Amorous Cooking at

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BbIVsq6zU8w

Learn more about Christopher’s, A Neighborhood Place  at http://www.christophersaneighborhoodplace.com

P.S. For dessert we took a PB and U sandwich to go, you will see how the affluent city of Wayne eats PB&J.  Stay tuned.