Friday, May 1, 2009

kitchen adventures

I'm a bit of a foodie. Seriously. I love to cook, bake, create, etc. I love all cooking TV shows, food network, etc. Gordon Ramsay is my favorite Chef, despite his potty mouth (or maybe because of it...). So, I thought I'd share 3 things (one each of ingredient, tool, and technique) I'd never be in the kitchen without and a recipe that incorporates them all.

1. Salt. I've only recently come to love and understand salt, but I can't emphasize how important it is. Especially in baked goods.

2. Parchment paper. this is the secret to all beautiful baked goods, and has changed my world. Use it for everything from cookies to bread to candy, and you'll never be disappointed by stuck food ever again.

3. Mise en Place: French for everything in place (roughly) Your experiences in the kitchen will be ever so much more enjoyable if you begin with everything you nee for the recipe in front of you, just like a cooking show. It also makes things move a lot faster, and saves you from having to "improvise" when you've run out of that thing you swore you had some of but now can't locate.

I also believe in simple foods, easy prep. things taste better if you on't have too much going on. so, my crowd pleasing PB balls to the rescue!

You will need:
3 T margarine
1 c Peanut butter (not natural, the heavy kind like Jif)
about 1 c powdered sugar
1 tsp salt
150 grams of coating chocolate or 1 pkg chocolate chips and 25 grams parafin

In a bowl, mix the PB, salt and Margarine. Slowly add the powdered sugar until you have a doughy consistency, like clay. Roll into 1 inch diameter balls. Melt chocolate over low heat in a small fry pan. place a large square of parchment paper over a standard cookie sheet and place near chocolate. a few balls at a time, add to the pan with chocolate, then fish out with a spoon and arrange on the parchment paper for cooling. for quick serving, place candy in the freezer. makes 3-4 dozen.

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