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Huntington Beach, CA, US

I am a former chef who loves to cook and is a true Foodie in every sense of the word. I also love giving my taste buds a workout and when going to a restaurant ALWAYS pick the weirdest thing on the menu, who knows I will probably like it. My favorite food is sushi which I could eat breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Recent Reviews

Re:Steak Sandwiches with Spicy Horseradish Mayonnaise

Did our annual Xmas harbor cruise and needed something yummy to serve. These were fantastic although I made a few adjustments including doubling the sauce and meat; everyone loved them. French rolls are a more neutral flavor and allow the contents to shine rather than a sourdough as it would overwhelm the sandwich. The other thing I suggest is to cut the root end off of the onion, separate the individual layers and then toss with the oil and seasoning. Cook on a grilling grid which allows for even cooking of the onion, with each piece getting caramelized rather than undercooked and charred. Just pull off the smaller pieces as they become done. The onion turns sweet this way and adds another layer of flavor to the sandwich.

Posted: 04:52 pm on January 5th 2014

Re:Italian-Style Beef and Porcini Stew

This recipe was a lot of work not to mention expensive! It was however delicious. Thick, hearty, full of flavor, and a little reminiscent of Beef Bourguignon.A few recommendations for the recipe though. First degrease BEFORE you stir in the basil otherwise you just mixed all the grease back into the pot with the basil. Second, I put in 3/4 tsp pepper and 1.5 tsp salt. Third, the grease from the pancetta was not enough to even make it through the first batch; use a good high temp oil like sunflower to supplement. Fourth, unless you have a 900CFM or more exhaust fan (my next project) above your stove be prepared for the house to get smokey. If you are going to do this for company you may want to wait 2 days to let the house air out first. Fifth, the measurements for the veggies (1 medium this and that) are way off, I just went with the 1 this and that and it was fine. If I had done it by measurement I don't think it would have been as good. Sixth, the recipe says to let the meat dry out on top of the paper towels, I however took a hint from Julia Child and gave it a bit more drying by bringing it to room temperature to stop sweating then patting dry it with paper towels; it definitely helps the meat brown much more easily. Finally, it takes at least an hour to an hour and a half after the tomatoes are added for the meat to get tender so plan accordingly. Dinner ended up being very late due to my not realizing this. I served it with a caprese salad and we enjoyed it. All in all a very good meal.

Posted: 09:56 pm on January 5th 2013

Re:Lobster Bisque

I made this recipe and served it on a boat, OMG it was fantastic. The flavor was rich, well balanced, with the right hint of sherry. Everyone raved about it and it was wonderful for a cold night on the water.I did buy females as suggested in the link although the fish monger thought I was nuts when I asked for them. The roe definitely added a deeper flavor.The only issue I had was that it was so labor intensive. I made a triple batch and it took 6 hours to complete. I also ended up running the lobster that goes into the soup through the food processor to break apart the strands better than pushing it through a strainer as that just did not seem to work.

Posted: 01:58 pm on December 24th 2012

Re:Pappardelle with Venetian Duck Ragu

The overall concept/execution of this dish is good however the taste was very bland. I will probably never make this again unless I can find a similar recipe with better flavoring. It seemed as though it needed some kind of acid in it too. I tried squeezing some lemon over it which helped a little, just not enough. Frankly, I was embarrassed in front of my dinner guests as this was not all it was hyped up to be. Also, if you are going to be using dried pasta you only need half a pound not a whole. And will someone please tell me what is up with the recipes on this website that say "finely chopped"? Rough chop, chop, diced, finely diced, minced, those are the common terms used in this country, NOT "finely chopped". The company is in Connecticut not some foreign county so why are they using terms that are so wonky for cooking in the US? Also, there is no such thing as "chopped canned tomatoes", it is DICED.

Posted: 11:21 am on November 22nd 2012

Re:Sautéed Shrimp and Pancetta with Cheese Grits

This was pretty good. I used an English extra sharp cheddar, though next time I think just a sharp cheddar will be fine. Timing is a bit off that they have shown so if you are going to cook any veggies to go with it be careful as mine were overcooked by the time I got the shrimp done. Would make this again.

Posted: 03:36 pm on November 15th 2012

Re:Classic Caesar Salad

My first time making Caesar from scratch and we loved it, I will however pour the oil in faster so that it is not so thick as it made it difficult to toss. Since I don't keep white bread in the house, I used store bought Caesar croutons to save time and it was just fine. Due to the dressing being so thick, the best way to toss it is to spread the dressing in the bottom of the salad bowl, add the lettuce and toss. This way the lettuce is easier to coat because you are picking it up off the bottom as you toss rather than trying to mix a blob into it. Then add your remaining ingredients. One thing though, the burp from it later was really nasty when eaten by itself. Don't know what was up with that.

Posted: 09:54 pm on November 12th 2012

Re:Orecchiette with Fennel, Sausage & Tomatoes

My boyfriend loved this, I however thought it was a bit bland and too salty. I am willing to give it another try since he liked it so much but using a different sausage than I did the first time. I would definitely make the sauce in advance the next time and then reheat it, plus I had a hard time with the Orecchiette not being done even though I cooked it twice the time on the package, that is not FC's problem though.

Posted: 09:48 pm on November 12th 2012

Re:Sour Cream and Leek Mashed Potatoes

These were fantastic! I did not add any extra milk to them because we both like ours thick. They were flavorful, smooth and yummy with some texture from the leeks. The best I have ever eaten. It was the first time I have used Yukon Golds and I am sold on them for mashed from now on.Update 09/18/13: One tip on these, they taste much better if the leeks are caramelized somewhat. Just softening the leeks does not give them the same depth of flavor as the caramelized. Yummmmm!

Posted: 03:49 pm on November 8th 2012

Re:Pork Chops with Cider-Dijon Pan Sauce

Wow, after reading some of the reviews I am a little confused. To me and my man the sauce was wonderful, actually we could barely taste the mustard; I did howeveruse the coarse grained mustard as called for in the recipe which is much less intense than using regularDijon so that might account for some of the issues people were having. I used apple juice in lieu of apple cider as they are pretty much the same thing, cider is unfiltered as noted in the Wikipedia definition.One thing though, it was too thin so I added just a bit of roux I keep in the freezer to give a little body by slightly thickening it. Worked out well and we both enjoyed them a lot. Chops browned in butter and then finished in the oven were a new one for me; they had good caramelization and great flavor. The one thing that I would do next time is to make the sauce in a separate skillet so I don't have to rush, then just add the drippings after the chops are finished. I could do this meal for entertaining by doing that; have the sauce made, the chops browned, even the accompanying Leek and Sour Cream Mashed Potatoes made in advance. Just reheat the potatoes and sauce, then throw the chops in the oven. A wonderful meal and easy for entertaining. I only cooked 2 of the chops and did the other two the next night for a friend, reheating the potatoes and sauce. It took about 20 minutes to turn out a great meal since I had done all the work the night before. His eyes were rolling back in his head!

Posted: 03:32 pm on November 8th 2012

Re:Braised Pacific Halibut with Leeks, Mushrooms, and Clams

This was my first foray into recipes from the magazine. My boyfriend loves cooked fish, me I like mine raw, however this recipe was great. The fish was perfectly cooked and the flavor very subtle yet delicious. I kept the before dinner drinks and appetizers on the same flavor level as to not overpower our taste buds by the time we got to this since it was mildly seasoned.There are a couple of things I would do differently the next time. First, do not salt and pepper the fish, instead season the broth fully before putting the fish in as it is too difficult to do once the fish and clams are in and it definitely needed it. Second, I would add a little bit of wine, not sure what kind yet, I will have to experiment. Finally, I will leave off the parsley as the flavor over powered the subtle nature of the dish. Other than those three things it was a great recipe and one I will repeat. One other thing I learned in the process of making this dish. I had never cooked with oyster mushrooms before and was tasting them before cooking. I learned very fast that you DO NOT EAT RAW OYSTER MUSHROOMS! Big mistake and one my tummy got rid of in a hurry. I checked the internet later and it said that I was dork for doing this. Oh well, lesson learned.

Posted: 10:39 am on October 15th 2012