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Update

Even though I have not been posting I am still cooking on a very regular basis. I have, however, started a new blog that is more focused on photography. If you are interested you can find it at joshuafagans.com.

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Blowout!

 

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A few weeks ago I started hearing a strange sound and smelling a strange smell whenever I fired up the oven.  On inspection one of the gas burner ignitors looked like it was on fire. On closer inspection I noticed that one of the gas pipes had ruptured next to the ignitor. This caused it not to light and burn properly hampering the baking. I had worn out my Viking oven.

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A web search, an order, and a few days layer this is what a new burner assembly is supposed to look like! I have to say Viking’s are fairly easy to work on. Within a few minutes we had this beautiful site!

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The weekend wasn’t a total waste. I did get to help a friend with a party and made these cool rolls! Can’t wait to start the baking again next week!

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Notes From Europe

Work sent me to Germany. I was attending a conference for most of the time though I did have a bit of time to kick around downtown a bit. On the advice of a colleague I took a side trip to Strasbourg after my professional duties were complete. If you are ever anywhere nearby I have to wholeheartedly recommend a stop.

Strasbourg is the largest city in the Alsace region of France. The historic downtown part of the city is actually an island in the middle of a canal system and is just wonderful to walk around and take in though I did find out the hard way that most of it is closed on Sundays.

One exception we Le Mains Dans La Farine which was opened for a few hours Sunday morning. I purchased a Croissant de Chocolate which was much lighter on the butter and the chocolate than I am used to. Quite wonderful.

Despite not knowing French (my German did get me through Cologne) my singularly biggest issue was not being able to eat all the different things I wanted to try.

I wasn’t sure I was going to make it to France until the last minute so I really didn’t have any plans. The only tip I had was Cooking in Sens who recommended Au Dauphin.  They were full Saturday night and turned me away but I returned undaunted for lunch on Sunday.

I ordered up the Menu du Terroir or regional menu which was definitely very traditional and a good intro to Alsatian cuisine.

I had a lot of fun and hope to get back and sample the other local delicacies like the tarte flambée but it is also nice to be home. After recovering from jet lag I spent the weekend stocking the larder with chicken stock and tomato sauce. Hope you are all well.

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Bon jour!

Just finished a 16 hour trip from Strasbourg and am realizing that it is now 4 am where I woke up. More to follow but in short I enjoyed my time in Köln and Strasbourg and would highly recommend adding the latter to any European vacation. Here is my “last supper” in the Petite France part of town. Au revoir for now.

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Marital Aid

Wie Geht’s! I’m actually in Deutschland on business for the week but before I left a new acquisition moved into the garage. “Marital Aids” come in all shapes and sizes. We had a small 50 bottle wine fridge but there was just not enough room to store all the wine that had found its way to our house. Finally the cardboard boxes of wine that sat in the dining room became a source of marital irritation. My wife insisted that we needed a bigger storage facility. Who was I to argue? So after several weeks of hard work cleaning the garage we are now the proud owners of a new wine cellar that will allow me to park a good deal more wine that needs some maturing. Only “problem” is I realized there are a lot of bottles that need to be consumed soon…

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Low and Slow (aka an Atypical Bolognese)

First I need to give a huge THANK YOU to the staff at Flour + Water! My recent class has me on a bit of a pasta binge and I was eager to try my hand at tagliatelle. Chef McNaughton had mentioned during the class that they use a different recipe for their noodles so I contacted them to see if I could get it. Not only were they incredibly helpful and supportive of my efforts but they liked my entry so much they put it on one of their websites! Thank you again for all your help and welcome to anybody who found the blog because of them.

Any pasta recipe that tells you it can be mixed in a food processor is not “real pasta.” I have learned that to make pasta that has bite requires you to work dough that no machine can move. In fact, I can barely move it and my daughter required a chair to get enough leverage to take a turn. The crew at Flour + Water apparently works their dough for 40 minutes. Did I mention it gets stiffer as you work it? Did I tell you Chef McNaughton has forearms like Popeye’s? I’m sad to report my hands literally gave up at 30. The dough was incredible though. When I rolled it and cut it the noodles felt like silk ribbons. Amazing!

Ever since I was in Italy my favorite sauce has been Bolognese. It is a simple sauce, but when it is done right somehow humble ingredients are elevated to amazing heights. I had some ground lamb in the freezer so I thought I would use some of it with the more typical beef and pork to make something a littler different. I thought the the lamb would integrate during the 4+ hours of cooking time. I also decided to it might be interesting to substitute some fennel in place of the normal celery. Oh and I’m a shallot guy

Atypical Bolognese

Butter
Olive Oil
Handful diced shallot
Handful of diced fennel bulb
Handful of diced carrot
1/4 c diced pancetta
1 lb ground lamb
1 lb ground beef
1 lb ground pork
1 c dry wine
2 c broth
Tomato puree
1 c milk

Melt the butter and and add the olive oil. Sweat the vegetables until soft. Add the pancetta and render. Add the meat and brown all over separating (this takes a bit of time). Add the wine and cook off. Add the milk and cook off. Add the stock and tomato and bring to a simmer and simmer for as long as you can (at least two hours but better three+).

Also found these blossoms at the market so I stuffed them with some sheep’s milk ricotta and fried them in a simple batter as a little starter.

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Steven P Jobs

Apologies to all for my not posting as much as of late.  I’m still trying to figure out my schedule since school started up again.  It is, however, a sad day for all of us who work at Apple.  I count myself lucky for having the opportunity to work directly with Steve over my career.  His presence will be missed in so many ways.  The good news, however, is that he taught us all so much and we will carry the torch that has now, so tragically early, been passed to our hands.  Godspeed Steven P Jobs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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