August 2013 Recipe Line up

Seriously is your summer just zipping by at the speed of light? Because, our totally is - Tom and I don’t even have the excuse that we use the summer to vacation, we both been working and/or going to school like crazy and barely have time to come up for air.

The last days of summer are upon us and August belongs to Tammy and Greg from The Foodie Couple.  They travel, have the most adorable dog EVER (ok, pssttt. don’t tell Rufus) love Mexico and they cook up a storm as well.

I know that every time I do these posts, I tell you that the host for the month is really bringing their “A” game, but, so help me god, when I see the choices you are sending me its like you all are really trying to top each other out.  And this month Tammy and Greg are challenging us with recipes from my favorite show (theirs too) Top Chef and Top Chef Master. 

In their own words:

We are huge fans of Top Chef. Have watched every season, every episode. The challenges they endure teach us so much about flavor profiles and different cooking techniques. Of course each season we have our favorite chefs too. It’s just good foodie fan fun.

I tried to find a mix of recipes from different seasons and recipes that were not overly complicated or required too exotic or hard to find ingredients. But these are recipes from Top Chef chefs so a few are pretty ingredient heavy.”

Have you seen the new season of Top Chef Master? If you are not, do it, because BRAVO is pulling all the stops with this season twists, and me think its going to be one of the best one yet.  And for real, that Hugh Acheson makes me go all weak at the knees, I can just serve him with whipped cream and .. wait were was I? Oh yes… the choices… 

Week of August 4Kale Salad with Brussels Sprout leaves and Lemon Vinaigrette from Chef Brooke Williamson Season 10 - We were excited to hear that Top Chef would be filmed in Seattle for season 10. We ended up being somewhat disappointed to see so few Seattle food spots highlighted in the season and that the last 4 episodes were actually on a cruise and in Alaska. We felt a bit short handed. Few women have won Top Chef so it was exciting when Brooke Williamson won the season. This is her recipe for a great, bright salad that the judges raved about.

Week of August 11: Grilled Pork Chops with Wild Mushroom Sauce from Chef Marcel Vigneron, Season 2 - Season two became known for the villain chef, Marcel Vigneron. I couldn’t stand his obnoxious arrogance and just rude treatment of others. But the judges consistently loved his food. He is a molecular gastrologist type of chef so typically his recipes didn’t do much to excite me but this looked pretty fabulous.

Week of August 18:  Queso Fundido Burger with Trio of Guacamole from Master Chef Rick Bayless, Top Chef Masters Season 1 - When Top Chef Masters began we were so excited to see so many of our favorite chefs competing against each other. And of course Rick Bayless, Greg’s cooking idol, won the season. This episode where these Master chefs made burgers was so fun to watch to see their creative recipe minds in action. Rick Bayless is our go to chef for recipes that match our favorite flavor profiles. We’ve been to all of his Chicago restaurants and have many of his cookbooks. We know this burger will be a hit.

Week of August 25: Chocolate Cake with Salted Basil Ganache from Chef Stephanie Izard, Season 4 - Stephanie Izard was the first women to win Top Chef. She was our season 4 favorite from the start, likely because she is a Chicago gal who loves to cook meat. We ran into her at the Taste of Washington in 2010 and have eaten at her Girl and the Goat restaurant in Chicago. Our meal at her restaurant was amazing. We are definitely fans. This cake sounded absolutely delish

So are you ready to be a TOP CHEF this month? I do hope all of you step up and give us some amazing dishes and of course enjoy them with your families during the last days of summer.  As always remember to post your recipe links in the comment section of this post or use our Gutsy Cook Pinterest Board.

July 2013 Recipe Line up

Here we are mid year.  I’m sure everyone is saying the same thing.. how that happen? Was it only yesterday we were choosing the month to host here at Gutsy Cooks? 2013 seems to be sneaking up on us.

This month belongs to Marie from Weekend Viands.  Like Raymond, I meet (or virtually meet her) during my Heavenly Cake Bakers phase as we made our way through Rose’s Heavenly Cakes book.  She basically was the brain behind the whole operations and we bonded over our love/hate affair with the piping bag.

She called July as her month and like her Gutsy Cooks peer before her, she is bringing her “A” game to the table. In her own words: 

Attached are my recipes for July’s Gutsy Cooks.  All are from Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking, by Marcella Hazan.  This is a book I’ve wanted to get into to for a couple of years, but most seemed a little too elaborate for my normal weekday cooking.  I tried to pick relatively simple recipes, but they are a little fussier than the usual casual Italian recipe.  (She reminds me a little of Rose in her attention to detail and her insistence on method). …  The bread recipe (bonus, in case anyone wants to make their own bread for panzanella salad) goes with the salad recipe.  I typed these all directly from the book, headnotes and all, so you can get a feel for her prose.

I’m excited with these options this month, they are shouting at my Italian roots, plus, her line up is pretty awesome and challenging.

Week of July 8 -  Panzanella Salad - I have tried many, in the States, in various South American countries and in my beloved Italy. I have never tried to make it at home since I always been afraid to muck it up.  Marie has given me a challenge, specially if you follow her suggestion and make the country bread - Mantovana Bread recipe. I think she paid attention and tossed it in there just for those of you that wanted to overcome your fear of using yeast.

Week of July 14 - Risotto with Spring Vegetables, Tomato, and Basil - One word - YUM!  I made risotto before, and trust me is less complicated than our heads make it be and oh, so rewarding.

Week of July 21 - Roast Chicken with Lemons - I bet all of us have roasted a chicken and stuffed it with lemons in our cooking lifespan.  But I also bet you, this one will be “the one” that we will keep coming back to over and over again.

Week of July 28 - Scallop Sauce with Olive Oil, Garlic and Hot Pepper - I’m so happy that Marie gave us a “seafood” option.  Italy is not only pasta and meat dishes.  Having lived in a small town on the Adriatic Sea and Sicily, I know what the italians are capable of doing with anything coming from the sea and its glorious! 

So there you have it folks, a pretty good line up this July.  I do hope all of you step up and give us some amazing dishes and of course enjoy them with your families during this summer month.  As always remember to post your recipe links in the comment section of this post or use our Gutsy Cook Pinterest Board.

March Menus 58 to 71 - Spring is in the air...

March, how did we get here? Because it seems only yesterday that we were celebrating new years.  But, here we are – MARCH.  And with it a new set of menus.

Not going to lie, this one was a tough one.  I have no idea why, usually the monthly recipe line up come to me pretty quickly, but March was proving to be a bit of a challenge.

Besides, green beer celebrating St. Patrick’s Day. March, marks the beginning of spring, which means for most of us, the gardens are waking up…

Carrots, cauliflower, leeks, spring onions, oranges, salmon, mussels, oysters, parsley are at their best…

So how about building some of our menus using these ingredients?

Week 1, to post week of March 5th 

Week 2, to post week of March 12th 

Week 3, to post week of March 19th 

Week 4, to post week of March 26

Lets throw in here a recipe from scratch challenge – DONUTS! 

I’m really looking forward too these, I hope you are too.  Let March madness begin!

February Menus 54 to 57 Game on, Sweet Days

You guys! You rocked it in January.  I have seen so many of you guys getting back on the cooking horse and participating, we had a least 2 gutsy cooks every week posting something.  It was great.  I love visiting your blogs and seeing your suggestion and gustiness with each of the recipes.

We also had new members joining us, so make sure you visit and give a bit of a welcome and some comment love - Anna from Making Ends Meat , Anusha from Tomato Blues and Janis from The Kitchen is my Shrink

I’m still working on the last 2 weeks of the February Menus and they will be posted by the end of the week. But for now, how about if I give you the first 2 weeks so you guys can start to plan it out… 

Week 1, Post Feb 5th - Its Game time!  This week I’m going to leave it open for all of you to share your favorite game/party dishes.  I for one, going to try these:

Game Day Chili - from Cooking Channel
Bourbon Onion Dip - from Cooking Channel
Loaded Bake Potato Dip - From Brown Eye Baker

Week 2, Post Feb 12 -
Let’s be sweet and spicy with our beloved.
Frozen Peanut Butter Pie - from Cook Republic
Breakfast Galette - from A Cozy Kitchen
Flammkuchen with Red onions - from Delicious Days

I hope these are just as inspirational as the January options were - I cannot wait to see what you will all come up with this time.

Ready, set.. GO!

January Menus 50 to 53 – Healthy Start

2012 is here folks.  365 clean days to fill up with new successes, new recipes, new adventures and everything in between. I for one has promised myself to be more bold in the kitchen, to try to cook more greens, make things from scratch and put myself totally out of my comfort zone with techniques and ingredients. 

2011 was a year of indulgence, lots carbs, cheese, pastas and the desserts really topped most of my post, as well as some of my fellow bloggers.  I’m going to go out on a limb here and pretty much say that a healthy start is probably the most anticipated trend we will see in the new year. So this will be the theme for our January Menu line up.  Veggies recipes, natural foods, and maybe in between, because we are all going to be good, a couple of sweetbites.

And off we go - remember you can cook one option, two or all four.  Posting should be up by Sunday, or at the latest on Monday.

Read More

Menu 31: Coleslaw and Toad in the Hole

Our last men for April is compose of two very unusual pairings:

  • Coleslaw – page 125
  • Toad in the Hole – page 355

The term “coleslaw” arose in the 20th century as an anglicization of the Dutch term “koolsla”, a shortening of “koolsalade”, which means “cabbage salad”.  This is the must have dish in any American BBQ or picnic event.  The “slaw” (as it’s sometimes called) is a salad made of shredded red or white cabbage, sometimes carrots are included, but many regional versions exist.  This all incorporated with a salad dressing made with mayonnaise. Sometimes it also contains buttermilk, mustard or vinegar, which are very common variations of the dressing.  There is also a barbecue slaw, which is known as the red slaw and it’s commonly found in North Carolina, which is made using ketchup and vinegar rather than mayonnaise.  

Coleslaw is generally eaten as a side dish with foods such as barbecue, French fries, and fried chicken. It may also be used as a sandwich ingredient, placed on barbecue sandwiches, hamburgers and hot dogs along with chili and hot mustard. It is sometimes seen in delicatessens on variants of the Reuben sandwich - with coleslaw substituting for the sauerkraut and dressing, the meat being either pastrami or corned beef, and the sandwich commonly called “Rachel” instead of “Reuben” (also simply “Corned Beef Special”). A variation of coleslaw made with vinegar and oil is often served with pizza in Sweden. As we dig deeper in the history of the coleslaw you come to one conclusion the sky is the limit with these ingredients, they are probably as many variations of coleslaw as there are cooks.  The only tip I can give you here is to make this a day ahead of serving so all of those flavor have time to develop into the ingredients.

If the coleslaw is typical American salad, the Toad in a Hole is representative of its English roots.  This traditional dish consists of sausages in a pudding batter, usually served with vegetables and onion gravy. In the book a popover batter replaces the pudding batter. With six ingredients needed, I have to agree that this would be the perfect Sunday brunch dish.

So are we going on a picnic adventure or a relaxing Sunday brunch?

Menu 12: Pork Chops with Blue Cheese Stuffing, Warm Green Bean Salad, Potato Herb Galette

I can tell that Raymond got ambitious with this weeks menu, because this is what he wants you and your family to try this week:

  • Pork Chops with Bleu Cheese Stuffing - page 337
  • Warm Green Bean Salad - page 131
  • Potato Herb Galette - page 241

Let’s begin with the pork chops with their apple, Roquefort, pecans and scallion stuffing, HELLO! Can you shout YUM!  Even for me that I’m anti-fruit-in-my-food person, I’m going all out on this one and making it as it.  Tom just informed me that apple and pork chops are like a “staple” – first for me! See even cooks like me have to learn a thing or two.

Reading the recipe, I do question the art of placing it in the broiler without searing it first in a saucepan, so maybe I may go that route, just to give it an extra caramelization all around.  A quick tip that I may give each of you: Brine your chops before hand, this will keep them moist, specially this type of cut, which tends to take longer during the cooking period because of it thickness and will dry out.

But the one that I’m curious about is the Potato Galette.  In my book galette means something with dough.  Not this galette.  This will become, after cooking one big potato pancake, but then Galette in France is the name they call a buckwheat flour pancake, which is filled with “stuff”, lots of good stuff.  This one is made entirely of potatoes and its cook until nice and crispy.  What I not to like?

I guess we will find out when we post this coming week right?

So, start your ovens and stoves guys…

Let’s get Gutsy!

Menu 1: Potato Skins and Bake BBQ Wings

Here we are guys… ready or not lets go and cook up.  This weeks menu choices are:

  • Potato Skins with Cheddar and Bacon  - page 38
  • Bake BBQ Wings with Blue Cheese Dip - page 61

and they are yummy (I cheated and I’m ahead, so I can tell you the BBQ wings will be a total repeat in your kitchen).  When you post your experience, come back and leave your post link in the comment section so we can all go and salivate.