Friday, October 31, 2014

Crock-Pot and Sous-Vide... does it work?

This weekend ends the submissions for the CrockStars Competition. All Contestants had to create a 2 minute video of their favorite culinary creation with a crockpot. I had the amazing oppertunity to enter and guess what I cooked? Gourmet "Sous-Vide" Hamburgers. Ever since I heard of the French cooking method of "Sous-Vide," I was fascinated with it. It simply means cooking food "under-vacuum." So, cooking foods in a air-tight bag submerged in hot water.

2 min-video on Gourmet Sous-Vide Hamburgers here! 

I have experimented a lot with this cooking technique and even though there is a lot of fancy equipment that chefs use to perfect their results with Sous-Vide, I wanted to simplify it for the home chefs out there. When I saw the CrockStars competition, I knew this could be my chance to show people how easy and how delicious cooking sous-vide can really be!

So, what are you waiting for? Try out Sous-Vide to see how good it is. Here is a SUPER quick recipe you can make TODAY with ingredients that you already have!  

2 min-video on Gourmet Sous-Vide Hamburgers here! 

I need your votes! ...Everyday November 1st - 9th click the "VOTE" button on my video so that I will have a chance to make it to the Crock-Stars finals. Don't forget to share the video with your friends so they can place their votes and experience the ease of sous-vide cooking for themselves!! Thank you for helping me get to the finals in this competition! 

2 min-video on Gourmet Sous-Vide Hamburgers here! 

Friday, October 24, 2014

Can YOU Compose Your Own Symphony of Ingredients? Here's how...

Lately, I have literally been in the kitchen all the time, and surprisingly I have enjoyed every minute of it. Why? Because I get to experiment in many different ways. I feel like a mad scientist at times trying to get things to work together that have never even mixed before.

If you are creative, passionate or just tired of eating the same thing... you just might want to think about creating your own recipes!

Playing around with food you certainly come up with some amazing and some interesting combinations that you will never forget!

Creating recipes takes a lot of planning, behind the scenes prep and many hours of hard work. But believe me... it is totally worth it! I tell the story of my biggest kitchen disaster in my cookbook "Cook Your Way to Health." A lesson learned, and not forgotten. However, out of that unforgettable disaster came my now most popular recipe for black bean brownies.

“I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.” 
― Thomas A. Edison

 You have to somehow get all the details of a organized kitchen to come together in a beautiful stunning meal.

Many of you already are designing your own recipes on a daily basis without you realizing it! A pinch of this, a dash of that... and the dish you were creating just turned into something completely different. All you have to do is plan ahead a bit more and write it down, because people are going to want to replicate your dishes if they are well planned and thought out!

So, how do you compose your own recipe? Strive to find aspects of food that harmonize well together. Contrasting flavors, textures and colors are three big things you want to start off with.
Chile Chocolate Smoothie

Think about some of the classic music symphonies. Using unique instrumentation in a variety of ways letting the soaring melodies take you to amazing places with just a simple variation of the theme. It is the same with cooking. Let your ingredients do the work for you and just add in the things that are going to pull all the main components together in a symphony that will tickle your taste buds.

Starting off with a blank sheet of paper and a bunch of empty measuring cups can be a daunting task but don't try to do too much. Simplicity is key.

First think, what do you want the main flavor of the dish to be? For an easy start, think of a few things you have on hand. I have a lot of broccoli right now. Broccoli? Ok. How can you twist broccoli up a bit? Let's use a more non-traditional part of the broccoli. The Stem. What other ingredients can we add in? Not too much... we want to stay SIMPLE right?! Butter, minced garlic and black pepper. The butter will let it cook nicely in a sauté pan, and the garlic and pepper will add in some extra uniqueness. The end product ended up very tender, flavorful and defiantly something I hadn't tried before.

To hear more about my cooking thrills... and spills, check out my cookbook here.

What are you creating? Let us know! Share a picture on Hannah's Food Journey's Facebook Page