Archive for June, 2012

Calorie counting is so over! Most of us weight watchers these days have a more balanced approach — one with room for humour. As we reconcile our craves and nutrition requirements to our desire to shed those extra pounds pronto, we only wish our solution was this easy:

Source: The Answers to Life (or at least some of them)

In 2007, the gorgeous British actor Clive Owen starred in an over-the-top action flick Shoot Em’ Up opposite the gorgeous Italian model Monica Bellucci. The film was terrible but it had its moments like the one where Owen’s carrot-chewing character Smith (reminds you of Bugs Bunny?) shoves a carrot through a goon’s face and says, “Eat your vegetables!” Of course there’s more to the scene than just that, but you’ll have to watch the video to see why it is cringe-worthy and funny at the same time:

Cooking being a routine activity, we sometimes forget that we aren’t in a chemistry lab following a formula. We also forget how therapeutic and sensual cooking can be when viewed as creation vs. construction. MasterChef Season 3 contestant Christine Ha, a 32-year-old Vietnamese American blind home cook reminds us that the sense of smell, touch, taste and sound are not just integral but also imperative to crafting angelic cuisine.

Christine, who suffers from neuromyelitis optica (NMO) – an autoimmune disorder that affects the optic nerves and spinal cord — wowed the judges with her catfish braised in a claypot and won herself a spot on the show as a contestant. Commenting on the fish she cooked in caramel, coconut soda, shallots, garlic and fish sauce, Joe Bastianich, a judge on the show, writes in his blog —

Her’s was the dish I was most curious to taste – and she nailed it! I mean she really nailed it. Does this mean she’ll be able to manage her way around the MasterChef kitchen? That I’m not so sure of, but she’s certainly earned the right to try like everyone else, and is one to watch as we move ahead.”

Turns out Christine is managing her way around the MasterChef kitchen just fine! In a recent episode one of the contestants, with an advantage gained by coming out on top in a challenge, tried to trip her up by giving her live crab when he could give her canned crab. Though she was apprehensive about handling the live animal and pierced herself while cleaning the cooked crab, she created a spectacular crab caviche cocktail that won her the round. You go girl!

Check out her crab creation and poetic apple pie she created in a pressure test in a previous episode.

We all love a classic potato leek soup and for good reason — potato and leek combine to give a sublime flavor. Now add to this duo smoked gouda cheese and a thin crust and voila you got yourself a true masterpiece.

All you have to do is make or buy pizza dough. I generally use Wolfgang Puck’s Pizza Dough Recipe. I must say that I do substitute sugar for honey sometimes and the dough turns out just fine.

To make the pizza, preheat the oven to 500 F or 260 C. Peel and slice the potatoes thin but not very thin, preferably using a mandoline. Chop leeks into rings. For two smallish potatoes I use a third of a leek (that includes the white and green parts) and that makes one large pizza. Coat a skillet with olive oil and heat it. Add in the potato slices and season with salt, chili powder and turmeric. Stir occasionally. Half way through the potatoes cooking, add in the leek rings and cook. Meanwhile roll out the pizza dough and lay it on a pizza pan or stone. Layer the pizza lightly with shredded smoked gouda cheese. Spread out the potatoes and leeks over the cheese and top it off with a light sprinkling of cheese. Coat the outer crust with some of the oil left over in the skillet. Bake the pizza in the preheated oven for 10 minutes or till the crust browns slightly. Garnish with sliced basil or baby spinach leaves if you like.


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