Tag Archives: food blog

A MaurPowerFoodie Challenge: July/August 2012

Last month I announced my first ever MaurPowerFoodie Challenge and you got to pick 5 mandatory ingredients! The ingredients picked were Brown Rice, Garlic Chives (Thank you Michael Chen, fellow MasterChef Season 3 competitor), Cantaloupe, Buttermilk (Thanks to Ben Starr of MasterChef Season 2), and Pickled Whitefish from Ikea (Thanks a lot Abe… from law school). Another subscriber, Dave Miller, of MasterChef Season 1, did not get his ingredient of miso in before the other 5, but I went ahead and decided to use it anyways. So here I am, with an odd combination of ingredients to say the least, but I came out with a killer dish in the end! This month I made a Buttermilk Battered Fried Pickled Whitefish, over a garlic chive and lemongrass infused buttered brown rice, served with a cantaloupe miso broth. Anyhow, I am sure you are dying to know how I made it, so let’s go step by step.
First, the broth:

I started with a whole cantaloupe, which I juiced. Take a look at this melon. Ripe, fresh, and delicious:

I then sauteed some garlic in a bit of olive oil. I added a little bit about three stalks of chopped green onion. I also put the stems in there to get some more flavor out of them, but remember to remove them at the end. Next, add the cantaloupe juice (I used 3/4 of the melon’s worth and then poured myself a glass of the rest of the refreshing nectar). Bring this to a boil and add a bit of salt and pepper to taste. Then add just a little bit of hot pepper sesame oil. Remember, a little bit of this goes a long way, so no need to be heavy handed. So it looks like this:

Now, remove from the heat (VERY IMPORTANT! YOU DO NOT WANT TO BOIL THE MISO). Add 1 1/2 tsp of white miso paste and stir allowing the miso to dissolve completely in the broth. Set aside and simply reheat when ready to use!

Next we have the Brown Rice. This is pretty simple. Take 1 cup of brown rice, 1 cut up stalk of lemon grass (big chunks are better because you are removing it after cooking), some finely chopped garlic chives, 2 cups of water, and 1 tbs of butter and put it all in a pot. Bring to a boil. Stir once, reduce heat, cover and let simmer for about 50 minutes.  Remove top, remove lemongrass chunks, and stir.

Next is the buttermilk batter. Again, really easy. First take 1 cup of flour, 1 tsp of baking soda, 1 tsp of salt, and 1 tbs of garlic powder. Sift the dry ingredients and put in a large mixing bowl. In a separate mixing bowl, lightly beat 1 egg and then add 1 cup of buttermilk to the egg and mix together. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until you have formed a smooth, liquid batter… like this:

Finally comes the roughest part of this challenge. Doing something with pickled whitefish from Ikea. And yes Abe, I even went and got it from Ikea… See:

This stuff is extremely salty and slimy, so I wanted to do something to get some of the moisture and salt out of it so it did not simply fall apart while it was frying. I simply took the pieces of fish out of the pickling juice and let a paper towel sponge out some of the moisture and salt along with it.

After I had sponged out some of that moisture came the easy part. I heated peanut oil up to 350 degrees, battered the fish, and fried it in the oil.

This leads us to the assembly of the plating. First a nice circle of rice in a bowl, leaving enough room around the sides for the broth.

Next a few pieces of the fried whitefish on top of the rice.

Then add broth around the sides of the rice, pouring a little bit on top of the fish (we don’t want to soak the batter and get rid of that amazing crispy outer shell).

Finally, I topped it off with a little bit of caviar and there we have it!

In my first MaurPowerFoodie challenge I think the score definitely goes MaurPowerFoodie: 1; Challenge: 0. While I am very happy with how this whole dish turned out, the best part was that broth. It was killer! I will most definitely be using that broth on a regular basis. Rich in flavor and color, definitely make yourself a nice cup of cantaloupe miso soup, maybe with some shrimp.

Which leads us to the next month’s challenge! Remember my 5 mandatory ingredients are up to you and based on the first 5 comments to this post (provided they are available to me at a somewhat reasonable price). You must follow the blog AND leave a comment on this post for me to use your ingredient suggestion. One ingredient per person. Then I will take the ingredients and in September make my dish and do a post about it. Then, on that post, I will take suggestions for the next month’s challenge ingredients. Be creative but also be thoughtful, because as fun as it would be to watch me squirm with some odd ingredient combo’s, it would also be great to give you all new recipes you can use at home when looking for something delicious. Remember, for me to use your ingredient, you must BOTH follow the blog AND leave a comment on this post. I will definitely use the first 5 ingredients and then as many of the others as I can.

The creative juices are flowing, so let’s get this party started. Until next time, this is Jason “MaurPowerFoodie” Maur signing off.

 


Foodie Pen Pal! Third Month – July 2012

Another last day of the month, which means another Foodie Pen Pal reveal day.

This is part of a program called Foodie Pen Pals in which every month I get/send a basket from/to another foodie from around the country. Then on the last day of the month, everyone reveals who their pen pal was, what they received, and get to see what everyone else got :-)

This month I got a wonderful package from Catherine Mackey. As Catherine said in her note to me, this was some of the most random treats to be put into a single box, but that did not make them any less AMAZING.

First off, the sweets: Moon Pies, Nutella, Pomegranate Fruit Bars, and a chocolate brownie bar! Two things that I never buy myself but can’t get enough of when I have them. The Moon Pie brought back to my childhood, eating snack cakes. As for the Nutella, I LOVE NUTELLA. However, I am the only person in my household that enjoys it, so it was never in the house. I usually only get it at a creperie. So now I know it is time to make some crepes of my own. Yum! Pomegranate = awesome, Fruit bar = Even more awesome! These are fantastic and much healthier than your standard fruit roll-up. As for the chocolate brownie bar, have not gotten to it yet, but I’m excited all the same. I could use a yummy way to get more fiber. Sweets portion of the package are a great start! But that is not all.

Moving on to what I am going to classify as the “special ingredient”: Pesto Paste. When I saw this tube, I had no idea what to expect, but it is actually quite flavorful. Don’t get me wrong, I still tend to make my own pesto, but when looking to simply add a bit of that flavor to a rub or marinade, this is perfect in a pinch. Important note, a little goes a long way, so not only is it a great addition to the seasoning cabinet, it will last a long time. And yet, there was still more…

The final addition to my pen pal package were my favorite: The snack bags! First up dried organic Mango 🙂 I am a huge lover a dried fruit, and this mango was no exception. Normally I would save it and add it to trail mix, but I started eating one piece and just kept eating… Next thing I knew the whole bag was gone. My bad! But it was worth it. Next was something I had never seen before, and am BEYOND happy I have now: Pineapple chips. I had no idea what to expect, and it certainly was not what I ever could have expected. With the same crunch as potato chip, but the sweet tang of fresh pineapple, these unique snacks are something I will be keeping my eye out for. The final addition to the package was my favorite because it is the kind of snack I will from now on be making for myself. The Sing Buri Cashews are my cooking style in a snack bag. Soy glazed cashews with peanuts, pineapple, sesame, lemongrass, & chili –> the perfect combination of salty, sweet, and spicy. I will definitely be making these many times and packing them as my snack of choice. Take a look at these amazing snack bags from my Pen Pal.

Thank you so much Catherine for an amazing Foodie Pen Pal package. To the best of my knowledge Catherine does not have a blog, but I will post it if I find out otherwise, or Catherine, feel free to post it in the comments.

As for what I sent, my pen pal recipient was Deneene Guerry. I happened upon a great Asian Market whilst walking through Queens and decided to send an Asian themed Pen Pal package. To check out what it consisted of, head over to Deneene’s blog!

Well, thus ends my third Foodie Pen Pal experience, and again it was an extremely positive one. I can not wait till August’s list is revealed and I get to do it all over again, month after month. If you want to take part in this program check it out:

The Lean Green Bean

Be sure to stay tuned for the big reveal on the last day of each month :-) Until next time, this is Jason “MaurPowerFoodie” signing off… Thanks for reading.


A NEW MaurPowerFoodie Challenge: You decide my monthly culinary quest!!!!

Hello everyone! Since I was tossed out of the MasterChef Kitchen, I have really started branching out from my cooking style and now it is time to take the next step. I have decided to really start challenging myself as a chef and you are going to be the ones to challenge me. So every month I am going to gather ingredients based on your comments on my MaurPowerFoodie Challenge posts. I will use the first 5 ingredients (provided they are available to me at a somewhat reasonable price) plus as many of the other suggested ingredients I can to create a (hopefully) stunning and delicious dish. I will then post pictures, a recipe, my thought process in creating said dish, and maybe even a video here and there of my frantic creative process in the kitchen and/or at the store.

Now I don’t want to keep you all waiting, so this challenge starts now! You must follow the blog AND leave a comment on this post for me to use your ingredient suggestion. One ingredient per person. Then, at the end of the month, I will take the ingredients and in August make my dish and do a post about it. Then, on that post, I will take suggestions for the next month’s challenge ingredients.

Be creative but also be thoughtful, because as fun as it would be to watch me squirm with some odd ingredient combo’s, it would also be great to give you all new recipes you can use at home when looking for something delicious.

Remember, for me to use your ingredient, you must BOTH follow the blog AND leave a comment on this post. One ingredient per person. I will definitely use the first 5 ingredients and then as many of the others as I can.

The creative juices are flowing, so let’s get this party started. Until next time, this is Jason “MaurPowerFoodie” Maur signing off.


Bacon, Garlic, and Egg Fried Rice… A MaurPowerFoodie Specialty!

When I was younger, my first job was working in a Chinese Take-out Restaurant answering the phone, taking orders, and ringing people out. This means I ate a lot of fried rice. So it is no surprise I learned how to make it and decided to put my own spin on it to keep it exciting. Today, I am here to show you how to make my Bacon, Garlic, and Egg Fried Rice. Great as either a main course or side dish, this one is not for the extremely health conscious eater as I actually fry the rice in BACON FAT! Anyways, we are going video style on this post, so enjoy as I teach you how to make MaurPowerFoodie’s Bacon, Garlic and Egg Fried Rice.

There you have it… Nice and easy, not to mention DELICIOUS! For those of you who want to print out the recipe or have it at easy access, I have included it below.

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup of long grain white rice

2 cups water

4-5 slices of thick-cut slab bacon or pork belly

2 tbs unsalted butter

5 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

1 bunch of green onions

1 bottle of soy sauce

1-2 eggs

Garlic Powder

Onion Powder

Salt and Pepper (to taste)

1) Combine rice and water into pot with a lid, bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and let steam for 15 minutes, until water is absorbed by rice. Uncover and fluff with a fork.

2) In a large pan or wok place bacon onto pan and turn on high, wait till bacon begins to sizzle and reduce heat, allowing bacon fat to render in pan. Flip bacon and repeat process.

3) While bacon is cooking, chop garlic (if not done so already) and cut  green onions into small rings (Chop off white ends, and cut the rest of the onions as a bunch upwards from chopped off end)

4) Increase heat to high again and allow bacon to caramelize on both sides.

5) Remove bacon from pan, add butter to pan and allow it to melt into the bacon, distributing butter evenly.

6) Add garlic and onion to pan and stir, this will cook pretty fast, so remove from heat before moving on to the next step.

7) Chop the bacon into desired chunks. I prefer larger chunks so I cut the bacon in half lengthwise and then chop the slices about pinky finger width ( I also have small hands, so take that into account and use your judgment).

8) Put the pan back on the heat, add the bacon chunks, and stir.

9) Add the rice and stir.

10) Add soy sauce. (as with most cooking, I cook to taste and not in exact amounts. As seen above in the video if you pour in a spiral from the outside in it works pretty well)

11) Season with garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper to taste. (be light on the salt as there is already sodium in the soy sauce)

12) Create a well in the middle of the rice exposing the pan, add the egg into the well stirring constantly to prevent it from sticking and then mix into the rice.

13) Serve and Enjoy!

This is one of my absolute favorite recipes. I hope you enjoy it too! Until next time, this is Jason Maur, the MaurPowerFoodie, signing off.


Tres Leches Cake… MaurPowerFoodie Style!

I was never one for the traditional cake. I always wanted an ice cream cake, or a cannoli cake, or a lava cake. Regular cake just always seemed to dry and mundane. That is until I stumbled upon my first Tres Leches Cake. Moist, flavorful, delicious, and simply right up may alley. Well recently I thought, “Why only have this special treat when I go out?” And so I set to work to create my perfect Tres Leches Cake recipe… And I did! I put my own twist on this classic Brazilian dessert, and instead of simply a vanilla cake with whipped frosting, I make a citrusy Orange-Vanilla cake with Cherry Whipped Cream. Don’t worry, even if you are not a baker, just follow these instructions and you will be fine… in fact, you will be the talk of the party! (like I was this past Easter when I made it)

Alright, so here goes…. First the Ingredients:

  • For the cake:
  1. Vegetable oil
  2. 1 1/2 cups cake flour
  3. 1 teaspoon baking powder
  4. 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  5. 4 ounces of room temperature, unsalted butter
  6. 1 cup sugar (fill the measuring cup a little of the brim on this one 😉 If you like it sweet )
  7. 5 whole eggs
  8. 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  9. 1 1/2 teaspoons orange extract
  10. 1 tsp lemon juice
  • For the glaze (aka The Three Milks or Tres Leches):
  1. 1 (12 ounce) can of evaporated milk
  2. 1 (14 ounce) can of sweetened condensed milk
  3. 1 cup half and half
  4. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  5. 1 teaspoon orange extract
  6. 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • For the Whipped Cream
  1. 2 cups heavy cream
  2. 1 cup sugar (again, fill it a little over the brim)
  3. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  4. 3 tablespoons cherry juices (juice from a jar of maraschino cherries)
  • Top of the cake
  1. 1 lemon (for zesting)
  2. 1 jar maraschino cherries

There you have it. Now that you have all of the ingredients, let’s put this bad boy together. Starting with the cake batter:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Lightly oil and flour a 13″x9″ metal pan.
  3. Using the paddle attachment of a stand mixer, beat the butter on medium speed for about a minute until fluffy.
  4. Decrease the speed to medium-low, and gradually add the sugar.
  5. Add one egg at a time, allowing it to mix thoroughly before adding the next egg.
  6. Add the vanilla extract, orange extract, and lemon juice.
  7. In a separate bowl, whisk together your flour, baking soda, and salt.
  8. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture to the stand mixer at a time, allowing the ingredients to mix before adding the next batch.
  9. Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan.
  10. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 20-25 minutes, until lightly golden brown.
  11. Remove from oven and set aside and let cool for about 5 minutes.

While the cake is cooling, it is time to make the glaze! Here goes:

  1. Whisk together the evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, half and half, vanilla extract, orange extract, and lemon juice.
  2. Take the baked and cooled cake and using toothpicks or a fork, perforate (poke) the cake to create tiny little points for the glaze to seep through.
  3. Pour the glaze on top of the cake. (this will look like it might overflow, but it won’t)
  4. Let the cake sit until the glaze has soaked in and then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight (or for at least 6 hours, overnight is better)

Finally, now that the cake has sat and absorbed all that moist goodness, it is time to make the whipped cream:

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, using the whisk attachment, whisk together on medium-low the heavy cream, sugar, vanilla, and cherry juice.
  2. As stiff peaks begin to form, increase the speed and whisk until thick.
  3. Spread the whipped cream over the cake.
  4. Place cherries on top of the whipped cream as desired.
  5. Zest your lemon, and sprinkle the zest over the cake.

That’s it! Now let’s take a gander at how it looks 🙂

Then simply enjoy it with your friends, family, coworkers, or whoever else you want to impress until it looks more like this:

I hope you all enjoy this delectable dessert as much as I do. Until next time, this is MaurPowerFoodie signing off.


Hello world!

Welcome to the culinary journey of an attorney/actor/chef /stand-up comic/waiter/singer that simply loves food. I hope you enjoy joining me as we try different restaurants, recipes, and simply explore the art that is food.

Above check out me carving a freshly smoked turkey (on the left) and a plate of a Mexican inspired pulled pork with a duo of BBQ sauces (a mole BBQ and a peach/apricot habanero BBQ) along with a shot of watermelon, vodka, and mint gazpacho.

Talk to you all soon! An be sure to follow the blog to keep up on all the latest adventures.

-Jason