Lemon Zest Blueberry Cheesecake

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I must say this has been the best cheesecake I have made yet.
My best friend had a baby boy shower and this was quite fitting for the occasion. I had made enough for at least 80 people and then some. A lot more.. Enough to share with more friends.
Which I’m happy about because honestly it’s a really good recipe and turned out really good.

However, this recipe was influenced by Tyler Florence “The Ultimate Cheesecake” which is just a plain cheesecake. Took that and tweaked it a little bit and added my own flare. That’s what cooking is about right?

This cheesecake is basically three of my favorite things in one!!! What more could I ask for.
The cheesecake itself I threw in a bunch of lemon zest which I think is what does it. The blueberry compote I also added lemon zest which adds a lot more flavor and brightens up the blueberries and the compote all together. All of it eaten together is just delicious. This is a must make.

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Caramel Popcorn Pumpkin Cheesecake.

Popcorn Pumpkin Cheesecake.

Pumpkin cheesecake with whipped cream & caramel chipotle popcorn.

These were really fun and easy to make. Made these for my birthday last year & with it being in the fall it was perfect. Made miniature ones for my party and it turned out nicely. Got the popcorn from a food show I had went to and it worked out pretty well.

Standard cheesecake recipe with pumpkin puree added to it. Made some special ones too which were tasty.

Crabby Crab Cakes.

Little Crabby Crab Cakes. I’ve come across a variety of crab cakes through out my work. But recently doing some private catering I discovered a really good recipe that hold up with a little extra boost and I got a chance to make it as well. Doing private catering for small parties is excellent because you can showcase different menu items you have to offer and make them how you want. Crab cakes at all locations will most likely be different anywhere you go. But your standard crab cake will and should at least have the crab, mayonnaise, dijon & worcestershire sauce. I’ve seen people add leeks, eggs(more for the binding aspect), hot sauce, old bay, cayenne pepper, lemon juice, capers, bread crumbs, crackers, panko, and the list is endless. Whatever you want to have in it is all you. But if you want to step up your crab cake game but keeping it simple as well then take a stab at this. Try adding some shrimp to the crab cakes. Not just chunks of shrimp but a smooth shrimp mousse folded into lump crab meat.

Different play, not your average crab cake and people will definitely not expect it. The shrimp mousse will give it that extra hold and seafood flavor that people love. Simply take shrimp and throw it in a robot coupe being careful to not over process it. Add in freshly chopped garlic, onions, old bay, paprika, lemon juice,  salt and lemon pepper. This way no extra binder of any type of gluten is really needed; might be slightly loose at first when forming the crab cakes but will hold once they start cooking. Portion them out and dip them in panko bread crumbs when searing them for extra crunch and browning.

Quick Comfort.

Quick Comfort.

Noodles are a staple in Asian cuisine. Whether it’s rice, flour or egg noodles the the combinations are endless. From udon, ramen to spaghetti noodles; there’s no escaping. I grew up eating all sorts of noodles but mainly Asian style noodles. Typical Asian soup & noodle dishes are garnished with a couple proteins and vegetables.

Spam is a great accommodation if you’re up for that type of stuff. Fry an egg along with it and garnish it with some green onions and cilantro and you have yourself a quick snack. Or sear up some flank steak or Chinese BBQ roasted pork.

For a really quick broth; in the water you are cooking your noodles with just add spices and different flavoring. Have all these ingredients and your broth ready to go before you drop your noodles in so while the noodles are cooking it absorbs all the flavor that’s simmering in the broth.

My quick Asian style broth: Soy sauce, dash of sesame oil, pepper, ginger, garlic, mushrooms (for some earthy flavor) and my favorite and secret ingredient Togarashi (Japanese product with a mixture of chili pepper and couple other ingredients. Good for soups, flavoring meats and other proteins as well). With this quick broth you can add any type of noodles and even dumplings to enjoy something warm and comforting.

Fall Scallops

Fall Scallops

If there is one thing that I am really good at it would be searing scallops. A good scallop will have a nice sear on top with it served medium. For the most part..

This was one of my signature scallop dish that was featured on the fall menu few months back at Andiamo’s Osteria in Royal Oak.

Pan seared scallops with spinach, wild mushrooms, procuitto and sweet potatoes. Fresh apples, thyme lemon and bourbon brown butter.

Duck… Duck.. Fried Rice!

Duck... Duck.. Fried Rice!

Yes. Roasted Duck Fried Rice.
Introduce your bland tastebuds to new things please.
A standard fried rice must have eggs, soy sauce and green onions. The rest is up to you.
I’ve added some bean sprouts and iceberg lettuce as well. You can also add some chiles to spice it up. Who doesnt like spicy duck.

Alternate protein that you could use would be some beef. One of my personal favorites.
Spicy beef fried rice. Mmm.
Rice. Soy sauce. Eggs. Mushrooms. Green onions. Iceberg lettuce. Chili Garlic Paste.

Ginger & Garlic Fried Rice.
Very simple and easy. The smell of this is wonderful and will tingle your senses and the taste is like nothing else.
If you don’t feel well this is something to eat. Ginger has a lot of health benefits that helps with nausea and even improve the absorption of nutrients in your body.

Just for the Halibut.

Just for the Halibut.

This is one of my favorites. I will never forget this image.
The good ole days when I was in Culinary school in 2011. I had to make every component and perfect this dish every week for the competition team which we placed with a Silver medal.

Seared halibut with saffron white wine sauce. Asparagus, braised fennel underneath and a fried corn croquette garnished with pea shoots.