Tuesday, February 8, 2011

We've Moved!

Hi lovers!

I hope the freeze screen of my face yesterday didn't scare you! 

Just wanted to let you know that we have moved on over to www.whitsamusebouche.com

so, hop on over and check out the new digs :)



Monday, February 7, 2011

The most epic, amazing launch of the most epic, amazing website.


Guys, it's been a wild ride, and momma loves you, but it's time to move on.  Never fear, all the same great stuff and more waits for you, at our self-hosted, sparkly, shiny, brand new site!

Please hop on over and check us out at Whit's Amuse Bouche!




Thursday, February 3, 2011

Thoughts of an Imprisoned Boozehound.

Check it.

You're stuck in the blizzaster of 2011.  You can't go to the store, because - news flash - it's thundersnowing.  You are 12 stories up in a high rise and have no idea how bad it is down there, but evidently, people are dying, and you have 2 cats to care for.  How irresponsible of you, to just leave and go to the store for gouda and pinot noir, when you probably won't make it back and then they will find your cats 5 days later, eating rolls of toilet paper.

No. You can't go.  Think of the cats.  Don't think about how there are only 3 bottles of red wine left.  You can't think about that.  You have pretzels.  And... mustard...

So, it'll be okay, right?  You can ration that wine for...3 bottles...so.. 3, MAYBE 4 days...

You've got this.

Mustard and Pretzel Crusted Chicken

2 cups pretzels, smashed into oblivion (or food processed, if you're feeling classy)
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/4 cup whole-grain mustard
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 chicken breasts

Preheat the oven to 400°. In a food processor, (or with your skillet/smasher) pulse the pretzels until coarsely ground; you should have coarse chunks and fine crumbs. Transfer to a large, shallow bowl.
In a bowl mix the mustards, vinegar, and salt and pepper together with a whisk.

Add the chicken breasts and turn to coat. Dredge the chicken in the pretzel crumbs and transfer to a baking sheet. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until cooked through.

Open the wine. Take a deep breath. And count to ten.  You won't run out. Say it with me "I will not run out."

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Blackberry Vinaigrette

Picture it, Mexico, 2011.  We are at this mayan joint where everything starts and ends in a X and I am just trying to make sure I don't accidentally eat pork.   The menu is approximately 45 pages long, and I am starting to sweat.

I usually don't have a hard time ordering somewhere, but sweet martha, whats a girl with IBS to do?!?

And then. Right off the English menu a phrase jumps out at me like a jalapeno in frying oil.

Blackberry. Vinaigrette.


Trust me, I was just as confused as you are about it.

But I Don't care whose idea it was, it was a good one, son!

The Mayans got something right.


1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon minced shallots
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 pint fresh blackberries, plus extra for garnish
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/2 cup light olive oil

In a large skillet, heat the oil over a medium-high heat.  Add the shallots and garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. 

Add the blackberries and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.

Deglaze the pan with the vinegars and cook until reduced by half, about 30 seconds.

Remove from the heat and transfer to a blender. 

Add the sugar, mint and tarragon, and process to a smooth paste. Add the salt and pepper. 

With the machine running, add the light olive oil through the feed tube and process until smooth.

Strain through a fine mesh sieve into a clean bowl and refrigerate until completely cool, about 1 hour. 

Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall, This vinaigrette will wake up any salad.



Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Last Supper

I want a t-shirt that says 'gnocchi is for lovers'.  Or maybe just a picture of a gnome wheel-barreling gnocchi. 

Go ahead and tell me that's not a funny tshirt.  I'd clean the house wearing that.  I'd set that in my front yard, so that people who dared to cross my threshold knew that I was serious about my gnocchi.

I am sure you have heard, but Chicago is about to face it's its certain end with the impending snow that is headed our way like a black cloud.

On days like this, it is time to think about one's last meal.  And if I am goin' out, you better bet your sweatpanted ass, I am goin' out with carbs.

It is no secret how I feel about carbohydrate-rich foods.  I feel they are foods of the Lord.  Because how could it taste that good and not be holy?  It's like wine.  Jesus drank it. So should I. It's the holy thing to do.

Now Jesus, that man led by example.

So for your last meal - I send you on a quest.  A quest of fantastical proportions.

Carrot. Gnocchi.

1 pound carrots
1 tablespoon finely chopped onion
3 tablespoons butter
1 cup Parmesan cheese
6 teaspoons flour
2 large egg yolk
salt, pepper, and nutmeg to taste
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 
Peel and slice carrots. Boil until tender. Drain. 

 In a medium skillet, cook the onion in 1 tablespoon butter, over moderate heat, stirring until pale gold.

Add carrots, and cook for 5 minutes while stirring occasionally.

Transfer the carrots to a food processor, and puree until smooth. Transfer the puree to a bowl. 

Add 3 tablespoons of the cheese, the flour and egg yolk, and season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg; mix well. 

Bring a wide shallow saucepan of water to a boil and add 1 tablespoon salt. Prepare a bowl of ice cold water. Shape the carrot mixture into ovals, using two soup spoons, scooping a portion between the spoons. 

Slide a few of the gnocchi ( do not crowd the pan) at the time into the boiling water and cook just until they rise to the surface, about a minute or less.
When the gnocchi are done, transfer to the cold water.
Lightly butter a baking dish large enough to hold the gnocchi in a layer without crowding.
Drain the gnocchi and arrange them in the prepared baking baking dish.
Sprinkle with remaining cheese and butter. Bake for 10 minutes. Sprinkle with chives and serve at once. 

 May you all, enjoy your last supper, and this storm burdens our fearful nation.

AKA. May you get drunk and be glad that you're probably not going into the office tomorrow.  To you I say, Mazel Tov!



Monday, January 31, 2011

Just for the Halibut...

You may have heard wind, 'round the streets and through your kitchens that Amuse Bouche has started giving weekly cooking classes.

I know. Big deal.  I is one.

I am more excited than you on this one, trust me.  You couldn't possibly know how happy it makes me to be able to do stand up comedy and cook at the same time for 2 hours a week.  My heart is full.  So is my belly. For some reason, when I crack jokes to the lifeless halibut steak laying on my cutting board, it doesn't laugh back. 

So having people around to laugh when I say "Just for the Halibut..." - that's a bonus.

In fact, this is just one of a few seriously exciting developments in the land of la bouche.  And unfortunately, you would have a brain 'splosion if I gave them to you all at once, so we will celebrate these victories, one piece of good news at a time. Nobody wants your brain a 'sploadin'.

So here's to people learning the fine art of cooking, may it bring you just an ounce of the peace that it has brought me.  May it NOT, bring you that extra 20 el bee's I seem to have found since I started blogging.  



1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon thinly sliced shallot
1/2 cup bottled clam juice
2 firm, ripe avocados (9 ounces each)—halved, pitted and sliced lengthwise 1/4 inch thick
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup cilantro leaves plus sprigs, for garnish
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Four 6-ounce halibut fillets, about 1 inch thick
2 medium tomatoes—peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Heat the olive oil in a small skillet. Add the shallot and cook over moderate heat until softened, about 2 minutes. 

Add the clam juice and simmer for 3 minutes; transfer to a blender. Add an avocado half, the lemon juice and cilantro leaves and blend until smooth. 

Scrape the sauce into a small saucepan and season with salt and pepper.  

Season the halibut with salt and pepper and sprinkle the cumin on both sides.  

Spoon some of the tomatoes on top of each fillet. 

Place in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the fish easily flakes away from a fork.
Gently reheat the avocado sauce, but do not boil. 

Transfer the fish to plates and pour the sauce alongside. Garnish with the remaining avocado slices and cilantro sprigs and serve at once. 



Thursday, January 27, 2011

Sherbert...err Sherbet.

When you have approximately 54 cuties left over from your box of clementines, and they start to shrivel, I am sure you, just like me, start to panic and wonder "Well, what in the flip am I gonna do about this?"

Yea, I figured as much.

Naturally, there was only one thing to do.  Make myself some Sherbert.  Yes. I sure did say sherbert.  Where I come from we throw and extra ARR in there for good measure.

Sort of like it sounds when you need to "warsh" your jeans.  Or when you need to put some "eyece" in your water.

Sherbert. I assure you, there is no difference in Sherbet and Sherbert, except for that fact that one is used above and one is used below, the Mason Dixon Line.

And we Kentuckians praise the Lord we are JUST south, of that Mason Dixon Line.

So let there be Clementine Sherbert, people.

2 1/4 pounds clementines
(or 1 1/2 cups of juice)
Zest from 2 clementines
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup heavy cream, chilled.
1 packet of gelatin
2 tablespoons of water

Freeze the canister of an ice-cream maker overnight.

Drop the gelatin and about 2 tablespoons of water into a small saucepan and turn your back on it.  Don't heat it up until you have the clementines juiced!

Strip the zest from two clementines and toss the zest into a bowl and squeeze the clementines, removing any seeds, to make 1 1/2 cups of juice.

Remembering the saucepan, put a little heat under it until the gelatin starts to look smooth, not grainy. Then stir in the sugar, salt, juice and zest and turn up the heat, letting it come to something like the temperature of your finger. Stir to make sure the sugar is dissolved, then chill it in the refrigerator. When it is cold, strain out the zest and toss the juice into the tank of your ice-cream maker along with the cream, which should be cold, too.

Run in the ice cream maker until thick, remove and place in the freezer for an hour.

Well, hells bells, how did they get in there?
They're pissed they didn't get any sherbert, I'd be too.