The Experimental Gourmand

Classically-trained culinary professional and mother-trained home cook explores the world of food events, markets, seasonal eating and cooking, and the culinary world in general.  Check out this website for NYC food events, recipes, demonstration reviews, and event write-ups.

Asparagus and Scrambled Eggs with Herb Butter

If you don’t like using really great, European-style butter as a flavoring and key component in a dish, you should click away now.  If you don’t have a fear of la beurre, then this is a recipe for you.  I’d originally thought of it as a Mother’s Day Brunch dish, hence the hearts, but it could just as well be a weeknight supper or anytime meal, it is so easy to put together....more

Mussels in Spicy Thai Coconut Broth

Mother Nature has decided that Winter gets to have one last blow at us before Spring can take over again.  This change in the weather, combined with a stint baby-sitting my nieces and nephews, prompted a return of the cold I'd had back in November....more

Eggs with Sauteed Mushrooms, Spinach, and Taleggio

In my post about some of the delicious meals I had during my trip to London a few weeks ago, I mentioned that I'd eaten at GAIL's, a newish mini-chain of artisan bread shops and cafés, one of which was located not all that far from where I was staying in West London.  The day I landed, I stopped in for a second breakfast (or mid-morning snack, depending upon your point of view) of coffee and a pastry just to keep me going and to try to get my body on the local time zone.  I spotted another customer's meal of fluffy scrambled eggs, mushrooms, bechamel sauce, and a croissant and vowed I'd come back there to eat a real breakfast before my trip was over. ...more

Seared Scallops with Parsley Salad and Bacon

Among the delicious bites I had when I was in London, were the small plate of bone marrow and parsley salad with toast that I shared at the bar part of St. John's Bar and Restaurant and theBorough Market stall where I gobbled up an order of scallops and bacon.  This is one of the things I love about traveling, the inspiration that having good food like this gives me in terms of developing my own recipe database.  The trick always is, however, to figure out how to recreate these things once you get back home....more

Stuffed Baked Zucchini with Tomato Sauce (Zucchini Ripieni con Sugo di Pomodoro)

As I mentioned in my previous post, this trip was great for discovering some new dishes for me to try to re-create at home.  While I don't think that I'd been in a culinary rut recently, it was more that my tastebuds needed a bit of a wake up or re-tuning.  Italy is, not surprisingly, the perfect place for this....more

Rome Visit - Campo dei Fiori

I've made it back Stateside after almost two weeks away.  Thank you so much to my siblings and in-law who contributed posts to the blog!  I hope that you enjoyed them.  As an aside, we still have not let my little brother live down that "weird kid" defense that he tried to pull after trying to stash the boxes of his Girl Scout Cookie binge.  As dutiful big sisters (this is what you get for being born the second-youngest of six kids), we bring it up from time to time, usually in the context of what on earth made him think he was going to get away with that for long with our mother.The Rome part of my trip was sort of in the middle, with stays in London on either end.  Part of my visit was to re-connect with some family friends who have been over there for about eighteen months for work. The morning of my first day there, we toured one of the famous palaces that now serves as an embassy.  While waiting for the building to be open, I wandered through the Campo dei Fiori to take in the early Saturday morning vibe.  I really love walking through street markets to feel the energy of a place, and I'm always interested to see what kinds of foods and produce are sold in them....more

Superbowl Game Day Recipes

If you are still looking for ideas as to what to serve for game day, here's some of the recipes I've pulled from my archives to give you some ideas.  I'm not exactly sure where I'll be watching the game this weekend.  The options range from a. my couch to b. a sushi place on the West Side to c. a house party to which I've been invited to d. the divey Irish bar a block over from where I live.  No matter where you are or where you catch the game, I hope that at least you'll have some great food to snack on during the festivities.Buon appetito!...more

Sour Cream Chicken Nachos

It's a bit over a week until the Superbowl, and I'm sure that your party menu is already planned, if you are doing one.  As promised, here's an additional post with a recipe using another of Brooklyn Salsa Company's products.  I've been having a great time this week making a couple of different dishes with their salsa, and I've passed out some hints to friends about other ideas for meals to make with a few of their flavors.  The Staten Island salsa with its tomatillo and tomato roots provides the flavor base for these Sour Cream Chicken Nachos (photo below).  The first time I had these was when I went to Texas to visit a friend from college.  It was love at first bite with the spicy chicken, cool sour cream, gooey cheese, and crunchy tortilla chips.  Back in Virginia, we didn't really have much Tex-Mex.  I'd eaten tacos with packaged seasoning and shells from a box, but that was about as far as anything resembling Mexican food ever got.  Well, except for the Chili con Queso I mentioned previously....more

To Pre-ssert

I've brought up a phrase a few times in some of my posts and realized last week, when it came up again in conversation, that it probably needs its own spotlight.  You might have caught it a few times, as it was mentioned recently in my write-up about our family holiday dinner this year, among other places.  That is "to pre-ssert."This term was created by my little brother, as he came out and said in the comments on that above post, to cover up for the time that he tried to eat a cookie on the sly in front of my impressionable young niece just before they were supposed to be having dinner.  My brother is a habitual snacker, so this is no surprise to anyone, but to a parent who is trying to instill discipline and a sense of household order, it can derail things substantially when other family members violate the "no snacks before meals" rules.  To clarify, however, a pre-ssert is not a snack, per my brother's definition and what he told my niece that day.  (This distinction completely cracked up my youngest sister, as she mentioned it again during the holidays this year.)...more