Monday, October 20, 2014

Food Styling & Photography Workshop | Upstate New York

Upstate New York Food Styling & Photography Workshop by Eva Kosmas Flores | Adventures in Cooking

A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to be able to host a food styling & photography workshop with the talented Carey Nershi in rural New York. We stayed in this renovated barn in a small town called Denver, nestled at the top of a hill surrounded by 300 acres of vibrant and lush autumn foliage. There we got to know our attendees, Ashley, Bonnie, Linda, Sylvia, Summer, Willow, and Sam. We spent the weekend shooting, styling, and having long discussions about props, lenses, and general food and photography geekery. Carey and I cooked delicious breakfasts, lunches, and dinners with ingredients from the local farmers' markets. We went to a historic barn and bought even more food. We walked around the grounds. We (well, mostly Ashley) built fires in the fireplace and huddled around them with hot cider and cocoa. It was the best weekend I've had in a long, long time. I have some of my favorite photos from the workshop below, and I want to give a special thanks to everyone who came. I had so much fun getting to know all of you, eat with you, and laugh with you. I hope our paths cross again soon. And I'd also like to thank our generous sponsors who helped made the workshop possible.

{ West Elm }  Thank you for providing such beautiful table settings. Your enamelware, napkins, and turned resin flatware made each meal feel special and styled. In addition, they endured multiple rounds of washing and accidental clanging each day while still looking brand new. Quite a feat, indeed!

{ Vermont Creamery } The bounty of creme fraiche, aged and fresh cheeses, and marscapone that you shared with us was incredibly generous, and yet we managed to eat almost the entirety of it, which speaks volumes about how ridiculously good it was. Your vanilla creme fraiche in a pear crisp + baked eggs with this goat cheese and tomatoes were the food highlights of my weekend.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Maple & Hazelnut Encrusted Pork Sirloin Tip Roast + A Giveaway

Maple & Hazelnut Encrusted Pork Sirloin Tip Roast by Eva Kosmas Flores | Adventures in Cooking

Halloween is getting closer, and before I start sharing a few spooky recipes, I wanted to share one last Porktober recipe for the month. This recipe features the delicious sirloin tip roast, a juicy cut of meat from the upper back that is as versatile as it is flavorful. This particular cut does best when cooked slowly, so I roasted it at a lower temperature for a longer period of time. I also salted it and rubbed it down with maple the night before to allow time for the flavor of the two to soak deep into the tissue of the meat. When I was ready to begin cooking, I let the roast rest at room temperature for 40 minutes before placing it in the oven, since a cut of this size will cook more evenly if is has been allowed to come closer to room temperature than if you put it in the oven straightaway from the refrigerator. Of course, do not let it sit at room temperature for more than an hour after you take it out of the refrigerator as you will risk encouraging the development of bacteria. I also patted off any excess moisture that was on the meat with a paper towel, so that way when I applied the salt and maple it was able to stick to the surface of the roast more easily and create a nice sticky surface for the crushed hazelnuts to adhere to.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Chicken with Sautéed Mushrooms & White Wine

Chicken with Mushrooms in Wine by Eva Kosmas Flores | Adventures in Cooking

There are some days where you just crave the simple and the good. Something that you know will go well together, is easy to make, and requires the smallest amount of clean-up afterwards. And on those days, I like to stick to one-pot cooking. All the flavors slowly melding together in a single container, bubbling away over an open flame. With this type of cooking, I've found that often times the simpler the ingredients, the better. You get more depth to each flavor without too many spices, fruits, and vegetables muddling the overall taste of the dish. And when your main ingredients are chicken, mushrooms, and white wine, you know the end result will be quite good, indeed.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Pumpkin Sheet Cake With Maple Glaze & Toasted Hazelnuts + A Giveaway From Annie Beedy

Pumpkin Sheet Cake with Maple Glaze and Toasted Hazelnuts + A Giveaway

It's been a long, strange summer here in Oregon. Since the move, we've been greeted by one of the driest periods of time I've ever spent in this state. It's only rained a handful of times and, without central AC and a master bedroom in the attic, it was pretty unpleasant. The winds are shifting now, though, and the rain is starting to come down. Hard. And I love it. That feeling of fall where everything smells crisp and fresh and clean, and that reassuring sound of rain beating against the roof, knowing that you're inside, safe and warm and dry. To celebrate the first real 'fall' night in our new home, I made a simple pumpkin sheet cake and topped it with a little maple glaze and some toasted local hazelnuts. It made the whole place smell ridiculously good and the flavor... this is definitely something special.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Caramelized Pearl Onions in Honey & Balsamic

Balsamic Caramelized Pearl Onions by Eva Kosmas Flores | Adventures in Cooking

Earlier in the week I promised you another cozy cool-weather recipe, and now I've returned to deliver on my word. For those caramelized onion fans in the crowd (which, let's be real, is pretty much everyone), I've got something very very special for you. This simple appetizer is made of of small pearl onions, caramelized in a delicious balsamic and olive oil base, with a splash of vegetable stock, pinch of salt, and drizzle of honey. It takes all of 45 minutes to put together, most of which is just letting the onions caramelize on their own in the pan, and is worth every minute of effort. Sweet, salty, tangy, the flavors of the ingredients intensify as the onions cook down and they result in a wonderfully complex-tasting dish, when in reality you can count the ingredients on two hands.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Winter Squash Coffee Cake With A Ginger Caramel Sauce

Winter Squash Coffee Cake With A Ginger Caramel Sauce by Eva Kosmas Flores | Adventures in Cooking

Things in the garden are winding down, the cooler weather is slowing the production of my tomatoes and my pumpkins are now a bright burnishing orange. I didn't grow any heirloom winter squash this year, but was craving it like crazy so I picked some up from the farmer's market, musing about what to do with it. Those of you who follow my blog regularly know that I am a cake-maker. I make tall cakes, short cakes, fruit cakes, squash cakes, cakes with frosting, cakes with glaze, bunts and layered. Pretty much all the cakes. Except one.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Apple, Rosemary, & Sausage Stuffed Pork Tenderloin

Apple, Rosemary, & Sausage Stuffed Pork Tenderloin by Eva Kosmas Flores | Adventures in Cooking

Well friends, it seems like fall is finally here. The crisp morning air, the overcast skies, and slowly but surely decreasing daylight hours. This time of year always leaves me craving something rich, juicy, and comforting. And that something is pork. I didn't truly come to appreciate pork until my early twenties, because as a child my main exposure to it was through my dad's pork chops which tended to be a bit overcooked, and so I just assumed that was the way all pork was supposed to taste and feel. But the USDA has actually reduced the required cooking temperature for pork to 145 degrees Fahrenheit, so when I slow-cooked pork shoulder at our first post-college 4th of July party, a whole new culinary world was opened to me. Tenderloin, medallions, belly, spareribs, shortloin, collar butt, striploin, rack, and pork roast, I tried and loved them all.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Braised Chicken With Hot Hungarian Paprika & Homemade Spatzle

Braised Chicken With Hot Hungarian Paprika & Homemade Spatzle by Eva Kosmas Flores | Adventures in Cooking

Growing up, my diet consisted almost entirely Greek food. It was delicious and well-prepared and I was incredibly lucky to have two parents who were both very gifted in the kitchen, but it was a pretty sheltered diet that at times left me in situations similar to the little girl in My Big Fat Greek Wedding ('You're eating moose kaka?!?' Ummmm it's moussaka....ahem.) Eventually, my mom's parents moved from Indiana to be closer to us here in Oregon, and that's the first time I ever had something strikingly different, and that was Hungarian food. My grandmother was born in Chicago to two Hungarian immigrants and my great-grandmother was, as the family gossip goes, a ridiculously good cook. Poppy seed rolls, spatzle, goulash, paprikash (pretty much all the -ashes), this woman could make it all and make it damn good. My grandma and Grandpa made Hungarian food from time to time for us grandkids, and my favorite dish they made was onions and cabbage sautéed with pork sausage. It was salty, sour, and full of smokey pork flavor. Not the type of dish most children love, but I also ate pickled octopus as an after school snack, so the childhood delicacy of my tastebuds was long gone by that point.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Oregano Honey Cake With Blackberry Buttercream + A Cookbook

Oregano Honey Cake With Blackberry Buttercream + A Cookbook

I made this cake a few weeks ago for a celebration. A celebration of something I've wanted and worked towards for a very, very, very long time. My dearest friends, I am writing a cookbook! And I could not be more ecstatic about it!! A Chicken In Every Pot is set for a fall 2016 publishing date with the wonderful Haughton Mifflin Harcourt. The deepest thanks goes to my literary agent, Holly Smith, and to my Editor, Justin Schwartz for helping bring this to fruition. I'll be working on this for a good long while, but I'll still be posting here of course, just perhaps not quite as often at the end of this year and the beginning of the new one. But it will all be for a delicious, savory cookbook that I know you will all love, so I hope you'll forgive me for any gaps in posts, however long or short they may be. And I also want to thank you all for your readership, kind words, and comments. Without your continued support I wouldn't even be writing this book.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

A Late Summer Heirloom Tomato Tasting Guide + Caprese Salad

Caprese Salad by Eva Kosmas Flores | Adventures in Cooking

Heirloom tomatoes used to be very difficult to find outside of niche farmer's markets, but with each passing year more and more of them are finding their way into large national supermarkets. Like apples, each heirloom tomato variety has its own unique taste, texture, and use, but they're usually lumped together in a generic 'heirloom tomato' bin at the grocery store, and the different varieties are never explained or highlighted. Well, today I am going to do just that. I have a tasting guide below for the various varieties I grow, but there are hundreds more varieties out there so don't be surprised if the availability at your farmer's market is slightly different than what's listed here. This is just a general guide to get you started and familiarize you with what to look for in tomatoes when you're determining what to use them for. As a rule of thumb, roma tomatoes are not great for fresh-eating since they're drier inside, but make for perfect sauce stock. The tomatoes listed below in the guide can be enjoyed both fresh and cooked, however, and any personal recommendations one way or the other are also included.