That’s right….Freshly toasted English muffin, runny poached egg, microwaved sandwich style ham, good ole’ American cheese topped with Sirachi hot sauce presented on a fine paper plate. Hmmmm Hm!
Monday, November 28, 2011
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Sometime doing things yourself can make financial sense and be a soul satisfying experience, very much unlike the home mushroom cultivating kit described by Florence Fabricant in today NYTimes. If you are not familiar with oyster mushrooms they are somewhat under satisfying. They lack a very distinctive flavor and/or texture and produce a mostly flaccid slimy cooked fungus product.
Instructions include placing box in a dark place and misting with water. Sounds like a nice place to do some serious reflection. Alone, in the dark, watching a box of mushrooms grow!?! If you escape the self-destructive depression this might induce you can take a picture of your bounty, post it to Facebook and receive a complimentary refill of mushrooms in mulch. Worth a try.
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Monday, November 21, 2011
Saturday, November 19, 2011
Friday, November 18, 2011
The countdown has begun for most normal people; one solid week. We are currently being oversaturated with an absolutely horrid bombardment of overzealous Thanksgiving propaganda. Every media outlet is pumping lies into our skulls at a rate unimaginable to most level headed human beings. I hope you have not fallen ill with this sickness and applied the balm provided in my last post recommending my personal suggestions on how to make Thanksgiving 2011 the best of the past year. I’m sure to speak for many of us when I say we have staved off numerable instances of motivation to get a jump on this holiday, but it is the unfortunate reality that we must face now with 6 days and counting so it’s time to get to work.
First gather up those morbid culinary magazines that subconsciously make most of us feel filthy and inadequate. Indulge your guilty pleasure; go ahead and clip out photos of your favorite celebrity chef for their respective shrine then quickly dispose of the remaining few pages. This will make the coming task much easier. Think back to last year, now demand of yourself to purchase far less food overall. Don’t worry about recipes; they will come….preferable stick to the ones on the back of the Stover’s Stuffing, French’s fried onions, and the plastic skin of the frozen turkey. They are most reliable.
If you are feeling guilty that your ‘The Chew’ or ‘Next Iron Chef’ shrine is not up to par as you imagine that the bitch from work has crafted one of greater depth then go ahead and clip those photos from the newly arrived culinary page turners bemoaning the absolute hysterical euphoria your family (dog) will display upon you trying to jerry-rig a meal out of Thanksgiving leftovers. It’s a lie….no her shrine might very well trump yours, but not for long. Rid your life, my life and the life of your loved ones from this scourge once and for all.
That is enough for the first day of preparation.
Thursday, November 17, 2011
WTF #1 I’m sure there are a lot of people who try out for Top Chef and I can only image the daunting task of wading through all the bull shit, but it seems reasonable to think there are most likely around 100 or so quality applicants. For this season they brought in 32 of them. They all took time off their job maybe even quit, said heartfelt good-byes to their family, and spent a fair amount of cash outfitting themselves, traveling, photo shoots, Bravo spent a decant amount of money on them as well I’m sure. The first guy sent off can’t find the tenderloin on a whole loin of pork?!?! WTF This was one of the top 32 applicants? For that chef somewhere out there who assumes he was #33, man he must be one pissed off motherfucker right now.
WTF #2 We only got three episodes in to find out that even the top 16 have neglected to prepare themselves to bake a god damned cake. WTF Did these wonder chefs not watch any of the past 8 seasons
WFT #3 James Beard Foundation WTF. It seems like every one of these goofballs is blurting out, “I’m a James Beard blah blah blah.” Dear James Beard Foundation, start being a little more selective before the mention of you becomes as meaningless as the words, “organic” “local” or “artisanal”. Please, we have trusted you so far.
WTF #4 Did any of the 18 cheftestants sent away do any kind of prep to be on the show? WTF Guy who ran out of time obviously should have went in his kitchen, set a timer for 20 minutes and figured out how much he could get done in that time. Seafood restaurant guy that bought pre-cooked shrimp WTF I hope no one ever comes to your restaurant again, ever! Unless they want a refund on their gift certificate. Lastly, everyone except the Mexican chef, did you know where season 9 was set? WTF Open a book for fucks sake. Did the idea of authentic Mexican, tex-mex, cowboy, snake or other regional ingredients elude you? Did you pack your winter boots for this trip as well? Click your clogs three times and maybe you will be transported back to Chicago three months ago where you can turn around, walk out of the tattoo parlor, get back in the car and find the big building filled with books called a Library. Someone there will show you where to find a book about Texas and more than a few shelves of cookbooks. Try one with the name Rick Bayless on it for starters.
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Thursday, November 10, 2011
Apple-Fig & Blue Cheese Quick Bread
with Port Wine Curd
For the bread:
Two cups AP flour
One tblsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
One tsp black pepper
One half tsp thyme
Three ounces crumbled blue cheese
One and a half cups tart local apple, grated
One half cup dried figs, rough chopped
Two thirds cup milk
Four tblsp melted butter
Mix dry ingredients before tossing in cheese and figs till the pieces are separated and coated in flour. Wisk eggs and mix with other wet ingredients before gently combining with four mixture. Be careful not to overmix and be aware the batter will be very thick. Cook in a nine by five inch loaf pan that has been coated with butter at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let the bread cool in the pan for 20 minutes before turning it out to rest until cooled to room temperature.
For the curd:
Two cups port wine
One each star anise, cinnamon stick
Three whole cloves
One and one third cups sugar
Four whole eggs
One and three quarters sticks of butter (seven ounces)
In a heavy bottom saucepan combine wine and aromatics, reduce wine over medium heat by half. Remove aromatics from wine. Off heat add sugar and butter. Return pan to low heat and add the eggs once the sugar has dissolved. Whisk constantly until curd is thick enough to hold marks from the whisk. Push this mixture through a fine sieve and chill with a cover of plastic wrap pushed onto the top of the curd in an effort to prevent a toothsome skin from forming.
Tuesday, November 08, 2011
Octopus, foie gras, brioche, Wild Turkey, raw oyster, real/good sushi, sturgeon with truffled leeks and black lentils, Allegrini Amarone, aged Manchego with truffle honey, Dogfish Head Raison D Etre, fennel, Italian sparkling water, oil cured olives with Bulgarian feta and grilled lamb chops with rosemary, ice cold tap water.
I would like to be making sweet potato brioche, lobster consume, pork pate, gougeres with real gruyere cheese, Makers Mark gelee over foie terrine with pickled cherries, broccoli-beer-cheese soup, vanilla panna cotta, Brown chicken stock….in large amounts.
I would like to go to Crop, Noodlecat, Phnom Penh, Chinato, anywhere authentically ethnic.
Things I’d like to do less of: drinking diet soda products, eating white bread and Idaho potatoes, not being able to bend my knee, eating without a conscious, thinking about reacting without acting at all.
Wednesday, November 02, 2011
One package instant yeast One and a half cups warm water Seven slices of bacon, medium dice One sweet onion, medium dice
One tsp honey
Five cups AP flour
One tblsp salt
One tblsp black pepper
Six tblsp EVOO
One tblsp Italian seasoning blend
Four garlic cloves, rough chop
One and a half cups mashed potatoes
Bloom yeast in water with honey. In a sauté pan brown bacon and onion, add garlic and cook another 3 minutes, lastly add the herbs. I used yesterday’s mashed potatoes so I put them in this pan to warm up. Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl then the water. Kneed this mixture for 6 minutes. Blend in the bacon mixture and work the dough another 2 minutes. Return to a large bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let raise 2-3 hours.
After the dough has risen turn it out into an oiled baking dish about 18x11x3 inches and bake in a pre-heated oven for 35 minutes until golden. After removing dish from oven let the bread rest in the pan for ten minutes before removing it to a wire rack to finish cooling.
One and a half cups warm water
Seven slices of bacon, medium dice
One sweet onion, medium dice