~ Totally Undeserving of the James Beard Award

~ Completely Undeserving of the James Beard Award ~

Friday, February 24, 2012

Notes to Self…

#1  REMEMBER! Don’t put this list on your blog! (keep it in secret file inside the "fake" hot chocolate canister)  :-)

#2  Come up with new a recipe for my Chicken Feet Sliders (I have the feeling the family doesn’t like it when the claws get stuck in their teeth)

#3  Try to return the salad spinner to the store; say it came that way (remember next time not to use it to dry the cat after a rainstorm)

#4  Need to use up the bacon grease; I think 3 gallons is too much to keep.
           * Maybe add it to Cathy’s strawberry jam?
           * Add it to the coffee for a more “robust” flavor
           * Freeze it for a unique popsicle
           * Use it as shaving cream???

#5  Recipe Idea:  “Crepes a la Eggplant with a ganache glace’ “ (fancy sounding name will make it taste better) 
Blanch eggplant slices then dip in melted chocolate and roll into a tube; use a toothpick to hold it.
Heat enchilada sauce in pan and thicken into a thick paste (use lots and lots of flour, if too thick add bacon grease)
Pipe paste into center of eggplant tubes
Top with hollandaise sauce. (or syrup???)
Garnish with sliced olives.
(try it first on the dog)

#6  For the stuffed grape leaves (dolma) dish on next “Greek night”, don’t substitute maple leaves from the lawn (I think they knew!)

#7  REMEMBER! If the dog gags on it… next time don’t serve it to the family!

#8  Broccoli stalks are under appreciated.

#9  I don’t think using ground up cat food instead of flour is “gluten free”

#10  Stop using the green stuff from the Shrek chia pet as a garnish (it’s just has an “off” taste)

#11  Parker didn’t like the peanut butter and pepper jelly sandwiches in his lunch.; I think it was the peanut butter.
#12  I think the family is getting tired of me yelling: “thatsa spicy meatball!” after every bite on Mexican nights.

#13  The seafood cake was a winner for Parker’s birthday…there wasn’t one crumb anywhere to be found the next morning (a good sign!); I heard a lot of his friends saying “ooh”; make it again real soon

#14  Using the ukulele to slice bananas and mushrooms doesn’t work; steal Dan’s banjo next time he’s up and try that instead.

#15  Try the loofa out of the shower as a strainer (don’t tell anyone)

#16  Pick up more anchovy sausages at the meat market (there are 4 pounds in the freezer!)

#17   Next time at a restaurant, order the steak tartar well done!

#18  Instead of garlic and rosemary in a compound butter use okra.

#19  Try again to get the cat to shred cheeses.

#20  The dill pickle sushi was a hit! Mix it up next time, dill pickle and lettuce sushi, dill pickle and cracker sushi…

#21 Refuse to take chocolate coins from Alvin at the corner store as change…they melt, plus they wont fit into the parking meters.

#22 Next Thanksgiving…when the recipe says “baste with pan drippings”, it means the turkey.

#23  Next time when someone says “hey, where’s your other brother Darryl?” spike their drink with syrup of ipecac.

#24  Remember to put the lids back on the BBQ sauces when taste testing in stores. (bring straw next time)

#25 Next time downtown, check out "Larry's Pussycat Prowl and Liquors"...maybe they have a good price on cat food.

Monday, February 20, 2012

I, Mr Blogger Man, take thee…

It's been 25 years for Mrs. Blogger Man and me…and we’re just getting started. To celebrate our anniversary, in part, I pulled out a few rib eye steaks from the freezer we get from her father who raises a couple beef each year…organic, grass fed Blank Angus, some Alaskan weathervane scallops and a couple of bakers.

First...the amuse bouche (a little appetizer, chef's choice...although "chef" is used loosely here). Alaskan weathervane scallops on toast points with sort of a cilantro chimichurri or a loose pesto type sauce. The scallops were prepared by a quick pan sear with a bit of S&P in olive oil. The sauce was buzzed up in the food processor...a couple of handfuls of cilantro, garlic, S&P, olive oil, red wine vinegar and red pepper flakes. 

I didn’t want to do too much to the steaks…I wanted let them speak for themselves, but did want to help it along and heighten the meal. 

For me, to cook a steak it has to be on the charcoal grill. Although, I have cooked many steaks using the cast iron pan method on the stove, usually when its raining sideways. Season the steak well, get a dry cast iron pan good and hot on the burner, slap down the steak and sear one side, about 4 minutes depending on the thickness and how you like your steak. Then flip the steak and throw the pan in your 400˚ F preheated oven. Remember, if the steak does not want to come off the pan before you flip it, it’s not ready to…just wait a bit more. This goes the same for any protein regardless of the cooking method. Many people try to force flip a fish or whatever before it is ready to and they end up with a mess of shredded fish falling through their grill grates. Your steak should be ready in another 4-5 minutes while you plate up your garlic-mashed potatoes and grilled asparagus. Remember, it will continue to cook until it is stone cold.

So back to our rib eyes…that we all know is prime rib cut into a steaks. Prime rib is also known as a standing rib roast. I have the steaks out of the fridge for about 15 to 20 minutes. This is important so you so not slap down refrigerator cold steaks on a hot grill. I feel it will just take longer to get the steak up to cooking temperature and will cook more evenly. I liberally rain kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper on both sides.

I have my coals ready, the grate is clean and it too is at cooking temp. Having hot coals and enough of them will create a crust to seal in the juices…when in doubt prepare a bit more coals than you think you’ll need. Outside air temp and wind will be a factor when the steaks are cooking. The amount of coals you need in the winter will be more than a 75˚ day.

Because I know the steaks will only take a few minutes each side, I have most of the side dishes ready or waiting in a warm oven. Twice baked potatoes…and what the hell, we might as well make it a complete “heart attack on a plate”, so the double baked bakers are made with extra sharp cheese and of course, bacon pieces!

Now class, we also remember to let your meat rest before hacking into it. This will allow the juices to calm down go back to their proper meat room inside the steaks. I have prepared a cutting board with kosher salt, pepper, garlic and rosemary…all minced up together into a paste of sorts. While the steaks rest on this paste…they will pick up a few extra subtle notes, enhance the flavor just a bit, without it tasting like garlic steak. This type of paste is perfect when roasting a full rib eye roast, slather it all over the sides.

The dinner was completed with some rot gut, wino wine...a Leonetti Merlot.

So nice.

Music to dance to in the kitchen: (what else? OUR song!) Fly me to the Moon, Frank Sinatra