Sunday, March 18, 2007

Truth be told, I love St. Patrick's Day. No, I'm not Catholic and no... I'm not Irish. But hey, who doesn't love a boiled meal accompanied by lots of beer and whiskey?

From my short stay in Bowling Green, I witnessed some amazingly asinine behavior from the local college students and some great foodie moments from both my own Kitchen and the always wonderful Trotters Tavern.

Perhaps one of the greatest moments was when, after a hearty meal of eggs, rashers and whiskey at Trotters, a very drunk young man came up to Kerrie and I and asked if I was going to finish my food. After I replied with a lengthy Nooooo... he just snatched up a piece of pork and stumbled out the front door.

Or, for those keeping track, there was that one St. Patrick's Day where I made dinner and told guests to bring some good beer. One of which showed up with a 24-pack of Natty Light. (Bonus: She told me I could keep the rest for, you know, whatever!)

Skipping forward, I wanted to have a big 'ole St. Paddy's Day meal seeing as it fell on a Saturday this year. So I did.

Kerrie and I started the day by heading up to the University for a breakfast catering I had to assemble, the jumped over to the College Hill Coffee Company for a breakfast of our own. After a nice Au Lait and a Cinnamon Belgium Waffle, we went and got groceries.

The remainder of the day was filled with drinking and cooking and baking. I started by making a great Irish Soda bread, from a recipe my mom gave me at Christmas. The bread, by the way, turned out so nice. Crusty on the outside and fluffy and light on the inside.

My next task was to get my special Corned Beef going, then bake off a Chocolate Stout Cake. Corned beef, incidentally, is not something I crave often but IS something I truly do love. (If made well...)

I made my first Corned Beef a few years ago and it was amazing. Lots of people around, drinking and eating and listening to bagpipes on the Hi-Fi. It was a great night, and I scored a case of Natty Light. (Sniff Sniff - smell that? That was Sarcasm...)

So to bring back the glory of St. Patrick's Days which have past, I made my version of Corned Beef. And it goes a little sumptin' like this:


Corned Beef

Serves 2
(3 Hours Cooking Time, Plus prep)

2-3 Pound beef brisket
48 .oz Killian’s Irish Red (4 Bottles)
¼ cup Orange Juice
1 Orange
25 Cloves
1 T Olive Oil
1 t Dry Mustard
1 t Caraway Seed
¼ t Thyme
1 T Whole Black Peppercorns

2 Carrots, peeled, cut and turned
3 Red Potatoes, cut into quarters
2 Onions, peeled and quartered

Brussels Sprouts
1 T Butter

Start by washing off the beef brisket and then set aside.

Take the cloves and stud the orange all the way around. (You may actually need more or less cloves depending on the size of the orange.)

In a large heavy pot, pour in olive oil then add the brisket, the orange, and the Killian’s and the orange juice. (You may need to add some cold water to make sure the liquid covers the meat and the orange.) Turn on the heat and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.

Add the mustard, caraway, thyme and peppercorns. Simmer gently for 2 ½ hours.

At the end of the 2½ hours, add the carrots, red potatoes, and the onions. Cook for a ½ hour longer.

Once cooked, remove the brisket from the liquid and set aside to rest for 5 minutes. During this time, quickly cook the Brussels sprouts in rapidly boiling salted water for 3-4 minutes. Drain and return to pan, then toss with butter.

Serve Corned Beef in slices with a spoon full of vegetables and Brussels sprouts.


The rest of the evening rounded out with a Chocolate Stout Cake, more drinkin' and Van Morrison. And, God help me, I 'm already looking forward to the next one. (Which is on a Monday. Boy, that'll suck for DinnerRoll on Tuesday the 18'Th...)

Van Morrison - Into the Mystic
Van Morrison - Gloria
Van Morrison - Tupelo Honey
Van Morrison - Crazy Love
Van Morrison - Brand New Day
Sinead O'Connor - Make Me A Channel of Your Peace
The Pogues - Haunted

"You have to be careful with that demographic. They'll come at you like a whirling Dervish, all fists and elbows. You'll be saying "Stop! Stop! Stop!" and all they'll hear is "Who wants cake?" And they all want cake."
- From, on the use of the term "retard"

Saturday, March 10, 2007

You got to pick out every stitch...
Must be the season of the witch...

- Donovan

This morning was a morning of catering's, coffee and emo-band-names.

For those not in "the know", there used to be a pretty amusing game we all used to play called Emo-Band-Names. The object? Simply throw together seemly random words to make useless but oh-so-deep-and-moody Emo Band Names.
Baxter was the previous champ with the title Butter Knife Bent Backwards, but this morning I think I found a topper.

But before we get to that, let me fill you in on my morning. As of late, I've become the go-to guy for all manner of catering gigs. And, this morning, there were two for me to knock out. At 8:30 AM there was pastry and coffee for 25. Being the sleaze I am, I set everything up yesterday so all I had to do today was clock-in, drop off the goods, and go to Sitwells for coffee.

Kerrie came with me this morning so as to enjoy the Sitwell's breakfast menu (New York Egg Sandwich, yo!) and a few cups of their passable coffee. After settling into a cozy table far in the back, I noticed a table with five nurses enjoying their 8:45am round of beers. Sure they COULD have just gotten off a brutal 3'rd shift, or they could have been enjoying a nice eye-opener before strolling into work. Either way, they gave me my new submission for the game of Emo-Band-Names:

Drunken Nurses at the Coffee House

After realizing that this is a game that may never truly end, I headed back to work to drop off my second catering order and clock out. Good Times baby, goooood times...