Sunday, July 29, 2007

I have this weird tradition... Actually, my brother and I have a weird tradition. It started about 8 years back, during the Christmas-Shopping-Gauntlet, where after hours of getting fisted by every retailer in existence we just stopped at the first restaurant we saw.

(ahem) Red Lobster.

Okay, not exactly the business you were expecting me to reveal but there you have it. Red Lobster... And the tradition became, for whatever reason, that every year after fighting hoards of soon-to-be-ex-boyfriends and junkie-single-mothers, we just went to Red Lobster.

It was and is an odd once-a-year ordeal where I feel I must seek out and -=gasp=- enjoy an afternoon of Scampi, cheddar biscuits, and lots of whiskey.

And so, with the passage of time, I became accustomed to a certain order I would make every year: Cutty on the rocks with a slice of lime, Caesar Salad, Cheddar Biscuits, Aztec Chicken and Broiled Scampi with French Fries and Mixed Vegetables. This has never changed, and as John Cusack once said: "...Eventually, you get to... like it."

So recently, I felt like having that meal. Don't ask why, the urge just hits me sometimes. And being that I like my kitchen and the things I can do with it, I made my own faux-red-lobster dinner.

Personally, I like my meal much better. I can drink a lot of Cutty and not worry about driving anywhere or punching a waitress. Plus, the cheddar biscuits are bigger and more plentiful. All in all, maybe I need a new tradition. And that new tradition should be me, at home, making this meal and then unwinding in front of the fireplace when it's all over...


"Don't you judge me Earl!"
- From My Name Is Earl

Monday, July 23, 2007

Recently, I've noticed a return of the classic but seldom used "lollipop" technique in popular cooking. In the last issue of Restaurant Management magazine there was a very prominent display of various lollipop interpretations, and a few weeks ago my mom even referred to the baby lamb chops I love so much as lollipops.

So yeah, it's making a comeback...

The technique used in the process of making a lolli is the classic but seldom seen Frenching method. Traditionally used on rib roasts and chops, it's actually a fairly simple task of scraping the meat away from the bone to leave a lovely amount of exposed Osseous tissue. As you can tell from the picture above, this basic procedure can be used on just about any piece of meat; that is if you're looking to get a little creative and non-traditional. (In some circles it is blasphemous to even THINK of using this technique on chicken. To quote John Travolta: "Fuck 'em if they can't take a joke...")

The picture above is of Bourbon Chicken Lollipops with Seasoned Shoestring French Fries and a hydroponic lettuce garnish. For all the hype that surrounds this type of meal, it was surprisingly simple to create. I started by chopping the ends off of all the drummettes, then scraped the meat back from the bone. I then soaked the Frenched chicken drummettes in Buttermilk, garlic powder and paprika for about 30 minutes. I then tossed the chicken in seasoned flour and fried in small batches. When the chicken was nicely crisped and golden, I tossed the drummettes in a beautiful bourbon sauce.

Sticky. Slightly sweet... This is one of those meals that was "just right". Homey, if you will. Something nice looking, but something that you could just tear into. (sigh) Why can't all my meals be this satisfying?


Thursday, July 19, 2007

First off...

It's been a long few weeks. Recently, Kerrie and I saw a bulk of our families and things were a little crazy at work. "Plain Clothes Detectives"-crazy...

And yes, I DID insert a Boz Scaggs video into my food blog.

Over the past two weeks, I was able to cook for Kerrie's sister and niece (A complimentary description of events can be found HERE...) and found that my brother's new girlfriend can really cook...

Mom and Gramma.

My cousin Rebecca.

My brother and his girlfriend Samantha.

The next weekend, Kerrie's sister and her daughter came and stayed with us for the food, fun, and glory that is: Cincinnati.

Kerrie, Sue and Claire - Non Crazy Pic

Flank Fajitas, Fish Tacos & Tequila Lime Shrimp - Before

Flank Fajitas, Fish Tacos & Tequila Lime Shrimp - After

Mayan Hot Chocolate & Creme Churro

All in all, it's been a fun few weeks, but utterly hectic. I'd say I'm glad tomorrow is Friday, but I have to be up at 5:00AM on Saturday to do a catering. With employees dropping off like flies and the Catering Director constantly fucking up, it brings me ever closer to usurping the throne. To quote Bill Murry: "So I got that going for me..."

It's all about that dirty lowdown...

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

"Now I'm ready to close my eyes, now I'm ready to close my mind..."
- Iggy & The Stooges

Polenta crusted Cod with Roasted Corn & Tomatillo Salsa

Cod Filets
Salt & Pepper

Generously season cod with salt and pepper.
Dip in buttermilk the roll in cornmeal. Coat evenly.
Saute in clarified butter for three to four minutes per side.
Place pan in a 350F oven while you assemble plate. (Tortilla, salsa, and Cilantro.)

Iggy & The Stooges - I Wanna Be Your Dog
Iggy Pop - Success
Crystal Method - Vapor Trail
Wu Tang Clan - In the Hood
Some Velvet Sidewalk - Mousetrap (Live)

Sunday, July 01, 2007

I've made it pretty clear that I like Sonic. For a big evil corporation, they have some amazing burgers. But, Sonic is not Jolly's...

Jolly's, as I have written before, was a classic drive-up burger stand. A no-frills experience consisting of burgers, hot dogs, french fries and some of the best Root Beer I had ever tasted.


Yeah... Recently, Kerrie and I drove up to Jolly's for dinner and found the place empty. Not just Cosmo's style-that creepy owner guy is there-empty but full on, cleaned out, nothing left but the shell of a building empty.

This is, to put it lightly, heartbreaking. Possibly because Jolly's had the best burgers I had tasted since the days of Casey's in BG, or maybe because they have definite plans to tear Jolly's down to build a Taco Bell. That's even more depressing when you think about the fact that there is a fucking Taco Bell DIRECTLY across the street from Jolly's already. WTF?!

On a happier note, Kerrie and I had a beautiful London Broil last night. The kind of London Broil that makes true aficionados of red meat weep with joy and amazement. Sliced thin and paired with pan roasted asparagus and a heaping scoop of mashed red skin potatoes, this was one of those rare meals that proves -without doubt- that life is worth living.

Grilled London Broil

1 1/2 Cup Vegetable Oil
3/4 Cup Soy Sauce
2 T Worcestershire
2 T Dijon Mustard
2 T Kosher Salt
1 T Ground Black Pepper
1 Cup Red Wine
2 T Parsley Flakes
1/3 Cup Lemon Juice

Combine all ingredients thoroughly. Place meat into ZipLock bag and pour marinade over. Seal bag and refrigerate overnight.

Grill meat over low heat, 10 minutes per side for Rare to Medium Rare. Be very careful of flare-ups.
Although not needed, a slight seasoning of Kosher salt on the meat before it hits the grill doesn't hurt.

Online Dating

Kerrie found this little diddy that rates blogs. I was hoping for an R but also wasn't going to force it. -=SIGH=-