Saturday, November 24, 2007

We are free and fairly sober with so many toys to build...

Ah, the aftermath of Thanksgiving.

That one time of year when it's all about the food. And not just any food, mind you... Turkey: That once-a-year staple of just about any every household across the U.S.

I personally love the Thanksgiving meal. Various meats and my brother and I laughing at various family members after taking innocent comments completely out of context. My mom goes all-out with a full spread every year, and every year we (like just about everyone else) spend days trying to work through all the leftovers.

Thanksgiving, however, is the point-of-no-return. It's the start of the Catering-Shopping-Holiday Gauntlet for me. Everything gets nice and crazy, I get tired and grumpy, and come January 2'nd I try, desperately, to not talk to anyone.

Oh yeah, I'm a sweetheart.

Nonetheless, it IS all about the food for me and here is a simple representation of it all.

Turkey Drumstick, Baby Lamb Chops, & Focaccia Bread

At this point I'm glad to be home and getting a little rest before heading back to work. All in all, it's a good run to make, but I thank God that it only happenes once a year.

Best Quote for the Whole Week:
"If it weren't for us, the Indians wouldn't have all of those Casinos..."
- Jack

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Cruelty is tasty...

Let me start off by saying: I don't give a shit...

Personally, I think all the wacko-PETA nuts can go hump a sharp stick. That being said, Kerrie and I enjoyed a lovely Veal Scallopini the other night.

Veal isn't something I generally eat a lot of because YES, it IS cruel, but mainly because veal ain't cheap.

Last week though, it was cheap. Cheaper than Duck anyways... My original plan was to make Tea Smoked Duck Breasts, but at $8.49 a pound - my preferred grocer can go hump a sharp stick too. I just happened to see the veal cutlets as we passed by the meat counter and before I knew it, we were eatin' veal.

Veal Scallopini
Clarified Butter, or Olive Oil
4 Veal Cutlets
2 T Olive Oil
1 Small Onion, diced
8 .oz Fresh Mushrooms, cleaned and thinly sliced
1/4 Cup Dry Sherry
2 t All Purpose Flour
1/2 Cup Beef Broth
Salt & Pepper, to taste
2 T Heavy Whipping Cream

Heat butter in a pan, then add veal. Cook 2-3 minutes per side, or until lightly browned. Remove meat and reserve.
Add olive oil to pan and add onions. Saute until soft and add mushrooms. Cook until lightly browned.
Add Sherry and bring to a boil. Add flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 30 seconds. Add beef broth, and continue to stir. Add veal to pan and cover. Simmer for 8 minutes or until Veal is tender.
Remove Veal from pan and reserve. Add whipping cream to sauce and stir until heated thoroughly and slightly thick.
Server over Veal and accompaniments. Yummy.


In conclusion, I AM an omnivore. I will continue to eat meat so long as it continues to taste so damned good. Same goes for all sorts of veggies and fruits. That's just the way it is folks...

Hey, here's a good idea: Why don't these whiny special-interest douchbags try banning something that actually sucks... Like cabbage! THAT is a cause I could actually get behind.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Brownie Tower (OF POWER!!!)

Recently, I decided to make a brownie dessert. While not exactly the most groundbreaking dessert ever made, it certainly qualifies as one of the most enticing. I very rarely find someone who DOESN'T like brownies, so something along these lines never disappoints...

Mocha Brownie Tower with Kahlua Vanilla Mousse & homemade Strawberry Ice Cream

Even though today is my day off, I've been called two times by my boss, and once by the executive chef. Plus, I'm getting ready to head over to a Sara Lee Demo Show Thingy. (Real technical thar Jay...) So yeah, no rest for the wicked...

American Bang - Move to the Music
Charlatans - How High?
KLF - 3AM Eternal
Manic Street Preachers - Loves Sweet Exile

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Tis the season...

Alright Edwards, I'm calling you out.

Can you top this, YES or NO?

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Five Onion Soup

I love Onion Soup. It's one of the easiest, most satisfying soups you can make. It is, in my honest opinion, the quintessential definition of "comfort food".

There is something seductive, almost slutty, about the aroma of different types of onions slowly cooking down in olive oil and clarified butter. There is something so wrong, but so right, about eating that much cheese on top of that much bread on top of that much beef stock on top of -you guessed it- that massive pile of onions.

Too many people, unfortunately, equate Onion Soup with Salt. I love salt, in fact - I eat lots of food with it! For something like this though, you really want that onion flavor to jump out, kick you in the nuts and yell: "SURPRISE!"

So, here it is... My take on Five Onion Soup.

3 small onions, cut in half then quartered
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1 really big Leek, sliced into rounds - green ends discarded
2 Shallots, sliced thin
5 cloves Garlic, smashed

Olive Oil
1 heaping Tablespoon Clarified Butter (Optional)
2 T Flour
1 Cup Whiskey (Jack Daniels, man...)
1 Qt Beef Stock (4 Cups)
2 Cups Water
1 t Pepper
1 T Herbs du Provence

1 Baguette, toasted and cut into large cubes
Shredded Gruyere

Start by heating the olive oil in a large stockpot. When hot, add the clarified butter and once melted add all of the onions and sweat briefly.
Add the Flour and stir to evenly coat the onions. Continue to saute the onions until they are nicely browned (NOT BURNT!) and cooked down.
Deglaze the pot with the Whiskey, scraping up the Fond which has no doubt accumulated on the bottom. Cook until the whiskey is nearly gone and soaked into the onions.
Add the beef stock, the water, pepper and Herbs du Provence. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for about 45 Minutes - skimming all the scum that comes to the top. (If you have too much of a boil going, the scummy foam will churn back into the soup.)
Preheat oven to 350F.
Pour the soup into an oven proof crock large enough to hold all of the liquid. Place all of the bread evenly across the soup so no liquid is exposed. Sprinkle the cheese all over until the bread is completely covered. Bake for 15 minutes or until the cheese is nicely browned.

Kerrie and I had this with some nice Red Table Wine and decent amount of time to waste. Lazy nights are always the best for something like this. Plenty of time to relax and pretend that I'm uninterested, unemployed and be completely happy with it.