Mack's Corner

This Week

This week 11-24-15

200 Fish!

When I was about 10 or 11 my Grandfather invited my family to his favorite place in Colorado. He and my Grandmother had a cabin that was sparse at best. My mom hated it, but it was up in the mountains so she didn't hate it long. We were going trout fishing. We had been practicing our fly casting for a month. We were great as long as we were standing out in the middle of the street in front of our house.. The first day we didn't catch anything. It seemed like we walked 20 miles. We caught tree branches and bushes but never saw a fish. The second day was no better, lots of mosquito bites, falling in the water, tripping over rocks, stuff like that.. still no fish. Then the 3rd day it happened. We were walking along the side of the river and there it was, the mother lode.. Right there in front of us was a bend in the river where a pool had formed, maybe 20 feet deep, about 30 yards square. You could see all the way to the bottom. There must have been 100 little trout in it, you could see them all. We threw our lines out and POP, POP, POP, 3 fish in 10 seconds. You could see them just before they hit your line. My Grandfather called them Brook trout, they were about 5 inches long. We would catch em and throw em back, catch em and throw back. They would hit anything we threw out there. It was funner than anything. We must have caught every fish 5 times ..  After 2 hours of catching fish and laughing so hard my side hurt, we had to quit. We were so tired my father wasn't sure we could get back home. We kept about 20 of the fish, probably not legal size but we didn't get arrested or anything. When we got back to the cabin my Grandmother fried them in butter in an iron skillet, heads and all. We ate them on the back porch as the sun went down, still laughing, still telling stories. One bite from the belly of the fish was all you got. I could have eaten 200 of them. There's not a restaurant in the world that will ever be as good as that.

God's like that: It's amazing to me how many things God puts in our life that are just fun. Usually it's something really simple like sitting by a campfire or riding a bike or watching a movie together. God loves us to be happy, loves us to be peaceful. He gave us family and friends and church for free ..

I might have to build a campfire in the back yard. I know I've got an iron skillet and some butter .. anybody got 200 Brook trout?


Cooking 220 - 2 pans, 2 burners, 20 minutes:

How Could this be bad? This is an example of a great app that you can make with stuff you already have... Put anything you like on top of a sheet of puff pastry and bake it. How about pecans (be careful add them when theres about 3 minutes of cooking left or they will burn).. or more cheese, or hot sauce, or carrots, or crasins, or mustard, or tomatoes, or sweet onions, or left over chicken, or Jimmy Dean sausage, or any hard veg, or ...

JUST REMEMBER: HOT SOUR SALTY SWEET. This recipe below needs Hot, salt, sweet. The vinegar is the sour. So lets fix it. SWEET: The crasins would work, or you could stir in some Honey in the cheese egg mixture. SALT: add some salt, maybe finishing salt on top after it done. Only takes a little so that every bite has a crystal of salt in it as a litle surprise. HOT: 5 drops of tabasco in the egg mixture or Sriracha on top after it's cooked.. Easy  

Mushroom, Butternut Squash & Gruyère Tart


One 1 1/2-pound butternut squash—peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large shallot, thinly sliced
1 pound assorted mushrooms, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 teaspoon sherry vinegar
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
All-purpose flour, for dusting
14 ounces chilled all-butter puff pastry
2 large egg yolks
1/4 cup crème fraîche
1/4 pound Gruyère cheese, shredded
2 teaspoons chopped thyme

Preheat the oven to 375°. Spread the squash on a baking sheet and toss with 2 tablespoons of the oil. Season with salt and pepper. Bake for 25 minutes, until just tender. Transfer to a bowl. Increase the temperature to 400°.

Meanwhile, in a skillet, melt the butter in the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil. Add the shallot and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until softened. Add the mushrooms, cover and cook, stirring, until tender, about 7 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and remove from the heat. Toss with the vinegar and nutmeg and add to the squash.

Line a baking sheet with parchment. On a floured work surface, roll the puff pastry out to 12 1/2 by 14 1/2 inches. Using a knife, trim the pastry to 12 by 14 inches. Transfer to the baking sheet and prick the pastry with a fork all over except for a 1/2-inch border. Bake the pastry for 20 minutes, until golden; pierce with a fork if it puffs during baking. Let cool.

Stir the egg yolks, crème fraîche, Gruyère, thyme, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper into the mushrooms and squash. Spread the mixture on the pastry inside the border. Bake for 15 minutes, until the cheese is melted. Cut into squares and serve.


Posted by Mack Oates at 11:21 AM