Mack's Corner

This Week

Big Complete Dessert

I really like desert. One of my favorite restaurants in town used to make their own Pecan pie. You could tell they made it because the crust was about ¼ of an inch thick, too thick really, and it was a little tough, but it was really good. It was the kind of crust that you broke off around the edges and ate separately, like chips and dip. The pie filling had that great toasted pecan taste like your grandmother used to make and it had chocolate sauce underneath and vanilla sauce on top of the chocolate sauce and ice cream on top of the pie. It was great, it was big, it was simple, it was complete, it was perfect! Then they took it off the menu!!! … I love deserts that are complete. Most restaurants have what they call "molten chocolate cake" or something like that. It's a small chocolate cake where the inside is either not cooked through or filled with chocolate sauce so that when you cut into it, it all runs out. But for some reason nobody knows how to complete it. They all put raspberry sauce under it and a mint leaf on top. Raspberry doesn't really go with chocolate, I don't know who decided that it did, but they're wrong. And besides, there is no amount of fruit that you can put around, under or on top of it to make it low cal or healthy, so why try? It's screaming for some vanilla ice cream!!!! There's one place in town where I ordered it and asked the waiter for some ice cream. He said "sure thing, I'll bring it right out!", it was cinnamon ice cream??? That's all they had! Cinnamon, it was good, but it wasn't right. I assume people that make weird ice cream, don't really like ice cream. You know, bell pepper ice cream, garlic ice cream??? What's the matter with these people?  You can eat all kinds of strange things before desert, but desert is last and so it has to be complete, finished, done, the end. If not, you have to do something else. The last few times I've been out to eat, dessert has been strange. My wife ordered an apple tart with ice cream at a place where the pastry chef is world famous. Should be great, Right???  When it came out it was a pile of apple sauce (apples cooked to death) in a ring mold with "deconstructed Ice cream". i.e. vanilla seeds, cream, and sugar sprinkled over the top.. Apple sauce for dessert?? Cute, but not really dessert.. My favorite chief's favorite place to go after dinner is Baskin Robbins. I guess he's used to incomplete desert. He had Ice cream and donuts at his restaurant the last time I went. Simple, Complete, Perfect … 
God's like that: He's trying to make us complete. Sometimes we have to go through some hard stuff to get there, but the point is to get there, to be whole, to be complete. We try putting things around us that don't really work and try to convince ourselves that those things make us complete. They don't. God is screaming at us to let him help. 

I wonder if Baskin Robbins has breakfast Ice Cream. Maybe that's the next big thing? Sounds like a field trip …


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

Deer season is over or almost over and you've got those tenderloins in the freezer. You're still trying to explain to your wife or girlfriend why you've been gone every weekend for the last 2 months. Here's how you make some points .. I had a friend give me 2 tenderloins and I made this a few weeks ago. It's easy and it's great .. Guys, this can even be romantic, just don't tell her how you field dressed it.  And call it venison not deer meat … small things!!

Venison tenderloin with apples & onions

1 Venison tenderloin trimmed of any tendons or silver skin ... Pork tenderloin will work too

1 red onion

2 apples

3 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp butter

1 jar of store bought chutney… whatever sounds good. I used blueberry/walnut chutney??   

Extra oil & butter for cooking the venison.

Slice the tenderloin crossways in to 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick medallions, about the size of a silver dollar. Lay them all out on a cutting board or baking sheet. Set aside.

Fill a large bowl with water and add 1 tbsp of salt. Stir it around till the salt dissolves. Peel the apples with a vegetable peeler and cut in quarters. Cut out the core, then slice in 1/8 inch slices. And place in the salted water. This will keep them from turning brown while you're getting ready. Set aside ..

Peel and chop the onion in 1/8 inch pieces.

Drain the apples and dry them with paper towels

Get one skillet hot and add 3 tbsp oil and 1 tbsp of butter. Add the chopped onion and cook for 3 min. Add the apples and stir. Try not to break up the apples. Continue to cook and stir until the apples start to soften and the onions are translucent. About 10min.

Add 2 - 3 large tablespoons of chutney (taste it first, don't use it if you don't like it… If you don't like the chutney you bought, do this: Add a tbsp. of sugar and a tbsp. of vinegar to the apples and stir. Do something else with the chutney)… Taste the apples, re-season with salt and pepper. If you want, add a dash of Tabasco sauce .. don't get stupid... Turn the heat down as low as it will go to keep your apples warm …

Get a paper towel and press it on the tops of the cut tenderloin to get it as dry as possible. Flip them and dry the other side. Then Salt & Pepper both sides of the tenderloin slices. Get a second skillet hot and add 3 tbsp of oil and 1 tbsp butter. After the butter melts (should be foaming) lay the tenderloin slices in the skillet, It should sizzle (put as many as will fit in one layer. Don't crowd). Count to 20, flip them over, count to 20, take them out to a warm plate. If you have more tenderloin to cook, add a splash more oil and slice more butter and repeat. Remember to let the butter foam before you add the meat. We don't want to boil the meat, we want to sear it.

To serve: place 5 to 8 slices of tenderloin overlapping on a plate. (Any juice that collected under the meat, add to the apples.)  Then spoon the apple/onion mixture next to it.

The best part about this is it works for breakfast the next morning too. Just warm the venison and apples in a skillet with some butter. Eggs, toast, Coffee, New York Times … how could it get better than that?



Posted by Mack Oates at 10:59 AM