Mack's Corner

This Week

It's Personal

I love making lamb, it's so easy. The trick is to get rid of all of the fat on the outside, Salt & Pepper, then cook it to 140. My mom used to always have lamb for Easter and it was one of my favorite things. I usually get a taste for it in March but all I can usually find is a leg, with lots of fat for $9 - $10 a pound. Too soon. One year I had it bad, had to have some lamb. I went out to dinner on a gift certificate (I won't tell the name of the place, but it has the same name as a famous character in the Bible and your dog can say it? That'll give you something to do today). Anyway, there was lamb on the menu, I got it. I also got a cheese asparagus side dish (mom used to make that too, her's was great!). At the restaurant it was awful. The lamb was greasy (they didn't trim the fat) and the asparagus was chopped up asparagus stalks with cheddar cheese melted on top. Something you might make on the run if you were starved. A 4th grader could have done better. The killer was the pepper jelly that came with it. It was there, I thought maybe it would be good, the lamb needed something. It tasted like Nyquil jelly. Why would you serve that? How about Tabasco's pepper jelly, it's really good. I'm guessing this was a "Company" product. I started trying to wipe my tongue off, I thought maybe I could find a frog to lick or something to get that taste out of my mouth, it stayed with me most of the night. Then the next Monday I had to go to Dallas to meet with some people and I managed to talk them into going to Stephan Pyles' place for dinner. Stephan Pyles is one of my favorite chefs ever in the whole world and even better he actually works at the restaurant and he was working that night.(the restaurant was called Stephan Pyles, in downtown Dallas, closed now). They had lamb on the menu, I got it. To say it was better is like saying FedEx Forum is bigger than my office. It was wayyyyyyyyyyyy better and the sauce was good enough to drink. Pyles, even came by our table to say hi and ask how dinner was, it was everything I could do to keep from hugging him and crying like a baby. The cost for both dinners was about the same. Imagine if my office costs as much as FedEx Forum. Of course, the difference is Stephan Pyles. He created the dish, it's his restaurant, everything has to go past him before it goes out, it's his baby. The other place looks nice, some people actually like it, but they're just cooking food. The real reason Pyles comes out to say hi is to see people and to see their faces, to see if they are happy, to see if they like the food. I bet he watches every plate that comes back to the dishwasher. He wants to see if people liked it or not. See if they cleaned their plate. It's a big deal to him, it's personal, each dish that goes out is special to him.

God's like that: people think "I can do it this way, which is not bad or I can do it the way God wants me to do it". There seems to be no big difference, most everything seems the same, feels the same. But one thing is missing. Of course, God is very demanding. Do I take care of people or do I give somebody else money to do it? Do I help a friend and stay with them through the problem or do I avoid them till the problem is over. Usually, nobody would know but you and God. The thing you would miss is not what God would do for somebody else, but what he would do alongside you. You get to be part of it, you're special, you're his baby, he can see the smiles on faces because of you. It's personal to him.


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

Mediterranean Diet:  
(Keto: This is mostly Keto)
Sometimes you just got to have some fried chicken. If you live in Memphis that means Gus's, Jack Pirtle's, Uncle Lou's, or Donnie's Corner Market. But that doesn't really go with our Mediterranean Diet. So I thought I would give you some chicken recipes that would scratch your itch and still be in the game.

This first one is from John Currence of the City Grocery in Oxford.
Oven-Fried Chicken Breasts
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts (5 ounces each)

4 cups brewed sweetened iced tea

1 1/2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon Tabasco

1 tablespoon dried thyme

Kosher salt

2 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon smoked hot Spanish paprika (pimentón de la Vera)

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 large white onion, thinly sliced

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

Pinch of sugar

2 tablespoons dry sherry

1 cup chicken stock

1 teaspoon cornstarch dissolved in 1 tablespoon of water

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1. In a resealable plastic bag, coat the chicken with the tea, Worcestershire, Tabasco, thyme, and 1 tablespoon of salt. Refrigerate overnight.

2. Preheat the oven to 375°. In a bowl, combine the flour, cayenne, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, pepper, and 1 teaspoon of salt. Drain the chicken, pick off the thyme, and dredge in the seasoned flour.

3. In a large ovenproof nonstick skillet (((Iron Skillet))), melt the butter in the oil. Add the chicken and cook over high heat until browned, about 5 minutes. Turn and cook for 2 minutes longer. Transfer the chicken to the oven and roast until white throughout, 5 minutes.

4. Make the Gravy: Heat the oil in a skillet. Add the onion, cover, and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until softened, 5 minutes. Add the thyme and sugar and cook until the onion is caramelized, 15 minutes. Add the sherry and cook until evaporated. Whisk in the chicken stock and dissolved cornstarch and bring to a boil, stirring, until thickened. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon the gravy over the chicken and serve. 


Oven-Fried Chicken with a Polenta Crust (((This one is super easy)))
Vegetable oil spray

1/4 cup mayonnaise

1/4 cup plain yogurt

2 tablespoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

One 3 1/2-pound chicken, cut into 8 pieces, or 3 pounds chicken parts on the bone

1 1/2 cups instant polenta

1 cup all-purpose flour

1. Preheat the oven to 375°.

2. Spray a large non-stick baking sheet with oil.

3. In a large bowl, whisk the mayonnaise and yogurt with 1 tablespoon of the salt and 1/2 teaspoon each of the cayenne and black pepper.

4. In a large resealable plastic bag, mix the polenta with the flour, the remaining tablespoon salt, and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon cayenne.

5. Add the chicken to the yogurt mixture and turn to coat completely. Transfer the chicken to the plastic bag, a few pieces at a time; seal and shake to coat.

6. Arrange the chicken on the prepared baking sheet and spray lightly with vegetable oil. Bake on the lowest rack of the oven for 30 minutes or the chicken is cooked through and golden on the bottom. 165 degrees internal temp

7. Using tongs, carefully turn each piece of chicken and bake for 5 minutes longer, until the undersides are golden. Blot the chicken with paper towels, transfer to a platter and serve.


I loved this one because it sounds just like something my Mom would make. The potato chip crust sounds great!
Oven-Fried Chicken by the Bucket
Canola oil spray

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1 cup whole milk

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

Two 8 1/2-ounce bags of kettle-style potato chips (such as salt-and-pepper flavor), finely crushed

Four 6-ounce boneless chicken breasts with skin, halved crosswise

4 bone-in chicken thighs (1 1/2 pounds)

4 chicken drumsticks (1 pound)

1. Preheat the oven to 400° and arrange the racks in the upper and lower thirds.

2. Spray 2 baking sheets with canola oil.

3. Place 1 cup of the flour in a medium bowl and season with salt and pepper.

4. In another medium bowl, whisk the milk with the mustard and season with salt and pepper.

5. In a large bowl, stir the crushed potato chips with the remaining 1/4 cup of flour.

6. Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper, then dust with the flour, tapping off any excess. Dip the pieces in the milk, then coat in the crushed potato chips, pressing to help them adhere. Transfer the chicken breasts to one baking sheet and the thighs and drumsticks to the second one. Spray the chicken all over with canola oil.

7. Bake the thighs and drumsticks on the upper rack of the oven for 20 minutes (((These take longer))). Transfer to the lower rack. Place the chicken breasts on the upper rack. Bake all of the chicken for about 20 minutes longer, until golden and cooked through. Re-Season with salt and serve.


How about saving a kid's life!!

When you give Platelets it's like giving St Jude $700 - $1000. If we don't give them, they have to buy them.

Giving Platelets is like giving blood, it just takes longer (1 1/2 hours) and you get all of your blood back (so you can do it every week if you want). I know it's a long trip to go all the way down to St Jude, but you may be saving a kid's life. plus you get to watch a movie while you're there. Call Kim at 901.595.2024 and she'll set up an appointment and treat you like family. Just tell her you're from Hope.

Directions: From Poplar, turn north on Third Street, then right on Lauderdale/Jackson Ave (first right after you go under the expressway). Enter through the north guard gate (you'll see the Danny Thomas Pavilion. Gold top).

Tell the guard at the gate that you are here to donate blood. The guard will instruct you where to park. You will then enter the hospital by the red side door closest to the blood donor parking lot. The Blood Donor Center is in the southwest corner of the hospital on the ground floor.

Appointment times are generally available Monday through Friday from 8:00am to 4:00pm. Except on Tuesdays they start at 9:15am.

See you online this weekend. It's going to be great!!!


Posted by Mack Oates at 8:01 AM