Mack's Corner

This Week


About 2 years ago some of the Global Missions guys asked me to send an email. They wanted to get Uzbekistan on TV. It's a small country near Afghanistan. The people there are nice and the food is good and it's one of the countries over there that likes America. They thought if Anthony Bourdain would put it on "No Reservations", his show (At the time) that travels all over the world, that it would be good PR and maybe people would travel there. I said OK, I don't know Anthony's email address but I know somebody who does. So I emailed Michael Ruhlman. He wrote "The French Laundry Cook Book", and "Soul of a Chef" (the best book about chefs ever written)… and has been on No Reservations. I asked if he would forward it on to Anthony. He said he would. I figured that was it….. 1 year later Anthony emails me and wants to know if I want to go. I told him not really, I don't know anything about the place, don't speak the language, don't even know what they eat. He said it was no big deal, they eat lamb, and he needed a sidekick for the show (I guess Ruhlman told him I would be good at it?). He said he would say on the show that I was his old friend… blah, blah, blah.. I said OK but I had to be back by Friday. So a month later on Sunday afternoon I'm flying to Uzbekistan. We met a bunch of people, one was an ambassador to something (he really liked me for some reason). We ate all kinds of weird stuff and met a bunch of people and filmed everything. On Thursday I was ready to go home but the producer said we had to stay one more day because it was a national holiday. I don't know the name of the holiday, something in their language, but mostly "National Lamb day". Everybody eats lamb and drinks this strange fermented stuff that the lamb herders make. I told him I had to get back, they could do it with just Tony, they didn't need me. But the ambassador wanted me there. I said no. The producer said "Let's just pretend that it's tomorrow, today!  We'll cook the lamb and have the meal today, Mack can go home, we'll film some more stuff tomorrow and it will be fine." So that's what we did. I came home. The show should be on CNN soon…. Last month the producer emails me again. They want to go back and see how the country has changed. They want to be there the week before Easter and film a Holy day on the Friday before Easter when they have a big feast. I told them I had to be at Hope on Easter weekend. Tony called yesterday and said we would just do the same thing we did last time. When we get there we'll just pretend that it's tomorrow. I said OK, let's pretend its tomorrow, today, because tomorrow is April 1 and I just made this story up…. Happy Early April Fool's day!!!!

God's like that: I bet April Fool's day is one of his favorite days of the year. He loves to hear us laugh, he loves to see us with friends, he loves to see us enjoy our kids. Do something fun tomorrow, make God laugh…

I think I'll call Tony back, I wonder when he's going to Paris? I hear the food is good there too ….


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

I was watching Gordon Ramsay on BBC TV. He was trying to show a young chef why the food in his restaurant would never get a Michelin star. The young chef was really good, but his food was too complicated, it had too many flavors. To prove it to him Ramsay had one of the Michelin judges come to his restaurant, the chef would make his favorite dish and Ramsay would make a dish and they would let the judge decide. Ramsay made a dish with scallops and Cauliflower, stuff he found in the young chef's fridge… Simple, 2 flavors that work together. This is something he could have made for a late night, after work, meal… The judge loved it. Gordon won. Here's my version, a lot more rustic, but really good.

3 Tbl Olive oil
1 onion chopped
3 cloves of Garlic smashed (leave them whole, we'll take them out later)
1 head of Cauliflower cut in to 1 inch chunks
Salt & Pepper

3 tbl Olive oil
1 lb small Shrimp
1 lb small Bay scallops
2 Tbl Worcestershire Sauce
2 tsp Cajun or Southwest seasoning, or ground chipotle or red pepper flakes
1 stick of butter
Parmesan cheese
Cooked Rice

Cook the rice and keep it warm..

In a large pan, heat 3 tbl Olive oil, add the onions and garlic. Sauté for 2 minutes…

Add the cauliflower .. cook for 5 minutes …

add salt and pepper and taste. Is it done, still crunchy, got enough salt?

Put all of that in a bowl or container…

Heat the pan back up, add 3 tbls Olive oil and 1 tbl butter.

When the butter melts add the shrimp and scallops. Stir, cook for 2 minutes.

Add Worcestershire sauce

Add 1 tsp of Cajun seasoning, salt and pepper…

You can tell when it's done because the shrimp will start to turn pink.

When the shrimp starts to turn pink add the rest of the butter and stir till it melts .. then add the cauliflower mixture and stir … when it gets hot, your done … taste!!!, re-season with salt and pepper if needed.

To serve: put some rice in a bowl, then cauliflower & Shrimp on top, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, then some more Cajun seasoning for color…big hunk of bread ….  Magic….



Posted by Mack Oates at 9:47 AM