Mack's Corner

This Week

Onon Rings and Duck Dogs

I love the onion rings at Huey's, those big fat ones. They always feel safe on the outside, nice and crispy. Then you bite in to it and realize that the inside is about 4000 degrees. I always burn my tongue, every time. I spill tea down my shirt trying to stop the burning. Usually I try to cool them with ketchup, but that just makes it worse. Hot ketchup gets all over my mouth and on my fingers and on my face and in my eyes and I can't talk because my tongue is burned, I sound like Young Frankenstein ….  and people start pointing at me.  My wife usually changes tables and tries not to look at me for fear someone she knows will see me. I really like onion rings, I think. Since I burn my tongue every time, I'm not sure if I've ever really tasted them. But I sure look like I have … Sometimes my wife lets me ride home with her, sometimes not … Next time maybe I should just wait till they cool off? Probably won't! Never have!

I went with some friends to see a dog a few years ago. It was a duck dog, goes and gets your duck for you. The place we went trains duck dogs. They had a small lake with radio controlled machines that would throw plastic ducks out in the lake so the dogs could bring them back. The trainer made the dog sit next to him. Then he would shoot a shotgun and punch a button on his radio control and a plastic duck would go flying out into the lake … the dog was still sitting. Then he did it 2 more times, 3 ducks in the lake. He pointed at the first one and said "GO" and the dog ran up to the lake and jumped in, got the duck, brought it back and sat down next to the trainer. He pointed to the 2nd duck and said "GO" … off he went. By the 3rd duck the dog would sometimes have a hard time remembering where it landed and sometimes the trainer wouldn't let him see where it landed. The dog would run out in to the water and the trainer would blow his whistle and yell "LOOK". The dog would turn around and look at the trainer. The trainer would point to one side or the other or straight up to tell him to go left or right or farther out. Every time the dog got off course the trainer would blow the whistle and yell "LOOK". One of the dogs only turned around some of the time, the trainer would have to blow his whistle several times to get his attention, that dog spent a lot of time just swimming around, it took him a lot longer to find the ducks. He had lots more training to do ….

God's like that:  He's trying to get our attention so he can tell us what to do but we just keep on swimming around. We do the same thing over and over and keep going back. But God's patient, he'll wait …. "LOOK!"

I think I'll go to Huey's for lunch today. Maybe I'll call ahead and ask them to chill a bottle of ketchup for me….


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

Correction from last week (Shrimp, Pea, and Rice Stew). That was supposed to be 3 cups of frozen peas not 3 peas… oooops
Suzanne Goin is one of my favorite Chefs to cook. This is from her Restaurant A.O.C. in Los Angeles … (If you've never been to Penzey's Spices, here's your reason to go… Find out what good, fresh spices taste & smell like. They have jars with each spice next to the sealed bags that you can buy. Open the jar and smell. It's like a trip around the world. Taste the different salts. Go smell the fresh nutmeg. I bet your nutmeg doesn't smell like that! )

Roasted Curried Cauliflower
6 Side-Dish Servings


12 cups cauliflower florets (from about 4 pounds cauliflower)

1 large onion, peeled, quartered

1 teaspoon coriander seeds (Penzey's)

1 teaspoon cumin seeds (Penzey's)

3/4 cup olive oil

1/2 cup red wine vinegar

3 1/2 teaspoons curry powder (Penzey's - Get Sweet Curry)

1 tablespoon Hungarian hot paprika (Penzey's)

1 3/4 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro


Preheat oven to 450°F.

Place cauliflower florets in large roasting pan. Pull apart onion quarters into separate layers; add to cauliflower.

Stir coriander seeds and cumin seeds in small skillet over medium heat until slightly darkened, about 5 minutes. You will be able to smell it when it's done. Don't burn it. Crush coarsely in mortar with pestle or put it on a cutting board and crush it by rubbing a heavy pan over the top (a spice mill will work too). Place seeds in medium bowl.

Whisk in oil, vinegar, curry powder, paprika, and salt. Pour dressing over vegetables; toss to coat. Spread vegetables in single layer. Sprinkle with pepper.

Roast vegetables until tender, stirring occasionally, about 35 minutes.

DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature. Rewarm in 450°F oven 10 minutes.

Mound vegetables in large bowl. Sprinkle with fresh cilantro. Serve warm or at room temperature


See you this weekend. Bring a friend. It's going to be great!!!



Posted by Mack Oates at 11:26 AM