This Week

Mack's Corner

This Week

Coffee-Milk and a big hug please!

I was waiting for my usual Toffee nut latte last week and wondering why I liked this stuff so much. I watched the girl steam the milk and then I knew. My mom did this for us on Saturday mornings. We wanted to drink coffee because we thought it was "Grown up". My mom should have just given us coffee the way she and my dad had it, black and strong, and that would have been the end of it. They both started drinking coffee during the 2nd world war and that was the only way you could get it. My grandfather started drinking coffee during the 1st world war, so he liked it blacker and stronger and with grounds floating in it.  He always made it in a percolator.. But my mom was sweet so she made us "Coffee Milk" every Saturday. Milk, sugar, coffee heated in a pan, served in a Grown-up coffee cup..Now known as a Latte… I had not really thought of Starbucks as comfort food, but there it was. Comfort Food is the big thing now. Any food that reminds us of a happy time in our childhood. All the great chefs have Comfort Food places. Even Thomas Keller who makes the hoityest toityest food in the world has a Comfort food place called Ad-Hoc that serves mashed potatoes, fried chicken, apple pie, coffee milk (just kidding)… The Ad-Hoc cookbook is out. No green bean casserole, Jello salad, or beans and rice (one of my favorites, guess what's in it..).. But Chicken fried steak with milk gravy is there .. The first time I had a real steak in a real restaurant I thought something was wrong with it.  Every steak I had ever eaten had been soaked overnight in vinegar and salt and pepper to try to soften it up a little.. today they call that brining.. My mom was just trying to make a tough piece of meat in to a meal .. It wasn't a great meal but it was a great time in my life.. everything was simple..

Gods like that: He wants us to feel his comfort, he wants our lives to be simple, he wants us to know he'll take care of us. Can you rest in that?

I think I'll have some Coffee Milk this morning, I wonder if I can order that at Starbucks.. one Venti Coffee-Milk please and a big hug..


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

Sauces from Great Chefs

This week it's Rick Bayless and his Creamy Pumpkin Mole Sauce..

2 dried Ancho chiles, stemmed, seeded, torn in to pieces

4 1/2 tbsp oil

1/ 2 if a medium onion cut in to rings

2 cloves of garlic

1 fat slice of white bread.. not sour dough

3/ 4 cup of drained canned diced tomatoes

3 1/2 cups chicken stock/ broth

4 canned chipotle chiles

1 cup canned pure pumpkin

1/ 3 cup whipping cream

2 tsp dark brown sugar

The hard part is getting all the stuff..

Put the Ancho chiles in a hot pan and toast them until you can smell them, about 2 minutes. Put them in a bowl and over them with hot water for 30 min..

Heat 2 tsp oil and add the onion and garlic and sauté until brown, 4 min.. put that in a food processor.. toast the bread in the same pan and add that to the processor.. add the tomatoes to the processor and puree.. put that in a bowl..

Drain the Ancho chiles and put them in the processor along with 1 /2 cup of chicken stock and the chipotle chiles.. puree..

Heat 1 tbsp oil in that same pan and add the Ancho chile puree and cook till it thickens and darkens, stir often… then add the tomato puree and simmer about 4 minutes ...stir, stir, stir..

Whisk in the pumpkin and 3 cups of chicken stock and simmer until it thickens and reduces to about 3 1 /2 cups, about 30 mim..

Whisk in cream and dark brown sugar… season with salt and pepper..

Serve it over grilled chicken, on pasta, as a dip with chips (maybe only use 2 1/ 2 cups of stock with the pumpkin if you are going to do this), topping for tacos, OR add 4 cups of stock with the pumpkin and have a really spicy pumpkin soup.. serve it cold in the summer with lime and cilantro, or hot in the winter with crème fraiche on top..




Posted by Mack Oates at 12:07 PM