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Mack's Corner

This Week

Michelin 3 star fries

My wife and I took a vacation a few years ago and went on our first trip to Napa Valley. I knew there were some great restaurants there and made reservations at two that I had read about. They both had 2 Michelin stars… hoity toity stuff … The chef at the first one is Philippe Jeanty, one of the great chefs in America. This guy is the real deal, cooked in France and several places in the US..  We dressed up and walked over to the restaurant. It looks like someplace you would find in the back streets of Paris, big striped awning on the front, very rustic. All the waiters wear long white aprons and black vests, big fireplace and music in the background. I felt like I was in a 1950's movie … I ordered  PETIT SALÉ AUX LENTILLES: Pork belly with a lentil and foie gras ragout … and COQ AU VIN: Chicken, mushrooms, bacon and red wine stew..This was going to be great, a little expensive, but great. I was ready for the big time… As the waiter started to walk away he turned and said "You want fries with that? Right?" As if to say "I know you do, you're stupid if you don't"… Even though that doesn't seem like a hard question, I was totally confused. I just didn't expect it. This was way too fancy of a restaurant to get fries on the side. He might as well have asked if I wanted my toes painted. It took me 3 or 4 seconds to respond and even after that all I could manage to say was "Sure". …After he left, I looked at my wife and said "What did he say?  Did he really ask if I wanted fries ?" ….  The food started coming, the Pork Belly and lentils first, that was really good. Then he set a big silver cup full of fries in the middle of the table .. the cup looked like one of those metal cups they use to make milk shakes… There we sat with our first courses and this thing of fries in the middle of the table, like a vase full of flowers… I guess he did ask if I wanted fries …. Well the food was really good , really, really good, but the fries were Great!!!!  Like the fries you could get at McDonalds back in the 60's and 70's when they used real potatoes that they peeled by rolling them around in a potato drum. There was always some skin left and they cooked them in lard. They were totally unhealthy, but they were really good. Really, really, good!  Michelin 3 star fries for $2.75 … Every time we go there now I order fries first, I don't really care what else I get….

Gods like that: He knows how great you can be, He knows what you can do, he just has to convince you to try it .. "You do want to try it? Right?" ….God's got big plans for you… order up! 

I wonder if you can FedEx fries? Think they would still be hot?


Cooking 220 - 2 pans, 2 burners, 20 minutes:
Here's another one from Rick Tramonto's cookbook American Brasserie. Easy, quick, great …

Salmon with Mustard dill sauce

For the sauce:
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp cider vinegar
2 tbsp sugar
1 cup olive oil
1 tbsp chopped fresh dill

For Salmon:
2 serving size pieces of salmon
Olive oil
Salt & pepper

For the sauce: whisk everything together except the olive oil … then in a thin stream whisk in the olive oil … 4 min

For the salmon: preheat the oven to 350

Get a skillet (one that will go in the oven) hot, add the oil … pat the salmon dry with a paper towel then salt & pepper.  Lay it in the hot pan and cook 2 min per side… if it sticks to the pan wait and flip it when it doesn't stick… just give it a minute… Then put the whole pan in the oven for about 4 min … the salmon should be rare in the middle … 8 min total

Remove from oven, sauce on a hot plate, salmon on top, salad on the side … another romantic dinner for 2 or a great dinner for just you in less than 15 minutes ..  I say this a lot, but this is the kind of thing I would make for myself every day if I was single. Just buy 1 piece of salmon and make half the sauce. The dill is the only thing that won't keep forever, just leave it out ..



Posted by Mack Oates at 1:08 PM