Mack's Corner

This Week

The Big Dennis 

I used to teach and coach at Cypress Jr High just north of Rhodes College. A good friend of mine was the head football coach and I was the assistant. We had a great bunch of kids and some amazing athletes, one was named Dennis.  Dennis was in the 8th grade, 6 feet tall and weighed 220 pounds. Not only was he big, he was quick. He played on the line, both ways. When he walked up to get set the kids across from him on the other team were usually 6 inches shorter and 40 pounds lighter. It was scary.  We came up with a play just for him. We called it "The Big Dennis".  The play was an intentional fumble, we always had to tell the ref so they would know what was going on. Here's how it worked: The center would snap the ball and then fall down on his knees. The QB would take the ball and drop it behind the center, between his legs. The whole team, QB, Running backs, everybody, went right like it was a big sweep. Everybody except Dennis. Dennis, playing tackle on the right side, would take one step back and go left behind everybody else. As he passed the center he would pick up the ball and run as hard as he could around the left side. While both teams were on the right side of the field chasing the play, Dennis was running down the left side all by himself. He looked like some rogue player that lost his mine and decided to run back to the bus. Sometimes when the play was obviously over on the right side of the field, still no whistle, the other team would just stand there and watch, wondering what Dennis was doing, and even more, wondering where the ball was. Our guys went crazy… "Go Dennis, Go Dennis…." At some point the coaches on the other team would realize that he had the ball and start yelling. The play usually ended with 5 players from the other team holding on to Dennis as he dragged them across the goal line, nobody could stop him. The biggest defense against the play was Dennis himself because he just ran out of gas before he got to the end zone. If we ran it inside the 40 yard line it was always a touchdown, but if we ran it past midfield Dennis might be crawling by the time he scored. He would tackle himself, fall down, out of breath, exhausted.
God's like that: Most of the time the biggest thing going against us is us. You're trying to change, but you just can't get there. Let God help. Don't do it by yourself. Ask God for help and then expect him to show up … he will, be patient, don't stop.….
Now that I've let the secret out, you'll probably see "The Big Dennis" in the Super Bowl. Just remember where you heard it first ….


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

This is also from of Saveur, the best/only food magazine left… This was too much fun to leave out. Plus I was thinking about all the Dudettes with kids who hate Broccoli .. This comes from Chef Craig Koketsu a Park Avenue Winter in New York
Broccoli with Cheetos
2 cups heavy cream
3 tbsp minced garlic
2 tbsp minced shallots
6 black pepper corns
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 cups of grated Gouda Cheese (or whatever cheese you like that will melt)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 1/4 pounds of broccoli cut in to florets, smaller stems cut in 1/4 inch slices
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp crushed red pepper
2 cups original Cheetos crushed by hand
First we're making a standard cheese sauce. Most cheese sauces start with a béchamel sauce (butter & flour cooked together, then milk. Salt and pepper. Cheese added last. That would work with this too.) but in this one uses flavored cream.
For the sauce:
Heat the cream, 2 tbsp garlic, shallots, pepper corns and the bay leaf in a large sauce pan over med - high heat (I actually prefer a skillet for this because it doesn't tend to boil over). Boil the cream until reduced by half, about 6 minutes (maybe less in a skillet). Pour through a strainer.

Put it back in the pan and add the cheese. Stir till cheese is melted. Season with salt … set aside, keep warm. (Easy way  to keep it warm is to put water in a skillet over medium heat and put your pan with the cheese in the skillet. If the water starts to boil, turn the heat down to a simmer. This is kind of a make-shift double boiler)…. Think of how many things you could put this cheese sauce on???
For the broccoli:
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the broccoli and cook stirring, until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Drain broccoli and transfer to a bowl of ice water. This is called "Shocking", it stops the cooking. Drain and transfer to paper towels to dry. Set aside.
From here you are only a few minutes away from serving. You can stop here until you are ready to serve ..
To finish:
In a large skillet heat the oil, the crushed red pepper, and the last tbsp. of garlic. Don't burn the garlic. Cook 1 minute then add the broccoli and cook stirring until just browned, about 6 minutes…. Taste the broccoli!! Good huh? (See you could make this and skip the sauce and Cheetos.)
To Serve:
Broccoli on the plate, sauce on top, generous amount of crushed Cheetos on top of that….
Kids will love this, but you'll find yourself in the fridge at midnight …



Posted by Mack Oates at 10:55 AM