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Mack's Corner

This Week

What was the best cup of coffee you ever had?

I was driving work one morning, drinking my coffee, thinking "Wow that is a good cup of coffee", I did it just right. Then I was thinking "What was the best cup of coffee I ever had?" I actually know, it's an easy question. Do you know the best cup of coffee you ever had? Mine was at Restaurant August in New Orleans about 11 years ago. My cousin was getting married and we went down for that. Of course you know me, I'm not going anywhere, especially New Orleans unless we're going to have dinner someplace good. Weddings are fine and I know it's supposed to be all about the bride and groom, but If I'm going to New Orleans the most important thing I'm going for is the food. I don't even care if I have to go by myself. Wedding food tastes like wedding food. I can get that here. Jennifer's wedding food here at Hope is way better than what we were having there. I made reservations before I even knew the agenda. If I missed one of the parties, there were 8 in 3 days, I would just say I was there anyway. Who would miss me? I could name all the people I knew that were there and they would assume I was too. Of course the 6 people I knew out of 800 were going to be at all of the parties anyway and wearing the same clothes to each one... "Mack, did you go to the party at Pat O'Brien's? I didn't see you there???" ... "Yep, I was there. Remember they had that shrimp dip and the ginger ale punch. I think Billy was wearing that white suit.."  "Yah, I remember, I did see you there.. What did you think about that dress Mary Ann had on?" .. "Yep, She was Something!" .. I don't even know who Mary Ann is, but every girl there was beautiful and 23. How could she not be something? ..  Anyway, on to dinner… The chef / owner at Restaurant August is John Besh, one of the great chefs in America today and in the top 3 best chefs in New Orleans (Kelly English at Iris worked there before he came to Memphis).. Dinner was great, service was great, dessert was great.. At the end the waiter came out and said with great anticipation "Would you like some coffee?" .. Sure, we're in New Orleans, got to drink New Orleans coffee.. He came back, put the cups down and said "Before I pour your coffee you have to promise that you'll taste it before you put anything in it." No Sugar, no cream, you have to taste it black. We agreed, and as he poured he explained that the coffee was not New Orleans coffee but that it came from Nicaragua and that Chef Besh had gone there himself to find it. It's grown in some small village by one man and he makes it only for Restaurant August.  etc. etc. There was no way to improve this coffee. If I could have coffee like that every day, I would never use cream and sugar. It was stunning, amazing, perfect.. way better than that ginger ale punch..

God's like that: We go through life on somebody else's agenda, doing stuff we don't really like to do, settling for less. All along you know why you're really here, God's got stuff for you to do. He planned it before you arrived. "He prepares a table before me in the presence of my enemies. He anoints my head with oil. My cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life and I will live in the house of the lord forever."

I looked all over the web to find the coffee August used. The closest I've found is at: Equator Coffees & Teas  Jardiniere Blend.


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

Béchamel Sauce

Béchamel sauce is one of the great things every cook should know how to make. It's almost too easy. It's a standard roux sauce = roux with liquid added. In "Ratio" Ruhlman has it as 3 parts flour to 2 parts fat… that's too hard. Just use equal amounts of both and throw in a little more flour. So 1 tbl butter & 1 tbl flour +… 2 tbl olive oil & 2 tbl flour+ .. Get a pan, med heat, add the butter or oil or bacon grease and then whisk in the flour = roux. You want to cook the roux in the pan for several minutes (2 - 3), just to cook the flour. After that, it's up to you. The longer you cook it, the darker it gets and the more flavor it adds. Don't get stupid and burn it. Burnt roux tastes awful. If you burn it, throw it out and start over…. For sauce the ratio is 10 parts liquid to 1 part roux. However don't worry too much about this either… Make the roux and slowly whisk in the liquid. You want the sauce to be boiling or be close to boiling as you are doing this. If it's not boiling, add some liquid, bring it to a boil, then add more…. Here's why: the sauce has to boil to get it to thicken up from the roux. You can't tell how thick it will be until it does. When you see how thick it is, then you can tell if you need to add more liquid. More liquid = thinner sauce. This is why I said the 10 to 1 liquid to roux is not important, you eyeball it as you go. The liquid can be anything, stock, pan drippings, milk, cream, vegetable juice, fruit juice, anything. For Béchamel sauce its milk, so the sauce is white. Butter + Flour = roux, Roux + Milk = Béchamel sauce.. For straight Béchamel sauce just add salt and pepper to taste and you're done. You can put it over fish, steamed vegetables, add it as layer on pizza. One thing that works nice is to put it over something and then stick it under a broiler. The sauce will brown on top. Here's the cool part: you can add anything to it. Want it hot? Add cayenne. Want a little sweet flavor?  Add nutmeg. Biscuit gravy? Add sausage. Want cheese sauce for Mac & Cheese, add cheese. Want to pass out? Make your own pasta , add Gruyere and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and a little truffle oil to your Béchamel sauce. Put the sauce on the pasta along with some sautéed shrimp.. doesn't get better than that!

Scallop-and-Bacon Pizza


3 garlic cloves, crushed
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1/4 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Kosher salt
Cornmeal, for dusting
1 pound pizza dough
4 slices thick-cut bacon (5 ounces)
4 sea scallops (5 ounces), sliced crosswise 1/4 inch thick
1 cup baby arugula


Preheat the oven to 475°. In a medium saucepan, cook the garlic in 1/4 cup of the olive oil over moderately low heat until it starts to sizzle, about 3 minutes. Whisk in the 1/4 cup of flour until smooth and cook, whisking, until light golden, about 3 minutes. Slowly whisk in the milk and cook, whisking, until the béchamel is smooth and thickened, 2 to 3 minutes. Whisk in the cheese. Stir in 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Transfer the béchamel to a small bowl. Discard the garlic.

Lightly dust a baking sheet with cornmeal. On a lightly floured work surface, using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll out the dough into a 12-inch round. Transfer to the prepared sheet. Brush the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil all over the dough and spread the béchamel evenly on top, leaving a 1-inch border around the edge. Bake on the bottom rack of the oven for about 18 minutes, until the dough is almost cooked through.

Meanwhile, in a nonstick medium skillet, cook the bacon over moderate heat, turning, until golden and crisp, 7 to 8 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Chop the bacon.

Top the pizza with the scallops and drizzle with olive oil. Bake for about 3 minutes, until the béchamel is golden and bubbling and the scallops are just opaque.

In a small bowl, toss the arugula with the remaining 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. Top the pizza with the bacon and arugula and serve hot.


Want to be a ConeHead or a Tram Driver? 
Email me ... Mack@hopechurchmemphis.com


How about saving a kid's life!!

When you give Platelets it's like giving St Jude $700 - $1000. If we don't give them, they have to buy them.

Giving Platelets is like giving blood, it just takes longer (2 hours) and you get all of your blood back (so you can do it every week if you want) . I know it's a long trip to go all the way down to St Jude, but you may be saving a kid's life . plus you get to watch a movie while you're there. Call Kim at 901.595.2024 and she'll setup an appointment and treat you like family. Just tell her you're from Hope.

Directions: From Poplar, turn north on Third Street, then right on Lauderdale/Jackson Ave (first right after you go under the expressway). Enter through the north guard gate (you'll see the Danny Thomas Pavilion. Gold top).

Tell the guard at the gate that you are here to donate blood. The guard will instruct you where to park. You will then enter the hospital by the red side door closest to the blood donor parking lot. The Blood Donor Center is in the southwest corner of the hospital on the ground floor.

Appointment times are generally available Monday through Friday from 8:00am to 4:00pm. Except on Tuesdays they start at 9am.



2 Chronicles 7:14 . if my people, who are called by my name, will pray then I will hear from heaven.

So I need everybody to pray. If you don't pray much, do it one time. You can just say "God help these people. I pray in Jesus's name". That will be good enough. Let's see what God will do. Do it right now!

Christiana, Brian, Brent, Tracy, Craig, Alexis, Joni, Russ, Andi, Emily, Carol, Ronnie, Jack, Brady, Amanda, Smith, Terri,  Miracle, Hutch, Cheryl, Craig, Thomas, Wade, Dalton, Morgan, Brady, Tracy, Pierce, children of St.Jude, Louanne, Jason, Hatley, Cam, Chet, Judy, Addyson, Jay, Greg, Mitzi, Matt, Grace, Jennifer, Scott, Cristen, Alexandria, Cole, Jerry, Ron, Jeremy, A Dillon, Rev Cole, Samuel, Morgan, Terry, Kaz, Lauren, Allison, Christian, Marilyn, Ken, Ashley, EJ, Lora, Paige, Kyle, Franca, B- Family, Dylan, Gary, KJ, Cliff, David, Billie, Julie Ann, Jessica, Pam, Doug, Martha, Jason, Nolan, Hayes, Bennett, Joyce, Layla Grace, Joe, Tina, Chris, Daniel, Jacob, Tyler, Don, Charlotte, Heather, Margaret, S- Family, Kavious, Wayne, Raymond, Cody, Judy, Laura, Sue, Eden, Tammy, Mike, Ron, Ed, Jaxon, TM, Kelsey, Blake, Charlie, Brad, Kirk, Will & Ben, Pat & Tracy, Kimberly, Brooke, Gary, Raymond, Michel, Jimmy, Mike, Carol, Karen, Robin, Joe, Forrest, Metis, Ben, Genie, Walt, Sheri, Lisa, Brooke, Yater, Barbara, Don, Rick & Barbara, Ana & Will & Mary Margret, Jonah, Kay, Jim, Freddie Mae, Meredith, Ron, Saeed, Laurie, Sean, Susie, Phillip, Arnell, Lauren, Will, Carla, Martha, Cara, Luahn, Ljuliana, Max, Parker, B Family, Jane, Graham, Grason, Mary , Bill, Mike, Verne, Livi, Kenny,Angela, Lynne, Mike, Edie, Todd, Danny,  LO, Kenny, Ricky, Suzan, Mike, Jimmy, Sarah, C-Family, Polly, Cassy, Kathy, Jerome, Betty Lou
, JM, Edie, Kathy, Melinda, Joe, May, Jim, Mandy, Teri, Roe, LG, Melanie, Mike, Will, Lynne.

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



Posted by Mack Oates at 11:30 AM